Maude Essig in World War I

Maude Essig

undated Maude Essig portrait

While researching her own Great Aunt Agnes Swift’s involvement with the American Expeditionary Forces WW1 hospitals in Contrexeville, France, Molly Daniel of Charleston, IL came across the diary of Maude Essig’s experiences, who worked with Swift in the same facility. Maude Essig was Brokaw School of Nursing Director (ca 1923-56). The Brokaw Hospital School was the forerunner of IWU’s School of Nursing.

In writing to ask about using a photo of Essig on her website, Daniel shared comments about her research process that others may find instructive as well: “I have especially appreciated having access to Maude’s journal as well as the academic article about her published by her former student [and former IWU School of Nursing Director], Alma Woolsey. Her journal helped me put into better context the information in my great aunt’s letters to family members.”

Daniel shared the biographical sketch of Essig she compiled and that will be included with Daniel’s submissions for the U.S. Centennial website commemorating the Army Nurse Corps.

Daniel also discovered a picture in the National Library of Medicine’s Digital Collections that has a caption indicating it is from Base Hospital No.32, Vittel, France but she is “confident that it comes from the Contrexeville hospital” based on her research. Daniel also believes Essig may be the second nurse from the left–the only one shown with glasses. Additional photos of Essig from the University’s archival collections are below.

For information about the School of Nursing program’s development, see “Nursing Education at Illinois Wesleyan University: 1923 to 1976” by Lori Ann Musser, Class of 1992.

Maude Essig, ca. 1925

Maude Essig, ca. 1925

Essig in mock hospital room

Maude Essig with students, ca. 1928

 

Maude Essig in 1933

This photo is identical to the composite she is in with the Brokaw Hospital Class of 1933 http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_histph/id/2786

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. at IWU

Students today may not know that their predecessors were responsible for bringing the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to campus twice in the 1960s. The first time was in 1961 for an event sponsored by the Religious Activities Commission. Articles in The Argus and Wesleyana offer details.

Religious Emphasis Banquet program

program for the event Dr. King spoke at in 1961

The University Archives received a special copy of the program for this event just a few years ago. The story of how this artifact came to the archives is told below the pdf version of the program.

Religious Emphasis Banquet program

back of Religious Emphasis Banquet program

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. King visited a “Principles of Sociology” class during this visit and is shown below talking with Sociology professors James K. Phillips and Emily Dunn-Dale.

Dr. King and IWU faculty

Dr. King with IWU faculty during his 1961 visit.

Dr. King speaking during his 1966 visit to IWU

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shown here with Coretta Scott King and Elizabeth Lindblom on the speakers’ platform.

In 1966 Dr. King returned at the request of the Student Senate’s Convocation Commission. This event took place after Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was held at the Fred Young Fieldhouse to accommodate the crowd. IWU student Elizabeth Lindblom was Chair of the Commission and provided an introduction to the event.

Other photos from the 1961 and 1966 visits are also available. Alumni shared their reflections on these visits during a panel on the topic at Homecoming 2016.

University Communications maintains a series of web pages with a transcript of the 1966 event and a link to a recording of a broadcast from local radio station WJBC. The University Archives holds an audio cassette tape of that broadcast, photographs and the other records of Dr. King’s two visits to IWU.

Exhibit with maps, real & imagined

1882 Atlas

1882 Atlas

 

A recent donation is on exhibit in The Ames Library, just past the entry level rotunda, now through the end of January.

The volume complements our manuscript and monograph collections on John Wesley Powell and the American West. The atlas is large–approximately 2′ wide when open–and has many colored maps, created by the ever-authoritative US Geological Survey.western-pt-of-plateau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few other maps on display are “real” renditions (we can and should debate the depiction of reality in any author’s work), intended for serious illustration of travel narratives like

birbeck_notes

This foldout map in Birbeck’s 1818 “Notes on a Journey…” is separated at the top fold but complete.

Morris Birbeck’s 1818 Notes on a Journey in America, from the Coast of Virginia to the Territory of Illinois, or in educationally-minded works like Thomas Harrington’s 1773 A New Introduction to the Knowledge and Use of Maps.

The latter volume is from the Book Arts Collection part of Special Collections that celebrates the artistry used in making books, not for art’s sake but for many elements of the craft that are almost incidental to what we understand of the purpose for books today.

atoz

Others in the exhibit are intentionally imagined landscapes, used to navigate a story, as in Lars Arrhenius’s A-Z. Interestingly enough, the book had its origin in a large-scale exhibition. The volume in Ames is from our  Artists’ Books Collection and is used in an avant-garde literature course.

