The Brumback Library was built with funds bequeathed to Van Wert County residents by John Sanford Brumback, a former resident of Van Wert, for the purpose of building a free public library. Mr. Brumback's will directed that a sufficient sum from his estate be devoted to the erection and furnishings of a library building as a free gift to Van Wert County, if the County would provide for its equipment of books and maintenance.
The cornerstone of the building was laid with imposing ceremonies, on July 18th, 1899, and no expense was spared in making the building both handsome in appearance and substantial in construction. The architecture is a combination of Gothic and Romanesque. With turreted towers, and a Ludowici tile roof, the Library presents a most effective and pleasing appearance amid the trees of the park where it is located.
The building was dedicated on January 1st, 1901. Two renovations have occurred. In 1917 the basement was remodeled to house the Children's Department. In 1991 an addition of 10,500 square feet of new building along with a complete renovation of the existing structure took place. The renovation and addition was made possible through a gift from Mr. Orville and Miss Ellen Reed. The new addition is thus called Reed Memorial Addition, in memory of deceased members of the Reed Family.
The governing board of trustees is comprised of seven members, two appointed by the Brumback heirs, two appointed by City Council and three appointed by the County Commissioners of Van Wert County.
The Brumback Library and its five branches located in Convoy, Middle Point, Ohio City, Willshire and Wren comprise the first County Library formed in the United States. The Library clearly serves as an outstanding example of great foresight and philanthropy, a true cultural legacy.