Friday, December 20, 2019

A Dartmouth Lineage of Distinction

Cover of memorial service program for Winfield Scott Montgomery, including his photograph
Today's post is a special one for us here at Rauner Special Collections Library because it is our 1000th post since the blog first began in 2009. Over the last decade, we have deliberately invested in the blog as a way to promote our collections and to bring to light the stories of many events and people who often have been overlooked. We've also reached such a quantity of content that we have begun to circle back, sometimes unknowingly, to stories that have been told here before. Luckily, when that happens, there is usually another detail or facet to the tale that allows us to approach from another perspective. The life of Winfield Scott Montgomery, class of 1878, is a perfect example. We recently stumbled upon his fascinating life story, only to find that one of our own student workers had already scooped us nearly five years ago.

However, there is more to Montgomery's story than one blog post can contain, for not only did
A photograph of Wilder Montgomery 1906 holding a large fish that he had caught
Winfield Montgomery attend Dartmouth, but so did his son Wilder Percival Montgomery 1906, and his son's son, Wilder Percival Montgomery, Jr. 1931, and his nephew, Charles McDuffy Wilder 1915. Winfield's son, Wilder, was known affectionately on campus as "Monty". He came to Dartmouth from Phillips Andover, pursued the pre-medical course of study available at the time, and then became a biology teacher at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., which was one of the nation's first public high schools for African-American students. Monty taught there for twenty-five years and, at the time of his death, was chairman of the Board of Admissions of the Public Schools of the District of Columbia for Divisions 10 to 13.

Wilder Montgomery's son, also known at Dartmouth as "Monty," followed his grandfather's footsteps and became a physician, receiving his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1935. He was an instructor at Howard University's School of Medicine from 1940 to 1950, and in 1951 was the first African-American physician to be appointed to the 10-member District Board of Police and Fire Surgeons in Washington, D.C. By the time he passed away in 1995, Montgomery had accrued numerous other honors and positions of distinction; he was a fellow in the American College of Physicians, a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners, a member of the appeals council of the disability branch of Social Security, and a trustee of the American Lung Association and Children's Hospital.

To learn more about this amazing family, come to Special Collections and ask to see their alumni files.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


Bookends made from bricks from Stephen Cranes home
In 1946, George Matthew Adams presented to the Dartmouth Library his incredibly deep collection of books related to the author Stephen Crane. The same year, the Industrial Arts Students at Weequahic High School in Newark, New Jersey, sent the Library another gift to make the collection whole: two bookends made from bricks from Crane's demolished home.

Newark News article from October 4, 1946, about students making the bookends
The school's principle had saved the bricks when Crane's house in Newark was torn down, then he set his students to work to cut and clean them, apply a coat of sealant, and build sturdy supports for them. They created two sets of bookends. One came to Dartmouth, the other to the Newark Public Library.

You can take a look at them by asking for Realia 153!