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97 7.501 




3 1833 01052 8773 











History is Philosophy Teaching by Example 



F. J. Richmond, Pres. C. R. Arnold, Sec'y and Treas. 




The aim of the pubHshers of this vohime and of the author of the history has 
been to secure for the historical portion thereof full and accurate data respecting 
the history of the county from the time of its early settlement and to condense 
it into a clear and interesting narrative. All topics and occurrences have been in- 
cluded that were essential to this subject. 

The reviews of resolute and strenuous lives that make up the biographical part 
of the volume are admirably calculated to foster local ties, to inculcate patriotism 
and to emphasize the rewards of industry dominated by intelligent purpose. They 
constitute a most appropriate medium for perpetuating personal annals and will be 
of incalculable value to the descendants of those commemorated. These sketches- 
are replete with stirring incidents and intense experiences and are flavored with 
a strong human interest that will naturally prove to a large portion of the readers 
of the book one of its most attractive features. In the aggregate of personal 
memoirs thus collated will be found a vivid epitome of the growth of Marathon 
county, which will fitly supplement the historical statement, for its development 
is identical with that of the men and women to whom it is attributable. Sketches 
unrevised by subscribers are marked by a small asterisk (*) placed after the 
name of the subscriber. 

The publishers have avoided slighting any part of the work, and to the best of 
their ability have supplemented the editor's labors by exercising care over the 
minutest details of publication, in order to give the volume the three-fold value 
of a readable narrative, a useful work of reference and a tasteful ornament to 
the library. 

Special prominence has been given to the portraits of many representative 
citizens, which appear throughout the volume, and we believe that they will 
prove not its least interesting feature. We have sought in this department to 
illustrate the different spheres of industrial and professional achievement as con- 
spicuously as possible. To all who have kindly interested themselves in the 
preparation of this work, and who have voluntarily contributed most useful in- 
formation and data, or rendered any other assistance, we hereby tender our 
grateful acknowledgments. 

The Publishers. 
Chicago, 111., May, 1913. 


Looking back only seventy-five years, what change has been wrought in 
Wisconsin! This whole country from Fort Winnebago north was wild, unculti- 
vated, not one white man stirring the soil in all this territory north from the 
fort up to the Great Lake, and only a few white men in the neighborhood of the 
fort trading with the Indians for the pelts of wild animals. An immense forest 
stretched up all through the bigger part of the state. When we contemplate this 
situation and compare it with present conditions, the change is more remarkable 
than the change which took place in the prairies of the west, so romantically de- 
scribed in Colonel Roosevelt's book, "The Winning of the West." 

It is the aim of the writer to give a narration of the causes which brought this 
change and to speak of the events in this interesting period of our state and 
county, and the lives of the pioneers, which rest now mainly in tradition. If he 
has in some degree succeeded in this attempt, he deems himself richly compensated 
for the work. He has lived in Wausau continually since 1867, coming here from 
his home city. Vienna, Austria ; he has seen Marathon county in its inf ancv and 
has grown up with it. He became early acquainted with the pioneers still living 
at that time, intimately with many of them ; he speaks from the life in the mills, 
in camps and on the river from personal experience, and mingled with all sorts 
of persons in the pinery, including the farmers who had come to this county but 
a short time before. In writing these sheets he has drawn mostly on his memory, 
but is indebted to Mr. E. B. Thayer, who came here in the early fifties and for 
over thirty years has owned and edited a newspaper in this city, and who has a 
veritable treasure of historical facts and reminiscences at his disposal as well as 
a vivid memory, for valuable aid rendered him in the compilation of this book. 
He takes this occasion to express his gratitude to the still living pioneers. Levy 
Flemming, Edward Nicolls, John Dern and Jacob Gensmann among others, and 
all others who have given information, as well as to public officials, Mr. J. W. 
Miller, register of the U. S. Land Office, and county clerks, Messrs. King and 
Cook, for their courtesy in permitting examinations of public records. The 
narration of the expedition of George Rogers Clark is largely taken from the 
work of Charles C. Miller, Ph. D., of Ohio. The book is written as a fitting' 
tribute to the noble race of the pioneers who should be held in grateful memory 
by succeeding generations, and if. in addition to that, it should prove of some 
assistance to future historians of this state, however slight, it is all that the writer 
expected to accomplish. 

L. M. 
Wausau, May 13, 1913. 



The \'alue of History — ^Marathon County a Part of the Old Northwest — The 
Ordinance of 1787 — Conquest of the Northwest Territory — George 
Rogers Clark — Ownership of the Territory — Charter Granted by Louis 
XIII to French Merchants — The Search for Gold — The Fur Trade — 
Explorations — Missionaries and Missions 21 


The Indian Occupation — The Different Tribes Occupying the Wisconsin 
Territory — Present Indian Reservations — New York Indians in Wis- 
consin — Under American Rule — Negro Slavery in Wisconsin — Indian 
Wars — Lead Alining 36 


Wisconsin as a Territory — Act of Congress Approved April 20, 1836 — Popu- 
lation \Mien Organized — Counties — First Lumbering on Black and 
Wisconsin Rivers — Attempts to Improve Navigation at Little Bull 
Falls — Railroad Charters Applied for — Constitutional Convention of 
1847 — Population in 1S47 — Admitted as a State May 29, 1848 — The 
Public Domain 45 


The Wisconsin Valley — First and Natural Highway — Water Powers De- 
veloped — Drainage — \\'isconsin River Improvement and Water Storage 
Reservoirs — Annual Precipitation — Physical Geography — Soil of Alara- 
thon County and Elevations — ]\Iinerals — Climate and Health 50 

Titles — Surveys — First Settlements 59 


First Settlements (Continued) 67 


The Town of Big Bull Falls Organized— Alarathon County Organized — 
Election of County Officers — First Term of the Circuit Court — Action 
of the County Board — New Commerce — United States Land Office 
Located at Stevens Point 7^ 


The Wausau and South Line Plank Road — First Issue of Bonds for Highway 
Work — The 2^Iechanic's Ridge — Ball at Wausau to Celebrate President 
Pierce's Inauguration — I\Iike Rousseau's Band — The Finest House in 
Wausau — Change of Place of Supplies — Hon. George W. Cate — .Mail 
Route from Ontonagon to Wausau 91 


First Farming Settlements in the Present Towns of Berlin, Maine and Ham- 
burg — The Pittsburg Settlers' Club — Marathon City and Town — Town 
of Stettin — Little Bull and the Irish Settlement — Knowlton — Keeler- 
ville — The Village of Forestville 99 


The First Newspaper — The Steamboat — New Arrivals at \\'ausau — County 

Orders — County Commissioners — Hard Times 122 


The Towns of the Wisconsin Central Railroad, now Milwaukee, St. Paul & 
Sault St. ^larie Railroad, and First Settlements — Tax Exemptions of 
Railroad Lands — Town of Rietbrook — Athens in 1879 — Settlements on 
the Extreme South, East and W'est — Incorporated Milages and Railroad 
Stations 134 


War Times — Indian Scare — Railroads and Railroad Litigation — The Wis- 
consin Central Railroad Company — The Wisconsin Valley Railroad 
Company — The Lake Shore & \V'estern Railroad Company — The Passing 
of the River Men — Lincoln County Set Off 147 



Timber Left in 1875 — Farm Developments — Roads and Communications — 
Timber Lands in 1912 — Schools — Court House and County Institu- 
tions — The Marathon County Agricultural Society — The Marathon 
County Bar 166 


Political History from the Organization of the County Until the Close of 

1912 191 

Senators and Members of Assembly 226 


Population of ]\Iarathon County According to Federal Census, and Popu- 
lation by Towns — Roster of County Officials from the Organization of 
the County to 1912-1914 243 


The City of Wausau — As It Was as a A'illage from 1861 to 1872 — Its Public 
Officials — Historical Events — The Flood of 1866 — Fires — Wausau Fire 
Company No. i — Music Hall — Dramatic Clubs — The Social Life 256 

City of Wausau (Continued) — The Times from 1872 to 1879 280 

The City of Wausau from 1878 to 1912-13 293 


The Pioneer Schools — Common Schools and High Schools Up to 1912 — 

Wausau Business College 342 

Religious Wausau — Churches and Religious Organizations — Y. M. C. A.. . . 352 




Financial Institutions — The First National Bank — The Marathon County 
Bank — National German-American Bank — Citizens' State Bank — Wis- 
consin Valley Trust Company — Marathon County Building, Loan and 
Investment Company — The Great Northern Life Insurance Company — 
Employers' Mutual Liability Insurance Company of Wisconsin 368 

Industrial Wausau in 1912 378 

Commercial Wausau — Mercantile Enterprises 400 


Wausau and Marathon County Press — Daily Record-Herald — Central Wis- 
consin — Wisconsin River Pilot — Wochtenblatt — Pioneer — The Sun — 
Philosopher Press — List of Papers Published in Marathon County. . . . 409 


Bench and Bar — Judges of the Circuit Court from 1850 to 1912 — Present 

Members of the Bar 416 


The Medical Profession — Physicians in Practice in 1912 — St. Mary's Hos- 
pital — The Profession of Dentistry — Dentists in Practice in 191 2 — 
Mclndoe Park — The Public Library — Hotels 427 


Military Organizations : Lysander Cutler Post, G. A. R., No. 55 — Company 
G, Third Regiment Wisconsin National Guard — Fraternal and Benevo- 
lent Societies — Marathon Grove No. 20, Order of Druids — Secret and 
Benevolent Societies — German-American ^Mutual Sick Benefit Socie- 
ties — D. G. K. U. V. — D. A. U. V. — Deutscher Krieger Verein of 
Wausau 438 


Music and Song — Bands and Orchestras — Societies for the Cultivation of 
Song — Harmony — The Liederkranz — Opera and Choral Societies — The 


Tuesday Musical Club — The Ladies' Literary Club — The Wausau Club — 
The Wausau Country Club 445 

Sports — Horse Racing — Shooting — Turn Societies — Base Ball, etc 458 


Wausau in the Spanish-American War — Record of Company G, Third 
Wisconsin Regiment, W. N. G. — Patriotic Addresses — Presentation to 
Louis Marchetti — Roster of the Company 462 


Incidents: Fires — The Flood of 1912 — German Bi-Centennial Celebration, 
1883 — Stormy Session of County Board — Sheriffs' Adventures — An 
Atrocious Murder 473 


Incorporated Milages in IMarathon County — Historical and Descriptive 
Sketches of Marathon City, Mosinee, Edgar, Fenwood, jMcMillan, 
Athens, City of Colby, Unity, Scholfield, Spencer, Brokaw and Stratford. 489 


Incorporated Towns in ^Marathon County — Historical and Descriptive 
Sketches of the Towns of Wausau, Weston, Mosinee, Texas, Marathon. 
Knowlton, Berlin, Stettin, Easton, ]\Iaine, \\'ien, Bergen, Hull, Brighton, 
Holeton, Hamburg, Spencer, Rio Falls. Rietbrook, Day, Johnson, Halsey, 
Cleveland, Eau Pleine, Kronenwetter, Pike Lake, Norrie, Eldron, Harri- 
son, McMillan, Emmett, Frankfort, Plover, Cassel, Hewitt, Ringle, 
Franzen, Bern and Flieth 530 


Distinguished Public j\Ien, Past and Present 580 

Representative Citizens 635 


Abraham. Herman J SS9 

Adam, Carl C 977 

Albreclit, William, Jr 945 

Alderson, V. A 31S 

Alexander, Hon. Walter 614 

Allouez, Fathei* 33, 34 

Anderson, E. J 31o 

Anthony, Susan B 277 

Bache-Wiig, Olai 905 

Baesemann, Gustav H 695 

Baesemann, Henry 686 

Bannach, John S 966 

Barber, Dr. Joseph 701 

Bardeen, Judge 41S 

Barney, A. B 233 

Barnum, M. H r ... 235 

Barrett, C. C 946 

Barwig, Hon. Charles A 760 

Baumann, Richard , 64S 

Bean, H. A ! 116 

Beebe, JI. P. 231 

Bellis, il. G 955 

Belz, Hugo R. K 680- 

Bernier, Charles A 906 

Berres, Matthew .J 651 

Bevreis. Kurt A 8S3 

Bielke, W. F 913 

Bird, Claire B 913 

Bissell. Walter H -669 

Blair, William 116 

Blecha, Frank X 961 

Blecha, George il 686 

Blecha, Mrs. Josie 938 

Bliese, Carl, Jr 836 

Blume, J. J 715 

Bock, Alfred A. . . . ." 683 

Boettcher. August 814 

Bopf, Conrad 673 

Borowitz, George W 702 

Bowe, Michael 971 

Bradfish, Frederick 788 

Braun, John 741 

Braun, Joseph 857 

Braun. William 679 

Brehmer, Oscar 700 

Brennan, Rev. Joseph J 980 

Briese, Oscar H 835 

Brown, Dr. Almon L 724 

Brown, Hon. Xeal 421, 621 

Bruneau. J. R 117, 224 

Bryant, Dr. .Jesse R 972 

Bump, Elisha L 947 

Bump, Franklin E 947 

Burger, Joseph 880 

Burger, Mathias 880 

Burnett, Samuel D 704 

Butler, Dr. Edward F 684 

Gallon, William 673 

Cate, Judge 416 

Chartier, Frank E 819 

Chase, Eli R 420 

Chellis, William R 902 

Clierney, A. J 749 

Chesak", Frank F 860 

C hesak, John H 873 

Chesak, Hon. Joseph 230, 737 

Chesak, Martin 873 

Clark. George Rogers 24, 30 

Clarke. Hon. John C 63 

Clarke. J. C 288 

Colombo, Joseph L 707 

Cone, Clive S 867 

Cook, Alfred 236, 920 

Cook, Louis H 920 

Crosbv, Charles F 328 

Cuer, " William 118 

Curtis, Cornelius S 708 

Curtis, John E 827 

Curtis, Walter E 839 

Dablone, Father 33 

Daniels, Dr. William N 726 

Davis. Thomas 963 

Degner, Henry 660 

Dehlinger, Ca"rl K 755 

Deiehsel, Frank 929 

Deininger. Louis 892 

Delanev, Thomas F 766 

De Long, C. C 759 

Demars, F. L 117 

Dern, Anton 768 

Dern. Emil 807 

Dessert, Joseph 592 

Dessert, Louis 643 

Deutsch, Frederick M 928 

DeVoe, Fred 772 

Dohertv, David C 683 

Duncan, M. H 325 

Edgar, Charles T 836 




Ellenbecker, Henry 691 

Erbach, William L 769 

Esselman, Herman B 655 

Fehlhaber, Albert J ^ 893 

Febl, John 662 

Fehlhaber, Otto G 803 

Fish. Dr. Edward C 674 

Flieth, Herman G 808 

Franzen, Christ 716 

Frawley, Dr. Ray M 929 

Freeman, Robert 116 

Fricke, Dr. William A 650 

Fuller, Dr. C. 956 

Gaetzman, Frank J 822 

Gasper, Rev. Peter L 918 

Gassner, Frank 949 

Gassner. Michael 950 

Gebhard, Rev. A. F. H 113 

Geisler, Charles H 975 

Genrich, Fred W 718 

Gensmann, Edward 890 

Gensmann, Jacob 763 

Gensmann, William E 930 

Gilbert, Charles S 745 

Gilbert, William 118 

Glass. Chester A 758 

Goerling, Charles N 938 

Goetz. William F 723 

Gorman, Edward P 794 

Gorman, Patrick 725 

Gowan, William 86 

Gowen, Bert C 792 

Green, George G 73, 764 

Green, Jared R 840 

Green. Dr. William A 937 

Gross, Henry 850 

Grout, A. H 635 

Grunewald, Gustav 906 

Guenther, Leonhard 119 

Haesle, John '. . . 70S 

Hahnheiser. Paul 830 

Haider, Albert H 690 

Haider, Georse H 863 

Hall. Lewis H 685 

Halsey, Pier.son L 969 

Hamerle. .Toseph 940 

Hamilton. Claude F 692 

Hamilton, General •, . .26, 27, 30 

Hammond. Benjamin F 781 

Hannemann, Frank 748 

Hanowitz, Harris B 667 

Harger. Charles W 767 

Harter, Dr. A. F 703 

Heimann, Edward 809 

Heinemann, Benjamin 975 

Heinemann, Nathan 944 

Heise, Julius 924 

Helke, Charles 977 

Hennepin, Father 34 

Henry, Patrick 25, 26 

Hinton. Tliomas 70 

Hoeflinger, Carl 286 

Hort'mann, F. A 129 

Hohmann. Emil R 881 

Holub, Adolph 664 

Holzmann, Charles 965 

Fornung, .Tacob, Sr 723 

Hubing, Frank A 840 

Hudtloft-. William E 934 

Hurley. Jlichael A 884 

Jenkins, John H 675 

Johannes, J. Henry 649 

Johnson, Albert 894 

Johnson. William R 896 

Jones. Granville D 625 

Jones, G. D 423 

Juers, Henry 742 

Junkerman, Carl 776 

Kanter, Joseph P 732 

Karas, Sigismund 979 

Karl, Joseph 852 

Kaross, Otto B 838 

Keefe. Martin 705 

Keil. Julius H 911 

Keiner, Christ Jacob '. 765 

Kellogg. Sen. .John A 227 

Kelly. Frank 771 

Kennedy. William P 830 

Kicklnisch. Frederick W 599 

Kiefer, John 790 

Kieffer, Albert 827 

Kiefi'er Bros 827 

Kieffer. Clement 827 

Kietfer. .John. Sr 827 

Kilian. Herman W 821 

King. John 647 

Kleiker, Victor . 857 

Klein. Rev. Bernard 667 

Klimek. Matt J 663 

King'. August 933 

Knauf. Jacob 713 

Knoedler. Adolph 891 

Koch, Dr. Albert T 786 

Koehler. John H 393, 738 

Koenig. Carl 948 

Ivomers, John L. . . ., 813 

Kopplin, Gustave E 874 

Koschmann. F. Bernard 864 

Kraatz. Louis 943 

ICrause, Carl 937 

Krause. Fred W 728 

Kretlow, Edward C. 802 

Kreutzer, Hon. Andrew L 630 

Kreutzer, George A 719 

Kreutzer, Henry 690 

Kreutzer, John W 957 

Krnnenwetter. .Sebastian 229 

Krueger. Carl G 910 

Kryshak. Anton L 860 

Ku'ebler, John M 863 

Kuhlmann, Robert P 693 



Kurth, Frank 829 

Kysow, Frank 92? 

