January 2, 1823– A meeting was held at the home of Mr. Oliver Lee. A subscription Library was established and a Board of twelve Trustees was elected. More than $100 was raised. No location is mentioned, but later a Mechanics Reading Room located on the west side of Main Street was started in 1841. It was mentioned in Beer’s County History (1880).
December 15, 1869– At the meeting of Trustees for the Union Free School, a Library Committee was appointed: Professor Charles Henry Dan (School Principal), Linus W. Thayer Esq., Rev. John V. Stryker, William H. Merril (Western New Yorker Publisher), and John Ransom (Wyoming Democrat Publisher).
January 6, 1870– The Library Committee selected $500.00 worth of books to be kept at the Academy (Union Free School). Half of the funds were from new subscriptions, and half were from the State Literature Fund. Approximately 400 books were purchased, and 500 more were donated.
February 24, 1870– The rooms in the school set aside for the Library were almost ready.
March 10, 1870– Drawing of books by the public began. It cost $2.50 to subscribe to the Library, or a patron could pay $.10 a week. One book could be checked out at a time. Books were lent for two weeks and overdue fines were $.10 a week. The Library was open to the public once a week on Wednesday afternoons.
June 9, 1870– The first Library Catalogue was printed.
1903– The Warsaw Board of Education contacted Andrew Carnegie requesting funds for a new Library Building. Interest in a separate building was expressed as far back as 1898. The land where the Library is now located was donated by the Honorable Augustus Frank.
December 12, 1903– The Town Board became involved. Mr. Carnegie’s personal secretary was contacted. He reported that if the town voted to raise $1,000 a year for Library upkeep, Mr. Carnegie would donate $10,000 for the building.
January 26, 1904– The special town vote was nearly unanimous in favor of the new Library, 390 for and 16 against according to the Western New Yorker, and 173 for and 16 against according to the Warsaw Town Board Minutes. The Board of Education would donate the Library Corporation to the Township. The circulating Library consisted of 5,381 volumes valued at $5,000.
March 10, 1904– The Warsaw Town Board appointed a Library Board consisting of: Mrs. Agnes M. Frank, John B. Smallwood, N.S. Beardslee, W.H. Cheney, I.B. Smith, and S.B. Whitlock.
April 29, 1905– Mrs. Augustus Frank formally deeded the property at Main and Court Streets to the Town of Warsaw.
May 1904– The Library Board received its Charter from the New York State Board of Regents and the authority to build a Library.
May 14, 1905– The architect Albert Randolph Ross (1869-1948) toured the site.
June 16, 1905– The first sod was turned for construction.
May 1906– The Library opened with no formal ceremony.
June 3, 1991– The Dedication of the Warsaw Public Library Expansion and Renovation took place. The total cost of the project was $423,404.26, paid for using funds from a Federal Library Services and Construction Act Title III grant, a citizen fundraiser and bonds issued by the town of Warsaw.
- Helen Cameron- 1906-1942
- Agnes McConnell- 1942-1964
- Margaret Davis- 1964-1992
- Clare Keating- 1992-2000
- Angela Gonzalez- 2000-2012
- Lisa Gricius-2012-Present
Dedication of the Warsaw Public Library Expansion and Renovation, program. Young, Andrew, W. History of the Town of Warsaw New York, Buffalo: Sage, Sons and Co., 1869
Dann, Mary E. History of Warsaw Public Library Founded in 1870 by Charles Henry Dann. East Aurora: Roycrofters, 1917.
Bishop, Lewis, H. The Libraries of Warsaw, a paper.
Lane, David, M., Questions and Answers about the Beginnings of the Warsaw Public Library Building, a paper, 1989(?).
EXCERPT FROM THE CATALOG
Library Regulations Governing Use of Books, Use of Library and Conduct in the Building
Any resident of the town of Warsaw shall be entitled to the free use of the Library.
Any person living outside the township shall be entitled to the use of the Library upon the annual payment of one dollar ($1.00). Non-resident pupils attending the public school shall be permitted the free use of the Library during the school year.
The reading rooms are free to all for the purpose of consulting books and periodicals.
A card will be issued to each borrower and this card must be presented whenever a book is taken. Books may be retained two weeks and may be renewed for two succeeding weeks, except those marked “7 days,” which books cannot be retained more than one week. Renewed books cannot be transferred. Two cents a day will be charged for books kept over time. No person owing a fine shall be allowed to draw a book. Writing in or marking books, tearing or turning down leaves is prohibited, and all injuries to books beyond reasonable wear, and all losses shall be promptly adjusted to the satisfaction of the Board of Trustees. All conversation and all conduct inconsistent with quiet and order are prohibited in the Library. Any person abusing the privileges of the Library, or violating the foregoing regulations shall be temporarily denied the use of the Library; or such person may forfeit all right to further use of the Library. The Library will be closed on legal holidays, and at the discretion of the Trustees. The State laws regarding Public Libraries (a copy of which is herewith appended) will be enforced:
“A person who maliciously cuts, tears or defaces, disfigures, soils, obliterates, breaks or destroys a book , map, picture, engraving, statue, coin, model, apparatus, specimen, or other work of literature, or subject of art, or curiosity, deposited in a public library, gallery, museum, collection, fair or exhibition is punishable by imprisonment in a State prison for not more than three years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”
Looking for local history?
GENEALOGY RESOURCES AVAILABLE AT THE WARSAW PUBLIC LIBRARY
Materials available on our local history/genealogy shelf
- 1841 History of Wyoming County, New York: With Illustrations, 1880
- A Complete Name Index To the 1841 History of Wyoming County New York with Illustrations, 1880
- Gazetteer of the State of New York (1860)
- History of Holland Purchase
- History of Warsaw New York, 1869
- Historical Wyoming, 1947-present, various indexes, bound
- The Warsaw Centennial
- Wyoming County New York,: An Architectural Tour
- Wyoming County 1870 Directory
GENEALOGY RESOURCES AVAILABLE IN THE WARSAW COMMUNITY
Wyoming County Historian’s Office
26 Linwood Ave., Warsaw, NY 14569
Hours 9:00-3:30, Monday through Friday (open during the lunch hour)
Cindy Amrhein, County Historian
Sally Smith, Assistant County Historian
- Cemetery/Census book
- Genealogy File
- Subject File
- War File (Revolutionary, Civil, etc.)
- County History- Beer’s 1880
- 1870 County Directory
- Wyoming Co. Probate 1841-1900
- Turner’s Pioneer History, 1849
- History of Phelps and Gorhams Purchase, 1951
- N.Y.S. Gazetteer 1860-French’s
- Janet Foley-Early Settler’s of NY
- Biographical Review- Livingston and Wyoming Co.
- Church History (founding and local churches info.)
- Newspapers on microfilm beginning at 1836
Wyoming County Surrogate’s Court
Located across the street from Warsaw Public Library.
- Administrative records
Warsaw Town Offices
Warsaw Village Offices
15 South Main Street
Warsaw Historical Society
Gates House, 15 Perry Ave.
Hours: M-F 10am-2pm
Family History Center
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
286 Linwood Ave., Warsaw
Hours: T, 10am-2pm, W, TH 7pm-9pm, Sat, 10-Noon
- Cemetery records
- Census collection from several areas of NYS
- 1790-1930 State and Federal census extract forms
- Various census forms from other countries
- Social Security Death Index
- Family Search -International Genealogical Index
- Family History Library Catalog
- Freedman’s Bank Records
- Internet access to genealogical web sites