Since 1849, the Fennimore library collection had been housed in a room at the Methodist Church or at the Old Fennimore House. In 1922, Fennimore banker, Dwight T. Parker, donated the sum of $35,000 for the construction of a library on an “adequate site” for “focus as one of the beautiful points of interest in the City of Fennimore.” Upon his death in 1934, Parker’s will added a $10,000 trust fund dedicated to the operation of the library. After depletion of the trust fund, Fennimore assumed the library’s total cost of operation.
The Dwight T. Parker Public Library in Fennimore, Wisconsin represents an excellent example of the small-scale library construction. Madison, Wisconsin architects Louis Ward Claude and Edward F. Starck incorporated an Italianate theme into the design of the Fennimore library, completed in 1924.
The red brick two-story rectangular building with wide overhanging eaves features a hipped red clay tile roof with a single brick chimney rising through the southeast slope of the roof in the rear of the building. The pedimented frontispiece and coping on the projecting entry are terra cotta. Two sets of three round-headed windows flank each side of the entryway and are adorned with terra cotta colonettes and bracketed sills. Inside, oak moldings and furnishings give a warm feel to the library as does a tile fireplace.