Conservation Club/Izaak Walton League

Name of the Collection

Mineral Point Conservation Club/Izaak Walton League #140 Records, 1925-1939
Accession # 2018.005
.20 cubic feet

Provenance of the Collection

The contents were created by the Mineral Point Conservation Club also known as the Izaak Walton League #140. 

Organizational History

The Izaak Walton League (IWL) was a national organization founded in Chicago in 1922 to promote the protection of natural resources and outdoor recreation.  It was named for an Englishman who lived from 1594 to 1683 and wrote The Complete Angler, a book credited with being the first environmental literature ever written.  By 1924, the IWL numbered over 100,000 members worldwide.  One of the IWL's first accomplishments was lobbying for the establishment of the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge.  The IWL continues today, known for its SOS (Save Our Streams) program.

A local chapter of the IWL was organized in Mineral Point in the spring of 1925.  It was well received and the list of charter members includes many prominent men from the city.  There were no women members.  The initial focus of the group was building and maintaining a fish hatchery that would allow the club to restock local streams with trout.  The group also drafted regulations on a program that would later be known as “catch and release.”  Members recruited others who shared their interest in protecting fish and wildlife as well as the natural environment.

At some point it appears that the group changed their name to the Mineral Point Conservation Club.  It is not clear when or why this happened.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of Series I: Administration Files and Series II: Correspondence.

The first series includes a bound Minutes book of the club's meetings from 1925 through 1930.  The charter members are listed in the first minutes.  Minutes from 1935 are a set of loose pages.  There is a small booklet with the national IWL By-laws dated 1933.  At some point, the club looked at possible reorganization and renamed themselves the Mineral Point Conservation Club (MPCC.)  A sample constitution from another similar organization is included in this file with notations regarding this change.

Series II consists of a small number of letters sent and received.  The letters delineate the MPCC in its attempt to receive assistance from the national organization for building and stocking trout rearing ponds.  The correspondence also makes reference to a bass rearing pond built by the MPCC on the grounds of a City owned park in Mineral Point, known as Soldiers Field.



Box Inventory of the Collection

Box # Contents of Folders Date Span
Series I. Minutes
1 Constitution & Bylaws 1933, n.d.
1 Minutes 1925-1935
Series II: Correspondence
1 Letters Sent and Received 1929,1938-1939

Collection Arranged by Shan Thomas, 2016
Finding Guide Written by Shan Thomas, 2018