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On This Day: December 8

1864 - (Civil War) Scouting Mission in Memphis, Tennessee

The Wisconsin 2nd Cavalry was assigned to a scouting mission in Memphis, Tennessee.

1910 - Founder of UW-Stout Dies

On this date founder of UW-Stout James H. Stout died after a very active life. He created the Stout Institute in 1889 to teach the manual arts and domestic sciences to Wisconsin youths who could not afford a college education far from home. In 1917 the state confered the Stout Institute degree-granting powers, and the institution was incorporated into the UW system in 1971. James H. Stout also created the state's first traveling library, and instituted a very modern highway system outside of Menomonie to display the advantages of good roads. Furthermore, Stout led his family's logging business to success. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes]

1917 - Inventor John F. Appleby Dies

On this date the inventor of the twine-binder, John F. Appleby died. Appleby was raised on a wheat farm in Wisconsin and searched for an easier way to harvest and bundle grains. His invention gathered severed spears into bundles and bound the sheaves with hempen twine. His invention, which was pulled by horses, was a great success. In 1878 William Deering, a farm machinery manufacturer secured the right to use Appleby's patent and sold 3,000 twine harvesters in a single year. In 1882 the McCormicks (of the McCormick reapers) paid $35,000 for the privilege to manufacture Appleby's invention. Appleby spent the rest of his life in his shop trying to create additional successful machinery. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes]