On December 28, 1897 the first 9X9 word square in history was published. It was constructed by Arthur F. Holt, the master formist of his time, and appeared in the Chicago Inter-Ocean, back when newspapers were enlightened enough to carry that sort of thing. Given the incredible difficulty of building such a form, it is not surprising that the square contained words taken from a variety of sources.
"The Best 9X9 Square Yet,"
Word Ways: Vol. 24
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol24/iss4/2