W.D. Hoard goes home to Ft. Atkinson

After hanging around campus for so many years, W.D. Hoard was ready to go home. If you climbed the curving steps leading from the front door to the main floor of Ag Hall, you walked right under (and probably paid no attention to) the oil painting of this Wisconsin icon. Hoard was governor from 1889–91, but is best known as publisher of Hoards Dairyman and the single biggest influence in establishing dairying is Wisconsin. Last year this and two other oil portaits were taken down and put in the hands of an art restorer for cleaning and repair. While two of the paintings, those of former deans Henry and Christensen, will be rehung in the lecture hall (125 Ag Hall), the Hoard portrait has been placed on long-term loan to the company he founded. Shown here is the hand-off: (l-r) Bryan Knox, Hoards president; Jeremy Traska, special assistant in the CALS Dean’s office; Hoard’s associate editor (and CALS grad) Cory Geiger; and Frank Kooistra, CALS associate dean.

This doesn’t mean that revisionists have downgraded Hoard’s role in the college’s early days. A bronze likeness of Hoard remains at the head of Henry Mall. The statue was created in 1922 by Gutzon Borglum, best-known as designer of the Mount Rushmore Memorial. It was refurbished in 2002.