APPLETON 1880 TO 1911.
APPLETON was active and prosperous in the ’70s and ’80s . Captain Spaulding‘s stave-factory burned down late in 1879, the loss being about $10,000. A new bridge over the race was built by Theodore Berg in 1880; it was a wooden structure at Lake street in the Second ward. The Appleton Telephone Company, perhaps the first in the county, was organized in January, 1880, with twenty-three patrons at the start; L. N. Benoit and H. A. Tice were connected with this improvement. The city assessed valuation in 1880 was $2,142,685 .
In the spring of 1880, the council disbanded the two fire companies and took possession of the property and several suits resulted. A new company –Appleton No. 1 — took the place of the old Lawrence with William Conrad as foreman, and another was formed in the Third ward .
Theodore Conkey died suddenly in March, 1880. He was born in New York in 1818, the son of Asa Conkey. In 1849 in connection with Morgan L. Martin and Abraham B. Bowen, he secured a tract of land at Grand Chute, which included the falls, and laid out a village which they first thought to call Martin, but was finally named Grand Chute. Here Mr. Conkey came to reside permanently in July, 1849. From that date until the day of his death he was one of the most active, prominent and prosperous citizens and officials of the county seat. He was closely connected with the river improvement, was sent to the legislature, was very loyal during the Civil War, and was active in the industries of the city after the war .
A fair sized audience attended the lecture on “Rise and Fall of the Mustache,” by Robert J. Burdette. The capital of the First National Bank was increased from $75,000 to $100,000 in January. In March the Fourth ward demanded a fire steamer to be located there. Harbeck’s bath-rooms were well patronized; thus proving, it was said that the city was very dirty. William Kennedy was president of the Irish Land League which met often, raised considerable money for the Irish and had a large and enthusiastic membership .
The act of March, 1881, made the elective officers of Appleton, mayor, treasurer, attorney, clerk and three assessors chosen at large .
Early in 1881 a petition asking the council to order a special election on the question of city water works was circulated and numerously signed. The following facts came out at this time: Artesian water could be had; the city needed 4,000,000 gallons in twenty- four hours; seven miles of pipe would be needed at the start; the proposed works would cost the city annually $4,900; rent on hydrants beyond the seven miles of pipe should be each $50; for domestic use per annum from $5 to $7. On this question a special election resulted as follows:
Prescott Hospital was established in May, 1881, and in October the building and site were donated by Chase Prescott to be held in trust for hospital purposes. The building was then valued at $4,500. It did from the start a noble, charitable work .
The Hyde property at Drew, Fisk, Main and North streets was bought for about $13,000 by the city this spring and designed for a public park. In June the Hutchinson woolen mill and the Atkinson furniture factory were destroyed by fire: 200 persons were thrown out of employment; one man, August Bothe, was burned to death, others scorched and hurt and many had narrow escapes. The total loss was estimated at from $75,000 to $100,000. The fire department did its best, but was unequal to a task like this. Engine No. 2 was found to be disabled, when it was presumed to be in a fighting condition .
In July slaughter houses were ordered to be removed beyond the city limits and stock was prohibited from running at large. Patton & Company bought of Mr. West about 400 feet on the canal of the latter for a paper and pulp mill. In July the building to be occupied by the Commercial National bank was being erected. The officers of the bank were: E. C. Goff, president; L. D. Witter, vice-president; and H. G. Freeman, cashier. Its offices were in the Masonic block. In September eighteen additional gas lamp posts were erected. At this time D. A. Chappel was contracted with to bore one or more artesian wells for the city. The new Briggs House was opened. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” exhibited here. The First National bank was swindled out of $1,650 by a forged draft. The Crescent and Germania bands united at this time, but later seem to have separated. The city held appropriate memorial service at the death of President Garfield in September. A general plan for a system of sewerage was adopted at this date.
At the fair in 1881, James Carter ascended in the balloon City of Paris, a large assemblage witnessing the event. He arose from Telulah Park and landed safely near the stave factory in the First ward. The Appleton Boot and Shoe factory was built this year .
In October, 1881, the city contracted with Wiley Construction Company for a system of water works, the contract to extend twenty years. The company was to receive $75 a year for each of the first 80 hydrants; $70 a year for the next 10; and later if others were added they likewise were to be $70 a year .
In January, 1882, the council paid $50 for 500 copies of the Appleton Wecker, a sheet designed to advertise the city. The roller skating craze prevailed in 1880-81. A special committee of the council recommended the extension of city means to care for the poor. There were 40 acres, 16 paupers, the place cost $3,000; it cost $900 a year to maintain the farm; J. Rork was poormaster. The city ordered that in case prisoners would not work they should be kept in solitary confinement and fed on bread and water, but for not over 20 days — at the option of the sheriff; the ball and chain could be used. The Rogers Knitting Works were here in 1882 .
The act of March 31, 1882, established a board of public works and provided for a system of sewerage for the city. The board was made an executive department and consisted of three members appointed by the mayor. “It shall be the duty of said board to take special charge and superintendence, subject to such ordinances and resolutions as may be lawfully passed by the common council, of all streets, alleys, highways, sidewalks, crosswalks, bridges, docks, wharves, market places and all public grounds and buildings belonging to the city, of all sewers and drains and the work pertaining thereto.”
The Sunday closing law and that to close at 11 o’clock p. m. were asked by several ministers and many citizens to be enforced in the summer of 1882. Judge Harriman was making important improvements to the cemetery at this date. At the fifty-eighth birthday of Samuel Ryan, April 7, 1882, many friends gathered to celebrate the event; the Odd Fellows conducted the proceedings. An addition to the cemetery was purchased of P. H. Smith for $85 an acre. In September, at the depth of about 430 feet the city secured an artesian flow of about 9,000,000 gallons per day .
In September the boiler in a stave factory exploded and killed one man and badly injured a boy. There were large greenhouses near Riverside cemetery. About this time a movement to establish a street railway was made. George Kreiss was connected with the movement; the promoters wanted a franchise for fifty years. A toy wagon factory was established. Mr. Erb began work on his new opera house this fall; it was Bertschy’s hall remodeled and cost refitted over $10,000. It had a grand opening in December. “Patience” and the “Pirates of Penzance” were presented to packed houses. The Appleton musical convention assembled in October; it was the eighth annual meeting; great progress in musical education was announced and shown. In December the new incandescent light began to attract attention here .
In the fall of 1882 the council resolved to give the, new Edison electric light a test. By October these lights were being put in business establishments throughout the city. The Appleton Gas Light Company asked and secured permission to string wires and substitute electric for gas lights .
Machinery for the water works arrived early in 1883. The horse railway problem was discussed at this time. The crochet and knitting works burned in March, the loss being about $25,000 .
The council extended the time for the completion of the water works to May 1, 1883. The Wiley Construction Company were doing their work well and needed the extension.
Sol Smith Russell was at the opera house in May. Bicycles began to be numerous here. The Appleton Cooking Club was organized. The Post prepared to issue a daily in May. The cornerstone of the new Masonic building was laid in July with great and imposing ceremony. Emma Abbott appeared here in the “Bohemian Girl.” The sewers projected in the spring of 1883 were estimated to cost $100,000 .
In March, 1883, the newspapers and citizens having sharply criticized the fire department, all members including the chief resigned, but agreed to retain their places as citizens for two weeks. The council asked all to withdraw their resignations until the department could be reorganized under the new water works system .
The total receipts of the city treasurer for the fiscal year 1882-83 were $126,917.07 less $14,538.98 on hand at the beginning of the year. The total expenses were the same less $24,883.43 on hand at the end of the year. The largest single item of expense was $22,- 975.12 for school purposes in the Second district; a new schoolhouse was built there. Twenty-five citizens of that district said, “We pronounce the whole of said inside joiner-work as incomplete, unsubstantial and unworthy of acceptance by the board and committee; that the superintendent of said work is in our judgment deserving of the most severe censure for the non-fulfillment of his duty.” The work was ordered done over .
On April 21, 1883, the water works company began to pump water into the city mains for the first time. The artesian well showed a flowage of 890,000 gallons every twenty-four hours; the city at this time consumed about 300,000 gallons of water. As soon as water was forced into the mains all citizens wanted immediate connection with the system — would not take no for an answer — could not wait. The system was not satisfactory, there not being sufficient pressure to force the water to the upper stories nor for service in case of fires. Thereupon the council proposed to pay half hydrant rental only until the service should be up to contract .
Through a false report in 1883 a run was made on the First National Bank and from $24,000 to $40,000 was drawn out; the bank was as sound as a dollar. It promptly increased its surplus $40,000.
An analysis of the water of the artesian well gave the following result:
There were thus 48.5513 grains of solid matter in each gallon of the water. This analysis was made by Gustave Bode, analytical chemist at Milwaukee in 1883 .
Late in 1883 L. A. Cates succeeded Frank Bradford as assistant editor of the Daily Post. Several attempts to organize a company to build a horse railway were made before July, 1883. The Schnetzen society established a social park just outside the city limits early in 1884. The new Turner hall at Superior and Fisk streets was opened; this society was first organized in 1868 with thirteen members. Harriman’s Lawesburg plat was laid out in 1884 .
The water works service not proving satisfactory an engine with one-half greater capacity was purchased and another artesian well with a bore of 6 inches was dug. If done by the company the council agreed then to accept the works unconditionally. This change was carried out. Liquor license was fixed at $175; a saloon limit was fixed. The city enjoyed a big building boom in the spring of 1884.
In two years, 1883-85, Appleton paid $25,000 old plank road debt for which it never received any benefit; it also paid $6,000 on the railroad debt and $1,050 in interest on the plank road bonds. It also paid current obligations and had over $14,000 cash on hand in April, 1885 .
