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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

West, Georgia A.
Mary Ann Olcott,   pp. 11-13 PDF (617.2 KB)


Page 13


amount from the city. This was done and Miss Olcott
had the great pleasure of seeing her beloved books housed
in a magnificent building. The library was put in charge
of a Library Board and Miss Olcott made reference li-
brarian on a salary. This position she held till her health
failed.
    In 1895 Miss Olcott helped form a club called the
Old School Girls. All those were elegible who attended
the first elementary schools and the high school previous
to 1862. Miss Olcott was elected first president. They
met once a year regularly reading the minutes of each
previous meeting, containing always the names of those
present. They were often entertained between times by
different members of the club and spent many happy
hours together reminiscing of old school days together.
There were originally 31 members but the number has
been gradually reduced through death to ten. One of
the first by-laws enacted by the club was to appoint Aug-
ust 2 of each year a memorial day on which flowers
should be placed on the graves of the departed ones.
    Miss Olcott had been asked many times to sit for a
portrait to hang in the library but always modestly re-
fused. The Old School Girls finally took it upon them-
selves to have it done without her knowledge. Mr. L.
Merton Gruenhagen who had recently returned to Osh-
kosh after having attained success in Europe as a por-
trait painter was asked to paint her portrait unbeknown
to her. This he did and also made a frame for it of
solid wood hand-carved in a simple modest design. On
May 13, 1908 a formal presentation of the portrait was
made by the Old School Girls to the library board. All
the Old School Girls were present and it was a very
happy occasion for all.
    Miss Olcott's life was the library. The evidence of
the success of the library is evidence of the success of
her life.
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