Butchers, Realtors, and Musicians! Oh my! Adolph Hansen left Norway after finishing seventh grade in Kristiania (Oslo) Norway. In 1894 he left Norway with his sister Dagny and brother Artur. According to the 1940 census he ever went back to school once he was in Chicago. He went to work for his Uncle Oskar and learned iron work. Oskar’s company was involved in bridge building, ship building, and building part of the New York subway system as well as constructing many towers and buildings in the midwest. Adolph held many positions in the company such as timekeeper, treasurer, vice-president and was always “hands on”.
Adolph’s father, Adolf' became a member of the Norwegian Army at about fifteen years of age. Somehow it was discovered that he had a real talent for music. Adolf was sent to Paris to study clarinet. He returned to play with the Norwegian Brigade Band and turned his talents to composing music. He composed many pieces which were played by the Brigade Band and even composed a special piece on the occasion of the wedding anniversary of his contemporary Edvard Grieg. Adolf also composed the Norwegian Honor March. Before his death in 1911 Adolf was a Music Instructor in the Norwegian Army.
In 1856, from the dutchy of Nassau in Hessen, Germany, Georg Burbach and his family made their way to a German port and sailed for the United States. They settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Georg became a drover of cattle, later he became a butcher, and finally his sons Herman and John opened their own butcher shop in 1876. The butcher shop would remain open many years as successive generations would grow up helping in the shop.
In 1880, Michael Connery was told by his father to take a cow to market and sell the cow. The money from the sale of the cow was to be used to pay for an apprenticeship in butchering. Michael, who had previously thrown his clothes out the window, picked up the clothes and cow, sold the cow, and bought a ticket to America. Once settled in Chicago, Michael became a saloon keeper, later the owner of a bowling ally, about 1910, to appease his wife Michael left the saloons and became a realtor. Michael was an astute business man and by 1915 was running his own real estate company, M J Connery & Sons. Adding “& Sons” to the company name was a good indicator of Michael’s thinking. Both of his sons, at least three of his daughters, and a son-in-law worked at “the office”. “The office” only meant one place in our family. Later he added travel and insurance business to the company. The company was closed in the 1970s with the retirement of Michael’s son Thomas and daughter Kathleen who had worked there for many years.
It was 1905 when Augustinus Gulyban left his Hungarian home and moved to Belmont County Ohio where he got a job in the coal mines. Gus worked in the mines for many years. Going off each day at dawn with his lunch box and returning for dinner each evening. So many years in the mines that the coal dust never really left his hands no matter how he washed them. They were clean but stained.
Of the five brothers of Alice Fleming that emigrated to this country, one became a Jesuit priest, one was a jewler, one became an undertaker, one became a postmaster and writer, and one returned to Ireland to open a grocery and fine spirits shop in Dublin.
More recent generations have followed other career directions but there are still musicians, teachers, mechanics, tradesmen, professionals, and others that reflect those who taught us the “work ethic” that they passed on to us by their example.