SETTLEMENT, TOWNS AND VILLAGES.
TOWN of Kaukauna.–The first white occupant of the territory, now Outagamie county, was Dominique Ducharme, who about 1790 or 1798 established himself on the bank of the Fox river, at what is now Kaukauna. Ducharme, though said to have begun clearing and making a farm, had Indian trading for his main purpose, and his settlement was not permanent. He secured Indian title to a large body of land, fronting on the river, extending back nearly three miles northwest. Several years later, probably 1817, Augustin Grignon, purchased of the Indians a similar tract in this locality, a part of which was of the land sold by them to Ducharme. This claim was patented to Grignon who occupied it permanently and engaged in the Indian trade there and at other points until his death. His son, Charles A., continued the business until the removal of the Indians and with his brothers, Paul and Alexander, took a prominent part in the town of Kaukaulan, which at that time included all of the inhabited portion of what is now Outagamie county.
“While at Kaukauna Charles A. Grignon, who was a passenger on the Bay City, pointed out to us a modest looking log house near the canal, and informed us that fifty-two years ago (1809?) he was born there. Half a century! What thoughts crowd the historical chamber of memory! Where are those who then peopled what is now Wisconsin? That little band of emigrants; that band of pioneers! Where are they? Only a few linger on earth.” (Cor. Crescent, August 17, 1861.)
The government had brought the Stockbridge Indians to Wisconsin and they and the Munsees were occupying the south side of the river opposite Kaukauna. In 1823 Rev. Cadle established a mission among them. These Indians carried on farming to the extent of raising large quantities of corn, potatoes and small grain. A Presbyterian missionary succeeded Rev. Mr. Cadle and died in the work. In 1837 Rev. Father Theodore J. Van den Broek established a Catholic mission among the Menominees at Little Chute, finding in the field of his labors a few whites, among whom were the Grignons already mentioned. Paul H. Beaulieu, his wife, his son Bazil H. and a daughter. Paul Beaulieu settled on the south side of the river in 1835, where he had purchased from the government the saw and grist mill erected to supply the Stockbridges with flour and lumber and, lots 5, 6, 7, 8, section 21, town 21, range 18. In this purchase he was associated with James M. Boyd who, the following year, sold his interest to Bazil H. Beaulieu, and returned to Green Bay. Raphael St. Mary, Mons. Rentier, and Roland Garner followed to this settlement.
Joseph Lamure also purchased land south of the river about the same time, but not succeeding in getting patents at once, remained in Green Bay until July, 1839, when he, with his family, settled on the south half of lots 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, now in Buchanan. His family consisted of Mary, Josephine, William and Charles Lamure and an adopted son, Amable Asselin. “Roland Garner, a Stockbridge from Canada,” says Alex. Grignon, “had a big farm at Combined Locks as early as he could remember.” Garner’s Landing was in the little bay near the Combined Locks station of the Northwestern Railway. Roman H. Beaulieu, a brother of Paul H., came to Kaukaulan probably with Paul, a single man who married after joining the settlement. James Porlier bought of the government the land now occupied by the roundhouse in South Kaukauna. He was a native of Green Bay educated in Canada, came probably about the same time as Beaulieu. Oliver Lemay was a millwright and worked in the Beaulieu mills. N. B. Desmarteau a Canadian settled in Kaukauna very early.”
Ephriam St. Louis came to Green Bay, October 26, 1836, and later decided to move up Fox river. Entrusting his worldly effects, together with his family, to a canoe he worked his way to Little Chute, arriving in the fall of 1838, after a four days’ voyage. He first put up a, temporary dwelling and claimed a quarter section at Kaukalin or Kaukauna and found there the following settlers, their chief business was trading with the Indians. Charles A. Grignon, Paul Ducharme, Jaques Paullier and Paul Beaulieu. In Little Chute Rev. T. J. Vanden Broek lived with and taught a large number of Menominee Indians. His improvements were a log church, bark covered, built by the Indians. The year 1839 marked the coming of George W. Lawe to Kaukauna, where he owned the Ducharme tract. He found here Charles A. Grignon, Ephriam St. Louis, James Porlier, Joseph Lamure, Paul H. Beaulieu and a few Germans. The mode of transporting merchandise in those days was by Durham boats, manned by workmen who poled them up the river to Grand Chute, portaging the rapids.
In the ’30s and again in the ’40s the town of “Kaukalan” was organized as a portion of Brown county, and included more than all the inhabited area of Outagamie county, notably that portion of Brown county in which Wrightstown is now located, whose founder, Hoel S. Wright, settling about 1833, identified himself so intimately with the interests and development of the settlement and the organization of Kaukauna that mention of him is due.
The town records of Kaukalan gave procedure of organization as follows: “Grand Cakalin, April 7, 1842. The electors of the town of Kaukaulan met at the house of Paul H. Beaulieux (Beaulieu) on Tuesday the fifth day of April, A. D. 1842, in accordance with a notice of the clerk of the Board of County Commissioners of Brown county, Wiskonsin Territory, and the law, authorizing the same therein cited. When they organized by appointing Hoel S. Wright, moderator; and Bazile H. Beaulieux, clerk; who were duly sworn to the faithful discharge of their duty. When on motion it was, Resolved, That the different town officers to be elected to serve for the ensuing year in the town, be chosen by taking the ayes and noes, whereupon the undermentioned persons were elected to the several offices designated, viz.: Charles A. Grignon, chairman; Paul H. Beaulieux and Hoel S. Wright, supervisors; Alexander Grignon, town clerk; George W. Lawe, treasurer; Bazile H. Beaulieux, collector; Joseph Lemieux (Lamure?), George W. Lawe and Lewis Crofoot, commissioners of highway; Hoel S. Wright and Alexander Grignon, assessors; Henry B. Kelso, Charles A. Grignon and G. W. Lawe, commissioners of schools; Lewis Crowfoot, sealer of weights and measures; Lewis Gravelle and Lewis Crowfoot, constables; Joseph Lemieux, Charles Maites, Alonzo D. Dick and Alex. Grignon, overseers of highway; Paul I. Beaulieux, Joseph Lemieux and Charles Maites, town viewers; Rowland Gardner (Garner), pound master. On motion resolved that there be a tax of one-fourth of one per-centum raised for a school fund; on motion, Resolved, That the Board of Supervisors be, and they are hereby authorized to establish the compensation of the several town officers for the ensuing year, where compensation is not established by law; on motion, Resolved, That for the ensuing year the town be governed by the Acts of the revised statutes of Wiskonsin, which relate to fences, their height, etc., and on motion; Resolved, That the next annual meeting be held at the house of George W. Lawe, and then the meeting adjourned sine die.”
The Louis Crofoot mentioned as highway commissioner, lived six or eight years on the Meade’s farm in Buchanan. Henry B. Kelso who was elected a school commissioner established a farm in section 7 back of Kaukauna at an early day; his son is still residing there. Lewis Gravelle, the constable-elect, lived in section 23, now in the village limits of Little Chute. Charles Maites lived about a mile from Wrightstown and Alonzo D. Dick kept probably the first tavern in Wrightstown; both were highway overseers. These men were all early comers and helped lay the foundation of the county.
At a special town meeting July 23, 1842, $200 was voted for a contingent fund and $24 for support of the poor.
In the fall of 1842 a party of German immigrants consisting of ten families and three unmarried young men came to Garners Landing. The families were those of John J. Dietzler, Peter Dietrick, Jacob Pauly, Michael Klein, John P. Heinz, P. H. Rausch, J. P. Schumaker, Mr. Frevel, John Kloefel, Anton Heuser, and the unmarried men were Mathias Klein, John Snyder and Jacob Snyder.
There was not at this time a road in that portion of the town now in Outagamie county and to these settlers, who were mostly traders and voyageurs, the river was the principal highway and means of intercourse. A military road had been cut out and made passable after the Sauk war about 1833 and the Stockbridges had trails or roads, portions of which were later established as highways are still in use.
The first road survey is recorded July 11, 1844, “beginning at a stake in the west side of the military road, three miles and a half southwest from Hall S. Wright’s house and extends southwesterly to the town line of township 21, range 18.”
George W. Lawe in a letter to the Pioneer Association says: “When I arrived in Kaukauna (1839), I found it a veritable wilderness, there were no roads and no way of traveling except on Indian trails or by water. Green Bay was our source of supplies and I was very desirous of opening wagon communication with that place. I went down to see Mr. Wright, the founder of Wrightstown, five miles down the river, he was a particular friend of mine, and had settled there four or five years before. I wanted him to run a ferry across the river so that we could reach the military road running from Green Bay to Fond du Lac. This he agreed to do if I would open a road from Kaukauna. to his ferry. I pledged my word I would do so at once. Much pleased in making such arrangement, the next day I called on my neighbor and laid the matter before him for approval, expecting him to aid me, but to my surprise I found he was opposed to any such radical change. He said: ‘My father lived a good many years in Kaukauna and had no wagon road to Green Bay; he got along very well by traveling on horseback or afoot and I guess I can do the same.’ Not to be overcome by this exhibition of conservatism, I resolved to try the head Menominee chief at Little Chute, Tyometaw, and see if he would not aid me. He summoned his young men to council and addressed them stating that they were all good Catholics and had adopted the customs of the white people and that I considered them citizens of the United States and perhaps they would be entitled to vote in a few years. As we were obliged to obey the laws of our country and spend two days working out our poll tax on roads, I told them I thought they ought to do the same, and I asked them to help me open a road to Wrightstown so that we could travel to Green Bay. The old chief got up and said that they must obey the laws of the country and further that it would be of great benefit to them to have such a road built. The young men answered, ‘Yes, we will go.’ The next day I had about fifty Indians to help me; in two days we had the road cut out. The next week we all worked together again and cut the road to Appleton. In these days of steam cars one cannot realize what a blessing such roads were to us. Yet they were not worked-out highways, but trails wide enough for wagons, from which logs and under brush were cut and removed.”
After the town organization was effected a number of other German and French families settled in the vicinity of Little Chute and Kaukauna in the four or five succeeding years, coming singly or in groups of a few families, and it was probably during this interval the French settlement was formed in the vicinity of what is now the northeast corner of the town of Grand Chute. Among them were Raphael St. Marie, who lived on the McGuire road, section 12; Joseph St. Marie, Moses Boudouloir, Joseph de Marche, who lived on the French road; Emile, Joseph and Adolph Brouillard, Henry Louis and George Bissonette, Henry, Francis and Lisaret Van de Bogert in section 7, and others in Grand Chute. Benjamin Done, a Frenchman, came from Canada before the Hollanders arrived and built the first hotel in Little Chute. He started a farm near Wrightstown and then kept tavern. John Diederick came before the Hollanders and settled in what is now town Van den Broek; Joseph Hoffman came to the same town about the same time as the Hollanders. Matthias Oert came unmarried from Germany about the same time as the Kleins; Peter Renn early settled in Buchanan; Gabriel Brunette lived above Little Chute opposite Kimberly, early as 1840 or before; Francois Palladoux, a native of the “Soo,” came about 1840-45; Francois Mellotte came 1846 or before from Canada, married and lived at Little Chute; Paul Thyboux was married when he came 1840-45, lived opposite Kimberly about the same time; Joseph Trudell came from Canada to Little Chute; Joseph Brouillard settled in Grand Chute; Thomas H. Clark, who settled on what is now Dr. Lord’s farm in Van den Broek, was one of the early Irishmen; Oliver Le Court came early and ran Meade’s farm in Buchanan; Moses Poquette lived on the Buchanan side below Combined Locks in the later ’40s; Anton Loth came with the first Germans unmarried, settled in Buchanan; Henry Shearer, another early German, a mason by trade, settled before 1848 in Buchanan, later in Kaukauna; M. Crevier was an early comer to Buchanan; Michael P. Caulfield, an early teacher at Little Chute, was there in 1849; Peter La Fond kept the second tavern in Little Chute.
About 1843 the Menominees were removed to Lake Poygan, taking from Little Chute the greater number of Father Van den Broek’s pupils and converts. Though the country was being settled with new parishioners, being fully persuaded of the grand opportunities offered in this region, he set about establishing a colony of his countrymen. In 1847 he returned to Holland, remaining until early next spring, extolling the advantages offered to emigrants to Wisconsin, and a number of families came with him, and many more during that year 1848. Among them, according to George W. Lawe, were Jacob Appleman, C. A. Hamer, Martin Gerrits, Herman Johnson, Theodore Johnson, J. C. Van Niel, Fred Speel, and others followed until in 1879 there was no land within reaching distance of the church and they went to Nebraska. Of these Alex Grignon says Appleman lived in Little Chute and was prominent in the affairs of the village, town and county. Martin Gerrets was a teacher and lived in Little Chute until his death. Another Martin Gerrits was a farmer back of Little Chute. C. A. Hamer was at first most of the time a teacher and lived at Little Chute. The first or second spring following his arrival he was elected supervisor, was later a county official, and was a leader among the Hollanders from the beginning of the colony. Jacob Van Niel, “the Flying Dutchman,” lived in Little Chute. The Speels settled section 31, Buchanan.
Mr. Grignon, who was acquainted with most of the early comers, French, German, Irish, Hollanders and Yankees, identifies the following as being of the Hollander colonists who came in 1848 and who settled in what is now Little Chute village or town of Van den Broek: Theodore Jansen, John Derks, John Van Asten, Hubert Wyenberg, Peter Servass, John Tillman, Cornelius Hendricks, Nickolas and Martin van Gompel, Martin van den Heyden, Henry Leppens, Martin Gloudemans, Cornelius Geisbers, Henry and John Weyenberg, Matthias Hendricks, Theodore van den Oudenhaven, John and Henry Heitpas, John van Molle, John van Dommelin, Martin Gerrits, William and Peter Ebben, John Everts, Arnold van Handel, Henry Roosen, Joseph Forster, John van Lieshout, Martin Joosten, Walter and William Joosten, John Enright, Henry Bougers, John Geisbers, Henry Verhagen, John van der Wyst, commonly called John West, Peter Leurs, Martin Campon, John Campon and John Verstegen. Gerhard Koenen came 1848 to Buchanan; Steven Sanders came alone not long after the colony; Peter Boots arrived before Sanders and kept store with Van der Heuvel.
Jacob Van den Linden came in 1848, later lived in Appleton, then moved to Oconto. John Bergen came from Canada, married at Little Chute and later lived in Appleton. Isaac Hurning settled in section 8, Van den Broek, 1849-50; Anthony came about 1850 to Little Chute; Arnold Terstegen came a few years after the colony and also lived in the village. Arnold Hurkmans lived on Freedom road, Vandenbroek; Francis van Camp came after the colony to Little Chute; Robert Mitchell settled back of Kaukauna about 1850; Jacob Fey came early with his parents to Kaukauna. After the father’s death the family moved out. John Hunt was early in Kaukauna, where his son kept the first store after the Grignon trading post. Chauncey Knapp was in Kaukauna before 1852, and about the same time McNeill MeMeloney, after working for a time on canal improvement, settled on a farm back of Kaukauna. His brother-in-law, McNowlen, came about the same time. A. C. Black was one of the first land speculators in Kaukauna, and had extensive holdings in various towns in the county. Peter Rademaker settled at Combined Locks in Buchanan; Phillips also came about 1848. Martin McCormick settled on a farm about a mile from Kaukauna. Thomas Robinson lived in Kaukauna. Alfred Aspinall settled in Buchanan, later in town Kaukauna, finally removing to Appleton. John Van den Linden went to Appleton. All these had come before September, 1852.
At the annual town meeting April 1, 1845, the moderator and clerk proceeded to receive votes for town officers. The act authorizing the voters of Brown county to change the system of their county government, and the act authorizing the supervisors of Brown county to raise money for certain improvements and for other purposes were considered. * * * On the question of county government the ayes were two votes and the noes 21. On the question of road tax the ayes were 22 and noes none. A committee to make nominations of officers for the ensuing year was appointed. They were elected as follows: Charles A. Grignon, Alexander Grignon and David P. Meade, supervisors; Alex Grignon, clerk; George W. Lawe, treasurer; Hoel S. Wright, assessor. Twenty-three votes were cast at this election, and the following year nineteen voters registered, the majority of whom were not favorable to state government, in the proportion of 13 against to 6 favorable. The question of road tax was again submitted, and as before was favorably regarded, 18 votes favoring and 1 opposing. The town meeting of 1847 had to consider local affairs only.
The poll list for 1848 contains 19 names, none of which were connected with the settlement at Appleton; therefore the separation of township 21, range 17, and townships 21 and 22, ranges 16 and 15, which were organized into the town of Grand Chute, April, 1849, did not materially affect the voters or official lists of Kaukaulan. A few officers had been elected from the territory now known as Freedom, which with what is now embraced in Center, was set off from Kaukaulan into the old town of Lansing, and organized September 12, 1849.
The elections and town meetings of Kaukaulan had been generally held at Grignon’s store at “Grand Kaukaulan,” but in 1850 Michael P. Caulfield, a resident of Little Chute, was elected clerk, and the town meeting of April, 1851, was held “at the town clerk’s office, Nepomuc, Little Chute, town of Kaukauna, Outagamie county.” Nepomuc is said to have been the name selected by Rev. Van den Broek for the village he platted at Little Chute, but after his death, fall of 1851, it fell into disuse. The county had just been created, and on the question of locating the county seat, Little Chute received 90 votes, Grand Chute six, “southeast quarter, section 6, 21, 19” received one vote, and the geographical center two, indicating a voting population of 99.
The town of Kaukauna comprised township 21 north, range 18 east, and the west half of township 21 north, range 19 east. Fox river ran through the town and much of the river improvements were upon its borders. Rapide Croche, Kaukauna, Little Chute and Cedar Rapids were the points where dams and locks were constructed and where an immense water power was secured. By 1857 there were three villages in the town: Springville, Kaukauna and Little Chute. This town was noted already for its Sulphur Springs, which had become popular. The Green Bay, Appleton and Madison Railway was projected through this town.
At the January session of the county board in 1858 two new townships were projected. Kaukauna was divided and a strip of territory a section and a half wide north of Fox river in town 18 was attached to Grand Chute and all south of the river was formed into a new town to be called Buchanan. The first town meeting was ordered held April 1, at the school house in District No. 6 of the existing town of Kaukauna.
The little village of Synderville, situated near Kaukauna, was the center of a new and excellent agricultural district in 1863. It came rapidly to the front by its thrift and increased population. Stores and shops were already there, and the village seemed destined for a large and substantial growth. In the fall of 1868 the town of Kaukauna was divided into two polling districts, the new one being at the schoolhouse at Little Chute. This arrangement was quite an accommodation to voters living in the western part of the town. In August, 1868, Daniel Trerice shot and killed a large deer in the town of Kaukauna, only a short distance from Appelton. He shot and badly wounded a smaller one, but did not succeed in catching it.
In 1868, according to John Jansen, there were living in the present town of Kaukauna Charles McCartey, Mr. Aspinall, John McGregor, Martin and Michael McCormick, Owen Daly, Dennis McCarty, Peter Rademaker, William Limay and John Limay (or Lambie), Mike Meloney, Peter Diederick, Mike Derks, Joe Duce and Mr. Kelso. Some of them had good farms, well improved. Several of the McDaniels came about this time.
In 1902, at the April session of the county board of supervisors, an ordinance was passed dividing the town of Kaukauna and creating the town of Vandenbroek, the line of partition was the range line between ranges 18 and 19, the eastern subdivision to continue as Kaukauna, the western to be organized as Vandenbroek.
The village of Little Chute, on the left bank of the Fox river, about five miles below Appleton and two miles above Kaukauna, dates its existence as a village settlement from the coming of the Hollander colonists, many of whom settled near the church. The village plat was made about that time for M. L. Martin, T. J. Vandenbroek and Ephriam St. Louis, and is described as “situated partly on section 21 and partly on section 22, township 21 north, range 18 east. The first settlement was made by Rev. Father Theodore J. Van den Broek, who after being some years at Green Bay, went twenty-four miles up the Fox river into the woods, to the Indians at Little Chute, then called La Petite Chute, where he designed missionary work among the natives. There were no habitations of whites, and to shelter the missionary Indian women built him a hut, or wigwam, of bark. It was about fifteen feet long and six feet high and was finished in half a day. In this he lived and began his teaching, using his wigwam for both house and church from Pentecost until the following October, 1837. His efforts were immediately successful and he soon had a congregation of fifty, who heard mass in the open air, and not long after the number had increased to 200. That summer with the help of his converts he built a log church, twenty-two feet wide, thirty feet long, roofed with bark. Joists were laid to receive a floor. The church was built without money and there were no boards for floor or seats, so the joists were made to serve as benches. The following year the floor was covered with boards, and a board roof took the place of the bark.
The first school house was built about 1844, near the new church grounds in Little Chute. The building was put up by the settlers, and teachers’ wages and board paid by the missionary. The settlers, few in number, could not meet the expenses; the school was attended by five or six scholars.
“My congregation this year,” writes Father Van den Broek, 1843, “numbers six hundred souls and the church is finished. . . . Last year Rt. Rev. Bishop Lefevre honored me with a visit; with cross and banner my Indians went in procession to meet him, and we sang on his arrival ‘Ecce Sacerdos Magnus,’ and other hymns in their language till we reached the church. Next day seventy received the sacrament of confirmation. At high mass all sang in their own language the Kyrie Eleison, Gloria, and in the afternoon, Vespers, likewise in the Indian language. You never heard finer harmony than the Indians sang in Gregorian chant. The Indians come to school to me every day to learn to read and write, as well as the different trades. * * * The land on which I live, La Petite Chute, is a very pleasant place, where on my arrival all was woods. I can now sow one hundred bushels of grain.”
Rev. Mr. Yocum, in February, 1854, held two days of religious services at Kaukauna, there being a large attendance for that time. Little Chute was made a postoffice March 1854, and Peter Maas was appointed postmaster. In March, 1854, the Catholic Church at Little Chute, which for some time had been without a pastor, was supplied by an appointment of Very Rev. Bishop Henni.
“Little Chute.–This village, six miles east of Appleton, is the focus of a large settlement of Hollanders who are improving the country and acquiring a competency. Some twenty-five families have been added to the population of Little Chute and vicinity within the past month and we are informed that they expect at least fifty families to join them during the summer.”–(Crescent, June 10, 1854.)
The improvement of the river at Little Chute by June, 1854, was nearly completed. A large number of men had been at work there for some time. Little Chute was one of the first settlements above Green Bay. It was the location of the Catholic Mission and had a large population of Hollanders in 1854. During the early part of the year large accessions to the settlement there were made. It was one of the busiest villages on the lower Fox river and occupied a beautiful location, and the adjacent towns were selling rapidly.
“A party of forty-three Hollanders passed through our village on Thursday afternoon, bound for the neighboring township of Kaukauna. We suppose they have located near the village of Little Chute.”–(Crescent, August, 1854.)
In May, 1856, four Germans were drowned at Little Chute. A party of seven attempted to cross the river just above the dam. The boat capsized and they were carried over the dam and only three of the seven were saved. Those drowned, as remembered by Mr. Coenen, were Jacob Snyder, Philip Palm, Andrew Hartsom and his son, Michael. In February, 1861, the Catholic church at Little Chute was supplied temporarily by Rev. Mr. Speahrings, who hitherto had been stationed in Brown county. The Catholics of Little Chute in February, 1861, tendered him a donation visit and left substantial evidences of their regard for his services. A procession of horsemen bearing banners and wearing scarfs passed through Appleton escorting Rev. Mr. Speahrings to his new home. The streets at Little Chute were spanned with evergreen arches inscribed with appropriate mottoes. The church was tastily trimmed and many of the buildings were decorated. Early in May, 1861, the farmers of Little Chute invited their brethren in other parts of the county to meet with them the same month for the purpose of holding a series of stock fairs during the coming summer. Every one interested in good stock was asked to be present.
Early in 1862 a new flouring mill was planned to be built at Little Chute by John Verstegen; it was 36×50 feet and four stories high with two run of stone. The Zeeland Mills are still running, in 1911.
Early in 1863 large numbers of Hollanders settled in the vicinity of Little Chute. They were welcomed by the citizens and soon were in comfortable circumstances. Early in 1863 they began the erection of a new church. The structure was designed to be built of wood, but to have a stone foundation. In April, 1864, a mob at Little Chute destroyed the saloon and liquor kept by Mary Enright, a widow. They chopped the building to pieces with axes and then destroyed the house and contents by fire. The property burned was worth about $1,000. Later the county was compelled in a suit to make good the damage thus done. The Catholics of Little Chute, through the efforts of Father Spearling, began the erection of a new church edifice during the summer of 1864. The building was designed to be 44×110 feet. In September, 1864, the bridge across the river at Little Chute was finished and the people of Little Chute in general and John Verstegen in particular were given praise for the completion of this needed work. It added much to the manufacturing and milling facilities at Little Chute and was a great convenience to people there and at Appleton.
In the fall of 1865 the Catholics of Little Chute circulated a subscription to raise money with which to purchase an organ for their church. A goodly and sufficient amount was subscribed. The Catholic church in process of erection in Little Chute in 1867, under the superintendency of Thomas O’Keefe of Appleton, promised to be the largest religious edifice in northeastern Wisconsin. It was suggested that it would be transformed into a cathedral for the new bishop of Green Bay. Late in April, 1868, the store and dwelling house of Peter Boots at Little Chute was destroyed by fire. The loss was about $3,000, a portion of which was insured.
The cornerstone of the Catholic church at Little Chute was laid early in August, 1868, by Right Reverend Joseph Melcher, Bishop of Green Bay. At 9 o’clock the procession moved to the new church building. It consisted of the children, followed by the Bishop, the clergy, members of different societies and the mass of the people, all carrying banners and badges; the Appleton Cornet Band headed the procession. The Bishop performed the ceremonies in the usual imposing manner. The exercises consisted principally in blessing the place where the high altar was to be, where the corner stone was, and lastly the foundation of the church. In the cornerstone was placed a box of zinc, containing numerous relics. At this time Rev. A. J. Verberek was pastor of the Catholic church at that place. There were present Rev. F. E. Daems, B. DeGoey, Rev. H. Hoeffen, Rev. W. A. Verboort. The latter preached an eloquent sermon during the day.
The village of Little Chute was incorporated in 1899, with John A. Kilsdonk president, H. J. Mollen, H. J. Verstegen, Henry Wyenberg, George Van den Berg, James Gerrits and John Molitor, trustees; John De Bruin, clerk; John Lamers, treasurer. The officers at once set about public improvements and as a result can probably show more miles of good sidewalks and good roads than any other village in the county. The village has a good engine house and council rooms, an outfit of fire fighting appliances, and a good school building, in which both the grade and a high school course are taught.
Though located on an interurban railway having hourly service, and but a few minutes’ ride from either Appleton or Kaukauna, Little Chute has as many prosperous business houses as commonly found in a village of its size, some of the stocks being exceptionally complete. December 4, 1906, the Bank of Little Chute was organized as a state bank, with a capital of $15,000. The officers were H. J. Verstegen, president; William Geenen, vice-president; P. A. Gloudemans, cashier, who with H. J. Mollen and Dr. Doyle constitute the directorate since the beginning. H. J. Stark is assistant cashier. The bank has prospered throughout its history, has a surplus in 1911 of $3,750, and is recognized as one of the most substantial institutions in this section. In the rear room is the postoffice.
The Valley Advocate of Little Chute made its initial appearance July 22, 1910, an eight-page, six-column, newspaper, published by F. G. Shirley, who has recently been appointed postmaster.
The present village officers are P. A. Gloudemans, president; Walter Wildenberg, John Williamsen, John Lom, George Heessackers and Barney Hietpas, trustees; Anton Jansen, clerk; Martin De Bruin, treasurer.
In 1902 the town of Kaukauna was divided, by action of the county board of supervisors, on the line between ranges 18 and 19, that portion lying in range 18 becoming a new town called Vandenbroek. At the first election, held May 13, 1902, the officers selected were Martin Weyenberg, chairman; Wenzel Heindl and Anton J. Vandenberg, supervisors; Anton A. Heitpas, clerk; John A. Gloudemans, assessor; John Hendricks, treasurer. Sixty-eight voters registered at this election. At the first town meeting, $1,000 was voted for general purpose fund; $500 for a bridge on Freedom road. In 1904 a thousand dollars was appropriated for Bungers bridge over the creek and an equal amount for general purposes.
Town of Buchanan.–This town was originally heavily timbered with maple, white oak, white ash, butternut, basswood, etc. The soil was very fertile and the water abundant and good. The old Beaulieu sawmill was built by the government in 1824-6-9, by John P. Arndt of Green Bay for the use of the Stockbridge Indians, upon whose reservation it was erected. In 1839 the Beaulieu grist mill was put in operation. B. H. Beaulieu secured the saw mill in 1835.
On July 8, 1800, Dominique Ducharme sold to Paul Ducharme lot 69, on the west side of Fox river, at the foot of Grand Kaukauna, bounded by the river. In 1825 Paul sold his tract to James Duane Doty; also lot 70 and lot 87. Other French and other claims along the Fox on both sides of the river were made by the following persons, with the dates attached: Charles Hyatt, Jacques Veaux, George Fourquette, Pierre Grignon, Basile Le Rue, Theresa Rankin, Francis Meldrum, Jean Bt. Laframboise, George Johnston, Isaac Jacques. These claims were made before 1828, and all were bought by James D. Doty. Later claims were held by A. G. Ellis, S. C. Stambaugh, the Grignons, James Boyd, Paul Beaulieu, Daniel Whitney, Morgan L. Martin, Joshua Hathaway, Charles R. Brush, Basile Beaulieu, T. H. Hubbard, Ebenezer Childs, Joseph J. Porlier, William Farnsworth, Byron Kilbourn, Joel Battles, M. T. Williams, John Lawe, Lewis Eaton, Michael Macobu, Joseph Pauquette, Joseph Lamure, Moses Panquette, John P. Arndt, Thomas Green, William Beaumont, Charles Corrough, James A. Armstrong, Sylvester Sibley, Josiah R. Dorr, Henry T. Stringham, Joel Battles, John B. Langlois, Francis Denoyer, Charles Ihric, Joel S. Fisk, Richard Lud, A. H. Green, Reed Bartlett, John Hulbert, Francis T. Catlin, Anson Dart, Richard Lord, Louis Harteau (lot 1 was owned by Paul Ducharme in 1823), Samuel F. Cutter, Daniel Ruggles, John Wolf, John F. Lessey, Conrad I. Coon, Nathan Goodell, John F. Meade, E. Monjou, William Dwight and others. Several of the above lived on this land, but the majority did not, merely being temporary owners.
The town of Buchanan was created by the county board March 1, 1858. All of Kaukauna south of Fox river was made the new town. The first officers were probably B. H. Beaulieu, chairman; William Lamure and John Dietzler, supervisors; Morris Ringrow, clerk; Peter Radmaker, treasurer; B. H. Beaulieu, Michael Klein and John Cabenson, assessors; John Hunt, William Lamure, Daniel Cline and John Cabenson, justices of the peace; Peter Kline, constable. The total vote was 32.
The most of the officers figured earlier in the affairs of the town but Morris Ringrow was a recent settler and lived in the western part of Buchanan. John Hunt was also a new-comer about the time of organization; Peter Rademacker was much earlier, though not of the first Germans.
While Buchanan was yet included in Kaukauna, settlements were made by the French by 1835 and afterward; by Germans in 1842 and Hollanders in 1848, and thereafter. (See elsewhere.) By 1858 much progress had been made and the first settlement may be regarded as well advanced and the territory well occupied. Among others not mentioned elsewhere were Davey, Rohan, Dan Clune, who lived back of Beaulieu’s hill; Pat and Richard Powers and the Cobersons lived over near Holland town; H. Van de Kerkhoff and Michael Maloney lived also in eastern Buchanan; Louis Fourney lived opposite Little Chute; Cornelius, Louis and James du Bruin came with their mother and at first lived on the Meade farm; Anton Loth, a Prussian bachelor, lived near Darboy; the Palms and Phillips who settled about 1855; Peter Haupt and Jacob Jones, about 1857; Coenen, in the ’40s; Renn and Sanders early; later Michael Brill, who settled in section 23 about 1863; Maitin Van Groll, a carpenter, came in 1848 and whipsawed the lumber for Coenen’s house; his brother, Reinert Van Groll, came about a year later. In 1858 there were thirty-six men between eighteen and forty-five years of age listed fit for military duty, the next year there were sixty and in 1862 only fifty-three.
A large tract of land on the river in Buchanan was bought by capitalists in the fall of 1871, and included the Barber Smith place, B. H. Beaulieu’s home, Gardiner’s property and many other old landmarks. About $30,000 changed hands.
In the spring of 1892 the natural gas well in Buchanan attracted much attention. The pressure continued to increase. The owner used the gas to heat and light his property; he laid piping and put in burners; the gas was of a superior quality.
In 1835 Rev. Mr. Stevenson was pastor in charge of the Presbyterian Mission church of the Stockbridge Indians in Buchanan. Rev. Jesse Miner was here in 1828 and died the same year; the church was built in 1828 for these Indians. The settlers of Buchanan, as in Kaukauna, Freedom and Vandenbroek were of the Catholic faith.
On December 2, 1846, William Johnston and Henry Finch of Neenah took the contract to haul a load of goods for the first store in Neenah. On the 4th of December, with their load, they reached Lamure’s in Buchanan, where they staid all night.
A new brick church in Buchanan was dedicated in October, 1871, and in 1907 the Church of the Holy Name was established at Kimberly by Rev. Lueck of Appleton, with a membership of about 70 families; now increased to about 150. A parsonage was built in 1909. A residence is now being built for the Sisters who conduct the parochial school in the basement of the church; four teachers are employed. Rev. F. X. Van Nistelroy is pastor. A Presbyterian chapel was built in 1909 at Kimberly, under the direction of Rev. Moone of Appleton. Rev. Thomas E. Owens, who was succeeded in 1911 by Rev. Willets.
The village of Kimberly dates its origin from the establishment of the Kimberly Clark mill, 1889, near the locality known to the early settlers as the Cedars on Fox river, and was incorporated in 1910. The village has a free library, a grade school in which two teachers are employed, well improved streets, sewers and crossings, and is making strenuous efforts to secure a bridge across the Fox river, September 5, 1911. At an election to determine whether the village should bond for $12,500, 130 voters favored and two opposed the bond issue. The Kimberly Clark Company maintain a foot bridge across the river and a free ferry on the canal, and during the seven months’ navigation season, 1910, registered in round numbers 93,000 passengers, using the ferry only during the hours 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is claimed the number who crossed on the lock gates would easily make the total 100,000. The population of the village at incorporation was 613. The first village officers were: Dr. C. G. Maes, president; W. W. Johnson, Fred Kroenka, Anton Bos, Walter van den Elsen, John Guilfoil and Charles Werth, trustees; Victor Viaene, clerk; Jacob Verboten, assessor; James Kraun, treasurer; John J. Fox, marshal; George Roschek and Jacob Williams, justices; S. R. Stilp, supervisor. The same officers were reelected in 1911, except that William Lemmel and Henry Stuyvenberg were elected trustees instead of Guilford and Werth.
Town of Grand Chute.– At the organization of the town of Kaukauna there were perhaps a few settlers in the northeastern part of what is now Grand Chute. During the six years following to 1848, several more came to that vicinity, forming the French settlement. Of these Raphael St. Marie was probably first. Bela B. Murch came to Grand Chute June, 1846, and bought land, which was entered June 29, in section 33. He, however, resided in Wrightstown until fall, when he built a shanty and moved in. His nearest neighbor was Burr S. Craft, whose land entry was made June 6 in section 33. The following year Mr. Murch built a frame house, and December 9, 1847, a son was born, who was thought to have been the first white child of American parents born in the county. This claim may be disputed by Charles A. Abbott, who, it is said, was born December 8, 1845, in Freedom. Burr S. Craft moved to Lecos Point, adjoining Murch, December of the same year. After building his house he went to Neenah for lime, which he brought in a bag on his shoulder. Returning that evening he was chased by the wolves. When he reached Mud Creek, which he had to cross on a log, felled for the purpose, the wolves were so near he got frightened, threw his bag into the creek, rushed to Murch’s house and yelled: “Maybe you like that music, but d—d if I do.” Obid T. Boynton, brother of Mrs. Murch, settled about 1847 in section 32. An elderly Frenchman, Retette Grignon, lived near the Grand Chute, which then swarmed with fish.
In the winter of 1847-8 Henry L. Blood had ten acres cleared in section 26, which was sowed to wheat, the first in town. A breaking outfit used in Grand Chute was a huge plow with a keen sloping coulter, drawn by twelve big oxen. With this outfit the roots of hazel and other brush were plowed out, the stumps of saplings removed and good sized roots of larger trees cut off and torn out. The men engaged in chopping for Blood boarded with Bela Murch, about two and one-half miles away, and carried their dinners to the clearing. One day while eating, the wolves drove them away.
Ezra L. Thurber, said to have been the first settler within the city limits of Appleton, came and established a claim in the spring of 1848, and built a shanty across the ravine west of what was later Pierce’s Park, and the first child born in the city, says H. L. Blood, was his son and was born in January, 1849. Revs. Sampson and Smith and H. L. Blood, with Hoel S. Wright, surveyor, laid out the plat of Appleton, August 4 and 5, 1848, located in township 21, range 17, section 26, as follows: East half of southwest quarter, west half of southeast quarter and 31 acres of east half of northwest quarter of section 35, lying north of Fox river. Not long afterward the plat of the Town of Lawesburg was laid out by George W. Lawe, on part of fractional lot 1, section 26, and part of fractional lot 4, section 25, township 21, range 17.
The first team of oxen and the first wagon were brought by H. L. Blood, who procured them in Winnebago county, August, 1848, and set them to work drawing lumber from Oneida Mill at Duck creek, where a hundred thousand feet had been bought for the Lawrence buildings. To reach the mill he had first to open a road.
About the same time Robert R. Bateman and his son, R. S. Bateman, came with a team from Green Bay, by way of the St. Marie settlement, the last place where they could be directed to the future city. They then proceeded west to a section line which they followed south.
Hector McKay came to Grand Chute October, 1850, and settled northeast quarter section 32. F. C. Vandebogert came to Grand Chute, 1850, and in August purchased the fractional northwest quarter of section 7, township 21, range 18, Grand Chute. His brother, Henry, bought the quarter section lying south. Benjamin Proctor came in 1850, was a blacksmith and wagon maker. He is said to have built the wagon which brought the first load of lumber from Oneida. A couple of years after coming he and his son started a tool factory.