Laabs, Bernard F 971 

La Certe. Isaie A 754 

LaDu, Hon. Willis F 238, 960 

Lamer, Joseph 779 

Lament, Hon. John F. 336, 656 

Landon. William C 636 

Lang, A. J 783 

Lang, Joseph. Jr 907 

Langenhahn. Edward C 850 

Larrabee, Judge 416 

Lawrence. William T., D. D. S 969 

Leahy, J. E 394 

Leak, Louis C 899 

Leicht, George J 935 

LeMessurier, John 86 

Lemke, August 273 

Lemke, August H., D. D. S 750 

Lemke, Carl 717 

Lemke, Edward W 714 

Lemke, Otto C 842 

Lemke, William F 925 

Leubner, Oscar A 951 

Liljeqvist, Oran 747 

Lipski, Morris 867 

Lonsdorf, Ferdinand A 734 

Lueck, Gust 793 

Lund, Christian 935 

McCrossen, Henry G 721 

McEachron. H. E 313 

Jlclndoe. Hon. Walter D 582 

ilcKaban. James E.. D. D. S 799 

Mcilillan Bros 138 

iIcl!f\iiolds. Francis 637 

Jhv,alilav, Evan JL, M. D 826 

Manecke. Fred W S49 

Manecke, William F 662 

Manser, John 750 

Manson, Herbert H 790 

Manson, John 316 

Manson, Hon. John X 933 

Manson, Rufus P 301, 956 

Marchetti, Louis 319 

Marquardt, August F 339 

Marquardt, Herman E 899 

Marquette, Father 33, 34 

Marson, Arthur R 683 

Marth. Frank 966 

Mathie, John F 859 

Mathie, Otto 747 

Mayer, Charles B -. 743 

Means, Paris 954 

Mehl. Anton 302, SOI 

Menzner, Philip 695 

Merklein, Carl 795 

Meyer. William 932 

Jlillard. Burton 86, 22S 

ililler. Hon. Henry 230, 641 

Jliller, Herman 237 

Miller, John W 311, 644 

Mills. Guv A 973 

Moll, L. H 918 

Molter. Xicholas P 897 

Muehlenkamp, Rev. A. E 727 

Mueller, Hon. Gustav 306, 800 

Mueller, Otto F 834 

Muenchow. Otto 846 

ilunes, Anton M 671 

Mylrea, Hon. W. H 633 

Nablo, William H 841 

Xetzel, August C 820 

Xicollet, M 33 

Oby, Walter 720 

O'Couner, Frank P 717 

O'C onnor. Thomas 332 

( Iknnir^ki. John J 736 

<'I-un. (II, I M 959 

1 1"\\ lid, I .u^tav A 957 

n„wald, Ueiu-y 834 

Paff, Jacob 854 

Paff. William A 895 

Parcher, Hon. Robert E 308, 833 

Park, Judge 417 

Paronto, Arden 928 

Peschmann, Charles F 853 

Petersen, Albert il 778 

Peth, Charles H 853 

Pfeirter. George 900 

Philipp. Jlichael 692 

Pierce, Walter E 810 

Pine, Edward L 812 

Pivornetz, Wenzel 672 

Plisch, Robert 333, 824 

Plowman. Arthur J 240 

Plumer, Hon. Bradbury G 598 

Plumer. Hon. Daniel L 293, 297, 609 

Pradt. L. A 423 

Pradt. Hon. Louis A 633, 964 

Prehn. Arthur W 643 

Prehn, Edwin R 746 

Prehn, Fred 238, 746 

Prehn & Son. Fred 746 

Priest. 0. E 116 

Quade. Dr. Emile B 780 

Quade. Julius 681 

Quaw, Samuel M 923 

Radandt. Edward J 955 

Radlotr. F. G 973 

Ramthun. Herman 837 

Ravnibuult. Father 33 

Redetzke. Louis 772 

Regner. Frank P 735 

Reul. Hon. Alexander H 419, 602 

Reinhart. Charles 877 

Reinhart. :\Iartin 877 

Reiser. Jusepli 317 

RemiiitU Bros 815 

Remmell. JIathias 815 



Remmell, Nicholas 815 

Rick, George F 816 

Riley, James P 967 

Ringle, Ernst 803 

Ringile, Oustav 724 

Ringle, Hon. John 613 

Ringle, Oscar 241 

Ringle, Oscar L 915 

Ringle & Schill 724 

Ripczinske, Joseph 876 

Ritger,. Hon. A 696 

Ritter, Franz 769 

Roberts, David 117 

Rodermund, Dr. Arthur M 796 

Rosenberrv, Dr. Abraham B 942 

Rosenberry, Marvin B 868 

Rousseau, M 96 

Rowlev, John A 638 

Roy, Dr. Emile 657 

Ruder, Henry 898 

Runkel, George A 974 

Ryan, Thomas C 915 

Ryan, Thomas H 917 

Sauerhering, Dr. Douglas L 743 

Sauter. Anton 871 

Sauter, Ottmar 872 

Schaefer, Fred G 963 

Scharbau, Louis 828 

Schewe, Carl 711 

Schill, M. X 724 

Schilling, Francis X 241 

Schilling, 0. George 878 

Schirpke, John 638 

Schlaefer, John 893 

Schlaefer, Nicholas J 893 

Schlegel, Ernest E 833 

Schlegel, Dr. Herman T 978 

Schlueter, August H 753 

Schmidt, Hon. Nicholas 239, 645 

Schneider, Gust 953 

Sehochow, Gustav A 812 

Schoenherr, William J 962 

Scholfield, William B 699 

Sehott, T. J 952 

Schubert, Frank 804 

Schubring, Eric 968 

Schubring, Fred, Jr 785 

Schubring, Henry 878 

Schubring, Leo " 970 

Schubring. William 866 

Schuetz, Leo C 775 

Schultz, Robert W 777 

Sehulz, Gottfried 664 

Schulze, Edward E 732 

Schwister. Henrv 735 

Seidler, John . ". 941 

Sell, John L 668 

Sell, William 703 

Seubert, John 908 

Seymour, Paul 890 

Silverthorn, George 676 

Silverthorn, Hon. Willis C 419, 607 

Single, Charles A TO, 596 

Smith. Brayton E 861 

Smith, Dr. Joseph F 787 

Smith, Dr. Seth M. B 940 

Smith, Dr. Theophilus 758 

Smith, Theophilus M 661 

Spiegel, Rev. William 815 

Stadler, Philip 706 

Stanton, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady 276 

Stark, John 848 

Stark, Thomas 119 

Steltz, George A 7J7 

Stevens, George 62, 64, 67 

Stevens, Grace M 770 

Stewart, Hon. Alexander 588 

Stolze, George 680 

Stolze, Paul F 731 

Straehota, Kilian ." 733 

Stueber. John 965 

Stuhlfauth, George 839 

Sutter, John G 648 

Tess, Charles 782 

Thaver, Eugene B 658 

Thielke, Dr. Gustav A 958 

Thompson, Henrv M 235 

Tisch, Ma.\ L. .* 842 

Toburen, Gustav 848 

Tomkiewicz, Frank J 744 

Tress, Otto 828 

Turner, Charles E 882 

Turner, George F 882 

Vandercook, Gilbert E 236 

Vedder, Dr. H. A 901 

Vetter, Anthony 858 

Vetter, George 865 

Vetter. Jacob 865 

Volhard, Henry 712 

Von Berg, Adam 796 

Wagner, A. C 694 

Wagner, Joseph 835 

Wagner, Mathew 909 

Wahl, Dr. H. S 756 

Walker, William W 727 

Warren. Hon. Clyde L 652 

Webb, Judge 418 

Weber, Ferdinand 791 

Wegner, Charles H 862 

Weeks, John 120 

Weinfeld, Charles 949 

Weinke, Julius 951 

Weinkauf, Edward G 851 

Weisbrod, Charles 849 

Weisbrod, William J 931 

Wendorflf, Albert 845 

Wendorff, Herman A 875 

Werheim, George 234 

Widmer, Elmer D 777 

Wiechmann, Fred G 847 

Wiechmann, Louis 838 

Wilke, George H 833 



Willard, Dr. Lee M 979 

Willems, Joseph S51 

Wilson, Benjamin F 939 

Winninger, Franz 931 

Wright, Everett 978 

Ya-nkey, Cyrus C 627 

Young, John P 864 

Zaun. Dr. Henrv H 920 

Zemke, Carl A.' 879 

Zemke, John G 879 

Zender, Nicholas H 884 

Zielsdorf, Frank F : 811 

Zilisch, Dr. William E 926 

Zimmerman, Alfred H 936 

Zimmermann, Hon. Ernst C. . . .304, 323, 631 

Zochert, Wilbur J 822 

History of Marathon County 


The Value of History — Marathon County, a Part of the Old Northzvest — 
The Ordinance of I'/Sj — Conquest of the Northzvest Territory — George 
Rogers Clark — Ozvnership of the Territory — Charter Granted bv Louis 
XIII to French Merclmnts — The Search for Gold — The Fur Trade — 
Explorations — Missionaries and Missions. 


History is a narrative of events, and of the life and acts of families, of 
tribes and nations, the study of which is of great value to the human mind, 
because by these recorded facts we judge of the past, and guide our future. 

The first form of history is tradition, orally handed down from genera- 
tion to generation by uncultured people to whom the science of letters is 
still unknown; but as soon as savage tribes emerge out of that state, and 
learn to understand letters and thus acquire a written language, they also 
begin to write their history. The sculptured inscriptions on monoliths, 
ancient temples and monuments, which may be seen more or less all over 
the world, including our own continent, are the first attempts at written his- 
tory, and from those inscriptions so hewn into stone, we obtain some knowl- 
edge, scant though it may be, of nations and empires which have disappeared 
from the face of the earth and left us nothing to remember them by, except 
those architectural ruins. When writing became a familiar art, among 
learned men at least, it was not long before suitable material was invented 
on which to record the great achievements of men and nations, and history 
became written, from the^study of which we learn of the mode of life of 
nations, ancient as well as modern, their religion, their accomplishments, 
their uses and customs, their advance in art and science, and we learn of 
their progress and of their decay. 

1 : ■ ' 



The. study of history is therefore a valuable attainment for any one, for 
all the world loves the study of Man. It may seem presumptuous to style a 
narrative of events such as occurred in Marathon county since its forma- 
tion, a history in the common accepted sense of the word, and the simple 
word "story" might perhaps better apply. There are no world-changing 
actions to be recorded in this book (so far as Marathon county is concerned), 
no devastating wars, no act nor acts of men, who have, either as statesmen 
or military commanders, made a lasting impress upon our nation as a whole. 

Nevertheless the people of this county are interested in knowing how, 
and when it was that it first arose out of the wilderness; who were the 
pioneers that hewed out a path to a territory where now 60,000 people (80,- 
000, including Lincoln county, which was a part of Marathon county for 
24 years) live in comparative comfort, nearly very family having a house 
or home of their own, most of them being the owners of extended and flour- 
ishing farms; they may wish to be acquainted with the character of those 
pioneers, with the hardships endured by them, their perseverance, their trials 
and tribulations, and their final triumphs over the forces of nature and adverse 
circumstances. People have eagerly listened to their tales, but little has 
been written down for the enlightenment of coming generations. The first 
pinery men have run their race, and they have almost disappeared from 
the stage of life, and even the ranks of the second generation are thinned in 
part by death, in part by removal. The tongues of the last of them will soon 
be hushed in eternal sleep, and it becomes almost a necessity, if we wish to 
preserve among us a fairly accurate picture of early life in Marathon county 
for the use of the present and coming generations, that the narrative, now 
mainly living in tradition, be put down in writing while a few of those pio- 
neers can still be consulted. This book is written with the intention to 
enable younger generations to see the county where they were born, and 
those who have come to live here, as it was in its original state, to enable 
them to see and understand the causes which have changed the grim, dark 
forest, majestic and forbidding though it looked, long supposed to be unfit 
for the habitation of the white man, because of its supposed unfitness of the 
soil for agricultural purposes, into the present state, teeming with culture, 
with commerce and manufactures. 

It took the hardest kind of manual work, muscular exertion for many 
years, a cutting loose from the ties which bind the cultured man to civilized 
life, exposed to the frosts of winter, braving the dangers of getting to market 
over the falls and rapids of an untamed wild river, to bring up Marathon 
county to its present flourishing state, and yet it is still in its infancy, and 


is destined to become the richest part of our state, wliicli is rapidly forging 
ahead in the sisterhood of states. But inasmuch as our state, of which 
Marathon county is a considerable part, was formed out of the Old North- 
west Territory, it is appropriate to give a short account of that territory, 
and show how it was won for the Union in the Revolutionary war, and 
how the history of our state, including our county, was influenced by the 
great Ordinance of 1787. 


By the celebrated Ordinance of 1787 the territory "northwest of the River 
Ohio" was to be divided into not less than three nor more than five sections or 
states. By the same law it was provided that "whenever any of the said states 
shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, such states shall be admitted, 
by its delegates, into the Congress of the United States, on equal footing 
with the original states, in all respects whatever; and shall be at liberty to 
form a permanent constitution and state government. (Article V, Ordinance 
of 1787.) 

Acting under this ordinance Wisconsin became a state, by act of con- 
gress, of May 29, 1848. 

Wisconsin was the last of the five states carved out of the Old North- 
west (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan having been admitted prior 
into the Union), the whole area of these five states being 250,000 square 
miles, nearly as large a territory as the state of Texas. At the time of the 
passage of the Ordinance of 1787 it is probable that there were not more 
than sixty thousand "free inhabitants" in the entire territory. Today there 
are more than seventeen millions. In this section we find the largest lakes, 
joined by silvery rivers and canals, the richest mine deposits, the most fertile 
soil in North America, if not in the world, and what seemed to be an inex- 
haustible supply of forest products. Here are the longest rivers, and upon 
their banks sit in pride and majesty the noble cities from whose factories 
and mills come the clothing and food that help to feed and to protect the 
hungry millions of the earth, and from the two states of Michigan and 
Wisconsin came the thousands of millions of . feet of lumber which were 
used in building- the innumerable houses of the cities and hamlets, and the 
countless farm buildings of the prairies of the treeless West. 

The citizenship of this section is among the most enlightened and pro- 
gressive; it has furnished a number of presidents of the United States, sen- 
ators and congressmen who were in the front ranks of American statesmen, 
great engineers, inventors, artists, orators, authors, and scholars. 


For many years after the coming of the white men, the American Indians 
— the original owners of the soil — made Hfe a burden for these white men, 
who were often forced to bare their breasts upon "upland glade or glen" 
to the tomahawk, the poisoned arrow, and the faggot. The soil was 
redeemed for the white men by the veterans of three wars. It was reddened 
by the blood of the Indians, the French, the English, and the American. It 
was consecrated by the death of many a noble son. 

But the great ordinance did more than to provide for the admission of 
states — it had strong provisions in regard to slavery and education. "There 
shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in said territory, otherwise 
than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly 
convicted," and "no person demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly 
manner shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship, or religious 
sentiments, in the said territory." 

No such expression had yet been seen in any document; and this is all 
the more wonderful and noble, when we recall the fact that, at that time, 
all the original states had slaves, and the last clause meant religious liberty, 
not merely toleration, as in most of the states of New England. 

From this can be traced the liberty-loving sentiment ever afterwards 
found in the people of the Northwest. But this is not all. The great docu- 
ment resounded throughout the wilderness as with a mighty trumpet blast, 
the cause of religion and education. 

"Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government 
and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall 
forever be encouraged." The sixteenth section of every township of 36 
sections was set aside for the maintenance of common schools in each of 
these five states. This generous grant on the part of the general government 
gave to these five states five million acres. The spirit of this section of the 
ordinance spread to all the western states, and they have now magnificent 
school funds. The enabling act of 1846 furthermore gave two whole town- 
ships of 72 sections for the maintenance of a university. 

The conquest of the Northwest Territory was the great work of George 
Rogers Clark; without his successful expedition this territory would have 
remained in British possession during and at the end of the Revolutionary 
war, and consequently would not have been ceded to the United States in 
the treaty of Paris, 1783; and, not having acquired any territory from 
England since, this splendid area would in all probability be now a part of 
the British empire, together with the Canadian Northwest, and the history 
of the United States would in all human probability be written differently 


from what it is now. It is one of the most interesting chapters in the history 
of the War of the Revolution, and therefore deserves a place in this book, 
because had George Rogers Clark been unsuccessful, or had not undertaken 
his expedition, Wisconsin and Alarathon county would not be a part of this 
Union of States, but an integral part of the British empire. 

This great man was born in Virginia in 1752, and was a brother of Capt. 
William Clark, whose great journey of 8,cxx) miles into the Oregon country 
from 1804-06, in company with Capt. Merriwether Lewis, a grateful nation 
commemorated in the year 1905 by a world's fair at Portland, Oregon. 
George Rogers Clark was made a brigadier-general in 1781, but is generally 
known in history, especially during the campaign in the Old Northwest, 
as Colonel Clark. He was as fine a rifleman as ever entered the forest. He 
was only twenty years old when he plunged into the unbroken wilderness 
of Ohio, as a soldier and surveyor with Lord Dunmore's expedition. He 
was skilled in all the knowledge of woodcraft. As a soldier he was brave 
and manly; as a commander he was sagacious, patient, and fearless. The 
Indians respected and feared him alike, and gave him and his men the 
name of "The Long Knives." 

In 1785, at the close of Dunmore's war, Clark went to Kentucky, where 
he assisted Daniel Boone to fight Indians and to build a new commonwealth 
in the wilderness. On his return to his old home in Virginia he learned that 
the war for liberty had actually begun betw-een the colonies and England, 
the mother country. One year later we again find him in Kentucky, aiding 
the settlers on the border in many ways. He was chosen by them to com- 
mand the rude militia of that country, and it proved a wise choice. Every 
settlement was in constant danger of attack by the bloodthirsty Indians, 
and Clark knew full well how to resist them. But Virginia was claiming 
ownership of this country of Kentucky — "the dark and bloody ground" — 
and the hardy settlers thought they should have some protection from Vir- 

At last two delegates, Clark being one, were chosen to go to Virginia 
and see the governor — then the noted Patrick Henry, and they forcefully 
showed him their needs and the necessity of immediate action. They peti- 
tioned for the formation of their country into an independent county, and 
that they might be allowed to assist the colonies in their struggle against 
the tyranny of England. They also asked for 500 pounds of gunpowder 
and a supply of rifles. The governor at first was inclined to refuse these 
requests on the ground that Virginia had all she could manage in the defense 
of the colonies. But Colonel Clark told him plainly that a country that 


was not worth defending was not worth claiming. The delegates obtained 
their desired arms and ammunition, and when the legislature next met. the 
county of Kentucky was formed, with almost the identical boundaries that 
now mark the state of Kentucky. 

General Hamilton, the British commander at Detroit, had set a price 
upon every settler's head in the Ohio valley, and in the spring of 1777 the 
Indians had been so incited to cruelty and bloodshed by the promise of pay 
on the part of the British, that they made constant raids upon the settle- 
ments across the Ohio. Hiding in the dense forest, they boldly attacked the 
unprotected and helpless pioneer while at work in his field, burned his cabin, 
destroyed his cattle and his crops and carried his wife and children into 
hellish captivity. Not a single life was safe, for there was always a hidden 
dusky foe on every hand. Unless relief could be obtained soon, all the whites 
in the valley would be destroyed. Relief came — and under the guiding 
hand of the brave young Clark. He conceived the plan of not only protecting 
the settlements but of saving the great Northwest. But to carry out his 
plans he must have more men, and he therefore hurried back and laid his 
plans fully before Gov. Patrick Henry. He was duly commissioned to raise 
seven companies of forty men each among the settlers west of the Allegheny 
moimtains. As an incentive each soldier was promised 300 acres of land, 
to be selected from the richest valleys of the conquered territory. Thus 
originated the Virginia Military Reservation, between the Scioto and Miami 
rivers in Ohio, and the reser\'ation, now in the state of Indiana, for Clark 
and his soldiers. 

In May, 1778, Clark started on the famous expedition from Redstone 
Old Fort (Brownsville, Pennsylvania) with only about 150 men. But the 
band increased in size as it marched on to old Fort Pitt (Pittsburg) where 
it embarked upon the Ohio. \Vhen Colonel Clark left the governor of 
Virginia he was entrusted with two specific commands. One was to protect 
the settlers in Kentucky, and the other — not yet to be made public — author- 
ized him to enter Kaskaskia, a British post on the Kaskaskia river, one mile 
east of the Mississippi river. Governor Henry also gave him $1,200 and 
an order on the commandant at Fort Pitt for all the powder he might need. 

From this fort the little band of men, without unifomis. fresh from the 
cabin, the forest, and the mountain, began their perilous journey to conquer 
what proved to be as rich a country as can be found on the globe. A motley 
crowd they were! Clad only in garb of the hunter, and armed with the 
clumsy flintlock rifle, the tomahawk, and the long knife. But each man 
felt that he had a mission to perform, and under the leadership of the "Han- 
nibal of the West" he knew not defeat. 




At the falls of the Ohio the army of backwoods men halted and camped 
on "Corn Island," opposite the present site of Louisville. Here the settlers 
who had accompanied the expedition decided to remain and build their 
homes. Colonel Clark drilled his soldiers here, then boldly informed them 
of his secret commission from Governor Henry to attack the British post 
at Kaskaskia. Cheers from the soldiers followed the announcement. Clark 
wisely decided to make the last part of the journey by land, and therefore 
hid his little flotilla near the mouth of the Tennessee, and from there began 
his journey through the tangled forest. This journey was filled with dangers 
and difficulties, but on the night of July 4, 1778, he surprised the garrison 
and captured the fort and the town. By a masterful management he brought 
all the inhabitants to take the oath of allegiance to the United States — and 
that without shedding blood. The British colors were lowered, and in their 
place the "Old Blue Flag" of Virginia was hoisted. Without fighting, the 
garrison of Cahokia, a few miles up the Mississippi, also surrendered. Then 
quickly followed the surrender of Vincennes, on the Wabash, 240 miles 

Vincennes at this time was deserted by most of the British, as the gov- 
ernor. General Hamilton, had returned to Detroit. But on learning of its 
capture by Colonel Clark and his backwoodsmen, and also that Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia were in his possession, Hamilton hastened to Vincennes with 
a large body of British regulars and Indian allies. 

When he arrived there with his force the fort was in possession of just 
two men — Captain Helm and a soldier. The captain placed a cannon at the 
open gate and demanded the honors of war if the fort was to be surrendered. 
Hamilton, fooled in the belief that there was a force sufficient for a strong 
defense, granted the request, and the two men marched out between rows 
of British soldiers and Indians. 

Hamilton again took command of the fort, but it being now winter, 
decided to await the coming of spring before attacking Kaskaskia. But 
Clark having been informed by his faithful Spanish friend. Colonel Vigo, 
who had loaned Clark nearly $20,000 to aid him in the campaign, that Ham- 
ilton had sent most of his men home for the winter, with the intention of 
recalling them in the spring for an attack on Kaskaskia, at once marched 
against Hamilton. The journey was long and dangerous ; the streams were 
filled with floating ice, the meadows and valleys were full of water, and 
the ground was swampy and irregular. Often the men had to wade four 
or five miles at a stretch through the water to their waists. Food became 
scarce, and the men were falling from sickness. But fortunately for them 


they captured a canoe from some squaws, and in it they found a goodly 
quantity of buffalo meat, corn, tallow, and kettles. This revived the weak 
and gave them all added courage to press on to the attack. 

At last they camped on a small area of dry ground within sight of Vin- 
cennes. Hamilton was not aware of an approach of an enemy, and con- 
sequently felt secure in his stronghold. When night fell upon the camp, 
Colonel Clark led his men in a bold rush upon the town. The people of Vin- 
cennes were most heartily tired of British rule, and they welcomed the Ameri- 
cans. After some sharp fighting Hamilton agreed to meet Clark in a church 
and arrange tenns. The valiant Clark would listen to no proposition from 
this "murderer of defenseless women and children" but unconditional sur- 
render. The next day Hamilton's men, 79 in number, marched out and 
laid down their arms. The American colors were again hoisted over "Old 
Vincennes," and the fort was baptized with a new name, "Fort Patrick 
Henry." To the good name of George Rogers Clark also belongs the great 
work of the invasion of the rich country of the Shawnees, and the defeat 
of the Miamis. This successful campaign gave to Clark undisputed control 
of all the Illinois country and the rich valley of the Wabash. In fact, he 
was the unquestioned master of the country from Pennsylvania to the 
"Fathers of Waters" and from the Ohio to the Great Lakes. 

By the treaty of Paris, 1783, at the close of the Revolutionary war, this 
great area, now consisting of five states, was transferred from Great Britain 
to the United States. To the hero of this expedition America owes an endur- 
ing monument. But we have not always rewarded our great men In due 
measure. It is said that George Rogers Clark was allowed to pass his last 
years in poverty and neglect. His death came in 1818. 


For a long time it was doubtful to what state this newly acquired region 
belonged. Virginia claimed nearly all of it, and certainly her claim was a 
strong one. Massachusetts, New York, and Conrlecticut each laid claims to 
parts of this territory. But Delaware. New Jersey, and Maryland absolutely 
refused to enter the Union unless all the other states gave up their claim 
to congress. Their contention was this : Should Virginia, or any other state, 
be given the whole or even a great part of this vast area, she would then 
have too much power. Therefore, all claims, they said, should be surren- 
dered by these states to congress for the general good. This firm stand on 
the part of these three small states finally prevailed, and all claims, save cer- 
tain reser\'ations, were given up to the general government. 