 

Two others on display are autobiographical in nature, by book artist and fine press printer Andrew Huot, and represent his explorations of self-discovery: Navigation and Exits West.

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/104877-Navigation.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/104877-Navigation.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/80223-Exits-West.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/80223-Exits-West.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These works and more are available year round for anyone interested in exploring the many varieties of material culture in Tate Archives & Special Collections on The Ames Library’s 4th floor!

IWU after Pearl Harbor

Headline, three days after http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_argus/id/18410

Note the location of “Classes Dismissed…”
http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_argus/id/18410

Three days after the attacks on Pearl Harbor the student newspaper shows measured responses to the events leading to our country’s entry into WWII. The front page story about dismissing classes, nearly below the fold, describes how students heard President Roosevelt’s address to Congress and states that faculty were telling students to “carry on in the regular routine….”

IWU’s President Shaw had the same message, adding that “the greatest service” was to be “ready for the demand which will be upon us in the days ahead.”

An editorial on page 2 began on a note of sympathy, making clear who these students thought the real enemy was.1941-12-10_p2_editorial_cropped

The Editorial Board goes on to call the attack “treachery on the high seas” that used “premeditated, knife in the back tactics.” The commentary also commends students for their calm response, saying this is “proof of an intelligent and educated [student] body.”

Research Files: IWU’s Tigress-Slaying Alumnus

Guest post by Ashlyn Calhoun, Class of 2016Tigress Three Whiskers

We have a lot of interesting things here at the Tate Archives and Special Collections in the Ames Library. We have old letterman jackets, the shovel used for almost every building’s groundbreaking since Presser, and an old student publication issue that included a packaged condom! Recently, we discovered what has got to be the most interesting Archival discovery of all time: the whiskers from a man-eating tiger slain by an alum during his time in India! How cool is that?

These tiger whiskers were folded into a letter written by 1907 Wesleyan alumnus Frank D. Campbell that was in his biographical file.

Frank D. Campbell Yearbook PictureCampbell, his wife, and daughter lived and worked as missionaries in Jagdalpur, India for close to 20 years. Campbell’s daughter, Eleanor, told the tale of her father’s slaying of the tiger in a file obtained from the
Illinois Great Rivers Conference Archives at MacMurray College. Eleanor told how her father, a Methodist minister, shot the tigress, who had killed over 150 people, after a Sunday church service!

If you’re interested in learning more about the Campbell family’s time in India or about the man-eating tigress herself, head up to Tate Archives & Special Collections on the fourth floor of Ames! We love the company!

Campbell Tigress Letter Page 10-edit COPY resize

Excerpt from documentation verifying Campbell as the tigress slayer. Held in the Archives Record Group 13-1.

Research Files: IWU’s First International Students

Photo scanned from a scrapbook held in IWU archives. The person is unidentified but the book belonged to an 1895 graduate.

Photo scanned from a scrapbook held in IWU archives. The person is unidentified but the book includes named graduates from classes in the years after 1890.

In 1890, Wesleyan’s first two international students graduated from IWU’s Law School. Their names were Yeizo Osawa and Kashiyira Tanaka. They were from Tokyo, Japan, and were in residence on campus when they graduated. Stories in our student publications relate how they shared their culture with IWU’s campus, such as delivering lectures and describing some of the customs of Japan. Their presence among the graduation class of 1890 was even noted in local newspapers and in the Chicago Tribune.

Even earlier, other graduates with international addresses received degrees through our Non-residential program, meaning they did not have to attend classes on our campus. This program is described the following way in an 1895 publication:

The object of this step was to furnish lines of systematic study for those
professional men and women whose duties and environments are such
as to make a resident course of study an impossibility, and yet who
earnestly desire systematic study.

Sounds a lot like what online learning programs promise today, doesn’t it?

An early graduate of the program with an international address is Rev. John Oakly Spencer of Japan, who graduated with a Ph.B in 1888. One wonders about the possibility of Osawa and Tanaka meeting Oakly and finding out about our small school in Central Illinois!

Other Non-resident graduates living abroad in the same time period were Rev. Myron Chesterfield Wilcox of China who also graduated with a Ph.B in 1886, and William Groves of Uruguay who graduated with an M.A. in 1897. William C. Armstrong and Frederick W. A.Meyer, of Ontario, Canada and Arthur Thomas Carr of Birmingham England all received M.A. in 1896.

These men were not international students in the same way we think of today, but they demonstrate our current philosophy has long-standing roots: bring the world to Wesleyan and Wesleyan to the world!

To learn more you can visit Tate Archives and Special Collections in the Ames Library or contact us at archives@iwu.edu!

