IUP Home | A–Z Index | Apply Now | Support IUP | News and Events | Find People |
 

Time Travelers

In May, three great-great-granddaughters of Andrew Wilkins Wilson, for whom IUP’s Wilson Hall is named, traveled to Indiana County to connect with their family history. One of them, Laura McLane Fox of Shaker Heights, Ohio, would die in July. Her sisters, who, like Fox, grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, are Annie McLane Strupp of Salt Lake City and Kathryn McLane of San Diego.

From left: Laura Fox, Annie Strupp, and Kathryn McLane, with Charles Cashdollar, in front of Wilson Hall

From left: Laura Fox, Annie Strupp, and Kathryn McLane, with Charles Cashdollar, in front of Wilson Hall

McLane, the family historian, said highlights of the trip were seeing Wilson Hall and the downtown Indiana building—now part of the Coney restaurant—that housed the dry goods store A. W. Wilson co-owned with John Sutton in the 1800s. Both men figured in the founding of Indiana Normal School and were among the school’s first trustees.

The sisters toured the campus and other local sites with the History Department’s Charles Cashdollar ’65, professor emeritus, and Elizabeth Ricketts. They also visited ancestral grave sites and stopped at Saltsburg’s Kiski School, founded by their great-great-uncle, Andrew Wilkins Wilson Jr., in 1888.

McLane, custodian of the journals of A. W. Wilson and of his granddaughter (her grandmother) Mary Agnes Wilson Osborne, said one of the inspirations for the trip was writing her grandmother’s biography. The daughter of a missionary in Persia, that grandmother came to the United States to attend Vassar College and would stay with relatives in Indiana County during the summer. “I wanted to understand where she spent some of her time,” McLane said.

Now home to IUP’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Department, Wilson Hall initially housed the Model School and later the library. Constructed in the 1890s, it was only the young campus’s second building, after John Sutton Hall.