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Dr Evelyn K Steidtmann
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Birth: Nov. 24, 1901
South Haven
Van Buren County
Michigan, USA
Death: Aug. 4, 2004
Bowling Green
Wood County
Ohio, USA

The Evelyn Steidtmann Collection is essentially a 1.5 cubic foot archives (1944-1994) documenting over fifty years of contract bridge playing in Bowling Green, Ohio. Known to many by the nickname "Mrs. Bridge", Evelyn Steidtmann was a tireless player and proponent of the game. Beginning in the early 1940's she taught bridge classes at the Bowling Green Women's Club. She then began teaching bridge at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). With her guidance the BGSU Campus Bridge Club (called the Campus Bridge Club in this collection) was formed in 1950 and remained active until 1984. The Bowling Green Bridge Club began in 1967 and continues to the present, as a result of Mrs. Steidtmann's involvement. Correspondence, class and membership rosters, programs, bridge instructional materials, newsclipping and photographs may be found in this collection. Also included are documents relating to Evelyn Steidtmann's participation in the BGSU World Student Association which she and her husband helped establish in 1949 to provide social activities and programs for foreign students visiting or attending BGSU.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Mrs. Steidtmann in the late 1980's. No restrictions have been placed on its use for research purposes. The finding aid was prepared by Eric Honneffer in March 2005.

Biographical Sketch

Evelyn Steidtmann was born November 24, 1901 near South Haven, Michigan. At the age of seventeen she was named as an assistant in Chemistry at Kalamazoo College and supervised a lab with thirty-two men in the Army Training Corps. She taught science not only at Kalamazoo College but also in Harrisburg, Illinois and Elkhart, Indiana. She was an assistant in the Botany Department at the University of Michigan where she received her master's degree and completed her course work for a Ph.D. in Botany.

Evelyn Steidtmann married fellow University of Michigan science graduate Waldo E. Steidtmann in 1930. The Steidtmann's moved to Bowling Green in 1936 for him to assume a professorship in the Biology Department at BGSU. He died in 1955.

In the early 1940's Evelyn Steidtmann offered bridge classes at the Bowling Green Women's Club. (She began playing bridge during her undergraduate studies at Kalamazoo College. While at the University of Michigan she taught bridge - six classes a week on campus and at her home - mostly to faculty and graduate student couples.)

Evelyn Steidtmann instructed BGSU faculty, staff and students in contact bridge for over fifty years. Under her direction, the Campus Bridge Club was active from 1950-1984. With her assistance the Bowling Green Bridge Club was established in 1967. Nationally known bridge player, Ely Culbertson, referred to her as 'one of my very best bridge teachers'.

In the mid-1940's she and Dr. Steidtmann helped establish the BGSU World Student Association which included gatherings at their home for international students. Mrs. Steidtmann was a charter member of Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. She was office manager of Founders Quadrangle from the mid-1950's-1972. Students were always a significant part of the Steidtmann's life. For many years they even rented two rooms in their home to male college students.

Evelyn Steidtmann died in Bowling Green on August 4, 2004 at the age of 102.

Scope and Content

The Evelyn Steidtmann Collection (1944-1994) documents one woman's passion for bridge and for making BGSU students, in particular foreign students, feel welcome in Bowling Green.

The bulk of this collection is devoted to bridge instruction at BGSU. Class rosters and Campus Bridge Club membership rosters predominate. A small amount of correspondence and Evelyn Steidtmann's own notes and reminiscences about instructing bridge at BGSU are very insightful. The Bowling Green Bridge Club Commemorative booklet from 1991 drew from the collection for most of its content and provides a comprehensive overview of Mrs. Steidtmann's accomplishments and a history of bridge playing in Bowling Green. A few photographs and newsclippings help illustrate further Evelyn Steidtmann's important role in the social life of Bowling Green.

A smaller segment of the collection documents Evelyn Steidtmann's student involvement, in particular organizing social gatherings for BGSU foreign students. The collection contains a few foreign student files pertaining to visiting high school exchange students, the Association for World Travel and the BGSU World Student Association (which the Steidtmann's were instrumental in establishing).

Correspondence from these students after leaving BGSU conveys to the researcher what high regard they held for Evelyn Steidtmann both as an instructor and as a gracious hostess. Receipt books and a listing of roomers at the Steidtmann home are included to provide insights into what rent cost in private homes in Bowling Green from 1967-1992. An account of Mrs. Steidtmann's participation in establishing the Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at BGSU in 1944 is included in a November 1944 issue of The Lyre.

Family links: 
  Waldo E Steidtmann (1896 - 1955)*
*Calculated relationship
Oak Grove Cemetery
Bowling Green
Wood County
Ohio, USA
Plot: sec. C
Created by: Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
Record added: May 14, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 110536239
Dr Evelyn K Steidtmann
Added by: Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
Dr Evelyn K Steidtmann
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Janet L. Parker
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

In honor of your founding of and many years of service to the BGSU World Student Association and to international students at Bowling Green State Unviersity, as well at to the BGSU Bridge Clunb and the teaching of the game to many.
- Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
 Added: May. 14, 2013
"Mrs. Bridge"
- Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey
 Added: May. 14, 2013

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