Countryman, Gratia Alta (1866–1953)

In June 1922, the Minneapolis Public Library book wagon made its first trip from Minneapolis to Excelsior, a small village on Lake Minnetonka. Riding aboard the book wagon was Gratia Countryman, the library system's visionary director.

Traveling Libraries

Before 1899, few Minnesotans had access to free public libraries. But in that year, the state legislature began funding a system of traveling libraries that were sent to underserved communities in all parts of the state for only the cost of shipping.

Walker, Thomas Barlow (T.B.), (1840–1928)

Thomas Barlow (T.B.) Walker worked his way through school and into Minnesota's lumber industry, where he became unusually successful. He later helped found two of Minneapolis's significant cultural organizations, the Public Library System and the Walker Art Center.

Gratia A. Countryman at desk in Minneapolis Public Library

Gratia A. Countryman at desk in Minneapolis Public Library

Gratia Countryman at desk in Minneapolis Public Library, c.1945.

Gratia Alta Countryman

Gratia Alta Countryman

Gratia Countryman at city-wide testimonial dinner in her honor, Minneapolis, December 11, 1936.

Gratia A. Countryman, head librarian in Minneapolis

Gratia A. Countryman, head librarian in Minneapolis

Gratia Countryman, head librarian in Minneapolis, 1928. Photographer: George E. Luxton.

Gratia Countryman, librarian, in library stacks

Gratia Countryman, librarian, in library stacks

Gratia Countryman, librarian, in library stacks, c.1910.

Gratia Alta Countryman

Gratia Alta Countryman

Gratia Countryman, c.1886.

Gratia Alta Countryman

Gratia Alta Countryman

Gratia Countryman, Minneapolis, 1917. Photographer: Lee Brothers.

Clara Baldwin

Clara Baldwin

Clara Baldwin, director of the Library Division of the state Department of Education, 1935.

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