Uncommon Lives of Common Women:  The Missing Half of Wisconsin History By Victoria Brown A project of the Wisconsin  Women...
The Book Itself A collection of biographies, short stories, letters, pictures, quotations, and historical background of Wi...
Who Is…   Ms. Brown?   WWN? <ul><li>Brown has been a member of the Grinnell History Department since the fall of 1989. Bro...
How the Project Began <ul><li>Wisconsin Feminists Projects Fund, Inc. was a non-profit corporation established in 1973 to ...
Necessity of Recording Women’s Lives “I swear to you.  On my common woman’s head.  The common woman is as common as a comm...
The Project Process <ul><li>The search for the women’s stories began with a statewide press release asking citizens to let...
Part I: Wisconsin’s First Women and the Wisconsin Frontier Dear Brother and Sister-in-law, … the vegetables in our garden ...
Electa Quinney <ul><li>She is generally recognized as Wisconsin’s first ‘public school’ teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Quinney...
Marion Johnson Cooper <ul><li>She taught for about two years until she married John Cooper, the postmaster of Greenfield. ...
Emma Brown <ul><li>Emma Brown was the sole proprietor, editor, and publisher of  The Wisconsin Chief , the unofficial orga...
Part II: The Civil War and Wisconsin Women Dr. Laura Ross of Milwaukee was one of the West’s first women doctors.  She fou...
Ann Bicknell Ellis <ul><li>Ann Bicknell Ellis was born into slavery in the 1850s and  escaped with her mother and brother ...
Coeducation at UW-Madison <ul><li>The Civil War so depleted the male student body that fifteen women in the Normal Departm...
Elizabeth Stone <ul><li>Elizabeth Stone was using penicillin to treat victims of timber accidents in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, ...
Betsy Thunder <ul><li>Betsy Thunder was a member of the Winnebago Sky Clan. She came to be trusted within the Winnebago an...
Helen Bruneau VanVechten <ul><li>Helen VanVechten owned a print shop, along with her husband and a business partner, in Wa...
Part III: The Progressive Years “ The assumption that women, however hard they work in the household and however much of a...
Jane & Ellen Lloyd Jones <ul><li>Jane and Ellen Jones were the founders of Hillside Home School, a combination home, schoo...
Lutie Stearns <ul><li>Lutie Stearns traveled thousands of miles and after 20  years was able to establish 150 free public ...
Julia Grace Wales <ul><li>Julia Wales was 33 years old when WWI began, a Shakespearean scholar, and English instructor at ...
Part IV: The Twenties and Beyond Mary Spellman, a retired math teacher, served two terms as Beaver Dam’s mayor (1934-38), ...
Eulalia Croll <ul><li>When Eulalia Croll was a senior at UW-Madison in 1913, she was the captain of six athletic teams. </...
Hildegard Chada <ul><li>Hildegard was a bride of 24 when the market crashed.  She and her husband moved to Boulder Junctio...
Emma Toft <ul><li>Emma Toft was born in Bailey’s Harbor in Door County in 1891.  Her father taught her about the trees and...
Other Sources for Wisconsin Women’s History  <ul><li>On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffr...
The End <ul><li>If you are not already a supporter of the Wisconsin Women's Network, please check out our website for more...
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Uncommon Lives Of Common Women Power Point

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A presentation based on the book, "Uncommon Lives of Common Women: the Missing Half of Wisconsin History," by Victoria Brown. For more information, visit www.wiwomensnetwork.org.

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  • Please hold all questions until the end.
  • Originally published in 1975, republished in 2004. Publication of this project was made possible by funding from the WI Department of Public Instruction. This book was written in the belief that to appreciate our survival, we must know what we have endured; to take pride in our creativity, we must know all that we have created; and to understand our growth, we must examine our historic roots. WI women throughout history have been strong, energetic, creative members of society.
