Neighborhood House

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

 

Times of Crisis: 1929-1949

Sacrifice is always a relative term. Whether those who lived through the back-to-back crises of the Great Depression and World War II sacrificed more, or achieved more, than those before or after them will always be open to debate.  But there is no debating the uniqueness of the times they lived through.  On the heels of what seemed the limitless optimism of the "Roaring Twenties" came a contrast so sudden and stark that it is difficult to imagine.  And nowhere in Madison were the consequences felt more deeply than in the Greenbush neighborhood.

Neighborhood House in the Great Depression

Article published in the Wisconsin State Journal, page 8, on June 5,

Wisconsin State Journal, page 8, on June 5, 1931,
courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal

As the aftermath of the stock market crash and ensuing economic meltdown of 1929 made its way westward across the country, some of its worst effects were on the immigrant community in Greenbush that Neighborhood House served.  For Neighborhood House, the Great Depression initially meant low participation, a decrease in funds, and insecurities in regards to the organization's immediate future.

By the end of 1930, the situation was bad.  Gay Braxton reported that,  "for the last eight years we have been trying to build up a fee schedule for the various clubs where each registered member would pay a small monthly fee ranging from 5 to 25 cents. Last year from these fees we took in about $230.00. Not much to be sure, but enough to have the members feel that they had a part in i[t]. This year the fee is almost impossible with the members. They haven't money for bread and meat much less a luxury like they consider Neighborhood House. Each child has learned to rejoice when his card is punched for dues. Of course this has never been exacted from those where we knew they could not pay but it has always been gotten around some way. This year the only thing we knew to do was to have a 'job list' where each child could do a small job in return for having his card punched."1

But even those strategies seemed incomplete. By mid 1931 the board of Neighborhood House estimated that participation had dropped by at least half at functions that required money. Many of the participants were day laborers and were only able to find a few days of work a week. Finding themselves too depressed or saddened, many participants stopped attending language and citizenship classes in the evenings. Children also stopped attending events since their families could not afford the small fees of one or five cents.2 

The Depression turned Neighborhood House’s focus from offering language and citizenship courses for new immigrants to providing services for the surrounding community in hopes of easing the hardship that came with the Great Depression. With a lack of stable work for Madison’s residents, Neighborhood House "developed more social and handicraft clubs to meet the needs of the idle adults." The Depression also impacted what clothing and food the community could afford for themselves, or received as relief from the government. These new food products and standard issue clothes opened up another opportunity for Neighborhood House to aid the community.  They taught adults how to cook new dishes from the food products that were becoming more common and offered sewing classes for adults to modify their standard issue garments.3 Neighborhood House additionally supported the City of Madison's Groves Bills--an unemployment compensation program with a more long-term focus that also received praise from the National Federation of Settlements4

A birdhouse built by Aldo Trameri

A Birdhouse built by Aldo Trameri when he was a teenager at Neighborhod House in the 1930s.
Courtesy of Jim Trameri7

By the mid-1930s, Neighborhood House had gained its footing in this new economic terrain. Gay Braxton reflected that "Our work became greatly enhanced and our aggregate attendance for the year 1933-34 was well over forty thousand with an individual enrollment of 1,055, the highest in our history."5 The surrounding neighborhood was noted as having lower juvenile crime than other areas of the city, which was attributed to the hard work of Neighborhood House.6

The Great Depression did not show how much couldn't be accomplished, but instead showed that, if Neighborhood House could overcome ten years of depression, the organization could overcome whatever the future brought. Fortunately, Neighborhood House had support from both within and without for these tasks. Through collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, the Vocational School, the City of Madison, and many individuals Neighborhood House made sure each class and program had someone willing to help. They also worked to reassure those who lacked jobs that they could still get one, teaching interview skills and connecting people to job opportunies.

A personal memory

A scarf knitted by Ms. La Galbo

A scarf knitted by Miss La Galbo9
Josephine La Galbo, from an Italian immigrant family, went to Neighborhood House between about 1935 and 1942, when she was between 7 and 14 years old. She lived “right around the corner on Mound Street” and took full advantage of the clubs and classes provided at Neighborhood House. She was a Bluebird and then a Campfire Girl. Neighborhood House also sent kids to summer camp and Josephine remembers "we had to sell dishrags to go to camp." She learned to sew and knit at Neighborhood House. She said it “was a big building, and we had our meetings upstairs and they had sewing machines up there.” With all of the sewing and knitting done over her lifetime, Josephine said, “They made me the woman I am today.”

Miss La Galbo remembers how important University of Wisconsin students were to Neighborhood House even in those early days: “All our instructors were students at the university. They were all very nice. I know they were all going to school and we had different people in the school year and the summer”

Miss La Galbo was also involved in the gardening club and attended the regular movie showings. During the summer, she said "they'd give you seeds and they'd give you a prize for whoever had the best flowers." The movies normally cost ten cents, but on Saturdays they were offered for a single penny at Neighborhood House.

Miss La Galbo's father also made use of Neighborhood House.  He participated in citizenship classes, and got his citizenship papers as a result.8

Growing the Programs of Neighborhood House

Neighborhood House did much more than simply respond to the Depression.  They continued to build programs for every age. Mary Lee Griggs, whose focus was always on children, led the effort to start a pre-school program in 1931. Not only did the program offer early childhood education, it also provided early childhood health care, as all pre-schoolers received physical examinations as part of their enrollment.10 In 1935 the Gamma Delta Club, for teen girls,11  and a Camp Fire Alumni Association for teen girls that were at least 17 years old and had attained Firemakers rank, began.12  Yet another older girls club, the N.B.B.O, or Nobody's Business But Our Own, organized.13

Both the Camp Fire Alumni Association and N.B.B.O, along with service and entertainment activities, took what could best be called virtual trips.  The Camp Fire Alumni Association went to Europe, and N.B.B.O. went to Hawaii.  The girls did all the work as if they were really traveling, including completing passport applications. They created reports on each portion of the journey with such fine details that it required looking up newspaper articles to confirm that the trips were virtual and not real.14  This theme of getting youth to think beyond the neighborhood also led to an interest in hiking and hosteling.  Whether it was a day hike from "The Bush" to the Arboretum, or an overnight bicycle trip with a hostel stay, Neighborhood House got their youth thinking of the world beyond the neighborhood.