Research Files: IWU’s First Black Students

Guest posted by Melissa Mariotti, edited by Meg Miner

One recurring question asked in the archives is when did IWU admit students of color? While Illinois Wesleyan may not have been the first school to have a graduate of color, it did admit students of color not too long after its opening in 1850 but not without some prompting.

We lack easily accessible information on demographics for early students, but an argument in a local newspaper surrounding the admission of “a colored boy” to IWU’s Model School (aka, elementary) program. The anonymous letter writer stated that the student’s “request was refused” (The Daily Pantagraph, May 9, 1867, p. 4). The writer makes the pointed criticism that the student was qualified by published standards for admission at the time and questions why a specific vote was needed. His conclusion is that it was due to the color of his skin.

Archives Record Group 16-1/10 contains a research file compiled about Black History at IWU, including photo copies of these local news sources, that show a series of commentaries by the writer calling himself “Radical” and one response from then-President O.S. Munsell.

We can use the date in these sources for further exploration of the question.

April 17, 1867 Faculty Meeting Minutes, RG 10-1/1/1

An 1867 faculty resolution in support of the request of “An American citizen of African descent.”

We don’t know the name of that student or if he ever joined our campus, but an explicit faculty vote on the principle was successful in April 1867 and the Board of Trustees approved the decision at its June meeting.

There is no detailed discussion in any known IWU source about the case, but the culmination of this early effort seems to have finally occurred 13 years later.

Gus A. Hill is the first known African American student to attend Illinois Wesleyan University. He was a member of IWU’s Law School, Class of 1880. He was mentioned several times in our student newspaper of the era, which was known as the Wesleyan Bee, and his colored skin was often referenced. For instance, in the February 1st, 1883 Wesleyan Bee, the article refers to him as “a colored man and brother.” We have no photographs of Hill in the archives or campus publications.

Alfred O. Coffin, an early African-American graduate of the University, was born to slave parents and went on to become a teacher and college professor. From Continuity and Change, 1850-2000 by Minor Myers, jr. and Carl Teichman.

“Alfred O. Coffin, an early African-American graduate of the University, was born to slave parents and went on to become a teacher and college professor.” — Continuity and Change, 1850-2000 by Minor Myers, jr. and Carl Teichman.

In 1889, Alfred O. Coffin became the first African-American in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D in Biology. Editors of another student paper titled the Elite Journal, also refer to Coffin as the “talented young colored gentleman” in the April 19th, 1889. Coffin lived in Texas and was enrolled in our version of a distance-education program, so having his presence on campus noted indicates contemporary students’ interest in his story. He was on campus for his final exams then and anyone interested can visit Special Collections to see book one of a two-volume “herbarium” set that Coffin created for his degree completion requirements.

That book was discovered just two years ago in a campus office. Book two wasn’t with it but it offers me a chance to remind everyone that while IWU is 165 years old, it is still possible to make unexpected finds, so keep your eyes open whenever the spring cleaning bug strikes!

N.B. The first known record of international students enrolling is in 1889 and will be described in the next post. Another “first” was women’s admittance to IWU in 1870, although a discussion about that possibility is first recorded in 1851. Two brief presentations on this topic — one in 2010 and one in 2014 — are available for introductions to that part of our history.

To learn more about this topic, or just to visit and marvel at 126 year old plants from A.. Coffin’s Texas collection, visit Tate Archives and Special Collections in the Ames Library or contact us at archives@iwu.edu!

New online collection

Last spring, our archives was selected for participation in a digitization project sponsored by the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). I chose the IWU Catalogue of Courses from 1851-1954 for this project, and it just went live as the 200th collection added to CARLI’s digital collection database for member libraries.

The Main building at IWU, shown in the 1876-77 Catalogue at http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_catalog/id/8885

The Main building at IWU, shown in the 1876-77 Catalogue available at http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_catalog/id/8885

Course catalogs may not seem like the most compelling artifacts to have available online, but they have a lot to tell us about changes in personnel and physical attributes of campus, not to mention the curriculum!

A little known fact about these sources is that up until 1954, our catalogs contained an “enrolled” student list for the range of degree and certificate programs being offered.

So from the standpoint of the kinds of questions people direct to the archives, a significant benefit of this effort is that our last large collection of print material needed for finding people associated with IWU is now searchable!

Of course, all of the originals and the more recent catalogs, from 1955-present, are available in print in the University Archives.

From the 1941-43 Catalog available at http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_catalog/id/7456

From the 1941-43 Catalog available at http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_catalog/id/7456

For this project, CARLI worked with the Internet Archive, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization to make these materials freely available to CARLI libraries and the world, through the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/carli_lib.

