The desire for a public library in Watertown began in 1901, when the city asked Andrew Carnegie's foundation for help in funding it. While details for the library were being worked out with the Carnegie Foundation, Emma Flower Taylor, feeling that the library should come from its own community, matched the offer and conditions set forth by the Carnegie Foundation, as well as donating the land on which it was to be built. Taylor's only stipulation was that the library be named after her father, Roswell P. Flower. The city accepted Taylor's offer, and she dedicated the completed library in 1903.
The library boasts numerous works of art, murals and sculptures. A bust of Flower sits under the rotunda. A large addition was added to the rear of the library in 1975, while the main structure remained untouched. In 2007, the library underwent an extensive restoration to its interior.
Flower Memorial Library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Interestingly, this was not the city's first library, and at one time there were three libraries operating.