Neighborhood House

  Eras

  1916 - 1929early Neighborhood House

 ____________

  1929 - 19491946 Neighborhood House dance

 ____________

  1949 - 1966Madison Neighborhood Centers

 ____________

  1966 - 19901990 band

 ____________

  1991 - 2015Dan Foley

 ____________

      2016 - ?Neighborhood House

 ____________

Home

 ____________

about

 

Comments about this chapter; stories to add?  E-mail Randy Stoecker at rstoecker@wisc.edu

Establishing Neighborhood House: 1916-1929

New Settlement House Opened
Wisconsin State Journal, September 25, 1916 ,
Courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal

Immigrant Beginnings

Neighborhood House had its origins in the combination of massive immigration that combined with the rapidly growing settlement movement in the early 20th century.  But Neighborhood House would also begin in its own unique home-grown way.

Beginning in the late 1800s, the United States experienced the "new immigration" that would change the face of the nation..  The new immigration included two million Italians between 1880 and 1910--a number that would double by 1920.1  In Madison, the Italian population increased 158 percent, to 1100 people. And they overwhelmingly moved into a single neighborhood known as Greenbush or, in the local vernacular, simply "The Bush."2

In those days, before the profession of social work was institutionalized, social workers went door to door to practice their craft.  And new immigrants provided much of the reason for these services.  A 1916 undergraduate thesis by University of Wisconsin  student Henry Barnbrock Jr., 72 single-spaced typed pages long, documented the social problems attendant with the sudden increase of Italian immigrants in one of the most run-down areas of the city--a swamp polluted by rotting refuse with inadequate infrastructure, and dilapidated housing.Barnbrock's thesis may have jumpstarted the effort to establish Neighborhood House, as it specifically recommended such an organization.4 The situation caught the attention of Associated Charities5 in Madison. Mrs. Helen Dexter was the Associated Charities Visiting Housekeeper--an early version of social worker who would visit homes for the purpose of helping the woman of the house learn better ways of home-making and coping.  She, along with Miss Mary Saxton, the Attic Angels'6 Visiting Nurse, led the charge to create what we now know as Neighborhood House.7

On June 13, 1916, Associated Charities approved a request by Mrs. Dexter to open "a Social Center or Community House in the Italian colony" with Attic Angels paying one-third of the rent and Mrs. Dexter the rest. The original purpose was for the house to be a place where the Italian women could come to learn American customs and English language.8

On Sunday, September 24, 1916, Miss Saxton and Mrs. Dexter, along with  the wealthy and influential Thomas E. Brttingham and Dr. Thomas Hunt, opened and dedicated "Community House" at 807 Mound Street, barely three blocks from where Neighborhood House stands today.  The building they chose was reputed to have been the home of former Governor James O. Davidson, who had also been lieutenant governor to the famous Bob LaFollette.  Many others were also involved,and it was an all-volunteer effort in its early days.  "Mrs. Harry Parke saw to it that every one who had an article to give from an ice box to a piece of linen had an opportunity to give it" in order to furnish Community House. Someone even donated a Chickering piano.  Associated Charities appointed a committee to direct the house, and Mr. Brittingham agreed to take over the rent.9

Associated Charities also formed a committee to examine building "an apartment" in the area "to guide the Italians in their building and remodeling." They invited "a group of public-spirited men who might choose to give of their wealth for this purpose" to a fundraising dinner for the project.  When they made their pitch they were met by "scorn," especially by Mr. Brittingham. Another member of the dinner remembers "how cynical he was.  I remember his remark, 'We would always have the poor with us and the unfortunate.'" But "he followed [saying] that if any effort along social lines were made he would be interested. Remembering the newly opened Community House we put that suggestion in the back of our mind to be brought out at a later day." In the next few years five small apartment buildings did get built on South Park street. In August of 1917, Community House moved to 25 South Park Street, only two blocks away, in hopes of being closer to the immigrant Italian community in Madison. This move marked a name change for the center, from Community House to Neighborhood House. Mr. Brittingham would pay the rent for the entire time Neighborhood House remained there.10

A Health Hub for the Community

Within their first year of opening, Neighborhood House became a health hub for the community. Beginning in May of 1917, Neighborhood House brought health care to sick children and others in need who may not have received care otherwise, and gained recognition for the medical clinic that it hosted. The clinic, and Mary Saxton's work in sustaining it, would be a staple of Neighborhood House for years to come.11

120 Patients Seen

Wisconsin State Journal August 20, 1917
Courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal

By August of that same year, clinic nurses reported serving over 120 patients, most for serious illnesses. Of all the serious cases, only one patient died because of the outstanding and attentive care of the medical staff.12 In December of 1918, patient numbers increased drastically due to the flu pandemic of 1918, which hit Madison hard. By October of 1918, the supply of nurses was inadequate to treat the amount of influenza cases at hand. Consequently, to alleviate some of the demand for trained nurses, school teachers organized to offer their services where needed. During this time twenty-two of the 221 public school teachers and 1,100 school children were ill with influenza. With this in mind, many institutions decided to take action to prevent infection by shutting down operations. For instance, to avoid interactions with infected children, high schools cancelled their extra-curricular activities. Churches and courts were also constantly closing whenever large portions of their congregation contracted the virus. The University of Wisconsin-Madison had to delay the departure of 76 men for the officers' training at Camp Grant until cases of influenza declined. Organizations like Attic Angels— that led initiatives to support wellness and healthy aging through outreach to the community—had provided funding for past health care clinics, but this sudden outbreak meant Neighborhood House had to search for more funding to ensure their community was cared for.13  

