In honor of two great men: the history of UW–Stout

By Barbara Young

University of Wisconsin–Stout is looking toward the future. As a university, we pride ourselves on being tech-savvy and electronically-equipped; we are always looking for new and improved technology that will better serve the students. With the coming renovation of Harvey Hall, change is in the air at UW–Stout, but we must also reflect on the past and look at what brought us to where we are today.

On the third floor of the Robert S. Swanson Library is the University Archives where the fading documents of our university find their home.  Among the yellowing and carefully cared for documents sits the history of UW–Stout’s campus.

Two of the most prominent buildings on campus have been around since the early days. Today we know them as Harvey Hall and Bowman Hall, but when they were first constructed, the buildings were given simple names. The people they were named after hadn’t made the contributions to the school they would later become known for.

Bowman

Bowman Hall, the building with UW–Stout’s famous clock tower, has been around for over a hundred years. The building we see today is the replacement built in 1898 for the then manual training building, which burned down in 1897.

The new building was built sturdier than the last and has since stood as the symbol of UW–Stout. However, the man who the building would later be named after didn’t come to campus until 1919.

Clyde A. Bowman, a UW–Stout graduate, was hired as an administrator in the industrial education division. After Harvey’s death in 1922, Bowman served as interim president of University of Wisconsin–Stout. He was relieved of this duty after a year, but he stayed involved in the school in a substantial way.

Bowman went on to be the first dean of industrial education and assisted in creating the graduate school. He dedicated 33 years to this school before retiring in 1952.

According to a Stoutonia article from October 1952, upon Bowman’s retirement, the industrial arts building in which Bowman had the most activity would become Bowman Hall, as voted by the board on the recommendation of President Fryklund.

Harvey

Harvey Hall has always been well-known on campus, even before discussion of its upcoming remodel began. The building sits atop the steepest hill on campus and the interior houses the infamous Harvey stairs.

While we all eagerly await the new building, which we hope will be more enjoyable to traverse through, it should be appreciated that the building is nearly 100 years old.

Harvey Hall was first constructed in 1917 as The Home Economics Building and was funded by the new appropriation bill in 1913. However, Lorenzo Dow Harvey, whom the building was named after at a later date, was involved with UW–Stout before the building itself.

Harvey came to Menomonie in 1903 as a superintendent of the public school system. He was well qualified and wanted in several other locations, but Senator Stout padded Harvey’s salary out of his own pocket to help persuade him.

Then, in 1908, Harvey became the first president of “Stout Institute,” the name of the school at the time.  He served as president until his death in 1922.

Daisy Kugel, the director of home economics during Harvey’s presidency is quoted as saying, “ “by those who know Stout Institute, it will always be thought of as Dr. Harvey’s school, for it is, indeed his, in the sense that it represents his educational ideas and ideals; that is the embodiment of his dominating personality.”

Several years later in 1952 when Bowman Hall was renamed, Stoutonia stated in an article that the board of trustees had also renamed the home economics building to L. D. Harvey Hall.

Both men played a large role in shaping the college and creating the school we currently attend.  It seems only right that their names should live on for as long as UW–Stout does.

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