Museum’s Doll Collection

Date in History: early 20th century

The Hoard Museum has over 300 dolls – many of them from Fort Atkinson resident Jane Curtis who began collecting at a young age and under difficult circumstances. Born in 1900, Jane contracted polio at age 10. Unable to play like the other children, Jane began collecting dolls, a passion she pursued into adulthood.

Doll collecting helped to broaden Jane’s horizons, bringing her many contacts throughout the nation and giving her a reason to travel a little. Even today, relatives remember that her brother-in-law, Clifford Dexheimer, would take her just about anywhere to get a doll, including a number of trips to Chicago to attend the National Doll Show. After Jane Curtis died at the young age of 40 years old, her family donated some of her prized dolls to the museum.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 01/24/2005.

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