COUNTY AFFAIRS AND MISCELLANY.
WHAT is now the County of Outagamie was owned by the Indians until taken possession of by the French in the seventeenth century. It so remained until it passed to Great Britain as a result of the Seven Years’ War, 1761-2. At the close of the Revolution, 1783, it became the possession of the United States. In 1789 it was made a part of the Northwest Territory, and in 1800 a part of Indiana Territory. In 1809 it was included in Illinois Territory and so remained until 1818, when it was attached to Michigan Territory. On April 20, 1836, it was included in the Territory of Wisconsin.
By the Act of January 11, 1805, all territory east of the line due north from the south end of Lake Michigan to the northern boundary of the United States was constituted Michigan Territory.
By the Act of Congress approved April 18, 1818, “all that part of the Illinois Territory which is situated north of and not included within, the boundaries described by this Act (creating the State of Illinois) to the state thereby authorized to be formed, shall be and hereby is attached to and made a part of the Michigan Territory from and after the formation of the said state (of Illinois), subject, nevertheless, to be hereafter disposed of by Congress according to the right reserved in the fifth article of the ordinances as aforesaid.”
Brown county, Michigan Territory, was given the following boundaries: “Bounded on the north by the county of Michilimackinac as established by an act of the governor of the said territory of this date; on the east by the said county of Michilimackinac and by the western boundary of the said territory as the same was established by the Act of Congress passed January 11, 1805, entitled ‘An Act to divide the Indiana Territory into two separate governments;’ on the south by the states of Indiana and Illinois; and on the west by a line to be drawn due north from the northern boundary of the State of Illinois through the middle of the portage between the Fox river and the Ouissin (Wisconsin) river to the county of Michilimackinac, into a separate county to be called the county of Brown, October 26, 1818.”
“And I do establish the seat of justice of the said county of Brown at such point on the Fox river and within six miles of the mouth thereof, as may be selected by a majority of the judges of the County Court of said county.”LEWIS CASS, “Governor of Michigan Territory.”
The County Court was ordered held on the second Monday of July of every year.
In 1824 a bill was drawn dividing Michigan Territory into two separate governments, one was to be called Chippewau. The bill was drawn by J. D. Doty. One section was as follows: “That the seat of government of said territory shall be established at or near the village of Munnominnee (so called) on the east bank of the Fox river, eleven miles above Fort Howard. And the Legislature of the said territory shall cause the public buildings to be erected at such point near the said village as they may deem most suitable; and five thousand acres of land located by the Governor to be below the Grand Kaukaulan on said river, is hereby given to the said Legislature for the use of the Territory, the proceeds of which shall be applied to the erection of the said Territorial buildings.”
“All that district of country within the county of Brown to which the Indian title has been extinguished and comprehended with the following boundaries, namely: Commencing at a point ten miles southeast from the head of the rapids of the Grand Kaukaulin and running a due northeast course until it intersects a line drawn due northwest and southeast through Point au Sable of Green Bay, thence along said line until it intersects another line commencing at and running a due northeast course from a point ten miles northwest from the head of the rapids aforesaid, and from thence due southeast to the place of beginning, shall be the township of Green Bay. April 27, 1827.”
In May, 1832, Morgan L. Martin was councilman from the Seventh District, composed of the counties of Chippewa, Michilimackinac, Brown, Crawford and Iowa. There was introduced in Congress about this time a bill to establish the Territory of Huron or Ouisconsin.
In 1832 post routes were granted from Chicago to Green Bay, and Green Bay to Prairie du Chien via Fort Winnebago. The latter crossed Outagamie county.
“That all that tract of country lying north of the State of Illinois, west of Lake Michigan and south and southeast of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers of Green Bay, in the present territory of Michigan, be laid off into four new land districts.” One was called Green Bay Land District, “which district shall embrace the country north of said rivers (Wisconsin and Fox), when the Indian title shall become extinguished and the Green Bay District may be divided so as to form two districts when the President shall deem it proper.” On June 15, 1836, the Green Bay district was divided, the southern half being cut off and constituted the Milwaukee district.
The Act of December 9, 1836, fixed the seat of justice for Brown county at either Navarino, Astor or DePere, as might be decided by the voters.
On September 6, 1834, the boundaries of Brown county were fixed as follows: “Bounded north by the county of Michilimackinac.” All that part of Brown county to which the Indian title ships 11 and 12 north, in the Green Bay Land district, and east by the line drawn due north through the middle of Lake Michigan until it strikes the southern boundary of the county of Michilimackinack.” All that part of Brown county to which the Indian title was extinguished was attached to and constituted a part of the township of Green Bay. South of Brown county to the Illinois line was made Milwaukee county, which was attached to Brown for judicial purposes. Approved September 6, 1834.
“All that district of country in said county (Brown) lying on the west side of Fox river and Green Bay in the county of Brown and north of the south line of the claim of Paul Duchane (Ducharme) at the Grand Kaukaulin extended, shall be a township by the name of Howard, and the first township meeting shall be held at the dwelling house of Jacques Porlier on the first Monday of September next.”–Approved March 17, 1835.
“All that district of country in said county composed of surveyed townships 21, 22 and 23 north, ranges 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 east, shall be a township by the name of Mason, and the first township meeting shall be held in the courthouse in the village of Menominee on the first Monday of September next.”–Approved March 17, 1835. As will be seen this township embraced the southeastern part of the present Outagamie county. In 1839 a portion of the present Outogamie county became the town of Kaukaulin. (See chapter on Kaukauna.)
In January, 1840, Daniel Whitney, William Dickerson, Alexander Grignon and David Johnson were appointed commissioners by the Legislature to lay out a territorial road from Fort Howard via Grand Kakalin and Little Butte de Morts to Knagg’s ferry in Brown county.
The Act of February, 1846, authorized the construction of a macadam, plank, rail or turnpike road from the foot of Grand Kakalin to Winnebago lake.
“George Grignon, of Green Bay, while shooting pigeons near Grand Kaukalin accidentally shot his right arm near the wrist through the center, so that it had to be amputated. Doctor Armstrong, assisted by Doctor Ward, performed the operation.”– (Green Bay Advocate, August 27, 1846.) The Act of March 13, 1848, incorporated the Winnebago Lake & Fox River Road company, with power to build a plank road from Winnebago lake to the foot of the rapids at the Grand Kakalin; the incorporators were Albert G. Ellis, William Mitchell, Samuel Ryan, Siliver Newton, Henry S. Baird, William Dickinson, Erastus M. Drury, Francis McCarty and George McWilliams.
In 1848 Wisconsin Territory, by vote of the residents and the adoption of a constitution, formed a state government and asked for admission into the Union, which was granted. The new state asked for the improvement of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers under the former Act of 1846.
In 1849 George W. Lawe, John C. Dean and Thomas H. Clark were authorized to lay out and establish a state road from Wolf river near the southwest corner of section 20, town 22, range 16, to the Grand Kaukalin. At this time a state road was ordered laid out from Madison to Green Bay, via Oshkosh; another was established from Winnebago rapids, via Grand Chute, to Aldrich’s mill.
In response to a general call for a meeting of the pioneers of the county, signed by John Stephens, J. M. Phinney, Harmon Jones, G. H. Myers, W. S. Warner, J. F. Johnston, William McGuire, Samuel Ryan, Jr., and others, a large number met at the hall of J. C. Smith in Appleton on Washington’s birthday, 1872. John Stephens called the meeting to order and James M. Phinney was chosen temporary chairman. He stated the object of the meeting. A committee was appointed to prepare a program for the occasion. A resolution inviting Dr. Steele of the university and the ministers of the county to attend was passed. A list of old settlers was ordered made out, with statistics of their arrival. A constitution was at once prepared. The first officers elected were: John Stephens, president; Ethan Powers, vice-president, Daniel Huntley, secretary; John Leith, treasurer; H. L. Blood, John Dey, W. H. P. Bogan, Edwin Nye and John H. McGillan, executive council. The song of the pioneers, composed by Mr. Stephens, was then first read and then sung. At the conclusion of the song, dinner was served. After dinner Mr. Stephens delivered the first address and told how he had hunted over the country before it was settled. Dr. A. B. Randall came here first in August, 1847, and erected a log cabin in 1848. W. S. Warner said he came to Appleton in 1847, before a street was opened or a house built, and later helped to chop out College avenue; built his own house in a day and a half; he and George H. Myers got lost in the woods between Appleton and Hortonville. Prof. James M. Phinney said when he came here in 1848 “the very idea of building the college here in the woods with no town or village near it, appeared almost foolhardy; he became teacher of mathematics; they began the university in the fall (of 1848) with thirty-five students, little and big. Before winter ended they had 100 and before the year closed 150. Randall Johnson of Black Creek said he settled in what was Bovina in 1852; helped lay out the Green Bay and Stevens Point road; stopped with Mr. Jordan where Shiocton now stands. John Leith located in Center in 1850; went back to England, returned, got lost in the woods near his own home and was out over night with wolves howling around; his wife taught the first term of school in the town. John Batley, John H. McGillan, Charles Breitreick, L. L. Randall, Daniel Huntley, John Dey, Capt. Ethan Powers and others related how they settled here. “General” A. J. Jackson, an old colored man, was called out. Mr. Stephens introduced him as “the first white settler in the county.” He was reared in Tennessee, near Nashville; could not tell when he came here; lived for a time in a wigwam with Winnebago Indians where Madison is; then lived in Oshkosh before it had a name; and then at Neenah; secured a wife from the Stockbridge Indians, had six children, but all died: “I was the first settler this side of the Oneida line; I chopped and cleared many farms–one for Mr. Abbot, of Freedom; one for Mr. Woodward, and one for Mr. Phinney.” Ephraim St. Louis, of Kaukauna, said he came from Canada to Green Bay in 1838 and traveled thence to Kaukauna on foot; lost the trail, but followed the river; wolves all around him; went to Little Chute and located and had resided there ever since. The same year a Methodist missionary settled here with the Indians. St. Louis soon went up the river to see the country; reached “Flat Rock” at what is now Appleton; saw a fresh brush-heap, examined it and found the dead body of the Methodist missionary, who no doubt had been murdered; went back to Little Chute; got help; buried him where he was found; never knew his name; word was sent to the Indian agent, Colonel Boyd, who at once demanded of the Menominee chief the arrest of the murderers; three Indians were taken and locked in the Depere jail; one confessed that they killed him expecting to get money; they cut out his heart and ate it and drank his blood to make themselves brave; the other two Indians killed the one who confessed in jail, and then hung themselves with strips of their blankets. I took through the river to the lake, portaging around the rapids the first boat that sailed on the waters of Lake Winnebago, the sailboat ‘Snow Bird’. (Statements of Mr. St. Louis).
The following is a list of the pioneers prepared and published at this time: George St. Louis, 1839; N. Pauley, 1842; Thomas St. Louis, 1844; Ephraim St. Louis, 1838; James Jackson (colored), 1830; Christian Heinz, 1842; R. R. Bateman, 1847; H. L. Blood, 1847; M. Culbertson 1848, Charles Wolcott 1848, John Stephens 1848, Alexander Ross 1848, John F. Johnston 1848, John Lillman 1848, J. C. Van Neil 1848, S. . Childs 1848, W. H. Johnston 1843, John Dey 1849, W. McGuire 1849, David Barry 1849, C. E. Wolcott 1849, Thomas Powers 1849, Wait Cross 1849, Charles Breitreich 1849, C. A. Fisher 1849, M. D. McGrath 1849, P. V. Smith 1849, T. W. Lyman 1849, J. C. Smith 1849, D. Huntley 1849, Thomas Gleed 1849, A. P. Lewis 1849, H. M. Jones 1849, Miles R. Perry 1849, Edwin Wolcott 1849, Frank Wolcott 1849, Mrs. S. A. Wilson 1849, H. Greenfield 1849, Mathew Nugent 1849, John McPherson 1849, John McPherson Jr. 1849, J. M. Phinney 1849, George H. Myers 1849, W. W. Crane 1849, W. B. Crane 1849, W. S. Warner 1849, A. Mortis 1849, Harrison Green 1849, W. F. Johnston 1849, Mrs. N. Mereness 1849, Fred Blood 1849, F. L. Tuttle 1849, A. B. Briggs 1849, A. P. Lewis 1849, H. M. Jones 1849, Miles R. Perry 1849, E. E. Powers 1850, Levi Randall 1850, James Gilmore 1850, Henry Priest 1850, J. H. Wharton 1850, Nicholas Wertz 1850, W. G. Whorton 1850, Clark Renoud 1850, Hector McKay 1850, John Leith 1850, L. L. Randall 1850, F. C. Vandebogart 1850, Morris R. Gleed 1850, A. C. Darling 1850, C. B. Brownell 1850, A. G. Smith 1850, Mrs. P. A. Brownell 1850, R. Johnston 1850, John Batley 1850, R. K. Randall 1850, George Knowles 1850, E. Godwin 1850, E. Connery 1850, A. B. Everts 1850, J. D. Pierce 1850, G. M. Robinson 1850, Almany Orr 1851, E. Saxton 1851, Samuel Boyd 1851, John McGillian 1851, James A. McGillan 1851, R. G. GMcGillan 1851, Jennie St. Louis 1851, M. B. Johnston 1851, Humphrey Sul- livan 1851, M. H. Lyon 1851, George G. Johnston 1851 S. B. Belding 1851, W. D. Reynolds 1851, Seth J. Perry 1851, John H. Barnes 1852, Samuel Ryan Jr. 1852, Dr. Byron Douglas 1852,- Earle W. Douglas 1852, J. H. Marston 1852, L. Zenton 1852, James Ryan 1852, W. W. Briggs 1852, G. W. Boone 1852, W. L. Sweetzer 1852, M. Doran 1852, E. Spencer 1853, Francis Bernard 1853, R. F. Mc- Grath 1853, Alfred Aspinall 1853, H. D. Ryan 1853, W. H. P. Bogan 1853.
In February, 1850, there was a tri-weekly mail Green Bay to Fond du Lac via Kaukauna, Appleton, Neenah, etc. In 1850 Congress gave to the states all the unsold swamp and overflowed land within their respective borders. The act of February 4, 1850 authorized a state road laid out from Hortonville in Brown county to Grignon bridge in Winnebago county, A. E. Horton, William N. Davis and Cyrenus Baldwin were commissioners. On June 1, 1850, the population was as follows: Ellington 264, Grand Chute 630, Hortonia 192, Kaukauna 689 and Lansing 209. The population of Brown county in 1846 was 2,672; 1847, 2,914; 1850, 6,222. In 1849-50 six townships were separated from Brown county and added to Manitowoc county.
In the legislature early in 1851 a bill was introduced to construct a bridge over Fox river at Grand Kaukauna. For this three substitutes were offered: A toll bridge at Grand Kaukauna; a bridge over the river at Grand Chute; a toll bridge over the river at Little Chute. The first one above mentioned was introduced in the senate by Mr. Conkey. Other bills were to incorporate the Fox and Wisconsin Plank Road Company; build the Waupun and Oshkosh road; a memorial to Congress to survey the public lands north of Fox river, and one prohibiting any persons but Indians from killing wild buck, doe and fawn during February, March, April, May and June of each year.
In 1850 Theodore Conkey was senator from the first district. In the legislature in January, 1851, the following proceedings were had: “By Mr. Conkey, No. 17, Senate. A bill to divide the county of Brown and to create the county of Utaghamie, Wednesday, January 15, 1851.” The next day the Senate as a committee of the whole considered the bill to create Utagamie county and reported it back to the Senate without amendment. Further consideration was postponed eight days. It was then postponed until January 31, on which day it was reported back with amendments by the committee of the whole; the Senate agreed to the amendments. Mr. Conkey then moved to amend the 6th section by striking out the word “village” and inserting the words “town of Grand Chute.” Mr. Gale moved to amend by striking out the word “Utagamie” wherever it occurred in the bill and to insert therefor the word “Fox;” carried 9 to 1. The bill was then ordered engrossed. Later the motion to engross was reconsidered by 11 to 5. Mr. Conkey voted not to reconsider. Mr. Bugh then moved to reconsider the vote to strike out the word “Outagamie” and to insert the word “Fox;” agreed to. Mr. Conkey voted against this motion to reconsider. The bill was then ordered engrossed for a third reading. Mr. Reed moved to suspend the rules and have the bill read the third time which was done. It then was put upon its passage and was carried. Mr. Conkey voted against the motion to pass the bill. It was his own bill, was passed as he introduced it, but he voted against it apparently because he had changed his views concerning it perhaps as to the proposed alteration in name. On February 15, the House concurred in the bill creating Outagamie county as it was spelled at last.
The act approved February 17, 1851, was as follows: “That all that portion of country now embraced in the county of Brown, known and designated as Towns 21, 22, 23 and 24 north, ranges 15, 16, 17 and 18 and the west half of 19, is hereby set off into a separate county, which shall be called and known as the county of Outagamie.
“That the county of Outagamie as aforesaid shall be organized after the first day of April next for the purpose of county government, and shall enjoy all the rights, privileges, immunities and powers of the other counties of this state.
“There shall be an election held in the several towns and precincts such now or may be hereafter established by law on the first Tuesday of April next for the election of all such town and county officers as the said county by virtue of its organization and the privileges of this act shall be entitled to, who shall severally hold their offices until the first day of January after the next general annual election and their successors are duly qualified.
“The said election shall be considered in all respects in the manner now provided for holding the same under the law regulating general elections and the votes cast at the same shall be returned and canvassed as therein provided and the judges of said election shall issue certificates of election to any person duly elected under the provisions of this act.
“That the seat of justice of said county shall be and is hereby located at the Town of Grand Chute in said county and the citizens of said county may at their first election vote for or against the establishment of the seat of justice of said county at any place in said county and the place so receiving a majority of the votes polled at such election shall be the permanent seat of justice.
“Said county so established shall remain attached to the county of Brown for judicial purposes until otherwise provided by law.
“The county supervisors so elected on said day of election shall meet as soon thereafter as may be at the seat of justice and with the clerk of said county, all of whom being first duly qualified according to law and under oath by some person authorized to administer the same, shall then and there proceed to organize said county and may then and there perform all such duties and services as may be required of them by law in order that the said county may be organized as contemplated by this act and to approve the qualifications of other county officers.
“That the county of Outagamie shall pay into the treasury of the county of Brown all costs, fees, charges and expenses that shall be paid by the county of Brown that may accrue in consequence of any prosecution, conviction, imprisonment or proceedings whatever against any person charged with any crime or misdemeanor within said county of Outagamie and the supervisors of the county of Brown may sue and collect the same from said county of Outagamie in any court of competent jurisdiction.”
“At Kaukauna we found some buildings going on and there is said to be a good demand for lots. The country back towards Wolf river is now receiving settlers and preparations are making to open a road to that river from Kaukauna. The land is of the very best quality and persons are constantly arriving in search of locations. The new hotel at Lansing is a fine building and we found Mr. Hanna and a number of others at work preparing for the ‘gravitation ball’ which was to come off soon. We stopped the second night at the house of Mr. Jackman at Grand Chute. Having some business in Dublin, the settlement at the public works on the opposite side of the river, we found some twenty shanties, filled with inmates ready to go to work. They are now getting out timber for the lock; the canal is about half completed. Grand Chute, Appleton and Lawesburg continue to grow and business seems in a healthy condition. We noticed many new buildings, which were constructed with a good deal of taste. The institution (Lawrence University) is in full operation and doing well. It is highly spoken of everywhere. There are many new clearings and new and neat farmhouses on the way from the Chute to Neenah. Good locations are eagerly sought after and uncleared land is sold readily for $10 to $15 per acre. This will do for a country through which, three years ago, the only road was an Indian trail.”–(Cor. Green Bay Advocate, January 16, 1851).
“At the first meeting of the board of supervisors for the county of Outagamie held in pursuance of the act creating said county at the house of R. P. Edgarton in the village of Appleton in said county April 18th, A. D., 1851, the following chairmen were present from their respective towns: Grand Chute–Geo. M. Robinson; Kaukauna (misspelled in the records)–Geo. W. Lawe; Lansing– Lewis A. Hine; Greenville–Lorenzo E. Darling; Hortonia– Lorenzo Josephus Wakefield; Ellington–(absent).” George M. Robinson was chosen chairman of the board and R. A. Lawe, secretary pro tem. Charles A. Grignon, treasurer-elect, presented his certificate of election from the clerk of the board of Brown county; also his bond with the signatures of Charles A. Grignon and of M. L. Martin, Perry H. Smith and Alexander Grignon as sureties; this bond was accepted and Mr. Grignon was duly sworn in as county treasurer. Lorenzo E. Darling became clerk of the county board. Charles Turner was duly qualified as county surveyor.
This meeting was evidently held in the forenoon, because an adjournment was taken to half past one o’clock, when upon motion of Josephus Wakefield a “furnishing. committee” was appointed by the chairman to procure books, stationery, desks, cases and other necessaries for the county officers. This committee was composed of Hine, Wakefield and Lawe. Mr. Wakefield asked to be released, whereupon Mr. Robinson was substituted on the committee. Mr. Lawe upon request was also excused and Lorenzo E. Darling was substituted. The following resolution was then adopted: “Resolved, That the register of deeds be authorized immediately after receiving his books to transcribe the records from the register’s office at Green Bay appertaining to land in Outagamie county.” The following resolution was also adopted: “Resolved, That the chairman of this board be authorized to receive proposals or bids for erecting suitable county buildings in Grand Chute, Appleton, Lawesburg or any other part of Grand Chute, said proposals to be accompanied by drafts specifying the block or lot on which they propose to erect those buildings; said proposals to be received before the next meeting of the board.” The “furnishing committee” was authorized to procure a seal for the county. Miles F. Johnson was authorized to charge 10 cents for each foot passenger on his ferry over Fox river. A resolution annexing certain lands to the towns of Kaukauna and Lansing having been lost, a motion to reconsider carried, whereupon the original resolutions were unanimously adopted. These resolutions were as follows: “That so much of town 21, range 19, as is embraced in Outagamie county; also sections 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, town 22, range 19, be embraced in the town of Kaukauna; and that,so much of the county of Outagamie as lies east and north of the town of Lansing, excepting sections 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, town 22, range 19, be embraced in the town of Lansing. The board then adjourned to meet on the first day of July, 1851, at Edgarton’s Hotel, in the town of Grand Chute.
On the first day of the July (1851) meeting, the following members were present: George M. Robinson, Lorenzo E. Darling L. A. Hine and George W. Lawe. The first proceedings was to adjourn from Edgarton’s Hotel to the plank road office at half past one o’clock, at which time the following members were present: L. E. Darling, L. A. Hine, George W. Lawe, George M. Robinson, John R. Rynders, and Josephus Wakefield. The “furnishing committee” reported in substance as follows: “That they had purchased of Rood & Whittmore for the county one deed book, one mortgage book, two alphabets and one index book, (the cost) amounting to $40.75; also of I. N. Lydan of Green Bay one ream of paper at (a cost of ) $3 per ream. Time for receiving proposals for the county buildings was extended to 10 o’clock July 2, 1851, and it was resolved that no proposal without satisfactory security would be received. Rood & Whittemore were allowed $30.75, though their bill was previously stated to be $40.75. The petition of I. Macpherson and twenty-three others to set apart so much of the town of Kaukauna as formerly belonged to Wrightstown and Lawrence in a separate town to be called Cast, was laid on the table.
On the second day of the July term the proposals for erecting the county buildings were considered, whereupon it was resolved “That the board now proceed to view the several lots or parcels of land that have been offered for the site of the county buildings. At two o’clock p. m. the board came in from taking views.” A bounty of $5 for wolf scalps was offered; an effort to raise the bounty to $10 was lost. The district attorney was directed io examine the accounts of Earle L. Goodrich and John P. Arndt against the county. Hine and Wakefield were appointed a committee to enter into agreement with the persons who should erect the county buildings. John Jewett, Jr., was deputy clerk of the county board.
On the third day of the July term there were present Darling Hine, Robinson, Rynders and Wakefield; an adjournment from 10 to 11 o’clock was taken, the same members being present. Mr Lawe s excuse for absence, sent by special messenger was accepted. It was “Resolved, That the electors of Outagamie county did at the election on the first Tuesday of April last, A. D. 1851, establish the seat of justice of Outagamie county in the town of Grand Chute, known as the town organized for town purposes under the Revised Statutes, Chapter K.” All the bids for county buildings were declared out of order. It was resolved to separate the courthouse from the jail, register’s office and clerk’s office; the latter two were ordered made fireproof. It was ordered that the courthouse should be completed by the next annual meeting of the board. It was “Resolved, That so much of Outagamie county as lies west of towns 23 and 24 north, range 16 east shall be embraced in the town of Ellington; also so much of the county west of town 22, range 16.” New proposals for land donations and county buildings were ordered received before the next meeting of the county board, no bid to be considered unless accompanied by satisfactory security. The board then adjourned to July 14.
