Hegewisch's own Battling Nelson
3 TWO HOURS IN hegewisgh; W THE INTER SUNDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 17, 1905, I- I- Air. . I ljrfea W-A'v W-A'v W-A'v A - ;-... ;-... ;-... C Ij - ' t;tjffw" .-.i--y- .-.i--y- .-.i--y- .-.i--y- .-.i--y- - m 1 A PPROACHINO Hegewisch. one's A thought naturally dwell upon the clric pride, " the spontaneous enthusiasm, enthusiasm, the Joy of living which must necessarily necessarily have Inspired the inhabitants of that remote precinct of Chicago since the victory of Battling Nelson,' Its foremost citizen. In Ean Francisco a week ago, put it on the map. Three Oaks, Mich., for a fleeting period was the, enyled of all the lesser municipalities Of the Country; Portsmouth, N. H., enjoyed briefjipell of prominence; but to all thinking thinking people it must be admitted that Hege-wlsch Hege-wlsch Hege-wlsch $ow stands pre-eminent, pre-eminent, pre-eminent, and that If its people are magnanimous they will not hesitate hesitate ttf allow a -portion -portion of their glory to Illuminate Illuminate the rest of Chicago. When the train finally leaves the Engle-wood Engle-wood Engle-wood station the passenger knows he Is really on the way to Hegewisch. Glimpses of pretty suburbs, clubhouses, and spacious -training -training grounds claim his attention as the train gathers speed. Great manufacturing establishments pass before his vision on cither side, and the train Is at last In the open - country. On both sides of the tracks in thtk riftrh f ArmiH Kt th flvprflnv if Calumet. lake hundreds of mud turtles are sunning., themselves on logs In a dreamy manner. Just as the passenger is begin ning to wonder If by any chance he Is on the wrong train, or has been carried beyond his station, the train stops, two people get off and make for the nearest Baloon. It Is Hegewisch. The one armed flagman uncurls himself from the baggage truck and gazes with curiosity at the pilgrim from the city and goes to sleep again. There seems to be really nothing else to do, so the ptlgrim also drops into the nearest saloon and inquires for the home-of home-of home-of Battling Nelson. There Is a sudden awakening on the part of the proprietor proprietor a brief conversation- conversation- in Norwegian follows, and it Is ascertained that the home of Battling Nelson., is down one block and up two blocks from the, railway station. : . The Calm la Only n the Surface. . Since the international event of a week ago yesterday affairs In - Hegewisch have - resumed resumed their normal condition. It Is observed observed that the marts of trade are open, that there really Is no outward sign that the inhabitants inhabitants are unduly overwhelmed with the honor that has come to them, but the calmness calmness is all on the surface. Leaving the down town district,- district,- the mention of the name of Battling Nelson opens up the flood gates of conversation with most any one you meet. In fact, all roads lead to the home of Battling Battling Nelson. Hegewisch has been patient for tweiity-t tweiity-t tweiity-t hree years, which Is about the length of time the town has been in being. At that time the great railroad car shops were built, which gave the town an excuse for existing, and started' the advance guard of building and loan associations on their preliminary raid. They did with Hegewisch that which has happened to many embryo towns. Houses purchasable on the Installment plan sprung up by hundreds, and were disposed disposed of to the thrifty mill operatives. A few wooden sidewalks were built, and are there today. TU roadbeds were slightly elevated, elevated, leaving plenty of space beside the walks-for walks-for walks-for the waters of Calumet lake, the river, and other bodies of water as an overflow. overflow. Perhaps this was dona in the hope that wild ducks might take up their abode there. If they ever did they have since becomo domesticated, for the hundreds of ducks which dwell contentedly adjacent to and beneath beneath the sidewalks seem to be a part of the town. Swimming gracefully up aiid down or floating with the gentle current they are at peace. Occasionally a more venturesome duck will start a liegtra toward a more likely looklDg ditch beneath an overhanging willow, but such activity Is unusual in the streets of Hegewisch. Extending for many blocks in either direction are the pools of water with the willow bushes overhead ana, a few good sized trees. The modest cottages of the inhabitants are fairly well kept up, and, according tta!l reports, there is now more building going on in the town than in the past fifteen years. The family of Battling Nelson has moved from the modest story and a half cottage, which it occupied for the many years before the hero became famous, into a spacious ten room house at Ontario avenue and One Hundred and Thirty-Fourth Thirty-Fourth Thirty-Fourth street. It is shaded by an . immense willow willow tree in front, and a capacious settee invites the wayfarer to be seated. The Nelsons Nelsons bear their honors modestly, taking a natural pride in the fact that "Bat" has become become one, of 1 the leading. property owners of the town 'since he bowled over Young Corbett. Now that he has disposed of James Edward Brjtt, it is not known how much real estate he may eventually acquire. The Mother of Rattling- Rattling- Xelsoa. Mrs. Nelson Is a slight woman, quick in her movements, of middle age, and with the placid blue eye characteristic of the