Tales of a Zoologist

A professor named John W. Scott significantly boosted the University of Wyoming Zoology department. Professor Scott was the head of the Zoology department; he was the executive secretary of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, the State President and National Director for the Izaak Walton League, a member of the National Association of Conservation Education and Publicity, and a Masonic Mason. With all of John W. Scott’s achievements, he remained an icon to the University of Wyoming.

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National Convention of Mammologists, 1940, Box 1, John W. Scott papers, Accession #400093, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

One of the tales prominent from Professor Scott’s life involves a beaver. Scott was given a beaver in 1935 by “H. W. Stock, the superintendent of the fish hatchery, who discovered the animal frisking about on the highway south of the Monolith one night last week.” Scott had then kept the beaver at his house for about a week as the Zoology labs found this beaver of great interest, and then Professor Scott released him back into the wild.

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Newspaper article from box 1, John W. Scott papers, Accession #400093, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Another remarkable story from the John W. Scott collection involves a loon. As the story goes, in 1945, Scott found a loon near Laramie, which is an unusual since they’re not seen in that region. Loons can neither on land or fly off from solid ground, but, oddly enough, this loon made it ten miles outside of Laramie. The amazing part about this story is that this loon was possibly blown 400-500 miles off its course and ended up on the side of the road. Dr. Scott successfully returned it to a lake near Laramie.

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Newspaper article from box 1, John W. Scott papers, Accession #400093, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

John W. Scott had many accomplishments in his life such as celebrating his 80th birthday in 1951 to celebrating his marriage to his wife, Vivian, for 50 years in 1954.

Dr. Scott started working at the University in 1913; he was the head of the Zoology department for 28 years. He worked for the college for 43 years until his death in 1956.

To learn more about Scott, see the John W. Scott papers at the American Heritage Center.

– Post submitted by MaKayla Garnica, AHC Carlson Intern.

Posted in faculty/staff profiles, found in the archive, Uncategorized, University of Wyoming history, Zoology | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Wyoming Art of Carrie Arnold

Carrie Arnold (1944-1998) was a Denver business woman with an active interest in Western history, which she expressed in drawings. She became a pen and ink illustrator for a number of Western books. She was commissioned by her friend Bill Lagos to create scenes of Lagos’ home areas of Hartville and Sunrise, Wyoming.

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Miners standing outside Sunrise Hospital. Carrie Arnold papers, Accession #10664, Folder 22, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Between 1971 and 1997, Ms. Arnold created elegant line drawings that included overviews of Hartville and Sunrise, the old jail, the school, churches, the YMCA and historic homes. Her drawings also included depictions of Guernsey and Laramie.

The scenes are historical, taken from old photographs and enhanced by visits to the sites and conversations with Wyoming natives. Arnold always humanized the historically accurate drawings of buildings by adding people. “Main Street in Hartville, Wyoming” features a group enjoying a lively conversation in the middle of the quiet street. Lagos used the drawings as holiday cards.

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Main Street in Hartville, Wyoming. Carrie Arnold papers, Accession #10664, Folder 22, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

After Ms. Arnold’s death in 1998, Lagos published her drawings in a book entitled The Art of Carrie Arnold.

You can see Carrie Arnold’s work at the American Heritage Center. No appointment needed! The reading room is open Monday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Posted in Artists, Authors and literature, commercial art, found in the archive, Local history, mining history, Uncategorized, Western history, women's history, Wyoming history | Tagged , | Leave a comment

George Teeple Eggleston and the America First Movement

Before the United States entered World War II, there was a popular movement to keep the U.S. out of the fray. The controversial America First Committee (AFC), founded in September 1940, was the foremost U.S. non-intervention pressure group against American entry into World War II. George T. Eggleston (1906-1990), a cartoonist, author, yachtsman, editor and isolationist, became embroiled in the America First controversy during the 1940’s.

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Portrait of George T. Eggleston by Karl Godwin, 1950. Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

From the late 1930s until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eggleston was very active in the America First movement with Charles Lindbergh. Eggleston edited Scribner’s Commentator, an ultraconservative magazine that helped lead the opposition to the United States’ entrance into the war in 1940 and 1941. The magazine’s format was about twenty digest-type articles, about half of which were devoted to nature stories and human-interest features.

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 George Teeple Eggleston papers, Acc. #10216, Box 3, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

There was no mistaking, however, the fundamental focus of Scribner’s Commentator, which was to present the case against involvement in World War II in as many ways as possible. The cover featured a prominent foe of intervention – often Charles Lindbergh – with a laudatory biographical sketch or an article written by the individual frequently found inside. The magazine’s sister publication was The Herald, a weekly newspaper with the masthead: “The National Newspaper for an Independent American Destiny.”

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Subscription coupon for Scribner’s Commentator and The Herald from October 24, 1941, issue of The Herald. George Teeple Eggleston papers, Acc. #10216, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

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An inside page of The Herald was always filled with photographs of prominent people involved in the debate over U.S. entry into World War II. This photograph compares America First’s main foe President Franklin D. Roosevelt (left) with America First’s main protagonist Charles Lindbergh (right). The photo is from the September 19, 1941, issue of The Herald. George Teeple Eggleston papers, Acc. #10216, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the America First Committee canceled a rally with Lindbergh at Boston Garden “in view of recent critical developments,” and the organization’s leaders announced their support of the war effort. Scribner’s Commentator folded as well. The last issue, dated January 1942, featured General MacArthur on the cover and called for “the complete victory of our armed forces over those of our enemies all over the world.” Eggleston joined the naval reserve in 1943 but federal prosecutors took him before a grand jury and relieved him of his military commission.
Eggleston recounted some of the harassment against him in his book, Roosevelt, Churchill, and the World War II Opposition: A Revisionist Autobiography, published in 1979. He wrote about leaving the Navy after Walter Winchell, the syndicated columnist and radio commentator, urged Americans to start a letter-writing campaign demanding his removal from the service. It wasn’t until after World War II, when the passions of the period had cooled, that Eggleston was able to get an honorable discharge.
Walter Winchell

Walter Winchell column about Eggleston that appeared in the December 20, 1943 issue of the New York Daily Mirror. George Teeple Eggleston papers, Acc. #10216, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

After World War II, Eggleston went on to become editor at Reader’s Digest. He left Reader’s Digest in 1957 and he and his wife moved to St. Lucia in the West Indies. He authored a number of books, mostly about travel, after just before and after leaving the Digest

Eggleston’s papers include files of correspondence, clippings, and comments on Charles Lindbergh and his role in the America First movement. There is a xerox copy of a 1972 letter from Lindbergh and many clippings concerning America First activities.

Portions of this post were excerpted from “Scribner’s Commentator, 1939-1942” by Justus D. Doenecke in The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America (1999), edited by Ronald Lora and William Henry Longton.

Posted in Artists, Authors and literature, cartoons, commercial art, found in the archive, Journalism, Politics, Uncategorized, World War II | Tagged | Leave a comment

No Mountain Too High: The Climbs of Betsy Cowles Partridge

Three years before Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Nargay made their famous ascent of Mount Everest in 1953[1], Elizabeth “Betsy” Cowles Partridge, an intrepid woman from Colorado Springs, Colorado, was part of an American Expedition exploring a route to conquer the world’s tallest peak.

It appears that Betsy Cowles Partridge had mountaineering in her blood. Born in 1902, she had climbed 54 of the peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado by the age of 31. From the Alps of Europe to the Rocky Mountains of North America, Sierra Nevada of South America to the Himalayas of Asia, Betsy traveled the world tackling some of the world’s highest peaks. Whether as a climber, photographer, author, and in later life lecturer, it seems that no mountain was too high for Betsy on her way to Everest.

With its towering mountains and beautiful valleys Switzerland held special significance for Betsy throughout her travels. After the peaks of Colorado, the peaks of Switzerland were the first of the great mountains that Betsy would climb. She first traversed[2] the famous Matterhorn, along with numerous other peaks, in 1933. Between 1936 and 1937 Betsy climbed 21 of the peaks of Switzerland, including her second accent of the Matterhorn, this time traversing from the village of Zmutt.

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The Matterhorn at its finest; Swiss Ridge on the left, Zmutt Ridge on the right. Betsy Cowles Partridge papers, Accession #2082, Box 2, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Betsy would return to Switzerland six more times over the course of her life to climb the striking peaks of the Alps. Switzerland not only gave Betsy the rewarding experiences of climbing, but also lifelong friendships. It was here that Betsy met the famous pianist Mieczyslaw Horszowski, a friendship that lasted the remainder of Betsy’s life.

Living in Colorado Springs, Betsy was no stranger to the formidable peaks of the Tetons, mountains that Betsy thought were “designed especially for climbers by a Providence sympathetic to mountaineering.” At the age of 32 Betsy made her first ascent of Grand Teton in 1934. In 1935 Betsy was the first female to traverse the Grand Tetons.

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The “Grand” and its neighbors. Betsy Cowles Partridge papers, Accession #2082, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Betsy returned to the Tetons twice more before her expedition to Mount Everest. In 1941 Betsy made the first ascent of Grand Teton’s Petzoldt Ridge. In 1956, at the age of 44, Betsy climbed Grand Teton, Symmetry Spire, and Mount St. John. This would be the last time that Betsy climbed the peaks of the Tetons.

In her quest to climb the great peaks of the world Betsy also traveled to Colombia to tackle the peaks of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Range. It would not be an easy jaunt as the year was 1941 and the world was in turmoil with the start of the Second World War. The choice to make a climb while the world was at war did not come easily, but she decided that if she did not go then, she probably never would. Betsy had to go through the American Consulate to acquire special permission from the Colombian government to bring her photographic equipment along for the climb. With official permission and equipment in tow, Betsy was part of the team that made the first ascent of La Reina Peak (18,170 feet) of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Range. Betsy also climbed Pico Ujueta and the Guardian.

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On the peak of La Reina, left to right: Paul Petzoldt, Max Eberli, and Elizabeth Knowlton. Betsy Cowles Partridge papers, Accession #2082, Box 2, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

In 1950 Betsy had the opportunity of a lifetime when she was invited by Oscar R. Houston to join his American Expedition to Mount Everest. The expedition went to scout if a possible ascent on the peak could be made from the southern slope through Nepal. All her previous experience had prepared Betsy for this historic expedition. On the journey to the southern slope Betsy traveled through Kathmandu, meeting Mohun, the last reigning Maharajah of Nepal. At the Thyangboche Monastery, Betsy was the first American woman to witness the rites of the monks. The Houston expedition reached a height between 18,000 and 19,000 feet in the exploration to find a viable route.

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Houston Expedition, left to right: Anderson Bakewell, Oscar R. Houston, Elizabeth “Betsy” S. Cowles, H.W. Tilman, and Charles S. Houston. Betsy Cowles Partridge papers, Accession #2082, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Betsy and other members of the expedition determined that the south face “may well be impossible” and presented “no practical climbing route.”[3] While the expedition was not successful, they did contribute to the history of climbing of Mount Everest. Betsy recorded her experience through a round robin letter with family and friends in America. After the Houston expedition Betsy toured the country lecturing and delighting crowds with the color slides.

For more reading about the fascinating life of Betsy Cowles Partridge visit the American Heritage Center in Laramie, Wyoming to view Betsy’s diaries, photographs and letters to experience through her eyes. For Betsy Cowles Partridge truly no mountain was too high.

– Submitted by Steven Yeager, AHC intern from the UW History Department.

[1] The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Sir Edmund Hillary,” Encyclopaedia Britannica

[2] According to sportsdefinitions.com, traverse in mountain climbing refers to ascending a mountain from one side and descending another, or moving sideways across a mountain face.

[3] “North to Everest,” short essay written by Robert Tillman found at the beginning of Betsy Cowles Partridge journal in box 3 of her papers. Tillman was another explorer who met the Houston Expedition while he was in Nepal.

Posted in found in the archive, Grand Tetons, International Collections, Mountaineering, Uncategorized, women's history | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Giving Day: November 27, 2018

November 27 is Giving Day at the University of Wyoming. It’s a 24-hour spree of giving. HELP US MAKE AN IMPACT!

We need YOU to show your support and spread the word about the University of Wyoming by giving, posting, tweeting, selfie-ing (is that a word?) and using the hashtag #uwgivingday. Help us make sure UW Giving Day 2018 is a success!

Please donate at http://www.uwyo.edu/givingday/.  Your support impacts university colleges through undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, internships and career preparation, professorships, research, excellence funds, facilities and technology, operating funds, outreach and extension, or the department or affiliated program of your choice. Any amount makes a difference, and it all adds up to a better University of Wyoming.

Share the link to the Giving Day Facebook event. The event can remind people that Giving Day is here.

Snap a Selfie! Throw on your best UW PRIDE gear and show your swag! Don’t forget the hashtag #uwgivingday.

Brag a little by telling the world you donated. The Giving Day website has a form you can use to show your followers why you give to UW. Print it out, fill in the blank, snap a pic, and post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn about your UW Giving Day experience and why you chose to support UW. Don’t forget the hashtag #uwgivingday.

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Photo credit: County 10

 

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Lora Webb Nichols’ Thanksgiving in Encampment, Wyoming

It’s hard to find someone who enjoyed a camera more than Lora Webb Nichols.

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Lora Webb Nichols wearing her mother’s hat. Lora Webb Nichols papers, Accession #1005, Box 3, #51, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Lora, born in 1883, lived with her family on a ranch about a mile from Encampment, Wyoming. By the late 1890s, the area was experiencing a great copper boom.

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Tram-line from Ferris-Haggarty mine to Encampment, about 1903. The tramway, the longest in the world at the time, was considered an engineering marvel and carried 840 buckets that held as much as 700 pounds of ore each. Samuel H. Knight papers, Accession #142, Box 5, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

One of the copper miners, 30-year old Bert Oldman, took notice of teenage Lora and gave her a camera for her 16th birthday in 1899. At first, Lora’s father wasn’t too sure about Bert’s attention to his young daughter, but later warmed up to him and Bert and Lora were married on October 15, 1900.

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Lora and Bert Oldman. Lora Webb Nichols papers, Accession #1005, Box 3, #74, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. 

Lora wrote in her diary that the camera Bert gave her was “the best fun.” Her sense of fun is evident in the images she created. One of the wonderful things about Lora’s photographs is how she captured the whimsical side of life in Encampment.

To give you a taste of her playful photo-making, we offer you images from a “Thanksgiving Masquerade” in Encampment during the early 1900s.

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Lora labeled this photo “Ed Wood as washer-woman.” Lora Webb Nichols papers, Accession #1005, Box 3, #7, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.  

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The people in this photo are not identified, except the woman on the far left (Mrs. Ashley) and the man on the far left (Ed Wood). Lora Webb Nichols papers, Accession #1005, Box 3, #8, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

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Lora captioned this photo as “Boys in clown suits.” The “boys” are listed as Tillou, Lordier, and McNamara. Lora Webb Nichols papers, Accession #1005, Box 3, #10, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.  

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Posted in Current events, found in the archive, Holidays, Local history, mining history, Photographic collections, Uncategorized, women's history, Wyoming history | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Stan Lee’s Legacy Lives on at the American Heritage Center

Stan Lee’s legacy lives on at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC). Stan Lee – comics industry pioneer, collection donor, and AHC benefactor – died November 12, 2018, at age 95, in his home city of Los Angeles.

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Stan Lee poses with Spider-Man, Stan Lee papers, UW American Heritage Center.

The AHC houses nearly 200 boxes of Lee’s working drafts, photos, videos, articles and fan mail, and these records are open to the public for research and viewing. An exhibit featuring Stan Lee’s remarkable career is on display at the American Heritage Center beginning November 19, 2018.

Young Stanley M. Lieber, born in 1922, landed his first job with Timely Comics in 1939 as an office gofer. Two years later, he wrote a text filler piece titled “The Traitor’s Revenge!” for Captain America No. 3. He used the pen name “Stan Lee” because he was so embarrassed to have his real name associated with lowbrow comics.

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Stan Lee (then Stanley Lieber) in Army uniform creating a cartoon, circa 1943. Lee entered the U.S. Army in early 1942 and served as a member of the Signal Corps repairing telegraph poles and other communication equipment. After the Army discovered his creative talents, he was given the job title “playwright,” and was one of only nine such individuals in the Army at that time.

By the 1950s, Lee was ready to quit the comics industry, but was encouraged by his wife Joan to experiment with stories he preferred. Acting on the advice, Lee created superheroes that bucked the archetype of ideal perfection. Lee’s characters were flawed, complex and naturalistic. They were human. The first superheroes Lee and artist Jack Kirby created together were the Fantastic Four. It was an immediate success.

Timely became Marvel Comics in 1967. By 1972, Lee had become publisher of the Marvel Comics Group; nine years later, he moved from New York City to Los Angeles to develop Marvel’s television and motion picture concepts. He also helped form Stan Lee Media, an Internet site that introduced comics to the Web. Even after retirement in the 1990s, Lee was the public figurehead for Marvel, frequently making cameo appearances in movies based on Marvel characters. He continued independent creative ventures until his death.

A frequently asked question at the AHC regarding Lee’s papers is how they came to Wyoming. In a January 2012 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Lee explained: “I have this little archive at the University of Wyoming. You may wonder why I picked that university, but when they asked if I would archive my material there, they said that Jack Benny, he had his archive there, and I was a big fan of Jack Benny’s and I figured if he’s there I want to be there.”

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The papers of Stan Lee, above, are exemplary of the AHC’s entertainment industry collections.

Open to the public, Lee’s papers are also a resource for anyone who is interested, whether for personal interest or for academic study. For these reasons, Lee’s comics and papers are frequently used, and are a valuable asset to the AHC collections and the education of its students and the wide number of people across Wyoming and the globe it serves.

For information about Stan Lee’s papers, please contact the AHC’s Reference Department at ahcref@uwyo.edu or at 307-766-3756.

Posted in announcements, Artists, Authors and literature, cartoons, Comic book history, commercial art, Current events, exhibits, found in the archive, motion picture history, popular culture, Stan Lee, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment