Becoming Part Of History

Lydia Hamm Oshkosh Normal School Photo for Quiver Yearbook, 1902ish.

About 15 years ago I talked to my Dad to see if he would be okay with me donating part of my 2xg Aunt Lyd’s papers to the Wisconsin Historical Society. He seemed okay with the idea. My reasoning was that I felt some of the items in her papers were more a part of the bigger picture of Wisconsin history, not just the Hamm family story. Another part of the reason for this decision is that when I am gone, I have no idea who is going to take care of the family papers, if anyone. (Which means I have lots of work to do in that regard – ack!)

Lydia Hamm was a teacher in Marshfield, Wisconsin for many years, (she never married, and being married usually meant a woman had to quit her teaching job). In her photograph collection I found lots of class photos with the students names written on the back, (thank you Lyd), and pictures of schools, and her students, that she had taken herself. She loved to take pictures. Also in her collection were histories written about Medford by herself, and her students.

So, I decided that I would donate these items to the Wisconsin Historical Society. I wanted to be sure that other researchers might find their own family as one of the students in her class, and Lydia grew up in Medford when it was just starting as a town so she remembered it’s beginnings.

And now, anyone can see these documents and photographs:

The above is the WHS catalog entry for her collection, (although, it is as yet unprocessed). As Lydia didn’t have children of her own, I am glad to see that part of her contribution to Wisconsin history is out there for the world to see and access. Also, in a way, she is continuing to teach. Yay teachers, unsung heroes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s