Newsletter - June 2006


Burlington Historian

June 2006

Original Dyer Monument Re-Dedicated
and New Plaque Unveiled

        The original monument honoring Dr. Edward G. Dyer was re-dedicated by the Burlington Historical Society, in cooperation with the students and staff of the Dr. Edward G. Dyer Intermediate School, on Sunday, May 21, 2006. At the same time, a brass plaque depicting Dr. Dyer and explaining the storied history of the original Dyer monument was dedicated.

        Three descendants of Dr. and Mrs. Dyer -- Glenavie Norton, Anne Morse Barry, and Emily Barry Lovering -- attended the ceremonies and participated in the unveiling of the monument and plaque.

        Dr. William Stone delivered the main address, "The Life and Times of Dr. Edward G. Dyer," to a large audience that gathered in front of the Historical Society's Museum on a bright, but somewhat windy day. Also participating in the ceremonies, which were led by Doug Lind, Society president, were

-- the Dyer School Girl Scouts, who presented the United States and Wisconsin flags, and led the Pledge of Allegiance;

-- the Dyer School Choir, which sang "God Bless the USA" and "God Bless America;"

-- Dyer School students, Mason Hawes and Cheyenne Yurske, who portrayed Dr. and Mrs. Dyer reminiscing about their life;

-- the Dyer School Student Council, which displayed a newly created Underground Railroad quilt; and

--three Dyer School flutists, who played "America the Beautiful."

       The Society extends special thanks to Mrs. Joyce Uglow, principal of the Dr. Edward G. Dyer Intermediate School, and the school's faculty, staff, and students for their participation in planning and presenting the re-dedication program.

















  1 - Flag presentation by Dyer School Girl Scout Troop
  2 - Pledge of Allegiance
  3 - Glenavie Norton, with Doug Lind
  4 - Mason Hawes and Cheyenne Yurske as Dr. and Mrs. Dyer
  5 - Dr. William Stone delivering main address; Doug Lind looks on.


Photos below:

  6 - Unveiling of Monument and Plaque.
  7 - Dyer School Choir under direction of Nancy Ester
  8 - Glenavie Norton, Margaret Hancock, Anne Barry, and Emily Lovering at Mrs. Hancock's home - the Origen Perkins home, which was owned by Ms. Norton's grandparents from 1917 to 1923
  9 - Dyer School flutists and Underground Railroad quilt created by Dyer School Student Council
 10 - Doug Lind, Master of Ceremonies
 11 - Emily Lovering (at microphone) with Doug Lind, Glenavie Norton, and Anne Barry looking on
 12 - Plaque with Dr. Dyer's image and description of original Dr. Dyer monument and its history


























President’s Message

        "Rain, rain go away, come again some other day." Or so the old rhyme goes, with the spring that we have been experiencing here in southeast Wisconsin.

        Our annual clean-up of the Old Burlington Cemetery was rained out (although a few stalwarts have gone out at other times and removed a lot of the leaves and fallen branches). The corn is yet to be planted in the Pioneer Cabin’s garden assuring a late maturing crop this year. The heat and moisture needed for germination has been plentiful but planting in mud is difficult at best. It is easy to understand the frustration that the pioneers must have felt without the technical long range forecasting we depend upon today. Still, they survived and so must we.

        The rain managed to stay away on May 21st allowing a fine outdoor program for the re-dedication of the original monument honoring Dr. Edward G. Dyer. For this I was very thankful, as I could not imagine how we would be able to move the program indoors in case it rained. Full details and pictures of the program can be found elsewhere in this edition.

        The Burlington Historical Society’s board of directors has had some changes since our last newsletter. Long-time board members, secretary Carlyne Klein and director Marjory Ann Peterson, have retired from the board.

        Carlyne was the Society's secretary for sixteen years. In addition to exercising her secretarial skills at our monthly and annual meetings, she participated in many of the Society's activities over the years, including the annual ice cream socials, the Christmas decoration get-togethers, Pioneer Cabin activities, and many other functions.

    Carlyne Klein, 2nd from right in photo at right, receives a certificate of commendation for her help in restoring and furnishing Pioneer Cabin. Making the presentation at the opening of the Cabin on July 4, 1999, is Burlington Mayor Jeannie Hefty. Doug Lind, 2nd from left, and Nick King, right, look on.

