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Record 159/160
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Description Cane made from a single wooden branch with bark and barnacles still on it. Laabs brought this home from the Spanish American War. Similar canes can be seen in images of the 2nd Wisconsin in Puerto Rico.

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.
Dimensions W-1 L-36 inches
Dimension notes Approximate
Year Range from 1898
Event Spanish American War
Year range to 1898
Material Wood
Object ID 382-1
Object Name Cane
People Laabs, John H.
Used Laabs, John H.
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009