  • She is the author of The Education of Jane Addams (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) and Going to the Source: The Bedford Reader in American History (Bedford/St. Martin&apos;s, 2004). Recently, she has appeared on the PBS series &amp;quot;American Experience&amp;quot; in documentaries on Woodrow Wilson and on the history of Chicago. The Wisconsin Women&apos;s Network facilitates communication among its members to strengthen our voices while we work together on issues promoting equity and justice for women and their families. [Brown is originally from Santa Monica, CA. She made appointments around the state meeting with people about creating stories for the book. Her favorite part of the project was driving around and hearing women’s stories. She wrote the book in San Diego in the summer of 1975 while she was pregnant at age 27. She found a free-lance printer who felt sympathetic towards Brown’s cause. He set the types and printed it. Brown pasted all the borders; the pages were laid out by hand. It was at the peak of the women’s movement, a sense of sisterhood. People were very supportive of the project.] Brown has chaired the Gender and Women&apos;s Studies concentration, been an active participant in the Center for Prairie Studies, and served as chair of the Social Studies Division. She has served as the book review editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and as the Ray Allen Billington Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Huntington Library and Occidental College. She is currently book review editor for the subscription website &amp;quot;Women and Social Movements.&amp;quot; Courses regularly taught: History 112: American History II, History 222: The History of Women in the United States, History 228: The Promised Land: U. S. Immigration History Seminars taught: The Art of Biography]
  • Women often assumed male society’s disregard for them and thus failed to record their own history. Newspapers did not write many articles on women, and local records typically refer to women only in terms of their male relatives. They rarely had articles written about them, and if they did write diaries and letters, it is unlikely that they deposited these materials in a historical library. The book does have limitations, but the Wisconsin Women’s Network is still interested in collecting Wisconsin women’s stories. If there is anyone here that would like to be a volunteer or if you know of anyone, please pick up one of our brochures and contact our office.
  • She received over 100 letters and selected 20.
  • Top left box: one former settler described the conditions women faced: We could roam and fish and hunt as we pleased amid the freshness of and beauties of nature. But how was it for our wives? From all these bright and, to us, fascinating scenes and pastimes, they were excluded. Top right: Summer 1846 Bottom left: March 23, 1842
  • Her family must have been fairly prosperous in NY as she was educated at primary school and a female seminary – unusual opportunities for a Native American woman at the time. She had begun teaching Native American children in NY. A few months after her arrival in Kaukauna, she opened a ‘free school’ in the nearby Presbyterian mission. She married Daniel Adams, a Mohawk Methodist missionary. Together they moved to Missouri where he was the pastor for a tribe of Senecas. After his death, she remarried and returned to Stockbridge where she died in 1885.
  • When Marion Johnson Cooper moved to WI from Massachusetts in 1842, she was quickly able to find a teaching job in the town of Greenfield (now West Allis) due to her education in weaving, cooking, sewing as well as reading, writing, arithmetic, literature, and music. The stage came through every day carrying mail that had to be distributed and passengers that had to be refreshed with a cold drink and a comfortable chair. All the residents came to claim their mail, read magazines and newspapers not yet claimed by others, and talk to Marion. John was appointed as a delegate to the Legislative Committee of the Constitutional Convention of 1846, which often forced him to leave home for his public affairs. Marion had to manage the harvesting of the potato crop and 400 apple trees. She also tended the cabbages, beets, squash, and pumpkins, the turkeys, hens, geese, and chickens, the sheep and pigs, the Coopers’ two young sons, and the five hired loggers who required much food, a place to stay, and clean clothes. [The state Constitutional Convention of 1846 considered two radical proposals for women’s rights: first that married women should have independent property rights; second, that all women should have the vote. Proposal for women’s suffrage was a joke made in response to those who wanted to grant Negroes and Native American the franchise. The provision for married women’s property rights was considered quite seriously at the convention. In 1850, a law was passed which gave married women the right to own and control their own property.]
  • Emma Brown and her brother Thurlow had been putting out a temperance newspaper together since 1846. In 1865, her brother died leaving her…[first bullet point] They had originally started the newspaper in NY. When they moved to Fort Atkinson in 1856, they established the city’s first newspaper. She believed women were the ultimate victims of intemperance because they were legally powerless against drunken husbands and fathers. Emma also served as Grand Vice Templar for the WI Good Templars. When she died in Madison in 1889, the WI’s Grand Chief Templar ordered that every lodge in the state be draped in mourning for three months. [The temperance movement in WI was conducted by 3 main groups: the Anti-Saloon League, the most fanatical wing of the movement; the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the most famous and most broadly reform-minded wing; and the Good Templars, the oldest and most conservative wing. Women were active in all three.]
