Posted 10 years ago
Just picked this up a few days ago. It is a gold presentation badge given to the newly elected mayor of Kaukauna, Wisconsin in 1898. This star badge originally had ball tips on the points and when some of the balls came off and were lost the original owner must have removed the remaining ball tips for appearance sake. What makes this badge so unusual is the enameled lettering on the front, “CHIEF POLICE // MAYOR // FIRE DEPT” which tells us that the mayor was not just a mayor, which was only a part time job in Kaukauna back then, but as mayor he was also the chief of police and the fire chief ! Granted both were very small departments by modern standards. The mayor’s name was Charles E. Raught and before his election he was already the owner, publisher and editor of the local news paper, an alderman and the assistant fire chief. In 1898 he was also appointed the local post master and later became a director and cashier of the local first national bank plus the building and loan association! How he found time for memberships in the Knights of Pythias, Masons, Elks and Eagles is beyond me.