Programs, Classes and Entertainment Offered at Neighborhood House

In its five years at the Park Street location, Neighborhood House offered a variety of clubs and classes to the community. And while the focus was on the Italian community, it also attracted and responded to the diversity of the community around it.  Reflecting the linguistic and cultural realities of the time, these activities were often, but not always, segregated by race/ethnicity and gender. The schedule of programs (always planned out to mirror the school year) for 1919-192014 included the following:

Monday--Afternoon----------Music (boys)
Evening---------- English (men)
Tuesday--Afternoon----------music (boys)
Evening----------Jewish Boys' Club
Wednesday--Afternoon----------Baby Clinic
Evening----------Colored Boy Scouts
Thursday--Afternoon----------English
Evening----------Italian Boy Scouts
Friday--Afternoon----------Colored Women's Club
Evening----------English (men and women)
Saturday-Morning----------Children's organized play
Afternoon----------Classes for girls
Evening----------Boys' and Girls' Classes

Neighborhood House also began a garden program in 1917, thanks to Frank M. Edwards, who donated his time to creating a garden on-site. In addition, Mr. Edwards directed the garden program for boys. To show appreciation for his efforts, Neighborhood House decided to announce Frank's gift at its weekly Wednesday entertainment night that included a social dance. Adults as well as children participated in Neighborhood House's garden clubs.15

Article published in Sunday State Journal, page 2, on December 17, 1916

Wiscosin State Journal, December 17, 1916
Courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal

Home-making skills continued to be a prominent focus.  Neighborhood House offered a sewing club to Jewish girls every Monday and to Italian mothers every Thursday from the first year it opened in 1916. The program started with one sewing machine, and within the first year the program was so well attended that they needed to raise funds to purchase additional sewing machines.16  The sewing clubs were one of two early examples of University of Wisconsin student involvement with Neighborhood House, as the "Chi Omega girls"--a university sorority--got involved in leading the classes.17 The other was a "Russian Tea" fundraiser to get a Christmas tree for Neighborhood House in December of 1916.18

With the "Americanization" mission that grew daily among social service groups in the city, and the need and desire for English language learning among the Italians, Neighborhood House also offered English and citizenship classes. In 1917 the attendance for the English class offered at Neighborhood House was so large that, similar to what happened with the sewing classes, they needed to split the class in half. The community, adults, and children alike valued and utilized the programs to their advantage.19

Headline:  Neighborhood House English Class Gains in Popularity

Wisconsin State Journal. Feb. 25, 1917
Courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal

Within the first years of operation Neighborhood House quickly became an established and valued institution in the neighborhood where people felt welcomed and safe. The Italian community in particular, who were not only strangers in a strange land but had suffered the loss of family and friends in World War I, needed a community space.20  And in those few years Neighborhood House succeeded so much that it was bursting at the seams.  In February of 1919 the Day Nursery had to expand into a nearby church.21 In July of 1919, with Mrs. William Kittle's urging, the Public Welfare Association board decided that Neighborhood House was beyond capacity and voted to look for a new location.22 The decision came none too soon, as by September of 1920 there were 250 people a month coming through the door at its Park Street space.23

The Madison Public Welfare Association, renamed from Associated Charities, had a major influence on decisions regarding Neighborhood House. Board members of Madison Public Welfare Association had noticed how Neighborhood House had expanded continuously since its founding in 1916. The Association realized the degree of support that Neighborhood House had offered for immigrants as the Italian population kept expanding, reaching 1,500 in 1921. They also recognized that, while the existing space had served a fine purpose, four years after founding it had become too small to accommodate all the activities possible in the community. It was time for Neighborhood House to become a full-fledged community center. And it was with such a vision that the Madison Public Welfare Association began planning the expansion of Neighborhood House.24

Neighborhood House Moves and Expands

Finding a new space was not a quick or easy process, but it brought forth resources like never before.  In March of 1920 Mrs. Kittle was still pressing the Public Welfare Association to take action.25  So the Public Welfare Association appointed a committee to find a bigger space. In May of 1920 Mr. Brittingham offered $6,150 toward the purchase of a new building.26  

West Washington Building
Neighborhood House before and after expansion,
courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society31

Neighborhood House supporters dreamed big.  An internal memorandum of the big dreams was picked up by the June 3, 1920 Capital Times, reporting that "The house will have an auditorium seating 500 people, with a large stage. A concrete moving picture machine booth will house the lantern that will make the splendid collection of films owned by the university extension division available. Large dressing rooms will flank the stage."27  It of course was not to be.  Interestingly, unlike the settlement house model that had expanded from London through New York and Chicago and elsewhere, the planners were quite specific that "No living rooms for resident workers are included in this plan. It is planned that housing for worker be secured in ninth ward, probably in building now rented by Public Welfare Association." 28 That would change in the end, but there is no record of the change as a policy decision.