Thus was acquired the "Old Northwest Territory"' from the mother 
country, but it took three more wars with the Indians, the last one being 
the so-called "Black Hawk War" ending in 1832, in which Abraham Lin- 
coln served as captain of the militia, and from that time on, the settlements 
of the white men became secure from Indian molestation. 

It is not generally known that the Northwestern Territory, including 
Wisconsin and a large part of Minnesota, was claimed in succession, first 
by Spain, then by France, then England, before it became an integral part 
of the United States. 

Based upon the discovery of Florida by Ponce De Leon, Spain claimed 
all the Atlantic coast as far as the Newfoundland bank, thence west to the 
Mississippi with the Great Lakes as a northern boundary, thence south on 
the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and east to Florida. That claim was 
entirely vague and remained a mere paper claim, except as to the southern 
portion thereof, which Ferdinand De Soto had traversed from Florida to 
the Mississippi. France had a better claim. As early as 1627, a charter 
was granted by Louis XIII, king of France, to a number of French mer- 
chants, organized by the Duke of Richelieu, giving them a monopoly of the 
trade of the whole of, the St. Lawrence basin, and the rivers flowing directly 
into the St. Lawrence gulf. 

This company entered into Canada for the purposes of trade, and was 
the forerunner of the Hudson Bay Company. France, having at the same 
time taken military possession, extended its power by explorations and dis- 
coveries in the next 100 years, by the establishments of military posts and 
trading points as far west as the Great Lakes and down south, including 
nearly the whole of the Mississippi valley to the north boundary of Spanish 
Florida. The incentive of all this early explorations was chiefly the impulse 
for adventure, for conquest, and mainly the lust for gold. 

Moses M. Strong in his "History of Wisconsin Territory" says : "As early 
as 1690, one Philippe Francois Renault was appointed as director general of 
the mines of Louisiana, who arrived in the Illinois country with 200 miners 
and artificers. They made fruitless explorations for mines as far as the 
sources of the St. Peter, the Arkansas, the tributaries of the Missouri, and 
even to the Rocky Mountains." 

All these mining explorations failed, and no attempt was ever made by 
France for a permanent settlement, except those on and along the lower 
Mississippi and up as far as Kaskaskia in Illinois, all of which decayed in 
after years, excepting only those in the neighborhood of New Orleans and 
along the Great River in the present Louisiana. Eastern Canada, however. 


attracted a pennanent French population, although its growth was very slow. 

The distance between Europe and America with navigation and ship 
building in its infancy as well as the frequent, almost uninterrupted wars 
.between the nations on the old continent which prevented overpopulation, 
prevented also the emigration of actual settlers, tillers of the soil. 

But the fur trade began to flourish. The French succeeded in establish- 
ing a large trade with the natives, exchanging arms and ammunition, blankets 
and trinkets for their fur and pelts. The traders usually resided at a mili- 
tary post, at all events safe from hostile attacks, and sent their employees, 
called "voyageurs" far into the interior to do the bartering with the Indians. 
These voyageurs took their merchandise with them, and after a season, or 
sometimes two seasons, returned with the fruit of their trade. The "sang 
froid" of the Frenchman, his natural love of freedom from personal control, 
and his desire for adventure and inborn capacity to adjust himself to new- 
surroundings and conditions, when they were not forced upon him, but 
rather of his own choice, made them willing to enter into this employment 
and capable of giving excellent service. 

After spending several years in the wilderness, communicating only with 
nature and the natives, they accommodated themselves to their mode of life, 
their fare and most of their habits; they had no longer any taste for civil- 
ized life and preferred the carefree life in the forests to the orderly regu- 
lated life of European settlements with its customary observances; they 
frequently married Indian women in the Indian fashion, were adopted in 
the tribe of the wife, and upon the whole were looked upon by the Indians 
as their friends. It was the influence of these voyageurs more than any 
other, which established the friendly feeling between the French and Indians, 
which caused many of the North American tribes to ally themselves with the 
French in their wars with the English, to the great detriment of the English- 
American colonies. 


Simultaneously with the Indian trader, or at all events closely following 
him, came the missionary, whose appearance among the savages was 
prompted from the highest, most elevated and unselfish sentiments ; whose 
sole purpose was to preach the gospel, to bring the religion of peace and love 
to the untamed sax^age, to cultivate in his breast the sentiments which adorn 
human life. This missionary work was begun by the Jesuits, only occasion- 
ally assisted by a monk of the Order of St. Francis. They were carefully 


trained for that work, spending years in preparation ; they led an austere, 
blameless life, used to hardships of all sorts, learned the language of the 
people which they intended to visit, to enable them to communicate with 
them, and act as teachers and advisers for them ; they stayed with the tribes, 
shared their privations, and sought to teach them the cultivation of the soil. 
Many suffered tortures among the Indians and died like martyrs, after 
devoting a whole life to their service. They accomplished much good in 
their way; they succeeded in raising some tribes for a time out of the 
wholly savage state, induced them to prefer a life of peace to the warpath 
and cultivate the soil, as, for instance, among the Indians on Lake Superior. 
But their work was not permanent. Wars would still break out from time 
to time and destroy the seed so carefully planted and nourished by them, 
before it could fully ripen and bear fruit, and when the territory was ceded 
by France to England, the missionary institutions, failing to receive that 
aid from France which theretofore they had obtained, declined, and most 
missions ceased. 

The first white man who entered the present area of Wisconsin was M. 
Nicollet, who came to the region of Green Bay as early as 1634; from there 
he penetrated west, reaching the southern course of the Wisconsin river, 
which he descended, but not far enough to reach the Mississippi. 

In 1 64 1 the Jesuit Fathers Raymboult and Joquet, the first missionaries, 
came to the Falls of (Soult) St. Mary; their coming having become known 
to the natives, they were met there by about 2,000 Indians. 

In 1668 Fathers Dablone and James Marquette founded a mission at 
St. Mary, which is the oldest European settlement in Michigan, and in 1670, 
Dablone and Allouez, another Jesuit missionary, founded the mission of 
St. Francis at Green Bay. 

A congress of Indians was held at St. Mary's in 1671 ; the two last 
mentioned missionaries raised a cross there with great ceremony, to make 
an impression upon the hearts of the assembled Indians, and then a French 
officer, Lusson, caused a huge pole to be erected, upon which were carved 
the lilies of the Bourbons, and made the announcement that the natives 
were placed under the protection of the king of France, Louis XIV, in whose 
honor all that territory and south to Spanish Florida was named Louis- 
iana. Two years afterwards, in 1673. Joliet and Marquette started from 
St. Mary's on their famous voyage which resulted in the discovery of the 
Mississippi. They arrived at Green Bay on March 13th; thence followed 
the course of the Fox river up to its source, which brought them within one- 
half mile to the Wisconsin river. With the aid of accompanying Indians 


they portaged over in the Wisconsin river, leaving the portage on June loth, 
and in a short time reached the Mississippi. Going steadily down stream 
they went as far south as the ^^° latitude to an Indian village called Akansea, 
where they rested a short time, and returned. 

On their return trip they entered the sluggish Illinois river, which favored 
their passage up stream, until they came in close proximity to the Chicago 
river, portaging over and descending that river to Lake Michigan, and 
before the end of September, they were safely back again in Green Bay. 
They had spoken to many Indian tribes on their trip, and gave a glowing 
description of the fertility of the country which they had traversed. 

The upper Mississippi from the mouth of the Wisconsin upwards, was 
explored by Hennepin and Career a few years later. Hennepin returned 
to Green Bay by the \\'isconsin-Fox route, which in that early day had 
become quite a highway and artery of commerce. 

In 1689 Green Bay had a military post, a chapel and mission house for 
the Jesuit Fathers who did missionary work among the Sacs and Foxes and 

But the first missions in point of time, though not so pemianent as the 
one in Green Bay, were on Lake Superior, which Father Allouez founded 
as early as 1685. He had set out from St. Mary's, traveling west on the 
Great Lakes, until he reached the great village of the Chippewas at Che- 
quoigon, in the immediate neighborhood of the present city of Ashland. 
Here he met a large assembly of Sacs, Foxes, Hurons, Sioux, and Chippewas. 
He founded two missions, one for the Ottawas, and one for the Chippewas, 
whose villages were separated by a river. Here he baptized Indians, taught 
the catechism to the children, and the squaws to cultivate the land. In 1689 
a mission was established by Father ^larquette on La Point, on one of the 
Apostle Islands. 

But the enmity between the Sioux and the Chippewas broke out afresh 
in 1780: their war broke up the missions, and the Indians returned fully to 
their original savage state, except that there are traces which show that long 
afterwards the ground was tilled at La Point, and also at Lake View Desert. 
A mission was re-established long afterwards at La Point, and it became 
an important trading point. 

These first explorations by fur traders and missionaries were followed 
up by many in quick succession. The Fox and Wisconsin routes became the 
highway to the interior. At the portage there was another trading point, 
and it is said that the Winnebagoes levied a tariff on the trade at the portage, 
claiming the privilege to portage it over from one river into the other, exact- 
ing a stipulated price therefor. 


The war between France and England, and later the Revolutionary war, 
did not interrupt the trade, because this far off territory was not invaded by 
the contending forces. It was thoroughly known to the voyageur at the 
time of its cession to congress, and the trade which had been carried on mainly 
by the Hudson Bay Company while in British possession, was continued by 
the American Fur Company, or perhaps it should be said, by the proprietor 
of the same, J. J. Astor. JL480955 

The efforts of the missionaries, so full of promise in the beginning, 
turned out failures in the end. The causes of the failure were the continu- 
ous hostilities between the tribes, which interfered with a peaceful settle- 
ment of the Indian, and partly by the utter lack of support of the missionary 
work by the mother country or government after this vast area had been 
ceded to England. 

When it is remembered that the northern route from (Soult) St. Mary 
to Ashland by following the shores of the lake was traveled in 1666; that 
Indians assembled there from all parts of the present territory of Wisconsin; 
that Green Bay and its eastern shore and the streams emptying into it were 
known ; that the Fox and Wisconsin had become a regular commercial artery 
connecting the Mississippi with Lake Michigan and the Great River explored 
up from Prairie du Chien as far as Minneapolis ; that the voyageur paddled 
or poled his bark canoe upstream wherever an opportunity for trade offered 
itself, with permanent trading points at Green Bay, the portage, at Prairie 
du Chien and La Point, it seems indisputable that at the end of the Revo- 
lutionary war Wisconsin was as well known to the Indian trader and voyageur 
at least as some of the eastern and New England states. The French occu- 
pation ended in 1763; the English occupation in 1783, although Great Britain 
arbitrarily held possession until 1795, when it passed under the control of 
the American congress. 

By the treaty with England in 1783, the right of the Indians to the land 
was acknowledged by the United States. The government obligated itself 
to acquire title from the Indians only by purchase, but on the other hand, 
the sale or cession of lands by the Indians to anybody else than the United 
States was forbidden. 


The Indian Occupation — The Different Tribes Occupying the JP'isconsin 
Territory — Present Indian Resenvtions — Nczi' York Indians in IViscon- 
sin — Under American Rule — Negro Slavery in Wisconsin — Indian Wars 
— Lead Mining. 


The Indians were not the first people to occupy this territory. The 
mounds on the prairies of Wisconsin, plainly the work of human hands; 
the tools of copper resembling hammers and shovels, found in shallow dug- 
out places on the surface of the earth in the copper country on the Upper 
Peninsula, which seem like rude attempt at mining, are proof of the exist- 
ence of a people long before the appearance of the Xorth American Indians. 
No knowledge whatever of this prehistoric people has come to us ; they 
have left no other evidences of their existence and as yet we are unable to 
interpret or decipher the meaning of these mounds nor form a correct idea 
of the use of these tools. The Indians themselves know nothing of a prior 
race to theirs on this continent and consider themselves the original occu- 
pants of this part of the world. Nor do we know much more of the Indians 
themselves. They have no history. Even their tradition is limited. 

The Indian, when first discovered by white men, was an untutored child 
of nature. He knew not the God of Revelation, but acknowledged a God of 
the Universe, a Great Spirit. He beheld him in the star that sank in beauty 
behind his lonely dwelling; in the sacred orb that flamed on him from his 
midday throne; in the thousand things that puzzled his understanding and 
excited his admiration ; he heard his voice speaking gently in the balmy 
breezes and beheld his anger in the thunders and lightnings which made the 
mighty oak and pine break and fall like a reed, but he also believed in an 
existence after death, in another world. 

The North American Indian built no temples; he had no religious 
observances as his brothers had in Mexico or in South America ; but he had 



his Medicine Man. who was his priest, who was supposed to converse with 
the Great Spirit. They probably had some religious observances, too, but 
kept them a secret from the white man. 

The Indian is suspicious and secretive by nature and pretends not to 
understand any but his own tongue, though he may well understand the 
language of the stranger addressed to him and be able to converse with him 
in the same language. That they have ceremonies which they carry on with 
great solemnity in secrecy is beyond question. 

The Chippewas on the Lac du Flambeau reservation go visiting at inter- 
vals of a few years to friends or other members of their tribe to Canada or 
British Columbia. Their visit is returned the next season. On the arrival 
of these Canadian Indians there is great feasting and dancing. A big tent 
is erected and in the night time the Indians assemble therein and have cere- 
monies and performances which no white man is permitted to witness. The 
Indian farmer on that reservation, himself a man who is a member of sev- 
eral secret organizations, orders so-called, and who from curiosity was watch- 
ing from a vantage ground, trying to detect as much as possible of what 
was going on in the big tent, said that what he saw and heard resembled the 
secret work of a secret society to which he belonged, making allowance, of 
course, for the primitive work of the Indians. Whatever it may be, it seems 
to have a spiritual character, adapted to Indian religious notions. 

The unreliability of their tradition is illustrated by the following incident. 
The writer of this was on a fishing trip, rowed by an intelligent and half 
civilized Indian from Lac du Flambeau or Fence Lake into Crawling Stone 
Lake. This half-breed Indian acts frequently as interpreter in the United 
States courts; he is or was a trader on that reservation. On passing by a 
big stone, at the thoroughfare to Crawling Stone Lake, having asked his 
guide how the lake came to this name, the guide pointed out the stone, saying 
that there was once a terrible battle between the Sioux and the Chippewas; 
that a stream of blood ran into the lake which washed this stone to its 
present location from the battlefield. Unfortunately, the writer was not 
then acquainted with the character of the Indians and anyway, believing his 
guide to be more of a white than Indian, uttered a word of disbelief of the 
immensity of bloodshed which could move so large a rock, and immediately 
his guide stopped and could not be induced to proceed with his narration. 
It is known, however, from a study of their language, that the Wisconsin 
Indians belong to two far branching families of the race, namely: to the 
Algonquins of the East, and the Dakotas of the West. 

To the Algonquins belong the Chippewas, one of the strongest tribes in 


existence, the Mennominees, Pottawatamies, Mascutins, Sacs, and Foxes, 
the last tribe also called Outagamies ; to the Dakotas belong the Winnebagoes, 
and some wandering tribes of Sioux, which invaded Wisconsin from 

The Dakotas and Algonquins were always at enmity, excepting the Winne- 
bagoes, a weak tribe, who became more numerous though while in Wisconsin, 
living in i>eace in the midst of Algonquin tribes. 

The following is a list of the tribes or perhaps families of tribes, which 
occupied the Wisconsin territory proper, and as these names often appear 
as the names of rivers, creeks, etc., in the geography of Wisconsin, they are 
given here for future reference; Mascoutins, Winnebagoes; Ojiboys, Chippe- 
was, Gibbways or Sauteurs; Ottawas, Courteorielles ; Mennominees; Kicka- 
poos ; Foxes, Outagamies ; Osaukies, Sauks or Sacs. 

In a pamphlet edited by J. A. Lapham, Levy Blossom and George C. 
Dousman, now among the collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society, 
the following paragraphs appear, which will be read with interest by all who 
desire to know something of the early Indian occupation of Wisconsin : 

"The Mascoutins, as before remarked, early disappeared. Their record is fully made 
up; their decline and fall is complete; but what has become of them — whether removed to 
some distant part of the country, amalgamated with some other tribe, or destroyed by poverty 
and disease — we are not permitted to know. Alas ! the destiny of the Mascoutins is the 
destiny of the red man. 

"The Kickapoos were removed at an early date, west of the Mississippi River; and their 
name does not appear among those tribes that disposed of their lands to our government. 

"The Sauks and Fo.xes appear at one time to have joined the Sioux in their eiTort to main- 
tain a footing upon the east bank of the Mississippi, against the Chippewas. In 1766 they were 
upon the upper Wisconsin, occupying the country from Green Bay to Lac du Flambeau, and 
even to Lake Superior and Upper Mississippi, giving the name (Sauk) to a river and rapids 
in Minnesota. From this position, which they occupied but a short time, they were driven 
back by the Chippewas, under the leadership of their famous chief, Wah-boo-jeog (White 
Fisher) who died at Chegoimegon in 1793. The decisive battle was fought at the Falls of 
the St. Croix. They were thus forced to the lower Rock River, beyond our borders; and 
they do not appear as claiming any share of Wisconsin in the general apportionment among 
the Indian tribes at Prairie du Chien in 1825. 

"The Winnebagoes are supposed to be an off -shoot of the great Sioux nation ; they figure 
largely in the Indian History of Wisconsin. They were but a small tribe when first en- 
countered by the French on the shores of Green Bay. They afterwards became a very bold 
and warlike tribe. They joined Pontiac in his effort to eradicate the British rule in the 
Northwest in 1763, and afterwards fought with the British against us (the Americans), in 1812. 
In 1837 they sold their lands in Wisconsin, and were removed in the spring of 1S49 to their 
reservation at the West, where it is supposed they are to remain permanently. 

"The Sioux struggled manfully for their ancient hunting grounds on the St. Croix River, 
and only relinquished them in 1837 to the United States by treaty. The Chippewas on the 
north, and the Winnebagoes on the south, had already crowded them into a very narrow 
space along the east bank of the Mississippi, between Prairie du Chien and Lake St. Croix. 
It is supposed that they extended much further eastward, along the southern borders of Lake 


Superior, whence they were driven by the Chippewas who were themselves crowded by other 
still more eastern tribes. Their very name, in the language of the Chippewas (Nada wessy), 
signifies an enemy. And these two tribes were always at war. 

"The Chippewas have persistently maintained their position on the south shore of Lake 
Superior, stretching in 1832, to the head waters of the Chippewa and Wisconsin Rivers. At 
this time they number 2,826. (They are stronger at this time.) 

"Among them were 35 trading posts, visited annually by traders licensed under the act of 
Congress of May 26th, 1824. The Chippewas sold their land to the Government in 1837 and 
1842, except a small reservation near the mouth of Bad River, on Lake Superior, and three 
reservations in Wisconsin. 

"The Mennominees, or Wild Rice Eaters, appear to have been a quiet, peace-loving people, 
usually ranked above the average Indian tribe in personal appearance and intellectual qualities. 
For a long time the Milwaukee River was the boundary separating them from the Pottowata- 
mies at the south. Tomah appears to have been in former times a good and great chief among 
them, advising them against wars and all other kinds of wickedness. He has been very properly 
remembered in the name of one of our flourishing towns. 

"In 1848 the Mennominees ceded their entire country in this State to the General Govern- 
ment, and were to be removed to Minnesota ; but the district assigned to them not being found 
suitable to their wants, they were, with the consent of the legislature of Wisconsin, allowed to 
remain upon a small reservation (276,480 acres) on the Wolf River. (They are now on this 

"In August, 1853, Oshkosh, the renowned chief of this tribe, whose name is very properly 
perpetuated in the beautiful city on the shores of Lake Winnebago, represented to the govern- 
ment that his tribe was never so poor and destitute of provisions, having fallen almost to a 
condition of starvation. About half of the tribe were devoted to agriculture ; the remainder 
still adhered to the roving life of the hunter. 

"The Pottowatamies were one of the largest and most powerful tribes of Indians. They 
were represented in 1821 as thinly scattered in wigwams over a great extent of country, stretch- 
ing on the south along both sides of the Illinois River, on the western shore of Lake Michigan, 
to the Mennominees of Milliwaky, and to the Winnebagoes of Green Bay, on the east beyond 
the St. Joseph to the head waters of the Maumee and the Wabash ; and to the west their 
territories extended to Rock River, and to the lands of the Sauks and Foxes on the Missis- 
sippi. At the treaty held in Chicago in 1833 they relinquished to the government all their 
lands in this State south and west of the Milwaukee River, which then became public land, 
and was open for settlement and improvement by the white people. 

"In 1853 the remnant still remaining of this once powerful tribe was removed to per- 
manent homes west of the Upper Mississippi. (A small portion however still is with the 
Mennominees on their reservation.)" 

The lands occupied in Wisconsin at the time of the explorations of the 
French may be properly limited thus : The Mennominees from the Mennomi- 
nee river south to the Milwaukee river and east of Lake Michigan ; west to 
the Wisconsin river and up the Wisconsin to Big Bull Falls (Wausau). 
The Sacs and Foxes on the Fox river and north — the Chippewas on the head- 
waters of the Chippewa river and Wisconsin and extending up into the penin- 
sula of Michigan. The Winnebagoes surrounded Lake Winnebago and occu- 
pied western lands too; their principal villages in 1766 stood on what is now 
Doty's Island. 

The Foxes, more fierce and warlike than other tribes, soon came in con- 


flict with the French and their Indian alHes, and were driven out and fled 
across tlie Mississippi, wliere they were later joined by their friends, the Sacs, 
who for some thirty years occupied the land on the west of the Wisconsin 
river from Baraboo and Sauk down south. 