There were no roads; mail was carried on horseback once a week from Fond du Lac by way of Oshkosh and Neenah to Green Bay. Burr S. Craft secured an appointment as postmaster, and opened an office in a pine box fastened to a tree near his house at Tecos Point. In the spring of 1849 the post office was established at Appleton, with J. F. Johnston postmaster, and in July H. L. Blood began carrying the mails three times a week from Menasha, Neenah and Appleton to Green Bay, running a stage from Appleton and a row-boat from Appleton to Neenah and Menasha daily, carrying passengers and mails.
Among other early settlers were J.W. Cross, a Mr. Wotieman, D. L. Stinel, D. J. Fouler, Thomas Glede, John McGregor, P. J. Gates, Mr. Gates, A. B. Evarts, Henry S. Eggleston, John Stephens, Mr. Warner, a hunter, D. W. Briggs, William Rork, William Johnston, Anson Ballard, Rev. H. Smith, J. W. Woodward, Byron Douglas, C. G. Adkins, Winfield Scott, Frank Wing, J. W. Whorton, W. G. Whorton, Dudley Geans, John Moodie, Mr. Ford, Frederick Packard, John McPherson, Wm. Louda, Wm. M. Cloken, Isaac I. Buck, J. W. Holmes, John Ennis, E. W. Davis, Frank Bernard, S. H. Otto, W. Breitung and several sons; J. M. Steffens, George Lamphear, John H. Hart, Hanson Green, Jackson Tibbets, J. W. Wilcox, Warner B. Newton, E. L. Thurber, Aaron Messicae, F. R. Fuller, Jonathan Nye, R. A. Law, John P. Whip, John S. Eaton, A. S. Story, Otto van Heukelom, Sylvester Fairbanks, James Wood, Charles and Gideon J. Wolcott, W. May, Wm. McGuire, Arnold Beauiliout, Henry Bissonette, Hugh Sillars, John Nolan, Matthew Long, Patrick Hodgins, N. B. Crane, Richard Burke, John H. Bemis, Abram Wrongst, Timothy Heenan, H. W. Wroe, Nelson Mereness, Edward Hafner, Mrs. P. Webley, Wm. McGee, Timothy O’Leary, Seth Smith, Ed. Putney, Hiram Polly. Hector McKay, Alexander Ross, John, Samuel and Seth Childs all lived up near Mud Creek. Wm. Verity lived on farm in section 16, and with clearing land, hunting bear and deer and keeping bachelor’s hall, made out to keep himself employed. The militia list of 1851 shows 159 names of men between 18 and 45 years of age.
W. H. Bogan, in section 16, Scarborough, on the Hortonville road; Sylvester Fairbanks in 21, J. C. Garland, Benjamin Olds, Curtis Stevens, J. C. Cross, Joseph R. Sears, S. W. Fitch, the Lockwoods, Charles Mory, Joseph Rork, Henry S. Fitch, McPherson, Caleb Preston, H. N. Day, J. H. Martin, the Webleys, James Gilmore, Harmon Jones, George Knowles, C. B. Brownell, Amos Story, Robert Morrow.
Under an act relating to the town of Grand Chute, “so much of the town of Kaukalieu in Brown county, Wisconsin, as is comprised in townships 21 and 22 north, of ranges 14, 15, 16 and 17 east, is hereby set off from said town of Kaukalieu and organized into a separate town by the name of Grand Chute, and the first town meeting shall be held at Johnston’s tavern in the said town so set off on the first Tuesday in April next. This act shall take effect on the first Tuesday in April next.”
State of Wisconsin, county of Brown: At the meeting held at the house of W. P. Tuttle, April 3, A. D. 1849, in Appleton village, town of Grand Chute, county and state aforesaid, Reeder Smith was appointed chairman; Seth W. Fitch, secretary; Henry L. Blood, R. R. Bateman and W. S. Warner were chosen judges of the election and qualified to enter upon the duties of their offices according to law.
It was voted that a tax of $200 be raised for the incidental expenses of the town for the year.
On motion of W. P. Tuttle it was voted that a tax of two and fifty hundredths dollars be levied on each quarter section of deeded land, giving each owner the privilege of working out the same at the rate of one and twenty-five hundredths dollars per day for work, and then on motion the meeting adjourned. — (Town Record.)
At the election held April 3, 1849, Henry L. Blood was elected chairman; Julius S. Buck and William H. McGregor, supervisors; Julius S. Buck, Robert R. Bateman, Bela B. Murch and Samuel P. Blake, justices of the peace; Ezra L. Thurber, town clerk; Henry L. Blood, assessor; John Stevens, inspector of schools; Hiram Pally, treasurer and collector; Obed T. Boynton, John P. Parrish and William Carter, constables. Twenty-seven votes were cast.
April 23, 1849, a road was laid from the west line of the village of Appleton, at the terminus of College avenue, thence west 24 rods to a stake, thence south, thirty-seven degrees fifty minutes west, 93.61 rods to the corner of sections 28, 27, 34 and 35, and thence to Tecos Point and the county line. This was the first legally laid road in the town. Soon afterward a road beginning at the east end of College avenue, on the town plat of Lawesburg, running east of north one mile 5.64 rods. The road to McGuire’s Corners was laid in May, and on the 12th Road District No. 1 was formed, covering the road to Tecos Point, and W. S. Warner appointed overseer. At a meeting of the board of supervisors, September 22, 1849, Alonzo Horton of Hortonville, was appointed overseer of Highway District No. 3; Hiram Polly, overseer of District 4 and James Ward of District 6. “June 28, 29 and 30,” says H. L. Blood, “we laid the road to Hortonville and to Bruce’s Mills.” All these roads became very important thoroughfares, the road to Hortonville when extended through to New London, became known as the Plank road.
At the general election, November, 1849, fifty-two votes were cast. During 1849 many settlers had been locating in that part of Grand Chute now known as towns of Greenville, Ellington, Hortonia and Dale, which in April of 1850 were organized into three separate towns, Dale being yet a part of Hortonia, and when one assessor had made assessment in the whole territory of Grand Chute the preceding year, it was voted at annual meeting, April 2, to have three in 1850. At the same time the following was adopted: “Resolved, That for all time to come, and until otherwise ordered, that swine of every description shall not be free commoners, i. e., be permitted to run at large in the town of Grand Chute.” One thousand dollars was voted for the building and repairing of roads and bridges; fifty dollars was voted for support of poor and one hundred for the incidental expenses of the town.
April 10, 1850, the supervisors ordered a road from the southwest corner of section 26, west to the town line, four miles, recorded as number 6. The first chattel mortgage was filed January 18, 1850. The highway commissioners, December 24, 1849, ordered a highway beginning at the west line of township 21, range 15, between sections 18 and 19, running thence east on the section line through ranges 15 and 16 to intersect the state road to Bruce’s mill, and at same date ordered a road beginning at the point where the state road leaves the section line between sections 20 and 29, township 21, range 17, running west on the section line through ranges 16, 15 and 14 to Wolf river.
January 10, 1850, town superintendent J. F. Johnston announced the formation of three school districts.
Among the business men in Grand Chute in 1853 were: J. W. Woodward, G. G. Adkins, A. M. McNaughton, J. S. Buck, Phinney Bros., A. C. Darling, Bennett, W. S. Warner, Reeder Smith, Charles Mory, Peter White, Theodore Conkey, Jackson Tibbetts, John F. Johnston, Col. William Johnston, J. H. Marston, William and Joseph Rork, T. P. Bingham, A. B. Randall, Amos Story, George M. Robinson, A. B. Bowen, Dr. Byron Douglas, James Gilmore, Robert Morrow, J. P. Hawley, R. A. Lawe, C. P. Richmond and others.
Late in May, 1854, the citizens of Grand Chute voted to authorize the county supervisors to subscribe stock not exceeding $10,000 and to issue town bonds therefor, payable in fifteen years, to aid in the speedy completion of the Appleton and Stevens’ Point plank road. The vote stood as follows: For the road, 141; against the road, 97; majority in favor, 44. “The plank road company has invested our supervisors with ample powers to locate, build and manage the road and from the known probity, enterprise and energy of the gentlemen composing the board we entertain no fears that they will make an injudicious use of such powers. Many of our citizens, and we are among the number, are opposed to loaning the credit of the town or county to such projects unless in cases where we are fully satisfied that an important road will not otherwise be built as soon as desirable.” — (Crescent, May 27, 1854.) * * * “Such is the amount of wealth in this town, due to the rapid increase in population and the excellent business facilities, that capitalists at home are ready to take a large proportion of bonds should they be issued by the board. Whether it will be for the interests of the town that they should be disposed of here or negotiated east where the competition would be greater, the town board are better qualified to judge than we are. Bonds running 15 years at ten per cent should command a handsome premium.” — (Same.)
In 1857 the town of Grand Chute embraced town 21, range 17, and included the city of Appleton. The city included the south sections of the township. In point of fertility Grand Chute was not surpassed by any town in the state. The fertility of its soil, the beauty of its forests, its convenience to market, the thrift and enterprise of its inhabitants, its improvements, both public and private, were all of the highest order. The forests had been felled by 1857 and the soil turned up to the sun, and many fine farms and meadows were to be seen on every hand. Numerous orchards were growing. The rapid development of Appleton greatly advanced the land in and near Grand Chute. At the start the settlers took pride in improving the town roads. The schoolhouses and churches some distance from Appleton were numerous at this time.
March 15, 1858, the territory of Grand Chute was enlarged by the additions of sections 6, 7, 18, 19, the west halves of 8, 17, 20, and all of 30 lying north of Fox river, in township 21 north, of range 18 east, which had previously been included in the town of Kaukauna.
In August, 1858, thirty-five German families arrived from the Fatherland and settled in the vicinity of Appleton. About the same time as many more Holland families came and settled in Buchanan, Kaukauna and Freedom. It was announced that within two weeks in August, 1858, over $10,000 was paid out for unimproved land in the vicinity of Appleton.
November 19, 1859, a committee reported to the county board that the plank roads were impassable, and that towns cannot repair them for fear the companies will put up gates and charge toll; that the charter cannot be repealed. The committee recommended that Appleton and towns make repairs on either of the roads, filing claims against such roads, and that no toll be collected until the towns be repaid with interest.
Among the leading farmers of Grand Chute in 1860 were the following: Barnes, Clarke, Putney, Darling, Rork, Woodland, Bogan, Morrell, Johnston, Ballard, Pearson, Fish, Murphy, Otto, Crane, Hodgins, McGuire, Bogart, Jackson, Wolcott and Heff. The first paring bee ever held in Outagamie county occurred at the residence of B. B. Murch in the town of Grand Chute in October, 1880. Mr. Murch had a large orchard and already raised considerable fruit, and the paring bee was given as a reward to his family and neighbors for their efforts to improve fruit in that community. In September, 1863, five bears were seen in Grand Chute within ten days. A farmer on the school section had a dog badly torn by one of these animals. Deer in considerable numbers were seen in that locality. A Belgian of the same vicinity reported that while hunting his cow his dog in advance was pounced upon by a panther and literally torn in pieces. “Lynx Killed. — On Thursday, John Van Owen with an ax killed a lynx in the town of Grand Chute not far from the city limits. Another has been seen in that vicinity.” — (Crescent, January 25, 1868.)
In the fall of 1863 John H. Barnes of Grand Chute conducted one of the most extensive and most successful dairies in Outagamie county. He had one cow which gave 27 pounds, 14 ounces of milk at one milking. In September, 1875, Babcock and Schidmore, while hunting for deer in Grand Chute, killed unexpectedly a black bear weighing about 250 pounds. Almost from the start the town of Grand Chute wished to hold its annual elections in Appleton, because to do so was far more convenient; but permission was not granted until 1876, when provision to that effect was made in the new city charter.
Twenty farmers, owning 147 cows, were present at a meeting at the farm house of Myers Bros., in Grand Chute, February 11, 1885, and arranged for a cheese factory, to be erected on the northeast corner of Wickert’s farm. Besides the farmers present ten or more others owning more than sixty cows were expected to send their milk. J. Gooster, C. Ballard and W. Doing were appointed a committee for the sale of cheese. The factory started about May 1, with Peter Towne, cheese maker, in charge.
Town of Freedom. — The first clearing in the town of Freedom was made by a negro named Jackson. Mr. Beebe, who came next, found Jackson here. He had an Indian wife and one child, and had a clearing of nine acres. The negro lived for a while on the Oneida reservation, leasing from the Indians. Beebe settled on section 1. E. B. Abbott came next, in 1842, and bought the Jackson claim. Jacob Juley arrived in the spring of 1846.
After removing to Appleton Jackson acquired the title “General.” He claimed his settlement was made in May, 1830. He died in September, 1879.
H. M. Culbertson fixes the date of white settlement at 1843, crediting the first white settlement to Elon B. Abbott, and the Beebe family about the same time. A published biography of Abbott states that after two years’ residence in the Oneida settlement he located on the northeast quarter of section 11, in 1842. Prentiss Beebe located on lot 5, section 1, where he resided until his death; about 1849-50. Hiram Rhoads was another early comer, settling on the east half of southwest quarter of section 11, it is thought, soon after Abbott and Beebe. His land entry, October 2, 1845, precedes theirs by two days. The next land sale recorded was to Arthur B. McCallon, in section 15, in 1846. John Stafford, in section 10; Peter Jacob Juley, Joseph L. Sloan, John Hine and James Jackson, in section 15; Reuben M. Norton, in section 20, and China Adams, in section 2, all bought in 1847. Jacob Juley arrived in the spring of 1846. Thus the settlement of Freedom antedates any other of the inland towns of the county. The sale of land proceeded rapidly in 1848. The holders of Mexican land warrants began placing them; many by speculators who had no intention of settling, but in 1848 entries were made by the following, who became settlers: Patrick Roche, section 4; Alexander Bales and James A. Trotter, section 5; William Bales, in 6; Frederick Souders and A. S. Hartman in 8; Samuel Preston and Stedman Hager, in 9; John G. Siddons and Christian Hartman, in 17; Edward G. Smith and Henry W. Armstrong, in 20, all in 1848. Patrick O’Brien in 1849 bought in section 1, Albert Cook in 5, Patrick Monahan in 6, Jonathan J. Nye in 7, Jeremiah Foley in 9, William Monahan in 18, and John Shortell in section 28. In addition to these there were a number who bought lands already entered. Nicholas Juley, a German, came about 1847, to the locality of Sagole, or Freedom village. John Sanders, probably the first Hollander, settled 1848. John Hermes about that year, L. A. Hine, Newells, A. Casper, James Sanders; Ezra Kent in section 11 about the same time. James McCarty lived in 21, Martin Van Dyke came from Holland, and after stopping a year in DePere settled in section 14 in 1849.
Ethan Powers, a former lake captain, lived in northeast 29, on what is called the old Randerson farm, and was the only one there in 1850. In southwest 28 were Hugh McCann and his mother, and his brother-in-law, Barney Boyle, who came that year; Mike McCann, who came at the same time, worked at lumbering for several years before settling. John Doonican and J. M. Cox lived on the west town line road. Warren Newton and M. Roche were residents in April, 1850. Robert Sheriff came about 1851; John Garvey and his sons were early. In the early ’50s John Shortell lived in 21; A. McNeal, John Van Den Linden, John de Young, the Smiths, Van Vleeks, Taylors, Nyes, Stedman and Joe Hager lived in the northern part of Freedom. Edwin Nye came in 1856. William Randerson, in 1856, on section 29. John Gehring settled, in section 33 in 1858; his brother, Gottlieb, coming at the same time. Fred Weise and other Germans came to section 6 in 1859. John Brinnan came early, squatted in northeast 28, endured extreme hardships the first winter, thought he must give it up, but in the spring made maple sugar, which he carried on his back to Oshkosh and got supplies and determined to hang on.
The first religious services were held in Mr. Sanders’ house by Rev. Father Vandenbroek. The first church in Freedom was St. Nicholas. Nicholas Juley donated five acres for church purposes and upon it are now the church, school, pastor’s residence, the sisters’ house and the cemetery. The first church was built of logs; the next was a frame, then a stone church, which has been enlarged. A Methodist church was built in northwest section 7. A Congregational church was early organized and a good building erected in section 8. Death and removals so depleted the congregation that the church was sold to the town and converted into a school house. The cemetery on the northeast corner of section 8 is probably the oldest in Freedom. St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Freedom was organized 1869. From that date to 1895 but two pastors served the congregation. In 1889 the beautiful stone church was erected at a cost of $5,000, Rev. Gustave Dettman, pastor. The Moravian church is located on section 7; Rev. Frank Zeller is pastor.
There were a number of families, mostly more or less related, who settled about 1849 in the northern and northwestern part of the town. Among them were the Hartmans, Siddons, Souders, Trotters, Cox and the Bales. Coming from Indiana and settling as nearly in the vicinity of one another as possible, the locality was called “The Hoosier Settlement.” Though at one time there were as many as twenty-six families, their descendants are said to be few in Freedom. The first postoffice was established in the Hoosier settlement and was called Freedom. The postoffice at the village was called Sagole and was discontinued after rural free delivery began. It is said Arnt Sanders was the first mail carrier. His route was from Green Bay through Freedom, Center and Ellington. In this work Mr. Sanders traveled afoot.
In 1854 Albert Cook claimed to have one of the best farms in the county. He was located in the town of Freedom. He owned 320 acres in a body, all under fence, and 130 acres of it cleared, of which 40 acres were in winter wheat. In the summer of 1856 improved land in the town of Freedom sold as high as $65 an acre. There was an abundance of excellent land still to be had in that vicinity at from $3 to $7 per acre. Center also contained land worth about the same. In 1857 the town of Freedom embraced township 22 north, range 18 east, all in Outagamie county, and north of the Indian reservation in the same town. A portion of the town, all that joining the Indian lands, was excellent farming land. The soil was of a sandy nature. Much limestone was found below the surface. This town was noted for its living springs and brooks. Irish, Germans and Yankees were there. It had good schools, good roads and an industrious population. In 1857 Andrew Cook of Freedom raised 100 acres of wheat which averaged nearly 30 bushels an acre. His farm was only four years old.
In 1856 the Bradys, Luke, Christopher and John, were here. Others were L. S. Augur, the Knowles, George, Henry and John; the Byrnes, William Bates, Henry W. Armstrong, Hughes, Pollock, Murphy, the Van den Bergs, John Hoks, Patrick Coffey and Sikes. The following year Van Sickle, Vanderlinden, Van Dunkel Berdenson, the Williamsons, Consodines, Hermes, O’Neal, the Wiesbars and Sullivans. In 1858 the Gardners, James and Solomon settled in Freedom. Others here that year were Christ, Miller, Frederick Stormer, N. V. Broekhoven, John Vincent, Ephraim Walker, Philander Hawes, John and Christ Jurry, E. Sargent, Philip Dodge, John and Constant De Young, Matthew Kirby, Anton Ketchoff, Theo. Myse, John Whitsky and Sam Kelly.
In the spring of 1859 by the setting off of Osborn the town of Freedom lost more than one-half its territory. The portion set off now composing the towns of Osborn and Seymour. New settlers continued to arrive. On the militia list for 1859 are found several new names, among them, Patrick Lennon, D. P. Church, Carneys, James Maher, Patrick King; John Reamy, John Darcey, John Vanderben, H. L. Van der Bore, Peter Pfennings, Gerhard Vandelour, Martin Van Nudon, John Vandeboom, Nicklas Shoemaker, John Abraams, Anthony Rothkopf, Dennis Suppels, Charles Grundorff and Frederick A. Knapp.
It was stated by the Crescent, in December, 1860, that the owner of a threshing machine in the town of Freedom cleared during the previous autumn $500.
In June, 1865, John Rickard announced that he had discovered copper in the town of Freedom. He produced specimens which he claimed were found on section 17, town 22, range 18. He was quarrying limestone and found a couple of specimens in the grooves of the rock two feet below the surface. One weighed over two and one-half pounds and the other weighed four ounces.
In December, 1878, Levi Parker, an Oneida Indian, killed James Garvey, a saloon keeper, at the village of Freedom by chopping him down with an ax, making four ghastly wounds, either of which was sufficient to cause death. Parker was promptly arrested and confessed the killing, but pleaded self-defense.
The history of Freedom as a body politic begins with the history of the old town of Lansing, which included, with other territory, the present towns of Freedom and Center. The settlement of Freedom antedates the other township of Lansing, and was in reality the parent organization from which has descended the towns of Center, Osborn, Black Creek, Seymour and Cicero.
The first annual town meeting of the town of Lansing was held September 12, 1849, at the house of Lewis A. Hine. At this time Lansing included the present towns of Freedom and Center, and other territory lying to the north, but since “no one lived there,” of importance, and so far as this election was concerned the settlers in the southwestern part of Lansing were not represented among the officers elected. There being no poll list recorded, it is difficult to know if they were represented at this meeting. The officers elected were: Lewis A. Hine, chairman; Elon B. Abbott and Frederick Sanders, supervisors; Lewis A. Hine, town clerk; Alvin S. Hartman, treasurer; Elon B. Abbott, superintendent of schools; James Sanders, Elon B. Abbott, Lewis A. Iine and Prentice Beebe, justices of the peace; Lewis A. Hine, assessor; Alexander Bales and Chauncey Beebe, constables.
The matter of road making being of first importance, the new town at once voted a tax of seven mills on the dollar valuation for that purpose, and a two mill tax to defray all proper town charges and expenses. The first act of the town board recorded was the laying of a road, October 23, 1849, commencing at the town line between sections 6 and 7, running east in township 22, range 18, to intersect the Green Bay road at or near the southwest corner of section 1. Another road also beginning at the west town line at the corners of sections 18 and 19, running east until it intersects the Green Bay road near the southwest corner of section 15. The order for the first mentioned road was afterward revoked “on account of illegal proceedings at the time said road was ordered.”
The Green Bay road mentioned was a road extending diagonally across township 22, range 18, from section 1, southwest to section 31, and extended through Grand Chute to Neenah and though thus mentioned, it seems was not surveyed nor formally established by the town until March 16, 1850.
Two school districts were formed December 3, 1849; the first to include all of the east half of township 22 and the fractional sections 34 and 35, township 23, range 18, and district two, included the remainder of the township.
More than twenty miles of highway were established by the board during the first half year of the town’s existence. The total of taxes charged to the treasurer was $632.85, of which less than $500 was available for roads.
At the second town meeting, April 2, 1850, two tickets were offered, 22 votes were cast and in nearly every instance the result was a tie vote. It is not likely this result was induced by political differences, but it is thought probable that local considerations were the cause. The ties resulting by ballot were decided by lot, electing E. B. Abbott chairman, William Monahan and Nickolas July, supervisors; E. B. Abbott, superintendent of schools; William Monahan, town clerk; Arvin S. Hartman, treasurer; Lewis A. Hine, William Monahan, J. A. Trotter and William Byrnes, justices; Alexander Bales, Patrick Monahan and Warren Newton, constables; Hiram Rhodes and Alexander Bales were overseers in road districts one and two, respectively.
Forty-nine votes were polled at the town meeting in 1851, when it was determined to raise $1,000 for the improvement of highways, of which there were about thirty miles established.
The town of Lansing was divided and by an act of the legislature, June 5, 1852, that portion in ranges 18 and 19 was set off to form a new town to be called Freedom. The record of its organization is missing, but from other sources it is learned that S. M. Powers was chairman, in 1852, Albert Cook and James Taylor, supervisors, and H. P. Beebe, clerk.
Town of Greenville. — The first land entry in Greenville was made by Francis Perry, April 17, 1847, but it is doubtful if he became a settler, the first entry for settlement being made by Seth J. Perry, December 22, of the same year. The following April Alexander McKenzie, John Culbertson, Sr., and his son, Matthew, came in. The elder Culbertson, who had settled in Indiana in 1822, and had reared a pioneer family, now came to Wisconsin to procure farms for his children. They entered several tracts at Green Bay, April 14. Matthew’s selection was the southeast quarter of section 19, upon which, four days later, he began building the first shanty. The Culbertsons were soon followed by Edmund Hafner, in June, 1848. He stopped a week at Neenah, while he and his sons cut a way into Greenville where he had bought entire section 13. There were six sons and two daughters in his family, but his house offered shelter and was a home for new settlers coming into town.
Alva McCrary and family came that year, 1848, by ox team from Ohio, and in November, James and Isaac Wickware and two sisters, and James Hardacker and family came to section 5, where they had built a cabin in the summer. Mrs. Hardacker also was a sister of the Wickwares and until the following spring lived with them, where Louis Hardacker, the first white boy in Greenville, was born, January 6, 1849. That year Seth J. Perry brought his family from Walworth county to the farm he bought two years before in section 27, while Miles R. Perry and wife settled on section 26. They came from Otsego county, New York, by canal and lake, bringing ox team and wagon. They built a shanty 18×24 feet and to borrow a broadaxe to dress the timbers, Mr. Perry walked six miles; returning it at night, he was chased by drunken Indians. Mrs. Perry’s first callers were fourteen Indians and squaws, who appeared at her cabin one Sunday morning, walked in and seated themselves on the floor. Once an Indian asked for a knife, which was loaned him. In a short time he returned it, bringing also a quarter of nice venison. Mrs. Perry’s eldest daughter, now Sylvina Culbertson, born October 12, 1850, was the first white girl born in Greenville.
James Webley entered land in section 22 in 1848 and arrived with his family the following April. He started the first tannery to tan deer skins. His four and a half year old boy, in the spring of 1853, strayed in the woods and was lost, and though $300 reward was offered for him and several hundred persons hunted, he was not found, but three months later a child’s body was found in a sink hole by Mr. Norton and identified as that of the lost boy and given burial, Elder Keval preaching the funeral sermon. Julius Perrot and wife came from Milwaukee in May, 1849, by ox team. Mrs. Perrot brought a cow. They sowed an acre and a quarter to wheat and reaped 700 bundles, which threshed with flails and winnowed with hand fans yielded 50 bushels. Mrs. Perrot herself underbrushed twelve acres of timber, and at nights packed many thousand shingles. Much of their timber was maple and in the spring of 1854 they made 2,800 pounds of sugar. John Jacquot came with the Perrots, bringing his bride; entered land in section 7, afterward living in section 18. Their eldest son died of scalding, 1854.
Simeon and Lorenzo E. Darling came to Greenville, 1849, living together the first winter. Charles Breiterick (Karl Breitrueck), the first German in town, settled in section 2, remaining until 1855, when he removed to the adjoining section in Ellington. Of him a pioneer says: “I met Charles Breitrich in the woods; he could speak no English, but when he understood I wished to go to Appleton, he went with me a mile or more out of his way to put me on the right path.” James Thompkins, in 1849, also located on section 23, cleared his land and established a home. Clark and Roswell G. Wood came in 1849 or early in 1850. Seymour Howe entered land in 1848 and probably settled the same year for he was entertaining travelers early in 1849. His tavern was first in Greenville and the first this side of the “openings.” Avery C. Grant and A. Calkins came together in the fall of 1850, and experienced the usual privations. “Grant came with a yoke of three-year-old steers and an old wagon; when he arrived had six cents in cash, was ten days on the road from Milwaukee; built a log house on section 8. They lived a number of weeks on corn bread for breakfast, mush for dinner and cold corn bread for supper, with molasses. They had one pan of flour and loaned half and did not know where the next was coming from.”
Wilder Patch came in the spring of 1850, chopped and burned the brush off three acres and planted corn among the logs; began a house but needed more money; took a job of John R. Rynders, July 4; finished September 10, meantime living on what $5 would buy. Julius F. Mory came the same year, his family following from Germany three years later. John Culbertson followed his brothers into the wilds of Wisconsin in 1850, though in the two years of Matthews’ residence many settlers had arrived. An election was held at which nineteen votes were polled, and the town was organized. About half the area of the town had been sold, mostly to settlers. Others who were in the settlement early in 1850 were James Wilson, Joseph Randall, William Bucholz, Patrick Liepke, William Prinderelles, Henry Glass, J. Nye, Hume Lathrop, Francis and Luther B. Mills and Solomon Glass.
John and Ludwig Bleick, with their parents, came about 1851, making the trip from Milwaukee with a yoke of oxen and a wagon in which they carried their household goods and a few supplies. Not a tree had been cut on their land when the family reached it. They built a small log shanty, roofed with spit basswood. That winter supplies were hard to obtain, the settlers had to go with ox teams to Green Bay to get flour and pork, though once John succeeded in getting fifty pounds of flour at Little Chute, which he, a boy of sixteen, carried home on his back, more than twelve miles.
George W. Boon and family, together with his parents, came to section 3 in 1851. The land was “all in the woods,” a clearing had to be made and a house built, so it was not until 1853 that they resided in it. This house, a frame structure, stood on the road from the southern counties to the pine woods and was large enough to afford accommodation to travelers. Among others who were in Greenville early in 1851 were Leonard Dunkle, John Jordan, John Smith, Thomas and, Michael Powers, Joshua Howe, John Roberts, Griffith Jones, William Roberts, John H. Seger, John Quinn, Dennis McGraw, James Redmond and Washington Pooler. Jerome Lewis came that year and though his later residence was in section 12 of the town of Dale, he was identified with the early history of Greenville. New residents the following year were: M. J. Colby, Frederick Schebler, Frederick Keeler, Frederick Thomas, Michael Schinners, T. Wait and Thomas Marsdon. The Sweetser family came in 1852, the McLeods about the same time. E. S. Palmer came in 1853, soon followed by John Dey, who since 1849 has been living in the town of Grand Chute. A. P. Lewis and his sister, who later became Mrs. E. S. Palmer, Hiram and Joseph Jack and their families, came in 1854. John Schefe and family, Frederick Becker and the Angelroths, Scotts, Barclays and McGregors were here in 1853. Palmer settled on section 6, where he still resides. Of those here when he arrived, he alone is living in the town. His wife, who died October 27, 1909, was probably the last surviving daughter of the American Revolution.
Among those who came in 1852 or early in 1853 are Peter Smith, F. Tharnagel, T. Mullaine, Dennis Long, E. H. Stone, Wakefield and John G. Jewett.
“The town of Greenville is receiving a large and valuable accession to its population from the central and eastern states. Greenville contains some of the finest lands and some of the best improvements in the county. In June, 1854, considerable excitement was caused by the announcement that gold had been discovered along the river. An examination proved that the alleged gold was a large mass of copper which contained a small percentage of silver. This was the second discovery of large masses of native copper in this locality.”– (Crescent, July, 1854.)
“Greenville. — Since last spring (1854) about 3,900 acres have been sold in this town to actual settlers. It is a most beautiful section of country.” — (Crescent.)
Philo Root came to the county in the fall of 1854, but did not settle in Greenville until he had taught school two winters in Medina. Hiram Jack built his cabin in section 6, broadside to the Appleton road. The door and window were on the sunny side, therefore not visible from the road. Settlers passing by would yell, “This is the house that Jack built; how does he get in?” The Jacks were among the first settlers to keep sheep, a difficult thing to do, because the predatory animals had a particular fondness for mutton and lamb. The wool was needed for clothing and stockings, the women (there were nine daughters and one son in this family), spinning the wool for clothing as well as for mittens and hose. John Dey lived four years in Grand Chute before coming to Greenville. He had a wife and two babies, ten cents in money, a cooper’s kit and a little black cow when he reached Grand Chute in 1849. At 86 years of age he still resides on the same farm in section 7, Greenville, as ready to teach a Sunday school or attend a picnic as sixty years ago. Daniel and Martin Schulze settled sections 3 and 9 respectively. Scott on section 29, the Barclays and McGregors on the Appleton road. In October, 1855, a squirrel hunt on a large scale was held in the town of Greenville. The party dined at Bennett’s Hotel in Hortonville. A large number assembled and killed approximately 500 squirrels.
Michael Woods in 1855 brought his bride to land he had previously purchased in section 12. Alexander Culbertson the same year came to the farm his father had procured for him seven years before, upon which no improvements had been made. He was followed by his sisters, Margaret and Nancy, and their father in 1858.
In November, 1855, the average price of improved land in the town of Greenville was $12 per acre. The farm land from the Kling schoolhouse westward through Greenville and Dale was one of the most beautiful tracts in the county. A good road was necessary to open that community to Appleton, and the towns were earnestly working to make it.
Probably the coming of no other settler was so far reaching in its influence or so beneficial to the county’s agricultural resources, as was the advent of Louis Perrot, who with his father, Ferdinand, came in 1855 and. secured the Howe property. Louis Perrot was the father of the cheesemaking industry in Outagamie county, making cheese at first from the milk of his own dairy, then operating a private factory, receiving milk from his neighbors. He demonstrated to the farmers of Greenville, and later to the county, that by dropping wheat growing and taking up cheesemaking, they could free their farms of mortgages.
The town of Greenville in 1857 contained many of the best farms in the county. There were several large hay marshes on the south, which in time became famous for stock raising purposes. The land was rolling and the soil generally was of the best quality. Even as early as 1857 this town boasted of its rapid settlement, good schools, churches, excellent wheat crops, enterprising population and sleek cattle. Already there were many Germans in the town and many farmers were in position to give employment to German immigrants, who began coming at about this period, remained a few years, saved their earnings and bought tracts in newer towns of the county, in some of which it is asserted that practically all the German settlers worked awhile in Greenville before settling, thus indicating the point to which the town had advanced in a few years. That the wilds were not entirely conquered is shown by the following from an Appleton paper: “In September, 1858, Mr. McGinnis of Greenville was instantly killed in that town by a tree falling on him.” That accidents of this nature did not occur oftener is by the old settlers themselves now considered remarkable. Another phase is here indicated: About the first of October, 1858, a huge bear weighing 400 pounds was killed with axes by Matt Long and his party of men on the Greenville road near Appleton. The bear was exceedingly fat and supplied the whole neighborhood with fresh steak. Another large bear was shot by Thomas Dunn soon after about two miles north of Appleton early in.October. The Crescent said: “Bears are more abundant in this county than when it was a wilderness,” due no doubt to the juicy young pork the settlers were raising.
The settlement was now two years old; religious influences had prevailed from the start, but as yet no attempt had been made to bring together the adherents of the various religious organizations in the county until commencing the first of September, 1859, a large camp meeting was held in the town of Greenville and continued several weeks. It was held on the land of Mr. Wickware, near the Dye school house, and near the plank road from Appleton to Hortonville, three miles east of the latter place. At this time John Dye was postmaster at the Greenville post office. During the camp meeting a large number of Oneida Mission Indians encamped on the grounds. The leading ministers in charge were Revs. James T. Suffron and William Colburn. These Oneidas were not casual visitors, but took a prominent part in the services, particularly in singing.
In 1863 the farmers throughout the county organized farmers’ clubs, or societies, for the purpose of improving agricultural methods and live stock, and acted in conjunction with the County Agricultural Society. One of the strongest was in the town of Greenville; A. P. Lewis was its president and Louis Perrot its organizer. At one of their meetings they thanked Dr. Douglas, secretary of the county society, for the skillful and successful manner in which he had conducted the county fair in October. The enormous acreage put under cultivation in the ten years preceding in Wisconsin and other states was affecting the market. Farmers must by scientific methods lessen the cost of production, and, as usual, Greenville was in the forefront of progress.
In the fall of 1863 another large and successful camp meeting was held in the town of Greenville under the auspices of the German Reformed Church.
In May, 1864, a terrible fire raged through the greater part of the town of Greenville. It seemed at first as if all property would be swept away, but by great exertions buildings were saved and the fire was checked and turned in a direction where it could do little harm. Thousands of rails were burned and men, women and children were burned out of work and out of homes. This fire worked double havoc and imposed greater hardship owing to a large percentage of the men being at the time far from home in their country’s service.
In 1865 Louis Perrot of Greenville exhibited in Appleton a load of splendid tobacco which he had raised on his farm. It was of the Havana variety, and was fully grown and perfectly cured — a practical demonstration of the adaptability of Greenville soil to diversified farming. It was along the line of stock improvement and diverting the farmers from wheat to dairy farming that Perrot and his associates expended their energies. That the methods advocated were practicable is shown by the following: “Louis Perrot of Greenville has made more money out of cheese manufacture than from double the amount of capital and labor invested in other farming operations.” — (Crescent, December 11, 1869.)
The change to dairying has long since been effected, practically the entire area being now devoted to that industry. The building of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railway afforded better shipping facilities. The principal highways are among the best in the county. The farm buildings, large and substantial, the soil rich, generally well drained, make the town rate among the best in the county.
On March 12, 1850, the territory comprised in township 21 north, range 16 east, was created a separate town of Brown county, and April 2 of that year an election was held and the town organized with officers as follows: Isaac Wickware, chairman; Hume Lathrop and James M. Wickware, supervisors; Simeon Darling, Matthew Culbertson, Seymour Howe and Isaac Wickware, justices of the peace; Lorenzo E. Darling, town clerk; Simeon Darling, assessor; Matthew Culbertson, treasurer; Lorenzo E. Darling, superintendent of schools; Lorenzo E. Darling, James M. Wickware and James Wilson, constables; James Webley, sealer of weights and measures. Nineteen votes were polled. At this town meeting a town tax of one-half of one per cent was levied. Road tax was fixed at two days’ labor on the highway for each quarter section of land, with road wages $1.00 per day. At a special meeting of the town board, April 30, it was voted to raise $500 to repair roads and bridges. They levied three mills on the dollar for school purposes. May 10 the town was divided into six road districts.
The religious history is similar to that of Hortonia, Ellington and Dale. The same priests and preachers who had labored there held services in homes and schoolhouses here. Probably the first religious organization was a Sunday school held in the schoolhouse in District No. 1, organized not long after the schoolhouse was built. It was non-denominational in character. John Jewett was the superintendent. This school was maintained until the organization of the church and a Methodist Sunday school at Medina. Another early Sunday school was held in schoolhouse No. 4, with John Dey superintendent. After the organization of the Baptist and Congregational churches at Hortonville and the Methodist Church at Medina, most of the English-speaking Protestant families found church homes there. An Evangelical Lutheran (German) and a Catholic congregation were organized, both having resident pastors, while a German Evangelical Church is served by a minister of Appleton.
The first cemetery was a neighborhood burying ground, near the southwest corner of section 17. It was never deeded nor dedicated to the purpose and interments discontinued after the land changed ownership. A square acre was secured by the town board, a little north of the old ground, platted and lots sold September 1, 1860, and most of the bodies were removed from the old to the new cemetery. After the lots in this cemetery were all sold a new site was purchased and platted a little south of the town center.
