Community Education at Eastern Michigan University

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Spring 2006,
Spring 2006
Original Images:

Author: Jack D. Minzey

Community education is an educational concept that became prominent in the early 1900's in several places throughout the United States, and indeed, throughout the world. It fostered programs which combined recreational activities with the public schools. Outstanding programs developed in Arthursdale, West Virginia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Mississippi (The Tennessee Valley Authority); Georgia; Kentucky; Nambe, New Mexico; and the Philippine Islands. Professionals associated with this movement included John Dewey, Elsie Clapp, Calos Johnson, Maurice Seay, Dorothea Enderis, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

One of these professionals was a man named Wilbur Bowen. Professor Bowen was a faculty member at Michigan State Normal College, and he wove this concept and the classes which he taught and into his writings. In 1924, Bingo Brown, the dean of men and another legend at Michigan State Normal College, persuaded his brother in law, Frank Manley, to come to Ypsilanti to get his college education. Frank wanted to be a physical education teacher, and his choice of profession put him in constant contact with Professor Bowen and his philosophies. When Frank graduated in 1927, he was given a job in the Flint School System as a physical education teacher where he continued to promote the community education ideas which he had learned from Professor Bowen.

One of the people intrigued by Frank's ideas was Charles Stewart Mott. Mr. Mott was an influential industrialist and a politician. Fortuitously, he was also the largest stockholder in General Motors and was thus able to add financial assistance to Frank's ideas. He originally gave Frank $6,000 to develop community education in six elementary schools. This eventually led to placing a full time community educator in each of the Flint schools and the development of the premier community education laboratory in the world. The concept grew from one of recreation to changes in the school curriculum, maximum use of school facilities by the community, programs for adults, coordination of community agencies and the development of community councils. Soon, over 16,000 people a year were coming to visit the Flint Program.

Frank realized that there was a need for professional training of his community school directors, and he turned to his alma mater to provide this training. In 1950, Michigan State Normal College hired Dr. Fred Totten for the express purpose of providing graduate training for the directors in Flint. Flint was designated as a residential center, and in the ensuing years, every community school director in Flint possessed a graduate degree from MSNC.

However, as community education began to expand to other communities across the country, Flint began to lose its trained directors. Frank then conceived the idea of a leadership-training program which would involve seven Michigan Universities with Eastern Michigan University being one of these. The plan was to identify 50 people who demonstrated great leadership skills and bring them to Flint where they could spend a year earning advanced degrees and also becoming community education experts. The idea was that then, as these young people pursued successful careers in education, they would practice their professions based on the principles of community education. To make this program attractive, the stipend for the participants was equal to the salary of a school superintendent. This program, dubbed the Mott Intern Program, gained national renown and employers lined up to hire its graduates

Frank's next idea was to franchise community education through universities across the country. These community education centers were to develop programs regarding dissemination, implementation, and training related to community education, and they were to have seed monies for the purpose of financially motivating school districts, universities and state departments of education to get involved in community education. There were eight original centers of which Eastern was one. This number was later increased to sixteen and included institutions such as the University of Oregon, Arizona State, University of New Mexico, Texas A and M, University of Connecticut, University of Virginia, Florida Atlantic, and the University of Alabama. This number was then expanded into cooperative centers with each original center given the responsibility to develop satellite centers. Eastern's territory for development was southeastern Michigan, northern Ohio, Pennsylvania and western New York, and the cooperating centers which Eastern developed were Kent State, Syracuse, Indiana University (Pa.), Shippensburg, and the Departments of Education in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

One of the driving forces in perpetuating Eastern's role in community education was President Harold Sponberg. He used his influence to convince the Mott Foundation to take the community education center at Oakland University and give it to Eastern. He strongly believed in the community education philosophy and willingly gave his time to community education activities, including giving speeches at several community education conferences. He used university resources to manage Mott funds for their internship and other training programs. He also financially supported the National Community Education Association, especially during the year when the federal tax laws caused the Mott Foundation to withdraw their financial support. It is true that President Sponberg visualized a Mott-Manley College of Education building, but he was truly a community educator at heart.

Legendary Accomplishments

Eastern's role in community education then became legend, including the following accomplishments.

• Literally hundreds of school districts in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada were impacted by the Eastern center through in-service and training.
• Almost every school district in southeastern Michigan received service from Eastern and most received financial assistance.
• Eastern had the most sophisticated graduate training program in the country. In 1975, a survey by the Mott Foundation discovered that 75% of the Community School Directors in the U.S. had received their training from Eastern.
• Eastern was instrumental in getting a basic community education class as part of the Michigan Administrator's Certification.
• In 1972, Eastern housed the National Community Education Association, and Eastern became the first institution to take out an institutional membership.
• John Porter, the former president of Eastern, has served on the Mott Foundation Board for the past ten years.
• Eastern awarded an honorary doctoral degree to Harding Mott and to Bill White, the current president of the Mott Foundation.
• Eastern has employed more community education trained personnel than any other institution in the United States. That list includes Jack Minzey, Clyde LeTarte, Bill Kromer, Pete Clancy, Jim Satterfield, Bill Hetrick, Jackie Tracy, Art McCafferty, George Kliminski, Tom Anderson, Donna Schmitt, Orv Kabat, and Duane Brown. All individuals in this group have been Mott Interns.

