Here are the answers to the December "History Notes" questions on page 10:
1. Who was George Goodspeed in Waseca County history?
Answer: George Goodspeed came to Waseca County with his parents and brothers
as early settlers in 1872. He served his community in many ways while
maintaining the family farm. Over the years he served as legislator,
mayor of Waseca, alderman, and sheriff, as chair of School District 34,
and as a Woodville Township board supervisor. George died on May 27, 1931.
His wife Orilla was the daughter of another early settler, James Child, author
of "Child's History of Waseca County, 1854-1904".
2. What is "chert" exactly? Is it a mineral?
Answer:Chert is a sedimentary rock composed of silicon dioxide (SiO2). Chert fractures producing very sharp edges. Early people took advantage of how chert breaks and used
it to fashion cutting tools and weapons. Another name for this material is "flint."
3. Where did trade beads come from? How did they get to Minnesota?
Answer:Glass beads were made in Italy primarily, and Africa. They were used like money to trade for goods, even for slaves. The beads were part of the cargo that came across the Atlantic Ocean as early as the 16th century. By the 19th century they came to Minnesota up
rivers by steamboats, and over land by wagons, and used in trade with various Indian tribes.
The beads were prized by Indian artisans for the decorative value as well as trade value.
4. How do you pronounce "atlatl"? Why was it important to have that added thrust the atlatl provided?
Answer: It might feel clumsy to say, but it is pronounced - AT-LAT-EL.
Living in ancient times meant survival of the fittest. That included having the best weapons, strongest arm to be the cleverest hunter or fighter. In order to stop a beast intent on having
you for a meal instead of the other way around, meant killing on the first thrust of the spear.
In the case of war, the atlatl also meant survival in conflicts between enemy tribes.
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