Tag Archives: 1940s

Wisconsin’s Last Covered Bridge is 140 Years Young

When the wooden covered bridge was built over Cedar Creek in 1876, memories of the Civil War were still fresh and the main modes of transportation were horses and oxen pulling buggies or wagons. The clip-clop of hooves and the rolling thunder of wooden wheels have long since faded, but Wisconsin’s last covered bridge still stands proud at age 140.

Nina Wilson (center) and daughter Laurni Lee (at left) on the famous covered bridge in 1941.
Nina Wilson (center) and daughter Laurni Lee (at left) on the famous covered bridge on June 30, 1941. The woman at right is unidentified.

Located on a scenic route some 20 miles north of Milwaukee, the beautiful span no longer carries vehicle traffic but is still a boon to pedestrian traffic and those armed with cameras. It has served as the backdrop for countless photos over the years. It is such an important landmark to nearby Cedarburg, Covered Bridge Park was built around it and a historic marker from the Wisconsin Historical Society was placed nearby.

Nina (Treutel) Wilson (center) with daughter Laurni Lee (left) and an unidentified woman stand inside the covered bridge north of Cedarburg, Wis., on June 30, 1941.
The bridge uses wooden lattice trusses and interlaced 3-by-10-inch planks.

Our look at this magnificent bridge goes back to late June 1941. Pictured are Nina (Treutel) Wilson (center) and her daughter, Laurni Lee. Nina is the sister of my  grandmother, Ruby V. (Treutel) Hanneman. I believe the photograph was taken by Emma (Treutel) Carlin, who at the time was working at the Washington County Asylum in West Bend. In her scrapbook, Emma kept a July 1941 news clipping on the bridge from The Milwaukee Journal. Across the top of the page, she wrote, “I rode over this bridge June 30, 1941.” 

The Milwaukee Journal article bid poetic tribute to the old bridge:

“Grayed with the snows and suns of many years, it might tell a hundred tales to the traveler who would stop and bend a sympathetic ear. …Leaning under the weight of its years, this friendly bridge (it has no name) still creaks and rumbles heartily and bears its passing burdens of farmers and curious visitors as trustily as the day its last dowels and wedges were driven tight.”

This sketch of the Cedarburg covered bridge, by artist Frank S. Moulton, appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 26, 1950.
This sketch of the Cedarburg covered bridge, by artist Frank S. Moulton, appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 26, 1950.

At that time, the bridge still carried live traffic, although only vehicles weighing 3 tons or less. It was built with just enough height to accommodate a wagonload of hay. The structure was welcome shelter in summer and winter for horses and drivers alike. The bridge is 12 feet wide and 120 feet long. Its construction has been described as a masterpiece, using lattice trusses with interlaced  3-by-10-inch planks. It is held together with 2 inch hardwood dowels. Its road surface is covered with 3-inch planks. A concrete support was added beneath the midway point in 1927 to help the bridge support motorized vehicles.

Wisconsin once had dozens of covered bridges. The last one to be demolished (in 1935) spanned the Wisconsin River at Boscobel. But the folks of Ozaukee County worked hard to ensure their covered bridge would be maintained for future generations. It was taken out of active service in 1962, as another bridge was built over Cedar Creek to handle vehicle traffic. In May 1965, the state historical marker was installed next to the bridge.

Covered Bridge Park is located on Covered Bridge Road, which runs north and south between Highway 60 and Pleasant Valley Road just north of Cedarburg.

©2016 The Hanneman Archive

U.S. Soldier’s WWII War-Bride Homecoming Noticed in Great Britain

In 1946, my grandfather wrote a charming article for the Wisconsin State Journal about the English wife of a U.S. soldier who came to Mauston, Wis., to find a fully furnished home waiting for her.

