School must have seemed just a bit smaller when Oscar Treutel went back for a visit on August 24, 1942. In the 1880s, Oscar was a student at “Allen School” in Joint District No. 3 in the Town of Genesee in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Let’s hope Oscar wasn’t returning for a spelling lesson, since the building has Genesee misspelled as “Genneese.” Perhaps the building lettering was a class project.
The school was in the southwest corner of the town on the E. Allen property, near the Saylesville Mill Pond. We should distinguish this one-room school from the Ethan Allen School for Boys, a reformatory in nearby Delafield that operated from 1959-2011.
Oscar traveled to school from the Treutel home in nearby North Prairie. He was the fifth child of Philipp and Henrietta Treutel, born Oct. 9, 1874 in Waukesha County. He moved with his family to Vesper in Wood County just after the turn of the century. He spent his sunset years in nearby Arpin. He died in 1967 at age 92.
Few things in the American experience are held so dear by so many as the parade. From the smallest rural towns to the heart of New York City, Americans have long held celebrations by parade.
Reasons for parades are as varied as the communities in which they take place. Perhaps the most widely celebrated type of parade is the Independence Day or July 4 parade. New York has its St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Left Coast has its parades of bacchanalia and pride. America’s heartland gathers for high school homecomings, Memorial Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving and special-themed parades such as the old Circus World parade in Milwaukee.
High school and college marching bands are a frequent source of parade entertainment. Other favorite parade participants include brigades of toddlers on tricycles, doll buggies pushed by little girls and the myriad parade floats and displays honoring the nation’s military.
Parades have long been used as a way to project military might, such as the goose-stepping Nazis of Germany or the show of ballistic missiles in Communist Russia. In America, ticker-tape parades became a favorite way to welcome home troops and war heroes such as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Admiral Chester Nimitz. The original ticker-tape parade was held in New York to celebrate dedication of the Statue of Liberty. A memorable parade in summer 1969 honored the Apollo 11 astronauts.
David D. Hanneman prepares to ride a horse in a Mauston parade, circa 1942.
David D. Hanneman (at right) and other boy scouts before a parade in Mauston in the early 1940s.
Mauston Boy Scouts enter the parade line, circa 1943. The town’s military honor roll can be seen on the side of the building.
A marching band in downtown Mauston in the late 1960s.
A fire truck heads down the parade route in Mauston in the late 1960s.
Residents of Mauston, Wis., mill about the downtown area during a parade or community festival in the mid-1940s. Smith’s IGA market is visible across the street.
David D. Hanneman (1933-2007), a member of the Mauston High School Marching Band, poses outside his Mauston home in 1948. Hanneman, who later in life became mayor of Sun Prairie, Wis., played bass drum and trumpet.
The Mauston High School Marching Band performs in a parade in downtown Portage, Wis., ca. 1948. In the foreground is bass drummer David D. Hanneman (1933-2007) of Mauston.
Sun Prairie Mayor David D. Hanneman waits to enter the parade route in Sun Prairie, circa 2003.
Sun Prairie Mayor David D. Hanneman rides in a local parade, circa 2004.
David D. Hanneman in what appears to be a drum and bugle corps uniform, circa 1948.
The Mauston High School Band after leaving the football field during a homecoming game in the 1940s.
Sometimes a photograph will strike you in a certain way that makes it memorable. It has some intangible quality that makes it almost timeless. Of the thousands of images in our library, a handful qualify for this kind of distinction. Not for their physical clarity or skill of the photographer, but that certain look. You might describe it just a bit like looking at a Rockwell painting, or a black and white photograph by Ansel Adams.
View the whole collection in the gallery below:
Elaine Treutel poses with the family dog in this ca. 1923 photo near Vesper, Wis. Directly behind her is older sister Ruby V. Treutel. Sitting on the bumper of the car is father Walter Treutel (1879-1948). The others are unidentified.
This image has a Little Rascals look and feel to it. Toddler Elaine Treutel and the family dog on her tricycle, circa 1922.
David D. Hanneman with his toe in the sand at Madeline Island, circa 1942.
Ruby V. Treutel (center) relaxes with the Sunday paper near Milwaukee’s Juneau Park in 1924. Ruby was visiting her fiance, Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982), who was studying pharmacy at Marquette University. At front is Ruby’s sister, Nina H. Treutel (1914-2005). The woman near the car is unidentified.