At that time they again met at the “plank road office.” Mr. Hine reported having procured record books from Green Bay. The board then adjourned to meet the same day at the office of A. S. Sanborn in the village of Grand Chute. All members were then present. Petitions to postpone the erection of county buildings and to accept the proposal of Theodore Conkey were laid on the table. It was resolved to open the proposals in relation to the county buildings at 9 o’clock on July 15. Donations of lands for the county buildings were ordered received. A bounty of $10 for the scalp of every wolf killed in Outagamie county was ordered paid upon oath made to that effect before any justice of the peace who was ordered to thereupon destroy said scalps; the affidavit was declared sufficient to entitle the affiant to the bounty. On the 15th the resolution to attach certain territory (see back) to Ellington was repealed. Plats of the various towns of the county were ordered kept in the clerk’s office. The proposals for county buildings were then opened and read and the following action thereon was taken:
“Whereas, Theodore Conkey is desirous of deeding to this county Block No. 31 in the town of Grand Chute and to erect county buildings on said block as this board shall direct; therefore
“Resolved, That Block No. 31 or a part of said block and other lands adjoining it on the east in the plat of the village of Appleton shall be the block on which to erect the county buildings, which shall be accepted for county purposes, provided said Conkey erect the county buildings as the county supervisors shall direct otherwise not.” All the members voted in favor of this resolution– Darling, Hine, Lawe, Robinson, Rynders and Wakefield On July 16, A. S. Sanborn, district attorney, drew up the articles of agreement between Theodore Conkey and A. A. Lawrence on the one part and the county board on the other, and after a number of changes had been made therein both parties signed the agreement.
On November 11, 1851, the board met and organized at the office of H. S. Eggleston, there being present Darling, Robinson, Lawe, Wakefield, Hine and Rynders. The board adjourned to Frederick Packard‘s office. The chairmen of the several town boards of supervisors were required to report the aggregate amount of real and personal estate. At this session the board equalized assessments throughout the county. The sum of one and one-half mills was ordered levied for school purposes. Eight mills were ordered levied for county expenses. The towns were Grand Chute Hortonia, Kaukauna, Greenville, Ellington and Lansing. The aggregate valuations of the taxables as corrected by the board were as follows: Ellington, $35,623.32; Grand Chute, $108,165.02; Greenville, $29,240.55; Hortonia, $31,917.74; Kaukauna, $81,761.73; Lansing, $65,539.58. J. Wakefield was paid $2 for canvassing the votes of the county; L. A. Hine, $4 for furnishing plats of the towns; A. S. Sanborn, $5 for preparing the Conkey & Lawrence agreement; H. S. Eggleston, $743.27 for transcribing the records concerning Outagamie county, on the Brown county books; W. J. Johnson, $5 for certain plans and specifications; J. Jewett, Jr., $6 for preparing report on schools for the state superintendent scholars to the county treasurer; J. Hersey, $3.46 for services as justice of the peace; J. R. Rynders, $2 for services as county canvasser. The county officials were paid at this time. The “furnishing committee” was directed to procure a safe for the register of deeds. Adjournment to meet in December at the house of Thomas Hanna.
At the December (1851) session much unfinished business was done. William S. Bailey was paid for services as justice of the peace. H. C. Sillis was paid $10 for a grey wolf scalp. Robinson & Brother were paid for printing county orders. The clerk and chairman of the county board were authorized to sign and issue county orders that had been allowed by the board. The town of Medina was set apart from Hortonia, the separation to take effect in March, 1852; an election for town officers was ordered held in the schoolhouse of District 1. There was dissension as to the boundaries of the new town. The annual town meeting for 1852 in Hortonia was ordered held at the schoolhouse in District 2. The clerk of the county board was allowed a salary of $300 for 1852, to be paid quarterly. He was paid $150 for his services in 1851. The board unanimously adopted a memorial praying the Legislature to pass a law making tax titles good, or else to render all unoccupied lands and those owned by nonresidents free from taxation. Orders amounting to $125 for an iron safe for the register’s office were authorized to be issued.
At the February (1852) session George Pratt was paid $10 for a wolf scalp. At this date the resolutions creating the town of Medina and for the town meeting in Hortonia were repealed.
On February 23, 1852, it was resolved that so much of the county as lay west and north of Wolf river in town 22, range 15, should be embraced in the town of Hortonia. The following was passed: “Resolved, That the Legislature be requested to pass no acts authorizing the laying of state roads in this county, which require the county to pay for laying out the same.” A. S. Sanborn was paid $10 for rent of clerk’s office for nine months. Smith & Ballard were paid $18 for rent of office for county treasurer for nine months in 1851. E. Rudd was allowed $6 for a county seal. The clerk of the board was authorized to pay the county bounty on wolf scalps. R. A. Lawe and George M. Robinson were appointed agents on the part of Outagamie county to make full and final settlement with Brown county; their acts thus far were ratified and confirmed. Benjamin Proctor was a justice.
“Whereas, The traffic in intoxicating liquors has in all ages of the world been a fruitful source of untold crime, misery and pauperism; and,
“Whereas, Until the recent glorious discovery made in the State of Maine, the benevolent and the good were at a loss to know what plan could be devised to put a stop to its dreadful and ruinous consequences, therefore
“Resolved, That the Board of Supervisors of the county of Outagamie do hereby request the Legislature to protect us from the evils set forth in the above preamble, ere our prisons are filled with criminals and our poorhouses with the wives and children of the drunkards, by enacting a law similar to the one now in operation in the State of Maine.”
The above, offered by Mr. Darling, was unanimously adopted.
On April 30, 1852, the new county board met at the house of S. E. Beach, Appleton, and consisted of the following members: S. E. Beach, of Grand Chute; Isaac Wickware, of Greenville; Milo Coles, of Ellington; Norman Nash, of Hortonia; Lewis A. Hine, of Lansing; Ethan Powers, of Lansing. Hine and Powers contested for the office, both claiming election. Mr. Beach was chosen chairman of the board. The opinion of George H. Powers, district, attorney, was called for to determine what evidence was necessary and legal to learn whether Hine or Powers was entitled to the seat. February 24, 1852, counsel appeared for Mr. Powers. The contest was postponed and in the meantime both Hine and Powers were permitted to sit with the board. Action concerning tax certificates was taken by the board. Albright & Crosby were allowed $200 for a safe for the register’s office. Robinson & Brother were paid for printing delinquent tax lists. A.S. Sanborn was paid $10.50 for transporting the county safe from Green Bay to Grand Chute. The county treasurer’s fees were inquired into at this time. The offer of Hanna and Bateman to furnish room for county offices and courtroom was accepted. Lewis A. Hine having charged the deputy county treasurer with fraud in,the discharge of his duties the board expressed the opinion that there was no evidence before them to substantiate such charges. An investigation was ordered. Lorenzo E. Darling was clerk and Alden S. Sanborn deputy at this time. At the November (1852) session the members present were: Beach, Nash, Wickware, Powers, N. M. Hephner and Henry Bassonnett Kaukauna. At this time the town of Freedom was set off from Lansing by the Legislature, but no provision was made for an election in the latter to fill vacancies thus caused; the Legislature was requested to remedy this oversight. Robert Lovett was paid $28 for court seals. The register of deeds and the clerk of the board rented offices of P. H. Smith. The board solicited proposals for rooms for the county offices at this time. Theodore Conkey was called before the board to state how near completion the county buildings were. The following passed:
“Resolved, That there be and is hereby appropriated out of the county treasury the sum of $5 and that a county order in that amount be immediately drawn and the sheriff of the county be and is hereby instructed to negotiate said order for apples and segars immediately and forthwith present the said apples and segars to this board for further consideration.”
The books and vouchers of the county treasurer were ordered investigated. The clerk of the board was paid for canvassing the votes for county officers, April, 1852; for canvassing those for county judge, May, 1852; for canvassing those for judges of the Supreme Court, October, 1852; and for a general canvass of the election of November, 1852.
In 1852 the first pauper expenses were allowed by the board; the town of Kaukauna was allowed $40.14 on this account. The county treasurer having withheld school moneys, was sued by the county and was reimbursed by the school districts affected. A. S. Sanborn was paid $200 per year for his services as district attorney for 1853 and 1854. George H. Myers was paid $75 salary as district attorney for 1852. The clerk’s salary was $150 a year. A county order registry was ordered kept by the treasurer.
In November, 1852, the county towns were Grand Chute, Kaukauna, Ellington, Greenville, Hortonia, Freedom and Lansing. The board passed this resolution: “That the board at the present session deem it inexpedient to enforce the contract for the completion of the county buildings; but if they are not completed by the 30th day of December next, then the board will adopt such measures as the interests of the county may require.” The board adjourned to meet on that day–December 30.
The aggregate value of taxable property in the county, November, 1852, was as follows: Grand Chute, $102,869.25; Ellington, $26,515; Kaukauna, $96,960; Greenville, $24,151; Hortonia, $31,664; Freedom, $29,254; Lansing, $22,828. There were three taxes — State, county and school.
In December, 1852, all of the county north and west of Wolf river was organized with a separate township and the first town meeting was ordered held at the house of Washington Law in April, 1853; the new town was named Embarrass. Grand Chute, Appleton, Lawesburg, Hortonville and Nepomuc villages were laid out before Outagamie county was organized. The board at this time conditionally released Conkey and Lawrence from their contract to build the courthouse: The latter two claimed they had already expended $800 and asked for relief from their contract. The conditions of relief were as follows: “That if the said Lawrence shall execute to the said county a deed of the lands contracted to be executed on his part in said contract and if the said Conkey will give good and sufficient security to deed to said county Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4, in Block 31, town of Grand Chute, then this board will release said Lawrence and Conkey from said contract dated July 16, 1851.” An appropriation of $500 was made with which to complete the courthouse. Conkey’s bond was fixed at $1,000. Lawrence conveyed the above mentioned land to the county. The board then released them from their former contract. The following offered by Mr. Nash was adopted:
“Resolved, That H. S. Eggleston, clerk courts; A. B. Everts, sheriff; J. S. Buck, register of deeds; P. H. Smith, deputy treasurer; A. S. Sanborn, deputy clerk; and S. E. Beach, chairman of this board, do each and severally invite one member of this board to a New Year’s dinner and each of the said county officers and the said chairman is hereby commanded to have a good roast turkey for dinner.” Propositions or bids to finish the courthouse were called for, but this act was rescinded and a committee was appointed to negotiate with some responsible party to finish the building; Beach, Powers and Wickware were the committee.
The act of February 18, 1852, was as follows: “That the county seat of Outagamie county be and the same is hereby permanently located upon lands conveyed to the county for the purpose of erecting county buildings thereon and upon which lands said buildings are now being erected by order of the board of supervisors of said county.”
The act of March 4, 1852, defined the boundaries of Outagamie county as follows: Beginning at the southwest corner of township 21 north, range 15 east, of the Fourth principal meridian; running thence north on the range line between ranges 14 and 15 to the northwest corner of township 24 north, range 15 east; thence east on the line between townships 24 and 25 north, to the northeast corner of section 4, township 24 north, range 19 east; thence south on the section lines to the southeast corner of section 33, township 21 north, range 19 east; thence west on the township lines between townships 20 and 21 north to the place of beginning.
The act of March 15, 1852, provided that after June 1, 1852, Outagamie county should be fully organized for judicial purposes and in October of that year the first term of circuit court was ordered held by the judge of the Fourth circuit, and thereafter two terms in April and October were to be held each year. In April, 1852, a sheriff, clerk of the court and district attorney were ordered elected.
“Kaukauna and Appleton Plank Road.– We are happy to state that nearly the entire stock has been taken in the above important road and that it is now a settled fact that it will be completed between the 1st and 20th of June. The officers of the company and many of our citizens are entitled to great credit for their labors to fill the stock during the past week.”– (Green Bay Spectator, April 24, 1852).
The commissioner of the general land office reserved from sale the even sections along Fox river for the improvement fund. They were offered at public sale, but were withdrawn from market on the day of sale. But settlers entered thereon and continued to do so and in the end were entitled to the usual preemption rights. There was much complaint over the long lapse of time before they were permitted to prove up and receive their patents. The settlers wanted Congress to handle the sale, because they thus would have to pay only $1.25 per acre, while under the state it would cost them $2.50 per acre.
On February 17, 1853, the recent proceedings of the county board were ordered published in the Appleton Crescent and $40 was appropriated to cover the cost. The courthouse committee reported that in as much as the sum required to complete the courthouse was so much larger than expected and as no provision for such a large sum had been made, they were unable to carry out the order of the board. G. H. Marston was employed to paint the building. A resolution to recognize Robert Morrow and not Charles A. Grignon as treasurer was laid on the table; but the board authorized town treasurers to pay taxes to Mr. Morrow. This step caused Mr. Grignon to commence action against the town treasurers, whereupon the board
“Resolved, That Charles A. Grignon is hereby requested to discontinue all proceedings that may have been instituted against the said town treasurers in consequence of making their returns to said Morrow; and said Grignon is also hereby requested to endorse the bonds of said town treasurers as satisfied.” If he would comply, the board agreed to hold him blameless; also the sheriff. About this time there appeared in the Crescent an anonymous article cautioning all persons against paying taxes to Robert Morrow; whereupon the board issued a statement to the effect that in their opinion Robert Morrow was the lawful county treasurer and the Crescent was asked to publish this statement, for which the board agreed to pay charges.
S. E. Beach was allowed $3 for medical attendance upon a county pauper, February, 1853.
In February, 1853, the treasurer’s fees to the amount of $656.88 were referred to a special committee — Beach, Powers and Bassonnett The board passed the following.
“Resolved, That in the opinion of this board the condition of the official bond of Charles A. Grignon, late treasurer of the county of Outagamie, is forfeited and the district attorney is hereby requested to commence suit thereon as soon as he shall deem practicable.” The board occupied a room owned by B. McFaul at this time. “Resolved, That Robert Morrow, acting treasurer of Outagamie county, is entitled to the county treasurer’s sign and is hereby authorized to reduce the same to his immediate possession.” S. E. Beach and two assistants were appointed to investigate the accounts of Mr. Grignon, county treasurer, in lieu of the former committee.
In 1853 the new county board was as follows: H. L. Blood of Grand Chute; N. M. Hephner, Lansing; C. Hartman, Freedom; L. E. Darling, Greenville; W. W. Benedict, Hortonia; Milo Cole, Ellington; B. H. Beaulieu, Kaukauna; Mr. Blood became chairman. All of Outagamie county in town 24, ranges 18 and 19, except the Oneida reservation was annexed to the town of Freedom. The total equalized assessments of the county in 1853 was $301,710.04. The names of three streets in Lawesburg (near Appleton) were changed — Division to Union, Spain to Washington and Menasha to Franklin. W. W. Benedict and others petitioned for a new town to be set off from Hortonia — referred to a special committee. H. S. Eggleston was clerk of the Circuit court. George W. Gregory was clerk of the county board. The committee on the new town to be called Bovina and to be set off from Ellington was appointed. At this time, also, the town of Dale was ordered set off from Hortonia. At this date a new committee on courthouse was chosen; they were empowered to see about the county jail also; the committee were: Coles, Hartman and Benedict. The bounty on wolves was fixed at $5 in November, 1853. A committee of three –Blood, Darling and Hephner — was appointed to count up the assets with a view to the early completion of the courthouse and jail. Conkey deeded the property agreed upon to the county for courthouse, etc., and was released from this bond. Mr. Grignon not having turned over the county treasurer’s books, etc., the board resolved as follows: “That Robert Morrow, the treasurer of Outagamie county, be and is hereby directed forthwith to make a demand of the said Grignon to deliver to said Morrow all and singular the books, records, papers, funds and property belonging to the office of treasurer of said county in the possession of said Grignon, and in case the said Grignon shall refuse to deliver to said Morrow upon such demand the said books, records, etc., then the said Morrow is hereby enjoined and directed with the advice of good and sufficient counsel to commence summary proceedings forthwith for the recovery of the same before some court having jurisdiction in the premises.”
The committee on courthouse having recommended raising that structure and building a jail in the basement, the board refused to concur. “Resolved, That so much of the report of the committee on public buildings as casts aspersions upon the action of the board of supervisors of this county, who located the county buildings and entered into contract for the building and completion of the same, be stricken out.” Darling and Benedict voted for this resolution and Blood, Beaulieu, Hartman, Coles and Hephner against it. However, the following language was ordered stricken from the report of the building committee by a vote of 5 to 2: “Whether this action on the one part was consummated by a mistaken devotion to the public good, or the influence of selfish and designing men on the other part, is not a matter for your committee to determine.” The report as amended was then adopted by the vote of 5 to 2, the latter two being Blood and Coles. A tax of 10 mills on the dollar for county purposes was levied in 1854. Blood, Hephner and Darling were instructed to have the courthouse and jail completed at the earliest practicable moment; orders were authorized to be issued to cover the cost. The case of Grignon vs. Morrow to test the right to the office of county treasurer was pending in the circuit court. The board thereupon determined to make settlement with Morrow. In 1853 the total receipts in the county treasury were $8,738.72, and the total expenses $8,588.72, balance on hand $150; other funds in the hands of the treasurer amounted to $2,832.20.
Blood, Beaulieu and Coles were appointed a committee to make final settlement with Brown county. Costs in cases from Shawano county amounted to $264.
“Resolved, That in the opinion of the board of supervisors the organization of agricultural societies in this country, has proved eminently beneficial to the agricultural and manufacturing interests and has a direct tendency to stimulate to increased action all departments of industry; and we therefore recommend that the citizens of the several towns in this county meet at the National Hotel in the village of Appleton, on the second day of January next for the purpose of organizing a county agricultural society; and Resolved, That Henry S. Blood, Robert R. Bateman and Rolla A. Lawe be and are hereby appointed a committee to make arrangements for said meeting and to draft such articles as may be necessary for the organization of said society.”–(Adopted November 26, 1853).
The plan for a county jail submitted to the board by Mr. Benedict was adopted in November, 1853. Alden S. Sanborn was paid $35 for office for clerk for the year 1853, and for the board during the November session. Charles A. Grignon, claiming to be county treasurer, presented his bond as such official, but the board refused to consider it. Prof. E. Cooke was paid $15 for services as chemist in analyzing the contents of the stomach of the wife of Fred Schoeffler, supposed to have been poisoned by arsenic. S. Ryan, Jr., had charge of the Crescent at this time. Mr. Benedict represented the town of Dale on the county board.
“Appleton and Grand Chute.– The citizens of these thriving villages appear to appreciate fully the advantages of Plank Roads. And although young in years they have, in the kind of improvements, already outstripped this as well as most other places in the north. They have built a plank road to Grand Kaukauna some nine miles and one to intersect the Menasha and Kaukauna road and are now at work building one westward to Wolf river some twenty miles which is to be continued to Michiljohn’s mill, Waupaca Falls, Plover Portage and Stevens Point. $50,000 of stock has. been taken and $15,000 of the bonds of the other road negotiated which places the enterprise in a position for immediate construction. A large quantity of plank and logs have been got out for it during the winter and workmen are busy and expect by next fall to reach Wolf river with it. Persons will not wonder at the extraordinary success of road building at Appleton when informed that Rev. Reeder Smith is the main operator.”–(Fond du Lac Jourrnal, March, 1853).
Early in 1853 there was subscribed $50,000 toward the proposed plank road from Appleton to Stevens Point.
“Outagamie or Utagamie? — Which is correct? We do not profess to be well versed in Indian orthography, but from what we do know of it, we are persuaded that Utagamie is the correct mode of spelling the name of our county. At any rate, that is the pronunciation.”– ( Crescent, March 26, 1853.)
“It is believed that $75,000 logs (equal to 25,000,000 feet of lumber) were cut upon the Wolf and Embarrass rivers during the past winter. Wolf river is fairly choked up with rafts on their way to Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, etc.” –(Crescent, April 30, 1853.)
“Farmers, is it not high time for Outagamie to have a county agricultural society? Why should we not have a stock fair in the spring or winter?” –(Crescent, November 19, 1853.)
The Agricultural Society gave great encouragement to agriculture, horticulture and stock raising early in the ’50s. The newspapers took up the matter and had departments devoted to those subjects. Improved stock was particularly demanded by the society and by the press, and in response the farmers throughout the county began to improve their herds of cattle, hogs, horses and sheep. Improved fruit raising was also an important subject. Grain received due consideration. The culture of cranberries was urged upon citizens owing to the numerous marshes where they grew wild. As a whole, the society greatly advanced the conditions of the farmer and horticulturist.
Late in 1853 the court affirmed that Charles A. Grignon was the legal treasurer of Outagamie county. Mr. Morrow took an appeal from this decision, returnable at the coming June session. There being two men who claimed to be county treasurer it was uncertain to whom town treasurers and other officials should make their reports.
Albert Cook of the town of Freedom raised ten acres of wheat in 1853 which averaged 33 bushels per acre. This was a little better than the county average, but the crop generally was excellent that season.
“Caution –It is said that Robert Morrow is pretending to act as treasurer of Outagamie county and to receive money in that capacity; therefore this is to caution all persons against making any payments to said Morrow. Further information will be given at the county treasurer’s office, corner of College avenue and Garrison streets, up stairs. –Charles A. Grignon, county treasurer, February 17, 1853.” –(Crescent, June 18, 1853).
“The town of New London was subject to entry a few weeks since, but now the land is entered, a town laid out and lots are being built upon. A wharf and a warehouse has been constructed and a store established. A steamboat from Fond du Lac and Oshkosh visits this point daily. This must be a point at which a mechanic, merchant or public house keeper could invest without risk. It offers the best kind of an opening for a tanner and currier; also for a foundry.” –(Cor. Crescent, July 16, 1853).
In early years the maple sugar industry of northern Wisconsin was not only large, but often very valuable. It was hard labor, but it paid in those days when sugar cost so much. Quite often from 25 to 100 pounds of sugar were made in a single day in this county by some of the early settlers. In Grand Chute alone over five tons were made during the season of 1853. Not everybody knew how to make maple sugar properly. Those who understood the methods produced an excellent article which found ready sale in all the stores.
The legislature in 1853-4 passed an act authorizing the boards of supervisors of the towns of Grand Chute, Greenville, Hortonia and other towns in adjacent counties to subscribe in behalf of said towns to the capital stock of the Wolf river branch of the Winnebago Lake and Fox River Plank Road Company, such amounts not to exceed $10,000 for any one town, and to pay for the same in bonds of such towns, the bonds to be payable in fifteen years, with interest not exceeding 10 per cent. In response to this act, Grand Chute by a vote of 141 to 97 voted for the bonds. In due time the town supervisors ascertained that the road was incumbered with heavy liabilities and until freed therefrom would jeopardize the issue of bonds ordered. This fact becoming known, caused the town board to pass resolutions calling for information as to such liabilities.
In March, 1853, the Fort Howard and Kaukauna Plank Road was authorized. It was surveyed and was to cross Apple creek a little below La Vine’s residence; a little grading was to be at Dutchman’s, Ashwaubane and Apple creek; it was to be nearly a straight road from Depere to Kaukauna. It was a part of the standard road from Green Bay to Lake Winnebago.
At the annual session of the county board commencing November 14, 1854, there were present Theodore Conkey, Grand Chute; B. H. Beaulieu, Kaukauna; M. W. Allen, Hortonia; Isaac Wickware, Greenville; C. Hartman, Freedom; Milo Coles, Bovina; N. M. Hephner, Centre; Edward Spicer, Dale; , Ellington; J. Merrickle, Embarrass. Isaac Wickware was chosen chairman. The board was in session in the courthouse, but adjourned to the National Hotel for reasons not shown. Diagrams of several of the towns were ordered procured from the land office at Menasha. The assessment of the plank road in the town of Kaukauna was ordered abrogated for 1854. Ryan & Co., were paid $271.62 for printing. At this time the..case of Grignon vs. Morrow was in the Supreme Court. The petition of N. M. Hephner and others to change the name of the town of Lansing to Center was referred to a committee of two. The board relinquished any claim for damages it might have in consequence of there having been laid out, by the trustees of the village of Appleton, streets and alleys through the lands set apart for county purposes — Lawrence and Elm streets. The board directed both Grignon and Morrow to report the county funds in their hands. The salary of district attorney for 1855 and 1856 was fixed at $300 per annum; the clerk’s salary was set at $100 per year. James Gilmore took Mr. Conkey’s place on the board, November 17.
Both Grignon and Morrow made reports as requested by the county board. Part of the village plat of Little Chute was vacated. Settlement with Brown county was not yet effected. Shawano county had not yet paid the court expenses due this county. The decision of the Supreme Court in the county treasury case was read to the board by Frederick Packard, Esq. The Supreme Court decided that the officers elected in November, 1851, were legally elected for two years. County officers were notified on November 21, that offices in the new courthouse were ready for them. Increase in travel and custom at the National Hotel forced the board to occupy a room opposite the National — usually known as the “feed store.”
At this time Mr. Conkey took Mr. Gilmore’s place on the county board, representing Grand Chute. “November 23, 1854; members all present; committees were busy at their respective duties; when motion was made to adjourn till 3 o’clock to attend service and hear the Thanksgiving sermon by Rev. N. E. Cobleigh, and the motion carried.” The new county buildings were placed in charge of Theodore Conkey, member of the board, with orders to complete the same and furnish them for occupancy. A complete set of standard weights and measures were ordered. The bond of Charles A. Grignon, county treasurer, dating from November 25, 1853, was approved by the board.
During the November session (1854) Allen street in Appleton was changed to Prospect. A portion of the village of Little Chute was vacated. A change was made in the boundary of Bovina, town. The town of Lansing was changed to Center.
