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Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 1872-1963 / Wisconsin's Belgian community : an account of the early events in the Belgian settlement in northeastern Wisconsin with particular reference to the Belgians in Door County

Preface,   pp. [3]-[5] ff. PDF (167.8 KB)

Page [3]

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          The first attempt to preserve the memory of the early
      Belgian pioneers in Wisconsin was made in 1881 by Chas.
      I. Martin. He was editor of the Sturgeon Bay Expositor
      and conceived the excellent idea of increasing the circula-
      tion of his newspaper by compiling and publishing short
      biographical notices of all the old settlers in the county.
      This was a big undertaking, but Mr. Martin carried it
      through quite thoroughly. He later published this biographi-
      cal material with other historical data under the title His-
      tory of Door County. Unfortunately, the haste with which
      this worthy work was done leaves much to be desired with
      reference to the correctness of the names and dates record-
      ed. Nevertheless it was a praiseworthy endeavor, and the
      present writer has been much helped by Mr. Martin's early
      records. Mr. Martin made no attempt to write any histori-
      cal survey of the immigration of the Belgians.
          The next writer who added to our knowledge of the
     Belgian pioneers was also named Martin. The Wisconsin
     Historical Collections, Vol. XIII (1895) contains an article
     entitled The Belgians of Northeast Wisconsin by Xavier
     Martin. Mr. Martin came from Belgium as a youth in 1853.
     He was an intelligent man who acquired a good education
     in this country. Later he saw the transformation of the
     great wilderness northeast of Green Bay, where fifteen
     thousand Belgians settled, into a prosperous farming dis-
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