• jodiperras

Minnie's Diary #25: Preachers take on Taverns & Sunday Baseball; Ed Loses a Finger



Sunday, June 26 - Went to Mass and then went to Mr. Paquin with Del. Del didn’t come in eve.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Tensions had been rising in Michigan about how people should spend their Sundays.


Some wanted Sunday set aside only for prayer, worship and rest, as state law required. Others, especially in the immigrant working class, wanted to have some fun and recreation after attending Sunday worship services of their choice.


Alcohol lingered in the center of the controversy.

Some men had a habit of coming home late on Saturday, in a drunken rage after losing badly at cards or billiards. Their wife and children suffered from their angry words and blows. They continued drinking on Sunday, sometimes finding a tavern open against state law.


Drunks staggered through city streets. "Tramps" arriving on trains begged for food and money. Men failed to show up for work on Monday after a weekend drinking and carousing. Railroads and other businesses had begun by December 1903 to require that employees completely abstain from alcohol, a practice The Iron Port in Escanaba called "a blessing upon humanity."


Today, Father Glaser wanted to preach about alcohol. Based in nearby Spalding, the priest visited the mission church of St. Mary's in Hermansville once every three weeks. He knew the largely immigrant congregation enjoyed their wine, brandy and beer. But, he had a warning.


“Alcohol is causing terrible crime and misery. This misery affects not only the drunken man, but his father and mother, brothers and sisters, wife and children,” the priest said.


In 1884, the Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States had urged Church members to get out of the liquor business as soon as they could. They called saloon keeping “a disreputable business.” No matter how the saloon keeper runs his business, they said, he is not permitted to appear in any capacity as a representative of the church.

“Our Holy Father has urged priests to work to lessen the evils of drunkenness. The problem often starts in the saloon. Do I need to remind you that earlier this year, a drunken fight here in Hermansville ended with one man dead and another in jail?"


Minnie heard a few murmers in the congregation.


“You know there's a movement in Michigan to shut down all the saloons," Father Glaser said. "Such a day may not be very far away.”


Nearly every eye in the church focused on saloonkeeper August Koehn and his German-born wife, Bertha. The Koehns had moved to Hermansville five years earlier from Menominee with their four young children. Since their arrival, three more boys had been born and baptized in this same church.


August operated the only authorized saloon and billiard room in town, under the watchful eye of the Wisconsin Land & Lumber Co., which owned the building and had a strict lease with Mr. Koehn. Officially, the tavern was closed on Sunday. Every other day, men gathered there after working in the mill and ordered drinks from August Kroehn or his bartender, Charley Arndt.

August wore a clean, well-tailored suit and bright bow-tie, his hair and mustache carefully trimmed. His normally proud chin was tucked into his chest and his eyes looked down as Father Glaser spoke. Minnie could see the red flush in Bertha’s ears.

“I’m from Germany. I do drink beer now and then,” Father Glaser said, “but in moderation. If you want to keep your families healthy and happy and your alcohol legal, moderation is key.”


Crusade Against Baseball


During dinner at the Paquin house, talk turned to what Father Glaser had said.


“That’s just the start of it,” said Del. “Did you hear what the Anti-Saloon League is up to in Iron Mountain?”


“No, what?” said Minnie.


“They are on a crusade against Sunday baseball. They want the city to enforce the Sunday closing law against not only saloons and businesses, but also baseball games.”


“It’s state law,” Mr. Paquin said. “Has been for years."


Mr. Paquin was right. Since 1846, Michigan law had said no one could work, open a shop, host a dance, play sports or games, put on public shows, or sell alcohol on Sundays.

“But they haven’t been enforcing the law,” Mrs. Paquin said. “What’s changed?”

“The Anti-Saloon League is getting involved. That’s what,” Mr. Paquin said.

The Anti-Saloon League Comes to the U.P.


A group of men meeting in Oberlin, Ohio, formed the Anti-Saloon League in 1893. By the early 1900s, it was a growing national organization, with branches in each state.

They'd hired the Rev. Caleb H. Rutledge as their new man in the Upper Peninsula. A Methodist Episcopal preacher living in Ishpeming, Pastor Rutledge worked as a traveling representative for the League. He had begun organizing anti-alcohol campaigns across the U.P., starting with enforcing the Sunday closing law.


