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 Woman's Congress

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

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo