New Yorker hopes to find family of former Telegram general manager

Britta Husack hopes to share her family's gratitude for help received in Germany after World War II.

Copies of the Superior Telegram. (Jed Carlson / 2020 File /

Britta Husack of New York is on a mission: To find the family of Clough Gates, a former general manager of the Superior Telegram who worked for the paper for more than 50 years.

Gates started his career with the Telegram in 1899 as a reporter. He eventually became the executive editor before being named the general manager.

In addition to his work at the Telegram, Gates served four years as a member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and as a regent at Superior State College, known today as the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Husack said he was the general manager of the newspaper in 1953 when he helped out her family in Germany after World War II. Her father, who was a child when the war ended, discovered the letter among his father’s papers, she said.

RELATED: Artifacts posted to Superior Facebook page connect woman to her late father Mary Hyatt received pins and medals belonging to her late father Gerald Haack, thanks to Superior historians and community members.


RELATED: Superior, Douglas County veterans featured in online 'Listening to War' collection The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center contributed 128 of the 501 oral histories.

“The letter was written in German … the grammar wasn’t like really correct, but it was really cute and typed up on a typewriter,” Husack said. “And he said that I hope you can use this little check for your family. My grandfather also wrote on the letter that he had received a parcel, like a care package or something before. It didn’t say specifically what they sent.”

She said her family struggled after the war because they had lost everything, but many Americans helped Germans with care packages and money after the war.

“I just want to thank the descendants if that is still possible ... He was apparently already 76-years-old at the time he wrote the letter,” Husack said. “I think it’s easier for me to try to thank someone because my father lives in Germany and he doesn’t speak English, but I live in New York now.”

In her quest, Husack said she learned he had been married to Mabelle Favell Gates through a UWS scholarship she found online, but the website didn’t include any information about descendants. She found him mentioned among the materials held at the Library of Congress, but when she called, she learned it was closed because of the pandemic, she said.

Anyone with information about the descendants of Clough and Mabelle Gates can contact the Superior Telegram at 715-395-5022 or email .

What To Read Next
Get Local