The real estate surrounding Cameron Park in the tiny village of Vesper, Wisconsin, played an important role in the histories of the Hanneman and Treutel families. This village square was the nexus of commerce and family life at the dawn of the 20th century. It was home to a number of Treutel families, who came from Germany through Waukesha County seeking a new start.
A hand-drawn map made by Elaine (Treutel) Clark has surfaced that adds detail to how the town square was laid out and where the family homesteads sat more than a century ago. The map, likely drawn sometime in the 1980s, was provided to us by Elaine’s daughter, MaryClark. Because all of the old Treutel homesteads in Vesper are now gone, the map provides missing detail on what the village looked like in the early 1900s.
As documented elsewhere on this site, the family of Johann Adam Treutel and the former Katharina Geier emigrated from Bremerhaven, Germany, to New York between 1849 and 1854. The family initially settled in Milwaukee before it began to branch out into other areas of Wisconsin and in the deep South of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Henrietta (Krosch) Treutel, the widow of Philipp Treutel, moved north with her children after Philipp died in 1891 near North Prairie, Wis.
Most of the Treutels lived on properties along Anderton Avenue in Vesper, along the western side of Cameron Park. Most also had their places of business along the same street, including a general store, a butcher shop and a smithy (blacksmith shop). The first of the Treutels to come to Vesper was Adeline B. (Treutel) Moody, who settled on a farm outside of the village. Her family was involved in the Moody-Hinze shootout incident.
In late 1898, Charles W. Treutel made a trip to Vesper to “look after his landed interests,” according to the Wood County Reporter. Charles and his brother Henry A. Treutel later established a blacksmith shop that eventually became a service station and auto-repair shop. Treutel Brothers was located on the Hemlock Creek, just across from the northern edge of Cameron Park.
The Treutels purchased what had been known as Goldsworthy’s store at the corner of Anderton and Cameron avenues. Oscar and Walter Treutel bought the store from C.R. Goldsworthy, one of the major land owners in the area. Oscar was the main proprietor, as Walter became a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. The post office was originally located in Treutel’s store. Emma (Treutel) Carlin was the seventh postmaster of Vesper, starting her 11-year tenure in the fall of 1906. Just south of the Treutels’ general store was the butcher shop of Orville Carlin, Emma’s husband.
The map also shows the “priest house,” which was the home of Father C.W. Gille in April 1926 when a fast-moving fireleveled the building before firefighters could reach the scene. Carl Hanneman or wife Ruby (Treutel) Hanneman documented the fire in photographs. Father Gille presided at Carl and Ruby’s nuptial Mass on July 14, 1925 at St. James Catholic Church.
Along the east side of Cameron park we see a village hall, the location of a community gathering documented in an “Eye on the Past” feature on this web site. The building hosted a lot of functions over the years. For a time it was home to a roller rink operated by Harry Cole.
The southeast corner of the map shows the Vesper Graded School, where my grandmother, Ruby (Treutel) Hanneman went to school and later taught for a time after earning her teaching license. The well-built structure still stands, now serving as a private home.
The center of the park shows a bandstand, which many times was the center of activity with band and string concerts. The Vesper Cornet Band played in the park on more than a few occasions. The talented group of musicians included Charles Treutel,Henry Treutel and Orville Carlin, the husband of Emma (Treutel) Carlin.
Not far from the bandstand is an indicator where the Ku Klux Klanburned a cross sometime in the mid- to late 1920s. It was one of Elaine’s vivid memories from early childhood. We could find no reference to it in the Wisconsin Rapids papers. The Klan was certainly active during that time period. If this occurred before April 1926, it would have been directly across from the home of Father Charles W. Gille, the pastor of St. James Catholic Church.
Last but not least is the Walter Treutel homestead, along the western side of Cameron Park with its rear facing the Hemlock Creek. The Treutel children had lots of space to play in the field behind the house. The map says they went ice skating on the Hemlock Creek on winter days. We have many photos showing the home’s exterior, but no images from the inside of the house.
He was the kindest, most decent person I’ve ever known. Tom Hanneman, legendary Minneapolis sports broadcaster, recent Midwest Emmy® award inductee and father of three, died suddenly on Dec. 18 at his home in suburban Minneapolis. He was 68.
A cousin 12 years and 2 days my senior, Tommy enjoyed a storied broadcasting career that would be the envy of any journalist. Tens of thousands will remember him for his calls from the broadcast booth, but his true impact in the world came through his family and the countless one-on-one interactions he had with people in all walks of life. He took interest in them all, treating everyone with respect and kindness. When you talked with Tom Hanneman, you mattered. And he meant it.
The world needs more men like Tom Hanneman. We now must learn to live with one less.
Thomas Donn Hanneman was born in La Crosse, Wis. on June 29, 1952, the third of nine children of Donn G. Hanneman and the former Elaine Kline. He was one of three boys in the Hanneman clan who matched wits and traded lightning fast humorous barbs like they were fired from a Gatling gun. To listen to the Hanneman boys left you with sore ribs from laughing. I don’t know if they rehearsed their act, but Tom, John and Jim, had they not followed the paths they did, could have done a stand-up act worthy of Carson or Leno. Tom and John did great voice imitations, something Tom later employed with great humor as the fictitious basketball announcer Bill Beek (see the video below).
Every encounter with my cousin Tom started the same way. He looked me square in the eyes, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “How are you? Tell me what’s been going on.” He listened, asked insightful questions and gave his appraisal of the things of life . His interest and concern were genuine. That never changed, not once over five decades of our interactions. You can’t teach such things, nor can you force them. Those qualities are a gift from God. Tom made very good use of them.