It seems the story of Charles Grinolds and his new bride, Margaret, got noticed across the pond in Great Britain. The former Margaret Eley was native to England. We’ll let Carl F. Hanneman of the Wisconsin State Journal tell the story from the June 30, 1946 issue:

Journal Story on Mauston Welcome to GI Bride
Moves British Paper to Congratulatory Ending

MAUSTON, Wis. — Mrs. Charles Grinolds, British war bride, and The Wisconsin State Journal’s account of her welcome at Mauston last winter, received considerable attention in the British press. The comment of the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Express, published May 16, follows:

ANGLO-AMERICAN

“In pondering Mr. Churchill’s suggestions that America and Britain should think about setting up house together in the political sphere, it is not entirely impertinent to think of the tens of thousands of British girls and American boys who have had the same idea in the domestic realm.

They and their relatives must be more than a little tired of the jokes on this topic and while it is true that an international marriage has special problems, it must be remembered that two out of every 10 all-British marriages are now providing work for the matrimonial courts, divorce courts or solicitors’ offices, and there is no evidence that the proportion of unsuccessful British-American marriages is as high as that.JournalStoryGetsBrit

The great majority which turn out most happily do not usually make news, so we are pleased to mention the happy welcome which was given to Mrs. Charles Grinolds (nee Margaret Eley), only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. V. Eley of Ashwell, when she arrived at her new home at Mauston, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

With her husband, former Staff Sgt. C. Grinolds, and Charles Victor Jr., who was born after his father left England last July, Mrs. Grinolds arrived at her new hometown at 4 a.m. but found crowds and (Wisconsin State Journal) photographers awaiting to welcome her, a repeat performance of what had already happened at Chicago.

It was at Chicago that Margaret had a big surprise. While she was following the military policeman assigned to her at the railroad station, a civilian came up and took the baby from her arms. She was frightened at first, but then realized that the young man was no stranger. It was her husband, whom she had not expected would meet her at Chicago and whom she had never before seen in civilian clothes.

Bigger surprises were to come.

This is what happened to Margaret at Mauston, according to the Wisconsin State Journal:

‘Thrilled with a surprise house new and completely furnished, Mrs. Grinolds found it furnished even to pictures and books, and in the basement were 187 quarts of fruit, 30 quarts of canned chicken and other canned goods. On the table in a modernistic kitchen was a large angel food cake with the inscription ‘Welcome,’ while the percolator was sputtering its tune upon a recently installed new electric range.

‘Nice work, Margaret.’ ”

After publishing the original blog post on this subject in 2015, I received correspondence from Nigel Reed, a nephew of the couple from the Eley side of the family. Nigel supplied a digital copy of the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Express with the May 1946 Grinolds story. That, in turn, led me to discover two additional articles written by my grandfather Carl in 1946. The first is detailed above. The other appeared in The Wisconsin State Journal February 18, 1946, the day before Mrs. Grinolds reached Mauston and saw her new home:

Furnished Bungalow Awaits English Bride of Area Man

By Carl F. Hanneman
State Journal Correspondent

MAUSTON — A completely furnished five-room modern bungalow is waiting in Mauston for Mrs. Helen Margaret Grinolds as a surprise for the English war bride, wife of Staff Sgt. Charles Grinolds, FunishedHomeAwaitsMauston.

Mrs. Grinolds was among the hundreds of war brides scheduled to arrive in New York last weekend on the Santa Paula, and was to come directly to Mauston with their son, Charles Victor, who was born July 29, 1945, after his father left England for home.

She was to arrive in Mauston late today.

Sgt. Grinolds entered service in February 1942 and left for England in September 1942. He was stationed in England for 33 months and returned home in July 1945. He was discharged that September.

The couple was married in St. Mary’s church at Ashwell, England, and theirs was the first Anglo-American wedding performed in Ashwell during the war. Mrs. Grinolds is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H.V. (Harold Victor) Eley, Ashwell, and she has one brother, Antone, 16. •

Grinolds_Dies_1950
Charles D. Grinolds’ 1950 obituary from The Wisconsin State Journal

My original post had details on Charles, his military history and his untimely death in 1950. But with the help of Mr. Reed and some additional digging, we can put more details to this heartwarming love story.

