Peabody Historical Library Museum

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Old Peabody Library
Peabody Library - 00381771.jpg
Library in 1908
Peabody Historical Library Museum is located in Kansas
Peabody Historical Library Museum
Location within the state of Kansas
Location 106 E Division Ave
Peabody, Kansas, 66866
Coordinates 38°10′2″N 97°6′22″W / 38.16722°N 97.10611°W / 38.16722; -97.10611Coordinates: 38°10′2″N 97°6′22″W / 38.16722°N 97.10611°W / 38.16722; -97.10611
Built 1875
Architectural style Vernacular
Restored 1927 and 1960
Part of Peabody Downtown Historic District (#98000590)
NRHP reference # 73000765 [1]
Added to NRHP July 2, 1973

Peabody Historical Library Museum, also known under the older name of Old Peabody Library, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1973. It is located in the Downtown Historic District of Peabody, Kansas. The building has state significance because it was the first free tax-supported library in Kansas.[2]



The city of Peabody was named in 1871 after F.H. Peabody, of Boston, formerly vice-president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway company.[book 1] [book 2] In May 1874, Mr. Peabody visited the new city, at which time he announced he would donate money for a library building, furniture, books, periodicals and landscaping if the Peabody township would secure four lots for the site. The contract for construction was awarded in early 1875, and the library was opened to the public in June; in February 1876 the state legislature authorized the township to levy a tax to support the library. The structure housed the library facilities until 1914.[book 3][2]


In 1914, the library was moved, and the Peabody Township Carnegie Library was constructed on the original location.[book 3] The building was initially moved to the Peabody City Park, then later it was moved to south of the old Peabody Grade School near the railroad tracks. It was restored in 1927. The building was used for club meetings and stood idle for a number of years.[2]


In 1960, while planning for the 1961 Kansas centennial celebration, local citizens organized to move the structure to a lot near its original location (east of the Carnegie library). The old library building was converted and dedicated as a museum on July 3, 1961.[2]


As of 2011, it is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month and each federal holiday (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day). The hours are 2 pm to 4 pm on each of these days.


See also[edit]



Further reading[edit]

  • Peabody : The First 100 Years; Peabody Historical Society; Peabody Gazette-Herald in Peabody, KS; 123 pages; 1971.
  • Marion County Kansas : Past and Present; Sondra Van Meter; MB Publishing House in Hillsboro, KS; LCCN 72-92041; 344 pages; 1972.

External links[edit]

Peabody Historical Library Museum (old library)
Peabody Township Carnegie Library (new library)
Peabody Downtown Historic District (museum is located in this district)