“The building of over 500 dwellings in Appleton in 1884, will compel a reduction of extortionate house rents next spring of from ten to twenty per cent. And yet there are not, of all kinds, fifty empty today.” — (Crescent, January 3, 1885.)
In March, 1885, the charter was much amended and sent to the legislature. The ward boundaries and the proposed addition to the city were important changes. Only one of the aldermen voted against the proposed amendments. The city was divided into six wards .
The act of April 11, 1885, codified, consolidated and amended the act incorporating Appleton and all amendments thereto and repealed all other acts. The boundaries and wards were left unchanged. The elective officers were mayor, treasurer, clerk, attorney and three assessors .
Rhine Lodge I. O. O. F., No. 163, was organized November 10, 1869, and was composed of German members from Konemic Lodge.
The Knights of Honor were organized November 1, 1876, with twenty charter members. Capt. J. H. Marston was first dictator .
In 1884, Appleton had sixty-three saloons; Oshkosh had 122. The city assessment in 1883 was $2,874,744, and in 1884 was $3,101,580. City bonds outstanding in 1884 were $76,000, and were composed of the Grand Chute Plank Road bonds, $15,000; Appleton and New London Railway $61,000; besides the city owed on the park $12,000, not bonded .
Steps to change the old cemetery into a park were taken early in 1885. The council petitioned Congress to continue the work on the Fox and Wisconsin river improvement. By February the new artesian well was down 550 feet, but there were no better results than a fair flow. In February the Business Men’s Club gave a grand reception for the benefit of Prescott hospital; a large sum was realized. A volume of poems entitled “Poems of the Western Land,” by Mrs. Elizabeth Yates Richmond, was issued in February. Harmonie Club hall was dedicated in June. The school census gave Appleton a population of 10,907 in June, 1885. Baseball flourished in 1884 and 1885. The board of trade was established this year. The Appleton Edison Light Company was organized, secured a franchise late in 1885; it furnished light first in December. On the question of license the city cast 973 votes for $200 license; 3 for $350; and 552 for $500; the 200 license was thus established for three years .
J. E. Harriman was president of the Appleton Electric Street Railway Company in 1886; N. B. Clark, vice-president; F. W. Orbison, secretary; Joseph Koffend, treasurer. The stock was all subscribed by the last of January. Preparations to build their road were made at this time .
On January 27, 1886, the mercury at noon was 10 degrees below zero; at 4 o’clock 15 degrees below; at 8 o’clock 18 degrees below; at 10 o’clock 23 degrees below and the next morning Dr. Reeves’ thermometer registered 36 degrees below. So far as known this was the coldest day ever known in Appleton up to that date. In February 1854 it was 32 degrees below; 1859, 32 degrees below and January 1, 1864, 34 degrees below.
A Mardi Gras festival drew one of the largest crowds ever seen in Appleton in February, 1886; over 1,600 persons were present; about 200 were masked representing many characters and natioialities. When the time to unmask arrived many slipped away and their identity was not learned. Judge Samuel Boyd appeared as Rex and his queen was Mrs. H. W. Myer. The Sisters of Charity and Little Red Riding Hood remained undiscovered. Tivoli band furnished music. Mr. Bilter served supper and Mr. Humphrey was master of ceremony. Numerous lodges were represented as individuals, even from Neenah, Menasha and Kaukauna. Thus the Mardi Gras carnival of the Knights of Labor was pronounced a splendid success .
In April the street railway company called for sealed proposals for the construction of 21/2 miles of street railway; all materials were to be furnished by, the street railway company; full specifications were exhibited. G. H. Murphy and G. A. Farwell took steps to reopen the old Roudebush gas well which had been closed so long .
For five years ending in 1886 the number of fires in Appleton greatly increased, there being 30 alarms in the latter year. Among the institutions destroyed were Appleton Manufacturing Co., W. A. Clark’s store, factory of Briggs, Whorton & Beveridge, Syme & Jones’ factory, Grabow building, Speaker’s bakery, Pfeifer’s tannery and A. C. Adkins’ store .
In 1886 there were issued at Appleton the following newspapers: Weekly Post, Daily Post, Weekly Crescent, Weekly Volksfreund, and the occasional Wecker. At Seymour was the Press. During 1886 the great labor strikes in Chicago and elsewhere aroused the apprehensions of employers here and stirred up laborers to demand better wages and conditions to correspond with modern demands and enlightenment. The Royal Arcanum established a lodge here in 1886 with N. M. Belden as Regent. Steps to use the natural gas in this county for domestic and industrial purposes were taken. A fuel gas ordinance was passed by the council in June; the company was to charge not to exceed 33 cents per thousand feet. This was the year the Appleton, Menasha & Neenah Street Railway was incorporated for twenty-five years. The new and stronger water works engine was put in operation .
The Thomson & Houston Electric Light Company of Boston secured a franchise to light the city. By July, 1886, the electric street railway was in operation. The first car arrived August 12; it was an open car built by the Pullman company and its motor was under the front platform. As soon as it arrived a large crowd gathered to see it at the station; two others arrived August 25 .
The Wisconsin Natural Gas and Mining Company was organized at the time with a capital of $50,000; the object was to bore for gas near here and utilize the same. C. E. Grey & Son bored a well and struck gas at a depth of fifty feet; it roared up in volume, but did not last long. Amos A. Lawrence of Nahant, Massachusetts, died in 1886; the university in this city; Lawrence, Kansas; Lawrence Academy and other institutions were named for this famous family of philanthropists. The second artesian well added but little to the supply of the first well, showing probably that all were connected and that the supply was limited .
The new engine for the water works was in operation in the fall of 1886. The water works company were making every effort in their power to give the city an efficient system and at last were succeeding .
The Appleton Water Works Company became the successors of the Wiley Construction Company, but did no better to improve the water supply. The company really failed to fulfill its contract to supply an abundance of pure water. In August, 1886, the council instructed the city attorney to take action to gain possession of the water works as per terms of the contract, but this movement seems to have been checked. In 1886 the Post devoted one column to temperance matters edited by the W. C. T. U. and the articles published showed wide information on the subject. Rev. George C. Haddock was murdered at Sioux City because, it was shown later, he had espoused too actively and effectively the temperance cause. He was well known in Appleton. The St. John prohibition movement greatly interested temperance people in this county. Suits against men guilty of selling liquor on the Sabbath were commenced .
In February, 1887, 400 shares of Lake Shore railroad stock owned by the city was sold in New York at 74 3/4 cents on the dollar. There were 250 shares yet remaining which were offered at the same figure. The Council had authorized it sold at 70 cents. The total amount realized would thus be over $48,000, or enough to wipe out the whole bonded debt of the city. Herman Erb made the sale .
The Appleton Edison Light Company offered to light the city with 40 arc lamps for $2,400 per annum and for each additional light $50. At the water works the artesian well was down 825 feet by the middle of April, 1887, and granite was struck .
Judge Harriman’s new residence near Bellaire Park was a beautiful structure and attracted much notice in 1887 .
Mayor-elect Winslow said in April, 1887, that as the city finances, were in good condition, bridges in good repair, streets fair and passable, sewerage system well under way, fire department well equipped, the city could now begin to reduce taxation without checking improvements .
In 1887 the elective officers of Appleton were mayor, treasurer, attorney and three assessors, chosen at large; two aldermen, justices and a supervisor were likewise chosen. The appointive officers were clerk, surveyor, marshal, physician, poor commissioner, street commissioner, etc. Park commissioners were provided at this time .
In May, 1887, Charles R. Clow of Chicago prepared to bore six more wells near the Murphy well and to pipe the gas to Appleton if the supply should warrant. The following was the assessment for several years:
In 1880 the city, believing itself unjustly treated, filed application for the appointment of a tax commission, but finally compromised when the county refunded $800 of the tax. A dispute arose again in 1887, whereupon tax commissioners were appointed. At this time the county board ordered its proceedings published annually in pamphlet form .
The city sold 100 shares of A. & L. Railroad stock for $6,987.50. It borrowed in 1886-87 $25,000. There was on hand at the beginning of the year $14,335.70; the total receipts were $190,221.11. The fire department cost $13,020.23; streets, sewers, bridges and sidewalks cost $23,209.25; poor cost $5,712.82. There were built 8,883 1/2 feet of sewers. There was on hand at the end of the year $22,901.09 .
In June, 1887, it was concluded that the efforts to procure an adequate water supply from artesian wells were entirely unsatisfactory, both as regards quantity and quality. It was proposed after much deliberation to build a reservoir with a capacity of from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 gallons on a piece of property recently purchased near the pump-house. The depth was to be 17 to 20 feet .
The Kimberly & Clark Company secured an option on the West water power, the valuation being placed at $30,000; also upon the property of the Appleton Furnace Company at the lower end of the canal, the price being set at $45,000. The company designed to erect the largest paper mill in the western country. Schnetzen Park was opened June 15, 1887, to a fair-sized crowd; the Germania band furnished the music. There was a prize shooting contest .
In June, 1887, Lisle Lester visited Appleton for the first time since she left the university thirty years before; she was now famous as a writer and newspaper correspondent. She had been all over the world. Her recent lectures in the East attracted wide attention .
In 1887-88 the city had two banks — First National and Commercial National; the former was organized in 1870 and now had a capital of $100,000, and the latter was organized in 1881 and had a capital of $150,000 and a surplus of $30,000. The tax commission held a session in June — they were Messrs. Klingholz, Wilcox and Thelen. The various artesian wells at Appleton showed mineral constituents of from 70 to 90 grains to the gallon. Grabow’s park in the ravine was opened in 1887. The Rod and Gun Club held excellent shooting contests. The Appleton and Menasha street railway was talked of this year. The city finally notified the water works company this year that no further payments would be made on hydrant rent until the contract to furnish good and sufficient water was fully complied with. The company was furnishing too much river water and not enough from the artesian wells. The streets and houses were to be numbered in order to secure the free delivery postal system .
