Gaylord Nelson Papers, 1954-2006 (bulk 1963-1980)

 
Contents List
Container Title
Box/Folder   4/8
No.   1255A/49-50
Lousier, Gladys,1992 May 19, Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Biography/History: Gladys (Schaden) Lousier was born in Chase, Wisconsin on September 18, 1920. She lived on a farm in Chase until she was eight years old, when her parents moved her family, which included four boys and four girls, to Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Though Mrs. Lousier's mother was Norwegian and her father was German, they were bound together by their strong belief in Catholicism, which they imparted to their children. Mrs. Lousier was graduated from Two Rivers Washington High School in 1938 where she had established a solid base for herself in the skills necessary to gain employment as a stenographer or secretary. She went to work for the Hamilton Corporation in Two Rivers in 1939, and worked there as a secretary throughout the war years. At the same time, she was very active in the Two Rivers community. Apart from being a member of the local chorale and the Catholic Youth Organization, she was also a member of a group called the Civic Understudies, which functioned in a similar manner to a junior Chamber of Commerce, with a focus on civics and government rather than business. Members of the Civic Understudies, during the war, began to write a newsletter, which was later called the Sojourner. The purpose of the newsletter was to provide news of Two Rivers and of other soldiers for residents of Two Rivers who were away at the war. At its peak, there were nearly 1,200 copies of the Sojourner sent out to servicemen around the world every month. The first issue was published in April, 1942, and the final issue was mailed in December, 1945, after the war was over. Following the war, Mrs. Lousier was married, and had five children. She continues to live in Two Rivers.
Scope and Content Note: In her interview, Mrs. Lousier speaks primarily of her time working on the Sojourner, and quotes extensively from the copies of the newsletter that she kept close at hand during the entire interview. She speaks of the role that the Sojourner played both for the people who were working on the paper in Two Rivers, and for the soldiers who looked forward to its arrival every month. She discusses the process that went into the production of the Sojourner each month, from the compilation of letters to the assembling of features and the printing and editorial procedure. In the second half of the interview, Mrs. Lousier discusses more items of general interest to a female resident of Two Rivers during World War II. She speaks of the way that Two Rivers changed at the time, and some of the comments that she has to make about race are particularly interesting, as it was during the war that Two Rivers saw its first black residents. Other topics discussed by Mrs. Lousier include: an interesting discourse on the manner in which the war changed women's role, both in Two Rivers and across the nation, the role of the Catholic Church in Two Rivers, her work at Hamilton's manufacturing, which was involved in wartime industry, her active social life, both before and during the war, and the ancillary role that Two Rivers was often forced to take to Manitowoc.