21 April 2022

Western State Teacher's College, Kalamazoo, Michigan Census

April 1, 2022 was a day that genealogists had waited ten years for. It was the day the 1950 United States Federal Census was released. I was one of those genealogists. I had my enumeration districts ready for the people I wanted to find. My dad was on the list. I checked for him thinking he would be recorded living with his parents in Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan. He wasn't there. Was he in college? I knew he graduated in June 1950. It was time to read the enumerator's instructions for college students in this census.

The instructions stated, "College students were to be enumerated where they lived while attending school, rather than where their homes were located."  Off to Kalamazoo I go. My dad attended Western State Teacher's College, as it was known in the census, and now known as Western Michigan University. In 1950, the majority of the campus was on Oakland Drive.

Finding the enumeration district for the college wasn't too hard. I started out using Steve Morse's guide and was searching Oakland Drive at the college. I wasn't finding what I wanted and for some reason I scrolled down to the "W" and found Western State Teacher's College as a separate street option. Bingo! ED 89-40 was what I needed or so I thought. 

Vandercook Hall is number 12 on the map, on Oakland Drive, overlooking the football field.

I knew my father lived in Vandercook Hall, on campus, because he told a graduation day story about being in bed at Vandercook Hall and hearing the band playing out his dorm room window. He almost missed graduation. Graduation was held on the football field.

You can see number 40 is for Western State Teachers College, but my dad lived in Vandercook Hall which is in 89-41. I was glad I could use the enumeration district maps to discover this. Vandercook Hall is the "I" shaped building to the right of the athletic field.

Now, I was ready to look for his entry. Bruce Glover is enumerated on page 3, line 20. I didn't learn anything new from this entry, but it was fun finding him. 

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