They located a former furniture store at 768 West Washington Avenue owned by the Van Deusen estate,29 across from Brittingham Park. The initial cost for the building was $6800 but the final price grew to $10,000 because the building needed many improvementsto convert it  from its previous life as a furniture store to a welcoming community  center. Members of the Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Roxana Club, Technical Club, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and other individuals chipped in to cover the difference.  A group of Italian men, led by Mr. Anton Navarra, whose family would also provide years of volunteer support for Neighborhood House, raised $94 toward the purchase.30

 In 1921, when Neighborhood House moved to the converted furniture store on West Washington Avenue, the governing committee also set to work on hiring their first paid staff.  This required, of course, that they had to find funds. And once again community connections paid off.  Joseph Brown, a member of the Industrial Board of Vocational Education, was a strong supporter of Neighborhood House, especially its "Americanization program" that focused on immigrants and paralleled the Vocational School program. Mr. Brown lobbied the National Office of Vocational Education to allow the Vocational School32 to to pay for staff at Neighborhood House specifically to support their citizenship and Americanization education efforts.33   In May the Vocational Board agreed to pay $2,400 a year for a settlement worker.34 

This funding scheme made Neighborhood House unique in the settlement field.  No other settlement house was funded through the National Office of Vocational Education.35  The relationships created through the funding scheme also led to the creation of an executive committee for Neighborhood House, with two members from the Vocational Board, two from the Public Welfare Association (soon renamed to the Family Welfare Association), and an at-large member, Edgar B. (often called "E. B.") Gordon from the University of Wisconsin, who would go on to be one of Neighborhood House's most prominent leaders.36

The executive committee then went on to hire its first staff.  Henry Barnbrock Jr., the author of the thesis on the neighborhood, may have been the initial choice, though he declined.37   Instead, they hired Gay Braxton, in September of 1921. In 1922 Gay Braxton would bring Mary Lee Griggs onto the staff.  Braxton and Griggs would become the longest-serving staff Neighborhood House has known.

Gay Braxton and Mary Lee Griggs

Gay Braxton

Gay Braxton48
Courtesy of University of Minnesota Lbraries

Gay Braxton (1877-1962) was the first staff member of Neighborhood House, where she remained from 1921 until 1949. She was educated at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts,38  which produced many leaders in the settlement house movement.  Braxton had a strong resume of settlement house work, including at the Chicago Commons. 

The Chicago Commons was founded by Dr. Graham Taylor, a minister and progressive social reformer, adapting the already famous Hull House model in Chicago.39  Among its resident staff were not only Gay Braxton but E. B. Gordon, who went on to become a professor of music at the University of Wisconsin40  and, later, president of the Neighborhood House board.  It was Taylor who recommended Braxton to Gordon.  Gordon would later refer to Braxton as  "the Jane Addams of Madison."41

 During Braxton's time with Neighborhood House, she wrote articles for the Madison Capital Times about Neighborhood House, covering financial happenings, promoting events, and highlighting their work.  Braxton worked extensively to get Neighborhood House's name out to the public to gain their support, speaking to many groups both local and far away.

Her approach was specifically opposed to charity.  She believed in all involved, whether members or volunteers, feeling "ownership" over what happened at Neighborhood House.  Early in her time at Neighborhood House she felt compelled to close the sewing class, for the men were out of work and the women had no money for materials. "It is very hard at times not to give materials when you see a woman is eager to learn, but the Italians are so easily pauperised that we simply cannot do it even to our best women."42 Braxton saw the "Settlement House not [as a] 'Charity' but a charitable institution, giving no material relief. It does not as someone has suggested try to make people 'good'....The settlement offers opportunity for expression in finer and better things among the neighbors and workers."43  She went to lengths to make sure people understood that those who came to Neighborhood House were "not on charity" and not to be pitied.44  She was also strict with Neighborhood House funds.   Mary Lee Griggs recalls that Braxton was particular about money. "City, state or Community Chest -- she was determined it should be used to the best of her ability. If a nickel was used for something else, you'd hear from her."45

She was also no lightweight when it came to maintaining order at the house.  She was working in a tough neighborhood with many challenges: "Our discipline problem is of paramount importance, while we invited everyone in to the clubs, care had to be taken to see that they behaved and were not disorderly while in the building. If they were disorderly and continued so they were asked to go out. A test of the success of such discipline was expressed early in the fall when the worker overheard the following conversation between two boys. 'So I can't come in, I don't belong there'. 'That makes no difference,' said the other boy, 'you can come in and stay as long as you behave yourself'.46 

Consequently, for some of the children, Gay Braxton seemed larger than life. Josephine La Galbo remembers Miss Braxton from her childhood in the 1930s:  " [She was] very strict, she was very straight-laced.... I made some culottes and I had to go up and show them to Miss Braxton. She praised me. It was really nice. We were so shy when we had to go see Miss Braxton." 47

Mary Lee Griggs

Mary Lee Griggs49
Courtesy of University of Minnesota Lbraries

If Gay Braxton was the tough-love leader, Mary Lee Griggs was the gentle and kind nurturer.  Braxton's nephew recalls that she "was tougher than Mary Lee and not so warm, but her high competence, her absolute integrity, and her genuine dedication came to be valued."50 Braxton and Griggs were long-time friends and maintained a life-long relationship in Madison.

