Albion Interactive History / Stockwell Library

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Albion College

Stockwell Memorial Library, 1938

Block +
US Census Block # 34-118

Builder +
Frank Dean

Historic Designation +
Albion Area Historical Architectural Survey, 1985

Related Documents

Randolph G. Adams, Address at the Dedication of The Stockwell Memorial Library at Albion College, June 4, 1938

Charles Franklin Stockwell was the institutions first principal, the name given in the early 1840’s to the school’s chief executive. his wife was Louise Peabody, who was the daughter of Albion’s first white settler, Tenney Peabody. The daughter of Charles F. and Louise P. Stockwell was Madelon Stockwell Turner.

Part of money from her will bequeathed to Albion College was used to construct the building. The 1936-1937 catalog explains the “building will be of brick and stone construction after the Neo-Greek style of architecture and will be designed according to modern scientific principles of library planning”.

The building was completed in 1938 and has been one of the college’s show places ever since. It houses the art department as well as about 100,000 volumes, and it is now, in 1960, that when a new art building can be acquired or built, the entire structure will be used for library purposes.

East room on the top floor. Great space to study and relax.

View of the stacks, built in the center of the building.

Unused front door. Surprises many new students to Albion.

Other side of the door made visible when the wall was being repaired.

Dentils, wreath, and volutes, over stylized Doric column.

Night and day.

Exterior view of the Charles F. and Louise P. Stockwell Memorial Library, dedicated in 1938.

Interior view showing charge desk and reference room.

Stockwell Memorial Room, furnished in accordance with the will of Madelon Stockwell Turner. Later moved to the Seeley-Mudd building.

Source: Gildart, Robert. Albion College, 1835-1960, A History. Chicago: Donnelley Lakeside Press, 1961.

From the Albion College Archives

Stockwell-Mudd Libraries

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

All photographs are from the Albion College Archives Photograph Files, unless otherwise noted.


Networked Resources
“Academic Programs: Library Services.” Academic Catalog 2003-2004.
Betz, Emily. (1998, Sept. 25). “Betz finds relief from stress…in the library.” Pleiad. Retrieved 11 June 2003,
“Churchill and War Confronted in ‘Odd Topics.'” (2002, Oct.14). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
“Dow family foundations commit $50,000 to College Library.” (1998, May 21). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003
“Emeritus Professor James Cook shares archives tales.” (2002, Oct. 14). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
Library Home Page
“Library Secrets.”
Matter, Justin. (1996, Dec. 6). “Library receives $1 million endowment.” Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
“‘Odd Topics’ Luncheon Society Studies Churchill.” (2001, Oct. 15). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
“Odd Topics Promises ‘Explosive’ Presentation for January.” (2003, Jan. 1). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
“Pleiad History is November Odd Topic.” (2001, Nov. 6). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
Schulz, Laurie. (1997, Feb. 7). “Library adds new safety precautions and procedures. Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
Scozzari, Laura. (2000, Feb. 4). “Stockwell may lose library status.” Pleiad. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
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,
“Songwriter shares American women’s voices for Albion College Schleg Lecture.” (2001, Oct. 9). Albion College News. Retrieved 10 June 2003,
Friends of the Library
Library Virtual Tour
Stockwell Memorial Library Dedication
Wendell B. Will Room

Source: Albion College Archives, 2003 [Downloaded July 3, 2003]

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