When God was handing out good looks and talent, Tommy got in line twice. He had the Hanneman face that embodied the young movie-star looks of our then-19-year-old grandfather, Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982). And that voice. My father was told in high school that he had a stentorian voice. Powerful. Indeed his singing could lift the gabled roof off of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church. Tom had a polished voice made for TV and radio — smooth as tiramisu or a sip of Baileys Irish Cream. His broadcast timbre was like listening to Jim Nantz call the PGA championship or Pat Summerall at the Super Bowl. It never gets old.
Tom started his career as a radio disc jockey at Minnesota State University. In 1973, he wrote a letter to Dave Moore (1924-1998), the legendary anchorman at WCCO-TV Channel 4, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. “Dave helped me get a foot in the door at ‘CCO as a dispatcher,” Tom said in his Emmy® acceptance video just a month before his death. “A lucrative job that paid $1.35 an hour. It didn’t matter. Dave Moore taught me many things certainly about the value of mentorship. It’s a lesson that I’ve never forgotten.”
Tom spent 16 years at WCCO as a sports reporter and anchor, then became a TV and radio host for the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA franchise. He eventually became the Timberwolves’ television play-by-play announcer. The Timberwolves assignment lasted for 23 years. He then became the face of Fox Sports North in 2012, anchoring pre- and post-game coverage of the Twins, Wild, Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Viewers and sports fans affectionally referred to him as “Hanny.” Over his long career, he covered the World Series, Super Bowls and even the Olympic Games. He became known for his quick, dry wit and high jinx with radio partner Kevin Harlan (you can read a beautiful summation here; h/t to Jim Hanneman and his son, Leo).
Tom wasn’t kidding about being a mentor. He played that role to many people. During my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tom got me tickets to see the Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Gophers play hockey in the WCHA Tournament at the old barn, Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Wisconsin swept the series on its way to the 1983 NCAA championship. What a memory! On one of my other visits, Tom invited me to the WCCO studio to watch the 6 p.m. newscast from behind the cameras. Although I was already well along on my road to a degree, that visit helped cement my own intention to make journalism my career.
As Tom described it later, one of the dramatic bookends of his career came in May 1979 when he volunteered to cover a violent uprising of factions of the Red Lake band of Chippewa Indians in northern Minnesota. Tom and cameraman Keith Brown beat the FBI to the scene and walked right into the middle of pure chaos. They were fired upon by 20-year-old Gordon Wayne Roy, then taken hostage by the madman. The men were ordered to lay on the pavement. Roy held a gun to them and “threatened to blow our heads off,” Tom said. After Roy tried to run the pair over with their own car, Tom and Keith escaped with the help of a neighbor. The memory was still vivid in 2020:
Tom’s broadcast career reads like something deserving of an Emmy® Silver Circle Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Watch the tribute produced by the Midwest Emmy Academy:
One of my favorite memories of Tom came on Oct. 23, 2013. We met for coffee at the Beyond the Daily Grind Cafe in Mauston, the sleepy little city on the Lemonweir River where our fathers grew up. We reminisced about the trips our families made over the decades to visit Grandpa Carl and Grandma Ruby Hanneman at the green-sided house at 22 Morris Street. Fishing with cane poles off the back of the Dr. Hess property along the river, then cleaning the catch for dinner — there was nothing better. Talking with Tom was like a great conversation with your best friend. I will always treasure that day.
Tom was a big supporter of my work on the Hanneman Archive, the web-based project to document the family’s historic journey from Germany, Pomerania and the Czech Republic to nearly 170 years of history in north-central Wisconsin. Just about every time I talked to him or exchanged emails, he thanked me for the effort put into family history. That meant a lot. Now it means even more.
“I have thought about our visit to Mauston frequently in the years since,” Tom wrote me back in June 2020.
“I planned on suggesting a return this summer and then the pandemic hit,” he wrote. We talked about making a visit one day at Christmastime to the Boorman House Museum in Mauston, which proudly displays a beautiful large-format framed pastelthat once hung in the office of Gov.-elect Orland Loomis of Mauston. Loomis gifted the artwork to Carl Hanneman for his work to help elect Loomis in 1942. The pastel later hung in my parents’ living room for more than 50 years.
As much as his impressive career meant to him, Tom was first and foremost about family. His eyes sparkled when he talked about his children, Adam, Courtney and Kyle; and his five grandchildren. In his Emmy® speech, Tom spoke lovingly of Nancy, his wife of 44 years, and how she put up with his late nights and travel schedule, all while raising the children and managing her own career as a nurse.
I know how grieved he was in August 2017 when his younger brother, John, died after a short battle with cancer. John was just 56. “It breaks my heart,” Tom wrote me in July 2017. “We’ve been able to spend time with him at least once a week, but his cancer continues to grow and has worn him down. The three Hanneman brothers decided years ago that spending time together on Christmas Eve wasn’t good enough. We headed north for a few days every summer and got to know each other. I’m so thankful we spent that time together.”
The other dramatic bookend to Tom’s career came in July 2019. The arteries to his heart were choked off and he was rushed into surgery for six-way bypass surgery. “He said he woke up in the intensive care unit, looked around and thought, ‘Oh, so this is what it’s like when you die,'” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. After his recovery, Tom said he was so thankful to get another chance at life. “I’m a lucky man and I know it,” he said in his Emmy presentation just weeks ago.
Of the dozens of tributes posted to social media the afternoon after Tom’s death, one stated it quite beautifully:
Tom is survived by his wife, Nancy; his son Adam Hanneman (Rachel); daughter Courtney Tapper; son Kyle Hanneman (Ashley); his mother, Elaine; sisters Diane Hanneman, Caroline Balch, Jane Olson (Charlie); Mary Cochrane (Mick); and Nancy Sullivan (Mike); and brother, Jim Hanneman (Margaret). He is further survived by his grandchildren, Shae, Ryn and Laine Tapper; and Jack and Mia Hanneman. Tom was preceded in death by his father, Donn; his brother, John C. Hanneman; his son-in-law, Joseph W. Tapper; and his brother, Thomas Patrick Hanneman. •
We met only briefly, 55-plus years ago. It was in Grand Rapids, a city on the western shore of Michigan, directly across the lake from Milwaukee. It was a Saturday; 9:04 a.m. to be exact. She named me Patrick.
I won’t know on this side of eternity whether she had a chance to hold me or say goodbye before the nurses whisked me away to my new life. After spontaneous labor of 2 hours 14 minutes, there I was, all of 7 pounds 11 ounces, a “normal newborn boy,” according to the obstetrician’s notes.
Just like that, I was gone. So was she, the woman who gave birth to me in June 1964.
I thought of her often while growing up, and especially when I married and had my own children. After on-and-off searching for decades, I finally learned her identity in 2018. I so hoped to have a chance to meet her face to face, or at least to speak via telephone. I sent her letters and photographs of my children. It was not to be.
In August 2020, a Google search brought a real shock: she died in late March at age 78. I sat and stared at her photo in the the online obituary. I felt stunned, like being punched in the solar plexus. This can’t be. A few days earlier, I had decided I would make a cold call to her house and determine once and for all if she would speak with me. Now I can’t.
She was there, and then she was gone.
Hello, I must be going. That phrase is the title of a 1930 Marx Brothers song, the 1978 biography of comedian Groucho Marx and the second studio album of British pop icon and singer Phil Collins. The words came into my head and stuck there after I discovered that my birth mother had died.
I would never get a chance to meet her in this life.
My adoption story began in September 1963, when a 21-year-old Michigan State University student unexpectedly became pregnant. After a few months, she moved from her home in East Lansing, Mich., to the Salvation Army Evangeline Home and Hospital in Grand Rapids. It was there she gave birth to me on June 27, 1964. I was turned over to the Catholic Service Bureau of the Diocese of Grand Rapids for adoption.
After three months in foster care, I was placed with a couple from suburban Milwaukee who had recently moved to the Kentwood section of Grand Rapids. Thus I began my life as Joseph Michael Hanneman, the son of David D. Hanneman of Mauston and the former Mary Katherine Mulqueen of Cudahy. My adoption was finalized on July 7, 1965, just in time for our family to move to Sun Prairie, Wis.
I had a very good upbringing by two faithful Catholic parents, but I was always curious about my birth parents. Who were they? How did I end up in the adoption system? Mom and Dad shared what they knew: my heritage was Irish, Polish and Swedish. One of my biological grandfathers was very tall, maybe even 6 foot 6 inches. That was about it. Not much to go on.
In 1986, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I moved back home for a time while searching for a full-time job in newspaper journalism. I decided to put my reporting skills to work to learn more about my ancestry. Mom and Dad kept their important papers in a metal 4-gallon cherry can under the sink in the downstairs bathroom. Michigan cherries, of course. I found a packet of information there on my adoption. There was a finalized court order signed by Probate Judge A. Dale Stoppels of Kent County, Mich., and a letter from caseworker Schuyler B. Henehan at the Catholic Service Bureau of the Diocese of Grand Rapids. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
I wrote to the adoption agency and made a request for any and all information they had about my adoption. I also sent a letter to the Adoption Central Registry in Lansing to inquire if either of my biological parents had signed a waiver of privacy stating I could be told about their families. Not wanting my parents to feel hurt that I was doing this research, I rented Post Office Box 1106 at the U.S. Post Office in Downtown Madison. I received my first reply on March 31, 1987, from adoption search specialist Bonnie Kooistra at Catholic Social Services of Kent County. It didn’t provide any real clues to my birth mother or father’s identity, but did fill in some key details.
The letter said my birth mother was 22 at the time of my birth. She had light brown hair, dark brown eyes and a fair complexion. She stood 5 feet 4 inches tall. She was a Roman Catholic in her second term at Michigan State. The case workers at the time described her as “a shy, withdrawn person who was in poor health.” She had some serious medical issues. Her father was 55 and had a white-collar job, and her mother was a housewife, age 54.
My birth father was 25 when I was born, although there was no indication in the correspondence that he had any role in the adoption. That was typical in those days. I couldn’t even know if he was aware of my birth. He had red hair, green-gray eyes and freckles. Sounds familiar. He stood 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was a senior at Michigan State and adhered to no religion. “He was considered easygoing, kind, not temperamental,” the letter stated. His heritage was listed as Irish.
The letter further explained that I was not entitled to any identifying information under Michigan law. So they would not tell me the name of the hospital in which I was born. “I have never heard of a judge ordering a release of information,” Ms. Kooistra wrote. That made me frustrated and angry, but it appeared there was little I could do to obtain more information.
I didn’t make another attempt to learn more about my adoption until December 1994. I was now married with a nearly 3-year-old boy. I looked at his crop of red hair and started to wonder again about my ethnic heritage. I wrote to Catholic Social Services in Grand Rapids. This time, they were able to tell me more, due to changes in the law. The letter from adoption specialist Sandra Recker had a wealth of detail, including the county my birth parents came from (Ingham) and the name of the birth hospital (Salvation Army Evangeline Home and Hospital).