Rev. Rutledge had already made a name for himself downstate in St. Charles, Michigan. Last November, after he announced plans to prosecute three village saloons that were selling liquor on Sunday, someone threw stones and bricks through the church windows while he was conducting services. When the Anti-Saloon League began hiring district representatives, Rev. Rutledge jumped at the chance to work out of their Marquette office.



-- "Church Wrecked by Vandals," The Inter-Ocean, Chicago, Ill., November 13, 1903

Now Rev. Rutledge was not only working against saloons; he was going after Sunday baseball, too. In Iron Mountain and other cities, he and local pastors wanted to shut down baseball on the Sabbath.


“Considerable of a sensation has resulted from the attempt of the field secretary of the Anti-Saloon League of Michigan, backed by the local pastors, to prevent the playing of base ball on Sunday. … If the officers do not enforce the law, complaints against them will be filed with Governor Bliss and Judge Stone. We are also assured that the movement is not local, but that it is also the intention of Mr. Rutledge to ‘get after’ the authorities in Iron, Houghton, Gogebic, Delta, Menominee and other counties where Sunday games flourish.”

— “Sunday Ball Tabooed: Anti-Saloon League Proposes a Campaign in the Upper Peninsula,” The Iron Port, Escanaba, Mich., July 2, 1904


“There will be no more baseball on Sundays in Iron Mountain. Rev. J. Wilcox has served notice on the city officials that he will swear out warrants for the arrest of baseball players who join in any Sunday game.”

— Menominee County Journal, June 25, 1904


Del slammed his fist down on the table.

“Sunday is the only day off the working man has,” he said. “Men at the mill work 10-hour days, six days a week. I work six days on the farm. Why can’t we play baseball on Sunday?”


Tavern Owners Fight Back


In May, the tavern owners across the U.P. had begun to fight back against Rev. Rutledge, the Anti-Saloon League, and the preachers who supported the crusade against liquor.


In Sault Ste. Marie, they wondered why police hauled saloonkeepers off to jail for selling booze on Sunday, but other businesses continued to operate. Michigan’s “Sunday Closing Law” applied to all businesses, not just saloons.


It was discrimination, plain and simple, they said. They were ready to file a complaint against anyone trying to make money on a Sunday. They would use the full extent of the law to ensure that no business had Sunday hours. Those that did should pay the same fines as the saloonkeepers had been forced to pay.


“If this Sunday closing law is to be enforced so strictly against the liquor dealers, we will see to it that it is enforced against every class of business. That means street cars, livery barns, soda fountains and everything else.”

— “Close Up Business; Retail Liquor Dealers Start Crusade,”

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., May 7, 1904

Many in the U.P. were glad to see the saloonkeepers fighting back, but they wondered how successful they'd be. The Anti-Saloon League had already passed legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives to make it harder for saloons to afford their liquor bonds. The anti-saloon men were becoming more powerful each year.

Minnie thought about the conflict as Del walked her home, promising to call on her later that night.


Once again, Del didn’t keep his promise.


“He’s probably drinking beer with the fellows after playing baseball,” Minnie thought.



History of Saloons in Hermansville



Monday, June 27 - Washed and we went out calling. I worked in the garden at night.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


“You do know the history of saloons here in Hermansville?” Mrs. Desjardines asked.

After washing clothing and bedding and getting it on the line to dry, Minnie and her mother had gone out to visit Anastasie Desjardines and her daughters. Mrs. Desjardines had heard the old stories from folks in Frenchtown, a French-speaking community that predated the arrival of C.J.L. Meyer and his Wisconsin Land & Lumber Co.


“Not long after the company arrived and bought up all the land, they shut down a saloon in the woods. Old “Alphabet” Meyer wanted to control the liquor flow,” she said. “Then the company opened its own tavern, and they promised to fight any saloon that would compete with their own.”

“So that’s why there’s only one saloon in Hermansville. Isn't it in a building owned by the Company, like every other building in town?” Minnie asked.

“That’s right,” Mrs. Desjardines said. “You know the village of Nadeau? It's just down the road. They have three saloons, all owned by Frenchmen.”

“All the Company leadership are Protestants,” Mr. Desjardines said. “They belong to the Methodist Church… It’s no secret. The Methodists want to get rid of saloons altogether.”


