Tuesday Treasure | December 7, 2010

This is a 1954 Motorola 53h tabletop radio. It’s made of black Bakelite plastic. The radio has five tubes and an AM band. It’s style is of the industrial jet age design look of the day.

I’m fortunate to have inherited this radio from my Grandpa and Grandma Hau. I can just imagine them listening to it in their Fond du Lac, Wisconsin home – whether it was music, Packers football or Milwaukee Braves baseball games. The radio still works, and the reception is better than in most modern AM radios!

Tuesday Treasure | September 14, 2010

A couple of months ago, my wife’s Harvey family had a family get-together. Her grandfather, Wayne Harvey, died last December, and there were lots of old photos being passed around. As we were leaving, I gathered most of the photos to take home and scan. I also grabbed an old scrapbook.

I finally pulled the photos out yesterday and spent some time scanning. I then began to leaf through the pages of the scrapbook. It appears to have been put together by my wife’s great grandmother, Martha (Musbach) Harvey, Wayne’s mom. It contains page after page of family and friend-related newspaper clippings from the early 1900’s to the mid 1940’s. The Harveys and Musbachs lived in the areas between Jackson and Chelsea, MI.

What a treasure trove of information! Articles announcing weddings, deaths, anniversaries and family get-togethers. I spent the next several hours adding dates and places and other facts to people in my family tree, and also discovering some new names and stories that I knew nothing of.

I’ve really enjoyed leafing through the scrapbook and immersing myself in the happenings of the Harvey and Musbach families, and their friends, as they went about their daily lives during the first half of the 20th century.

Tuesday Treasure | April 20, 2010

My great grandmother, Katherine Seybold, married Orville Duloss Harris in January, 1876 in Wisconsin.

In the spring of that year, they left their home in Forest Junction and headed west, settling on a homestead eight miles southeast of North Platte, Nebraska, on the old California trail. Their home was near the Sioux look-out, a hill where the Indians watched the immigrants traveling down the valley.

I have a poem, handwritten by Katherine, that relays some of her experiences while living in Nebraska.

Do you remember Tom the day we left our Forest Junction home

To go west where the Buzzard nest and the Buffalo did roam


And when we landed at North Platte the home of Buffalo Bill

It was there they drank their whiskey straight, it was they shot to kill

We wandered up and down the Platte with Casey close behind

And Anton with his old shot gun a following in the line


We roamed around until we found a place to build a home

We made a corral and dug a well and build a house of stone


We gathered up the prairie grass prepared by Buffalo

To cook our grub and keep us warm when it was ten below

And then them bloody Indians come and Katie all alone

But she was brave and stayed them off until the Major come


We went to raising cattle in that we could not fail

If we could not raise them otherwise we would raise them by the tail


And that bronco that y rode I eust to call him Ned

At first he stand up on his heals and then upon his head

But now dear Tom the time has come when we can ride no more

And we will soon meet the old cowboy upon the other shore

I’m not sure is she wrote this poem while living in Nebraska or sometime after. It’s a real treasure to have something in her handwriting. Katherine and Orville went to Florida in 1881 and back to Wisconsin in 1896.

More about my Harris family can be read here:

Harris Family History

Harris Family Home – Cato, WI

Orville and Katherine’s gravestones


Tuesday Treasure | March 16, 2010

When my Grandpa and Grandpa Hau passed away several years ago, I was lucky enough to receive many of their things. Among them was my grandpa’s high school yearbook. Raymond Christian Hau was raised in Fond du lac, WI. His father, John, was in the restaurant business, a business that Ray would eventually join. Ray graduated from Fond du Lac Senior High School in 1926.

The 1920’s in America was an era distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle. The city of Fond du Lac was no exception. It was a classic American mid-western small town, highlighted by its bustling main street. After his graduation, Ray attended Lawrence college in Appleton, his being the first generation of the Hau family to attend college.

Yearbooks from this era are far different from the color photo laden, current events filled books of today. They contain pages full of  poetry and song; pages detailing highlights of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes; and in-depth descriptions of the accomplishments of the Service Club, Glee Club, Commercial Club, Peptimist Club, etc. The class motto for the Senior Class of 1926 was “Character is All!”

The class president described their senior year as follows: “…it was our senior year that we must look to appreciate truly our high school life. The hopes of years were at last realized. Early in November the school addition, containing the new combined gymnasium and auditorium, was finally completed. What senior has not experience a sincere thrill of pride and of satisfaction as he has entered the gymnasium for programs, pep meetings, parties, and basketball games? We are equally proud of our cafeteria where we have enjoyed hot dinners on cold winter days and appetizing lunches after organization parties. Our school life has been further rounded by the new courses of home economics, manual training, auto mechanics, and physical education….”

It’s hard to imagine our ancestors as high school kids. My only memory of my grandpa is as…a grandpa. I’m grateful to have these treasures. They really help me to know him better.

Tuesday Treasure | February 9, 2010

My treasure for today comes in the form of an article that appeared in the June 1976 issue of The Real Estate News Observer. The focus of the article was inflation, and the example they used was the 1938 menu from my great grandfather John Hau’s cafeteria style restaurant, The Lion Cafe. The restaurant, located in Fond du Lac, WI, was described in the article as “the leading restaurant in a town of 23,000″. They went on to publish the entire menu!

The Lion Cafe was owned by the Hau family from it’s founding in 1919 until it closed in 1968. Much more can be read about it’s history here.

1938 Lion Cafe menu - Click to Enlarge

Tuesday Treasure | November 17, 2009

This is the marriage certificate of my grandparents on my mom’s side, Raymond Christian Hau and Florence Rose Heller.

Marriage Certificate of Raymond Christian Hau and Florence Rose Heller

My grandpa was born in Fond du Lac, WI on February 29, 1908. He spent a year at Lawrence College in Appleton. Ray eventually went to work for his father, who owned the Lion Cafeteria, in Fond du Lac.

My grandma was born and raised in Montello, WI. She graduated from St. Agnes School of Nursing in Fond du Lac and then worked, until their marriage, at St. Agnes Hospital.

Ray and Florence were married, on October 10, 1933, at St. John the Baptist Church in Montello. Their marriage was witnessed by Ray’s sister, Delores, and Florence’s brother, Howard.