At work in the woods, pp. 37-46
At Work in the Woods Early settlers worked for the lumber mills during the winter months. They would leave their families and take to the woods, living in logging camps which may be located miles from their homes. Summers they would spend clearing their land of lumber and stumps getting it ready for cultivation. Mike Baltus Story From the Wausau Record Herald March 20, 1954 "At the age of 16, 1 started working for the R. Connor Company, driving oxen on the road and hauling logs at Aubumdale. When they started the new town of Strat- Courtesy ofRonald Schuette ford, I moved along and that reminded me of the start my folks had at Auburndale. "At that time all there was of Stratford was the company store, a few taverns, and j what they called Shantytown; they were building the sawmill. There were no churches and on Sundays we went to the church at Webertown, a mile and a half northwest of Stratford, which was then larger than Stratford. "Well do I recall the next winter, when the mill was running. I was driving six oxen, hauling logs, and when I got near the mill there would always be sawdust on the ice road to make it pretty poor sled- ding. Mr. W.D. Connor would usually be Courtesy of The Connor Family on hand to help me herd those oxen onto the dam where we unloaded. "A year or two later Mr. Connor said, 'Mike, I believe you have most of our oxen worn out now and I think I will start you out with horses." A few years later I think he found out I was pretty hard on horses, too, so they put me on as foreman, which I figured out they thought would soon put an end to it all. But I was tougher than they figured, I guess, so I stayed at that job about 20 years, although I was farming on my own some of the sum- mers."
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