 

Wisconsin Land & Lumber Company


August 2, 1884


Dear Sir:


It is our intention to erect at Hermansville, soon, a tavern where beer and other liquors will be legally sold. Your lease, therefore, of the premises referred to in your letter would be of no value to us, and with liquor sold openly and legally in Hermansville, we do not see how it could be of any value to anyone else for purposes of an orderly and legal saloon, as there will then be no occasion for airmen to go off to such an out-of-the-way place in the woods, in search of liquor, and the patronage of such a place would necessarily be very light.


Should the attempt be made by anyone to open and conduct a place of such vile and disreputable character as that formerly located there and broken up by us, it will be a very short-lived affair, for our Company is determined that no such places shall be tolerated in our vicinity.


Our Company is in earnest in this matter, and does not propose to let up, but will, from the very beginning, under any and all circumstances, prosecute to the full extent of the law all persons interested in any attempt to conduct a disorderly house, gambling den, or house of ill-fame in our vicinity. The laws of Michigan are very strict and need only to be enforced to summarily break up all such places, and we are determined that they shall be enforced in every instance, strike who and where it may. And we feel assured that in this we have the hearty sympathy and support of all of the best citizens of the County, including, we trust, your own.

We would call your attention to the fact that under the laws of Michigan, the owner or lessor of a building used for the purposes of a house of ill-fame is also liable to fine and imprisonment if, on being notified of the character of the house, he does not suppress it.

We trust that in case you lease the premises, you will protect yourself by taking such precautions as will prevent any violation of law by your tenant.

Yours truly,


Wisconsin Land & Lumber Company

Charles J. L. Meyer, President

-- From "Once Upon A Time," IXL Historical Museum, Hermansville, Mich., May 1987.



 

A Circus Hanging Wallpaper



Tuesday, June 28 - Went to Mrs. Dubey to help her to wall paper. Had a circus.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


“You know the first rule of wallpapering?” Aldia Dubey asked.


“No,” Minnie said.

“Never hang wallpaper with your spouse.”

Minnie looked puzzled. “Is there a second rule?” she asked.

“Find a good helper who has a sense of humor,” Mrs. Dubey said. “That’s where you come in. I think you’re perfect for the job.”


The day started out quietly enough. Mr. Dubey had helped move the furniture out of the front room before he left for the sawmill early this morning. He also created a temporary work table for trimming and pasting the wallpaper.

Mrs. Dubey shooed the children outside, warning 6-year-old Clara to keep watch on her two younger sisters. She’d gathered her tools, including a sharp knife, straight edge, a wide brush, paste and, of course, wallpaper she had purchased from the general store.

“What do you think?” she asked, holding up the roll of wallpaper and unfurling it so Minnie could see the design. Repeating vignettes of men with guns hunting stags and wild boar in a pine and hardwood forest. An ornate cabin was nestled behind the trees. A yellow dog, its tail standing straight behind, was barking at a wild boar hiding in the bushes.



Source: Historic New England wallpaper collection, Gregory & Brown Co. pattern, used from 1900-1915


“Oh my,” Minnie said. “It’s like you’ve brought the outside indoors.”


“Yes, it was the only wallpaper that Louis approved of,” Mrs. Dubey said. “I wanted a more floral design, but we both liked this one. The girls love the running deer, the hunting dogs and the fancy cabin.”

Minnie couldn’t imagine her father caring what wallpaper went up in his house.


“Need Wallpapering? Good time to have it done when your house is open. Dries better, and you get rid of the damp, paper-and-paste odor. We’re ready to quote some low prices for summer orders. Papers 5c. To 50c. Roll. The work at as small a price as we can quote.”

— Farrell’s store advertisement, Trenton Times, Trenton, N.J., June 27, 1904


The two women got to work. They measured. They trimmed. They brushed on wallpaper paste. They hung the paper carefully, smoothing it out to remove any bubbles. They started with the large wall on the west end of the room, where there was only one door and no windows. Piece by piece, they worked their way along the wall.

“Uh oh,” Minnie said. The first sheet they’d hung was falling to the ground. Minnie caught it just before it hit the floor. She tried to reattach it to the wall as it fluttered down over her head. Mrs. Dubey followed her, holding a brush loaded with paste. She brushed the wall with paste and helped Minnie push the paper back onto the wall.


