Stateline Travelers – Part 4 – Local History In the Making and Me

Stateline Travelers – Part 4 –
Local History In the Making and Me

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin Visited the Beloit Public Library – August 12, 2016

By Vicki Ruthe Hahn,  SGS (Stateline Genealogy Sorter)

(Part of the Stateline Travelers Series)

Gov Walker 2

A program from the event, signed by Governor Scott Walker.

“Nick Dimassis, Director of Beloit Public Library welcomes Governor Scott Walker on August 12, 2016 to talk about the signing of Acts 99, 169 and 306. These bills were presented to legislature and signed by Gov. Walker in an effort to help libraries recover costs of materials not returned and collect on overdue accounts with large fines.”

Gov Walker 3




Vicki Ruth Hahn and Gov. Scott Walker at Beloit Public Library, August 12, 2016 
Photo thanks to Kim Caswell 
 I’m not sure what was so funny, but I enjoyed meeting Gov. Walker as a person. And I was prepared for anything with my ever-ready pen behind my ear! 
Thanks to the whole Library staff; fun day; great program. 
2 good speakers. (Library Director Nick Dimassis, and Gov. Scott Walker). 
There were about 100 people total that day to honor Gov. Walker, including our local legislators who worked for the bipartisan passage of passing the three laws this year that support Libraries.  
Our Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program was held that morning, and about 10 people came because I announced it there.  Several Club members also told Gov. Walker about the Club, and what we do here.  Gov. Walker now knows that we do genealogy and local history here at BPL. 
Through the years, other political dignitaries (Democrats and Republicans)  have visited Beloit, Wisconsin – Abraham Lincoln, Elanor Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, etc.  Also Dolly Parton, and other entertainers have come there through the years.  
Gov. Walker is a local small-town boy who grew up just down the road in Delavan, Walworth County.  (Delavan, Wisconsin was also the wintering-over location for the entertainers of many circuses for decades, and some of them settled in the area.)  U.S. House speaker Paul Ryan is a native of Janesville, Wisconsin.   State Representative Amy Loudenbeck (31st Assembly District) is a regular supportive visitor to the Beloit Public Library, (and I just found out from reading her webpage that she has been a fire-fighter.)  Hint – you never know what you are going to find out about people (your ancestors) until you look! 
The Republican Party was founded March 20 1854: 
“In Ripon, Wisconsin, former members of the Whig Party meet to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. The Whig Party, which was formed in 1834 to oppose the “tyranny” of President Andrew Jackson, had shown itself incapable of coping with the national crisis over slavery. 
With the successful introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854, an act that dissolved the terms of the Missouri Compromise and allowed slave or free status to be decided in the territories by popular sovereignty, the Whigs disintegrated. By February 1854, anti-slavery Whigs had begun meeting in the upper midwestern states to discuss the formation of a new party. One such meeting, in Wisconsin on March 20, 1854, is generally remembered as the founding meeting of the Republican Party. 
The Republicans rapidly gained supporters in the North, and in 1856 their first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, won 11 of the 16 Northern states. By 1860, the majority of the Southern slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans won the presidency. In November 1860, Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected president over a divided Democratic Party, and six weeks later South Carolina formally seceded from the Union.” 
Some of the many other visitors to Beloit have been -  Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, and even Dolly Parton!   Even if visitors were not famous, I have found short social snippets (and photographs) of ancestors in historic newspapers.  Even if the town is mid or small sized, or in a different state. Hint -  you may find reference to  ancestors in the newspapers, and library history files of other communities where they visited.   
This visit by Governor Scott Walker and speeches are documented in print in the Beloit Public Library Genealogy and Local History lateral file,  (and here in the BLOG.)  The speeches by both men are on the Youtube video link in the email quote below.   There are even more photographs of this event (as well as many other events) on the Beloit Public Library Facebook page –
8-30-2016 Email from Nick Dimassis- Director of Beloit Public Library: 
“Greetings WLA Members, 
The video of the Governor’s visit to the Beloit Public Library is now online: (Youtube Title: “Libraries Transform!“) 
(‘Published on Aug 29, 2016  – ‘) 
An edited-for-the-written-word version of his remarks is attached as well.  Clearly, he knows the value of public libraries to the success of Wisconsin. 
It was a great event and one that I hope you will all build upon by inviting your legislators into your library to thank them for all they do–and have done.  Your library system director has a kit for making this easy and can assist with creating “Library Transform!” posters for your legislators.  It’s an important relationship-building opportunity that we should all take advantage of before the end of October, if possible.  File under: don’t think too hard, just do it. 
All three bills were passed by voice vote, proof that libraries enjoy broad and bi-partisan support.  Each and every legislator should be thanked.  Contact your library system director for more information. 
Nick Dimassis 
LD&L Co-Chair” 