A formal portrait of Elaine Treutel of Vesper, Wis., circa 1938. Born in January 1920 to Walter and Mary (Ladick) Treutel of Vesper, Elaine attented Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids. She married Max Clark in October 1938. The couple lived for many years in Madison, then relocated to suburban Phoenix, Arizona.
Frank Herman Albert Hanneman (1895-1947) of Grand Rapids, Wis., posed for this studio photo with a shotgun, ammunition belt and even a hunting dog. The photo was taken ca. 1909. Frank was the son of Carl Frederick Christian Hanneman (1866-1932) and Rosine B. H. Ostermann (1874-1918).
Nina Treutel of Vesper, Wis., is about 18 months old in this circa 1916 photograph. Nina’s parents are Walter Treutel and Mary Helen (Ladick) Treutel.
A beautiful portrait of Lavonne Hanneman, circa 1955.
Ruby Treutel poses for an informal photo, circa 1922.
Ruby Treutel with her siblings Marvin, Elaine and Nina, circa 1921.
Carl F. Hanneman’s high school portrait, 1921.
Lavonne and David Hanneman examine a monument on a vacation trip to South Dakota in 1947.
Ruby Treutel holds her baby brother Gordon, circa 1910. Gordon died of pneumonia in February 1911.
Patricia Treutel is having a great time on the tree swing, circa 1943.
We don’t have an ID on this beautiful young lady. Photo appears to be from 1920s.
David D. Hanneman watches over his little sister, Lavonne, circa 1938.
David D. Hanneman and sister Lavonne Marie Hanneman, circa 1942.
People often talk about getting 15 minutes of fame. For the late Carl F. Hanneman, it was closer to 15 seconds in a new Wisconsin Public Television documentary on Juneau County, Wisconsin.
The hourlong documentary, produced as part of Wisconsin Public Television’s Wisconsin Hometown Stories series, includes a section on the death of Governor-elect Orland S. Loomis of Mauston. Loomis died on December 7, 1942 after suffering a series of heart attacks. He was to be sworn into office in January 1943. As a local correspondent for the Wisconsin State Journal, Hanneman filed a story on December 8 detailing Mauston’s grief at the loss of their hometown hero. His news clipping was used as a graphic during the Loomis portion of the documentary.
Carl’s ties to Loomis went beyond the 1942 political obituary. On election night, November 3, 1942, he was one of the only photographers at Loomis’ home as the election results came in and Loomis was declared the winner over Gov. Julius P. Heil. Carl’s news photo ran above the fold on Page 1 of the State Journal on November 4, 1942.
Hanneman (1901-1982) had known Loomis since about 1936, when Carl came to Mauston from Wisconsin Rapids to be a pharmacist for Dr. J. Samuel Hess Jr. He sought Loomis’ help in 1937 in obtaining his full licensure as a registered pharmacist (an upgrade from his existing license as an assistant pharmacist). At the time, Loomis was Wisconsin’s attorney general. Hanneman also worked to help elect Loomis as attorney general and governor. In recognition of his efforts, Loomis gave Hanneman a large pastel painting that once hung in his office at the state Capitol in Madison. The large-format pastel, weighing some 100 pounds in its hand-carved ornate frame, hung in the Hanneman home in Mauston and later in the home of Sun Prairie Mayor David D. Hanneman, Carl’s son.
The fascinating Wisconsin Hometown Stories documentary, which first aired in April 2014 and is now available on DVD, covers much more than Loomis and his political career. It traces Juneau County’s history from its early days, when towns like Mauston sprung up around grist mills on the Lemonweir River. It details the county’s cranberry farms, the massive Necedah Wildlife Refuge, the heritage of the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians, creation of the huge manmade Petenwell Lake, and development of National Guard bases including Camp Williams and Volk Field.
A prominent section of the documentary focuses on former Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson of Elroy. Thompson takes viewers on a tour of southern Juneau County where he grew up, including an old gas and grocery run by his father. Thompson served as Wisconsin’s 42nd governor from 1987 to 2001.
When he first ran for Wisconsin State Assembly in 1966, Thompson stopped in Mauston and met a pharmacist named Carl Hanneman. Carl was so impressed with the young lawyer from Elroy that he closed up shop for the afternoon and took Thompson all over Mauston, introducing him to other businessmen. From that day on, Hanneman always referred to him as “my friend Tommy Thompson.” It was a kindness Thompson never forgot.
