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Native American Heritage Month: Irene (Metoxen) Moore

Monday, November 19, 2018
Irene (Metoxen) Moore (1903-1976) was not a typical farmer’s wife. She worked tirelessly on the farm, as a mother, and for her community. In 1963, Irene ran for chairman on the Oneida Tribal Council and won.She was Oneida’s first woman elected to Tribal Chairperson.


Irene was focused on creating better quality of life on the reservation. She did this by working on several projects including the Oneida Housing Authority, Oneida Community Area 4-H Club, and by encouraging people to pursue college degrees. Housing, education, and tribal government all improved after she was elected. Irene is remembered as a patient, respectful, and hard-working woman who had a lasting effect on the Oneida Nation.

One of her many projects was to create the Oneida Housing Authority. When she took public office, housing on the reservation was in a poor state of affairs. Many homes in the 1960s did not have indoor plumbing or electricity. The quality of life for her neighbors was unacceptable. Irene spent an enormous amount of effort to start the Authority to fix the situation. By creating the Oneida Housing Authority she opened the door for Federal Grant Funds that improved the lives of the people living on the reservation.

Lisa Kain
Curator

Native American Heritage Month: Rev. Cornelius Hill

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Rev. Cornelius Hill (1834-1907) is one of the most prominent figures in the Oneida Nation’s history. He is known not only for the titles he held (Chief and Reverend), but for the work he did in his community. Cornelius became Chief of the Bear Clan when he was only 13 years old but did not join the council until he was 18. Chief Hill was the last bloodline Chief of the Oneida.

In the early 1800s, the Oneida were moved to this part of the country from New York. After the Civil War, talks of movement began again with the U.S. government wanting the Oneida to move farther west past the Mississippi River. Cornelius, as a leader and council member, spoke out against this in 1864. “Progress is our motto, you who labor to deprive us of the small spot of God’s footstool will labor in vain. We will not sign your treaty; no amount of money can tempt us to sell our people…” – Rev. Cornelius Hill

In 1895, he became the first Oneida Deacon in the Episcopal Church. He also studied to become ordained and finally met that goal in 1903 at the age of 69. Cornelius is most often remembered as a strong-willed and reserved leader who was not afraid to fight for what he felt was best for the Oneida people.

Lisa Kain
Curator

Keen Bloomfield, Julia. The Oneidas, 1909.
Herbert S. Lewis, ed. Oneida Lives: Long-Lost Voices of the Wisconsin Oneidas, 2005.
Loew, Patty. Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, 2001.

Native American Heritage Month: Dr. Rosa Minoka Hill

Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Sometimes people have a calling to do something great, something that leaves a legacy. Dr. Rosa Minoka Hill had that inner voice telling her to serve and so she did. Her work and determination to help others affected both those treated by her and by all of those around her. Dr. Hill’s renowned service and intriguing story gave her not only a special spot in Green Bay history, but also a rightful place among some of the most influential people of Brown County.

Dr. Rosa Minoka Hill was born in New Jersey in 1876 to a Mohawk mother and a Quaker physician. She earned her M.D. at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania while keeping her ties to her Native American roots. She eventually established her own medical practice in Philadelphia. She provided care at the Lincoln Institute where she met Anna Hill, an Oneida girl from Brown County. Then she met Anna’s brother, Charles, a student at the Carlisle Indian School. They married in 1905 and the newly wed Charles and Dr. Rosa Minoka Hill moved back to Charles’ home in Oneida.
 Rosa Hill and Sue Cook stand by Rosa's grandmother's head stone. The two plan to enter nurses' training after graduation in June, they will follow in the footsteps of Rosa's grandmother, Dr. Rosa Minoka Hill.
At first Dr. Rosa Minoka Hill played the expected role of farmhouse wife. She gave up her practice until she realized the medical needs of the people in her new home. She knew providing medical care was something worthwhile and worked with native medicine men. Dr. Hill was able to blend her medical practices with the tribal practices. This way, rich cultural aspects were combined with innovative technology to provide the best care possible. She had a “kitchen clinic” for many years. It was open from 7am to 10pm every day and all were welcome. Dr. Hill became known by the name Yo-da-gent, meaning “she who serves” in Oneida. * Her understanding of culture, tolerance, and willingness to serve all who needed is something we can all admire.

