COLLINSVILLE — The Comedy of Errors Club served as the keeper of books for Collinsville residents in the early 20th century until the group tapped into the grants for libraries being given out by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
It was 100 years ago that the Carnegie Collinsville Library opened.
Between 1899 and 1916, Oklahoma received $464,500 through 24 Carnegie library grants. Of those, nine are still in use as a library — in Collinsville, Elk City, El Reno, Frederick, Hobart, Perry, Sapulpa, Tahlequah and Wagoner, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Eight other libraries remain standing but are in use as museums or offices. They are in Ardmore, Bartlesville, Cordell, Guthrie, Lawton, Muskogee, Shawnee and Woodward. Razed Carnegie libraries in the state were in Chickasha, Enid, McAlester, Miami, Oklahoma City, Ponca City and Tulsa.
In Collinsville, several events will be held at the library, at 1223 W. Main St., starting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, to mark the anniversary.
Labor of love: The Comedy of Errors social club was formed by women in 1903 to obtain a library for the budding Collinsville community, which the 1900 census recorded as having 376 people.
The organization acquired its first books from a Methodist church and kept them in the home of the group’s founder, Mrs. J.A. Tyner. Then the books moved around a bit until 1911, when a second-floor room in the new City Hall was made available. The library was funded through teas and talent shows.
The acquisition of new book titles was news big enough to be reported in the local newspaper.
By 1910, the city had grown to 1,324 residents, and the pace of population growth wasn’t slowing down. It would more than double during the next decade, recording 3,801 people in 1920.
It was clear that the City Hall reading room was not an adequate space…