Somehow the story of Carl’s early politicking for Thompson got left out of the Wisconsin Public Television documentary. Well, there’s only so much you can fit into an hour of television.
It wasn’t such a curious hobby, collecting rocks, but more in how it was done. Ruby Viola (Treutel) Hanneman (1904-1977), simply could not resist picking rocks up off the ground wherever she went. And judging by the facial expressions of those around her, it became somewhat of a family joke.
Rock collecting was certainly a Hanneman tradition. Uncle Wilbert G. Hanneman (1899-1987) had a rock shop up in Wausau, from which many a Hanneman child procured varieties of colorful, polished rocks. I have a bag of them to this day. Ruby liked to get her collectibles the old fashioned way, by finding them. She’d bend down to grab the most interesting or unusual ones, and husband Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982) was often nearby to capture the moment on film.
The best examples of this hobby (or habit) came on a family trip from Mauston, Wisconsin, to Williston, South Dakota in 1947. After getting caught all bent over on several photographic occasions, Ruby and the kids shot back. They put their heads together and gave old Carl Hanneman a two-cheek salute.
Army Pvt. Rudolph Mika Jr. (at left) of Mauston, Wisconsin, talks to livestock buyer John Randall at the Juneau County Fair at Mauston in the summer of 1942. Mika went into the Army glider corps and took part in the invasion of North Africa during World War II. He was taken prisoner by German troops in Holland in September 1944 and repatriated in June 1945.
The 1940 U.S. Census showed Mika working at the Mauston pickle factory and living at home with his parents, Rudolph Mika Sr. and Anna Mika. The elder Mika was a carrier for the local ice dealer. The Mikas lived on Winsor Street, just a few houses away from the Carl F. Hanneman family and the home of Dr. J. Samuel Hess Jr. Hanneman was on the Juneau County Fair Board for many years. He snapped the photo of Mika and Randall.
Rudy Mika enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1942 at Madison. His occupation was listed as a carpenter. After the war, he returned to Mauston. He died on January 6, 2001 at Mauston, age 89. Randall died in January 1971 at age 74.
It is common knowledge to family members that Carl F. Hanneman was born on Oct. 28, 1901. But when he needed proof of that fact back in 1946, there was none to be found. On Feb. 22, 1946, Carl sent a letter and the 50-cent fee to the Wood County register of deeds, asking for a copy of his birth certificate.
Register of Deeds Henry Ebbe sent the letter back with an answer that must have shocked Carl: “There doesn’t seem to be any birth certificate for you on the above date. There is a Ruben born Oct. 21, 1901. Father Chas. and Mother Rose. Could this be yours? I am returning your 50 cents.”
That set Carl off scrambling to find proof of his birth. He asked the pastor of the Moravian Church of Wisconsin Rapids for help. Carl’s parents, Charles and Rosine Hanneman, joined the Moravian Church on March 29, 1907. Church records did list Carl F’s birthdate as Oct. 28, 1901, so Moravian Minister George Westphal wrote a letter testifying to the church records. But since Carl was not baptized in the Moravian church, this record was only indirect evidence of his birth.
If Carl had turned to U.S. Census records (which were not available at the time), it might have confused the matter more. The 1910 Census lists the youngest son of Charles and Rosa Hanneman as Harold Hanneman, age 8. Carl’s first middle name is Henry, so no doubt the Census worker simply wrote it down wrong.
So what happened? It’s not clear, but we do know the record was officially corrected. Carl’s birth certificate still shows the name Ruben and the wrong birthday, but the errors are crossed out and replaced with the correct information. Wood County Health Officer Frank Pomainville corrected the record in red ink in 1960.
Photographs can document history in many ways, so it’s fun to look deeper into historical images to learn what they can tell us. The image atop this post shows a man and a boy. The man has a cane pole, so we can assume the pair has gone or is going fishing. Look a little deeper. The photo has a Rockwell-esque quality to it. Set in the summer of 1942, the photo shows Carl Henry Frank Hanneman (1901-1982) and his youngest son, David D. Hanneman (1933-2007). You can see Carl’s love for fishing — something he shared with his children and grandchildren who learned to fish on Mauston’s Lemonweir River.
The son is following along, asking questions of the fishing expert. What is he asking? Perhaps, “Hey, Dad, why don’t I have a cane pole?” It’s a time-honored tradition,passing on a love for fishing from one generation to the next. We’ll cover more of that in a future installment.
