University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Hagen family; Solem, Andrew P. / Papers, 1879-1899 [Translations]
Call Number, Eau Claire Mss CC Box 1 Folder 1 ([unpublished])

Eau Claire, September 8th, [18]81 PDF (377.7 KB)


Eau Claire, September 8th, 81
My dear old friend! [meaning Anders Olsen Solem- Andrew's grandfather]
After our  last  conversation  together, I  promised  to write  you and let
you know how I live and feel.  It has been a long time in fulfilling that
promise, and  that  is  mostly because I cannot write myself and am shy about
asking others.  So  you  must excuse me.  As far as my health is concerned,
I am well as usual.  My eyes have also been good since  I  came here.  AS
 far as my situation is concerned, I must say it is also good.  I am living
now with my on Nils and  we  rent a house from Peter Sneen as he bought a
house this spring which you possibly had heard before.
Nils is also well and works at a sawmill here in town; has  also  now  since
 the first of last month a considerably larger salary.
As you perhaps know, the working hours at the mills were 12 hours per day.
 People are of the opinion that this is too long  a  working-day.  Of  course
in this were the people for the most part agreed, and they also who didn't
want to  force the  issue.  Monday  morning the 18th of July, the workers
in town and around the area refused to work if they didn't get a 10-hour
 work-day, and this they were denied.  They  then started  riots  and  in
less than an hour five large sawmills were stopped and the number of rioters
 grew  quickly.  There were  to  being  with  only 300-400 men, but it soon
grew to almost 1000.  About noon they gathered at a spot in the city called
the West Side Park, where a committee of two men from each mill was chosen
to negotiate with the sawmill owners the next day concerning 10-hour days.
 The next day the rioter's numbers grew to about 15-1600.  It was all rather
quiet and peaceful.  This continued for two weeks and the result was that
a 10-hour  day  they  could  not  get, rahter their  mills  would go along
in supporting the injured, but a little increase in wages they would  get,
and with  that  it ended.  On  the  first  of  August all the mills were
in full swing again. Anders Solem was not around here at  that  time.  He
was in the woods then, but hew is now down here on a quick trip  and will
go up again in the morning; so I can greet you from him, htat he is well
and doing well, and has up  to  now conducted himself respectably and properly,
and remains as he was.  There  is no danger that he will other than manage
well through time if misfortune does  not  become  too  great.  He says 
he will write to you the first chance that he gets.  Of news I do not have
much to report; some  are  born  and  some die; and amongst the latter I
can relate, as you probably have previously  heard, that  my  brother's son
Knut departed this sinful world through an abrupt  and  sudden  death**a
couple months ago.
Please greet them at hom from me, as  well  as  all  at Solem.
B.N.Estenstad*
*Berit  Nilsdotter  Estenstad  was  a neighbor of the Solems.
**The nephew was Knut Pederson Estenstad-- likely died in a sawmill accident,
which was a frequent occurrence.

Go up to Top of Page