John Russeau Needs Further Research

Researching John Russeau’s adult life in Rice Lake should be much easier than finding the details of what he did before WWI. As to his military service, one would expect that the Canadian Army would have records on its WWI units and soldiers as does its U.S. counterpart. That John Russeau wasn’t a star football player at Carlisle Indian School doesn’t diminish what he did later in Rice Lake. The people who named a field after him and voted him into the Rice Lake Hall of Fame knew him and are well aware of his contributions to the town. “Indian John” earned these honors with his dedication and hard work.

I would recommend to his many descendants that they get together to look at all the artifacts John left behind. They should also commit to paper all the stories he told them and any other things they have heard about him. Different people could take on specific tasks. For example, one person could research his exploits as a boxer who fought under the moniker “Black Jack.” That project should yield some interesting stories in itself.

Someone else could investigate his time at Hayward Indian School. Another could look into his time at Reserve. Another could research John’s ancestors. Still another could pour over the Chronotype, day by day, from about 1900 forward. That job might need to be broken up by decades or something so more than one person can work on it. From experience I can say with certainty that it will be tedious. After finishing the Chronotype, other local papers could be considered.

John Russeau led a long, full life and had a positive influence on his community. His life story deserves to be recorded, not just for his family but for the community at large. Doing this would be a greater honor for him than any that have been previously bestowed.

Have a very Merry Christmas.

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