Hint – current history is being “written” on emails,, and, etc.  Look for your genealogy  there also. 

Here are some other photos of the event: 


PhotoELF Edits:2016:08:14 --- Resized
Library Staff waiting for Gov. Walker “10 minutes out”.     Photo thanks to Susan Park.

Governor Walker made time ahead of the speeches to meet the Beloit Public Library Staff and local Librarians in the Library workroom.  Speeches by Library Director Nick Dimassis, and Gov. Walker.  You can see his inevitable security guards – at least 3 or 4.  Can you find some of the (about 10 out of 100) Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library members that were in the audience?   

Gov. Walker made time to meet and greet members of the audience after the speeches. He was very warm in his interactions with each of the children (future voters), and adults in the audience.  And then there was the inevitable press conference afterward.   
He spent time with the people instead of eating cake.  (How many cakes does he have to ignore at most of his stops to keep in good shape?)  That huge cake still was eaten completely by the appreciative audience! 

                                  Photos by Vicki Hahn  

Photo thanks to Shirley Bauer   

The ironies in my librarian/genealogist/blogger career are too funny.  
So many amazing connections and excellent adventures. 

A few days after Gov. Walker’s visit, I was helping a Library Patron to find a book to read on the plane.  I learned the title of a book from her, which improves my skills of doing Reader Advisory.  I used her Library card to put the book on hold to pick up at the Hedberg  Public Library so that she could get it before her plane left.  Hint – Did you know that any card from one of the seven public libraries in Arrowhead Library System ALS can be used interchangeably, (except for a few purposes)?  
When I saw the name “Stephanie Klett” on the card, I said, “I know who you are.”  She replied, “I know who you are too.”  I quipped, ” I know why I know who you are, but how do you know who I am?”  (Stephanie Klett, born in Beloit, Wisconsin, is Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and was the host of the tourism TV show  Discover Wisconsin.) 
Stephanie asked, “Haven’t you worked at the (Beloit Public) Library for a really long time, and do all kinds of things here?”  We chatted about the programs and services that I have been involved in.  I mentioned the pleasant visit at the Library with Gov. Walker, and the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library, and this BLOG.  Stephanie is interested in learning more about genealogy, so I invited her to the club.  We had an enjoyable chat getting to know each other.
So Stephanie, if you can make it in your busy schedule, I know that any of the great folks who come to the club would like to help you, and anyone else.  We look forward to learning the insights of anyone who attends.   
And Stephanie, if you are reading this, I finally am getting this posted.  (Too many photo difficulties.)  Ahh, production problems. 
I will leave with a quote from Wisconsin Department of Tourism, because we Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library “locals” love to share the hidden gems of our community(s), our ancestor’s histories, and making sure that generations of families make memories: 
“Wisconsin is a place you know you’re always welcome. Where locals share hidden gems. Festivals happen at the drop of a hat. And generations of families make memories. Let us share the real Wisconsin with you – because when you’re having fun we’re having fun.”    



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