Charles Dockstader Grinolds died on Sunday, July 30, 1950 at his Mauston home of a heart ailment. He was just 36. By that time, he and Margaret had three sons: Charles Victor, who had celebrated his 5th birthday the day before his father’s death; Anthony Basil, 3; and Stephen McClellan, 1. After suffering such a devastating loss, Mrs. Grinolds took her sons and returned to England and the support of her family. They came back to the United States in August 1951 aboard the ship Queen Mary.

Mrs. Grinolds married William Osborne in Mauston on March 30, 1952. The couple moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1965. She died September 5, 1972 in Colorado Springs.

The three sons of Charles and Margaret Grinolds all had military careers like their father. Charles V. Grinolds served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and in Iraq. He died on June 10, 2006. Stephen M. Grinolds served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam from 1967-1972. He died on December 23, 2005. Anthony B. Grinolds served in the U.S. Air Force in England. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.

©2016 The Hanneman Archive

Dueling Illustrator Brothers: Carl F. and Wilbert G. Hanneman

We’ve noted elsewhere on this blog the photography skills of Carl F. Hanneman, but lately we’ve discovered that he and his brother Wilbert G. Hanneman had talents with freehand illustration. Working on the yearbook at Lincoln High School in Grand Rapids, Wis., the brothers served almost as dueling artists.

Judging by the line drawings each made in high school and in years after, both men had artistic abilities. Wilbert (1899-1987) first served as an artist and editor for the Ahdawagam yearbook. Ahdawagam is an Indian word that refers to the “two-sided rapids” along the Wisconsin River. The yearbook was first published in 1916. Wilbert graduated from Lincoln in 1918, and Carl followed in 1921. Both Carl (1901-1982) and Wilbert drew the illustrations for the yearbook’s section pages, such as Alumni and Sports, and the various class sections.

Wilbert drew a stunning likeness based on Carl’s high school graduation picture. The latest example of hand illustrations we could find is from 1945, showing a U.S. service member next to the saying, “Keep off the Lifeline.” The Navy serviceman in the illustration bears a striking resemblance to Carl. His son Donn G. Hanneman (1926-2014) served aboard the USS Hoggatt Bay during World War II.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

WWII Vet Escorts British Bride and Son to Furnished New Home

The feature story below was written by my grandfather, Carl F. Hanneman, and published in The Wisconsin State Journal on February 21, 1946. It relates the tale of a U.S. army medic, his British bride and baby, who were separated from him for more than six months at the end of World War II. Below the story I provide some more detail on Charles D. Grinolds and his World War II service.

Mauston Vet Escorts British Bride and Son
Into New Home Replete Even to Food on Table

By Carl F. Hanneman
State Journal Correspondent

MAUSTON — Thrilled with a surprise house, new and completely furnished, Mrs. Charles Grinolds, Ashwell, England, has joined her husband here and introduced him to his son, Charles Victor, who was born after his staff sergeant father left England last July.

The Wisconsin State Journal story featured the happily reunited Grinolds family.
The Wisconsin State Journal story featured the happily reunited Grinolds family.

When Mrs. Grinolds entered her new home at 4 a.m. Tuesday she found it furnished even to pictures and books, but in the basement were 187 quarts of fruit, 30 quarts of canned chicken, and other canned goods.

On the table in the modernistic kitchen was a large angel food cake with the inscription, “Welcome,” while the percolator was sputtering its tune upon a recently installed new electric range.

It all climaxed a separation which began early last July, when Grinolds left England just before his son was born. The long wait ended happily , too, for Charles Victor, Jr., was no worse off from the long, tedious journey, and laughed and cooed in his father’s arms as father and son inspected the comforts of their five-room bungalow.

The mother, the former Margaret Eley, although totally exhausted, prepared the baby’s formula before tucking him into his new little bed.

Charles, Margaret and baby Charles Victor Grinolds enter their new home at Mauston in 1946.
Charles, Margaret and baby Charles Victor Grinolds enter their new home at Mauston in 1946.

The couple was married in St. Mary’s church in Ashwell, the first Anglo-American wedding in the community during the war. The father served overseas for 33 months, then had to leave before his son was born.

Mrs. Grinolds left England on the American “Santa Paula,” formerly a hospital ship, and was on the water 11 days, arriving in New York last weekend four days overdue because of storms. She was confined to her quarters by seasickness for three days, but the baby appeared to enjoy the trip.

