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    Wisconsin’s 37

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    Wisconsin's 37, The Lives of Those Missing in Action in the Vietnam War. By Erin Miller with John B. Sharpless Foreword by Major General John D. "Don" Logeman (Ret.) The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 signified the end of the Vietnam War. American personnel returned home and the 591 Americans held captive in North Vietnam were released. Still, 2,646 individuals did not come home. Thirty-seven of those missing in action were from Wisconsin. Using the recollections of the soldiers' families, friends and fellow servicemen, the author tells the story of each man's life.
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    On a cold, cloudy evening, February 20, 1919, Zion Reformed Church in Sheboygan was reportedly "packed to the doors" to hear a concert. The highlight was to be a cantata performed by the Zion Choir, but the program listed them as "assisted" by a new entity: the Sheboygan Community Orchestra, led by John Schmidt, "who certainly needs no introduction," according to the anonymous review published the next day in the Sheboygan Press. In the months to follow, that body of players would be performing on their own, and by the time of their third concert they would be calling themselves the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra. They are still the SSO, one hundred years after their founding in the fall of 1918: the oldest symphony orchestra still functioning in the state of Wisconsin. They have performed continuously, except for pauses during the Great Depression and in the midst of World War II; and though they were called the Sheboygan Civic (Symphony) Orchestra from 1936 to 1973, there has been a continuity in both personnel and musical vision, linking one generation to the next over a 100-year span.
  • Author Rochelle Pennington has written two books detailing one of the most well-known shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. One for adults and one for children documenting Lake Michigan's Christmas Tree Ship, which delivered holiday evergreens to the citizens of Chicago each Christmas season before it was caught in the "Great Storm of 1912" and subsequently went to the bottom of the lake fully loaded with trees. The captain’s wife, Barbara, along with their three daughters, then carried on for over twenty years afterward in honor of “Captain Santa” and in the spirit of everything he believed in. The ship is still loaded with its cargo today and is a popular Great Lakes dive site. "It is a story which exemplifies the best of humanity," said Pennington. "At its heart we find courage, love, generosity, heroism, and the importance of family. The moment I first heard the story of the Christmas Tree Ship, I understood why it had endeared itself to so many people over the years and was still being shared a century later." "The ship's final voyage was not to the bottom of the lake," added Pennington, "but into the pages of history." This true account of Captain Schuenemann and his schooner is considered the “most loved story of the Great Lakes” over the past century. The story has inspired paintings, poems, six different Christmas Tree Ship songs, television programs, a musical performed all over the country titled “The Christmas Schooner,” and a “new” Christmas Tree Ship sailed by the Great Lakes Coast Guard each holiday season as a living memorial.
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    This publication is a chronological account of the sister city relationship between Sheboygan, a city in the state of Wisconsin, and Esslingen am Neckar of Germany. These articles span the years 1967 to 2017. The stories are told by actual headlines, story excerpts, photographs, and informational pieces gathered through articles in the Sheboygan Press, publications in the archives of the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center and Mead Public Library. The articles selected are meant to include a brief history and highlights of special visits and envoys. It is impossible to include everything. Many photos were available, but individuals and dates were not identified so they were not chosen. In a world that began with cablegrams, western union, letters, then phone and fax, communication evolved with the technology of cell phones, emails, the internet and FaceTime. In the beginning, travelers’ postcards and letters often arrived after they returned home. The bulk of the written material was found before all of this new technology replaced the newspaper stories. Some years there was more material than others. During the 1990s and beyond information was in the hands of individuals, not printed publications.
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    By Floyd Odekirk and Adrian Falchion Waiting on DEROS: A Soldier’s Story could not have been accomplished without the efforts of a Veteran, a writer and the spirit of every soldier walking within the pages of this book. Floyd Odekirk pursued the emotional task of bringing back the images of his tour in Vietnam (1968-69) so that the writer, Adrian Falchion, could paint in all its vibrant and dark colors the truths of war. Following the completion of 19 stories, Floyd Odekirk offered the light to his Veteran Brothers Michael Bennett, David Higgins, Craig Johnson, Dale Moravec, Donald Burch, Patrick Callahan, Joseph DeAugustine, Robert Moneypenny, Daniel Michael Pruitt and Thomas Vojvodich who each shared a story for the sake of honoring other soldiers.
