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Naturalization Papers
The article below appeared in "The Sidney Journal", May 21, 1897

A letter was received Monday by Emory Mumford, Master of Temperance Lodge No. 73, F. and A.M., from one Laurids Mikkelsen, asking assistance in obtaining another copy of Mikkelsen’s naturalization papers, his first ones being lost. He wrote from the Sailors’ Home, in Liverpool, England, and said that while serving as a marine engineer he had been wrecked, and had lost all his effects, the papers included.

Mikkelsen had already written to Probate Judge J.M. Staley, under date of February 27, from Drogheda, Ireland, as follows:

Kindly furnish me with a copy of my naturalization papers, as it will be impossible for me to land in the United States without them. I was wrecked in Dunlough Bay, southwest coast of Ireland, the 23rd of this month. Be kind enough to address said papers to Laurids Mikkelsen, General Postoffice, London, England. The papers in question were issued in 1881 to me by your court, it being a minor’s certificate of citizenship, on the oath of my right worthy friend, John E. Bush.

This letter sufficiently explains the purpose for which the papers were desired. Mikkelsen wishes to return to this country, but the sea having swallowed up all his property, he would be prevented from landing by the law prohibiting pauper immigration, unless he could prove his citizenship.

The Probate Judge was unable to find the record, so did not answer the letter, and hence the appeal to the Lodge, Mikkelsen being a Mason. Another search was then made, and the record was discovered. Mikkelsen was naturalized August 9, 1881, by Probate Judge W.C. Wyman. He was born in Denmark, December 18, 1853, and came to this country August 18, 1870. John E. Bush, of Orange Township, made oath of his residence.

Mikkelsen worked at two different times for Mr. Bush - the last being eight or nine years ago. He was brought up in Indiana, but has roved all over the world. His calling is that of a stationary or marine engineer, and for awhile he was an engineer on the Pennsylvania railway, but was discharged on account of his recklessness. The papers were sent to him.

'Immigration' segment written in November, 1997 by David Lodge


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