Charles died in 1916 leaving Rosa with six children and a mortgaged farm. These circumstances along with the Great Depression led Rosa to pursue a medical license in Wisconsin even though she already had one in Pennsylvania. She had to borrow the $100 to take the Wisconsin Medical License Exam. She passed the exam at the age of 58 and opened a practice in town. She practiced and served there for 12 years.

It is obvious that Dr. Hill had a calling to help others. She was determined to not let the expectations society had of women during that time to distract her from what she wanted to do. She was able to have a family and serve all those who needed help. She eventually had to provide for her family and found a way to do so while providing necessary medical care to others. Her passion, strength, and respect for people of all backgrounds are things we can admire today.

* Dreamers and Doers : A Project of Green Bay Area Branch American Association of University Women, 1994
* Dr. Rosa Minoka Hill Green Bay Public School, https://minokahill.gbaps.org/

Anna Denucci
Intern
St. Norbert College

Brown County's 200th Birthday

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
On October 26, 1818 Brown County’s boundary lines became the first to be established west of Lake Michigan. Crawford County was founded on the same day. However, Brown County is considered Wisconsin’s first because “b” comes before “c” in the alphabet. 

Two hundred years ago Brown County was much larger, encompassing almost half of the future state of Wisconsin. Today the county spans 530 sq. miles and is home to more than 260,000 people. Discover more about Brown County's history by visiting our special exhibit "Our Brown County!"

How did Brown County get its name?
Brown County, along with several other municipalities across the country, is named in honor of General Jacob Jennings Brown. General Brown was born to a Quaker family in Pennsylvania in 1775. He moved to New York and served as a Judge and solider in the state militia. During the War of 1812, Brown earned the rank of Major General. For his heroics, he was named Commanding General of the Army by Congress, and served in the government until his death in 1828.



Curator’s Perspective
Over the last 10 months the museum has focused on celebrating this 200 years of history. We opened “Our Brown County” the exhibit. We have participated in parades and events across the county celebrating this particular moment.

It’s a great thing- a bicentennial celebration- but what does it really mean? To me (a curator of history) it means everything. It’s all of these moments in history stacked on top of each other to create the moment we’re living in now. I love learning about the people our streets and schools are named after and the effect they had on the community that is still felt today. I respect that fact that I wouldn’t be living here without the Homestead Act or the Green Bay Packers. Both are different parts of our community’s history but both influence people lives more than they know.

Knowing our history and respecting the work of the people before us allows us to connect on a deeper level to our community and take pride in it. After all, this is the place you’ve chosen to live, work, and play. I invite you think of some of these things and participate in this special moment in Brown County's history.

Lisa Kain
Curator

Five Surprising Facts About Bees

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Five Surprising Facts About Bees

Bees are being trained to sniff for bombs. 

Researchers at the Los Almos National Laboratory are training honeybees to find bombs. The Stealthy Insect Sensor Project trains the bees like how Pavlov trained dogs. Honeybees are exposed to the smell of bomb ingredients and are then given sugar water as a reward. Researchers say the bees catch on pretty fast, only needing to be exposed a couple of times.

After training, the bees stick out their proboscis when they smell bomb ingredients. This behavior lets researchers know when the bees smell the bomb. 

Bees have traveled to space!

Over 3,000 bees were sent on the April 1984 Challenger flight. They were housed in a special box and adapted perfectly to zero gravity. But they didn’t go to the bathroom. Since bees only excrete outside the hive, they held it in for seven days! A NASA spokesperson said the space hive was “just as clean as a pin.”

