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.

Subscribe to feed Viewing entries tagged Lutie Eugenia Stearns

Lutie Stearns and the Woman's Congress at Tower Hill, WI

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, March 01, 2012
in Events

pc-wi-tower-hill-72

This article was also posted on The Library History Buff Blog.   

For Women's History Month I thought I would post a story about Lutie Stearns, one of Wisconsin's greatest library pioneers. As often happens, a piece of postal librariana was the stimulus for my engaging in some library history research. I was delighted when I researched a picture postcard depicting the Ann Mitchell Library at Tower Hill, Wisconsin (shown above) to find that there was a link between Tower Hill and Lutie Stearns. Tower Hill is now the Tower Hill State Park, but was originally the summer retreat of Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a prominent Unitarian minister. As is explained in the first issue of La Follette's Weekly Magazine (January 9, 1909), Jones sponsored an annual Woman's Congress at Tower Hill. The guests at the Woman's Congress were limited to twenty-five invited individuals, and the speakers and topics for the Congress were selected by a committee which Lutie Stearns chaired for several years. Stearns at the time was on the staff of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission which she helped to found in 1891. In addition to her advocacy for free public libraries and traveling libraries, Stearns was an outspoken advocate for women and their role in society. Library Journal (October, 1916) reported on on a Library Congress held at Tower Hill in August of 1916. This Congress was also chaired by Lutie Stearns. Librarians from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and North Dakota participated in this informal gathering to discuss library issues and to relax. It is in that Library Journal article which was written by Stearns that mention is made of the Ann Mitchell Library.  It notes that: "The afternoons during the week were given over to informal conferences and visits to the Ann Mitchell Library building on the Tower Hill grounds, which was found to be well supplied with the classics as well as the better part of latter-day literature." I have been unable to determine the identity of Ann Mitchell. Jones was a promoter of women in the ministry so perhaps she was a minister. The library and the building that housed it no longer exist. I also have a blog post about Lutie's speech impediment and her proposal for a book wagon. I highly recommend a book about Lutie for young people titled Books in a Box.

Recent comment in this post Show all comments
  • Christine Pawley says #
    So glad you posted this, Larry. I was just reading in Stearns's "My Seventy-five Years: Part III, from the Wisconsin Magazine of ...

Categories

Popular Tags

Black River Falls Peter G. Hamon Wisconsin Library Bulletin Dianne McAfee Hopkins Gilbert H. Doane Hall of Fame 2015 anniversaries Wisconsin Rapids Hartford Public Library Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Campaign Lutie Eugenia Stearns Cam Orrilla Blackshear Special libraries Library Artifacts Madison Public Library Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Bookmobiles cam Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs John Miller Chancellor Beaver Dam Public Library DeForest Area Public Library National Library Week Richard E. Krug Capitol Fire 1904 campaign Sarah Janice Kee J. D. Witter COLAND Library e Edward Asahel Birge School libraries Library Trustees CCBC Hall of Fame 2016 Milwaukee Public Library Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Pinback buttons Cornelia Marving Pierce Ruby Roeder Exhibits James Huff Stout Matthew S. Dudgeon James Duane Doty Sandra Friedman Dolnick Hall of Fame 2015 library exhibit Bob Bochfer buil library memorabilia Hall of Fame 2009 Hall of Fame 2011 Academic Libraries Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries WHCLIS Black River Falls Public Library Public library systems WAAL background 28 Amer American Library Association Milwaukee Art Museum Portage Public Library Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends Postcards presentations Centennial Uncategorized People Eratus Swift Wilcox Anniversaries I Love Libraries Hall of Fame 2015 Marketing-Publicity Library people Postcards Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee Public libraries Eager Free Public Library bed and breakfast Beloit Public Library Louise S. Robbins Wisconsin Library Association Hall Superior Carnegie Libraries ca 23 Larry T. Nix Campaign Jane K. Billings Hall of Fame 2015 Dorothea M. Krause Robert Bocher Hall of Fame 2012 Increase A. Lapham Council on Library and Network Development Hall of Fame 2013 bookworm UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Postcards UW-Milwaukee Libraries 21 Hall of Fame 2012 Carl Spitzweg trav Lucy E. Smith Morris Public libraries Hall of Fame 2010 Manitowoc Public Library Library History UW-Madison school of library and information studies Brown County Library American Library Association Library War Service World War I Wayne A. Wiegand Suring Area Public Library Hall of Fame 2018 Library people Events & Meetings McMillan Memorial Library Hall of Fame 2014 Campaign traveling libraries caly film WLA 125 Wisconsin Free Library Commission Tower Hill Wisconsin Charles Bunge Gertrude Thurow Library People Hall of Fame 2008 Hall fo Fame 2012 Lutie Stearns 10 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries 24 state historical society WWI Library War Service Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Digital Collections Cooperative Children's Book Center WLA 125 Katharine MacDonald Jones Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library WLA 125 School of Library and Information Studies Publications 20 library legislation Buttons Zona Gale Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Frank Avery Hutchins Klaus Linderfelt Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services Middleton Public Library hall of Hall of Fame 2015 Helen Adams Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries caly film Irene W. Newman William J. Wilson Appleton Public Library Library Buildings Brown Deer Public Library Library celebrations Carnegie libraries Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends Lowell W. Wilson Milwaukee Public Library Wisconsin Free Library Commission John J. Jax Library Systems Inform Wisconsin campaign Wisconsin Historical Society Historical Register Woman's Congress Events 14 Parcel post Elroy Public Library Postcards T. B. Scott Free Public Library Evansville Wisconsin Library Buidlings WLA 125 campaign Jerome P. Daniels campa Gerald A. Somers Clinton Public Library books-by-mail Soughton Public Library 11 Academic Librarians Wisconsin State Law Library Bernard Schwab Hall of Fame 2012 Events & Meetings Anniversaries archives caly film Hall of Fame 2018 S. Janice Kee 22 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries White House Conference on Library and Information Services Pewaukee Public Library library education Ripon Public Library 27 Hall of Fame 2017 Oshkosh Public Library membership libraries Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Brown Deer Public Library Ice Storm Meter mail slogans National Bookmobile Day Delia Ovitz Ruth Ann Montgomery Nolan I. Neds State Law Library Clarence Brown Lester Rusk County Community Library

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo