Founding

Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie donated over $40 million to help build 1,679 public libraries in the United States1. In 1917, the Brownsburg, Indiana library board received $12,500 from the Carnegie Corporation for the founding of the Brownsburg Public Library2. Sylvester and Anna Moore conceived the idea for a library in Brownsburg sometime in 19163. A library board was formed, and they met for the first time in December of 1916. Anna Moore's membership pledge is shown at right. In April of 1917 the board requested $12,500 from the Carnegie Corporation to assist in the construction of the library building. The Carnegie Corporation stipulated that in order to receive the money the library board needed to raise $1,200 of tax money to prove local support of the library2. This was a policy that the Carnegie Corporation employed throughout the U.S. Carnegie was unwilling to support a library that did not have the support of the local government1. The cornerstone of the library was laid on September 18, 1917, and construction was complete roughly a year later3. The library opened on Main Street in September of 1918.

The Brownsburg Public Library in the winter of 1920 is shown below.

 
 
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