History of Warsaw's Libraries

Warsaw Public Library is located at 130 North Main Street.  It was built between the years 1904-1905 at a total cost of $9,970.  The Town was to provide the furnishings.  The lot the library sits on was donated by Agnes McNair Frank, who lived across the street in the Augustus Frank mansion.  Mr. Andrew Carnegie, who owned the U.S. Steel Company in Pittsburgh, gave $10,000 for the building of the library with the stipulation that the Town of Warsaw would donate $1,000 every year for its operation.

The lower floor is used for local history research including bound volumes of local newspapers beginning in 1836.

Pursuant to an act passed April 1, 1796, a meeting was held at the house of Oliver Lee on the 2nd Tuesday of January, 1823 for the purpose of forming and erecting a public library. Elizur Webster was chosen Chairman. Because more than 20 persons needed to signify their consent and donate $100, the following became subscribers: James Crocker, Chauncey L. Sheldon, Theophilus Capen, Benjamin L. Watkins, John Crocker, Howard Bosworthy, Daniel Rockwell, Henry Woodward, John A. McElwain, Jonas Cutting, Aaron Rumsey, Lyman Morris, Josiah Hovey, Eli Dibble, Jr., William G. Whitney, Allan Fargo, Solomon Morris, John Wilder, Samuel McWhorter, John Truesdell, John R. Knapp.

Twelve Trustees were elected for one year: Sheldon, Morris, Jr., Patterson, Watkins, Crocker, McWhorter, Lyman Morris, Elizur Webster, Capen, Josiah Hovey, Rumsey and Cutting

The acts and proceedings were recorded in the County Clerk's Office on February 5, 1823.

A respectible library of valuable standard books was purchased and was kept up for several years. However, for reasons unknown, the organization was abandoned and the books distributed among the shareholders. Some of them may be seen in the private libraries of their descendants.

Click here for a review of Andrew W. Young's early books.

School books and the more common articles of stationery were, until a quite late period, sold by merchants in general. For many years after the book-trade had been concentrated in the hands of those so-called "book-sellers," it was found necessary to connect with book sales other branches of trade. The earliest booksellers, it was believed, were Charles J. Judd and Edwin L. Fuller. In 1851, Mr. Fuller sold his stock of books and other goods to Nehemiah Park. The book business, soon after, went chiefly into the hands of Lewis E. Walker who offers them as part of his various departments of trade.

History of early libraries in the Town/village will be uploaded as it becomes available.