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Marcus P. Beebe Memorial Library
The Marcus P. Beebe Library is located in north-central South Dakota in the small town of Ipswich. The one-and-one-half-story Tudor Revival building sits on a raised basement and is constructed of uncut granite stone gathered from the surrounding prairie. Chicago architect Allen E. Erickson designed the building, and the stone walls were laid and pointed by P. A. Lundblom and Son; the remainder of the construction was completed under the supervision of local builder John D. Williams.
Tudor elements include a projecting entrance bay, offset slightly to the north, with a gable end adorned with half-timbering, a wide bargeboard, and a small pendant at the peak. The entrance features a double-leaf arched wood door with large wrought-iron hinges; it is flanked by small arched windows. Another prominent feature of the main facade is a shed dormer with five windows to the south of the entrance bay. A large exterior chimney with tall, twin chimney stacks set on the diagonal are north of the entrance bay. The rear elevation features two wall dormers with gabled roofs, each with three windows, and a slightly projecting bay, offset to the north, with a small doorway. Each of these gable ends, as well as the gable ends on the north and south of the building, have applied half-timbering.
The library’s main floor consists of one large, open room with a beamed ceiling and stairway and a lobby of Belgian, Italian, and Austrian marble, as well as a stone fireplace, oak woodwork, and seven-foot-high bookshelves. The original furniture, crafted by the Dakota Sash and Door Company of Aberdeen, South Dakota, is still extant.
The library was erected as a memorial to Marcus P. Beebe (1854–1914). A native New Yorker, Beebe arrived in the Dakota Territory in 1882 and later established the Bank of Ipswich. He was prominent Ipswich citizen and promoted several town improvements. His children contributed to his legacy with the construction of this public library, which continues to serve the Ipswich community today.
Hoyle, Larry, “Marcus P. Beebe Library,” Edmunds County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1977. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
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