Sage Public Library

Also known as: New Sage Public Library, Osage City Hall
806 Main Street, Osage, Iowa

Carnegie Library repurposed as the Osage City Hall


Sage Carnegie Library Building

Today, it serves as the Osage City Hall.

The building also served as the prototype for a bird house that was sold at the new library.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in November 2012



Street View 


The first public library in town opened in 1871 in a room in the Masonic Lodge. A building was built on Main Street with the financial assistance of Orrin Sage of Ware, Massachusetts. (Sage is the Osage namesake.) The Osage City Council accepted the custody of all books belonging to the Osage Library Association. The new building, named the Sage Public Library, opened on May 15, 1876. (Today it houses a submarine sandwich restaurant.)A telephone exchange was housed in the same building, and the librarian doubled as the town's telephone operator.

By the turn of the 20th Century, growth of the community included outgrowing the library building. A $10,000.00 grant from Andrew Carnegie was accepted to build a new library building at the corner of 8th and Main Street.

The building served as library for 84 years and was replaced in 1996. At that time, the old library became the Osage City Hall.

The building is just outside the boundary of the NRHP Osage Downtown Historic District.

The Osage Library is featured in a book about rural libraries entitled Main Street Public Library: Community Places and Reading Spaces in the Rural Heartland, 1876-1956 published by the University of Iowa Press. Also featured in the book are libraries in surrounding states, the Rhinelander Public Library in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Morris Public Library in Morris, Illinois, the Moore Library in Lexington, Michigan and the Bryant Library in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

Update Log 

  • February 13, 2018: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • November 11, 2012: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Bill Eichelberger - wallyum [at] hotmail [dot] com