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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
(1933)

Chapter VII: Belgian characteristics and customs,   pp. [81]-97 PDF (2.5 MB)


Page 90


      WISCONSIN'S BELGIAN COMMUNITY
Prosper and Amand Naze come into view and Joe
Bouchonville and then two lithe young emigrants
from the Lorraine border in old Namur, designat-
ed therefor as "Peter and John, the Frenchmen"
who are none other than Peter and John Andre,
and lastly, their neighbor, John J. Charles. And
now from the west comes Clement Barrett and his
friends "Gatto" (Frank J. Wendricks) and "Vir-
lee" (Joseph Dantoin). Here are Pierre Mathie,
Eugene Groufcoeur, August Denis, Eugene Del-
wiche, Charley Spinette, Victor Lesmonde and
William and J. B. Kinnart. They are all neigh-
boring homesteaders but their joy is none the less
great at being together once more in this festival
transplanted from the homeland. When a great
shout goes up, we inquire the cause but we can't
make ourselves heard in the din. We soon learn
the reason.
    These later arrivals have come from Grandlez
and Sansouver-not in Belgium - in Kewaunee
County-and here are Joseph Duchesne, Isadore
Gilson, Jean B. Noel, Jean J. Gaspard, Pierre
Houart, Joseph de Bauche, Jean Gigot, Pierre J.
Pinchart, Jean J. Dhuey, Lambert Higuet, Jean
and Joseph Macceaux and Emanuel Defnet. All
that early afternoon old friends pour in from every
forest trail and in the crowd we see Joseph Waut-
let, Jacques J. Frepont, Edmxnd and August Mal-
froid, Jean J. Lorge, Xavier Herrally and many
others. And they do not come alone. Marie and
Odile and Octavie and Melanie and Desiree and
Emerance are there too, and in the excitement
their cheeks take on a higher color and their eyes
sparkle and I find myself hoping that the music
and dancing will soon commence.
    ("Just look at those men and women", said a
descendant of one of those Belgian pioneers to
me. Straight, strong, clean climbed, splendid
physical types. In every pioneer American set-
tlement, too, regardless of nationality, they can
be duplicated. How often we hear the statement,
"America is great because of her natural re-
sources". Here is the pick of a nation's manhood
and womanhood. It took courage to break old ties
90


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