You can access our catalogs there or though the CARLI-hosted search interface. The smaller collection I created through CARLI makes it easy to search just our collection rather than having ours along with the millions of items already in the Internet Archive.

Find out more ways to research IWU history through the page of sources I created or by contacting me!

Research Files: The Founder’s Gate/West Gate

Guest posted by Melissa Mariotti

IWU West Gate. Found on IWU Website.

IWU West Gate. Photo copied from IWU Website.

As most students and faculty know, there are several main entrances into Wesleyan’s campuses. There is the North entrance on Franklin Avenue, the South entrance by Empire Street, the East entrance by Park Street, and the West entrance by Main Street. There is not much known about the latter entrance. It stands between Pfieffer and Gulick Halls and bears the inscription:

“We stand in a position of incalculable responsibility to the great wave of population overspreading the valley of the Mississippi. Destiny seems to point out this valley as the depository of great heart of the Nation. From this center mighty pulsations, for good or evil, must in future flow, which shall not only affect the fortunes of the Republic but reach in their influence other and distant Nations of the earth.”

The West Gates, looking north toward the Women’s Dormitory. From a 1931 booklet of pen sketches of Illinois Wesleyan University.

The West Gates, looking north toward the Women’s Dormitory. From a 1931 booklet of pen sketches of Illinois Wesleyan University; RG 4-16/2/4.

Upon further research, it was discovered that the gates were ”erected and presented to the school by the Bloomington Association of Commerce in 1921” (Founders’ Day Convocation, 2006). There are two differing theories about where this quote came from. According to the 1960 Wesleyana, it is “an excerpt from the report on education to the annual meeting of the Illinois Conference held in Springfield in 1854.” But according to an Argus article from February 13th, 1940, it was said on December 18th, 1850 from the “Conference Record.”

The quote was verified in the Methodist Conference Record of 1854 by the archives that holds those documents: The Illinois Great Rivers Conference Archives at MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois. There is more to the quote than was summarized on our West Gates, but the spirit of the passage resonates just as much today as it did for our Founders.

Students around the West Gate in 1951. From the 1951 Wesleyana.

Students around the West Gate in 1951. From the 1951 Wesleyana.

The quote that is inscribed on the gate is said to represent “the ‘incalculable responsibility’ the founders of Illinois Wesleyan felt in the work they had undertaken” in establishing Illinois Wesleyan as an “institution of learning” (President Wilson, Founder’s Day Convocation Remarks, 2006). It describes the passion that the Founder’s had for teaching and learning, along with the many obstacles they had to face into creating the school. This inscription is referenced many times during Founder’s Day Convocations, and is evident in the care and consideration of all who work to sustain and advance that goal today.

 

Remember the archivists’ rallying cry!

Periodically, people go through attics and storage boxes and send items to the archives that are related to IWU history. Sometimes amazing finds arise from the people who take time to send them “home.”

Just today I opened a box that held Student Senate Minutes dated May 17, 1970…how timely! On May 4 of this month, we took part in a commemorative event for the 45th anniversary of the Kent State killings in 1970. Documentation for events on our campus that were recounted in that blog post were limited to the Argus, Wesleyana and a few photographic files.

While researching that event, I marveled to discover that the IWU archives holds no Student Senate meeting minutes from March 22, 1970 until January 10, 1971.

It sure would help us appreciate the Senate’s actions if we had the primary sources they created to consult! Don’t get me wrong, the news sources are great to have, but it’s these kinds of gaps that make anyone doing historical research a little crazy.

So yes, it was good to see minutes in a recent donation, but it was a huge letdown to find that pages 2-15 of those minutes had been removed. We may never know why that happened, but on the very last page there is evidence that helps us understand a little more about the May 1970 student reactions in that turbulent month. The first image below was scanned from the minutes and it contains an announcement that the Black Student Union was responsible for the walkout. From this brief note, we also find out why they felt compelled to walkout 14 days after Kent State.

There was also a green flyer (image below) that explains the Peace Symbol students wore during Commencement in 1970–that event was also described in the previous post on the May 4th commemoration. These kinds of documents connect us with our past in tangible ways…stop by the archives if you want to see the real things someday!

Think you can’t make a difference? There’s only one way to find out…if you ever come across Senate records — or other records from IWU — give me a call! (309-556-1538)

And here’s a catchy little phrase to help reinforce the point:
When in doubt, don’t throw it out!

[click on images to enlarge]

Flyer stating reason for wearing the peace symbol at Commencement.

5×7″ flyer stating reason for wearing the peace symbol at Commencement.