6-19-40 Bike hosteling start in front of Neighborhood House
Hostelers, courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society16
 First Hostel Trip, June 19, 1940

On June 19, 1940, six girls and one leader pioneered Neighborhood House's first overnight bicycle trip.  The cost for each girl was $2.80 for food and hostel.

"We started from Neighborhood House at 5:30 A.M., June 14, 1940..... Our trail went from Neighborhood House to Picnic Point on Lake Mendota, to Pine Bluff, to Cross Plains, to the [illegible] Hostel - back by way of Cross Plains to the Post Farm Hostel (via highway 14) to Neighborhood House.... Next to coasting down hills, resting was the fondest thing we were of.

At Cross Plains we explored a cheese factory.

Hostel highlights: When Mary D. skidded into a mud puddle on Prairie Point and we had to dunk her in the lake to get the mud off - When we discovered we had brought cans but no can-opener! - When we shared our sandwiches with our Hosteler friend from Davenport Iowa - When we were officially initiated into hosteling in the "bunk-house" floor early in the morning - When we went to sleep with and on top of the chickens - When we found the wild strawberries."15

Neighborhood House also continued elaborating its relationship with the University of Wisconsin, specifically with the sociology department.  The sociology department at the time was much more than an academic department and provided strong applied skills. Gay Braxton reported that "The group work students give ten hours per week service to the settlement during their senior year. Their field work is carefully supervised by our trained workers and university credit is given them. The department co-operates in surveys, and studies desired by the settlement."17

Garden club member, 1938
Garden Club Member, 1938,22
courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society

The program that would perhaps be the most influential, and bring Neighborhood House fully out into the neighborhood, would be the Better Homes and Gardens Club.  The club was founded at Neighborhood House in 1931 by the Madison Woman's Club as part of the city's Better Homes and Gardens movement. The club expanded quickly, with 65 gardens in 1931, and almost 100 in 1932.18   In 1933 they founded a Junior Garden Club for kids ranging from seven to fifteen years of age.  It started out with 53 members, expanding to 60 kids by 1935 and 130 in 1936.19   Perhaps the club's proudest moment was in 1936, when they got McKay Nursery to donate 50 elm trees, and got the city to plant them.20  Mrs. Isaac Sinaiko, who was a central leader in establishing both the adult and children's clubs, became such a beloved figure that, when she died, a memorial fund sprang up in her honor without any organizing needed.21

But it was certainly not all a bed of roses. Gay Braxton referred to Neighborhood House during this time as the neighborhood's "trouble clerk...because it tries to alleviate the troubles of the neighbors by conferring with them and aiding them in establishing contact with other social agencies."23  The Depression was weighing down on the neighborhood, sometimes bring out the roughness of the neighborhood.  One of Gay Braxton's  typical tell-it-like-it-is reports contains the following entry: "One real problem, the boys gangs. The [club] leader had to do things by force which he knows is unethical but it had to be done. One conversation ran like this in the [club leader] entry one evening: 'Well, we sent that [gang] leader to the hospital, we wonder what will happen to the next one.' It has taken the combined effort of the staff to reckon with this gang but when the gang has an average attendance of 14 out of a possible 16, and the gang leader says to the club leader, 'You are the best leader that we have ever had and that's a compliment, too' we feel that we might be making some headway."24

Neighborhood House never shied away from such challenges and, as the popularity of the programs and participation kept growing, Neighborhood House once again was looking for more space. 

The Casa di Bambini

In 1927 the Public Welfare Association provided $700 for a cottage at 709 Mound Street--the property to the back of Neighborhood House--to be used by Neighborhood House for what was then termed "domestic science" and more resident workers. There was some talk about purchasing the cottage but budget cuts in 1928 quelled that discussion.25

Casa di Bambini
Casa di bambini, 1946
Courtesy of  University of Minnesota Libraries26

So after another year Neighborhood House began renting the cottage, producing a decade-long saga that perhaps illustrates the stresses that the Depression produced.  In the spring of 1929 there was more talk about buying the cottage, which was then valued at somewhere between $4,500 to $5,000, and the value would plummet by more than a third over the course of Depression.27   It would lead to disputes, deferred maintenance, and tension between Neighborhood House and the members of the Daggett family who also suffered as a family through the process.

From 1929 on there were problems with the building:  furnace issues,28  a robbery through a window without a lock, more furnace issues,29 a lease dispute,30 and a need for painting.31   In 1933, as the Depression bore down, Mrs. Daggett agreed to take $35 rather than $40 for monthly rent.32   And maintenance only got worse, with a small fire that required a garage roof repair that remained undone for a year, when Braxton contacted a city building inspector,33 and broken door locks that remained broken for at least two months.34  By 1936 the repair list grew to include the cistern, chimney, more painting,35  and the front screen door.36   The cistern remained broken for at least three months.37  When the Daggett family finally hired painters, they never finished the job, and Braxton informed Mrs. Daggett that "The painting that they did looks very nice and it is too bad that men who can do as good work as this keep themselves so steeped in liquor all the time."38  The furnace and garage continued to have problems well into 193739  and the porch steps fell apart.40   Perhaps frustrated with the situation, in 1936 the Daggett sons started talking about selling the cottage,41  and in 1937 went to a month to month rent42 and put the cottage up for sale for $3,500.  But it was only valued at $3,000 by this time.43

