About Louise Kellogg
"The most important things are to be kind, have courage, keep healthy, and show wisdom." --Louise Kellogg
Louise Kellogg was a friend to all dogs, a die-hard Republican, a pioneer. and above all else, an extremely generous woman. Her spirit of adventure led her to Alaska, and her love of hard work made Spring Creek Farm into a success. Through her benevolence and high regard for education, Alaska Pacific University has been fortunate in being gifted with the use of the Kellogg Campus here at Spring Creek Farm. May her wonderful life never be forgotten.
Louise was born October 13, 1903 in Chicago, the second of four children. Her father, LeRoy DeWolf Kellogg, was President of the Kellogg Switchboard and Supply Company. To get out of Chicago, her father had a farm where the family would spend summers. It was there Louise’s interest in farming began.
At age 18 Louise went to college at Vassar. She graduated in 1925 with a degree in English. After college her family moved to California. There, her interests extended to the sky as she became one of the few female pilots of the day, known as the PowderPuffs. Some of her flights included routes from California to Florida. Her time was divided between flying and continuous volunteer work, even serving as Volunteer Chair of the Outpatient Clinic of the Pasadena Hospital. When World War II arrived there was no stopping Louise from enlisting in the Women’s Army Corps in 1942.
Louise’s vast areas of interest and skills led her to be an asset to the WAC. She was classified as a Miscellaneous Specialist, first working in classification and assignment of new personnel, but after 18 months she went to officers’ school and later became a first lieutenant.
Louise’s main duty became the creation of a record of personal experiences of all the outfits of the WAC. Her time in the war was spaced over England, Germany, and France. In 1945 she received an honorable discharge.
In 1935, Franklin Roosevelt approved the funding for government-supported agricultural colonies in Alaska. Louise was very drawn to the idea of farming, and after the war there was nothing to stop her plans for a farm. In 1948, she ventured north to Alaska. However, no farmer would sell land to a woman, especially one without farming experience. So Louise bought an unfinished farm of 240 acres, ten cows, an incomplete barn, and a cabin.
Louise spent the first three months in a tent, giving the cabin to the hired help she needed. The next three years were spent living in the basement of the house she was having built. As the farm grew, buildings were added, all designed personally by Louise. She had the most extensive, state of the art milking barn in Alaska, which included a loafing parlor to let the cattle in out of the snow. Local farmers who mocked her new facility were shocked as her farm quickly became successful and produced some of the best milk in the Valley. As other farms failed or farmers chose to leave Alaska, Louise bought up the land. At its height, Spring Creek Farm had over 1,000 acres and milked over 120 cows.
While on the farm, Louise continued to live up to her title of miscellaneous specialist. She wanted to have her hand in everything, and she was not a woman who could be bossed around. She drove the tractors until the styles changed and she could no longer reach the pedals. She was also given a weekend to run the milking parlor, though after that weekend she was never allowed to milk again.
Louise’s interest stretched throughout Alaska. She was not a woman to sit at home and knit. Her free time was filled with volunteer work or a variety of committee meetings. She served on the Women’s Republican Party and a committee to prevent billboards from being placed on highways in Alaska. She helped establish a number of museums and the Palmer Library and found a new hospital to volunteer for. A sucker for seemingly lost causes, Louise worked with Joe Reddington to bring back the Iditarod and began to put her two cents into the Alaska Methodist University (AMU), now Alaska Pacific University (APU).
Louise was looking for a University Board to serve on in the 50s. She was turned away from UAA because she was a woman, and in 1957 she began to serve on the Board of Trustees for AMU. She felt that a private education was much better than one gained from a state school.
In June of 1973 Louise created the Dewolf-Kellogg Trust, setting aside 700 acres for the use of the newly established Alaska Pacific University. She wanted a place for students to come and be with nature.
"Let there be no doubt about it. My aim is to protect the land for use by private educational institutions, for without the serenity of fields and woods, animals and friendly birds in their natural setting, a private educational institution can offer only book learning, not real education."
Louise stopped dairy farming in 1980, but she remained active in her many organizations and in life. She drove like a bat out of hell until her license was taken away because she was 90 going 90. Louise was an avid hostess and had many guests at her farm over the years.
Louise Kellogg died in 2001 and Alaska Pacific University honors her by cherishing the opportunity she has given our students.
Thanks to Louise’s family for these stories.
~Dan, Priscilla, James, Bill~