From 1857-1901, UIU had only literary society and department libraries, and for a short time there was a library housed in College Hall (Alexander Dickman). In 1900 Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 to build a library to be named in honor of his friend, David B. Henderson, first speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from west of the Mississippi. Mr. Henderson had attended UIU in 1861 but did not finish his college studies as he left Upper Iowa to fight in the Civil War. The David B. Henderson Library , a two-story building above a high basement, measuring 87 feet long by 70 feet wide, was dedicated November 11, 1902, during the inaugural celebration ceremonies for president Dr. Thomas J. Bassett. The office of the President and the Treasurer were located on the first floor.
In 1961 a third floor stack area was added to the library. In 1969 the library was renamed Henderson-Wilder Library when the Wilder addition was added with major renovations to the old Carnegie building, increasing total square footage to 43,563. The Wilder addition was named in honor of Frank Wilder, class of 1897, and his wife Mary whose estate gifts made the completion of the addition possible.
In 1902 Iowa Governor Larrabee commissioned two statues with J. Massey Rhind to be of David B. Henderson - one bronze, the other in masonry. The original bronze statue, located on Main Street, Clermont, IA. was used to make a copy for UIU's statue by Max-Cast Foundry, Kalona, Ia. UIU's statue was installed in 1994. The masonry statue was done for the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in St. Louis, Mo. and shipped to Des Moines, IA for the State Museum in 1905. This statue has not yet been found as it was considered an item in storage.