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Maurice Cusick

Maurice CusickForestry Pioneer

Maurice Cusick was born in 1909 in Vermillion South Dakota. He started with State Forestry on April 15, 1928, and retired on April 24, 1975. He moved from laborer to packer to brush foreman to CCC enrollee to CCC foreman.

In 1931, a forest fire struck his family homestead and destroyed it. "Our house burned, the posts and fence around the yard burned, and there weren't even any ashes left from the post hole. You could see the prints of the knots right in the clay where they had burned out just red like a brick. My mother did manage to get all the clothes and bedding out of the house, and she threw them in the well and covered the well with boards. The well was dry and the clothes and all the bedding burned up. When I cleaned the well I suppose I took a bushel basketful of nothing ubt buttons out of there."

This event may have influenced Cusick's career choice as he was named Firewarden in the Stillwater State Forest in April of 1936, a job he held until 1952. After a short stint with the Diamond Match Company, he was again named Forest Firewarden in December 1954, and served in that capacity until 1967, when he was named Supervisor at the Swan River State Forest in charge of the Swan River Youth camp operations from 1968 to 1975. He was married and had two children.

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