The letter said my birth mother was in her second term of college, and my birth father was a college senior who worked at the campus newspaper. She was in poor health with a chronic medical condition that could be life-threatening. Sandra included a photocopy of my medical record from my time at the hospital and in foster care. It contained four listings, including the day of my birth and three visits to the pediatric clinic. It was difficult to decipher, but eventually I determined the pediatrician was Dr. Donald H. Ter Keurst (1932-2004), a 1957 graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School.
I’d made good progress since my search began in the mid-1980s and, for now, this satisfied my curiosity about my personal history. But it continued to nag at me. I became very involved in genealogy research after the 2007 death of my Dad. I was able to trace his family history back to at least 1550 in the Baltic Duchy of Pomerania. But I could only guess at my own roots. That didn’t sit well with me.
During the 2014-2016 time frame, my two daughters began asking questions about their ethnic heritage and history. Now ages 15 and 18, they’d not expressed much interest before. So this gave some motivation for me to set out and hunt for clues to my origins. For the third time in 30 years, I wrote to Catholic Social Services in Grand Rapids, hoping to learn more than in the first two attempts. Based on that correspondence, it appeared my best bet to learn more would be to petition the court for a “confidential intermediary” who would locate the birth parents and see if they would be willing to establish contact.
At this time I was doing freelance writing for a European agency that develops articles and other content for web sites. (You can read their feature article on my search here.) One project was to analyze the variety of home DNA tests being marketed for genealogy. By the time this project was complete, I took a half-dozen DNA tests from vendors such as 23andMe, AncestryDNA, National Geographic, Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage. As it turned out, the writing project brought the breaks I needed to solve my history puzzle.
Nov. 27, 2016 was a monumental day. I received an email from 23andMe.com informing me that my DNA test results were available. I would finally get some estimate of my ethnic heritage. Was I really Irish, Polish and Swedish? As it turned out, that information was small potatoes. I clicked on the link for “DNA Relatives” and was confronted with a bunch of matches. Actually there were 1,500 matches, but the one atop the list stuck out: 26.22% DNA shared in 48 segments. Possible relationship: half-brother. What?
I stared at the results for a few minutes, still in shock. I didn’t expect to log in and find a brother atop my list of matches. The web site had a messaging feature. I quickly typed this note and sent it off to someone listed only by his initials:
I logged onto the site every day, but didn’t see a reply until Dec. 5. Based on my new relative’s first note, I don’t think it sunk in that we were so closely related. “John, interesting results,” he wrote. John? A few minutes later, he came back and wrote, “Joe, I was adopted as well in Michigan, 1962. ….I would love to chat with you. It’s Monday Dec. 5, around 4 p.m. …hope to hear from you soon, Brother….!” We were able to talk via cell phone later that night. It was an incredible day. For Sean, I was his only known blood relative (aside from our birth mother and his own children).
It sure was nice to have someone with whom to confab about genealogy. We shared all of our research and looked for commonalities. Sean told me that he enlisted help from a Catholic social worker in 1993. She made contact with our birth mother. Our mother didn’t want to have contact with him at the time, but she filled out a long medical questionnaire. (Sadly, the social worker who spoke with our birth mother did not record her name or contact information, even in the confidential files.)
From that questionnaire I learned that my maternal grandfather was over 6 feet tall and 220 pounds; a “take-charge guy,” according to her notes. His wife was small and rather quiet, but very involved in their Catholic parish. She died tragically in 1965. Her father was a chemist. These clues would all come in handy before too long.
During the summer of 2018 we received two key clues from Sean’s relatives. One told us that our birth mother went by her middle name. Another weighed in with a huge clue: she thought our birth mother’s name was Pat Walsh. Whoa! With this bit of information and the other data points, I set off into my genealogy databases. It didn’t take long to find the likely candidate family. Her name was Mary Patricia Walsh, the only daughter of Howard C. Walsh and the former Mary Olive Switalski. She fit every data point from the questionnaire she sent Sean. We had solved the biggest mystery in either of our lives.
At about the same time, my DNA test results from AncestryDNA came in. I was an experienced Ancestry.com user and knew their database of users was huge compared to any other genealogy company. I got another shocker when viewing my DNA matches, another brother. This time, it turns out, it was from my birth father’s side. I sent a message to the account holder and waited.
In the mean time, I had several other matches who were likely second cousins, so I reached out to them while poking around their online family trees. Before the reply came from my new half-brother, I determined the identity of my birth father. Sadly, he died in December 2013 at age 74. Before I had the first phone conversation with my brother Dave, I obtained a letter from the adoption agency confirming my birth father’s identity. I will write more about Bill in a separate post. He was a good man, married for more than 50 years with two great children, Dave and Kelly.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of learning the identity of my birth parents. While it did not lead to any in-person introductions, it opened up my entire genealogy. With hard work and research, I would soon be able to trace my maternal history to a village in County Kilkenny, Ireland; a rural area in Yorkshire, England; a city in Poland and somewhere in Sweden. Both maternal and paternal families had an emigration path that ran through Cincinnati and greater Ohio. Plenty of work to do.
My birth mother got married a little more than a year after my birth. She and her parents were communicants at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in East Lansing, Mich. A year after she married, her mother died very suddenly at age 55. My birth mother did go by her middle name: Tricia when she was younger, Pat in adulthood and later changed to Trish. She had one sibling, John Howard Walsh Sr., who died in 2015. Her three sons now live in the Carolinas, which is where she died on March 27 after battling cancer.
While my genealogy search did not lead to meeting either birth parent, I am much richer for the effort. I have six “new” half-siblings, three of whom I’ve gotten to know from a distance. I hope to visit Michigan next summer. The hospital where I was born is still there, although it’s no longer a health-care facility. There are many people to meet face to face.
We can start with “hello.” •
Epilogue: On Christmas Day 2020, I received an incredible gift: the remaining contents of my adoption case file. The nearly 20 pages of documents confirmed all I already knew. It added some wonderful detail, too. My full birth name was Patrick Kevin Walsh. It appears my birth mother did spend some time with me before I went into foster care in early July 1964. My foster care was either in a facility named McMillan or with a family with the McMillan surname. There are many other bits of information that are new to me. These documents scanned from microfilm turned out to be a wonderful Christmas present.
Sometimes family history discoveries involve a careful eye, and sometimes a bit of dumb luck. Or, as in this case, a little of both. While searching for some city directory information on the web site of the Cudahy Family Library, I started watching a 36-minute film about life in that suburban Milwaukee County city. Titled “Life in Cudahy,” the film was made in 1938.
About six minutes into the presentation, I spotted a teenage face that looked really familiar. The young man was a mechanic working on a car at Koehler Service. In another shot, he stood in the background as a man and (presumably) his young daughter, look at their vehicle. This just had to be my mother’s older brother, Earl J. Mulqueen Jr. (1923-1980). The film was posted to the library’s YouTube channel. I formatted the excerpt below for wide screen and applied some color correction.
Station attendants wore pinstriped coveralls with Wadhams Oil Company black caps and ties or bowties. It was an era when service stations delivered actual service (with a smile) to every vehicle that came in for fuel: checking fluids and wiper blades and cleaning windows. Koehler’s also offered emergency service, as evidenced by the attendant who drove off on a motorcycle carrying a gasoline can in one hand. This was no doubt before the EPA and OSHA were around to clamp down on potential dangers.
Earl was the second-oldest of the 11 children of Earl J. Mulqueen and the former Margaret Madonna Dailey. The Mulqueen children were taught hard work, so it’s not surprising Earl had a job at age 14 or 15. Money was tight during the Great Depression, so any extra income was no doubt a valued help to the family. My mother, Mary Mulqueen, was 6 or 7 years old at the time the film was made. Earl was either a student at St. Frederick’s Catholic School in Cudahy or a freshman at Pio Nono High School in St. Francis.
Earl was brand new on the job the year the film was made. He worked as an automobile serviceman, according to his U.S. military file. He greased, lubricated and fueled automobiles, assisted with transmission and differential repairs and engine overhauls.
Just a few years after the film was made, Earl enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the outset of World War II. He went on to fight with the 2nd Marine Division in some of the bloodiest battles of the war, including at Guadalcanal and Tarawa. He lost his left leg in May 1944 when a massive chain-reaction explosion at Pearl Harbor’s West Loch blew up dozens of ships and injured hundreds of sailors and Marines who were preparing for the Allied invasion of Saipan. Dozens were killed.
After returning from the Pacific, Earl spent his last months in the Marine Corps making promotional appearances at War Bond drives around Wisconsin. His accounts of the battles in the Pacific kept audiences spellbound and helped put a number of war-bond drives over the goal line.
After the war, Earl got married and went on to a long career in automotive repair. Once he had recovered enough to begin working, his parents purchased Koehler Service station for him and the name was changed to Earl’s Automotive. This not-so-little detail was shared by my aunt and Earl’s sister, Joan (Mulqueen) Haske. Earl ran the business until about 1960, when he moved his family to Colorado. After his wife Evelyn died of cancer in early 1963, Earl returned to Cudahy to again take up work in automotive service.
It is amazing to think his first job was documented by a film crew in 1938, only to be rediscovered in 2020, 40 years after his death.
Small-town newspaper wedding announcements often provide all sorts of details that might otherwise be lost to history. While scanning a box of photographs I discovered a 1958 clipping about my parents wedding from The Reminder-Enterprise, a weekly newspaper in Cudahy, Wisconsin. The late David D. Hanneman (1933-2007) and the former Mary K. Mulqueen (1932-2018) were married at St. Veronica Catholic Church in Milwaukee. At the time, Mary was a teacher at St. Veronica Catholic School.
The text of the article is below the line, followed by a gallery of photos from the wedding and reception. A memorial Mass will be said for Dave and Mary at 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020 at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church in Sun Prairie. August 9 is the 62nd anniversary of their wedding.
Miss Mary K. Mulqueen became the bride of David D. Hanneman at St. Veronica’s church on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 11 a.m.
The Rev. Johnson performed the double ring rites as the bride’s father gave her in marriage. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Mulqueen Sr., 3854 E. Cudahy Ave. The groom’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Carl Hanneman, of Mauston, Wis.
A gown of Cupioni silk, in princess style, was worn by the bride. Panels of Chantilly lace were fashioned in the front and in the back. The back of the skirt extended into a short train. A Sabrina neckline and long sleeves were also featured.
The bride carried white orchids attached to a mother of pearl prayer book. The prayer book was given to her by the sisters of St. Veronica’s parish.
Joan E. Mulqueen was maid of honor for her sister. Bridesmaids were Lavonne Hanneman of Mauston and another of the bride’s sisters, Ruth. They wore aquamarine sheath dresses fashioned of delustred satin with tulip overskirts. They wore aquamarine feather headpieces.
The maid of honor carried yellow spider mums with a rust and yellow mixture of leaves. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of yellow spider mums shaped in a spray. Slippers in the color to match their gowns were worn.
Donn Hanneman of 8518 Stickney Ave. was best man for his brother. Attendants were Thomas Mulqueen of 3723 E. Edgerton Ave. and Jack Richards of Madison. The groom and attendants wore Oxford suits, (black suit coats with gray vests and striped trousers).
Earl J. Mulqueen Jr., Patrick Mulqueen, Thomas McShane and Donald Dailey were ushers.
About 300 guests attended the wedding dinner and reception at the St. Frederick’s hall following the church ceremony. Mrs. August Lachal and the ladies of St. Frederick’s prepared and served all the food.
The young people will live at 3263 E. Layton Ave. when they return from a two week honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Canada.
The bride attended Cardinal Stritch College and Marquette University. The groom attended La Crosse State College and the University of Wisconsin.
The wedding date proved to be an anniversary date for several members of the families. Ruth Mulqueen, sister of the bride, and Lavonne Hanneman, sister of the groom, both celebrated their 21st birthday on the wedding day. A cousin of the bride celebrated their 20th anniversary on that day. The wedding was also a reunion of Donn Hanneman and Thomas Mulqueen who served together in the U.S. Navy and have not met for 14 years.
We know that Johann Adam Treutel and the former Katharina Geier had eight children who came to America between 1849 and 1854. We’ve now learned more about the life and death of their oldest child, Adam John Treutel (1821-1900).
Thanks to the recent work of a volunteer at the grave database FindAGrave.com, we now know that Adam and eight relatives are buried at Union Cemetery on North Teutonia Avenue in Milwaukee. Also buried at this cemetery are his wife, Anna Maria (Zang) Treutel (1825-1872) and four of their children.
According to Milwaukee County death records, Adam John Treutel died on July 23, 1900. That’s exactly 77 years to the day before the death of our own Ruby V. (Treutel) Hanneman. (My Dad descends from Johann Adam Treutel this way: Philipp Treutel >> Walter Treutel >> Ruby V. (Treutel) Hanneman.) We searched The Milwaukee Journal for that entire week in 1900 but could find no obituary or death notice. Adam Treutel had lived in Milwaukee for at least 45 years before his death.
As far as we know, Adam was the firstborn of Johann Adam and Katherina Treutel. He was born Nov. 21, 1821 in or near Königstädten, Hesse-Dartmstadt, Germany. He was baptized three days later in Königstädten. We have not located emigration records, except for a reference in the Hessiches Archiv, which said he emigrated to America in May 1849. Adam consistently indicated on the U.S. Census that he came to America in 1849 and settled in New York City. On June 10, 1853, he filed his declaration of intent to become a U.S. citizen. His naturalization was finalized on July 11, 1855 in Superior Court of the City of New York.
Adam married Anna Maria Zang, also a native of Hesse-Darmstadt. She died in Milwaukee on Feb. 29, 1872 and is also buried at Union Cemetery. Their firstborn, Lisette, was born in New York in April 1853. Their second child, Margaretha, was born July 21, 1854 in New York. Adam’s parents and some of his siblings arrived in America in July 1854 and proceeded to Milwaukee. Adam and his family followed in short order. The 1857 Milwaukee City Directory lists Adam as a tallow chandler; someone who made candles and soap from animal fat. Over the years, he was also a tailor (1879) and railroad laborer (1865). His longtime home was at 791 7th Street in Milwaukee. His son Adam Jr. became a lithographer and some of his daughters were dressmakers.
We still have some important Treutel family questions that need answers. Johann Adam Treutel, the family patriarch, died in Milwaukee in 1859, but we have no record of his death or burial. There is a good chance whatever cemetery in which he was buried has been moved in the years since. We also don’t know the burial place of the one Treutel brother who went south, Johann Peter Treutel. We know he lived in Louisiana and Alabama and fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. We’ve located information on all of his children, but still hope to find out more about his life.
Since we’re always keeping track, here is a list of the children of Johann Adam Treutel (1800-1859) and Elizabetha Katharina Geier (1800-1886):
Adam John Treutel (1821-1900) Milwaukee
John Treutel (1831-1908) West Bend, Wis.
Philipp Treutel (1833-1891) North Prairie, Wis.
Twin Baby Boy (1833-1833) Burial Uknown
Sebastian Treutel (1834-1876) West Bend, Wis.
Peter Treutel (1837-unknown)
Anna Margaretha (Treutel) Bredel (1839-1898) Milwaukee
The September 1960 Chicago plane crash that killed all six members of the Richard Rickman family was caused by a faulty engine valve and an intense oil fire, according to a federal investigation report obtained through the National Archives.
Richard E. Rickman, 34, was flying his wife and four children from Wisconsin Rapids to Detroit on Labor Day 1960 when his Beechcraft C35 Bonanza (tail number N-5816C) plunged into Lake Michigan with flames trailing from the engine. Rickman, his wife Helen and children Richard, Robert, Catherine and Patricia were killed in the crash. The plane and its passengers sunk into the dark waters of Lake Michigan off Chicago’s Oak Street Beach. [See related:Entire Rickman Family Killed in 1960 Plane Crash]
It was a horrific, haunting tragedy. The Rickmans, native to central Wisconsin, were returning home to the Detroit area after a Labor Day vacation. Following the advice of the airport manager in Wisconsin Rapids, Rickman flew across Wisconsin and then along the Lake Michigan shoreline to Chicago. That’s where the trouble started. Rickman radioed the tower at Meigs Field in Chicago that he had an emergency and needed to land. [See an aerial view of Meigs Field] He never got the chance. The plane nose-dived into the water about 1 mile offshore from a crowded Oak Street Beach. All six Rickmans were killed.
