Early History of the Niles Library

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If you enjoy the images on these Webpages, there is a newly-published book with high resolution images and descriptions that will interest you.
With over 400 photographs and 200 pages, the new book-A Pictorial History of the Buildings of Niles Ohio offers a pictorial history of the buildings of Niles from 1895 through the present day.

Follow this link for information on ordering your book.

The Niles Public Library was started as a civic project

The Niles Public Library was started as a civic project. On April 8, 1908 the Niles Library Association was incorporated and a board of nine trustees was elected.* Tax levies of .3 of a mill each were made by the City Council and the Board of Education were first paid into the Library treasury in March, 1909. A large room in the W. A. Thomas building on Furnace St. was offered rent free by Mr. Thomas. In this room the library was housed until 1916.

The interior of the Niles Library

The interior of the Niles Library when it was in a rent free room owned by W. A. Thomas on the bend of Furnace St. (E. State St.) It contained a total of 2,882 books.


Story Hour at the old library on Furnace Street in Niles

Story Hour at the old library on Furnace Street in Niles. Furnace Street is now part of State Street.


A view of the curve on Furnace Street that shows the Public Library.

A view of the curve on Furnace Street that shows the Public Library.


A view of Mill Street looking east from Main Street. Mill and Furnace were combined into State Street.

This postcard show the McKinley memorial whose left wing houses the new library.
This postcard show the McKinley memorial whose left wing houses the new library. The erection of the library wing of the Memorial was made possible largely through the gift of $50,000.00 by Henry C. Frick, his gift being specifically for the library.
A view of the new library wing featuring the circulation desk and a bronze bust of Henry C. Frick.
A view of the new library wing featuring the circulation desk and a bronze bust of Henry C. Frick.
Henry Clay Frick (December 19, 1849 – December 2, 1919) was an American industrialist, financier, union-buster, and art patron.

Henry Clay Frick (December 19, 1849 – December 2, 1919) was an American industrialist, financier, union-buster, and art patron. He founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern.

He also financed the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company,[citation needed] and owned extensive real estate holdings in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. He later built the historic neo-classical Frick Mansion (now a landmark building in Manhattan) and at his death donated his extensive collection of old master paintings and fine furniture to create the celebrated Frick Collection and Art Museum.

Follow this link to learn more about Henry Clay Frick.

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