        Marjory was elected to the board of directors several years ago, while a resident of Burlington. She also participated in many of the Society's activities, with her main interests being Pioneer Cabin, for which she served as one of the docents, and Whitman School, for which she was interested in re-energizing the children's program. After moving to the Waukesha-Pewaukee area, however, travel considerations and family duties intervened, and she reluctantly gave up her seat on the board.

    Marjory Ann Peterson, in photo at left, stands 
at the Pioneer Cabin door on June 2, 2002, 
one of her many days serving as Cabin docent.

        We thank Carlyne and Marjory for their many years of service to the Society’s mission and wish them well in the future. Their presence on the board will be missed, but we look forward to their continued interest in the Society and their presence at Society activities.

        Taking their places on the board of directors are Priscilla Crowley and Marilee Hoffman. Priscilla, who succeeded Carlyne as secretary, has extensive experience in a similar role for the Burlington School Board, which should serve her well in this position. Marilee, who has long been interested in the Society’s mission, is a teacher in the Burlington School District and brings much enthusiasm to the board. We welcome them.

        Finally, a sincere thank you to the members of the Burlington Historical Society who have given their support to the organization through membership dues, donations, and in other ways too numerous to mention. Your board thanks you!
                                                                                                    Doug Lind

Burlington in 1853 - The Beginning of the Teutonia Society

Excerpt from Henry Allen Cooper's first public speech, June 10, 1878, at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Teutonia Society, Burlington, Wisconsin.

    Cooper, known for his genial presence and good-natured humor, was born in Spring Prairie in 1850, but grew up in Burlington after the family moved here in 1853. He graduated from the Burlington high school (then located in what is now Lincoln School) in 1869. There-after, he took up the study of law at Northwestern University. Upon graduating in 1875, he returned to Burlington to practice law.

    After being elected district attorney in 1880, he moved to Racine. Elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1894, he served for 36 years, dying in office in 1931. During his time in Burlington, Cooper participated in musical and theatrical activities; and after moving away, returned many times to participate in community functions. His last public address here was in 1928, at a meeting of the then newly established Burlington Historical Society.

        I cannot, from my own personal knowledge, describe the Burlington of twenty-five years ago, for, though a resident of the place at that time, I was not then much given to statistics! But, from some of her old settlers I have learned that, twenty-five years ago, Burlington was a quiet village, having two school houses (one vacant), three churches (one vacant), thirty-two saloons (all occupied), a score or two of dwelling houses, three or four hundred people and the charter of the Fox River Valley Railroad!

        The village was advantageously located, being, according to the geological investigations of Esquire Royce (Burlington attorney Lewis Royce), directly over the apex of the dome of Pluto's subterranean residence! Though small, Burlington was ambitious and vigorous and had even then acquired a widespread reputation for the abundance and size of its SUCKERS--scientifically known as mullets, or red-horse. Her inhabitants were afflicted with few diseases, except intermittent fever, and a thirst which was not intermittent! Their principal amusements were attending lawsuits, trading horses, spearing fish and playing "old sledge." The more dignified and sedate amused themselves with political and religious discussions and the building of opposition meeting houses. Thus they cultivated their mental powers, and few places of its size could boast of more business enterprise and intellectual activity among its citizens.

        The eligibility and beauty of its location had by this time drawn to Burlington a number of intelligent and educated Germans. Although they appreciated the blessings by which they were surrounded, still they felt that something was lacking. They missed the musical enjoyments of their old home beyond the sea. They longed for the sweet songs of the fatherland--"die wunderschoenen deutschen Lieder." So, on the evening of May 9th, in the year 1853, Joseph Bock, William Riel, Henry Martensen, Francis Reuschlein, Jacob Muth, Julius Lueck, Dr. Frederick Kords, Joseph Wackerman, Sr., John Ries, Richard Weygand, Conrad Bosshard, William Funk, Charles Wagner, Frederick Keuper, Matthias Bachmayer, Henry Burhans, Caspar Scheidt and William Rein met at the little Catholic school house up "on the hill," and organized the Teutonia Society.

