Library History

Read how this library was established and how it has evolved to become such an important part of our community.

History of Wyoming Public Library

Excerpts from article written by Milton H. Lowell

     “Perhaps Few Now in Wyoming will remember that the town once boasted a “Wyoming Public Library and Museum of Natural History”.  It Originated in a circle of talk around the stove in the McClure’s grocery one evening in the sixties (1860’s) when the mercury was dallying around ten below.  The organization was soon perfected, and the details worked out.  Mr. McClure kindly offered to donate the use of a five-foot shelf near the front window of the store for the books.  The shelf was supplemented by a wider shelf below it to accommodate articles that night be contributed to the Natural History Department
      The contribution of books came in rather slowly.  A Child’s History of Greece in 5 small volumes, 3 Rollo books, Works of T.S. Arthur in one volume, Parlor Games, and several copies of Peterson’s Magazine.  One of the Magazines had a short story by Fannie Hodgson, who later attained fame as Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of Little Lord Fauntleroy.  Everyone was fascinated by the short story and the magazine containing it was drawn out until it was worn out.
     The “Museum of Natural History” was never even as much of a success as the Library.  Seven specimens of ores, on arrowhead, and my Indian War-club comprised the whole exhibition.  Mr. McClure finally refused the further use of the valuable shelf near the bright show-window and the “Wyoming Public Library and Museum of Natural History” was removed to a 2’ dark shelf at the back of the store over the vinegar and molasses barrels.”

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.