Spencer Public Library

Also known as: Owen County Heritage Museum
110 E. Market St., Spencer, Indiana


Photo taken by Mike Daffron in December 2019



Street View 


The library moved to the old Owen County State Bank building on Montgomery Street in the late 1990s. The building is now being used as the Owen County Heritage Museum.

Historical Information 

Adapted by J.R. Manning

"The town's first library may have been one funded through a bequest from William Maclure (1763-1840). Maclure made provisions in his will for funding of Indiana public libraries. These libraries were established in the 1850s and 1860s. One was started in Spencer, but little information was found about it. In 1906, after the Maclure library had declined for lack of continued funding, a subscription library was established and was housed on the second floor of the Town Hall.

"Townspeople took steps to construct a new library building by securing a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation in 1911. The architect hired to design the plans was Wilson B. Parker of Indianapolis. The contract for the building was let on July 29, 1911 to A.E. Kemmer, a Lafayette construction company, for $7,930. The building was dedicated on January 1, 1912. The first librarian was Reba Davis.

"In the 1970s the library became a county institution. It was moved in 1997 to a larger building on South Montgomery Street. The Carnegie library building became an annex to the courthouse after that time, housing the Owen County archives and probation department. Currently, there are plans underway to convert the building to a community center."

Quotation from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form prepared by Laura Thayer, February 14, 2007. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 20, 2007
Reference number
Architectural style
American Movement: Bungalow/Craftsman
Areas of significance
Architecture; Education
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Meeting hall
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant year

Update Log 

  • February 3, 2020: Essay added by J.R. Manning
  • December 30, 2019: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • January 2, 2017: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "GPS Coordinates" & "Street View"