There were many people in Outagamie county in 1854 who bitterly opposed the last grant of land in this district to private enterprises. The lands were reserved from sale to await the action of Congress upon a bill which proposed to donate them to various railroads.This reservation was highly disapproved by nearly all the citizens of this county. The Crescent used bitter language in denouncing the act as “the last great land grab,” and called it the “land grant swindle.”
In April, the Crescent declared that the recent town meetings had chosen township officers superior to any that had ever been elected before. This guaranteed an excellent and able board of county supervisors and meant improvement in county affairs in every department. In Grand Chute, J. S. Buck was chairman of the supervisors. In Greenville, Isaac Wickware, democrat, was elected over L. E. Darling, free-soiler, by a majority of 24 votes. In Hortonville, M. W. Allen, a free-soil whig, was elected chairman without opposition, succeeding Mr. Benedict, democrat. In Dale, E. Spicer, democrat, was chosen chairman without opposition. In Ellington, H. Kethroe, democrat, was elected chairman over S. D. Mason, whig. Kethroe succeeded Milo Coles, democrat. In Centre, N. M. Hephner, democrat, was re-elected without opposition. In Freedom, Christian Hartman, democrat, was re-elected. In Kaukauna, B. H. Beaulieu, a national whig, was re-elected by a majority of 4 over Mr. O’Connor, democrat. The indications were that the new board would stand 8 democrats, 1 free-soil whig and one regular whig. In 1853 the political completion of the board was 5 democrats, 1 freesoiler and 1 whig.
The Wolf river branch plank road was designed to extend from Appleton to Stevens Point, a distance of about 70 miles, and an extension thereto was projected to Green Bay. It was announced that stages would be ready to run regularly over this route by the latter part of June. The points touched by the stages were announced to be Appleton, Hortonia, New London and other places toward Stevens Point.
It was announced late in May, 1854, that there were in this land district 69 towns, which were reserved from sale agreeably to the request of the Michigan delegation in Congress. A considerable part of this land lay in Outagamie county.
By the first of June the grain crop throughout the county looked better than ever before. Winter wheat particularly was excellent and promised a very large yield. Spring wheat was also fine. As prices were high the farmers were happy over the outcome.
Late in May the citizens were called upon to vote on the proposition of taking stock in the Appleton and Stevens Point plank road by the issuance of town bonds therefor. The citizens were pretty equally divided on this question. Many who wanted the plank road favored the bonds; others who saw no private benefit or foresaw trouble opposed the issuance.
By the middle of May the maple sugar season ended. It was thought to be the poorest year for that industry the county had had in five seasons. However, more than one sugar bush in Grand Chute made from 300 to 500 pounds. It was realized that the falling off in the supply was due to the destruction of the maple trees and to the fact that the farmers were busy in their fields and could not find time to attend to the sap.
The act of March 1, 1854, legalized the election of Appleton village officers in April, 1853. The organization and acts of the original school district No. 6, Grand Chute, were legalized and the name changed to District No. 6. The act of March 29. 1854, provided that the county officers should have the right to hold their offices in such buildings in the village of Appleton as the board of supervisors should agree upon, but that said offices should be furnished free of charge to the county.
At a town meeting in Grand Chute the sum of $200 was appropriated in June, 1854, toward the opening of a road from the court house toward Greenville and Bald Prairie. The work of causewaying the cedar swamp and grubbing a large portion of the road was let to Mat. Long. The people of Greenville agreed to construct the road through their town to the cedar swamp. The Appleton council also ordered a new street opened from Lawrence street to the courthouse square. All town officers throughout the county were busily engaged at this time in opening roads in every direction to meet the wants of the new settlers.
This spring the legislature passed a law authorizing the state treasurer to withold the state school money from all counties in arrears to the state. Much complaint was occasioned thereby. Outagamie county was in arrears and the Crescent and the citizens generally complained grievously concerning the act of the legislature.The result, however, was to compel the county to pay her dues to the state in order to secure money for the support of her schools. It was really a wise measure, though not relished at the time by the citizens.
According to N. M. Hephner, the winter wheat raised in the town of Centre in 1853 ranged from 35 to 42 bushels of plump seed per acre on new land; on rough stubble land where the trees had been cut off the yield was about 20 bushels per acre. There were large tracts of land yet in the county to be purchased at $1.75 to $2.50 per acre. Settlers were called for and were not slow in coming. The county was filling up rapidly with an excellent class of settlers, not only from the East, but from the German provinces in Europe.
“Town Assessments. –We suggest to the different town assessors in this county that they meet on some future day at the county-seat and compare and equalize their assessments. Last year great inequalities existed; for instance improved lands in the town of Greenville (richest soil in the county) were assessed at $1.50 to $2 per acre, only 25 or 50 cents higher than the wild lands in the town of Freedom. Now, we know that the Greenville land owners do not take less than from $6 to $10 per acre in yellow gold for their farms and we also know that wild. land of an excellent quality can be bought in Freedom at from $1.50 to $2.50 per acre. These remarks extend to other towns. Look at the inequality and injustice of the same. Should not a remedy be provided at once?” –(Crescent, June 10, 1854).
“The First Load of Cheese. –We saw in town last Saturday a fine load of cheese from the farm of Mr. Barnes near this village. Mr. Barnes is from Ohio and the product of his dairy bore the superior mark of the rich cheese of which large quantities are imported from that state. Mr. Barnes has already manufactured over 1,000 pounds this season which readily sell at 10 cents a pound. He has a farm of 100 acres under cultivation and a fine stock of cattle, and we wish him every success as a pioneer dairyman of our county.” –Crescent, June 10, 1854).
“According to the census of June, 1850, the population of the county of Outagamie (then a part of Brown county) was as follows: White males 1,079; white females 797; colored males 6; colored females 4; total 1,886. Taking the average of the vote cast at the recent town elections and allowing one voter to every seven souls, we have a population of 6,139. The increase, counting everything, amounts to about 100 per cent per annum in four successive years, and the greatest part of this increase has occurred during the last eighteen months. The present rate of arrivals will crowd hard upon 10,000 a year. The backwoods are fairly alive with newcomers and this village is receiving daily accessions to its population and our village population today, we do honestly believe, is greater than the number in the whole county four years ago.” –(Crescent, June, 1854).
About the middle of June, 1854, a large meeting of the citizens convened at the central schoolhouse to make arrangements for the celebration of the 4th of July. Dr. S. E. Beach was chosen chairman and Franklin Proctor, secretary. Remarks were made by H. L. Blood, Samuel Ryan, Jr., G. H. Marston and others and it was unanimously resolved to celebrate that day. President Cooke was invited to deliver the principal oration. M. A. Mosher, A. B. Everts, and G. H. Marston were the committee of arrangement. The sum of $75 was raised to procure fireworks. Mark A. Mosher was chosen to prepare toasts; Julius S. Buck was elected marshal of the day; the Appleton Saxhorn Band was invited, to furnish the music; connected with the band were Johnston, Huntley and Randall. Joseph McNeil agreed to prepare the public dinner. Among those who took part in this proceeding, in addition to those mentioned above, were Edward H. Stone, Moses W. Allen, William D. Jordan, Stephen D. Mason, William Youngs, L. S. Augur, N. M. Hephner, A. C. Black and Edward West. Another committee of arrangement was as follows: W. S. Warner, John Moodie, J. W. Letcher, Henry L. Blood, Joseph McNeil, H. C. Sherwin, M. D. McGrath, N. Richmond, G. H. Marston, D. C. W’eston, Wait Cross, Robert Briggs and Thomas Marsden.
The Howard and Kaukauna plank road was projected to bring Appleton and Kaukauna in connection with Howard. It traversed an important section of country which was being rapidly settled.The plan was to bring the trade of a large section of back country to the Fox river.
In 1854 two men who claimed to be county clerks officiated as such. The Crescent said, “Ours is a double-barreled county. We have two gentlemen acting as clerks. Both together ought to be able to satisfy the inquisitive. A correspondent asks why the receipts and expenditures of the county are not published.” –(Crescent; August 19, 1854).
“Ladd & Letcher and Tibbits & Johnson after several weeks of hard work succeeded in getting their rafts of lumber safely moored at Grand Chute. While on Lake Winnebago they were towed by the Swan and were broken up and the logs scattered and piled upon the beach. They had great difficulty at Neenah in getting through the incomplete lock. They were also detained at Butte Des Mortes. This is a roundabout way of bringing logs from the Wolf river, but it is the only way they can be brought by water until a canal is dug from the Wolf to the Fox terminating at Appleton.” — (Crescent, August 19, 1854).
In August, 1854, the complaint of Charles A. Grignon against Robert Morrow for withholding the books and papers belonging to the office of county treasurer after the decision of the supreme court was heard before Judge Johnson. After a full investigation of the case and after hearing the arguments of counsel the judge ordered issued a warrant for the commitment of Morrow and a search warrant for the county books and papers. Morrow in the meantime decamped and left the county. The sheriff reported himself unable to find any of the books and papers and accordingly pursued Mr. Morrow who left the county. About the last of August, 1854, winter wheat was worth here $1.10 to $1.15; spring wheat 85c to $1; oats 30 to 33c; potatoes 38 to 44c; eggs 15c; butter 12 and 15c; beef 7 to 1Oc; superfine flour $6.25 to $6.50 per barrel; spring wheat flour $6.
The case over the county treasurership was decided by the supreme court in August. Charles A. Grignon, the supreme court announced, was entitled to the office for the years 1852-3. The Crescent said: “The county having enjoyed for so long a time the luxury of two county treasurers will, we suppose, now be content to foot the bill and try hereafter to get along with one set of officers — a measure of economy which the present state of finances will fully justify.”
“Squirrels, etc.–The woods in this vicinity are fairly alive with black squirrels and the boys are having rare sport hunting them. Raccoons are also more abundant and accordingly are more mischievous than at any time in the memory of the white man. Coon hunts –night parties — are not infrequent.” –( Crescent, September, 1854.)
“And Still Another Bear. –On Saturday evening our friend, Warren Warner, brought us a luscious bear steak for our Sunday dinner. It was part of a fine black bear killed by him on the school section. It seems as if bears were more plentiful in our county than they have been for years.”-(Crescent, September, 1854.)
From time to time the Crescent noticed the large vegetables that were grown in this county. The soil was alluvial and very rich, and carrots, potatoes, squashes, cabbages, etc., were raised in large quantities and of the largest sizes. Many parts of the county were as rich as a garden. Particularly was it noted that throughout the county, whether on old wood-land or prairie land, the growing of wheat was extremely successful. The principal wheats grown at that time were Black Sea and Canada grub. Winter wheat was a standard crop. It was noted by the Crescent that corn planted on July 4 was perfectly ripe and ready for the mill on September 5. The corn crop was heavy throughout the country.
In the spring of 1854, R. A. Lawe was secretary of the County Agricultural Society. An adjourned meeting was held in the courtroom in Appleton to prepare an exhibit for the coming fall. The executive committee of the society consisted of William Johnston, R. A. Lawe, Edward West, Milo Coles, John H. Barnes, Peter Hephner, Josephus Wakefield and Ethan Powers. Samuel Dunn was president of the society.
It was announced early in March that the “wooden rookery,” otherwise known as jail, authorized by the county board, would be ready for service about the middle of April. Previous to this date it was necessary to keep prisoners in the jail at Depere where several insane persons from this county were confined.
During the summer and early fall this county suffered severely from a drought, many wells in Appleton and vicinity entirely drying up. It was followed by one good result, namely: the digging of better and deeper wells. It had not yet been ascertained that artesian water might be obtained here by digging to a suitable depth. County orders in July, 1854, were 25 per cent discount.
In the early fall of 1854 the Grand Chute town supervisors after a thorough investigation rescinded all action previously taken by them in reference to the issue of town bonds to aid the Wolf River plank road.
“The Hunt. –A party of thirty of our citizens had a backwoods hunt on Saturday last. In all they killed about 1,000 black and gray squirrels, pigeons, quails, partridges, ducks, etc. Only one deer was killed and the bear could not be found. In the evening they partook of a splendid supper at the Crescent Hotel. They talk of another hunt soon.”-(ICrescent, September, 1854.) “Deer Killing. — During the stay of the light fall of snow last week some of our town men were very successful killing deer within one or two miles of town. Venison has been very plentiful for the last few days and never fatter or better in quality.” –(Crescent, November 18, 1854.) In September two men killed eight bears in one day near Wolf River in Outagamie county. The abundance of acorns presumably took the bears to that locality.
“The county board gave notice of adjournment today after a session of twelve days. Some wise measures were adopted. Unlike the basswood board which sat at 1853, the present board voted a sufficient amount of county tax to pay off all the debts left by the heavy expenses growing out of the murder trials, and the current expenses of county government for the ensuing year, and a round thousand dollars beside. Although the raising of $6,500 county tax is an extraordinary amount for so young a county as ours, we are frank to say that we think the supervisors acted wisely in voting the tax because it will pay up everything we owe and leave a surplus so that the county orders must go up to 90c as soon as the first of January instead of 70c the current price of yesterday. Theodore Conkey, supervisor from this town, was appointed to take charge of the public buildings and cause them to be completed; also to furnish county officers all necessary supplies. Next year in all probability a county tax of $3,000 will be amply sufficient. Isaac Wickware of Greenville is the chairman of the county board.” –(Crescent, November 25, 1854.) It was suggested that the county board should make the necessary appropriation and purchase land for a county poor-farm. Such farm should be located in Ellington, Center or Freedom, it was said.
“Thanks. –To Mr. W. W. Crane for a venison steak, part of a fine buck killed by him a short distance from this village.”–(Crescent, November 11, 1854.)
At the February (1855) session there were present Isaac Wickware, Greenville; Edward Spicer, Dale; Theodore Conkey, Grand Chute; B. H. Beaulieu, Kaukauna; C. Hartman, Freedom; N. M. Hephner, Center; Henry Kethroe, Ellington; Mr. Allen, Hortonia; Mr. Coles, Bovina; Mr. Given, Embarrass. S. R. Sherwin contracted to complete the courthouse, and was paid $529 for that work. The same bounty allowed for killing wolves was also allowed for killing bears to all persons, exclusive of Indians. The sheriff was allowed expenses of keeping prisoners. The report of Mr. Grignon, treasurer, showed many duplicate orders, but nevertheless was rejected by the board. Mr. Morrow admitted the existence of duplicate tax certificates, and upon his promise to make good concluded to take no action. At this time there was outstanding in county orders and jury certificates, $6,448.01. A portion of Freedom was separated and attached to Kaukauna.
At a special meeting in August, 1855, there were present Conkey, Eggleston, Bateman, Hephner, Childs, Palmer, Johnson, Mason, Beaulieu, Mr. Conkey was chosen chairman. It was resolved that after this date no bear bounty would be paid. This motion was reconsidered and laid on the table.
At the November (1855) session there were present Conkey, Allen, Palmer, Hubbard, Mason, Johnson, Childs, Hephner, Beaulieu, Merichle, Bateman, Eggleston and Lawe, the last three representing the three wards of Appleton. The board took steps to clear and fence the courthouse square. For almost the first time the board adopted the rule to refer all claims first to the appropriate committee.”Your committee on bears would very respectfully report that the resolution granting a bounty on those harmless animals called bears should, be repealed. –Robert R. Bateman, James Merichle, N. M. Hephner, adopted.” A portion of Embarrass town was attached to Ellington; also a part of Bovina was attached to Embarrass. An additional safe for the county records was demanded. L. B. Noyes was district attorney in November, 1855; the board disapproved of his retention of fees in certain cases. A special committee recommended the construction of a fence twelve feet high and seventy feet square of two-inch plank around the jail; cost about $200. The board at this time decided against raising a county tax for the improvement of county roads. The sum of $200 was appropriated for clearing and fencing the courthouse grounds. Mr. Noyes, district attorney, rendered the opinion that the county was responsible for the care of a “dangerous lunatic confined in jail” here. The board decided that under the constitution they could not increase nor decrease the salaries of officers.
In November, 1855, the board appointed Mr. Lawe to make arrangements with the trustees of the Baptist Church for the use of the courtroom for divine service for one year, the rent not to exceed the cost of keeping the room in order. A special committee made a long and complicated report on the condition of the county treasurer’s office and accounts; the actual state of county finances was in doubt. The reports of the two treasurers Morrow and Grignon conflicted; and no doubt ill will and private gain cut a figure in the adjustment. Mr. Grignon’s report made the following showing:
The committee recommended that $1,292.45 be deducted from the above credits and $1,211.09 be added to the above debits, leaving to the county a credit of $2,503.54. There were on hand county orders to the amount of $7,709.18 and tax certificates $2,530.92; making in all due the county from the treasurer $12,743.64. Mr. Morrow was behind in his accounts as treasurer and suit against him was commenced by Mr. Grignon. The board criticised the reports and finally passed the following resolution: “That the sum of $12,743.64 be charged to said treasurer on the date of his last report, to wit: November 15, 1855, in addition to the interest on said tax certificates of 1853 and 1854 received from Mr. Morrow as hereinbefore mentioned.” The board appropriated $1,200 for fireproof buildings for the county records. There was ordered levied for 1856 six mills for county purposes; two and a half mills for schools, and ten and one-sixth mills for State. The tax was apportioned as follows:
Additional and complete field notes of all lands in the county were ordered procured from the land office in Menasha. A large quantity of logs was seized by the district attorney under the swamp land act. John G. Jewell was paid $10 and Alvin Owens $20 for killing bears. The previous act attaching a part of Bovina to Embarrass was repealed.
The board met in special session in March, 1856; Mr. Alien was chosen chairman pro tempore. The board promptly repealed several acts passed at the last session, because it had been shown that they were illegal and would work a hardship on important interests of the county; they referred to tax certificates, land sales and the collection and disposal of taxes, etc. Messrs. Childs, Gilmore and Bateman were appointed a special committee to ascertain and report the exact amounts due from Robert Morrow and Charles A. Grignon as treasurers of the county. This troublesome question still hung fire; the board itself was uncertain what to do. The contract to build fireproof offices was let to Patton & Moore.
“Whereupon the board adjourned, having done just enough to fill this book without crowding, leaving the necessary space for the comments of propriety, the subsequent pages being devoted to the expression of that admiration which future generations must feel when beholding the wisdom of their fathers illustrated in this book; attest, Frederick Packard, clerk.”
Late in January, 1855, lumbering operations were in full blast. The pineries were alive with woodmen and teams and the drives were expected to be very large. Immense forces of men and teams went to the pineries on Wolf River and there found steady employment. One man alone on that river employed a sufficient force to get out 3,000,000 feet of logs.
There was much complaint in October owing to the lack of roads leading to the flourishing town of Freedom. Both Center and Freedom were filling up with newcomers, large clearings were being made, houses built and farms opened. The roads were few and the county board was importuned to open additional ones at once. A road leading to Freedom could be made to extend to Ellington and Bovina. The town of Dale was growing rapidly also. At Medina a substantial store had just been built and a general stock of goods introduced. This enabled the farmers to secure supplies without much trouble. The roads to Appleton were very bad. Bovina also was growing rapidly. Another saw-mill was in. process of erection at the mouth of Shioc River and another store was established there. A large tavern was in process of erection also. Bovina at this date was opening a road to Shawano. At Ellington another mill was going up; Mr. Van Vleck was building a store; a new tavern was projected, and many settlers were coming in.
Mr. Sherwin secured the lumber for the Courthouse from Hortonville. He planned to have the building ready for the spring term of court in 1855. Center the most sparsely settled town in the county voted a $500 special road tax in 1855; Ellington voted only $400; Greenville voted $800. The other towns also took some action.It was realized that next to good schools, good roads were necessary in this county.
“New Comers. –Land seekers throughout our county were never more plentiful at this season of the year than now. Prices of wild land have gone up rapidly. While a good many arrivals leave disappointed, the price is nothing to what it will be one year hence. We hear of quite a number of sales at prices far in advance of last year and yet land is cheap, and there are enough to know it as will be proved in less than six months.”-(Crescent, April 21, 1855.)
By the last of April the Courthouse was fully completed and received an extra coat of paint. The jail also was newly painted and both presented an attractive appearance. Inasmuch as considerable money was expended on the jail, it was thought that the county should raise the price of rent there at once.
From June 1 to September 1, 1853, nineteen families settled in Appleton, adding approximately one hundred to the population. As there were usually about 300 students in the village, the actual population during the summer of 1855 was nearly 2,000. In 1850 Ellington comprised three townships in length and one in width. The town of Bovina in 1855 embraced towns 23 and 24, range 16. The Shioc mills were on section 16, town 23. The mills and one section of pine land were recently sold for $12,000. Mr. Winch, formerly one of the proprietors of the mills, built a steamboat to run on Wolf river. It was thought that the mouth of Shioc River must eventually become a.n important trading point. A small steamer was designed to run upon the upper Wolf river.
In 1855 the wheat crop was very heavy in this county. It was believed that the winter wheat would average thirty bushels to the acre. At this time winter wheat was worth about 90c per bushel.
The contract for finishing the Courthouse was let to Stephen Sherwin of Appleton for $415. The court-room was planned to occupy the whole side of the building, 40×40 feet, thus furnishing abundant space for any public or court proceedings.
In October, 1855, the secretary of state served notice on the clerk of the county board of Outagamie county to pay at once the state tax of $4,103.90. In 1854 this state tax amounted to $2,450. It had almost doubled in one year. The Crescent complained that this was due to the republican management of state affairs.
A large flock of sheep arrived in Appleton October, having been imported from the East via the Collingwood route to the Green Bay country. It was destined for some farms back of Appleton.
In 1855 the Outagamie and Shawano Plank Road Company was incorporated by J. C. Lewis, Jackson Tibbits, G. R. Andrews, Charles D. Westcott, E. West, Luther B. Noyes and Perry H. Smith with a capital stock of $100,000; object to construct a plank road from Appleton to some point in Shawano county.
On December a large quantity of school and university land in Outagamie county was sold by the commissioners at Appleton. Lands sold at that time lay in townships 23 and 24, range 15, and was sold at $1.25 per acre. Private sales were made in these tracts at $1.50 per acre, and a few choice tracts at $2 or more per acre.
In January, 1856, a man named Leonard became intoxicated in Kaukauna and laid out during one of the coldest nights. He was terribly frozen and great care was necessary to save his life. Drs. Beach and Merriman attended him and performed twelve amputations using chloroform. All the fingers, both thumbs and two toes were taken off. Some of the fingers were disjointed at the hand. The man had a wife and four children who were totally dependent upon his labor for support. He thus became a county charge. This case was noted as a remarkable one, showing the shocking and fearful results of liquor drinking.
In March Frederick Packard in a communication to the Crescent endeavored to explain how Outagamie county became indebted to the state. He said it was due to the dispute over the county treasury by Messrs. Grignon and Morrow. He claimed that during the years 1853-4 while Mr. Morrow held the office he should have paid to the state treasurer $2,896.60, but only actually paid $982, leaving a balance due of $1,914.60.
In April the postoffices and postmasters in Outagamie county were as follows: Appleton, –John Elliott; Little Chute, –Peter Maas; Kaukauna, –John Hunt; Oneida, –C. G. Lathrop; Freedom, –John Brady; Lansing -,-L. S. Augur; Center, –M. McGillan; Ellington, — S. D. Mason; Shiocton, –M. G. Bradt; Hortonville, –D. E. Woodward; Greenville, –Burnett Mills; Wakefield, –Seth J. Perry; Medina, –C. Koontz.
The crop of maple sugar in the spring of 1856 was very light and as a consequence the price advanced to 12e a pound.
By the summer of 1856 there was much speculation in land around Appleton. This was deplored because it was believed that the interests of the city itself would thereby suffer. The village property on the northern side of the river in the First and Third Wards was 30 per cent cheaper than improved agricultural lands. Village lots were held at reasonable rates. Lands in Center, Ellington, Bovina, and Freedom were worth from $3 to $10 per acre, and there was extensive speculation in such property.
Notwithstanding the scarcity of lumber and other building materials, the construction of stores and dwellings at Appleton rapidly progressed in the spring of 1856. It was said that more lots were cleared and fenced this spring than during any previous season. In addition, the citizens everywhere were planting shade and fruit trees. The high stages of water and the heavy winds which had prevailed prevented the rafting of logs to this point. However, more than 2,000,000 feet of logs were on the way here by May 24.
“There is quite a heavy emigration into the northern towns of our county. The land is cheap and fertile and the climate healthy. Cattle growers, dairymen, and others can make fortunes in the Wolf River Valley in a few years.”-(Crescent, May 24, 1856.)
It was reported in September that nine men in one day killed thirteen bears in Waupaca county. This report awakened the hunters of this locality and they prepared to seek the woods. In October all swamp land pre-emptors were invited to come to the register’s office with two disinterested witnesses to prove the required progress on their claims. The register of deeds was P. D. Bingham.
In November, 1856, the county board appropriated $500 with which to fence and clear the Courthouse square. The total county receipts in 1856 were $22,690.54 less $2,530.92 on hand at the beginning of the year. There was on hand at the end of the year $9,751.52.
In January, 1857, the county board made an appropriation with which to prepare a map of the county showing the location of towns, villages, and the principal streams. This map was attractively prepared and copies were sent to scores of counties in the East for the purpose of attracting settlers to this vicinity. Excellent farm land was advertised in Center, Freedom, Ellington, Bovina and Embarrass at from $2 to $10 per acre.
