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Record 109/160
Model 1889 Campaign Hat: drab colored fur felt construction with 6" crown; 2 3/4" wide brim; drab colored silk grosgrain ribbon and bow around base of crown; officer's gold twisted cording hat cord with adjustable slide and acorn shaped finials; leather sweatband marked "LAABS" inside base of crown; brass crossed rifles insignia with "2" over "B" (Company B, 2nd Wisconsin National Guard). Used by Quartermaster Sergeant John H. Laabs during the Spanish American War. John H. Laabs was born in Oshkosh in 1874. He attended local schools and then worked for his father, Ferdinand Laabs, in the family flour mill, Reliance Flour Mill. He and his brother, Otto Laabs, owned the mill together from 1899-1901, when John sold his share to his brother. He lived in Oklahoma briefly, but returned to Oshkosh and operated a dry goods store. For three years he was deputy clerk in the courthouse. He became Clerk of Courts in 1910 and served until his death in 1920. He enlisted in Company B, 2nd Wisconsin National Guard around 1893. He rose to the rank of sergeant and in 1897 was made Regimental Drum Major and in 1898 was the Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant and served in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War. He became Captain of Company B on June 8, 1906. He is not listed on the rolls after 1912. He did not serve during World War I, but became a captain in the Wisconsin State Guard. He married Laura Schneider on November 8, 1905. He died at the age of 46 in 1920.
Hat -THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009