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The family to which reference is made is the Joseph Mies family. The adventures & misadventures will be related by a son. He will rely mostly upon recollection and very little upon any recorded data.
Joseph Mies was born in Geisdingen, Kreis Siegburg, Germany, Feb. 14, 1834. He was the third son in a family of four boys. In his teen age he was apprenticed to a cabinet maker for three years. He received no pay and the question of dispute was whether his employeror his home family, should pay for his noon-day luncheon.
When he reached the required age for military service, he announced to his parents that he would not serve in the army and that he would run away to America. His father warned him of the punishment that would be inflicted upon his parents. This warning did not deter him from his resolution. Fortunately for him, he secured a visa from a cousin who had changed his mind about coming to America. Therefore, stealthily, he left his home and started on his journey toward America. As he pursued his journey to the point of the embarking upon a steamer, he related that he was certain that he could observe the telegraph wires vibrating and carrying the message of his departure.
However, after a somewhat hazardous and trying trip, he reached Chicago with ten cents in his pocket. This was late in the fall of 1854. At the place of his landing in Chicago, he observed some men unloading lumber from a ship. He turned in and helped the men and, upon completion of the unloading, he followed the men into an eating house and received a meal. After the meal was over, the men gathered upon the ship and he followed them, and the ship embarked to Michigan to a lumber camp. At the lumber camp he was given a job in helping the cooks.
In the spring of the year 1855, he went to Mendota, Illinois, where he visited the Jacob Enenbach family, who had lived at Geisdingen, Germany, and who had also recently come to America.
He spent the summer and fall working on a farm. In late fall, he again went to Michigan and he was given employment as a chopper. Because of his agility, he became an expert chopper.
In the summer of 1856, he sailed from New York upon a sail boat headed for Australia. On the boat there were many adventures. Much deviltry was perpetrated upon the sailors as they crossed the equator. Father frequently related to his boys how he climbed to the top of the mast and refused to be dislodged until danger was over. Another incident that always captivated the attention of his young listeners was that as food was scarce on the ship, they hurriedly fried the cheese before it all managed to wiggle away.
He remained in Australia for five years. He frequently told how he and his partner owned some of the best prospective gold mines in Australia, but which, in the end, next page
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