John Sanford Brumback, businessman, banker, and philanthropist, decided to assist twelve Van Wert women who wanted to establish a library for local residents. The 1,400-book library was established as a free city library in 1896, and Mr. Brumback offered to finance it, believing that all residents should have access to free books. He ordered plans for the construction of a County Library but died before it could be completed.
His family honored his wishes and completed the construction of the library in 1901. The architecture is a mix of Gothic and Romanesque style, with turreted towers and a Ludowici tile roof, creating a castle-like look. The castle is surrounded by the trees in the park, just as John Sanford Brumback requested, and the library is today an important part of Van Wert social and cultural life.
215 W Main St, Van Wert, OH 45891, 419-238-2168 Photo: Brumback Library Castle
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