July/August on the Home Front 1917

 

Ladies of the local Red Cross Society have just finished 36 ‘comfort kits’ for the members of Company M who have enlisted from this village. The kits include three handkerchiefs, folding drinking cup, pair 4 inch scissors, hair comb and case, needle case and assorted needles, ball of darning yarn, two spools of thread, one package of pins, card of safety pins, circular hand mirror, package shoe strings, cake of Ivory Soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, button bag containing assorted buttons and thimbles. These kits cost $1.59 for a total of $57.24. Ladies have $20.00 and are looking for donations.

A few weeks ago Falls Manufacturing erected a 20X30 foot flag in the courtyard. The men of the mill feel that the flag represents management and would like their own flag. The men put together their own money and management agreed to hang flag at the peak of the paper mill.

A silo building campaign has begun by the Wisconsin Experiment Association to encourage farmers to build silos to preserve food for cattle. Because of the late spring, the need of the economy due to war conditions, silos will help maintain the dairy output of the state.

Company M has begun training of newly enlisted men from the area. A large number of people lined the streets of Oconto Falls as 38 men in autos depart to join Company M.

Dr. G.W. Kran has received notice of his appointment to serve in the Medical Corp of the Wisconsin National Guard. He accepted his commission with the rank of First Lieutenant.

American women have been asked by the American Chemical Society to stop buying platinum for jewelry. The precious metal is needed for explosives.

July 27th Washington makes first draft drawing. 50 names selected to fill Oconto County’s quota.

2,800 sheep have been killed in northern Wisconsin by dogs. Meat and wool are in demand and the states want counties to prevent further loss.

A Lumberjack Regiment for early service in France is now being recruited locally because of the importance in the area. The duty of this regiment will be to get out timber needed by the armies for trench building, railroad ties, bridge timbers and cordwood. The work will be performed behind battle lines but may fall in danger zone.

Don’ts for sock knitters. Don’t cast on too tightly. Don’t knot your wool. Don’t make a heel with a seam on the sole. Remember a man may not be able to change his socks for several days and a lump or knot may bring on a blister. Don’t use black, dark or bright colored yarn as there is a danger of poisoning. Don’t make foot less than 11 inches.

August 3rd Company M receives orders to mobilize and head for Camp Douglas. Troops leave on a special train. 3,000 people from the area goes to Oconto to see them off.

Local Red Cross calls for nurses and supplies for hospitals.

Boys of Wisconsin are raising a volunteer army of hens.

Major Hall, of Company M, is selected to command First Battalion of the Wisconsin National Guard soon to go to France.

Free Sewing Classes at the Library


The library is offering five free beginning sewing classes. Classes are limited to six, adults or teens. Beginning classes are free and all supplies provided.
Sept 11, at 10:00 am will be a standard pillow case.                                                                   Sept 25 at 10 am will be a square tote.
Sept 28, at 6:30 pm will be a square pillow.
Oct 7th at 9:30 am will be a standard pillow case.
Oct12th at 6:30 pm will be christmas stockings (bring any trim you may have).
Oct 24th at 6:30 will be a hobo bag or bag.
The final date for October has not be set yet, but we will have a free Saturday for you to bring in projects to sew or ask questions if you need some help.
Pictured are the projects. Call the library at 846-2673 to sign up.

Oconto County 1917

The library has been researching the 100th anniversary of WW1 in the newspapers. What is happening on the homefront? Information taken from the 1917 Farmer Herald  http://ocnews.co.oconto.wi.us/

United States declared war on Germany April 5th, 1917. Though war was declared in April, first troops sent by U.S. government did not land until June 29th in France.  With 1917 being the 100th anniversary of WWI, we thought it would be interesting to share what the paper was writing about locally.

Why did it take so long for the United States to enter the war? The government saw that the Allies were unprepared for war. There were food and munition shortages throughout Europe. The Defense Department wanted to plan ahead so that our troops did not face the same consequences. Train car loads of potatoes were ordered by the Defense League and were expected to arrive in communities before May 10th.  May 5th, Oconto Falls held a mass meeting for county residents to prepare not just for battle but also for food and munition production for the army. The Wisconsin State Superintendent Ellen McDonald wrote a letters to the schools of Oconto County urging children older than fourth grade to plant and care for potatoes. As a contest, in the fall instead of a Fall Harvest Festival, urging schools to have a Potato festival, exhibit the potatoes and have prizes. She wanted schools to start Potato Clubs. Gillett and Lena School Districts did start clubs.

Falls Manufacturing secured 75 lots for cultivation by employees. All lots were spoken for. The company would plow and drag the land and place it in condition for cultivation by employees. National Defense Council said this method, if adopted throughout the country, would insure no food shortage and have some to also export.

In June, Falls Manufacturing erected a 20×30 foot flag on a 55 foot pole located in the little court in front of the paper mill. Continental Paper, who owns Falls Manufacturing and Union Manufacturing, announced the purchase of $65,000 worth of Liberty Bonds. President J.H. Delbridge of Falls Manufacturing and Union Manufacturing announced to employees that anyone wishing to purchase bonds of $50 or $100.00 could make payments through their paychecks. The company purchased the bonds and placed them in escrow in the State Bank of Oconto Falls to be turned over to the purchaser as soon as full amount was paid

With the end of the Mexican American Border War, Company M, the Oconto County National Guard Unit, came home at the beginning of March. Company M, even though it was a National Guard unit, had war experience having served in New Mexico. They did not see active combat but were a support group and were prepared if called to battle. In April they began to enlist men into Company M. If men enlisted with Company M, they were assured that they would stay with the 2nd Regiment (2nd regiment has four Companies, A, G, L and M). Wisconsin men would be able to stay in Co M and serve with friends and neighbors. If you were drafted, you could be sent to any branch. In May, Stiles was looked at by the Army as a possible site for a Divisional Camp that would house and train 30,000 troops from Wisconsin and Michigan.

On June 5th, the Registration Board in every city, village, and town in the United States held a session for registration. Every male, between ages 21-31, must register and is different from the draft. If you were not in your home town, you must register wherever you are. 119 registered from Oconto Falls with a county total of 2,160. In June the U.S. Government appealed to men over the age of 31 to enlist as officers. Mature men have business and leadership qualities ideal for officers.

June 29th it was decided that Oconto Falls Business Men’s Association would cancel the 4th of July celebration and donated funds to the local Red Cross and Defense Council.

June 29th saw the landing of the first troops in France.

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum website states ‘10,000 Wisconsin men and women volunteers for service, while 90,000 men were drafted. They served in hundreds of different units within the Army, Army Corps, Army Nurse Corps, Marines and Navy. Oconto County had 1302 men and women in service. Wisconsin suffered about 10 percent casualties with over 2,000 dying in service’.

What impact did this have at home? Keep watching the Oconto Falls Library Facebook page for the next installment of WWI at Home.

Summer Is For Reading

Tuesday, June 13th is the kick-off for the Summer Reading Program.  The programs start at 1:00. The Young Readers with Kim will be blasting off with rockets on the 13th, building with bugs on June 20th. On June 27th, the NEW Zoomobile will be at the library.  We are closed on the 4th of July. On July11th, Earthaven Museum will be here.  July 18 and 25 will Building Around Town and Box Car Build. Registration is not required but helpful.

The Early Chapter Readers will be reading and playing with some STEM kits.  We will also try some early coding. Earthaven will be working with the group on June 20th Using the Five Senses to Identify Stones. We will visit with the NEW Zoomobile and then back on schedule with STEM kits.Registration is not required but helpful.

On Wednesdays starting the 14th from 1:00 to 3:00 will be Lego Fun. Each day will have a Lego challenge and the finished projects will be on display in the library until the next week and a new challenge.Build better world JPEG

Adults, you are not left out. A beautiful quilt was donated to the Library from the Wannabe Quilters. Check out some books and enter the drawing. If you are a movie watcher, enter a drawing for a Blue Ray/DVD player.

Library Celebrates 25 Years on Main Street

Twenty five years ago the Staff and Patrons of the library were busy moving from the Cook Memorial Library building to the new Oconto Falls Community Library on Main Street.oconto-falls-library-1991253 In 1985 planning begun with the City and the Library Board to build a new library. Cook Library had become too crowded and with new technology coming, there was no room to expand. The Wellens Garage was selected as the new site. The City contributed $500,000 and the library had to raise the remaining amount. Scott Paper donated $50,000 and the library received a grant of $125,00.  A radio/telethon was organized and earned another $130,000.  Chairpersons of the fundraising were Audrey O’Harrow and Dick Van Ark. Library Board members, which oversaw construction were Tom Milheiser president, Ken Kozak vice president, Diane Marquardt, Sylvia Kamke, Tom Malcomson, Bob Moffitt and Victor Rossetti.

Wisconsin Talking Books available

Many times we hear from people that the library provides a wide selection of items and formats for their reading and entertainment needs. When we purchase books, the library will purchase multiple formats such as a paper version in regular print or large print, audiobooks and with e-books on overdrive.

In recent years, large print books have become more popular and easily accessible. Our collection has grown and so has the collection in Infosoup.

But what happens when and senior or someone with a handicap can no longer read due to a visual or physical impairment? Do they just stop doing something that they have enjoyed for many years? No, we send them to Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library. As part of a national network cooperating with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) provides audio books and brailled materials to persons, living in Wisconsin, who cannot see regular print or handle print materials. WTTBL patrons receive and return books and equipment, postage-free through the U.S. Postal Service. Go to www.dpi.wi.gov/talkingbooks for an online application.

Talking Book Program provides a digital played with specially designed USB drives to hold one or more books or magazines. The digital player is user friendly. The collection numbers about 200,000 items and over 40,000 different titles. Bestsellers, romances, mysteries, classics, sports and travel are just a few of the many subject areas to choose from. Materials are available for adults, young adults and children. The Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library also lends audio-described DVDs and videos. Materials are also available to children and young adults with reading disabilities.

Schools, hospitals, nursing homes and individuals can apply. Come in and talk to us about how to get started or just go to www.dpi.wi.gov/talkingbooks

John Maino Comes to Oconto Falls

John Maino poster135Oconto County Library Services Board will be presenting John Maino at the Oconto Falls Performing Arts Center on Saturday September 10th at 6:30.

John will be sharing his experiences with WWII Veterans and his observations after being embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is a free event sponsored by the Oconto County Library Services Board. Refreshments will be served.

Story Hour Begins Sept 13th at the Library

Kim 002Summer is almost over and it is back to school time. After a few weeks off, Kim and her preschool story hour will begin on Tuesday, September 13th at 10:30. Stories, games and crafts are being planned. Kids are all welcomed but need to be old enough to sit and listen to a story. See you there!