News: Humbird-Wedding Bands Found After 60 years (1977)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Fitzmaurice, Putman, Cusik, Sanders, Kopp

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/07/1977

Humbird-Wedding Bands Found (After 60 years - 1977)

Three young Humbird men, hunting for nightcrawlers with a flashlight, recently turned up a wide gold-band wedding ring that had been lost 60 years ago.

The ring had been slipped onto the wedding finger of Helen Putman Fitzmaurice on May 29, 1915. She lost it two years later while working in the Humbird restaurant of her father, E.W. Putman. It had come off unnoticed while she was washing dishes and was thrown out onto the ground with the dishwater.

The ring was all but forgotten when Chuck Cusik, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Cusik of rural Humbird, LeRoy Fitzmaurice, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Fitzmaurice, Sr., and Howie Sanders, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Sanders, went out looking for nightcrawlers one evening to use as bait for the next day’s fishing.

The rays of their flashlight fell on the golden ring along the alley behind the Humbird Hotel, in an area now owned by Edmund Harris and used as a garden. It is the location at the rear of where the old Putman restaurant once stood.

Despite the fact that it had been missing for 60 years, and there had been years of activity in that location, the three young men said the ring was in plain sight on the surface of the ground.

It took them six weeks to determine the owner. Members of the Fitzmaurice family went to Chetek for fishing late in May. Conversation got around to the finding of the ring. There was some engraving inside the band, but nobody had been able to make out what the initials or date were–until one of the family with sharp eyes deciphered them; “L.F. to H.P.” on one line; “5-29-15” just below.

“That must be the ring Aunt Helen lost,” said one member of the family.

The ring was returned to Mrs. Fitzmaurice when the party returned home. She readily identified it.

This incident paralleled another which took place in the Fitzmaurice family. It involved Mrs. Raymond Kopp, a niece, who was fishing one day in the Humbird pond. That was about 16 years ago. She had lost some weight, and when she reached into the minnow bucket, both her engagement and wedding rings apparently fell into the bucket unnoticed. Mr. Kopp threw out the water when they finished fishing, and the rings went out with the water, settling on the bottom of the Humbird pond.

A short time ago the Kopp’s daughter found the engagement ring while exploring the shoreline of the pond. She took it home and showed her mother.

“That’s the ring I lost 16 years ago,” said a surprised Mrs. Kopp – “I lost my wedding band then, too. You’ll never find that.” The daughter surprised her again. She returned home from the pond a short time later with the wedding band in her hand.



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