The Civil Aeronautics Board began investigating the crash just as the sections of damaged plane were recovered from the depths of Lake Michigan. The wings were sheared off on impact. Witnesses on the beach reported seeing flames coming from the engine as the single-engine plane dove into the water. The probe was led by Clifford G. Sheker, the CAB’s air safety investigator. The 205-horsepower Continental engine was recovered and sent off for analysis. Sheker testified before a Cook County coroner’s inquest jury twice — in September and October 1960. His preliminary finding in October was that engine trouble caused the crash.
That’s where the public attention stopped. The probe continued and led to a report of findings in April 1961, but there was no media coverage on the final cause of the crash. The Hanneman Archive began a search for Sheker’s report back in 2015. It was not on the Federal Aviation Administration’s online database of old CAB crash investigations. The CAB was a predecessor to the National Transportation Safety Board.
We enlisted the help of the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. After several months, an archivist named Amy R. found the answer in April 1961 meeting minutes from the Civil Aeronautics Board. She was kind enough to snap digital photos of the report narrative and send them via email. As far as we can tell, these details were not published by news outlets at the time.
The report said Rickman was about a mile offshore headed south at 7:26 p.m. when he broadcast a Mayday call: “I have an engine failure or something – I am coming in!” The flight was immediately cleared for emergency landing at Meigs Field, a single-runway airport on Northerly Island, a peninsula along Chicago’s lakefront. Sheker’s report described what happened:
“About this time ground witnesses and the occupants of another plane saw the aircraft afire in flight. They observed the plane make a left turn and go out of control twice before it crashed into Lake Michigan and exploded.”
The Continental Motors E-185 engine became disabled by an “intense oil fire” that originated in the area of the exhaust heater muff. The No. 3 exhaust valve showed “fatigue failure” that led to the fire. The engine crankcase was broken open and the Nos. 3 and 4 pistons and connecting rods were broken. The “intense, in-flight fire” entered the cabin in the area of the rudder pedals and “subjected the entire cabin to fire.”
Rickman was an experienced pilot with 379 total flight hours, including 228 hours with the Beechcraft C35. His Beechcraft was manufactured in 1951 and licensed to Rickman in 1957. It’s unknown if the CAB or later the FAA took any action as a result of the Rickman crash, such as issuing an airworthiness letter. There was no indication in the CAB report of the maintenance history of the plane, or if the No. 3 exhaust valve had caused other engine fires.
Just 18 months before, superstar singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed when the Beechcraft C35 Bonanza in which they were traveling crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa. February 3, 1959 became known as “The Day the Music Died,” memorialized in Don McLean’s 1971 song, “American Pie.” The Civil Aeronautics Board faulted the pilot for taking off in poor weather when he was restricted to visual flight rules.
One of the most heartbreaking scenes from Sept. 5, 1960 was the sight of little Catherine Rickman, 4, being carried from a rescue boat to an ambulance by lifeguard Fred Rizzo. Boaters found her floating in the water shortly after the crash. She had burns on her face, legs and feet. The girl was revived briefly in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, but she died a short time later. Her grandparents, Edwin and Renata Rickman of Saginaw, Mich., identified her body. The search for her parents and siblings went on for days.
The diver who first found the bodies was Jeffrey Daxe, 34, a Chicago pilot and lifeguard. Daxe lived just across Lakeshore Drive near the beach. He was able to quickly gather his diving gear and have a lifeguard row him out to the crash site. The experience haunted Daxe for decades, according to his son, Jeff Daxe of Dayton, Ohio:
“As he told the story of the recovery of the victims, his face would transform to one with a look of concern. He would look away from his outstretched hand almost as if he could see, or didn’t want to see, the faces of the victims as he brought them to the surface.”
The senior Daxe went on to a career in aviation, and moved to Valparaiso, Ind. He told the story of the Rickman crash often. Even in recent years, when visiting Lake Michigan, his son said, he spent a long time gazing out on the water, expressing concern for the safety of boaters and windsurfers. “I believe the experience had a tremendous impact on his life.”
Tom Metcalf remembers the Rickmans well, growing up for a time in the same neighborhood in Redford Township, a western suburb of Detroit. “I remember playing with Richard and Robert,” said Metcalf, who was 6 at the time of the crash. “I also remember flying with them in their aircraft. My father was a military pilot and he and Mr. Rickman were friends with a common interest in flying. I also remember my mother chasing some news reporter out of our back yard after catching him trying to ask me questions after the accident.”
Like Daxe, Metcalf was deeply affected by the Rickman tragedy. He said he hopes to visit the family’s graves at Forest Hill Cemetery in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. “I have thought of them often and sent prayers their way throughout my life,” Metcalf said.
Richard E. Rickman, the son of longtime shoe-store proprietor Edwin J. Rickman, grew up in Wisconsin Rapids. He was a descendant of pioneer resident Matthias Hanneman, who came to Wisconsin in 1866 from Pomerania. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve in World War II. His father had served in WWI. A factory representative for the Ogden Manufacturing Co., Rickman married the former Helen Anderson in December 1949 and they later moved to Michigan. Their first child, Richard Edward, was born in Lansing in May 1953. Robert John was born in Lansing in March 1955. Catherine Helen was born in Detroit in June 1956; and Patricia Ann joined the family in Detroit in September 1957.
The epitaph on the Rickman Family monument at Forest Hill says simply: “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
As 1944 came to a close, Sheboygan County was still short of its nearly $1.2-million goal for sales of Series E war bonds. The captains of industry in that fine Wisconsin county did what America has always done in times of crisis: they called in the U.S. Marines. Although in this case, a lone Marine from Cudahy handled his share of the duties.
