Monday, October 29, 2012

Photo Collection Includes Fascinating Images of Student Projects

The Iconographic Collection in the UW-Stout Archives holds photographs of Stout student classroom projects. 


In the 1930s, the Stout carpentry class created a scale model of Bowman Hall. The picture on the left below shows the building leaving its assembly floor in the Trades Building (later Ray Hall). Below right, the model is fully assembled. (Stout Archives Photographs IS4B6)

Click on any image for a larger view

Students make calculations using slide rules in a Stout mathematics class, 1940. (Stout Archives Photo Collections IS4B3)

Stout millinery students at work on their projects, circa 1945. (Stout Archives Photo Collections IS4B4)

A Stout needlework class, circa (Stout Archives Photo Collections IS5B3)
 The collection includes a variety of other photos depicting Stout classrooms and projects. Plus, the Stout Archives holds many photographs featuring campus views, student activities, and individuals.

Members of the UW-Stout community and the general public may request reprints of images from the collection of the UW-Stout Archives. Contact the Archives for more information!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Diaries Offer Reactions to World Events

Peter Krogstad in 1920
 The UW-Stout Archives collections include a variety of personal collections from Stout Alumni and faculty, and also from area residents. Some of our most interesting collections include diaries, which provide fantastic snapshots of their writers' lives. Before he graduated from Stout in 1920, Peter Krogstad served as an Army censor during World War I. His typewritten daily accounts of his life in wartime France include descriptions of frequent bombing scares, notes about soldiers' letters that he read as part of his job, and details about his social life. Krogstad reported on the arrival of Company H from his home town of Menomonie, Wisconsin in March of 1918, and he sadly noted severe injuries that the group received during an action on the front in August. (Click on each image to enlarge)

Freda Dusel Owen was a similarly avid writer. She was born in Barron County, Wisconsin in 1885 and lived on a farm near Menomonie as an adult. The diaries in her collection at the UW-Stout Archives date from 1942 to 1974 and include consistent daily entries about her life on the farm, area activities, and national events. These entries from November, 1963 are her reactions to the assassination of president John F. Kennedy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

McGovern Advocated a "Humane, Just, Peaceful Future."

The Stoutonia student newspaper summarized McGovern's visit.

On March 23, 1972, progressive senator George McGovern visited the UW-Stout Campus.

Wisconsin's presidential primary was quickly approaching, and McGovern was the front-runner in a highly competitive field for the Democratic nomination.

Although McGovern was initially slated to speak in the auditorium at Harvey Hall, the campus received a bomb threat and relocated the crowd to the student union.

McGovern's speech addressed issues of special interest to students including the Vietnam War, tax reform, abortion, and drug legalization. The candidate stressed his commitment to a peaceful American future.

Stout students responded to McGovern's visit with a strong voter turnout at the April 4th primary. Wards with high student populations reported over 60 percent turnout and a voter total over three times that of the 1968 primary.
Senator McGovern greets supporters in front of Harvey Hall on the Stout campus. Stout Photograph Collection 72-130, UW-Stout Archives

Curious about other political events in Stout history? The Stout Archives webpage includes highlights from a variety of political visitors to campus.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Discover Your History in the Library Lobby

Now Showing in the Lobby of the UW-Stout Library:
An American Archives Month Exhibit!

October is American Archives Month, and we're celebrating with an exhibit of collection highlights from the UW-Stout Archives and the Area Research Center.

This year, Wisconsin's Area Research Centers celebrate their 50th Anniversary. The UW-Stout and thirteen other University of Wisconsin system locations house the official government records of Wisconsin counties. The UW-Stout holds the historical records of Barron, Dunn, and Pepin Counties.

We featured some of our area history papers in the American Archives Month exhibit:

 In this 1852 Pepin County Naturalization Record, Irishman Patrick McInerny renounced his allegiance to Queen Victoria so that he could become an American citizen.

Many historians and genealogists visit the Area Research Center to trace the lives of particular residents of Dunn, Barron, and Pepin Counties.

Sometimes, researchers uncover information that surprises them. On more than one occasion, documents like this reveal unexpected countries of origin or even previously unknown relatives! 

A recent genealogical researcher at the Stout Area Research Center discovered that her grandfather had two sisters and a brother that her family had never mentioned.

The Area Research Center also includes school and company records from the area. 

The Knapp, Stout, and Co. Records at the UW-Stout Archives document the evolution of the lumber company that served as the primary industry in this area for decades. In this letter from 1889, a supervisor complains about a "sneak thief" lumberjack to company owners Henry E. Knapp and Louis Smith Tainter.