Settlers of American birth, of English and Scotch ancestry, and settlers of German and Irish nativity followed closely one another into Greenville. Haphner, the first to bring his family, was Irish. The Wickwares, Culbertsons, Scotts, McCrarys, McGregors, Barclays and McClouds were Scotch. The Schulze, London and Kaphingst families, Christ Zachow, Henry and Hubert Wolf, Joseph and George Moder, Adam Frederick and Fritz Miller were early Germans. Among the Irish families were Gartlin, McGarvey, Monahan, Farrell, Long, Nolan, McGinnis, McGrath, McInerny, McGahan and others, jolly, warm-hearted and hospitable. “I never entered an Irish home that I was not pressed to stay for whatever meal might be next,” says an old-time town assessor, “and though the fare might be scanty the hospitality was freely tendered. I sat at one table whereon was only dried fish, and felt I was welcome. I called at another house to make assessment. ‘You must be tired and hungry,’ the woman said, arid started to get me food. She opened her cupboard, threw up her hands in dismay and exclaimed: ‘Divil a bit of bread have I in the house. Davy has eaten it all up. But never mind, sit ye down an’ I’ll make ye some’; which she immediately proceeded to do.
Town of Hortonia. — This town derives its name from its first settler, Alonzo E. Horton, and at the time of its organization comprised all of the townships in range 15 in Outagamie county. In 1852 the town was divided, that portion lying north of Wolf river to form a new town called Embarrass. The following year the town was again divided, setting apart all the territory in township 21 north, range 15 east, to form the town of Dale. This separation leaving only about seventeen square miles in Hortonia, it was deemed advisable to add to its area, which was done later by taking sections 1 to 6 inclusive from the town of Dale and including them in Hortonia. Since that action there has been no change of boundary or area, except in forming the Third ward of New London. A limestone ledge may be traced from the county line, traversing more than half the length of the town from west to east. From this rock a superior lime is made, having unusual binding quality, and a limekiln has been maintained near the county line for more than fifty years. Water of fine quality is usually easily procured at moderate depth, except on lime ridge, where it is more difficult to reach the waterbearing strata. Many of the artesian wells particularly about Hortonville, have sufficient “head” to form constantly flowing fountains.
Settlers in the prairie or sparsely timbered counties to the south and southwest needed shingles and to satisfy their demands Knapp Brothers made hand shaved shingles in a cabin on the site of Hortonville in the winter of 1847-8. At this place they were merely squatters and it is doubtful if they were actual settlers in Outagamie county. Following them, early in the spring of 1848, March 3, Alonzo E. Horton entered a tract of land, the southeast quarter of section 35. His selection was determined by the fact that here Black Otter creek would afford sufficient power to operate a saw mill and the region about was covered by a heavy growth of fine timber. Late in the summer he returned with a force of men and began putting in a dam, digging a race and building a saw mill, which began making lumber about the first of August, 1849. In November of that year was filed the plat of the village of Hortonville. He did not long remain in the town of his founding, however, removing after the sale of his properties to California, where, in San Diego, his death was not long since reported.
Few of the men who engaged with Horton in building the mill remained to become actual settlers. Captain Joel Tillison was one, and he became the pioneer lime burner of the town. Obadiah A. Blackwood arrived in time to help finish and start the saw mill and being an experienced lumberman he engaged with Horton and successors for about eight years, sawing lumber and rafting it to Mississippi points as far as St. Louis. He bought land and cleared it, living not far from where the Northwestern depot now stands. He afterward removed near New London in Hortonia, where he cleared another farm. Alvin Orvens, who came November 20, lived not far from the Northwestern depot, but after about thirteen years sold out and removed to Michigan. Henry J. Whicher became a settler early in the spring of 1849 and that summer built a hotel, which was called Pinery House, the first in the town. He, too, was transient, as soon afterward he sold to Burton, from whom it passed to Hampsen, who continued the business.
Luther Morton came June 1 and began clearing the southwest quarter of section 35, but he, too, sold and passed on. James, McMurdo came to identify himself with the development of the town and county, arriving June 3, “possessed with a spirit of perseverance and a fixed purpose to deal honestly with all men, and lived to reap the fruits of industry, honesty and integrity, with full purse and a happy home.” Henry Kethroe came in June also and remained a short time before settling in Ellington.
But eight settlers had preceded Matthew McComb when he brought his bride of three months to Hortonia on July 2, 1849, in company with Hugh Leslie and his family. Leslie and McComb had entered land in section 28 about a month previously, but when coming to settle became confused and located on land belonging to Simeon A. Shephard, thinking it was Matthew McComb’s tract. Here, says Matthew McComb in pioneer sketches, “they lived for nearly four weeks, having nothing but the canopy of Heaven for their curtain; there was not one shower of rain; during this time they built a shanty and the question arose how and with what shall it be roofed? Being greenhorns and unskilled in the use of the axe they never thought of making troughs for the roof, so they concluded to wait until Horton commenced sawing logs in the mill about August 1.” They secured the first lumber sawed and made their roof. They remained in this shanty in which there was neither door nor window, until September, when, having constructed shanties, each with his family removed to his own tract.
The Simeon A. Shephard mentioned by McComb had a tract of land also in section 28, but whether his settlement preceded that of McComb and Leslie or was some months subsequent we are unable to fully determine. That he came with his family at an early day is certain and that he identified himself with the welfare of the community is shown by his election to office in the town.
Mason C. Hulbert, who also came in August, was the first store keeper. On the corner of Oshkosh and Main streets, directly opposite the Arlington Hotel, he erected a story and a half frame store building, which is still in use on the same site. Goods, which were brought from New York, occupied the lower room, while the room above was a haven in which many settlers’ families found shelter while their own cabins were being erected. Hulbert’s connection with the store was brief for in January of the following year it passed into the hands of Briggs, Pelton & Company.
Thomas Ogden came also in August. His cabin, with those of Matthew McComb and Julius G. Nordman, were the only ones on the road between Hortonville and Muckwa and were known as the Irishman’s, the Englishman’s and the Dutchman’s. Thomas Easton and John Easton came in October and the latter built a hotel on Nash street at a point about opposite the Arlington livery barn. It has since been removed to the front of the same lot, corner of Nash and Appleton streets, where it is used as a dwelling.
Norman Nash came the last of November and built a hotel, which he called the Hortonia House, on the corner of Main and Nash streets, on the site of the present Arlington. He had it finished and furnished and ready for the accommodation of travelers about August 1, 1850. Some time later Platt Rudd secured the hotel and operated it several years. Lucius Collar at a still later date kept tavern there. David Briggs, Platt Rudd, Byron Pelton and George L. Merrill became identified with the town when, June 27, 1850, they purchased the stock and store building of Mason C. Hulbert.
Oliver Poole and family came February 28, 1850. “Aunt Sally Poole” was the home doctor for the settlement, ministering not only to physical but to spiritual ills, in sickness a nurse and in the house of sorrow a consoler and comforter. Of Mr. and Mrs. Poole it is said: “Their home has always been an asylum for the poor, a hospital for the sick and a home for the homeless, irrespective of nationality or color.” In her ministrations Aunt Sally assisted the stork on more occasions probably than any regular practitioner ever resident in Hortonville.
Moses W. Allen came in 1850 and commenced a mercantile business, purchasing of Briggs, Pelton & Company the stock installed by Hulbert. As may be imagined his stock was not an extensive one, consisting “mostly of notions, a few groceries, some blue calico and denim and a little red flannel.” His trade at first did not warrant his continual presence in the store and a part of his time was occupied at the saw mill, where with a lathe he turned spindles and rounds for chairs. It is said, however, “he was an adept at storekeeping and became very successful” in Hortonville. He was a good man and citizen and firmly believed in and advocated the efficacy of cold bathing and installed at the saw mill the first shower bath in the village.
J. J. Steffen, Matthias Klein and Andrew Cornish became settlers in May. Cornish first kept a store, which he left to preach the gospel and soon afterward removed from town. Ira Hersey came in the fall of 1850 and lived in town until sometime in the fall of 1872, when he removed to Kansas. He was by trade a miller. Joseph Clark, who came the same fall, lived in the village until he could build his home. A year or two later he went to Green Bay and procured the first mill stones brought to the town. They were installed in a shanty at or near the saw mill and used for grinding corn. Ira Hersey operating the mill. He had been operating a makeshift outfit at the same mill for a time before. So far as can be ascertained no flour was made in either grinding apparatus. Leonard Steffen canme May 7, 1851, and bought a farm a half mile west of Hortonville. With the exception of a few years he spent his life in town. John McMurdo came June 8, purchased improved land of his brother, James, who had preceded him, and began farming. He also, as opportunity afforded, followed his trade of millwright, among others erecting the flouring mill of Briggs and Sandborn. Augustin C. Briggs came in the fall of the same year. In 1856 he built a fine hotel for the time, which now, after fifty-five years, is still offering entertainment to the traveling public and is known as the Gates House. The first guests of this house were entertained in the basement at a Fremont campaign banquet, the house proper not being completed. Isaac Leach and sons, Eli, Ell and Alden, became settlers Decenmber 23, 1850, and with them came Joseph Clark, who lived in town to the time of his death, about 1877. George Tiplear settled the latter part of June, 1852. He was a blacksmith and established his shop on the south side of Main street, on the present site of Graef’s store. While there is record of an earlier blacksmith shop in 1849 it is thought to have been a forge used in building the saw mill machinery and not a general custom shop. Elder William Mitchell, a Baptist minister, settled on a part of the northeast quarter of section 35 and began clearing his farm and holding religious services in the school house at Hortonville and at other points in the settlements of Ellington, Greenville and Dale. At the organization of the church in Hortonville he became its pastor.
In the fall of 1852 William W. Briggs, David Briggs and H. B. Sanborn secured the unsold portion of the village plat and the saw mill and the following years built as good a flouring mill as any in the county, thus adding more to the comfort and welfare of the settlers than any one who preceded them. Soon afterward the property was divided, David Briggs taking the saw mill and timber land and William Briggs and Sanborn taking the grist mill and village plat. Jacob Steffen and family became settlers October 16, 1852. Stephen A. Thompson came in November. Francis Steffen came with his parents and after the war settled on section 33. The Pettibone family and Mr. Jack came in 1853 or early in 1854. In that year the village of Hortonville promised to be the most prosperous inland village of the county. It had two stores, one of which was opened by Mr. Norward. The amount of travel through that point was very great. Many strangers visited that section looking for permanent homes.
“In April, 1854, the house of Oliver Poole at Hortonville was totally destroyed by fire, whereupon the neighbors immediately assembled and erected him a new one. That is the way we do up things in this country.” — (Crescent.)
The citizens of Hortonville celebrated the Fourth of July, 1854, appropriately. The committee of arrangements was A. C. Briggs, E. E. Leach, W. Clarke; and the marshals, J. Hersey and N. Nash. W. Jones and Rev. A. C. Lathrop were the orators. Delegations from New London, Dale, Greenville and Ellington were present. Mr. and Mrs. Rudd furnished dinner for all who required it. Many toasts were responded to by Rev. A. C. Lathrop, E. S. Welch, W. Jones, M. W. Allen and others. Among the toasts were the following:
“The Fugitive Slave Law. — May we soon see it universally declared unconstitutional and void.” “Judge Smith of the Wisconsin Supreme Court — May he never repent declaring the Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional.” “The People of Hortonville and Vicinity — May this not be the last time they celebrate the day of independence and freedom in a manner worthy of the occasion.” “The Mosquitoes — Though they sting, yet rather would we bear their bills than fugitive slave bills and Nebraska bills.” D. E. Woodward in August, 1854, was appointed postmaster at Hortonville, vice M. W. Allen.
Quite a number of Buckeye farmers have settled in the vicinity of Hortonville within a short time. Four or five large bears have been killed in the Wolf river region near Hortonville during the last week. Black bears are very plentiful in that vicinity. Mr. Woodward has built a very handsome Gothic store at Hortonville. The village is improving. The adjacent country is also rapidly advancing.” — (Crescent, August, 1854.) “A Great Crop — Mr. Leach of Hortonia raised 55 bushels of corn to an acre of land this season.” — (Crescent, 1854.) Mr. Leach, being a. settler of December, 1850, his farm was less than four years old and stumps and roots covered fully one-third of his ground. In October, 1855, Hortonville boasted of a flouring mill for custom work. This mill proved invaluable to that portion of the county and to the settlers and lumbermen up the Wolf river, making the village a base of supplies, whose importance increased each year. In 1856, the village of Hortonville, on the plank road, about fourteen miles from Appleton and two miles from Wolf River, was growing rapidly. The soil was excellent and it was believed the village in a short time would show a population of one thousand. An excellent water power was utilized and there were also established a large saw mill and a flouring mill, a large hotel, two general stores, several mechanics, a neat school house and two hotels.
About 1856 Lucius Collar purchased the Hortonia House and kept tavern. About this time is dated the advent of Cyrus H. Wire and family, John and Anthony Logan and Edward Gowell, the latter engaging in lumbering and operating a steam mill. S. S. Whitman bought the water power mill of Briggs and ran it until its days of usefulness were over. Moses Allen, the first real storekeeper in Hortonville, was succeeded by Woodworth, and later Grant, after whom the stock passed to Charles and Herman Buck. Otto Buchman started the shoe business in the later ’50s, and Julius Zuehlke came in 1855, followed the next year by his father, who settled on section 29.
The Maas family came about the same time, remaining in town six or seven years; the Rideouts appeared somewhat earlier; Freeman Nye got land in what is now the southern section of Hortonville; John T. Rose came in the fall of 1855 and about the same time Anton Stroinsky, Gottleib Kraus and the Matz brothers came, settling along the “plank road”; the Waterman family came also about that time; the Knaaks settled on Wolf river, section 20, and in addition to clearing a farm established the first brick yard in Hortonia, probably the second in the county, the other being at Appleton; the Steigs came earlier, about 1855; John Foy came about 1851; Mr. Bosworth, who afterward platted an addition to New London, came about this time; Chauncey Carpenter arrived about 1856 or 1857 and bought a quarter section of Julius G. Nordman; Nordman, though living over the county line in Waupaca county, owned two quarter sections in Hortonia and was in a way identified with the town and its early settlement, coming about 1849; Patrick Mulroy came later to section 5 and Patrick Dacy to section 6.
Dr. Perry was practicing in Hortonville in 1856 and was probably the first resident physician. Prior to his coming physicians, when needed, had to be called from Neenah or Appleton. Later doctors in Hortonville were Dr. Bowen and Dr. Mills. Louis Jacquot came in 1856, at first doing carpentering and farming. From his youth he has been closely identified with the business of the town and village, the greater part of the time in an official capacity.
Through Hortonville ran a large stream of water which emptied into Wolf river. There had been erected an extensive dam and the water power was well secured. Several mills, flour and saw, were already in operation in 1857. They furnished an excellent quality of flour and large quantities of lumber for local improvements. There were several dry goods stores, grocery stores, two large hotels; in fact, Hortonville, in 1857, boasted of one of the best and largest hotels in northern Wisconsin. The village was located midway between Appleton and the vast pine regions on Wolf river. This fact gave it a steady travel and made it the center of improvements. A good road ran from Hortonville to New London, which latter was the steamboat port of Wolf river. A contemplated line of railroad ran through Hortonville from Appleton to New London. Hortonville was then and is yet one of the most important villages in the country. In 1857 Briggs and Sanborn completed a new mill to which they added steam power. Sylvester S. Whitman came in 1858 and, purchasing the water power saw mill, began lumbering and making matches. Before coming to Hortonville he had been two years in Oshkosh, where he made the first matches manufactured in the state.
In January, 1859, the congregations at Hortonville presided over by Rev. William Mitchell and Rev. Edward Peterson, surprised their pastors and made them valuable presents of money and supplies. In the spring of 1859 Daniel Huntley’s school in the village of Hortonville held a public exhibition that was attended by almost the entire village and community. The scholars acquitted themselves greatly to their credit and as a whole the school was pronounced a success and the teacher was continued in his position. In September, 1859, a lodge of Good Templars was instituted in the village of Hortonville by the district deputy, J. F. Johnston. A large number of Good Templars from Appleton assisted in the organization and in the initiation of the new candidates; 27 citizens of Hortonville and vicinity united with the order. It was stated in August, 1860, that the Hortonville Lodge of Good Templars had a membership of over 140. It was less than a year old and was the largest of that order in the state. In August, 1860, Benjamin Rideout, a millwright engaged in a steam mill at Hortonville, was caught in the machinery and instantly killed. He left a wife and five children.
Joseph Clarke of Hortonville exhibited a live calf about a week old at Appleton which had but three legs; the right foreleg was missing. The calf did not seem to miss it as it ran along as lively as any other youngster. In February, 1862, Hortonville had three or four stores, six or eight shops, two taverns, a neat church and another one nearly built, a large steam saw mill, and a population of several hundred. In June, 1862, the steam saw mill at Hortonville and the planing mill of W. F. Hardacker, were destroyed by fire. The steam mill was owned by Briggs and Culbertson. There was no insurance and the loss was heavy. This was a hard blow to that thriving village.
The building of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railroad gave Hortonville an impetus few interior villages enjoy. During the past season Emil Schwebs has built an elegant brick residence; F. Florbou a frame residence of goodly proportions; August Schwebs, a large dwelling; S. S. Whitman, a new building for grocery and dwelling combined; W. H. Rideout, a very handsome new dwelling. W. E. Clark built an elevator of extensive capacity; J. P. Hews, a neat residence; J. H. McMurdo, extensive improvements on one of his dwellings; Conrad Peters has added material improvements to his residence.
“The business firms of Hortonville are all stanch, reliable and enterprising. W. K. Rideout is a leading manufacturer in the village, making lumber, sash, doors and blinds. He has expended upward of $1,000 in improvements the past year and his facilities are first class. He gives steady employment to eighteen hands. A. Graef conducts an extensive flouring mill and deals heavily in general merchandise. Improvements amounting to $1,500 have been put in his mill this past season, making it now first class.
“W. E. Clark deals heavily in grain, has an elevator.and presides over the Troy House. Few firms in the county do a larger, more thriving business than H. T. Buck & Bro., general merchants. F. Fleichauer, tanner, is turning out fine grades of leather and a good deal of it. J. Kline in his new shop is doing heavy business blacksmithing. A. Haller, tinner, makes himself very useful to the community. M. Ritger, wheelwright, is an excellent workman. A. Buck, O. Buchman and A. Kenesil are separately engaged as boot and shoe makers. Julius Zuehlke and John Miller deal out the ardent. Fred Herbst is proprietor of the Hortonia House. Mrs. Susan Gillespy is the landlady of the Belmont House. Emil Schwebs blacksmithing and wagon making; Collar Bros., butchers; Joseph Nagreen, cabinet shop and store; S. Nash, tailor shop; Mrs. S. E. McMurdo, millinery. Total business for the village for the year was $101,000.” –(Post, December 3, 1877.)
From this period new settlers were fewer; new families appeared from time to time, but they had not the task of clearing like those who preceded them, for by the early ’60s most of the land was improved. The most of the late comers were German born, who have always been hard-working, enterprising and thrifty. Since 1890, when it was 867, the population of the town has decreased to 654 in 1900, and the census of 1910 showed a population of only 597.
The first town meeting for Hortonia was held at the store building formerly occupied by Mason C. Hulbert on the first Tuesday in April, 1850. Norman Nash was chosen chairman, Byron Pelton and Oliver Poole inspectors and George L. Merrill, clerk of election. All being young and inexperienced and having no statutes to guide them, they adopted the following oath for the inspectors and the clerk of the meeting, not because they wished to take the name of God in vain, but they considered it to be in a businesslike manner. Following is the oath: “You swear by God that you will support the constitution of the United States and this state, and that you will conduct this meeting to the best of your ability, so help you God.” Oliver Poole administered the above oath to the chairman and the chairman to the two inspectors and clerk. At this town meeting J. Wakefield was elected chairman; Norman Nash and Byron Pelton assistant supervisors; Byron Pelton, clerk; Benjamin Williams, treasurer; William Benedict, assessor; J. Wakefield, town superintendent; John Easton, J. Wakefield and William Benedict, justices of the peace; Lewis Hyde and Thomas Easton, constables. J. Wakefield resigned his office as chairman and Norman Nash was elected chairman in his place. No bonds were required from any of the town officers, and no record of the town meeting or meetings of the town board are accessible, if in existence. The total number of votes cast was seventeen.
At the building of the Northwestern Railway the town voted aid by the purchase of stock to the extent of $7,000, which was afterwards sold at about one-half of its par value. In connection with this sale the records of the town contain a curious entry regarding the advisability of such sale, concerning which it was said to the board: “If you sell this stock for which an offer has been made, and the price goes lower, you will be honored, but if it advances you will be damned.” Since the stock advanced the entry is of interest.
The present officers of the town are Anton Gittu, superintendent; George McDermott, superintendent; Charles Radichel, treasurer; Henry Repetzke and Ed Sawall, justices, and E. S. McDermott, John Schroeder and George McElroy, constables. The town apart from Hortonville village has an area somewhat less than twenty square miles in extent, in which the population is 597. The farms are devoted to dairying and stock raising, the value of all stock being placed in 1910 at $61,306. The first grist mill was one purchased of Mr. Howe in Greenville by David Briggs & Company, though a bark mill had been used at Horton’s saw mill for grinding corn. This grist mill was a one-man, hand power machine, having a capacity of five bushels of corn per day.
The first schoolhouse was built in the summer of 1850; the first teacher was Emma B. Leach, who began teaching that year. The first church was built in 1859, though two churches were organized in 1854; the first preacher was Andrew Cornish, who came in 1849. The first blacksmith shop was built in 1849; the first flouring mill in 1856; the first barrel of whisky was retailed by Captain Tillison in 1849; the first birth in town was that of a daughter of Thomas and Lucinda Easton in March, 1850; the first death was that of Sarah A., daughter of Norman and Matilda Nash, April 22, 1850. Among the early deaths in Hortonia was that of a daughter of Oliver Poole. There being no established burial place she was interred in a grove near the middle of her father’s farm. Others of the early settlers who rested from life’s burdens found repose in this spot, which Mr. Poole permitted to be used as a free burial place, and was so used for many years. Though interment there ceased long ago, it is still a sacred city of silence.
The first. marriage, says Matthew McComb, extracts from whose writings follow, was contracted between John A. Hewitt and Susan A. Sheldon, who came from north of Wolf river, then a part of Hortonia. The marriage ceremony was performed by John Easton, justice of the peace, at Matthew McComb’s cabin in the month of April, 1850. The river was swollen by spring floods, and the bridegroom and bride built a raft of driftwood, got on board and crossed the river, but became entangled in the trees and bushes on the south side. Finding they could proceed no further with their unwieldy craft, yet not willing to return unmarried, they joined hands and plunged in and waded forty rods or more through two and a half feet of water to the shore. After the ceremony the groom, taking his wife by the hand, said, “Let us go home,” and they returned in the manner they came. The narrator continues: “Many waters could not quench their love, neither did the floods drown it.”
The first roads in the town were those made by the settlers getting to their land, who naturally chose the easiest available routes.
An attempt was made and a considerable amount of money secured to cover the road from New London to Appleton with planks, and establish a toll road, by reason of which it acquired the name, and by old settlers is still called “the plank road,” somewhat derisively, since it is said that no plank was ever laid except a short distance near Appleton.
The first limekiln was operated by Joel Tillison, northwest of the village about 1853 or 1854, and later Le Fevre began burning at a kiln on the county line road, at which place lime of a superior quality has been made ever since.
Hortonville. –June 21, 1854, there was received for record a plat of “the town of Hortonville, devised at the instance and under the supervision of Samuel T. and Augustin C. Briggs, Sandborn & Briggs, Norman Nash and Platt Rudd; together with descriptions and details, in part as follows: “Town of Hortonville is located on the northeast and southeast quarter of section thirty-five (35) in township twenty-two (22) north, of range fifteen (15) east, in the county of Outagamie, state of Wisconsin.”
This platt included the territory comprised within Appleton, Division, Elm, Nash, Maple and Cherry streets; Maine to Mill street, Mill street to the creek, up the creek to Oshkosh street, thence to the intersection of Main and Appleton streets, and including also block No. 3, south of Appleton street. The blocks, lots and streets are described in figures “as they appear on a plat of Hortonville, purporting to have been drawn by Myron Baughton, in accordance with a survey made by him and placed on record in the office of the register of deeds for Brown county, under date of November 5, 1849.” It will be seen from the foregoing that Hortonville as a village dates its origin from the earliest settlement. It was there the first settlement was made, there was the first industry, the first hotel, store, churches and school, and the first roads centered there, yet its growth did not long keep pace with the growth of the farming districts of Hortonia, for the development of farms and consequent removal of the timber destroyed the chief industry of the earlier days of the village. No other industries being at once secured to supply the lumbermen’s place, the growth of the population was retarded, but the village has always maintained its position and prominence both as a market and base of supply for the town of Hortonia and a large territory adjacent. It was not until 1894 that definite steps were taken to bring about a village organization apart from the town of Hortonia, when in September an election was held to determine the will of the electors relative to incorporation. At this election, of 171 votes cast, 101 favored incorporation. At the first election, October 27, of the same year the following officers were elected: President, L. Jacquot; trustees, M. Ritger, O. M. Poole, D. Hodgins, A. Graef, H. Diestler and Frank Schmidt; clerk, F. M. Torrey; treasurer, Charles Collar; assessor, H. T. Hunt; supervisor, Robert McMurdo; marshal, Jacob Miller; constable, J. V. Hardacker; justice of the peace, L. Jacquot; police justice, S. C. Torrey.
While the administration of affairs has been careful and economical, the public utilities and improvements have been kept fully abreast the requirements of the village. Not the least of these improvements is the school building, for the erection of which the village issued bonds in the amount of $7,000 in 1899. These bonds, ten in number, were paid as each matured and the village is now free of debt. Fire protection is afforded by a volunteer fire company, equipped with a hand fire engine and other appliances. Four large cisterns in as many sections furnish a supply of water for fire fighting in the residence portion, while the mill pond and creek furnish an inexhaustible supply for the business district. There are now in Hortonville two hardware, one harness store, three general stores, one dry goods, one drug and one furniture store, one millinery store, two fruit and confectionery, two flour and feed stores, one merchant tailor and clothing store, three meat markets, one barber shop, ten saloons, three physicians, two dentists, three insurance associations, five insurance agencies, a saw mill, planing mill, creamery, flouring mill, two lumber yards, a custom wagon factory, a brewery, three blacksmith shops, one dealerin agricultural implements exclusively, one bank, four hotels, two livery barns, two telephone exchanges, two lines railway, a telegraph and express office, four churches, one public high and grade school, and two parochial grade schools, and one newspaper. The present officers of the village are W. Benjamine, president; S. Torrey, John Douglas, Otto Kluge, Rufus Poole, William Wolf and Fred Heger, trustees; Edward Gleichman, clerk; Robert Diestler, treasurer; Mike Ritger, assessor; Douglas Hodgins, supervisor; Ed Klein, marshal and constable; S. C. Torrey, police justice; Charles Diestler, justice of the peace. During the past decade the census shows a decrease of population from 913 in 1900 to 863 in 1910.
The first school in Hortonville was held in a board shanty stuck against the end or side of Thompson’s Hotel. It was called the barroom of the hotel, but no liquors were sold in it. It was “as large as a good big dry goods box,” built of boards unplaned, just as they came from the mill, and furnished with chairs, but no desks. “It was provided (not heated) with a sheet iron heater,” says a onetime pupil. “I wonder that we didn’t freeze.” This was probably the winter of 1849-50. Miss Bristol was the teacher, her pay was seventy-five cents per week, all clear, for she boarded round with her pupils, of whom there were about a dozen. In the summer of 1850 a schoolhouse was built which was provided with seats and desks of a more comfortable sort than in many pioneer schoolhouses since there was plenty of sawed lumber at hand. The building was frame and stood on the north half of lots five and six, block fourteen, of the original plat of Hortonville. Emma B. Leach was the first teacher. It is said that once when school was in session in this building, it was visited by a big black bear that came snuffling and scratching at the door which he succeeded in opening. The teacher and pupils were badly frightened; the men of the village were away in the woods, so no help could be called, but after nosing about and being unmolested his bearship shuffled off into the woods.
As the village increased in population a larger building was provided in 1861. This continued in use until 1899, when its capacity having been outgrown the present modern grade and high school building was provided. In 1903 a high school course was adopted and the school with two teachers instituted under the supervision of L. A. Budahn. He was succeeded by E. C. Hefferman, after whom the present superintendent, Roy Lewis, assumed control.
Early religious gatherings were not infrequent, usually held by some itinerent preacher, among whom Elder Clinton, a Congregational minister, who visited many settlements, including Hortonville, as missions, and Rev. Rinehart, a Methodist whose home was in Hortonville, but whose ministrations extended throughout widely scattered settlements.
In February and March of 1854, Elder Keeval, a Baptist Evangelist of Allendale, held a revival meeting in the schoolhouse, at which he awakened the interest of the community so that all Christians worked together for the conversion of souls, and a number of converts were secured. After this revival various churches were formed. The Congregationalists organized with fifteen or twenty members, the Baptists nearly as many, and the Methodists a small class. A few years later, 1859, by a financial union, the Baptist and Congregationalists together erected a union church. The trustees at the building of the church were Wm. W. Briggs, J. F. Nye and Ira Hersey.
This church was located on land belonging to William W. Briggs, by whom it was deeded, November 18, 1862, to Obadiah A. Blackwood, Elijah S. Thomas, and William W. Briggs, trustees, conveying lots three and four, block fifteen, of village of Hortonville, “together with the meetinghouse erected thereon, which has been built for the use of the Free Baptist Church and of the Congregationalist Church, and is to be occupied and controlled by said churches respectively on alternate weeks, the present week it is to be occupied by the Free Baptist church and the next week by the Congregational Church and so on.”
The Congregational Church was served as a mission church by Elder Clinton of Neenah, and there is no record of its having a resident pastor. In later years the organization was so reduced by death and removal that but two of the former members remained, who deeded their equity in the union property to the Free Baptist Church, which has since removed the original “meetinghouse” and erected on the site a modern frame building.
Many Catholic families, principally German, had settled in the neighborhood of Hortonville in the later ’50s and about 1860 a church was built on the site of the present structure, which was supplied by priests from Greenville and New London. In 1861 the cemetery was deeded to the parish. In 1883 the congregation was incorporated. The growth of the parish continued, making necessary a larger and better church. The schoolhouse is a two-story departmental building, and the course of study comprises the eight grades of public school work, together with the German language and religious instruction. Until 1910 no certificates of graduation were issued, but in that year the pupils were examined and grade school diplomas issued to the class by the superintendent of schools of the county.
Prior to 1870 there had been a mission at Hortonville connected with the congregation at Dale. The few Lutherans in Hortonville and vicinity called Rev. C. F. Waldt to build them a church. The congregation was organized and the first church dedicated August 14, 1870. Seven families constituted the original congregation, comprised in the following members: Fred Schulz, Emil Schwebs, Fred Voss, William Voss, August Levin, Gustav Schwebs and Conrad Mainzer. In 1908 the present school building was erected, a handsome brick structure in which are three departments, two teachers being employed in addition to the pastor.
Of fraternal organizations Hortonia Lodge No. 114 is by far the oldest, having been instituted January 17, 1867, with a charter membership consisting of James Hagen, Lucius Collar, Louis Jaquot, William Jones and William T. Hardacker.Florence Lodge No. 170, Degree of Rebekah, I. O. O. F., was instituted June 7, 1898, with a membership of seventeen.
Francis Steffens Post No. 210, G. A. R., was mustered September 7, 1885, with a roll of 22.
Of the G. A. R. the officers are: Hugh Hagan, Commander; H. Stevenson, Sen. Vice Com.; P. J. Gates, Jun. Vice Com.; Farnum, Chaplain; Jos. Mayer, Adjutant; Charles Buck, Treasurer; Edward Rhoades, O. D.; George Prentice, O. G.
There were 20 charter members of Francis Steffens Relief Corps, which was organized March 18, 1889. The first officers were: Maria Torrey, President; Elizabeth A. Mills, Sen. V. P.; Adalaide Wilkins, Jun. V. P.; Adella A. Brooks, Secretary; Jennie Baake, Treasurer; Hannah Nye, Chaplain; Charlotte E. Lake, Conductor; Mary Birmingham, Guard.
Hortonville Camp, No. 2433, M. W. A., organized August 6, 1894, with 14 charter members.
Mayflower Camp, Royal Neighbors, Auxiliary to M. W. A., was instituted February 23, 1910. The first officers were Carrie Hammond, O.; Minnie Roberts, V. O.; Mary Birmingham, P. O.; Lena McMurdo, C.; Mayme Hogan, R.; Ida Clark, Rec.
The Farmers’ Home Mutual Insurance Company of Ellington and adjoining towns was organized by 25 incorporators, July 16, 1878, at Stephensville, town of Ellington, with Charles Sweetser, president; E. M. Gowell, secretary; B. M. Gurnee, treasurer.
Central Mutual Hail and Cyclone Insurance Company, with office at Hortonville, was organized February 18, 1902, with 125 incorporators, with Peter Schmit, president; John Montgomery, secretary; Charles Clack, treasurer.
The Bank of Hortonville was established as a private bank by W. H. Spangler in 1895. It was incorporated by local stockhold ers as a state bank January 9, 1902, with a paid up capital of $25,000. W. H. Spangler, O. W. J. Spangler, H. T. Hardacker, C. F. Buck and Silas Bullard composed its first directorate, with W. H. Spangler, president; C. F. Buck, vice-president; 0. W. J. Spangler, cashier.
Town of Center. –In the old town of Lansing were settlements of people from various localities and countries, who while coming simultaneously were often referred to as distinctive settlements. In that portion of the town of Lansing now known as Center, Irish people from Columbiana county, Ohio, acquired the name Ohio Settlement, and for several years dominated the affairs of the town, not alone because they were first and most numerous but because of their deep interest in the welfare and progress of the town along educational, religious and material lines of improvement.
The first known settlers were the Barrys, David and his brother, who entered land in 1848, and early next spring settled in section 27. Entering Wisconsin by way of Green Bay they crossed the Oneida settlement, following practically what later became the Green Bay road to their new home.
The next to come was Peter Hephner, who with his family in October of that year came to the same section. In his family were several grown up sons and daughters, by whose marriages soon afterward new homes were builded and new farms settled. Nicholas M. Hephner, in the spring of 1850, went to Green Bay for his bride, and settled in section 21. Only a few weeks later, Mary A. Hephner was married to Matthew Nugent and settled on the south half of section 36. Owen Nugent, a younger brother, who came with Matthew, was married a year or two later to a younger Miss Hephner. John Batley, a Massachusetts man, with his small family was the first in the northern part, settling in 1850 on section 11. James Cotter, with his family, came the same year to section 14. The Cotters and Hephners were neighbors in Ohio and formed the nucleus of the Ohio settlement in Center. Hephner had also located a land warrant for his former neighbor, Francis McGillan, who in the fall of 1851 came to make a home in section 35. In the family were John, Thomas, Robert, James, Samuel, Margaret and Mary, who with zest entered into the material and social development of the settlement. Their house was a home for many a new settler until he could provide his own, and landseekers and casual travelers were welcomed, entertained and their undertakings furthered by the members of this family, whose only fee was the invitation, “Come and live among us.” “McGillan’s Corners” was known far and wide and today is commemorated in the name “Mackville.” The McGillan home was not completed (they were staying with the Hephners), when Edward Rogers joined them, stopping at John Lieth’s. In the Rogers family were James, John and Patrick, and four or five girls who entered fully into the gaiety of the social functions of the settlement, their home when completed, being only about a mile east of the corners. John Lieth came early in 1851 to section 26. He was the first of Scotland’s sons in Center, locating on section 26. A sailor of the salt seas, he had some difficulty in “navigating” an ox team among the stumps, but successfully cleared his tract and made a good farm.
John Hennesey, from Ohio, lived near Mackville. John McIlhone, a Buckeye, too, joined the settlement about 1853, living southeast of Mackville, on south town line in section 36. J. Donovan, in section 35, on the town line, and Edward Powers, west of him in same section. Patrick Cannon came about 1851 and lived in section 25 “in the valley,” near the Bleys. William Byrnes, in the same year, located in section 13 on the east town line. Patrick Donohue came later, bought the northwest quarter of section 35, letting his brother, James, have half of it. Gaius Sibley bought his land in 1849, but did not settle until four or five years later. He was a “Connecticut Yankee” and a progressive farmer, soon cleared his farm on Seymour road, which is “as fine a farm as is in Center today.” Sumner Demming and Volney Shelley, brothers-in-law, cleared and fenced forty acres of land in Milwaukee county and received in payment two eighty-acre tracts of wild land in Center, upon which they settled about 1856. Demming removed after a few years to Stockbridge. About the same time John Berthier came in and lived on a part of Hephner’s farm. John Keefe, who came in 1852, lived in section 13. He afterward sold to Patrick Cotter, who came with his parents, in 1850. Bernard Murphy, though an Ohio man, was not regarded as belonging to the early “Ohio Settlement,” arriving about 1856. Edward McGillan, however, was of the Buckeyes, belonging to the Ohio settlement. He was a brother of Francis and father of John, Thomas and Frank McGillan, the latter returning to Ohio, the others taking a prominent part in the development of Center. Thomas A. Rees, a Welshman, settled about three miles west of “The Corners.” James Campion lived a mile east of the town center, came about 1853, and enjoyed the confidence of his townsmen whom he served over twenty years as chairman, and later represented in the legislature.
The first of the German settlers came in October, 1855, Conrad Boahler, Caspar Griesbach and Jacob Kober coming together, with their families, says Mr. Kober, all settling in section 28. This part of the town and the region west and northwest were virgin forest. Christian Wurhl, who lived near the Ellington line, and Frederick Sharnagel, a Mexican veteran, may have been a little earlier. The families of Peter Deml, Jo. Walheim, George Islinger, George Raab came in 1856, the latter settling at “the corners,” the others more westerly. The Relins, who came about this time, were the first of the Mecklenburg Germans. Beside the parents, this family included William, Fred, Charley, John and a daughter, Lena Relin. The Bleys came about this time.