And then it got interesting.  In early 1938 Mrs. Daggett died and her sons became more and more anxious about selling,44 but they weren't willing to take less than $3,400.  The Neighborhood House board, for reasons that are unknown, went to Mrs. Augustus M. Frish to request a $3,000 loan.45   Frish was sympathetic, but had a steep payback condition--$1,000 at the time of the loan and then $350 to $500 in yearly payments.46   Mrs. Frish then apparently went out and started soliciting funds to help Neighborhood House make those payments.  But that violated the restrictions that the Community Union placed on all its funding recipients, creating a whirlwind of embarrassed and uncomfortable letters between the Neighborhood House Board, Frish, and the Community Union.  In the aftermath, Frish withdrew the loan offer.47   Meanwhile the cottage continued to deteriorate.48

Finally, the idea was hatched to ask the Community Union to simply keep making payments on the cottage, only for a mortgage rather than rent.  The Community Union agreed and the Juvenile Protection Association chipped in $1,500.49  In 1940 Neighborhood House finally was able to purchase the cottage, install a commemorative plaque thanking the contributors, and begin $425-440 in repairs, right down to the kitchen sink.50

And while the cottage was referred to as the Casa di Bambini--the house of children--it was used for a wide variety of activities over the years.  Those uses included: cooking classes, play school, sewing school, health league, night school and citizenship, rug and quilt club, piano lessons, various clubs, photography, and suppers.51

Going on 25 Years

25th Anniversary Banquet
Courtesy of University of Minnesota Libraries. 59

By the late 1930s, the neighborhood was still predominantly Italian, but the reach of Neighborhood House had expanded.  Records from a 1939 membership list included 315 Italians, 34 "Colored," 18 "American," 16 Jewish, 10 German, 6 Irish, 5 German-Norwegian, 4 English, 3 Norwegian, 3 Austrian-German, 2 Irish-Scotch, 1 French, 17 other mixed nationalities (one each), and 54 unidentified.52   By 1941 Gay Braxton remarked "We can scarcely call our neighborhood foreign now, with no new immigrants entering the country since the early '30s."53

In the fall of 1941, Neighborhood House had been going for 25 years.  It had established a permanent space that had more than doubled in size from 1921 to five large club rooms, a manual training room, three play school rooms, and living space for five resident workers spread across two buildings.54  By 1941, Neighborhood House was an independent organization with funding from the Vocational Board and the Community Union, and had both a board of directors and an auxiliary board. By 1941, 341 Italians had become U.S. citizens.55   Tens of thousands had participated in Neighborhood House programs.  The Neighborhood House slogan had become "an interest for every member of the family."56

So it was time to celebrate.  On October 5th of 1941 Neighborhood House began a five-day observance of their 25th year serving the community of Madison. The celebration was attended by employees, members, and community leaders alike with Mark A. McCloskey, then recreation director for the Federal Security Agency (now called the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare), Lea D Taylor, president of the National Federation of Settlements, as well as long-time Neighborhood House leaders such as Mrs. William Kittle. The anniversary week celebrated the various groups of members who used the house. Tuesday was "Adult Day," with a discussion of adult education led by superintendent of Madison Vocational Schools A. R. Graham, followed by a play titled Acceptance of Neighborhood House in the Neighborhood. "Citizenship day," on Wednesday, included a speech  by Judge Fred M. Evans about citizenship issues in Madison, and then an accordion duet performed by Neighborhood House members. "Children’s day," on Thursday, consisted of performances by children's groups at the house, including a tap dancing recital directed by the Kehl Dancing School.57  Organizers prepared a booklet of the history and programs of Neighborhood House.58  300 people attended the final day's banquet60  and radio station WIBA broadcasted portions of the 25th anniversary events live.61

From Depression to War

Two short months after the 25th anniversary celebration, Japanese warplanes bombed the naval port at Pearl Harbor, and the United States entered World War II. Gay Braxton noted that "...our small community contributed its share of participation in the world battle by sending 290 of our boys and girls to war. Most of these went to foreign fields, eight of them gave their lives for this country."62

The teen-age youth complains that he is not allowed to play the radio at home nor sing or dance for the father or brother is at war, or the neighborhood is in a state of mourning. - Miss Gay Braxton to the Wisconsin State Journal, 1942

The impacts of the war on Neighborhood House were two-fold.  First, Neighborhood House found it hard to get and keep workers, as men and women alike were called into every aspect of the war effort. But Neighborhood House soldiered on, steadfast in its commitment: "the slogan of all settlements during the war was 'Be as normal as possible, do not let this generation suffer for things that are his right.'"63 The 1942  Wisconsin State Journal quoted Miss Braxton as saying, "During war time, we will try to keep up our normal programs, so that in later years, no Neighborhood House member will be able to point out what he missed during his childhood as a result of the war. Now more than ever, children, teen-age boys and girls and adults, as well, need the security and friendliness they can get from participation in Neighborhood House activities."64 Girls continued to attend sewing and handicraft lessons while boys continued  woodworking, table games, archery, and drum and bugle lessons.65  The Lions Club purchased equipment for a photography dark room.66  Dances provided a chance for young boys and girls to meet and socialize. In addition to the programs for youth, adults participated in sewing clubs for women, rug weaving classes, Red Cross meetings, and Sunday movie matinees at Neighborhood House. The programming schedule would begin in earnest in late afternoon after school and run well into the evening until 9 or 10pm.67

A personal memory
volleyball at Neighborhood House
Volleyball at Neighborhood House,
courtesy of University of Minnesota Libraries68
George Fabian, the owner of Park Street Shoe Repair who still lives and works in the neighborhood as of 2015, remembers going to Neighborhood House in the early 1940s, when he was about nine until he was a teenager. He says:

"I used to go there during the week for various activities but what I remember the most is on Saturday afternoon they would show movies for a penny.... They'd show the movies and people would come in late and they'd open the door and let the light in and I remember people hollering 'Shut the door! Shut the door!'"