  • Ella Hobart was a temperance lecturer during Civil War and raised money for the WI Soldier’s Aid Society. She applied to be an army chaplain after her estranged husband was absent without leave. On October 8, 1871, the Great Peshtigo Fire burnt over half a dozen counties in NE WI killing hundreds of people and destroying timber and farmland. Dr. Ross applied first in 1863, accepted 1869. The doctors didn’t want to damage their elite status by admitting a female doctor, but they could only delay so long due to her impeccable character, credentials, and competence. [During the Civil War, WI women filled many jobs left vacant by soldiers. Before the war, there were only 773 women in the state employed as shopkeepers or factory workers. By 1870, that figure had risen five times to nearly 4000.]
  • Before the Civil War, there were only a handful of blacks residing in WI, and they were concentrated in Milwaukee. After the war, many freed slaves came north to WI where they knew there had been an outspoken Abolition movement and an active underground railway. One of the ways blacks came to the North was as an employee of a white Northerner. According to a few newspaper clippings, they were fully integrated into the community. One story told of a southern couple visiting Fort Atkinson who refused to sit in church because the Ellises were seated in a front pew. The visitors were sharply rebuked by their congregation. However when her son Clark married a black woman from the South, they soon moved away because his wife felt isolated in the all-white Fort Atkinson.
  • When UW-Madison opened its doors, the Regents announced a plan to admit women to its Normal Department (teacher-training course). But little was done about the plan until 1857 when the Regents, encouraged by the success of coed experiments at other eastern and Midwestern schools, pledged that UW would meet the needs of those who wished to send their daughters there. By 1860, 30 of the 50 graduates from the Normal Department were women. Chadbourne claimed that a coed institution wouldn’t receive the status, public confidence, or financial support required to succeed. The Female College had no separate curriculum or requirements. Profs were required to give 2 separate lectures – one to men and one to women.
  • “ She always carried to the sickbed a round, yellow tin box. In it she kept moldy bread, each scrap of bread being added when it was no longer usable for the table. The dust from opening the box was a cloud of green. When she dressed a wound she made poultices from this bread and warm milk or water…This she applied directly to the wound and the healing was rapid and clean. Whether she went by carriage, sled, horseback or by walking, she carried this tin with her. In all the years of her service, she never lost a timber-related patient.” [“Pole-tiss-es”]
  • Thunder practiced tribal medicine in Jackson County, WI from the 1850’s-1912. She married Whirling Thunder, an older man of great prestige in the tribe. He knew he would never have children so he passed all he knew about medicine to his young bride. The people of Shamrock built a cabin where she could stay when she came to town in appreciation of Thunder’s years of healing among them.
  • They believed bookmaking had been corrupted by the use of machinery and the commercial desire for speed and efficiency. They devoted themselves to resisting technology and restoring a sense of art and craftsmanship to the business of bookmaking. The shop served as a meeting place for intellectuals and would-be authors from all over the state. They would talk and laugh and argue about books, politics, art, printing and philosophy – very bohemian. The Press became notable due to Helen’s discovery of perfect registry, which was thought to be impossible by experts. She ordered her pressman to reverse the paper-feeding process; feeding from left to right on one side and from right to left on the other. “ I haven’t many theories about my work except…that to make good books one must do honest, careful work…a handmade book is like handmade underclothing or handmade anything else. It has its individuality and it represents human skill and intelligence.”
  • Top left: The Movement Against Coeducation at UW by Wardon Curtis, Aug 1908 Top right: Value of Women’s Housework by Theodora Youmans, 1915, President of WI Women’s Suffrage Bottom left: The WI Woman Suffrage Association introduced woman suffrage bills in the WI Assembly at almost every session between 1882 and 1912. Many women thought the Association was too conservative in its campaign style so they created the Political Equality League. In 1912, the Political Equality League’s suffragists spoke almost anywhere a crowd gathered – labor union conventions, businessmen’s clubs, county fairs, and automobile tours. When the referendum was rejected, they regrouped to form the WI Woman Suffrage Association. After they regrouped, the Association continued to introduce state suffrage bills, to build its membership, and to publish its newspaper, The WI Citizen
  • Students had individual gardens and the satisfaction of knowing that what they produced in their gardens fed the school. One teacher: “To the Aunt, each child, whatever his age, was a person…with the rights, privileges and necessities of his own individual make-up. Only one thing was expected of him: that he should live on decent terms with a large and decent family.” One of their brothers, Rev Jenkin Lloyd Jones never trusted two women to properly run Hillside. He hoped to sell them out, but the sisters wouldn’t let him change the basic principles of the school and thus closed it down instead. [In 1903 the sisters asked Frank to design a new main building for the school.]