Frances E. Willard contributed articles to the temperance column of the Post. In July, 1887, the Council passed a resolution calling for the preparation of an ordinance that would annul the franchise of the water works company. An orphans home on a small scale was maintained in the Third ward during much of 1887; Mrs. Ross donated the rent of the building; the home was supported by voluntary contributions of the citizens; children cared for were 3 to 15. In January, 1888, it was decided to incorporate the institution, Mrs. Conkey, Mrs. George Miller and Mrs. Wells, and Herman Erb, Sam. Ryan, Sam. Baird and G. H. Miller taking action to that effect. Judge Harriman and Humphrey Pierce offered land for the site .
Early in October the street railway track was laid as far as Appleton Junction. During 1887-88 the Business Men’s Club accomplished excellent results in advertising the advantages of the city. The city water question was torn to tatters this year, often amid indignation and anger. Darington won a boxing match from Moore in the fall; the latter was still ready at the end but the former won on points. On January 2, 1888, the first free postal delivery occurred in Appleton; one delivery was made that day and three the next and after that several every day .
“On Saturday night by Dr. Reeve’s standard thermometer the mercury sank to 32 degrees below zero and last night, by the same instrument, the temperature was 36 degrees below. At 7 o’clock this morning it was 28 degrees below and at 8:30 26 degrees below. At night it was 22 degrees below. Yesterday the mercury in the warmest part of the day did not get above 15 degrees below.” — (Post, January 19, 1888.)
For 1888 there were projected a church to cost $25,000; a ladies hall to cost $20,000; an Odd Fellows hall to cost $15,000; and perhaps a new city hall .
During 1886 fires at Appleton destroyed property worth $250,000; in 1887 the loss did not exceed $10,000; care and the fire department were credited. — (Post, January 12, 1888.)
Late in January, 1888, the Orphans Home was duly organized: Herman Erb was elected president; G. M. Miller, vice-president; Humphrey Pierce, secretary and treasurer; Herman Erb, Samuel Baird, Mrs. Conkey, Mrs. Wells, Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Ross, directors .
“Last night was undoubtedly the coldest ever experienced in this latitude, Dr. Reeves’ thermometer registered 41 degrees below zero as the coldest during the night. At Riverside it is reported 43 degrees below and on Goff’s farm a mile or so west it was 46 degrees.” — (Post, January 26, 1888.)
The Edison Electric Company had two circuits in January, 1888 — one for the mill districts and one for the up-town and residence sections. The whist club had exciting games at this time. A skat tournament was held in the spring, many from adjacent cities being present and participants. Excellent baseball was played this year. The members of the Appleton club were as follows: Briggs, pitcher; Cochran, catcher; Ryan, short; Sine, first; Wambold, second; Lennon, third; Overholser, right; Arneill, center and Mory, left. The other clubs were Oshkosh, Kaukauna, Fond du Lac, Menasha, Oconto, Sheboygan and Marinette .
The Spring street sewer was built this year. In September it was decided by those interested to build a Children’s Home, 120×135 feet. Humphrey Pierce agreed to donate the land. Work on the building was commenced in the fall; the contract price was $3,641.
Charles F. Lummis, son of Dr. Henry Lummis of the university, wrote good poetry of the western style in 1889-90 .
At the end of the year 1888-89 the city had on hand $19,799.46 after deducting unpaid obligations; streets and bridges cost $11,111.66; fire department $13,458.01; poor $3,894.24; street lighting $1,924.58; police department $2,537.14; city officers $5,850 .
The following was the vote on the liquor license question in September, 1889:
Odd Fellows hall was dedicated in January, 1889, with great ceremony, there being present several grand officers and delegations from many other lodges. Nye and Riley lectured here in February. The Spring street sewer was estimated to cost $9,000; it was about one mile long. This year a new fire alarm telegraph system was installed. A big iron bridge to cost from $7,500 to $10,000 and to be located at the head of West’s canal was commenced this year .
In March, 1889, the trustees of Appleton Cemetery Association were authorized by the legislature to remove the dead from the old burying-ground to the new cemetery and the city was required to pay the expenses. The trustees were authorized to sell the old grounds .
The large intake pipe from the river above the Milwaukee and Northern drawbridge to the water works pump house, to secure river water when the wells should prove insufficient, was laid early in 1889. It was a syphon pipe .
The Gengenwart (The Present), a new German paper, was issued at Appleton from the office of the Volksfreund in June, 1889; it was a political and church paper with Rev. Max Hein, editor and manager .
In the summer of 1889 the water works company spent a large sum of money (estimated at $60,000) in an effort to render satisfactory water service. Additional pipes were laid; a new and larger filter plant was built and the big reservoir was utilized. There was a pearl hunting excitement this year; many fine pearls were found, but the supply was soon exhausted. In September, 1889, there was established direct telephonic connection with Chicago. The new Children’s Home was occupied in June, 1889. Stephensville alnd Kaukauna each furnished a room. In 1889 Appleton led the baseball league until late in August .
The Electric Street Railway Company which owed about $67,000, suspended operations in February, 1890, until it could recover its former sound condition. The plant was now offered for sale at $40,000. Steps to form another company were taken; it was planned to buy out the old concern and start anew .
In March, 1890, the Water Works Company, which had made great improvements to the system, presented the following proposition to the city: That the city should select locations for new hydrants not more than seventy-five; the company should supply such hydrants with water; the hydrants should remain the property of the company; within ten days after the hydrants were ready for the operation the city should pay $15,051 back rental claimed; thereupon all suits and appeals should be abandoned. This proposition was accepted by the city .
In April, 1890, the city had on hand a balance of $36,862.91; the fire department was in excellent condition, having an up to date alarm system. There was a great improvement in the water supply; the company used artesian water so far as it could be obtained and then used river water filtered; the two pumps had a capacity of 900,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. The average daily consumption of water was about 650,000 gallons. It was believed that hereafter the city need use none but artesian water. The police department was efficient; the poor were taken care of. The streets, however, were not up to what they should be, though large sums were spent thereon .
In May, 1890, the city contracted with the gas company for 160 lamps at $20 per lamp per annum. There was complaint that this was too high a price .
The new railway station was opened in June. The electric railway was sold for $30,000 to a New York company in July. In the fall of 1890 the daily production of paper and pulp at Appleton was 132 tons; Kaukauna 85 tons; Neenah 45 tons; Menasha 31 tons. The total product of the Fox river valley was 358 tons. Late in 1890 three young people of the city were killed while tobogganing — May Carey, Emma Adsit and Jay Briggs; Mamie Shields was badly injured. A sulphite fibre plant was established here in 1890-91. About this time Telulah park was sold to a company which planned to transform it into a driving park; it cost $5,000 to put the park in condition. The electric company began to put arc lights on the streets in February. The Council refused in 1891 to bond the city for $100,000 to make vast improvements in accordance with a bill to that effect pending in the legislature. Mrs. Mary Livermore lectured here in February .
During 1890-91 many streets were paved with cedar blocks. In 1891 there were sixteen cigar factories in operation in the city; their output was 1,977,850 cigars. In 1891 the newspapers issued several numbers printed on the new sulphite fibre paper made here. The Humane Society made many arrests in 1890-91. This year the horse disease pink-eye swept the county causing great annoyance and expense. In August the mayor was authorized to borrow $40,000 to meet current expenses. In the fall Mayor Levings removed permanently to Milwaukee necessitating a special election to choose his successor; Dr. Rush Winslow was chosen. At this time the old cemetery was declared to be a nuisance; it was used as a dumping ground, was neglected and unsightly and was ordered abated in February, 1892. Marinette was first in the baseball contest this year, and Appleton second. The skat game was played by many this year in numerous sharp contests .
The Advancement Association held a large meeting early in April, 1892, in order to explain to the citizens the object of the organization, which was to bring capitalists, manufacturers and other monied interests here in order to build up the city. At this time the association was after a cotton mill, envelope factory, wall paper factory, main line of the Wisconsin Central, driving park and fair grounds, furniture factory, sawmill, hardwood finishing mill, and the erection of an immense steam power building for numerous small manufacturers.
The council in April, 1892, advertised for bids for furnishing 200 gas street lamps, the bids to be opened in June. The bill of the Edison Electric company was disallowed for alleged non-fulfillment of contract. Locations for 100 electric street lamps were ordered selected and prepared. At this time the city was in excellent condition; it had seventeen miles of sewers, many paved streets, and was well lighted and well provided with fire-fighting apparatus and police .
Appleton Advancement Association appointed a committee to compile and publish a volume of about 125 pages designed to advertise the advantages of the city for business and residence .
In December, John McNaughton was president of the Humane society. During several years about this period the receipts of the post office increased by “leaps and bounds,” showing the growth or the industries here. In the spring of 1892 there was a reign of holdups, burglaries and other crimes, which roused the police to prompt and effective action. At this time P. M. Conkey was president of the Cycling club. H. G. Curtis wrote good poetry for the press . During 1892, previous to November, the Humane society made 86 arrests for cruelty to animals and 51 for cruelty to persons .
The Wisconsin Bridge and Iron company was given the contract for the iron bridge at Lake street at $20,850. The council in June, 1829, ordered the construction of a new iron bridge over the river at Lake street, to cost not over $20,000. The Edison company bid $50 per lamp annually for 105 street lamps of 1,500 candlepower. The Appleton Gas company bid $1.50 per thousand feet for gas burned . At a special election held in September, 1892, on the license question, the following vote was polled: For $200 –1,135; for $350 — 1; for $500 — 648 .
