Honoring Stout's Heroes

by Keven Thorie, University Archivist

The events of September 11 have had an immense impact on all of us. The scenes of death and fta_03_firedestruction both here and in Afghanistan will always remain with us. Since then, most people have felt a strong sense of anger toward the terrorists who inflicted this damage and their supporters, sympathy for all of the people who were lost and their loved ones, and pride and concern for our service men and women who have been placed in harm's way. Perhaps, though, the most important and positive thing that has come out of this tragedy is the great heroism and courage of people both in and out of uniform that has often been seen throughout this crisis. Their selfless acts have provided hope for all of us.

Pictured above:
In 1969, four Stout students saved the lives of two elderly people from a raging house fire on Sixth Street in Menomonie. Menomonie Fire Chief Jim Berg and President William "Bud" Micheels presented awards to the students during a halftime ceremony at a Stout football game. The students were, left to right, Jim Sallis, Cliff Perteete, Ken Denson and Calvin Glover.

Paving the way

Stout has also been the scene of people exhibiting acts of courage and selflessness. On countless occasions individuals have shown great bravery, and the institution as a whole has often provided leadership during times of crisis. One such person was Raymond Bradshaw. fta_03_brad

"Brad," as he was known to his fellow students, entered Stout in 1914 at the age of 19. He came to Menomonie from Topeka, Kan., where he had attended the Industrial and Educational Institute.

During his two-years at Stout (Stout only offered a two-year diploma at that time), Brad played clarinet in the school band, was a member of the Glee Club, appeared in local theater productions and won a letter playing right end on the football team. He appeared to have been a typical Stout student for that time. The only hint that this may have not been the case is the title of his senior thesis, "Industrial Education for the Negro."

Brad was the first African-American, as well as the first minority of any kind, to attend Stout. While I cannot find even a hint of evidence that he was treated any differently from other students, it still must have taken a great deal of courage to be the first minority student at a school-especially one in a city where the vast majority of people were from the same race.

Gladys Harvey's chances for joining the Stout faculty probably weren't hurt by the fact that she was the daughter of the institution's president Lorenzo Dow Harvey. Once she was on staff, though, she established an impressive record. fta_03_harv

Harvey had been educated at the University of Wisconsin and the Art Institute of Chicago. She was originally hired to teach interior decoration. In 1922, she was assigned the duty of establishing a new art department.

Perhaps, though, Harvey is best remembered as the founder and first chair of the Dunn County Suffrage Party. Under her leadership, the party worked with local and state legislators to gain women the right to vote. The group also worked for the war effort during World War I. Harvey remained at Stout following victories in both World War I and the suffrage movement. In 1923, she left to work with the League of Women Voters in Illinois.

Lending a hand

The Stout student body has banded together to help a fellow student in need during numerous instances. One such case was Emil Rahja. fta_03_rahja

Rahja hurt his back during the last football game of the year when he was a freshman in 1925. The injury degenerated, and he was forced to withdraw from school a few months later. He returned to his home in Chisholm, Minn., where he became an invalid.

Approximately two years later, when the true extent of Rahja's injuries became known, the Stoutonia published an article describing his plight. Within a short period of time, Stout students, staff and alumni sent money, gifts and well wishes to Rahja.

Easing hardship

One of the high points for Stout, as an institution, occurred in 1942. Shortly after the start of World War II, thousands of Japanese, and Americans of Japanese parentage, were removed from the Pacific Coastal Area for security reasons and placed in resettlement camps. Needless to say, this action caused severe financial and emotional hardships for the families involved.

In cooperation with the National Japanese Student Relocation Council, Stout was one of the first institutions to offer educational opportunities for many of the interned Japanese. In addition, partial scholarships and aid in finding jobs were offered. Under this program, at least three Americans of Japanese descent attended Stout.

Remembering our vets

Most of the buildings on this campus are named either for an individual, an event, the building's function, or even its location. The only building on this campus that is named for a group of people is the Memorial Student Center.

The original student center on campus was "Dedicated to the Students of Stout State College Who Died in War that Others May Live." This dedication was originally written by Gertrude Callahan, who served from 1928 to 1961 as chair of the English department. President Verne Fryklund approved the statement on Dec. 4, 1957. Literally thousands of Stout students served in the armed forces during the past century, from Tarawa to the Persian Gulf. Many of them lost their lives.

One such Stout student was Marvin Thomas Thompson. Thompson, a Menomonie native, entered the Stout Institute in 1915. He was also a member of Company H of the Third Wisconsin. During the border fta_03_thomproblems with Mexico in 1916, Thompson was forced to leave Stout for six months while his guard unit was activated. Upon his return, he was active in athletics and the theater.

Shortly after the United States entered World War I, Thompson was called to active duty. During his absence, Stout awarded him a diploma in August 1917. He attended officer's training school before leaving in January 1918 for France, where he served as a first lieutenant in Headquarters Company of the 30th Infantry Division. Before he was killed by artillery fire on July 15, 1918, Thompson had been awarded Britain's Victoria Cross and the French Croix de Guerre.

Robert Bruce Antrim joined the Stout Institute as an assistant librarian in 1928. Before his arrival at Stout, he received a degree from DePauw University in Indiana and served in several library positions. Antrim was not related to Kit Antrim, the athletic instructor for whom Antrim Hall was named.

Antrim became a popular figure at Stout. His exploits-especially those with a canoe-were reported several times in the Stoutonia. In August 1942, just three months prior to his 42nd birthday, Antrim was called into the Armed Forces. Before leaving, he wrote to President Burton Nelson, "Words fail me when I try to express how deeply I shall miss Stout-the library-and all my friends."

Stout granted Antrim a leave of absence "for the duration of the present emergency" before he reported to basic training in Arkansas. He was later attached to the Chaplain's Corps before being sent to Alaska. Shortly after he was assigned to Alaska, Antrim became ill and died on April 5, 1943. fta_03_antr

World War II had been over for three years when Fred A. Fisher enrolled at Stout in 1948. Fisher, a resident of Minneapolis, was very active during his time at Stout. He was a member of Epsilon Pi Tau, the Radio Club, the Rifle Club and the Ski Club, and president of the Stout Symphonic Singers. He was also a member of the Naval Reserve.

Shortly after his graduation in 1952, at the height of the Korean War, the Navy called Fisher up for service. On Nov. 6, less than six months after he graduated from Stout, Ensign Fischer died as a result of injuries at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. Thanks to a gift of $500 presented by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Fischer, the Fred Fischer Memorial Loan Fund was established at Stout in 1953.

These are just three of many Stout students, faculty and alumni who served in the Armed Forces and lost their lives during a time of war. When the original student center was built, a concerted effort was made to identify all of the Stout students who died while serving their country. The university hoped to have the names of those veterans cut into the stone of the new building.

Fearing that some names would be left off, President Fryklund decided not to have the names inscribed. He concluded, "Some day there may be need for a complete list. Several years may pass before the need is evident and the names all available, at which time the names could be cut into the stone." I hope that that day will arrive soon.

Here is a partial list of Stout students, faculty and alumni “who died in war so others may live.” If anyone knows of other names that should be added, please contact Kevin Thorie at thoriek@uwstout.edu:
WWI: WWII: Korea:
Marvin Thompson
Palmer L. Husby
Emil Kroening
Robert F. Kendall
Melvin Leroy Anderson
Robert Bruce Antrim
John Richard Aumelier
Gerald Carswell
James H. Day
Neal Jones Goodrich
Gerald Lawler Govin
James T. Illingworth
Kenneth R. Johnson
Reed Jones
Robert Keith
Hjalmer Molner
Richard Notebaart
Evert Ostrom
Charles Pleier
Edward S. Rock
Robert L. Roland
Lyle J. Schultz
Valgene Elmer Schultz
George Shultis
Edward Stanfel
William Streese
Wilbur Henry Tschopp
Earl Morris Thompson
Patrick Welch
Warren Wiesier
Frank E. Winterling

List is from the 1946
Tower Yearbook