Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join OLA
R. W. Ramsay
Share |

Guthrie’s first public library began with the coalition of eight women’s clubs in 1900. Several ladies held book receptions in their homes, which resulted in the collection of approximately 100 books in 1900. Mr. Robert W. Ramsay, head of Ramsay Bros. Dry Goods Store, promised to give 25 books from his store stock for every 100 books other people gave. Mr. Ramsay was a personal acquaintance of Andrew Carnegie, since boyhood days in Dunfermline, Scotland, and was able to obtain $1,000 from Carnegie for books. Carnegie added the advice that “the only true plan is for the community to maintain a library from a tax levied for that purpose.” This was believed to be the only donation Carnegie made for books.

Later Mr. Ramsay was instrumental is obtaining $25,000 from Carnegie for a library building. That building was dedicated on May 20,1903, making it Oklahoma’s first Carnegie library. Ramsay was elected Vice President of the new public library board, and continued to be a frequent donor of gifts and services to the Guthrie library for many years.

Return to the Oklahoma Library Legends

Site Search
Sign In



Oklahoma Library Association
1190 Meramec Station Road, Suite 207, Ballwin, MO 63021-6902
Phone: 1-800-969-6562 Ext 5 | Fax: 636-529-1396 | Email:

Follow us: OLA on Facebook