Skip to main content

Margaret Olmsted papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 12
The Margaret Olmsted papers, 1896-1993, includes textbooks, gradebooks, personal books, bulletins, magazines, and pamphlets belonging to Margaret Olmsted and the Olmsted family. The materials pertain mostly to Olmsted’s years as a student and professor at Augustana College, as well as her life as a Rock Island, Illinois resident. Additional materials belonged to her father and siblings. The collection is arranged into the following series: Series I. Margaret Olmsted, 1901-1993 and Series II. Olmsted Family, 1896-1970.

Dates

  • 1896-1993

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Extent

0.8 Cubic Feet (/ 2 boxes)

Overview

Margaret Olmsted joined the Augustana faculty in 1921. She was among one of the earliest female professors at the school. In 1937, she was named Associate Professor of Latin and Mathematics. She was known for her love of teaching, and often stressed the importance of studying foreign languages. After 46 years of teaching, she retired in 1967. That same year, she was named Professor Emeritus of Classics. Her connection to Augustana continued when she was named to the Augustana Alumni Association Board of Directors in the 1970s. The Margaret Olmsted papers, 1896-1993, contains textbooks, gradebooks, personal books, bulletins, magazines, and pamphlets belonging to Margaret Olmsted and the Olmsted family.

Historical Note

Margaret Olmsted was born on 7 February 1894 in Orange City, Iowa. Her parents were Robert Ward Olmsted and Jennie Ernst Fahnestock Olmsted. She attended Rock Island High School, Rock Island, Illinois, and graduated in 1911. Margaret then attended Augustana College from 1911 until 1915 and was voted president of her class. She was also the valedictorian of her graduating class (Conrad Bergendoff, later president of Augustana College, was the salutatorian). She earned a Masters of Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1916, and took graduate classes at the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago. After finishing her studies, she taught English and History for three years at high schools in Viola, Illinois (1916-1917) and East Moline, Illinois (1917-1919).

Margaret Olmsted joined the Augustana faculty in 1921. She was among one of the earliest female professors at the school. In 1937, she was named Associate Professor of Latin and Mathematics. She was known for her love of teaching, and often stressed the importance of studying foreign languages. After 46 years of teaching, she retired in 1967. That same year, she was named Professor Emeritus of Classics. Her connection to Augustana continued when she was named to the Augustana Alumni Association Board of Directors in the 1970s.

She was a member of several professional associations, such as the Rock Island-Moline Branch of the American Association of University Women, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the Delta Kappa Gamma Society (an honorary society for women educators), the Mathematical Association of America, and Phi Beta Kappa. Olmsted was also an active member of the Rock Island League of Women Voters. Along with her father, Robert W. Olmsted, she was a devoted member of Broadway Presbyterian Church.

For most of her life, Margaret lived in Rock Island, Illinois, together with her father and sister Jeannette at 330 19th Street in her later years. She passed away 26 October 1994 in Rock Island at the age of 100.

Margaret had three younger siblings: Elizabeth (Mrs. Eugene Youngert), Robert E., and Jeannette. All four attended Augustana College under the encouragement of their father, and the three sisters completed their undergraduate degrees there. As adults, Elizabeth married Eugene Youngert and moved with him to Rhode Island. Robert E. Olmsted was the General Agent for Rock Island of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey. Jeannette Olmsted was employed by the Royal Neighbors of America, also in Rock Island.

Robert Ward Olmsted, Margaret’s father, was a successful lawyer in Iowa and Illinois. He was born 6 May 1868 on a farm in Edgington Township, Rock Island County. His parents were Robert Bruce Olmsted, who was descended from the original Puritan settlers of Hartford, Connecticut, and Mary Matilda Linn Olmsted. He attended Iowa State College from 1887 to 1890 and received his B.S. upon graduating. He married Jennie Ernst Fahnestock 25 August 1892. Jennie died in 1911, and Olmsted remarried on 3 August 1928 to Mary E. Sala, who died in 1931.

Custodial History

The following items have been separated to the Special Collections book collection:

Cohen, Abraham. An Elementary Treatise on Differential Equations. Boston: D.C. Heath and Co, 1906.

Davis, Ellery William. The Calculus. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1912. Fine, Henry Burchard, and Henry Dallas Thompson. Coordinate Geometry. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1911.

Sonnenschein, Edward A. T. Macci Plauti: Rudens. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1901.

White, John Williams. The First Greek Book. Boston: Ginn and Company, 1896.

Bradley, Henry. The Making of English. London: The MacMillan Company, 1907.

The Poetical Works and Letters of Robert Burns. Glasgow: John S. Marr. The Poetical Works of Lord Byron, Complete. London: John Childs and Son, 1867.

The Poetical Works of Milton, Young, Gray, Beattie, and Collins. Philadelphia: Grigg and Elliot, 1847.

Rapid-Fire English : French : German: With Pronunciation: For the use of soldiers and sailors and the men and women of the Army and Navy Medical Corps. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1917.

Who’s Who in Chicago and Illinois: 40th Anniversary Edition. Chicago: The A.N. Marquis Company, 1945. Includes entries for Margaret and her father, R.W. Olmsted, on page 674.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca Hopman, 2009. Revised by Atticus Garrison, October 2016.
Title
Margaret Olmsted papers, 1896-1993.
Status
completed
Author
Atticus Garrison
Date
October 2016
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

Contact:
639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States