Mr. Fabian recalls that a lot of the volunteers at Neighborhood House were university students--"They were in charge of the place"--and how small the place was, even in its expanded space. Physical recreation was a challenge: "We played basketball and we had a low ceiling and we couldn't shoot the ball with a high arc, we had to almost throw it straight. And it was a tiny little place, it wasn't much bigger than the [shoe] shop in here."

Mr. Fabian emphasizes how important Neighborhood House was for the immigrants of the time. "My parents and a lot of immigrants went to night school there to learn to become a citizen. They would learn English and learn how to write their names and what have you.... My parents came here and most of the people came with nothing, nothing! And they got nothing. There was no subsidized housing, there wasn't welfare, there was none of that and that's a big difference. That's why the Neighborhood House was so important to us."69

While programs and events continued without interruption at Neighborhood House, wartime forced adjustments to the overall curriculum. As the young men of the neighborhood enlisted in military service, Neighborhood House began to cooperate with the city of Madison Defense Program, supporting the troops abroad in whatever ways possible.The Wisconsin State Journal captured the feelings of support in 1944 by quoting a young man who frequented the House as asking "if his name was listed among the 218 on the service plaque. When he was told only those in service were counted, he said, 'Well, you will have to change it to 219 because I'm going next week.'"70  Women gathered at Neighborhood House to sew and knit for the Red Cross, in support of the war effort, putting in 396 hours in February of 1942.71  Neighborhood House sponsored educational programs for parents of those in the service,72  and for all community members on topics such as "Rationing" and "Ceiling Prices".73

A New, and Temporary, Normal

The Neighbor Newsletter
The Neighbor Newsletter, September 194576
Courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society

As the war drew to a close, Neighborhood House aided the war recovery efforts while teaching their children about international peace and friendship.  The girls sewing club ran the "American Youth for European Youth project" putting together and decorating medical kits and sewing kits to send overseas. The sewing kits included embroidered towels, hand-knit washcloths, hand-made baskets and needle books. Each girl donated needles, thread, and a thimble for each kit.74 The small children's program also made scrapbooks for Dutch children in the Netherlands, showing them what life was like in the United States.

In accordance with the 1945 yearly theme of "the United Nations," Girl Scout Troop 34, from Neighborhood House, visited the foreign display at the historical museum on the University of Wisconsin campus and planned imaginary trips to foreign countries using travel books, following the examples set by the Camp Fire Alumni Association and the N.B.B.O..  In addition to Troop 34's project, the handicraft group made Mexican gourd chains and the woodworking groups created motifs from other countries.75

As soldiers began returning home to their families, "committees at the Neighborhood House arranged welcome-home parties."77  But it was not as simple as welcoming soldiers home and assuming life would return to normal.  "Return of boys from service, though a joyous reunion, created new problems in the families. These men left home as yong boys and returned as mature men with war horrors and world travels behind them. Adjustment to normal living at home and at work was too much for some of them. Disappointments were many and some were disillusioned upon reaching home."78  Even for those who stayed home, the war changed the relationship between the generations. "Four years of sorrow and distraught family life gave teenagers more freedom from parental guidance. To-day we are working with parents to meet the result of this freedom and to steer it back into the normal channel."79

Neighborhood House dance, 1946
Neighborhood House dance, 1946 ,
Courtesy of University of Minnesota Libraries80

Gradually, Neighborhood House returned to their focus on community work. Neighborhood House organized events to help families in the area meet each other and enjoy each other's company. Starting in 1946, Family Night became a monthly tradition at Neighborhood House. Activities on these nights included blindfolded boxing run by the boys youth program, community movies, dancing to the "Virginia Reel", singing "I'd Like a Bustle that Bends," and potato races in which mothers and sons raced to the finish line balancing potatoes on teaspoons. Neighborhood House also gave out awards. Laverne Shunk and her four children won the award for "the largest family present."81 In 1947 the community once again came together when the boys of Neighborhood House entered into a Soap Box Derby.82 Neighborhood House staff didn't arbitrarily determine what to do.  Every ten years they surveyed their community to find out what kinds of acvtivities people in the neighborhood wanted.83  And it wasn't just token surveying.  In one case they contacted 833 families.84

 Among the projects near and dear to Gay Braxton's heart was the establishment of a Neighborhood House family camp. It was common for settlement houses to have their own summer camps for youth and families who could otherwise not afford a vacation, and Miss Braxton was determined that Neighborhood House would be among those.  Neighborhood House had been sending boys and girls to the camps of other agencies since 1924 when the Lions Club supported four boys going to YMCA camp for two weeks. That was also the year that Gay Braxton worked so hard to start sending girls to camp.  It was not easy to convince parents with traditional gender expectations that girls could go to camp too: "After taking mothers from the neighborhood out to view the premises and they saw a perfectly good house, no tents, and no lake near by, we were able to persuade five mothers to let us care for their daughters for one week in the then country."  And she worked tirelessly for years after to keep the girls going to camp: "Each year after that we were able to persuade a few more mothers to entrust us with their children until in 1927 eleven mothers with their nine children went out for four days.... In 1929 we ventured to go to a cottage on the lake, but not until eight mothers with their eight children had tried us and it out first."85 Then the demise of  the  City Camping Commission prevented having a camp between 1930 and 1935.86

But it was not until 1939 that Neighborhood House would establish a committee, including members of both the Neighborhood House board and the auxiliary board, to seriously pursue the question.87  They met on and off from 1939 to 1944, visiting potential sites and finding them either unsuitable, unaffordable or too far away.88   In 1946 a new committee formed and redoubled its efforts, even mailing 50 letters out to realtors in hopes of locating a suitable site.89  But, alas, it was not to be, and the wind seemed to go out of the sails of the committee when Welfare Camp Inc. bought a 320 acre farm on the wisconsin River and made it available to community organizations in Dane County.90  The failure of Neighborhood House to establish its own summer camp would be one of Braxton's biggest disappointments.91

Not having its own camp certainly didn't deter Neighborhood House from continuing to get its youth out of the neighborhood, however.  Hiking and hosteling continued apace, with an adventurous spirit that could only be achieved in simpler times before the bureaucratization of risk.