  • When the WI Free Library Commission began its work in 1895, the state had only 35 free public libraries, and the majority of residents were living in rural areas. A sample week’s itinerary showed that she covered approximately 550 miles in northern and central WI with a staff consisting only of herself. She wanted to reach people who were isolated. She recalled meeting one woman in the northern woods where “the loneliness was so great, the isolation so unendurable, the enforced idleness of the winter months so hideous, that she unpicked and remade, unpicked and remade her scanty wardrobe, unraveled and reknit, unraveled and reknit her stockings so as to keep the balance of her mind.”
  • It proposed that delegates from the 35 neutral nations, including the US, meet as an International Commission of ‘experts’ to mediate – with armistice if possible, without it if necessary. On the assumption that nations at war had simply lost their senses, Wales proposed that the Commission function as a “world-thinking organ.” It would sit as long as the war continued, inviting proposals from all warring nations on ways to bring peace. Such a proposal was not totally original with Wales, but her idea that the mediation continue regardless of armistice was new. Adopted by the Wisconsin Peace Society, it was renamed “The Wisconsin Plan.” President Wilson received the plan in January 1915, as did David Starr Jordan who called it “the most forceful and practical thing I have seen yet.” The National Peace Conference Meeting in Chicago in February 1915 adopted the plan as part of its platform and the Wisconsin Legislature endorsed the plan in a resolution sent to President Wilson in March 1915. She retired from the UW in 1947 and returned to her native Canada where she died 10 years later. Her great struggle had been futile at the time. But she made a genuine and profound contribution to America’s heritage of peace movements. [“It was a proposal for the creation of machinery whereby thoughtful proposals could be formulated and communicated to all belligerents.”]
  • Baseball, basketball, field hockey, tennis, bowling, and volleyball - Her favorite was basketball, which she played until she was 50. “I always played guard. I wasn’t tall, but I was wide!” There was no physical education major for women at the University at the time. She majored in math, participated in sports, played the piano for the women’s exercise and modern dance classes, and helped the struggling young women’s phys-ed program by keeping the department’s books. After working as a teacher and a bookkeeper in Manitowoc, she became a telephone department director at the Boston Store in Milwaukee for 35 years. At age 84, she still walked to and from work at an answering machine service in Milwaukee.
  • For the people of northern WI, the Depression meant no cars, no lines, no store-bought food; nothing but bare survival, loneliness, and isolation. A wood cooking stove had to be tended constantly, water carried, clothes made and mended, meals prepared from the venison and fish kept frozen on the porch, and vegetables canned in the summer. “ water had to be carried up a long hill from the lake and boiled for drinking…If we could not get to the lake, we melted and boiled snow.” In dry periods she worked until nine or ten o’clock at night. If there was a lightning storm, she had to stay in the tower until it passed. If there was a fire, she was needed on the radio to report the fire’s condition and direction, the density of smoke and wind changes. Often when she worked late, her husband and children carried her dinner up to her and stayed with her during the night vigil. She was one 20 th century modern pioneer woman who not only survived but contributed to life on the northern WI frontier.
  • Guests would “eat her cherry pie, sleep on her good mattresses in bedsteads made of saplings lashed together, to wash in the morning with pitchers and porcelain basins” – and to look at nature through her eyes. She lived alone on the Point for over 40 years, but she was never lonely. “ She takes fallen trees and underbrush like a trackman clearing hurdles…A word here, an explanation there, you realize there aren’t many things Emma Toft doesn’t know about the plants, shrubs and trees that grow out here on the Point.” She would raise the little foxes, birds, fawns and skunks and then give them to the Wildlife Refuge. As a member of the WI Ornithological Society she used to assist in both the spring and winter bird counts. And as an opponent of open season on deer, she used to stalk her land, in snow pants and a navy peacoat, keeping an eye out for hunters and trespassers. She was a member of the Ridges Sanctuary board of directors since it was founded. She has worked to raise funds for maintaining the sanctuary and for buying additional sanctuary land, and has assisted in the design of trails and tours. After her death, the Toft family sold the Point to the Nature Conservancy which, in turn, gave the land to the UW provided that the family be allowed to use the land as long as they lived and that the Point be held as a nature preserve “for scientific, educational, and other esthetic purposes entirely in its natural state.”
  • Most of these books can be found in the Wisconsin Historical Museum Gift Shop. [ A Mind of Her Own: Helen Connor Laird and Family, 1888–1982 captures the public achievement and private pain of a remarkable Wisconsin woman and her family, whose interests and influence extended well beyond the borders of the state. The eldest child of William Duncan Connor, a major figure in Wisconsin&apos;s emerging hardwood lumber industry and its turbulent turn-of-the-century political scene, Helen Connor Laird spent almost her entire ninety-three years in central and northern Wisconsin. Nevertheless, her voracious reading and probing mind connected her to the world. Her early life in frontier communities, home influences, Presbyterian background, and education, as well as the talents she recognized in herself, impelled her to lead. Marriage, duty, and four sons did not stem that desire. By the time her third child, Melvin R. Laird Jr., became secretary of defense in 1969, she had served in leadership positions in her community, district, and state. While business absorbed her competitive family, her own interests lay elsewhere: in politics and education. Throughout her life, she kept records of the evolving world she and her family inhabited, and of her own emotional states. &amp;quot;Remember, we are all lonely,&amp;quot; the &amp;quot;closet poet&amp;quot; said. Spanning almost a century, the family&apos;s history speaks to the way we were and are: a stridently materialistic nation with a deep and persistent spiritual component. &amp;quot;I have just come back from one of the most interesting mornings I have ever spent. Milwaukee has a handicraft project for unskilled women which gives one a perfect thrill. The interesting thing is that in spite of the fact that these women have had few educational advantages and were so unskilled they were rejected on the sewing project, they are developing both taste and skill. Their wooden toys for the federal nursery schools and dependent children&apos;s home are not only well made but so well painted and finished that you long to have them in your own nursery. The cost of materials on this project has been kept at a minimum, but the ideas have been invaluable and have evidently been given in full measure.&amp;quot;—Eleanor Roosevelt, &amp;quot;My Day&amp;quot; syndicated newspaper column, November 12, 1936 . Mary Kellogg Rice traces the project from its inception in 1935 through the last days in 1943 in her book, Useful Work for Unskilled Women. With the help of the talented young designers and teachers, unskilled women were soon producing articles requiring easily learned skills using donated materials. Scrap cloth from the WPA Sewing Project was braided in strips and sewn into rugs. Donated magazines were the source of material for scrapbooks. The teacher selected articles of interest; the women mounted them onto pages that they bound into scrapbooks. With its desperate acts and dire consequences, Nell Peters&apos;s tale of a woman&apos;s life in northern Wisconsin is a remarkable story, full of the sense and sound and flavor of a time and place rarely visited in books. Nell&apos;s tomboy childhood, her businesslike initiation into sex on the eve of her departure for the WACs in 1951, her resulting pregnancy and return home to a life sharply at odds with small-town conventions, her struggle to keep her twin sons, and her disastrous sexual liaisons with men and women alike are recounted in this funny, gritty, and wildly candid book.]
  • Uncommon Lives Of Common Women Power Point

    1. 1. Uncommon Lives of Common Women: The Missing Half of Wisconsin History By Victoria Brown A project of the Wisconsin Women’s Network
    2. 2. The Book Itself A collection of biographies, short stories, letters, pictures, quotations, and historical background of Wisconsin women from 1700s-1950s We must look for women’s strengths and energy within the context of their times valuing their accomplishments given the prejudices and requirements of each era. Message = WOMEN DOING Being active, busy, and productive
    3. 3. Who Is… Ms. Brown? WWN? <ul><li>Brown has been a member of the Grinnell History Department since the fall of 1989. Brown received her B.A. in American Institutions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in History from the University of California at San Diego. </li></ul><ul><li>The Wisconsin Women's Network is a coalition of women's organizations, labor unions, religious and educational groups, providers of human services, and business associations. </li></ul><ul><li>These organizations and individual members, advance the status of women and girls in Wisconsin through communication, education and advocacy. </li></ul>
    4. 4. How the Project Began <ul><li>Wisconsin Feminists Projects Fund, Inc. was a non-profit corporation established in 1973 to develop programs benefiting Wisconsin women in their education, employment, social advancement. Brown was a stockholder and knew the Board members. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown was approached by Wisconsin Feminists Project Fund, Inc. with the idea of a research project on women in Wisconsin history to recognize and celebrate the coming Bicentennial and International Woman’s Year. The project grew out of their desire to know more about women’s history. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Necessity of Recording Women’s Lives “I swear to you. On my common woman’s head. The common woman is as common as a common loaf of bread…And will rise.” <ul><li>These women in particular often do not have well-documented personal histories. These groups have greatly suffered from scholars’ disinterest in their history. </li></ul><ul><li>Women have been “lost” due to male-oriented history never thinking it important to study them. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to all the barriers to finding “lost women,” this book does not include as many women of color, industrial women, and urban working class women as we would have liked. </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Project Process <ul><li>The search for the women’s stories began with a statewide press release asking citizens to let Brown know about Wisconsin women. </li></ul><ul><li>The other seventeen women’s stories were found by searching the State Historical Society and other local historical societies and research centers around the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown was looking for stories that represented a broad span of Wisconsin’s historical eras, geography, ethnic mix, and social and economic life. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Part I: Wisconsin’s First Women and the Wisconsin Frontier Dear Brother and Sister-in-law, … the vegetables in our garden are growing nicely…They give me great pleasure…If I only had a few good true women friends I would be entirely satisfied… Your faithful sister, Katherine “ They were shut up with the children in log cabins…they took upon themselves for weeks and months and even years, the burden of their households in a continued struggle with hindrances and perplexities.” Mrs. Ocshner Manz came to Buffalo County from Switzerland in 1851. She was so effective at curing sick people that when a doctor tried to sue her for practicing without a license, he was run out of town. Dear Family, … I must speak of the necessity for women missionaries to this country to be of good and firm health. None should come but of strong and rugged constitution if they wish to be of use. Florantho Sproat – LaPointe, WI
    8. 8. Electa Quinney <ul><li>She is generally recognized as Wisconsin’s first ‘public school’ teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Quinney was a Stockbridge-Munsee indigenous woman. She had come with her tribe to the Fox River Valley from New York in the massive Indian removal of 1827. </li></ul><ul><li>The school she opened in Kaukauna in 1828 was the first in the state where students did not have to pay to be enrolled. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of her pupils were Native Americans and poor whites who had never before been able to afford the luxury of schooling. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Marion Johnson Cooper <ul><li>She taught for about two years until she married John Cooper, the postmaster of Greenfield. In their home stayed the married couple, seven of their children, and John’s parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Marion ran the post office while her husband ran the farm. Their home became the center of activity. </li></ul><ul><li>John was the Territorial Justice, their parlor was the scene of countless weddings, will-readings, and minor squabbles. </li></ul><ul><li>She was able to maintain this busy atmosphere for 25 years. Marion died in 1869 at which time John gave up his job as postmaster because he could not handle the work alone. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Emma Brown <ul><li>Emma Brown was the sole proprietor, editor, and publisher of The Wisconsin Chief , the unofficial organ of the Wisconsin Good Templars, for the next 24 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly four page sheet, the newspaper’s motto was “Right On!” It was devoted to upholding the ideal of temperance and exposing the evils of drink. </li></ul><ul><li>Emma’s reform pieces included articles on prison and factory conditions and women’s rights. </li></ul><ul><li>When Emma learned she had cancer in 1889, she dissolved the newspaper, which was by then the oldest temperance newspaper in the country. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Part II: The Civil War and Wisconsin Women Dr. Laura Ross of Milwaukee was one of the West’s first women doctors. She fought for women’s rights in the medical establishment. She continued to apply for membership to the Milwaukee County Medical Society for six years until the all-male Society admitted her. Ella Hobart functioned as a regular army chaplain; however, she received no pay. After the war, she fought hard for compensation and disability pay for the malaria she contracted while in service, but she was never recognized or compensated for her service. News of the Great Peshtigo Fire reached Madison when the governor was in Chicago aiding victims of that great fire. His wife, Frances Bull Fairchild, acted as governor for two days as she issued a public appeal for money, clothing, bedding, food, and supplies such that two boxcars headed for Marinette County were able to leave Madison that day. <ul><li>“ In the pioneer days of northern Wisconsin, women’s organizations were not wholly approved of. It took vision and fortitude, courage and determination for a little band of women to carry out their plan for starting a woman’s club in the then-young town of Antigo. But they succeeded in their efforts…” </li></ul><ul><li>Eulogy to Ida Wright Albers, </li></ul><ul><li>founding member of Antigo’s Woman’s Club </li></ul>
    12. 12. Ann Bicknell Ellis <ul><li>Ann Bicknell Ellis was born into slavery in the 1850s and escaped with her mother and brother to Illinois during the war. Ann was brought to Fort Atkinson by Dr. Simon Bicknell, an army surgeon. </li></ul><ul><li>There she earned a living as a candy-maker and married a black man named Jim Ellis in 1875, who worked as a postman and a carpenter. He was also brought by Dr. Bicknell, and he and Ann were the only two black people in the town. </li></ul><ul><li>Ann was able to work at home and take care of her two sons because she got frequent customers due to the high school across the street. All that remains of Ann’s personal effects is an un-mailed postcard from 1913, two years after Jim’s death and one year before her own. It simply says, “It’s so lonely here.” </li></ul>
    13. 13. Coeducation at UW-Madison <ul><li>The Civil War so depleted the male student body that fifteen women in the Normal Department were allowed to take “regular” courses – just to keep up enrollment. </li></ul><ul><li>All looked well when in 1866 the announcement was made that “the University and all its departments and colleges shall be open alike to male and female students.” </li></ul><ul><li>President Chadbourne in 1867 demanded coeducation be modified. The Normal Department was replaced by the “Female College.” </li></ul><ul><li>This obviously inefficient and expensive system of segregation was abolished by his successors. </li></ul>In 1901, Ladies’ Hall was renamed Chadbourne Hall in honor of the man who had been instrumental in its construction yet would have been displeased with its ultimate use.
