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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 (4.0 MB)


Page 97


        BELGIAN CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS       97
precinct in Wisconsin casting a unanimous vote for Roose-
velt. This was because of their opposition to the prohibi-
tion amendment which they believe is an infringement of
private liberty.
  As already stated the Belgians are a particularly good-
natured people. If treated with kindness and courtesy they
are very hearty in response. But there is a stubborn side to
their character which cannot be overcome with argument.
This obstinacy often leads them into lawsuits. Two men
will disagree about a trifle, and before long they will both
have lawyers and their squabble will be rehearsed, diagnos-
ed and settled before a whole courtroom of their neighbors,
furnishing entertainment for a long time afterward.
  But while the Belgians have their faults, they are on the
whole a very good class of citizens. Their fathers did a
splendid piece of work in conquering the wilderness, clear-
ing the swamps and building up the settlement. Their sons
are thrifty and home-loving, and land sells for a higher
price among them than elsewhere in the county. They are
also good business managers, and for a time the biggest
mill on the Peninsula (the Chaudoir mill) was at Brussels.
While somewhat suspicious of new ideas, they are progres-
sive and liberal toward projects of recognized merit, such
as good schools and highways, the church and worthy
charitable enterprises. During the world war they were so
generous in donating money for the children who were
victims of the war in Belgium that a deputation from the
fatherland was sent to Green Bay by the Belgian goverrr-
ment to thank them. On July 3, 1917, thousands of Belgians
went to the city to meet these distinguished officials who
brought greetings from the old country. Flowers were
strewn in their way by young people of the third and fourth
generation, and a true Belgian jubilation followed.


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