Trip to Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds June 10-11 1947

Seven boys and one brave leader started out the morning of June 10, riding along highways 151 and 18.

"The boys gathered at the bicycle shed about 8: A.M. and had quite a time loading all their equipment in the baskets.... The first stop was made at Verona where the boys refreshed themselves and refilled the canteens.... During the trip frequent stops were made after a long hill was overcome either by riding or walking....

The next long stop was at Mount Horeb. Here it started to rain a little but no one got very wet..... Just as we started through the gate to Blue Mounds it started to rain. There was no place to take cover so the only thing to do was to get wet and this we did. Everyone was soaked to the skin but all were happy.... We finally reached a shelter and removed our wet clothing. The boys had swimming trunks and sweaters to put on. We rung out our clothes and then the sun came out and helped with the drying. ...the hunt for wood then took place. Chuck Beckwith [one of the boys] went down to the owners cottage to get some wood and he used his last nine cents to buy wood.... We trampd through the woods and found plenty of dead wood to use. The fire was built and the boys started to prepare the food they had brought with them....

By this time it was getting dark and since the hostel at Mount Horeb was not open it was decided to sleep in the lookout tower.... It was a very cold night and the wind was blowing very strong.... Three of the boys used the leader for a pillow and he had a difficult time with his legs going to sleep from their weight. Four of the boys started to sing to pass away the time because by now the wind was so strong that it was almost impossible to sleep.... Finally it was day light and every one was cold so we decided to get up and built a fire and make breakfast. Everyone was tired and sleepy and wanted to get home.

The next trip will be to Devil's Lake and it is hoped the weather will be much better. Reservations will be made at the hostel."92

 Dick Miyagawa, 1948
Dick Miyagawa94 ,
courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal

In 1948, Neighborhood House made headlines with the news that Dick Miyagawa, a University of Wisconsin boxing star, had become the director of the Boy's Program at Neighborhood House. Mr. Miyagawa graduated with a degree in Recreation and Sociology from UW Madison, in addition to being one of the first three men to complete the University's new course in Community Recreation and Leadership. In the middle of his time at UW-Madison, he put his education and athletic career on hold and fought in Europe for 18 months during World War II as a member of the army. He returned to completing his education and participating in boxing in 1947. His fame was assured that year when he lost the NCAA 130-pound title to Glenn Hawthorne of Penn State in "one of the most unpopular decisions ever rendered in the varsity field house."  He was renowned as a great fit for his new Neighborhood House position due to his expansive educational skill set, which included fishing, diving, swimming, music and, of course, boxing.93

Miyagawa also brought an unusual multi-cultural perspective.  A Japanese American born and raised in Hawaii,95  he lived with both poverty and the challenge of his heritage in the aftermath of World War II.  But he didn't shy away from his ethnic and geographic background, and offered a unique talent to Neighborhood House--so unique that It took extra effort to even attempt it. Gay Braxton put the word out to Miss Betty Cass:  "Our new boys' worker here at Neighborhood House, Dick Miyagawa, is planning to have a class in ukulele instruction, but our plans are being held up temporarily because of the scarcity of Ukuleles."96  Miss Cass put an article in the paper, and it was not long before Braxton wrote her in appreciation, noting that "8 ukes have been given us to date."97  Miyagawa pushed other boundaries as well, and got in some trouble when he brought a group of boys to Longfellow school and they misbehaved.  When he later asked for use of the Longfellow gym, he was politely declined.98  He, like many of the boys workers, would soon move on to other pursuits.99

The End... And The Beginning

By the late 1940s Neighborhood House had helped hundreds of new immigrants become citizens and establish themselves across Madison, touched the lives of tens of thousands of others, and watched a predominantly Italian neighborhood become more diverse with fewer foreigh-born residents and more "American white and colored" residents.100  In 1926, more than half of the Neighborhood House participants were Italian immigrants.  By 1946 they were only about a quarter, having been replaced by a more diverse array of European immigrants, African Americans, and "mixed" families.101   Braxton was proud of the work: "Adults were encouraged to bring their talents to the settlement and exchange with adults of other countries. Many lovely patterns of crotched work, of cut work and even recipes for making spaghetti and meat balls were passed on to neighbors. Our pleasant Sunday Afternoons where the old master pieces in music were presented by Madison artists were delights to the older people."102

Neighborhood House had helped the community weather a Great Depression and a World War, and had shepherded its transition.  "The neighborhood has evolved from 'Little Italy' and 'Green Bush' to Columbus Park. The settlement has been successively called The American Home in the Foreign Community, The Investment in Americanization, The Melting Pot, The Trouble Clerk (where complaints, and misunderstandings in American Life were registered) and today--The Neighborhood Center."103

Gay Braxton had been at the helm for more than two decades--the two toughest decades of the century.  She had become increasingly worried because attendance had dropped off.  As part of a site visit for the National Federation of Settlements, Lillian Peck (who never had a warm relationship with Braxton) described that Gay Braxton "is pretty much discouraged and should go away for some period of time."  and felt she was "hostile" to other neighborhood centers that were forming in the city at the time.104 

The Vocational School, which had paid the Neighborhood House staff salaries for as long as there had been paid staff, was also noticing that things were changing.  By their estimation, the Americanization mission--which was the reason for their funding--had been completed.  By the end of 1948, the Vocational School was considering ending its financial support of the Neighborhood House staff105  and, early in 1949, the decision was finalized.106

The discussions began about what to do.  In November of 1948, perhaps already aware of the Vocational School's intentions, Neighborhood House board member E. B. Gordon, with a tenure as long as Braxton's, wrote to Waterman Baldwin, executive secretary of the Madison Community Union.  He explained that the Neighborhood House board of directors wanted "an objective study made of Neighborhood House and the community by a disinterested group." Such a study, he argued "is in line with what is being done among all settlements, who find that the dislocations incident to the war make such a study imperative." He relayed a suggestion from a fellow board member that "the Community Welfare Council be asked to secure one of the National Federation of Settlement people to head this study."107  Shortly thereafter, Gay Braxton wrote to John McDowell, Executive Director of the National Federation of Settlements, requesting such a study.  In doing so, she made her own position clear: "I believe that the Neighborhood House has played an important part in the development of the foreign quarters of Madison and while that service may have been completed, I still feel there are other fields to conquer."108

Within two weeks, John McDowell replied to Gay Braxton that he would do the study himself.109  Braxton replied with some gratitude, and some insight into how tense those times must have been:

"My urge that you direct the study is this -- it will be alright with me whatever they do with the House if study is efficiently made....I should hate to see the work scrapped because of a poor study. BUT if the work done by the settlement is competed in Madison (Vocational School feels their job is completed) and can be carried on by others, I'd be the first to say God bless you--but unless this is wisely decided I would regret it.... There are two opinions among the oldsters who have served the Neighborhood House these many years. The one is those people who are releasing their hold on many things now at their advanced age; and the Neighborhood House is just another one of those things; the other opinion is that of the oldsters whose baby the settlement is and they think it should carry on indefinitely. Let's strike the happy medium and do whatever we do wisely and with knowledge..... If the above does not show you that it is a matter of life or death that you take and direct it, I can't make you see it."110

Then, following her signature, Gay Braxton writes,  "It is not generally known here that I am leaving and I believe it is the wish of the Executive Board that it not go out until the study has been completed."111

The plan for the study was not without some controversy.  As word spread that the Executive Director of the National Federation of Settlements was coming to Madison to do a study, word also got around about an effort to build a a $30,000 community center in south Madison. A set of discussions temporarily put that community center project on hold and expanded McDowell's work to also collect data for that area.112  The director of the East Side Youth Activities Council also got into the act, worried about the potential of a plan being created by outsiders.113

McDowell's study was not as extensive as might have been expected.  He talked with 25 people serving or living in the 9th and 14th Wards, worked with secondary data on the neighborhoods, and reviewed records from Neighborhood House itself. His findings on Neighborhood House did not show an organization in decline.  In 1949 the average weekly attendance was 465, 11% preschool, 54% grade school, 21% high school, and the rest adults or families. There were  four full time and two part time staff, five students from the university's Sociology and Recreation" program and twelve from Education. The annual budget was a modest $20,300, with $15,622 coming from the Vocational School.114

The need was clearly justified.  The problem was how to plug a hole that covered three-quarters of the Neighborhood House budget in the context of increasing competition from other areas of the city with an increasing need for the same services.  McDowell came up with three options.  "Plan A" would have Neighborhood House serve the entire 9th ward, but McDowell was concerned the population of need would be too small to justify the expense. "Plan B" would have Neighborhood House "serve as the headquarters of a staff that could work in as many such neighborhoods as the community could afford to serve."  But that plan would still require physical spaces in each of the neighborhoods.  "Plan C" would turn the Neighborhood House buildings into office space for the Community Union and other community agencies, ending neighborhood work in the city. McDowell Recommended Plan B.115

An advisory committee created to oversee the study voted unanimously to support McDowell's recommendation. This choice made it possible to rethink Neighorhood House as a provider of city-wide services. A follow-up committee fleshed out the plan to form "Madison Neighborhood Centers," creating a governing committee with five members from Neighborhood House , five from the East Side Youth Activities Council, one from the city recreation department, four at large members, and one from each other neighborhood served by combined agency.116 

 Gay Braxton, 1949
Gay Braxton, chairman of the Altrusa Club scholarship fund,
with University of Wisconsin graduate students
Tasniya-Isarsena and Eila Maarit Hyyrytainen118
Courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society

On May 31, 1949, shortly after the decision to establish Madison Neighborhood Centers, Gay Braxton submitted her resignation to the Neighborhood House board of directors, which she asked be effective July 1:

 "In reflection, I have seen a newly arrived immigrant neighborhood develope into a normal American Community: I have seen most of the neighbors become naturalized citizens: I have seen the education level of the fourth grade of their parents advanced to the High School, to the University and even some higher degrees for their children: I have seen the jobs of street sweepers and ditch-diggers of their parents replaced by the business and professional careers of their children--In other words I have seen a neighborhood grow up."117

Braxton apparently exited quietly as there are no records of any retirement celebration, only a mention that the board would plan a recognition dinner in her honor when she and Miss Griggs returned from summering at their cabin,119  but there is no record of the dinner itself. The Auxiliary Board voted Gay Braxton to be an honorary member,120 which she graciously accepted. Braxton and Griggs also would move out of Neighborhood House to their own home at 4018 Birch Avenue, in Madison's Westmorland neighborhood, where they regularly hosted Auxiliary Board meetings.121

E.B. Gordon, who had helped bring Braxton to Neighborhood House, resigned from the board at the same meetig that Braxton's resignation was accepted.122 For the first time in 27 years, Mary Lee Griggs would commute to her work at Neighborhood House. The settlement house era had ended.  A new, as yet uncertain, era had begun.

Continue

Sources

1. December 1930 report for Board of Directors' Meeting, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

2. Depression Hinders Neighborhood House, Wisconsin State Journal, June 5, 1931, p. 8.

3. Gay W. Braxton, Our Work With Adults, in Neighborhood House, 1916-1941, Open Door Twenty Five 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.

4. America has Dole in its Worst Form, Relief Worker Says, January 15, 1932 Wisconsin State Journal, p. 5..

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

6. “Since 1916 Neighborhood House Has Met Changing Needs of Growing City,” Madison Capital Times, 21 January 1964, p. 9.

7. A Birdhouse built by Aldo Trameri when he was a teenager at Neighborhod House in the 1930s.
Courtesy of Jim Trameri

7. Josephine La Galbo interview, 2014.

9.  Photograph by Randy Stoecker.

10. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives;The Neighborhood House Pre-School, Mary Lee Griggs, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

11. Neighborhood House, 1916-1941, Open Door Twenty Five 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.

12. organization of Camp Fire Alumni Association: 9-15-1933, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

13. Requirements for Initiation of New Members of N.B.B.O. oct. 29 1932, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

14. scrapbooks, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

15. First Hostel Trip, June 19, 1940, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. Possibly written by Martha Nelson according to photo caption at

16. Bicyclists Posed in Front of Neighborhood House, June 19, 1940, Image ID: 95322, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294955414&dsRecordDetails=R:IM95322.

17. Braxton, 1931. Minneappolis. Next Steps Ahead of the Settlement, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

18. History of Garden Club at Neighborhoo House 1931-1938, April 10, 1935, Marjory Charlton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

19. Madison's First Junior Garden Club Organized, Wisconsin State Journal, May 19, 1933, p. 7; History of Garden Club at Neighborhoo House 1931-1938, April 10, 1935, Marjory Charlton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives

20. 50 Elms Planted to Provide, Shade, Beauty on West Side, Capital Times, 5-27-36.

21. Sept. 23 1946 letter from F. S. Brandenburg to Brxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

22.  Neighborhood House Scrapbook: Garden Club Member, Image ID: 96376, Wisconsin Historical Society, http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294955414&dsRecordDetails=R:IM96376.

23. Braxton, Our Work With Adults, 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

24. Ten Months' Report Neighborhood House 1938-1939, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

25. Gay Braxton, 1929, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Cottage Data to Date- June 26, 1940 [handwritten over typed 2/9/39] Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

26.  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.

27. Cottage Data to Date- June 26, 1940 [handwritten over typed 2/9/39] Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

28. September 27, 1929 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

29. April 11, 1930 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

30. Cottage Data to Date, [2-9-39 crossed out, June 26, 1940 handwritten in], Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

31. March 31 1931 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

32. Cottage Data to Date- June 26, 1940 [handwritten over typed 2/9/39] Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives..

33. Nov. 10 1933 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Oct. 2 1934 building inspection report 709 Mound--Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

34. April 13 1934 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.; May 11, 1934 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

35. March 5 1936 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

36. May 12, 1936, letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

37. June 8, 1936 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

38. July 20, 1936 letter from Braxton to Mrs. Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

39. Oct. 1 1936 letter from Braxton to Mr. J. P. Butler, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.; March 24 1937, letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.; Nov. 9 1937 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.; Nov. 27 1937 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

40. Oct 23, 1936 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

41. June 24, 1936 letter from Braxton to Mr. J. P. Butler, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

42. March 24 1937, letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

43. Cottage Data to Date, [2-9-39 crossed out, June 26, 1940 handwritten in], Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

44. Cottage Data to Date, [2-9-39 crossed out, June 26, 1940 handwritten in], Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

45.  January 27 1939 letter from President of board of directors to Mrs. Augustus M. Frish, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

46. February 6 1939 letter from Braxton to Mrs. Carl Tenney, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

47. Cottage Data to Date- June 26, 1940 [handwritten over typed 2/9/39]. Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; May 2, 1939 letter from John P. Butler, chairman of executive committee of Neighborhood House to Charles J. Birt of Madison Community Union , Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; May 2, 1939 letter from John P. Butler to Mrs. A. M. , Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

48. Oct. 5 1939 letter from Braxton to Daggett, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

49. Cottage Data to Date, [June 26, 1940 handwritten over typed 2/9/39], Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; April 1, 1940 letter from Braxton to Mrs. Ralph Jacobs, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.; April 5, 1940 letter from John P. Butler to Frank RossV; March 21 1940 letter from Gay Braxton to John P. Butler, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

50. April 13, 1940 letter from Kohler Co. to Mrs. Sarah Sinaiko, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.; Oct. 8, 1940 letter from Braxton to John P. Butler, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

51. March 25, 1940, Use of the Cottage, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

52. Ten Months' Report Neighborhood House 1938-1939, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

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

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

55. Neighborhood House, an Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

56. 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.

57. Wisc State Journal 7, 1941 - Neighborhood House Plans 25th Anniversary in October Sunday oct 5, 1941 – “Neighborhood House Opens its 25th Anniversary Today” ; 25th Anniversary Brochure, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

58. 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.

59.  Neighborhood House 25th Anniversary Banquet program, from the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

60. History of Neighborhood House is Told to 300 here" The Capital Times, October 10, 1941, p. 3.

61. Neighborhood House Program to be on WIBA, Madison Capitol Times, Oct. 5, 1941, p. 28;  Neighborhood House Plans 25th Anniversary in October, The Capitol Times, July 27, 1941; Neighborhood House Opens its 25th Anniversary Today Wisconsin State Journal, Oct. 5, 1941;  25th Anniversary Brochure, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries

62. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Neighborhood House Today, Gay W. Braxton, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

63. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Neighborhood House Today, Gay W. Braxton, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

64. Neighborhood House Prepares Madisonians to Win Citizenship. Wisconsin State Journal, September 23, 1942.

65. 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

66. The Enlistment of a Service Club in Time of Peace. Given to Lions' Club at Neighborhood House Noon luncheon 1/19/43,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

67. Neighborhood House Adds to Program, Wisconsin State Journal, August 27, 1944, p. 22; 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

68. photo from 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.

