Much research of John Russeau’s life remains to be done. Fortunately for his family, much of that work can be done near to or in his home area. He told Carlisle Indian School officials he played tackle on the Haywood Indian School football team. It is believed that he also played for that team in a game against Rice Lake when he was home recuperating from football injuries received at Carlisle. Perhaps the Chronotype and Hayward Indian School publications covered those games.
What John did during the period after he left Carlisle and before he joined the Canadian Army is essentially unknown. In the fall of 1913, he wrote his old friends from Superior, Wisconsin to wish them well in the upcoming football season. Some years later, he testified in the Cameron Dam matter that he was in Salt Lake City, Utah part of the year. What he did the rest of the time is anyone’s guess at this point.
At some point, Russeau joined the Canadian Army and served in England. Whether he went to the front is not known. What is known so far is that, in late 1918, he met Lillian Furner in London. She was leaving a theater and he was coming in—at least until he saw her. Lillian later said, “And then he didn’t go in at all!” They were married six months later, on April 3, 1919. About six months later, they embarked for Canada, probably because he was still in the Canadian Army. After landing in Nova Scotia, they made their way to Montreal where they caught a slow train to Reserve, Wisconsin. They left the reservation in the spring to live their lives in Rice Lake from then on. The highlight of her time on the reservation was being guest of honor at a chivari.
To be continued…