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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah

Foreword,   pp. v-vi PDF (481.1 KB)

Page v

E IHTY YEARS AGO, a young man, G. A. Cunningham, pub-
        lished a book spanning the years between the coming of the
        first white man to this region and the year 1878. Cunning-
        ham was editor of the Neenah Gazette, and his book, "History
of Neenah," was printed in his little print shop on the second floor
the Pettibone Block (site of the First National Bank).
  Eight decades have come and gone since Cunningham signed off. It
was at John Tolversen's suggestion that a committee came into being
during the spring of 1955 to consider what might be done to record, for
the benefit of posterity, the essential facts, happenings and move-
ments of those 8o years. Names of that committee appear at the
end of this foreword.
  The committee began its work by listing the various fields and areas
of community life to be explored, and delegating specific responsi-
bilities to many citizens. The response was generous. A vast array of
historical data from churches, lodges, societies, schools, municipal
functions, sports, the professions and industry flowed in. Only 30%
of Neenah's commercial enterprises responded.
  It was obvious at the outset that our problem was more complex
than Cunningham faced in the 187o's. He could keep Neenah quite
single in his thinking, whereas now life in the Twin Cities is inter-
twined, industrially, socially, economically and religiously-one Com-
munity Chest, one Chamber of Commerce, one sewage disposal plant,
to mention but three of the many factors that bring not only Menasha,
but Appleton, into any historical study of Neenah.
  We make no apologies for the fact that this is the work of amateurs.
On the contrary, we invite the reader to share it with us. At the rear
of each chapter of Part I will be found blank pages on which we hope
readers will make note of anything that they feel would add to the
value of the volume.
  We particularly urge our readers to note any inaccuracies.
  The above comment is made in the consciousness that Neenah will
recognize her centennial of cityhood in i97,3. As that event looms up

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