More than 60 years after it was first used to ward off mosquitoes and other pests in central Wisconsin, the lavender and citronella scent of Carl F. Hanneman’s Stay-Off bug repellent still lingers across time. The Mauston pharmacist invented his own blend of essential oils that provided a natural defense against biting pests, and he sold the product across the area for years.
Carl Hanneman’s inspiration for his product came from his need for extra income, and his knowledge of chemistry and pharmacology. Even in the depths of World War II, when rationing made it difficult to obtain raw materials, Carl found a way to make Stay-Off and sell it at taverns, bait shops and resorts all over the area. Due to an abundance of lakes and rivers, Central Wisconsin is known for proliferation of mosquitoes and other flying pests during tourist season.
“His being a pharmacist allowed him access to some of the compounds needed to make this stuff,” recalled Carl’s son, David D. Hanneman. The topical elixir, which used an olive oil base and a secret recipe of lavender, citronella and other essential oils, was often mixed on the back porch of the Hanneman home in Mauston, Wis. “It was kind of comical,” David Hanneman said.
Aside from providing access to the needed ingredients, Carl’s role as pharmacist at the Mauston Drug Store had other benefits that helped him sell Stay-Off on his own time. “Because he was his own dispensary, he was able to upgrade his gas card,” David Hanneman said. “So we weren’t restricted and limited in traveling. We could go back on up north and go fishing or do whatever over weekends. And we’d drop off a dozen bottles here, and a dozen bottles at that bar, a dozen bottles over at that other fishery house.”
Carl wrote his own marketing copy to help sell the 4-ounce bottles of Stay-Off. “Stay-Off is not only an excellent insect repellent, but has that cool, soothing and refreshing feeling on hot summer days,” he wrote. “It is highly recommended for women and children’s skin, producing a soft tenderness due to the semi-olive oil base.” The lotion soothes existing bug bites and provides protection against strong sun rays, he wrote.
David Hanneman said selling Stay-Off was a nice side business for the family. “It gave us nice added income,” he said, although “we never got rich off the stuff.”
The recipe for Stay-Off called for making the mixture in 1 gallon batches. A half-gallon of Stay-Off and several 4-ounce bottles survive to this day. All of the ingredients are still commercially available. So even 60 years after it was first mixed, it would be possible to make more Stay-Off using Carl’s old recipe.
It was the fire of the century in the tiny city of Mauston, Wisconsin. Life may have started normally on Friday, Jan. 5, 1945, but before 9 a.m. a massive fire broke out that threatened to wipe out the city’s downtown. The man called on to document the blaze for local law enforcement was Carl F. Hanneman, the druggist at the Mauston Drug Store. It may have been the most prominent collection of photos he shot, but was just one among many accidents, fires and crime scenes he photographed over the years.
Carl would have been readying himself for the trip to the pharmacy downtown when the fire broke out that January morning. About 8:30 a.m. the fire started in the rear of the Gamble Stores building along the north side of State Street. Within 30 minutes it had spread to four downtown buildings and threatened the entire business district.
As firefighters from Mauston tried in vain to control the blaze in subzero temperatures, reinforcements from fire departments in Lyndon, New Lisbon and Wisconsin Dells raced to help. Carl stood just behind the line of rescue workers and took photos.
It took five hours to control the huge blaze, which destroyed Gamble’s, Mauston Press Club dry cleaners, Samisch Bakery, the Fred Denzien barber shop and the All-Star restaurant. At one point during the blaze, the brick facade of the All-Star fell onto the street. Nearby businesses, including Vorlo Drug and Coast to Coast, were badly burned. Damage exceeded $80,000 – equivalent to more than $1 million in 2014 dollars. Mauston Fire Chief John Smith said calm winds kept the fire from sweeping through the entire downtown.
Carl’s efforts that day earned him a page 1 photo in the Wisconsin State Journal, and two additional photos on page 11. He served as a Mauston correspondent for The State Journal for many years, garnering numerous front-page stories and photographs.
Carl documented many local emergencies in Mauston and surrounding areas. He captured the moment when a semi-trailer plowed into the front of the Tourist Hotel, knocking down the sign and collapsing the awning. Many of these photographs have a custom “CF Hanneman” imprint on the back, so it’s obvious Carl shot a fair number of news photos. Some photos from the 1945 fire have even shown up on Ebay.