Mary Lee Griggs' history with Neighborhood House has a little mystery in its beginning.  She may have taken some convincing to accompany Braxton to Neighborhood House as she apparently had been offered a position in an Iowa settlement house just as Braxton was coming to Madison. But, as the story is told, she arrived with Braxton in the fall of 1921 and never left.  Lending credence to the story is that Gay Braxton recalls Griggs starting out volunteering and Braxton's February 1922 monthly report mentions Griggs helping with Neighborhood House and teaching at a local school.51

 In September of 1922 Mary Lee Griggs became a paid staff member, as the director of the Play School and parent education programs. The majority of Mary Lee Grigg's time was spent with children. She believed that Neighborhood House helped develop strong youth. In the Madison Capital Times, Griggs stated that "We never had the trouble spring up with children in the Bush area like they did elsewhere in the city. That area had the lowest delinquency rate in Madison." She attributed this low delinquency rate to Neighborhood House.52 Griggs was as much of a private person as Braxton was a public figure, seemingly content to work quietly with the children of Neighborhood House.  She worked for Neighborhood House even after Braxton retired, until 1966.

Growing the New Neighborhood House

On November 11, 1921, Armistice Day commemorating the end of WWI in 1918, the new Neighborhood House with its new "Resident Worker," as Braxton was called initially, was finally able to have its first formal opening ceremony. It was a dramatic event, with speakers that included the Mayor of Madison, the superintendent of schools, a sociology professor from the university, and Graham Taylor, the director of the Chicago Commons settlement house that produced Neighborhood House's first board president and head resident.53

Gay Braxton was not shy about taking the reigns of Neighborhood House and shaping it in her own image:   "It might be interesting here to note that there were no records available for work previously done at the Neighborhood House. The slate was clean. There were no traditions to uphold and no community residents to cater to so the worker made the contacts in the neighborhood. ... It was a case of having a plan beautifully worked out on paper and no one to enjoy the plan. Until the child, ran passing by the house were [sic] solicited and invited to attend a certain club on a certain day. They responded in crowds, out of sheer curiosity at first- to see what was to happen.54 In fact, there were records of what Neighborhood House had done, though it was perhaps accurate that Neighborhood House had not yet established a clear culture. 

There were also road bumps in those early days. Braxton, in her typical unvarnished honesty, recalls the first neighborhood meeting she tried to organize.

I spent my spare time for two weeks making posters announcing this meeting and placing them in strategic places in the neighborhood. When the time came for the meeting, Mr. Siemers of the Vocational School and his speakers arrived and one neighborhood man. When I went through the neighborhood the following day to ask the reason for the small attendance, Mr. Navarra said, "If you want these people to read your signs, you will have to put them in Italian."55

It was not only Italians that Braxton had to connect with.  She noted people from twelve different countries in the neighborhood.56  And she didn't shy away from trying to influence the newcomers' culture, particularly when it came to gender roles.  While Braxton always expressed the utmost respect for the Italians' manners and identity, she also regularly bemoaned the "old country traditions" that kept girls isolated in the home and forced into early marriages, even preventing them in many cases from participating in Neighborhood House activities.The Neighborhood House leadership prided itself on providing programming for boys and girls, though it mostly maintained gender segregation in its early days.  But organizing more social clubs for girls "at first it meant that the workers had to escort the girls to Neighborhood House and home."  The first time Neighborhood House offered a camp for girls, in 1924, they could only convince five families to send their girls. But they eventually began offering mixed-sex dances57  and they even offered basketball for girls.58

Neighborhood House also immediately became associated with the Madison Community Union when it formed.59  Even while dependent on the Community Union's funding, Braxton felt comfortable pushing on its policies.   In one case the Community Union objected to the selling of tickets for plays or parties, perhaps because doing so would interfere with the Community Union's fundraising, though the reason goes unstated.  Braxton held her ground, arguing that it was a case of members of Neighborhood House taking ownership of raising money for things like camps that were not already covered by the Community Union.60  A later typed report, untitled and undated except for a handwritten "1927", and typed in Gay Braxton's style of presenting all the unvarnished facts, describes two plays held in May and June that did not raise as much money as hoped because the Community Union had insisted that the plays only be advertised in the neighborhood.61

Even the National Federation of Settlements, of which Neighborhood House was a member, couldn't squash Braxton's steadfastness.  Gay Braxton's relationship with the secretary of the National Federation of Settlements, Lillian M. Peck, in particular had its bumps.  On at least two occasions they disputed the dues owed by Neighborhood House to the National Federation.62  When Peck asked Braxton to provide room and board for a German refugee, Braxton outright refused, citing a lack of funds.63

None of this is to suggest that Braxton was antagonistic or obstreperous.  Her reports to the executive committee were always brutally honest of her own shortcomings and regularly asked for support and advice.  And, as the lone Resident Worker, she needed the support. Her first report as the Resident Worker,  for September of 1921, stated that 334 people used the house during the month, and she made 39 home visits. Events at Neighborhood House included Hebrew classes, Italian Band, English Class, Doll Club for younger girls and Girl Reserves for older girls, Italian women sewing class, and Story House for children. She was hopeful about the preparations of the downstairs rooms for table games, circle games, and playtime for children.64   As the months progressed she added Sunday afternoon programs of music, song and pictures representative of all nationalities.  She supported the women who came for English classes by providing child care while they studied.  She organized plays, pageants, and parties, including stuffing 400 people into a space with a capacity for 100 for the Christmas party. Discipline, multiculturalism (as it was defined at that time), and access to literature and art were hallmarks of Braxton's practice and she was cognizant about not duplicating other efforts in the neighborhood.65


Woodworking Class 1926, courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society67