“Killing Deer. –An immense number of deer were killed in this county during the latter part of last week. We hear that one Indian killed fourteen in the town of Center on Saturday. The snow was crusted over strong enough to bear a man and they hunted the poor animals with dogs and clubs. This wholesale destruction of deer is too bad. We actually wish that the legislature would take away the privilege given to Indians to hunt game out of season; and that the white savages who are so wicked and thoughtless as to exterminate the species in season and out of season were made to feel the rigid penalty of the law.” –(Crescent, February 21, 1857.)
The special attention of newcomers was called to the desirability of residing in the town of Bovina. The lumber interest there was very large and valuable and the mills were in steady operation. Hundreds of men were at work the previous winter in the lumber camps. The village of Shiocton counted two hotels, several stores and half a dozen mechanic’s shops and already the village was an important point in river navigation. In addition there were many acres of unoccupied grazing and farming land within the limits of that town. It was considered an excellent location for actual settlers. It was announced by the Crescent that the use of maple sugar in Outagamie county was more than ten times greater than in any previous sugar season known, and the quality was never better; the price was about 12c a pound.
In April the City of Appleton and the town of Grand Chute jointly voted at the courthouse the sum of $4,140 for roads and bridges in city and town. This was thought a liberal appropriation. It was believed the county should build and maintain the bridges, even within the limits of Appleton, over navigable rivers like the Fox and Wolf.
About the middle of June a large meteor passed over Appleton about noonday, taking a northeast direction and though the sun was shining brightly at the time it was distinctly visible. It left as a trail a white cloud and after a few seconds exploded in a series of concussions resembling the firing of a cannon in rapid succession. It was estimated to have been one hundred miles from Appleton and accordingly must have been very large.
By the last of August the plank road between Dunn’s Corners and the Greenville town line was nearly all graded and was considered one of the best pieces of road making in this county.
In 1857 the state geologist, Prof. Daniel, was in this portion of the state making an examination of the geological features. He stated that he found a much larger quantity of excellent farming land in this portion of the state than he had expected. There was great complaint in the fall that young men, in order to secure hickory nuts, walnuts, etc., were in the habit of cutting down the trees in order to get at the nuts more readily. The citizens regarded this act as outrageous and demanded that it should cease.
The report of the secretary of state for the year ending September 30, 1857, showed that Outagamie county was indebted to the State to the amount of $2,800. The existence of this indebtedness was laid to the usurpation of the office of county treasury by Robert Morrow who had gone to Kansas.
In November at the session of the county board there was for the first time in history an entire unanimity in the reports of the treasurer and the equalization of the assessment rolls. Much credit was given Dr. Douglas for his method of keeping the accounts and finances of the county. The board appropriated $1,000 to aid in constructing .a bridge across Fox river in the Second ward. The property holders were expected to add $3,000 to this appropriation.
Late in 1857 a public road extending from New London to the town of Embarrass was projected and its construction commenced. The latter town was quite rapidly settling at this date. Some complaint was made because the proprietors of certain lands at New London compelled the roadmakers to build in a half circle to avoid crossing their property.
In 1857 the county board appropriated $1,000 for the partial construction of a bridge over Fox river at Appleton. Thomas Hanna took the contract. He failed to build the bridge and the money was used to pay county expenses. The county sued the Morrow bondsmen — Robert Bateman, H. L. Blood and William Rork — and got judgment, the county finally agreed to settle the judgment for $200.Patton & Moore were the contractors for the fire proof county buildings in 1858. The total receipts of the county treasurer for 1858 were $33,100 less $1,347 on hand at the beginning of the year.
In November 1858 the county board were presented with an application in behalf of Robert Morrow for an appropriation of $500 to be used in paying his expenses in contesting with Charles A. Grignon for the treasuryship of this county in 1853. The claim was disallowed by a vote of three in favor to eleven against. It was wondered at the time how any three men could be found who would vote in favor of this application.
The county board made an appropriation of $1,000 to aid in constructing a permanent bridge across the Fox river at Appleton and appointed a committee to let the contract and to report concerning progress of the work. The high stage of water in the river prevented work on this improvement until August, 1858, at which time the contractor endeavored to get rid of his bargain. He was released from his contract upon his request, as the $1,000 was raised by an express law for a specific purpose. It was believed that the board had no right to divert it to any other use. At this date the board numbered fifteen members and W. H. P. Bogan was chairman. “I am ashamed to see a procession of disgusted pilgrims picking their way from the steamboat through an ocean of mud and then comforting themselves in believing their troubles are over and crossing the bridge only to find a nasty slippery hill of red clay mud and only to remember that at one end of this nuisance are the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement Company and some others who claim to be our most enterprising citizens and at the other end the business part of the city of Appleton and to realize that for two whole seasons of business this abomination has disgraced our city.” –(Correspondence, Crescent, November 27, 1858.)
At an adjourned session of the county board held in January, 1858, the following proceedings were had: Numerous petitions and remonstrances were heard in reference to proposed locations of the boundaries of Embarrass, Hortonia and Medina. A committee framed an ordinance dividing Embarrass and forming a separate town of 22, range 15, to be called Musquito Hill. The citizens of Little Chute petitioned the county board to divide the town of Kaukauna by north and south lines, and remonstrated against a river boundary. A committee appointed to ascertain the gross amount of county ordinances and other certificates not canceled reported outstanding $5,187 worth. The board finally decided the town of Buchanan to be all that part of ranges 18, 19 and township 21, lying south of Fox river. At this time several sections were attached to Grand Chute. The first annual meeting of Buchanan was ordered held at the school house No. 6 in the town of Kaukauna. It was ordered that all that part of Embarrass lying in township 22, range 15, be set off and become a new town to be called Liberty. The first meeting was ordered held at the school house in district No. 1 of the town of Embarrass. At this session there was quite a sharp discussion over the boundaries of Embarrass. It was finally concluded that Liberty should be all that part of Embarrass in township 22, range 15, and all of township 23, range 15, and east of Embarrass river. Remonstrances against the change of the name of Medina to Dale were received. The board took steps to have prepared correct maps of every town in the county. The committee on jail and county buildings reported substantial progress. The finance committee reported having examined the accounts of Charles A. Grignon, former county treasurer, and had found them in fair condition.
In its session January, 1858, the county board effected a final settlement between Charles A. Grignon, late county treasurer of the county of Outagamie. Anson Ballard, the deputy, made a full report, accounted for every dollar of public funds, and delivered the books and papers with clean hands. There had been much complaint over the management of the county treasurer’s affairs, but Mr. Ballard showed that under him any complaint was wholly unfounded.
Late in January it was announced that a new republican paper was soon to be issued in Appleton. The old Free Press under Brady and others had died and this apparently was a new attempt of the republicans to secure a permanent organ in this county.
The Dutch settlers road and the bridges across the creeks were constructed in a hurry. This road was greatly desired by Appleton owing to the fact that when once opened it would attract here the trade of one hundred farmers living in that direction.
At this time Congress passed a bill for the relief of settlers upon certain public lands in Wisconsin. These lands were granted to aid the improvement on the Fox and Wisconsin rivers and were thus sold or contracted to be sold; and were by this new law consigned to the state and the title of purchasers was declared to be as valid as though the selection had been made in conformity to the law.
On March 26, 1858, the old settlers held a complimentary meeting at the National Hotel in honor of Dr. S. A. Beach and lady who were about to move to Kansas. Nearly forty couples assembled and listened to speeches and enjoyed a bountiful supper.
Henry L. Blood presided and on behalf of the meeting presented Dr. Beach with a morning gown and slippers. The doctor responded with much feeling. He stated that he had been here nine years and that his intercourse with the people had been pleasant though sometimes exacting and severe. He arrived at Appleton in June 5, 1849, and found the only hotel in the place was the Edgarton barn, and the only means of access thereto without wading in water was a foot-bridge affording a safe footing to dryer ground. Emmon Kelly was cook at the hotel. The doctor said: “I have had the pleasure of aiding according to my limited means every arrangement and every meeting of possible interest calculated to benefit Appleton. I have been present at nearly every celebration or meeting of public interest that has ever been held here, and the remains of an only brother fill the oldest grave in your cemetery.” The guests presented Mrs. Beach with a reticule filled with implements. President Cooke replied on behalf of Mrs. Beach to the address of W. S. Warner. Resolutions regretting the departure of Dr. Beach and his wife were passed.
In March a bill was pending in the legislature to submit to a vote of the people the division of Calumet County in order to allow a couple of towns to be attached to Outagamie county. Bills were also pending for a resurvey of Appleton and for amendments to the city charter.
The city engineer of Appleton was authorized by the Legislature in 1858 to make a survey and map of the city as follows: Wherever the boundaries of lots, blocks or streets or any part of said city which is now platted or purports to be platted are uncertain or the landmarks effaced, he shall establish such boundaries and renew such landmarks according to the latest plat of such part as the same appears in the office of register of deeds of the county of Brown or Outagamie wherever such plat is deficient in not showing anything required by law to be shown, he shall supply such deficiency in the map to be made by him; but he could not change records nor landmarks. The map was to represent the whole of sections 25, 26, 27, 34, 35 and 36, town 21 north, range 17 east, and could show outlots.
It was announced in April, 1858, that information from Holland had arrived to the effect that 100 families there had embarked and would come to settle in the vicinity of Little Chute. These inhabitants were welcomed because they were sure to make good citizens. Excellent lands in Center, Freedom, Kaukauna and Buchanan were open for their selection.
It was reported that 1,000 immigrants had just been landed in New York and that 500 of them were on their way to the Green Bay settlement which included Outagamie county. At this time the county boasted of its German population. Men of that nationality made settlements here and were fast becoming Americanized.
In the town of Bovina there was a pigeon roost seven miles long by two or three miles wide. Millions of pigeons roosted there and often settled in such large numbers on trees as to break them down. Thousands were killed for sport and for the boiling pot.
The contract for building a foundation wall for the courthouse was let in August to Joseph Stowe for $170.
The equalized assessment of the county in 1858 was $1,511,130. The assessment in the city of Appleton in 1858 was as follows: First ward, $132,415; Second ward, $185,796; Third ward, $137,669; total of personal and real property, $455,880. The year before the aggregate assessment footed up $135,000; there was thus a gain of $320,000 in a single year.
In September the suit of Henry Hewett against the town of Grand Chute for $9,000 of plank road bonds which the town refused to recognize as legally issued, was decided against the plaintiff. The suit of Elisa Morrell against the University of Lawrence for a lot on the Lawrence tract was decided in favor of the plaintiff. Both cases were sent back to the circuit court for future proceedings.
By a decision of the supreme court Samuel Ryan, Jr., was denied the right to the office of clerk of the court and C. A. Hamer his opponent of November, 1858, was installed in his place. This decision was based upon the opinion that Outagamie county should not join its forces with, nor be influenced by, any county or territory attached merely for political purposes, as was Shawano.
In November, 1858, O. P. Peebles, a citizen of the town of Ellington, was accidentally drowned at Stephensville. He was getting out logs at the mill when he was accidentally precipitated into the pond, but in falling was stunned so that he immediately sank and did not rise again.
At the annual meeting of the county board in November, 1858, the following action was taken: W. H. P. Bogan was elected chairman. The petition of Antoine Smith and sixty others and of N. B. Des Marteau and others prayed that the town of Buchanan might be reattached to the town of Kaukauna, and that of Nicholas Beaulieu and forty-seven others against such reunion were received.
At this session so much of the town of Freedom as was embraced in towns 23 and 24, range 18, and all that part of town 24, range 19, west of the Oneida reserve was set off and made a separate town called Osborn. The first town meetings were ordered held at the house of Robert McNab.
The boundaries of Embarrass and Liberty were so changed that in the latter was included all that part of town 22, range 15, north of Wolf and the two south tiers of sections in town 23, range 15, leaving to Embarrass all of town 23, range 15, north of the section line south of sections 19 and 24, inclusive, and all of town 24, range 15. Elections in Embarrass were ordered held in the schoolhouse at Maple Creek. At this session the name of the town of Medina was changed to Dale; later this change was left to the voters to be decided.
At the session of January, 1859, a committee was appointed to see where a county poor-farm of not to exceed 320 acres could be procured. It was also resolved that at the next town meeting the question of whether the county seat should be changed to the center of the county would be submitted to a vote of the citizens of all the towns.
It was at this time that Shawano county desired a separate organization. Its courthouse and county buildings were erected and ready for use and it desired to be separated from Outagamie county. In the discussion over the change in the county government, many advocated the retention of the supervisor system, while the Crescent took the other side and favored a change.
Early in 1859 it was stated that the people living northwest of Fox river in Brown county desired to be annexed to Outagamie county. They complained that they were continually in trouble about their school districts, one district lying in three different towns, and in consequence were put to great annoyance and expense.
The proposition current in the state in January to abolish the existing system of county boards of supervisors and the substitution therefor of three county commissioners, was at first well received by the people of this county. It was believed such a change would be a saving to the counties and the state.
The people of Dale, Hortonia, Embarrass and Liberty towns and a number of towns in Waupaca county agitated the subject of forming a new county. The Crescent fought this movement, alleging that the towns of these counties which desired to be separated would find themselves in a much worse condition afterward than at present should the project be carried into execution. Every town in Shawano county desired to join the proposed new county.
In February, 1859, a new saw-mill was built at New London. That village at this date began to grow quite rapidly, because it was believed it would become the seat of justice of the new county which was proposed to be organized. Hortonville and Mukwa were rivals for county seat honors in the proposed new county, the name of which was to be Menominee.
In March there was promise of a prosperous maple sugar season. Many who owned groves of maple trees prepared to go into the woods. The Crescent editor said: “Long ago we used to plod over seven or more miles of mud ever so deep to enjoy a ladle of warm sugar or a pull at a handful of wax. Fine fun may be had at one of those old-fashioned bark-covered log camps.”
Persons who had pre-empted claims on the sections of the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement Company’s lands were notified to prove up by May 2, 1859, agreeably to the proclamation of President Buchanan. Much of these lands had been cultivated several years and contained good buildings and other improvements.
The state road from Appleton to Shawano was laid out late in May. The lines were run and an excellent route was found, Bingham and Foote established this road in which the people of Appleton and Shawano took a great interest.
In the apportionment of the drainage fund made by the school land commissioners in 1859, Outagamie county received $1,280.31
By April 30, it was known that the maple sugar product of the past spring was one of the best in the history of the new state. In Outagamie county more than twice as much was manufactured as in any previous year. Had not the spring work interfered with the business a much larger quantity would have been manufactured.
The drainage commissioners in June appropriated $100 for the Hortonville and Appleton road: $100 for the Grieenville and Medina road west from Kling schoolhouse; $100 for the road on the south line of the Greenville school section and the Shawano road.
Bingham and Stone, two of the drainage commissioners for this county, determined to devote their services to the Shawano and Hortonville roads.
It was stated in June, 1859, by the Crescent that the largest tree so far as known to be cut down in Outagamie county was recently leveled on the farm of Mr. Raab in the town of Center. It was a white oak and perfectly solid and measured seven feet through its base; 50 feet from the ground was its first limb. The tree was over 80 feet high and no doubt was the largest in the county.
The several roads which needed grading in July were one of the section line parallel with the courthouse and west of the plank road; one in Grand Chute and Greenville bridging Mud creek; one extending in the direction of Ball Prairie. It was stated that not less than $25,000 annually in trade would come to this city by the construction of the last named road. The sum of $250 was all that was necessary to complete this line and secure the trade. Merchants, manufacturers, millers, and all business men were publicly appealed to for funds to assist in completing these three lines.
The project of setting apart the drainage income funds belonging to the county to open and grade highways was received with favor. It was thought to be the best way to drain the county lands. In the meantime the county board, it was argued, should appropriate money for the improvement of the most important county roads.
In 1858 there was a short crop of nearly all products and rather a poor harvest in Outagamie county. However, the county raised a handsome surplus of wheat. The wheat crop in this county was never surpassed; the berry was better than usual; the corn crop also was unusually good. Oats and potatoes were fair; grass was a light yield; but vegetables were exceedingly good. Orchards throughout the county began to bear quite extensively and the home product could be seen and purchased in the local markets. By the middle of September the road from Appleton to Shawano was nearly completed in this county. Mr. Bingham assisted by C. W. Hopkins superintended the work.
In August, 1859, the Menasha and Appleton plank road was reported in bad condition. In many places the planks were torn out and as a whole it was rough and dangerous. The Appleton and Kaukauna plank road was in much the same condition. Great complaint was made and the town authorities were compelled to improve the latter route. The plank road through the Third ward of Appleton was in an unsafe condition. On Court street in the Second ward the plank badly needed relaying and there was required a railing for the bridge on the ravine side to Lawrence street. In slippery times the bridge was dangerous. Greenville section line road west from the Courthouse was neglected and was also in bad condition. Near the toll-gate on the Menasha and Appleton plank road were some half dozen very bad places in need of repair. There were good roads to Freedom, Center, Hortonville and Dale. At the meeting in the Second ward to complete the ward schoolhouse every vote was cast in favor of the improvement. There was required an outlay of about $10,000, but no one opposed the assessment and the completion of the house. The vote on the $25,000 loan to complete the railroad from Appleton to Oshkosh was heavily in favor of the proposition. Only 26 votes were polled against it.
There was a large quantity of swamp land held in this county by non-residents and returned by the county treasurer as delinquent. About the middle of August, 1859, a large black bear was seen on the plank road near Mr. McGrath’s. It was reported that two children out blackberrying were devoured by a bear, but this was not substantiated. In November a special committee of the county board reported in favor of a poorhouse and farm. The Motor in December, 1859, asked what had become of the Outagamie County Agricultural society, and recommended that it should be resurrected and that a fair should be held in 1860. It was urged that the county was bound in the interests of its agricultural interests to hold such a fair.
In 1857, the Wolf river was navigable for steamers, also the Embarrass, the Shioc branch of the Wolf and Black Creek, the upper branch of the Shioc offered abundant facilities for the lumber trade. Duck Creek in the eastern part of the county ran across the Oneida Indian reserve and emptied into Green Bay. Appleton, Cedar Rapids, Little Chute, Kaukauna and Rapide Croche formed one vast and almost continuous water power which never failed at any season of the year. The succession of rapids kept the stream free from ice no matter how severe the winter. The greater part of the county was heavily timbered. Quantities of maple, basswood, beech, oak, hickory, butter-nut, elm, and poplar were found throughout the entire county, particularly in the southern part. In the north were pine and hemlock. By 1857 this timber already was considered a very valuable asset of the county. The soil was equal in productiveness to any found in the west. Splendid wheat was raised throughout the entire county. Corn was not so reliable a crop but the others could be depended upon.
At the session of the county board in November 13, 1860, a full representation was present. W. H. P. Bogan was elected chairman. A motion to adjourn to the house of Thomas Hanna prevailed. At this meeting the inhabitants of Embarrass presented a petition to change the name of that town to Maple Creek. Ryan & Ross were paid $418 for printing. The district attorney was asked to render an account of expenditures in the even section suits during the past year. The committee mentioned above reported an ordinance to change the name of the town of Embarrass to that of Maple Creek. This ordinance was ordered published in the weekly newspapers of Appleton. The county treasurer was required to furnish information relative to the drainage fund due this county. The board resolved itself into a committee of the whole in order to examine the new jail and county buildings. At this date also a resolution was adopted appointing an investigating committee to examine the financial affairs of the county and consider the official conduct of county officers. The construction of fireproof rooms for the county records was discussed and thoroughly considered. A special committee which had been appointed to ascertain who was entitled to the salary of district attorney reported that upon investigation they had learned that Mr. Myers had succeeded in the courts in securing the right to that office and accordingly a salary was due that lawyer. At this time the inhabitants of Liberty petitioned the county board to change the boundary between Liberty and Embarrass. It was referred to a committee. The committee to examine the county jail having done so reported the same satisfactory, though some suggestions as to improvements of the yard, etc., were made. They found that the jail was perfectly secure for the safe-keeping of prisoners. John P. Deidrich was licensed to keep a ferry over Fox river in section 23, town 21, range 18, in the town of Buchanan for the term of three years. A new seal for the clerk of the court was ordered obtained. The sum of $200 was appropriated to opening and working the town line road between Ellington and Centre and Greenville and Grand Chute. The district attorney was allowed the sum of $400 per year for his services to the county. Attempts were made at this session, to procure the passage of a law to change the time of holding the November term of the circuit court so that it would be held two weeks before or two weeks after the session of the county board. A tax of one mill on the dollar was ordered levied for school purposes throughout the county for the year 1861. A tax of three mills for county purposes was ordered levied.
At the meeting of the citizens of the county held at the courthouse January 28, 1860, pursuant to call, the county agricultural society was duly reorganized. W. H. P. Bogan was elected chairman of the meeting and J. S. Buck, secretary. Mr. Mason was appointed to draft a constitution. Nearly forty persons of different parts of the country signed the constitution and became members of the society. The officers for the ensuing year were as follows: W. C. P. Bogan, president; George Knowles, vice-president; James M. Phinney, secretary; and E. H. Stone, treasurer. A trustee was appointed from every town in the county and from each of the three wards of Appleton. Preparations to hold a fair the coming autumn were duly made.
In February the Crescent boasted that Outagamie county did not have a single prisoner confined within the county jail, nor as many paupers in the county as many villages elsewhere were required to support. In 1860 there was pending in the legislature bills for Appleton providing for the appointment of a street commissioner thereby requiring the city to keep the plank road and other highways in repair. Another bill proposed to annex the northwestern tier of sections in the other county to Outagamie.
The act of March 19, 1860, amending the charter of Appleton, provided for the appointment of a street commissioner by the city council. “The expenses of repairing and maintaining those parts of the roads from Appleton to Menasha, from Appleton to Kaukauna, and from Appleton to New London by way of College avenue, as lie within the city limits, and of repairing and maintaining the bridges across the great ravine on Court street and College avenue and such other bridges now or hereafter erected as the common council shall by ordinance direct, shall be paid from a fund to be known as the ‘road fund,’ and a tax shall be levied annually on all the taxable property of the city for the purpose of such fund and paid out by the treasurer only on orders drawn expressly on said fund.”
In April, 1860, day after day the air was black with wild pigeons, and the hunters. of this locality killed them by the thousands. In May a large chunk of lead ore was found in the garden of Alderman Gilmore in Appleton. It was suggested that he could make use of it during the next railroad war. During the year ending June 1, less than 2,500 pounds of wool were produced in Outagamie county. When the war came on many thought the production of wool would grow less, but it steadily increased and during 1864-’65-’66, the business advanced enormously, scores of farmers engaging in that industry in all parts of the county. The wool crop in 1866 was, in round numbers, 50,000 pounds. Wool growing paid double the profit of wheat growing and the labor was nothing in comparison. Farmers were urged to diversify their cr6ps. “More wool and less wheat,” was the cry. It was noted by the Motor in July that never before were the crops generally so promising as they were that season. Wheat of all kinds were excellent. Oats, potatoes and corn were likewise good and garden truck was never better. From all parts of the country farmers brought in sample specimens of grain of enormous growth and yield.
A severe hailstorm which swept across the southern portion of the county in July, 1860, destroyed a large amount of standing grain and other property. In Grand Chute and Kaukauna hail stones as large as hen’s eggs fell in large quantities. Windows by the hundreds were smashed. During the year excellent roads were built throughout the length and breadth of Greenville, the main thoroughfare extending westward from the courthouse. With the exception of a short strip beyond Mud creek in Grand Chute and another in Greenville the road furnished an excellent drive. This year Outagamie county raised a large surplus of nearly every crop thousands of acres of wheat averaging between 20 and 30 bushels to the acre; corn very promising; hay the best for years; oat crop very heavy and potatoes and garden vegetables abundant.
In 1860 more attention was being paid to orchards and the raising of fruit than at any previous time. A few fruit growers were making considerable money. Theodore Conkey had an orchard well worth visiting, and in Grand Chute B. B. Murch had another.
In Greenville William Amos, S. J. Perry, M. R. Perry, Henry Pond, James Thompkins and others had large and valuable orchards just beginning to bear.
In July, 1860, the agricultural society began making elaborate preparations for the coming fair and cattle show. Late in August 1860 several bears were seen in the vicinity of Appleton within two weeks. One of them, it was stated, took a supply of pork from the premises of Mr. Van Hoagley without asking permission for the same. It was proposed in 1860 to hold periodical sales of farm stock at different points in the county from time to time as the market seemed to demand. One was held at Little Chute in August and was so successful that others were at once projected and the custom was adopted. During August that month there were two full moons, the first occurring on the first day and the second on the 31st day.
On September 29, 1860, the papers published as supplements a full and complete premium list of the approaching county fair. Fifteen classes constituted the premium list as follows: Cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, poultry, grain, vegetables, fruit, farm products, agricultural implements, harness and leather, domestic manufactures, such as carpets, quilting, yarns, etc., flowers and house plants, needle work of all kinds and art work. The highest premiums offered were for the best cattle and horses and amounted to $3. It was announced that the fair would be held on the park of Rev. Reeder Smith near Appleton. The annual address was delivered by Prof. R. Z. Mason. The committee on arrangements consisted of the president, Mr. Bogan, the secretary, Mr. Phinney and George W. Spaulding, A. Foster and A. B. Everts.
