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State Standards : PowerPoint Presentation
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  1. Early SettlersOur Stories: The History of Marathon County ExhibitMarathon County Historical Society State Standards: B.8.1 Interpret the past using a variety of sources, such as biographies, diaries, journals, artifacts, eyewitness interviews, and other primary source materials, and evaluate the credibility of sources used B.8.4 Explain how and why events may be interpreted differently depending upon the perspectives of participants, witnesses, reporters, and historians. Map from www.worldtimezones.com

  2. Why Leave Europe? Economic Religion Military

  3. Ecomonic Problems • Economic recessions • Famine • Scarcity of farmland • Wages for farm hands and peasants in the old country were too low for a decent lifestyle.

  4. Religious Problems • Religious persecution in Prussia in the 1870s • Catholics in Poland were severely affected after Jesuit priests were expelled from Prussia

  5. Military Conflicts • Franco-Prussian War of 1870 included the Prussian military conscription forcing all men to serve four years in the army • Many families with sons left Poland and Prussia

  6. Why come to Wisconsin? • Think about the natural resources of Wisconsin as you drive to school, a friend’s house, or to the store. What do you see? • Would it look nice to someone from another country? • Vast forests for logging • Wisconsin River and itstributariesfor transportation

  7. Why did Harry Metzke's mother leave Europe? “My mother came over from Berlin, Germany with her parents and they located in the Town of McMillan where my grandfather started a farm. My grandfather was a soldier in Kaiser Wilhelm’s army before they came over here. The reason they came from Germany was on account of the oppression of the people. They didn’t have a very good living there anymore, so they were looking for a new country to settle in.” -Harry Metzke

  8. “Then they say we got the sponsorship papers back from the United States. [I was] really happy and really sad at the same time. The part that I’m glad – I had a chance to go to the United States. I get out of communist hands, but sad, yes I was sad, I had to leave Asia and go to another country and start a new life in another country. What should I do? How do I survive? Two different things happen at one time made me happy and sad at the same time. I’m really glad that I did the right thing.” –Tong XengThao Imagine moving to another country with a new language, would you feel the same way?

  9. The advertisements did not match the actual expereince in Marathon County “In Holland everything was neat and clean and raked up and planted and here we saw nothing but stump land- stumps that had been burned and so black. My mother kept shaking her head and saying “Oh my, I don’t know what we’re getting into.” -WilhemlminaGeurink

  10. How did they get here? August Kickbusch Frederick Rietbrock • Recruited German immigrants to help develop Marathon County • Traveled to Germany with a large ship to bring immigrants to Marathon County • Helped immigrants set up farms, find jobs at lumber companies and local businesses. • Recruited Polish immigrants to create cities on his land • Created the cities of Rietbrock, Bevent, and Athens • Helped settle the cities • Brought in electricity, phone lines, and other services • Helped cities transition from lumbering to farming Map from geology.com

  11. How did his great-grandfather get here? “He migrated from Switzerland. They came in a sailboat. Eventually there was land to be homesteaded in the Rib Mountain area. So my great grandfather came up here in a covered wagon from New Glarus and my grandfather said he walked behind the wagon all the way up here. They homesteaded a quarter section of land just the other side of Rib Mountain.” -Myron Rhyner Would you walk miles every day to get to your destination?

  12. Did the immigrants get along? “I remember that the Germans and the French didn’t get along too good together. My mother never liked the German people, I don’t know why. But I married a German girl.” -Marshall Duranso

  13. Where were the immigrants from? Who will be the next immigrants?

  14. Discussion Questions • Why did immigrants leave countries in Europe and Asia? • Why did the immigrants come to Marathon County? • How do you think immigrants reacted to the land once they arrived in Marathon County? Why? • Why would people continue to come to this land after they found out the truth? Would you still come? • How would people like Kickbusch and Rietbrock benefit from bringing large groups to Marathon County?

  15. End of Immigrant Presentation