It became known in the spring of 1893 that for several months the vast manufacturing interests on the river had been without fire protection owing to the fact that the large main was out of repair. The manufacturers called a meeting and protested vigorously against this state of affairs. The council took steps to remedy the defect at once. Hon. A. L. Smith was chairman of the board of World’s Fair commissioners for Wisconsin. In March, 1893, the council was presented with a petition signed by over 2,600 school children and teachers asking for the enactment of an ordinance to protect native birds and squirrels. In the spring of 1893, when a red flag (anarchist) was displayed from a saloon window in Appleton, the mayor ordered the license of the saloon suspended until the owner had made satisfactory explanation, which he proceeded to do, abjectly and in haste .
In the spring of 1893 a special committee of the council subjected the water company to a severe test in order to learn whether the city was being furnished with adequate fire protection. They reported adversely, after many tests on all levels and under all other probable conditions; besides finding insufficient water; whereupon the council passed resolutions requiring the company to remedy matters at once. A committee of five, with full power to act in the premises, was appointed .
The Citizens’ National Bank was organized in the spring of 1893, the following being the first board of directors: J. S. Van Nortwick, A. W. Patten, L. E. Barnes, John J. Sherman, B. T. Gilmore, Laimar Ollstead, J. M. Baer, John Berg, Joseph Rossmeisel, G. Kamps and G. T. Moeskes .
“Chicago, Ill., Aug. 10, 1893. — The annual convention of the Edison Illuminating companies is being held in the Wisconsin state building (of the World’s Fair), as the first electric light plant was located at Appleton, Wisconsin. * * * Appleton also has the distinction of being the birthplace of the electric street railway.” — (Post, August 17, 1893.)
The grand encalmpment of Odd Fellows was held here in 1893. In December, 1893, the Ritger Hotel opened with a banquet, toasts, speeches and a royal good time. West Appleton began to make quite a showing in 1892-3. Again the water company was required by the council to pump more artesian water and less poorly filtered river water for domestic consumpton. In the bicycle road race of 1893 E. S. Baer of Appleton was winner over fifteen contestants; the winner was only fourteen years old. G. I. Brewster, who came to the county in 1859, died in 1893. The city had a famous dark day in September, 1893, due presumably to smoke from forest fires. The sporting men of the city this year and for several years held exciting and well-attended cocking mains. The city about this time adopted the policy of borrowing large sums for current expenses in anticipation of the annual tax levy and collection; it borrowed $20,000 for five months in September .
John F. Johnston died in Appleton in August, 1893; he lived for awhile at Neenah, where in 1845 he married; he was usually called “Appleton’s first resident.” The First National and Commercial National banks at Appleton deposited a bond with Judge Moeskes guaranteeing every depositor from loss during the panic of 1893. The two banks represented over $7,000,000. This step had the splendid effect of preventing any “run.”
It was estimated in November, 1893, that Appleton people had spent from $75,000 to $100,000 in going to the World’s Fair, and that the people of the county outside of the city had spent as much more. — (Post, November 2, 1893.) A Labor council was established in Appleton in 1893 and was composed of moulders, Knights of Labor, cigarmakers, carpenters and others .
The Citizens’ National Bank began business January 15, 1894, with John S. Van Nortwick, president, and J. J. Sherman, cashier . the time of 2:19, the best ever made in a trot or pace at Appleton, was made by Shawhan in June, 1894, at the Telulah park. There were other good races, including a one-mile bicycle race for the championship of Appleton. In August a franchise was granted for 20 years to the Citizens’ Light and Power company; this was a local corporation. The council appropriated $500 for the relief of Phillips fire sufferers. In addition the citizens raised $250, besides a lot of supplies. Kimberly contributed $115.
A new powerhouse and electric light station was built at this time. The street railway, which had ceased running temporarily, began again with two cars in February. Henry R. Conant issued here a volume of poems. The Lawrence street bridge was commenced this year. Sam Ryan was appointed consul to St. Johns, Newfoundland, but did not remain long, owing to poor health. An English syndicate endeavored at this time to buy all the paper and pulp mills of the state. A lecture course instituted by Dr. R. G. Thwaites of the Historical society instructed the people on “The Making of Wisconsin” and other historical subjects about this time; lectures were given at the Ryan school house. The extension of the interurban electric line from Oshkosh to Kaukauna was discussed at this date. Larger filters were put in by the water company in 1894 .The Muenst brewery was burned down, the loss being about $35,000 .The Driving Park company began operations in 1894; $1,000 in purses was offered at the June meeting. The city leased to the club part of the poor farm site to be used for the race track; a strip 200 feet wide was thus detached and used. Three big bridges, to cost over $20,000, were projected in 1894 — on Appleton street, Prospect street and over the ravine on Lawrence street. This was the year when vast city improvements were projected — sewers, pavements, bridges, etc. City bonds to the amount of $40,000 were sold to the Commercial National Bank. H. G. Curtis issued a volume of poems at this date .
By February, 1895, the Citizens’ Light and Power company began to furnish electric light service from their big plant on the ravine. John M. Baer succeeded F. W. Harriman as postmaster early this year. The Cycling club consisted of 35 members. The Fourth of July was celebrated on a large scale this year; the fireworks were the best ever shown here. In August the city repealed the charter of the Edison Electric Railway company and called for better service from the Edison Electric Light company. Van Nortwick failed about this time; his liabilities were $273,861.41. The Waverly hotel burned in September.
In November, two and one-third miles of films of the Fitzsimmons- Corbett fight were shown to a large audience at the opera house by means of the newly devised variscope. A new engine house was ordered built in the Fourth ward in October, 1859. The council received a petition with 2,128 signers asking that all saloons might be closed on Sundays. The council borrowed $14,500 for current expenses. In 1895, previous to October, there was paved nearly two miles of streets at a cost of over $26,000. Property owners bore half the expense. The vote on the license question in September, 1895, resulted as follows
At a public meeting of the Good Citizenship League in March, 1896, the council was petitioned to provide means for the people to vote on the free library question, and a committee was appointed to advance this movement. William S. Warner died early in March, 1896; he settled in Appleton in 1849 and engaged in merchandising. In 1857 he began to practice law; he was prominently identified with all public improvements; he left a daughter, Mrs. H. D. Ryan; his death occurred in Florida.
In the spring of 1896 there were outstanding $38,000 in bridge bonds; there were built during the fiscal year 11,514 feet of sewers, at a cost of $7,213.42; 32,641 square feet of cedar block pavement costing $25,053.79; streets cost $16,259.73; 131 electric lamps cost $5,239.33; police cost $5,653.81; fire department cost $13,511.71: poor cost $5,325.45; miscellaneous expenses, $19,403.63; total orders issued, $107,960.23. The city treasurer was charged with $309,742.33 and credited with $303,300.26; there was cash on hand, $6,452.07 .
Leakages in the water mains caused much trouble in 1895; the power was so reduced that the plant was unable at times to furnish electric lights and the city was sometimes in total darkness. Three new wards were talked of in 1895. The city was lucky to escape the labor troubles prevalent elsewhere in 1895-6. Early in 1896 the citizens generally began to demand a public library. A new building for Prescott hospital was urgently needed at this date. The baseball players of 1896 were: Golden, catcher; Thayer, short: Gas, second; Dafter, third; Baer, pitcher; Hawkins, first; Lennon, left; Faville, catcher; Collar, right .
The city treasurer’s report showed the receipts $249,300.58, less $6,452.07 on hand. The disbursements were $233,584.18. There was on hand $15,716.40. An immense and sweeping reduction or salaries of city officers was made in March, 1897, the aggregate reductions amounting to from 25 per cent. to 33 per cent. Kaukauna did likewise, cutting the salaries about 25 per cent. In the three years ending April, 1897, there were built three iron bridges at Lawrence, Jackman and Prospect streets, at a total cost of $30,694. The actual indebtedness of the city in April, 1897, was $22,842. A petition was presented to the council in May, 1897, asking for two new wards, to be cut from the Second and Third .
In June, 1898, the Fox River valley electric cars started to run for the first time; a trial trip was made June 18, and the route was thronged with people to see the unusual sight. The first regular trips were made on the 19th, when the car Appleton was put in service, and during the day carried about 1,000 passengers; the greatest number in and on the car at one time was 145. The vestibules and top were crowded .
On July 6, 1898, the council resolved “that the city accepts the deed of the Y. M. C. A. on the terms and conditions therein stipulated.” On March 1, 1899, it was resolved to buy the lot for the library. It was decided to rebuild Prescott hospital at an expense of about $4,000; during the previous year 127 patients were cared for. In July, 1898, there were drawn from the public library 2,498 books; 1,642 cards were issued .
A boiler in Willy’s mill exploded in January and killed one man and injured several others. The ordinance authorizing the issuance of public building and street improvement bonds to the amount of $50,000, was passed early in January. The new poorhouse was practically completed at this time and cost all told $7,945.51 .
The fight over the possession of the Appleton water works by representatives of the two receivers, Herman Erb and John M. Baer ,one appointed by the Federal court and one by the Circuit court, was settled in the United States Court of Appeals at Chicago late in March, 1899, by the confirmation of Herman Erb as receiver .
In February a commandery of the Knights Templar was organized at Appleton by Grand Recorder John W. Laflin of Milwaukee, with a membership of about thirty. The first officers appointed were: C. A. Beveridge, E. C.; A. W. McLean, Gen.; C. W. Stribley, C. G.; John Bottensek, Pre.; John J. Watson, S. W.; W. B. Murphy, J. W.; A. E. Davis, S. B.; George W. Thomns, W.; George McMillan, treasurer; Frank Wright, Recorder .
In 1898-9 the street department cost $14,448.83; the fire department, $14,700.73; new engine house, $1,960.33; poor, $4,319.42: new poorhouse complete, $8,115.89; street lights, $8,464.98; Park avenue and State street improvements $11,339.50; sewers, $16, 921.62; water works contract, $9,805.15; library site, $3,693.07 .