By 1857 the east half of the town was already well settled by the Irish and Irish Buckeyes. The middle and northern portion was filling rapidly with Germans. The population was honest, intelligent and industrious, with good schools and homes. Excellent roads were being built. Good farms, large barns and secure fences were to be seen everywhere. The land was rolling and well watered and contained a population of between 500 and 600. The first death had not yet occurred in the town. Another attraction was a valuable stone quarry with excellent building stone, which was being mined and marketed at Appleton, having been opened in section 28 as early as 1853.
Up to the later ’50s the German settlers were mostly immigrants from the Fatherland, but following them came Germans from the vicinity of Milwaukee who, having improved their fortunes by tenant farming in that locality, now sought farms of their own in the wild lands of Center. Among them were Charles Rahmlow, Fred Prestin, George Sommers, John Speaker, on the school section in 1858 or 59. Fred Urban, Mr. Purath, Dr. Fred Meyer, George and John Langlotz and Leonard Schmidt, who soon after his arrival started a lime kiln on the ledge one and a half miles west of Mackville. Then came Wolfgang Spielbauer and family, who were Bohemians. Mike Weix lived next west of the lime kiln, William Koss north of the corners. The Lembkes, John and Nicholas Ellenbecker and Matt Schmidt brought the settlement to about 1860. Catholic and Protestant Germans in about equal numbers came during the five years 1855-1860, this influx continuing in increasing ratio until the early ’70s, buying out many of the early English speaking settlers, and the town became almost wholly German.
In the spring of 1863 over thirty families settled in the town of Centre and during the following autumn nearly as many more located there. At this time Centre was attracting more attention than any other portion of the county, as far as settlement was concerned. During the summer and fall of 1865 the towns of Centre and Osborn were settled very fast, principally by farmers from the southern part of the state.
The earlier settlers were communicants of the Roman Catholic Church, mostly of Irish nativity or descent. The first of the German speaking settlers were adherents of the same faith, and the southern portion of the town has always been peopled largely with members of that body. An organization was formed very early and as soon as a priest could be secured at regular intervals a log building was constructed for a place of worship on the site of the present handsome building. There has been for many years a resident priest and a parochial school is maintained. With the coming of the Mecklenburg Germans, protestant services of the Evangelical Lutheran Church were held at homes until it became possible to establish a church. This was the mother organization of a number of congregations to the northward, and is strong in membership and active in work. At this writing, 1911, a handsome concrete residence is being built for the minister. A school is kept near the church, at which, in addition to the regular public school course, instruction in the German language is given and the religious training of the children is conducted.
The church and cemetery are located one and a half miles north of Mackville, in section 22, and the school and residence directly opposite in section 23. At Twelve Corners is a Lutheran church, and in section 17 is a Methodist church.
The first wagon to reach the town was drawn by a yoke of oxen and was owned by H. L. Blood; it contained two barrels of flour, and a road had to be cut to the town. Peter Hephner owned the first yoke of cattle in the town; he bought them of Jacob Cornelius in the Oneida Settlement, and the first wagon he bought of Mr. Blood of Appleton.
The first school meeting in the town was held at the house of Peter Hephner. Seven votes were cast. Peter Hephner was elected treasurer; N. M. Hephner, clerk; William Byrnes, director. Mrs. Leith taught the first three months for $25. She was a woman of education and refinement, and says a pupil taught the first two terms of school in her home: “There was a partition across the house separating us from the kitchen. There were no desks nor school furniture; we sat in chairs; our writing lessons, as well as our ‘sums,’ were done on our slates. There were eight or nine pupils representing the Cotter, McMillan and two Barry families.” The curriculum was “Readin’, Ritin’ and Rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick,” but Mrs. Leith, the best woman in the world, kept her stick out of sight behind the door. “The first term was, I think, in the fall of 1852, and was followed by a spring term, and established District No. 1, securing thereby the school money from the state. A log schoolhouse was then built not far from the corners. There was a plank along the wall for a desk on which to do our writing; in front of that were seats for the pupils; the seats and desk, as well as the teacher’s desk, were made of rough boards. The whole outfit, house and furniture, cost forty dollars.” School No. 4, in the German settlement, was also held at first in a private house, Conrad Boahler’s. Mary McGillan was the first teacher. She had about thirteen pupils, nearly all German, and in teaching them the rudiments of English, acquired a good working knowledge of German. Her salary was $18 per month in county orders, supposed to be worth seventy-five cents on the dollar, but on presenting her order received face value in gold.
“When we came to Center,” says one who was a young girl at the time, “there was no direct road to Appleton, and for several years we had to go west a roundabout way or east by the old ‘tamarac road.’ Coming to Center we came directly from Green Bay through the Oneida settlement through what is now Freedom, over the Green Bay and Wolf River route, a two days’ journey. Mr. Hephner met us at Green Bay with wagons, and when it came near nightfall we were yet in the reservation. It was proposed to stop there for the night, but my mother would not consent to stop among the Indians, fearing we would be robbed of all our possessions. We pushed on until we reached a white settlement. Though at that time very fearful of the Indians, she never afterward showed any alarm nor fear of them when they frequently camped in our neighborhood, and she became noted among them for her kindness and generosity. I have seen them come in and sit around the fire and mother would cut bread and give them until all was gone, and when my sisters protested, she would say: ‘We have flour and there is fire; we can make more.’ I was always afraid of them and could not help trembling, though mother chided me for it. Once I remember a very big black fellow whom we had seen before and knew as John, came in with a long knife in his hand feeling of its edge, and looking most horrible. It was evening, too, and I was terrified. Mother said: ‘Now, he isn’t going to hurt you,’ and approaching the Indian said: ‘John, what do you mean by coming in here with that knife in your hand? Put it back in your belt at once.’ John, who had picked up a good deal of English, replied: ‘Me no hurt white squaw, me want cabbage.’ The cabbage was outdoors and he could have taken it without asking, but he didn’t want to steal it. They were extremely fond of white folks’ bread and butter. Pork, too, was a luxury they craved, and were willing to exchange plenty of venison for it, fresh or salt, though they used no salt in their cooking. When we reached Center, we stopped at Mr. Hephner’s until our log house could be built. It was rather larger than the most of log houses, using logs as long as could be procured and handled conveniently, hewed on one side, the spaces between chinked with sticks and made tight and smooth with clay mortar. The great fireplace, wide and deep, was built up of stone six or seven feet, all outdoors, and above that the chimney built of sticks and plastered with clay. The earliest marriage I recall was that of William Monahan and Ella Cotter; I was too young to attend the festivities, but my elder brother attended. I think the ceremony was performed at Little Chute. There had been earlier marriages, probably that of Marshall Hephner and Helen Sage was the first in which our town was interested. Miss Sage was living at Green Bay. They had become acquainted on the boat coming out from the East in the fall of 1849, and next spring the marriage was consummated. This wedding was soon followed by that of Matthew Nugent and Mary Ann Hephner, both of the Ohio settlement. Father Young, in 1851, from Freedom, was the first priest I recall. Other priests from Little Chute for several years held services at Hephners and McGillans until the building of the log church at McGillan’s Corners about 1857 or 1858. Father Dale, I think, was the first to serve the church, residing in Appleton. There were a number of German families by this time and sermons were given in that language and in English. Peter Hephner gave the plot of four acres on the southwest corner of his farm for a burial place and church, and here the first burials within the town were made, though the cemetery was not consecrated until the church was built. One of the first interments was a school boy, Conrad Kober, whose death was accidental. Probably the first death was that of Mr. Lieth’s child, May 15, 1852. The burial was in the old cemetery at Appleton.
A petition, June 18, 1852, called for a special town meeting to be held at the house of N. M. Hephner for the purpose of filling the vacancies occasioned by separating the town of Freedom from Lansing, which occurred June 5, 1852. The petitioners were N. M. Hephner, Peter Hephner, J. Leith, J. Keef, J. Batley, M. Nugent, James Cotter, Ed. Rogers, P. Barry, D. Barry, F. McGillan, J. A. Johns, Thomas A. Rees. Notices were posted and the election was held July 5, 1852. This town meeting was in effect an organization of a new town. True, the name of the town Lansing remained, but it was an empty heritage. The seat of town government had been within the territory of Freedom, the officers had in general been residents there also, the most of the public improvements were there and the public money was largely expended there. The greater number of voters resided there also, in proportion of nearly 3 to 1. Each section was apparently willing to separate from the other, but the setting off of Freedom deprived Lansing of her officers, but by this petition and notices given as at the creation of a new town the offices were filled as follows: Nicholas M. Hephner, chairman; John Batley and Matthew Nugent, supervisors; John Lieth, town clerk; Joseph A. Jones, treasurer; N. M. Hephner, assessor; John Lieth, superintendent of schools; John Batley, Peter Hephner, David Barry and John Keef, justices of the peace; Matthew Nugent, Joseph A. Jones and Nicholas M. Hephner, constables; John Keef, sealer of weights and measures; Peter Hephner, overseer of highways. As usual, the first attention was given to road making, and such roads as had been already established were cut out and repaired. Hephner’s Road was laid March, 1850, from the southeast corner of section 15 to the southeast corner of section 27, then a direct course to the southeast corner of section 35. In August also a road was laid from the west boundary on the line between sections 18 and 19, east to a point on the line between sections 18 and 19 to intersect a diagonal road running southeast to the Green Bay road.
At the general election held November 2, 1852, fifteen votes were polled, the electoral candidates for Pierce and King for president and vice-president receiving fourteen “and the free soil candidate received one.” There was evidently some doubt as to the legality of the special election of July 5, 1852, for under date of April 30, 1853, is found a resolution of the board of supervisors of the old town of Lansing and town of Center: “Whereas, it appears the petition the citizens of the town of Lansing sent to the Legislature, praying them to legalize the acts of the town officers of last year, and change the name from Lansing to Center, the bill has passed the Legislature, and we now recognize the town of Center in lieu of the town of Lansing, and all proceedings done by the town board in the name of either Lansing or Center since the first day of April, 1853, shall be legal and stand correct for the town of Center.”
May 19, 1860, the two northern townships entire were included with a portion of township 22, in school district No. 5, but since the first school meeting was ordered held at John Battey’s it is likely the schoolhouse was built in what is now Center. Progress on roads was made, but that there was difficulty unsurmountable and the board finally gave up is indicated by the following record dated March 10, 1857: “Resolved by the town board of Center, that at a subsequent meeting of the town board, held April 19, 1855, the former board made an appropriation to the different highways in said town, placing said apportionment in path master’s hands for expenditure, etc. Now, whereas, by the supreme power of the Almighty that rules above and other different impediments that have occurred, they have been unable to comply with the aforesaid restrictions. And be it now resolved by this board that the aforesaid act or resolution be and is hereby repealed, and the same shall take effect before and after this date.”
It might occur to the reader that political differences were the cause of dissension and that the rival political factions permitted such differences to influence town affairs. That this cannot be true is shown by the returns of the general election, November 2, 1852, when of fifteen voters only one dissented from the general opinion of the town. So unanimous in political opinion were the electors of Center that there is found on record as a matter of town business the following minutes of a meeting October 15, 1856, to appoint delegates to attend a democratic convention at Appleton. N. M. Hephner and Thomas McGillan were unanimously “chosen as delegates to represent the town of Center in convention, with full power to transfer their power to either in case of but one attending. After a few remarks on the welfare of the democratic party, adjourned.” At the general election the following month the Buchanan and Breckenridge electors received 45 and Fremont and Dayton 5 votes, and at the next general election James B. Cross, for governor, received the total vote, 47, the opposition none, and with one exception every candidate of that political complication received the unanimous vote of the town, and on the question of negro suffrage, submitted at the same election, not one vote was cast in its favor.
To reach Appleton by the most direct course it was necessary to cross an extensive swamp along the southern side of the town. This was crossed by a causeway or corduroy. This was put in in a dry period and filled in with dirt. The next spring the water rose above the roadway and washed out the filling; the buoyancy of the logs raised them to the surface in places. Probably no other road in the town, of similar length, cost as much to build and maintain as this, and now after a lapse of nearly sixty years there is an occasional bump reminiscent of early road making. Other improvements followed throughout the town, keeping abreast of or in advance of the improvements of other towns in the vicinity. In 1868 the town of Center erected a large and comfortable town hall. It was designed as a structure in which all their public meetings should be held. Other towns made preparations to do likewise at this date. The town improvements are still advancing, the roads are yearly being put in better condition and developed along lines of scientific road making.
Town of Deer Creek. — This town was created by an ordinance of the Board of Supervisors which decreed that all that part of the town of Maple Creek, known as Township 24 north, of range 15 east, be detached and formed into a new town to be called Deer Creek, and the first annual meeting of the new town was ordered held at the house of Chauncey Granger. The ordinance to be in effect after March 1, 1868. At this town meeting, according to returns on file in the county clerk’s office Timothy Looney was elected chairman; Martin Dempsey and Daniel Thorn, supervisors, Hugh McDonough, clerk; Munroe Richardson, treasurer; Timothy Toomy, John Weid, Isaac Thorn and John Dempsey, justices of peace, James Jewell, Martin Dempsey and David McGlynn, constables; Daniel Thorn, Hugh McDonough and Munroe Richardson, assessors. The inspectors at this election were William H. Selmer and D. Thorn; Martin Dempsey, Hugh McDonough and George F. Richardson, clerks. “The postoffice address of each and everyone of the above officers is Sugar Bush.” Of the further proceedings at this election there can be given no account, as the early records of the town were destroyed by fire, but it is learned from an assessment roll of 1869, which escaped destruction, that there were thirteen taxpayers resident in the town. These were clustered in a few of the southwestern sections where a school was early established. The first term, school was held in a little log shanty that stood on Dan Thorn’s place in northwest quarter of section 31, here Ellen McDonough was the first teacher. Then a little log schoolhouse was built in which Frances Ruddy was the first teacher and Nell Hurd the next. This school house stood on the Granger forty in section 31. Later a frame building was placed near the corners of sections 29, 30, 31 and 32.
The first account of white occupation of any portion of the town of Deer Creek is found in a published sketch of the life of Captain Welcome Hyde, who explored the lands tributary to the Embarrass river, and according to the sketch in 1850, located a lumber camp on section 8, township 24 north, range 15 east. With a crew of eight men he worked five days cutting a supply road from New London to his camp, following the old Shawano Indian Trail as far as Bear Creek then bearing easterly to the river. If this statement is correct, his camp was the first in the town and his road the first, entering and crossing through section 31 into what is now Bear Creek town in Waupaca county, and re-entering Deer Creek in the vicinity of section 18 thence to section 8. It is inferred from the article mentioned that the winter of 1850-1 was spent in section 8, but thereafter until 1853 his field of activity lay in Shawano county, but in that year he purchased land and established his home in Bear Creek, about three-quarters mile west of the Outagamie county line, and did not live in this county until several years later. It was along the old Shawano road in section 31 the first settlers located, the first of whom is said to have been the “Widow Johnson,” who with her son “Hank” and a man named Daley made settlement probably about 1857, though the date of their coming can only be approximated by land entries made that year. Mrs. Johnson opened a tavern for the accommlodation of lumbermen, landseekers and other travelers on the Trail, but she and Daley who lived with her did not have a good reputation and the house was shunned except in case of dire necessity. At about the time other settlers were locating in Deer Creek, a mill in the adjoining town of Bear Creek, Waupaca county, was destroyed by a fire with which it was believed they had incendiary connection. Daley died soon afterward and was buried on the farm. Mrs. Johnson was sent to the state’s prison her death also occurring before the expiration of her term of imprisonment. The son married and remained some time in the settlement. Warren Jepson in 1860 settled in section 31. He had come to Maple Creek about four years earlier and in 1859 married Miss Karke, a daughter of one of the early settlers there. Their new home in Deer Creek was a wilderness. James Jewell their only neighboring family came about the same time, but just over the line in Maple Creek were a few families. About the same time the Dempseys, John and Martin and David McGlyn settled section 30. Dan R. Thorn came next after Jepson and with Chauncey Granger settled in northwest 31. Daniel Murphy about this time settled in northeast 30 on the site of Welcome village. Hugh McDonough in 32, and J. Moriarity on the south side of the same section. Isaac Thorn came in 1862, but did not settle until after the war.
In the later ’60s Frank Lyon came from Fond du Lac and located a colony of French settlers prominent among whom were Louis Bricco in southwest 29, Anthony Bricco in 32, H. Babino, Oliver Besaw in 28, O. Dery in 26, M. Balthazor in 34, E. Joubert and J. Faneuf east of the river in 36, and Louis Lehman. Lyons lived in southeast 29. H. Bacon came 1868-9 and lived in 33, John Wied at same time settled southeast 29.
Joseph Gilmore came first about 1867 and worked with a surveying party in the woods in the northeast of town. On the north later were Norman Holt, Philo Beals and George Crowner in section 12, on the west James Bowen, and his father Porter Bowen just beyond, both in 13. Alonzo Buck in 14, Patrick McGlone in 24, James Turney and Mallison. West from Gilmore were Renck, a German, Charley Wonder, Alfred Williams, George Smith and Fred Coffee in section 14, Bernard Roden lived on the corner and next was William Hagen, both in 15. This at that time was the last house between Gilmore’s and the river, but not long afterward Fred Coffee sold to William Knapp and Herman and John Knapp came about a year after Gilmore. This road turned north about a half mile east of the river, and the first settler north of the turn was Peter Bever and the next Robert Larsen, who had been there six years coming in 1872. The next were Anthony and Mrs. Mary McGloon, in section 10, and Leonard Luccia, who after a couple of years sold to Wilbuhr, and R. P. Hansen.
The Danish colony came about 1876, most of them settling in the northwestern part of town. Among those coming at that time were Hans Olsen, George Albertson, Hans Swanson and Christiansen in section 27. Robert Grindle came shortly before the Danes, settling first in 27 later removing to northwest 35 in the same quarter with Gust. Conrad. Jules Conrad settled in 27. In the northeastern part of town were several families of Hollanders, among whom were Anton Peters, Ed Johnson, John von Chindle and Peter Hazen. David Horkman bought the Bowen place in section 13.
Though lumbering, it is now generally believed, began in section 8 in the winter of 1850-51, and had continued intermittently, large operations begun in the winter of 1862 and 1863. Wadsworth and Thorn had a camp on section 17 and Gibson from Omro had his camp in the vicinity, logging pine exclusively. In northwest 21, Carey of Oshkosh; and in northeast 21, Drake. Jim and Nat. Johnson were in northwest 20. Five camps within two miles. Wadsworth and Thorn, Gibson and the Johnsons were landing their logs on what is known as the “Big Bayou” of the Embarrass in section 21. The Johnsons had occupied their camp the previous winter. The Wadsworth and Thorn camp had been occupied by men working for Ketcham. Al. Sheldon from Oshkosh was logging in section 9 fitting in logs at what is known as the Miller Landing near the center of that section. Hyde and Raisler put in logs at this landing and also into Bear Creek in which they put a dam for driving, east of Welcome village. Logging operations continued throughout a period of about 25 years from this time. Most of the camps employing the settlers in the neighboring towns and as settlement progressed, of Deer Creek. Of the settlers working in the camps in the winter of 1862-3 there are but two survivors; Charles Terrell of town Bear Creek, Waupaca county, and Isaac Thorn, president of the village of Welcome, to whom thanks are due for information relative to the town and its development. The passing of the lumber industry is often viewed with regret, but its passing has made possible the magnificent farms, homes of a prosperous people, and the song of the binders which this year reaped a golden harvest over the sites of those lumber camps of other days, finds sweeter responsive chord in the song of happy hearts than were possible did the wild forest still hold sway, and shriek and groan its savage requiem as of old.
Until the coming of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway there was no village in the town and the nearest postoffice was at Bear Creek in Waupaca county. After the projected railway became a certainty, F. M. Hyde built a store at what became Black Creek station and was followed shortly afterward by Truman Bros., both general stores. A postoffice was, commissioned and soon “the station” became of considerable importance. In 1885 the land in the vicinity west of the station, was platted for Welcome Hyde and given the name Bear Creek. Trowbridge’s sawmill was established nearby and the process of village building progressed. Raisler and Hyde put in a mill and bought the Trowbridge mill which they converted into a shingle factory. After the burning of this mill they attached shingle machinery to their sawmill which later was also destroyed by fire. The Appleton Furnace Company just west of the village built kilns and begun converting refuse timber into charcoal. Other stores and industries centered at the village and to meet the requirements churches were organized the schools enlarged and various social organizations sprung into existence, and the village prospered in an uneventful way until in July, 1902, a large portion was destroyed by what is still referred to as “the big fire.” The village was incorporated in 1902, and was named Welcome in honor of Capt. Welcome Hyde, who though living just across the line in Waupaca county, and later in Appleton, had contrlibuted much toward the progress of the village.
The first village election was held August 13, 1902, electing Fred Reinke, president; A. J. Cannaday, James Dempsey, Henry Russ, M. F. Clark, Henry Leque and Gust. Naze, trustees; C. G. Ballhorn, clerk; Robert Larsen, treasurer.
The matter of adequate fire protection seems to have been the principal incentive to incorporation and immediate steps were taken to provide as full a fire fighting equipment as the finances of the village would warrant, and October 15, of that year a hand power engine with five hundred feet of hose was installed and a large cistern or reservoir was built. The village at organization obtained possession of the Town hall which was sold the following year and replaced by a substantial solid brick building 24×34 feet, two stories high with a tower. The upper part of this building is finished in a large hall, for official meetings of the village while the lower floor houses the fire fighting apparatus which now includes a Hook and Ladder outfit. The old hand engine has this year, 1911, been replaced by an up-to-date gasoline power engine. The churches of the village are St. Mary’s Catholic church in charge of Rev. Conrad Ripp. The Methodist Episcopal Church is served by Rev. Thomas Jenkins of Appleton. These church buildings, the public school building and St. Mary’s Parochial school occupy the brow of a hill on the west side of the village lending there a most imposing appearance which from a distance dominates the whole view of the village. The Evangelical Lutheran congregation, of which Rev. D. Jaeger is now resident pastor, have not yet erected a building, holding their services in the Methodist church. In the town are three churches, a German Lutheran church in section 14; a Danish Lutheran congregation holds services in a union chapel in section 8 which is shared by a Congregational and an Adventist organization, and a Catholic church in section 12 near the town line of Maine.
Among the fraternal, social and benevolent organizations is the M. W. A., C. O. F. and the G. A. R., which latter organized Starkweather Post, November 26, 1897, with 24 members. Isaac Thorn, commander; Clark Smith, adjutant. Of the Woman’s Relief Corps organized at the same time, Mrs. Lodema Hubbell was president; Mrs. Addia Thorn, secretary.
At the time of its incorporation the population of the village was 337 and has remained at about that figure since, the census of 1910 placing the number at 341. The Citizens State Bank opened for business September 6, 1904, with a capital of $5,000, which has since been increased one hundred per, cent with a substantial surplus. It was organized with R. W. Roberts, president; S. H. Rondeau, vice-president; who with W. F. Brownell, Gust Naze and P. H. Kaspar, constituted the Board of Directors, and F. W. Raisler, cashier, which position he still retains. M. C. Frayser and Levi C. Larsen have succeeded the former president and vice-president respectively. In August 25, 1905, when the Welcome Independent, a six column quarto made its appearance under the management of C. W. Andrews of New London, March, 1906, the paper passed to Hubert G. Roate who retained control until August 22, 1908, when Harry E. Roate, the present genial and courteous editor and publisher took charge. Under his management while the form of the paper has remained unchanged, the amount of space alloted to home print news has been increased to four pages.
Town of Ellington. — This town like others in the county owes its first settlement to the great pine timber with which the slopes in the vicinity of Wolf river and Bear creek were covered and the further fact that there was a creek of sufficient power to operate a sawmill. The history of the building of the mill is obscure. The government survey was no more than completed when the land was entered, but whether the mill was built before or after the land was bought is a debatable question. Certain it is the mill was there in 1847. H. J. Diener who saw it in 1848 describes it as appearing several years old, and settlers of 1850 found stumps of big pine on their land, so old the bark and sap wood had rotted away. It is related too that settlers found logging in progress on lands they entered in 1848. One chronicler, the late Ansel Greeley, gives a, date, 1841, but the land entry was made October 7, 1845, by Francis Gilbert, covering the site of the mill in section 20. It is said that nine days later L. Thompson purchased a half interest in the tract and put up the mill, but the record shows that patent issued to Gainor D. Aldrich and Francis Gilbert, assignees of Gilbert.
This mill was on Bear creek, over a mile from its junction with Wolf river. It was operated for William Bruce by G. D. Aldrich until the summer of 1849 from whom it received the name, Bruce’s Mill, by which it became generally known, but about 1847 Francis Pew worked in Thompson’s Mill and an early map of the region formerly possessed by Patrick H. Pew marked the site Thompson’s Mill. The mill passed into the hands of Stephen D. Mason who operated it until the coming of John Stephens. Thomas D. Kellogg got it about ten years later. Originally of the old “up and down” sliding sash type it was afterward equipped with circular saws. As the woods were cleared away the waterpower became insufficient, and owners of land overflowed by the mill pond requested its removal. A steam saw mill was established on another site and the old mill was abandoned.
The first white family in Ellington was Lewis Thompson’s, who were at the mill probably as early as 1846 or 1847. The first settler to engage in farming was Thomas Callan, 1847, who with his brother, John, lived about two and a half miles south of the center of town. George Huse, a Mexican War veteran, on his land warrant secured a part of section 4 which he began clearing, 1849. He was unmarried but did not long remain so; his marriage to Elizabeth Farnham being one of the earliest if not the first in town. In 1856 he removed to Stephensville, and three years later to Black Creek.
In the spring of 1848, James Hardacker and James Wickware located land in what is now town of Greenville, coming from Waukesha county for that purpose. Reaching Ball Prairie, they secured a guide and begun a land-looking tour. When asked where they wished to locate they made the stipulation that it be “beyond bad white men and whiskey.” After much investigation they located tracts in section 5, township 21, range 16. On the Wickware tract they built a cabin in readiness for their coming in the autumn.
“In this house the families, eleven persons, lived and of course kept every weary traveler that came along looking for a new home. Among the number was a little fellow that came January 6, 1849, and we named him Lewis A. Hardacker. He is remembered now as the first white boy born in the town of Greenville.”
Others who came in 1849 were Henry Kethroe, Patrick H. Pew, Owen Hardy, John R. Rynders, Thomas Hillson, William McGee, Charles Grouenert and Frederick Lamm. Henry Kethroe lived in section 31 until 1866 when he removed to Hortonia. P. H. Pew did not at once begin farming but worked at logging and in the saw mill until the fall of 1850 when he returned to New York state, married and returned to Ellington, settling on the school section. In 1858 he established the Pew Hotel, the first in Ellington. John R. Rynders came about 1847. He bought land the next year and in 1849 became a resident. His two sons and a son-in-law, Dobbins, came 1854. Thomas Hillson came late in December, 1849, or first of January following and settled on section 5; his brother-in-law, Ahiel Pooler, came a year or two later. Henry J. Diener in 1848 traversed the length of the town, going to Shawano with a lumberman’s oxen, returning the following year. He was favorably impressed with the locality and secured in 1852 a part of section 3, later removing to section 9. Frederick Breiruek and M. Smith were residents early in 1850.
Eliab Farnham had settled first in Freedom but came to Ellington late in 1849 or early the following year J. D. Van Vlack opened a store at Bruce’s Mill. He also taught school.
After the beginning of 1850 settlement progressed rapidly. Among these coming that year were Abel Greeley, Julius Greeley, Amos Johnson, O. D. Pebles, J. B. Lamm, Peter Schmitt, J. Pew, Rodney Mason, William McGee, John Welch and a Mr. Daniels. Julius Greely lived on section 9. He was more hunter than farmer and found his living mainly in the woods.
The supervisors of Brown county, Wisconsin, created March 12, 1850, a new town comprising the three congressional townships 22, 23 and 24 north, range 16 east, to be called Ellington; so named at the request of John R. Rynders after the towns of his nativity. The first town meeting was held at the house of Chauncey Aldrich, April 2, 1850. Seven electors appeared, and fourteen offices were filled as follows: Chairman, justice of peace, assessor and treasurer, John R. Rynders; supervisor and justice of peace, James Hardacker; supervisor, town superintendent, sealer of weights and measures, justice of peace and assessor, George Huse; justice of peace, Thomas Hillson; constable, Frederick Lamm; Henry D. Smith, clerk. There is doubt as to the clerk and constable qualifying in office. The minutes and records are signed by “James Hardacker, clerk;” shortly afterward Henry Kethroe and Owen Hardy were elected constables “in place of Frederick Lamm, removed.” At the first town meeting they voted to raise $300 for incidental expenses. Seven mills on the dollar for road and three mills for schools, and school districts were voted.
At the beginning of 1850 there were but two houses on the present site of Stephensville, one a house of hewed logs, the other a frame, built by Wm. Bruce. There were as yet no public roads. The first comers cut the underbrush and logs and cleared them away, enough to get through with their teams winding among the trees, avoiding the hills and swamps; later comers following the same track until there was a fairly plain trail from Hortonville and toward the junction of the Shioc and Wolf rivers. A road had been laid from Appleton to Bruce’s Mill, and there was an old Indian trail leading toward Green Bay which might be traveled on horseback or afoot. As soon as the town was organized, road districts were established, routes were “looked out” and straight roads along section lines were established, and later where the character of the country required roads at angles from the cardinal points of the compass, routes were surveyed and public highways four rods wide were laid. One of these having a general easterly trend from Bruce’s Mill was called the Wolf river and Green Bay road. The Greeley road extended from the north line of section 4 to intersect the Green Bay road near the middle of section 16, while the Green Bay road following practically the route of the Indian trail was surveyed January, 1851.
In June, 1849, a road had been laid by the supervisors of Grand Chute, of which Ellington was then a part, extending in a southerly direction from Bruce’s Mill to intersect a road from Appleton to Hortonville established at the same time. The sawed timber required for the building of Horton’s mill was conveyed the distance from Bruce’s mill, 1848 and 1849, opening a way between those points which with some changes was made a highway now called Hortonville road.
W. D. Jordan, Martial Wenck, Benjamin Davis, Noah Mitchell, David Matteson, Sylvanus Mitchell, George Ketcham and Salem Bunker lived in Ellington in April, 1851, and during the year following Stephen D. Mason, Randall Johnson, James B. Night, Earnest Grunert, John Lamm, D. B. Mires, John Coffman and Milo Coals became residents. Rodney Mason, whose family consisted only of himself and two grown daughters, did not remain long in the settlement. The six Schmitt brothers were early, John coming in 1848; Peter Matthias and Nick coming two years later, Nicholas 1852, and Dominick, who had a family, came about 1856. They all settled on or near section 33. Matthias, George, Mike and Lawrence Werner came early. Matthias, the eldest, settled in the eastern, the other three in southeastern part of town. Michael Miller came in 1853; Jared Scott the year following with his family, four sons and four daughters; Aury H. Burch and family; John Goettzer and John Canavan in 1855 and N. B. Draper in 1857; Ansel Greeley and William Truax came 1853 or the following year; John Stevens bought the mill property and in 1856 platted eighty acres.
It having been announced that a village would be laid off in the town of Ellington, the citizens were asked to vote upon a name for such village and “Ellington Center” was chosen.
Evidently this did not suit many of the citizens there who thereupon suggested the name of “Stevensville.” The following names were signed to the paper asking that the name should be changed from Ellington Center to Stephensville: J. D. Van Vlick, Peter Prunty, George Huse, Elisha Bissell, Dave Matteson, George F. Nye, Walter Rynders, Richard Brown, John W. McWain, John Ferrell, W. T. Hardacker, Patrick Prunty, James Carle, William T. Traux, P. McKeefry, Joseph B. Barnum, J. G. Daniels, Herman Grunert, Hugh Moore, John McKeever, William McGee, Michael Durc, Julius Greeley, H. J. Diener, Patrick Newcomb, P. H. Pew, B. M. Gurnee, Thomas Calles, Eliob Farnam, Horatio Heath, Henry Kethroe, Isbon S. Smith, W. R. Manley, S. D. Mason, O. P. Peebles, John Nicholas, Jehiel Paxton, Lewis Hare, Ansel Greeley, Edwin Arnold, Edwin Barnes, Ernst Grunert, Charles Grunert, John Welch, Anthony Wallace, Bernard Newcomb, Sloah B. Carley, Henry A. Cooke, Owen Hardy.
Chauncey Smith settled in section 16 in 1851-2. John H. Jenne and family came in 1854; Byron M. Gurnee bought land in 1853, but it was two years later when he “cut the first tree and mauled out the rails to fence the first eighty.” David and Caleb Matteson entered land in 1848 on which they afterward lived in section 29; Patrick Newcomb came about 1854; Francis Weissenberg and the family of Michael Wunderlich in 1857; William R. Manley settled on section 19, removing later to section 28 in 1854. Robert and Henry Manley came about the same time and were probably the first shoemakers. Phillip Zimmerman, an infidel, had considerable influence with his neighbors in the southern part of town until he left in the ’60s. Nelson B. Draper settled in 1857 on section 27. Michael and John Bungert came about 1854. Charles Thiel and family came 1859. The Lairds came about 1855 to section 1. Jabez B. Rexford and family came to section 4 the following March.
As originally constituted, Ellington embraced townships 22, 23 and 24, range 18, but by the creation of Bovina, 1853, its area was reduced to township 22. Stephensville in 1857 had already been started. At the water power on Bear creek a saw-mill was in operation and an excellent grist-mill was nearly built. A good schoolhouse, a couple of taverns, a store or two and a few other establishments were already there. Bear creek ran through the center of the town and afforded a fair water power. Some choice bottom lands were near the banks of this stream.
In the fall of 1867 the village of Stephensville was growing rapidly. It had two saw-mills in operation, a grist-mill nearly ready, several stores, one excellent hotel conducted by William McGee, and several mechanics. The German and Irish population around it were enterprising and industrious. The Germans and Irish united in building a catholic church there. The frame work was already up by the middle of November. Stephensville grew more rapidly in 1867 than during any year of its early existence. It was claimed in 1868 that more business was done in Stephensville than in Hortonsville. It seemed to be a growing village with excellent future prospects.
The settlers gave early attention to the education of their children; immediately after the town was organized a three mill tax was levied for school purposes. The two southern tiers of sections were made School District No. 1; the two middle tiers of sections formed District No. 2, while District No. 3 embraced the remaining two tiers of sections in township 22 N., R. 16 E. That year Mrs. Patterson taught school three months in her own house. An apportionment from the state appropriation for schools could be obtained for five months’ school session, so Jane Wickware taught two months in a chamber of James Hardackers’ house. Three Kethroe and five Hardacker children attended these schools. This became and is yet school No. 1. A frame schoolhouse was erected in which Mrs. Mary Smith taught the first term. The next school was organized soon afterward and by 1855 school No. 6 had built a house in which the first session was taught by Sylvester Gurnee.
The first settlers received mail at Green Bay or Oshkosh until in 1849 a postoffice was established at Appleton. In 1851 a weekly mail route between Green Bay and Portage with postoffices at Freedom and Bruce’s Mill was established. Over this route, 105 miles, mails were carried afoot, the round trip occupying a week. Stephen D. Mason was the first postmaster. Religious meetings were held in the homes of the settlers before schoolhouses were built; probably the first Protestant service in Stephensville was held at the house of Stephen D. Mason. The first Catholic service at P. H. Pew’s. Evangelical Lutheran ministers followed the German settlers into the town; from the efforts of these mission priests and preachers have grown two Catholic, two Evangelical Lutheran and one Methodist Episcopal and a German Methodist church in Ellington. Parochial schools are maintained by the Catholic and Lutheran congregations. The first death in town was probably that of a man employed in Thompson’s mill, who fell into the mill pond, was helped out, went to get dry clothing but died soon after reaching the house. Mr. Johnson, the first settler on the west side of Wolf river, was drowned early in the ’50s, trying to rescue some Indians who drunk and quarreling had fallen into the river.
A burying ground south of Bruce’s Mill near the center of the south half of section 20 was used several years, but was discontinued after the establishment of cemeteries in other parts of town, one of the oldest of which is the Rexford cemetery in section 4 on the northern line of town, and that of the Ellington Cemetery Association, which was platted in 1861.
The Indians had burial places near the village of Stephensville, one about forty rods west of the village, another was east of the road entering the village from the south not far back from the old dam. Two graves, one in each location, seemed especially venerated by them, and after the coming of the first settlers offerings of tobacco and a sort of flag were placed there.
The first doctor in Stephensville was Dr. Tabor, who came after the war. Before his coming physicians from Hortonville and earlier still, from Appleton, attended patients in Ellington.
The first frame house was built by Courtwright and Sawyer for Bruce, and Bruce dug the first well in the settlement. Pew’s Hotel was the first in the settlement but Mr. Pew says, “whoever run the mill had a boarding house and every settler’s house was a traveler’s home.” .
As the lumber industry developed in the upper regions of the Wolf and Shioc rivers, the route through Ellington became a much traveled highway and the entertainment afforded by Stephensville made it a favored stopping place. Any night an impromptu dance or party could be arranged and revelry and frolic abounded. These dances with log-rollings, cabin raisings and later, spelling-bees, quiltings and singing schools formed the entertainments of the settlement.
Town of Dale. — At a meeting of the county board of supervisors at Grand Chute, December 16, 1851, the following resolutions were moved by Mr. Wakefield (Hortonia) and seconded by Mr. Darling (Greenville): “Resolved, that so much of the town of Hortonia as is embraced in township 21, range 15 east, be set apart and organized as a separate town to be known and designated by the name of ‘Medina,’ such separation to take effect from and after the last day of March, next. The first town meeting for the election of officers for said town of Medina, and for transacting other town business, to be held at the schoolhouse in District No. 1 in said town on the day designated by law for annual town meetings in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. Thereupon an adjournment was voted until half past six o’clock this evening.” At the evening session: “The resolution last under consideration, namely, to set apart certain territory in the town of Hortonia in a new town to be called Medina, came up to order for discussion. Petitions praying the honorable board to create a new town in accordance with above resolution were read and a petition praying for a different division of the town, or to let it remain in its present situation, was also submitted. After some lengthy remarks by Mr. Wakefield, in favor of the resolution, and some brief ones from Mr. Hine against it, the yeas and nays being called for, the resolution was passed by the following vote: Yeas,. Rynders, Darling and Wakefield–3; nays, Robinson and Hine–2.” January 10, 1852, Alden S. Sanborn records: “I have this day forwarded by mail to the Secretary of State at Madison a true copy of the resolution of the board, passed December 16, A. D. 1851, as appears of record of that date creating and organizing the town of Medina.” February 23, 1852, the resolution creating the town of Medina was repealed by a unanimous vote of the board. No further action was recorded until the session of November 17, 1853, when a petition of W. W. Benedict and others, for a new town to be set off from Hortonia was presented and referred to a committee, who the following day reported an ordinance creating a new town of that territory embraced in T. 21 N., R. 15 E., to be set apart and formed into a new town to be called Dale, and authorizing an election for the first Tuesday of April, 1854, which was adopted. The following day, by a resolution, the ordinance dividing Hortonia and creating Dale was so amended as to make the section line running west from between sections 1 and 12, township 21, range 15, the dividing line between the two towns.