Career Highlights

Some of the highlights of these Eastern education trained personnel, other than being on Eastern's staff, are:

• Jack Minzey-Director of the Center for Community Education at Eastern, Board Member, President, and Treasurer of the National Community Education Association, board member of the Michigan Community School Association and one of original eight people involved in founding that organization, member of the Editorial Board of the Community Education Journal, recipient of two distinguished service awards from each of the national and state community education associations, author of over 100 published articles on community education, presenter of over 500 keynote speeches throughout the United States and six foreign countries, contributor to 11 community education books, and co-author of three community education text books, elected to the National Community Education Hall of Fame.
• Clyde LeTarte-Associate Director for the Community Education Center at Eastern, one of the founders of the National Community Education Association, executive secretary of the National Community Education Association, recipient of the distinguished service award from the National Community Education Association and co-author of the three main texts in community education.
• Donna Schmitt-Associate Director and Director of the Community Education Center at Eastern, authored numerous community education articles, editor of a book on community education, president of the Washtenaw County Community Education Association.
• Jackie Tracy-Board of Directors of the Michigan Community Education Association, first woman President of the Michigan Community Education Association, Director of Community Education for the Chelsea Schools.
• Bill Hetrick-Associate Director of the Center for Community Education at Eastern, distinguished service awards from the Florida and Mississippi community education associations, distinguished service award from the national association, Director of the Center for Community Education at the University of West Florida, Director of Community Education at Mississippi Southern University.
• Bill Kromer-President of the Michigan Community Education Association, Director of the National Center for Community Education, Director of Community Education at the Hazel Park Community Schools.
• Pete Clancy-Assistant Superintendent for Community Education in Flint and then became General Superintendent, Director of the Community Education Institute at Eastern.
• George Kliminski-Center Director for Community Education at Kent State, Director of Community Education at the University of Wisconsin, acting executive secretary of the National Community Education Association, recipient of the distinguished service award from the national organization, elected to the National Community Education Hall of Fame.
• Duane Brown-Director of the National Center for Community Education, recipient of the distinguished service award from the national organization, elected to the National Community Education Hall of Fame.
• Jim Satterfield-developed a community education training program at the University of Kansas.
• Orv Kabat-Director of Community Education for Rudyard, Michigan, President of the Michigan Community Education Association.
• Art McCafferty — Director of Community Education at Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Tom Anderson-developed a community education training program at Ferris State University

All of these people have gone on to other successes, which have included deanships, college vice-presidents, college presidents, college professors, and the Michigan House of Representatives.

Community education remained relatively strong at Eastern until about 1992. After that date, the programs and services began to decline. Materials were discarded, the center ceased to operate and the training program was greatly diluted. It did appear that the community education era at Eastern was reaching its end.

However, in the spring of 2005, a significant thing happened at Eastern that enhances the reputation of Eastern Michigan University related to Community Education and portends possibilities for the future. John Fallon was appointed President of Eastern Michigan University. John is a former Mott Intern and was actually in that program twice. He was later the community school director at Galesburg, Illinois and was a Community Education professional at Ball State University, which was one of the original sixteen community education centers. He was President of the National Community Education Association in 1979.

His wife, Sidney, was also a Mott Intern on two occasions and actually was in the Eastern Michigan University cohort group. She holds an Eastern Michigan University Master's Degree in Community Education. She also served as President of the National Community Education Association in 1980. In addition, she has a wealth of experience in community education. She was Program Associate for Community Education in the Flint Laboratory which was involved in the training of community educators. She also held positions as the Director of Training at the Midwest Community Education Development Center at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, Director of Research and Training at the Community Education Center at Ball State, and Interim Executive Director of the National Community Education Association.

It is not likely that there is another institution in the United States that could match the record of the number of outstanding employees at Eastern Michigan University with a background in Community Education, and more particularly, have a history of training as Mott Interns.

News from the Fletcher-White Archives

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Winter 2005,
Winter 2005
Original Images:

Author: Gerry Pety

The tomato plants are all gone, the summer sun has gone into hibernation and the onset of a cold winter is afoot in Ypsilanti. While this wonderful weather lasted we had visitors from Oregon, California, Colorado, New Mexico and even Toledo, Ohio! What a fantastic group of visitors we had this summer and fall! One thing you have to understand is that even though they come from all parts of these great United States and Canada they have their family roots planted deep in the Ypsilanti soil. And the most compelling reason for most of our visitors is genealogy and the exploration into that soil. Somewhere and sometime in their life they came across a reference to this quizzical little town called Ypsilanti. What a strange name this place was given. This invariably results in a general search into a place called Ypsilanti City where their family came from. Soon then the question arises, what did they do there, where did they live, and why were they there to begin with? Hopefully most found answers they sought, as we saw and spoke with a lot of happy people who came to find these answers here in the archives. Maybe, you have lived all of your life right here in Ypsi but just never understood why grandma Minnie and grandpa Benjamin came here to live in 1902. This is your chance to break in those new shoes of yours and scamper down to the archives and find out.

Wow! We have been inundated by the students of Eastern Michigan University or Michigan State Normal to some of you older folks. They are budding historians, in most cases, here to learn how to find tidbits of the history of the area and to practice the methodology of historical writing and research. I try to be extra nice to these young people as someday they will be writing about all of us in this time and place. When the students are in the archives, I believe, I learn as much as they do about our Ypsilanti history and the heritage we share. Welcome to you all!

Along with his graduate students from Eastern, Dr. Ligibel has donated a lot of articles and the like from about 40 years ago for our files on a variety of subjects. Likewise, Mrs. Smeaton-Burgess has contributed a book on Dixboro, Michigan and a history notebook about Michigan State Normal College. We did not have either of these items in the archives until now. Thank You!

Thank you to Carol Mull who contributed a pre-press copy of her forthcoming book about the Underground Railroad in Washtenaw County. Over the summer Carol has done extensive research here at the archives and elsewhere in the county. The book is very well documented, researched and many familiar Ypsilanti names are to be found within its pages. It is available here for research purposes and for copying and is a great historical read for those interested in this subject. Come in and take a long look at this book.

Finally, if you have any interesting stories about ghosts, spirits or the paranormal involving Ypsilanti please send us your information for our new file here at the archives. People are always interested in these articles and, who knows, maybe the ghost of aunt Bertha may be the talk of Ypsi again!

Antique Mini-Lamps on Display at Museum

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Winter 2005,
Winter 2005
Original Images:

Author: Joy Anne Shulke

Antique mini-lamps will be on display at the Museum through the Christmas holidays. Irene Jameson has loaned approximately 60 lamps to be displayed from her original collection of about 300 lamps. Mrs. Jameson and her deceased husband, Paul, accumulated the lamps over 40 years. He was a Michigan Bell repair-man who was originally interested in glass items, especially paper weights. These interests lead to mini-lamps. After his retirement, he became an expert in the repair of spinning wheels. The assemblage is unique in Michigan because there aren't many mini-lamp collectors in this state. Usually, the Jameson's had to travel to Ohio, Pennsylvania or New York to find the lamps.

Glass was not manufactured on a large scale in Michigan. That is because manufacturers needed natural gas as a heat source to make glass. Each glass company specialized in their own glass pattern and colors. The most desirable are made of colored milk glass. Most lamps found today are about 75 years old, although there are some that are over 100 years old. They come in different colors, heights of chimneys, different shaped burners and bases. Finding a complete lamp is difficult. Approximately 20% did not have their bases and 40% are missing their shades. And they may have the brass collar missing.

Mrs. Jameson shared a little of her knowledge about the lamps. Mini-lamps were used somewhat like we use night lights today. They also were called “sparking” lamps since, when the lamp went out, the gentleman was expected to go home. In the 1930s and ‘40s they were sold as “perfume lamps” because scented oil could be in the base so that, as the lamp burned, the room took on a lovely aroma. As we talked, she pointed to one of the museum's mini-lamps on a shelf in the kitchen. She said it probably was sold in a dime store and is missing its shade.

The Jameson's collected “everything”. She became interested in the mini-lamps because they were pretty. She uses them as decoration in her home, at dinner parties, and when the electricity goes out. She mentioned an orange one, which alone to her is ugly. But in the fall it fits in perfectly with the decorations on her mantle.

The Jameson's collected other items beside the lamps. She has begun down-sizing the various collections. She has passed on her favorite mini-lamps to her children and grandchildren. The museum is proud and lucky that she is willing to share them with us and the public. Please avail yourself of this opportunity to enjoy these lovely little lamps from the past.

Lucy Osband -- the Forgotten Lady

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Winter 2005,
Winter 2005
Original Images:

Author: Erik J. Pedersen

By Dr. Erik J. Pedersen

While doing research for this article I was impressed and amazed with how much influence certain individuals can have on a community. Just as amazing is how quickly we can forget about these individuals and their contributions with the passing of time. William and Lucy Osband were two people who had a significant impact on the Ypsilanti community during the late 1800's. One written account, found in the Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives, referred to the Osbands as”…two citizens who influenced the life of this part of the country for half a century.”