According to all reliable reports, there were never more than fifteen thou- 
sand Indians occupying Wisconsin. The territory was a veritable paradise 
for the Indian. Red deer were plentiful, the elk common, the bear could be 
trapped, numerous beaver dams in all parts of the state prove the existence 
of large colonies of this animal so highly valued by the Indian for his meat 
as well as fur. The lakes, rivers, and creeks were full of excellent fish, which 
when dried and smoked could be easily preserved ; berries and nuts could be 
gathered by the squaws and young ones, and the shores of most lakes were 
fringed with wild rice. The thick forest sheltered the Indians from the 
wintery blasts, which passed over their heads, and there was always plenty 
of dry wood to keep the wigwam warm. 

They had their trails which ran in as straight direction as possible from 
place to place, avoiding low swampy places. When a party was on a march, 
knowing that another party of theirs was behind, they would put sticks in the 
ground on leaving camp, from which the party behind, when the sun struck 
the sticks, could determine the day and hour when the first party had left. 
Their trails have often served as the proper location for highways by the 
pioneers. Within recent years, before the lumber in and around Minoqua 
was cut and all old landmarks perished, there could plainly be seen the old 
Indian trail, passing from Lake Superior to the portage on the Fox and 
Wisconsin rivers. 

The reservations occupied in Wisconsin by Indians and population in 
191 2 are as follows: 

1. Lac du Flambeau; in Vilas, Oneida and Iron counties; 77,223 acres, 
Chippewas; population, 730, 

2. Lac Courte Oreille; Sawyer county; 68,914 acres. Chippewas; popu- 
lation, 1,252. 

On each of these reservations is a government boarding school, a Catholic 
and Protestant church; but the Indians still hold to ancient ceremonies and 
religious customs, 

3. La Point (Bad River) ; Ashland county; 123,750 acres, Chippewas; 
population, 1,140, 

There is a Roman Catholic church, a Methodist church, and a Congre- 
gational church, the two former having resident ministers, and the Congre- 
gational church having a missionary not residing but holding regular services 


There are two or three pubHc schools, and the Roman Catholics operate 
a large boarding school, and there is a day school supported by the 

4. Red Cliff reservation; Bayfield county; 14,166 acres. Chippewas; 
population, 472. 

5. Menominee reservation; in Shawano and Oconto counties; 231,680 
acres. Menominees; population, 1,632. 

They have three schools on that reservation, to-wit : the Keshena Boarding 
School which accommodates about ninety Indian pupils; the St. Joseph's 
Catholic Industrial School with about one hundred and fifty pupils, both 
schools located at Keshena, besides a mixed school at Neopit attended by 
about thirty Indian children and 45 white children. There are four Catholic 
churches, one at Keshena, one at South Branch, one at West Branch, and 
one at Neopit, Wisconsin. The Menominees live mostly on separate small 
farms like the Oneidas, having from two to fifty acres under cultivation. 

The New York Indians, brought here by treaty in 1832, by which they 
exchanged their land in New York for land in Wisconsin, are the six nations, 
commonly called Oneidas, and the Stockbridges, the St. Regis, the Munsees 
and the Brothertons. 

The Oneida reservation embraces 65,440 acres — in Brown and Outagamie 
counties. Population is now 2,;^2i3- 

They were about one thousand and one hundred head in all when they 
emigrated, but have since been augmented by accessions from New York and 
are now 2,333 '" number. They occupy the land in severalty to the number 
of 1,520 and have fine cultivated fanns, one government boarding school, one 
government day school, two mission day schools, and one public school ; four 
church societies, one Protestant Episcopal, one Methodist, one Catholic and 
one Adventist. 

The Stock-bridge, Munsee and the St. Regis Indians were gi\en a small 
reservation in Calumet county, as also the Brotherton Indians. They all hold 
their land in severalty, have become citizens, and are fast losing their Indian 
characteristics and language, and it will be but one or two generations more 
when they will entirely disappear as Indians, as the Brothertons have already. 


Although the territory was ceded by England by the treaty of 1783, the 
British posts were not withdrawn until 1795. pursuant to "Jay's treaty." In 
the War of 181 2, the sympathies of the few white traders and Indians were 


with the British, but no British force being in the territorj', these sympathies 
did not assert themselves in hostile acts. 

There came a change in the fur trade after the passing of the act of con- 
gress in 1815, which drove the Hudson Bay Company out of business, which 
was quickly seized by the American Fur Company, principally owned by John 
Jacob Astor, who succeeded by various manipulations, buying out and 
combining with other fur companies in monopolizing the trade, which 'con- 
tinued to prosper, but brought no permanent settlers into the territory. The 
peace was disturbed later by two Indian wars, which were but of short dura- 
tion, and occurred while Wisconsin was still a part of Michigan territory. 
The real cause of the first war was the taking possession of the lead mines 
by white men in the vicinity of Galena while the land still belonged to the 

Indians themselves mined, or rather dug out and smelted lead ore and 
traded it to the whites, which trade attracted white men up from Illinois, so 
that after 1820 there were quite a number of white men engaged in that 
business, which excited the enmity of the Indians, especially the Winnebagoes, 
because they treated the lead mines, and properly so, as their own property.* 

In 1825, there were shipped from Galena 439.473 pounds of lead, and 
the output increased rapidly. 

In the same year, a council of Indians was held with the different tribes 
of Indians, at Prairie du Chien, ostensibly to make lasting peace between 
them, and definitely settle the boundaries between them respectively. In 
October, 1826, orders came from Washington to remove the troops to Fort 
Snelling, and abandon Fort Crawford, which was done, the commandant 
taking with him two \\'innebago Indians who had been confined in the guard- 
house for some supposed trivial offense. The Indians were already in an ugly 
mood; they had committed some murders on straggling whites, and the 
removal of the troops caused the Indians to believe they had fled through fear 
for them. 

In the spring of 1827 a rumor gained currency that the two prisoners 
taken to Fort Snelling were turned over to the Chippewas, made to run the 
gauntlet through a party of the latter tribe and had been killed. Something 
of that kind did occur to some Sioux prisoners. These supposed murders, 

*In 1822 Mr. James Thompson, a government contractor for the army, made a treaty 
with the Indians, and obtained leave to work the mines for a limited time, probably four 
years, as he left in 1826. Mr. Thompson let in other parties to dig; and one firm of the 
name of Ware, brought from 50 to 400 negro slaves. In 1826 there was a great rush to 
Galena, somewhat like the California excitement at a later period. 


coupled with the wrongful occupation of the lead miners, led the Winnebagoes 
to reprisal or retaliation. 

In March, 1827, one Methode, a settler near Galena, was killed in his 
sugar bush, his wife and five children were killed in the house, and also the 
dog who had valiantly defended his master. In the dead dog's jaw a piece of 
red cloth was found, which apparently had been torn from an Indian leg. 
Winnebagoes had been seen in the vicinity, which fixed the terrible murders 
upon them. Red Bird, a well known chief, was with that band of Winne- 
bagoes. There was great alarm and excitement; a militia company at once 
organized in Galena, and Secretary of War Louis Cass, who happened to be 
at Butte de IMorts, to make a treaty with the Winnebagoes, proceeded at once 
to Prairie du Chien by bark canoe, and ordered the troops from Fort Snelling 
and from Fort Howard with 62 Oneida and Stockbridge Indians to the scene. 
Red Bird's Winnebago band had fled from Prairie du Chien and were found 
' encamped near where Portage City now is, several hundred strong, but being 
surrounded with no hope of escape, they surrendered. 

It was fortunate that General Cass was on the ground and by his authority 
directed all available troops to the disturbed area before the revolt could 
spread and involve the Sauks and Foxes with the Winnebagoes in a bloody 
Indian war. 

Red Bird died in prison at Prairie du Chien in 1828. 

The southwest corner of the territory was again disturbed in 1832 by the 
Black Hawk war. He was the chief of the Sauks and Foxes, who had been 
driven across the Mississippi about seventy-five years before. In this war up- 
wards of fifty white men were killed and murdered by the Indians, houses 
burned and property destroyed, before Black Hawk was finally defeated at Bad 
Ax, about forty-three miles from Prairie du Chien. He himself fled, seeking 
refuge among his pseudo friends, the Winnebagoes in the valley of the Lemon- 
weir, where he expected to hide among the bluffs and cliffs well known to him. 
The Winnebagoes did not dare to sympathize with their fallen friend, and he 
fled upwards to the Dalles of the Wisconsin, where he was captured (given 
up by a Winnebago) about two miles above Kilbourn, in August, 1827. 

Black Hawk was sent as a prisoner to Jefferson Barracks near Washington, 
in charge of Lieut. Jefferson Davis, then in charge of riie LTnited States Anny 
at Prairie du Chien, and thirty years later president of the Confederated 

Black Hawk was first taken before President Andrew Jackson, who ex- 
pressed himself very emphatically to him on the subject of Indian wars, and 
was then sent as a prisoner to Fort Monroe. 


On June 4, 1832, he was liberated and sent home, being conducted 
through the principal cities to impress him with the futility of any conflict 
with the whites. He remained quiet afterwards, and died in 1838. 

This was the last Indian rising in the Wisconsin territory. 

The influx of white settlers was still at low ebb. Only the lead mines 
flourished and the population in that part of the territory rapidly augmented. 

Lead mining had attracted many persons to the mines with no intention 
to settle permanently, solely prompted from the motive of rapidly acquiring 
wealth. Many arrived in spring and returned on the approach of winter; 
some met with success, but many were compelled by the necessity resulting 
from bad luck to remain. The latter class became permanent settlers in the 
country which they had visited first only as an adventurous experiment. 

The amount of lead shipped out was : 

In 1825 439473 pounds 

In 1826 1,560,536 pounds 

In 1827 6,824,389 pounds 

In 1828 12,957,100 pounds 

In 1829, first three months 2,494.444 pounds 

Estimated number of inhabitants in the lead region : 

In 1825 200 

In 1826 1,000 

In 1827 4,000 

In 1828 10,000 

About 1/20 were females, and 100 were free blacks. 

When it is remembered that the Indians were still the owners of the soil, 
it is not surprising that troubles and hostilities in the lead region should 
occur, but after the Black Hawk war the Indians ceded the land and the sur- 
veys were pushed with vigor. 


Wisconsin as a Territory — Act of Congress approved April 20, 18^6 — 
Population when Organised — Counties — First Lumbering on Black and 
Wisconsin Rivers — Attempts to Improve Navigation at Little Bull Falls 
— Railroad Charters Applied For — Constitutional Convention of I84J — 
Population in I847 — Admitted as a State May 29, 184S — The Public 


The act of congress, establishing the "Territory of Wisconsin," was ap- 
proved April 20, 1836. It included then all which is now embraced in the 
state of Wisconsin. It was first organized in four counties: Brown, Craw- 
ford, Iowa and Milwaukee. 

The population according to census was : 

Brown County 2,706 

Crawford County 850 

Iowa County (lead region) 5.234 

Milwaukee County 2,893 

Total 11,683 

After much debating and voting the first legislature, meeting then in Bel- 
mont, passed an act, on November 28, 1836, fixing Madison as the capital. 
Provisions were made for the erection of a capitol — or state house. Augustus 
A. Bird w'as appointed as one of the commissioners to begin and later super- 
vise the work. Pursuant to his appointment, he left Milwaukee May 31, 1837, 
with thirty-six workmen and six yoke of cattle for Madison. There was no 
road then and they had to make one, cutting out trees, repairing bridges, 
etc., which kept them on their way until June loth, when they arrived at 

It took them ten full days to make this trip of about eighty miles. 

From 1825 to 1830 the settlements were limited to the lead regions, and 
the older towns near Green Bay and Prairie du Chien, but now lumbering 

The first mill was erected on Black river in 1819 by Colonel Shaw, but 
worked on a very small scale, on a fall of six feet, and under the hostility 
with the Indians, who burned it the following year. 



In the winter of 1827-1828, Daniel Whitney obtained permission from 
the Winnebago Indians to make shingles on the Upper Wisconsin. He 
employed about twenty-two Stockbridges and one white man to supervise 

Major Twiggs, commanding at Fort Winnebago, ordered Whitney to 
leave the country, and upon his refusal, standing upon his lease with the 
Indians, Major Twiggs took half of the shingles and burned the other half. 
They had made about two hundred thousand. The shingles taken by Major 
Twiggs were used in the building of the fort, and Whitney had the melancholy 
satisfaction of asserting that he had furnished the shingles for the military 
barracks free of charge. By the arbitrary act of Major Twiggs, Whitney 
lost about $1,000 by the transaction, a large amount of money in those days. 

In 1 83 1 Whitney obtained government permission to erect a sawmill and 
cut timber, and then built the first mill on the Wisconsin river at Whitney 
Rapids in 1831-1832. 

Grignon and Merrill obtained a similar permit, and put up a mill at Grig- 
non Rapids in 1836, .and when the Indian title was extinguished in 1836, 
mills were put up in succession at Grand Rapids, one at Mill Creek, one at 
McGreer Rapids on the Plover, and one at Conant Rapids in 1837. That 
was the beginning of the lumber industry on the Wisconsin. 

With the extinguishment of the Indian titles the pinery man appeared, 
though with no more intention of staying than the lead miners at Galena, but 
the settlement already attracted the attention of the government, and m 1842 
congress established the first post route, from Fort Winnebago via Grand 
Rapids to Plover Portage. 

The necessity of improving navigation on the Wisconsin river was also 
early recognized, and the territorial legislature authorized Alb. Brawley to 
build and maintain a dam and boom on the Wisconsin river between sections 
31 and T^2, township 24, range 8 east, which dam became afterwards the 
property of the Stevens Point Boom Company. 

The census of 1842 was 46,678, in which census the county of Portage 
appears with 648 inhabitants. That county included all the territory from 
Fort Winnebago up to the state line, including the present counties of Colum- 
bia, Wood, Portage, Marathon and all directly north from Marathon county 
to the .state line.* 

*The county of Columbia was formed out of territory of Portage county. The village 
of ''Portage City" retained its name, but the new county was named Columbia, and thus it 
happened that Portage City is in Columbia county. 


An act was passed in the session of the legislature of 1842 locating a terri- 
torial road from the Fox river, opposite Green Bay to the Wisconsin river 
between Plover Portage and Big Bull Falls. This road may have been located, 
but if it was there is no record of it, and it certainly was not opened farther 
than Plover if it was opened at all. 

An important act was passed by the legislature in 1845 (important if it 
had been carried out, but it was not) incorporating "The Wisconsin Navi- 
gation Company, with authority to erect a dam across the Wisconsin river 
below the Little Bull Falls of such height as would raise the water on the 
falls as high as the surface of the water above them, with a slide for the 
passage of rafts and boats, and to receive tolls for the passage of lumber, 
shingles and timber." 

A number of charters were asked for the construction of railroads; but 
the members evidently entertained the notion that the granting of a charter 
for a railroad upon any particular route would injure the prospects of the 
construction of one upon any other route, and so they were all defeated. A 
correspondent of the Galena Gazette, writing from Madison, and who prob- 
ably gave expression to the opinions of many of that time, said : 

"The only points on Lake Michigan and the Mississippi river to be 
connected by a railroad for the next 50 years, are Chicago and Galena," — 
which shows that as late as 1846, there was little confidence in the future of 
Wisconsin, but that correspondent proved a false prophet. 

Still the population of the territory was growing, and growing rapidly 
now. The census in 1846 showed a population of 155,277, exclusive of La 
Point, Chippewa and Richland, from which counties no returns were received. 

The question of sumptuary laws received attention from the territorial 
legislature as early as 1847, which passed a local option law, by which the 
electors of the municipalities were annually to vote "for license" or "no 
license," and if a majority of the votes cast in any municipality were "against 
license" then no license could be granted for the year next ensuing. 

On November 28, 1847, an election was held for delegates to a convention 
to formulate a constitution for a state government, and the act further 
provided for the taking of a census between the first and fifteenth day of 
December, 1847, which census was taken with the following result: 

Counties. Population. 

Brown 2,914 

Calumet 1,066 

Columbia 3-791 

Chippewa No returns 


Counties. Population. 

Crawford i ,409 

Dane I0.935 

Dodge 14,906 

Fond du Lac 7.409 

Grant 11 ,720 

Green 6,487 

Iowa 7.728 

Jefferson 11 ,464 

La Fayette 9,335 

La Point ( Ashland ) 367 

Manitowoc 1.285 

Marquette 2,261 

Milwaukee 22,791 

Portage 1.504 

Racine 19.539 

Richland 235 

Rock 14.729 

Sauk .- 2, 1 78 

Sheboygan 5.580 

St. Croix 1 ,674 

Walworth 15.039 

Washington 15-547 

Waukesha 1 5.866 

Winnebago 2,787 

Total 210,546 

The convention met, formulated a constitution, which was submitted to 
a vote of the people, and was on March 13th, 1848, ratfied and adopted by a 
vote of 16,797 y^^s to 6,313 noes, and by act of congress approved May 29th, 
1848, Wisconsin was admitted as a state, being the seventeenth of the states 
admitted, and the thirtieth in the list of states. 

To summarize : 

Wisconsin was under French rule from 1670 to 1763 — 93 years. 

Wisconsin was under Great Britain from 1763 to 1794 — 31 years. 

Wisconsin was under Virginia from 1794 to 1800 — 6 years. 

Wisconsin was under Indiana from 1800 to 1809 — 9 years. 

Wisconsin was under Illinois from 1809 to 1818 — 9 years. 

Wisconsin was under Michigan from 1818 to 1836 — 18 years. 


The population in 1848 was 310,546 

The population in 1850 was 405,121 

The increase in two years ' 94-575 


The public domain was acquired from the Indians by treaty in the follow- 
ing order by dates : 

1804, November 3, at St. Louis, between Governor William Henry Harri- 
son and the Sacs and Foxes, by which southern Wisconsin was purchased. 

181 6, May i8th, by which the above mentioned treaty was confirmed by 
the Winnebagoes residing on the Wisconsin river. 

1816, August 24th, at St. Louis, with the Ottawas, Chippewas and Potta- 
watamies residing on the Illinois and Wisconsin rivers, and lands relinquished 
by the Indians, except nine miles square, at Prairie du Chien. 

1825, August 19th, the several tribes in Wisconsin defined the boundaries 
of their respective claims, and on August 5, 1826, the Chippewas assented to 
these boundaries. 

1827, August nth, at Butte de Mort, the Menominees relinquished their 
right to a tract of land near Green Bay. 

1828, at Green Bay, the lead mine region was purchased. 

1829, July 29th, the Winnebagoes, at Prairie du Chien, confirmed that 

183 1, February 8th, at Washington, the Menominees ceded all their lands 
east of the Milwaukee river. Lake Winnebago and Green Bay. 

1833, September 26th, at Chicago; lands south and west of the Milwaukee 
river purchased from the Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottawatamies. 

1836, September 3d, at Green Bay, the Menominees ceded lands west of 
Green Bay, and a strip on the Wisconsin up to Big Bull Falls. 

1837, July 29th, at Fort Snelling, the Chippewas ceded the land south of 
the divide between the waters of Lake Superior and those of the Mississippi. 

1837, September 29th, the Sioux ceded their lands east of the Mississippi. 

1837, November ist, the Winnebagoes ceded all their lands east of the 

1842, October 4th, at La Point, the Chippewas ceded all their remaining 
lands in northern and northwestern Wisconsin (being all they still claimed) 
to the government. 

1848, October i8th, the Menominees ceded the remaining of their lands, 
and by this treaty all Indian titles were fully extinguished in Wisconsin. 


The Wisconsin Valky — First and Natural Higlm'ay — JJ'atcr Pozvers Devel- 
oped — Drainage: Wisconsin River Improvement and Water Storage Res- 
ervoirs — Annual Precipitation — Physical Geography — Soil of Marathon 
County and Elevations — Minerals, Climate and Health. 


A history of Marathon county without a description of this, the greatest 
river in the state, this first and natural highway to the Wisconsin pinery, of 
which IMarathon county was the most important part, would be like the play 
of Hamlet with Hamlet left out. The pioneers came up the Wisconsin river; 
over its turbulent waters they poled up their supplies ; from its banks and the 
banks of its tributaries they cut the pine which was sawed and floated down 
the Mississippi and built up the cities and farms of the western states ; on its 
bosom over the falls and rapids they brought the products to market. To 
navigate the river and bring down its thousands of millions feet of logs 
and the fleets of lumber of enough value to pay the national debt, required 
bra^-e and nervy men who feared no danger. Year after year the river 
exacted its tributes in drowned men in driving logs as well as running lum- 
ber. The early pinery required men of brains as well as brawn and muscles; 
it did not hold out the hope of sudden riches which animated the gold seekers 
of California in 1849, but it promised independence after years of hard 
labor; and that was what animated the sturdy pinery pioneers. 

Lumber prices were low ; to keep down costs only trees close to the 
banks were cut; crotch hauling with ox teams was then in vogue, and in 
order to get timber close to the banks. lumbermen invaded the tributaries, 
and as early as 1856, logs were cut on Eagle river, about one hundred miles 
above Wausau, and driven to Big Bull Falls, and even to Grand Rapids. 

The demand for foodstuffs invited farming, but it took years before the 
attempt was made, there being a belief that neither the soil nor climate was 
favorable. For many years Galena was the base of supplies, from where 
flour and pork and blankets were brought up in log canoes as far as Big Bull 
Falls, and from here still higher up. Later on, supplies could be taken to 



Fort Winnebago and Plover from the prairies of Wisconsin, by ox teams, 
and brought to that place, which was made the county seat of Portage county 
in the spring election of 1844, a solid vote of 28 given for that place in the 
election precinct in Little Bull being the deciding factor. That led to the 
formation of Columbia county by detaching the southern tiers on February 
3rd, 1846. 

In spite of the difficulties of getting provisions, and the still greater diffi- 
culty of bringing the timber and lumber to market, the number of men 
engaged in this business gradually increased, enough to justify the creation of 
a new county, and by act of the state legislature, Marathon county was estab- 
lished out of Portage county. 

The Wisconsin river, because of its length, its great drainage area, and 
its central location is preeminently the main river of the state. Its extreme 
source is Lake View desert, of about eight square miles on the state boundary 
line between Wisconsin and Michigan, and about 1,650 feet above sea level. 
The general course of the river is south for three hundred miles, then near 
Portage City it makes a turn to the west, emptying in the Mississippi at 
Prairie du Chien. Its drainage basin is 12,280 square miles, a little less than 
one-fourth of the state. 

Its chief tributaries from its source to the south boundary of this county 
are, on the left bank: the Eagle river, emptying at Eagle River (city) ; the 
Pelican river, joining immediately below Rhinelander; the Prairie river, which 
joins the Wisconsin in the city of Merrill, and the Pine river, emptying four 
miles below Merrill ; in Marathon county : the Trappe and Eau Clair rivers. 
On the west bank of the Wisconsin are, beginning in the north : the Toma- 
hawk, the Somo, Spirit, Newwood and Copper rivers, and in Marathon 
county, the Rib river and the Big Eau Plain. In addition to these are many 
smaller ones and numerous creeks, all of them navigable in the sense that 
logs could be floated out. On the banks of all these rivers and creeks there 
was the splendid white pine, which attracted the eye of the pioneer. But the 
pine is now cut ; only a small portion is still left in the hands of small owners, 
farmers, who save it jealously for their own use. 

Nevertheless the importance of the Wisconsin river will be even much 
greater in the future than it ever was in the past, because of the immense 
water powers that are and can be developed for manufacturing purposes. 

It has a fall of 634 feet in the one hundred and fifty miles from Rhine- 
lander to Necoosa, and an average fall of 4.233 feet per mile which gives 
splendid opportunities for the development of water powers, thereby off- 
setting the want of coal in this state. It is not too much to say, that the 


Wisconsin river valley will, in a not far time, be one of the great manufac- 
turing valleys of the United States. 

The water power of the Fox river is already used to its fullest extent. 
The paper industry is coming to the Wisconsin, because the wood supply for 
the manufacture is better here than on the Fox, and more power can be devel- 
oped on this river. Railroads parallel the course of the river for hundreds 
of miles, or touch on the most important points. 

In Marathon county alone the following powers are developed on the 
Wisconsin river : 

The Mosinee Paper Co. Mill ; fall, 22 feet. 

The Rothschild Paper Mill; fall, 20 feet. 

The Street Railway Co. at Wausau; fall, 20 feet. 

The McEachron Co. at Wausau ; fall, 8 feet. 

The Brokaw Paper Mill, at Brokaw; fall, 16 feet. 

Water powers still undeveloped in the Wisconsin river in Marathon 
county : 

The Battle Island power below Knowlton, where a 15 feet head will 
develop 4,CK)0 horsepower. 

Trappe Rapids, six miles above Brokaw, where a head of 20 to 25 feet 
can be developed. 

An accurate description of the mills operated by water power will appear 
under proper heading hereafter. 

There are now eight dams across the Wisconsin river in Lincoln and 
Oneida counties which are used for manufacturing purposes, and more will 
be put in, in the near future. 


As early as 1878, Hon Thad C Pound, of Chippewa, then member of con- 
gress, conceived the idea of storing the spring freshets and the rainfall which 
supply the Wisconsin, the Chippewa and St. Croix rivers in Wisconsin, as 
well as the Mississippi in Minnesota, by constructing dams at proper stations, 
thereby creating reservoirs with a view of regulating the flow of water in 
those streams. 

A beginning of surveys was made while he was in congress, but after his 
retirement from congress in 1882 was not prosecuted with vigor, and the 
project slept for some time, until taken up by the mill owners on the Wis- 
consin for their own benefit, assisted later on somewhat by the state. 

As the logging on streams has practically disappeared, or log driving has 
given way to railroad transportation, the water powers of the rivers can now 
be permanently developed. 


The United States engineers have surveyed thirty-two large reservoirs 
in Wisconsin, and have constructed five such reser\'oirs in Minnesota. 

The total storage capacity of the proposed reservoirs to regulate the flow 
of the Wisconsin river is 19,557,000,000 cubic feet, which would overflow 
an area of 25,832 acres. 

It is proposed to fill the reservoirs during the spring freshets and then 
allow the waters to escape at times of low water. The United States engineers 
estimated that these reservoirs would maintain a flow of three thousand 
second feet for three months of the year. Such a flow would nearly double 
the present low water flow of the river and its resulting water power. Inci- 
dentally, the use of such resenoirs will to a large extent serve to reduce the 
dangers of high floods, both to dams and overflowed lands. It would, in fact, 
tend to restore the regulation of the river to that which it possessed before 
deforestation and cultivation began to transform a great and primeval forest 
region into cleared and well cultivated fields. 

The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company is authorized to construct 
and maintain dams and resen-oirs, and has begun the work. It has in opera- 
tion now reservoirs with a capacity of two billion cubic feet planed by the 
United States engineers, but it is only the beginning of a very important 


The rocks underlying Marathon county, indeed the whole of the Wis- 
consin valley nqrthward, belong to the Archean area. The county is an ele- 
vated highland, gradually rising from about 1,250 feet above sea level on the 
south boundary to about 1,400 feet on the north line, and from there the land 
is still slowly rising to the north to about 1,650 feet to the headwaters of the 
Wisconsin, or to the watershed between the rivers flowing south and the 
waters flowing into Lake Superior. The area of crystalline rocks underlying 
all of Marathon county, is covered on the surface with old glacial clay several 
feet in thickness, which makes an excellent soil for agricultural products and 
is distinguished for lasting productiveness. Its capacity for holding water 
prevents loss of crops even in more than moderate draughts, while on the 
other hand the undulating character of the surface drains all surplus water 
from the lands. ' In some small portions, mainly east of the Wisconsin river 
and in the Eau Claire valley a sandy loam prevails, which is the best soil for 
potato and corp culture, but the clay soil largely predominates. All of Mara- 
thon county was originally covered with magnificent forest, interspersed with 
wild meadows along the bottomlands of the rivers and creeks. On the banks 
of the rivers stood the majestic white pine, and receding one mne or more 



from the banks, hardwood predominated, such as maple, birch, ehn, ash, oak. 
bassvvood, and butternut, hberally interspersed with pine and hemlock. This 
forest now has largely given away to over six thousand five hundred 
farms, hewed out of the forest, highly cultivated, with modern frame and 
brick, even concrete houses, fine large barns, stables and silos. It is not too 
much to say, that the farm buildings in Marathon county compare favorably 
with most in the United States in size, comfort and practical construction. 
Numerous creeks and brooks traverse the land, and fresh and good water is 
in abundance on every farm. 

QuARTziTE ExrosuR*; OS Rib Hill, Mahathos Couktt. 

The whole of Marathon county drains into the Wisconsin river, except a 
small strip on the extreme east, in range lo, where the waters flow east, empty- 
ing in the Little Wolfe and ultimately reach the gulf of St. Lawrence through 
the Great Lakes. On the west shore of the Wisconsin river, about three 
miles from the city of Wausau southerly, rises the Rib Hill, a bold isolated 
crest, said to be the highest point in the state, having an elevation of 1.263 
feet above Lake Michigan, and a little more to the south by east are the 
Mosinee Hills, reaching an elevation of 880 feet, or 280 feet above the river 
which flows at the foot of both hills. 

Rib Hill is a hard, brittle whitish quartz, often colorless. The sloi>es of 
the Mosinee Hills are covered with loose masses of quartzite. Several quar- 
ries are worked on Rib Hill for quartz, which is milled in the quartz mills and 
the sand paper factory at Wausau. and the product of these mills has become 
an important industry. 

Feld spar, a valuable mineral in the manufacture of glass, is found in 
the slopes of both the Rib and Mosinee Hills. 

Splendid granite quarries from five to ten miles north from Wausau on 
the banks of the Wisconsin river are opened which furnish the rough material 


for the two large granite works situated in the city of Wausau and at Heights, 
where splendid monumental work is made, which is shipped as far as Cali- 

The Marathon county granite is from light to dark red, of fine texture, 
and is held equal in value to the best of Scotch granite. 

The once popular notion that the land was worthless after the timber 
had been removed has long passed away to a well earned general confidence 
in its general agricultural fertility. This is evidenced by the rapidity with 
which these lands have been settled upon by farmers in the last thirty years 
and the rapid appreciation in their market value. Advance in science makes 
use even of the old Norway pine stumps which are left on cut over lands, 
which stumps and roots are sold and used for the turpentine which is extracted 
therefrom by the W'ausau turpentine factory. 


Borings in different parts of the county have shown the existence of iron 
ore but too lean to warrant mining operations ; but the similarity of the rock 
formation in this part of Wisconsin and the iron range in the north is evi- 
dence that paying ore in large quantities may yet exist, waiting only exposure 
by the lucky finder. 


The following is a table showing the a\erage precipitation for the years 
from 1896 to 191 1 for which there are accurate measurements taken for the 
upper river, from Wausau upwards, which show that the average is a little 
higher than in the southern part of the state, the lowest being 18.67 inches 
in 1910, which was the driest season ever known in this valley and the only 
one in forty years. 


Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Total 

1806 0.95 0.41 1.03 3.06 4.72 1.83 3.04 4.13 2.17 2.88 4.11 1.20 29.53 

1897 1.40 1.36 2.21 I. II 2.07 4.9C2 3.18 1.70 2.50 2.98 I.3I 0.56 25.30 

1898 0.65 1.80 1.60 1.70 2.49 4.01 2.67 1.33 2.47 2.82 1.94 0.29 23.77 

1899 0.89 0.86 2.38 3.33 3.98 3.79 2.20 3.25 3.20 4.78 0.42 1.79 30.87 

1900 0.61 1.30 1.44 2.5s 1.42 2.68 8.40 4.96 8.23 7.58 1.03 0.80 41.00 

I90I 0.80 0.77 3.90 0.65 1.77 4.28 6.79 3.47 4.59 2.28 1.56 0.61 31.36 

1902 0.88 0.87 0.87 2.48 2.74 4.30 2.14 1.51 1.89 2.13 4.24 1. 13 25.18 

1903 0.48 0.54 2.45 2.27 5.49 1.65 5.47 6.39 756 2.38 0.86 0.59 36.13 

1904 0.40 1.34 1.62 2.08 5.86 5.78 3.54 4.36 7.05 5.43 0.29 2.4s 40.20 

1905 1.21 0.65 1.38 I. IS 3.83 7.32 2.45 5.65 3.86 2.02 1.75 1.06 32.33 

1906 1.85 0.54 2.00 1.49 4.76 5.07 2.39 4.91 2.47 2.45 2.60 31.63 

1907 1.24 0.54 1.45 2.25 1.23 2.61 2.81 2.61 6.65 0.73 0.52 0.52 23.16 77% 

1908 0.6s 1.73 1.85 3.04 3.00 3.66 4.46 1.28 3.66 0.94 1.47 1.09 26.83 89% 

1909 0.53 1.26 1.29 2.95 2.11 3.36 5.26 2.41 2.45 1.71 4.48 0.93 28.74 95% 


Year Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Total 

I9IO 0.76 0.97 0.29 2.46 2.42 0.38 2.13 2.83 2.36 2.12 1. 12 0.83 18.67 62% 

191 I 0.74 1. 16 1.78 0.87 4.94 1.44 7.01 4.38 4.02 6.54 2.62 2.53 38.03 126% 

Average 0.S8 i.oi 1.72 2.09 3.30 3.57 4.00 3.45 4.07 3.11 1.90 1.09 30.17 . 


The forty-fifth degree N. latitude nearly evenly divides Marathon county. 
The higliest temperature in the last ten years, according to government reports, 
was 99 degrees on one day in 1910, and t\^ice 98 degrees; during the corre- 
sponding period the lowest was 35 below zero. The nights, even during the 
hottest season, are invariably cool and pleasant. In the summer months, 
western and southwesterly winds prevail, and northern and northwestern 
winds predominate in the winter. A change to easterly or northeasterly 
winds usually indicates rain or snow fall. 

Marathon county, in fact, all of central and northern Wisconsin seem 
to be out of the cyclone belt, and hurricanes are of rare occurrence. The roll- 
ing character of the land together with the fact that a large if not the largest 
part is still covered with forests may account for the rarity of devastating 
storms. There have been storms at long intervals which felled much timber, 
sometimes unroofed houses and barns, but the only storm which was accom- 
panied with the loss of human life occurred on the i8th day of May, 1898. 
The hurricane entered Marathon county about one and one-half mile north of 
the village of Colby sweeping nearly due east, little north, and demolished 
houses and barns, and uprooted much timber in its track. The house of August 
Hanke, a farmer living on the range line road between ranges five and six 
township 29, was struck, in the destruction of which building Mr. August 
Hanke and his wife and their son Frederick were instantly killed, and another 
son, Otto, 21 years old, was seriously injured. One mile further to the east, 
another son of August Hanke, while in the barn which was also struck and 
destro3'ed, lost his life from the same cause, while his wife who was in the 
house which was unroofed by the storm, escaped without injury. 

Marathon county is one of the healthiest counties in the healthy state of 
Wisconsin ; malarial sicknesses are unknown ; the death rate for the years 
1907 and 1908, which are the last compilations made by the state board of 
health, based upon official returns show the death rate to be 10.2 for 1907 and 
II for 1908, per 1,000 inhabitants. When it is considered that Marathon 
county is not only a farming community, but has within its borders over 100 
miles of railroads, with many mills and factories in which are working thou- 
sands of men with the unavoidable accidents occurring under existing indus- 
trial conditions, it is not too much to say that Marathon county air and soil 
are as conducive to longevity as any part of the United States. 

Titles — Siin'cys — First Settlements. 

The time of the erection of the first mills in the Wisconsin river pinery 
rests in tradition. There are no records to assist a search unless access is 
had to the archives of the war department as well as the general land office. 
The mill sites as far up as Jenny Bull (Merrill) were actually entered upon 
by mill men long before the land was surveyed by the government and must 
have been claimed by pre-emption (squatter) right, to be paid for after 
survey, or settled on by direct permission from the war department or com- 
missioner of the general land office. 

The following is a copy of the records of the first entries of lands in the 
territory now in Marathon county, furnished by the very accommodating and 
courteous register of the United States land office at Wausau — Hon. John \V. 
Miller, to wit : 



Part of Section Section Township Ranee 

Lot 5 35 29 7 E. Oct. 5, 1840 George Stephens. 

Lot I 36 29 7 E. May 19, 1845 James Moore. 

Lot 4 36 29 7 E. June 19, 1845 Wm. Pierce Gardner. 

Lot I 35 29 7 E. Dec. 26, 1846 Joseph Snow. 

Stack Island 35 29 7 E. May 4, 1847 Samuel S. Benedict. 

S. E. N. W ..... .30 29 7E. Oct. 19. 1848 Samuel S. Benedict. 

Lot 2 36 29 7 E. ApT. 16, 1849 E. M. Clark — J. Snow. 

N. E., N. W 36 29 7 E. Jan. 27, 1851 Walter D. Maclndoe. 

Oak & Stack Island 36 29 7 E. Sept. 15, 1853 Charles A. Single. 
S. W., N. E. & N. 

W., S. E 36 29 7 E. Nov. 19, 1853 .Andrew Warren, Jr. 

Townships 31 to 44, inclusive, in ranges 2 to 9 east, were surveyed begin- 
ning in 1 86 1 and finished in 1865, and were not offered for sale until 1866, 
and consequently were not ta.xable until that time. Logging had been done 
on lands bordering the Wisconsin river many years previous, but that must 
have been done under special permission or license from the general land office. 

It will be seen that the only entry made in 1840 was made by George 
Stevens on Lot 5, covering the Plumer and Clark Islands, and consequently 
the water power. There must have been a special survey: in all probability 



the survey made by George Stevens was accepted by the department because 
no other land was then surveyed or entered until years after. 

The plats of the United States land office show that townships 26, 27, 28, 
29, and 30, in ranges 2 to 10, inclusive, were surveyed in 1852 and 1853, long 
after the settlement of the pinery pioneers, but there is also an entry to this 
effect : Sections 25 to 28 and sections ^^ to 35 in township 29, range 7, ofifered 
for sale at public auction, October 5, 1840, which covers the largest area of 
the site of the city of Wausau. 

These sections were evidently ofifered on the application of Stevens, and 
a preliminary survey made before any other land was surveyed. 

In coming to Big Bull Falls, Stevens coming up from Shaurette Rapids 
(now Stevens Point) by canoe, left a portion of his goods and supplies at a 
point on those rapids, put up a log hut there to store what he could not take 
on the first trip, which log hut answered the purposes of a ware house. 

It soon became known as "Stevens' Point," which name in time was 
adopted for the settlement arising afterwards in the vicinity and eventually 
became the city of Stevens Point. 

When Mr. John C. Clarke says in his address, cited hereafter, that the 
population in 1845 •" t^^ whole Wisconsin valley from Point Baussee up 
was 300, of which only 12 or 15 were women, he rather over than underes- 
timated the number. He also states how few houses there were between Fort 
Winnebago and Point Baussee, but even as late as 1848, there was not a single 
house between "Strong's Landing" on the Fox river (now the city of Berlin) 
and Plover Portage, the county seat of Portage county, and only a few build- 
ings in Stevens Point, the first house there having been built in 1845, and 
others following in slow succession after the building of the dam there which 
was not completed until 1847. 

Another index to the small number of inhabitants is furnished by the 
vote taken on the question of the adoption of the constitution on March 13. 
184S, the whole vote in Portage county being only 266, of which 208 were for 
and 58 against it, and it must be remembered that nearly the entire population^ 
were voters. 

An election precinct was established at Big Bull Falls as early as April, 
1842, the polling place being the house of George Stevens, and on April 28. 
1842, the county board of Portage county established another precinct at 
Little Bull Falls. 

It is claimed that a dam was built and a mill erected at Little Bull Falls 
in 1839, contemporaneous in point of time with the building of the dam and 
first mill at ^^'ausau, but that is in all probability erroneous. 


The man who knew the history of Mossinee better than any one else, Mr. 
Joseph Dessert, who came there in 1844 and continued to reside there for over 
60 years, said in his reminiscences that the mill was built in 1842, only two 
years before he set foot in that place.* 

The pioneers did not come to Marathon county to culti\ate the land. They 
had no thought of clearing, sowing or planting, or to take up a permanent 
residence in this supposed uninhabitable country. The land had been traversed 
by the fur trader who dealt with the Indians for over a century, but he no 
more than the pinery man ever gave a thought to agriculture. The policy of 
the American Fur Company was to monopolize the profitable Indian trade, 
and it had no desire to have the country settle and divide its rich trade with 
newcomers. It therefore discouraged in'advance all settlements by decrying 
central and northern Wisconsin as sterile, unfit for cultivation or the habita- 
tion of the white man, as a land only fit for the low Chippewa Indian who 
could make a precarious living as a hunter. 

But the lead mines of Galena and neighborhood had attracted a large 
number of adventurers, who, failing to gain the expected quick riches from 
the mines, had settled on lands in the vicinity around Galena and Mineral 
Point and had become the pioneer farmers of Wisconsin. The lands were 
prairie lands, easily broken and cultivated. 

The lead mines, like nearly all other land at that time in Wisconsin, 
belonged to the Indians, and the trespasses on the jealously guarded mineral 
lands caused the first hostile outbreak of the Winnebagoes led by "Red Bird," 
in consequence of which a permanent military post was established at the 
historic portage. The timber and lumber necessary for the barracks was cut 
on Pine Island in the Wisconsin river about ten miles above the ixjrtage. 
The timber was hewn and the lumber sawed by hand, and a rigging remain- 
ing on the island for many years afterwards, indicated that at one time 
a windmill had been rigged up and used for sawing out lumber. 

It had already been stated how Major Twiggs, the commanding officer at 
the fort, had arbitrarily confiscated and taken 100,000 shingles made by 
Stockbridge Indians for Whitney and used them for the barracks. After 

*The records of the U. S. Land Office show that lot 3 and Little Bull Island (so named 
in the official government plat), were entered by Henry Merrill, October 5, 1840, and lot 4 by 
the same person on January 29, 1841. These lots and island include the water power at 
Mosinee, and not only were they entered later in point of time than the Big Bull Fall water 
power, but it is also certain that Henry Merrill, the entryman, never built a mill there, which 
was built in fact by J. L. Moore, but it is wholly unlikely that JMoore had built the mill and 
dam before he had some title to the same from Merrill. The deed from Merrill however to 
Moore is dated years afterwards, after the mill had been built and was being operated by Moore. 


Daniel Whitney had erected his saw mill in 183 1 under permission of the 
war department, and other mills were put up in succession on the Wisconsin 
river as far up as Conants Rapids, the Indians complained of the inroads 
made by white men in their territory which led to the purchase by the govern- 
ment of a strip of land three miles on each side of the river as far north as 
Big Bull Falls in 1836, and, with the Indian title extinguished by the treaty, 
it was but a few years when all eligible mill sites and water powers were taken 
up as far as Big Bull Falls. That was all accomplished in the years up to 1839. 

In that year falls the invasion of the pinery man in what is now Mara- 
thon (then Portage) county. 

It was George Stevens who came here from Pennsylvania. He came to 
Wausau in 1839, others claim in 1838. He made a preliminary survey of 
the land, river, and the islands, and marked locations for mill sites. In a 
letter written by him, dated September 29, 1839, to one George Morton, a 
lumber merchant at St. Louis, he informed him that he was engaged in the 
building of the dam and guardlock, complained of the scarcity of men in 
spite of the high wages paid ($25.00 and board per month), a very high 
price at that time. With the letter was enclosed a drawing, giving a fine side 
view of the water powers at this place, the location of the dam and guardlock 
(all on the present site), also locations marked out for three mills on what 
is now Plumer's island, one mill on the main land on the east bank, (the 
Stewart Lumber Company Mill, now Heinemann Lumber Company) and 
states that there is room for many more on what is now Gark's Island. The 
height of the fall on the east side mill is given at 13J4 feet, 14J-4 feet for the 
intended mills on Plumer's and Clarke's Island, and 8 feet for a mill at the 
dam (now the ]\IcEachron Flour Mill). 