The sight of land, any land, was a great thrill after the rough voyage during which seas rolled over the decks. Upon leaving the ship in New York, the war brides and babies were taken on a sightseeing tour to acquaint the new Americans with their adopted land.

Grinolds, recently discharged, was waiting anxiously in a Chicago railroad station when his family arrived. His wife, who was not expecting her husband in Chicago and had never seen him in civilian clothes, was following a military police assigned to her and became frightened when her husband came up from behind and took the baby from her arms.

But then she was home. ♦


Richard Dockstader Grinolds was drafted into the U.S. Army in February 1942 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He became a staff sergeant in the Army Air Force and was stationed in England with the 324th Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group. His specialty was medical technician. He was featured several times in U.S. Army news photos; twice carrying wounded and once for a feature on a rash of illnesses among troops in England. The 91st Bomb Group was home to the famous “Memphis Belle” B17 Flying Fortress.

Staff Sgt. Charles D. Grinolds of Mauston (second in line) waits to be administered a sulfa pill, part of a U.S. Army Air Force effort to reduce illness at the 91st Bomb Group in England during World War II.
Staff Sgt. Charles D. Grinolds of Mauston (second in line) waits to be administered a sulfa pill, part of a U.S. Army Air Force effort to reduce illness at the 91st Bomb Group in England during World War II. (U.S. Army photo)

Grinolds lost his father, McClellan Grinolds, in 1918, when the boy was just 4. He and his brother were raised by their mother, the former Ruby Elizabeth Dockstader. The Grinolds and Dockstaders were both pioneer Juneau County families. The Hanneman family lived just around the corner from Dockstader Street, named for pioneer Benjamin Dockstader.

Staff Sgt. Charles D. Grinolds (far right) helps carry Staff Sgt. Marion M. Walshe to an ambulance after the bombardier was injured on a mission over Europe.
Staff Sgt. Charles D. Grinolds (far right) helps carry Staff Sgt. Marion M. Walshe to an ambulance after the bombardier was injured on a mission over Europe.

The baby featured in the story above, Charles Victor Grinolds, was born in England on July 29, 1945, as his father was headed back to the United States. He was one of four children born to the couple. Sadly, Charles D. Grinolds died on July 30, 1950. He was just 36. He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Mauston. The firstborn son grew up to have a distinguished military career, serving in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War. He died on June 10, 2006 in Modesto, California. He was the father of six children.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

Ruby V. Hanneman was a Real Fashion Icon

From very little on, my grandmother, Ruby Viola Hanneman, had a beauty that radiated in the many photographs taken of her. Her grandchildren no doubt recall the housecoat-type of outfits she often wore around the house. But make no mistake, Ruby was a fashion icon in her day. Our photo gallery bears ample testimony. Ruby in Color

My grandparents were anything but wealthy. They worked hard to provide a middle-class home to their three children, Donn, David (my Dad) and Lavonne. Grandpa Carl F. Hanneman was a pharmacist at the Hess clinic and hospital. As we detailed in another post, he wrote to the attorney general of Wisconsin for help in upgrading his pharmacist license so he could better care for his family.

Regardless of the family’s financial circumstances, the Hanneman children were always dressed in nice clothing. Carl had nice suits for work and Sunday Mass. If you met Ruby at a family event, you might think she descended from royalty. Actually, there was a longstanding family yarn that said the Treutel family from which Ruby came was from a royal line in Europe. I’m still researching that one. Nevertheless, Ruby was always sharply dressed. The main photo above shows her in a Life Magazine pose during a 1950s trip out West. Classic stuff.

Far be it for me to offer detailed commentary on women’s fashion, but I am struck by Ruby’s fashion sense as shown in the photo gallery below. Dresses, hats, gloves, shoes and coats, nicely coordinated. This was evident at different events, from weddings to the common Sunday visit to family and extended family in the Wisconsin Rapids area. So many decades later, these photos are a real treat, although also reminders of the hole in our lives left by the absence of loved ones like Dad (1933-2007) and Grandma Ruby (1904-1977).