The second year attendance at Neighborhood House was 15,820 people, with 827 meetings, 1166 home visits, and 34 activities per week.66 Of course it would be impossible for Gay Braxton to do this alone.  From the beginning Braxton knew that she was going to draw heavily on University of Wisconsin students.  In her first plan she noted that "Leaders and directors of these [activities] will be students from the University. These students will be under the supervision of the resident worker."68 A number of students came via the University YWCA.69 By 1923 Neighborhood House had 50 students volunteering.70  Much of the work of managing the many clubs at Neighborhood House, such as the sewing club and boys woodworking club, fell to University of Wisconsin student volunteers.  It wasn't easy volunteer work:  "Some of the students are getting their first experience in disciplining unorganized groups, sometimes they come out victors oftentimes they are the losers. This [d]oes not seem to baffle them as they are always ready for the fray the next time."71  Students also raised money.  In December 1922 University "girls" raised $25 for window shades.72  The University of Wisconsin sororities donated $63.50 in 1921 for Christmas parties,73  a tradition that was to last at last into the 1930s.74  And Neighborhood House suffered the same problems with university students that plague community organizations today:  "The month of January has been a hard month at the settlement, because the volunteer students have all been busy with examinations and unable to attend the clubs.... This was especially difficult in the class for women where they bring their babies. Some of the mothers got discouraged and decided to wait until the return of the teachers so that the babies could be cared for."75  Graduate students were also part of the act, some of whom would have become resident workers had there been enough bedrooms.76

Expanding Again and Building on Momentum

Gay Braxton recalled "how disappointed I really was when I saw the size and arrangement of the rooms, for I felt with such small quarters, expansion and real work would be impossible."77  And, in fact, she was right.  Even the new location wasn't big enough for the attendance Neighborhood House generated.  In May of 1924 Neighborhood House hosted 13,383 people and 941 meetings in just eight months.78

By the end of 1925 the mortgage on the original building had been paid and discussions about possible expansion began.79 In July of 1926, The Public Welfare Association created a committee  including the by now familiar names of Kittle and Brittingham, as well as Anton Navarra--a local resident--to study expanding Neighborhood House. They originally looked at two properties in back of Neighborhood House on Mound Sreet,80  but decided that the properties were too expensive.81

Interestingly, these efforts were about to intersect with those of the Lions Club.  An unknown writer, with prose reflecting the Prohibition times, relates that: “For some months before we got acquainted with the Lions Club I had coveted the lot next door to Neighborhood House not because of the booze that was hidden there but because the groups coming to Neighborhood House were fairly bursting the walls with their numbers.” The Lions Club had not only purchased the lot next door to Neighborhood House in 1924 for $1,500 but they made an initial gift of $1,800 and kept fundraising until they had enough for a $10,000 building.82  The Welfare Association committee took a liking to the property83 and was able to have plans drawn up by Law and Law Architects pro bono.  The total cost of the building  was $9304.84

So in 1926 Neighborhood House built an addition, more than doubling its size.85 It had a large manual training room, and a recreation room with folding doors that opened to a stage in the old building.  It also had  large club rooms on the second floor for men and women, equipped with fireplaces courtesy of the Lions Club. Gay Braxton recalls "Mr. Lowman coming up the stairs and looking at the skeleton of the new building, and asked [']why don't you have a fireplace in the mens' club room[']. I asked 'Do men like fireplaces too?' He said 'Of course they do'. When told that we had only $100 for the one fireplace, he said "Change that and the Lions'Club will give an additional $100 for a fireplace in this room.'"86  Our unknown author relates that “The men were skeptical of the second floor room until they saw the magazines, the smoking stands, and the homey fireplace.  Then they realized the room was for them and made use of it until their number grew so large that they had to meet downstairs.” The Lions Club also gave $450 a year to pay the mortgage interest until 1929.87

A personal memory
Charlotte Navarra Ciccarelli's father, Anton Navarra, was an important figure in Neighborhood House's expansion. After his untimely death, the rest of the family began attending Neighborhood House.

"Mother went to English class and our first activity was the story hour. It was a most cheerful and lively place compared to our home. In time we went to many classes suitable for our ages. Neighborhood House was our home away from home - not only because of the learning and play experience but also because Miss Braxton and Miss Griggs made us feel comfortable - they were understanding of the Italian customs and compassionate. They gradually helped us make the transition from the 'immigrant' staus toward becoming the real Americans my father had dreamed for us."

"I enjoyed the clubs and classes and eventually I became a helper to the volunteer leaders and the staff members. My first responsibility was taking charge of the membership rolls. Everyone who participated in activities had to become a member and pay annual dues - ranging from 1¢ to 25¢ according to age. I prepared the cards with necessary information, collected the dues, and manned the service window inside the entrance. Every participant had to check in at the window before going to club or class."