“Her primary motivation came from the conviction that physical exercise was important to the health and welfare of the students she cared so much about.”

William and Lucy Osband were involved in many community activities. William, in particular, was a member of several civic organizations and was often elected to leadership positions in those groups. Lucy was an early member of the Ladies Literary Club and twice served as the organization's president. However, the primary reason this couple had such an influence on the Ypsilanti community was the fact that William was the editor and proprietor of The Ypsilantian, the local paper. Archival resources referred to The Ypsilantian as a paper of “high literary quality and that the articles reflected a wide range of interests” (Ypsilanti Archives). Another source indicated that it was “outspoken and fearless.” The Ypsilantian was considered as lively reading, and people of the community regarded it as their own.

Lucy Osband wrote most of the editorials. She also wrote a column called “Ypsi Dixits.” Lucy had a keen sense of humor and the “Ypsi Dixits” gave her an opportunity to express her insight and knowledge on a variety of topics. (Ypsilanti Archives) To reflect on all of the accomplishments and contributions this couple gave to the City of Ypsilanti would require more space than could be provided in this article. Since my initial interest in doing this research was centered on Lucy Osband, this article will focus on her career as a professor at the Michigan State Normal School and the influence she had in starting the Physical Education Department.


Wilber Bowen, Lloyd Olds, Fanny Cheever Burton, Ruth Boughner, and Augusta Harris are names from the past that are frequently mentioned when referring to the history of the Physical Education Department at Eastern Michigan University. All of these persons were important and all deserve recognition. However, one name that frequently appears in archival records has received virtually no recognition. This person arrived on the Michigan State Normal College Campus in the 1880's and promoted “Physical Culture” before anyone else. Without her influence, Wilber Bowen would very likely have remained in the Normal College Math Department, the Physical Education facility completed in 1894 would never have been built, and the Physical Culture Department established in 1894 would never have been realized.

Why haven't the contributions of such an influential and dynamic individual been recognized? Why has the name of Lucy Aldrich Osband all but remained anonymous whenever the history of Physical Education at the Michigan State Normal School been discussed? The purpose of this article is to recognize this “Forgotten Lady” and highlight her role in the establishment of one of the nation's first Physical Education preparation programs.

Lucy Osband.

Lucy Aldrich was born in a log farmhouse in Arcadia, New York. She came from a strong Quaker and Puritan family background. Very early in her childhood. Throughout her life she was weak and frail. Several times during her teaching career, she needed to take long leaves of absence to recover from the stress related to her teaching responsibilities. Because of ill-health, Lucy was not always able to attend school. Consequently, her parents, who were both teachers, supervised most of her education at home. They insisted on good study habits and expected Lucy to recite every lesson perfectly. Lucy later attributed her conviction for thorough and accurate work to her parents.

Despite poor health and a home education, Lucy Aldrich became an outstanding teacher and scholar. During her teaching career, she taught courses in calculus, analytical geometry, literature, modern language, botany, physiology, and “Swedish Drill.” Her college studies and professional background were primarily in the natural sciences. Botany was her major area of interest. She eventually became head of the Natural Science Department at Michigan State Normal College. It is unusual and remarkable that someone with such serious health problems and extensive academic background would support and promote physical activity.

At the age of sixteen, Lucy Aldrich entered the Newark Union School. She was the only girl in a class of thirteen. Because Lucy was a girl, there was no guarantee that employment would be available upon graduation. However, the quality of her academic efforts was recognized and at the age of nineteen she was able to obtain a teaching position at Phelps High School in New York. Within a year she was appointed Preceptress of Walworth Academy. Miss Aldrich remained in this position for two years. Soon the efforts of teaching once again affected her health. She needed a better climate to ease her lung problems. In a letter to Fredrich B. McKay, a member of the Eastern Michigan College Faculty, Lucy Osband's daughter indicated that her mother suffered from “incipient T.B.” at that time in her life. (M. Osband 1944).

Lucy Aldrich became principal of the Sylavan Villa Seminary, a young ladies school in Standardsville, Virginia. Judging from several historical accounts, it was during this period of her life that Lucy Aldrich was introduced to outdoor activities and the benefits of physical exercise. One account indicated that”…Here she learned the lessons taught by the foothills of the Blue Ridge, and often joined parties of excursionists to the natural places of the state. Altogether it was an out-of-door life for the mind as well as the body.” (Aurora, 1894, p26).

After two years in Virginia, Lucy Aldrich returned to New York and entered Genesee College in Lima, New York. Genesee was only the second college in the country which did not discriminate against women in its admission requirements. Lucy did so well in her studies that she earned the distinction of being class valedictorian. In the same graduating class was William M. Osband whom Lucy married two months after graduation.

The Move to Michigan

After graduation and their marriage, William and Lucy Osband taught at the Gouverneuer Wesleyan Seminary in New York. In 1864 and 1865, they both accepted positions at Albert University in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. They arrived in Michigan when William became the principal of Northville Union School. After three years, they purchased a home in Ypsilanti. The birth of their only child, Marna and homemaking duties kept Lucy temporarily out of the classroom. However, when William accepted a position at Oliver College, Lucy was coerced into teaching Greek. Within one year, Albion College offered both William and Lucy department head positions. He took over the Natural Science Department and she became head of the Modern Language Department. Lucy also served as the university Preceptress. After six years at Albion, William and Lucy returned to their home in Ypsilanti.

Women's Physiology Class in the Old Main Building — 1880s.

Lucy Osband's interest in the natural sciences increased when she taught in Virginia. Her travels in the south and east familiarized her with the plants from those regions. Marine Life also fascinated her. With these interests and background, she became an instructor in the Natural Science Department at Michigan State Normal College in 1883. When a chairmanship in that department was established in 1884, she was hired to fill it. The accomplishments of Lucy Osband in the Natural Sciences are too numerous to describe in this article. Attention will focus instead on an area for which she also accomplished a great deal and received very little recognition — Physical Education.

Lucy's Interest in Physical Culture

Immediately upon arriving at the Normal School, Lucy Osband started teaching classes in “Swedish Work.” These classes were taught in addition to her responsibilities in the Natural Science Department. She received no extra pay for teaching “Swedish Work,” only the satisfaction of knowing that exercise was contributing to the health and welfare of the students. Lucy would take her physiology classes into the University Chapel, stand students in the aisles, and lead them in “Swedish Routine Movements” with dumbbells and Indian Clubs. (M. Osband 1944). Eventually she was give a basement room in the Old Main building, where her program included military marching, wands, pulley weights, and “Swedish Apparatus.” The former campus gymnasium had burned down in 1873 so there wasn't an appropriate place to hold Physical Culture classes. Lucy Osband would eventually change that.

The two photographs shown were probably taken from the new Physiology and Hygiene Course developed by Lucy Osband in 1886–1887. The new course included “practical work” in the application of the physiological laws of gymnastics. These sessions were held on a weekly basis in the basement of the Old Main Building.

1894 — Gymnasium.

Lucy Osband persuaded many others to join her physical culture classes. Normal School instructors from other disciplines were “fair game.” Two of her recruits, Wilber Bowen and Carolyn Crawford, made significant contributions to the field of Physical Education. Wilber Bowen was an instructor in the Normal College Math Department. Lucy convinced him that physical education was a growing discipline and that he should consider pursuing a career in that area. He agreed! While teaching math, he studied physiology at the University of Michigan. He also began teaching physical culture classes at the Normal School in 1888. Bowen eventually became the first Physical Culture Department Chairman. Bowen wrote eleven books and published many research articles. He was recognized as a leader in the field for over forty years and is referred to as the “Father of Physical Education in the State of Michigan.”

Lucy Osband's daughter Marna, recalls”…at the Normal School, besides building up the Natural Science Department, her mother established out of her physiology classes, the Department of Physical Education.” (M. Osband 1944). Lloyd Olds, in an article titled “A Brief History of the Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletic Department” noted that Lucy Osband “arranged for additional classes on the theory and practice of Physical Culture.” (Olds N-D). This course was first offered at the Normal School in 1888 and was one of the first teacher training courses in Physical Culture at any college or university in the country.

The New Gymnasium

One achievement for which Lucy Osband received some recognition was the construction of a new physical education facility which was completed in 1894. “How a Wily Woman Got a Gym for E.M.U.” is how Ralph Chapman described Lucy Osband's approach for obtaining funds to build a new physical education facility. (Chapman 1977). Lucy's approach provides an interesting and insightful story.

The Normal College had been without a “Physical Culture” facility since the first gymnasium was destroyed by fire in 1873. Due to the lack of a Physical Education facility, Wilber Bowen left the Normal College in 1891 to teach at the University of Nebraska. Lucy Osband convinced Professor Sill, Normal School Principal, that a new gymnasium was necessary. However, convincing the State Board of Education was another matter. The State Board, in the early 1890's, did not think favorably about “Physical Culture.” The timing and approach for requesting funds had to be just right!

The opportunity for a formal appeal presented itself during a visit to the Normal College by the State Board of Education. Professor Sill appointed two professors to speak on behalf of the building. “Mrs. Osband knew enough about legislators to know that speeches would have no effect. So she prepared a dozen exceptionally skilled girls to put on a sample of what the actual class work was.” (M. Osband 1994). However, Professor Sill refused to allow the girls to perform. He did not like anything unusual and felt too much confusion would result in clearing the stage. Another Normal School professor trained some boys to clear the stage in just two minutes. Principal Sill still refused. “Then for one of the few times in her life, Mrs. Osband resorted to a ‘woman's weapon,’ she cried. Sill relented.” (M. Osband 1944).

As was expected, the speeches proved to be ineffective. Members of the state legislature told how they got exercise by cutting wood. “The affair fell flat until a dozen pretty girls, graded as to height, came on stage. At their superb military marching, the legislators pricked up their ears and showed interest. The Indian club drill had them stirred and the dumbbell drill made them enthusiastic. “Later Principal Sill and the State Board president came to Mrs. Osband and “told her that her girls had almost surely won the building.” (M. Osband 1944). They were right-$20,000 was appropriated by the state legislature, and the citizens of Ypsilanti donated a building site on West Cross Street. The new gymnasium was dedicated on May 18, 1894. It served the university for 71 years until the Joseph E. Warner Gymnasium was completed in 1965.

Once funds for the building had been obtained, plans for the building needed to be developed. Lucy Osband contacted Dr. Dudley Sargent at Harvard University and Dr. Luther Gulick at Springfield College. They provided many ideas for the building. Gulick even sent detailed plans of the building he designed for Springfield College. Lucy Osband indicated that many of Gulick's suggestions”…were used in the planning of our building.” (M. Osband 1944).

It was still to be decided who would head the new Department of Physical Culture. Lucy Osband recommended to Professor Sill that Wilber Bowen be appointed to lead the new department. She also recommended that Carolyn Crawford, who studied under Luther Gulick, be his assistant and direct the Women's Program. Bowen was recruited back from Nebraska. However, Fanny Cheever Burton was hired to head the Women's Program.


From every account and description Lucy Osband was an outstanding teacher. Consequently, it would be appropriate in closing to share with you a portion of Lucy Osband's philosophy on preparing teachers. This passage is taken from a presentation she made at a Michigan State Teachers Conference on December 27, 1877. The title of her address was “The Relation of our Teachers to the Moral and Religious Culture of the Future.” The essence of this message is just as appropriate today as it was over 100 years ago.

1894 — Inside Gymnasium.

“History is a record of struggle, but the moral sense of mankind discriminates between those who strive for their own salvation and those who labor for the welfare of others. From the outset then, we shall consider the teachers words not so much with reference to the present as to the future; not as an end, but as a means to the end. The need of the times is not for qualified instructors only; we want men and women of honest purpose, of strong moral fiber, and unyielding principles, of cultured brain and ardent soul.”

Lucy Osband was Chairman of the Physical Science Department from 1884 until her retirement in 1895. This was her primary responsibility and she made many significant contributions to that department and the field of botany. However, she also taught classes in “Swedish Work,” trained and recruited teachers in “Physical Culture,” developed professional courses, obtained funds for a new gymnasium, and helped recruit faculty to head a new department. She did it all without extra pay, released time or recognition. Her primary motivation came from the conviction that physical exercise was important to the health and welfare of the students she cared so much about. She was truly an amazing woman!

Despite having physical problems most of her life, Lucy Osband lived to be 76 years old. She was a strong advocate of physical exercise and the benefits she obtained from being physically active probably added years and quality to her life. Selected passages from her memorial reflect her struggles with poor health and the impressions she made in spite of those problems:

• “Hampered by frail health, she was a wonderful example of the triumph of intellect and spirit over physical conditions.”

• “The range of her knowledge was marvelous, and her memory was equally so. She never seemed to anyone to be old, she was so alive to all progress in every line of endeavor and her spirit was so young.”

One of the purest, loveliest of souls refined by years of worry and pain and in life a source of inspiration and helpful living to thousands of men and women in all parts of the world.” (The Ypsilantian, p.9)

The Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance at Eastern Michigan University celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 1994. Much of what was celebrated would never have been realized without the efforts of a “Forgotten Lady,”-a lady whose efforts no longer remain anonymous.


Chapman, R., How A Willy Women Got A Gym for EMU, Ypsilanti, Michigan, Information Services, 1977

IsBell, E.R., A History of Eastern Michigan University 1849–1965. Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University Press, 1971.

Johnson, J., A History of the Professional Training Curriculum in Physical Education for Men at Michigan State Normal College, Ypsilanti, Michigan, Masters Thesis, Eastern Michigan University (University Archives) 1952.

Kent, C., Wilber Who? MAHPERD Journal, Fall 1982.

Michigan State Normal College Yearbook (1895–96), Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Courier Printing House, 1896.

Olds, L., A Brief History of the Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics Department, Unpublished paper, m.d. Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University (University Archives)

Osband, M., The Beginning of Physical Training in the Michigan State Normal College, Letter to Fredrich McKay, September 14, 1944. Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University (University Archives)

Norton, A., Luch A. Osband, M.A., Ypsilanti, Michigan, AURORA 1894, pp. 25–29.

Putnam, D., History of the Normal College 1849–1890, Ypsilanti, Michigan, The Scharf Tag, and Box Co., 1899.

The Normal News, Mrs. Lucy A. Osband, Biographical Dates, (V.12: No. 17, May 12, 1893, Ypsilanti, Michigan, pp. 266–267) Eastern Michigan University (University Archives)

Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives, Marna Osband File, Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Report from the Museum Advisory Board

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

Author: Virginia Davis-Brown

Now that the leaves are starting to change and even a few are falling, we at the museum are looking forward to the next few months and planning for an exciting fall and winter season.
We hope that you have enjoyed the “Lost Ypsilanti Speaks!” exhibit. Many have told us how much they enjoyed the exhibit as it brings back many memories of the past or they speak of what is there now and really didn't have any idea of the previous business.
September 29 thru October 16 will be our third annual “Quilt Exhibit.” During the last two years we have exhibited over 100 quilts. Some were made in the 1800's and some are the work of people today. If you thought only women made quilts you would be wrong. Last year we had several that were made by a man and they were very unique. If you missed the previous ones why not start thinking about getting together with a friend or two, have lunch somewhere downtown, then come in and see that quilts are works of art and are not just for keeping someone warm. Make an afternoon of it. You are entitled to a day out once in a while.
The “Underground Railroad Exhibit” is still up and will remain for awhile. We also still have the quilt that the children, from the Ann Arbor Child Development Center, made as a class project telling of the flight from slavery.
August 21, 2005, was an exciting day as we gathered to pay homage to a wonderful man who made significant contributions to the YHS Museum and to efforts to keep the history of Ypsilanti alive. One room that Dr. William P. Edmunds was especially fond of was dedicated to his memory. Our Ypsilanti Room will be known as the “Dr. William P. Edmunds Ypsilanti Room.”

We are always in need of volunteers, docents and people who would like to help us keep the museum maintained the way it has been. It takes a lot of tender loving care to see that things are done. If you think you might like to help please give me a call at 484–0080 and we can talk. Remember that, with the holidays coming up, we still have our GIFT SHOP, and we have several interesting books about the city.
Our regular hours are Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Most of our special exhibits also include Fridays. If you need more information please call 482–4990. Why not plan on coming in to see us and say Hi.

Wander Washtenaw

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

The Ypsilanti Historical Museum is back on the Wander Washtenaw Tour scheduled for Saturday, September 24.

The Washtenaw County Museum Consortium invites those interested in history to Wander Washtenaw. Most of the sites will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm that day. Look for maps and address lists at your favorite local museum. This event is free with donations encouraged at sites to recover expenses. Historical Museums on the tour include:

Ann Arbor:

• Kempf House
• Cobblestone Farm
• Detroit Observatory
• Museum on Main Street
• Parker Mill


• Dexter Area Museum
• Webster Church Fall Festival


• Schneider Blacksmith Shop


• Hack House


• Rentschler Farm
• Railroad Depot


• Michigan Fire Museum
• Ypsilanti Historical Museum

Antique Roadshow Visits Our Historical Museum

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2005,
Fall 2005
Original Images:

Author: John Pappas

The Ypsilanti Historical Museum will hold its own Antique Road Show and Auction on Sunday, September 18, 2005, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Local auctioneer Steve Gross will provide our featured program for the opening Fall quarterly meeting.

Bring your favorite antique and get an appraisal and information about your valued treasure. Also, see and learn what other interesting pieces are brought to the show by other members and guests. There is no charge, but donations will be appreciated. Please do not bring artwork, currency or jewelry.

Also there will be a brief live auction to set the stage for this fun-filled event. Auctioneer Steve will entertain us with some old fashioned bidding of a few select items. Included are a ride on the famous B-17 Bomber at the Yankee Air Museum; a historic map of Ypsilanti, circa 1890; four VIP tickets for lunch and a guided tour of the Camille Claudel and Rodin, “Faithful Encounter” exhibit at the DIA; and a framed watercolor print by American artist, Emil Weddige.

A short meeting will precede the program to update everyone on upcoming activities and events of the museum. Refreshments will be served. Mark this date on your calendar, September 18, 2005, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. See you there!

Visit the Automotive Museum

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2005,
Summer 2005
Original Images:

Ypsilanti's Automotive Heritage Museum and Miller Motors Hudson is open seven day a week. Museum hours are as follows:


1:30–5:30 pm


9:30 am to 5:00 pm


noon to 5:00 pm
Learn about the unusual role Ypsilanti and its pioneers played in the history of the American automobile.

• See over thirty vehicles of a bygone era which are connected to Ypsilanti's history.
• Study first hand the signs and records of early area auto dealers.
• Solve the mystery of the world's most notorious highway map.
• Gain a new perspective on the matchless significance the evolution and development of the automobile has had on our society in the past 100 years.

The museum is located in historic Depot Town at 100 East Cross Street.

Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2005,
Summer 2005
Original Images:

Author: Marcia McCrary, President GSWC

Have you ever wondered where your great grandparents lived and what they did? Genealogists seek to answer those questions and many more. One of the fun parts of this hobby is discovering ten more questions when you find the answer to one. The members of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County range from brand new searchers to those who have been working at it for 10, 20 or 30 years or more. The Society holds meetings throughout the school year to help with this process. Usually a meeting consists of a speech, followed by an “After Class” which is often a little more informal and covering a smaller scope than the main speech.

The group meets generally on the 4th Sunday of the Month, September thru May, at the Education Center Auditorium, St. Joseph Hospital, starting at 1:30. Some of the upcoming meetings will cover: September 25, 2005-Dr. James Freed will speak on the use of DNA in genealogy; October 23, 2005-Amy Crow Johnson will discuss “Between the County and Federal Levels: Using State Government Records” and “Butcher, Baker…Using Occupational Records”; on December 4, 2005 Karen Krugman will talk about “Dying to Get in There — Cemetery Records and Why You Need Them.” Additional topics to be covered in 2006: Jan. 22 — “Introduction to Scottish Genealogy” with Bob Ferrett; Feb. 26 — Black History in Essex County, Ontario (and ties to Ypsilanti) by Bryan and Shannon Prince, March 26 — “Internet Strategies” with Sharon Brevoort, and April 23 — a joint meeting with the Washtenaw County Historical Society on the history of the two groups. The May 21 program is yet to be determined.

The Society also maintains a joint library with the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS). This research spot used to be in Ann Arbor, and is still called the “Ann Arbor Stake,” but it is now located at 525 Woodland Drive, in Saline (between Maple and Ann Arbor-Saline Road). It is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday 10–2, Tuesday and Wednesday 6–9. The phone number is 734–944–4789. In the library are found old Washtenaw County vital records such as birth, marriage and death, plus cemetery readings and reference books. Other areas covered include other counties in Michigan, Michigan's surrounding states plus New England, as well as much more. Some records are available on CD-ROMs, and internet access is also provided. A microfilm-lending program allows the library to order microfilms for you for a modest fee from Salt Lake City which must be used in the library (actually ALL the materials must be used in-house, it is not a lending library). Some of the Canadian films and others which are frequently consulted have been placed on indefinite loan. Volunteers are ready to get you started and answer questions.

There are, of course, other places to go for genealogical answers: the Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives is an excellent source for local information; the Bentley Library on the University of Michigan Campus; the State Library of Michigan in Lansing and the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library, to mention only a few.

Report from the Museum Advisory Board

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Spring 2005,
Spring 2005
Original Images:

Author: Virginia Davis-Brown

Are you ready for spring? I am. It seems that it has been a strange winter, 10 inches of snow and temps hovering around zero then 3 days later all the snow is gone. Maybe it will settle down and spring will be coming along very soon.

The museum was closed during the month of January for our annual cleaning and for some remodeling that was difficult to do when we were open. We now have a wonderful storage closet for our children's toys. Before it was a bathroom and up to last summer it still had a wash basin and a toilet. The paint was peeling and it only had metal shelving. The remodeling has been completed with beautiful new paint and several sets of adjustable shelves, which will give us more efficient storage for our precious toys.

Kathryn Howard and her committee have been very busy planning and putting together the next annual Art Show. The show will start on March 31 and run through April 17. These art pieces have been done by local artists. If you remember last year they were wonderful and the talent is outstanding. Please make plans to visit the museum and support our local talent. There will be oils, acrylics and watercolors, still life, portraits and other interesting processes. Last year there were several artists who had their pictures for sale. Maybe you could find just the picture you have been looking for.

Plans have started for the next Quilt Show-dates will be from September 29 through October 16. I know it sounds like a long way away but we need your help to make it a success. We are looking for quilts that we will be able to display for these three weeks and be able to share your talent or the talent of someone else. These quilts can be old or new, large or small. Last year we had over 100 quilts and some were made by men. If you can help us out please contact me at 484–0080.

We are in need of docents (guides) for our regular hours and also docents for special occasions, such as the art and quilt show. Regular hours involve a commitment of 2 hours a month and we will train you.

We hope that we will be seeing you soon at some of our shows and if you have ideas or comments please let us know. This is your museum and we want you to be involved. Think spring and my phone number is 484–0080 if you have quilts or want to volunteer.

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