Danish race. Seated In the sitting-room sitting-room sitting-room of her home, she received the visitor with crflm-ness, crflm-ness, crflm-ness, and genially discussed her eon and his prospects. Two other sons and a pretty daughter were In the room, the sons industriously industriously studying the sporting pages of the numerous Sunday papers. - , . .. . "Yes, I have heard twice from Battling since his fight' said Mrs. Nelson, "but I don't know exactly when he will be back. His father and one brother are with htm, and they'll let us know as soon as they can when to expect him.. He Is a good too; he never smoked or drank, and has made good use of his money since he began to win fights." Mrs. Nelson proudly dispelled all ideas that Battling Is the uneducated youth that young prize fighters are thought to be. "He always went to school until he got into the eighth grade." said she, "and only left the eighth grade when he made up his mind he wanted to get to work. He was always ambitious to go to work and help his father, and after he left the eighth grade he was out of work about a year and a half. He Joined the state militia, and would have gone to the Spanish war If he had not been sick. He was always pretty good with his fists, but never was a bully in school, although he would fight when he bad occasion to. "He owns four houses here now, which he paid $6,600 cash for. and will buy more here In a little while. We owned two houses before before he commenced to fight." "How did he get the name 'Battling'?" was asked. - - "Oh. he was named that after his uncle," said Mrs. Nelson. "When he started out Bat never got much support from anybody in this town." remarked remarked one of his brothers, discontentedly. "Why, he never fought but twice in the town here, and there wasn't crowd enough to pay the expenses. But he wouldn't have to try very hard to get a crowd now." .- .- "No," chimed In his sister Ida, proudly, "I guess this town wouldn't hold the Chicago sports that would be here If they knew Bat was to fight at the opera-house, opera-house, opera-house, like he did when he knocked out Eddie Herman In 1899. His only other fight here was with Theodore Burns, May 17, 1902. and be knocked him out, too, In six rounds." The rlioi Roll Call.'. "You see. Bat broke into the fight game finally when he got in with Tommy Mowatt and that crowd," said the brother, gradually warming op to Bat's history. "Ho was pretty good with his fists and they persuaded him to take it up seriously. Most of his fights were down town in Chicago. His first one where he made any money was at the Star theater in 1896. when he knocked out Charlie Dougherty in the first round. He got 150 for that. Then, of course, everybody knows how Bat fought in different places in Wisconsin and In the West." The home is well furnished, and the Nelson Nelson family is not troubled with any fears for the future. When the family is all at home the following answer their mother's roil call: ALBERT NELSON. 26. - HENRY NELSON. 24. "- "- BATTLING NELSON. 2a JOHNNY NELSON. 20. ' - CHARLIE NELSON. 18. IDA NELSON, 16. ARTIE NELSON. 14. , HARRY NELSON, 10. The business men of Hegewisch are p lancing lancing ,lo take advantage of the sudden fame of the town, and will endeavor to give It more prominence by a rousing reception to Battling Nelson when he returns laden with, glory. . A committee is in charge of the arrangements arrangements and as soon as the date of his return if definitely known a celebration wilt be held which will be participated in by the-' the-' the-' entire Calumet region. Hegewisch is guarded by a police force of one lieutenant and eight policemen. Tha good order of the town is attested by the fact that It is said that in nine months there was not an arrest. Even in the big demonstration demonstration of a week ago when the returns came In .showing that Battling Nelson bad attained the zenith of his fame there was no trouble. But few bets changed hands on the result, however. What Tom Mora n Sari. "Yes, Battling Nelson was always s goo 4 boy," said Tom Moran, the veteran member of the police department, who has been stationed stationed at Hegewisch ever since the station, was established. "He never got Into any trouble In school and I have known him ever since he could walk. The family is s good family, too, and it well spoken of." The population of Hegewisch consists of about 4.600 people, and they are mostly em- em- ployed in the Western Car and Foundry company, company, which employs about 1.800 workmen: the Chicago car and locomotive works, and) the General Chemical company. "The trouble here Is," said E. M. Skinner, a well known grocer, "that the city has never done anything for our streets, and it doesn't make anv difference what adminis tration is in, we don't east enough votes to make it an object to the city to do anything to fix up the town. The people here are prosperous, prosperous, but we can't get anything done, and that is the reason the town seems to be in, such bad shape. It is not our fault." Just at present a $10,000 department store-Is store-Is store-Is going up opposite the opera-house, opera-house, opera-house, and there is contlderable building going on. The business men are determined that Hegewisch shall be beard from, and when Battling Nelson Nelson returns they are in hopes that be will be able to force the recognition which the town has vainly sought for years from the authori ties ui vutvaftu .