By Brad Kellogg
A Peruvian fortune in gold, a clandestine ship in the dark of night, a pandemic, and fortunes built and lost. The Graves Library in Wakefield, Nebraska, is a special building, with a story behind it that has all the aspects of a novel. It is one of two libraries in the entire United States named in honor of the benevolence of the Graves family, but in different generations and different states.
People who have lived their lives in any small Midwest town tend to overlook the things they see every day. They take for granted the streets they drive on, or barely even glance at the walnut trees in the park that adjoins the swimming pool where their children enjoy a warm summers day. They might drive by the same building regularly and see, well, just a building. In their life experience these things have just always been there, and are taken as a matter of course. The Graves Library is one such place, a brick-and-mortar structure that is reminiscent of the classic style of an Andrew Carnegie design. This building is listed on the Nebraska Historical Society Register and is the legacy and the repository of Wakefield history and of Willard and Philo Graves. The town of Wakefield may never have existed if not for their foresight and planning.
Read the entire story in the latest edition of Living Here magazine.
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