In fall 1944, Marine Cpl. Earl J. Mulqueen Jr. was still recovering from the loss of his left leg in the Pacific theater when he was pressed into service promoting war bonds on the home front. The effort was one of the eight national war-bond drives between 1942 and 1945 that raised more than $190 billion. Investors purchased $25 bonds for $18.25. Bonds were redeemable after 10 years.
For the Sheboygan war bond tour, Mulqueen was paired with an Army man from Milwaukee who had been held in a Nazi POW camp. The boys made a whirlwind tour of Sheboygan to explain the importance of supporting the war effort. The county war bond committee placed a full-page advertisement in The Sheboygan Press featuring Mulqueen and Staff Sgt. Azzan C. McKagan, who was held captive for 14 months in Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf near Krems, Austria. “You think you’re making ‘sacrifices’ when you buy an extra ‘E’ war bond?” the headline read. “Look at these two Wisconsin boys and say that!”
At a bond rally at Benedict’s Heidelberg Club, Mulqueen talked about his experiences fighting with the 2nd Marine Division on Guadalcanal and Tarawa. He noted the tremendous cost of fighting the war. At the U.S. Marine rest camps, he said, no rallies were necessary. The Marines gladly bought their share of war bonds. “The boys at the front are tired — damned tired — we all have to buy bonds to get them home as soon as possible,” he said.
McKagan described being shot down from the ball turret of his B-17 “Hellzapoppin” bomber, and how German civilians beat him after he parachuted to safety. McKagan suffered severe shoulder wounds from anti-aircraft fire. The Gestapo held him for two days and refused to provide medical treatment. He later underwent surgery, but German doctors withheld anesthetic. On Christmas Eve 1943, he was told he would be shot dead the next day for being a saboteur. Instead, he was moved to another POW camp. He was liberated by the Russians in September 1944.
“When I landed on German soil with my right shoulder joint knocked out as a result of flak, the younger German civilians in the vicinity immediately jumped on me and beat me up,” McKagan said. “The civilians that were too old for that sort of thing spit in my face.”
Mulqueen and McKagan appeared at American Hydraulics Inc., The Vollrath Company, Associated Seed Growers, Curt G. Joa Inc., Phoenix Chair Company, Garton Toy Company, Kingsbury Breweries Company, Armour Leather Company, Sheboygan North High School and Sheboygan Central High School.
At the high school rallies, “they were enthusiastically received, as both of the heroes were quite recently high school students,” The Sheboygan Press reported. McKagan attended Rufus King High School in Milwaukee. Mulqueen was a graduate of Pio Nono High School in St. Francis. Mulqueen was too young to enlist and needed written permission from his parents to join the U.S. Marine Corps.
On Dec. 7, 1944, the men appeared at halftime of the professional basketball game between the Sheboygan Redskins and the world champion Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons at the Sheboygan Municipal Auditorium and Armory. Some 3,400 fans gave full attention to the war heroes. “The messages of these young men who have sacrificed their limbs in the fight for victory brought every person in that vast armory to the realization that wholehearted support of the Sixth War Loan drive is the least that civilians on the home front can do to help these young men carry on at the fighting fronts,” read the sports page of The Sheboygan Press.
The rallies had the desired effect, helping put Sheboygan County over its Series E goal, with $1.21 million in bond sales. Overall through December 1944, county residents and businesses purchased nearly $8.6 million in World War II bonds — more than double Sheboygan County’s quota.
Mulqueen was a veteran of war-bond rallies by the time he hit the circuit in Sheboygan, In November 1944, he stood with two of his brothers at Schuster’s Department Store in Milwaukee at a bond rally that helped raise more than $500,000. None of it was easy for Mulqueen. Just six months earlier, he was blown off the deck of a landing ship-tank (LST) at Pearl Harbor in what would come to be known as the West Loch Disaster. The chain-reaction explosion that day killed 163 and wounded nearly 400 as the Marines prepared for the eventual invasion of Saipan.
After the war, Mulqueen returned to Cudahy, married and became father to six children. He had a long, successful career with his brother, Tinker Mulqueen, running Earl’s Automotive in Cudahy. He died of cancer on August 2, 1980.
Even though he was partially disabled, McKagan re-enlisted in the Army in March 1947 and became a small-arms instructor at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He was awarded the distinguished flying cross for his World War II service. McKagan was killed in an automobile accident in Germany in July 1947.
Most family history never makes the newspaper, so unless it is documented or passed down in oral stories, it can be lost. Even items that made the papers over the decades and centuries can be hard to spot. With that in mind, The Hanneman Archive has added a NewsBits page with a growing collection of “all the little news that was fit for print.”
Historic newspapers carried regular columns on what might be called “neighborhood news.” These items varied from who had dinner at whose house last night, to births in the family, to strange happenings like the poisoning of a farmer’s horses. We are fortunate, especially with our Hanneman and Treutel family lines, to have relatives who enjoyed reporting their comings and goings to the local paper. One of our favorites was when Donn Hanneman brought a tomato in to the offices of the Mauston Star in September 1942, showing the salad fruit seemingly had a V for victory grown into its skin. During World War II, patriotism was the order of the day.
Read more NewsBits and enjoy! We try to update the page weekly.
After more than 10 years publishing the Hanneman Archive history web site, your humble correspondent can no longer cover the operating costs involved in this enterprise. So rather than risk having to take the site down, we turn to our readers and relatives to ask for support.
Since just 2014, the Archive has drawn nearly 33,000 visitors from around the world who accessed close to 84,000 page views. Our article count has topped 185, and the site includes thousands of photographs and videos.