Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
West, Georgia A.
Mary Ann Olcott, pp. 11-13 PDF (617.2 KB)
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. 13
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