About the branch
In 1897, local public servant and storekeeper George Harsh willed $10,000 for “public library purposes.” The funds purchased nearly 10,000 volumes for Massillon’s first public library. Also in 1897, J.W. McClymonds announced his gift of an endowment of $20,000 for a library. The Russell sisters, Flora and Annie, who married the McClymonds brothers, donated the Nahum S. Russell home, located on Prospect Street (now Fourth Street NE), in memory of their parents. The McClymonds Public Library opened on January 1, 1899, and was funded by private subscriptions and an annual disbursement of city funds. In 1922, the McClymonds Public Library became the Massillon City School District Library and was now funded by tax revenue.
In 1930, Annie Steese Baldwin willed her home “as the site for a new public library.” Built around 1835, the brick home overlooking downtown Massillon from Hill Street (now Second Street NE) was first the residence of the city’s founder, James Duncan.
The current Massillon Public Library (Main Location), located at the corner of Lincoln Way East and Second Street NE, opened in 1937. Designed by Albrecht & Wilhelm and funded in part by a Works Progress Administration grant, the Duncan/Baldwin home was connected by a Jeffersonian portico and rotunda to a west wing Reading Room and Children’s Room. The Massillon Museum was also housed at this location until 1996 when it moved to its present location at 121 Lincoln Way East.