This fascinating photograph from 1899 is the first in our Eye on History Series featuring historic images. These upperclassmen from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, seem to be eagerly listening to a recitation of poetry or other literature. Of course the image was staged, likely for a yearbook or senior portrait, but it offers a wonderful glimpse at how educated gentlemen presented themselves at the turn of the century.
The tall young man seated at front and center is Oscar Treutel (1874-1967). He was among the Carroll College graduating class in June 1899. At the time, Oscar hailed from North Prairie in Waukesha County, although he lived on campus at least part of the time. He later moved to Vesper, Wisconsin, where he had a long career as a merchant.
The rest of the front row includes Frank F. Kipp, Sam Martin and George Wilkening. In the back row are Robert Holt and Rufus Friedman. The handwritten notes on the back of the photo do not indicate in which direction the men are named, so we can’t be sure which face goes with which name.
Kipp (1879-1956), who was also from North Prairie, went into dairy farming after college and served nearly 20 years as a supervisor on the Waukesha County Board.
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