In the fall of 1860 apples were more plentiful aid cheaper than ever known here before. Many were grown here, but not enough to supply the demand, accordingly large quantities came by barrel on the steamers.
Early in September, 1860, the corn crop of Outagamie county was seven times larger than it was the year before and more than twice as large as during any previous year. The Agricultural society met September 1 and made and passed the following resolution: “That this society hold a. county fair on Wednesday the 18th day of October next on the grounds offered by Mr. Pierce in the Third ward of this city; that the chairman and secretary with three trustees to be appointed by the chairman be a committee to prepare a premium list and to nominate committees on the several classes and report to the trustees two weeks from today. Messrs. Nye, Pearson and Packard were appointed to serve on this committee. At this date the Motor boasted of the many ideal farms to be found in Outagamie county. Every town had them and in some localities they were numerous.
In 1860, Outagamie county began suit against the State to secure the drainage income fund withheld by the state treasurer and the court decided in favor of the county. The amount was between $1,300 and $1,400.
The County Fair in 1860, notwithstanding a pouring rain, was a decided success. There was a goodly show in all departments, particularly those of cattle, horses, sheep, swine, and calves. The mechanical department was not represented. A splendid line of vegetables was shown. The Fine Arts room was thronged all day, the display being not only creditable but surprisingly good. Professor Mason’s address gave general satisfaction. This, the first fair held in Outagamie county and gotten up in a fortnight’s notice, demonstrated what the county could do in this direction when it tried. In October, 1860, a stock fair was advertised to be held at Little Chute and all the county were invited to attend.
In November, 1860, the officers and directors of the agricultural society met, on which occasion the receipts at the fair were shown to have been $127.88. W. H. P. Hogan was continued as president; R. Z. Mason was chosen vice-president; John Stephens, secretary; and E. H. Stone, treasurer. The total amount paid out for premiums was $108.25. County orders were worth seventy-five cents on the dollar, but in trade they passed at from eighty to ninety cents. On December 14, 1860, the county jail was destroyed by fire at about 3 o’clock in the morning. The insurance was about $500. The fire supposed to have originated from the chimney.
“County Matters. –The county investigating committee has been in session the past week and numerous witnesses have been examined in reference to the management of county affairs. Until the report appears it is not probable that the public will learn anything important even if developments of consequence occur.” — (Crescent, December 29, 1860.)
The county board in December, 1860, and January, 1861, transacted the following business: The courthouse was ordered repaired. The report of the county treasurer showed that the total receipts for 1860 were $45,881, less $6,338 on hand at the beginning. At this date the total liabilities of the county were $10,713, and the total assets $15,988. A petition against the proposed division of Grand Chute town was received. A petition for the division of Center town was received. George H. Myers district attorney reported that the county was defendant in twenty-one civil cases to set aside the taxes on what were known as the “even sections,” two being in the Supreme Court. Several suits over the drainage fund were also pending. The board refused to divide Grand Chute and Center. A special committee appointed by the county board to investigate the affairs of the county and the official acts of the officers in December, 1860, reported at this session. They criticized the treasurer and clerk of the board and pointed out many irregularities in the treasurer’s methods. Prisoners were ordered confined in the jail of Winnebago county. How to secure what Shawano county owed this county was considered. The board subscribed for the two county papers and ordered copies sent to certain town officials. Illegal tax certificates gave the board considerable trouble. Supervisor Bogan reported that the jail had “seceded” and recommended the construction of a new one. Steps to build a new county jail to cost not over $4,000 were taken. At the June session, 1861, the council appropriated $1,000 for the relief of soldiers’ families, the payments to be made upon the recommendation of aldermen, but not to families of officers.
In January, 1861, a postoffice was established in the town of Buchanan and John Brown was appointed postmaster. The office was supplied by side mail from Kaukauna.
The county officers in January were as follows: George R. Wood, sheriff; J. S. Buck, under sheriff; C. A. Hamer, clerk of the court; J. F. Johnston, deputy clerk; J. Jewett, Jr., district attorney; Thomas McGillan, clerk of the county board; Samuel Ryan, Jr., deputy clerk; Matthias Werner, county treasurer; John F. Johnston, his deputy; John Stephens, surveyor; H. W. White, coroner; Stephen Balliett, his deputy; H. Hills, register; H. Packard, deputy. The office of county judge was vacant. In March the contract to build a new county jail was awarded to Williamson & Bates for $4,530. It was designed to be one of the most substantial structures of the kind in the state.
John Stephens, secretary of the County Agricultural Society, published the premium list for the fair of the coming fall. The highest premiums offered were $5 for the best cattle and horses. The fair of 1860 was held under very unfavorable circumstances and was partly mis-managed. The trustees determined that the coming fair should be better.
In 1861, Jacob I. C. Meade was appointed notary public at Shiocton. B. T. Morse owned the mill at that point and during the spring of 1861 sawed 300,000 feet of lumber and about 80,000 shingles. He would have done a much larger business, but could not secure enough workmen.
“The line of road of the Menasha and Kaukauna Plank Road Company including their roadbed between the village of Menasha and the east side of Fox river, at or near the Kaukauna rapids, sa called, having been abandoned by said company; the same is hereby declared and established as a public highway and subject to the management and control of the towns in which the same lies, like other highways.”-Approved April 13, 1861.
The trustees of the county agricultural society met in Appleton June 22, 1861. W. H. P. Bogan, president, presided. The following resolution was passed, “That the president, secretary and treasurer be and are hereby authorized to lease a portion of the college grounds not less than five or more than fifteen acres for the purpose of fair grounds for such term of years as they may be able to get it; that the executive committee obtain appropriations of money from the county and from the city of Appleton and from citizens for the purpose of clearing up and fencing such fair grounds as may be obtained and preparing for the fair and expend the money for material so obtained for these purposes; that the fair be held on the first and second days of October.” At this meeting committees for the different classes of exhibits were appointed. The Agricultural Society after an examination of various sites secured a fine tract of about eight acres in the northern part of the Second ward by a lease for fifteen years from David Kimball at a nominal rent. The society prepared to clear and fence the tract at once so as to be ready for the fair in October. In August the work was rapidly progressing; the structure was nearly finished and nearly all the material was on hand for the completion of the building.
In July, the county board districted the county as follows: District No. 1 –Appleton and town of Grand Chute, population 3,118; District No. 2 –towns of Greenville, Dale, Hortonia, Ellington, Bovina, Liberty and Maple Creek, population 3,916; District No. 3 — towns of Buchanan, Kaukauna, Freedom, Osborn and Centre, population 2,462.
At the meeting of the county board in July, 1861, the town assessment rolls were equalized. The county was divided into the following supervisor districts. No. l –Appleton and Grand Chute; No. 2 –Greenville, Dale, Hortonia, Ellington, Bovina, Liberty and Maple Creek; No. 3 –Buchanan, Kaukauna., Freedom, Osborn and Center. At this session the board recommended “to all public officials to discontinue the practice of receiving paper money in payment of public dues of any name or kind whatsoever” and to refuse to receive and discontinue the circulation of paper money and denounced generally all paper money circulated by banks of issue.
Early in September, all the citizens interested in the county fair were asked to turn out with axes, picks, grub hoes and other necessary implements to clear the ground and prepare it for the approaching fair.
The second annual county fair was held October 1 and 2. The first day was spent largely in preparation, but the second day was largely attended although the hard rain of the preceding day drew much from the attendance and interest. There was a better show of stock than the year before. Horses were exceedingly good. A few excellent cattle were shown. Working oxen were in evidence and milch cows were especially fine. An exhibit of sheep by Van de Bogart was excellent. McGregor of Greenville took the first premium on fine wooled sheep. The swine exhibits were not as good as expected.
At the Fine Arts Hall there was a display of ladies’ needle work and other household products. The fruit shown was better than expected. Apples were shown in considerable quantity by William Amos of Greenville, who raised this season over two hundred bushels. Pears, peaches, plums and grapes were shown in goodly quantity.Vegetables and domestic manufactures were largely in evidence. The grounds were not in as good condition as they should have been and the members of the fair determined that by next year it would be in much better shape for a display. The officers of the society deserved and received great credit for this fair. At the county fair there were awarded 124 different premiums to 65 persons aggregating in amount $183.25.
In December, 1861, the county board was petitioned to divide Center town and create Black Creek which was to consist of townships 23 and 24, range 17, the first meeting to be held at the house of C. W. Hopkins. These petitioners were C. W. Hopkins, C. H. Fowle, Joseph Felio, John Berthier, Jerome D. Berthier, Frederick Packard, John Felio, Y. Felio, Wilson P. Berthier, George Welch and W. H. P. Bogan. The petition was granted. Drainage commissioners for each town were appointed. It was ordered that the drainage fund should be expended in the towns in proportion to the amount of taxable swamp land therein. The duty of the commissioners was to expend this fund. A resolution to appropriate $2,000 for the relief of soldiers’ families by certain men was tabled. Later efforts to pass this measure were also tabled; but still later $2,000 was appropriated from the general funds for this purpose. Byron Douglas was chosen disbursing agent. Each family was to receive $2 and each child 75 cents per month, none to be paid until after January 1, 1862, and until recommended by certain officials. The special committee gave the contract for the new jail and jailer’s house to Bates and Williamson for $4,738. The salary of county superintendent was fixed at $500 per annum. The Crescent and Motor were both paid for publishing the proceedings of the county board. The finance committee reported that the county owed $15,398, less $5,958 credits. The county treasurer’s report showed that the receipts for the last year were $35,155 and the expenses the same less about $10,000 on hand.
In January, 1862, two men residing in Freedom were found guilty of selling liquor to the Indians and were fined $25 each. More drunken Indians were seen in Appleton during the winter than ever before and it was determined to put a stop to this state of affairs. Immense quantities of logs were hauled to this town by both ox and horse teams from all parts of the upper country. They brought good prices and found a ready sale. Evergreen and cedar posts also began to make their appearance and found a prompt market here.
In February, a large meeting was held in Appleton in the interest of what was called the Military road. This was the highway designed to connect this community with the copper country of Lake Superior. Many favored the project, but others could see no great benefit to be derived from its construction.
By February the new county jail was completed. It was pronounced an excellent piece of workmanship, and was a secure place for criminals. The jail proper was in the rear of the sheriff’s house. Williamson and Bates erected the structure. The county now had a good jail, a good county building, but a poor courthouse.
The business of Wolf river in 1862 was more than double what it had been in previous years. Close to Shiocton over 200,000 feet of hardwood logs were cut. Mr. Knapp of Oshkosh cut over 100,000 feet along Wolf river. There was over 1,000,000 feet of oak, ash, butternut, basswood and maple, worth about $3 per thousand feet on the bank.
The following is an estimate of the measurement of logs gotten out on the Shiocton river during the winter of 1861-2. Crowell of Oshkosh, 820,000 feet; Wing & Paine of Oshkosh, 900,000 feet; Farrer of Oshkosh, 500,000 feet; Hunkley of Oshkosh, 900,000 feet; Chase of Oshkosh, 400,000 feet; Choete & Bray of Oshkosh, 600,000 feet; M. Fitzgerald of Oshkosh, 500,000 feet; Rumrey & Lawrence of Oshkosh, 500,000 feet; Simples & Grimmer, 200,000 feet; Scribner of Fond du Lac, 1,000,000 feet; Turner & Company of Fond du Lac, 150,000 feet; Danforth & Carter, 500,000 feet; Jordan & Morse of Shiocton, 1,200,000 feet; M. Donald & Co. of Fond du Lac, Morse of Shiocton, 1,200,000 feet; M. Donald & Co. of Fond du Lac, 1,300,000 feet; A. Caldwell of Bovina, 150,000 feet; Clark & Company of Eureka, 500,000 feet; others 150,000 feet; making a grand total of about 12,170,000 feet. Mr. Meede of Shiocton furnished these figures and declared they were correct.
This logging was done in townships 23, 24 and 25, range 16, — (Crescent, April 5, 1862.)
The state tax for Outagamie county in 1862 was $5,790. In 1863 it was only $3,535.
The agricultural society met in June, 1862, and appointed the necessary judging committee for the approaching fair. A plowing match was arranged. It was resolved that farmers and others who felt disposed should be requested to meet on the fair grounds in Appleton on the 20th of July, provided with teams and tools ready to assist in preparing the grounds for the fair. A committee was appointed to solicit persons to become members of the society. The first and second days of October were fixed as the time for holding the fair.
In the fall, deer were very numerous in this county. They did considerable damage to fields. One farmer near Little Chute reported that they had destroyed nearly his entire orchard of young trees. Mr. Steffen of Osborn killed a large bear in that town late in September, 1862. It weighed about 400 pounds. Several others were seen in that vicinity about the same date.
During the latter part of August, the citizens assembled in large numbers with suitable implements to prepare the ground for the approaching fair to be held in October.
The county fair held early in October, though creditable, was not as successful as the one of the previous year. The continuous heavy rains prevented a large assemblage and put a damper on the proceedings. The horse and cattle show was creditable, better indeed than in 1861. There was a great and unexpected falling off in the display of fruits and vegetables.
A. B. Jackson delivered an address and Senator Hudd read a poem. In October many wolves came to the county apparently from further north and killed many sheep and other domestic animals. One killed seven sheep belonging to Mr. Brouillard of Grand Chute, and also killed animals for several citizens in Freedom.
In 1862 the Legislature assisted the Outagamie county agricultural society with an order upon the state treasurer pursuant to the general laws of 1858.
In 1862 the Legislature authorized the establishment of a state road from Little Kaukauna in Brown county into the town of Freedom, Outagamie county, until it should intersect the Appleton and Oneida road.
In June, 1862, the county board voted to allow soldiers’ families to continue to draw their regular monthly allowances in cases where the soldiers had been discharged on account of sickness. The Crescent was made the official newspaper of the city. G. H. Myers was appointed city attorney. Steps to punish drunkenness were taken.
In November, 1862, the county board duly considered the enrollment lists which had just been prepared; also the names of volunteers who had gone to war from every town of the county. B. Douglas, trustee of the volunteer fund, reported having paid out $1,855.25 and on hand $144.75. Reports of drainage fund commissioners were received and considered and their line of official conduct was prescribed and regulated. There was ordered levied for 1862 the sum of $9,000 for the purpose of paying the bounty of $50 to volunteers; full provision for the expenditure of this “volunteer bounty fund” was made. The county treasurer’s report showed an indebtedness of $8,129, and resources of $12,432.
In December, 1862, the county board appointed a committee to examine and revise the enlistment and enrollment lists; they found numerous errors which were pointed out; the former assessment rolls were found full of errors.
In 1863, the Assembly passed a joint resolution asking the Government to make a grant of land for the construction of a wagon road from Copper Harbor, Michigan, to Appleton, Wisconsin. The Michigan Assembly had already passed a similar resolution.
In 1863 the Legislature vacated the following blocks in the village of Hortonville: Numbers 5, 6, 7, 10, 16 and 19, but gave persons who had already bought lots therein the right to describe them as parts of such blocks.
Late in January the people of Outagamie county welcomed the first heavy snow of the winter. Soon the streets were lined with sleighs and the jingling of bells was incessant. It continued snowing for several days, but later turned into a heavy rain to the disgust of everybody. County orders were worth 95 cents on the dollar.
Late in January the Crescent observed that never within the memory of the oldest inhabitant at Appleton had such a mild and open winter been seen in this section of the state. The winter, week after week, resembled October instead of January. The want of snow was a great hindrance to business of all kinds. So accustomed were the people here in winter time to heavy snow that they were at a loss without it and scarcely knew how to carry on business operations. In January the following county officers were duly installed: H. E. Murphy, sheriff; C. A. Hamer, clerk of the court; E .B. Clark, district attorney; A. B. Brouillard, treasurer; Chas. Grunert, clerk of the county board; John Stephens, surveyor; Stephen Balliet, coroner; P. H. O’Brien, register.
There was a general demand for a county poor-farm. It was expected that during 1863 fully $2,500 would be spent for the relief of poor persons in this county. It was argued that it would be a great saving to the county to purchase a poor-farm instead of being obliged to rent out the poor persons to private individuals for a consideration. The county was out of debt, its bonds and orders were almost equal to par and why not build a poor-house and own a poor-farm at once, it was asked.
At an adjourned session of the county commissioners, held in January, 1863, the salary of the district attorney for the year was fixed at $300. At this session numerous bills were presented for service “in guarding the county jail to prevent the Greenville Dutch from killing the Indian.” At this term George H. Myers addressed the county board in a communication stating that in order that the widow of John Jewett, Jr., might have the benefit of his full salary for the period of his election he would relinquish any claim he might have for services as district attorney during that period. The board at this session passed a resolution requesting all persons who had claims on bounties for volunteers should file their claims with the clerk of the county board at an early day. Thomas McGillan, former clerk of the county, board. was ordered to deliver to Charles Grunert, his successor in office, all documents, papers, etc., belonging to that office. It was further resolved by this board that in all cases where married volunteers had not filed their claim for bounty by the second Monday in February that the chairman and clerk of the board should be authorized to draw orders for the benefit of the families of such volunteers without any further action on their part.
In February, 1863, the officers of the agricultural society met at the courthouse and W. H. P. Bogan made his report. The following persons were appointed to prepare the premiums for the coming year: 1 E. H. Stone, J. M. Phinney, D. H. Heath, Louis Perrot and R. Pearson. The time for holding the fair in 1863 was set for the first and second days in October. The full set of premiums was duly provided into classes.
Early in February Senator Hudd introduced a memorial in the legislature requesting the government to grant lands for building a wagon road from Appleton to Copper Harbor.
It was stated in February that farmers were now enjoying better times than they had ever experienced before in this county. They received better prices for timber, logs, lumber, wood, wheat, corn, oats and vegetable products than ever before. It was humorously stated that the bankers would have to look to their laurels or the farmers would supersede them as financiers. The Crescent said in this connection: “When that big event does occur the printer will undoubtedly be remembered and the old score will be wiped out. Success to true progress.”
Early this year many families came from Ohio and settled in this county. They were welcomed because they were considered well-informed on the duties of American citizenship. In the spring business of all kinds in this county was unusually active. The factories and mills ran day and night and could not supply their customers. Mr. Fairbanks secured large quantities of fruit trees elsewhere and brought them here for sale. From him many families secured the nucleus of their orchards. Many of these trees are standing to this day.
In June, 1863, eighty acres of wild unimproved land in Greenville sold for $1,200. This was much more than people generally had any idea it was worth. But the growth of the town warranted such valuation. It was noticed that the Canada thistle had made its appearance in Appleton and in other parts of the county. The people were urged to destroy this pest at once. It was noted in August, 1863, that not a single unoccupied dwelling was to be found in the city of Appleton. This proved how extensively the city grew in a few years. In August black squirrels and coons were swarming in the woods of Outagamie county and considerable quantities of corn were destroyed by these animals. It was stated that a general hunt should be organized to rid the county of the pests.
In 1863 the crops in Outagamie and Brown counties were unusually light owing to the late spring frosts.
The county fair in October was a success. The principal speech at the opening was delivered by Senator Hudd. It was a powerful appeal to farmers and others to organize for their own mutual benefit and advancement. The cattle show was unusually good. A number of splendid draft teams were there. The sheep exhibit was better than ever. Hogs weighing as high as 400 pounds were shown; they were of the Suffolk breed. Choice butter, maple sugar, preserves, wines, pickles, etc., were better than ever before. There was some confusion, yet on the whole the fair was pronounced a success. F. W. Brown of Appleton raised three barrels of apples from trees he had set out five years before. Apples grown in Outagamie county were seen in considerable quantities at this time in all the local markets.
In October, 1863, was a great rush at Appleton and vicinity for the pineries. The high price of lumber induced all capitalists who could to invest extensively in standing timber and in lumber in the shape of logs. The result was that there was an enormous demand for men and teams to cut down the trees and to market the logs. The papers compared the event to the rush for the gold field of California or Pike’s Peak. A single yoke of oxen sold for as high as $145 so great was the demand for ox teams in the pineries.
The county board at its November session, 1863, had the following proceedings: The drainage fund commissioners throughout the county reported and presented their bills which usually were allowed. The committee which was appointed to superintend the payment of bounties to volunteers reported that they had paid out to volunteers or their order the sum of $7,923.36 and the amount yet subject to be called for was $1,076.64. On motion the chairman was authorized to pay to the father of William Cornelius (a volunteer in Captain Wood’s company who had died in the service) the $50 bounty due him from the county. Charles Grunert was allowed $50 for his service as committee in paying out the volunteer bounty funds. At this session county orders to the amount of over $15,000 were publicly destroyed. The salary of the superintendent of schools of the county was fixed at $400. The county treasurer’s report was rendered at this session. All the county buildings were ordered insured. The county board passed a resolution organizing itself ‘as a committee of the whole to visit Green Bay during the drafting of the enrolled men and to report their observations later to the public in this county. The board then proceeded to make sufficient levy of taxes to meet the expenses of the coming year. At a later meeting the supervisors, having attended the draft for this county held at Green Bay, reported that the draft was fairly conducted; that they witnessed the drawing and that they were treated courteously by the draft commissioners. The total indebtedness of the county at this date was $7,978 and there was on hand to meet this a total of $9,409.
An adjourned session of the county board was held in January, 1864. Drainage fund commissioners of several towns who had failed to report at the December meeting appeared and filed their reports. Committees were appointed at this meeting to examine the accounts of several county officers who had failed to make satisfactory reports. Pressure was brought to bear upon the county board at this time to induce them to appropriate $15,000. additional to be used as bounty for volunteers. There was considerable objection to this step and the board refused to take action.
The Legislature provided for an equal division of the Swamp Lands and of the swamp land funds between the drainage and norrmal school funds. The school and land commissioners divided the fund and gave the bulk of it to the normal school. This did not satisfy the people in districts that required drainage. Considerable complaint arose in this county over the management of the drainage fund.
Early in February the treasurer of the agricultural society reported an expenditure of $257.55 for 1863, having paid $212.25 in premiums. In February a meeting of the fruit growers of Outagamie county was held in the courthouse in Appleton under the auspices of the County Fruit-Growers’ Association.
The heaviest snow fall which ever occurred to Appleton up to date fell early in February. This one fall of snow by actual measurement was 23 inches on the level. There had been several falls before, much of which was yet on the ground so that the snow in the woods was fully three and one-half feet on the level.
In March the fruit growers of Outagamie county met at the courthouse and organized a Fruit Growers’ Association, by the, election of R. Pearson president, L. L. Knox secretary, and George Knowles treasurer. Prof. Knox was appointed to prepare a constitution and by-laws. Mr. Pearson announced that he had for free distribution a quantity of Lawton blackberry bushes. The meeting discussed the subjects of apples, pears and other similar topics and disbanded to meet again in April. It was now announced by John Dietzen president, C. D. Cruse treasurer and John H. Heinz and John Probst committee, all of Buchanan, that a public stock fair would be held during 1864 in that town on the folowing dates: The first Monday in March, May, October and December. Exhibitors and purchasers were cordially invited to be present. The fair was announced to be held at the house of Louis Gass.
In March a bill was introduced in the legislature providing for the construction of a state road from Wausau via Waupaca, New London and Hortonville to Appleton. The bill provided that all the swamp land not exceeding in value $10,000, in a strip of six miles wide along the line should be donated for the construction of the road, provided the towns through which the road passed should raise an equal amount.
It was stated in April, 1864, that thousands of acres of valuable timber lands owned by Eastern holders who were too stingy or too unwise to hire an agent td look after their property, lad been stripped of nearly all their valuable timber by unscrupulous men during past winter. Many tracts in Outagamie county suffered from these raids. Timber had become a source of great wealth and holders were expected to look out for this property the same as for any other.
The maple sugar crop of 1864 was light. However, sugar was so high that a considerable effort was made to secure a large output of maple sugar and molasses. The maple sugar yield was unusually light, owing to the rainy weather, it was thought.
Green Bay was anxious to secure a military road leading northward to Lake Superior and thus cut Appleton out of that desirable outlet. This was an improvement Appleton had long desired.
About the first of May, county orders were worth approximately par. As there was less than $5,000 in orders outstanding the financial condition of the county was never better.
The act of March 18, 1864, authorized the chairman and clerk of Greenville to sign and countersign town orders and bonds not to exceed $3,600 issued in payment of bounties or of repayment of money applied to the payment of bounties to soldiers.
In April, 1864, the Legislature legalized the proceedings of a meeting held February 1, 1864, in the town of Hortonia for the purpose of raising bounties to volunteers and other purposes. The law had not been fully complied with, but nevertheless all the proceedings were legalized.
By a special committee appointed for that purpose trees were set out on the county grounds which were made as attractive as possible. At this time the river bridge in the Second ward was dangerous and demands that it should be fixed at once were made.
“The weather is piping hot and not a drop of rain reaches this parched earth. It would seem that the suffering ground would soon burn, but it is useless to hope for any kind of grain.” –(Crescent.) Numerous fires in different parts of the county swept through the woods, destroying rails, logs and other valuable property. Not a drop of rain fell for several months. Undoubtedly the epidemic of sickness was caused by this state of affairs. The first rain in three or four months occurred late in June, 1864, but came too late to save much of the crops.
