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[ ] The study here submitted is the outgrowth of long acquaintance with the area and of a deep affection for it. —Carl Sauer, Geography of the Ozark Highland, 1920 2 Graduate Studies and New Places, 1908–1915 In October 1908 Sauer arrived in Evanston, Illinois, about thirteen miles north of Chicago, the suburban seat of Northwestern University. He came in some trepidation. Although a smart pupil with a fellowship, he saw himself as a small-town boy in a far more demanding big-city academic environment. After cozy, comfortable Warrenton with its extended family cocoon, where everything was slow and easy, Chicago and Northwestern were more than a bit of a shock. “Brash and bustling” was how he described the busy, noisy metropolis, the commercial and industrial hub of the Midwest. “I often sigh and pine,” he wrote Lorena, “for good old Missouri where the-people-go-like-this,-gently-gently-gently.”1 Cousin Mary: A Home from Home ThesharpnessofthebreakfromWarrenton,thematerialisticandimpersonal nature of Chicago, and his loneliness living in a rented room were partly alleviated by the bell ringing of local German churches and familiar hymns and tunes like “Lorelei,” “Stille Nacht,” and “Sah ein Knab’ ein Röslein stehen.” What most ameliorated his solitude was finding a refuge in the home of one of William Sauer’s cousins, Mary Deininger Werweke, whom he visited almost every Sunday and holiday. Cousin Mary knew little about the War- 18 to pass on a good earth renton Sauers, nor they of her.2 Mary’s husband, Frederick Werweke, was something of a drifter, moving from job to job, delivering goods, working on public transport, and finally running a small shop selling fruit, confectionaries , and tobacco. Mary, probably in her early forties and childless, took Carl under her wing as a surrogate mother. A great chatterer, she enjoyed including him in her Sunday lunches, taking him to visit her friends, to church, even to the circumcision ceremony of the son of Jewish friends. She showed him around Chicago and accompanied him to talks, the theater, and exhibitions. She pressed and mended his clothes and served him hearty fare. Nearly twenty years later he recalled how Mary had given him “a second home” when he most needed it: “wherever she lives will always be somewhat like home to me. And I owe her an everlasting debt of kindness.”3 One senses that Carl’s enthusiasm for Sundays at his cousin’s was slightly resented by his parents, who urged him to find company in church, where he went only occasionally. To please them, he tried to take up churchgoing seriously, eclectically sampling several over a few months. But he confessed, “I cannot go regularly to the same church; my church home like my other home is in Warrenton. As a result I do not feel myself pulled to any one particular church. Last Sunday I had to work, and I worked till midday and then went to Werweke’s. The work had to be done, and to rest in the afternoon and evening [at] Werweke’s was more refreshing for me than if I had gone to church in the morning.”4 Northwestern His parents eagerly absorbed all he could tell them about the geology (dear to his father’s heart) course work at Northwestern. He reported that he was coping well, though he told Lorena he had developed lazy intellectual habits since returning from Germany to easygoing Central Wesleyan. But at Northwestern the teachers were “springing quizzes every other week.” The “good old days of easy living at C.W.C.” were replaced by “quiz-haunted nights at N’Wsn.”5 His wide-ranging geology courses included chemistry, petrology, mineralogy , and assaying, which he found too technical and practical to be interesting . However, another component, physiography, appealed so much Graduate Studies and New Places 19 that “I’ve almost made up my mind to make geography my main study. It is the all-embracing part of Geology which alone demands a wider, broader education and at least passes over the pure technical things.” He instanced courses dealing with “the relationship of physical surroundings [to] the development of the human race, etc.,” and “real” (i.e., visible) geology on the land’s surface.6 A geology field-mapping exercise provided a welcome break from his course work. Sauer and a fellow student undertook a survey around the little town of Rockefeller, about forty miles northwest of Chicago. It was “good to get out of sight...


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