"It was my job also every Saturday afternoon to collect 5¢ from each child coming to the Saturday matinee. Children in our neighborhood seldom if ever attended the movies. A good friend of Neighborhood House donated a silent movie projector. One of the older boys learned how to operate it and silent movies were rented and shown at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The gym was converted to a theatre. The white wall was the screen. Volunteers from the music conservatory came and played accompanying music on the piano. Althought the old film often broke -- a great time was had by all!"88

 With the growth, Neighborhood House increased to three paid staff and built on its strong university connections.  When Neighborhood House created its executive committee in 1922, its first president, who remained into the 1940s, was University professor Edgar B. Gordon.  In 1926 there were six students receiving credit from the university for volunteer work, four student teachers, two university voliunteer basketball coaches, and three music teachers from the Wisconsin School of Music.89 The sociology department at the University established a group work course that allowed students to do their field work at Neighborhood House. Gay Braxton notes that "In the year 1926-1927, we had 1122 meetings with an aggregfate attendance of 25,262."90 The number of activities expanded to include, among others, the Women's Good Times Club and the Campfire Girls, which would become one of the most memorable childhood experiences for many girls in the neighborhood.91 The success of Neighborhood House's early health care clinics motivated the Public Welfare Association, philanthropic organizations throughout Madison, and medical professionals to continue reprising their clinics for the Neighborhood House community.  And Neighborhood House started its own newsletter, "The Neighbor" whose moniker was copied with permission from the Northwestern Settlement in Chicago.92  Neighborhood House was also having a city-wide impact.  The citizenship class presented a radio play on WIBA, "listening In," in 1927.  The play was based on their visit to  the circuit court when the federal examiner was cunducting hearings.93

map of Neighborhood House
From the booklet, 1945-46 at Neighborhood House97
Courtesy of University of Minnesota Lbraries

One of the popular stories of the era was one of the Lions Club's early investment in Neighborhood House.  It seems they put $500 into equipment for the workshop in the basement of Neighborhood House, including large saws. Eight of the saws were stolen.  The story is told two different ways.  In one version, a boy was inquiring into who was invited to a party at Neighborhood House. When he was told that none of the boys  present when the saws were stolen could attend, he ran off and shortly thereafter seven of the saws miraculously returned.  In the other version the ending was the same, but in this case the boys were denied access to basketball.94  Both versions tell something of the culture of Neighborhood House at the time.  There was no shortage of delinquency in the Greenbush neighborhood, and even serious crime, among youth.  But the Neighborhood House staff decried the use of the courts to deal with that delinquency.  These stories, of which the saws are only one, were used to show that there was another way. 

By the end of the 1920s, it seems, Neighborhood House had found its footing. Gay Braxton was now the "Head Resident" as they had three full-time staff and six part-time staff,95 936 registered members, 1200 meetings with attendance of 27,590.96  On May 30, 1930 Neighborhood House incorporated as its own agency, with a board of 12, formally separating from the Public Welfare Association and becoming an official agency of the Community Union.98

It was a good thing Neighborhood House was riding a wave of success and commitment because, in the next two decades, the organization would have to face the two worst global crises of the century. 

Continue

Notes

1. Library of Congress.  (no date) Immigration--Italian. http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/italian3.html

2. An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, University of Minnesota Social Welfare History Archives.  Kittle was a central figure in the Madison Public Welfare Association and would go on to become chairman of the Federation of Settlements in Washington D.C.

3. Housing Conditions of the Italian Community by Henry Barnbrock, 1916, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. A Braxton essay, Girls' and Womens' Work Committee, from February 5, 1931,Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, says the 1916 thesis was a "Doctor's thesis" by a graduate student. But The Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, Volume 17, Number 10, lists Barnbrock's thesis in the bachelor's degree honors category. 

4. Housing Conditions of the Italian Community by Henry Barnbrock, 1916, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. The Neighborhood House: The Americanization Forerunner of Madison’s Italian Community, 1916-1927, by Noah Valentino, 2010. B.A. Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  http://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/46882.  Barnbrock's daughter, Eleanor Moss, in an October 19, 1983 letter to John O. Holzhueter, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, quotes her father's letter to Gay Braxton, on his being remembered at the Neighborhood House 25th anniversary celebration: "I deeply appreciate more than I can say the thoughtfulness to include me among those who were to be remembered on this anniversary occasion. Somehow I thought my thesis of 1916 had been long forgotten on the shelves of the university library."

5. Associated Charities was a networked group of service organizations in Madison. In 1919 they would come to be known as the Public Welfare Association and then the Family Welfare Association.  They would have a board of 45 members by the late 1920s.The association was particularly concerned with services provided to the Italian population in Dane County.

6. The Attic Angels are still around today.  The story has it that way back in 1889 Miss Elva Bryant became aware of a family so poor that they could not clothe their newborn twins. She met the need by sewing garments for them and, in the process, found that the need extended well beyond one family.  So she and her sister Mary, along with friends, organized themselves in an attempt to meet the need.  The Attic Angel Association picks up the story: "At some point, the sisters were up in their attic, collecting discarded clothing for these children and, upon descending, were greeted by their father, General E.E. Bryant, who declared, 'Here come the attic angels!'  The group of women enthusiastically adopted the name and it has been retained to the present day." Very early on the Attic Angels focused on health care, bringing the first visiting nurse to Madison.

7. An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

8. Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

9. The exact name of the place is in some dispute. Documents from those directly involved refer to it as "Community House" but the Wisconsin State Journal article uses various names, including "Neighborhood House". Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives:   An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries; New Settlement House is Ready, The Sunday State Journal. Sept. 24, 1916; Maduson's First Settlement House to Open Sunday. The Wisconsin State Journal. Sept. 21, 1916, page 4.

10. Neighborhood House, An Answer to a City Need, by Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives ; Report of Neighborhood House, by Mrs. Dudly Montgomery, Chairman. from Report of Public Welfare Association for year ending September 1, 1920, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .  An April 16, 1941 letter from Braxton to Kittle  refers to a conversation with Mr. Stark, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. A typed document, "Neighborhood House --The Past, 1916-1949" with no author says that "the Civics Club put up the block of  stucco houses across from St. Joseph's church on South Park Street number twenty five was rented by Associated Charities and Community House was moved".

