Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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WOMEN of EARLY OCONTO COUNTY

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  contributed by Richard LaBrosse
 
 

Pauline LaBudda 




Miss LaBudda was a pioneer. She was born in Danzing, Kries, Wiestadt, West Prussia, February, 25, 1883. When she was about 6 years old, she came to America with her mother and sisters to join her father, Albert, who lived on a farm in Pulaski,in the town of Pittsfield. She attended the Flintville school until she finished the third grade, and then had to stay home to help her family clear land and do her share of the choirs. 

Her parents taught her to read and write Polish, and to speak the language as well as some German. Her mother taught her to cook.

In 1901 the LaBudda's moved to a farm in the town of Morgan, Oconto County. Shortly after, Pauline went to Detroit, Mich., to stay with an aunt. She went to the appointed office and got her first job as a cook in Manistique, Mich.

Mrs. Laurance LaBosse (LaBrosse), Krakow, whose husband is one of Miss LaBudda's nephews, provided this background material with the help of her husband, who translated it from notes written in Polish.

From Michigan, Miss LaBudda moved to New York. Her father died in 1911, and she came home for the funeral.

In 1912, she went to Detroit to work. Two years later she went back to New York with her sister, Susanna. They were hired to cook at the White House and enjoyed their new position, even though it sometimes meant getting up at three a.m. to begin the baking for the day. Mrs. LaBosse had Pauline's White House Cookbook. Published in 1898, it is printed entirely in paragraph form.

But a love affair interrupted Pauline's career at the White House. Not her's, Susanna's.

Before she had joined Pauline, Susanna had a boyfriend. Her absence didn't make his heart grow fonder at all. In fact, he found another girl. When Susanna heard this, she wanted to go home. Because cooks were hired in pairs, that meant Pauline would have to leave, too. So she did."I couldn't break my sister's heart", she said at the time.

Pauline worked in Sayner in 1923 and 1924, then in Ann Arbor, Mich. From there it was out to California, but the climate didn't agree with her rheumatism. 

At one time she was going to go into the restaurant business. She hired an accountant to help her get it organized, but he stole everything she had purchased, including the silverware. So she sold the restaurant. 

In 1926, Pauline and her sister, Gertrude, worked on the Shaw Estate at Great Neck, Long Island. 

When Jack Dempsy's representatives went in search of a good cook, they found Pauline through Lazare's News, a journal of service. Lazare's placed its people "in homes of wealth and distinction."

Miss La Budda worked in Saratoga, Fla., and in Atlantic City, N. J., for the champion.

An Atlantic City New release, which carried Miss LaBudda's picture, described her as "a strapping Wisconsin German girl, who spent two years in the White House." According to the story, "She reigned supreme in the kitchen of Jack Dempsy's bungalow."

Demspey said, "She rattles a mean stove lid."

At that time, Pauline weighted 220 pounds, was over six feet tall, and had promised a whipping to any man of the Dempsy entourage who would come between her and her cooking for the champion, whose affable manner seemed to have won her whole-hearted regard.

Mrs. LaBosse says she remembers Pauline talking about the time that Dempsy's bodyguard turned on him. Dempsy came home and told his cook not to admit anybody she didn't know. Then he went up stairs. A short time later the bodyguard and another man arrived. Pauline admitted them, but was alarmed when the pair brushed past her and went upstairs. She found a revolver and had it in her hand when the pair finally left the house. Dempsy came down from the attic, where he had been hiding, and told her, "That man is no longer my friend."

Miss LaBudda used to tell her relatives that the champion was not a heavy eater. "He ate fruits and vegetables, and never more than a couple of boiled eggs for breakfast," she would recall.

She often visited Krakow, and many times offered help to her many nieces and nephews, so that they could pursue their goals. She was a very religious woman, according to Mrs. LaBosse, and usually had a little alter in her room. 

Miss LaBudda spent her retirement years in Green Bay and with a  sister in Krakow. She had been at the Oconto Falls nursing home for about 2 years before her death.
 

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