The Elders: Wilbert Ruelle of Niagara, Wisconsin

Photo: Jupiter, Florida. 1988. Susan Allen.

My Great-Grandfather, Wilbert Ruelle, was born in Niagara, Wisconsin in 1906. Wilbert’s parents spoke French, the language of their European immigrant ancestors. His father and uncles worked low paying, physically dangerous jobs in the lumber industry. Born as one of eight children, Wilbert’s brother Clifford died of pneumonia at age five. He would later comment, “At that time, we didn’t go to doctors.”…