As late as the fall of 1847 it is claimed by many no white man had so much as erected a temporary shanty. But December 28 Arthur C. Minto, John Stanfield and Thomas Swan built a shanty of cedar logs in which they camped that winter while they got out rails for fencing. This shanty was roofed with troughs made by grooving split cedar logs, which were laid side by side, grooved side up, then the joints covered by troughs laid grooved side down. Such a roof was wind, rain and snow proof and could be made without nails. A number of such shanties were built by rail makers in the Rat River cedar swamp in Winnebago county, but this was the first recorded in Dale.
Near the last of March, 1848, Zebediah Hyde, Lewis Hyde and Alva McCrary chopped out a track sufficient to permit an ox team and wagon to wind in and out among the trees, on a land looking tour, locating on the site of the village of Medina, and there built the first settler’s cabin in Dale. The elder Hyde lived on the northeast corner of section 26, Lewis Hyde on the southeast corner of section 23, while Alva, McCrary had the southwest corner of section 24.
Samuel Young came to Dale in 1849. His four sons all were early settlers, William buying in section 35, the first land sold in the town, April 12, 1848, and settling the same spring. His shanty soon became a stopping place for travelers going north, and to accommodate them he built a frame house. In 1855 he bought the land Zebediah Hyde had settled seven years before and built a large hotel. This became a landmark known far and wide, and the locality was known as Young’s Corners, now Medina. With the Youngs came W. M. Emmonds, a brother-in-law. John Hall and family, William and Susan Hall, came to Dale, in June, 1849, securing the southeast quarter of section 35. Learning that employment could be had, they went up to Government Mill on Little Wolf, remaining until October, when they returned to Dale and, providing a shanty for winter, began clearing. At the same time with the Halls came Benjamin Williams and family, his son-in-law, Solomon Fielding, and his son, Samuel Williams, and wife. The elder Williams located the southwest corner of section 22, now a part of Dale village plat; Samuel Williams and Solomon Fielding selected section 28, assigning their entries to Samuel Parsons. The Williams family did not remain long in Dale, removing to Waupaca county.
“Eberhard Buck and Andrew, his son, came to the woods of Dale in May, 1848,” says Herman T. Buck of Hortonville, “as soon as the state was admitted to the Union. They brought an axe, an umbrella, a gun and a barrel of flour, and located on section 15. Neither had ever chopped a tree, and here on their land not a tree had been cut.” Conrad G. Meiner and Joe Boyer came at the same time to the same section and Conrad gave Joe G. Meiner half of his quarter section if Joe would stay with them. Josephus Wakefield was early, and in 1851 represented the town Hortonia in the county board. Rev. John Rinehart, the pioneer preacher, came November, 1849, from Ohio and settled near Medina. He held the first religious meetings in town and taught the school at Medina, probably the first winter term 1850-51. About 1853 he removed to Hortonville, his permanent home. Though his stay in Dale was short, he was a factor in the development of the settlement through his preaching and teaching and religious influence. Like other pioneers, he was dependent on his labor for his daily bread, and endured his full share of the privations common to all. He had when he came, says Philo Root, ninety-five cents, which he paid for lumber to fix a shanty to live in. He had to chop and make shingles to buy cornmeal for food, which was all he had for himself and wife and four children the whole of that winter except a round or strip of pork to start on. While the country was new and ministers scarce, he traveled on foot as far as New London and Shiocton to preach. It is told of him that having a preaching appointment across Rat river, he was in the habit of wading the water on the marsh. In freezing cold weather he broke the ice with a stick, waded through and reached his congregation with his clothing frozen on him.
James Wilson, 1849, bought in section 13 and settled that year or the following spring. Thomas Doughty lived on the northwest corner of section 25 about 1850. Richard Bottrell, about 1849, came to section 21 and in 1851 married Miss Otis. H. Greenfield and family came in 1849 to the vicinity of Medina, later removing to Greenville. Peter Hugunin about that time lived near Greenfield. Edward Spicer, about 1851, lived a mile west and a mile north of Medina, and a year or so later John Bunce came from Michigan, settling at first not far from Spicer’s, and later on in Hortonville and Medina road. Charles G. Vaughn had a large family of boys and lived on Appleton and Wolf River road a mile west of Dale. William Benedict lived a half mile west of Dale. William Hubbard lived on the county line in section 35. “Bill Hubbard, Bill Young and Bill Hall, living in the same section, were called by friends the three bad Bills of the county.” Harvey Blue, Tom Fielding, Enos Otis and Garman were all here in 1853. Otis settled on the southeast corner of section 21, on which a part of the village plat of Dale is laid. It was one of the best locations in town. After getting it into good shape, he sold to Hazelburn; afterward it was owned by Leppla. Virgil B. Prentice and his son George came in 1853. Stephen Balliet came the same year, settling on the northeast quarter section 28. A small creek, the outlet of Squaw lake, crossed his farm, in which he put a dam and built a sawmill. David Zehner came about the same time and bought in the northeast quarter of section 27. The McHughs, Mulroys and Carneys lived in the northwestern part of town in the early ’50s. Conrad A. Long had been an early settler, “starved out before 1853, but returned later to stay.”
Twenty families arrived and located there between the fall of 1853 and June, 1854. The only complaint at this time was a lack of good roads connecting Dale with Appleton.
Hubbard Hill lived on the main road between the county line and Medina. Cornelius Koontz had located on section 33 and had a sawmill about ready for operation in the fall of 1854, though the little creek could only furnish power in the spring and flood time. Hiram Rhodes was the first of the name to arrive. Edward, Elias, Andrew and Samuel came about 1855. Solomon Rhodes, the father, was past middle age and did not so actively engage in clearing and farming as did his sons. Andrew and Elias bought the Doughty tract in section 25 and built the Rhodes hotel. Gilbert Bacon canic with Hiram Rhodes, later returning to Antigo.
Wroe & Dunbar had a store at Medina, it is said, before 1855. John Henry Bottensek came in 1854, settled a tract sections 14 and 23. Henry Balliet came in 1854 also. Jonathan and Stephen Leiby, William Leiby, Reuben Rarick and wife and Isaac Degal came October, 1856. There were six sons and six daughters in the Leiby family, and all save one daughter settled on farms in Dale. George Leiby, the father, came 1860. Ransom P. Griswold came in June, 1855; Ezra Kellogg about that time or a little later; Joachim Herbst came to Greenville 1854 and to Dale 1856; Anton Graef came to the northwestern part of town 1855; Wendell Dietz about the same time, lived straight north of Dale village; Joseph Kelsey lived in section 12 on land he bought 1853; Wenzel Moder, 1856.
Early in 1858 a Lutheran church was organized in the town of Medina and preparations to erect a suitable building for the society were at once made. Medina was pronounced one of the best towns of the county. In January, 1859, the congregation of Rev. J. T. Suffron of the town of Dale made him a donation visit and presented him a purse of $62 and a supply of provisions. Among the prominent families in the town of Dale in 1860 were those of Rhodes, Lewis Young, Balliett, Koonz, Williams, Bloomer, Jewell, Hubbard, Greenfield, Hugunin, Nutter, Bills, Stein, Metlau, Graef, Prentice, Enos, Fielding, Besse, Bunce, Bottrell, Austin and Bishop.
In September, 1868, a son of J. E. Austin of Dale, while plowing on his father’s farm, struck a mass of copper ore, which, on being dug out, was found to weigh 432 pounds. The Crescent stated that it was almost pure and announced that it would be exhibited at the approaching county fair. The improvement of live stock and conversion of farms to dairying in progress at this time meant far more wealth to Dale than finding a copper mine. A postoffice was established at Dale village in 1876. John Leppla was first postmaster. The M. E. Church in Dale was dedicated October 1, 1876. William Rowbottom was pastor.
The Dale brook trout ponds were famous by 1878. The proprietors were Young & Worden. The ponds adjoined the village of Medina and were excavated in the bottom lands, through which a living stream ran, the supply of water being unfailing. There was a fish house, several ponds and islands; all the ponds were artificial and had cost a large sum of money. At about this time the first cheese factory was established in Dale.
Joseph Moder came 1857, George Moder a year or two later, the Nielands about 1858. Augustus Grossman came about this time entered land in school section; the Van Alstines came 1856, Herman Buck about 1857 and Charles F. Buck about 1859; Lawrence Linton came about this time. James McClatchie was assessor in 1857.
When the Wisconsin Central Railway was built, the site of Dale village was farm land. Medina secured a station one and a half miles distant, which did not afford fair facilities for the town. Stephen Balliet and David Zehner gave land for depot grounds and the citizens of the vicinity raised a sum of money and induced the road to make a station as near the center of the town as reached by the road. The village was platted by John H. Leppla, William Degal, David Zehner and Mrs. Nellie Balliet. The village is not incorporated, but under the town government has good streets and walks, fire engine and hose and a good schoolhouse. Numerous stores carry extensive stocks, which, being located in one of the best farming communities in the county, enjoy an enviable patronage. The professions are well represented. There is a newspaper. Several excellent fraternities meet the social requirements and three churches supply the spiritual needs.
Religious services were held in the early days of the settlement at the homes of settlers, and later in the schoolhouses. These services, of a non-denominational character, were attended by the religiously inclined settlers. John Rinehart probably held the first meetings in Dale, though in the early ’50s Keval, Clinton and Mitchell held services. A union Sunday-school was organized at Medina. John Jewell, superintendent, and this continued several years until the M. E. Church was established, when it was reorganized, as a Methodist school. Evangelists, circuit preachers and presiding elders of the Methodists held services at various times, usually in schoolhouses. These services resulted in the organization of a church at Medina. John Dey mentions Rev. Walker Baldock and Bullock as among the early preachers. A Sunday-school under supervision of the church was organized, which was joined by most of the members of a non-denominational Sunday-school, opened some years previously in the adjoining town of Greenville. St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran congregation was organized, 1859, by Rev. Th. Jaeckel who preached to eleven families. In 1870, Rev. O. Spehr and the following year Rev. H. J. Haak, both of Hortonville, preached to them. From 1874 to 1880, T. R. Gensike; from 1880 to 1895, A. Kluge, since whom Rev. Gustav E. Boettcher has attended them. No resident minister has ever been called. Until 1888 services were held in the same building with the Reformed Church, one and a half miles east of Dale; at that time there were thirteen full families and two ladies. The congregation now numbers forty-eight voting members and nine women. No parochial school is as yet maintained but preparations are being made to erect a building this present year, with prospect of the congregation soon calling its own minister.
During the decade beginning 1850 several Pennsylvania German families came to the vicinity, to whom Rev. Lienkaemper preached and organized into a Reformed Church, which with a Lutheran congregation built a church 1863-4 a half mile west of Medina village. Rev. Lienkaemper was succeeded as pastor by Rev. E. T. H. Woehler, 1865; E. W. Henschen, 1873 to 1875; H. W. Stienecker was ordained 1877 and served until 1892; Rev. Muehlmeier, his successor, remained until 1898; he was followed by Rev. Zenk; Rev. Kurtz in 1900 in turn was succeeded 1907 by Rev. Stienecker, a former pastor, who now ministers to the congregation. In 1878 a parsonage was built near the church, and the following year the interest of the Lutherans in the church was purchased and the building removed to its present site in village of Dale, and during the pastorate of Rev. Muehlmeier the parsonage was also established there. In 1909, an addition to the church was built on the south end for school and other purposes. The parochial school begun by Rev. Henchen has been maintained by his successors during vacations of district schools. The congregation now numbers some forty families, eighty to ninety communicant and forty unconfirmed members.
The first schoolhouse in town was built seventy rods south of Young’s Corners, now Medina, spring 1850. It was built of logs, had a shake roof, but was large enough for thirty pupils. There was no sawmill nearer than Horton’s, so benches were made by putting legs in split basswood logs. Mrs. Harvey Greenfield taught the first school that summer. Under the school system in vogue in the early days of the county, each town elected a superintendent of schools, whose duty it was to examine prospective teachers to ascertain their qualifications for the positions sought. Philo Root, one of Dale’s earliest pedagogues, tells of his first examination: “I called on the superintendent, telling him that Harvey Greenfield and Peter Hugunin had engaged me to teach their school, and I wanted him to examine me. He replied: ‘I have no doubt you know a good deal more than I do.’ However, he asked me several questions relative to my experience in school work, gave me a problem in short division and wrote the license.” School government seemed paramount to all other qualifications, and if one could teach the “Rs” and was himself a speller and possessed the ability to get along with a school, his qualification was ample. That the pupils in the old log schoolhouses did learn is evident.
The first cemetery in Dale was about a half mile west of Medina.
“Town of Dale.—Young & Worden spent $400 this year building and stocking the Dale fisheries. W. H. Wroe does largest general mercantile business in the western part of the county. V. & C. Leppla carry on extensive wagonmaking and blacksmithing business. James Kennedy operates a sawmill. W. H. Wroe is engaged in drug business at the Corners. A. Alton manufactures and sells harness. William H. Spengler, who does a large business as general dealer, expended $1,000 during the season in enlarging and improving his buildings. Henry Huettl does general blacksmithing. Jacob Vlein has a small tannery and markets good leather. Patrick Halpin has wagon and blacksmith shop. Total amount of business done in the town for the year, $40,000.”—(Post, December 13, 1877.)
The Dale Recorder was established in 1895 by Joseph Senftenberg, who continued its publication about eight years. Then after an interval of a year or more, Harry H. Mollon brought a plant from Oshkosh and resumed the publication. The Recorder is independent politically, devoted to the interests of Dale and vicinity.
Dale Camp, No. 3208, M. W. A., was organized September, 1895, with nineteen charter members. F. W. Kundiger, V. C.; Sam R. Wason, clerk. The order has now a membership of eighty-four, carrying insurance aggregating approximately $125,000. Meetings are held the second and last Tuesdays of each month in M. W. A. Hall, a handsome, large building erected for general public meetings and entertainments by a stock association composed entirely of members belonging to the order. Present Camp officers are F. G. Emmons, V. C.; B. Nelson, clerk. A camp of Royal Neighbors, auxiliary to M. W. A., was organized January, 1897, with about thirty members. Wisconsin was unable to give insurance until two years later, by which time but few retained membership. A deputy succeeded in 1895 in raising the membership to eighteen, of whom several were social, and the membership dwindled to ten beneficiary members. Since January, 1911, by the efforts of the secretary, twenty-five have been added, making the membership thirty-five. The officers: Mrs. Bell Heuer, Oracle; Emma Nieman, Vice; Mabel Heuer, Recorder; Nellie Heuer, Receiver.
The First State Bank of Dale was started in 1902 with a capital of $25,000, afterward reduced to $15,000. Peter Huth, president; Jacob J. O’Godnigg, cashier. February 26, 1906, the First National Bank of Dale, its successor, was organized with W. K. Rideout, R. H. Edwards, Charles Barber, George A. Sareau, A. T. Hening, W. H. Spengler, stockholders and organizers, and begun business ten days later with W. K. Rideout, president; A. T. Hening, vice-president; W. H. Spengler, cashier. Mr. Sareau soon withdrew and later G. Reinert became president, making the present management.
Town of Cicero. — The first attempted settlement in this town; it is said, was when John T. Pierce, his son Silas and Lloyd G. Walker pre-empted lands along the Shioc river in section 30 about the middle of September, 1865. They built shanties, into which they moved about Christmas time, and intended making homestead entry as soon as their pre-emption rights expired. The following spring the lowlands along the Shioc were flooded; four feet of water stood above their cabin floors; fearing worse, they rafted their effects down river to Shioc. Some of their claims were transferred to Herman Eberhard, who, with E. C. Stannard, came in the summer, Eberhard settling west of the river and Stannard on the State road in southwest section 32. John Sorrell appeared not long afterward. Charles Briggs came about 1866. Harry Shepherd about a year later, lived on section 28. Wright, Peter and James Sherman came about a year or two later. William LeMerl lived in section 30, lot 5, which he homesteaded in 1868. Karl Bleek, with his family, came in the fall of that year to section 28. At this time there was no bridge across Black creek at the site of the village; settlers had to go around by the State road to get into Cicero. Stephen B. Salter, in September, 1870, took a homestead in northeast 30. Lorenzo Daniels came the same year to 29, later living in 19. C. Herman came next year to 29, and about December Elisha Baxter came to the same section. Gottlieb Giesberger lived in section 33 about 1870. James Bradley and John Rice in western 34, Anton Zulinger, Franz Klauer and Franz Schnabel in 32, came about the same time. Walch and Kuchenbecker were settlers in the early ’70s, the latter in section 12. William Schroeder, Charles Wussow, Edward Jaeger and Charles Court lived in section 26 in 1871. In the same year Arthur McKee lived in section 33. Adreas Barth in 36, Ernst Neuft in northeast 33, William Ladds in northwest 32, John Larson in southwest 20, George Glaser on the county road in southwest 29; all were settled before April, 1871. About 1872 Christian Roepke lived in section 1. In 1873, John Machinsky settled in 28 and about the same time Fred and Christian Koehn in section 9, and John Burmeister, followed about a year later by Fred and Henry Burmeister. William Piehl and John Bubolz about that time settled in section 1. Ezra Buttles lived in southeast 36. Jacob Anderes, his sons Gottlieb and Fred, and his son-in-law, Peter Groff, lived in the school section about 1877-8.
Township 24, range 17 (now Cicero), composed the northern half of the town Black Creek at the organization of that town. At its January session, 1871, the county board of supervisors received a petition, praying a division of the town of Black Creek. The committee to whom the petition was referred reported: “In our opinion the town cannot be divided. The town issued bonds in aid of the Green Bay & Lake Pepin Railroad, which are still outstanding. The General Laws of 1870 expressly declare it shall not be lawful to strike from any town so issuing bonds any part of its territory while such bonds are unpaid.” After accepting this report, a petition was signed by all the members of the board asking the Legislature to pass an act dividing the town, and such act was passed, the division being made possible by apportioning the bonded debt of $5,000 to the town of Cicero and $7,000 to the town of Black Creek.
At the first annual meeting of Cicero, held April 4, 1871, the following were elected: Stephen B. Salter, chairman; John Rice and William Schrader, supervisors; Harry Shepherd, town clerk; Charles Briggs, assessor; John Sorrell, treasurer; Reuben Goddard, Asa Price, Gottlieb Geisberger and Stephen B. Salter, justices of the peace; Charles Wussow, William Bleek and G. A. Glaser, constables.
In June, 1871, three school districts were formed, No. 1 to include the twelve sections on the west side of town, No. 2 the twelve lying next east through the middle, and No. 3 to include the remaining twelve sections. That year a schoolhouse was built in district 1, in which Lucretia Brainerd taught the first school. Houses were built and schools started in the other districts soon afterward.
Lawson & Webster were among the first having logging crews in Cicero in the ’60s. Daniels of Oshkosh also run logs down the Shioc. The Brush boys cut logs along Load creek, where was the finest pine mixed with giant hardwood. Jim and Tom Gaynor of Fond du Lac lumbered in the northern part about 1870 to 1876. Some of their logs were landed on the Shioc and some on Herman Brook. Others who logged in Cicero were John Park, Hiram Grigg, Tom Shepherd and Nathan Dodge. Dodge took out cedar timber. Sewell Shepherd one season lumbered with Dodge.
The Evangelical Lutheran congregation in North Cicero was started by Rev. Wuebben during his pastorate at Seymour. A church was built and Rev. F. Proehl has since been the pastor. The Lutheran Church of South Cicero is served by a minister from Black Creek.
Town of Maine. — The first settlers in the territory of Maine were David Stinson, his son-in-law, George Speers, Paul Greeley and Mr. Whitmore, in 1854. They were from Chilton, “State of Maine,” and came by boat up Wolf river, landing just below where Andrew Allen now lives in section 9, on the Shawano road. Andrew Allen, who was probably the next settler, came from Canada in 1862, locating in section 9. Thomas Jacobs came shortly after Allen, and settled on the school section. Thomas W. Allen and Sylvester Boodry were probably next. Boodry, too, came from Maine, and located in 16. Claud Hurlbert came from New York state three or four years after Andrew Allen, settling in section 4. Ezra Ryder was in the same section, and an old Vermonter, Thomas Allen, settled in section 21. All these families had arrived before Matt. D. Leeman, in 1867.
In 1867, David H., Jerry, Jacob J. and G. D. Carpenter came in, David and Jerry to section 12, Jacob to 16. Moses S. Curtis came in the fall, living at first in section 3, afterward in 11. Marcellus and James Spaulding came also that year, lived in section 16, Charles S. Spaulding in section 4 the year preceding. Eben Pushor settled in 16 in 1867; D. W. Fuller arrived about the close of the war. H. S. and George Leeman came in 1866. A. H. Atwater, in 1870, was the first settler west of Wolf river, in section 4; Elmer Strong next on No. 5; Richard Strong about the same time; Diemal, Jersey and Ball came early in the ’70s; Jim and Cal Sawyer about 1873. At this time there was no bridge across the river. A flatboat was used as an accommodation ferry. No tolls were charged, as it was a neighborhood boat provided for general use, every man being his own ferryman, though if help were needed “he had only to holler” and someone would come to his assistance. A corduroy through the swamp and a wooden bridge was built in the winter of 1881-2, which was used until 1888, when it was replaced by the present steel structure.
The town of Maine, more than any other in the county, has an English speaking population. Most of the earlier settlers were American born, the exceptions being generally Canadians. In the later ’70s and the first half of the eighth decade a number of Scandinavian families, principally Norwegians, came in, among them Andrew Skogskrom and Andrew Lind, who arrived about 1876, both settling in section 3. Nels Nelson three years later in the same section. John and Martin Larson came about the same time. Ole Arenson, about 1880; Christian Olsen, Gust. Erickson and Alfred Nelson, ’80 or ’81; William and Charley Dorn in 1881; Lars Johnson, Eric Jones and Nels Johnson, 1882.
The first schoolhouse was a log shanty in section 9, the next in section 16, “a shanty of boards nailed to posts stuck in the ground.” Both were on the old Shawano road, then the only thoroughfare. This road, said to have been cut through by the Government for a military road before settlement began, afterward worked out by the settlers, followed the course of Wolf river, and was for many years the route traversed by lumbermen and supply teams going to logging camps in Shawano, and as it extended through to Lake Superior, it was early a thoroughfare of great importance and heavy travel until the railroads were extended through its territory. David Stinson’s cabin was early made a stopping place by travelers along this road, as was Andrew Allen’s, and in fact any of the settlers who could furnish accommodations, but Stinson and Allen made special provision for the entertainment of travelers and care of teams, the latter building a hotel in 1871 and continuing nearly forty years.
The first store was started by H. S. Leeman and Andrew Allen, and not long afterward another was opened by Fuller and Greeley. M. D. Leeman’s was the third mercantile venture, opening with a small stock in 1880 and continuing to the present. A postoffice was established at Stinson and at Leeman’s, the latter still in commission, though the town has rural service from Shiocton. A rural route extending into Shawano county starts from Leeman postoffice.
The choicest timber along the Wolf had been logged and run down the river by the middle ’60s, but for many years logging was the greatest industry, and for the settlers almost the only source of revenue. Beach and Conley were big lumbermen who operated very extensively in Maine, owning most of section 10, all of 11 and part of 12, besides large areas of “stumpage” in other tracts. Buckstaff and Chase operated west of the Wolf river and put in most of the timber on that side. Beach afterward cleared and operated a farm on three quarters of section 11.
The Town of Maine was created November, 1868, and the first annual town meeting ordered held at the schoolhouse in District 1 in section 9 of the next town the following April. At this town election eighteen votes were cast, electing P. A. Greeley, chairman; A. Allen and M. Spaulding, supervisors; James E. Spaulding, clerk; H. S. Leeman, treasurer; William L. Hurlbert and J. C. Spaulding, justices; T. Jacobs, constable; P. A. Greeley and H. S. Leeman, assessors.
Town of Liberty. —Alvin Burnell was probably the first white man settled in Liberty. The date of his coming, while uncertain, was probably about 1850, since it is said he was here when Joseph Turney and family came, about 1851, and settled in section 4 in what is now Liberty. Another early comer was a Mr. Yeomans, who, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s collectors for 1856, had been living “at the foot of Wolf Peak, commonly called Mosquito Hill, four years,” and who may have preceded Burnell. Samuel Reynolds came that summer or the next after the Turneys and lived in southeast section 15. Leroy Turner came 1853 or early 1854 and settled in southwest 6, where the fair grounds are now located. Henry Olin, who came about the same time, lived just beyond in the same section. Simeon Kegg lived alone in a little shanty on the Embarrass river. He was a Frenchman, somewhat eccentric and excitable. When he was elected sealer of weights and measures he jumped up and shouted: “By grass, I go right down an’ mek Zhon Breidenstein’s pint measure hold a quart!” Breidenstein kept tavern.
John Evritt lived in northeast and Charles Evritt in northwest 4; came about 1855, and together owned the island formed by the cutoff and Embarrass river. Ireland came a little later and joined farms with Olin. John and Charles Abbott came to South Liberty about 1854-5, but only stayed a few years. John R. Nickel about this time moved over from Maple Creek, bought land in section 4. Andrew Farrand came about 1855 and lived on the Shiocton road; after a few years sold to John Emery and moved to New London. Emery, it is said, devised the knotter for twine binders.
Thomas R. Torrey and one son ca.me to Liberty December, 1855, and settled in section 13, township 23, but five years later removed to Shiocton. Samuel Torrey, who came at the same time, settled some years later in 14. Sargent Jewell came soon after the Torreys to northeast 1. Godfrey Dix and Michael Emerick also settled in section 1. Alexander Reeke, on the Shiocton road, near the corner of sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, came about 1856, and following him came James Pine, on same road. Pine’s son-in-law, Harvey Hook, at the same time settled in South Liberty. Matthias, Fred and Christ Siegel came in 1856, followed the next year by their mother and father, Jacob F. Siegel, all settling beyond Mosquito Hill on the South Liberty road, though at the time Mr. M. Siegel says there, were no roads in that vicinity except those used by the lumbermen who were then putting logs into the Wolf river. Jones of Oshkosh and a firm from Fond du Lac each had a camp. John Morack and his brother, Fred Kanter, John Stake and Hahn came a year or so later, all settling in a bunch beyond the Siegels in South Liberty. S. T. Cottrell, Ireland and his son-in-law, John Sanborn, lived on the Shiocton road, but moved out in the later ’50s. Godfrey Dix lived on the Gruppman place, was there in 1856, and a man named Ferkinson lived near him. William Rase and Kuppernuss in northeast 7, and Frederick Strake came early in 1858. John Grupmann came about a year later. B. F. Stimson kept a little store in New London and lived in the Third ward. Peter Thorn came 1857 and settled in section 14. C. A. Holz came the next year and lived near the Siegels, in South Liberty. The Dexters lived near New London a few years, but by exchange got land in Liberty about 1858. F. Eager came about the same time. William Rohaln lived with his brothers in Lebanon, but came to Liberty about 1857. Dickinson settled in 4 the same time. Ripley J. Richards about 1858 to 5. Andrew Nitke about the same time came to northwest 9, James Franklin to southwest 6 in 1857. Nathaniel Wright owned land in section 13, 1858, and was elected justice of the peace, but since old residents fail to recall him, it is probable his stay was brief. Alonzo Quackenbush is not remembered as a settler, though elected constable 1858. Henry Ketcham came in the early ’60s. McFarland and his brother-in-law, Jack Anson, came before the war. Anson worked in the woods in winters and in summer on the boats which ran regularly to Oshkosh. Augustus Wellman lived in northeast 8. Matthias Siegel brought the first team of horses into Liberty.
An ordinance, effective March 1, 1858, provided that all that part of the town of Embarrass, lying in township 22 north, range 15 east, be set off from the town of Embarrass, and constitute a new town to be called Liberty. An amendment to the creative ordinance provided that the boundaries of the towns of Embarrass and Liberty be changed so the town of Liberty should embrace all that part of township 22 north, range 15 east, lying north of Wolf river and the two south tiers of sections in township 23 north, range 15 east. The ordinance was still further amended January 13, 1859, and the boundaries so fixed, that Liberty included that part of township 22 north, range 15 east, lying north of Wolf river and sections 1, 2, 12, 13, 14, the east 1/2 of section 22, section 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, the east 1/2 of 33, and section 34, 35 and 36 township 23 north, range 15 east, and so as to embrace in Embarrass, the remainder of townships 23 and 24 north, range 15 east.
By ordinance January 12, 1871, the boundaries between Maple Creek and Liberty were changed, so that the portion of Maple Creek described as the east half of the southwest quarter of section 33, township 23 north, be detached from Maple Creek, and made a part of Liberty’; and that part of Liberty described as the northwest half of the northeast quarter of section 33, township 23, range 15, be detached from Liberty and made a part of Maple Creek.
At the first annual town meeting of Liberty the poll list shows 27 voters as follows: John M. Turney, John R. Nickel, Godfrey Dix, Joseph Turney, William Rase, Michael Emerick, Samuel W. Turney, Henry Olin, John Dickinson, Sargent Jewell, John F. Siegel, Charles Everitt, Hobart S. Dickinson, James Franklin, James C. Turney, Samuel Reynolds, Daniel Ireland, John Everitt, Alonzo Quackenbush, Alexander Reeky, Augustus Wellman, Ripley J. Richards, S. H. Cottrell, Sylvanus Mitchell, Leroy Turner, Henry Caldwell, Randson Dickinson.
The first annual meeting of Liberty was held April 6, 1858, and organized by appointing Ripley J. Richards, chairman; Augustus Wellman and Leroy Turner inspectors; and S. W. Cottrell, clerk. Road improvement was here as in others towns the first consideration. While yet included in Embarrass the matter had received attention and various roads had been laid, notably the New London and Shioc road traversing the northern part of township 22, and another traversing the town in the direction of Stephensville, which seems to have been called the Reynolds road, now known as the south Liberty road. These roads traversed ridges on either side of a swamp which seems to have made a natural division of the town into north and south Liberty. A special road fund of a thousand dollars had been raised and after separation from Embarrass $350 reverted to Liberty and $150 was “applied on a bridge across the Embarrass leading to town of Liberty,” which was the first across the Embarrass. It was determined to expend the $350 as follows: $100 to bridge the cedar swamp on section 2, $100 to bridge a swamp on 8 on the Reynolds road, $100 on the New London and Shioc road between the east line of section 4 and the south line of sections 5, $25 to be expended on the cedar swamp on section 2, $25 on the New London and Shioc between end of outlet bridge and west line of town. It was further voted at this meeting, that a special road tax of seven mills be levied, to be expended in the districts where raised. Voted also $150 for current expenses and $50 for schools. Twenty-seven (27) votes were polled electing Ripley J. Richards, chairman; Joseph Turney and Samuel Reynolds, supervisors; Samuel W. Turney, clerk; Alexander Reeke, treasurer; John R. Nickel, superintendent of schools; Hobart S. Dickinson, William Raase, Leroy Turner and Nathaniel Wright, justices; Augustus Wellman, assessor; Alonzo Quackenbush, James B. Franklin and Sargent Jewell, constables.
While yet a part of Embarrass, school district Number 1 was formed but September 2, 1858, it was made to include all of township 23, range 15 in Liberty, the southeast quarter of section 32 and south half of 33 in Embarrass, and all that part of township 22 in Liberty except sections 1, 6 and 7.
Settlement of the town progressed steadily until the early ’70s, the best tracts by this time being already occupied, the town has never been thickly populated and in the last decade has fallen off about fifteen per cent, the census of 1910 showing 521 inhabitants, or about sixteen and one-third per square mile in Liberty with southeast quarter section 32 and south half of 33 in town of Embarrass and all that part of township 22 in Liberty except sections 1, 6 and 7. The records are silent as to the date of the building of this school house.
The early settlement of the town was rapid until the war period by which time the best of its territory was occupied, its population per square mile of area being but sixteen and one-third the last decade showing a falling off of nearly 15 per cent the last census showing 521 inhabitants.
Churches in New London afforded opportunity for residents of Liberty to worship each according to his faith and it was not until the later ’90s a church was built in North Liberty and in 1899 a frame building was erected in South Liberty, both congregations are Germans of the Evangelical Lutheran denominationl. Rev. Walker was the first pastor and had four churches under his care. Before the church was built, services were held in the South Liberty schoolhouse.
Town of Embarrass. — On the last day of December, 1852, by the Board of Supervisors the following resolution was adopted: “That so much of the territory of Outagamie county as lies north and west of the Wolf river be, and the same is hereby organized into a separate town and the legal voters therein are duly authorized to elect town officers and transact town business, and the first town meeting be held at the house of Washington Law on the first Tuesday of April next; the polls to be opened at the hour specified by law for annual elections; said town to be known by the name of Embarrass. And be it further resolved that Norman Nash be and is hereby authorized to post up in said territory three or more copies of the above resolution, said resolution to be furnished him by the clerk of the Board.”
Prior to this time, though included in Outagamie county, it does not appear that this territory possessed any political significance. By the settlers of Ellington, Hortonia and Bovina it was known as “The Indian land beyond the Wolf,” and does not appear to have been included as an out district of any town already organized. A few settlers had located there before the survey was made. The first settler of record within the present boundary of Maple Creek, was the venerable George W. Law, whose house was appointed the first annual meeting place, who now resides in New London. The date of his coming is fixed by Thomas C. Nickel, who a boy of eighteen came with him, as the first week in May, 1850. This trip was undertaken with Mr. Turney to procure tan bark for which they had a contract. On this they were engaged until November, when they returned to the settlements, but each it seems selected tracts and made locations to which they returned the following year, Mr. Law in section 29, Maple Creek, Mr. Turney in Liberty.
A few settlers followed Mr. Law probably the same year though he says it seemed nearly a year before his wife saw a white woman. There were plenty of Indians, however, but while never troublesome, they could never be companions nor associates of the pioneer mothers. Viewing it after a lapse of sixty years it was not long, however, it seemed to them, until others came, probably Jeremiah Merricle coming next after Law to section 18 and George Lutsey, Alvin and Lewis Holcomb and a man named Geer who lived on the creek.
On the records of the old town Embarrass we find the following: “Failed to hold town meeting on the day specified in foregoing resolution; for want of an officer to qualify the board. It was therefore deemed necessary to call a meeting for the purpose of organizing said town.”
It does not appear when this conclusion was reached but this entry is followed by a declaration as follows: “We the undersigned qualified voters of the town of Embarrass, and county of Outagamie, do believe it is for the common interest of said town to organize ourselves into a body politic, for the purpose of choosing officers and transacting such other business as may (be) deemed proper and necessary.” Dated, “Embarrass, Wis., Oct. 25, 1853” and signed by Jer. Merricle, George Lutsey, George W. Law, Alvin C. Holcomb, Augustus Busch and Lewis M. Holcomb. Then under same date is the notice of meeting and election. At this election thirteen votes were cast and the following officers elected, each of whom received the total vote: Jeremiah Merricle, George Lutsey and Alvin Burnell, supervisors; Alvin C. Holcomb, town clerk; George W. Law, treasurer; Alvin C. Holcomb, superintendent of schools; Alvin Burnell, Alvin C. Holcomb, George Lutsey and Joseph Turney, justices of peace; Lewis M. Holcomb, Fordyce Worth, constables; Lewis M. Holcomb, assessor; George Lutsey, sealer of weights and measures; Andrew A. Dakin, overseer of highways. No poll list is recorded and the five voters who were not elected to office remain unidentified. The settlers located rapidly in 1851-2 and 3 and it is believed a full poll would show nearly double the number appearing of record though some had not “gained residence.” Among those mentioned, Augustus Busch settled on what is now the Kickhoefer place in section 17; Andrew A. Dakin came about 1851 to section 29; Alvin Burnell was about as early as Law but settled in Liberty, was a bachelor and probably the first white man in Liberty. Joseph Turney also settled in Liberty. Fordyce Worth came to Maple Creek about 1852. Some not mentioned in the records but known to have settled before November, 1853, were: Thomas Nickel, father of Thomas C., Levi and John Nickel, who came to Maple Creek and located in section 29, in February, 1852, and died the following April. John Wheeler came to the same section about the same time or possibly earlier, Mrs. Wheeler died in March, 1852, and hers was probably the first death in the settlement. There was no cemetery and both she and Mr. Nickel, and later, a little child of Wm. McDonald, were buried in the woods on the section where they lived, resting there until a cemetery was established. McDonald joined the settlement in 1852. James Payton came in the fall of the same year. Sam and John Payton about that time. Joseph N. Owen, unmarried, came with his brother-in-law, Gordon House, both locating in 32, in 1853. Porter Bowen in the same year on the same section near the Embarrass river, afterward removing to section 13, Deer Creek. Norman Gerard lived near Lutsey in section 15, Maple Creek. Alexander Cuthbertson and Robert Hutchison, both of Scotch ancestry, bought land in 1854 on Maple Creek in section 17. Lyman Woodward came about 1853 to section 31. Joseph N. Owen in the same year bought in 17. Carl Ohm lived in 29 and Giesbert Stechtman in 30. The Ruckdashels, Lorence and his parents, came about 1854 and were the first in what later became Sugar Bush. Thomas C. Nickel, who came with Law 1850, settled in 29 in 1855. Michael Flannagan about a year later settled in 19. Fred Fuerst came 1856 to 28. Walter Housten lived on Shawano road in Maple Creek about 1856, kept a tavern and had the first bar in the town. Isaac Krake came 1856, stopped at New London where by this time there was a little settlement, until he could prepare a home in section 32, Maple Creek. His sons Levi and Ephriam lived in same section. They were of the “Mohawk Dutch” and with the energy characteristic of that people engaged in the development of the settlement. Warren Jepson from the same region in New York came the same year, removing in 1860 to section 31 in Deer Creek, being one of the earliest to locate in that town.