69. George Fabian interview, 2014

70. Neighborhood House Adds to Program. Wisconsin State Journal, August 27, 1944.

71. Louise C. Marston, Housewives Manage to Find Time for Many Hours of Red Cross Work, Wisconsin State Journal, March 15, 1942, p. 13.

72. Program Planned for Service Parents, Wisconsin State Journal, June 14, 1942.

73. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; A Decade of the Auxiliary Board History, Mrs. Ralph Jacobs, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

74.  Neighborhood House Projects Get Underway, Wisconsin State Journal, November 4, 1945.

75.   Neighborhood House Groups Have Projects. Wisconsin State Journal, November 18, 1945. 

76.  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

77. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. A Decade of the Auxiliary Board History, Mrs. Ralph Jacobs, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

78. Neighborhood House October 1, 1946-April 1, 1947,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

79. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Neighborhood House Today, Gay W. Braxton, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

80.  photo from 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.

81. Neighborhood House Has Family Party, Wisconsin State Journal, October 30, 1946.

82. Timeline,1948 from Neighborhood House archives.

83. E.B. Gordopn to Waterman Baldwin, 11-22-48 correspondence, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

84. Neighborhood House October 1, 1946 - April 1, 1947.From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

85. Gay Braxton presentation to "board meeting 0ct 19, 1939", Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

86. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; The Family Camp, Edmund Hart, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

87. letter from John P. Butler to Mrs. T. F. Kennedy, Nov. 7, 1939, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

88. Camping study Committee Meeting, Dec. 11, 1939, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives. October 17, 1940; minutes of the board of directors, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

89. letter from Leo Kehl, member of family camp committee to Gay Braxton, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; 7-12-44; letter from Ralph Jacobs to Mrs. Al. Retzlaff, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; camp committee meeting march 18, 1946, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; minutes of the family camp committee Oct. 28 1946, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; minutes of camp committee, Oct. 27, 1947, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; The Family Camp, Edmund Hart, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

90. New Organization Plans Boys Camp, Wisconsin State Journal, December 21, 1947.

91. letter from Gay Braxton to Board of Directors of the Neighborhood House, May 31, 1949, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

92. Trip to Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds June 10-11 1947, Charles Schwartz,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

93. Star Boxer Miyagawa Heads Boys Work at Neighborhood House, Wisconsin State Journal, February 1, 1948, p.17. 

94. Photo from, Star Boxer Miyagawa Heads Boys Work at Neighborhood House, Wisconsin State Journal, February 1, 1948, p.17.  Courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal.

95. Lords of the Ring: The Triumph and Tragedy of College Boxing's Greatest Team, By Doug Moe, University of Wisconsin Press, 2005.

96. Feb. 18, 1948 letter from Gay Braxton to Miss Betty Cass, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives:.

97. Apr 8 1948 letter from Gay Braxton to Miss Betty Cass, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives:, thanking her for the article in Feb. asking for ukuleles..

98. Feb 26 1948 letter from GayBraxton to Mr. Philip H. Falk, city superintendent of schools, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; March 16 1948 letter from Glenn Holmes, director of Madison public schools dept. of health, phys ed, recreation, and safety, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

99. Barbara Ellis and Lois Bradley, Swimming Meet Big Event in Lives of Teen Agers, Wisconsin State Journal, August 14, 1949, p. 10.

100. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Neighborhood House Today, Gay W. Braxton, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

101. Neighborhood House October 1, 1946 - April 1, 1947,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

102. Neighborhood House: An Answer to a City Need, Mrs. William Kittle, October 9, 1941, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; An Interest for Every Member of The Family, Gay W. Braxton, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

103. 1945 - 1946 at Neighborhood House, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

104. Lillian Peck, Neighborhood House October 1, 1946 - April 1, 1947. From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 242, Folder 534, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

105. Trade School's Needs Weighed, Wisconsin State Journal, 1December 12, 1948.

106. City-Wide Welfare Plan Studied Here, Wisconsin State Journal, pp. 1, 2, March 31, 1949.

107. letter from E. B. Gordon to Waterman Baldwin, 11-22-48, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

108.  letter from Gay Braxton to John McDowell, 12-3-48, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

109. letter from John McDowell to Gay Braxton, 12-15-48, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

110. letter from Gay Braxton to John McDowell, 12-27-48, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

111. letter from Gay Braxton to John McDowell, 12-27-48, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

112. letter from Waterman Baldwin to John McDowell, 2-24-49, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

113. Youth Center SurveyPlanned for South Side, Wisconsin State Journal, February 18, 1949, pp 1, 2]

114. Report on Study of Neighborhood House, John McDowell, 3-17-49, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

115. Report on Study of Neighborhood House, John McDowell, 3-17-49, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

116. May 4 1949 minutes of the Neighborhood House Survey Follow-Up Committee, From the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers records, Box 104, Folder 12, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.

117. letter from Gay Braxton  to Board of Directors of the Neighborhood House, May 31, 1949, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives,  letter from R. W. Bardwell, director of Vocational and Adult School to Gay Braxton, March 29, 1949, acknowledges "your resignation from the Vocational School staff at the close of the present year."

118.  Madison Altrusa Club, Image ID: 57755, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294955414&dsRecordDetails=R:IM57755.

119. Mary Brandel Hopkins, An Orchid to Miss Gay Braxton,  The Capital Times, July 9 1949.

120. Oct. 5 1949 auxiliary board meeting,  Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Nov. 1, 1949 auxiliary board meeting, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

121. March 7 1950 auxiliary board meeting, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Oct. 2 1951 auxiliary board meeting, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Dec. 4 1951  auxiliary board meeting, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Oct 5 1954 auxiliary board meeting, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives; Oct. 4 1955  auxiliary board meeting, Neighborhood House Records 1915-1980, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

122.  Gay Braxton's Resignation Accepted.  Wisconsin State Journal, June 24, 1949.

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