Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Paul F. H. Morley and an important landscape architect

by Marian Matyn

This term, all my student volunteers have processed many of the boxes of records we have on the Morley family and business of Saginaw, Mich. In one box, my student Gwyn Richard, found correspondence, a blueprint, and some copies of sketches, all dated from March to November 1915, between Paul F. H. Morley and landscape designer Aubrey Tealdi of Ann Arbor.

The undated blueprint, entitled "Morley garden, Saginaw," includes a wide variety of flowers in four L-shaped flower beds, with notes about seeding and flowers. It is signed by Aubrey Tealdi, Ann Arbor. This was for Paul's home at 1330 S. Jefferson Ave., Saginaw, a home which no longer exists.

Blueprint of Morley garden, Saginaw

Tealdi's signature on the blueprint
In their correspondence, Morley asked about when to start the beds, expressed his unhappiness with certain plants and happiness with others, and requested Tealdi's rates and when they could meet. Tealdi responded in detail about plants, which were suited for what and why, the care of plants, and that his rate, normally $50/hour plus other costs, was reduced to a flat fee of $75 for Morley's two spring visits. Ideas discussed between the men included the possibility of a children’s garden, an arbor, a seat ringing an apple tree, plans for gardens at Paul's lodge on the north branch of the AuSable River, the removal of a tree, Paul’s dislike of sunflowers, and his desire to keep up with his neighbors' landscaping projects. Both men also wrote briefly of their worries about the War (World War I). Morley noted the Italians were losing. This must have been a particularly painful fact for the Italian, Tealdi, who responded that he had male relatives fighting and female relatives active in the Red Cross.

Tealdi's letter noting Morley's home at 1330 S. Jefferson Ave.

Tealdi's apple tree seat sketch, Sept. 19, 1915

Tealdi was a significant landscape architect and professor who had an impressive career at and impact upon the University of Michigan (UM). The UM was the first institution in the Midwest with a department of landscape design, which was established in 1909 as a professional five year course. Tealdi was one of the first three instructors in the program. He graduated from the Royal Technical Institute Livorno in 1900. He became a Junior Professor at the UM in 1913 and Associate Professor of Landscape Design in 1915. In 1916, Tealdi was named as the Director of the Arboretum and supervised a great deal of planting of various species there. He held various positions until he retired in 1934 with the impressive double title of Head of the Department of Landscape Design and Director of the Nichols Arboretum. Tealdi is credited thusly “The department developed notably under Tealdi and owes much to his ideas and his personality. The excellent character and quality of the Arboretum are also distinctly the result of his work and interest.” Tealdi retired to his native Italy. (The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey, edited by Wilfred B. Shaw, Part VII, the College of Architecture and Design, pp. 1313-1315, internet available online via this link).

Paul F. H. Morley was the son of Edward W. and Helen Morley. Edward and his brother, George W. Morley came from Ohio to Saginaw where they established a hardware store prior to 1882. It became second only to Sears. By 1909, it also became the second largest manufacturer of portable houses in the U.S. The Morley business saved the city of Saginaw from bankruptcy in 1933 by meeting its payroll. The company had various and numerous related business interests. It still exists today as a business travel, planning, and events company. For more information see http://www.morleynet.com.

Paul (1884-1931) was born in Saginaw, where he attended local schools as well as a finishing school in the east. During World War I, Paul served as a captain in the Red Cross and headed a Base Hospital in Beaune, France. He was involved with many Saginaw businesses. In 1907, he married Helen Wells with whom he had five children. Paul died suddenly while at his lodge on the Au Sable River. He was survived by his children and four siblings. Many of the Morleys are buried in Ohio.
The Clarke has two Morley manuscript collections. The first is a mixed collection of both business and personal records, Papers, 1833-2009. The collection continues to be processed in sections over time by various students. The catalog record and finding aids for the processed part of the Morley collection may be viewed by clicking on the link to Papers, 1833-2009.

The Clarke also has a scanned copy of the Log of the lodge, 1909-1920, a combination scrapbook/guest book from Paul’s fishing lodge on the north branch of the Au Sable River

A number of Morley catalogs have also been separately cataloged.

For further information contact Archivist Marian Matyn at marian.matyn@cmich.edu

Monday, March 23, 2015

Clements Library Director Speaking Tuesday, March 24

On Tuesday, March 24, the Clarke Historical Library will welcome J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. Founded in 1923 on the campus of the University of Michigan, the Clements Library collects primary source materials in all formats relating to early American history. Its collections of rare books, pamphlets, maps, prints, photographs, and manuscripts shed light on North American history from Columbus through the 19th century, offering researchers a wealth of unique resources. On almost any aspect of the early American experience – military history, politics and government, religion, gender and ethnicity, culinary history, the creative arts, travel and exploration – the holdings at the Clements Library are among the best in the world. Notable strengths of the Library include the early exploration and settlement of North America, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War.​ ​

Director Graffagnino will speak about the treasures and the history of one of the foremost special collections libraries in the United States. His presentation will begin at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Clarke.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dr. Pol Materials in the Clarke

by Christa Clare

We recently added two interesting items to the collection of the Clarke Library: a book titled Never Turn your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a County Vet and the DVD, The Best of the Incredible Dr. Pol Collection, episodes from the popular National Geographic television show.

Dr. Pol, who has been a veterinarian for almost forty years, is a bit of a local legend around Weidman, Michigan in Isabella County. He and his wife Diane own and operate a successful rural veterinary clinic just west of Mt. Pleasant. As you would expect, Dr. Pol treats cows, pigs, goats, and horses, but his practice is not limited to large farm animals. He and his capable staff also treat average dogs and cats and everything else, including white mice and hamsters. There doesn’t seem to be a typical day in the office, and animal emergencies always make it interesting.

Unlike many modern vets, Doc Pol doesn’t rely on the latest expensive machinery to tell him how an animal is feeling; he relies on old-fashioned medicine, which usually means getting a little messy and putting his hands in uncomfortable places. Dr. Pol has many amusing stories of what it’s like getting up close and personal with his wide assortment of patients. He has a no-nonsense approach to treating the animals and does what is best for his patients.

Because the show is filmed in the Central Michigan area, it is interesting to see the men and women of the community who put their trust in Doc Pol. A sick pet can be heartbreaking to its owner, but a sick cow or horse can be a financial threat to the local farmer. The DVD and book are both interesting and entertaining.

Dr. Jan Pol recently turned 70 and is still going strong despite the physically exhausting work of a country vet. We wish him and his staff the best of luck, and thank them for caring so much about their patients.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Michelle Ann Abate Presents on "Lil Tomboy"

[editor's note: The Clarke Historical Library will be closed this Saturday, March 7 and next Saturday, March 14 due to Central Michigan University's spring break. We will be open Monday, March 9 to Friday, March 13 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Saturday hours will resume] 

by Frank Boles

On March 3, Michelle Ann Abate spoke in the Park Library Auditorium regarding gender roles in the comic books of the 1950s. She took for her subject the comic, “Lil Tomboy” which was published between October 1956 and December 1959. Lil Tomboy was the story of an elementary school age girl who hated dolls, loved football, flouted authority, indulged in behavior that was easily classified as “delinquent,” violated the Comic Code Authority, a voluntary set of rules created by the industry in 1954, and got away with all of it. Put simply, Professor Abate wanted to ask, "How did she pull it off?"

This question is particularly interesting because of the stereotypes we generally believe about the 1950s. It was an era when society favored stay-at-homes moms similar to June Cleaver, the always well-dressed baker of chocolate chip cookies, and mother of two sons in television’s hit show Leave it to Beaver. But much like Theodore “the Beaver” on the television series, Lil Tomboy was always getting into something. The Beaver’s antics may have been the stuff of a great television sit-com, but girls weren't supposed to be “getting into something.” Indeed, in the first issue of Lil Tomboy, a friendly neighbor is explaining to Lil Tomboy’s father how lucky he is to have a girl, since they are so much easier to raise then a boy.

Lil Tomboy, however, is a handful. When she is sent to the doctor for “treatment” (a fairly standard 1950s fictional fix for socially deviant behavior) she upsets the office routine so much the doctor declares her “hopeless.” She decides she wants to play football with the boys, who tell her to go play with her dolls. She responds by throwing dolls all the boys with pinpoint accuracy and flattening one of her critics with a stunning tackle. She’s a delinquent, sneaking into the circus and the movie theater, and bringing home the monkey she steals from the zoo (locking the zoo keeper in the monkey’s cage, for good measure). And she mocks the policeman who gave her mother an unfair traffic ticket. “Go blow your whistle,” Lil Tomboy tells the cop.

Lil Tomboy not only gets away with all of this, but despite her behavior, she remains firmly centered in a loving family. The doctor may declare her hopeless, and the cop and the zookeeper likely weren't fond of her, but her parents accept that diagnosis and her subsequent behavior, always declaring that they love her “just the way she is.”

Through the story of Lil Tomboy, Professor Abate cast an interesting light on the 1950s. Lurking not very far underneath the fa├žade of traditional gender roles was the makings of what would become the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Lil Tomboy was ready to move into a “man’s world,” just as so many of the girls who read the comic would a few years later. Lil Tomboy’s parents loving support signaled to the girls who read the comic that the change would come about and that it would be society that changed to accept women in a broader context.

Professor Abate’s presentation was made possible in part by funds made available through the John and Audrey Cumming Endowment, which supports presentations regarding children’s literature and Michigan history.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Professor Hope May: CMU President Warriner and WWI Peace Movement

by Frank Boles

On February 25, Professor Hope Elizabeth May spoke on the subject “CMU President E.C. Warriner and his involvement in the pre-World War I Peace Movement.” Professor May, who holds a doctorate in philosophy as well as a law degree has long been interested in the effort in the years prior to World War I to create a legal framework between nations that would solve disputes as an alternative to armed conflict. The mass movement eventually resulted in The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which was established by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, concluded in The Hague in 1899 during the first Hague Peace Conference.

Professor May sharing Warriner's documents
with staff of the Peace Palace Library

Although the peace through law movement was international, the United States was considered particularly important to its success. This was so because American educators took up the cause as one aspect of social reform and worked to incorporate a peace studies curriculum into K-12 schools throughout America. The principal American organization promoting this idea was the American School Peace League.

The peace curriculum that was embraced was more than simply endorsing the absence of war. Rather, the curriculum was designed to re-orient public education from a “war setting” to encourage the study of “peace heroes” and provide for a comprehensive program in the areas of moral, social, and intellectual development. The curriculum was less interested in teaching children about the Battle of Lake Erie, fought during the War of 1812, and far more concerned that they learned about the Rush-Bagot Treaty, which demilitarized the Great Lakes in 1818.

The movement also proposed schools annually celebrate “Peace day” on May 18, the date that the first Hague Peace Conference had been convened in 1899. The day was widely recognized, and the United States government, through the Department of the Interior (in which the Bureau of Education was then located) actively promoted the day.

Eugene C. Warriner, who was an educator and the superintendent of the Saginaw Public Schools between 1896 and 1918 became a firm believer in the peace through law movement and the integration of its principles into public education. As school superintendent, he was clear in directing the teachers in Saginaw to make sure peace through law was taught to children at multiple grade levels.

Speech, "Universal Peace and the School,"
by E. C. Warriner
Warriner also became very involved in the organizations’ state affiliate. He served as president of the body in 1910. Interestingly Charles Grawn, who preceded Warriner as Central's president, was also involved in the organization as vice-president.

The American peace through law movement faced a crisis when the United States entered World War I. Some members of the group continued to support peace and thus were very sympathetic to conscientious objectors and others who refused to participate in the war effort. Others, like Warriner, came to the conclusion that their duty to their country was more important, and supported American involvement in the War. The division essentially ended the peace through law movement in the United States, although not many of the educational ideas it espoused. After World War I, education for “good citizenship” continued many of the curricular ideas introduced by the American School Peace League.

Warriner’s involvement in the Peace Movement has been documented by Professor May through the insertion of several documents written by Warriner into Europeana 1914-1918 – Untold Stories & Official Histories of WW1. Europeana is an online consortium of over 150 European Union institutions and websites, dedicated to bringing online a wide range of culturally significant material largely available for use without copyright restriction. Warriner’s material can be found at http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en/collection/search?q=warriner&qf[index][]=a&utf8=%E2%9C%93.