By 1857 daily steamers from Fond du Lac and Oshkosh reached the village of New London on the south line of Embarrass and a rapid growth of population was predicted at an early date. The Embarrass pine lands were very valuable and a large capital was employed in 1857 to getting out logs for the upper Fox river and Lake Winnebago markets. Much of the pine used at Appleton in 1857 was obtained on the Embarrass.
John Spence came to section 19 in 1857. Gottleib Krueger about the same time, to 8, later removing to Liberty. Daniel Bratts in 32, that, or the year following. Fred Roloff, William, August and John Pribbeno and Fred Quitben about 1858, all in section 29. Darby McGlone settled on town line in section 6. “Old Doctor” J. E. Breed settled where August Kempf now lives in 8 and was the first and only doctor in Maple Creek. A. W. Wilmarth came at the same time and lived with the doctor. William Kickhoefer came about 1858, settling in 17 and is still living on the old place with his son Charles, who came at the same time. Calvin C. Walker built a hotel on the Shewano Road about 1859, William, Henry and Plummer Walker were brothers and all lived together in section 7. About 1860 Martin Glass came to section 29 and William Merricle and Charles Labe, a gunsmith, who lived at the mouth of Maple Creek. Fred Ebert lived near him on the same creek. John Bubolz in 17, Thomas Madden in the northern part, Fred Cortbein in 29, James and George Hutchison in 20, George later lived in 19, all about 1860. Godfried Finger settled a part of August Kemp’s place, Sam Price on the John Flannagan place, later at mouth of Maple Creek. Fred and George Weisuer lived in northern part of town. The Knaaks, Levi and Isaac, were residents in 1863, Ludwig Kanthook and John Knapp in 1865.
Town of Maple Creek. — For the most part this town is adapted to farming; it owed much of its early development to the magnificent pine timber with which its slopes were covered. As before stated, the first comers gathered tan bark from the hemlock trees which grew in profusion in some sections and furnished occasional employment for a number of years. It was logging the great pines, however, that gave the early settlers employment by which to subsist until their farms could produce a sufficiency. Some of those who logged extensively in the Maple Creek region, were Drew, Campbell, Smith, Gainor and Garland. One season as high as seven million feet of logs were put in, most of them being landed on Maple and Bear creeks, two dams to assist the drive being put in Maple creek. After the war the logging operation included the hardwood timber of which there was a vast amount, both maple and oak, and until the middle ’70s there was a wealth of timber. During this time the settlers were enlarging their clearings, and as the timber was removed, tracts held by lumber companies were thrown into market for settlement and by the time the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railroad established a market at New London, farms of considerable extent were prepared to send their produce. After the coming of the M., L. S. & W. R. R., now the Northwestern, a station was established in section 7 and called Sugar Bush, after the post office which had been established in the vicinity some years previously. The first sawmill was located near there and was operated for a time by Ruckdashel as a custom mill, and later by Henry Kickhoefer, by whom it was enlarged and shingle machinery added.
The first road through the territory of Maple Creek was the old Shawano Road which followed closely an old trail made by the Indians in their migrations to and from the upper portions of the state, this road early became an important artery of travel between New London, the practical head of navigation on the Wolf, and the great pineries of the Embarrass country for which the young city became a base of supply.
The town of Embarrass (Maple Creek) is the only one in the county in which, so far as can be learned from the records, absolutely no form of public improvements had been made at the time of its organization. A road overseer was elected at the first election, November 5, 1853. April, 1856, the voters in town meeting declared for a road fund of $600, for town expenses, $175. Seventeen voters participated in this election.
The following year the poll list bears thirty-six names. A thousand dollars was voted for roads, $100 toward a bridge across the Embarrass, $200 for town expenses. That summer contracts were let for crosswaying and planking at twenty-five cents per foot payable part in cash and part in town orders, and in November authorized Porter Bowen to expend $59.86 on south branch of Embarrass known as “the cut-off” in building a bridge. This, it is claimed, was the first bridge across the Embarrass.
At an election February 29, 1864, on the question of taxing the town to pay volunteers $200 bounty, 29 votes were cast, of which 10 were for and 16 against the tax.
The first change in the boundaries of the town of Embarrass occurred November, 1854, when the portion west of Wolf river in townships 23 and 24, range 16, was included in Bovina, and one year later that part of township 22 , range 16, lying west of Wolf river was attached to the town of Ellington.
By the creation of the town of Liberty, 1858, and by boundaries established the following year, Embarrass was reduced to approximately that part of township 23, range 15, lying west of the Embarrass river, and township 24. November, 1860, the county board of supervisors ordained that the name of the town Embarrass should be changed to Maple Creek, and, by an ordinance effective March 1, 1868, divided the town, setting apart all of township 24, range 15, to form the new town Deer Creek, leaving its area substantially as at present.
The organization of Liberty deprived Embarrass of its only school save as a joint district but soon afterward District No. 1 was formed and a school opened in a log building on the Spence farm and was taught by Isabel Mills, the first schoolhouse was built on the line between Robert Hutchinson and Jerry Mericle about a mile south of the site of the present schoolhouse. At an early day religious services were held by itinerant ministers and missionaries in the homes of the settlers and in the schoolhouse. Representatives of the Baptist, Methodist, United Brethren and Congregational churches held services at various times without churches. About 1870 William Steward organized the Christian congregation which built a church on the Shawano road in northeast section 18. Lutheran congregations have churches on northwest 10 and southeast 29.
Town of Osborn. — The early settlement of the town of Osborn was slow and until 1858, ten years after the coming of the first family, but little in the way of development and less of public improvement had been accomplished. Duncan McNabb settled on the northeast quarter of section 30 where he established his home, cleared his farm, and resided until his death in 1892. He was joined in 1849 by his brother Robert in the same section, and in September, 1850, by his son, Peter, who was the first white child born in Osborn. Robert McNabb later removed to the town of Center living in southeast section 13. These families were Scotch. The next comers were Irish, Thaddeus McCormick, who came in the early fall of 1849 to land purchased the previous year. In this family were grown sons Patrick, John and Timothy who, though coming at the same time, did not immediately make settlement. There was no industry in Osborn by which a living could be made until clearings were formed and crops produced. These young men found employment outside for several years, at intervals working in the clearing, and all acquiring lands in the vicinity. Patrick after his father’s death in 1856 continued the development of the homestead in which he had been interested from the beginning, on which he still resides, the only survivor of those who settled before 1850 in Osborn.
Albert Simpson came in 1852 to section 32 afterward sold to Charley Miller, who was among the first of the German settlers, and removed to the southwest quarter of 33, where his son Charles still resides. Mr. Simpson found on his first purchase, a small log house, and a clearing left by a former occupant. Several families from the “Hoosier Colony” in Freedom had extended the settlement into Osborn but after making a few improvements sold to later comers and moved away, their identity is lost. James Simpson in 1853 secured land in section 30, began clearing a farm and making a home to which two years later he brought his wife from Michigan. By reason of his exertion and influence in securing the separation of Osborn from Freedom he has been called the father of Osborn. James Daniels came in January, 1859, to southeast 18, John C. Hartman a little later to section 34, and by April of that year James Kelly. John Loucks had settled in 18, William, John and Samuel Knox in 8, F. M. Manley in 6, Watson Manley in section 18 and D. B. Stillman. Later in the year, Sewell Shepherd came to section 5 when he cleared a farm, later removing to Appleton.
George W. Shepherd came to the same section the following year making a farm upon which he resided until his death, 1872. He was a blacksmith and opened his shop across the road in what later became Seymour. This was the first shop of which there is record in either Osborn or Seymour, and was later operated by Sewell Shepherd. Allen A. Shepherd came about the same time.
There were no roads in Osborn up to 1859 except the “Appleton Road” which could be traveled as far as Duncan McNabb’s in section 30, though not on the line as at present, but about 25 or 30 rods east. Settlers coming in in the fall of that year having “as good a team of horses as you could find” were stuck with a load of about five hundred weight of tools and supplies and required two yoke of oxen to help them through to the location on the town line. Settlers coming in the spring f 1860 found the road closed by fallen trees and had to go up through Oneida settlement employing Indians to cut a way from about the site of the government school to their location on the town line. In order to improve the road leading to Osborn the Appleton merchants subscribed in one day late in October $100 for that purpose, in order to secure the trade of that growing town. Among others who came before the war were L. Dallas who lived on Duncan McNabb’s farm and J. L. Dyer who settled what is now the Wendt place. Alonzo Jackson and John Whyte.
Samuel Knox of Osborn said in January, 1861, that two years before there were only four families in the whole town, and that now there were about thirty and the prospects were that by March there would not be less than forty.
During the war period development of the town was seriously checked though settlement continued. The repeated calls for volunteers so reduced the male population that “at one time,” Herman Husman asserts, “there were but three able-bodied men remaining in Osborn, two of whom were too old for military service, the other not a citizen.”
Among those who came during the war were Martin Wandke in section 6, and John Nuremberg on the north town line, both Germans, and John Rowell, an Englishman, Arnold Carter bought in southeast section 6 but did not settle until two years later.
Nelson Carter and C. C. Wilson about the same time. Herman Husman who for five years had lived just over the line in Seymour bought and settled his present homestead in 1864 on southeast section 5. The Sharps, James, George and William, came about that time and belonged to the “Canada settlement” in the northeast part of town. John Crosswaite lived below Simpson, N. S. Conklin on the Appleton road and Lohman near the Canada settlers, among whom were Sanford, Emory, John and Carlyle Sherman, Henry Heagle of the same settlement, came about the same time with his family. His sons James, Jake, Ransom and John, and three daughters who afterward became Mrs. R. C. McIntire, Mrs. A. Stewart and Mrs. Dave Sherman, Nicholas Schaumberg came before the Canadians to northeast Osborn. Henry Peoteer directly after the war came to the northwest corner of Osborn.
From this time on the influx of German families was greater than of other nationalities. The German settlers were willing to assume the heavier obligations imposed by lands already partly improved, and early in the ’70s had a majority of the population, which has since increased to perhaps 92 per cent. Among the German people who cleared their land “from the wild” was Henry Schroeder who homesteaded in section 29, Louis and Henry Goering in section 30, Anton Bloomer in 31 on the Black Creek line. On the Freedom line were John Bobzen, John Maas and Karl Ellis. Others were Diedrick Starr, Karl Rohm, William Eick in section 8. Charles Eick in 17 settled early. August and Fred Sachs in 16 on the Reservation line and Henry Spaude in 20, Frederick Ballheim and Henry Baker. John Uecke bought out Allen A. Shepherd about 1868 and started a nursery for fruit trees, evergreen and shade trees and by the time the railroad was completed had quite a fruit farm.
In December, 1868, a farmer named Wilson, while going on foot from the town of Osborn to the town of Black Creek and when near the former, was attacked by a large and savage panther. The man took to a tree, but the panther followed and buried its teeth and claws in his leg. He had no weapon to defend himself, but finally succeeded in scaring off the animal and escaping. He managed, though badly torn, to walk a mile and a half to a lumber camp where he fell exhausted from loss of blood, which it was stated, nearly filled his boots. He was rudely taken care of until a doctor from Hortonville could be secured. As soon as the facts became known a large party turned out to settle accounts with the panther. After a time the dogs succeeded in finding its trail which they followed into a dense, almost impenetrable swamp and there finally lost all traces of it.
A postoffice called South Osborn was established inl 1869 in the southern part of the town of Osborn.
In establishing the town of Osborn, the board of supervisors set off from the town of Freedolm all the territory in townships 23 and 24 north, ranges 18 and 19 east, lying west of the Oneida Reservation, embracing within its boundaries that which is now comprised in both Osborn and Seymour. The name it bears, commemorates all early settler of township 24, William M. Ausbourne, who was identified with the interests and welfare of the town until its division in 1867, when he perforce resided in Seymour.
The first town meeting was held at the house of Duncan Mc-Nabb, the first settler, April, 1859, and was organized by appointing Albert Simpson chairman, James Simpson and James Daniels, inspectors, and Watson Manley, clerk.
The officers chosen at this election were, Albert Simpson, chairman; James Daniels and John Loucks, supervisors; Watson Manley clerk; James Simpson, treasurer; James Kelly, superintendent of schools; James Simpson, sealer of weights and measures; William Ausbourne, James Simpson, John Loucks and Albert Simpson, justices of peace; John Ausbourne, James Kelly and John Hartman constables; James Kelly and John McCormick, overseers of highway.
Highway improvement was the first consideration of the new town, and it was determined to raise forty dollars for building a bridge across Duck Creek, on the Appleton road between sections 17 and 18. A modest sum was considered sufficient to conduct the affairs of the town, eighty dollars being voted for that purpose.
The newly elected town board held their first meeting at John Louck’s, April 16 and divided the town into two road districts, No. 1 embracing all the land lying west the quarter line in sections 32, 29, 17, 8 and 5 in township 23 and all of township 24. All of lands lying east of this quarter line to be included in district No. 2. It was determined also at this meeting that seven mills be the assessment for highways.
June 11, 1859, Superintendent Kelly announced the formation of School District No. 1, to include all of township 23 west of a line drawn through the centers of sections 32 and 29 to the Reservation and also including all west of the Reservation north of its southwest corner in townships 23 and 24, making the district twelve miles long, about seven and a half miles wide at the north end and one and one half at the southern.
Just where the schoolhouse was located cannot be determined from the records but probably not far from the present location in section 19.
July 9, 1859, “James Daniels, a taxable inhabitant of School district No. 1″ was directed to notify every qualified voter of the district to attend the first meeting to be held therein at the home of John Loucks, July 16. On the twelfth Mr. Daniels. certified that he had notified the following: Sewell Shepherd, William Knox. F. M. Manley, Watson Manley, John Loucks and James Simpson, presumably all who had interest in the meeting. The record does not show when the schoolhouse was built but probably not long after this school meeting since it is said Scott Daniels taught the first term in 1859 and the town meeting, April 3, 1869,”adjourned to the school house.”
May 12, 1860, a new school district was formed of the north halves of sections 7 to 13 inclusive and all of the town lying north. This was to provide a school for the town line settlement which filled rapidly, 1859 and 1860, though the town line road was not established until June 20, 1860.
Though District No. 2 was formed in May, 1860, the site of the school house, the southeast corner of the west half of the southwest quarter of section 32 in township 24, was not surveyed until April 13, 1861, and the school house, a low log building, it is said, was built in 1862. The first school in the district was taught by Mrs. Frank M. Manley, who held her school under shade trees, and another term of school was held in a log shanty before the school house was built.
“It is believed there is but one claim against the town, of a small amount, which has not been presented, the balance of the funds will, in the opinion of this board, be amply sufficient to liquidate all just claims, leaving the town out of debt at the end of the fiscal year.
“We have compared the report of the treasurer with his vouchers and find it all correct, and would suggest the propriety of continuing him in office another year. The experience of the past year has demonstrated the necessity of having some of our roads established by survey. We would therefore recommend that a sum be raised for that purpose, also a small sum for the support of the poor, otherwise in case of necessity it would be a charge upon the contingent fund to which it does not properly belong. During the year there have been no new roads established; from present appearances there will be a call for some during the next, if so it will call for increased expenses. In view of these we would suggest the propriety of raising the following amounts for the different funds respectively. For surveying, chaining, recording and general expenses chargeable to the contingent fund $150; for a poor fund $25. For a highway fund, seven mills, which in connection with a very respectable delinquent fund, will in the opinion of this Board not be more than necessary for the next ensuing year. All of which is respectfully submitted. Albert Simpson, John S. Loucks, James Daniels.” At this annual town meeting twenty-two votes were polled. The population was about eighty or ninety. The value of personal property had reached $2,630.00 while the real estate was $35,400.53.
The town has always been able to meet its obligations without issuing bonds. In 1864 when in addition to its other expenses, six hundred dollars was voted to secure volunteers for army service, the amount was raised by a levy on the assessment of the previous year.
Osborn has now reached that period in her existence when her population instead of increasing shows a reduction, falling in the decade 1900 to 1910 from 656 to 570.
Town of Bovina. — This town was created by an ordinance of the county board, November 18, 1853, which decreed that that part of township 23 and 24, range 16, included in the town of Ellington, be set apart to be organized into a separate town to be called Bovina. That part of Ellington lying in those townships included only the territory east of Wolf river, the lands west having been included in Embarrass, organized but a short time before. This arrangement of the boundaries continued a year when the creative ordinance was amended to include in Bovina the entire area of townships 23 and 24, range 16, the territory now composing the towns of Bovina and Maine.
At the time of its organization, the population of Bovina embraced a settlement in the vicinity of the Shioc mill in section 16 and another about the site of Shiocton and along the state road in 28, 29, 32 and 33. The upper settlement in 16 was called Shioc the lower Jordanville, or Jordans Landing, soon acquiring the name Shiocton. There was rivalry it seems between the settlements almost from the beginning, inexplicable unless it was the intent of the founders of each settlement to form a village, taking advantage of the rivers for transportation, and the old road running up the Wolf to the Shawano Settlements which was even then an important thoroughfare, though unimproved above Stephensville. Rivalry developed into animosity; the hostility culminating in 1855 in an ordinance dividing the town on a line beginning at the northeast corner of section 24, running west to the middle of the Shioc river, down the Shioc to the middle of the Wolf, up the Wolf to the north line of township 23 and west to the northwest corner of that township. All the territory south and west of this line to be added to, and made a part of, the town of Embarrass. The instigators and promoters of this division are not of record, nor does it appear there was opposition from either settlement to the division, yet it must have been evident to all, that such division was impractical and detrimental, for better judgment prevailed, and before the ordinance became effective it was repealed. Some time later the mill dam was washed out and never restored, the mill was abandoned sold and demolished. The floating element attracted by the mill disappeared and hopes for a village at the upper settlement were unsustained but it was many years before factional feeling was obliterated. In November, 1868 township 24 was set off from Bovina to form the town of Maine, the boundaries since remaining unchanged, including the single Congressional township 23 north, of range 16 east.
While generally considered that settlement began with the advent of Jordan and Johnson, it is not improbable that the Shioc mill was built somewhat earlier, since it had twice changed hands before 1854 at which time Harris G. Curtis came there in the capacity of bookkeeper in the employ of Martin Rich. Though unable to fix a date, Mr. Curtis thinks it improbable it was in operation in 1848 the time fixed by H. J. Diener as the date of his first acquaintance with it, when it was called Clarks mill. It was located near the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 16, on the Old Shawno road which crossed the river on the dam, until the dam washed out when a float bridge was provided. The backwater formed a lake about seven miles long and possibly afforded more power than any other dam in the county, and was the only dam in the Shioc. Winch and Brush appear to have been the second owners. Whether they increased the equipment is not known, but when operated by Rich in 1854 it had two sash saws and a gang mill, employing about sixty men, and sent its product down the river to the lake.
There is evidence, too, of white occupation of Bovina earlier than the building of Clark’s mill. Daniel Morris, who lived in section 20 is said to have been a squatter on Indian land before the government survey. His only neighbors were Menominee Indians, with whose language and tribal customs he appeared very familiar. No members of his family can be reached and our informant can only estimate the date of his coming as about 1846.
The third “first occupation of Bovina” relates to the venture of Woodford D. Jordan and Randall Johnson in 1850, and in this as in the other instances we fail to establish a first intention to become settlers by clearing and cultivating the land, since a published biography of Mr. Jordan says, “in 1851 he was engaged in milling and merchandising.” While yet a young unmarried man Mr. Jordan, who was a surveyor, had worked through the region and was probably attracted to the place by the prospect of business afforded by the traffic on the river and the travel on the “old tote road” which even in that early day though wholly unimproved above Stephensville, was much traveled by lumbermen and land seekers. Whatever their intention in the beginning, these ventures had a beneficial influence in the settlement and development of Bovina. Mr. Jordan may well be called the first settler in Shiocton, locating in section 29, in 1850 and building the first house on its site which was for several years called Jordanville, and where in 1875 he platted the village now called Shiocton.
Milo and Harlow Cole came soon after Jordan and Johnson and by 1854, both had farms well started. Solomon Quadlin who came early also, lived in northwest 33, Alexander Brush lived in 16, was one of the firm of Winch and Brush who operated the mill at Shioc. J. I. C. Meade came before 1854, probably soon after Jordan and Johnson, John Knight came about the same time as the Coles, lived at first in section 29, removing to lot 3 section 9 about 1859. David Barney bought land in 33 in 1853 but was living opposite Shiocton, 1854, and it is probable he was a settler there two or three years earlier. J. B. Shoemaker had built a house on the bend of the river, where Knight lived later, before 1854, in which year Jacob W. Rexford came to Bovina, and in 1857 had a hotel where the Congregational church now stands. His father Jabez B. Rexford came 1853 settling just across the line in Ellington, Sanford Rexford came at the same time, bought out David Barney and lived near the village, Eben E. Rexford as a small boy came with his parents in 1856. In later years removed to the village he had made famous through his literary work. Sanford Swift lived in Shiocton having bought a part of Randall Johnson tract and when D. M. Torrey came with his parents in 1856 Swift was putting up a building which was dwelling, store and warehouse, a part of which was afterward converted into a hotel. This building stood just south of the present site of the bank. At this time Nickerson was keeping hotel in the village.
Harris George Curtis to whom these pages are indebted for information, came in 1854, in the employ of Martin Rich, a lumberman who operated the mill at Shioc, about a mile and a half above Shiocton, continuing in that capacity until the dam was washed out when the mill was abandoned, purchased by Jordan and removed to Shiocton where the timber was used in building a barn. Mr. Curtis then engaged in farming and hotel keeping and upon establishing postoffice at Shioc was appointed postmaster, the appointment being unsolicited. After many arduous years spent in the development of his farm he is spending his declining years in literary pursuits near Appleton. George H. Curtis came shortly after his son and opened a hotel above Shioc. Stephen and Ben Main came soon afterward the former within a year, the latter a little later. Joseph McCane about the same time as Curtis; Jeremy Smith bought in section 33, January, 1854; Fred and Ernest Spoehr and Nickolas Herman came a year or so later, all settled in section 4 and were probably the first German families in Bovina.
Late in 1855 a postoffice was established at Shiocton with M. G. Bradt as postmaster. There was needed an immediate mail service from Appleton via Greenville, Hortonia, Ellington, Shioc, Bovina and the towns of Shawno county.
D. M. Torrey recalls that when the postoffice was established at Shiocton no provision was made for regular mail carrier from Stephensville to Shiocton and volunteer carriers were sworn in before starting on each trip, until the regular carrier’s route was extended to the village.
John Park came 1855, was one of eight who sculled a big barge up Wolf river from New London. He was extensively engaged in lumbering operations in Bovina and the upper Wolf. He lived north of Shioc until about 1862 when with his son-in-law, Joseph Kitchen, he removed to the southeast part of town both settling in section 25, Timothy Durkee came 1856 to southwest 33, “Bach” Brown lived west of him in 32. The sale of this tract was the first land sale recorded October 9, 1849, though it does not appear that settlement was made until two or three years later, when he made a little clearing and after living there awhile returned to Appleton. Jim and Hiel Pooler came a year or two before Durkee and lived in the same quarter while Jim Farnham lived east on the same town line, on a tract that had been bought and a cabin built by George Huse 1849. Thomas R. Torrey and one son, Samuel, came to Shiocton, 1855, and in December settled in section 13 in Liberty where the family joined them the following year. In 1860 he returned to settle again in Shiocton. His son D. M. Torrey who was a young lad at the time of settlement now lives in the village. Samuel Girard lived west of the Wolf in section 20. His land purchase was dated October, 1853, which was as early as purchases of the Indian lands west of the Wolf could be made. His son-in-law Daniel Morris is said to have lived there several years before returning to the lower settlements where he was married. Curtis Mitchell came to Shiocton 1857 and for a time worked at carpentering, then removing to southeast 23 to which he had to cut his own road, and upon which “the trees were so thick he had to make a clearing before he could build a 12×16 foot cabin, which he roofed with shakes and floored with split basswood puncheons,” a style of architecture common enough in Bovina at that time. Settlers were not very plentiful in that vicinity, but bear and wolves were numerous in the great swamp north and west of his location. A large bear was killed in the town of Bovina late in May, 1856. It measured about seven feet in length and was estimated to weigh over six hundred pounds. “Black Bear. — On Friday Rudolph White, a German farmer living in the northern part of the town of Bovina shot a black bear which weighed 384 pounds. He was brought to town and attracted as much of a crowd as a young circus –and the exhibition was free.” — (Crescent, September 30, 1871.)
The nucleus of two villages were laid by 1857 and a large business in lumbering was carried on. There were excellent saw-mills, taverns, stores, etc., and the country around was being rapidly settled. There was a large amount of valuable pine timber in towns 23 and 24, interspersed with strips of the best quality of farming land. A large amount of capital was already invested in developing the resources of this town.
In March, 1858, two men, Robert Jordan and Harvey Downs of Bovina were drowned in Wolf river while taking a ride in a small canoe which capsized. They were unable to swim. A man named Baldwin attempted to save them, but was unable to do so. A party of Indians arrived a moment too late to help.
Silas Ovitt was also a carpenter and came about the same time as Mitchell and like him worked at Shiocton before settling in section 36 about 1858, William Strope came a little earlier, William B. Haskins bought his land in section 4 in 1857, Seely Budd though not of the first comers was an early settler, lived in the edge of the village in section 29, Jacob Thorn who lived in section 9 was another early comer, Fletcher Boynton, John and Peter Swartz came before the war and about the same time Jerry Harrington and his father who was a Baptist minister, Blanch Spencer, who had settled in 16, sold to Swartz. Kassin came before the war, John Elliott lived in northwest 33 in 1832, W. B. Allender about the close of the war settled in section 16 between the two rivers, near Allender’s Bend, C. L. Rich about 1866 secured all of section 10 which with land in other sections he devoted to stock raising, Leander Thomas a few years earlier settled on lot 4 section 16, Nelson Foster lived on lot 9 section 1357 west of the Wolf, Lloyd G. Walker, Silas Pierce and his father came to Shioc in the spring of 1866, flooded out from southwest Cicero, where they had settled the year before. The following year Silas Pierce and James Dorsey homesteaded lots 4 and 5 section 2, Wesley Williams in 1867 settled in section 28. Probably the first settlers in the northeastern part of town were Archibald Caldwell who lived in lot 1 section 1 and his son-in-law Heath who came about the same time. Caldwell, about whom many romantic tales are told never earnestly engaged in farming. He was a famous hunter and trapper and preferred a life such as the Indians lived.
In volume III of Wisconsin Historical Collection of 1856, may be found a sketch of New London and the surrounding country by A. J. Lawson from which the following relative to Shiocton is of interest.
“Shiocton or as it has been called Jordans Landing is situated on the Wolf River, some twelve miles northeast of New London by land and twenty-five by river. It is eighteen miles from Appleton with a good road except a few miles near Shiocton, which is about to be made good, and then the village will be united to the rest of mankind. It is five miles from Shiocton to Stephensville, thirty-one to Oshkosh, and two and a half (one and a half) to Shioc Mills. There are some eight or ten buildings with ten families in the village, and forty within two miles. A steam sawmill is to be put in operation this fall, when with a supply of building material, the town will rapidly increase. The river banks are excellent on both sides, not subject to overflow in the highest water, and with a landing at any stage for some half mile on either side. In low water steamboats can reach Shiocton in four hours from New London. We are encouraged to hope that a steamboat will run up to the village soon.”
In respect to location, Shiocton is unusually favored. Surrounded by an extensive body of the very best of farming land, and with the pineries close at hand, and capital seeking safe investment with a sure prospect of success, the future looks bright for this village.”
Daniel Morris had a dug out canoe, the “Lily Dale,” with which he carried supplies from New London to Shiocton. This boat was supplied with four sets of oars and required four rowers and a steersman to navigate. It could make the trip in two days, but usually only two trips in a week. It was sixty-five feet in length and was known to carry 30,000 shingles in one load, and, was not then overloaded, but was somewhat top heavy.
A steamboat called the “Outagamie” made trips to Shawano. It was not a regular passenger boat run on schedule, but was run in furtherance of Indian trade and as regularly as profitable. Bovina enterprise again undertook to develop the river commerce.
At the mouth of the Shioc the construction of steamboats was already in progress in 1856. One boat built there secured its machinery at Fond du Lac. Another well under way was launched in May. Contracts at that time were let for four others, all of, them to be set out by September, 1856. “Great is the Wolf river country and greater the Outagamie boys,” said the Crescent.
A steamboat, “Menominee,” was built at Shioc by Winch and Ransborn to ply between Oshkosh and Shiocton. It was too long to turn in the channel at Shioc and had to back down the river to turn, at its mouth, in the Wolf. After a few trips it was sold and used in the trade on the Wisconsin river.
The first mercantile establishment at Shiocton was a trading outfit whose customers were Menominees, whose village was located on the Wolf a short distance above Shiocton. It is said W. D. Jordan about the time of his coming bought out the trader (possibly Ben Harmon) and engaged in the same trade, catering also to the requirements of the settlers as they came in.
The following business houses were in Shiocton late in January, 1862: W. H. Jordan, merchant; Morris & Jordan, lumber dealers; G. H. Curtis, hotel keeper; S. H. Swift, postmaster; J. I. C. Meade, Eclectic physician; H. G. Curtis, justice of the peace; B. Banker, constable; C. B. Ment, blacksmith; Mr. Spicer, cabinetmaker; Rev. G. W. Harrington, pastor of the church, and Elder Lewis of New London, minister of this circuit. The postmaster at Shiocton stated that since December 25 the average number of letters sent out were over forty each week. In the spring of 1862, Morse and Jordan of Shiocton were sawing daily about 12,000 feet of lumber. They employed about twenty men at that date. The price of common lumber was $6 per thousand, clear lumber $9 per thousand. According to J. I. C. Meade upwards of 700 bushels of cranberries were gathered in the vicinity of Shiocton during the fall of 1861. Bovina and Liberty were the principal towns for the production of this berry.Cranberries commanded at all times high prices.
In 1870-1 Shiocton sprang into sudden prominence and importance. It was the principal distributing point for the great Wolf river pineries. The construction of the Green Bay and Lake Pepin road added much to this prominence. At this time the village contained five stores, three hotels and other establishments. A planing mill and a hub and spoke factory were probable future improvements.
The “big pine” had been taken before this time from the immediate vicinity of Shiocton. Flave George and “Log Chain” Jones took out a lot of it. The Knapps and the Clarks of Winneconne, and Leonard, Rounds & Co. lumbered extensively in Bovina. Successive operations removed the remaining pine, oak, maple and other hardwoods.
Shiocton is one of the leading villages of the county. It is located on the line of the G. B. and Minnesota Railroad, and although but a few years old, is a town of respectable size and importance. But few new buildings were erected this year, partly because of the times, partly because many buildings were erected in advance of the requirements. Some of these have been recently completed and occupied and five new ones erected. One of the heaviest lumber firms in Northern Wisconsin is Willy, Greene & Bertschy. They manufacture hard and soft lumber and employ fifty to seventy-five hands. Foster & Jenny have a handle factory employing six hands, operating about half the year. Hamlin & Son operate a first-class flouring mill. W. D. Jordan, the leading and most enterprising citizen, deals heavily in real estate and lumber, owns large tracts of land in this and adjoining counties. A. Irwin, general merchandise. L. and J. Fisher have mammoth store of general merchandise. G. P. Dickinson, dealer in drugs and hardware. J. F. Kaufman deals in boots and shoes. W. W. Noyes for nine months has supplied the populace with groceries. I. Gregory makes and deals in boots and shoes. A. Atwood has meat market; J. F. Franklin, groceries; C. Fautt, butcher, makes a specialty of packing meats for the lumber woods; P. N. Maine runs a livery stable. E. A. Kendly presides over the only hotel in the village. R. Bauman and H. D. Bennett are each separately engaged in blacksmithing and wagonmaking. The village supports one minister, one physician, one barber, one gunsmith and one photographer, and is supplied with railroad, express and telegraph facilities. Total amount of business for the year, $158,500. — (Post, December 13, 1877.)
With the transfer of the lumber industry to districts more remote, there ensued a period during which the progress of Shiocton was not so marked. With the inauguration of drainage projects came a renewal of activity which, being based on the development of a farming country, is destined to be both substantial and permanent. It was found that most of the great swamp area. was separated from the channel of the Wolf by low ridges, which operated as dams or dykes, holding the flood waters in the swamps. Cutting through these ridges drained great areas, much of which has been exploited by capitalists as the “garden of Wisconsin.” Prominent among these was the Garden Land Co., Boynton & Terrill and others, about 1900 to the present. The village, of course, profited much by these improvements. Good roads were extended, old businesses took on renewed activity and new ones were started. The drained land came nearly to the village and rapidly increased in value, when it was found that fine crops of onions and cabbage could be grown on land the old settlers considered worthless, and where dense tamarack swamp forbid their settling, now are fine garden lands. Successful vegetable growing on similar soils in other localities encouraged the starting of the same business here by Washburn, Lonkey and others, demonstrating the feasibility of vegetable growing and large yields of onions, cabbages, squashes and beets were reported. C. A. Kerr built a stone storage house 46×150 feet, with a capacity of a thousand tons of cabbage. Next was an onion storage with a capacity of 20,000 bushels, and many private growers are providing their own storage. The warm, sandy loam in this region seems especially adapted to the growing of vegetables and small fruits, and being underlaid with a strata of water-bearing sand or gravel at no great depth, seems able to withstand seasons of drouth, destructive elsewhere. An abundant supply of good water is obtainable through wells driven to a very moderate depth, while at somewhat greater depths, varying in different localities, many continuous flowing wells of pure, sparkling soft water have been obtained. Across the southern part of the town begins the slope of the watershed, extending into the rolling hill county of Ellington and Center. On these slopes are opportunities for growing larger fruits, particularly apples. In its situation Shiocton forcibly reminds the traveler of some of the beautiful bayou villages of the old Louisiana country, the wealth of vegetation and profusion of flowers making the illusion very complete. Here, however, the resemblance stops, for the tidy streets, well kept lawns, and houses built to withstand our winters, and the general alertness of things are characteristic of Shiocton.
Some of the business men of Shiocton about 1903 and 4 were: The Lonkey Bros., lumber; John Morse, a pioneer in the same line; Kuehne & Krause, meat market; B. G. Pembleton, manager of Badger Drug Co.; L. H. McLeod, hardware; A. K. Dewick, house furnishing goods; Bowerman & Son, telephone exchange; Earl Williams, manager for Kuehne Bros., stock buyer and shipper; W. W. Hunter, manufacturer of Hunter’s ditcher; R. D. Fisher, merchandise; E. C. O’Rourke, general merchandise and produce; H. Hamlin, vegetables, farm produce and general merchandise; F. J. Barnes, groceries, dry goods and notions, was appointed postmaster July 1, 1903, and has the office in his store building; in addition to Shiocton mail, this office received mail for three rural routes; Boynton’s Store, musical instruments and supplies; F. J. Link, jewelry; D. M. Strong, barber; Huebner & Sieloff, farm implements, vehicles and blacksmith shop; E. J. Bouman, blacksmith and wagon shop; T. Durkee, groceries, clothing; Kling Bros., sample room; Charles Curry, sample room; Knapstein Bros., bar-room; Otto Schulz, harness; The Shiocton News, F. H. Colburn, publisher; O. H. Day, attorney; Harry Allender, Hotel Morse; Emil Schwandt, the Northwestern House; Nick Freeman, contractor and builder; Alvin Metz, cut stone building; William Stede, mason and plasterer; Charles Castillion and August Metz, masons; Harvey Pooler, woodwork shop; Peevie Stacks, axe helves, etc.; Jerome Jessmer, manufactures and buys shaved hoops; Horton Budd, well driller; Shiocton Mills, O. C. Buchanan, manager; William O’Connell, livery; Vince Connell, house mover; A. C. Smith, real estate; W. D. Boynton and F. E. Terrill, real estate agents; Dr. Sarber, dentist; Dr. Sorenson, resident physician; E. W. Bland, business college; millinery and dressmaking, Mrs. Roate and daughter; Mrs. L. Rinehart, millinery and furnishings; Mrs. DeLong, bakery. –(Shiocton in 1904.)
Nurseries for propagation of ornamental, shade, forest and fruit trees and plants were started by W. D. Boynton in 1886, shipping mostly to the growing settlements where tree claims and other planting made great demands. After the tree claim rights were withdrawn, the trade was confined more closely to Wisconsin. Norman G. Williams became associated in the business in 1901, and in 1903 took over the whole business, and increased the planting on his lands near the village.
Bovina Lodge, No. 323, I. O. O. F., was organized November 26, 1895, with ten charter members. The first officers were: Frank C. Terrill, N. G.; C. M. Twitchell, V. G.; Nick Freeman, F. S.; Eben E. Rexford, Rec. Sec.; Eugene Darling, treasurer. The lodge has been prosperous and now has forty-eight members. Shiocton Camp, No. 3196, M. W. A., was organized September 14, 1895, with twenty-one charter members. W. D. Boynton, V. C.; T. J. Barnes, W. A.; Joe Fisher, Banker; and L. A. Blackman, clerk, were the first officers. The Equitable Fraternal Union was chartered June 23, 1898, with fourteen members. Minneola Lodge, No. 165, Degree of Rebekah, was chartered June 8, 1898, with six members. Rexford Camp 1437 Royal Neighbors, was chartered April 7, 1899, with forty-two charter members. Fraternal Reserve Association had seven charter members at its organization August 28, 1902.
The Congregational Church of Shiocton was organized by Rev. F. M. Dexter, two or three years before the church was built in 1877. Mr. Dexter was at the time of organization a teacher in the Shiocton schools. He was afterward ordained and served as pastor here in conjunction with the church at Ellington. James Austin is present pastor, and Dr. Donaldson superintendent of Sunday-school. The church erected in 1887 was rebuilt and enlarged in 1907.
Shiocton village was incorporated January 27, 1903. Its first officers were: F. H. Washburn, president; F. H. Colburn, clerk; Eben E. Rexford, James Johnson, R. D. Fisher and F. Terrell, trustees; Nick Freeman, treasurer. Village lighting system, gasoline gas, was installed about 1895. Crushed stone is used on graded streets. Fire limits were established, good cement sidewalks and other improvements were made soon after incorporation.
First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Shiocton was organized, 1877, with a membership of about fourteen families, by Rev. Kansier of Ellington. For some time services were held in the Congregational Church; then purchased the old public school building, which they converted into a church. About three years after its organization the congregation called Rev. A. O. Engel, who remained until about Christmas, 1909. There was a vacancy until July 17, 1910, when Rev. M. Hensel, the present incumbent, was called. Parochial school was maintained from beginning, imparting religious instruction. The present membership is 38 families. Three Sundays each month services are in German, the fourth in English language.
The Catholic Church was built in 1898. The congregation organized by Rev. Bastian of Seymour has always been served by priests from Black Creek or Seymour. Prior to building the church, services were held in the Opera House. Starting with about twelve or fifteen families, now increased to about forty-one or forty-two, nearly all living in the country.
The grade schools of Shiocton were supplemented in 1909 by the establishment of a Union Free High school, said to have been the first under this system in the state. An addition to the school building doubled its capacity, affording space for the grade and high schools. W. J. Sizer had one assistant, while four teachers are employed to teach the grade schools.
The Shiocton News was established 1897 by C. F. Carr, and issued its first number June 11 under the management of F. H. Colburn, by whom it was purchased about six months later; under whose control it has remained since. The paper started as a seven-column folio, changed in 1906 to six column quarto. Tradition says the press first used in the News office was the one upon which Smith at Nauvoo, Illinois, printed his Mormon literature. In 1895 this was replaced by a cylinder press.
The Bank of Shiocton was started as a private concern, which after a year was organized as a state bank, with a capital of $5,000, since increased to $10,000, and has a surplus of $1,000. Its officers are: G. A. Zuehlke, president; F. N. Torrey, vice-president; F. H. Washburn, cashier.
Town of Black Creek. — More than two-thirds of the area of township 23, range 17, was voted by the government swamp land, and so forbidding was the aspect of the territory the settlement of the town did not begin for several years after Osborn and Bovina, its neighbors on either side. While Bovina was scarcely more inviting, settlers were earlier attracted by reason of the Wolf river road rendering it accessible at an earlier date. The first settler in this town, so far as we can establish identity, was George Welch, who in 1857 purchased a tract in section 32, but lived in southeast, northeast 31. This section, though evidently stub land, was, during the early period of development, more thickly populated than any other in the town. There was no road in Black Creek at this time, the first of which we have knowledge being the “state road,” which was established by the town of Center, then including Black Creek, October 21, 1858, as follows: commencing eighty rods west of the southeast corner of section 10, township 22, range 17, thence northwest as nearly as best grounds will admit, to the northwest corner of section 4 in same town, thence northwesterly to the northwest corner of section 32, township 23, range 17, thence north on best ground to the northeast corner of section six. Town of Center agreed to pay only so much of the survey of road as was in township 22. The following year the Felios, John, Sr., and his sons, John, Jr., Joseph and Eustis, came in, and settled just south of Welch, and June 2, 1859, application of John Felio and others was granted for a highway between section 32, township 23, range 17, and section 5, township 22, range 17, thence west on section line to town line of Ellington. Said road is located between Center and what is called Black Creek, and also the section line running north and south between sections 31 and 32, township 23, range 17. Although at this time we are unable to locate but two families in its territory, it would seem that a name had already been provided for a new town. That there may have been another family or two appears probable from the fact that in no other town of the county have we found so many changes of ownership in the early period as in this. Careful investigation, however, does not reveal their identity if there were others here. Charles W. Hopkins appears as the next settler, September 15, 1859, and settled in section 32, on the state road. This was the first settlement on the state road above the southwest corner of section 11, township 22, range 17, long known as Battey’s Corners, and though the road was ordered in 1858, C. M. Brainerd tells us it had not been cut out through Black Creek in 1865. T. P. Bingham came a little after Hopkins and built a little saw mill north of Hopkins in section 29. George Huse was also a settler in 1859. Ten years earlier he had come, an unmarried veteran of the Mexican War, and settled in Ellington and assisted in the organization and early development of that town. On the northeast quarter of section 20 he built the first cabin in that part of the town, away beyond the sound of ax of the other settlers. School district No. 5 of the town of Center was formed the following year, May 9, 1860, which included all of townships 24, 23 and a portion of 22, range 17. This placed a school only about five miles from Mr. Huse.
The town of Black Creek in 1857 embraced town 23 north, range 17 east. At this date it was still attached to the town of Center. In the east, west and north parts it had extensive timber tracts. A wide belt of swamp land lay in the south. It had some of the best land in the state. Black Creek was about ten rods wide, with an average depth of four feet, and was a meandering stream. A ridge of land half a mile wide formed an admirable crossing and roadway through the swamp to the north line of the township on sections 6 and 7. On this crossing T. P. Bingham selected the site for the future village. A vote for a new bridge across Black Creek was taken at the last session of the legislature. The Outagamie and Shawano road was organizing, and was expected to cross Black Creek soon. That road was designed to pass northward to Osceola, then being laid out on section 7, town 25 north, range 17 east, by George H. Bacon. The timber in this town was mostly hardwood, with here and there strips of pine. Small streams of pure sparkling water were abundant. The soil was exceedingly rich, and an abundance of good farming land was yet to be had for from $3 to $6 per acre. Town 24 contained more pine and yet as a whole was as well adapted to farming as town 23. An improvement company owned nearly all of the choice and valuable tracts of land in town 24 and held them at from $2.50 to $6 per acre.
At the November session (1861) of the county board of supervisors, the following petition was received: “The undersigned inhabitants or landowners of the town of Center, Wisconsin, respectfully petition your honorable body to divide the said town of Center, creating a new town to be called Black Creek, said new town to consist of townships 23 and 24, range 17, and the first meeting to be held at the dwelling of C. W. Hopkins. Dated at Center the 11th November, 1861. (Signed) C. W. Hopkins, C. H. Fowle, Joseph Felio, John Berthier, Jerome D. Berthier, Frederick Packard, John Felio, Y. Felio, Wilson P. Berthier, George Welch, W. H. P. Bogan.
The committee on ordinance having reported favorably, by an ordinance of the board the prayer of the petitioners was granted, ordinance to be in force and effect from and after March 15, 1832.
Of the signers of the petition for separation, the Berthiers had come into the town about 1860 and, not remaining long, little is known of them. The same is true of Fowle. Frederick Packard was with Hopkins and did not become a settler. W. H. P. Bogan bought his land in section 20 in 1849, was a lumberman, aside from which we fail to identify him with the development of the town.
Some settlers were in the southeast corner of the town, who came in the early ’60s, Michael, David and Frank Herb in section 36. Joseph Steffen, a brother-in-law of the Herbs, lived in 25, and George Zimloch, who moved out again in 1862. Hiram Jones lived in the western settlement, G. M. Davis in section 33 in 1861-2.
The principal object in separating from Center was to secure an adequate system of roads and schools, and to that end the settlements in the southeast and southwest corners were in harmony. As directed by the creative ordinance the organization was effected April 1, 1862, by appointing T. P. Bingham, chairman; C. W. Hopkins, clerk; George Huse and George Zimloch, inspectors. From the minutes we learn it was resolved to elect one assessor and two constables; that the sum of $150 be levied for general expenses, $500 as a special road tax, and that “each town officer shall be entitled to receive the compensation allowed by law for the several offices which he may hold.” This provision was necessary, since the limited number of residents made it necessary for some to hold several offices.
A canvass of the votes at this town meeting showed that twelve electors had voted and that each of the candidates had received the total number of votes cast, and was duly elected as follows: C. W. Hopkins, chairman; George Huse and Mike Herb, supervisors; T. P. Bingham, town clerk; C. W. Hopkins, treasurer; Frank Herb, George Huse, G. M. Davis and John Felio, justices; Daniel Herb and Hiram Jones, constables; Joseph Steffen, assessor; George Welch, sealer of weights and measures.
The principal object of the town being road making, the board of supervisors met April 14, 1862, and established two road districts, No. 1 to comprise the eastern two tiers of sections, with Mike Herb overseer; and No. 2 the western four tiers, of which George Zimlock served as overseer until his removal, November 3, when George Huse was appointed in his stead. As yet no school had been held, but March 12, 1863, School district No. 1 was formed, comprising the western four tiers of sections in both townships, the clerk to give verbal notice to the inhabitants of the district of a school meeting March 19, at which to elect a director, treasurer and clerk of the district. The records are silent as to further action in school matters, and exact data is unobtainable from the few settlers of that period remaining, but by inference we take it the matter was held in abeyance for a year.
Meanwhile the second annual meeting was held April 7, 1863, a.t which seven votes were cast. Evidently the officers chosen at the first election had given satisfaction, the entire list being re-elected with the exception of one or two who had removed from town. The meeting increased the amount to be raised for general fund to $200, voting another $500 for special road tax, and by a resolution ordered that “the personal tax paid last year be refunded.” This latter action is explained by the following: “Town board of equalization met July 6, 1863. No one appeared with any grievance and board completed its task and adjourned 7:30 p. m., there being no personal property taxable in the town of Black Creek.”
If any additions to the settlement were made in the interval they are unrecorded and forgotten, but at the election held November 3, 1863, eight votes were cast and the poll list bears three new names, viz., John W. Terwilliger, of whom we have no further information; Christian Petran, who lived on town line south of Binghamton and John B. Berner, who lived in southeast 29. Milton Farnham, a brother-in-law of George Huse, came about this time, and a German family, Peotter, in section 1. Settlement during this war period was slow and the records of the annual town meeting give us the name of but one who identified himself as a settler. This was Joel Snyder, who was elected supervisor and who further identified himself with the town by marrying the first schoolma’am and settling in section 17.
The first saw mill in town was a water power mill, just northeast of Binghamton, built by T. P. Bingham, operated by C. W. Hopkins. The little Bull Dog creek, on which it was built, could furnish but little power and the output was largely consumed in the vicinity. The next was a. steam mill on the same site owned by Randall Johnson, which after a few years was burned. On rebuilding a feed mill was attached. Shingle and lath machinery was added to work up short and refuse stock, and when timber became scarce in the vicinity the mill was sold and removed to Deer Brook, above Antigo.
The first store was a small general store opened by C. W. Hopkins about 1865 at Binghamton; another was started later by J. M. Waite. Both were discontinued after the coming of the railroad and establishing stores at the new village of Middleburg, now Black Creek.
The first school in the town was held in the house of C. W. Hopkins, probably in the spring and summer of 1864. Miss Annie Batley, daughter of one of Center’s early settlers, was the teacher. Her salary was $12 per month, out of which she paid fifty cents per week for board.
The first school house was built probably in the fall of that year, since a special town election was held in it March 25, 1865, and the regular town meeting in April, after assembling as usual at the Hopkins home adjourned to the school house.
The object of the special meeting at the school house was to fill vacancies in offices of chairman and treasurer, occasioned by the absence of C. W. Hopkins in the army. Volney Simmons was elected chairman, and Gilbert Watson treasurer. Both were newcomers within the year, Simmons settling the southwest quarter of 16, which he later sold to Stutsman. Watson lived in section 31, was a man of considerable ability and was a leader among the Mormons who came about that time and settled in section 31 and vicinity. Among them were Emery Downie, who lived north of Binghamton, in 31, afterward in 33, where Herman lived later. Peter Harris, a Mormon preacher, lived in northwest 31; J. M. and George Waite. These people were said to have come from Nauvoo, Ill. Two other new names appear at about this time. M. D. Strope, who lived in 31, among the Mormons though not of their faith, and J. J. Baer, who located in section 32. Mr. Baer was a minister of the Winebrenner branch of the United Brethren Church.
At the annual meeting $250 was deemed necessary to meet the general expenses of the town, a general road tax of seven mills and a special tax to raise $300 for roads and $300 for school purposes was voted.
An appropriation of $300 for school purposes in a town only three years old was unusual in this county, but a second district was formed June 3 and other schools started. In the fall of 1865 C. M. Brainerd blazed a way to his tract in section 28, which he developed from a wilderness into a productive farm. In the fall of 1865 Capt. J. M. Baer joined his father in the settlement, and at once began an active part in the affairs of the town. Though the town was more than three years old roadmaking was yet in its infancy, due in part to the hardships imposed by the war period and in part by the physical characteristics of the town’s area. One-half the area was in the beginning well nigh impenetrable swamp; much of which is even yet unfit for cultivation. Added to this was a considerable area which has since been made tillable but which in the earlier period bore a most forbidding aspect to the road maker. The first comers had made a foundation upon which others following could expend their energies in building and in the six years after the war and before the coming of the railroad settlement was more rapid and progress remarkable. Among those who came during this period were the Burdicks, who came about 1866 and lived east of George Huse in 21. John Sherman to southeast 28. P. O. Cornel about this time joined the Mormon colony in 31. John T. Pierce lived in 29. Ransom B. Hamm, northwest 29. Henry Stutsman, his brother Michael and their father, Michael, Sr., came in 1866 and bought out Volney Simmons in southwest 16. They were first of the Washington county Germans who in the later ’60s and early ’70s came in numbers. Joseph G. Batley came from Center about this time but was at first engaged in lumbering, later settling in the town, now living in the village. C. R. Burch lived in southwest 28. O. C. Smith lived on state road in southeast 18. O. P. Worden, though not a Mormon, settled in section 31, but did not remain long. Nathan Rideout settled in the fall of 1867 on the creek in section 8, and Kinzie about the same time came to section 10. At this time there were no houses on the present site of the village. Cyrus Widger came in 1868 to northeast 9. John Casey settled first on state road between Baer and Hopkins, afterward removing to southwest corner I of section 31. M. J. Rolinger lived on state road in southeast 7. John Welsh lived near Binghamton. A. H. Bates, about 1867, located in northeast 29. Charley Gruenert in 33, Lyman Cook lived in southwest 29, since known as the Sassman farm. John Little was his neighbor in same section. Santell also in southwest 20. Bacon in northwest 20 on state road. August Kluge in 22. Valentine Wolf in northeast 21, 1868. Peter Wolf in northwest 22 about 1870, and the same time George Bast in northeast 16. John Henning in early ’70s to southwest 15. Christian R. Seitz, 15.
From 1870 the settlers were mostly German speaking people from Washington county, or that section of the state. Among them were the Sassmans, Henry in 18, John in 21, Louis in 20; the Kitzingers in 20 and 21; Herman Wolf in 33; the. Shimmelpfennings in 35; Bartman and his sons; Nick Rettler in 16; Fred and William Mau in 22 and 27. The first comers in Black Creek were almost without exception English speaking and first improvements throughout the town may be said to have been made by them. The German settlers carrying on and expanding the work so begun, some of the German people found land in the wild, but by industry and thrift have made good farms of what had been considered waste land.
In aid of the Green Bay & Lake Pepin Railway the town of Black Creek issued $12,000 bonds.
The town of Black Creek retained its original boundaries until 1871, when the citizens of the northern half of the town asked for division and separation of that portion to organize a new town. This petition was granted by an act of legislature, 1871, and thus by the creation of the town of Cicero, Black Creek lost one-half her territory.
In November, 1879, Joseph Steffen, his son, and Charles Herb went hunting deer in the town of Black Creek. One of them wounded a deer, when, under a mistake, Mr. Herb shot and wounded both Steffen and his son, the latter dangerously. Dr. Levings attended the wounded.
On February 27, 1904, a meeting was held in the town hall of Black Creek to vote on the question of incorporating the village of Black Creek. In all 93 votes were cast, of which 88 were in favor of incorporation.
A Farmers’ Institute was held at Black Creek early in December, 1896. Those taking part were George C. Hill, C. H. Everett, A. L. Hatch, Theodore Mark, Thomas McNiesh, C. P. Goodrich and others.
In July, 1899, a veritable tornade swept across Black Creek; a path 100 or more feet wide was swept clean as a floor. It moved from southwest to northeast. Damage was done at Tine’s house; one timber, 24×18, was carried 60 rods. The house of Charles Saxes and the house, barn and granary of James Mullin were destroyed. Mr. Londen lost his barn, and Mrs. Sepler her home and barn. The tornado swept through the Oneida reservation. The farmers turned out to assist the losers to restore their property; it was marvelous that no lives were lost, though there were narrow escapes. A mild tornado at Combined Locks soon afterward tore up trees by the roots, tipped over freight cars and sucked water from the river.
The original plat of Black Creek village, or Middleburg, as it was named, was laid out by Thomas J. Burdick about the time of the building of the G. B. & L. P. railway.
As soon as the railroad was completed a village rapidly sprung into existence. The mills having shipping facilities at hand were started and began manufacturing lumber in great quantities. Stores were at once started, a postoffice was established and Black Creek asserted itself a formidable rival of its neighbors, Seymour and Shiocton.
The first building in Black Creek village, it is said, belonged to Henry Herman. The first mill at the village was built by him about 1872. A few years later Appleton and Letter established their mill. Dietzler and Knoll started a. store and hotel, 1870. The building is now used for a drug store and is the oldest building in the village. Carl Curtis put up the next building, a saloon, still in use. The first postoffice in town was at Binghamton. C. W. Hopkins was the first postmaster and the office was at his home. After the railroad came through a postoffice was established at the village and a Mr. Herman was postmaster. Henry Peters was next. Both had stores, which were the first regular stores in the village, both carried general stocks, Peters’ being most extensive. He sold to Strassburger, who in turn sold to Hunt. Gabel’s stock was next, and quite large. He afterward sold to Kessler.
This is another of the thriving villages in the northern part of the county to which the building of the G. B. & M. R. R. gave life. Considering the times there has been considerable building done here during the past year. We subjoin a list of those erected: R. A. Loope, frame store; J. Mueller, cabinet shop; G. Horning, store and barn; J. Lelage, store and blacksmith shop; Burdick Bros., blacksmith and wagon shop; F. Fanchon, dwelling; H. Peters, stable in the village, also barn and stable on his farm across the creek; J. J. Curtis, frame barn; T. McNeish, dwelling one mile west; D. M. Hammond, addition to barn; H. Knoll, stable and ice house; F. Hilger, granary and work shop.
Letter and Appleton do the leading business in the manufacturing line in Black Creek. They have a saw and flouring mill with first class facilities; have ten hands steadily employed. Randall Johnson does an extensive lumber business. His mill is located near Binghamton postoffice and was established seven years ago.
H. Herman does a successful lumber business in Black Creek. He has a first class mill, steadily in operation, employs twelve hands and does custom sawing.
F. W. Fairchild manufactures broom handles, owning a planing mill in connection. During past season built a dry house, a valuable addition to his facilities. H. Peters carries a large stock of general merchandise, buys wheat and does a heavy business in both lines. H. Homrig deals in general merchandise, though started only a month, is getting extensive trade. G. H. James deals in drugs. A. E. Burdick is engaged in wagon making and blacksmithing. J. Pube builds wagons to order. J. Breitenback has few superiors at the anvil. J. Le Sage has just opened his blacksmith shop. Peter Kamp manufactures durable harness. G. Webfer is a good shoemaker. J. Schlegel deals in stoves and general hardware. H. Jarelow makes satisfactory shoes. F. Ingleking deals in furniture. J. Voge, shoemaker. D. M. Hammond entertains the traveling public.H. Knoll conducts a hotel, ice house and saloon. C. C. Cordes runs a hotel and saloon. Mr. Nagelstock is one of the leaders in general merchandise in the northern part of the county.
“Black Creek business for the year, $61,500.” — (Post, 1877.) The first church in Black Creek was St. Mary’s Catholic Church, whose congregation organized about 1873 and erected its first church, 1874, and the pastor’s residence was bought by Rev. Bastian. The first resident pastor was Rev. George Pasch, in 1903. He was succeeded by Revs. Colby and Ripp and by Rev. Francis Linder, the present pastor, in 1906. Having outgrown the old church it was sold and the present large and handsome structure erected, 1901.
Evangelical St. John’s congregation was organized by Rev. Siegmann of Appleton with a membership of about nineteen families. The church, a handsome cream colored brick building, was erected in 1877. The first minister was Rev. Haag. A parsonage was built in 1885, the present minister’s residence in 1892. This is the parent church of St. John’s Congregation in Cicero and St. Matthew in Center, both served by Rev. W. Blasberg, present pastor of St. John’s in Black Creek.
The Evangelical Lutheran Parish of Black Creek comprises three congregations, St. Peters, in town; Black Creek, about three and one-half miles southeast of the village; St. Paul’s in Binghamton, and Immanuels, in the village. Of these St. Peter’s is the oldest, organized about 1874. Immanuels, organized 1902, bought the church and built the parsonage about the same time, and the school house was bought and moved onto church ground in 1903. St. Paul’s congregation has twelve members with their families; St. Peter’s, thirty-five, and Immanuel’s, forty, all served by one pastor, Rev. Herzfeldt, residing in the village.
The third church organization, the Methodist Episcopal, of which Rev. Shaw was pastor, built its church in 1878 and rebuilt in 1903. Its present pastor, Rev. Starkweather, resides in Seymour, having under his charge both congregations.
The Congregational Church of Black Creek was organized June 28, 1905, with twenty-four members. Services had been held during the preceding six months by W. H. Griffith of Seymour and prior to that occasional services by various ministers. This church is still affiliated with the church at Seymour. Rev. Griffith was succeeded by C. A. O’Neil and the present pastor is Rev. Fred Dahlberg. The Sunday school dates its existence a year earlier than the church, when it was organized by Mrs. Dr. Phillips.
The Bank of Black Creek was organized December 23, 1903, with William Strassburger, president; Peter Ryser, vice-president, and G. H. Peters, cashier, and directors, G. A. Zuehlke, August Strassburger, Charles Hagen, Henry Peters and B. J. Zuehlke. This directorate has since remained as at organization except G. A. Zuehlke, whose place on the board is now held by William Strassburger. The capital is $10,000 and the surplus $5,000.
The first officers of Black Creek village were C. J. Hagen, president; Ernst Bergman, supervisor; F. D. Weisenberger, clerk; J. N. Blick, treasurer; T. J. Schumacker, Silas Pierce, justices; Garrell Smith, constable; John Kessler, assessor; Peter Ryser, J. Schneider, J. G. Shaw, John Herman, Jul. Breitenbach and J. A. Koehler, trustees; John Priebe, marshal; Aaron Shaw, street commissioner. Ten bonds, in amount $2,500, were issued in 1906 and a village hall and engine house was built.
Town of Seymour. — The first settlers in Seymour were William and John Ausbourne, who, with their families, settled on section 32 in 1857, afterward removing to section 16. They had earlier settled in the western part of the county on Wolf river and came into Seymour by boats, up the Wolf and Shioc rivers and Black creek, bringing their household goods. Fallen trees across the creek made progress slow, sometimes becoming necessary to unload their goods to make portage around obstructions. There was, however, no better way, for at the time there was no road from other settlements into Seymour. There had been a road across the town, traces of which were found by later settlers and by them called “the old supply road,” and believed by them to have been made by the military authorities at Fort Howard to facilitate operations in case of an Indian outbreak. It had been abandoned so long when the settlers discovered it (if it had ever been used) that brush had grown over it, entirely hiding it in places. At the point where it crossed Black creek, however, were the remains of a bridge with crib abutments and corduroy approaches. If there had ever been plank or logs on the stringers they had floated away.
For two years the Ausbournes were alone in Seymour, their neighbors being in Osborn. In 1859 Henry Becker and Herman Husman came to section 33, living together on Becker’s place until 1864, when Husman moved into Osborn. The fall of 1859 Willis and Dan Munger came to build houses on their lands and the following spring the Mungers, William H., Simeon W., Daniel H., W. N. and Levi W., arrived. William H., the father of the others settled in northeast quarter of section 32, his house being about where Dr. Hittner’s now stands. Daniel’s farther south, on what is now Main street in the city of Seymour. Simeon W. lived in southwest 32 on the town line road. At the time, however, there was no road there. To reach Seymour the Mungers, finding the way across Osborn impassable, came through the Oneida settlement and employed Indians to cut a way from the settlement to section 32. Erastus C. Buttles came the same spring and bought the west half of the southwest quarter of section 32, and spent the winter of ’60 and ’61 in the settlement, but in 1861 entered the army and did not return to improve his farm until after the war.
Settlement and development progressed but slowly during the first ten years, but in the earlier ’60s Lewis Conklin settled in section 8. James Rice, William Harris and George Anderson, Porter M. Brooks settled in section 9 in 1864, D. P. Larkin in southwest 17 in 1865, and at the, same time Alonzo Stevenson came to northeast 20, John Brown to section 32 the same year, Leonard Carter in section 20 about 1866, Avery Carter the same year, Charles Eichler about this time was the first German in northern Seymour, on southwest section 4. Albert Anderson, in section 4, came September, 1865. Joel Winters was in section 19, at first came to work in the woods about 1865 and 1866. Frederick Muehl and family came in 1867, bought an eighty from Lloyds, on which was a small log house roofed with split hollow logs, afterward bought the W. H. Munger place. Peter Tubbs came in December, 1867, and bought in section 17, chopped a few acres and the following September brought his wife and baby to the heavily timbered tract he has since developed into the magnificent “Woodland Farm,” on which he still resides. George Anderson had a saw mill in 1868 and later built a flour mill at Lime Rock, in Osborn, near the Seymour town line.
Before the railroad was built, 1876, the south town line road was rather a stirring place. George Shepherd had located there the first blacksmith shop. The first school house was there and the first Methodist church. There was a store and a postoffice and finally the grist mill. The postofice, called Lime Rock, was established in 1865, with S. W. Munger (Uncle Willis) postmaster, at a salary of $8 per year. The mail was brought from Appleton by John Wheeler, who made the trip afoot. The next postoffice in Seymour was established in 1870 at the home of Peter Tubbs, who was its first postmaster, and a carrier was secured to bring the mail from Lime Rock until the route from Appleton was extended to Seymour postoffice. The original supplies for this office, including stamps, was in amount less than $25.00, and though postage on papers and periodicals was paid at office of delivery the weekly receipts for the first quarter ranged from nine to twenty-six cents. After the railroad began carrying mails regularly the office was removed to Seymour Station and David Dix was appointed postmaster. Dix was the first store keeper in Seymour, early in 1872.
During the spring of 1868 the town of Seymour was one of the principal points sought by new settlers looking for homes. The lands were extremely fertile, a few roads had been laid out and graded, and settlers were welcomed by the few residing there. Several schoolhouses were already built; an excellent saw mill was in full operation, and the residents there could take their choice between Green Bay and Appleton as a place to market their products.
In 1868 there were two log houses on the site of the City of Seymour. When the railroad was built the number had increased to six, Henry Robbins, W. B. O’Haring, the station master; Dan Mungers, Aunt Sally Mungers, the hotel and barroom of Otto Broehmer, and David Dix. Four more were added in 1872, Dr. Strong’s, Willis Munger’s, Elke’s and Roloff’s. At about this time the spoke and stave factory was established by Hammel & Co., and the village grew too rapidly to keep track of the buildings. House building “bees” were common, and a house that was built in a day excited no comment even though the day chanced to be Sunday. Better lumber than is procurable now could then be had for seven dollars per thousand. George Anderson started a saw mill about 1868, the first in the town, which was run mostly as a custom mill. About 1870 shingle machinery was installed. Little of the product was shipped though some was hauled out over the railroad grade before the track was laid.
Oscar Conklin built a mill in 1870 about where the grist mill now stands, was run as a custom mill. Was sold to McIntosh, Ross and Perry. McIntosh, about 1871 or 1872, sold his interest to George M. Pope and it was run by Pope, Ross and Perry until about 1876, when they sold to Northwestern Manufacturing Company of Fort Atkinson, who run it until the timber was exhausted.
The Whitney mill was built in 1871 and hauled its product to Appleton until the railroad was completed. The first freight train on the Green Bay & Lake Pepin railroad was loaded with lumber and shingles from this mill. Around the mills were dwellings and shops. New settlers were mainly from Ohio, New York and New England.
Though these mills consumed a great amount of timber the quantity was infinitesimal compared to that taken off by the logging camps, the first of which was run by John O’Shea, whose camp, says Gary Munger, was located back of where the fair grounds are now in section 29. This was the winter of 1860 and 1861. They took only clear pine. The next winter John and William Grignon logged on the Comee eighty, south half of northeast quarter of section 28, occupying O’Shea’s old shanties. During the winter of 1862 and 1863 Riggs and Reynolds had their camp in the city limits, lumbering the west half of section 28 and the east half of 29. After lumbering there two winters they offered to sell the two half sections for the price of the deed.
D. H. Munger and Tom Shepherd occupied the O’Shea shanties the winter of 1862 and 1863. Riggs and Reynolds lumbered together three years, then Riggs alone the winter of 1866 and 1867 on the Max Siegel farm. The Griffiths of Fond du Lac had a camp on section 23. Fisher in 1867-68 on section 28. The same winter Allen and Burnett on northwest quarter of section 16, used John Ausbourne’s house for a camp. In 1868-69 Griffith and son returned and Miles Wheeler of Neenah and Wharton, in 1871-72, with Charley and Bill Hawthorne as foremen, occupied the old Riggs camp. Paul Reynolds came in the early ’70s and logged. All the logs cut by these camps were run out Black creek to the Shioc and Wolf rivers and down to the lake. It was necessary to drive out Black creek “with a head,” that is, a dam was placed in the stream and the logs sluiced through, and after the logs had passed the dam, water could be let out as required to float them over the shallows and sand bars. Two dams were required in Black creek, one in section 29, the other in 31. Efforts were made each year to get the log drives from the creeks in this vicinity into the Wolf river before the drives from the upper Wolf, Shioc and Embarrass rivers. During the height of the lumbering operations the river was full of logs from the melting of the snow and ice until September.
The German invasion of Seymour begun in 1859 was slower than that of the English speaking settlers until after the war. From that time there was a constantly increasing ratio of Germans until in the early ’70s they outnumbered the “Yankee” newcomers in the farming districts. While during the rapid growth of the city of Seymour the English speaking element predominated there, this fact largely attributed to the buying out of farms upon which improvements had been made by the later Germans. Among those who took their lands “in the rough,” in addition to those already mentioned, were the Kroners, Hackels and Eberts in section 3, Miller in section 4, the Nickels, Jacob in 22, Phillip in 27; Ben Liebhaber in 21; Julius, Fred and Albert Zisemer; the Carrow family; Krause before 1870, and Kailhofer, both in section 3. Wirth came about 1870. The Dixons, Porters and Sturms, the latter coming in the ’60s. Nick Trauver in the ’70s; Peter Schmitt, the Nicklays, Jake in 13, John in section 12, early in the ’70s; Anton Henas in the ’60s, and Joe Moyer late in the ’70s. Albert Brugger had a blacksmith shop in Seymour City in 1873 and is now on a farm in section 27.
The first marriage in Seymour was a German couple, Henry Becker and Tina Simnicht, at the home of the bridegroom, on the south town line, who was probably the first German settler, in 1859.
“The first white child born in Seymour was Ada M., daughter of William and Harriet Ausbourne, March 31, 1860, and the first death was that of William Ausbourne, Sr., father of the town’s first settlers, July 9, 1859. Rev. David Lewis of Oneida preached the funeral sermon.” — (Outagamie Pioneer.)
The town of Seymour was created by the county board setting apart all that portion of Outagamie county in township 24, north of ranges 18 and 19 east, to be formed into a new town to be called Seymour, in honor of ex-Governor Horatio Seymour of New York, who at the time was the most extensive land owner in the town. The first town meeting was ordered held at the school house in district No. 2, the ordinance to be effective from and after March 1, 1867.
At this meeting in April organization was effected by appointing James Rice, chairman; Lewis Conklin and W. M. Ausbourne, inspectors. It has been erroneously stated that these were the officers elected to serve the first year, but the report of the election board gives the following: James Rice, chairman; Henry Becker and D. H. Munger, supervisors; C. E. McIntosh, town clerk; William M. Ausbourne, treasurer; Louis Conklin, assessor; Erastus Buttles and Louis Conklin, justices of the peace; L. B. Carter, constable. The number of votes polled was twenty-one. Other business transacted was the appointment of James Rice, D. H. Munger, W. L. Ausbourne and Lewis Conklin, overseers of highways in the four road districts into which the town was divided. The meeting voted for school purposes, $50.00; for current expenses, $120.00. An appropriation of $75.00 was voted for bridging on the road between sections 20 and 29. May 4, 1870, at a special town meeting to vote on the proposition of the Green Bay & Lake Pepin Railway, 24 votes favored and 23 were against the proposition, which was for the town to issue bonds in aid of the railway, receiving therefor stock of the road of equal amount. December 8, 1870, the town officials, “after having proof of the grading of the Green Bay & Lake Pepin Railway, gave $4,000 in bonds of the town of Seymour and took in exchange $4,000 in stock of the railroad.” The bonds were dated January 1, 1871, and bore interest at ten per centum from date, payable annually. December 31, bonds for $3,000 additional were exchanged for stock, making the total bond issue $7,000, payable, $1,000 in five years, the remainder in three biennial payments of $2,000 each.
The railway stock received for these bonds was considered worthless and when the City of Seymour was incorporated, and the board apportioned the funds and indebtedness of the city and town, no account was made of the stock, but when, in 1880, the town sold it at five per cent of its face value, the city demanded its proportion, which was refused because of a tax matter dating prior to incorporation which the city, though having the power, failed to rectify, and which the town held as an offset against the funds received for the stock. After long and expensive litigation, during which an appeal to higher courts was taken, the town was obliged to reimburse the city. No bonds have since been issued by the town, whose financial condition is excellent. In its physical contour the surface throughout the town is gently rolling, or easy slopes. Originally covered by a forest of heavy pine, interspersed with hardwood, the soil varies somewhat in different sections, but is well drained and fertile and adapted to great diversity of crops. The principal industry is dairy farming. The growing of sugar beets receives considerable attention and recently an enormous acreage has been devoted to cabbage. Fruit growing as an industry for profit has until 1910 and the present year received little consideration. Many cherry orchards of considerable extent have been planted this year, but as no crops have been harvetsed no estimate of the value to the town can be made. The farms are well kept and farm buildings are substantial and pleasing in appearance. The roads throughout the town, already good, are being constantly improved, as is also true of the school buildings. The school house in No. 2, known as “The Tubbs district,” is especially noticeable as a model building, and in appearance and equipment would be a credit to a village or city.
The city of Seymour was organized under an act of incorporation April 5, 1879, only seven years from the building of the railroad. Its first officers were: T. J. St. Louis, mayor; B. F. Strong, J. Brinkman and August Volk, aldermen; C. E. McIntosh, super- visor; M. D. Newald, city clerk; C. E. Mcintosh, assessor; Thomas H. Mitchell, treasurer; Dana Dix, marshal; H. Moneback, constable; A. M. Anderson, police justice; George Downer, street commissioner; Sam Howard, justice of the peace. Street improvements, sidewalk building and fire protection were immediately considered and efforts along this line have placed the little city in the front rank of cities of its size, so far as public utilities are concerned. The streets are well kept, adequate drainage afforded, concrete sidewalks and crossings are provided. A large and handsome City Hall provides accommodations for the city officers and a large council chamber on the upper floor. The ground floor houses the fire fighting apparatus. Room in the building is provided for the City Library, which was organized by a Ladies’ Library Association and turned over to the city. Cisterns in various localities of the city afford water for fire fighting. A volunteer fire company dated its organization to about the time of the city’s incorporation, which was replaced July 1, 1910, by a municipal fire department, of which C. F. Wagner is chief; John Huettl, captain of hose company; Charles Wolk, captain of hook and ladder company; F. E. Dopkins, secretary; Arthur Folk, treasurer. The department is limited to twenty-five members and maintains its full quota.
A monthly newspaper was started by George Mendell, May, 1880. Seymour, though becoming an important supply point, in 1880, was unable to hold the whole trade, since Appleton could discount Seymour prices. Some merchants thought the reason not so much a difference in prices as that customers wished to tell they had bought in Appleton. The People’s Friend urged the merchants to buy wholesale in New York, rather than Appleton and give the local trade the benefit of the saving. Peter Tubbs completed the census and about July 1, 1880, announced the population of the city 849, and of the town 762. In the city council, June 7, a gravel bed was ordered purchased and resolutions passed relative to sidewalk improvements.
The Seymour Tribune was talking cheese factory, July, 1880.
L. B. Bullock was pastor of M. E. Church in 1880. The Catholic congregation again secured a pastor in Rev. Peter Scholl, but the Congregational Church needed a minister. Rev. J. E. Wuebbin was pastor of the Lutherans, and Rev. Diete was pastor of the Evangelical Association. F. R. Ditmer showed apples more than ten inches around, in August. Seymour Lodge, I. O. O. F., celebrated its third anniversary August 21.
The Northwestern Manufacturing Company had over a half million feet of logs and still buying, February, 1881. The Temple of Honor was vigorous and growing in that year. The death of Mayor Harrington left a vacancy which was filled by the election of George Droeger.
At the completion of the Green Bay & Lake Pepin Railway, about Christmas, 1871, a station was established near the northwest corner of section 33. A store was opened early in 1872 and about the same time Seymour postoffice was removed to that point. With the mills and shops this formed the nucleus of village.
“Few towns of northern Wisconsin,” says the Appleton Post, “have thrived as uniformly as the village of Seymour. Only five or six years have passed since the first scar was made in a wilderness, the site of this thriving town. It at once became the base of important business and manufacturing enterprises, to which additions of more or less consequence have been made every year.”
The leading manufacturing firm in Seymour, 1877, is Hammel & Parkhurst, manufacturing staves, furnishing employment to sixty men. This firm lately acquired a hub and spoke factory, now employing fifteen hands, whose efforts the past year have been devoted to working up stock on hand. Upham Bros. do a large business in lumber. J. P. Laird & Co. are lumber dealers and manufacturers. The Northwestern Manufacturing Company of Fort Atkinson employ twenty men in their branch here. John Brinkman & Co., hub and spoke factory, employ twenty-eight hands. The custom work of Shirland & Steward’s flouring mill amounts to 15,000 bushels besides a large merchant trade. J. J. Leish makes staves for tight barrels. Mitchell & Steward, in general merchandise, do a thriving business. D. Hammel & Co. require five hands to serve their customers. Mitchelstetter & Fenrig do a constantly increasing business. L. A. Le Meeux presides over drug headquarters. J. Dean & Sons employ four hands in their hardware, started last April. Phillip Muehl supplies Seymour and vicinity with furniture from a carefully selected stock. J. Brinkman & Co. do a very extensive mercantile trade. J. J. Trenam & Co. make a specialty of groceries and provisions. Mrs. Trenam conducts a successful millinery department. Fred Lemke, F. B. Ditmer and W. Shmirler are separately engaged as boot and shoe makers, all successfully.
“Few towns of northern Wisconsin have thrived so uniformly since their establishment as the village of Seymour. Indeed, only five or six years have elapsed since the first scar was made in a wilderness which now forms the site of this thriving inland town. It at once became the base of important business and manufacturing enterprises to which additions of greater or less consequence have been made every year. Of course the particular cause which induced the establishment and subsequent prosperity of Seymour was the building of the G. B. & M. R. R., a few years ago.” — (Appleton Post, December, 1877.)
“The leading manufacturing firm in Seymour, 1877, is Hammel & Parkhurst, manufacturing staves, furnish employment to sixty men. This firm lately acquired a large hub and spoke factory, now employing fifteen hands, whose efforts during the past year have been confined to working up stock on hand.” — (Appleton Post, December, 1877.)
“Upham Bros. do large business in lumber. J. P. Laird & Co., lumber dealers and manufacturers. J. M. Rhode is agent for both these firms. The Northwestern Manufacturing Company, employing twenty men, is a branch of works at Fort Atkinson. John Brinkman.
“The following are separately engaged in blacksmithing: A. J. Hunter, William Kratzke, George Droeger and Peter Westergreen. Wagon makers are Aug. Wolk, C. Pauley, John Zurbrigg and the firm of Peckham & O’Brien, the last mentioned having a blacksmithing branch.
“Voeskes & Nice are proprietors of a meat market and ice house. A. Hines makes and repairs harness. John Dillematter makes a superior kind of grain cradle. J. J. Bowerman does quite a business as jeweler and photographer. Mrs. Benedict started a millinery line two months ago; has quite a business. H. C. Werts makes photographs to order. Aug. Forester has fruit and notion stand. Thos. Bailey has restaurant and billiard hall. F. A. Glass, shaving parlor. Oscar Conklin entertains his guests handsomely at the Robbins House. Otto Broehmer is the successful landlord of the Seymour House. William Robbins is proprietor of the village livery stable. Drs. B. T. Strong and M. H. Kerwin look after the health of the busy people. Total amount of business for the year $381,500.” — (Post, December 13, 1877.)
During the year, 1887, the following persons erected dwellings in Seymour: August Wolk, Joel Winter, Sewell Shepherd, addition: M. Kahn, F. Stillwater, C. Farwell, George Douner, Thomas St. Louis, Philip Muehl, Dr. George Kindress, John Kelaofall, John Kroner, Mr. Gourel, Rev. Mr. Souterman, Mr. Mail, Chris Newman, Mr. Prickerman, Fred Sacko, Chris. Winestine, Henry Howard, Richard Porties, James Alexander, Martin O’Brien, Joseph Labelle, Mr. Henry, George Droeger, George Foster, Joseph Ausborne, J. J. Bowerman. Barns also were built by John Kelaofall, John Croner and Richard Porties, Joseph Gunter and C. E. McIntosh.
May 25, 1881, the house of William Harris was seen to be on fire. Firemen entering the attic to put out the fire found evidence of incendiarism. Harris was arrested and committed suicide. An old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration, 1881, with George B. Pratt of Menasha, Capt. William Zickerich of Gravesville, who speaks in German, and Rev. L. B. Bullock of Seymour, speakers of the day, was announced by the Aurora, which in the same issue, June 28, gave up the ghost, its editor, George E. Mendell, stating that after three years effort, “being a deaf mute we cannot make a local and political paper interesting to many.” Mendell’s journalistic labors were resumed the following month in a magazine which was soon afterward removed to Appleton.
The Seymour Press made its first appearance July 8, 1886, under the management of H. J. Van Vuren, an independent weekly, which has continued without change of management or policy to the present.
As evidence of the prosperity of her institutions Seymour citzens may point with pride to her banks, the first of which dates its inception to 1887, when William Michelstetter began doing a private banking business. S. H. Rondeau being his cashier. On this super- structure was erected the Seymour State Bank, which opened its doors for business in January, 1903, with a capital stock of $30,000. There has been no change in its official directory, the present officers having been the first ones elected. These are William Michelstetter, president; Frank Falck, vice-president; and Charles R. Prosser, cashier. The foregoing, with the addition of Dr. James Hittner and Charles Ploeger, constitutes the directorate. The capital stock at the present time is $60,000, with a surplus of $7,000. The prosperity of the bank is evidenced in that it has paid to its stockholders nearly 100 per cent. in dividends, and gave each share for share of stock, making the benefits to stockholders equal to hundred and fifty per cent. in eight years. The bank pays its customers four per cent. on savings and deposits, deriving its ability to do so from one and a half million dollars of mortgages in force.
In December, 1892, the First National Bank of Seymour, capitalized at $30,000, was organized and began doing business. James H. Taylor and William Larson, both of Green Bay, were the first president and vice-president, respectively. The first board of directors was composed of J. H. Taylor, William Larson, S. H. Cady, Jacob Friend, Peter Tubbs, Robert Kuehne and Francis R. Dittmer, the first three named of Green Bay, the rest of Seymour.
The bank prospered from its inception, notwithstanding the defalcation of its first cashier to the amount of $58,000. Ordinarily such a loss would have caused ruin to the average country bank, but this bank had its foundation solidly based upon men of means and integrity, and its solidity was never seriously questioned. In 1894 Francis R. Ditmer became president, Peter Tubbs vice-president, and Charles Freund cashier, this official list remaining unchanged to the present.
In the spring of 1860, relates Gary Munger, Mrs. Frank Manley gathered the children of the neighborhood and under the shade trees held a school, teaching without pay in order that a course of education might begin and the state aid for schools be secured. Of this humble beginning the justly famed Seymour city school is an outgrowth, and to Mrs. Manley should be given the credit due a pioneer educator. In the fall of that year Rosa McGann of Oneida Reservation taught school in David Benedict’s house, a log shanty on the town line.
A school district had been formed May 12, 1860, called District No. 2 of Osborn, of which Seymour was then a part, and the first school meeting held at the house of Mr. Rockfellow, but the site for a schoolhouse was not surveyed until April, 1861. A schoolhouse was built and furnished with four long benches and desks on each side, and stood about a half-mile west of the south end of Main street, Seymour, in section 32. This building was the scene of many memorable events in the history of the settlement. It was not only a schoolhouse, but Sunday school and church services, town meetings, public gatherings and Independence day celebrations were held there. At first this district included all of the town of Seymour, as well as a portion of Osborn, but in 1866 a new district was formed of the northern four tiers of sections. After the separation of Seymour from Osborn this school was continued as a joint district until May, 1869, when it was dissolved and new districts formed. At an unrecorded date in that year the old log schoolhouse was sold to the highest cash bidder, with stove and pipe, pail, dipper and broom, dictionary, blackboard, wood and closet for $28.66, and was after- ward used for a church.
To trace the history of the schools from year to year would require more space than can be allotted it. It is sufficient to say that a portion of the city of Seymour, together with portions of the towns of Osborn and Seymour, were included in a joint district until 1887, when by an act of the legislature the territory within the city limits was made one school district. Up to that time the city had employed but two teachers, but imnmediately more room was required to accommodate four teachers. A building was procured which was remodeled and added to, and in it the High school was established with Merritt L. Caimpbell principal, under the three years’ course. For the promotion of the high school system in Seymour, says F. R. Ditmer, too much credit cannot be given Dr. R. H. Schmitt, a resident of the city and at the time county superintendent of schools.
In 1903 the school building was destroyed by fire and the present handsome structure was erected. Thoroughly modern in design and equipment, it contains five school rooms besides the general assembly room, three recitation rooms and an auditorium seating six hundred. In the basement is a well-equipped gymnasium, a very effective heating and ventilating apparatus, and a vacuum cleaning system. A library for the use of the students is kept in the building, which contains about twelve hundred carefully selected volumes, to which additions are constantly made. A principal, two assistants and five grade teachers comprise the corps of instructors. After the first five years the four-years’ course was adopted, as at present. Twenty-one classes have graduated, there being none in 1891, the total alumnae, including the class of ’11, being 163.
The Congregational Church of Seymour is the offspring of a congregation formed in town of Osborn in the ’60s, and a church house erected about three miles southwest of the city. About 1872 an organization was effected in Seymour, which included most of the membership of the Osborn congregation, and services there were discontinued and the church building was converted into a residence on the farm of John Knox. A chapel was built by the organization in Seymour, which was used until sometime in the ’80s, when the present church was erected and the chapel remodeled into a residence for the minister. The church, though never strong in membership or finance, has maintained its organization and its Sunday school dates from the beginning. The early history of the church is somewhat obscure, but since Elder Clinton was serving it in 1873 it is likely he was instrumental in its organization.
Zion Church of the Evangelical Association was organized in 1870 under the ministry of Rev. G. Zoellhoefer. The families of F. Muehl, F. Peotter, Henry Baker and C. Miller were among the first of this faith in the town. Frederick Kurz from Neenah held the first services at Fred Muehl’s house. Rev. Bockmuhl also preached in the homes before the church was organized, and Rev. Schelp was another early minister.
Until 1875 the congregation was a part of the Neenah Mission Field, when Rev. C. Oerth was stationed here. After him came F. Hormuth, 1877; F. Diete, 1879; John Schueller, 1882; F. Eilert, 1885; Theador Schauer, 1887; M. Gauerke, 1889; C. W. Schuelter, 1892; J. J. Huffman, 1895; L. M. Siewart, 1899; G. J. Weiling, 1903; H. Best, 1905, and H. G. Koten, the present pastor, in 1907. The first church was erected on the town line road at the south end of Main street and used until 1902, when the present handsome building was erected in a more central part of the city. In 1882 a parsonage was bought, and used for five years when a residence was bought further south on Main street. The congregation now has one hundred and ten members and maintains a Sunday school, Young People’s Alliance and Ladies’ Aid Society, in which deep interest is manifest.
The first meetings of the Church of Christ, Scientist, were held about 1894 at Piehl’s hall, which place is still so used. Although no regular organization has ever been effected the number of adherents to the faith increased to nearly forty, but the society has experienced losses by removals and by joining other societies, the membership fluctuating accordingly.
Immanuel’s Congregation, Evangelical Lutheran Church, was organized about 1876. A church was built in 1878, prior to which for a year or two services had been held in the homes of families of that faith by a minister from Freedom. About fifteen families formed the congregation at first, who in 1879 called the Rev. J. E. Wuebbin to the pastorate, after whom came Henry Holterman, 1884; A. Horwitz, 1888; W. Bellon, 1891, after whom the present minister, Rev. F. H. Ohlrogge took charge, 1897. A schoolhouse was built in the early ’90s, in which the minister instructs the children of the congregation, and in 1892 built an addition to the church. Not long after the church was built the minister’s residence was acquired and remodeled in 1898. An addition to the rear of the church was built in 1902, and in 1904 a pipe organ was installed. In 1897 the membership had increased to about 78 families and has now about 160. The sum contributed by the congregation for outside work from $91 in 1897 to $324.28 in 1910. The Sunday school has nine teachers besides the minister and 120 pupils.
L. B. Bullock was the pioneer preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Seymour, holding services in the old log schoolhouse on the town line, and laid the foundation of the congregation while yet a student about 1867. The log parsonage which was built in 1873 and 1874, stood in section 20 in the town of Osborn, and was built before the church which stood on the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 5. After the railroad went through and a village sprang up around the station, a reorganization was effected and the church was moved into the city about four lots south of the site of the present church. A residence belonging to the congregation was moved back to front on the next street east of Main, in the same block. In 1895 the parsonage was rebuilt and the following year the new church was erected and dedicated January, 1897. David Lewis was pastor about 1869 and 1870, and was followed by J. Banty, 1871; H. Yarwood, 1872; B. F. Sanford, 1874; S. H. Couch, 1875; O. B. Clark, 1877; L. B. Bullock, 1879; Rev. Hutchins, 1882; William Rowbottom, 1883; W. D. Cox, 1886; Enoch Savage, 1888; Ferdinand Binder, 1890; Rev. Fowls, 1891; E. L. Spicer, 1892; D. H. Carmichael, 1893; D. O. Sanborn, 1895; W. A. Newing, 1898; J. E. Manning, 1901; J. H. Hicks, 1906. C. M. Starkweather has been pastor since. The Sunday school has about a hundred members and about twenty-five in the Epworth League.
St. John’s Catholic congregation was organized about 1872 and the first church was built in 1873. At first the congregation was served by priests from other localites. Rev. Scholter, the first resident pastor, coming a year or two later. He built a schoolhouse, in which school was held for several years, but afterward used for a parsonage. In 1900 the present handsome stone church was erected and in 1910 the old residence was torn down, which is now being replaced by a beautiful structure of hollow tile and terra cotta brick in modern design and equipment.
The organization of St. Sebastian congregation at Eiser divided the parish, both churches now being served by Rev. Roter.
On August 25, 1884, W. B. Comee, D. A. Kenyon, W. F. Cirkle, William Michelstetter, T. H. Mitchell, George Falck and J. Stewart organized and established the Seymour Fair and Driving Park Association; grounds there were purchased and a half-mile track prepared. Funds were raised and all features put in excellent condition, and the first fair was held in October, 1885, lasting three days. Among those interested were Peter Tubbs, John Uecke, S. P. Armitage, George Row, E. Sherman, John Bull, W. Greenwald, G. W. Butler, J. Dean. The races were enjoyed, though driven in a pouring rain. Sorrel Prince, Appleton Maid, Annie Lou, Jim Golden were the racers. The fair was pronounced a success.
The Seymour Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1895 with a capital of $6,000, the incorporators being F. R. Dittmer, William Michelstetter, D. A. Kenyon, G. H. Feurig, C. H. Horr, W. D. Comee, George Falk, James Hittner, Louis Mueller, Fred Muehl, Jr., Philip Muehl, William Straub, W. H. Foote, A. J. Behling, John Lempke, F. L. Forward, M. Bodenheimer, W. M. Muehl, Emil Gross, Jacob Freund, L. D. Fuchsgruber, George Broeger, J. A. Swan and Peter Tubbs. The object of the company was to manufacture agricultural implements and do a general repair and jobbing business. They prepared at once to build their plant.
The stock yards at Seymour, owned by Kuehne Brothers, paid out in six months $65,000; over $6,000 was paid in one day. As high as sixteen carloads of stock were shipped in one day, with two loads left over for want of cars. From three to five carloads went every week late in 1895. The Farmers’ Institute at Seymour was well conducted, well attended and instructive.
The mercury at Seymour dropped as low as forty degrees below zero about the middle of February, 1899; this was the lowest since 1872. About this time the Seymour Press was issued as a semiweekly. The Catholics, headed by Father James Bastian, decided to build a new church in 1899.
Seymour was undoubtedly one of the best live stock, grain and dairy product markets in the state about 1899. Robert Kuehne paid out $11,000 in two days for stock late in October. In October, 1899, the old Catholic Church was taken away and work on the new building was commenced.
In a speaking contest between the Seymour High school and the Green Bay High school, held at Green Bay in May, 1899, the former won easily. Nearly 200 pupils went from Seymour to witness the contest. Six speakers were chosen from each school. Much credit was given Prof. Schmidt and Miss Silverfriend, who trained the Seymour contestants. At this time Mayor Foster favored city water works; mass meetings were called and held to consider the subject. The Seymour baseball club defeated the Green Bay club in May.
The people of Seymour early appreciated the benefits derived from intimate association and united effort, which was manifest in the early organization of schools, churches and Sunday schools already mentioned, from which to derive intellectual and spiritual benefits. To attain social and financial benefits other organizations were formed, each of which has lent its aid to the betterment of the community, anmong which may be mentioned Seymour Lodge, No. 273, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, John Ganzo Post, 198, G. A. R., and its affiliated organizations, the Woman’s Relief Corps and Sons of Veterans, Seymour Camp Modern Woodmen of America, and its associate the camp of Royal Neighbors, Mystic Star Council, No. 1928, Royal Arcanum, Seymour Council No. 30, National Fraternal League, Fox River Council, No. 17, Fraternal Reserve Association, Sons of Herman, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
To an inestimable extent the pre-eminence of Seymour as a progressive agricultural and stock-growing community is attributable to the Seymour Fair and Driving Park Association, which was incorporated in 1885 with W. F. Circle, president; Marshall K. Snell, secretary; T. H. Mitchell, George Falk and J. A. Stewart, trustees, who bought fifteen acres and laid out a half-mile track just north of the residence district, but within the city limits of Seymour. To provide adequate space for increasing exhibition and attendance, five acres more have been added. Through the liberal premiums offered a spirit of emulation was generated and fostered, to the vast improvement of live stock and the products of garden, orchard and field, and, as well, the domestic arts and sciences. Too much credit cannot be given the promoters of this association.
The farmers’ institutes and the monthly stock shows at Seymour were well attended from 1890 to 1896; on stock days from five to ten carloads of stock were bought and shipped. The Fair and Driving Park Association was well attended and popular. In 1889 the association was in debt over $1,000. Peter Tubbs was elected president and John Uecke a trustee. Through their work largely the association was put in much better condition, $500 of the debt being paid. James Dean succeeded Tubbs and continued the good work.
Town of Oneida. — In 1854 they had several schools maintained partly by the liberality of the government and partly through the generosity of Rev. Mr. Lathrop, the Methodist minister to the Orchard or Methodist party. Several young ladies from Appleton taught school among the Oneidas at this time. Late in 1854 two of the young Indian men married school teachers — white girls. An Indian writing to the Crescent conveyed the information that they would like to have more white girls come there to teach the young men. He said: “We like the white girls, because they teach us to talk English and to live like their people. Those who have Indians for husbands are perfectly satisfied. But the white girls must be cautious in choosing a companion, because there are good and bad in all nations; therefore, when you choose get a good one or none at all. Get one who has a good home for you, and who is temperate and industrious.” — (This was signed by “Oneida,” Duck Creek; December 1854.)
The Oneida Reservation, occupying parts of Outagamie and Brown counties, contained much to interest the people of Appleton in early years. A road about seventeen miles in length was opened from Appleton to that reservation and was traveled over by September, 1855.
In January, 1855, a company of Oneida Indians from the reservation rendered a concert in the Methodist church, Appleton. Notwithstanding the severe storm there was a large attendance. The Oneidas sang in their own language, and the audience appeared to be well pleased. Just before the close of the concert Judge Johnston was called to the chair and the following resolution was unanimously adopted: “Resolved, that the citizens of Appleton feel highly gratified with the entertainment furnished us by our neighbors, the Oneida vocalists, and we commend them to the kind attention of the people of this city, believing them worthy of a cordial reception wherever they may go.” The pleasant characteristic of this concert was its novelty, and that alone was sufficient to make it enjoyable.
In June, 1856, Baird, an Oneida Indian, who had murdered another Oneida and had been confined at DePere, was released and immediately returned to the Reservation, where he killed another Indian, an enemy, without ceremony.
“A. D. Bonesteel, Indian agent, has appointed the fifth of July next as the day to investigate the sales of lands made by the Stockbridge Indians, who had the same allotted to them in conformity with the act of Congress of March 3, 1843. He will also consider the cases of lands made by said Indians between the third of March, 1843, and the sixth of August, 1846.” — (Crescent, June 12, 1858.)
In January, 1860, F. W. Brown, a Cayuga chief, addressed a large audience in Cronkhite hall on the subject of temperance. The Crescent said concerning this lecture: “We wish we had the power to speak of this lecture as in justice its merits deserve. When Mr. Brown warmed up with his subject and threw his soul into his speech his language burned with eloquence, and he delivered sledgehammer blows at intemperance. He is a man who has great control over the sympathies of his hearers and communion with every heart. He spoke over two hours and no sign of impatience was manifest. The church as well as individuals had to catch it for their shortcomings. He lectures again this evening at the Methodist Church.”
“The First Indian Graduate. — Henry Cornelius, son of Chief Jacob Cornelius of the Oneida Reservation, a pure Indian, graduated at Lawrence University on Wednesday. He commenced his English education in 1855, but having everything, even the alphabet, to learn, his perseverance is truly commendable. His standing as a student and a man is first-class.” — (Crescent, July 2, 1864.)
Late in August, 1865, a band of Oneida Indians of the Methodist Mission of the Reservation gave a concert in Appleton which was highly enjoyed. The house was crowded, all struck by the novelty of the proposed concert. The songs sung were mostly hymns used in their worship. Several excellent voices were noticed among the Indians. The exercises were conducted almost wholly in the Indian language. A chapter was read from the Bible and a portion of it translated sentence by sentence by the Indian interpreter. The audience enjoyed the entertainment immensely. They were asked to repeat the concert later on and did so.
In September, 1866, an Oneida Indian while attempting to cross the canal where the drawbridge formerly stood at Appleton, fell in and was drowned. It was very dark at the time, so that even if his cries were heard no one could go to his assistance. The body was recovered and taken to the reservation for burial.
In 1867 a treaty with the Stockbridge Indians was made by which they agreed to sell their lands in Shawano county for $60,000, a part of them to become citizens and a part to go to a new reservation, possibly to a portion of the Oneida reservation in Outagamie county. It was hoped by the people here that this change would not be made, because it was believed that the two tribes would conflict and cause serious troubles. At that time it was believed that each Oneida should be given his own separate tract of the reservation and that all who chose should be allowed to become citizens. They had advanced rapidly in civilization — as rapidly as they probably ever would — and it was believed by many that now would be the opportune time to absorb them as American citizens.
In October, 1877, the Oneidas were paid their annuity of $1,000 by Agent Bridgeman. The census of the tribe showed 1,405 of all ages and sexes. The total acreage of the reservation was 64,000, of which 5,000 acres were cleared and 5,000 under cultivation. In 1877 they had 800 acres in corn, and raised 4,500 bushels of vegetables and 22,500 bushels of grain. They had 750 head of cattle and 600 hogs and sheep.
The convention of the Forest Temperance Society of the Six Nations was held at the Oneida Reservation in September, 1877; many delegates from Canada were present, and many white visitors witnessed the proceedings. The exercises were held in a temporary building erected for this purpose. Speeches were made by Jacob Cornelius, head chief of the Oneidas, Elias Sickles and others in the Oneida tongue. Brief addresses were made by Rev. Crawford and Rev. Street. On one afternoon the game of La Crosse was played.The society was first organized in 1858 and in 1877 numbered nearly 800 members. — (Post, October 4, 1877.)
Steps to open the Oneida Reservation and the Indians made citizens were taken in January, 1883. A committee of citizens went to Green Bay and there conferred with leading citzens of Brown county and also with a delegation from the reservation consisting of A. P. Cornelius, Eli Scandinaven, Joseph Silas and E. J. Cornelius. It was determined to communicate with Congress and with the secretary of the interior.
In September, 1887, a protest signed by 800 Oneida Indians against the allotment in severalty of their reservation was sent to Washington; about 400 others were also opposed to the allotment. The protestants represented about two-thirds of the reservation. They claimed that because they were not to have absolute control of the lands allotted nor the rights of citizenship for twenty-five years, their present status would remain unchanged. They were willing to allotment if these objections were removed.
Dana C. Lamb allotted the Oneida Reservation lands in severalty; the total number was 1,726, or 1,676 residents; about 1,200 resided within the limits of Outagamie county; in the latter were five schools. The title to the land for twenty-five years was in the United States; the land was not taxable.
In 1903 Cornelius Hill, a full-blood Oneida Indian, was duly ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church at Oneida.
Early in 1910 the county board took steps to have the Oneida Indians incorporate their town as Oneida.
At the April election, 1910, Oneida was organized into a township and thereafter the Indians were required to pay taxes and were represented on the county board. Nelson Metoxen was the first county supervisor from Oneida. The other officers of the township were James W. Cornelius and Richard Powles, supervisors; Oscar Smith, clerk; Joseph M. Smith, treasurer; Cornelius Wheelock and Lehigh Wheelock, justices; Eli B. Cornelius and Josiah Hill, constables; Josiah Charles and Jannison Metoxen, assessors.
BEYOND any reasonable doubt Hippolitus Grignon built the first house on the present site of Appleton, in 1835, having come here that year from Green Bay. His log house was a trading post and for awhile his family were the only white residents. The next year two others arrived — Ranger and Lan de Rush. Two or three years later came an Englishman, whose name is forgotten, Patrick Shields, Louis Heintz, Adam Mertes and a few others. There was no village nor attempt at a village, the families living at a considerable distance apart, though all on the present city site. Mr. Grignon died in 1850, leaving his widow and seven children, of whom Simon P. was one. They were compelled to leave and were soon lost to sight. — (Post, March 29, 1900.)
Frank Wirtz, a native of Germany, helped build the first house in Appleton in 1848. His daughter, Mary, is said to have been the first white child, or one of the first, born on the city site.
The Appleton Crescent first appeared February. 10, 1853, and was issued by Ryan & Company, with Henry S. Eggleston as political editor and S. Ryan, Jr., miscellaneous editor. The editor said the paper would be devoted to the interests of Fox River valley and the development of Outagamie county. “In politics, while we shall ever express our opinion of men and measures without fear or favor, we shall always inculcate National Democratic Principles as the true basis for a free government.”
The first trustees of the village of Appleton met at the Clifton House May 17, 1853; they were J. F. Johnston, C. E. Bement, George Lanphear, W. H. Sampson, Samuel Ryan, Jr., and A. B. Bowen, trustees; and James M. Phinney, clerk. Ryan, Sampson and Bowen were appointed a committee to draft by-laws for the government of the village. They passed a resolution to audit no account for services performed by the president or trustees in their official capacity during 1853. They also concluded that it was inexpedient to levy a general tax because such small expense as might arise could be paid from fines, licenses, permits, etc. They proceeded to put the cemetery in better condition; procured record books; appointed John Hart pound master; divided the village into districts; took steps to secure a title to the cemetery.
At the April election, 1854, the judges were Robert R. Bateman, Jackson Tibbits and A. B. Bowen; clerks, Alden S. Sanborn and Dr. Mark A. Mosher. Sidewalks on Lawe, Wisconsin and Lawrence streets were ordered built; walks to be four feet wide. This year the trustees were Ryan, Morrow, Gilmore, Myers, Sherwin and Brownell; W. A. Prall, clerk, and Amos Story, street commissioner.
A tax of two mills on the dollar was levied for corporate purposes.
In June Laura R. Edgarton and Joseph McNeill petitioned for a drain from Edgarton hotel across College avenue to the ravine. A prohibitory ordinance was passed. John Stephens was appointed surveyor. Fire fighting apparatus was ordered and John F. Johnston was appointed chief of the fire brigade; he appointed fire wardens for the several village districts. Gambling was prohibited. The following were the first accounts paid:
1. S. B. Belding ……. ………………………………………. $ 4.00
2. Ryan & Co., printing ………………………………………46.00
3. Amos Story, street commissioner ………………………..3.75
4. John Stevens, surveying ……………………………………6.75
5. W. A. Prall, clerk …………………………………………….1.38
6. John Moodie, killing dogs ………………………………….. .50
7. James Gilmore, streets ……………………………………..2.00
8. W. A. Prall, books …………………………………………15.00
9. Frederick Packard ($16.50 asked) ……………………..14.50
10. Tibbits & Phelps, lumber, etc…………………………..32.10
11. H. L. Blood, assessor ……………………………………. 6.31
12. Ryan & Co …………………………………………………34.40
13. James Gilmore, fire warden …………………………….. 5.25
The clerk’s salary was fixed at $50. Bailey’s troupe of performers were licensed — $3 for one night or $5 for two. The trustees were severely criticized for permitting the clandestine sale of liquor in the village. Particularly were the faculty of Lawrence University caustic in pointing out this evil. Finally, Sam Ryan, Jr., resigned from the village board of trustees and said that he had already done much for the village; that the vice ordinances were not well enforced; and asked why “men in the pulpits,” who had stated that liquor was sold here, were to blame for not filing complaints before magistrates and producing the evidence.
He further said: “You know, too, that the men who are sustained by the institution (Lawrence University) whose anathemas were hurled at the corporation board on Sunday last, have stood aloof and shown no desire to aid in vindicating and enforcing our ordinances relative to liquor, gambling, etc., whether because they have not conceived it to be their duty as citizens or because they know full well that violations of one or more of these ordinances are countenanced by men who have held (and perhaps still hold) official connection with them, is not for me to say. As a trustee I have endeavored to study the interests of the people instead of the views of a few. You know, gentlemen, that with all their professed zeal for the good name and fame of this village; with all their avowed friendship for sobriety, temperance and good order, not a man connected with Lawrence University has had a word to offer in favor of our liquor ordinance nor a complaint to file on account of its violation. You also know that another class of our citizens, by no means few in numbers, have expressed great indignation to this board for daring to declare liquor a nuisance, and that the violators of the law are to human appearances upheld in their career by the mass of the people. Is it not so? Is it not also true that a portion of this unlawful traffic has been and still is (if we may believe what we hear) carried on by members of the very church which has anathematized this board for granting a license to the Bailey Troupe in the face of the fact that if license had been refused that band of strollers could have performed here without let or hindrance. For this trespass on your time I have only this excuse to offer: When an official is attacked from the pulpit he possesses no power to reply. Trusting that my recommendation of a successor (he recommended in derision the appointment of Rev. Edward Cooke, D. D.) will be heeded and that enough others of my associates will resign to give the control to those who find fault and may do better than you or I have, I am, etc. S. RYAN, JR.”
Jackson Tibbits was elected to fill the vacancy thus caused. The municipal election in April, 1855, was held at the Central schoolhouse. At this time the village was divided into wards.
In January, 1856, a city seal was adopted; it had the following inscription: “Village of Appleton, Wis., Incorporated, 1853. Ot Temperantia Legibus. Defend the Right.”
At the mayoralty election in April, 1857, the following votes were polled: For mayor, Amos Story, 186; Anson Ballard, 157; for assessor, Edward West, 287; scattering, 3; for treasurer, C. E. Bement, 225; J. M. Stebbins, 114; for marshal, Daniel Huntley, 198; J. H. Marston, 140.
“Twenty-one buildings (aside from barns and outhouses) have been erected within our corporate limits during the past summer; not a single vacant dwelling can be found within a mile of the postoffice. We have 2 large grist mills, 2 sash, door and blind factories, 2 turning shops, 1 edge-tool factory, 4 sawmills, 1 paper mill, 1 printing office, 1 fanning mill factory, half dozen carpenter shops, 2 tin shops, 3 blacksmith shops, 3 shoe shops, harness shop, 2 tailor shops, 1 gunshop, 1 wagon shop, 1 chair factory, 2 paint shops, etc., 2 architects, 2 surveyors, 1dentist, 1 lumber yard, 1bakery, 1meat market, 1 barber shop, 2 asheries, 5 large dry goods stores, 4 grocery and provision stores, 2 hardware and stove stores.” — (Crescent, December 10, 1853.)
“On Monday morning at sunrise the mercury was 32 degrees below zero. This is the coldest in Fox River Valley since 1840, when the mercury fell to 36 degrees below and more. The ice nearly shuts up the falls at Grand Chute rapids.” — (Crescent, January 26, 1854.)
The inhabitants of Appleton in May, 1853, held a May party at Grand Chute, under the direction of the ladies and gentlemen of the Appleton High School. There were a bower, throne, May pole, flags, speeches, dancing on the green and a joyous time generally.
“Appleton Bank! $10,000 to let in small amounts from $5 to $50 each, to suit the wants and convenience of the needy, at the sign of the red flag, opposite Woodward’s store. P. White, cashier. Appleton, July 30, 1853.”
The present officers of the city of Appleton are as follows: Mayor — James V. Canavan, 791 Lawrence street. Councilman — John Goodland, Jr., 778 Hancock street. Councilman — Engelbert Schueller, 925 Lawrence street. City Clerk — W. L. Williams, 683 Pacific street. City Treasurer — Edward E. Sager, 941 Superior street. City Engineer — C. H. Vinal, 620 Lawe street. City Attorney — Henry D. Ryan, 768 Kimball street. City Physician — E. P. Dohearty, 697 Durkee street. Assessors — A. E. Heideman, 412 Pacific street; Fred Kranhold, 225 Carver street; George Limpert, 675 State street. City Marshal — F. W. Hoefer, 814 Oneida street. Fire Chief — Geo. P. McGillan, 695 Washington street. Superintendent of School — Carrie E. Morgan, 777 Harris street.
DEPARTMENT OF CITY AFFAIRS. — Mayor Canavan — Police, Fire and Water, Poor, Health, Finance. Councilman Goodland — Superintendent Streets and Bridges, Public Offices, Licenses, Judiciary. Councilman Schueller — Street Lighting, Assessments, Ordinances, Public Grounds and Buildings, Sealer of Weights and Measures.
Mayor and Councilmen constitute the Board of Public Works. Mayor and Councilmen constitute the Fire and Police Commission. Park Commissioners — Geo. C. Jones, H. G. Saecker, H. W. Meyer. Library Board — Geo. C. Jones, O. E. Clark, P. H. Ryan, H. G. Freeman, F. S. Bradford, Henry D. Ryan, Henry Kreiss, F. J. Harwood, Gustave Kellar, Carrie E. Morgan. Agnes L. Dwight, Librarian. Maud E. Patton, Assistant Librarian. Jennie Evans, Assistant.
The year ending June 30, 1911, showed a circulation of 54,626 books in the public library, of which 19,359 were to children. The number of books in the library was 11,792, and the number of order cards in force was 4,022.
“Started after an early breakfast and went up to Augustine Grignon’s, on the right bank of the river. He has two whole sections covering the best advantages at the Rappids for mills and other hydraulics, and a large share of open bottom land. They have become rich by trading with the Indians. The family are mixed blood of French and Indians. From this across the river up to the lower end of the rapids of the Grand Kakalin, where the Stockbridge tribe settlement begins, unloaded our boat and hired our load carted up over land to the head of the rappids and a little above the mission house, and sent our boat to that place. Hired five Indians, making eight hands. Stopped at ————Gardner’s, an Indian, on the bank of the river. There are seven islands in this great rappid, which falls about 30 feet. The Stockbridge tribe have a sawmill and are preparing to (build) and (put) the frame up for a grist mill on one of the branches of the river. Staid and breakfasted at the mission house. This establishment is of the Presbyterian order and conducted by Mr. Cutting Marsh and Mr. Stephens, and is in a prosperous state.
“The Little Chute is (a) perpendicular fall of one foot and a continued Rappid of more than a mile, and falls about 24 feet on the west side of which is an island of considerable size and convenient for hydrauliks. Opposite the island is a bottom of 200 or 300 acres of open land or prairie. On the back side of it is a handsome elevation of about 30 feet with scattering white oak. This is the spot of all I have seen in the country the most valuable were the country around it settled. I was surprised by finding a store and ashery just below this on the Stockbridge side of the river. This bottom is the fourth and largest on the river, and is never overflowed, as the water never rises more than three feet. * * * Went on up the river to Grand Chute. Hired five Indians to help the boat up the falls, which is about six feet, almost perpendicular. The river breaks over a smooth rock and is about 80 rods wide. Loaded boats have to unload here and carry over by the edge of the water and then reload. The land here puts into the river in high bluffs and is somewhat broken at the river. Above this the water is still so as to row a boat the most of the way to Winnebago Lake. The banks grow lower and better all the way up; there is on the bluffs mentioned two lodges where they make bark canoes.” — (From sketch of James McCall, June, 1830, Commissioner of the Government sent to settle differences between the Menominee, Winnebago and New York Indians.)
In the spring of 1910 the citizens of Little Chute nominated the following village ticket: J. A. Kilsdonk, president; Anton Jansen, clerk; John Lamers, treasurer; George Verkuilen, assessor; King Kilsdonk, supervisor; George Heesackers, Barney Heitpas, Peter Weyenberg and John Van Eyck, trustees; J. E. Verstegen, justice; Jake Weyenberg and Joseph Verstegen, constables.
On March 2, 1910, Kimberly held its first municipal election, there being but one ticket, as follows: C. G. Moes. president; James Kraus, treasurer; Victor Ziaene, clerk; John Guilfoyle, Walter Van Denetsen, Fred Kroenke, Anton Bos and Charles Werth, trustees; S. R. Stilp, supervisor; F. A. Elengreen, assessor; J. J. Falk, constable; George Rosheck and John Stuyvenberg, justices.
A white pine tree that scaled 3,640 feet was cut by W. E. Golden, of Buchanan, in February, 1911; it contained seven logs, the diameter of the butt log being 54 inches, 30 inches above ground.
During two days in December, 1897, R. Kuehne paid out for live stock at Seymour $7,000; he shipped fourteen carloads of hogs in one train. The second Tuesday of each month was the liveliest.
The Farmers’ Institute was a powerful means of bringing together the business men and, of improving all industrial conditions. Peter Tubbs was president of the Fair and Driving Park Association; G. E. Munger, vice-president; H. J. Van Vuren, secretary, and M. Michelstetter, treasurer. Ewald Kuehne was killed accidentally in December, 1897.
“What Robert Kuehne has been to Seymour in building up a stock market that stands unparalleled in the state. G. H. Lonkey has been to Shiocton.” — (Seymour Cor. Post, October 31, 1901.)
“Postoffice — The postoffice at Tayco’s Point, Winnebago county, has been removed to the Grand Chute, to be called Appleton, and J. Johnston appointed postmaster.” — (Green Bay Advocate, March 29, 1849.)
“A new postoffice has been established at Lansing in this county, and L. A. Hine, Esq., appointed postmaster.” — (Green Bay Advocate, April 12, 1849.)
The Farmers’ Club of Grand Chute in 1871 was a strong and important organization. It met regularly in the district schoolhouses. Among those active in this organization were Messrs. Bogan, Tolman, Huntley, Randall, Johnson, Adcock, Van Hooklin, Veritz, Green, Cole, Fisher, Hamlin, Werden, Vande, Bogart, May, etc. They discussed scores of subjects vitally important to the farming industry, such as fruits, seed, milk cows, draft horses. In February they held a festival to secure funds with which to purchase a town library; it was held at the hop house, one mile north of the fair ground.
In July, 1902, there occurred a destructive fire in the village of Black Creek, the loss being estimated at nearly $50,000. Among the property burned were the following: Raisler’s general store, Ballhorn’s hardware store, Lyons’ drug store, Pushor’s general store, postoffice, depot, furniture store, three barns, lumber mill, butcher shops, millinery store, either wholly or in part. This fire was of incendiary origin; the culprit was detected and punished.
The county fair at Hortonville in 1892 was highly successful. All the ordinary departments were well represented. The baby show was an attraction; little Hubert Cutter took first prize, Ruth Greeley, second, and Nellie Kuester, third. John and James Rupple took first prize for twins. John Dey was voted to be the best looking man, and Bert Rideout the meanest. The animal exhibit was never better; also the farm products.