By Helen L. Laird
A brain of Her Own: Helen Connor Laird and kinfolk 1888–1982 captures the general public achievement and inner most ache of a awesome Wisconsin lady and her relatives, whose pursuits and impact prolonged well past the borders of the state. Spanning nearly a century, the background speaks to the way in which we have been and are: a stridently materialistic state with a deep and protracted religious part.
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Additional info for A Mind of Her Own: Helen Connor Laird and Family, 1888-1982 (Wisconsin Land and Life)
His ﬁrst major expansion, in , was to a heavily wooded area twelve miles north of Marshﬁeld, a day’s trip with a good team. D. named the site Stratford. He built a band sawmill, a store, roads, a track of railroad (the Marathon County Road) to connect with the Soo Line, and houses for his workers, many of whom came from Auburndale, where the timber had almost all been harvested. Bent on expanding, and constantly on the move, he needed dependable agents to look after his interests. D. immediately maneuvered to make his father the town chairman.
It was too bad for one “green foreigner” who got his foot caught in a conveyor chain and had his toes on one foot cut oﬀ. The doctor trimmed the end of his foot, folded the sole up, and sewed it. But he couldn’t work anymore, and his wages stopped, and as soon as his accumulated wages were used up for board, he was kicked out of the Prune House. ” Father John J. D. D. ordered the priest to come into the company oﬃce. D. D. showed more concern for his horses than his workers and would ﬁre a man on the spot for beating one of them.
While they took themselves seriously as students of history, the women did not think of themselves as making history. Nonetheless, they believed that through their united eﬀorts they could achieve some social good. For Helen, as a twelve-year-old, it was a great lesson when the Travel Class pushed for a public library. The women had well-stocked personal libraries. They could get along borrowing each others’ books, but in they decided the time had come to build and support a public library.
A Mind of Her Own: Helen Connor Laird and Family, 1888-1982 (Wisconsin Land and Life) by Helen L. Laird