Heading west in search of adventure in 1890, Hauberg worked at a variety of manual labor jobs, including work on a railroad construction gang in Missouri, at an Arkansas sawmill, on a Wyoming cattle ranch, as well as farm work. Searching for further education, Hauberg returned home. He enrolled in Duncan's Business College, Davenport, in 1893, graduating in 1894.
Not satisfied with his education thus far, Hauberg traveled to Northern Indiana Normal College, now Valparaiso University, Indiana, and enrolled in 1894, attending classes first in January 1895. Through the university's accelerated program, fifty weeks' study without any holidays, classes beginning at 6:30 a.m. and lasting through 9 p.m., he obtained two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in 1896 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1897. He then enrolled in the Law Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, working odd jobs to pay his way. Always looking for new experiences, during the summer of 1898, Hauberg and a friend from college bicycled their way from Michigan to Washington D.C. and New York, taking ships part of the journey.
Upon graduating in 1900 with a LL.B, Hauberg travelled in Europe for six months, gaining free passage overseas working on a cattle boat. On this, his first of several European tours, he visited England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In Germany he lived in Berlin for a while, working as an "extra" in the opera so he could attend for free.
After returning to the United States, Hauberg worked on the family farm until he passed the Illinois State bar exam in 1901 and set up a practice in Moline, Illinois. He stayed here until his marriage at age forty-one to Susanne Christine Denkmann on June 29, 1911. He then moved his practice to Rock Island, but by 1914 banished his law books to the attic, as the couple travelled too extensively for Hauberg to maintain his law office.
Susanne Denkmann Hauberg brought many business interests into the marriage from her family, the Denkmanns of Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann Lumber Company, and John Hauberg eventually held many executive board positions. He served as vice-president of the Manufacturers Trust and Savings Bank of Rock Island, and as chairman of the board when the bank consolidated with the Rock Island Savings Bank and the Central Trust and Savings Bank. Over a period of years he also served as president of Weyerhaeuser and Denkmann Company, Rock Island Sash and Door Works, Rock Island Lumber Company, Rilco Laminated Products Company, Rock Island Millwork, Denkmann Paper Company, and Tallahala Lumber Company. He was vice-president of the Northern Lumber Company at Cloquet, Minnesota, and Natalbany Lumber Company, as well as a director of the Rock Island Plow Company and Servus Rubber Company.
During the 1910s, Hauberg was actively involved in the temperance movement in Rock Island County. He became attorney for the Rock Island Law and Order League in 1910, and was with the National Guard in 1912 as they fought to control the riots caused by opposition between city authorities and the local vice lord. Hauberg was elected in 1914 as the chairman of the Moline local option campaign, which lobbied to pass a local law outlawing liquor sales, and eventually served as the president of the Illinois Anti-Saloon League.
Actively involved in the Lutheran Church, Hauberg was president of the Luther League of Illinois for four years. He also was superintendent of Sunday School at the 7th St. Lutheran Mission, Moline, later becoming the County Sunday School president for ten years, and finally state president for two terms. He was a member of the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee of the International Council of Religious Education, and in 1924, represented Illinois at the World's Sunday School Convention in Glasgow, Scotland.
Hauberg held great interest in community work, especially with youth organizations. He founded the United Sunday School Boys Band in 1909, a fife, drum, and bugle corps designed as an incentive for young boys to attend Sunday School. Originally formed for the boys of the 7th Street Mission, after one year widespread interest among the boys' friends caused Hauberg to make the group interdenominational. His only requirement of the boys was that they attend some church's Sunday School weekly. The band grew, and for fifteen years hundreds of boys marched in parades and gave performances throughout the Quad City area under Hauberg's direction. In addition, Hauberg planned weekend hikes for the boys, and longer summer hikes, which evolved into the Big Hike, a yearly two to three week long journey of travel and hiking, assisted by wagons or later, trucks. The boys and Hauberg would hike, climb, sleep under the stars, and cook meals over the campfire. While on their Big Hikes, the boys would attend Sunday School in the nearest community, marching in to church from their campsite. Although the USSB disbanded in 1923, the Black Hawk Hiking Club still uses the concept of the Big Hike today.
Hauberg organized the Black Hawk Hiking Club on May 8, 1920, under the name Black Hawk Prairie Club. The group changed its name to the Black Hawk Hiking Club in May 1923, to differentiate themselves from the Chicago Prairie Club. The group hiked year round and through all weather, and a hike was never cancelled. Guidelines still used for each hike include designating a leader, building a campfire at the end of the hike, and cooking hot chocolate or food on the fire. A nature enthusiast, Hauberg forbade the picking of wildflowers, nuts, or fruit on hikes. Annual Big Hikes have taken the group from east coast to west, Canada to Mexico, and once even to Switzerland. Hauberg served as president of the group for their first twenty years.
John and Susanne Hauberg were also active in the local Y.M. and Y.W.C.A.s. John Hauberg served on the board of directors of both the Moline and Rock Island Y.M.C.A.s, serving later as board member and vice-president of the Illinois State Association of Young Men's Christian Associations. He was chairman of the Illinois Older Boys Conference, a yearly event drawing thousands of boys. In 1926 the Haubergs went to Helsingfors, Finland, representing Illinois at the World Conference on Boys' Work in Young Men's Christian Associations. Susanne donated land near Port Byron known as Archie Allen's Place for a Y.W.C.A. girls' camp in 1921. This also became the site for many Hauberg reunions in years to come. John Hauberg donated land jointly to the Moline and Rock Island Y.M.C.A.s, creating Camp Hauberg for boys in 1927.
Hauberg was instrumental in the creation in 1927 of Black Hawk State Park, now Black Hawk State Historic Site. He wrote a seventy-eight page booklet, the Black Hawk Watch Tower, in support of the site and placed it before the State Senate. After presenting a lecture to the legislature, his plan received a unanimous vote of approval. A museum was erected in the park in 1937. John and Susanne furnished many of the Native American relics in the museum and later it was dedicated as the Hauberg Museum. Hauberg also established the Indian Pow-Wow at the park in 1940, bringing Native Americans from the Mesquakie tribe in Tama, Iowa, to demonstrate their customs and dances. The same year Hauberg was elected an honorary chief of the tribe and named "Ah-be-chi-ne-ma-so-ta Ma-qua," or "Standing Bear." John Hauberg's last public appearance was at the Pow-Wow of 1955, to an audience of three thousand.
Hauberg was also vice-president and board member of the Illinois State Historical Society. He established the Illinois Junior Historian in 1947, a magazine sponsored by the State Historical Society for the publication of history papers by Illinois high school and junior high students. The magazine continues today under the title Illinois History and formerly offered the John H. Hauberg Memorial Award for best yearly submission.
Other local positions John Hauberg held include auditor and thirty-seven years on the board of directors, nineteen as president, of Augustana College and Theological Seminary, from which he received an honorary degree of LL.D in 1930; trustee of Port Byron academy; joint directorship with Susanne Hauberg of her West End Settlement social institution; board member of the Tri-City Symphony Orchestra; vice-president of the Handel Oratorio Society, Augustana College; board member and secretary of Bethany Protective Association, now known as Bethany Home Inc., a voluntary child welfare agency in Moline, IL; president of Rock Island Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and the County Pioneer and Old Settlers' Association; secretary of Riverside Cemetery, Moline; past-president and director of the Chippiannock Cemetery Association, Rock Island; rank of sergeant in the 6th Illinois Infantry, National Guard; board member of the Rock Island Public Library; and president and curator of the Rock Island County Historical Society.
He held membership in the Outing Club of Davenport, IA, the Tri-City Men's Rose Garden Club, the Press Club of Chicago, Illinois Bar Association, Chicago Historical Society, Mississippi Valley Historical Society, Augustana Historical Society, and the Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota State Historical Societies.
Hauberg purchased his first camera from a Montgomery Ward catalog in February 1889. He soon began taking pictures of his home and the countryside around him. By the end of his life, Hauberg had taken more than 4,000 glass negatives, 3,000 lantern slides, 60,000 film negatives, and 1,000 35mm slides. His love of the camera and his travel experiences influenced many organizations to ask him to lecture on travel, history, and other topics. It was estimated that he spoke to more than three hundred different audiences. His travel experience included mountain climbing around the world, and in his lifetime he climbed to the tops of the Jungfrau in Switzerland, Longs Peak, James Peak, Mount Audubon, the Arapaho peaks in Colorado, Haleakala in Hawaii, and Vesuvius in Italy, among many others.
Hauberg authored nearly one hundred fifty unpublished volumes of Rock Island County and Illinois history, typed and combined with photographs in binders. He published many articles and booklets on local history, as well as a compilation in 1950 of Hauberg family history beginning with his grandfather John D. Hauberg and his German heritage, entitled A Midwestern Family. In 1953, Hauberg received the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History for his contributions to historical writing.
John Henry Hauberg attended the Eighth Hauberg Family Reunion at Archie Allen Camp on September 4, 1955, with fifty-seven other members of his family. He died nine days later on September 13, 1955, in Lutheran Hospital, Moline, Illinois, after an extended illness. He is buried at Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island, next to his wife.
written and compiled on the 125th anniversary of his birth, November 22, 1994, from John Henry Hauberg: Lawyer, Civic Worker, Historian, reprinted from the Encyclopedia of American Biography (New York: American Historical Co., Inc., 1940.); John H. Hauberg, "The Standing Bear," by O. Fritiof Ander, reprinted from the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Summer, 1952; and John H. Hauberg, 1869-1955: A Memorial, privately printed by John H. Hauberg, Jr., and Catherine Hauberg Sweeney; A Midwestern Family, John H. Hauberg, editor (privately printed); "Fifty Years of Hiking" with the Black Hawk Hiking Club 1920-1970, by Agnes J. Koerber (privately printed).
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