Eau Claire Mss BK: Chippewa Falls Oral History Project, 1981-1982

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Summary Information

Title: Chippewa Falls Oral History Project

Inclusive Dates: 1981-1982

Call Number: Eau Claire Mss BK; Tape 1025A

Quantity: 0.4 c.f. (1 archives box) and 22 tape recordings (Tapes are located at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison)

Repository: Housed at the Area Research Center, William D. McIntyre Library, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division

Archival Locations: UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library / Eau Claire Area Research Ctr. 

Abstract: Interviews conducted by Dolores Beaudette with eight elderly residents of Chippewa Falls, Wis. concerning their recollections about the history and growth of the community, ca. 1900-1940s, with information on area lumber camps. Indexed transcripts are included.

Language: English

Search Terms/Subject Terms

  • Lumber camps—Wisconsin
  • Chippewa Falls (Wis.)
  • Beaudette, Dolores, interviewer
  • Chisholm, Eleanor Donnellan
  • Crooks, Lenore Picotte
  • Ek, Hans Christian Johannson
  • Kalk, Elizabeth O’Neil
  • Lyne, Rose Marie Berthiume
  • Myrman, John
  • O’Neil, Marion
  • Ritland, Ella Woodruff

Scope and Content Note

These interviews were conducted by Dolores A. Beaudette under a grant from the B.A. Mason Trust. The original tape recordings are at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. The tape transcripts are in two volumes and include a table of contents and an index. There are no restrictions on the use of these tapes.

Interview topics are as follows.

Marion O'Neil and Elizabeth O'Neil Kalk discuss their father, the former mayor of Chippewa Falls, and his association with the Chippewa Lumber and Boom Co. They also talk about family life, McDonell Memorial High School and the class of 1911, various neighbors, schools, funerals, manners, and local fairs.

Eleanor Donnellan Chisholm is the widow of Dr. Reginald Chesholm, long-time dentist in Chippewa Falls. She discusses her early married life, her children, her husband's education and dental training, their association with the McDonell Alumni Association, and Notre Dame school.

Ella Woodruff Ritland was a student and later a teacher in area rural schools. In the interview she discusses her family (the Woodruffs and Sellers) but talks primarily about her experiences attending country schools and then high school in the early part of the century.

Rosemarie “Dolly” Berthiume Lyne is the granddaughter of Leon Berthiume and Theophile Du Haux (Duax), both pioneer residents in the Chippewa Valley. She talks about members of her family, Chestnut School, the Elks Club, recreation in childhood, beekeeping, soap making, farming, and her job as a cook at the Rutledge Home of the Aged.

Lenore “Lala” Picotte Crooks talks about the McDonell Memorial High School class of 1909, her marriage, and neighbors. Much of the interview draws upon her long-time membership in Notre Dame Parish: her recollections of the school, church, and priests.

Hans Christian Johannson “Chris” Ek talks about his schooling in Chippewa Falls, his army service as a musician in the 4th Wisconsin Band. and his membership in various community bands. Much of the interview concerns his jobs at Mason Shoe and Chippewa Shoes from 1908-1966.

The greatest number of tapes (11) are the interviews with John Myrman. His parents, Erick and Johanna (Eckern) Myrman, were proprietors of the Norway House boarding house and he discusses his childhood there. Other topics include people and places, fires in Chippewa Falls, the Weyenberg Shoe Factory strike, the Ku Klux Klan, changes in transportation, and local restaurants. Particularly informative are two tapes on Myrman's experiences, starting in 1908, as a worker in the lumber camps north of Chippewa Falls.

Administrative/Restriction Information

Acquisition Information: Presented by Dolores Beaudette, Chippewa Falls, Wis., 1982 and 1984. Accession Number: M82-464, M84-071

Processing Information: Processed by Virginia Fritzsch, June 12, 1990.

Contents List

Eau Claire 
Box 1

1025ARecorded InterviewsNo. 1-3Marion O'Neil and Elizabeth O'Neil Kalk No. 4Eleanor Donnellan Chisholm No. 5RoseMarie “Dolly” Berthiume Lyne No. 6-7Lenore “Lala” Picotte Crooks No. 8Ella Woodruff Ritland No. 9-11Hans Christian Johannson “Chris” Ek No. 12-22John Myrman