« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Often people would go up to Bay Boom for dinner, as the cooking was said to be so very good. I believe they always had custard pie and baked beans. The passenger boat O. B. Reed made daily trips between Tustin and Oshkosh. It was smaller than the other passenger boats-Leander Choate, Tom Wall, and B. F. Carter-but it was always on time; and its genial captain, Le Fevre, was an expert in getting passengers to go on his boat, even when one of the other boats was in sight, and going direct to Oshkosh. The trip to Oshkosh was pleasant if one did not mind the waves on Lake Butte des Morts when that lake happened to be rough. Nearly every Saturday the boat was crowded, as the Tustin people went to town to do their shopping. They always carried their lunch, which was eaten on the boat before it started on its return trip. And such nice looking lunches as they werecream cake, rolls, fried chicken, cookies, and pickles! One day a woman who did not often miss the Saturday trip showed me a nice wooden rolling pin. "There," she said, "one of my neighbors has never had a rolling pin, and she has always borrowed mine; now I've bought one for her, and hope I can keep mine at home. The boats went through four bridges when they reached Oshkosh, before they landed. The river on each side was lined with mills, and there was room only for the boats to go through between the logs lined up on each side.
Of the many mill and factory owners in Oshkosh, some were Buckstaff and Edwards, J. L. Clark, McMillen, James Gould, Bray and Choate. All kinds of furniture, sash, doors, blinds, and caskets were made there. Philetus Sawyer's name stands first among those who worked up a trade in lumber. He, D. L. Libbey, James Jenkins, and William Wall were men who in the fifties bought pine land, built mills, and did much to improve the Wolf River, making it "the best driving stream in the Northwest."
Some of the large boats went up to New London on the Wolf proper, while others went up the Little Wolf to Fremont and Gill's Landing. The ride from Gill's Landing to Weyauwega was over a corduroy road which for roughness and jolting would take first prize. At Fremont for a time the bridge across the river was a toll bridge and the owner of the mill there refused to pay toll for his family, so they crossed the river in a row boat. At one
time I was on the Leander Choate, going to Weyauwega; as we lay at the landing at Fremont, the mill owner's wife came down the bank with a basket of lunch to carry to her husband, and got into her row boat. She pushed off from the bank, and the boat turned towards a pier of the bridge. As she raised an oar to push the boat clear, the oar slipped, the boat capsized, and she and the lunch were in the water. She clung to the boat as it turned, until some of the men on our boat unfastened a skiff lying near, rowed out to her, and towed her to the shore.
About 1890 dull times began, and there were quite a number of mysterious fires as people were leaving town. The rafts were fewer, and the mills were closed down. The Wellington mill was torn down and its lumber carried away. Finally all of the mills were closed, and rafts, tugs, and large passenger boats were seldom seen. Once in a while one of the large boats would bring an excursion from Oshkosh and Omro, and stop for a short time before going on "up the river." But times have changed, and now a raft would attract as much attention as an old-fashioned wood-burner locomotive. And each has been useful, and has been a good servant.
I am thankful that my sojourn in Winneconne was in the days of sawmills, rafts, and tugs; but I am also very thankful that I do not have to burn slab wood nowadays. I never want to see a slab again, for that wood was a trial both in blacking pots and kettles, and in burning out so quickly that one had to watch it constantly.
ON THE PRESENTATION OF THE MACK PORTRAIT TO THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The evening of May 24, 1924, a considerable number of friends came together in the Society's museum to attend the unveiling of the portrait of Curator John Given Davis Mack, whose demise was noticed in the March issue of this magazine. At the special request of the family and close friends of the deceased the occasion was entirely informal, and marked by a spontaneity of interest in the portrait itself. Charles F. Burgess, a former colleague and long-time friend of Mr. Mack, on that occasion spoke the following appropriate words.-EDITOR.
Of the many incidents which go to make up human life, one came to us a few weeks ago in the form of a tragedy depriving us suddenly of the companionship of a man whom we all loved. We choose to come to this Historical Library tonight, not in the selfishness of sorrow to grieve over our loss, but in a spirit of gratitude and rejoicing for the benefits which we have received through the service, the example, and the teachings of Professor Mack. Every one here knows that this man whose memory we wish to honor would disapprove of formality and ceremony, and this meeting of his friends and neighbors has been made to partake of the simplicity and informality which would comply with his wishes.
It would be repeating what you know, if I were to relate his progress from the time he came here, a young instructor, in 1893, until he left as state engineer in 1924. During his thirty years' life in Madison he achieved notable success as a teacher; he added marked distinction to his engineering profession; he served our state patriotically and unselfishly. Although burdened with duties, the carrying of which required more than ordinary ability and endurance, he took an active and helpful part in the affairs of many student and civic organizations.
During his twenty-five years of membership on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, hundreds, yes thousands, of students have passed under his influence, and if these men engaged now in life's work could be brought together and asked this question, "Of the teachers you had in your school days, which ones do you think of with gratitude for their beneficial influence upon you?” a mighty shout would go up for "Johnny Mack."
A member of the class of 1915 writes in typical vein: "Johnny Mack,' as he was affectionately called by those who loved him, unstintingly gave of himself to the institution with which he was connected. He had the happy and rare faculty of estimating his young friends' potential possibilities and tactfully directing each willing one into that field of life's endeavor wherein success was most probable. All of us who have had the pleasure of working with 'Johnny Mack' feel that we have lost more than our teacher, for he was more the counsellor, confidant, and friend, than the official representative of a great institution which he so ably and unselfishly served."
Professor Mack took such sincere and personal interest in all those with whom he came in contact, looking for opportunities to help them, that when his physical body broke under the strain which his desire to serve placed upon it, he left an unwritten record of service which can scarcely be equaled in the history of Madison.
Many, many times during the past few weeks have little groups of his friends delighted in recounting interesting incidents of his eventful life; in giving reëxpression to words of wisdom which have fallen from his lips; in telling of the men in trouble whom he has helped, and of the young men whose lives he has influenced by opening the doors of greater opportunity to them. They tell of his genius in the encountering of problems of apparently insurmountable difficulty, and of analyzing them into simple elements so skillfully that the difficulties disappeared almost as by magic. I am justified in believing that the only adverse criticism which has been passed upon him is that he overlooked his personal interests in his desire to serve others.
It seems but as yesterday that I had the pleasure of a mid-day visit with Professor Mack, during which he revealed a striking
characteristic of his philosophy of life. So realistic is my memory of this incident that I feel justified in telling of it almost as a message from him to you. On being urged to seek mental and physical relaxation from the worries and trials of his daily tasks, he replied, "I have discovered a way of getting more fun and real enjoyment than any golf-player could possibly have, through a game of which few have discovered the fascination. You can make yourself happy by making others happy. It is a curious fact that men may trudge faithfully through daily routine for months and even for years without receiving evidence of appreciation, this being especially true of those engaged in public service. The game is played by offering a few words of praise and encouragement to those who are doing good work, and then watching for results. Opportunities for giving such words are offered every day if you will but look for them. A letter written to a railroad corporation, for example, commending a certain conductor for kindness to an aged passenger, will be passed from the president all the way down the line to the train men, spreading a trail of good will which lightens the daily toil. The trophies which I have received from playing this game are among my most valued possessions."
Thus did Professor Mack describe his recreation, and I know from personal observation that he followed this pastime assiduously. Those of us who might desire to erect an enduring monument to his memory have an opportunity of so doing by playing this game and recruiting other devotees to it.
The spontaneous desire to give tangible expression to our love for and admiration of him resulted in the suggestion of a fund for securing an oil portrait. Eighty letters were sent out announcing that small subscriptions would be welcomed, and over a hundred answers have been received, with subscriptions and offers of additional amounts if needed. Thus has the fund been over-subscribed, leaving with the committee the problem of making suitable appropriation of the surplus. These details of this unusual experience are presented to you only as indicating the universal heartfelt desire to pay a tribute to a great and good man.