Leach Public Library

417 2nd Avenue North
Wahpeton, ND 58075


As early as 1909 a public library was started by Mrs. Searing, who had personal interest in getting a public reading room for children. Books were acquired through donations and gifts and rent for a room was paid by collecting small donations from the citizens for this purpose.

When the country courthouse was completed in 1913, the country commissioners gave the librarian the use of a room in the basement of the courthouse without charge for rent. This was under the supervision of Mrs. Searing.

In 1919 Mr. and Mrs. O. A. Leach offered the city of Wahpeton the sum of $25,000 as a donation for the construction of a building to be used as a public library if the city would purchase a suitable site for it. Block 1/2 of lot 38 Original Townsite was purchased for a total sum of $11,000. It was also necessary to have some means for maintaining this library, so Ordinance Number 52 was passed providing for a levy and collection of annual tax of $2000 which could be amended so as to be 10% of the final total cost of the library.

Mr. Leach had full charge of the construction of the building and upon it's completion donated it to the city of Wahpeton. The building was completed in the fall of 1924 at a total cost of $40,000. Books from the old library at the courthouse were moved into the new building, new books were purchased and more books given as gifts.

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