Personal correspondence provides unique accounts of daily life that are rarely replicated in official publications and histories.
We will feature more exhibit highlights throughout the remainder of American Archives Month.

Next up: pictures, papers, and articles from Stout student organizations!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome Back, Alumni!

The UW-Stout is hosting a special 40th reunion weekend on September 28th and 29th for members of the classes of 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975. To celebrate, we are posting interactive digital versions of the Tower yearbooks from each of these classes. Just click on the gallery below to flip through each one!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

JFK Inspires Stout Students, 1960

JFK and the future first lady take the stage of the Stout Auditorium, February 26, 1960
In 1960, the UW-Stout hosted an extraordinary speaker.

On Friday, February 26th, 1960 presidential candidate John F. Kennedy spoke to an overflow crowd in the Stout Auditorium on campus. His lecture presented Stout students with a call to duty similar to the "Ask not what you can do..." challenge that he would make in his inaugural address the following year:

"Consider what contributions you can make. You are, in a sense, a politician yourself."

Jacqueline Kennedy was also at the event, and The Stoutonia student newspaper reported that her presence was an unusual phenomenon: "Mrs. Kennedy sat at her husband's side during the speech. Her friendliness toward students earned many new friends among them...It was a pleasant surprise for everyone to see Mrs. Kennedy with her husband. She doesn't always travel wither her husband, but when she does, she finds it, 'exhilarating.'"

The visit impressed a large number of students on campus, and the following issue of The Stoutonia described an active new group of JFK supporters on campus. "Kennedy Movement" student leader Don Stewart affirmed, "It is an election year and as citizens it is our duty to exercise our responsibility. We are directly responsible as to whom we choose to govern us...Don't be a mug-wamp, find out about the candidates and choose one to back. Your security, freedom, and peace may depend on the policy of the man we select for our next president."

The Stout Archives webpage includes highlights from a variety of political visitors to campus.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fine Dining on Campus: We've Come a Long Way!

We were so excited to see that our newly renovated Memorial Student Center is featured in the new issue of Campus Dining Today. Check out the article below to learn more about the delicious choices we enjoy every day:

Campus dining has definitely come a long way. Here were some dining options for students in 1948:
UW-Stout Dining Hall, 1948. Stout Archives Photo Collection, 1948531001

Friday, August 10, 2012

Stout's Olympic Champion

 As Olympic Freestyle Wrestlers battle for medals at the 2012 London Olympics, we remember the storied career of a Stout Olympic Wrestler.

The UW-Stout Archives is the home of a variety of materials documenting the career of Olympic gold medalist John Peterson.

Peterson graduated from Stout in 1971 and became an Olympic silver medalist in Freestyle Wrestling at the Munich Olympic games the following year. He won Gold at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. He wrestled in the 180.5 pound weight class both times.

Wrestling Captures Conference Title, Tower Yearbook, 1970   

 Throughout his academic career, Peterson excelled at the sport. As this clipping from the 1970 Tower Yearbook attests, he helped the Blue Devils win the Conference Championship.

Following his Olympic Championship, Peterson returned to campus to celebrate with members of the UW-Stout Community. This article from the September 16, 1976 issue Stoutonia described how he visited his alma mater with his gold medal in tow.

There are many more photographs and articles about Peterson and his time at Stout. For more information, contact the UW-Stout Archives at

Friday, August 3, 2012

Stout Archives Welcomes New Archivist

The UW Stout Archives/Area Research Center welcomed its new Archivist on July 16, 2012.

Heather Stecklein will serve as the Archivist of the UW-Stout Archives and the Director of its Area Research Center.

Heather Stecklein
Office: RSSLC 321
Phone: 715/232-5
Heather Stecklein


Heather holds Master's degrees in Historical Administration (Eastern Illinois University), Library and Information Science (University of Iowa), and American History (Loyola University Chicago).
She has worked in Archives since 1998, joining the UW-Stout library staff in 2012. She has assisted with preserving and promoting the historical collections at a variety of institutions including Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum in Alaska, the Iowa Women’s Archives, and the Illinois Regional Archives Depository.


As University Archivist, Heather is responsible for collecting, preserving, and promoting the history of the individuals, departments, and organizations associated with the UW-Stout and its predecessors. As Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Area Research Center at Stout, she maintains county office, local government, and regional history records for Barron, Dunn, and Pepin counties.


Heather enjoys exploring new cities, photography, and live music. She shares her favorite adventures with her husband and young daughter.