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1903 - Andrew Carnegie Grant and Cornerstone Laying

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1903 in Rensselaer, IN

From Miss Ida Millikin's presentation to the Rotary Club - November 29, 1932 (as appeared in the December 16, 1932 newspaper article):

"Some weeks prior to 1903, correspondence had been opened with Andrew Carnegie relative to his building a library for Rensselaer. A reply to a letter of C.D. Royce dated January 13, 1903 from a secretary to Andrew Carnegie stated that if the city of Rensselaer would comply by resolution to maintain a free public library at a cost of not less than $1000.00 per year, and provide a suitable site, Mr. Carnegie would be glad to erect a free public library buidling for Rensslaer."

"On June 5, 1903, at a meeting of the Japer Public Library board, it was voted to present all the books and properties belonging to the library to the new organization, providing it would select certain lots (known as the Moss block), as a location for the new Carnegie building. This site was considered most suitable for library purposes on account of its central location and proximity to the schools, which are but a block distant."

In 1904 an Andrew Carnegie grant was obtained for construction of a library building. The Cargnegie Library cornerstone laying was celebrated with a parade lead by Grand Marshal David Yeoman. The cornerstone ceremony was conducted by the Most Worthy Grand Master, George E. Grimes of Ladoga, IN.

Contents of the Cornerstone:

  • A History of the Public Library by Simon P. Thompson
  • A copy of the program
  • Pamphlets from the Ladies Literary Club
  • Pamphlets from General Van Rensselaer Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Copies of The Rensselaer Republican, The Democratic Sentinal, The Rensselaer Journal, and The Jasper County Democrat
  • Judge Thompson's article of the early history of Jasper County. (A copy of this was to have been made, however, it was not and the only copy is sealed in the cornerstone.)
  • There were other articles included.