Early SettlersOur Stories: The Hisotory of Marathon County ExhibitMarathon County Historical Society State Standards: B.4.3 Examine biographies, stories, narratives, and folk tales to understand the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people, place them in time and context, and explain their relationship to important historical events B.4.5 Identify the historical background and meaning of important political values such as freedom, democracy, and justice B.4.9 Describe examples of cooperation and interdependence among individuals, groups, and nations Map from www.worldtimezones.com
Why Leave Europe? Economic Religion Military
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? • Vastforests for logging • Wisconsin River and its tributariesfor transportation
Why did Father Rudolph's own father come to Wisconsin? “My father, he came from Posen. That is part of Poland now. When he was 17 years old he made up his mind to come to America. He had no relatives over here or anything. They came over on a sailboat-it took six weeks. They landed in New York. He went to Albany and took the boat on the Erie Canal. I don’t know how he got to Milwaukee from there. He knew no English but he hired out to a farmer who could not speak German and that is how he learned English.” -Father Rudolph Raschke
“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, 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?
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
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
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?
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
Where were the immigrants from? Who will be the next immigrants?
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?