Then the third sheet started to fall. Minnie rushed over to catch it. Mrs. Dubey brought the brush loaded with more paste. Pretty soon, their hands, clothing and faces were covered in paste and three sheets of soggy wallpaper lay sadly in heaps on the floor. The two women sank to their knees, laughing until they cried.


“I think we’d better start over,” Mrs. Dubey said.


By noon, they had one wall covered, managing somehow to hang the paper so that it stayed attached to the wall, injuring only three house flies in the process.

“I think we’ve gotten the ‘hang’ of it,” Mrs. Dubey exclaimed.



-- "What the World Needs," The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin., March 11, 1903

Ed Had His Finger Cut Off



Wednesday, June 29 - Went again to help Mrs. Dubey. Saw Del. Ed had his finger cut off.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Minnie spent a long day helping Mrs. Dubey finish wallpapering. Del acted as though nothing was wrong when she saw him, making no mention of standing her up on Sunday evening. Minnie cut short their conversation and returned home.


She gasped when she saw her brother, holding his bandaged hand above his head.

Mon Dieu, Ed. What happened?”

“They asked me to help the sawyers this week. Said it would pay better than working in the lumberyard,” Ed said, hanging his head low. “My hand slipped.”

“Oh, Edmund,” Minnie said. “I’m so sorry. Does it hurt?”


“Does it hurt? I lost a finger. I’m about to go mad.”

The sweet smell of wood shavings and the sight of steam and smoke rising made the sawmill seem so positive and industrious. But the villagers knew the dangers that lay inside. They’d seen the injuries among the workers, and had even attended a few funerals for men who went to work but never came home.


Minnie imagined her 16-year-old brother screaming as the saw severed his left forefinger. In her mind’s eye, she saw his severed digit in the sawdust and the blood pouring out of his hand.


“Did they try to reattach your finger?”


Non. They brought me to Dr. Earle’s office and he stopped the bleeding. Then they put me on a train to Norway to see the doctor there. He stitched me up and wrapped my hand. I came back on the last train.”


“How long before you can be back at work?”


“I don’t know.”


“You are up to date with the Ordre des Forestiers Franco-Américain?”


Oui. Papa has been paying the dues for Willie and me out of our pay.”


Dieu merci. Thank God,” Minnie said. “We should be able to get a dollar a day from them while you’re injured, eh?”


“I hope so,” Edmond said. “That would be more than the 75 cents I’ve been earning.”


-- "Finger Cut Off By A Saw," Escanaba Morning Press, Escanaba, Mich., November 30, 1910


A Visit with Dr. Earle



Thursday, June 30 - Went to Hville with Ed to have his hand dressed. Mr. Raiche moved his house.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


Minnie drove Ed to Hermansville to see Dr. Earle at the Wisconsin Land & Lumber Co. office. Dr. Earle no longer practiced medicine full-time, since he had a lumber company to run. He had married the daughter of the company founder, C.J.L. Meyer, and took over the Hermansville operations after the company nearly went bankrupt in the 1890s. But he still liked to see injuries that happened at the mill.

“Let me take a look at that finger, young man,” Dr. Earle said with a stern smile. He unwrapped the bandages and checked Ed’s hand for any sign of infection. Seeing none, he wrapped his finger in new bandages and handed more clean wrappings to Minnie.

“Beginning tomorrow, be sure that he washes his finger with soap every day, then put on clean bandages. Watch the skin for any sign of redness, puss or putrid smell. If you see any sign of infection, get him back to my office as soon as possible.”


“Of course, Doctor,” Minnie said.


“Now, young man, you must be careful not to re-injure your hand. It must have time to heal. Mr. Radford has authorized your pay increase to a dollar-ten-cents per day, and you’ll get four and a half days pay this week. But, you need to take at least a month off. That means no working on the farm or anywhere else with manual labor. Of course, you won’t be paid for days you don’t work here. I do hope we’ll see you back at the sawmill in August, when your hand is healed.”

“Yes, sir,” Edmond said, bowing his head. “Thank you, sir.”


"What choice does he have?" Minnie thought.

A Moving Experience


To help Ed feel better, Minnie drove him to watch Mr. Raiche’s house inching up a dirt drive to its new location on the 40 acres he’d purchased from the company. He had hired a house-moving crew from Menominee,.


“Would you look at that!” Ed said, marveling at the way two horses were inching the house forward as they walked slowly around a capstan anchored to some trees. With each rotation of the capstan, the horses tightened a rope attached to a pulley on the house.


