Stout, James Huff 1848-1910 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Stout, James Huff 1848-1911

Lumberman, Businessman, Politician, Educator and Philanthropist

Stout, James Huff 1848-1910 | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.
b. Dubuque, Iowa, 1848
d. Menominee, Wisconsin, December 8, 1910

James Huff Stout was a lumberman, businessman, politician, educator and philanthropist. He was the son of Henry Lane Stout.


He entered his father's lumber business at the age of 19. He served in The Knapp, Stout and Company Lumber Company offices in Read's Landing, Minnesota and in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1889, he moved to Wisconsin. He settled permanently in Menomonie, where he assumed management of the company's logging and milling activities on the Red Cedar River.

Training School

Stout was interested in education, especially in the fields of manual training, domestic science and teacher training. He constructed the first building in Wisconsin devoted exclusively to manual training and domestic science. In 1897, he financed the construction of a larger manual-training building to replace the earlier one, which had been destroyed by fire. He then established the Stout Training School in 1903. In 1908, it became Stout Institute, devoted to instructing manual training and domestic science teachers. Throughout his life, Stout guided the development of the school. He helped make it a model for other schools of education, and contributed large sums to provide it with a plant and faculty.


A Republican, he was state senator from 1895 to 1910. He served as chairman of the committee on education for most of his time in the senate. He was also president pro tempore of the senate for 8 years. He was instrumental in the passage of an 1899 law that permitted counties to provide training schools for rural school teachers. Stout was also a member of the regents of the University of Wisconsin for many years. He served on the executive committee of the state forestry association and was president of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. When he died, he was president of the First National Bank, the Bank of Menomonie, the Wisconsin Milling Company of Menomonie, the Thornton and Alexandria Railroad Company, and the Stout Lumber Company of Thornton, Arkansas.

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Wis. Mag. Hist., 42; J. G. Gregory, ed., W. Central Wis. (4 vols., Indianapolis, 1933); F. L. Holmes, Badger Saints and Sinners (Milwaukee [1939]); Wis. Blue Book (1909); Milwaukee Sentinel, Dec. 9, 1910; Menomonie Dunn County News, Dec. 8, 19