Posts Tagged ‘John Rousseau’

John Russeau Needs Further Research

December 24, 2010

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.

John Russeau Gets Hitched Part 5

December 21, 2010

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…