The Beaver Dam Unified School District will honor the 2016 Outstanding Alumnus Harlowe Randall Hoyt and Friend of Education Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation at the nineteenth annual Wall of Fame Banquet on Sunday, November 13th, at the Beaver Dam High School. The Outstanding Alumni Award is given annually to a graduate of Beaver Dam High School in recognition of the honoree’s
exceptional accomplishments. Friends of Education Awards are given to individuals or organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the district and its students. The nominators provided the following information about the award recipients.
Outstanding Alumnus – Harlowe Randall Hoyt
Mr. Harlowe Randall Hoyt graduated from Beaver Dam High School in 1899. He began his writing career as a police reporter for the Milwaukee Free Press. He was recognized nationally for his short stories, poems and historical perspectives, which appeared in national magazines and syndicated nationally in newspapers. His love of theater led him to a career as a drama critic that spanned 60 years. He was known as the nation’s Dean of American Theater Critics.
Mr. Hoyt was a successful playwright, writing several plays that toured successfully across the Midwest. He received national acclaim for his local true story, “The Defender of the Cameron Dam.” The success of this play led
him to the job of an editor for the Cleveland Leader, later the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Hopeful Broadway productions tested in Cleveland, and Mr. Hoyt’s reviews often determined if a play would proceed to Broadway.
Harlowe Randall Hoyt became acquaintances with Thomas Edison, which led him to write screenplays for the first silent movies in the nation for Edison’s movie studio. He was familiar with the actors breaking into silent pictures, which led him to become the first nationally syndicated Hollywood gossip columnist. He was also the first internationally syndicated cartoonist with his cartoon strip called “Dramatic Events in Bible History.”
Mr. Hoyt received greatest acclaim from his book, “Town Hall Tonight.” It chronicles his fond memories of growing up in Beaver Dam and his brief encounters with Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, P.T. Barnum, Col. Tom Thumb and the Ringling Brothers. Actor Hal Holbrook consulted with Harlowe on how to play Mark Twain for his one-man show on Mark Twain. The book is still used by universities nationwide in classes focused on the early days of theater. Two plays have been written based on “Town Hall Tonight”, as well as a thesis biography of Harlowe Randall Hoyt’s life. Mr. Hoyt retired as a drama critic at the age of 80 as the oldest living critic in the world.
Friend of Education – Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation
Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation has been the leader in the Beaver Dam Unified School District Career and Technical Education efforts. They have worked with and led other manufacturers in Beaver Dam and Dodge County to create the Dodge County Manufactures Alliance, which is a group organized to support Career and Technical Education in Beaver Dam and greater Dodge County.
Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation has been a great resource for district students and teaching staff. They host tours each year for Manufacturing Day, and they have been instrumental in spreading the message of the Business Education Partnership. Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation has been a strong advocate for Career and Technical Education in the community. They have been involved for a number of years in the High School’s Career Day. Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation donates all the stainless steel used in the classroom labs, as well as guidance from welders and managers. They also are part of the Youth Apprentice program, which provides on-the-job training for students. They are committed to providing opportunities to students to expand their education beyond the classroom.