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

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

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo