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Archive for the ‘USD Archives’ Category

While working on the University of South Dakota (USD) Photograph Collection: Historical Series, I noted an image of a house labelled Home Management House. With some research, I discovered that the Home Management House was used as part of the Home Economics curriculum from 1957 through the spring semester of 1966 for senior level students. According to the course catalogue description, students taking the Home Management House course lived in the house for six weeks and dealt with “problems that arise in a home”.

As part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Home Economics was started at USD in 1913. In the 1930s attempts to eliminate it were thwarted. However, in 1966 Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Elbert Harrington phased out the Departments of Home Economics and Applied Sciences, seeing them as vocational programs with possible duplications of programs at other schools of higher learning in South Dakota*.

Although USD Archives Home Economic files described in detail that with the dissolution of these two programs, furniture and other items were dispersed to several departments within the University, what happened to the Home Management House was not noted. The picture of the building in this blog was taken in January 1966 at the time the Home Economics Department was in its last semester.

Additional research indicates that the house currently exists as a single-family dwelling located 409 North Plum Street, not far from the USD campus. Few people remember that the structure was part of the Home Economics program of study at USD that lasted for over 50 years.

*Cedric Cummings, Robert C. Hildebrand, and Stephan R. Ward. The College of Arts and Sciences 1882-1982, A History. College of Arts and Sciences, 1982, University of South Dakota.

Photograph of the Home Management House taken in 1966. USD Photograph Collection: Historical Series

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As part of my work in Archives and Special Collections, I reviewed negatives and photographs from the mid-1950’s to mid-1960’s. Many images illustrated athletic events predominately football and basketball, although there were a few images of Dolphins, the women’s synchronized swimming team. Several images were associated with Dakota Day (D-Day) events including parades down Main Street consisting of elaborate floats constructed by fraternities and sororities as well as other student organizations. Important dignitaries rode in cars and beckoned to enthusiastic spectators. Other D-Day images were of the football games and Miss Dakota Day royalty.  Intriguingly, among the negatives and photographs I reviewed was an image of a Chesterfield cigarette salesman catering to students through a suggestive poster and the salesman giving out free cigarettes to students. Although undated, the image was probably from the late 1950s to early 1960s.

What I found most interesting among the images I evaluated were the changes in buildings on campus during this time period. As a background several structures were built in the late 1900’s to early 20th century including East Hall (1887), the second Old Main (1893-94), the Old Armory which became the Women’s Gymnasium (1903), Science Hall (1902), Dakota Hall (1919), the  Andrew Carnegie Library (1910), the School of Law Building (1908), the Chemistry Building (1915), the Observatory (1917), Power plant and water tower (1910), and the Engineering building (1918). In honor of the Inman family, Mrs. Adele Inman contributed the land and substantial funds to construct the Inman stadium in 1918. West Hall, first a women’s dormitory and then a men’s dormitory was constructed in 1885 and burned down in 1905. Dakota Hall and East Hall served as dormitories until the 1950s and early sixties.

In the 1920s several buildings were completed that still stand today with several additions and renovations over the years.  The Administration Building (now Slagle Hall), the New Armory (now the Neuharth Media Center), and the first Student Union were built as the student body, faculty members and administration of the University and athletics increased following World War I.

A second building boom on campus occurred following World War II as increased enrollment necessitated more dormitory space and expansion of specialty schools. According to Cedric Cummins’ book: The University of South Dakota 1862-1966, enrollment in 1943-1944 was 461 students and by 1950 it was almost 1800. In 1965 student enrollment was almost 4,000 students.

Danforth Chapel, a unique building constructed in 1954, was used and continues to be used by many people of different denominations for prayers and meditation and as a site for special events. Increased housing requirements were met with construction of Julian Hall (1950), Noteboom Hall (1953), Julian Hall Addition (1958), Brookman and Norton Halls (1963), Cypress (1958) and Redwood Courts (1960), and Grace Burges Hall (1960).  Cypress and Redwood Courts, which served married students, no longer exist. In the fall of 2022 residence halls Julian Hall, Julian Hall Addition, and Brookman Hall were razed.

Although the School of Medicine started in 1907, it was not until 1953 that it received its own building. The Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medical and Science building initially housed both medicine and biology. It would be expanded twice in the next ten years. In 2005-7 a new medical school was built on the same footprint as the old building. Although the Medical School became the USD Sanford School of Medicine, the building retained its original name.  

To replace Science Hall built in 1902, no longer used in 1958, and razed in 1961, a new Science Building was constructed in 1962 on the west side of campus. At their 40th class reunion the class of 1930 placed a bronze plaque attached to a boulder to denote where the old Science building stood. It is the only commemoration of past buildings on campus. The new Science building would be called Akeley-Lawrence Science Center in honor of a distinguished professor (Lewis Akeley) and alum (Ernest Lawrence) who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939. Both were profoundly involved in the development of KUSD radio. To accommodate the medium of television KUSD TV developed and would occupy a building north of Old Main for several years.  

An increased need to provide students with a background in business necessitated construction of a new building located adjacent to Cherry Street to house the School of Business in 1957. Likewise, a new School of Education was constructed directly south of the School of Business in 1963. Finally, a major change to facilitate student activities occurred in 1965 with the erection of the Coyote Student Union replacing the role of old Student Union built forty years earlier.

Thus, the period of the 1950s to the mid-1960s constituted a building boom on the University of South Dakota campus driven not only because of increased student enrollment, but the development of new programs. As a side note, cigarettes were freely advertised and available on campus until the 1980s. It wasn’t until 2013 that USD became a smoke free campus.

A Chesterfield salesman and helper giving out cigarettes to students. Note the poster. The University of South Dakota Photograph Collection, Historic Series, Archives and Special Collections, I. D. Weeks Library.

A University of South Dakota campus map showing buildings on campus as well as fraternity and sororities houses.  Although the library is designated to be finished in 1965, it would not be used until 1967. University of South Dakota Bulletin Series LXIV (no. 7) March 1, 1964.

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On November 7, 1922, South Dakotans were asked to vote whether to move the University from Vermillion to Sioux Falls. This initiated law lost, and it had the lowest yes vote of any initiated law in the years analyzed by Alan Clem, i.e., 1889-1960 (page 35).

Shown in the image are the constitutional amendments (CA) and initiated laws (IL) on the South Dakota ballot in 1922. These were extracted from Table 10 in Clem’s publication (page 37-38).

Information and table from Clem, Alan L. South Dakota Political Almanac: a Presentation and Analysis of Election Statistics, 1889-1960. Vermillion, S.D: Governmental Research Bureau, State University of South Dakota, 1962. This book is in the Chilson Collection and in the Governmental Research Bureau Collection at the Archives and Special Collections.

Discussions about this vote can be found in the 1922 Alumni Quarterlies and Volante student newspapers. These publications are also in the Archives and Special Collections.

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The Forgotten Pool

Few people remember a pool in the 1929 newly constructed two-story armory and gymnasium building at the University of South Dakota (USD). The New Armory, as the building was called, was designed by renowned Sioux Falls architects Hugill and Blatherwick to serve two purposes: as a military armory and a replacement for the Old Armory (now Belbas Larson Center) women’s gymnasium.  Besides serving as a venue for indoor athletics, the New Armory also housed military equipment and uniforms, classrooms and offices, and the basement contained a shooting range.

              According to his papers, President Slagle was intimately involved in the construction of the building which started construction in 1928. A letter from the architects to President Slagle noted specifics about the swimming pool located on the southeast portion of first floor. A February 5, 1929, Volante article describes the building as 100 by 200 feet. It was large enough to accommodate three basketball courts. The tiled swimming pool was 25 by 75 feet with room on one side for spectator bleachers. Not only did the pool serve USD students and faculty, but Vermillion citizens were also welcome. Pictures of the Dolphins, a women’s swimming group can be found in several Coyote yearbooks from the 1950’s.

Plans of the New Armory 1st floor. (Archives and Special Collections)               

                                         

Picture of Dolphins in the swimming pool. Note the tiling. (Coyote Yearbook, 1955)

In 1929 an outdoor pool was constructed in Prentis Park, but it was only operational in the summer, making the New Armory pool available for swimming all year round. Over the years with the increase in student enrollment and growth of athletics, a new structure to house athletics was built called the DakotaDome that opened in 1980. The function of the New Armory also changed as it became home to South Dakota Broadcasting (E. O. Lawrence Telecommunications Center) and USD Military Science Department. In 2003 the building was again renovated and became the Al Neuharth Media Center which is home to the Department of Media and Journalism, the Volante, Freedom Forum, KYOT TV and KAOR radio stations, and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. The pool is still there covered in sand, but not forgotten.

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Enjoy finding the changes in the USD campus from 1960 to 2016. These maps are from the USD Undergraduate Catalogs and are as close to 10 years apart as possible. Most of the graduate and undergraduate USD catalogs can be viewed at the Archives and Special Collections.

USD campus map 1960
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1960
USD campus map 1970
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1970
USD campus map 1979-1980
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1979-1980.
1989-1991 campus map
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1989-1991
1998-2000 USD campus map
from USD Undergraduate Catalog 1998-2000

from USD Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

USD campus maps from 1901 and 1912 are on a July 31, 2019 blog post.

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Although both the W. H. Over Museum and the National Music Museum (NMM) have distinctly different items they collect and the NMM is part of the University of South Dakota (USD), whereas the W. H. Over Museum resides on the USD campus, but is not part of USD, at one time both called the Carnegie Library building home.

The USD Carnegie Library construction was finished and occupied in 1911 when USD enrollment was 425 students according to Cummins’ book (Cummins, Cedric C. The University of South Dakota, 1862-1966. Vermillion, SD: Dakota Press, 1975). By the later part of the 1930’s USD student enrollment doubled, and President I. D. Weeks promoted the enlargement of the building.  On Thursday, October 10, 1940, dedication exercises for the expanded library were held. The major addition, constructed of Indiana Bedford limestone, doubled the capacity of the building.

Twenty years later, enrollment doubled yet again necessitating the construction of a new library on campus. This would become the I. D. Weeks Library. In 1967 President Weeks suggested that the W. H. Over Museum, founded in 1883 by the Board of Regents known as the University Museum, occupy the old Carnegie Library building. The Over Museum had occupied several sites on campus including University Hall, the Science building, and the basement of Slagle Hall.

 In 1967, not only did Over call the Carnegie building the Over Museum’s home, but space was given to a newly hired music professor, Arne B. Larson who brought with him over 2,000 instruments. Most instruments were initially stored in Old Main.  In addition, prominent Yanktonai Dakota artist and professor Oscar Howe had his studio and a gallery in the Carnegie building. He was also assistant director of the W. H. Over Museum. 

In 1973, Andre’ Larson, Arne Larson’s son, founded and became director of the Shrine to Music Museum and the Center for the Study of the History of Musical Instruments which included his father’s collection donated to the University of South Dakota. Andre’ Larson was a consummate collector of rare and important musical instruments, books, documents, and other ephemera.

By the early 1980’s the Shrine to Music Museum was expanding and President Joseph McFadden did not renew the Over Museum’s lease for the occupancy of the Carnegie building in 1984. In addition, in 1980 Oscar Howe retired from the University and in 1983 passed away. The consequences were that the Shrine to Music Museum acquired the entire Carnegie building (AMIS newsletter Vol. xv, No.2, June 1986, Dedication of the renovated Shrine to Music Museum). By contrast, Friends of the W. H. Over Museum, raised funds to build a new museum located east of the DakotaDome. The Chair of the fundraising committee for nine years (1984-1993) was General Lloyd Moses.  In 2001, the Shrine to Music Museum changed its name to the National Music Museum and in 2018 major renovations to the Carnegie building commenced including construction of a new wing. In 2022, a ribbon cutting signaled the completion of the construction project, although developing the exhibits in the Carnegie building is ongoing.

In 2023, the W. H. Over Museum will celebrate its 140th year and the NMM its 50th year. Stay tuned for their celebrations.

Photograph thanks to Dr. Margaret Banks illustrating the enlarged Carnegie Library building in 1983 when it served as home for the Shrine to Music Museum, the W. H. Over Museum, and Oscar Howe’s Gallery. Note the lighter limestone addition to the rear of the original building.

