The 1874 frame building given by railroad executive, F.H. Peabody, to express his appreciation for the town being named for him was the first free library in the State of Kansas, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He gave 2,000
33 sites along Walnut Street, the main street of Peabody, remarkably remain while most pioneer towns suffer losses from fires and storms. The oldest building dating to 1878, was first occupied by a bank, then the majority of other buildings were built in 1883.
The Peabody Driving Tour takes you beyond historic main street to view 27 beautiful works of architecture in churches and homes of the founding families dating from 1877, and then onto City Park, site of the 1885
Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie gave millions of dollars to establish libraries across America in the early 1900s. The women's study clubs of Peabody were determined to bring a Carnegie Library to Marion County - they were joined by civic leaders and county commissioners and obtained $10,000.00