Successful businessman Eugene S. Ellsworth contributed much of his wealth toward the advancement of the Hardin County community of Iowa Falls. Beginning with the construction of a magnificent opera house in 1899, Ellsworth spent the final eight years of his life improving the community. His credits included major contributions to the 1902 hospital building, the establishment of Ellsworth (Community) College, and a land donation for the construction of the Carnegie-Ellsworth Public Library in 1902.
Additional funds for the library were received in 1903, when Carnegie awarded the community of Iowa Falls with a $10,000 grant. Now home to the city Chamber of Commerce, Main Street, and Development organizations, the library was one of the more elaborate of its size and type and features a number of distinctive architectural features. The Iowa Falls Public Library is now located in a modern, 15,000-square-foot building located along the Iowa River, a few blocks southwest of the Carnegie location.