Julius S. Buck, the second settler of Appleton, died in June, 1899. His father was Silas Buck, of Pennsylvania. He was a prominent and useful citizen. The post office was removed to the Post building in December, 1899. The year 1899 was a good building year for Appleton, there being erected nearly one hundred; they were mostly small residences, costing from $1,000 to $2,000 .
Late in August, 1899, the boiler in E. H. Wieckert & Company’s sash, door and blind factory exploded, killing one man instantly, injuring another so seriously that he died within an hour, fatally wounding a third and seriously injuring eight others .
As early as the fall of 1887 Mrs. G. C. Jones started a small public library in Pardee’s store; a few others were associated with her in this movement. This collection was built upon the books collected by the Young Men’s Christian association, which had had a reading room for a number of years. George C. Jones was associated with the others. In 1888 the Young Men’s Christian association began to assist the movement and the library movement was organized and F. J. Harwood was elected president and Mr. McCoy, secretary. The building was destroyed in 1894, but in 1896 Dr. Lummis headed a movement that revived the plans for the public library.During the early part of 1897 the subject was thoroughly discussed .
The new city library was first opened to the public September 1, 1897, and then consisted of about 600 volumes obtained from the old association and donated by the citizens. Previous to November 25, the citizens contributed about 1,400 volumes more; about 700 were reference books. On the day the library was opened one book was drawn out and for the following ten days eight or ten were drawn daily. By November 15 about 60 were drawn daily. On one day 97 were drawn. All the citizens were interested and the library grew rapidly by donation. At first the library was in the city council chamber. Miss Agnes L. Dwight was elected librarian. At the end of the first month the library had 1,200 volumes. There were many contributions; all seemed anxious to assist. The board of directors concluded to spend $500 for books. Later the library directors planned to secure from the Young Men’s Christian association trustees the ground known as the old Congregational church lot. On this was a mortgage of $3,600; the transfer was opposed .
By January 10, 1899, the public library had 3,927 volumes; in December, 1898, the circulation was 4,006. The plan to build a library structure on Oneida street, the work to commence the coming spring, was well in hand by February. The structure was to cost $22,000, to be built of stone, the first story to be devoted to the library and the second story to the city officials’ use .
In 1899 the city authorities, having resolved to assist the library movement, were enjoined from paying out city funds toward the library building; but the contractors continued work on the building. At a later stage the injunction was refused by Judge Burnell. By September 14, 1899, the library had 4,308 volumes. During the business year 1898-9 the circulation was 46,881 volumes .
The public library was formally opened and dedicated in April, 1900. There was a large gathering of citizens interested in the enterprise. Many were present from outside cities. The opening address was made by George C. Jones, president of the library board. F. J. Harwood spoke for the mayor. Miss Carrie Morgan, city superintendent, spoke on “Importance of the Library to the Schools.” President Plantz, F. A. Hutchins and Miss Stearns of the State Library commission also delivered addresses. Dr. J. T. Reeve spoke on “The Needs of Our Library.” Mrs. J. S. Davis, Sam Ryan, Father Kasten, Dr. Lummis and others spoke. Miss Dwight was librarian .
About September 1, 1900, the library had 5,598 volumes, of which 551 were public documents; lost, etc., 127. There were drawn during the year 46,891 volumes .
At this time the city hall was also dedicated. George C. Jones, A. M. Spencer, Chris Roener, O. E. Clark, Mr. Gochnauer, ex-Mayor Thom and Judge Goodland addressed the audience .
Ex-Mayor Herman Erb, Jr., committed suicide in this city early in May, 1900, by shooting himself through the head with a revolver. He was born in 1873 and was mayor 1897-99. Mayor Hammel vetoed the Mason and Second street sewer ordinance on the ground that it was time to call a halt on the construction of bad sewers; he also vetoed the proposed grading and curbing of State street in order to save the city all unnecessary expense. This step was in accordance with the movement for retrenchment that began with his election. “Evidence is accumulating that David Hammel is making an excellent mayor, and we are pleased to acknowledge the fact, none the less so because it is not of our political party.” — (Post, August 16, 1900.)
The main powerhouse of the electric light company was burned in June, 1900. The population of Appleton in 1900 was 15,086. Rev. Sam Jones lectured here on “A Medley of Philosophy, Facts and Fiction,” but was not liked and was severely criticized by the newspapers. A woman’s edition of the Post was edited by Mrs. W. R. Killen. In July 18,000 people witnessed Ringling’s circus in this city. A new opera house was planned in October. About this time work on the new powerhouse for the electric company was being carried out .
In the fall of 1900 a special committee of the council thoroughly investigated the water supply and water works questions. They investigated the springs here, the artesian supply at Hortonville, and the water of the Fox River, and reported that there were but two sources of supply worth consideration — deep wells near the city or Lake Winnebago water, and that the deep wells should descend to the Potsdam sandstone .
A mass meeting of the citizens discussed the Sunday closing ordinance and how to enforce it. In March, 1901, the new Fox River Valley Gas & Electric company bought the entire property of the Appleton Gas Light and Fuel Company and took possession April 14. Great improvements were planned, involving Kaukauna, Neenah, Menasha, Appleton and other points .
Mayor Hammel claimed that when he took control there was a deficit of $8,880.81, and that by the application of business principles to the administration there was on hand at the end of the year a surplus of $2,543.57, and no curtailments were made in necessary improvements, nor were taxes increased. Before the council now was the water works question — one of the greatest importance. He favored the appointment of a citizens’ committee to work in conjunction with the council committee. The one-sided contract with the electric light company had to be met, but the city would soon be in a situation to buy that plant .
The contract with the Wiley Construction company for twenty years would expire in November, 1901, and all in the spring began to anticipate what should and would be done with the water system. The city finally resolved to buy the plant, and accordingly notified the water company to that effect. An arbitration committee was appointed to fix the value of the plant. An election was ordered held on the following questions: (1) To buy the plant; (2) not to buy the plant; (3) city to build its own plant; (4) city not to build its own plant. This election was held in April and resulted as follows: (1) To buy the plant, 556; (2) not to buy the plant, 195; (3) city to build its own plant, 1,436; (4) city not to build its own plant, 116 .
The water works plant was appraised at $330,434, a much higher figure than was expected by the citizens generally. It came out at this time that perhaps the company had a perpetual franchise and that the only remedy of the city was to cut off the city hydrants rental. The city elected not to buy the works at these figures, but decided to build, own and operate its own plant. It ordered the appointment of a large building committee, consisting of officials and citizens, to oversee the work of construction of the new system. In August, 1901, the water company announced that as it possessed, in its opinion, perpetual rights to the business of furnishing water to the city, the city must not permit any other company to trespass on those rights or to maintain a competitive system. The city authorities continued their steps to build for this city its own works, regardless of this notice. The city offered the company $200,000 for its plant, though the appraisers had placed the value at over $330,434 .
At the armory in April, 1901, Billy Yanger (the Tipton Slasher) defeated Billy Smith (Turkey Point) in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-round sparring contest. Martin Duffy whipped Percy Queenan in twelve rounds .
In 1901 the watch factory was located here, and work on the same was commenced. The ball clubs of this circuit were Appleton, Kaukauna, Marshfield, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Wausau, Sheboygan and Green Bay. By the middle of August the Appletons were far in the lead. The water works company finally offered to sell the works to the city for $315,000, or to take another twenty-year contract to supply 250 hydrants for $10,000 rental per year, and additional hydrants at $40 each per annum. At this time the city already had 245 hydrants, for which $12,000 was being paid annually .
In 1901 a new opera house, to cost $30,000, was planned; it was believed that 3,000 tickets, at $10 each, could be sold to defray the expense. Work on the building was to commence when 1,000 tickets were sold. The city began a fight against the smoke nuisance this year. By October the new powerhouse was finished. In September the death of President McKinley was duly observed .
Early in November, 1901, the water works company claimed that the city by default had renewed the franchise with it for another twenty years. The council scouted the idea. In December plans for the new city water works were adopted and bids were advertised for. The city secured an option on three acres in a tract on the south side .
In January, 1902, the Water Works Construction committee recommended the plan called Combination No. 3, prepared by Sturtevant & Todd, engineers; there were many different branches, but the whole footed up to a total cost of $319,528.70. About this time negotiations with John Heerdegen of New York were had with the view of learning exactly what water supply could be depended upon from wells .
Early in February the council rejected the offer of the water works company to enter into a contract for water from the present source of supply for not less than ten years. The council adopted a resolution to issue $280,000 in city bonds to be used in constructing a system of water works for the city, $10,000 and interest on all to be paid annually until all were redeemed. An annual tax to meet the bonds was ordered levied. The city was promptly enjoined by the company from issuing or selling such bonds. Many citizens opposed the course of the council, and believed satisfactory terms could be made with the water company, and that nothing could be gained by the present policy of the city government .
In June there were two suits amounting to $6,115 instituted against the city by the water works company on hydrant rental claims which had been disallowed. Taxes against the company and unpaid amounted to $3,847.61. It was mutually agreed that the city should pay the company the difference between these two amounts in full settlement of the claims of both. The first matinee races ever held here occurred in July, 1902, at the Driving park before a large audience. The handsomest turnouts of the city were shown and society made its best display. The sharp races were much enjoyed. At this time Charles Fose was president of the Driving Park club. A volume of poems by Mrs. Libbie C. Baer made its appearance in 1902 .
