Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

James Huff Stout (1848-1910)

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Thursday, February 05, 2009 in Hall of Fame

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James Huff Stout was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2008. Stout in his capacity as a state senator was the first legislative champion for Wisconsin’s libraries.  He also used his personal wealth accumulated in the lumber industry to advance the cause of libraries and education. At the behest of Frank Hutchins, he personallyf funded the first “Summer School in Library Economy” in Wisconsin which became the Wisconsin Library School in 1906.  Working with Frank Hutchins and Lutie Stearns, he introduced legislation which created the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC) in 1895.  In 1897 he became Chair of the WFLC and continued in this capacity until 1905.  Stout also personally funded the first traveling libraries in Wisconsin in Dunn County. He founded the Stout Manual Training School in 1891 which was the forerunner of the University of Wisconsin – Stout. He is listed in the Dictionary of Wisconsin History . Click here for more information. The image of Stout is from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Historical Image Collection  Image ID: 29376 .


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