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Record 212/261

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Chief Oshkosh brand wooden cigar box. Cover is marked "CHIEF OSHKOSH" with a stamped image of Chief Oshkosh below. To the left and right of the chief's top hat are the words "TRADE" and "MARK" respectively. Below the image is marked "FROM THE ONLY PHOTOGRAPH IN EXISTENCE." At the right edge of the box cover and extending over rear exterior box face is a blue tax paid stamp for fifty cigars. The date "ACT MARCH 3/ 1883" is included therein. Box interior includes makers "Derksen & Peek". Each exterior box face is surrounded by a decorative red adhesive border. Left box face includes a large white bordered label with a small image of Chief Oshkosh. To the left and right of the image are the words "CHIEF" and "OSHKOSH." respectively. The words "TRADE" and "MARK" appear near the chief's hat. Front exterior box face is marked "Chief Oshkosh." Right box face includes a light red stamp marked "COLORADO." Rear exterior box face includes label that reads, "SEPT. 1880/ Issued by Authority of the Cigar Makers' International Union of America./ Union-made Cigars./ This Certifies that the Cigars contained in this box have been made by a First Class Workman,/ a MEMBER OF THE CIGAR MAKERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION of America, an organization devoted to the ad-/ vancement of the MORAL, MATERIAL and INTELLECTUAL WELFARE OF THE CRAFT. Therefore we recommend/ All Infringements upon this Label will be punished according to law./ [signed] G.W. Perkins, President,/ C.M.I.U of America." The stamp also includes the Union's crest on the stamp's left edge, which depicts an eagle and shield, with the date June 21, 1864 contained therein. The crest's border contains the inscription "CIGAR MAKERS' INTERNATIONAL * OF AMERICA." The left edge of the stamp is marked "LOCAL/ STAMP." Interior of box is lined with gray paper. Interior side of box lid is covered by a large decorative adhesive label that extends down over part of the rear interior box face. Lid portion decoratively reads "CHIEF OSHKOSH," and below is the same image of Chief Oshkosh and description as contained on box cover. To the left of this image is a picturesque scene of Oshkosh in its early days, marked "OSHKOSH IN/ -1840-," and to the right of the Chief Oshkosh image is another Oshkosh scene marked "OSHKOSH IN/ -1892-." The portion of the label that extends over the rear box face is marked "Derksen & Peek." Bottom of box (exterior) is stamped "Factory No.34/ 50/ First Dist. Wis." The bottom also bears an adhesive label marked "DERKSEN & PEEK/ FACTORY No. 34/ FIRST DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN./ ~NOTICE~/ The manufacturers of the Cigars herein contained have/ complied with all the requirements of law. Every person/ is cautioned not to use either this box for Cigars again, or/ the stamp thereon again, nor to remove the contents of/ this box without destroying said stamp, under the penalties/ provided by law, in such cases." Herman Derksen was born February 15, 1844 in Holland. At the age of 12 he traveled with his parents to America where they settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. Later the family moved to Chicago, Illinois and then Watertown, Wisconsin. In Watertown Derksen's father, Theodore, established a cigar business. Later the family would move again to Portage, Wisconsin. During the Civil War Derksen, being too young to enlist, worked as a locomotive fireman on the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul railway that ran from Portage to LaCrosse. By 1868 both father and son were in the cigar business and moved it to Oshkosh where it was located at the corner of Main and Irving street. Later it moved to the corner of Waugoo and Main, but that location burned down in the fire of 1875. In 1882 the Derksen business block was built on Main Street. Derksen's sons also joined the company and the name changed to Herman Derksen & Sons. An active member of the Oshkosh community Derksen served for a time on the cemetery board and 25 years on the park board. He was such an enthusiastic yachtsman that he was known as Captain Derksen. He owned the "Corona", in his obituary stated as, the first steam launch, and in later years also owned the Estella, "Irma", "Napawin" and "Theresa". He was one of the organizers and a charter member of the Oshkosh Power Boat Club. Derksen died June 1, 1934 at the age of 89.
Box, Cigar -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
Left exterior.

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009