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 Tower Hill Wisconsin

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

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


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.


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo