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

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo