Philanthropy had established many libraries during the early 1900s across America. After our neighboring Gregory County became incorporated in 1908, it was a well known national philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, who in 1913 provided a free public library building in Dallas giving settlers free access to books and information. Tripp County, incorporated in 1909, would build it’s county library due to a persistent group of local philanthropist under the coordination of the Women’s Club of Winner. A year after women gained the right to vote in American, the Women’s Club of Winner presented the Tripp County Commissioners a voter backed petition establishing a county library. Following the ladies public supported activism, the first five trustees were appointed, a librarian was elected, five thousand dollars and a prime location in the newly constructed county court house allowed the Tripp County Library to opened on September 1, 1921. This was the second county library established in South Dakota.
In the years that followed, the Tripp County Library would reflect the challenges of the times. When the Tripp County population grew to around 11,000 people, four library outposts were established in Colome, Ideal, Keyapaha, and Hamill to support the public need for information and education. Public donations supported the build up of books and volunteers kept public access open. But as the population decreased, these outposts disappeared.
Although ninety-two years have passed since the Tripp County Library first opened, what has remained constant is public support and individual and group philanthropy for a library that provides free access to education and information for the people of Tripp County. In 1987, the beautiful, donated house of C.J. and Blanche Grossenburg was renovated and became the new home for the Tripp County Library. Over the years, community members, and Foundations like: Grossenburg Family and Employees Fund, First Fidelity Bank and Tripp County Community Foundation, Pauli Family Memorial Fund, Matousek Family Memorial Fund, Missouri Reading Council, and the South Dakota Community Foundation made the library better and provide funding for needed books and educational material. In 1979, the Friends of the Library was formed. A group of active community members with a mission to raise funds for needed books and promote literacy awareness. All of these groups and people have demonstrated a commitment to the Tripp County Library and displayed the same strong pioneer spirit that established the library in 1921.