“Never since Outagamie was organized into a county have the finances been in such excellent condition. County orders are worth dollar for dollar and are far preferable to much of the bank trash still in circulation among the people. The books of the county officers were never kept in neater or better condition. It is a matter of congratulation to the citizens. Outagamie can freely challenge comparison in the foregoing respect with any county in the state. Our county expenditures are low; it is seldom that our jail has an inmate.’ –( Crescent, July 2, 1864.) In July Hortonville was visited by a severe thunder storm. Wind, rain and hail fell in that vicinity. Immense damage was done to every industry.
The fair in September 1864 was not a complete success although by no means a failure. The interest of the people was so taken up by the approaching draft that there was a poor attendance and little concern shown. However, there was a fair display of livestock. Many fine vegetables were exhibited, particularly potatoes. The fine arts department was meagerly represented. The ladies of the city did little or nothing owing to the paramount interest taken in the work of raising funds for the sanitary commission. Fruit was exhibited by Messrs. Carver and Cooley. President Mason delivered the principal address. The list of premiums offered by the Agricultural Society was published in the papers. The aggregate amount paid was nearly $200.
At the session of the county board in November, 1864, the following proceedings were had: The reports of the swamp land commissioners were received and considered; the register of deeds was authorized to secure a seal for his office; the salary of the clerk of the county board was fixed at $800 annually; that of the district attorney at $400; that of the county treasurer at $1,100. The committee appointed to superintend the expenditure of the volunteer fund reported that they had paid out such fund to 178 volunteers at $50 each, total $8,900. The tax raised amounted to $9,000, leaving thus on hand $100. At this time the county board was paying bounties of $10 for wolf scalps. They paid to Elijah Humes in June, 1864, $50 for five wolf scalps. At this meeting the board levied a tax of $7,000 for county purposes $2,858 for school purposes; $7,367 for state purposes, and a sufficient amount to pay the county officers’ salaries.
In December, 1864, George McDonald of Appleton rented Beaulieu’s sawmill in the town of Buchanan and employed a force of twenty men in the country adjacent to the mill in getting out fine logs, railroad ties, and fence posts. The heirs of John Enright sued the county for the destruction of their property at Grand Chute and secured a judgment amounting to nearly $700. The county made no defense except to show the actual value of what had been destroyed. The annual drainage fund apportionment for Outagamie county amounted annually to from $2,000 to $2,500. The following were the county supervisor districts established in 1865: First district, City of Appleton and the towns of Grand Chute and Buchanan; Second District, the towns of Dale, Hortonia, Liberty, Maple Creek, Bovina and Greenville; Third District, the towns of Ellington, Black Creek, Centre, Osborn, Freedom and Kaukauna. On July 4, 1865, one of the severest rainstorms ever known in this county visited Appleton. Hail fell in considerable quantity and the crops suffered severely.
The Appleton Petroleum Company elected R. Z. Mason, president; W. H. Lanphear, secretary; J. S. Buck, treasurer. Their shares were fixed at $30 each and were limited to 100. The act of April 8, 1865, incorporated the Outagamie Petroleum Company with capital stock fixed at $30,000 and shares at $30 each. The Union Petroleum Company elected the following officers: S. H. Whittlesey, president; John S. Lester, secretary; E. C. Goff, treasurer.
The petroleum discovery led to other investigations and copper masses were found here and there throughout the county and others were reported to have been found in years past. It was believed by some at this time that the Oneida reservation in the town of Freedom rested upon a vast bed of copper ore which was a continuation of the copper range of Lake Superior. It was claimed that scientific men had stated that in all probability lower Fox river was full of copper. These reports may have been circulated to induce strangers to come here for permanent settlement.
The election of town officers of Bovina held April 4, 1865, was legalized by the Legislature in May, 1865, to remedy the defect that the supervisors of election were not sworn as such inspectors as provided by law.
Machinery was ordered from Pennsylvania. Another company called the Appleton Petroleum Company was organized a little later. Among its stockholders were R. Z. Mason, C. Pfennig, A. L. Smith, W. S. Warner and B. Douglas. Four hundred shares of stock were subscribed at $30 each and twenty per cent was paid in. The Union Petroleum Company of Appleton was started about the same time. They secured territory within two or three miles of Appleton. Green Bay Petroleum Company was organized soon afterward and secured five acres of land near the famous gas well, for which $1,000 was paid. The company secured machinery and prepared for operation. The Outagamie Petroleum Company was organized in June. They secured ground at Kaukauna where there were strong indications of gas and petroleum. The Appleton Gas Light Company which had the powers of a petroleum company talked of organizing and boring in search of petroleum. The Neenah Petroleum Company backed by capitalists from Milwaukee and Chicago, leased ten acres of Elihu Spencer and bound themselves to begin boring within thirty days. They were located near the famous Roudebush gas well. During the spring strangers kept flocking into Appleton owing to the petroleum excitement. In May there was a constant stream of visitors to the well of the Northwestern Company. House room was so scarce it was suggested that newcomers should bring their tents.
During the spring of 1865 Appleton continued greatly excited over the formation of petroleum companies and the boring of several walls with the hope of striking oil. It was announced that a well sunk near Roudebush’s gas well showed strong indications of petroleum; but this was later shown to be a joke. Early in May the Appleton Northwestern Petroleum Company was organized by the election of John Tibbits for president, H. L. Blood, secretary; C. G. Adkins, treasurer. Ten acres were secured of S. J. Roudebush; also ten acres were leased on the opposite side of the road from E. Spencer.
By the summer of 1865 the cattle fairs held in Outagamie county had become famous for the good they were accomplishing in making exchanges and in improving the breeds of stock. In May, 1865, the county agricultural society met to discuss the expediency of having regular cattle fairs on market days. The business men of Appleton became interested and promised substantial aid. Farmers generally were interested. The design was to bring in live stock of all kinds for sale and exchange. This enabled farmers to improve their stock because they could get better prices.
The census taken in June, showed that the county had a population of 11,753; in 1860 it had 9,587. Kaukauna showed a loss of 28; Center an increase of 449, Black Creek being included in Center in 1860. Appleton showed an increase of 321.
The Fruit Growers Association met at the court house July 15, and exhibited many excellent specimens of fruit grown in this country. There were shown gooseberries, raspberries, pieplant, etc. It was stated at this meeting that owing to the severity of the winter of 1863 many fruit trees in this county were killed, and that therefore the orchards needed replenishing. A committee of five was appointed to visit different parts of the county and make a report on the hardy varieties and those which could not stand the climate.
Late in November, the Stock Fair and Market Day’ at Appleton had the largest crowd ever brought together since the society was instituted. The only complaint made was that purchasers were too few, which fact tended to run down prices. Several yoke of working oxen were sold at high prices. The long Indian Summer in the fall of 1865 was terminated about December 1st by a sharp snow squall accompanied by piercing cold weather.
It was urged in September, 1865, that the cheese makers of the county should organize for the purpose of improving their products. It was argued that more factories should be established in order to utilize the large amount of milk and cream being wasted throughout the county. Already in many localities farmers had combined in localities several miles square and established such factories. The pastures were excellent; in fact no better grazing country could be found. There was no reason why this county should not excel in dairy products of all kinds. A hundred cows, it was stated, warranted the establishment of such a factory.
At the November session of the county board in 1865 the following proceedings were had: It was shown that the county owed $4,745, but had on hand cash and securities worth $11,836; the salary of the county superintendent was fixed at the miserly sum of $400 per annum, an amount wholly insufficient to pay the expenses of that official; J. D. Kimball received a wolf bounty of $30; $160 was appropriated to secure the painting of the courthouse; the usual tax was levied upon county property; the total amount received by the county treasurer in 1865 was $43,887 less $2,571 on hand at the beginning of the year; the expenses of the county were $43,887 less $1,983 on hand. At the close of the year the debits of the treasury were $2,817 and the credits $10,780, leaving in the treasury $7,963.
The Legislature in 1866 authorized the construction of a state road from Appleton to Stockbridge; Edward West of Appleton, was one of the commissioners. At the same time a state road from Appleton to the United States military road in Calumet county was ordered established; Z. C. Fairbanks, M. H. Lyon and Peter Diehl were the commissioners. At this date, also, a state road was ordered established from Appleton to Maple Grove in Manitowoc county, James Gilmore, M. H. Lyon and B. S. Loragin being the commissioners.
An act of 1866 it was made the duty of the county treasurer to pay over to the town treasurers, when collected, the five per cent delinquent fees for collection, included in the delinquent list or return of unpaid taxes from such towns; the fund was to be disbursed as part of the school money.
It was repeated in the Appleton papers in January, 1866, that cheese factories in the southern part of the state were the means of increasing the value of farms where they were located $10 per acre. This was stated to be a fact by the Fond du Lac Reporter. The farmers of Outagamie county were urged therefore to take up at once to a much greater extent this important branch of industry.
Early in 1866 Charles P. Riggs of Appleton petitioned the legislature for authority to improve the navigation of Black Creek at his own expense and for that body to declare it navigable for running logs and free to public use. Mr. Riggs was a large lumberman and owned immense tracts of pine in the vicinity of Black Creek and hence desired this improvement.
The Northwestern Petroleum Company, after sinking a large amount of money, came to the conclusion to give contracts for boring at so much per foot. G. M. Robinson took the contract to sink the well another hundred feet for $300. It was stated in the Crescent of February 17, 1866, that oil was then being brought up daily from this well and that at one time the escape of gas was very great. It was announced that a similar discovery had been made on the farm of Leonard Smith in Centre seven miles from Appleton. The various petroleum companies immediately leased land in that locality.
The Fruit Growers’ Association met in February, and listened to the report of a committee appointed some time before to ascertain what varieties of apple trees in Outagamie county had not been killed by freezing. They found the following varieties extra hardy and worthy of cultivation: Tallman Sweet, Red Astrachan, St. Lawrence, Perry Russet, Duchess of Oldenburg, False Stripe, Sweet Pear Apple, and Pomegris. They reported on others that were worthy of trial among which were: Fameuse, Colvert, Northern Spy and others. They found eight or ten varieties wholly unsuited for this climate.
The Senate passed a bill relative to the drainage of lands in this county, also one incorporating the Appleton and New London Railroad; also a bill providing for a state road from Osborn to Depere. The latter meant the projection of the road through the Oneida reservation and several contended that the legislature had no right to invade that tract.
In March, 1866, it was falsely reported that oil in large quantities had been struck at the gas well. This report caused great excitement throughout this portion of the state and many came to Appleton to learn the truth.
During the period between April and July, there were instituted in Wisconsin over one hundred new lodges of Good Templars.
By the act of April 12, there was ordered laid out a state road from the town of Osborn in Outagamie county to Depere in Brown county, crossing the Oneida Reservation. It was directed that the road should be built upon the most direct and feasible route. The Indians could not be compelled to make a road through their reserve. This placed the cost of construction upon the county of Outagamie and Brown. This road, it was stated, would be a valuable acquisition to the town of Osborn which was at this date being rapidly settled.
About the middle of April, a correspondent at Greenville reported a light crop of winter wheat. He said that considerable tracts would have to be sowed over. Snow was still eight inches deep in the woods and “as hard as old cheese.” Sap had commenced running a little in the maple trees. Spring wheat could not be sowed much before the first of May. Others stated that they did not believe the winter wheat crop would be so short after all. It was claimed some fields were winter killed and some were scorched in patches. From the fact that the same complaint was heard nearly every spring, it was believed that the crop would be much better than expected.
In 1886, J. H. Barnes & Company erected and put in operation in the town of Freedom a saw mill capable of manufacturing 25,000 feet of lumber in ten hours. Early in 1867 he started in connection a shingle mill with the capacity of 25,000 per day. They expected to secure the greater portion of their logs from Black Creek and Duck Creek to be floated down to the mill. This was one of the reasons why Mr. Turner introduced the bill in the legislature at this date to declare Duck Creek navigable for logs. This mill promised to increase greatly the population of the town of Osborn near which it was located.
The stock fair held in Appleton late in May, 1866, was largely attended. Cows though in poor condition brought high prices, ranging from $42 to $55. A drove of horses from Canada had been advertised, but they did not arrive.
In May, 1866, the Appleton Stock Growers Association was incorporated with the following men as first stockholders: George McDonald, M. B. Johnston, Byron Douglas, Mark H. Lyon, William Young and S. L. Fuller. They were authorized to buy land and hold fairs, stock exhibitions and trials of speed.
In May the county board had the following proceedings: Considered a petition from the citizens of Osborn asking for a division of the town and the creation of a new one of town 24 north, range 18 east; also a petition from residents in Center asking an appropriation for the repair of a road leading to Grand Chute; also letters from sundry persons requesting that the salary of county superintendent should be increased. The petition of the citizens of Osborn for a division of the town was laid over until the November meeting; the county superintendent was ordered paid $100 additional to his salary for the current year.
The Outagamie Swamp Land Law was published and took effect on April 24, 1866. The commissioners were James Gilmore, Byron Douglas and Joseph H. Marston. The county board was urged to meet and organize matters under the new law so that two important wagon roads through ranges 17 and 18, so liberally provided for in the act, could be placed under contract at once. It was believed that it would be a great day when farmers could start their produce over a wagon road to the lumbering and mining establishments of the Lake Superior regions. Senator Smith and Assemblyman Turner were credited with the passage of this swamp land act.
The Appleton Stock Growers Association was incorporated in 1866 and organized in June with Michael B. Johnston as president, M. H. Lyon, secretary; S. L. Fuller, treasurer. The object of the association was to secure a fair-ground and open a trotting course thereon. The shares were placed at $10 each. Books of subscription were opened and citizens in town and country were asked to subscribe and did so. In June the County Agricultural Society met and prepared a premium list for the approaching fair. As yet the Society had not offered premiums for trotting and pacing horses. They offered a premium of $5 for the person who would secure during the current year the greatest numbers of new members for the society.The cattle show was to be held on the second day. The fair was to be held September 25 and 26 at the courthouse in the city of Appleton.
In the summer of 1866 the sawmill of George St. Louis of Grand Chute was in active operation and turning out a large quantity of excellent lumber.
During the early fall squirrels of all kinds were never more numerous in the county. Among the chipmunk and red squirrel tribes there appeared to be a general migration north all along the river. The hunters had rare sport.
The first county convention of Good Templar Lodges ever held in Outagamie county met at Appleton in August. Many prominent temperance speakers from elsewhere were in attendance. Although the rain was heavy the lodges of Outagamie county sent large delegations. Five lodges outside of Appleton in this county reported a membership of 519. It was announced that the next county convention would be held at Hortonville or in Dale. The Good Templars Forlorn Hope Lodge of the town of Dale held a basket picnic early in September, 1866. Other lodges were represented, and a large attendance was present. Interesting speeches, good music and a fine dinner were enjoyed.
In the fall there was strong demand from Calumet, Brown and Manitowoc counties near the Outagamie line for roads in order that the people might reach Appleton more readily. They preferred to come here to trade. The county boards were urged to improve all highways leading in that direction. Additional bridges over the rivers were also asked for.
The newspapers in August, 1866, declared that the most important road to be looked after was that leading from Appleton to Maple Grove. It was located on the county line road running east between Calumet and Outagamie counties to the Military Road. There it connected with other highways leading into a richly populated and fertile region. The construction of this road was declared by the newspapers of that day to be the most important highway which Appleton could undertake.
The county fair held late in September, 1866, was a success. The attendance was large and the display of cattle, horses, sheep, poultry, etc., was better than at any previous fair, aid the show of butter and cheese far surpassed anything ever seen here before. The vegetables and corn were good in quality but less in quantity than the year before. Some very large cabbages; onions, pumpkins and squash were shown. The ladies’ department was not quite up to the standard. The regular premiums were all promptly paid and in addition a number of discretionary premiums which had been offered were allowed, such as for the best worsted doll, the best cushion, the best display of cranberries, the best display of worsted yarns, the best case of cigars, etc. L. B. Miels received a premium of $4 for the best farm in the county.
It was shown in July, 1866, that without a road to carry the lumber to market the excellent hardwood timber in Greenville, Ellington and Hortonia, to say nothing of other towns, was comparatively worthless, as it cost too much to convey it to market. This was used as an argument in favor of the construction of a railroad from Appleton to New London and perhaps on to Wolf River. Such a road would increase the price at least $1 per cord. If a timber tract would average forty cords to an acre, and the man had forty acres of timber within three miles of the track, it would be worth $1,600 more with a good road than it was at present. Such arguments had a strong effect upon the farmers who were averse to giving much help to railroad companies. The state road to Maple Grove, James Gilmore, M. H. Lyon and B. S. Loragin were the commissioners. The road was designed to start from the foot of Johnston street, Appleton, and pass through the town of Woodsville and thence to the east line of Maple Grove in Manitowoc county. Of the state road to Chilton, Z. C. Fairbanks, M. H. Lyon and Peter Diehl were the commissioners. This road was along an easy and direct line so as to cross the United States Military Road near Nicolai’s. The portion lying within the limits of Appleton was graded in 1866-7. Of the state road to Stockbridge, the commissioners were A. H. Hart, James Christie, H. B. Nugent, William Weeks and Edward West. This road commenced at the second ward gate in Appleton. The grading was designed to be done in 1866. The Outagamie drainage law provided that all the swamp and overflowed land in the county, selected by the commissioners of school and university lands under the general law of 1865, should be reserved from sale by the commissioners and be held subject to be disposed of as provided by this act. The object of the law was to provide means for the construction of many important roads extending across the county.
Soon after the county fair ended a stock fair was held at Appleton. The city was crowded with people, men and teams coming from long distances. It was the largest show of cattle and horses yet held in the county. The working cattle display predominated. The latter sold for high prices; in fact, both horses and oxen were at this time extremely high and greatly in demand. Cows were a little lower than they had been a short time before. Mr. Hammel disposed of an extra carload of horses, the fifth lot which he had brought to this market. He sold horses and bought cattle. Mr. Burtchy also brought here a lot of horses and sold them to the farmers. In November, 1866, A. F. Bowen was appointed postmaster at Hortonville. The county board levied a county tax of $12,500. The following salaries were fixed: Treasurer, $1,200; clerk of the board, $1,000; superintendent, $700. It was noticed in December, 1866, that all the swamp lands of the county were better provided with roads than they could have been under any other arrangement. It was suggested that those towns should gravel their roads after, building them. Towns which did not have a swamp land fund were obliged to raise money in other ways.
“Improvements in the country around are far beyond the most sanguine expectations of any man who traversed our county a year ago; new dwellings, new barns, new fences, are to be seen everywhere. It is a fact that a new church, and a handsome church it is, has been erected within ten miles of us, and we did not hear of it until it was well nigh completed. And still there is an abundance of rich unsettled land in this county which can be purchased very cheap. Few counties equal ours in advantages. Come and see for yourselves.” (Crescent, November 3, 1866.)
In pursuance of the resolution of the county board in November, 1866, the chairmen of several towns and the mayor and aldermen of Appleton met at the council chamber and organized by appointing Mr. Bogan chairman and Mr. Douglas secretary. The object of the meeting, as stated by Mr. Hutchinson, was to consider the state of the county roads and adopt some definite plan for their improvement. Large delegations from every town in the county were present. The committee previously appointed reported a general plan for such improvement, The following roads were considered: The road extending through Appleton to the south county line, but north of Fox river, and surveyed by John Stephens in 1840; the Spencer road, from Appleton to the west county line; the road from Appleton to New London; the road from Barnes’ schoolhouse through Dale to the west county line; the road from New London to Shiocton; the road from Shiocton to Appleton; the road from Appleton to Shawano through the towns of Grand Chute, Center and Black Creek, to the north county line; the road from Appleton to the town of Osborn and on to the north county line; Appleton and Kaukauna road to the east county line; south county line road and state road through Buchanan and to the southeast county line, and others. It was stated that these roads should be definitely improved, and that the work should be commenced immediately. At these meetings many speeches were made and suggestions offered, and numerous committees were appointed in order to secure the best results.
The general opinion late in 1866 was that the county roads should run north and south, and east and west, and should be improved with gravel. As the work could not all be done in one year, it was thought best to build by installments covering from four to ten years. It was suggested that for every dollar pledged by the county the town should pay $2, provided the towns should turn their money over to an officer named by the county board to make the expenditure. Many other plans were suggested as to the best way to improve the roads. It was stated at this time that the main road from Appleton to Center and Black Creek averaged about 100 teams a day, and that’ for many months teams could not average over half their loads owing to the bad conditions in spots. Other roads were in the same condition, and all were well traveled at this time. Team and man for hauling purposes was worth about $4 per day. The various methods of construction were fully discussed at the meetings. The grand jury found much fault with the condition of the county buildings and grounds and asked better attention thereto by the county board.
There was much complaint during the winter of 1867 over the theft of timber in all portions of the county. Lands that were not guarded or protected were often stripped of valuable logs by those who were apparently destitute of conscience or honor. In January Chas. Grunert, an old resident was appointed postmaster in the village of Stephensville.
At the February session of the county board in 1867 the following proceedings were had: The following preamble and resolution from the residents of the town of Kaukauna were submitted and were in substance as follows:
WHEREAS, The county board was petitioned to divide the town of Kaukauna as follows: Commencing at the northeast corner of section 2, thence south to the private claim, thence following the northern boundary of said private claim to the northwest corner of the west line of the private claim, thence along said line until it strikes the line between sections 23 and 24, thence along said line until it strikes the river according to the town and county maps. And
WHEREAS, Such division thus left had a valuation of more than $30,000 property, and had more than twenty-five qualified voters; whereupon the county board ordered the question submitted to the voters at the next annual meeting, and said election was duly held. It was thereupon
Resolved, That the town authorities of the several towns in the county and the authorities of the city of Appleton be authorized to receive tax certificates on land lying within their respective towns or cities at the face of such certificates, and the same order was applied to the said town of Kaukauna.
In March, 1867, a meeting of persons interested was held in Foreman’s hall, Appleton, to take into consideration the propriety of forming an association for the manufacture of cheese in the village of Little Chute. H. Jones was made chairman and R. K. Randall secretary. After deliberating the meeting adjourned to reassemble at a later date. In March a body of farmers near Greenville assembled and prepared to build and conduct a cheese factory in that town. Louis and Frank Perrot were among those interested in this movement. They contemplated using the milk from 160 cows, all in their immediate neighborhood.
An important road bill affecting Outagamie county was passed by the legislature in March, 1867. It provided for the levying of certain taxes for the improvement of the principal roads extending ‘through different portions of the county.
It was made lawful in 1867 for the voters of the town of Dale to authorize the town treasurer or supervisor to pay back to all persons who were in the volunteer service from the town during the Civil War and were honorably discharged from the service the amount of bounty tax paid by them while in such service. The town was authorized to pay $350 to William Young and Stephen Balliet for money advanced to the town for bounty purposes during the war.
At the April election in 1867 the town of Seymour was organized and embraced the whole of town 24, range 18, and so much of town 24, range 19, as was not included in the Oneida reservation. The land in this town was considered as rich as any in the county. About fifty families from Oneida county, New York, were expected to settle in the town during 1867. Holland families coming here were welcome for several reasons, particularly because they brought money and because they were honest and industrious. In April ex-Mayor William Johnston of Appleton was confirmed United States collector for this district. In the spring Deitzler & Miller purchased a site at Stephensville and began the construction of a flouring mill. J. M. Barker was architect. At this date Stephensville had two excellent sawmills in operation.
Important legislation affecting Outagamie county in 1867 was as follows: To improve the state road from Appleton to Chilton; the unplatted portion of Appleton to be ditched and bridged; to improve the state road from Appleton to Stockbridge; to improve the state road from Appleton to Maple Grove. It was announced in May that not more than one-half of the logs cut during the last winter on the tributaries of the Wolf river could be floated to market that spring owing to the light rains and low stage of water. This meant a higher price for lumber and only the partial running of saw mills.
Several of the towns in the eastern part of the county began to complain in 1867 that they were visited by mosquitoes. Those pests were rarely seen in Appleton and in some portions of the county were almost unknown. The editor of the Crescent humorously quoted what Josh Billings said about mosquitoes: “He is a cheerful little cuss and sings as he toils.” Wolf river, where mosquitoes were declared to flourish, agreed with this observation.
Many roads throughout the county were constituted state roads by the Act of April 1, 1867. The mayor and council of Appleton and the supervisors of the towns were authorized to levy taxes to improve the roads thus designated. An Act of March 25, 1867, authorized the various town and the Appleton authorities for the period of five years, beginning in 1867, to levy a tax to an amount not exceeding $200 per mile in any one year for each and every mile of the roads mentioned which lay within the limits of the town or city so levying the tax, said tax to be called “town county road fund.” All this was to be submitted to the electors of the county. Among the roads mentioned were the following: Road southeast of Appleton, Spencer road, Appleton-New London road, Greenville road, New London-Shawano road, New London-Shiocton road, Stephensville-Shiocton road, Appleton-Shawano road, Duck Creek road, Freedom-Center road, road from section 29, town 22, range 18, to the Oneida reserve, Appleton-Kaukauna road, south county line road, Appleton-Maple Grove road, the part of the old military road in Buchanan, etc.
The total equalized valuation of the real and personal property of the county in 1867 was $1,880,936.75. The valuation of Appleton realty was $339,041, the total personal property of the whole county was valued at $248,221.
At a meeting of the county board held in July the following proceedings were had: The sum of $100 was appropriated for the repair of the swamp road leading westward from Appleton through Grand Chute. An examination by a special commitee was made of the accounts of E. H. Stone, late county treasurer, and there was found to be due the county the sum of $528.09 for interest included in tax certificates for sales during 1865 and 1866. The district attorney was instructed to collect this amount from Mr. Stone. At the same time Mr. Stone was requested to appear before the board with his various receipts, stubs, etc., to show the amount of interest collected on delinquent taxes during those years. After examination the stubs were turned over by the treasurer. It was found that there was still due the county the sum of $228.88. The attorney was instructed to collect this amount. It was found that there was due from Milo Coles, late clerk of the Circuit court, the sum of $93. The district attorney was instructed to collect this amount also.
The good road act when submitted to the voters of the county, was lost by a considerable majority. The people evidently did not care to pay so much money even for the purpose of securing good roads. In every town the people were not in favor of having the town board levy a tax in addition to the county tax. In other places the opposition was based upon the fact that expenditures were to be made by an uncertain county road commission. There was much confusion concerning this bill and there were many conflictions as to its requirements. The farmers, not fully understanding its import, and fearing higher taxes and other troubles, succeeded in defeating it.
An examination of the road law passed in 1867 showed that the city of Appleton would pay more than one-third of the entire tax to be expended on roads in this county. Thus with a road tax amounting to $15,000, Appleton would have to pay $5,000, arid that amount would go to improve the roads outside of the city. The city did not object to this tax. It was argued that they could well afford to pay it in order to secure the large trade that otherwise would be lost to them and would continue to be lost to them in the future. Through a mistake the new law did not contain mention of the road leading from Little Chute to Freedom. This was an oversight which was remedied by a subsequent amendatory act.
The stock fair held early in July, 1867, brought to Appleton an immense crowd of people, with scores of horses and cattle for sale and exchange. Several excellent milk cows were offered. Only a comparatively few yoke of oxen were sold, farmers preferring to hold them until winter, when they would be in greater demand in the woods and prices would be higher. The monthly stock fair by this time had become a success at Appleton and served an excellent purpose in bringing traders together and in improving the grades of stock.
The fall of 1867 was exceedingly dry. The wells and springs everywhere gave out. Even the marches and swamps were destitute of water. It was believed that the winter wheat was seriously injured and farmers were solicitous that water for their stock would not hold out during the coming winter.
The county fair in September, 1867, was a success. It was pronounced the best ever held in the county and no doubt much of its success was due to the grounds and to the race track. No better display of fruits and vegetables was ever seen in the county up to that date. The fine arts department was very good and was crowded the whole time. The Stock Growers’ Association was much in evidence this fall. There were entered forty-eight horses, seventeen sheep, but only four hogs and only eight poultry. There were twenty-six entries of grain, ninety-five of vegetables, eighty-eight of fruit, thirty-nine of butter, fifty-eight of preserves, ten of wagons, twenty-one of embroidery, flowers, etc., and nine of pianos. In all, 511. The newspapers stated that there should have been 1,000. The fair was opened with an address by Prof. Mason. In the ladies’ equestrian performance three ladies appeared. Miss Hartell of Dale, little Miss Conkey of Appleton and Mrs. Collar of Hortonville. The prizes were awarded in the order named. The trot between horses was greatly enjoyed. The ground was in fair condition. Yankee Notion, a New London pony, distanced Kit, a mare owned by Mr. Hayes, in two straight heats; Shepherdess was distanced. There was also a scrub race and a matched running race which put the crowd in good humor. Joseph Rork, J. Bullock, L. Ramsay, and others took prizes on cattle. E. Groves, James Ross, F. D. Hill, H. Greenfield and others took prizes on horses. Alexander Coff showed the best bushel of winter wheat and L. Perrot the best bushel of spring wheat. J. H. Carver took first premium on best and greatest variety of apples. Among the discretionary prizes were the following: For an orange tree, string beans, beets, rag rug, seed corn, cranberries, radishes, petunias, etc. At the fair grounds north of the city the race course was in good condition in August, 1867. It was enclosed with a high, tight fence and a driving track of a half mile circuit, and wide enough for four horses abreast was ready. The Stock Growers’ Association had fitted up the grounds and were given credit for the superiority of the track. The county fair was to be held in September, 1867. Numerous stalls were built and other improvements ordered. Fast horses, it was thought, would be an unusual, interesting and novel exhibition and would draw a large crowd.
At the session of the county board in November, 1867, the following proceedings were had, to-wit: A petition was received from the residents of Maple Creek asking for its division. This matter was referred to a proper committee. The sum of $250 was appropriated to improve the road through the town of Center leading southeast; also the road through the town of Freedom to Duck Creek; also the road leading from Appleton to Kaukauna; also the road leading from Appleton to Hortonia; besides smaller amounts for some half-dozen other roads in different portions of the county. It was ordered that all that part of the town of Maple Creek in this county, known as town 24, range 15, be hereby detached from the town of Maple Creek and formed into a new town to be called Deer Creek. The first annual town meeting was ordered held at the house of Chauncey Granger in said town of Deer Creek; the supervisors of the towns of Maple Creek and Deer Creek were to be elected at the annual meeting in 1868; and were required within thirty days thereafter to meet at some suitable place to adjust the indebtedness against the town of Maple Creek. At this session $50 was paid to the son of the deceased O. S. Newell, and $50 to the son of the deceased Fred Willzier, the same to apply on the volunteer fund which had been provided in such cases. The jail, courthouse and county offices were ordered to be painted and J. H. Otto was authorized to superintend that job. He was. also required to secure for the county jail four single iron bedsteads.
Late in 1887 there was a general demand among public men at Appleton and other portions of the county that there should be built at once, or very soon, a new and imposing Courthouse on a scale corresponding to the progress, importance and wealth of the county. The officers at this date were crowded into inconvenient, space. The register’s office required much larger rooms than it then occupied in combination with the clerk of the court and the clerk of the board. There was no room suitable for the county judge with all his important public records and papers. This court was destined to be an important branch of county affairs and the foundation, it was urged, should be properly laid and prepared. The court room and the jury rooms were poor apologies at best for what was needed. It was suggested that a law be passed directing the county board to raise $5,000 per year for six years and to invest the amount each year in stock. At the expiration of that time the construction of the courthouse could be commenced. By December, the United States military road from Fort Howard northward was completed about 35 miles.
At the meeting of the County Agricultural Society held in Appleton January 25, 1868, the following officers for the current year were elected: Louis Perrot, president; Richmond Pearson, vicepresident; W. H. Lanphear, secretary; E. C. Goff, treasurer; Byron Douglas, Jackson Tibbits, and Daniel Huntley, executive committee. The treasurer was directed to employ agents to secure additional members of the society. Such agents were to receive 10% of the receipts. It was resolved that the officers of the society confer with the executive committee of the Stock Growers’ Association and make arrangements for holding the county fairs of this Society for a term of years upon the grounds of that Association.
At the term of the county board in January, the following proceedings were had: D. H. Brothers the new county superintendent was advanced $100 on his salary. Appropriations were made for the improvement of the following roads: The state road leading from Outagamie county to Calumet county, and the state road leading from Outagamie to Brown county; the county treasurer at this time presented his annual report and showed that the total receipts were $40,360 less $854 on hand at the beginning of the year; this amount was spent less $1,782 on hand at the close of the year. The largest amounts paid out were as follows: $3,962 for officers’ salaries; $14,278 paid to different towns in the county; county orders issued for various small items $7,951; this latter amount included a considerable sum for the care of paupers.
The winter of 1867-8 was a very good one for lumbermen and loggers. The cold was steady and the depth of snow just about right for active operations in the woods. The lumbermen on the Wolf, Embarrass and Shioc rivers and Black an Duck creeks announced that they had gotten out a considerably larger quantity of logs than had been anticipated the previous fall. On February 10, 1868, the coldest weather here since January, 1864, was announced. The mercury fell to 32 ° below zero. There was not a particle of air stirring, and hence the cold did not seem as severe as it really was.
The lumber trade of the Wolf river and its tributaries aggregated at this time about $3,000,000 in value per year. Should the new road be constructed it would find an outlet over this route. Very few at this time outside of the Fox river valley appreciated the trade going on here. The capacity of the flouring mills of Neenah, Menasha and Appleton in 1868 was over 6,000 barrels per day. This together with the enormous output of the woolen mills, barrel factories, paper mills, tanneries, pail factories, hub, spoke, rake and other factories, aggregated an enormous amount. The population of this locality was about 11,000, and the products in 1867 exceeded $8,000,000 in value. All this was urged upon the authorities engaged in constructing the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad to induce them to come to the Lower Fox valley.
It was noted in February that there.was a marked increase in the number of horse teams to be seen on the streets of Appleton and on the roads of Outagamie county. In any one town, it was stated, there were now more driving horses than there were in the whole county five years before. The number of horses in the county actually doubled in two years about this time. Horses were brought here by the carloads from Indiana and were sold readily for from $100 to $450 each.
The annual convention of the wool manufacturers of Wisconsin was held in Appleton in March, 1868. The session lasted nearly all day and possessed great interest to men engaged in that industry. There were reported in the state at this time 40 woolen mills capable of manufacturing 1,500,000 yards of cloth annually. J. W. Hutchinson of Appleton was secretary and treasurer of this society. The proceedings ended with a pleasant social time and supper at the Johnson house.
Legislation has been obtained which will allow this city and county to assist Calumet county in opening good roads from Chilton and Stockbridge to this city, thus adding immensely to the trade of Appleton. Other important improvements will need the fostering care of the corim.on council. Hence the importance of electing only such men as will be active and earnest, careful and practical, in their efforts to add to the general prosperity.” It was further argued that people should lay aside their partisan prejudices and look now to the interests of this locality.
“River Drivers –On Monday morning the train brought in a large crowd of men bound for the Wolf and its tributaries to drive the 100,000,000 feet of logs cut there last winter.” –(Crescent, April 4, 1868.)
Near the last of April, by a strange freak of the weather, there was a very heavy fall of snow, even after much vegetation had started. No serious damage was done and it passed away under the first bright sunshine. The spring was excellent for the manufacture of maple sugar and syrup, more so than usual, the winter and spring being just right, and the consequence was that a large quantity was produced in this market, but all found a ready sale. Louis and Francis Parrot conducted a maple sugar refinery in Greenville and turned out a large quantity. There was discovered in the town of Center a large and valuable deposit of peat taken from a tamarack swamp by Mr. Coe.
It was provided by law in 1868 that the towns of this and other counties could vote on the question of establishing permanent landmarks of stone with a description engraved thereon, under the supervision of the county surveyor. The ballot was to read: “For the erection of permanent land marks” or “against the erection of permanent land marks.”
During the summer of 1868 about 40 dwellings were erected in the Fourth ward; in the Second ward some 20 were erected; the First ward had but few built during this year. In June the board of supervisors of the county met and discussed the question of county equalization. It was shown that the total valuation of all property in the county was. $2,658,892.04. A yoke of seven-year-old oxen was exhibited by John Culbertson of Greenville, which was pronounced the handsomest, if not the largest, ever seen in Appleton. They had been well kept and their coats shown like those of horses. They weighed 3,490 pounds.
The Stock G:owers’ Association advertised a race at their track near town in June, 1868. There was a large attendance. The first race was a running match, half mile dash for a purse of $30 the distance was covered in 1:02. The next race was a trot between Canadian Queen and Yankee Notion for $150 a side to be paced in 3 mile heats. It was won by Canadian Queen in 3:05. The next race was a running match between Big Indian and Western Rose, for $75 a side, half-mile heats and repeat. The first was run in a dead heat in 58 seconds; the second and third were won by the Indian. The next race was a half-mile dash between Calico Mare and Key’s gelding. The latter won in 50 seconds. The association made a goodly sum by the large attendance. Tne largest tax payers in the county of Outagamie were: Charles Morey, $5,438; T. J. Reeve, $2,949; David Smith, $2,920; Anson Ballard, $2,883; L. W. Hutchinson, $2,000; H. P. Briggs, $1,575.
Numerous bears having been seen in the county early in the fall of 1888, the hunters of’ Appleton took out their muskets and prepared to invade the woods. Several bears were seen in Grand Chute early in September. They visited corn fields within three miles of the county seat. A large one was seen, but. managed to get away before the hunters arrived. Two or three were killed in the town of Ellington about this time or a little later.
The Stock Growers’ Association, in September, completed a substantial two-story frame building upon its grounds expressly for the accommodation of the County Agricultural Society. It was proposed that the farmers should dedicate the building by a festival before the fair was held.
The Stock Growers’ Association in 1868 erected on their grounds a large and suitable building for the County Agricultural Society and agreed to permit that society to occupy the same for the purpose of holding county fairs. The Association prepared during the fall to hold races quite often over their track at the grounds. It soon recognized that it had been organized on too small a scale and accordingly increased its capital and offered the additional shares for sale at $10 each. All farmers and stock growers were urged to secure an interest. It was planned to hold a county fair for three days, a longer session than had thus far been held. The cattle show was to be held on the second or third day. It was to be held October 6, 7, and 8, on the grounds of the Stock Growers’ Association in the town of Grand Chute. Premiums were offered for the best lady riders.
At the monthly stock fair held early in iNovember, 1868, there were many oxen offered for sale. Cows were few and horses fewer. A good team of oxen was sold for as high as $180; several as low as $100. Fair milk cows brought from $22 to $45. As a matter of fact, the heavy rain and bad weather during the fair entailed a heavy loss upon the Stock Growers’ Association. It was urged by the newspapers that those who had drawn premiums should sacrifice the same and permit them to remain with the society to reimburse them for the heavy loss. The discretionary premiums were wholly cut off. Owing to the cold, wet and stormy weather during the period of the county fair, the attendance was comparatively small and the display was limited. A portion of the performance was postponed a day or two and in the end resulted in an encouraging display and a moderate degree of success.
At the November session of the county board the following proceedings were had: A petition was received from the citizens of Bovina asking for a division of that town. It was referred to a committee and later the board ordered that all of Bovina known as town 24, range 16, be detached and formed into a new town to be called Maine. The first annual meeting for Maine was ordered held at District No. 1 schoolhouse, on Section 9, town 24, range 16.
In December it was noted that there were more deer killed in the county than for many years past. One man alone in Freedom managed to kill six large ones in a few days. “Preserve the Deer. — Such a slaughtering of deer as has been made in this county during the last thirty days has not been paralleled since the winter when the snow was crusted with ice. We hear that C. H. Bates of this city killed three in one day and that in Freedom and Buchanan a man rarely takes a two-mile turn in the woods without killing at least one deer.” (Crescent.) At this date the time for taking and selling deer expired on January 15.
In January, 1869, the farmers were urged to raise more pork and their attention was called to the fact that for many years hogs had commanded a high price in Appleton and that therefore their raising for market would be profitable. Winter wheat was worth $1.25 and spring wheat $1.08 per bushel.. It was coming into market in large quantities at this time.
In January Mrs. Orrie Glonderner, wife of a Hollander in Little Chute, gave birth to three healthy children, two boys and a girl. They weighed 6 1/2, 7 1/2 and 8 pounds, respectively. All were reported doing well.
At the January session of the county board the following proceedings were had: The county surveyor, M. N. Randall, was authorized to procure from the United States Land Office the full and complete field notes of the survey of Outagamie county. The courthouse was ordered repaired to the extent necessary to make the offices of the county judge, sheriff and clerk suitable for occupancy. The clerk was authorized to ask for proposals for making these repairs.
The question, of a stone dam and side track depended upon the voluntary contribution of the citizens. It was up to the people to make these improvements, or it probably would not be done. A considerable fund had already been raised, but it was said $3,000 additional was needed to make the improvements. Mr. H. H. Teal was at the head of the movement to build the stone dam.
At the February session of the county board in 1869 the following proceedings were had: The object of this session was stated to be to raise funds to improve certain roads. The committee of the county board reported having consulted with the authorities of Appleton who expressed a willingness to raise $1,000 for each $2,000 raised by the county in addition to the pro rata tax, to an amount not exceeding $6,000 for such purpose. In other words the city agreed to raise $1,000 for each $2,000 raised by the county for that proposition. At this session the county board divided the county into districts as follows: First district –Appleton and the town of Grand Chute; Second district –towns of Dale, Hortonia, Liberty, Maple Creek, Deer Creek and Ellington; Third district –towns of Bovina, Maine, Black Creek, Centre, Seymour, Osborn, Freedom, Kaukauna and Buchanan.
In the spring the newspapers found fault with the farmers of the county for paying too much attention to the raising of wheat to the exclusion of other products. They were urged by all means to engage in dairying, particularly the manufacture of cheese which commanded a high price at all seasons of the year and was very profitable.
In March committees of the county boara met with the Appleton council for the purpose of agreeing upon mutual terms for the improvement of the roads leading in various directions from the city. After a lengthy discussion they failed to agree on anything definite. This was greatly deplored by many business men whose interests were thus seriously affected. Indeed there could be no doubt that their failure to agree was a real injury to the business interests of Appleton at that time.
The act of March 10, 1869, retired the Outagamie county swamp land commission and substituted in their stead the county board. The commissioners were required, within sixty days, to make full report of their proceedings and turn over all unexpended moneys in their possession. The Appleton and Stockbridge state road was vacated.
In April there was a great scarcity of hay in Appleton. Good timothy hay was worth from $20 to $30 per ton and little to be had at that price. Several localities in the county purchased hay from outside quarters. This scarcity was due to the drouth of the previous year, the large number of stock and the severe winter.
In May the county board ordered that hereafter any person sentenced to jail in the county for minor offenses whose term did not exceed a period of six days should be put to hard labor under the keeper of the jail, and the clerk was required to notify the justices of the peace in the county of the passage of this resolution. The board at this meeting declared that the road leading west from Appleton should be a county road. It led to Greenville. In May the board adopted what was known as the Brown County Road Act, which was passed the preceding winter. This authorized the board to designate main thoroughfares as county roads and placed them under the sole control of the county board. It also authorized the board to change or discontinue them as such and all work thereon was let to the lowest bidder. It created an office known as county overseer of highways. It was concluded by the board that they should designate one road each year to be a county road and thoroughfare entitled as such to improvement at county expense. The first road thus designated as a county road was the great highway leading from Brown schoolhouse in Appleton westward. The sum of $6,000 was the amount to be expended upon this road. The Third ward in Appleton was expected to carry the improvement through College Avenue. It was agreed that the next county road to be declared would be through Grand Chute. The sum of $3,000 had already been appropriated in Appleton to assist in road projects outside of the corporate limits. It was thought best that this amount should be spent on the Freedom road and the Maple Grove state road. The county board were greatly praised for their liberality and enterprise in this strong course to improve the roads.
Although the maple sugar season opened auspiciously in 1869 deep snows and bad weather came on and other causes combined made the season only an ordinary one and the crop, although excellent in quality, was only about half what it should have been.
Thomas H. Beaulieu of Buchanan town early in October, 1869, shot, wounded and captured a large wild cat with which he had a desperate fight. Previous to the shooting, a dog owned by Mr. Beaulieu received a severe whipping from the cat.
The county fair in 1869 was not the success anticipated owing mainly to bad weather. The entries were not as numerous as in former years, but the quality was really improved in nearly all classes. Doctor Steele of the University made the opening address. The races attracted considerable attention and a large crowd witnessed the horse contest for supremacy. It was noticed in the summer that the hay crop would be enormous and that after being properly baled and marketed it would prove one of the most valuable crops harvested in the county. The wool crop of Appleton was very large. Late in June about 2,000 pounds arrived daily for several weeks.
In August, 1869, the famous total eclipse was witnessed with great interest by the people of this county. At Appleton large groups collected to view the marvelous sight. It was noted that during the totality the atmosphere became quite dark. Chickens went to roost, roosters crowed, a strange hush fell upon all nature and persons became more or less excited.
At the meeting of the county board, November, 1869, the following procedings were had: The sum of $900 was appropriated to pay for graveling the Freedom road. The total valuation of real and personal property in the county was placed at $2,642,755. This was the assessment for 1869. Messrs. Kethroe and McMurdo of Hortonia were paid for their expenses incurred in caring for and burying an unknown person who had died there from smallpox. It was ordered that the clerk notify the mayor of Appleton that after January 1, 1870, no more persons arrested by the city marshal or other officer for violating the city ordinance should be received at the county jail until after trial and conviction. The amount levied by the board for county purposes in 1869 was $19,500; for county road purposes, $10,500; county school tax, $5,350; the salary of the county superintendent was fixed at $1,200. A committee appointed at a previous meeting to examine the records of the county swamp land commissioners made report in December, 1889 that the commissioners had received in trust from the state 36,871.55 acres, had sold 15,477 acres, and had received therefor $18,413. They had received from the treasurer of the county enough more to make their total receipts $20,486. They had expended on road work a total of $19,663.
In 1869 Outagamie county had 12,555 sheep within its borders. They were valued at $14,761. Only three other counties in this congressional district had more. It was claimed by the Crescent that about 140,000 pounds of wool were marketed at Appleton in 1868. Just before Christmas in 1869, there came a snow fully three feet deep on the level, which was the first extensive snow of the winter. Lumbermen by the hundreds prepared to go into the woods.
The act of March 14, 1870, of the legislature legalized the assessment and equalization of taxes for 1869, made by the county board upon the different towns, wards and villages on November 18, and the publication of all tax sales for said county based upon such assessment and equalization.
In February, 1870, E. C. Goff had three lumber camps on the Shioc and on Black Creek, and prepared to bank 3,000,000 feet of pine. He employed 36 men, had an abundance of teams, plenty of snow, and good weather for operations. Mr. Horton prepared to get out 2,000,000 feet, and Mr. Reynolds prepared to get out about the same amount.
During the winter of 1869-70 Reynolds & Tibbits of Appleton banked 3,500,000 feet of pine logs and prepared to have them sent down the river as soon as the weather should permit. In addition to this they purchased large quantities of hardwood and basswood logs. Mr. Horton banked about 3,000,000 feet on Wolf river. Mr. Goff banked the same quantity on Wolf creek and other streams. As a whole, immense quantities of logs were taken out at this time from Outagamie county.
In April the town of Grand Chute was sued in the United States district court for principal and interest of $10,000 worth of town bonds voted and issued about 15 years before. There were two suits previously on this issue and the town came off triumphant both times. It was noted in the spring of 1870 that buyers were here from Ohio to purchase young cows for the large cream and cheese factories of the Western Reserve of that state. The price paid was from $25 to $45 each and the best animals were selected. The farmers of Outagamie county first began to raise beets in considerable quantity with the design of manufacturing beet sugar. The soil was exactly right and the crop could be diversified with the products grown usually throughout the county.
Excellent stock fairs were held throughout the year and as a whole were well attended by farmers from all parts of the county. Cows, horses, oxen and sheep were offered for sale or exchange. Very few hogs were exhibited in the fall of 1870. The forest throughout the county swarmed with squirrels and a few pigeons and partridges were seen. Large quantities of stone were quarried in the Third ward opposite the mills in Appleton in 1870.
At the meeting of the county board held in June, 1870, the following proceedings were held: Provision for the care of paupers by private individuals was made. A committee was appointed to inquire into the expediency of purchasing land for a county poor-farm; it was instructed to confer with the common council of Appleton concerning the matter, with the ultimate object of owning a joint farm.
At the monthly stock fair late in September, 1870, Appleton was crowded with teams. The display was larger than ever before during the year. It was noted that the Germans took greater interest in this fair than in the annual county fair.
The county fair in 1870 was a success. The number of entries was larger than ever. Excellent cattle, horses and sheep and swine were shown. More farm machinery was exhibited than ever before.
The vegetables and farm products were excellent, butter and cheese were never better, domestic products, such as rag carpets, crochet work, embroidery, needle work, quilts, artificial flowers, far surpassed expectations. The sewing machines and their work were greatly in evidence. The races were sharply contested. Morgan L. Martin delivered the annual or opening address at this fair.
At the November session of the county board in 1870 the following proceedings were had, to-wit: Large sums were allowed for the care of the poor and insane, particularly in Liberty, Freedom and Grand Chute. The poor and insane were yet farmed out to private individuals. Citizens of Black Creek petitioned for a division of the town and the creation of a new town to be called Norwich. A resolution granting the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railway Company the right of way for their road as then being located and constructed through lands belonging to the county was adopted, but it was further ordered that unless the said road should be constructed the lands should not be granted. The county jail was inspected and ordered repaired. The swamp and overflowed lands owned by the county were offered for sale for the purposes named in the law of 1836 concerning such lands. A county tax of $25,000 was levied for 1870. There was also levied a tax of $15,425 to pay a judgment against the county. The county superintendent was paid $900; this did not include Appleton. At this session the board levied $20,000 more tax than ever before; it was deemed necessary in view of the rapid growth of the county.
The amount expended in graveling roads by the county board in 1870 was $15,000 distributed as follows: Dale road 1 1/2 miles $1,700; Hortonville road 1 1/2 miles $2,000; Spencer road 1 1/2 miles $1,000; Maple Grove road 1 1/2 miles $1,500; Kaukauna road 1 1/2 miles $2,000; Freedom road 1 1/2 miles $2,000; Center road $4,000; Maple Creek and Liberty road $800. M. M. Randall was appointed road commissioner to superintend the expenditure of this fund by nearly a unanimous vote of the county board.
“In Outagamie county a large number of new farm houses, barns and granaries were erected during 1870; 7,000 to 10,000 more acres of land plowed than in 1869; more and better road work done than in any two previous years. Large quantities of wild lands can still be purchased at very moderate price.” –(Crescent January 14, 1871.)
In January, 1871, C. H. Bates of Appleton went hunting in the town of Seymour and vicinity and returned after a few days with three black bears as trophies of his quest; he wounded another but it escaped. Daniel Trerice, James Watson and a brother of the latter went hunting in the wild country 65 miles from Menominee about this time and returned with twenty-five deer and several porcupines. Twelve of the deer were retailed by the pound in Appleton.
The following toasts were responded to at the Old Settlers’ festival in February, 1871: “The First Shanty and the Open Boat Line,” by Col. H. L. Blood; “Croft’s Wolf Hunt,” by B. B. Murch; “The First Celebration of Independence in Appleton,” by R. R. Bateman; “The Little Church Organized in 1849 in the Little Building Out in Bateman’s Woods,” by G. C. Haddock; “The Organization of Outagamie County and Town of Grand Chute,” by Sam Ryan, Jr.; “The First Term of Lawrence University,” by James M. Phinney; “The Town of Grand Chute,” by Colonel Johnston; “The Little Church Organized in 1850 in the Little Upper Room on Oneida Street,” by H. G. Dickinson; “Women,” by Samuel Boyd; “Spooks, Spokes and Masonry,” by R. Z. Mason; “Our Host and Hostess,” by Doctor Brunschweiler. The banquet was held at the Levake House.
“Outagamie county is prolific in the production of prodigies. A man engaged in chopping wood for the blast furnace near Kaukauna recently offered a wager not less than $200 that he could chop ten cords of wood in ten consecutive hours. It is asserted that the man is physically equal to the task.” (Post, February 16, 1871.)
The act of 1871 organized town 24 north, range 17 east, as Cicero.
Large numbers of men went up to the “drives” on the Wolf and its branches in March, 1871, to assist in getting out the logs. There were large quantities on Herman brook; Morton had already about 1,500,000 feet; Gayner of Fond du Lac 2,000,000 feet; Trow of Eureka 1,000,000 feet; Alien about 500,000 feet; Whorton had 800,000 feet on Black creek.
A Bee Keepers’ Association was organized at Appleton in March at the office of Judge Myers. A. I. Hart served as chairman of the meeting and W. B.. May as secretary. Z. C. Fairbanks, J. S. Buck and R. Z. Mason were a commnittee to draft a constitution. The following were the first officers: R. Z. Mason, president; Z. C. Fairbanks, secretary; A. H. Hart, treasurer.
“The season thus far has been a most excellent one for sugar making. It is safe to assert that more has been made this season than for several years past. B. B. Murch informs us that he has made 800 pounds the present season. No doubt others have done equally as well.” (Post, April 6, 1871.)
The wool market at Appleton in June was very high and excited; the price ran up to 53 1/4 cents a pound one day and on many days ranged from 46 to 50 cents; this high price was a tremendous stimulus to the wool industry here; sheep commanded very high prices to correspond, $10 to $14 a head.
In 1870 the county board sold to Ripley P. Richards, of Maple Creek, over 2,000 acres of swamp land at $1 per acre; this sale was ratified by the board in June, 1871. Application for a change in the boundary between Liberty and Maple Creek was considered June, 1871. A portion of Maple Creek was detached and made a part of Liberty. The town of Black Creek had a bonded indebtedness of $12,000 incurred while Cicero was yet a part of it; the county asigned in 1871 $7,000 of the debt to Black Creek and $5,000 to Cicero. A better equalization of taxation was ordered.
The total equalized valuation of all assessable property in the county in 1871 was set at $3,800,557.
Outagamie county in common with nearly all Northern Wisconsin suffered much from forest fires in the fall of 1871. In the towns of Seymour, Black Creek, Cicero, Bovina, etc., much property was destroyed. Barns, fences and ripe fields were swept away. Fire from Buchanan and Harrison swept inside the Appleton limits, but was extinguished before it reached the paper and other mills. For days the city and county was enveloped in dense clouds of stifling smoke and hundreds of people spent much of their time in fighting fires and saving their possessions. In other counties the havoc was much greater. Relief committees were organized in this county, not a town in Outagamie county escaped. Soon whole neighborhoods were swept by the fire fiend. Everything was so dry that houses and barns caught fire and were destroyed in the villages and this without any apparent cause. This was the period of the great Chicago fire and Appleton lost heavily by it, because many residents here had business interests there. Large quantities of supplies were hurridly gathered here and forwarded to Chicago, Bay Shore and elsewhere. Dale sent in five wagon loads of wheat, corn, potatoes, beans, crackers, bed comforters, spreads, sheets, pillows, wearing apparel, caps, shoes, underclothing, all valued at about $400. Ellington sent forward $441 of which $155 was cash and the balance wheat, corn, oats, provisions, clothing, etc. Hortonia sent in over $150 in provisions and cash. Black Creek sent two wagon loads of provisions. Greenville raised over $200 in money and four wagon loads of provisions. Societies raised large amounts for the sufferers. Grace church raised $31 and St. Mary’s church and St. Patrick’s Benevolent Society, $70. Dr. G. L. Brunschweiler of Appleton happening to be near Marinette gave his services to the sufferers there. Much raised here was sent to Peshtigo.
The county fair in 1871 was “as a whole the largest and most creditable of any Outagamie county has yet seen.” M. P. Lindsley of Green Bay delivered the opening address. The display of fruit was excellent; for the first time Outagamie peaches were shown. Field and garden products were unusually good. The dairymen’s products were never better. The bee growers made a fine showing. Domestic manufactures shown were good. The horses, cattle, sheep and swine “would be considered creditable in many a state fair.” A band contest was an interesting feature, Oshkosh defeating Appleton. The firemen’s procession –Menasha, Neenah and Appleton companies– was a fine exhibition. The floral display was poorest of all. A. H. Burch of Ellington took first prize on best farm. John Finkle of Grand Chute won the plowing match. Mrs. Hartell of New London was the best equestrian. John Dey of Greenville had the best garden. The races were greatly enjoyed; best trotting time 2:51.
At the pioneer festival held at the Levake House in January, 1872, the following sentiments were offered and responded to: “Auld Lang Syne,” R. R. Bateman; “The First Tavern Keeper ini Appleton; Have a Plank Sir?” J. T. Johnston; “Lawrence University,” Dr. G. M. Steele; “Shooting the First Raft Over Grand Chute Falls; Swim Ashore,” H. L. Blood; “Old Churches and New Ones,” Rev. P. S. Bennett; “The Departed Pioneers,” John Stephens; “Our Manufacturers, and Still There is Room,” G. W. Spaulding; “Pioneer Preaching; Poor Pay, Poor Preach.” Rev. P. B. Pease; “The College Boarding House; Fodder or No Fodder,” Samuel Boyd; “Early Bridge Builders and the First Foot Bridge across Fox River at Appleton,” G. H. Myers; “The Early Fishermen of Fox River; Fishing for Slabs,” James Gilmore. Jackson Tibbits was the newly elected president of the society.
The county board in January, 1872, prepared a general road law to be submitted to the legislature. It provided for a special road tax not to exceed $15,000 in any one year. In the case of West vs. The County of Outagamie, an injunction proceding to prevent the collection of what was deemed an unjust tax on Appleton, the board stood its ground and employed Colonel Bouck to assist the county attorney to represent the county in the courts. The board authorized borrowing $11,000 to meet current expenses if necessary.
“The logs and bolts have been piling into town lively and find rapid sale at top market prices. There are a dozen buyers for every log brought to town. Good enough for sellers.” (Crescent January 6, 1872.)
The quantity of hard and soft wood timber gotten out in 1871-2 at Appleton aggregated 50,000,000 feet; previous to February 9, 1872, $50,000 had been paid out that winter at Appleton for timber. This sum did not include the amounts yet to be paid out by the Northwestern Railway Company. (Crescent, February 10, 1872.)
An act of March provided for laying out a state road from Shiocton to White Lake in Shawano county. 0. P. Worden, C. L. Rich and W. D. Jordan were commissioners.
The first agricultural convention of this county was held at Appleton in March, all the leading stock growers, dairymen and fruit growers being present. They met in the courthouse during the day and in Bertschy’s hall in the evening. There was a large attendance, but about one-third of the county was unrepresented. The farmers’ wives and daughters prepared dinner and supper. W. H. Lanphear, president of the county agricultural society, presided. Among the proceedings were essays as follows: R. R. Mason on Manufactures; A. H. Hart, Bee Keeping; A. B. Randall, Cooperation Among Farmers; P. S. Bennett, Small Fruits; Louis Perrot, Dairying; L. F. Randall, Neglected Industries; Mrs. D. Huntley, Flowers. Prominent agriculturists from outside the county were present and took part in the exercises. The convention was a great success.
In May the county board authorized Appleton to grade and gravel certain portions of Centre road and College avenue and declared certain roads in the city to be county roads and provided for their improvement. A change was made in the lines between the towns of Maple Creek and Liberty.
The county board gave $300 toward the construction of the bridge over Wolf river at Shiocton. The monthly cattle fairs were a feature of this year’s labors.
The county fair in 1872 was “reasonably successful.” The best show was of cattle. Four Ayrshire bulls were shown, three were the property of the Grand Chute Farmers’ Club; Devons and Shorthorns were shown. Horses, sheep and swine shown were not as good as usual. The field and garden products were excellent. Butter and cheese from Louis Perrot’s factory were shown. The fruit exhibit was moderately good.
In November the county board changed the boundary between Kaukauna and Freedom. The equalized valuation of the county was reported at $5,590,678.18.
The county board in January, 1873, had the following proceedings: Appropriated $500 toward the construction of a bridge across Black creek on the state road in the town of Black Creek, the total cost being $1,500. The legislature was asked to pass a law giving the board authority to let the county printing to the lowest bidder. The sum of $300 was appropriated toward the bridge over Wolf river at Shiocton. The following roads were designated “county roads”; Hortonville, Dale, Centre, Kaukauna, Freedom, Cicero, Seymour, Third avenue, Maple Grove, South Greenville, Liberty, Maple Creek, etc. Road commissioners were appointed in all parts of the county. Certain tax certificates were sold at a discount. A resolution for the board to make no allowances for bridges throughout the county was debated; the resolution was lost.
Beginning in 1873 the Grangers organized lodges in all parts of the county, nearly all farmers becoming members. C. M. Brainerd was district deputy and organized many of the lodges here.
“The timber slaughter is frightful because of the waste. The time has come when steps should be taken to remedy this evil. It is estimated that demands for fuel, charcoal, furniture, etc., will require the clearing of seven sections of land in this county the present year. It seems too bad to have a forty, or eighty or a quarter section all doomed at once to charcoal when a third should be reserved for hubs, spokes, staves, furniture, bridges, etc.” –(Crescent, February 15, 1873.)
The county officers in 1873 were W. H. Lanphear, clerk; N. Weiland, treasurer; D. C. Babcock, clerk of court; James Lennon, sheriff; William Kennedy, attorney; E. Spencer, surveyor; G. H. Marston, coroner.
At the county agricultural convention in March, 1873, Eben Rexford, of Stephensville, read his long poem entitled, “The Old and the New,” a production of great merit. It was published in full in the Crescent March 15, 1873.
At the county board meeting in May a committee was appointed to learn what sum would be necessary to buy a poor farm. The proceedings of the board were ordered printed in the Crescent, Post, Times and Volksfreund. The sum of $225 was appropriated for a county map. Steps to repair the courthouse were taken.
The races at the driving park in August drew a large crowd. Turpin defeated Dolly in the half mile trot in 1:24 for a purse of $100. In the running race Firefly won from Appleton Belle, time 1:53, one mile. In the half mile running race in heats, Bald Eagle won from Nettie in 53 seconds.
The county fair in September was “a grand success.” A heavy storm forced the directors to hold it late in the week. There were about 600 entries. The sheep shown were particularly large and fine; the light but good horses and cattle were probably never better. The garden and field crops were very fine. The display of fruit was excellent. There was a superb display of’ butter, cheese, honey, maple syrup and sugar. Other departments, such as domestic products, made good showings. This was the fifteenth exhibition of the society. The plowing match was won by G. L. Finkle; the walking match by John Jackson and the equstrian match by Clara A. Randall and Lilla H. Randall. The Grand Chute Farmers’ Club made a fine exhibit of Ayrshine cattle.
The county board in N’ovember cared for many paupers. The boundary lines between Liberty and Maple Creek were changed — all to be submitted to the voters of those towns; $600 was appropriated toward bridges across Fox river at Little Chute and Kaukauna; the committee to secure a poorhouse site reported having received three written and two verbal offers; a resolution for the county to care for all poor directly was lost; changes were made in the boundary between Ellington and Liberty; town supervisors were given authority to send their poor to the Appleton poorhouse if their care there would be less than in the towns; $500 was allowed the towns of Kaukauna and Buchanan for bridges; $6,000 was voted.for county roads.
The Outagamie County Council of the Patrons of Husbandry was organized at Appleton, December 18, 1873, by C. M. Brainerd, district deputy. Every grange in the county, except Maple Creek, was represented. An elaborate constitution was adopted. An important step was taken as follows: “Moved and carried that the secretary give notice through the county paper that proposals for trade will be received by this council from merchants and dealers in the city of Appleton until January 3, 1874.” Thirteen of such proposals were received and placed on file.
The officers of the Appleton Council, Patrons of Husbandry, in January, were as follows: P. S. Bennett, president; A. P. Lewis, vice-president; E. M. Gowell, secretary; Byron Gurnee, treasurer; A. H. Bates, gate keeper; W. H. P. Bogan, Charles Sweetser and Matt Culbertson, trustees.
“The Messrs. Whorton will get out about 5,000,000 feet of logs this winter on Herman brook where they have two camps and 2,000,000 feet at their Little Kaukauna. steam mill. At the latter place they buy largely of the Oneidas.” –(Crescent, January, 1874).
At the January session of the county board, 1874, the various road overseers made report of their expenditures; reports were made of the following roads: Kaukauna, Second avenue, Center, Dale, Hortonville, South Greenville, Liberty, Maple Creek, Cicero and Freedom. The board had considerable difficulty in settling with Winnebago county for the care of a pauper residing in the latter county.
This account against Winnebago was finally compromised upon the payment of $400 to Outagamie county. In May, 1874, the town of Osborn was ordered vacated by the board and ordered attached to Seymour and Freedom, but was first to be submitted to the voters.
The Oshkosh Northwestern printed the following estimates of logs in feet along the various streams in the spring of 1874:
The previous year over 200,000,000 feet went through the boom.
Mrs. Mary Wickware died in Nebraska in 1874. She was said to have been the first woman to locate in Greenville, Outagamie county.
The sixteenth annual county fair was held in September, 1874, for three days. There were over 600 entries. The vegetable and garden products display was excellent. The cattle exhibit was not as good as usual. Floral hall was better than ever before. The Granger organizations made a fine display arriving in processions from different towns. H. D. Ryan delivered the address of the second day and Doctor G. Ml. Steele that of the third and last day. S. H. Burch had the best farm and John Dey the best garden. The plowing match was won by John Warden. In the acrobatic exercises T. Rose took first prize on the double bar and also on the single bar, winning $10. Elmer Anderson had the best draft team. John Dey showed the best ten varieties of apples adapted to this latitude.
The county treasurer’s office was burglarized in September, the safe blown open and the office was robbed of about $180 in bills, besides about $300 in uncancelled county orders.
James W. Hutchinson, one of the best citizens and most active business, men, died in October.
In November the county board had the following proceedings: The board called for donations of land, proposals for a new site for the county courthouse and learn what subscriptions could be secured for such new house; a new safe or the old one repaired, or a vault for the treasurer’s office was ordered. Owing to a dispute between the towns of Kaukauna and Buchanan, the bridge to be built between them was not completed in time specified and they thus forfeited $250 which the county board had appropriated for that purpose. The bridge at Little Chute was completed and the $250 for that improvement was allowed. Large sums were spent on roads in all portions of the county, $6,500 was ordered raised and expended on the roads. The total valuation of real and personal property in the county was fixed at $4,670,906.
In May, 1875, the county board appropriated $300 to assist the town of Bovina to build a bridge across Shioc river on Section 16. Resolutions deploring the removal of John Stephens from the state were passed; he was one of the first settlers and afterward prominent. There was much contention as to which paper should be given the county printing.
The annual convention of the farmers of the county in 1875 was held at Steplensville. There was a large attendance and many subjects were discussed. Among those taking part were Messrs Perrot, Greeley, Smith, Hart, Scott, Huntley, Kethroe, Culbertson, Tarball, Randall and Gowell.
In February, 1875, the legislature appropriated $100 for the benefit of the Outagamie County Agricultural Society for the year 1873.
The county agricultural convention was held in Bertschy’s hall, Appleton, in March and was attended, not only by farmers from all parts of the county, but from many outside points. John Dey presided and the opening address was delivered by John Goodland.
The county fair of 1875 was a decided success from nearly every standpoint. There were about 700 entries. The weather was fine and a large crowd gathered. There were 83 entries of horses, 54 of cattle, 34 of sheep, but only 7 of swine; 15 of poultry, 65 of grain, 197 of vegetables, 32 of fruit, 13 of bees and honey, 67 of dairy and household articles, 132 of jellies and preserves, 29 of machinery and implements, 31 floral hall, 109 domestic manufactures. L. L. Jabez won the plowing match. The Alerts and Lawrence clubs played baseball; also the Alerts and Grand Chutes. Mrs. Van Alstine won the milking contest. On the second day 1,500 people were present. The farmers’ clubs were responsible for the fine display of Ayrshire, Shorthorn, Jersey and other cattle. Louis Perrot exhibited the only yoke of oxen, a very superior span. John Dey showed about 100 varieties of vegetables. Excellent tobacco was shown. The apples, grapes and pears were never better. Educational premiums –discount, reading, spelling, writing and drawing– were offered. The speeding horses never showed to better advantage.
In October, 1875, the Appleton Cheese Factory closed for the season with the following showing:
John Goodland made this report and called attention to the profit in the industry.
At the November session of the county board in 1875 the following proceedings were had, to-wit: The committee on roads and bridges recommended that $8,415 be spent on the county roads during 1876; the sums varied from $40 to $800; thirty-one roads were thus provided for. The county treasurer reported on hand a cash balance of $12,445.55, also tax certificates $4,140, and town and city orders $257.49. The county superintendent was paid $800 per year. The total assessment for 1875 was $4,786,235.48.
The pioneers of the county held their annual reunion at Bertschy’s hall on Washington’s birthday, 1876. John Dey presided and E. Spencer served as secretary. Addresses were delivered by John Dey and D. M. Hyde. A long letter from John Stephens, who had moved to California, was read by John Goodland. Songs were sung by young people. Then came short speeches by Sam Ryan, Jr., J. S. Buck, J. H. McGillan, Carl Breitruck, Joseph Rork, L. L. Randall, John Goodland, Samuel Boyd and G. H. Myers. The new officers of the society were as follows: John Dey, president; John H. McGillan, vice president; Elihu Spencer, secretary; John Leith, treasurer; M. B. Johnston, Edwin Nye, Martin Gerrits, Matthew Culbertson and George Knowles, executive committee. Then came a bountiful dinner served in the hall in true pioneer style.
Henry Hammel and Gabe Ullman wagered each $50 that his horse could go from Appleton to New London in the quickest time –the one to reach the schoolhouse in New London first was to take the purse. Ullman’s horse “Bob” was to have one and one-half miles the start. It rained in torrents; Ullman withdrew, but Fred Loeb drove Hammel’s mare through in one hour and thirty-five minutes! he reached Bear creek in thirty minutes.
A large meteor passed over Appleton in May and was plainly seen though the sun was shining; it burst with a loud report and apparently fell in Lake Winnebago.
In December, 1876, a Farmers’ Industrial Association was formed and became the successor of the Grand Chute Farmers’ Club, but with somewhat different objects and aims. The first officers were as follows: G. G. Johnston, president; L. L. Randall, vice-president; J. H. Vandebogart, treasurer; Mrs. J. J. Randall, secretary.
The fifth annual convention of the Wisconsin Dairymen’s Association was held in Bertschy’s hall in January, 1877, there was a goodly attendance and all were welcomed to the city by Mayor Harriman. The annual address was delivered by the president, Hiram Smith. Numerous subjects connected with dairying were discussed.
The annual festival of the pioneers was held at Bertschy’s hall, February 22. The exercises were very interesting. The officers elected were as follows: L. E. Darling, president; Daniel Huntley, vice-president; E. Spencer, secretary; John Leith, treasurer.
In 1877 there were sown to wheat in this county 24,419 acres; the estimated average yield was 18 bushels per acre, the total yield being 439,362 bushels, which at $1.06 per bushel, the price in October, gave a total valuation of the wheat crop of $565,723.
The county fair of 1877 was excellent. There were a large attendance and a large number of entries. The horse display was never better; five Normans were shown. The cattle exhibit was better than ever –Ayrshires, Short-Horns, Jerseys, etc. There were 24 entries of sheep. The Berkshire and Poland China hogs were unusually good. The poultry shown numbered Brahmas, Leghorns, Plymouth Rocks, White Poland, Dark Cochins, etc.; ducks and geese were shown. There were 90 entries of grain and 100 of vegetables. The fruit display surprised everybody with its variety and excellence. Domestic products, farm implements, flowers, art works were all exceptionally good. About 20 discretionary premiums were awarded. There was excellent racing at the Driving Park in 1877. The Farmers Industrial Association held regular meetings.
In December, 1877, the treasurer and register of deeds exchanged rooms, in order to give the latter much needed additional space, per order of the board. At this time the county buildings were totally inadequate to meet the wants of the officials; already the county judge was forced to seek quarters elsewhere and he was allowed $150 per year to secure a suitable office. W. H. Lanphear was secretary of the Swamp Land Commissioners. Large appropriations were made for the county roads. The county tax in 1877 was $28,000. The equalized assessment in 1877 was $5,093,972.
Eben E. Rexford the “Shiocton Poet” was the author of a poem entitled, “How the New Year Came.” It was published as the carrier’s address of the Crescent. The following are two of the dozen verses:
Before the fire an old man sits,
And dreams his dreams of vanished days;
While o’er his lock of silver flits
A golden halo from the blaze;
And in the fire the old man sees
The faces hidden by the snow;
And hears again the birds and bees
Of summers ended long ago.
*. * * * * * * * * *
He sees the cottage small and low
Where first the fire of home was lit;
Beside the door the sweet briers blow,
And round its eaves the swallows flit;
They cross its threshold hand in hand —
A little kingdom, all their own, —
And rich as any in the land
They rule love’s happy realm alone.
In January, 1878, the county board paid J. A. Bertschy, register of deeds, $8,989.76 for executing a complete abstract of real estate titles in Outagamie county.
William Young’s trout ponds at Young’s Corners in Dale attracted much attention about this time. The pond was artificial and was dotted with islands connected by bridges. Mr. Young had recently served in the legislature and had there become interested in the fish industry. He secured the spawn, hatched it and stocked the lake with the “small fry.”
The county board appropriated the sum of $800 to be expended on the bridge over Fox river from the foot of Pearl street to the head of Grand Chute island. A $26,000 county tax was levied.
In November, 1878, the county board ordered sold all swamp land remaining unsold in the county for the sum of 50 cents per acre, provided that amount should be a reasonable price. It was resolved that the gravel road fund should be used in part to assist Appleton to build an iron bridge across Fox river. There was on hand in cash with the county treasurer $12,332.76; also in tax certificates $6,162.20, and in town orders $144.50.
The report of a special committee in January, 1879, to settle with the late county clerk W. H. Lanphear made a report, whereby it was charged that a large sum had been embezzled by that official. The board thereupon offered a reward of $500 for the arrest and delivery to the sheriff of the county of the said W. H. Lanphear.
In March, the legislature appropriated $461.37 to reimburse the county for the support of an insane person not properly chargeable to Outagamie.
Trouble arose between the county board and. Mr. Bertschy, county clerk, over the amount due him for preparing the abstract. Money was paid out to some one in his office, but he had not received it. It was subsequently learned that his two clerks had caused the trouble by themselves pocketing much of the sum paid.
It was known that the county grounds would revert to the original owner if diverted from their uses; but as there was strong talk of moving the county buildings (indeed various other sites were inspected and considered), it was desired to know what terms could be made with the original owner. The plan of borrowing $25,000 from the state was discussed. The change of site could not be made so the erection of a new courthouse was abandoned. Mr. Bottrell, a former county treasurer, was required to refund $624.50 in fees retained by him unlawfully; he believed he was entitled to that sum.
“Will the county board let this session pass without an effort to procure an absolute title to a part at least of the county grounds and then try to obtain a location for a courthouse and county offices in proximity to the business center, postoffice and North-Western Railway depot? The courthouse is rotting down and not one in fifty desires to see a new one located where only private residences should be found.” –(Crescent, November 15, 1879).