The house itself had been jacked up and placed on two large, greased, wooden beams. These beams acted like the runners of a sleigh, except they were sliding along some wooden planks laid in the road. As the house moved slowly forward, men would grab planks from behind and move them to the front.


Minnie was glad that the Raiche house had taken Ed’s mind off of his missing finger, at least for a few minutes. They sat in the cart and watched the house move slowly to its new location.

Some of the men came over to visit Ed, expressing sympathy for his accident. Others used it as a chance to poke some fun at him.

“Well, you’re a real lumberman now, Ed,” said Frank Raiche.


Oui, ya know you’re not a true lumberman until you’re missing a finger, eh?” said Frank's brother, Joe, slapping Ed gently on the shin.


Ed smiled sheepishly and chuckled. The older men hadn’t paid him much attention before now. He felt like he’d been initiated into a club.


-- "Why Don't You Laugh?, The Guthrie Daily Leader, Guthrie, Okla., June 30, 1904

Fourth of July Plans



Friday, July 1 - Worked in the garden. Mary Raiche called.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan


"Did they finish moving your house?"


Mary Raiche raised her eyebrows. Moving the house had been an ongoing conversation between her father, Frank Raiche, and mother, Christina Duby Raiche. "Should we move the house?" "Why would we?" "The hilltop will be nicer." "I like it here."


"Oui. I'm so glad it's over," Mary said. "Of course, Ma is counting all the cracks in the plaster and the items that were damaged. But Pa says it's better to have the house on top of the hill and not the bottom."


“I hope your ma likes her new view,” Minnie said.

“Oh, she’s fussing about having to move her lilac bush and peonies to the new location," Mary said, then changed the subject. “Are you going to the Fourth of July parade in Hermansville?”

“I don’t think so,” Minnie said. “I’m not much in the mood for celebrating anything in that town right now.”

“You know, Henry’s having a party in his barn Monday night.”

“That’s more like it,” Minnie said. “I’ll be there for sure.”



Saturday, July 2 - Went to Hville. Had my box of soap.

— Minnie Gamache Diary, 1904, Hermansville, Michigan

Hermansville was gearing up for the holiday. Nearly every house had red-white-and-blue bunting hanging in the windows. Dr. Earle’s fancy home on the hill was festooned with flags and many yards of bunting.


On the village green, men were laying out the course for the races. They had planned a foot race, sack race, three-legged race and blind wheelbarrow race. Two men were erecting a cedar tree trunk for the greased pole contest. You might even smell the pies being baked for the pie-eating contest.

Minnie, however, paid little attention to the festive atmosphere. Finally, her soap order from Larkin Soap Company in Buffalo, New York, had arrived at the depot. She picked up the box and quickly returned home, where she started to sort through each customer’s order.


Later that evening, by the light of a gas lamp, she read from cover to cover the July 1904 issue of “The Larkin Idea.

Larkin's catalogue offered a new product: flavoring extracts in lemon, orange, almond and peppermint. Vanilla would arrive this fall.

“Won’t that make holiday baking fun?” Minnie thought.

The magazine included a photograph of a Larkin Club-of-Ten in Muskegon, Mich., and one of Mrs. M. R. Daley of San Bernardino, Calif., who had sent in nearly $300.00 in club orders. She wrote, “On the 28th of August I shall be seventy-two years old. I have a horse and buggy, so I go for the Soap and deliver it myself, and I write all the orders for the club members.”


Minnie especially enjoyed a poem called "Johnny's Soliloquy."

Johnny’s Soliloquy


Sing a song of wash-day,

Everything’s awry!

Dinner’s only Sunday’s hashed,

Not a piece of pie!

Mother’s cross as blazes;

Wears her oldest duds;

Sister’s hair is out of curl;

Whew! Just smell the suds.

Tommy Traddles’ mother

Never has such fuss.

Monday’s good as any day,

Nothing in a muss!

Wonder what’s the reason?

But I’m sure I know:

Does her work with Larkin Soaps—

Tommy told me so.



Minnie could hardly wait until Monday, when Larkin soap would make their wash day so much easier.


Notes & Further Reading


Note to Readers: So much to write about this week! I apologize for not sharing a new post since mid-July. The summer has kept me busy with many activities, most of them fun. Please remember that Minnie's Diary is part history and part fiction. While my great-grandmother's diary entries and the news clippings are real, the rest comes from my imagination and research into life in Hermansville, a company lumber town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula 1904. For more about Minnie and her family, read this introductory page elsewhere on this website.


I welcome corrections and comments from readers. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog at the bottom of the page if you want to make sure you see every installment of Minnie's Diary. I'll send you an email each time I publish a new post, about once each week or two. I will never sell or share your contact information with other individuals or companies.

-- Jodi Perras, Minnie's Great-Granddaughter


New Characters: While Minnie doesn't mention anyone new in this week's diary, news accounts from the last week of June 1904 featured Rev. C.H. Rutledge and his anti-saloon efforts. I'm no expert on Prohibition, but found it interesting to learn that the multi-year campaign to shut down saloons really got into gear in the U.P. in 1904. For the first time, the Anti-Saloon League hired paid representatives to run branch offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and (for the U.P.) Marquette. By 1908, they had secured ordinances to shut down saloons in many Michigan villages and townships and had begun campaigns to pass county-wide dry laws. In just four years, they had shut down more than 300 saloons and won eleven dry counties.


Records indicate their success in the U.P. was not as great as in Lower Michigan. Rev. Rutledge traversed the U.P. during those years, sometimes being run out of town for his anti-saloon efforts.



-- Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Mich., April 25, 1907


I don't know what the anti-saloon campaign was like in Hermansville, but judging from "The Company's" attitude in its 1884 letter, I suspect they supported the anti-saloon and prohibition movement. Their workers probably had a different opinion. Italians in Hermansville were known to make their own wine and I'm guessing the French made brandy and other hard drink. Those must have been interesting times.




-- From Anti-saloon Songs, by W.F. McCauley, assisted by W.A. Williams, New York: Lorence, c1899, via Google Books, public domain.


Wallpapering: Historic New England (historicnewengland.org) has a wonderful on-line collection of early wallpaper images. I picked one that I thought would be right at home in the Michigan Northwoods, but who knows what Aldia Dubey chose for her walls? Wallpaperscholar.com also has information on historic paperhanging techniques. Here's a fun wallpaper advertisement from June 24, 1904, in the Goshen Daily Democrat in Goshen, Indiana.



Workplace Injuries: Edmund Gamache's World War II draft record shows he was missing his "forefinger off to second joint on left hand." In those days before workers' compensation laws, workers injured on the job could only seek damages in court. Employers had all kinds of legal ways to avoid paying them, including blaming the employee or his coworkers. Lost or mashed fingers were a common injury in sawmills, based on a Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the State of Iowa for 1906-07. I couldn't find a similar Michigan report on-line, but suspect you'd find the same story in every state.


-- Source: Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the State of Iowa,

Des Moines, Iowa, 1908, from Google Books.


This 2015 dissertation by Karalee Donna Surface of Marquette University is a good source of information on workers compensation laws and how they developed. As she states in her introduction: "During the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the American workplace proved especially dangerous to its workers’ lives and limbs. The introduction of mass-production, coupled with a lack of safeguards on mechanized equipment and a dearth of workplace safety or sanitation regulations, ensured that an ever-growing number of workers were maimed or killed. ... Furthermore, the common law liability system through which injured workers could seek restitution from their employers was woefully inadequate for aiding disabled workers in their time of greatest need. In the early 1900s, as communities were increasingly unable to provide financial assistance to these workers and their families, Wisconsin was among the first states to introduce a no-fault workmen’s compensation law that ensured the injured parties quick and reliable reimbursement for their losses."


House Moving: Today, we're more likely to tear down a house than to move it. How did you move a house in 1904? The three sources below helped me understand how a crew might have moved Frank Raiche's house.


At least three Raiche men owned or rented homes near Hermansville in 1904: Frank, his younger brother, Joe and Frank's son, Leo. I assume it was Frank Raiche who moved his house because Minnie always referred to him as "Mr. Raiche" and his sons and brother by their first names. The map below outlines farms mentioned in this weeks' blog. I've circled in red the location of Frank Raiche's home in 1912. I think perhaps he had moved it up from the creek. Of course, he might have moved it from another property he owned to where it sat in 1912. I haven't had the time to research that detail.

-- From 1912 plat book of Meyer Township, Menominee County, Michigan, Township 39 North, Range 27 West.




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