Ruby E. Hanneman has her great-grandmother's keen sense of fashion.
Ruby E. Hanneman has her great-grandmother’s keen sense of fashion.

I am quite tickled that my youngest daughter, not coincidentally named Ruby, is also very interested in fashion and interior decorating, just like her great grandma. I marvel at her discussions of colors, styles and fabrics — things I know little about. One thing is for sure: Ruby V. Hanneman is no doubt pleased to look down and see Ruby E. Hanneman, a young lady after her own heart.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

 

Eye on the Past: Cool Threads at the Ortman Hotel

One thing I’ve always noted is how well-dressed my father is in photos from his youth. Among my favorites are these photos shot outside the Ortman Hotel in Canistota, South Dakota. The Hanneman family vacationed in the Dakotas several times. Another visit was detailed in this post about cowboy Hiram Greene.

The uncropped version of the main photo shows David D. Hanneman in front of the Ortman Hotel in Canistota, South Dakota.
The uncropped version of the main photo shows David D. Hanneman in front of the Ortman Hotel in Canistota, South Dakota.

These photos are likely from 1946 or 1947. The Ortman Hotel is right next to the famous Ortman chiropractic clinic. The hotel is still there today. The interior has been remodeled, but the exterior looks remarkably the same.

David D. Hanneman leans on the family car in front of the Ortman Hotel.
David D. Hanneman leans on the family car in front of the Ortman Hotel.

Back from the World’s Ends, ‘Lucky 13’ Meet at Home Again

By Carl Hanneman
State Journal Correspondent

MAUSTON, Wisconsin — Mauston residents don’t believe in the “unlucky 13” superstition anymore. They can’t after seeing 13 familiar faces that have been absent so long once again through their city streets.

These 13 familiar faces belong to Mauston servicemen, all of whom have seen service overseas and all of whom arrived home at about the same time to vi‘sit their families.

The 13, whose service abroad totals 240 months, were feted at an informal dinner and dance at the Mauston American Legion hall, under the joint sponsorship of the American Legion post and the Mauston Rod and Gun Club, and for a time they once again became “that kid next door” or that “Joe’s boy” as they let the cares of the war drop from their uniformed shoulders.Part of Lucky 13

Their Record
The group includes a man who went through the entire New Guinea campaign with the famed 32nd Division; a man who stood guard over the Japanese at a prison camp overseas; a man who was taken a prisoner of war only to be released at the capitulation of Romania; a man who went through the invasions of Italy and Sicily with the Navy, and others whose heroic deeds were written in most any theater imaginable.

It also includes four airmen who have completed a total of 118 missions. The Lucky 13 are:

Capt. Riley D. Robinson, 31, whose wife and child live in Mauston, who served as supply officer and battery commander with the 32nd Division in Australia and throughout the New Guinea campaign for 30 months.

Corp. Edward Dwyer, 30, son of Mr. and Mrs. Burt Dwyer, a veteran of three and one-half years of service, two and a half years of which were spent in the southwest Pacific area.

Pfc. Harold Hagemann, 48, whose wife and child live in Mauston, who served 25 months in the south Pacific as a military policeman at a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

Pvt. Arnold L. Jobs, 20, son of Mrs. Emil Jobs, veteran of 21 months of service, of which from June 1943 to October 1944 was spent in Iceland.

First Lieut. Warren L. Hasse, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Hasse, who completed 35 missions as a Flying Fortress bombardier navigator while serving seven months with the Eighth Air Force in England.

Corp. Clifford J. Flentye, 27, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Flentye, a veteran of 32 months in the southwest Pacific.

First Lieut. William R. Holgate, 21, son of Mrs. Roy Holgate, a Flying Fortress pilot who was taken prisoner in Romania after being shot down on his 13th mission and then released at the capitulation of that country.

Apprentice Seaman Robert Loomis, son of the late Gov. Orland and Mrs. Loomis, who has been in the Navy for two years, serving nine months of that time in the southwest Pacific.

First Lieut. Kenneth G. Buglass, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Buglass, a veteran of three years of service, who completed 50 missions as a bomber pilot in the North African and Italian theaters during 12 months of overseas duty.

Ripley Was Around
Ensign Burdette Ripley, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Kranz, who entered service in 1939, and went overseas in March 1943, hitting ports in England, Persia, Africa, Sicily, Italy, Australia, Arabia and Ceylon.—

Staff Sgt. Earl Standish, 30, son of Mr. and Mrs. Myron St. Claire, who entered service in October 1940 and spent two and a half years in the southwest Pacific.

Tech Sgt. Joseph A. LaBelle, 30, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. LaBelle, who completed 20 missions as engineer-gunner while service for a year with the Air Force is England.

Jack Downing, 20, yeoman third class, son of Mrs. Louis Hale, who entered the Navy in July 1942 and has been in active duty for the past year sailing in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean. He was engaged in the invasions of Sicily and Italy and had one destroyer sunk under him.

— Originally published in the November 6, 1944 editions of The Wisconsin State Journal in Madison.

Eye on the Past: Mauston First-Grade Class of 1940

Many in this group photo from May 1940 would spend their entire pre-secondary education together in Mauston, Wisconsin. A few of the children in this Mauston Grade School photo had moved from Mauston by the time the 1940 U.S. Census was taken a month later. But many graduated together in the Class of 1951 at Mauston High School. First Grade 1940

Bottom Row: Leah Reynolds, Clara Minor, Carol Quamme, Arlene Naglus, Alice Chilson, A. Longsdorf, Gladys Baldwin, Patricia Lane, Mary Crandall.

Second Row: Gerald Stout, S. Jones, Norman Pelton, Arnold Beghin, Almeron Freeman, Tommy Rowe, E. Roberts, Donald Millard, Harold Webster, George Lyons, Robert Randall.

Third Row: Donald Jax, Bernard Solberg, Wendell Smith, David Hanneman, Clayton ‘Ty’ Fiene, Robert Beck, Robert Firlus, Donald Clickner.

Fourth Row: H. Faulkner, Erhard Merk, Joy Smith, Lillian Ackerman, Jessie Hauer, Edith Shaw, Edwin Booth, O. Boldon.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

Eye on the Past: 1946 Tourist Hotel Crash

It was the moving definition of a close call. A semi-trailer truck being driven by John N. Post flipped over in late June 1946 and slid right into the front of the Tourist Hotel on State Street in Mauston, Wisconsin. The semi ripped off the hotel’s screened porch and pushed it down the block.

The truck pushed parts of the porch 20 feet to the west.
The truck pushed parts of the porch 20 feet to the west.

Breaking glass exploded into the only unoccupied room at the inn. The room’s regular resident, a truck driver himself, was away on vacation. Post, 25, told police that he pulled out in order to pass a car driven by Charles A. Petrowitz, 15. Petrowitz started to make a left turn, forcing Post to veer and lose control of the truck. Post was treated at the Mauston hospital and released. No citations were issued in the accident. In addition to building damage, the truck also knocked over a light post, a mailbox and a fire hydrant.

Truck driver John N. Post suffered only minor injuries in the crash.
Truck driver John N. Post suffered only minor injuries in the crash.

The photos were taken by Carl F. Hanneman for The Wisconsin State Journal, which ran two images and a short story on its State Page on June 25, 1946.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

The Story Behind the 1945 Wisconsin Badgers Homecoming Ticket Stub

It was mixed in with photographs and other documents — a colorful, torn ticket stub. I picked it up and examined it and was left wondering, what is the story behind it? The game was between the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern on November 10, 1945. I presumed that my Dad was the lucky holder of the $1.75 ticket. He was 12 at the time, so a trip from Mauston to Madison for a college football game would have been a big treat. I had to find out more about this game. So I dug right into it.

The ticket stub was like an invitation to re-live the 1945 homecoming game.
The ticket stub was like an invitation to re-live the 1945 homecoming game.

The weather forecast for the homecoming game called for a high of 39 degrees after an overnight low of 18. The Friday night calm on the UW campus was broken by roving mobs of teenagers who broke store windows and vandalized cars along State Street. Madison police made 49 arrests for curfew violations, according to The Wisconsin State Journal. Still, police considered the homecoming crowd on campus well-behaved overall, so they did not use the tear gas and water wagons that were held in reserve.