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Upon starting my research, my knowledge of Wilber Stilwell was very base level; I knew that he was Chair of the Department of Art for over 30 years, I had heard that he had won a Medal of Honor, awarded by First Lady Johnson, for his dedication to art education, and there’s a student exhibition every year in his honor. As my research went on, and I got a greater sense of Wilber, I realized that there’s much more to the story than the headlines. Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten many of his efforts. The first of these I’d like to share is Wilber Stilwell as an inventor.

            From the beginning of the collection until the end, Wilber was overflowing with innovation. Scrawled in the margins of every page are notes that imagine the possibilities to surpass the limitations of our everyday lifestyle. He wasn’t alone, either; his wife, Gladys, had an innovative side as well, pioneering different gadgets to make life easier. She was particularly interested in fashion design and pursued a patent for a hem measuring tool. It’s obvious, and heartwarming, that the pair were inspired by one another, and supported each other’s creative endeavors. 

            During his time as a student at the Kansas City Art Institute, Wilber experimented with inventive techniques to inform his artwork – this includes trial and error with his Transfer Wax process, and the Blottergraph. The Blottergraph would later become a staple in many classrooms as an introduction to relief printing. Wilber even developed his own color wheel after much experimentation. 

            Gladys and Wilber becoming parents seemed to have spurred more inspiration for their inventions. They clearly had a passion for making art safe and accessible for children and young adults. Many of these techniques found their home in classrooms, especially after they were published in art process magazines. It was around this time that Wilber developed the idea of the “Safe-T-Scissors.” Wilber was in contact with attorneys and material companies throughout this time, to see if this was even possible. He created hundreds of sketches, and after much trial and error, was granted a patent for the invention. The safety scissors, something we’ve all probably used at some point or another, were a revolutionary possibility, and eventual reality. Below is the official patent found in Box 9, Folder 41.

            Behind the success of their inventions was a fair amount of failure and rejection. There is a significant amount of correspondence in which their lawyers told them their inventions were unpatentable, or that the idea didn’t hold enough merit for a company to invest money into. Throughout all of this, Wilber and Gladys persevered for their passions. 

            During a tumultuous economy, and a lack of state funding for education, Wilber and Gladys utilized accessible materials, like tin foil, basic crayons, freezer paper, even face powder, to help students make “fine art” without access to the prestigious materials usually utilized. In all of this lies a profound lesson: There can and often will be adversity and rejection in our lives, but it can lead to greater inspiration and success.

#ASummerOfStilwell

Here’s a link to the finding aid for the collection I’m researching.    https://archives.usd.edu/repositories/2/resources/99

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On April 23, 1884, Arbor Day, students of the University [of South Dakota] planted a silver maple tree. One hundred years later on April 26, 1984, students and USD alumni celebrated the centennial birthday of South Dakota’s largest silver maple tree by planting 125 trees around campus. In an unfortunate storm on October 24, 1997, the Grand Old Maple suffered severe limb damage, and University officials deemed it necessary to cut down the South Dakota landmark. Students, faculty, staff, and community members said farewell to the Grand Old Maple at 9:00 a.m. on November 25, 1997.

Digital Library of South Dakota, ID P006056.

Library of Congress sponsors #ArchivesHashtagParty once a month. May’s topic is branching out and and celebrating trees.

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Information from “U.S.D. Endowment Association.” The Alumni Quarterly 18 no. 1 (April 1922); 36-37. This publication can be found in the Archives and Special Collections.

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“Since 1972, EROS has worked to map, monitor, and analyze land change across our nation and around the world” (EROS website). This USGS facility is located by Sioux Falls, SD, and is a treasure-trove of satellite images and aerial photographs.”

Documents and photographs concerning the early history of EROS and ERTS (Earth Resources Technology Satellite) can be found in the James G. Abourezk papers in the Archives and Special Collections.

Also, a couple of the archival collections have large aerial photographs that I believe came from EROS. I particularly like the 38” x 38” black and white photograph of the USD campus in 1999.

EROS website, https://www.usgs.gov/centers/eros/about (accessed 2/4/2022)

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