Aberdeen’s First Library Donated by Andrew Carnegie

Roughly 20 years after things got moving in Aberdeen, the city accepted a $15,000 contribution from Andrew Carnegie to put towards the construction of a new library. The new library was opened in 1901. It was located on Sixth Avenue at the corner of Lincoln Street. Currently a multipurpose building for First United Methodist Church sits on this site.

Interestingly, most of these libraries funded by Carnegie were called, “Carnegie” libraries and many still exist today; either as libraries or someĀ other businesses. Since Aberdeen, SD was named in honor of the president of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad’s home town in Scotland, Carnegie asked that Aberdeen’s library be named for his friend Alexander Mitchell. Legend says this is the only time this occurred. The fact cannot be verified. The library does have in its possession the letter from Carnegie requesting this naming distinction.

Sadly, this building fell in to disrepair and had to be abandoned. It was condemnedĀ in 1950 and the site remained a parking lot for decades.