11. Work of Welfare Society Outlined. The Wisconsin State Journal. Oct. 16, 1921,  pages 1, 23.

12.  120 Patients are Treated at Clinic Within 12 Months. Wisconsin State Journal August 20, 1917.

13. Fifteen to Twenty Mothers Bring Alien Children to Clinic Every Wednesday. The Wisconsin State Journal. May 4, 1917, page 3; Summary of the Epidemic, The Capital Times, October 11, 1918, p. 1. Attic Angels in Appeal for Funds. The Capital Times. Nov. 15, 1918, page 4.

14. Report of Neighborhood House. Mrs. Dudly Montgomery, Chairman. From Report of Public Welfare Association for year ending September 1, 1920, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

15.  Neighborhood House Boy's Club Eager to Learn How to Garden. The Wisconsin State Journal. May 3, 1917. Page 6. Clubs and Churches. The Wisconsin State Journal. Apr. 2, 1917.

16. Neighborhood House Sewing Class Growth Demands More Machines. The Sunday State Jounal. Dec. 17, 1916, page 2.

17. Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

18. Russian Tea For Xmas Tree Fund. The Wisconsin State Journal. December 13, 1916, page 11.

19. Neighborhood House English Class Gains In Popularity. The Sunday State Journal. Feb. 25, 1917, page 9.

20. Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives

21. Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives

22. Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. Excerpts from the Family Welfare Records, no author, no date, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives

23. Report of Neighborhood House. Mrs. Dudly Montgomery, Chairman. from Report of Public Welfare Association for year ending September 1, 1920, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

24. An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

25. Excerpts from the Family Welfare Records, no author, no date, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

26. Excerpts from the Family Welfare Records, no author, no date, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

27.  Memorandum of Building Plan for Ninth Ward Community House to be Located on Edge of Brittingham Park (June 21 written in), Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Neighborhood House Planned. The Capital Times. June 3, 1920, page 2.

28. Memorandum of Building Plan for Ninth Ward Community House to be Located on Edge of Brittingham Park (June 21 written in), Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

29. Neighborhood House, An Answer to a City Need, by Mrs. William Kittle, october 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

30.   An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries; Neighborhood House, an Answer to a City Need, by Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Neighborhood House Purchase Assured. The Wisconsin State Journal. Sept. 12, 1922, page 4. Neighborhood House Draws 14,000 Persons During Year. The Capital Times. Sept. 12, 1922, page 2.

31.  Neighborhood House Album: 1st and 2nd Residents, Image ID:  95918, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives,http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294955414&dsRecordDetails=R:IM95918.

32. The Vocational School was the fore-runner of Madison Area Technical College, now known as Madison College.

33. An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

34. Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

35. An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

36.   Neighborhood House Records from P.W.A. Records-1916-1921, no author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives

37. letter from Henry Barnbrock to Mrs. Kittle, August 7, 1920: gives advice on how to think about the settlement house worker position. Says "My going with the Red Cross on the 16th means that probably it would not be right for me to consider the Madison position early this fall." Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

38. Miss Braxton, Well-Known Social Worker, Succumbs. Madison Capital Times Monday, March 26, 1962,

39. The Social Welfare History Project, by Grahan Taylor. http://www.socialwelfarehistory.com/people/taylor-graham/ ; The Heritage from Chicago's Early Settlement Houses.  The Social Welfare History Project. http://www.socialwelfarehistory.com/organizations/heritage-chicagos-early-settlement-houses/ 

40. Reminiscences of Twenty Years at Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries ; also Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries; Edgar Gordon, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, http://wcftr.commarts.wisc.edu/exhibits/radio-pioneers-madison/wisconsin-school-air/edgar-gordon 

41. Good Afternoon Everybody, by William T. Evjue, The Capital Times, October 10, 1941, pages 1, 8.

42. March 22 Report of the Work of the Neighborhood House, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

43. April 18, 1933--Talk to the Grace Drakeley Circle, Presbyterian Church, Mrs. Theodore Herfurth's, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

44. 1921 December Report of the Work of the Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

45. Is Neighborhood House Era Ending? by Robert Pfefferkorn,Wisconsin State Journal September 12, 1976.

46. Resume of the Work of the Neighborhood House from Sept. 1921 - Dec. 1923. Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

47. Josephine La Galbo, personal interview, 2014.

48.  Photo from booklet Neighborhood House 1916-1941. Open Door 25 Years of Service. From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, courtesy of the Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

49.  Photo from booklet Neighborhood House 1916-1941. Open Door 25 Years of Service. From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, courtesy of the Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

50. Remarks at ceremony honoring Mary Lee Griggs, 11/15/81 by William Landram Williamson, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

51. Neighborhood House Tots' Best Friend for 44 Years is Retiring, by Frank Custer, Madison Capital Times Friday, April 15, 1966; Good Afternoon Everybody, by William T. Evjue, The Capital Times, October 10, 1941, pp. 1, 8; Reminiscences on Twenty Years at Neighborhood House, Oct. 9, 1941, by Gay Braxton, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.; February 1922 Report, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

52.  Neighorhood House Tot's Best Friend for Forty-four Years is Retiring, by Frank Custer, Madison Captial Times. April 15, 1966, page 25

53. Playlet--History of Neighborhood House, by John Borek, 1941, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries; Neighborhood House to be Open Nov. 11. The Captial Times. Nov. 7, 1921. Page 2.