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    By Richard A. Stoelb This is the story of the men of Company F, 127th Infantry, 32nd Division, Wisconsin National Guard who left Sheboygan, Wisconsin for Federal Service on October 15, 1940. They would fight in the Battle for Buna on the island of New Guinea against the Japanese in World War II. Richard’s father, Roland Stoelb, was one of those soldiers who fought in the jungles of the Pacific to stop the Japanese during World War II. Roland along with dozens of boys from Sheboygan spent their Time in Hell, many of them making the ultimate sacrifice. Richard’s story personalizes the fight in the Pacific and honors the boys from Sheboygan.
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    By Edwin L. Fisher Because of the prominence and close connection by virtue of the Sheboygan County Historical Society occupation of his 1852 mansion, it was thought more should be known about Judge David Taylor and his family. As a Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice, he was one of the most important early settlers in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. As research proceeded so much interesting family-related information became available that the story expanded.
  • Sheboygan County's iron-fisted work ethic began with its earliest residents. From the jackknife trading posts and mill wrights of the early 1800s to the spas and "Great Wall of China" of Kohler Company, the importance of commerce to Sheboygan County is evident. This wonderful pictorial history of the small family-owned business of Sheboygan County begins in the 1870s and ends with a great image of a 1950s American Classic-McDonald's Golden Arches.
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    By Mary Jane Gruett Twelve year old Derk Van Vliet began the adventure of a lifetime in Holland in 1847. He left his home, his friends and his faithful dog, Bello, to begin a new life in America. But, disaster struck as his ship came within sight of its destination, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The Phoenix, a Great Lakes steamer, normally delivered immigrants to their new homes. But, on Derk’s voyage, the doomed Phoenix, was part of an historic disaster which would cause Derk to question everything about life. He would have to forge ahead to find a new life and search to find courage deep within himself.
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    The Random Local History Reader is filled with odd and interesting history. What is the real story of the Dead Horse? Who was the Black Terror of Sheboygan? Have you ever read an obituary for an outhouse? Learn the meaning of the term, Yeggman. Find out why Cupid was baffled. And read the full story behind the murder of revered, early teacher, John Sexton. Great reading for quiet time, you’ll enjoy every story and photo included in this random collection of historical gems.
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    Prisoner 19053

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    By Robert Matzner Sheboygan resident, Robert Matzner, had a very important story to tell. Friend, Larry Vogel, helped him to put pen to paper. The result is Prisoner 19053, the true story of Matzner’s three years in Nazi concentration camps. Matzner, a native of Poland, lost most of his family to the Nazi’s Final Solution. He somehow survived the horror and came to the United States and Sheboygan with his family in 1949. Robert and Larry have written a remarkable document, a story full of sadness and hope which will touch all readers. The introduction, written by Robert’s son, Murray, is a poignant tribute and a great beginning to Prisoner 19053.
  • By Susan Gibson Mikos Mikos traces the history of Polish immigrants as they settled in America's northern heartland. The second largest immigrant population after Germans, Poles put down roots in all corners of the state, from the industrial center of Milwaukee to the farmland around Stevens Point.
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    By Scott Knickelbine On the night of October 8, 1871, a whirlwind of fire swept through northeastern Wisconsin, destroying the bustling frontier town of Peshtigo. Trees, buildings, and people burst into flames. Metal melted. Sand turned into glass. People thought the end of the world had come. When the "tornado of fire" was over, 2,500 people were dead, and Peshtigo was nothing but a smoking ruin. It was the deadliest wildfire in U.S. history. Kids’ book.
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    By Reverend Peter Pernin Rev. Pernin was the parish priest for Peshtigo and nearby Marinette, whose churches burned to the ground. He published his ac-count of the fire in 1874. The late William Converse Haygood served as editor of the Wisconsin Magazine of History from 1957 to 1975. He prepared this version of Father Pernin's account on the occasion of the Peshtigo Fire's centennial in 1971.
  • By Oostburg Historical Society Hundreds of photos of the village of Oostburg. Designed as a companion book to Oostburg, Haven of Hope.
  • By Florence Fenner Popp Mohrsville was a small settlement located at the intersection of the Green Bay and Howards Roads in the town of Herman approximately 2 miles north of Sheboygan Falls. In the early 1900s Highway 32 was known as the Green Bay Road, and later for some time, it was Highway 42. Until World War II, County O was known as the Howards Road. Mohrsville consisted of: Starlight School, Mohnsam’s, the old cheese factory where Carol and Manny Zunker lived and Zunker’s garage. It was named for Paul Mohr who formerly owned a tavern there
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    By Jerry Apps Polio was epidemic in the United States in 1916. By the 1930s, quarantines and school closings were becoming common, as isolation was one of the only ways to fight the disease. The Salk vaccine was not available until 1955; in that year, Wisconsin's Fox River valley had more polio cases per capita than anywhere in the United States. In his most personal book, Jerry Apps, who contracted polio at age 12, reveals how the disease affected him physically and emotionally, profoundly influencing his education, military service, and family life and setting him on the path to becoming a professional writer.
  • By Janice Hildebrand In Sheboygan County there was a lively trade with the Indians for deer hides and other animal skins. Barter with the Indians brought the first traders to the county in the early 1800s. The tanneries of the county were an offshoot of the fur-trading days and were among the first clothing-related businesses to get started in Sheboygan County. Everything from shoes to gloves to harnesses were made of leather. Follow the history of the leather business in the county.
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    By Richard A. Dykstra Here are thirty additional stories about growing up in rural Sheboygan County. Two favorite chapters are “The Airport” and “The Ice Box.” In the first you will appreciate the gullibility of children and in the second you will want to check Dykstra’s nose to see, if like Pinocchio, it has grown a foot or two. Besides the silly and nonsensical stories there are those with a much deeper meaning as in “Revisiting the Gift,” “Three Conversations with Dad” and “Grandma’s Quiet Life.” Dykstra's appreciation of family shines through the pages of all of his books.
  • By Richard A. Dykstra Thirty-five heartwarming stories about growing up in rural Wisconsin during the 1950s and 1960s.
  • By David Holmes The Irish have a rich and long history in Wisconsin, dating back to the 19th century. Immigrants quickly formed communities in Beloit, Fond du Lac, and Sturgeon Bay, as well as in rural Trempeauleau County. They worked at day labor, railroad construction, lumbering, fishing, and of course farming. Some of those early Irish communities have disappeared; others have experienced succeeding generations of Irish Americans settling in these Wisconsin cities and small towns and influencing them with their old country charm.
  • By Don Lau and Shirley Sager The schools covered in this book include Jefferson, South Cedar Grove, West Oostburg, Beaver Creek, Maple Grove, Fairview, Greene, Amsterdam, River Valley, West Cedar Grove, Liberty, Lakeview and Hoard
  • By the Howards Grove Area Historical Research Committee The settlement of Haven, located in the Town of Mosel on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Sheboygan County, was formerly known as Seven Mile Creek, not Seven Creeks, as has been recorded in a newspaper account of the area’s history. It got its name from a small creek which flowed into Lake Michigan about seven miles north of Sheboygan. The first post office in Haven was established on July 16, 1897. The first postmaster in Haven was Frederick W. Franzmeier. In 1897 Frederick and Herman Franzmeier built a rooming house, tavern and store next to the railroad tracks. In 1903 the post office was established in that building.
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    By Betsy Jones Michael This charming memoir by a Sheboygan author tells about a middle-aged wife, mother/stepmother who, in 1970, trains herself to ride a brand new ten-speed Schwinn Super Sports bicycle. She qualifies for bicycle tours in foreign lands, and finds her own home roads of Wisconsin best of all. Her adventures require physical stamina, discipline and independence and strangely, lead her to uncover mysteries of her mother’s early life, as well as those of her ancestors. She also rediscovers herself. The Green Steed was chosen by Sheboygan’s Mead Public Library for their summer 2009 citywide Sheboygan Reads, co-sponsored by the Sheboygan Press.
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