History

History of Bucyrus Public Library

The first library in the city of Bucyrus was built in 1896 where the Bucyrus Public Library is today. The original library was built with money raised by the Memorial Library Association, a group of 15 women dedicated to establishing a library in memory of those lost in the Civil War. The first library was very small consisting of two rooms the size of pantries. In October 1899, due to the costs involved in maintenance for the library, the trustees made an appeal to Andrew Carnegie. A check for $500 was received to purchase used books.

By 1905, the library had grown to include over 3,700 books and had a circulation in excess of 13,500. A group of Bucyrus citizens decided to petition Mr. Carnegie for money, and were successful. A Carnegie grant of $15,000 was given to the city with provisions that the city provide a site and 10% of the grant annually for library maintenance.

Mr. King of Galion, whose low bid made it possible for the second floor to be built, built the current library. The doors formally opened on June 5, 1906, with an open house. The building was described as “one of beauty in architecture and is conveniently arranged for the purpose for which it was constructed.”

The librarian for the Bucyrus Public Library at this time was Ms. Augusta McCracken. She had also been the librarian for the old Memorial Library. Her assistant was Vera Price. Ms. McCracken was librarian until 1914. During her tenure the library was made the sole beneficiary of the will of Nellie R. Harris in 1909. Ms. Harris established a trust fund of $26,000 for the library as a memorial to her father for the purchase of books. In 1914, when Ms. McCracken retired, the library had over 6,000 volumes, 40 periodicals, and a circulation in excess of 17,000.

In 1914, Ms. Price succeeded Ms. McCracken and is credited with having started a reading area for children. Clara Angell succeeded her in 1916. Ms. Grace Fuller succeeded Ms. Angell in 1917.

Ms. Grace Fuller remained the librarian of the Bucyrus Public Library until January 1952. Under her direction the collection grew to 30,000 and children’s and extension services increased.

The following served as Head Librarian after Ms. Fuller: Julia Havron, Ruth Kerr, Wilma Rittenour, Sue Stuckman, Marilyn Roe, Dr. Jeffrey Herold, James Wilkins, and Matthew Ross. The current Director is Ms. Brenda Crider.