Friday, June 7, 2013

Perhaps My Ancestors Were There, 1891 Luxembourg Celebration

Many of you know by now that I have Luxembourg roots.  Needless to say, I closely follow the blog Luxembourgensia, written by Fausto Gardini (and own both of his Luxembourg books).  Today, he posted about an 1891 celebration of the Aurora Luxembourg Independent Club.  While none of my family is named in the article, I’m willing to bet that my family was there representing.  They lived in Aurora at the time of the event, and I know that some were members of Luxembourg societies in Aurora.  I also know that they were very proud of the Luxembourg heritage.

Although this event was reported in the Luxemberger Wort newspaper, I bet I can find something in the Aurora newspapers, and who knows, maybe a relative will be named.  So of course, as I write this, I think, wait, there is one Aurora newspaper online (Google) for that time period, let’s see what I can find there.  And thus it begins…

I start searching the four-page Aurora Daily Express beginning on 8 June 1891, as the Luxemberger Wort reported the event took place on 7 June 1891.  Nothing.  Nothing for the 9th either, but wait, there’s something on the 10th discussing the event will be TAKING PLACE “NEXT SUNDAY.”  I’m pretty sure it’s talking about the same event, since there is mention of the “grove north of town” and “new banner” (a.k.a., flag).

Aurora Daily Express 1891-06-10

The article pictured above is from the 10 June 1891 edition of the Aurora Daily Express.1  It reads:

Sunday Picnic

The Luxembergers are arranging for a great picnic, next Sunday, at Henke’s Grove, two and one-half miles northeast of the city.  Speakers will be present from Dubuque and Chicago.  The various Luxemberger societies will parade through the streets Sunday morning, headed by a brass band.  The occasion will be the dedication on a new banner.

Moving on, I checked the 15 June 1891 edition (the Monday after the event) and found the following:

Aurora Daily Express 1891-06-15

This one reads: 

There was a large crowd at the Luxemburg picnic northeast of Aurora yesterday.  A wheel of fortune man tried to do business on the grounds and was unceremoniously ejected.

Not much of a report, oh well.  I checked the rest of the week and found no further mention.  But I still have the Aurora Beacon to check, so it’s on my to-do list.  I imagine I’ll find a little more on the event in the Beacon since it’s a larger paper.

Based on the two Daily Express articles and the dates of publication, it looks like the celebration actually took place on 14 June 1891, not 7 June 1891 as reported by the Luxemberger Wort newspaper.


1. "Sunday Picnic," Aurora Daily Express, 10 June 1891, p. 1, col. 4; digital images, Google News (http://news.google.com/newspapers : accessed 7 June 2013), Archive. 

2. Aurora Daily Express, 15 June 1891, p. 3, col. 2; digital images, Google News (http://news.google.com/newspapers : accessed 7 June 2013), Archive.


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