Rural farmers in Africa use bee-fences to protect against elephants.

Like farmers in Wisconsin, farmers in Africa deal with crop-raiding wildlife. The Elephants and Bees Project uses African Honeybees to reduce crop damage by elephants. The elephants have a natural instinct to avoid bees so the project works with farmers to create beehive fences. 

The hives are strung together so when an elephant bumps the hives or the string, it releases the bees, driving the elephants away. When testing the hives, they had a success rate of over 80%. The hives also help with crop pollination and provide honey for the community. 

Male bees (drones) have no father but they do have a grandfather.

Male bees (drones) develop from unfertilized eggs. Since no sperm is used to create their egg, they do not have a father. However, they receive their genetic material from their mom, who had a mother and a father. This means they would receive genetic material from their grandfather.  



Honeybees are one of the only species that will die after stinging you once.

A honeybee usually dies after stinging because its stinger has barbs. This does not allow them to yank the stinger back out when they sting a human. As the honeybee tries to pull out the stinger, it breaks its lower abdomen. It leaves the stinger, a string of digestive material, muscles, glands and a venom sac behind. Other bees, like bumblebees and carpenter bees, have smooth stingers. This allows them to sting more than once without dying.


To learn more about bees and how they affect you, visit our new exhibit Bees!

James Peth
Research Technician 


Delay of Game Explores African American History

Friday, August 17, 2018
Bob Mann was the first African American to play in a regular season game for the Packers in 1950 During my summer internship at the Neville, I had the opportunity to work on Delay of Game: Experiences of African American Football Players in Titletown. When first told about the exhibition, I was thrilled to hear of the museum’s plans to explore African American history. But, because Delay of Game centers on the Packers, I worried football would overshadow the stories off the field. Thankfully, I was wrong. Not only did I learn more about the Packers, but also more about the community I grew up in. I found that the African American history of the Packers, and Brown County, reflected wider social histories. 

Packers First African American Player 
Bob Mann was the first African American Packer to play a regular season game. Recruited in 1950, Mann joined the team just four years after Kenny Washington signed to the Rams in 1946 (One year before Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers). Washington was the first black NFL player since 1933.

Packers and Jim Crow
Into the 1960s the Packers continued to integrate football. The team broke black player restrictions and bypassed Jim Crow hotel rules. While there was still much progress to be made in professional sports, Green Bay was at the forefront of player equality. That does not mean that black players had it easy. During his first trip to the South, Willie Wood was subject to discrimination. He was thrown out of a hotel lobby, and a cab, because they were white only. Before making it to his hotel room, Wood was fuming. The treatment that Wood faced was far too common in the black community.

1961 Green Bay Packers Team





NFL Commissioner Tries to Stop an Interracial Marriage in Green Bay 
Lionel Aldridge, however, faced difficulty in Wisconsin. Aldridge wanted to marry his college girlfriend, Vicky, but had to think twice because she was white. Cookie Gilchrist had been blacklisted from the NFL for his interracial marriage, and Aldridge feared he faced the same fate. NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle visited Green Bay and attempted to stop the marriage. In 1967, the same year as Loving v. Virginia, Aldridge married Vicky.

Through my internship, I gained museum education and knowledge about my hometown. It is important for people to take the time to learn about their community and the people within. Different people are subjected to different experiences; we all must be aware of that. Not everyone shares the same privileges, as Delay of Game shows. Jordy Nelson sums it up well, “… just because I don’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

Noah Mapes
Intern
University of Wisconsin

Exploring the Top of the World in Green Bay

Friday, June 01, 2018
As snow began to fall in early April, a semi-truck from Vancouver, Canada arrived at the museum’s loading dock. It contained over sixty oil paintings from the traveling exhibition Into the Arctic. Canadian artist, Cory Trépanier, is a documentary filmmaker and Arctic explorer. He captured this scenery on four arctic expeditions, and of those landscapes had never been documented before. 