        The Teutonia Society had for its object the cultivation of the art of music; an art which offers to the human race the most refining and the purest of the pleasures of sense. . . .

        At its next meeting a few evenings later, Jacob Wambold, Martin Schafer, Ciriak Preiles (Prailes), Frederick Willhoft and Jacob Oelten were enrolled among the members of the Society. In the year 1855 the Society joined the Northwestern Saengerbund. From this time forward its membership rapidly increased. In its ranks were Catholics, and Protestants, Republicans and Democrats, men of various faiths and creeds, but divided as Teutonia was upon many important subjects, yet all distinctions were forgotten, all the members were brothers when they met to sing the songs of the Fatherland. Such is the hallowed influence of music . . . 

S u m m e r   M e m o r i e s

        Fireflies and Lemonade

                                                                        Contributed by Priscilla Crowley

        Did you ever lay on the grass in the middle of summer under a big old shade tree and dreamed the dreams only kids can dream? Remember what it felt like? The way the grass tickled the back of your neck but how good it felt, how cool and welcoming. How you could lay there for hours and look up at the clouds and pick out all kinds of things – a knight in shining armor, a bunny rabbit, a horse’s head, a funny shaped tree – the possibilities were endless. Because you were a kid and it was summer, you had all the time in the world to do that. How I miss being able to just take the time to relax and let my mind drift and let my imagination take over. How grateful I am that I have the ability to think back and remember those happy, carefree times. What a gift that is for all of us!

        When I think of summer, I remember days so hot they took your breath away. But I also remember what it was like to wake up in the early morning when it was still cool outside and I would lay at the bottom of my bed by the open window. You could hear the birds calling to each other and there would be a freshness about the air and an ever so slight breeze would come through the window and gently ruffle your hair. It made you feel happy just to know that a new day was here and it was all yours to enjoy and savor. Every new day was an adventure just waiting to happen.

        Soon I would hear mom and dad stirring and you knew mom was packing dad’s lunch, making his breakfast and sending him off to work. Sometimes I would go downstairs and sit in his lap and he would share his coffee with me. Coffee with lots of milk and sugar – this was really a special treat. By this time the sun was beginning to climb high up into the sky and the day was beginning to warm up. I remember what it was like when mom treated us to Popsicles on a hot afternoon and we would all sit around with Popsicle juice running down our arms and mustaches that were sometimes red, sometimes purple, sometimes orange or green. How great was that!!!

        The evenings were like warm velvet. Back then you would find people sitting on their front porches taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Neighbors could be heard in the distance calling out to their children or carrying on conversations over the back fence with other neighbors. You could hear the excited shouts of children as they chased each other through the neighborhood or the crack of a bat making a solid connection with a ball during a neighborhood baseball game.

        When the sun started to lower and the world got that sort of soft early evening look, fireflies would begin to light up around the yard. Remember when you begged your dad to fix a jar up with holes in the top so you could catch these magical little creatures just so you could watch them light up? When it really started to get dark, mom would call a halt to all the activity and insist that all of us sit quietly for a while before bedtime. For a special treat she sometimes made lemonade, the real deal with pieces of lemon rind floating on top. Soon mom would call us all in and get us cleaned up before bed. It always amazed her that three children could collect so much dirt in one day. She would make us stand on the front porch and clean out the cuffs of our pants – there was always sand or dirt or both and we could never figure out how it got there.

        Another perfect summer day had come to a close and nothing extraordinary or extra special had taken place. It was just an ordinary day full of ordinary happenings but looking back how wonderful and special were these ordinary times. These days are just part of the kaleidoscope we call life – taken singly they are not impressive, but all put together they are beautiful!

Did You Know?

    Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant and his staff passed through Burlington on the Racine & Mississippi Railroad on Sunday, September 3, 1865. Grant shook a few hands at the depot (which was near McHenry Street) and then departed. He was in Milwaukee on Monday and in Racine on Tuesday.

    One of the baseball players that the Chicago White Sox traded to Cleveland in 1915 to obtain Shoeless Joe Jackson was Bobby Roth, brother of Frank Roth.  The Roth brothers were nephews of Chief of Police Frank Beller and both lived in Burlington after their playing days were over. Jackson, of course, was one of the eight "Black Sox" players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series.