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Feldman, Jim (Writer) / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Meikeljohn house,   pp. 162-163

Page 163

of buildings Gallistel drew up and executed plans which modified the old duplex into a single dwell-
There was room for 17 women, whose idea was to lower their living costs as much as possible
by doing the work themselves, thereby doing away with the need for servants. The only employees
were a housemother, a cook and a houseboy. Most inhabitants of the Anderson house worked part
time to get through school. Rent was typically about $200 per semester. They rotated a work sched-
ule for the chores involved in running the house.2
In 1940 the co-op hired as a housemother Mrs. Grace Lord. She was destined to stay for
more than twenty years. Mrs. Lord appears to have been something of a Tartar. In 1950 the women
of Anderson house write a list of complaints to dean of women Louise Troxell. They say that Mrs.
Lord is peremptory with them, that she doesn't allow the girls to know anything about the running of
the house, that she 'makes a martyr of herself over the keys', and that she listens at their meetings
from a vantage point near the stairs. In a memo regarding these complaints dean Troxell writes, "I do
not know what will or can come of this as Mrs. L. is quite inflexible and operates best in an atmo-
sphere of complete authority, I believe." A considerable amount of this conflict appears to have been
caused by Mrs. Lord's stringent measures in keeping costs very low (e.g. only very small wash loads
to preserve the washer). This was part of what made the Andersen House a success.
Mrs. Lord remained at her post at the Andersen house until 1964. At that time the name was
changed to the Rosemound Residence under the control of Mary Tyrney. By that time most of the
functions of the women's cooperatives had been taken over by the 'official co-ops' of Zoe Bayliss and
Susan Davis houses. In 1969 the building was taken over by the university (the university held title to
the properties controlled by the University Women's Building Corp) for use as the university history
annex. The building was taken over the following year by the Integrated Liberal Studies program
(ILS). In September 1969 the regents approved the naming of the building "Meiklejohn House". The
ILS is a descendant of the Experimental College begun in 1927 by Alexander Meiklejohn. The ILS is
the current resident of the old Oakey house.3
1) Madison city directories.
2) Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, May, 1950; Daily Cardinal, April 13, 1951.
3) Regent's Minutes, August 14, 1964, Exhibit A, September 19, 1969; Badger Herald, January 26, 1972; Madison city

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