Congressman Minor spoke here Labor day to an immense audience. The day was celebrated under the auspices of the United Brotherhood of Papermakers and the event was a great success. The various unions paraded: Wire Weavers’ Union. Bricklayers’ Union, Cigarmakers’ Union, Machinists’ Union, Electrical Workers’ Union, Brewers’ Union, Papermakers’ Union. The day was spent at Pierce’s Park. Congressman Minor spoke to 2,000 people .
In 1902-03 work on the John street stone arch bridge was commenced — an undertaking never before attempted here; important steps toward the settlement of the water works question were taken; the finances were satisfactory; it was shown that the people wanted municipal ownership of the water works, but all wanted the water company treated fairly and their works bought by the city if the price was satisfactory .
A contest case was tried in 1903 as to whether the county board had the legal right to appropriate $500 annually to St. Elizabeth Hospital a private institution. An injunction in the case was denied by Judge Goodland on the ground that a proposal had been made and accepted for a specified sum in consideration of services .
The outstanding mortgage bonds against the water company amounted to $265,000, and the company had a floating debt of $20,000 .
The city ordinance to issue $260,000 in corporate bonds to build water works was ordered submitted to a vote of the electors. On the eve of the water works election the water company made new offers which induced the city authorities to rescind the ordinance calling for a vote on the subject .
The city had a bicycle “craze” in 1892-93; it had an automobile “craze” in 1903 that far surpassed in virulence and intensity the former disorder. In 1903 under the new law the mayor, treasurer and attorney held over another year; six aldermen were to be elected; also an assessor. Late in April, 1903, the city offered to buy the water works for $265,000; the price was the only difference between the city and the county .
The act of April 19, 1893, authorized Appleton to build and maintain a wagon bridge across Fox river, the same to be furnished with a suitable draw for steamboats and to meet the approval of the government engineer .
In May the city agreed to buy the water works plant “at a price to be determined by a board of arbitration to be chosen in the usual manner consisting of three disinterested and impartial arbitrators,” etc. Eight councilmen voted in favor of this course, and four against it. Clarence H. Venner, president of the Appleton Water Works Company was punished in Sangamon County, Illinois, by a United States district judge for contempt. Mr. Venner refused to produce certain books in the foreclosure suit of the Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company against the Alton (Ill.) Water Works Company, of which he was president, for a trust deed for $200,000. The court in strong terms scored Venner and after imposing the penalty reserved the punishment that was to be inflicted upon the companies of which Mr. Venner was the head. — (Post, May 21, 1903.)
Edward West died in the spring of 1903; he was prominently connected with the water power for many years. In May Mayor Hammel vetoed the bill to tear down the old engne house No. 1 and build a new one, on the ground that it was not necessary. Louis E. Hart was granted the right to lay gas pipes over the city. This year Mrs. Lowell succeeded Mrs. Roemer as matron of the Children’s home; at this time it was placed under the control of the Children’s Home Society of Wisconsin. In August the council voted down the ordinance authorizing the issue of $280,000 in bonds for a water works plant; this act placed the water company in a position to make greater demands. The water company claimed a perpetual franchise; but this was denied by the city. The company enjoined the city from voting on the bond issue .
The total number of manufacturing plants in Appleton in 1904 was 240, capital invested $4,975,397; wage earners 2,226. La Crosse, Oshkosh, Racine and Milwaukee were the only cities in Wisconsin with a greater number of manufactories .
In March the council revoked the ordinance closing saloons on Sundays and at 11 o’clock at night and asked the Legislature to change the location of the state capital .
At the special election on the water works question in March, 1904, the following was the result: 1,916 votes were polled, of which 1,868 were in favor of municipal ownership; 44 wanted private ownership and four did not know what they wanted, because their ballots were blank. The Citizens’ League was organized in March, 1904, with 40 members. The first officers were — John Pingle, president; L. C. Schmidt, vice-president; J. H. Harbeck, secretary; John Goodland, Jr., treasurer. The object of the organization was the “furtherance and promotion of the interests of the city of Appleton.” It was understood that one of the objects of the organization was to ascertain the sentiments of the citizens of Appleton in regard to future dealings with the water works question — whether to buy the present plant or construct a competing system with the Venner works .
In February, 1904, the water company offered to accept an annual rental of $12,000 for the 245 existing hydrants, the city to pay all taxes and to pay for water in public buildings at meter rates. Another offer was to furnish 25,000 gallons for $10 .
At the Republican rally held in the Armory just before election in April, 1904, Prof. Rosebush of Lawrence University stated in substance that as the water works company controlled the supply of water and had no competition, it could fix prices to suit itself: that two courses were open: Private ownership with public control or municipal ownership; that the claimed franchise of the company had been the stumbling block for four years to a settlement of the question; that to establish a municipal plant $200,000 at least would have to be borrowed; that the plant itself would be hard to build and difficult to manage; that to manage all the problems of the subject would need abler heads than the former administration which had been unable to handle the old water company; that in this campaign all the candidates were right on the subject, and the only question was which would give the wisest and best genius and efforts to the complicated and difficult problems. “A wrong mayor means poor water.”
Upon taking the mayoralty chair Mr. Harriman said that the people were united on the water works question and demanded municipal ownership and that it was the duty of public officials to carry out the wishes of the people. He therefore recommended the appointment of a special committee to manage the whole subject of water works to the end of municipal ownership. He spoke of the importance of starting right with the new Union High school and of keeping up necessary public improvements. Such committee was at once appointed. Additional ground for the high school was ordered purchased at a cost of $12,000 .
By the overwhelming majority of 1,179 to 25 the citizens of Appleton in July, 1904, voted for municipal ownership of the water works. Late in August the special committee made the following report: “Your committee has carefully investigated the source of supply for water sufficient for the city of Appleton and after such investigation and the consideration of the report of Prof. Nicholson herewith submitted, have come to the conclusion that the only feasible and adequate source of supply of water for a water system for this city is to take the water properly filtered from the Fox river and your committee recommends the adoption of the resolutions which are herewith provided as follows: Declaring it to be the purpose and intent of the city of Appleton to build, own and operate a water works system to supply this city of Appleton and its inhabitants with water for fire and domestic purposes; authorizing the special committee on water works to procure suitable plans and specifications for the system of water works for the city of Appleton, the source of supply being Fox river, and procure a suitable location for the pumping station; and that an ordinance be passed providing for the issuance of city bonds for $300,000 to pay for the construction of the city water works.” The council adopted the report .
The 58th annual convention of the Odd Fellows was held here in June, 1904. The Children’s home was remodeled by the state society at a cost of $2,375; 80 children were provided here with homes this year. In 1904 the city was assessed $10,112,555. At this time a bill was pending in Congress for a new postoffice at Appleton. The high school bonds sold for $101,379. On September 7th, council formally passed the ordinance to issue $300,000 water works bonds, all aldermen voting for the ordinance. In October the water company tried to enjoin the city from prosecuting work on the Mason street sewer alleging the probable pollution of the water supply; the injunction was refused. The old armory became Princess Skating Rink this year. The water company earned from private individuals $16,387.19 in 1904.
In February, 1905, the Council passed an ordinance to bond the city for $250,000 to be used in constructing the new water works. In February the mercury sank to 28 to 30 degrees below zero .
In March there was organized here a syndicate of Appleton and Outagamie county capitalists for the purpose of buying the water works bonds. On May 1 it was announced the bonds would be offered for sale — to the amount of $250,000. This step was promoted by John Pingle and others .
During the year 1904-05 the total city receipts were $486,558.95, exclusive of $7,843.62 on hand at the beginning of the year. The total disbursements were $440,063.11, there being on hand at the end of the year $46,495.84 of general, library and school funds. Among the receipts were $117,000 in bank loans.
In May the water works company asked for an injunction to restrain the city from using the money from the sale of the water bonds. The three leading points were that the city had no right or power to construct the system; that such an issue of bonds would increase the city indebtedness above the legal limits; that the city would act in bad faith with the present water company. On May 1 the $250,000 water works bonds were sold to the Commercial National Bank of Appleton at a premium of $7,107; six other concerns put in bids, but that of the bank was most favorable .
“At no time has any member of the several committees appointed to consider the water works question had any other object in view than the purchase of the old plant at a fair valuation. It is understood that the old appraisers in making a valuation of $300,000, gave $100,000 for what was called the franchise rights. It is six years since the municipal movement was started. It is nearer the point of settlement today than it has ever been. A year ago Mr. Venner insisted on $343,000. For the sole purpose of bringing the water works company to time, the water works committee, the council and the people generally favored the adoption of a resolution to build a new water works. They decided on a new plant and an ordinance was passed to bond the city for $250,000 to build a plant. The administration used every effort to dispose of and sell the bonds and I will now state, what has never before been stated, having heard that the water works company would enjoin the city from selling on May 2, the finance committee several days before received proposition from bonding houses for the purchase of the bonds on or after May 2, and received bids the premiums on which amounted to $7,000, subject to the approval of their attorneys and then for the purpose of selling the bonds if possible before the injunction was served, both the mayor and city clerk went to Chicago to close the deal. The intended purchasers of the bonds desired to know the reasons for having them issued in Chicago and they were frankly told that it was for the purpose of selling them before the injunction could be served. The result was that they refused to purchase until the courts passed on the legality of the bonds. As a result no firm has been found which will purchase. The company has submitted several propositipns looking toward the sale of the plant to the city. Finally the company was asked if it would accept $50,000 in full payment for the intangible property, good will, franchise, etc, of the company . The company has agreed to the selection of an impartial tribunal to fix the actual value of their property at the present time.” — (Speech of Mayor Harriman, June, 1905.)
In June the council delayed further action on the water proposition for one month; this postponement was due to the above speech of Mayor Harriman. The annual city budget in 1905 was $126,470. In June there fell in 24 hours 2.8 inches of rain .
Jo. Gales the famous racing horse was owned here. In 1905 he earned $2,670, his best time being 2:10 1/4. In 1905 the city assessment was $10,373,680. Late in 1905 the board of public works was created, the attorney, surveyor and chairman of the committee on streets and bridges composing that body .
In October the water works cases came up in change of venue before Judge Webb at Grand Rapids. The suit was to settle what Appleton should pay for hydrant rental. Since March, 1904, the city had regularly tendered the company the sum of $1,000 per month, but the company demanded $1,500. Attorneys Spencer, Bottensek, Pierce and others attended the court. On November 1, 1905, the city bonded debt was as follows:
Of this amount $9,500 was payable annually, exclusive of the interest .
The physical value of the water plant as fixed by the original appraisers was $221,325; the additional sum demanded by the company was for good will, franchise, etc. In December the water company informed the council that unless the city paid in full or in part the back hydrant rentals the company would cease to supply water for fire protection and for other city purposes after January 1, 1908. It was thought by many that this was a mere bluff, though many others thought otherwise. In any event such a step would precipitate a crisis that would settle the water question, it was stated. “A force of competent men duly deputized and guarded if necessary, should be in readiness to take charge of the water plant the minute it is shut down, if such cessation of operation is a result of the company’s latest threat.” Late in December, 1905, Judge Goodland granted a temporary injunction restraining the water company from carrying into execution its threat to shut off the supply of water .
In February, 1906, Judge Goodland made permanent the injunction to prevent the water company from shutting off the city water supply, provided the city paid $800 monthly to the company since November 1, 1904, but from this payment was to be deducted the taxes of $5,000; this order obliged the city to pay the company at once $6,200 — on account .
The program for the June Chautauqua was prepared in February, 1906. In April William Lamure was president of the Appleton Board of Trade. This organization was really a cheese board. The previous year was the most prosperous in history; 30 cheese factories were represented. The city raised a large sum for the San Francisco earthquake sufferers at this time. There was a great increase in postoffice receipts .
During 1905-06 the city spent about $50,000 on sewers; $3,000 for an iron bridge over the south channel on South Island street; erected a high school that would cost all told about $125,000; the building cost $92,000; the present city bonded debt was as follows: High school $90,000, city hall and library $35,000, bridge and street $18,000; total $143,000; in addition the city owed $12,000 to banks for temporary loans. Mayor Hammel said: “The finances of our city are in a deplorable condition. Tonight we begin the fiscal year over $21,000 short; that is, over $21,000 belonging to and which should be spent in this administration has been already spent and we must borrow from the banks each month to meet current expenses till tax paying time.” The situation was much better than represented by the mayor .
Extra counsel was hired in June to care for the water works questions. Mayor Hammel vetoed the resolution of the council giving saloon keepers notice that the Sunday closing law would be enforced after July 1. At the Chautauqua in June, 10,000 people were present. Hagenback’s circus band was best of all bands present. In the absence of Mayor Hammel in July Acting-Mayor F. J. Harwood “put the lid” on Sunday saloon opening; all obeyed and for once the city was “dry.” In the suit for $1,500 monthly rental the company won against the city which offered only $1,019. In August the city offered $260,000 for the water plant; the offer was refused. Bids for the new postoffice site were called for in August. From 1904 to 1906 the big stone arch bridge was built. In June the water company offered to take $245,000 for its physical water plant and $50,000 for the intangible value plus recent expenses. In September the vote on the license question showed 243 majority for a $200 license .
In December, 1908, A. A. L. Smith said to have been the first white child born in Appleton died. This year the manufactured products of the city were worth $6,672,457, Appleton being the eighth city in the state in this regard .
The Hammel property corner of Oneida and Washington streets was bought by the city in February, 1907, to be used for a new engine house, etc.; it cost $15,000. It was estimated the new building would cost $17,000 .
Judge Samuel Ryan died in March, 1907, following his wife to the grave in less than a week. He came to Appleton in 1852 and founded the Crescent in 1853. He was at first a Whig, but became a Democrat about the time the Crescent was established. All things considered he was more prominently identified with Outagamie county, its people and its institutions than any other man. His record as a journalist, judge, politician and citizen was the best and highest. He served in the army and in civil life with honor and distinction. He was three times married; he left three brothers — James, Henry and David and one sister, Mrs. M. J. Allen .
In April, 1907, the city treasurer was charged with $377,534.02, of which $237,546.57 was on the 1906 tax warrant, and $77,000 bank loans. He was credited with the same less $49,297.38 on hand at the end of the year.
In 1895 the population of Appleton was 14,641; in 1900 it was 15,085; in 1905 it was 17,000 .
Frank W. Harriman who had just finished serving as mayor died in May, 1907; George Kreiss died also in May. The wire works plant burned in June, the loss being $30,000. The Chautauqua of 1907 was not a success and was abandoned thereafter. Eugene V. Debs spoke at this Chautauqua. A. H. Zechiel was waging a strenuous fight against opening saloons on Sunday. The three banks in the fall of 1907 showed deposits of over $3,000,000. The year 1907 was very prosperous to all business interests at Appleton .
By a unanimous vote the council in December, 1907, appealed to the state rate commission to have that body say what Appleton should pay for electric lights for both commercial and city purposes and to have a reasonable rate set for private consumers of gas for both fuel and illuminating purposes .
The special water works election in December, 1907, was officially declared to be a tie by the council — 646 votes for and the same against.
Late in 1907 the Supreme Court decided that the rates prescribed for hydrant rental or public service generally in the original contract between the city and the water works company, as the result of the then agreement of both parties thereto applied to the time intervening since the twenty-year limitation of the contract expired. The legislature empowered the state railroad commission to fix within reasonable limits the rate of compensation which local public service corporations of all kinds should receive for service rendered; to require efficient service; to determine the value of such plants in cases where municipalites desired to acquire ownership of them; its decisions being subject to review by the courts. Accordingly, the water company filed its declaration under this law, abandoning its franchise claim and receiving and accepting from the state an indeterminate permit to do business, and asked the commission what compensation it should receive for its future service. The special water works committee of the council thereupon advised the purchase of the water works plant at such a price as the state commission should say was just and reasonable, the question of purchase being left to the voters .
Mary A. P. Stansbury issued a book of verse about January 1, 1908, entitled “The Path of Years.” A branch of the American Woman’s League was established in Appleton in 1908-9. At the meeting of the Merchants’ Association in May, 1908, where nearly 150 business men were gathered, C. W. Harvey of Dodge county read a paper on the conduct of fairs. Happy Jack was owned in Pennsylvania in 1908. He was the famous horse racer with a record of 2:09; he was a great attraction at former county and state fairs. Six thousand people witnessed the water carnival and fire works display at Appleton on July 4, 1908. There were a four-mile challenge race, quarter mile canoe race, half mile row-boat race, and 300 yard swimming race .
At a meeting of the Appleton Merchants’ Association in October, it was decided to observe as holidays Christmas, New Year’s day, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, and half a day for Decoration day and Labor day; closing hours were established; the Fox River Valley Fair was to be assisted in every way possible to make its fairs successful; that a clearing house should be established in Appleton; street illumination was considered in detail .
In November a no-license campaign was inaugurated at Appleton, F. J. Harwood becoming president of the organization formed and Dr. M. J. Sandborn secretary. Steps to have the question voted on in the spring of 1909 were taken .
Congressman Kuesterman asked Congress for a $100,000 post office for Appleton late in 1908. A severe storm of wind and rain did $15,000 worth of damage to the city in June. Early this year the water works company was thrown into the hands of a receiver; it was alleged by the press that this was done by design .
“The illumination of College avenue by the Appleton merchants, together with the notoriety given to the town by the possession of the biggest Christmas tree in the world, and not only the biggest, but the prettiest, put the merchants of nearby towns to their wits’ end to keep their trade from drifting over to Appleton.” — (Post, December 31, 1908.)
The plan of lighting College avenue with arches was adopted late in 1908, first as a holiday event only. John Maurer and Joseph Krouser were the leaders of this movement in the west end .
The Appleton Athletic Association was organized in January, 1909, with a capital of $6,000; the directors were Messrs. Beggs, Baldwin, Steele, Shannon, Frank, Dickinsonand Conway. Plans for the baseball season were prepared .
In April the council accepted the gift of George C. Jones of the property in the Second ward ravine to be used as a public park and at the same time prepared to buy other adjacent property to add thereto. Many years before Judge Harriman presented similar property at the First ward ravine to the city for a like purpose. At a meeting of the Merchants Association in April, resolutions were adopted recommending the passage of the bill before the legislature making a commission form of government optional with Wisconsin cities.
By a majority of 547 the “wets” carried Appleton, April 6, 1909, after one of the most aggressive campaigns in the history of the city. The total vote cast on the liquor question was 2,973, of which the “wets” received 1,760 and the “drys” 1,213. The “wets” and “drys” were license and no-license advocates. The results showed that a change of only 300 votes out of a total of nearly 3,000 would suffice to give a safe majority to the anti-saloon movement. All slot machines were ordered removed and closed. Judge Henry Kreiss for county judge had no opposition; the same of Arthur G. Meating, county superintendent. The council remained Republican. The politics of the city supervisors remained unchanged. Kranbold (R.) for assessor received 1,235 votes and Morgan (D.) 1,968 .
In July the water works company was charged with discrimination against individuals and the rate commission was appealed to. The number of volumes in the library in July, 1909, was 10,884. If the city claimed the water works and the company also claimed them, who should repair leaks? was the question asked. Harold Spencer son of A. M. Spencer attorney of Appleton wrote good verse at this time. The water carnival on July 4 was witnessed by thousands of persons and was a brilliant event. A subway and loop were talked of. In 1909 the city spent for cement sidewalks $33,010.10. Moving pictures had been here for many years; the Elite was the first. The mayor in September recommended that six additional artesian wells should be bored, one in each ward. Labor day was celebrated this year as never before; 6,000 people were at the driving park .
A chapel and receiving vault was planned for the cemetery in 1910. In January several large meetings of the citizens were held to discuss the commission form of city government. It was finally determined to postpone definite action on the question. The Crescent offered $5 for the best motto with which to “boost” Appleton. “Active Appleton Attracts Attention,” was suggesed. In February it was planned to spend soon $150,000 for permanent and much needed improvements. The citizens could not agree and decide on any definite pavement for the streets; the council was cailed upon to decide. An automobile club was organized at this date. The water works were valued at $256,893 by the railway commission in April; the physical plant was estimated at $242,613. The postoffice contract was awarded at $60,940 .
In May, upon the formation of the Commercial Club from the Merchants’ Association, over 100 new members joined, thus raising the membership to about 300. Already it was a powerful organization and its influence was widely felt. The club was formally reorganized May 25. A. H. Mayer was elected president; J. J. Sherman, treasurer .
A mass meeting of citizens in July asked the council to buy an engine for the water works — one that would give enough power to meet requirements in case of fire. In June there were nineteen days when the mercury rose above 90 degrees. A lodge of the Order of Moose was instituted in, the summer of 1910. On the question of buying a fire engine for the water works the council voted 6 for and 6 against; the mayor voted “buy.” In August the citizens voted on whether to buy the water works at the price set by the railway commission, with the following result:
The Fourth of July celebration, 1910, was the “sanest” ever observed here; the Boat club was given credit for the results; the water carnival was excellent and was witnessed by an immense crowd .
In 1910 the population of Appleton was announced officially at 16,773; it was a great disappointment, but not so severe when it was learned that many other cities gained no more. The chapel and receiving vault for the cemetery were contracted for at $12,000. The anti-saloon movement evaded politics. “Appleton Active Attractive,” was the motto finally adopted. In September the council notified the water company that the city would buy the works at the price fixed by the commission. The West End Advancement Association was organized in November, 1910 .
On December 8, 1910, the railroad commission filed a decision under the provisions of the public utility law that the city could purchase the water plant for $255,000 and that the company should sell at that figure; the company was given three months to do so. The physical value was put at $243,600 .
The new Nott fire engine was tested early in December and gave entire satisfaction; the pressure at the nozzle was double that at the gauge in the power house; the best results were obtained by throwing an inch stream under a 100 pound pressure and at the rate of 462 gallons a minute. Much higher results were shown. On December 16, 1910, by a unanimous vote, the council demanded the exclusive use of the Appleton Water Works plant .
Early in January, 1911, the city council notified the water company that it would be held liable as trespasser on city property for failure to comply with the order of the railroad commission to turn the plant over to the city; the city also stopped payment on hydrant rentals after December 17, the date the city demanded possession of the plant .
In January A. W. Priest gave to Appleton cemetery association a memorial concrete arch bridge to cost about $3,000 and to extend across the ravine at the southwest corner of the cemetery; this was the second noble gift of this local philanthropist. Employes of the Wisconsin Wire Works struck late in January, 1911, after being refused or denied their demand for a Union shop with Union scale. In January, 1911, Appleton postoffice was fourteenth in the state in amount of business done in 1910 — $50,794.55 .
The Appleton Chair Company was first organized in 1890, at which time the officers were George W. Gerry, president; David W. Starkey, vice-president; Herbert G. Bemis, secretary; William Marx, treasurer, and Henry M. Heule, superintendent, with Mr. P. R. Thom, and others as directors. The present officers of the company are P. R. Thom, president; F. J. Sensenbrenner, vice-president; R. W. Klotsch, secretary and treasurer, and Henry M. Heule, superintendent, and these gentlemen form the board of directors with William Marx of Milwaukee and Humphrey Pierce of Appleton. The company manufactures between 700 and 800 cheap and medium chairs daily, as well as wood veneered and upholstered seats, and 150 men are given employment. The factory concern was destroyed by fire in December, 1910, but this was replaced with a set of eight two-story structures, covering about 120,000 square feet, situated on Spencer Road, between Mason and Outagamie streets, equipped with modern machinery, furnished throughout with an automatic sprinkler system, and composed of fire-proof iron, brick and mill concrete. The factory is operated by 175 horse-power engines, with a separate engine of 100 horse-power for the sawmill, and the logs are purchased rough, every stage of chairmaking being done on the premises. The officers of this company are men of standing and ability, and the steady increase each year denotes that the enterprise is a successful one .
During the holidays 1910-11 there were sold here 36,853 tuberculosis seals or stamps. Large paving contracts were given at this time. The new postoffice was built in 1911 .
Late in February, 1911, Judge Quarles of the United States circuit court, upon petition of J. A. Hawes, receiver of the Appleton water works company, instructed the latter to refuse to turn the water plant over to the city as ordered by the railroad commission under the public utility law. The railroad commission had ordered the plant sold to the city for $255,000. The city authorities refused to be drawn into the United States court. The company had the right until March 8 to take an appeal to the Supreme Court from the order of sale by the railroad commission; and upon its failure to do so would take possession of the plant and turn it over to the city. The water works company, on March 9, filed suit in Dane county against the railroad commission to cause to be set aside and vacated the order of the commission to sell the plant to the city for $255,000, on the following grounds: First, because it never consented to the sale of the plant; second, because the commission was without jurisdiction, power or authority to determine the price; third, because the price is much less than a fair and true value of the property .
Early in 1911 steps to adopt the commission form of city government were taken. Numerous meetings were held and the change was thoroughly examined in all its bearings. Roy P. Wilcox of Eau Claire explained the new system. It was a campaign of education.
Approximately 850 citizens petitioned the mayor to call an extra election to vote on the question of the commission form of government; the call was issued and February 7 was set as the day .of election. There were to be chosen one mayor and two councilmen; numerous candidates presented themselves .
The Outagamie County bank was incorporated early in June, 1911, with a capital of $50,000; it was located on West College avenue between Walnut and State streets. The incorporators were Frederick Stoffel, Frank Fries, Joseph A. Krouser, George Schiedermayer, Stilman N. Fish, William Fountain, Thomas T. McGillan, George Wolf, F. F. Trettien and John A. Schmidt .
Oiled streets were talked of this year. It was proposed to do away with lunches in saloons. In the fourteenth annual report of the city librarian it was shown that there were 11,792 books in the library; 19,359 books were loaned to children and 35,267 to adults. Miss Agnes L. Dwight was the efficient librarian. The city assess ment in 1911 was $12,566,635 .
In July and, August, 1911, the tax conmmission heard arguments in the appeal of Appleton, Kaukauna and Buchanan from the assessment at $100 per horse power for water adopted by the county board in November, 1910 .
Late in June, 1911, the Colmmercial Club took the stand in the water works case that “patience had ceased to be a virtue” and that pressure should be brought to bear to end the long suit. The object was to impress upon the state officials the deplorable facts that the people here were tired of the delay and were determined soon to have their rights secured from a too lenient court. “If the state can do nothing and the courts continue to grant adjournments it is time for the people of Appleton to take matters into their own hands.” This was the attitude of the club and really of the citizens generally .
A unanimous vote of the manufacturers present July 12, at a conference with the council concerning the water works concluded that in the event of a decision against the city in the pending injunction suit, the council be requested at once to file a petition with the rate commission for permission to build a competing water plant unless satisfactory terms could be made with the company .
In August the city held that since December 7, 1910, it had owned the water works plant. The city was waiting in 1911 for the decision of Judge Sanborn on the application of the water company for a permanent injunction preventing the city from continuing its litigation against the company and from seizing the plant .
The mayor was to be elected for six years, one councilman for four years and one for two years. The charter or patent was received in February .
The departments for the commissioners were as follows: Canovan — Police, fire and water, poor, health and finance: Goodland — Streets and bridges, public offices, license and judiciary: Schueller — Street lighting, assessors, ordinances, public grounds and buildings and sealer of weights and measures .
Mayor Canavan spent $144.22 election expenses; while Mr. Knuppel spent $545.45 .
In May, 1911, the city was divided into four districts for street work, each to be in charge of a foreman who was held accountable for the work in his district .
In July Mr. Venner offered to sell the water plant for $285,000 without the hydrant rental or for $315,000 with the hydrant rental. The United States judges at Chicago refused to grant the injunction of the water company. H. W. Meyer, editor and publisher of the Volksfreund died in August .
Appleton secured a postal savings bank in September, 1911. At this time Fred F. Wettengel guaranteed $2,000 to aviator Rogers to give an exhibition of air navigation and to remain in the air at least fifteen minutes. A large crowd gathered at the Driving park where an admission fee of 50 cents was charged. Mr. Rogers made several flights and took up several passengers at different times. Mr. Wettengel himself went aloft. The show was excellent, but the patronage was not .
REPORT OF THE CITY CLERK .
To His Honor the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Appleton, Wisconsin .
Gentlemen: — Your clerk herewith submits his report of the moneys expended and received in the several departments of the city government for the corporate year ending April 12, 1911:
There are outstanding $8,000 bridge and street improvement bonds. $2,600 due each year, and bearing interest at 4 per cent, $2,000 principle and $360 interest were paid this year .
There are outstanding $20,000 public building and street bonds, $2,500 due each year and bearing interest at 3 1/2 per cent, $2,500 principle and $787.50 interest were paid this year .
There are outstanding $65,000 high school bonds, $5,000 payable each year, bearing 4 per cent interest, $5,000 principle and $2,800 interest were paid this year .
There are outstanding $1,800 voting machine bonds, $600 payable each year, bearing interest at 5 per cent, $600 principle and $120 interest were paid this year .
Leaving the city’s bonded indebtedness at this date $94,800.The expenditures of the several departments were as follows: