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 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

James Duane Doty CCBC caly film Cooperative Children's Book Center Academic Libraries state historical society Wilbur Lyle Eberhart American Library Association Library War Service Anniversaries WWI Library War Service Portage Public Library cam Digital Collections 10 Edward Asahel Birge Academic Librarians Council on Library and Network Development library exhibit WAAL I Love Libraries School of Library and Information Studies Hall of Fame 2012 Inform Wisconsin Gilbert H. Doane campaign World War I 24 Brown County Library Gertrude Thurow Library Buidlings McMillan Memorial Library Elroy Public Library Library History Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services National Bookmobile Day John Miller Chancellor Hartford Public Library Tower Hill Wisconsin Jane K. Billings Katharine MacDonald Jones Anniversaries Evansville Wisconsin Ruth Ann Montgomery Library people Postcards Wisconsin Free Library Commission Brown Deer Public Library Nolan I. Neds Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Exhibits campaign Zona Gale Woman's Congress Superior Carnegie Libraries Hall of Fame 2009 Irene W. Newman Charles Bunge White House Conference on Library and Information Services Bob Bochfer Hall of Fame 2010 28 Hall of Fame 2008 Wisconsin Rapids WLA 125 Hall Wayne A. Wiegand Hall of Fame 2016 Campaign Wisconsin Library Heritage Center background caly film Hall of Fame 2011 Milwaukee Public Library Hall of Fame 2015 COLAND DeForest Area Public Library Dianne McAfee Hopkins Wisconsin Library Association Public libraries Sandra Friedman Dolnick Soughton Public Library WLA 125 Dick Sorensen library memorabilia Postcards Public library systems hall of Hall of Fame 2015 library education Dorothea M. Krause Marketing-Publicity Hall of Fame 2012 Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries buil Hall of Fame 2013 Milwaukee Art Museum Jerome P. Daniels campaign Milwaukee Public Library Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Richard E. Krug Nancy Marshall Eager Free Public Library Library Artifacts William J. Wilson Hall of Fame 2014 Hall of Fame 2015 Sarah Janice Kee Clinton Public Library Klaus Linderfelt Library Systems Louise S. Robbins WLA 125 Gerald A. Somers Library Trustees Bookmobiles American Library Association Beloit Public Library Ice Storm 22 Lutie Eugenia Stearns campa Postcards Brown Deer Public Library Campaign Orrilla Blackshear Matthew S. Dudgeon Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library Library e Lowell W. Wilson bookworm Hall of Fame 2015 Appleton Public Library Carl Spitzweg trav Buttons Robert Bocher WLA 125 Bernard Schwab bed and breakfast Meter mail slogans Amer Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Library people UW-Milwaukee Libraries Hall fo Fame 2012 Library celebrations Ripon Public Library Pinback buttons Frank Avery Hutchins Richard J. Sorensen caly film 11 Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends 20 27 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries State Law Library Helen Adams Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee John J. Jax Library Buildings library legislation Delia Ovitz Parcel post Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends Clarence Brown Lester Black River Falls traveling libraries WHCLIS People 23 Carnegie libraries Madison Public Library School libraries anniversaries Ruby Roeder Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Wisconsin Free Library Commission Beaver Dam Public Library books-by-mail Wisconsin Library Bulletin Eratus Swift Wilcox Lucy E. Smith Morris Wisconsin State Law Library Wisconsin Historical Society Events & Meetings Uncategorized Special libraries Historical Register Manitowoc Public Library S. Janice Kee Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Capitol Fire 1904 Cam Public libraries membership libraries UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Peter G. Hamon Suring Area Public Library Events & Meetings Events Increase A. Lapham National Library Week Campaign Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Hall of Fame 2012 UW-Madison school of library and information studies Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs Hall of Fame 2017 Hall of Fame 2018 14 Hall of Fame 2015 Hall of Fame 2019 Centennial Larry T. Nix Oshkosh Public Library Postcards James Huff Stout Pewaukee Public Library 21 T. B. Scott Free Public Library ca Black River Falls Public Library Hall of Fame 2018 presentations Rusk County Community Library Middleton Public Library Library People Lutie Stearns Dick Sorensen Cornelia Marving Pierce Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide archives Publications J. D. Witter

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo