Research computers adjacent to circulation desk.
Madelon Stockwell Turner room moved from the Stockwell Memorial Library to the Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center. Part of the Albion College Archives.
Source: Isaac Kremer, January 2004.
From the Albion College Archives
The Madelon Stockwell Turner Memorial Room is located in Special Collections on the second floor of the Seeley-Mudd Learning Center of the Stockwell-Mudd Libraries at Albion College, Albion, Michigan. The Room is a memorial to Mrs. Turner, Albion alumnus and daughter of the first principal of the Wesleyan Seminary (precursor to Albion College), Reverend Charles Franklin Stockwell.
The Building of a Library
In 1909, Madelon Stockwell Turner signed the final draft of her last will and testament. Wishing the Stockwell name to live on, she told then-president of Albion College Dr. Samuel Dickie that she would bequeath the majority of her property to Albion so that they might erect a building in memory of her father. In the years that followed, Mrs. Turner reminded the President of the bequest and the building that should be created as a result. However, on June 4, 1924, Mrs. Turner died, the whereabouts of the 15 year-old will unknown, the College’s claim to her fortune unsubstantiated. More than a week later, the will was finally located in a safety deposit box by investigators, and the College was informed that it had indeed inherited the bulk of her estate, to a total of approximately $330,000.
The paragraphs from her will, concerning Albion College, are as follows:
I also hereby give, devise and bequeath to the Board of Trustees of Albion College at Albion, Michigan, all (except the individual bequests hereinafter specified) of the remainder of my property of every kind and description, both real and personal, wheresoever the same may be situated, to be used by said Board in the erection and completion of a suitable building, wholly fireproof, for the use of one of the chief departments of learning in said institution, but not to be used as a dormitory.
Said building shall bear the inscription and shall be called, in memory of my father and mother: “The Charles F. and Louisa Peabody Stockwell Memorial Hall.” Upon said building shall be placed a clock (if the institution shall not already be in possession of one), and if the sum which could reasonably be diverted to this purpose, should warrant it, I desire a chime of bells for this use. Said building shall contain one room, wherein shall be properly arranged my carved rosewood furniture of eleven pieces, and all the pictures of my own work, both drawings and paintings, and all of my china paintings. In this room shall be set a mantel, which shall have as a facing my painted china tiles, designed and used as a mantel facing. In order to do this, the tiles in the mantel of the sitting room of my home shall not be sold but removed and disposed of, as above specified.
In this room shall be placed a glass show case, which shall contain my mother’s portrait on china, my father’s daguerreotype, our common Family Bible with family records, my father’s Greek and Latin Testament, his Greek Lexicon and his Latin Lexicon, my collection of autographs, my pen-illustrated note book on trigonometry, my illustrated book of rebuses, my lace work and embroidery and other articles of needlework, and such articles of my china work as are too small to be hung on the wall, and my wood carving. (Turner File, Albion College Archives)
At the time of the bequest, the College was in the midst of building the Kresge Gymnasium, a project which was consuming much time and resources. As a result, the Board resolved to delay the liquidation of Madelon’s estate. It was not until nearly 12 years later that the College determined to use the Turner monies toward building a new library. On June 4, 1938, the College held a dedication ceremony for the completed Stockwell Memorial Library.
While most of the items listed in Madelon’s will are still on display, they have been relocated from the Stockwell Memorial Library to Special Collections in the Mudd Learning Center, where hopes are to better be able to monitor and preserve the fragile condition of the materials. Certain items are no longer on display due to their precarious state and are stored in the Archives and Rare Books Room, used only for occasional display purposes. The staff of the Library and Special Collections hopes to eventually have the space and environmental controls necessary to recreate the Madelon Stockwell Turner Room as absolutely as she requested in her will.
August 9, 1845
Madelon Louisa Stockwell is born to Charles Franklin Stockwell and Louisa Peabody.
Charles F. Stockwell dies at sea enroute to California.
Louisa Peabody Stockwell marries Dr. W.H. Johnson.
Madelon writes her Journals.
Madelon receives M.A.S. degree from Albion College.
Madelon meets Lucinda Stone when her family moves to Kalamazoo.
Madelon becomes first woman admitted to the University of Michigan.
Madelon receives her B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Madelon marries Charles King Turner.
Madelon and her husband travel to Colorado and California in an attempt to restore his health.
Madelon receives honorary degree from the University of Michigan.
Madelon dies in Kalamazoo.
Stockwell Memorial Library is dedicated in honor of Charles and Louisa Peabody Stockwell.
Fennimore, Keith J. The Albion College Sesquicentennial History: 1835-1985. Albion, MI: Albion College, 1985.
“A Michigan Childhood: A Documentary Supplement to The Journals of Madelon Louisa Stockwell, 1856-1806,” Compiled by Leslie Dick.
Dick, Leslie, ed. A Michigan Childhood: The Journals of Madelon Louisa Stockwell, 1856-1860. Albion, MI: Albion Public Library and Albion College Library, 1988.
Turner, Madelon Stockwell. “Journal, 1856-1863.” Unpublished transcript. Albion College Archives.
Stockwell, Charles F. “Collected Letters,” edited by Paul R. Trautman. Albion College Archives.
Gildart, Robert. Albion College, 1835-1960: A History. Albion, MI: Albion College, 1961.
Stockwell Family Papers. Albion College Archives.
Consisting of two large buildings, the Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center and the Stockwell Memorial Library, the College’s large collection of books and journals, as well as the College and Methodist Church West Michigan District Archives are housed inside. Many rare books are also held in the buildings.
It is reported that the Seeley G. Mudd Foundation, which donated the majority of the funds to build the Mudd Learning Center, wanted a separate building rather than an addition to the Stockwell building; this explains the bridge that links the two together. The Seeley G. Mudd Fund of Los Angeles was established under the will of the late Dr. Seeley G. Mudd to construct college and university buildings. Dr. Mudd, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Medical School, died in 1968. He was a member of the cancer research faculty at California Institute of Technology, specializing in radiation and medical chemistry research. Dr. Mudd served as a member of the board of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and was a trustee of many educational institutions, including Stanford University and Pomona College. More than 26 grants totaling over $37 million had been made to leading institutions by the Seeley G. Mudd Fund in 1978. (“Albion College receives grant for Mudd Center,” Albion Recorder, June 28, 1978) The $900,000 grant made to Albion was the largest grant, in proportion to the total cost of the building, that the Fund had ever made; any remaining funds were to come from Albion alumni, friends and other foundations.
Madelon Stockwell was born and raised in Albion. Her father, Charles Franklin Stockwell, was the first Principal of the Wesleyan Seminary, forerunner to Albion College. Charles was stricken with “gold fever” during the California Gold Rush and unfortunately died of natural causes en route to California. Madelon’s grandparents, the Peabodys, were the first non-Native American settlers in Albion.
Several years after graduating from Albion with a two-year degree, Madelon decided to obtain a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Unfortunately for her, the University of Michigan did not accept women. But Madelon would not take no for an answer, and finally succeeded in enrolling. She became the first woman ever to attend the University. There is a dormitory there named in her memory.
When Madelon Stockwell Turner died, she gave enough money to Albion to build the Stockwell Memorial Library in honor of her parents.
Stockwell Memorial Library, n.d.
She also specified that her living room furniture, much of it inherited from her mother, be permanently displayed. You can see this display on the third floor of the Mudd building and at http://www.albion.edu/library/specialcollections/stockwellroom.asp.
All photographs are from the Albion College Archives Photograph Files, unless otherwise noted.
“Academic Programs: Library Services.” Academic Catalog 2003-2004. http://www.albion.edu/academics/03catalog/programs/library.asp
Betz, Emily. (1998, Sept. 25). “Betz finds relief from stress…in the library.” Pleiad. Retrieved 11 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/pleiad/1998/09_25/features_2.asp.
“Churchill and War Confronted in ‘Odd Topics.'” (2002, Oct.14). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/ac_news/releases/aaa_oddtopics.asp.
“Dow family foundations commit $50,000 to College Library.” (1998, May 21). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003 http://www.albion.edu/ac_news/archives/endowment98.asp.
“Emeritus Professor James Cook shares archives tales.” (2002, Oct. 14). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/ac_news/archives/schleglecturecook.asp.
Library Home Page http://www.albion.edu/library/
“Library Secrets.” http://www.albion.edu/newstudents/secrets.asp#library
Matter, Justin. (1996, Dec. 6). “Library receives $1 million endowment.” Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/pleiad/1996/12_06/news_3.asp.
“‘Odd Topics’ Luncheon Society Studies Churchill.” (2001, Oct. 15). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/ac_news/archives/churchilloddtopic.asp.
“Odd Topics Promises ‘Explosive’ Presentation for January.” (2003, Jan. 1). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/ac_news/archives/oddtopicsfireworks2.asp.
“Pleiad History is November Odd Topic.” (2001, Nov. 6). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/ac_news/archives/oddtopicsarvoy.asp.
Schulz, Laurie. (1997, Feb. 7). “Library adds new safety precautions and procedures. Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/pleiad/1997/02_07/features_1.asp.
Scozzari, Laura. (2000, Feb. 4). “Stockwell may lose library status.” Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/pleiad/2000/02_04/news_2.asp.
Sexton, Steve and Phillip Bracher. (1999, Feb. 23). “Pythons, Pistols, Periodicals: The world we know has become a timebomb, good thing the library is ready.” Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/pleiad/1999/04_23/features_5.asp.
“Songwriter shares American women’s voices for Albion College Schleg Lecture.” (2001, Oct. 9). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/ac_news/archives/schleglecture.asp.
Friends of the Library
Library Virtual Tour
Stockwell Memorial Library Dedication
Wendell B. Will Room
Source: Albion College Archives, 2003 [Downloaded July 3, 2003]