54. Resume of the Work of the Neighborhood House from Sept. 1921 - Dec. 1923, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives

55. Reminiscences of Twenty Years at Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

56. Reminiscences of Twenty Years at Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

57. Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, University of Minnesota Social Welfare History Archives;  Reminiscences of Twenty Years at Neighborhood House, byGay Braxton, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

58. Letter from Gay Braxton to Blanch Trilling, Feb. 18, 1926, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

59.  Mrs. William Kittle was on the nominating committee that created the first Community Union board, and that board included a representative from the Public Welfare Association.  Welfare Union is Launched, The Capital Times, April 27, 1922, p. 1. The Madison Community Union incorporated in 1922 as the Madison Community Union.  It would later call itself the Madison Community Chest, and then merged with the United Givers Fund in 1953, and would finally become  the United Way of Dane County. See  Wisconsin Historical Society, United Way of Dane County Records, 1920-1980.

60. Minutes of the Neighborhood House executive committee, April 14, 1927, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

61.untitled and undated document, except for a handwritten "1927", but written in Braxton's style,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

62. 4-22-31 letter from Gay Braxton to Lillian Peck; 9-11-39 letter from Gay Braxton to Lillian Peck, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

63. 5-15-39 letter from Gay Braxton to Iillian Peck, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

64. 1921 September Report of Work of the Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

65. Resume of the Work of the Neighborhood House from Sept. 1921 - Dec. 1923, by Gay Braxton,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

66. Resume of the Work of the Neighborhood House from Sept. 1921 - Dec. 1923 by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

67.  Neighborhood House Boys Club Woodworking, Image ID: 98836, Wisconsin HIstorical Society Archives, http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294955414&dsRecordDetails=R:IM98836.

68. 1921 September Report of Work of the Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

69.  Settlement Work in "Little Italy" Started by Y.W. The Capital Times. Oct. 17, 1921.

70. Resume of the Work of the Neighborhood House from Sept. 1921 - Dec. 1923, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

71. 1921 November Report of the Work of the Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

72. Report, December 1922, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

73. 1921 December Report of the Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

74. Josephine La Galbo personal interview, 2014.

75. January 1923 report, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

76. 1925: Better Men and Women for Madison, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

77. Reminiscences of Twenty Years at Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

78. May 25, 1924 letter from Gay Braxton to Mrs. Kittle, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

79. Neighborhood House Building Committee, December 22, 1925, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

80.  July 21, 1925 letter from Gay Braxton to Neighborhood House Executive Committee, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

81. Report of the Building Committee of the Neighborhood House, August 5, 1925, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

82. “Lions Club Investment in the 9th Ward” January 1934, unknown author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; The Enlistment of a Service Club in Time of Peace. Given to Lions' Club at Neighborhood House Noon luncheon 1/19/43, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives;  Neighborhood House Building Committee, December 22, 1925, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

83. Report of the Building Committee of the Neighborhood House, September 18, 1925, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

84. Neighborhood House Building Committee, March 3, 1926, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

85. An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

86. The Enlistment of a Service Club in Time of Peace. Given to Lions' Club at Neighborhood House Noon luncheon 1/19/43, by Gay Braxton, Wisconsin Hisotrical Society archives.

87. “Lions Club Investment in the 9th Ward” January 1934, unknown author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

88. My Story: How Neighborhood House Influenced My Life, by Charlotte Navarra Ciccarelli, written for the occasion of Neighborhood House 70th anniversary, Neighborhood House archives;  Braxton indicate that dues were 1¢ to 25¢ per month, not per year--December 1930 report for Board of Directors' Meeting, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

89. An Account of the Beginnng Years of Neighborhood House:  1916-1926 by Mrs. WIlliam Kittle.  In Neighborhood House 1916-1941 Open Door 25 Years of Service, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

90. Reminiscences of Twenty Years at Neighborhood House, by Gay Braxton,  from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

91. History--Neighborhood House--Highlights--1916-1949, no author.  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Josephine La Galbo interview, 2014.

92. Feb. 5, 1926 letter from Braxton to Harriett Vittum; Feb. 9, 1926 letter from Harriett Vittum to Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

93. "Listening In" presented Saturday 4-10-2 at 10am over WIBA, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.  The document in one place lists the year as 1937, but 1927 in two other places and the play's context makes 1927 the most likely date.

94. “Lions Club Investment in the 9th Ward” January 1934, unknown author, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; April 26 report, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives

95. 1929 report, by Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

96. 1930 Neighborhood House--Sent to Capital Times new year edition, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives .

97. 1945-1946 at Neighborhood House, Madison, Wisconsin. From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

98. Neighborhood House--Highlights--1916-1949.  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Pioneers in the Neighborhood House Organization Work,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; April 18, 1933--Talk to the Grace Drakeley Circle, Presbyterian Church, Mrs. Theodore Herfurth's, Gay Braxton, WI archives; Cottage Data to Date- June 26, 1940 (handwritten over typed 2/9/39) Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.  Neighborhood House had been listed as an agency of the Community Union separately from the Public Welfare Association for a number of years, but it likely could not receive Community Union funds directly.

Continue