When given the opportunity to host this exhibit we were immediately excited by the potential to tie into our Arctic Collection. The Neville is home to more than 500 artifacts from Alaska and Canada’s Northwest Territory. We selected 50 images and objects to display in conjunction with Trépanier’s paintings.

Most of these artifacts and images were collected in the late 1920s and early 1930s by Ms. Ann Bannon. She worked at several missions in northwestern Alaska. There, she began taking photographs and collecting objects made by the local peoples. She sent these objects and images to the Neville so people in Green Bay could explore what daily life was like for the native population of Alaska and Canada. Bannon's contributions to our Collection supported the museum's mission to "bring the world to Green Bay." 

We hope you’ll take some time to explore the paintings, artifacts, and photographs in Into the Arctic.  The exhibit is open through August 19th. 

Thank you to the Pivot Rock Fund for sponsoring Into the Arctic. Special thanks to Canada’s Consulate General in Chicago for providing the funds to bring Cory and his wife Janet to Green Bay. Also, thank you to David J. Wagner for producing this internationally traveling exhibition.  

Kevin Cullen
Deputy Director

Civil War Era Flag Returns

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
After months of conservation work this Civil War era flag is ready for exhibit! This important piece of Brown County history is more than 12 feet long and 8 feet high.

Flag Conservation
This flag has been at the museum since 1934. When we identified it for exhibit use last year it was clear the 157 year old flag needed some care. There was extensive shredding and areas of loss that made it difficult to exhibit and care for. To exhibit the flag safely, while also considering preservation, the piece needed conservation. A highly trained specialist worked on the flag. They supported the flag by hand stitching nylon tulle around the stripes to stabilize the fabric.

How Did We Identified the Flag?
This flag is believed to be the last flag to fly over Fort Howard. We were able to confirm this by putting together clues from different sources.
  • First was the writing on the upper left hand star: "From Major Shaylor, Old Fort Howard during the War, 1865."
  • Second, is an excerpt from History of Brown County by Deborah Martin that re-caps an event that took place at the Fort Howard in 1861. Martin mentions Mattie Underwood as the maker of the flag which matches the name in museum records. Martin also mentions Major Shaylor as “the venerable custodian of this ancient stronghold"-the same name on the flag.
  • Third is the style of the flag. The 34 stars represent the 34 states of the Union from 1861 to 1865 under President Abraham Lincoln. This canton design is in the “The Great Star” style. This pattern was used in the 1800s but died out after the Civil War. All these clues provided enough information to confirm this is the Fort Howard flag. 



What is Fort Howard? (Hint: Not a paper company)

The U.S. Army arrived on the shores of the Fox River in August 1816, two years before Brown County became a county. They established Fort Howard, changing the dynamic of the community and influencing what it is today. Fort Howard operated until 1852 when it was de-commissioned. In the following years a volunteer infantry used the site under the care of Major Shaylor. On May 3, 1861 President Lincoln made a speech calling for volunteers to join the Union Army. On May 18th, people of Green Bay and the surrounding areas put together a special event at Fort Howard. It supported Lincoln’s call and included the raising of this impressive flag. During the Civil War soldiers trained at Fort Howard before leaving for the South. Eventually, Chicago & North Western Railroad bought the land and the buildings were officially de-commissioned in 1872.

Ready for Exhibit
After all of this work on the flag and research we’re ready to share the flag with you! This remarkable artifact will be a centerpiece in the upcoming exhibit Our Brown County. Experience it for yourself starting May 29th!

Lisa Kain
Curator

Green Bay's Titanic Ties are Unsinkable

Thursday, April 12, 2018
On April 14, 1912 the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. It sank less than three hours later in the early morning of April 15, 1912.  The sinking of the RMS Titanic 106 years ago may feel distant in time and place but Green Bay has deep connections to the disaster. 

Dr. William E. Minahan, who died on the Titanic, is buried in a crypt in Woodlawn Cemetery, visible from Riverside Drive.  Dr. Minahan was traveling home from Europe with his wife, Lillian, and sister, Daisy after an extended vacation abroad.  The Minahans had planned on sailing home sooner but a coal strike prevented their intended ship from leaving.  They thought they were lucky having been able to book first class tickets on Titanic, but history would prove otherwise.

On the night of the sinking, Dr. Minahan put his wife and sister into a lifeboat telling his wife, “Be brave.  No matter what happens, be brave.”  Those were Dr. Minahan’s final words.  His family received news on April 27, 1912 that Dr. Minahan’s body, one of only 340 of the nearly 1500 that perished, had been recovered.  

Dr. W.E. Minahan had many siblings, some of whom lived in Green Bay.  You may recognize the Minahan name; the Minahan-McCormick Building, owned by W.E.’s brother John, was a prominent Downtown Green Bay building until it was razed in 1984.  Another brother, Robert, was also a physician in Green Bay.  Sister Daisy, who survived the Titanic, was a popular school teacher in Green Bay.  

Much lore surrounds Dr. Minahan’s voyage and death on the Titanic.  Before their trip abroad, it's said that a fortune teller told him he would die on his second trip to Europe, a prediction he took seriously enough to buy a larger life insurance policy.  Decades later, in August of 1987, the family would again be struck by tragedy.  Dr. Minahan’s crypt in Woodlawn Cemetery was robbed.  

The next time you're in Green Bay driving down Minahan St. or past where the Minahan Building once stood, take a moment to remember Green Bay's personal connection to one of the great tragedies of the twentieth century.


Broad, William J. (2012, April 14). Experts Split on Possibility of Remains at Titanic Site. The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/science/titanic-may-hold-passengers-remains-officials-say.html

Gores, Stan (1968, April 12). Led Wife and Sister to Safety; Dr. Minahan Stayed on Titanic. Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter.

Scarborough, Mark (1998, April 18). Family here got news of ships sinking.  The Daily Tribune, p. 3A. 

Tianen, Dave. (1986, September 14). Lesson in humility. Green Bay Press Gazette, Scene-5.

Pedro Finally Lands

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
It is the Neville Museum that is the ultimate home for Pedro the Pelican.

First conceptualized in 2015, this mural idea has spent the last few years intent on finding a prime location to tell its story. Pedro, now at the Neville, will be near his family and friends who cruise the Fox River in first-class style.

Pedro was inspired by; you guessed it, the AMAZING Pelicans that have been popping up all over. Out of nowhere these huge animals started populating the Fox River corridor in Green Bay, but why? Remediation efforts taking place along the Fox have changed our ecosystem. First it was micro-organisms then small animal marine life, and then the small fish populations began increasing. Now we have top predators patrolling these waters. These pelicans aren't just passing through. We have large numbers of nesting pairs who regularly return to Green Bay to start their families.  

Pedro is a celebration of our remediation efforts and Green Bay's new relationship with the Fox River and its tributaries.  The Fox River facilitates our international businesses and is also an interwoven biological habitat for thousands of animals and plants.  The Fox River is at the base of the world’s largest fresh water estuary making it an extraordinarily unique and precious ecosystem. 

We also recognize the Fox River for its inherent beauty. The most exciting cities in the world embrace their waterways and leverage their beauty to bolster economic prosperity and heightened quality of life.  Green Bay is hot on that path. Not only are we expanding pedestrian trails along the Fox but we are also developing new amenities like kayak launches, parks and bike paths. 

Pedro is accented by immense waves, representing Green Bay's ambitious and dynamic future. As we grow and change new windows of opportunity open. The mural is a reflection of the exciting and dynamic state we now find ourselves in.  

If you've noticed these majestic birds on your way to work or if you're feeling the buzz that is pulsing in Green Bay come check out Pedro the Pelican at the Neville Museum and discover the many great things happening in Green Bay.


Kent Hutchison, Artist

For more information about the Neville's outdoor art visit Art at the Neville!

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