Good evening my name is Clarence Harry Poppy. I was born in the Park Hotel located on the main street of Crandon, Wisconsin in1892. My mother, Elizabeth, worked in the hotel as a cook. After a few years of hotel work my parents moved to a log house near Lake Metonga and then to a one story house my father built in Shaw’s first addition.
As a child I remember by uncle Frank Hill locking me up in one of the cell’s in the jail. His brother William was sheriff and I was at the jail playing. My other uncle Frank Rafford would come to town and stay at the hotel with one of the first phonographs. He had earphones and would charge ten cents to listen to one record.
The first school I can remember was the south school where I started in the fall of 1897. This school was made of brick with a full basement and perhaps the first furnace in town. The lower grades were on the first floor and six grade and higher was on the second floor. This was the only school until 1905 until the north school was built where I graduated from high school.
After graduating I got a job with the Page Landeck Lumber Company as tally boy for George Bell, their lumber inspector. I worked 10 hours a day, six days a week for 1.60 a day until 1912 when I quit because they switched me to handling lumber. After I quit the lumberyard Roy Wyman and I decided to go down to the state fair in Milwaukee. We couldn’t get a room in a hotel so we slept out in the hall on a cot for three days.
I received a letter from Weidman and Sons Lumber Company of Trout Creek, Michigan saying that I had been recommended by George Bell as a chain grader. I accepted the job and left on the Soo train to Pembine, Sidman, and Trout Creek and worked there for one year when I quit to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After attending school for a year I quit and in August 1914 I came back to Trout Creek to work. When I got a few days off I married Jessie Raymond, a girl who I had been corresponding with. We were married at 9 o clock in the morning by Reverend Lamb in the Raymond’s living room.
We purchased a home near the mill. It was about this time that Weidman made me a yard foreman. The foreman had to do the hardwood shipping and the car switching.
Over the years I moved around from various lumber companies located in White Lake, Northern Michigan, or wherever they were willing to pay me the best wage. I always had a job but when the depression hit they cut everybody from six dollars to three dollars a day and laid off 90% of the men. I was never off the pay roll but many weeks I would only work one or two days a week. Around 1934 things started to pick up and eventually I was making good money and as a foreman or salesman for one of the mills. My family set up permanent residence in White Lake and that is where my four children grew up. We would travel all over Northern Wisconsin with my various jobs at lumber mills and to visit family.
In the last years of my life I enjoyed sitting in my easy chair watching baseball games with my smoking stand beside me. That is where I kept my pipes, cigars, and pipe cleaning equipment. On September 16, 1967 I died of a massive coronary occlusion and was laid to rest among my family at the Lakeside Cemetery. So much is known about my life because I wrote a book with the aid of my son entitled “Crandon is My Hometown” which can be found at the Crandon Public Library if you want to know more details about early Crandon and my life.