Scatback Jerry Thompson runs for 5 yards against Northwestern on November 10, 1945.
Scatback Jerry Thompson runs for 5 yards against Northwestern on November 10, 1945.

Camp Randall was packed with 45,000 fans when game time arrived on Saturday. Dad (or whomever held that ticket) sat in the south end zone, Section Z, Row 6, Seat 5. This is the end of the stadium backed against the UW Field House. I’ve sat in that section myself a few times over the years. Fans were treated to a great game. “This was a game with few dull moments, one in which each turned loose a devastating running attack,” wrote Henry J. McCormick, sports editor of The Wisconsin State Journal. The first quarter ended scoreless. Wisconsin’s initial drive ended on Northwestern’s 48 when Jerry Thompson’s pass was intercepted. Northwestern fared no better, as its drive ended on Wisconsin’s 25 when Badger Don Kindt intercepted a Jim Farrar pass.

'Big Ben' Bendrick slashed Northwestern for 133 rushing yards.
‘Big Ben’ Bendrick slashed Northwestern for 133 rushing yards, but fumbled twice.

In the second quarter, Wisconsin scored a touchdown on a 16-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a reverse and a pass to the end zone. Northwestern answered with an impressive 73-yard touchdown drive. Wisconsin roared right back on the next drive. Halfback Ben Bendrick ripped off 17 of his 133 yards on one play. Kindt finished the drive by plunging into the end zone with only 8 seconds left in the half. Halftime score was 14-7 in favor of the Badgers. The second half opened with the same high tempo. Northwestern took the kickoff and moved right down the field with 70 yards on 11 plays. Farrar’s 25-yard pass to tight end Stan Gorski brought the game to a 14-14 tie. On the very next drive Wisconsin’s Bendrick tore off a 41-yard run, followed by an 11-yard scamper from Kindt. A fourth-down pass from Thompson was intercepted by Bill Hunt of Northwestern. When the Wildcats pounded down to the Wisconsin 1 yard line on the drive, the Badgers’ defense stiffened, stopping the Cats on a fourth-down pass play. As the third quarter ended, the score was still knotted at 14.

On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Bendrick continued his punishing ground game. But lightning struck as Bendrick went around left end. The ball popped out, right into the hands of Northwestern’s Hunt, who returned the ball to the Wisconsin 9 yard line. After two running plays, Northwestern took it to the end zone for a 21-14 lead. The teams then traded unsuccessful drives. Wisconsin’s Thompson threw another pick at mid-field, but Northwestern’s ensuing drive stalled. When the Badgers got the ball back, Bendrick fumbled again. Northwestern pounced on the ball at the Wisconsin 24. Seven plays later, Northwestern scored to go up 28-14. That’s how the game ended.

When your team rolls up 244 yards rushing, it typically won’t lose. But on this day, the Badgers made too many mistakes, spotting the Wildcats 14 points with two fumbles. The headlines should have been about Bendrick’s stellar 133-yard rushing day. The Badger faithful left Camp Randall entertained, but unsatisfied. If my Dad, David D. Hanneman, was the ticket holder, I’m guessing he was there with his father, Carl F. Hanneman. The first Wisconsin game I can recall attending with my grandfather was a 1977 game vs. Michigan State. The Badgers lost that day, 9-7.

Don Kindt ran for 63 yards against Northwestern.
Don Kindt ran for 63 yards against Northwestern.

Hidden behind the headlines of the 1945 game was a compelling military story. It was just the third game back for Don Kindt, who shared halfback duties with “Big Ben” Bendrick. As just a 17-year-old, Kindt interrupted his Wisconsin football career in 1943 to enlist in the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division during World War II. He saw extensive action in Italy and was awarded two bronze stars. He returned to the Badgers in October 1945. After his Wisconsin playing career, Kindt spent nine seasons with the Chicago Bears. He recounts his war experiences in an extensive interview conducted in 1994 by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive