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Marker important part of area history

September 2, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

The dedication of an Ohio historical marker at the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County's main library earlier this week truly serves as a reminder of generosity.

For it was in 1899 that industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $50,000 to Steubenville for the construction of a public library.

And. just as we believe Steubenville is unique, so too is the bronze plaque that now is erected near the front entrance of the main library on South Fourth Street. The marker has a different message on each side, with one side showing and describing Carnegie the man, and the other, the library building.

Carnegie spent some time in Steubenville as a telegraph worker.

Following a flood of the Ohio River that destroyed telegraph lines, Carnegie would take telegraph messages to a boat on the river, which would then transport the messages down river to Wheeling.

Our fair city was the first of three cities in the Buckeye State to receive money from Carnegie for building libraries. One of the other two is nearby East Liverpool.

Our main library branch still stands, and its a tribute to Carnegie's generosity, as State Librarian of Ohio Beverly Cain said Tuesday during the marker dedication.

Steubenville has been and will remain a community that is proud of its heritage, its history. And now that pride is even more visible with the library's own historical marker.

We commend Alan Hall, director of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, and the library board for looking into and then following through with seeking the marker and recognition from the Ohio Historical Society.

Thanks to the many employees, volunteers and board members through the years, the main library and several branches throughout Jefferson County continue to thrive in the 21st century.

Most of us, as children, have fond memories of libraries, and thankfully, our local libraries remain a vital part of our communities today offering the beloved reading materials of the past as well as advanced modern-day programs and data, and we have Carnegie to thank first and foremost.

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