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DeMers was born in Rice Lake, Wisconsin on March 3rd, 1915. He had 6 brothers and 6 sisters. All 13 lived to be to adults. 1 of his brothers became a priest; 2 of his sisters became nuns. He jokes that the rest of the kids foundered. The town was small. They had different kinds of livestock. The food helped in the Depression. He remembers his dad working for 10 cents an hour. During the evening DeMers had to milk cows and take care of livestock. He recalls an incident where his house caught on fire. They had to get an apartment after that. Prior to the fire his old house had an outhouse; when his dad rebuilt the house it was remodeled with an inside toilet. DeMers was the first 1 in his family to finish high school. He had to pay his own expenses for school. His older brother owned a filling station and he worked for his brother. He would get 2 dollars for half a week of work. He also worked at a canning company and made 16 cents an hour.In 1933 he got 35 cents an hour. He worked at a store packing merchandise for a wholesaler. When he turned 18 he joined the National Guard. He earned 1 dollar a day. He enjoyed the National Guard. Demers helped regulate the milk strike of 1934. They learned riot drill. They never had to use their riot busting skills. DeMers went on a train another time from Milwaukee to Kohler, Wisconsin to break up a riot. The country was divided into 4 armies in 1936. The 2nd Army had maneuvers on Lake Michigan. When DeMers outfit crossed the lake they were in a simulated convoy with small fishing boats acting as the escort.
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