Severson, Fannie B.

Severson, Fannie B. - civic

daughter of Jacob and Eliza Rupp, born in Fulton County, Ohio. Graduate of Goshen College, Goshen, IN., in 1912

married Samuel E. Zook, a teacher at Rockford Central High School

served as Executive Director of Red Cross at Camp Grant

In 1920 they moved to Akron, Ohio, where Zook died in 1929

“She resumed her teaching in Akron until 1933, when she married Harry Severson; he was president of Barber-Colman and an avid naturalist and philanthropist.”

“She and her husband were much interested in Rockford College.”  They donated Jewitt Science Hall on the old campus. Later when the campus moved to East State St., they donated Severson Auditorium in memory of their son, Robert D. Severson, who was killed in Germany in World War II.”

“She authored a book on the experiences of her sons, Robert and John, in the European Theater during the war. Robert was with the 78th Infantry Division and John was a bomber pilot with the 8th Air Force.”

“She donated a pipe organ to Goshen College in 1970, dedicated to her father. Jacob Rupp.  She wrote a second book dealing with her Mennonite heritage.”

“In 1974, through her church, she made a gift to the Heifer Project International, sending agricultural and technical aid to post-war Europe.”

“Her most recent gift was in March, 1975, when she donated her 370-acre property, “Deer Lodge,” on Montague Road to the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District. It has been named Harry A. and Fannie B. Severson Dells Forest Preserve. It is to be dedicated this year.”

Source: Rockford Morning Star January 20, 1976

 

Severson, Fannie B.

Severson, Fannie B - legacy

widow of Harry A. Severson, who was president and chairman of the board of Barber-Colman Co.

executive director of the Red Cross at Camp Grant, WWI

active in Rockford Woman’s Club, Rockford Children’s Home, served on YWCA board, active at Second Congregational Church, and Rockford Hospital Auxilliary.

With her husband donated lecture hall in old Rockford College building and Severson Auditorium on new Rockford College campus

“Last March, she donated her 370-acre property, Deer Lodge, to the Winnebago County Forest Preserve.”

Source: Rockford Register Republic January 21, 1976

Severson, Harry A. and Fannie B.

Severson - 1

“Park District honors Severson family; Descendants receive Seth  B. Atwood conservation award”

“The Severson family was named winner of the Seth B. Atwood Memorial Park and Conservation Award on Friday.”

“The Seth B. Atwood  award was established by the park district and the Forest Preserve District in 1982 in memory of the man who headed the park district from 1928 to 1960, and who donated more than 1,000 acres of recreational and conservation land to the public.  The acres include Atwood Park, Atwood Homestead and Trask Bridge Forest Preserve.”

Source: Rockford Register Star April 27, 1985