    14. 14. Elizabeth Stone <ul><li>Elizabeth Stone was using penicillin to treat victims of timber accidents in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, 70 years before Dr. Alexander Fleming “discovered” it. </li></ul><ul><li>She was a farm wife but had begun practical nursing during the Civil War and continued to assist the sick and injured wherever and whenever she was called. </li></ul><ul><li>Though she had no formal training in medicine, she took up nursing because “she had a gentle touch and found that it was needed.” </li></ul>
    15. 15. Betsy Thunder <ul><li>Betsy Thunder was a member of the Winnebago Sky Clan. She came to be trusted within the Winnebago and white communities as a skillful medical practitioner. </li></ul><ul><li>She put great importance on properly conducting ceremonies for collecting, preparing, and administering the medicines. </li></ul><ul><li>Betsy received gifts for her services because medicine was thought to be useless if the patient was not willing to offer something for it. </li></ul><ul><li>When the U.S. government ordered Wisconsin Winnebagoes to migrate to Nebraska, Betsy and others hid out in the hills of Jackson County. She lived in Wisconsin her entire life because she felt god had wanted it that way. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Helen Bruneau VanVechten <ul><li>Helen VanVechten owned a print shop, along with her husband and a business partner, in Wausau, Wisconsin. The Philosopher Press was founded in 1896. </li></ul><ul><li>She signed all books she printed indicating that she had printed every page, putting the sheets through the press, attending to the ink distribution and insuring that every letter was flawless. </li></ul><ul><li>She was known and respected by rare book collectors all over the world. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Part III: The Progressive Years “ The assumption that women, however hard they work in the household and however much of actual money value that work has, do not support themselves but are supported by their husbands, that they earn nothing and own nothing – that assumption, upon which all our property laws are based, is so abominable that I cannot find words to express my opinion of it.” “… woman deprives man not merely of his former opportunities for employment, but of herself…The college girl is visibly preparing herself to compete with the college boy and to live without him…woman is hated solely because more and more man is prevented from loving her.” Wisconsin was the first State in the Union where the Equal Rights Amendment passed (within one year of achieving suffrage). However by 1940, legal interpretation had rendered the law meaningless as a tool for establishing equality between men and women. The Political Equality League, 1912
    18. 18. Jane & Ellen Lloyd Jones <ul><li>Jane and Ellen Jones were the founders of Hillside Home School, a combination home, school, and farm that opened in 1887 outside of Spring Green. At times, it had as many as 100 residents. </li></ul><ul><li>Botany and biology were seldom taught indoors. </li></ul><ul><li>A frequent visitor was “Cousin Frank,” Frank Lloyd Wright, the young architect from Chicago who was the son of their older sister. </li></ul><ul><li>The school went into serious debt when they loaned their brother a large sum of money, and he died before repaying it. The sisters closed the school and moved to Los Angeles. </li></ul><ul><li>After their deaths, the school was inherited and used by Wright as a living and learning environment for young architects, one true to the tradition established by the sisters. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Lutie Stearns <ul><li>Lutie Stearns traveled thousands of miles and after 20 years was able to establish 150 free public libraries and 1400 traveling libraries enabling tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents access to books. </li></ul><ul><li>She visited towns, gave lectures, conducted surveys, recommended better library procedures, assisted communities in obtaining Carnegie grants, advised in book selection, trained librarians, and dealt with local town councils. </li></ul><ul><li>Between 1914 and her death in 1943, she was a free-lance lecturer and a columnist for the Milwaukee Sentinel. She campaigned for woman suffrage, world peace, temperance, better working conditions for women, educational reform, and other Progressive issues. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Julia Grace Wales <ul><li>Julia Wales was 33 years old when WWI began, a Shakespearean scholar, and English instructor at UW-Madison and a dedicated Christian. </li></ul><ul><li>From August until December of 1914, she was driven by her outrage of the war. At the end of this time she wrote the first draft of a peace plan entitled “Continuous Mediation Without Armistice.” </li></ul><ul><li>The idea, the way she presented it, and whom she presented it to, made her booklet an instant success and catapulted its author to ‘stardom’ in the peace movement. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Part IV: The Twenties and Beyond Mary Spellman, a retired math teacher, served two terms as Beaver Dam’s mayor (1934-38), during which time she was the only woman mayor in Wisconsin and one of few in the country. Mary Jean Marlotte was a log roller from age 5. She won the world championship and later went to theological school in Indiana. Even as a minister, in July 1947, she retained her title of World Champion Log Birler at a meet in Gladstone, Michigan.
    22. 22. Eulalia Croll <ul><li>When Eulalia Croll was a senior at UW-Madison in 1913, she was the captain of six athletic teams. </li></ul><ul><li>She remembers playing baseball on the flattened tier on Bascom Hill and hearing crowds of cheering fans at the women’s basketball games in Lathrop Hall. </li></ul><ul><li>In Milwaukee, she volunteered to score for the city recreational department for ten years. She organized a basketball and baseball team among women employees at the Boston Store. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I owe my good health to my athletics. I’ve enjoyed everything in athletics, but I liked it best when I could play.” </li></ul>
    23. 23. Hildegard Chada <ul><li>Hildegard was a bride of 24 when the market crashed. She and her husband moved to Boulder Junction in Vilas County where survival was the main occupation. </li></ul><ul><li>During WWII, she applied for a job superintending the local fire tower since, by 1944, the war had called up all the area’s qualified men. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyday for two years, she walked the two miles from her cabin to the tower, climbed the 85-foot ladder with her daily supplies slung over her shoulder in an onion sack, and settled down to watch for signs of smoke. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Emma Toft <ul><li>Emma Toft was born in Bailey’s Harbor in Door County in 1891. Her father taught her about the trees and wildlife, and her mother taught her about flowers. After spending a few years teaching in the Midwest and entering nurses’ training, she returned home to care for her parents. </li></ul><ul><li>She started a family hotel, where every summer for almost 40 years, those who loved nature as much as she, returned to Toft’s Point. Countless visitors were guided through her forest – families of campers, groups of college students, conservation clubs, and thousands of Door County school children. </li></ul><ul><li>She provided leadership essential to start the Ridges Sanctuary and make it a success. Since 1937, the Ridges has acquired over 700 additional acres of property through purchase and donation, making it the largest corporately-owned flower preserve in the nation. </li></ul><ul><li>She has received countless awards for her service to the community and her contribution to conservation, including the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1964. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Other Sources for Wisconsin Women’s History <ul><li>On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage Genevieve McBride </li></ul><ul><li>Women's Wisconsin: From Native Matriarchies to the New Millennium Edited by Genevieve G. McBride </li></ul><ul><li>Transforming Women's Education: The History of Women's Studies in the University of Wisconsin System A Collaborative Project of the University of Wisconsin System Women's Studies Consortium </li></ul><ul><li>A Mind of her Own: Helen Connor Laird and Family, 1888–1982 Helen L. Laird </li></ul><ul><li>Useful Work for Unskilled Women: A Unique Milwaukee WPA Project Mary Kellogg Rice </li></ul><ul><li>Strong-Minded Woman: The Story of Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin's First Female Lawyer Mary Lahr Schier </li></ul><ul><li>Nell's Story: A Woman from Eagle River Nell Peters, with Robert Peters </li></ul><ul><li>Women Remember the War: 1941-1945 Edited by Michael E. Stevens </li></ul>
    26. 26. The End <ul><li>If you are not already a supporter of the Wisconsin Women's Network, please check out our website for more information: www.wiwomensnetwork.org </li></ul>

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