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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 I: The first Belgian pioneers,   pp. [9]-16 PDF (132.9 KB)


Page 13


THE FIRST BELGIAN PIONEERS
friends, and the Belgians accompanied them thither. Here
there was but little good land left, and the Belgians more-
over found to their dismay that they were in the midst of
people with whom they were unable to talk. In this dilem-
ma they finally met with a French-Canadian who told them
that in Green Bay nearly half the population was French.
Furthermore, he assured them that the soil, timber, water
and climate was just as good as around Sheboygan. Greatly
cheered by this they took passage on a lake steamer which
carried them to Green Bay. This was almost like coming
home, for in Green Bay the French tongue was not strange.
    Leaving their families in Green Bay, the men now
went out prospecting for desirable land. After some days
of investigation, they finally determined to settle in the
vicinity of what is now the city of Kaukauna, twenty miles
southwest of Green Bay. They entered the lands which they
selected in the government land office in Menasha, and
well satisfied with their prospects they returned to Green
Bay to fetch their families and baggage.
    But here an event happened which made a great change
in their plans. When they returned they found that a little
sickly child of Phillip Hannon had died the day before, and
preparations for its burial were necessary. This delayed
the departure of the settlers for a few days and was the
means of determining the location of the settlement of about
20,000 Belgians who are now living in Brown, Kewaunee
and Door Counties.1 On the day of the funeral the officiat-
ing priest was visited by his friend, Father Edward Daems,
the pastor of the last frontier settlement in northeastern
1 See Xavier Martin's Belgians of Northeastern Wiscon-
sin in Wis. Hist. Coils. XIII, page 376.
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