The map is singuarly correct and so is the height of the falls as nature 
made them, before they were improved. Considering that Stevens had to 
make a preliminary survey and send it to Washington with his application 
to enter, and did commence building the dam and guardlock in 1839, it is 
very probable that the survey was made in 1838, as claimed by John Haun. 
a Hollander, well known here under the cognomen of Sailor Jack, who claimed 
to have been one of the surveying party with George Stevens in 1838. 

This George Stevens owned originally the whole of the water power at 
Big Bull Falls. His first mill must have been built and ready for operation in 
1840, because there exists a contract (in possession of Mr. E. B. Thayer, 
together with the letter and map referred to it), in which Stevens obligates 
himself to pay to the other party, who evidenly was renting and running the 
mill, the sum of $4.50 per 1,000 feet for sawing he. Stevens, to furnish the 


provisions for the men and buying all the "clear stuff" manufactured by the 
mill man at the rate of $9.00 per thousand. 

The saw mills at that time, and for years thereafter, worked with tlie 
so-called up and down saws, and were cutting from 3 to 4 thousand feet in 
twelve hours. Later, so-called muley saws were installed, making a larger 
cut, and still later so-called sash saws, which were hung in a frame, and were 
able to cut from seven to eight thousand feet per day of twelve hours. It 
did not take very much power to run one of these early saw mills, and the 
crew of men was correspondingly small. 

Hon. John C. Clarke, who came to Wausau in 1845 ^"<^ was a prominent 
lumberman for upwards of over forty years, in an address delivered by him 
before the "Men's Club of the Presbyterian Church" in July, 1906, said: 

"The locating of Fort Winnebago at the old Portage, between the Wis- 
consin river and Fox river, at the time of the Black Hawk war, was on the 
upper part of the Wisconsin river, started first settlements about 1832. The 
Menominee Indians held the country up as far as where the village of Plover 
now stands. To the north the Chippewas held the country, north of them, 
to Lake Superior. For the building of Fort Winnebago the first pine trees 
were cut and hewn on Pine Island, ten miles up the river from the location of 
the fort by Lieut. Jefferson Davis and a squad of soldiers. Zachary Taylor 
was the colonel in command. In the year "34 or '35, George Whitney, an 
employe of the American Fur Company, established a trading post at Point 
Baussee, this being the head of navigation. The river above there for two 
hundred miles had many rapids and waterfalls almost to its source. The 
pine forests and plains of the valley commenced at Portage and extended 
through to Lake Superior. 

"My thoughts at times run away with me, when thinking of the long ago 
in these great forests. In 1835, Robert Wakely opened a tavern and trading 
post at Point Baussee; he being a live American, desiring to know where 
the river headed, wandered to the north and traveled up and up until he came 
to Big Bull, and on and on to Grandfather Bull, and after leaving Shaw Rap- 
ids (now Stevens Point), he first encountered the thick heavy timbered coun- 
try of pine trees, and became enamoured with it. In 1839 he was down at St. 
Louis on lumber from Whitney mill, there met George Stevens, who was there 
with lumber from the Alleghany where he had lumbered for many years. 
He run his lumber down the Alleghany to Pittsburg, in rafts and on to Cairo, 
the mouth of the Ohio river, then by barge up to St. Louis. 

"\Vakely told Stevens about the great pine forests and the water power on 
the Wisconsin river which greatly excited Stevens, for he thought that Wakely 


was telling him fairy tales. W'akely told him to come and see for himself, 
and he would go with him which invitation was accepted. Stevens soon after 
came to Wisconsin and found things to his notion far better than W'akely had 
told him. He went back home to Pennsylvania and made his arrangements 
to come west. He settled his family in Belvidere, Illinois, and then came 
to Wisconsin pines and located himself at Big Bull, under guidance of Wakely 
where he made his claim and built the dams and guardlocks, and the first saw 
mill above Grand Rapids. All this I derived from letters written by Stevens 
to his patron Boswell at the time. In this we have the foundation of the enter- 
ing and developing of the Upper Wisconsin. 

"So many of the pioneer settlers of this country have passed to the great 
beyond, their toils, troubles, and cares in opening the country being of such 
character that many of the weaker through some mishap or other have fallen 
by the wayside. I have lived amongst them for nearly sixty years, and have 
seen and known of the efforts used to get here from the civilized world and 
to open up the vast forest wilderness of the northern part of the territory, 
for such it was in 1845, when I came here. Then there was no road over 
which a sled or a wagon could be drawn north of Plover, then county seat 
of Portage county, which county extended from the north line of Dane 
county to Lake Superior. The trails of the Indians, used by the first white 
men, merely footpaths, was all there was in the shape of roads that extended 
to the north. There were no houses or dwellings at Portage city then, except 
those of the garrison at Fort Winnebago and a hotel or tavern kept by Dunn 
and McFarland. Richard Veeder built a house across the flats at Portage in 
1847. the real beginning of Portage city. At Stevens Point, five miles north 
of Plover Portage, now Plover, there was no house or settlement until 1846, 
when Mathias Mitchell built the hotel and barns near the bank of the river. 
George Stevens, w'ho came from Belvidere, Illinois, in 184 1, had built a small 
log house here to store his goods that he was bringing up to Big Bull. 

"George Stevens was the pioneer settler of the pineries north of Plover. 
\\'ith ox teams he hauled his supplies from Belvidere, to the Point, then 
hewed out logs to make canoes to continue the journey to Big Bull. This was 
the condition of afifairs until 1846 when a sled road was cut out from Big 
Bull to Stevens Point, touching Little Bull and Little Eau Clair. This was 
all that was done until 1855, when the Plank Road Company was organized 
here in this county and some $25,000 expended on the plank road between 
Big Bull and the county line south. Portage county refusing to spend a cent 
on the road. At that time, and even later, the road was mud puddle and sand 
pit in that county for eighteen miles. 


"The name of 'Bull Falls' which is attached to nearly all the rapids in the 
Wisconsin river, of which there are many, was given by the voyageurs of the 
American Fur Company, who in going north from Indian station, known as 
Dubay, heard a terrible roaring sound, which upon investigation proved to 
come from the falls at Mosinee, and they named them 'Toro;' moving north 
they found a larger rapids, and to them they gave the name of 'Gros Toro.' 
Still further along they encountered the great falls, and these they named 
'Grand Pere Toro.' From these names all the other falls have received the 
names they are known by. 

"The struggles of the early pioneers to get into the Wisconsin valley 
were great. 

"This country was a dense and unsubdued forest from the place where 

Stevens Point is located to the shores of Lake Superior on the north. To 

-open up the country for the business of lumbering was no child's play, but 

was work for men of stalwart bodies and determination of mind. Such were 

the men who opened this vast expanse of territory. 

"When George Stevens, with three ox teams, started from Belvidere, 
Illinois, to come here in 1839, it was mostly prairie land to near Fort Winne- 
bago; from there on to Stevens Point were oak openings or sandy plains, with 
a trail made by the Indians to Point Baussee, where Whitney built the first 
lumber institution in the valley. Thereby Point Baussee became the basis 
of all migration to the north. It was at the head of navigation, being at the 
foot of the long series of rapids on the river. 

"There the Menominee Indians would gather at times for their hunting 
and fishing expeditions. In 1848 there were over 500 Indians with Chief 
Oshkosh at their head, holding a pow wow or council, over the sale of their 
reservation to the government. Their lands extended from about Fort Win- 
nebago to Big Bull Falls on the north, and from the Black river on the west 
to the Fox river on the east. This region was covered with heavy forests. 
The wealth in the magnificent pine was alluring to the pioneer as ever the 
gold fields of California were in 1849. The c|uestion of how to get at it to 
make it marketable was the all absorbing thought of all minds. Migratory 
pioneers are not generally possessors of much, if any, ready money; all the 
wealth they possessed was stout hearts, strong muscles and common sense, 
with physique enough to knock a bull down. Such were the men that first 
tackled this great forest. 

"With other means it was out of the question to open roads to the several 
water powers where saw mills were to be erected, as there was no money to 
build them with so long canoes were hewn out of woods and supplies of every 


name and nature that were necessary for their sustenance were boated by 
canoes in summer season, and the ice on the river furnished the road in win- 
ter, upon which supplies were fetched into the country. At this time there 
was but one house between Madison and Fort Winnebago, and but two houses 
from the fort to Point Baussee, which were kept by men who had Indian 
women for wives. The population in 1845 of the valley from Point Baussee 
in the whole pinery was only 300, almost all men, only about 12 or 15 being 

"The reputation given the country by the traders of the American Fur 
Company was that the land was stony, sandy and barren, mountainous and 
marshy, cold and unhealthy and not fit for farming, or ever to live in by a 
civilized people, and that was the impression of the lumber men for many 
years. They thought that all the lands that would pay them to cultivate were 
the islands on the river and the bottom lands on the banks which grew blue 
joint and red top grasses, where the hay used by the lumber men was cut. 
They soon found that the high grounds would raise hay and potatoes if noth- 
ing else." 

The place so often mentioned at Point Baussee or Point Bojs, was at the 
head of the low water navigation, where Daniel Whitney lived as an Indian 
trader, and where years before him, the Robert Wakely mentioned by John 
C. Clarke had a trading post. In the earliest days of the pinery an attempt 
was made to reach Point Baussee from Kilboum or may be Portage City 
before the erection of the Kilbourn dam by steam boat, but the venture 
proved unsuccessful, the steam boat making only one trip. 

The saw mill erected by Whitney was about three or four miles above 
Point Baussee on Whitney Rapids. In speaking of the Black Hawk war, Mr. 
Clarke evidently had in mind the war, or murders committed by Red Bird, 
the chief of the Winnebagoes, which preceded the Black Hawk war. 

At the time of the settlement of George Stevens no land in Portage county 
has been surveyed, except probably a line had been established to mark the 
three-mile limits from the river, which land was ceded by the treaty with the 
Menominees in 1836. 

First Scttlciiicuts (Continued ). 

George Stevens became the owner of the whole water power by his gov- 
ernment entry in 1840. He built the first mill on the east side of the slough, 
about four hundred feet above the present B. Heinemann Lumber Company 
mill. This mill and site was sold to Morris and Boswell of St. Louis in 
1844 who in turn sold it to W. D. Mclndow and Shuter in 1848. This mill 
was torn down and a new one put up in 185 1 which was the mill of the 
Alexander Stewart Lumber Company, now B. Heinemann Lumber Company. 

George Stevens had erected another mill on Clark's Island in 1842 which 
he sold to Barker and Woodward and which after several conveyances and 
sales (being operated by W'alrad — father and son) came into the hands of 
John C. Clark in i860, who operated it until 1883, when he sold out to Mc- 
Donald Brothers Lumber Company who after a few years, in turn sold out 
to Stegner Company, when it soon became idle, was sold under mortgage sale 
and came into the possession of Ale.xander Stewart, then to the Wausau 
Electric Light and Power Company, and the site is now owned by the 
Wausau Street Railroad Company. In the fall of 1842 Crosby and Loop 
erected a mill on Plumer's Island which burned in 1844, was rebuilt by 
Moore and Berry in 1845 and operated by James L. Moore until 1850, when 
it passed into Pope, Green & Barnes and finally to B. Barnes, and after fore- 
closure proceedings came into the possession of B. G. Plumer in 1861, and 
after his death in 1886 descended to his brother D. L. Plumer. It was sold 
by him a few years ago to the Wausau Street Railroad Company, together 
with the island and all water rights. 

In 1849 Goodrich, Feheley and Levy Fleming built the fourth mill, 
located on Plumer's Island west and south of the B. G. Plumer mill. recei\- 
ing its water by means of a conductor. This mill was sold to G. N. Lyman 
in 1853, and Mr. B. G. Plumer became its owner in 1865. It was operated 
by John Brown and Daniel Fellows until 1870 and stood idle since that time. 
It caught fire evidently from sparks escaping from the slab burner of the 
McDonald Lumber Company's mill in 1886. which fire spread to the lumber 



yards of B. G. Plumer and A. Stewart Lumber companies and consumed all 
the lumber in the yards. In about four hours, lumber valued at $150,000 
was lost, the heaviest loss falling on B. G. Plumer, whose insurance had 
expired and not been promptly renewed.* 

These three saw mills were running at W'ausau (which name will now 
be used instead of Big Bull Falls), but the population was limited to the 
number of men engaged in sawing logs and getting the supply. Mr. Levy 
Flemming who came here in the fall of 1844 and is still living and a healthy 
gentleman past ninety years, and who lived here ever since, says that when 
he came to Wausau, the whole population was 28 men and two women. 

The splendid water power at Little Bull was already appropriated as 
early as 1840 and 1841, John Henry Merrill, who conveyed to J. L. Moore, 
who had commenced operating there by building a dam and mill, having 
associated with him one Mitchell, a brother of Alexander Mitchell of Mil- 
waukee. Mr. Mitchell did not remain long with r\Ir. Moore and departed 
from the pinery. 

The water powers in the Wisconsin, easy of development, having been 
taken up, the tributaries were eagerly scanned by the eye of the would-be 
saw mill owner, and every available site appropriated within the years from 
1840 to 1849. Probably one of the first dams and mills erected outside of 
Wausau and Mosinee, was erected on the Eau Claire river below the mouth 
of Sandy Creek, somewhere near the bridge of the Chicago & Northwestern 
Railroad. It was at a point where the old Indian trail from Mosinee up 
north crossed the Eau Clair river. The dam and mill were put up by John 
B. DuBay, but was not long in operation and passed out of his hands. This 
John B. DuBay was an interesting character. He was at different times 
in the employ of the American Fur Company at a high salary, being in 
charge of the Lac du Flambeau post of that company for five years. His 
father was native born French, who had come from Montreal to Green Bay 
as early as 1790 and become an Indian trader. His wife was an Indian 
woman, presumably a Menominee, and their son John B. learned the Indian 
languages as well as English and French. He acted as interpreter in nearly 
all the treaties made with the Indians for General Cass and the other govern- 
mental officers. After quitting the employ of the Fur company, he went 
into business for himself, had a trading point near Fort W^innebago and there 
had squatted on, or in the official language, pre-empted land. 

*The fire would in all probability have been checked before doing much damage, but in a 
critical moment, the water supply at the pumping station gave out, and the engineers at the 
station failed to make the pumps draw the water supply from the river. 


A man by the name of Reynolds at the head of a mob of thirty persons 
(as claimed by DuBay) sought to dispossess him and level down nrs home, 
when DuBay came out of the house, gun in hand, and after unsuccessfully 
warning them to desist, shot and killed Reynolds, then gave himself up to the 

A lynching in the Portage city jail was barely averted. At the trial of 
DuBay for murder held in Portage city, the jury disagreed and a second 
trial in Madison had the same result, after which he was discharged. 

This was in 1857-58, and though discharged, his defense consumed most 
of his property. He had then and years afterwards a good equipped store 
for the Indian trade at a place on the Wisconsin river called "DuBay," about 
eleven miles above Stevens Point. He was a very intelligent man and had 
a reputation for integrity and honesty. He lived many years after the affair 
at Portage City at his place above Stevens Point, and was well thought of 
by the pinery men as well as by the Indians. He was married to an Indian 
wife. Dr. William Scholfield and Captain Lombard built the dam across 
the Eau Clair river at Scholfield about 1840 and put up their mill on the 
north side of the dam. On the south side Hiram Martin had a mill, which 
he in 185 1 sold to Lombard & Scholfield. Doctor Scholfield then removed 
with his family to Stevens Point, where he practiced his profession as a 
physician, but returned in 1856 to help carry on the lumber business. The 
Martin mill was allowed to fall into decay after its sale. 

Moe and Martin had a saw mill on the Eau Claire river which came into 
the hands of William and N. D. Kelly and became known as Kelly's upper 
mill; and a mill erected by Goodhue also passed into the possession of 
the Kelly Brothers and became known as Kelly's lower mill. All these 
mills were erected between 1844 and 1849. The Scholfield mill is now owned 
by the Brooks & Ross Lumber Company, and Kelly's lower mill is owned 
by John Manser, and both are operated by steam, getting most of their log 
supply by railroads. The DuBay mill went to decay in the fifties, and the 
last vestige, some spars, were swept away by the flood of 1881. 

In 1845 Benjamin Single erected a mill about four miles from Wausau 
on Litte Rib river, which was run by water power until 1852. when it was 
changed to a steam mill and was in good working condition until 1871, when 
it caught fire and burned down. 

There were two mills erected on Pine river in the years from 1846 to 
1848. One was near the mouth, built by Pearson and by him soon con- 
veyed to Dennis Warren. About four miles above the mouth was a mill 
built by Thomas Grundy and Isaac Coulthurst in 1845- 1848. This was a 


double mill having two saws and a slide to supply both saws. Isaac Coult- 
hurst sold out to Wells and in the middle or later years of the fifties, Grundy 
sold to Edw. Armstrong. It remained in Armstrong's possession until 1867, 
when it came into possession of John L. Davies, a lumberman at Davenport, 
Iowa, who operated it until 1881 or 1882, when sawing on Pine river ceased. 
The pine on Pine river was especially large and of fine texture. A little 
later another mill was erected at the mouth of Pine river by O. Rood, which 
was a steam mill. It run for some years, then lay idle, was run again three 
years from about 1862 to 1865 by John Erwin and Joseph Garland, and fell 
in disuse and was finally sold for delinquent taxes. This seems to have been 
the first steam mill in Marathon county. 

The Trappe river mill was built by B. Berry as a water mill, and later 
changed to a steam mill. John F. Gallon bought it in 1876. It ceased run- 
ning in 1889. 

In 1849 Andrew Warren built the dam at Jenny, now Merrill, and a 
double mill, like the Thomas Grundy mill, selling one mill to O. B. Smith, 
and after passing through several hands, it finally became the property of 
Thomas B. Scott, or rather tlie Thomas B. Scott Lumber Company about 
1877. After the death of Thomas B. Scott it was operated by his son for a 
short time, who removed from Merrill about 1891 ; then the mill lay idle, 
and the water power became the property of the Merril Street Car Com- 
pany which uses part of the power and a pulp company the rest. It is located 
on the east end of Merrill. 

There is a faint recollection that in early times there was a mill located 
on the Eau Plaine river, near its mouth, but it must have gone out of busi- 
ness, too, at an early date, because nothing in particular can be ascertained 
about the enterprise. 

So there were located in 1849 fourteen saw mills in and near \\'ausau 
(not counting the Eau Plaine mill), all within from three to twenty miles 
of Wausau ; still the population was not to exceed three hundred and fifty in 
1849, and the settlements were confined to these mills and yards. Mills 
had improved somewhat by 1852, but a cut from four to five thousand in 
twelve hours was still excellent work. 

One of the earliest settlers who became quite prominent was Thomas 
Hinton who came in 1844. He built the first tavern named "The Blue Eagle." 
It stood near the east bank of the slough directly west of Jackson street. 
Later he kept a store in the Riverside hotel ; acquired the Trappe river mill : 
he was sheriff, and held other county and town offices. 

Another was Charles A. Single, who came in 1845. Charles Single 


worked for his brother until 1850, when he came to Wausau and built the 
"Forest House and Forest Hall," which became the famous hostelry through- 
out the Wisconsin valley. The hotel burned down in 1878, but the Forest 
Hall is still standing. Charles Single was the second sheriff elected in 
Marathon county, and at all times prominent in national and state politics; 
he was at all times a believer in the future of Marathon county and active 
in its behalf. 

No attempt at farming had been made. What roads there were, were 
logging roads, and they were only crotch roads, the pine being cut close to 
the mill in each instance and dumped in the mill pond. The base of sup- 
plies was still Galena from where the provisions were brought as far as 
the Point, and then taken up on the ice in winter, sometimes in cases of 
dire need, by canoe. The men were hired to be paid in lumber or shingles — 
shave shingles ; they sold their lumber or shingles to one another or put it 
together on a raft and sent it down to market, waiting for returns until sold. 
Men lived on the coarsest of fare and the few women shared their table. 
Thomas Grundy related that when he helped build the mill at the mouth of 
Pine river, the crew (perhaps six men) lived all winter on one ox who had 
died from sickness and whose frozen carcass furnished them their meals, 
besides some peas — no flour. Joseph Dessert told a similar story, only in 
this case the ox had not died of his own accord, but was killed for food. 
Potatoes were a rarity. J. L. Moor running the Plumer mill, in 1852 brought 
up a barrel of cooked and mashed potatoes from Belvidere. Illinois, which 
were salted to preserve them, which food was hailed with delight. Salt pork 
furnished the standard meal, and everybody was happy when there was 
plenty of it. The men had no time to go hunting, but they did resort to 
fishing which helped out the ever monotonous table course. There were then 
no trout in the creeks, but they never looked for any, as catfish weighing 
fifteen pounds was more in popular favor than would have been the finest 
trout. They got along too without any milk. John Le Messurier came here in 
the spring of 1845. He was then the landlord at the Henspringer tavern, near 
Fort Winnebago, and there became acquainted with Francis Brezette who 
had been here the previous year or 1844. The glowing description of the 
wealth which could be made out of the splendid pine which only needed to 
be cut and thrown in the river to make the possessor a rich man induced 
him to come. He hitched three yoke of cattle to one wagon, containing his 
wife and three children, all girls from seven to twelve years of age, and a 
little household goods; and another wagon with one yoke of oxen, con- 
taining nothing but a cook stove and utensils, driving as far as Stevens Point, 


then brought his family in canoes to Wausau and drove his cattle through 
the woods on the trail, arrived safely here, bringing with him three cows, 
the first animals of that kind. When the J. Le Messurier family arrived 
here, there were only three women here — Mrs. J. L. Moor, Mrs. Hiram 
Pearson, and Mrs. Baxter. Le Messurier found a vacant log house, said to 
be Peter Kelly's house on the west side of the river, now the Gififord place, 
which his family occupied. One of the daughters, Mrs. Trudeau, still living 
in Wausau and in splendid health in spite of, or perhaps because of, the 
many hardships which she experienced in her early life says her father 
planted some potatoes on an island in the same season — it must have been 
Plumer's Island — and she also says they harvested some. 

A few years afterwards, when Mr. W. D. Mclndow had taken up his 
residence with his young wife, he brought two cows, and still another was 
owned later by Doctor Scholfield, which animals constituted the whole milk 
supply for Wausau and Scholfield. 

In this year (1845) Mrs. J. L. Moor, who was residing with her husband 
on Clarke's Island, gave birth to the first white child in this county. 

All the buildings in Wausau up to 1845 were the boarding houses around 
the mills on Plumer's and Clarke's Island, and the George Stevens house on 
Plumer's Island where J. L. Moor lived, and the George Stevens House on 
Clarke's Island, besides a few shanties on Shingle street, where shave shingles 
were made ; hence the name. Shingle street was then and for the next four 
or five years the principal and only street in Wausau. The platted portion 
of Wausau was a thick forest in 1845, o"ly hroken by the cutting out of a 
particular fine shingle tree here and there. 

The land from Point Baussee, in fact, from Portage up north as far as 
Stevens Point was open, prairie like, covered with black oak brush which an 
ox team would break down and walk through ; but from there up commenced 
the heavy timber which had to be cut out. The trail from Stevens Point up 
followed the high bank of the river as close as possible, had many windings 
and crooks to avoid the low and marshy places. It was fully fifty miles by 
that trail between the two places, and the sled road referred to by Mr. J- 
C. Clarke, fit for use only in winter, .followed the same trail, only cutting off 
some of the bends. 

That condition of the road remained until 185 1 when IMarathon county 
was organized and the first attempts at road making were made, but there 
was little improvement until 1856 when the county issued bonds to the 
amount of $10,000 to commence work on the Wausau and South Line Road 
(now Grand avenue) which was to run from Wausau to the county line 


Among the pioneers must be mentioned George G. Green, who came 
to Wausau in 1841 and hved here until his death in 1893. He was at 
one time interested in the Lyman, respectively in what afterwards became 
B. G. Plumer's mill. Like all pioneers, he was a strong, healthy man, and 
had a wonderful memory for dates. He said that in the first years of his 
residence here, he counted eight hundred Indians, going to the maple groves 
above Wausau to make sugar. Indians at that time, and for many years 
thereafter, occupied the land in and around Wausau in large numbers. 
Among the first settlers was Orlando Root, father of Doctor Root of Stevens 
Point, Hiram Pearson who built the mill at the mouth of Pine river. An- 
other was Henry Goodrich, a partner of Levy Flemming, who was elected as 
a delegate to the first constitutional convention, which drew up the first state 
constitution which was rejected by the people. 

The first lumber was run out of Wausau in 1841 by Hiram Stowe; he 
had a half breed as his steersman, Joseph Wilmoth or Willamotte, who, 
under his tutelage became himself a first-class pilot and who in turn initi- 
ated William Cuer in the mysteries and dangers incident to guiding a raft 
over the treacherous falls and rapids of Wisconsin, and who for generations 
afterwards, was the "star pilot" of Little Bull Falls. 

Each of the three mills at Wausau cut annually about one million feet, 
and the output increased very slowly for the next three or four years. The 
shingle output was large, and they were much in demand ; they were all 
made by hand, from the best straight grained clear pine, and were held at 
$2.00 per 1,000 at Wausau, but the man that sold them here had to wait 
for his money until the shingles were sold on the ^lississippi. The condi- 
tions in Mosinee were of course exactly similar. 

In his reminiscences, Mr. Dessert says : "There was no money in the 
country. Men got their wages in the spring in lumber. The lumber was 
rafted and run down the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers to Galena and 
points below, sold to jobbers partly on credit, for six dollars a thousand." 
He (Dessert) was paid $1.00 per day for helping to run it. When he 
returned to Little Bull, his employer borrowed a part of his earnings to pay 
the woman cook. In 1844 everybody regarded the Wisconsin river region 
as an uninhabitable wilderness. In common with everybody else Mr. Joseph 
Dessert thought of it only as a place to remain a few years, endeavor to 
make and save money and return to Canada. In his own language, "He 
would not have promised to become a permanent settler at that time // lie 
had been offered the whole country as a gift." 

For a common laborer the wages was about $16.00 per month and board, 


with pay in lumber, generally at the rate of $5.00 per i,cx)0 feet. One winter 
Joseph Dessert and another man took a contract for logging at 50 cents per 
1,000 feet, and board, but they had to make 5,000 feet per day, or they 
would be charged for board; saws, axes, and files were furnished in addition 
to board. 

There was only the mill boarding house at Mosinee then, a one-room 
log house, with a small log addition for two women cooks. The whole num- 
ber of inhabitants of the place is given by Mr. Dessert at from fifteen to 
twenty persons. Quite a settlement was on Pine river there being the two 
mills only four miles apart. 

Where the up river trail from Wausau struck the first mill at the mouth 
of Pine river, erected by Hiram Pearson, but soon coming into possession 
of Dennis Warren, that point was christened "Point Washington." 

The frequent changes in mill property in the first fifteen years of the 
coming of the pioneers plainly indicate that there were great difficulties in 
carrying on the lumber business, because had it been profitable, the men 
used to all sorts of hardships, the coarsest of fares, and the exposure to 
inclement weather, would not willingly sell out or give away their business 
established under such trying circumstances. Some, like Stevens, had some 
money when they came, but their capital was spent long before they would 
get any returns. Stevens sold out and left Wausau about 1850, and others 
with less capital were forced out by circumstances which were wholly beyond 
their control. 

It was not only difficult and expensive to get supplies in the pinery to 
cut the logs and saw them into lumber, though the pine was close by and 
could be had in the first few years and even after ten years just for the 
cutting and hauling, but it did cost something after all to get them, still 
more to saw them into lumber with the slow up and down saw. but still more 
to run the lumber to market. 

.\nother and one of the worst handicaps to the business was the long 
time it took before returns would come. The high hopes with which the 
pinery was entered slowly faded away, and only after many years were 
reasonable expectations realized. 

The lumber that was sawed and piled in the summer was rafted next 
spring and reached the market during the summer and then sold, sometimes 
but not often for spot cash, largely on credit for a part at least. So at l>est 
when lumber brought money, it took at least one year before money could 
be had for the outlay in money and expenses in making it. It was sold in 
a hunch, that is, the fleet as a whole together and brought no high price. 


Money being so rare, brought easily from 12 to 15 per cent interest, and 
after a couple of years of hard and perilous work the lumbemian found him- 
self financially where he was two years before. If it was expensive and 
difficult to bring supplies up here, it was still more expensive and difficult 
to bring the lumber to market on the Mississippi. The many falls and rapids 
of the Wisconsin which could be so easily harnessed and made to serve man, 
correspondingly increased the lumber navigation. 

For running it down the river the lumber was made up in this way : 
Lumber was put in cribs 16 feet square, from 14 to 18 inches deep and 
wedged down tight together; the cribs coupled together with two 2-mch 
planks called binding planks, and when six cribs were so coupled, it was 
called a rapids piece, because it was run over the rapids in this shape. The 
first lumber which was run out from here before the pilots became more 
familiar with the obstructions in the channel was only 12 by 16 feet square 
and only 9 inches deep. The size, however, was soon increased to 16 by 16 
for the crib, and to 18 inches deep when the lumber was dry, and about 
14 inches when green. The best of pilots could not wholly prevent damage 
in going over the rapids, caused by striking a rock or rocks, which would 
break loose the bottom, and a damaged crib had to be taken apart and rafted 
over again. In the front or bow crib was an oar firmly set in an oar stem, 
40 feet long, the oar being two and one-half inch thick where it was pinned 
in the oar stem, and then tapering to three-fourths of an inch on the other 
end, and 16 inches wide. A similar oar was on the tail crib. It took a crew 
of from four to six men besides the pilot and the steersman to guide a 
rapids piece of Big Bull or Little Bull, but the dams and rapids below the 
last mentioned fall were worked with a smaller crew. Big Bull Fall was the 
most destructive to lumber, but the danger to men was greater on Little 
Bull; yet when the river was just in the best stage for running, there was 
no danger if one was careful. But running the rapids was an exciting and 
dangerous piece of w'ork at all events. The men stood at the oar, watching 
the pilot, and when he dipped the oar, they had to push with all their miglit 
one way, give one or two clips with the oar, then jump under the oar and 
push the other way, and when the piece was in the act of going down the 
chute, jump back as quick as lightning almost and hold to a grub or the line 
run from one end of the piece to the other, to get out of the way of the oar 
stem which escaped sometimes, the pilot's hand, and swung around across 
the crib, and also to prevent being washed off the lumber by the flood of 
water which swept over the crib, sometimes from two to four feet high. 
The place at the tail was a little less dangerous, because in going down, the 
tail end didn't dive as deep as the bow. 


Men were swept overboard at Little Bull on many occasions, but in 
hanging on to bunches of shingles or getting hold of the raft, came out of 
the whirlpool safe and sound. But some were drowned. Little Bull exacting 
one or more victims nearly every year until lumber running ceased in 1882. 

Having run over one piece of six cribs, it was landed as near as the stage 
of the water pemiitted a landing, then the crew walked back for another 
piece until the whole fleet was o\er. This going back was called "gigging." 
The distance to "gig" at Wausau was from one to two and a half miles, de- 
pending on the stage of water; at Little Bull it was about one-half mile ; at the 
Stevens Point dam it was one mile ; at Conants Rapids it was three miles ; at 
the Fi\e Points above Grant Rapids it was all of four miles ; at Grand Rapids 
it was one and a half miles, then from four to five miles at the Whitney 
Rapids, and again four miles to Point Baussee. Much lumber was broken up 
in going over the falls, dams and rapids, and besides the loss, it took time to 
re-raft the crib. Sometimes a piece would get stuck on a rock or dam, and 
would have to be floated off in small bunches. Arrived at Point Baussee, 
three rapids pieces were coupled together, having about seventy-five thousand 
feet of lumber, which was called a raft, which was run from this point by two 
men, the bowsman and talesman. But it was not all easy and smooth sailing 
or running on the so-called low river. 

The Wisconsin river, with its sandy bottom and shores, changes its chan- 
nels with every freshet, because of its strong current. 

To pick out the channel was the duty of the pilot, who headed the fleet, 
the rafts following in succession one by one. There were from six to ten 
rafts in a fleet, eight being the usual number. It is a matter of common knowl- 
edge that the water in a river is not on an absolute level. It is always a little 
higher in the current, and when the current changes from one bank to the 
other, the water flowing out of the current will carry a raft out the channel 
and onto a bar where it will stick, unless this is prevented by the men who 
guide the raft by holding it against the drift of the water in the height of the 
channel,, which requires them to put their every pound of muscular strength 
into the oar to keep the raft from drifting onto the bar. When a raft was 
thus stranded, and that occurred frequently in low water, the whole fleet had 
to land — always a diflicult job — and the boat had to be rowed back, and pilot 
and crew had to walk back, where the raft stuck from two to five miles some- 
times, then the whole crew would jump into the water, handspike in hand, and 
pry the raft loose. In going, over the rapids, men were up to their knees and 
hips in water, which in summer was not of great concern, but which chilled 
the men to the marrow in the early spring when the ice was hardly out. There 


was little chance to change clothes. Rivermen hardly ever had more than they 
carried on their person ; at night they would sometimes start a fire on the bank 
and try to dry their clothes ; sometimes they would crawl into their bunks and 
let the clothes dry on their person. The most popular shoes with them was a 
prunella gaiter, which was light and would let the water out as quick as it got 
in. They lasted usually one trip down the Point Baussee. 

The river running was no light or easy job. It required men of nerve, 
muscle, intelligence, alertness to danger and quick decision, in short, men of a 
strong, healthy body, coupled with intelligence and capacity for hard work; 
but it had one advantage in this : that when the raft reached St. Louis or any 
other point on the Mississippi, the men were paid off in cash, in money for 
which they had been waiting often for a year or more. Pilot as well as the 
men were hired to be paid a certain amount for the whole trip, and the daily 
work began with the first dawn of morning and ended when darkness had 
set in. 


The Town of Big Bull Falls Organized — Marathon County Organised — 
Election of County Officers — The First Term of the Circuit Court — Action 
of the County Board — Nezi' Commerce — ^United States Land Office Lo- 
located at Stevens Point. 


The situation in Marathon county as described in the foregoing chapter 
and the depressing conditions under which lumber business was carried on 
remained substantially the same for some years yet to come. There being no 
prospect of a change for the better in the near future, some of the pinery men 
who had come with high expectations of gathering wealth in a short time, 
became discouraged and departed, but others took their places and there was 
also a slight annual increase in the output of lumber. 

One of the newcomers at that time was Walter D. Mclndoe, of St. Louis, 
Missouri. In 1845 he came up here to take lumljer from James L. Moore for 
a loan of $500 made to him in St. Louis, and in the following year ( 1846) 
Mclndoe returned, bringing with him John Boid, Louis Kraft, John Emmons 
and several others, and twelve yoke of work cattle for Moore. 

A large amount of logs were put in, being all cut on the area of the orig- 
inal plat of the city of Wausau, sawed during the winter in the Moore mill 
and run down in the spring to St. Louis. In the fall of the same year (1847) 
Walter D. Mclndoe returned with his fair young wife and installed her in the 
house already built for her, standing on what is now Mclndoe park, half way 
between the south comer and tlie library building on Main street. It was 
small at first, was enlarged in later years, but remained the home of W. D. 
Mclndoe and his widow until the end of their lives. 

Walter D. Mclndoe was the first man who came with the intention of 
making here his home; he came with a determination to stay and grow up 
with the country. He, better than anybody, appreciated the immense resources, 
and he forecast the splendid future of this region. He saw that first of all, 
highways were needed, which all could see ; but it was he who set in motion 
the activities of men to accomplish the desired object. He devoted his time 



and energy to open up this country to bring it in contact with the outside 

The community was a peaceable one; no breaches of the law had yet 
occurred except sporadic personal encounters of no consequence, no crimes 
that required the interference of a court, which by the way, was far away in 
Dane county; there was really nothing here to excite the cupidity of men; all 
were poor, all had the same simple fare, lived in similar huts or shanties or 
log houses; the employer worked as hard and got no more pleasure out of life 
than the employee. 

But this free life had its drawbacks, too. 

There being no government, there was consequently no concerted move 
for municipal or communal improvement ; there was no feeling of solidarity 
of interests, and it was the great merit of Walter D. Mclndoe of having first 
undertaken the arduous task of welding the different settlements into one 
harmonious community for their mutual advantages. 

With this end in view, he threw his whole personality in favor of the adop- 
tion of the constitution which made Wisconsin a state in 1848. Next a town 
government was established, an order to this effect having been obtained from 
the county board of Portage county. 

An election was held on the loth day of October, 1849, ^"t' ^^^ town of 
Big Bull Falls was organized with the following officers, to wit : 

John Stackhouse, chairman; E. A. Pearson, Hiram Martin, supervisors; 
Levy Flemming, overseer of highways ; D. R. Clement, tow n clerk ; D. R. 
Clement, town treasurer; Henry Engler, assessor. 

There were also elected four justices of the peace, and two constables, but 
only Charles Shuter and Alva Newton qualified as justice and constable, 
respectively, and the records show that the others were fined ten dollars each 
for failing to qualify; but there is no record to show that one ever paid 
the fine. 

The town board organized November 10, 1849, and elected Robert Frazer 
as treasurer in place of D. R. Clement, resigned. At its next meeting, on 
November 20th, it was "Ordered, that a road be laid out commencing at the 
forks of the road about one-half a mile from the village of Big Bull Falls, and 
running thence to and crossing the Eau Clair river at or near Martin's mill 
(at the site of the Brooks and Ross Lumber Co. now), running thence to or 
near to Blodgett's house at the Rothschilds rapids, thence southerly and cross- 
ing Cedar creek where the bridge now stands, thence southerly to the south 
line of the town." 

At the same session it was ordered, "That a road be located from A. 


Warren, Jr.'s, by the nearest and best route to Pine river, crossing said Pine 
ri\er at or near D. Warren's mill, thence by the best route to Trappe river, 
thence by the nearest and best route to Big Bull Falls." 

These were the first attempts to lay out roads in Marathon county. The 
first one mentioned became in time the South Line and Wausau Plank road, 
so-called, although no part was ever planked; the other was the road from 
Merrill to Wausau, crossing Stiensfield creek and coming down on what be- 
came later Main or First street. 

It will be noticed that no section corners are mentioned, nor lines. The 
land w as then all unsurveyed and only such visible marks as houses, bridges, 
buildings or trees would serve as monuments. 

This was a good enough beginning, had the roads been actually laid out, 
or even cut out. They may have been located, perhaps blazed out, but they 
were not even cut out, and these orders like many others, failed of execution 
for want of money. There was no other road tax except the poll tax, one 
dollar and fifty cents for each man, which did not go far to cut out a road; 
and lands not being taxable, only improvements such as houses, mills and 
personal property could be taxed. 

At a special town meeting held on the nth day of December, 1849, a 
special tax of $300 was levied for the purpose of building a "Suspension 
Bridge" across the Eau Claire river at or near Martin's Mill — the vote being 
19 in favor, and i against, the proposition. 

What the assessment for the year was can be judged from the pay of the 
assessors ; Henry Engler, assessor, and John Stackhouse, deputy assessor, 
each received $6.75 for four and one-half day's work making the assessment, 
making nine days' work for one man in assessing the whole town with all mill 

On the lOth day of January. Hiram Martin resigned as supervisor. 

During this time Walter D. Mclndoe had become the owner of the mill on 
the east side of the pond, tore the old mill down and erected a new one a little 
further down, where it still stands. It was a great improvement on the old 
mill. By moving further down it ga\e more storeroom in the pond and a 
higher fall with correspondingly more power. Muley saws were installed in 
the new mill and shortly thereafter in all others, and business assumed a 
different aspect. 

In the general election of 1849, Mr. W. D. Mclndoe had offered himself 
as a candidate for member of assembly, and was elected, although the far 
greater vote of the district was south of Stevens Point, against which he had 
to contend. He was a Whig, and in the minority party in the assembly ; but 


his courteous bearing, his tact and good sense, together with his broad infor- 
mation as to the needs of the state, made him a prominent and influential 
member. Through his efifort the bill introduced by him to detach territory 
from Portage county and create the county of Marathon became a law, and 
the act provided for the organization of the new county in the spring of 1850. 
For its name he selected the name of "Marathon," probably as indicative that 
this new county was destined to play a prominent part in the sisterhood of 
counties, conquering the obstacles in its progress as the ancient Greeks had 
conquered over its would-be oppressors on the fields of Marathon. 

To the county seat he gave the name of "Wausau," a Chippewa ideom, 
meaning Far Away, as it was indeed far away from their ancient homes and 
hunting grounds in the far east from whence they had come. 

The prominent places in this new county where notices of election were 
posted in the absence of a newspaper here were : 

The house of John Stackhouse at Wausau, the house of George KoUock 
at Little Bull (Fall House), the house of Goodhue at Eau Clair river, and 
the shop of Davies at Big Bull Falls (on Plumers Island). 

The house of John Stackhouse is one of the small houses standing yet on 
Main street between W^ashington and Jefferson streets, and was smaller at 
that time. 

The election was held on the 2d day of April, 1850, and resulted in the 
election of the following named persons, to wit : For sherifif, John Wigging- 
ton; for coroner, Timothy Soper; for clerk of circuit court, Joshua Fox; for 
clerk of board of supervisors, Joshua Fox ; for county surveyor, Henry C. 
Goodrich ; for register of deeds, Joshua Fox ; for county treasurer, John Stack- 
house; for district attorney, John Q. A. Rollins. 

These officers were elected to hold until the general election of 1850. at 
which officers were elected to hold for two years, to wit : For sherifif, Charles 
A. Single ; for coroner, Timothy Soper ; for clerk of circuit court, John A. 
Corey; for clerk of board of supervisors, John A. Corey; for register of 
deeds, John A. Corey ; for county treasurer, Morris Walrad ; for county 
surveyor. Henry C. Goodrich. 

No election seems to have been held for district attorney. 

Thomas Hinton and Milton M. Charles were, at a special election, elected 
as supervisors for the town of Big Bull Falls, which included the whole county. 
On the 24th day of February the town board resolved to lay out the road 
from Point Washington to the south line of this county "as soon as practi- 
cable," which shows that this road had not been touched, although it was 
ordered to be laid out a year ago. 


At the anual meeting of the town board on April i, 1851, Thomas Hinton, 
M. M. Charles and J. S. Snow were elected as supervisors, and among other 
officers Philip D. Marshall was elected as superintendent of public schools, 
which shows that schools did receive attention even in early times when but 
very few children (if any) of school age were here; but Marshall failed to 
qualify and the office was vacant for a year or more. 

On May 17, 1851. the county board established road districts with the 
following boundaries : 

District No. i — From the north line of the county to the g-mile stake 
below Trapper ri\er. Superintendent, Andrew Warren. 

District No. 2 — From the 9-mile stake south to the 18-mile stake. Suj^er- 
intendent, Philip D. Marshall (of Marshall now M. Graff F'ann). 

District No. 3 — From the 18-mile stake south to the 30-mile stake. Super- 
intendent, M. D. Corey. 

District No. 4 — From the 30-mile stake to the south line of the county. 
Superintendent, George VV. Kollock. 

These stakes were on the proposed Jenny road to the south line of the 
county, on a survey made by the county. 

The districts ran through the whole county from east to west. 

On the lOth day of June, 1851. the first bridge across the Eau Clair river 
was contracted for $500. 

The Eau Clair river as well as most other rivers were narrower than now. 
The going out of the dam at that river washed away the bank in the course of 
time and the bridges became longer. 

There were four election precincts in the county in 185 1 ; one at the house 
of Thomas Hinton on Jackson street, one at Dennis Warren on Pine river, 
one at George J. Goodhue at Eau Claire, and one at the house of George W. 
Kollock at Little Bull Falls. 

There was some change in county officers in the election of 185 1, as shown 
by the result, namely : For clerk of circuit court, Asa Lawrence ; for county 
clerk, Asa Lawrence; for register of deeds, Asa Lawrence; for district attor- 
ney, Hiram Calkins; for county treasurer. Reuben M. Welch. 

The county having been organized for all purposes, it became necessary 
to hold a circuit court, and court was to convene on the 25th day of August, 
1 85 1. But where to hold the session was the question which agitated the 
mind of the members of the county board. There was no building big enough 
to accommodate court, officers, clerk and jurors, in fact all buildings had no 
more space than for a kitchen, dining and sleeping room, and the mill board- 
ing houses could accommodate no more than the crew and hardly that, but 


court had to be held somewhere, and they thought of a bowling alley, stand- 
ing on the block and near where the Alexander Stewart lumber office now is, 
and that roughly boarded-up bowling alley was selected and the first term 
held therein, and the clerk's minutes show that there were present on the 
second day of the term when court opened : 

Hon. Charles H. Larrabbee, judge presiding 

Charles A. Single, sheriff, and Asa Lawrence, clerk. 

In attendance as grand jurors were : 

Timothy Engler. Joel Briggs, Edward Bosworth. Thomas Youles, George 
Moody, Henry Strobridge, Alilo M. Palmer, C. Pope, E. M. McLaughlin, 
W. S. Hobart, P. D. Marshall, C. Wilson, John C. Qarke and Freeman 
• Keeler. 

Petit jurors : 

G. W. Kollock, Erastmus Sprague, James L. Moore, D. A. A. B. Barnes, 
John Le Messurier, N. Cheney, W. S. Hobart, Joseph Barnard and P. S. Call, 
John Black, E. Phelps, N. Sikes, Rob. Walrad, John Boyd, N. Hubbard, M. D. 
Corey, M. Mills. Perley Dodge and U. E. Main. 

Either for want of business or want of quarters, the jury was dismissed 
the following day and court adjourned. 

The record of the proceedings of the county board show that Walter D. 
Mclndoe had very much to do with the government of the town, as well as 
the county; he served as deputy county and town clerk in the first years of 
the organization, not being too proud to help out and assist the new officers 
when they needed assistance. 

The newly elected county treasurer, Reuben E. Welch, evidently did not 
qualify, or resigned, anyway for some reason he did not serve, and the county 
board on the 30th- day of January, 1852, appointed \V. D. Mclndoe as county 

In the fall of 1852 an election precinct was established in Jenny Bull Falls. 

At the annual election in 1852. the whole number of votes cast was 344, 
which shows a slight increase for the county. 

As county officers were elected : For sheriff. Thomas Hinton; for coroner, 
Joseph Barnard : for clerk of circuit court, Asa Lawrence ; for county clerk, 
M. D. Corey ; for register of deeds, there was no choice ; for county treasurer, 
Charles C. Wilson ; for county surveyor, Asa Lawrence ; for district attorney. 
Hiram Calkins. 

On the 29th day of August. 1853. the county board let the contract for 
a bridge across Pine river for $440. and one across Trappe river for $625, 
the first to Bosworth and Armstrong, and the last one mentioned to C. 


On the 15th day of November, 1853, the county board purchased from 
Mclndoe & Shuter block No. 17 of the original plat of Wausau for a place 
to erect a court house thereon, for one hundred dollars, and it has always 
been understood that Alclndoe. so far as he was interested, gave the deed to 
the county without consideration. 

The county had no court house up to that time, nor until 1868, when the 
first court house was completed. Two years pre\ious to that, the county paid 
to Thomas Hinton the sum of $98.78 for an office building for the county 
clerk, which up to the erection of another building served for all county 
officers. It was located on Jackson between Main and Second streets. After 
the court hofise ground was purchased, the contract for building a county 
house for the officers was let to \V. D. Mclndoe; the price is not mentioned 
in the proceedings, but it was small, less than $900. The building was one 
story high, with an office for the clerk, treasurer and register of deeds, and 
years afterwards a vault was added as a protection of the records from fire. 
This little building served its purpose until 1868, when the first court house 
was completed and the old building sold for two hundred dollars and moved 
to the west side of Main street, nearly opposite the store of. R. E. Parcher, 
where it was used as a saloon and burned down in the later seventies. The 
fire broke out in daytime, and though closely between two other frame 
buildings, the volunteer fire company with a hand engine, which they put upon 
the ice in the pond, succeeded in putting the fire out without any damage being 
done to the neighboring buildings. 

A curious order was made by the county board on the 29th day of March, 
1853, which is reproduced here, because of its originality, and as. showing 
that these pioneers were actuated to do the fair thing to all the people and that 
equity was the basis of their acion. And this is the order : 

"Whereas an unavoidalile discrepancy of great magniture exists in rela- 
tion to the taxes of 185 1, therefore for the purpose of equalizing the same 
with the least possible expense to the county, It Is Ordered, by the board that 
the tax paid for the year 185 1 be refunded to the diflferent persons who paid 
the same respectively upon satisfactory evidence of the fact being adduced to 
the board of supervisors." 

It does not appear what the una\oidable discrepancy of great magnitude 
was, but evidently it was of such a nature as would cause great inequality to 
the persons who had already paid their taxes, and to equalize it the county 
board ordered all taxes which had been paid to be returned so as to put every- 
body on an equality. This may have been bad law, but it was good sense and 


The assessed valuation of the whole county for 1853 was $223,668.00. 
Amount of county tax levied was $3,802.38. Amount of state tax, $670.00. 

It does not appear when the town of Big Bull Falls ceased to exist by name ; 
but in the year 1853 the town of Marathon was organized, which included in 
its territory the whole county, and is the successor to the town of Big Bull 
Falls, as it was organized as a town in Portage county. 

On the 5th day of April, 1853, the voters of this town voted a tax for 
the support of common schools of one mill on the dollar, which seems to have 
been an unanimous vote, while on a vote for a road tax there were 28 for 
and 7 against it. 

The supervisors for town were : Charles A. Single, chairman ; A. S. Wes- 
ton and B. F. Berry, supervisors. Hiram Calkins was elected as county super- 
intendent of schools. 

On the 29th day of August "It was ordered by the county board that the 
settlement made by Messrs. Berry and Weston on the part of Marathon 
county with the supervisors of Portage county, be accepted, which settlement 
was as follows : Marathon county will relinquish all right and claim to the 
county buildings in Portage county, and the supervisors of the said county of 
Portage do release the county of Marathon from their share of the debts of 
Portage county and Marathon county, contracted before the division of Port- 
age county." 

On the annual election in the fall of 1853, Asa Lawrence was elected as 
register of deeds and county clerk. 

On the 26th day of March, 1854, the county board met and decided that the 
assessment made by the assessor, P. D. Marshall, was illegal for the reason that 
it was not made in time prescribed by law, and the board then assessed the 
property themselves, the valuation as fixed by the board being $227,252, then 
levied a tax of two cents on the dollar for county and town purposes and six 
mills for state tax and one mill for school purposes. 

At the meeting of the town board of the town, a tax of one-half a mill 
additional was raised for schools and three mills on each dollar for road 

At the meeting of April, 1854, Hiram Calkins was elected county super- 
intendent of schools. 

The county tax for all general purposes was $3,802.28, out of which the 
salaries, court expenses, bridges ordered to be built and what little office furni- 
ture was needed, had to be paid, making it evident that no money was left 
for making roads. There was something which had the semblance of a road, 
from Wausau to Merrill north, and to Little Bull south, but it was winding, 


using every bit of available logging road as part, and there was also a trail 
from Wausau to Little Rib, where Benjamin Single had his mill and living 
there with his wife, so that the mill settlements were connected in a sort of a 
way, but there was still nothing resembling a wagon road. But the village 
of Wausau had increased somewhat ; the mills had been improved and the 
output was larger, which necessitated more men to run the lumber to market. 
Muley saws had been installed in most mills. They would make two cuts at a 
time, thus increasing the output of lumber. A larger amount of shave shingles 
too was made, and they became an important article of export, nearly as 
much so as lumber. 

Up to this time the population was largely native American and Canadian 
French, with a sprinkling of Scotch, Irish and Norwegian. 

The first Germans coming to Wausau were Jacob Paff and Henry Treibel ; 
they opened a carpenter shop, making furniture in a little building back of the 
J. Paff corner store on Third street. x'\nother newcomer was W. H. Kennedy. 
He had been a delegate to the second constitutional convention in 1847, his 
postoffice address being given at tliat time as Plover Portage. After Marathon 
county was set off as a separate county, or some time before, he came to 
Wausau and took up his residence in the new county. He was admitted to the 
bar in Marathon county and formed a partnership with Hiram Calkins for 
the practice of law, but was also engaged in lumbering; he was elected the 
first county judge of Marathon county, and he was also the first man to clear 
a space of ground for raising vegetables and planting. It was near Half Moon 
lake close to the city limits. He was succeeded as county judge by his part- 
ner. Hiram Calkins, in 1858, and died of cholera in St. Louis in 1859, while 
there attending to the sale of his lumber. At the time of his death his resi- 
dence was on Shingle street. 

In 1852 Burton Millard appeared and opened a wagon shop on the corner 
of Third and Washington streets. The property is still owned by his children 
and is one of the most valuable commercial business sites in the city. He 
married Miss Harriett Crown, now the widow of Dr. T. Smith. Mr. Burton 
Millard enlisted as a volunteer in the war in 1861. and was the first man from 
Marathon county that was killed by a shot from the enemy. 

Meanwhile John Le Messurier had come back from Pine river, wliere he 
spent some time to help Grundy and Isaac Coulthurst build their mill, and 
commenced the building of the Lake Superior House, to which additions were 
made from time to time, until it was for a long time the largest hotel in 
Wausau. Among other newcomers at that time was William Gowan, for 
many years the foremost millwright in the pinery. 


Walter D. Mclndoe had built a store on Main street with an office for 
Charles Shuter, which stood nearly opposite the Alexander Stewart Lumber 
Co. office, and B. Barnes also had a store on Plumers Island, in fact each mill 
had a sort of store or warehouse of their own, but the stock consisted only 
of provisions and probably blankets. The first postoffice was in Mclndoe's 

In 1849 two young men had come to Wausau who in time became the 
largest business men on the Wisconsin river. They were the brothers, John 
and Alexander Stewart. They came from New Brunswick, were familiar 
with logging and the running of lumber. They commenced to work for Good- 
rich, Fehely and Flemming, taking their pay in lumber as was the rule, rafted it 
and with the lumber of some other men run it to market on the Mississippi. 
They returned working on, and running their lumber down until after several 
years they were able to put in logs themselves on their own account, and by 
carefully husbanding their resources, never branching out beyond their means, 
laid the foundation to the wealth which became theirs in after years. Another 
store, probably the first general store in Wausau, was kept at that time by 
Doolittle, after whom the Doolittle place near the Brokaw dam is named. It 
stood on the side afterwards occupied by the August Kickbush retail store. 

Doolittle soon returned to Pennsylvania, and in 1910 his son, who had 
become a circuit judge in \\'est Virginia, came here to see the place where he 
was born and where his father had attempted to make a farm in the wilds 
of Marathon county. Among newcomers were John Dobbie and Louis Lenne- 
ville, rivermen who built their houses on what is now ]\IcClellan street, and 
W. W. Wilson, who located on corner of Fourth and Scott streets ; but there 
was no semblance of a street at that time. 

A brother of Thomas Hinton had a blacksmith shop at what is now the 
southwest corner of Mclndoe park. 

John Dern came in 1853 and William Gouldsbury, a milhvriglit, came in 
1854 with his family. He lived first in a house belonging to John Tuttle, 
standing where the Sauerhering flat stands now. There was not even a bridge 
across the slough to the island in 1852, and people had to cross on the boom 
sticks. A bridge across the Wisconsin at the falls was built but on trusties, 
which was swept away in a few years by a flood. 

Mr. Poor lived on Shingle street, but as early as 1855 built a residence 
on the west side of the river a little north, where Elm street strikes First 
avenue. In 1853 I. E. Thayer was a practicing physician here, and at one time 
lived on land now owned by Mrs. Aug. Kickbusch, the house standing 
nearly opposite the north gate of the fair grounds. 


On Shingle street there also resided N. B. Thayer, who afterwards, with 
Mr. Corey, built the flour mill at the dam, now the McEachron mill. 

A brother of Dr. Thayer, Lyman Thayer, father of E. B. Thayer, had 
come; he was a lawyer by profession and brought with him his family; he 
lived on the corner of Forest and Fourth streets, where Mr. Seini's house 
now stands. Law business was less than dull, and for a few years he took to 
teaching in Wausau. 

In 1853 there were four fair-sized hotels at Wausau, the oldest one the 
"Blue Eagle," next the Lake Superior House, and about the same time the 
Riverside House, which still stands, and the Forest House. 

^^'ith the creation of Marathon county and Wausau as its county seat, 
there was an influx of new blood, young men who made their mark in later 
years. First among them must be mentioned Rufus P. Manson, then nineteen 
years old. who had a good education, but commenced like everybody else here, 
ax in hand. 

In time he became one of the most prominent men in the pinery in busi- 
ness circles as well as socially and politically. 

Michael Stafford was another; he came in 185 1, and Charles Winkley. 
The last one mentioned opened the first butcher shop in Wausau (in 1853), 
but he soon discovered that the town could not yet afford such a luxury and 
closed the shop, and later built the "Winkley House" — a hotel. 

A saloon was located on Plumer's Island between the bridge and the mill 
boarding house, kept by a Canadian, and Mr. Philbreek had put up a little 
log house, and fenced a small place with slabs, which stood there until 1874, 
when it was found to Ije in the way of the railroad track which was laid 
down upon the island, and was then torn down. 

Lawyer Hiram Calkins, too, lived on Shingle street, and it may seem 
curious how so many people would locate on that street so near the river, 
exposed to floods, but it must be remembered that the dam across the Wis- 
consin river was not so high as at present and the water could flow ofif with- 
out rising to the heights it rose in later years. 

Young America, too, had made its appearance in Wausau, and the settlers 
were not backward in providing means for their education, of course not in 
regular school houses built for the purpose, but they did the best they could, 
and results were obtained which can compare well enough with results in later 

The first school was taught in a building owned by Thomas Hinton on 
Jackson street, with Dr. W. A. Gordon as teacher. He taught school while 
preparing himself for the study of medicine, and was later admitted to the 
practice of medicine, practicing in Wausau for a while. 


The following year Miss Mary E. Slosson taught school in a vacant tailor 
shop on the same street to a class of six, and a daughter of William Goulds- 
bury, now Mrs. \V. W. DeVoe among them, and also Edward Nicholls, and 
afterwards Mr. Lyman Thayer taught school in a room in the store building 
of Lyman on Forest street west of the present city hall site. These were the 
earliest schools in Wausau; a little later there was a small schoolhouse on 
Harrison boulevard, facing Forest street in the east. They were all tempo- 
rary, but years expired until the first schoolhouse was built. 

The bulk of the town was still on Clarks Island, on Shingle street, and 
Main and Jackson streets with a few scattering buildings further north, but 
there was no semblance of any street except Shingle street. 

Up to 1852 there were only two horse teams in town, one owned by W. D. 
Mclndoe and another by J. L. Moore. 

The energies of the population were expended in logging, sawing and 
running out lumber and making shingles, and all farming was limited to the 
cutting of the blue joint and red top standing in profusion in the river bot- 
toms and on islands. But on the logging road where manure was dropped 
there sprang up clover and timothy, much to the astonishment of the men. 
That, and the fact that cattle turned out in the woods after camps broke up, 
were found in the fall sleek and fat for butchering, convinced the pinery men 
that at least grasses could be raised here with advantage, and some employed 
their spare time in clearing land for farming. The first land cleared here for 
farming, was the Joseph Dessert farm near Marathon City, the Marshall fann, 
on top of Marshall Hill (now Graff farm), the Dodge (now Treu farm), the 
Norwegian fami (now Roder), both in town Settin, the Armstrong and 
Main farm, both in town Main (now owned by Fitzke and M. Callon respec- 
tively), and the Hogarthy fann in town Harrison. 

The returns proved satisfactory enough, but it was hard, slow work and 
did not appeal to the lumbermen generally. The hardwood timber which 
was cut down had to be put in piles and burned, because it could not be 
floated out, and was of no value otherwise. It was too costly to hire the 
work done to make farming profitable, but it established the fact that the land 
was good for agricultual purposes and disposed forever of the slander of the 
poverty of the soil which had been spread broadcast by the fur and Indian 
trader. But lies travel fast and far. and to disprove them takes much longer. 
And it took a long time here until the fertility of Marathon county was gen- 
erally acknowledged. 

There was no real progress made in farming until the German settlers 
arrived here from Pittsburg and from Germany direct, which was in 1856 


and 1857, when there was a large influx of farmers, who came here with the 
determination to get land and make homes for themselves and their families. 
They could get eighty acres of land for $100, the government price, upon 
which they intended to make themselves independent and comfortable in old 
age. They were not disappointed in their hopes, although it took all their 
industry, economy and frugality to accomplish their object. These first farm 
settlements deserve a separate chapter. 

In 1852, W. D. Mclndoe had the village part surveyed and plotted out, 
the plat of the original part being recorded March 26, 1852. It included all 
the territory from the mill pond, or slough, east to Fifth street, and from 
Forest street to McClellan street, and about one and one-half blocks on the 
south side of Forest street from the south end of Fifth street. 

The government had established a United States land office at Stevens 
Point in 1853, ^"^ the land boom which had spread all over the southern part 
of Wisconsin made itself somewhat felt even in this farofT region; but the by 
far largest portion of lands entered in Marathon county was entered by actual 
settlers, those that were already living on the land before it was surveyed, and 
lands in their immediate neighborhood. 

The location of the land office at Stevens Point was of great material 
benefit to the people here and in Portage county, as theretofore they had to 
apply at the land ofiice in Mineral Point far away from here. It caused 
farmers to emigrate to Marathon county, who otherwise would have remained 
in the southern part, and they became a large factor in after years in opening 
up the resources of the county. 

That for the first ten years at least, the pinery settlement was regarded 
by the settlers themselves as only temporarily, appears from the fact that not 
even a postofiice was established, although there were then a number of little 
saw mills in operation within a radius of twenty miles from \\'ausau, mostly 
too on a north and south line from Wausau. 

No road, no postofifice until 1850, although lumber and shingles had been 
made and exported on the Wisconsin river for eight or nine years, both from 
Wausau and Mosinee; what more can be said or shown to prove the tem- 
porary character of the settlement, the absence of all comfort, than being 
almost completely cut off from all means of communication with the outside 
world ? 

But with the establishment of a county in 1850, there was also established 
a postoffice, and Charles Shuter was appointed the first postmaster on the 4th 
day of May, A. D. 1850, opening an office in the W. D. Mclndoe store. Up 
to that time the mail was brought first from Plover and later from Stevens 
Point by courtesy of the traveling public. 


The Waiisau and South Line Plank Road — First Issue of Bonds for Higlnmy 
Work — The Mechanic's Ridge — Inauguration Ball at . U'ausau on the 
Event of President Pierce's Inauguration — Mike Rousseau's Bxind — The 
Finest House in IVausau — Change of Place of Supplies — Hon. George IV. 
Gate — Mail Route from Ontonagon to IVausau. 

The deplorable condition of all means of communication with the outside 
world except the turbulent river, continued to exist as shown by these well 
remembered facts : Miss Harriett Crown came with the family of James 
Single up here from Stevens Point in 1852; they were traveling with a horse 
team; but it took them three days to come to Wausau. Of course after 
Miss Crowm had arrived here she was in some \vay compensated for the hard 
journey by the hearty welcome of the members of her own sex, who held a 
little party in her honor, so that they could become acquainted with her, and 
in counting the number of the women folks, they found that the newcomer 
was the eleventh of them, two only being single, which in the case of Miss 
Crown was soon changed, as in the following year she became the wife of 
Burton Millard. 

In one of the mills on the Eau Claire the provisions gave unexpectedly out 
and more had to be had w-ithout delay. A horse team was procured to go 
to Stevens Point, and to make sure of a quick arrival with the needed food- 
stufif, five men besides the teamster went with the team to clear out the road 
and help the wagon out of tight places, and it took the team three and a half 
days to return from the Point with a load of 1,200 pounds. 

The population had grown and the demand for food supplies increased, 
but the taxable resources did not keep step, most of all lands being still untax- 
able and the means to obtain supplies were as bad as ever. 

The situation had become unbearable, and on the 26th day of August, 
1854, the county board, C. A. Single and B. F. Berry, the chainnan being 
absent, "Ordered, that a notice be published in the U-isconsin Pinery (a news- 
paper published at Stevens Point) for four successive weeks, calling an 



election for the testing the sense of the voters in relation to the loaning of the 
credit of the county for the purpose of assisting in building the South Lme 
& Wausau Plank Road." * 

On the seventh day of October, 1854, the election was held and there were 
•j-j votes for, and 2 against it; a very light vote on such an important question. 

In consequence of this vote and probably having found a party or parties 
willing to undertake the building of this road on the security furnished by 
the county, the county board on the 29th day of March, 1855, appointed Ben- 
jamin Single as stock commissioner, and directed him to subscribe in behalf 
of Marathon county $10,000 to the capital stock of the South Line and 
^^^ausau Plank Road Compau)' and sign the bonds in behalf of the county. 

Mr. B. Single evidently was not in sympathy with this move to bond the 
county, paying 12% interest thereon, and refused to accept the office, where- 
upon on July 2, 1855, the county board appointed Asa Lawrence in his place 
and stead. 

The bonds were issued later in portions of $2,500 at a time and turned 
over to the contractor as the road work progressed, but it was not until 1857 
that the work \\as begun and the opening of the road was not completed until 
1858; but it was many years and after an additional expense of ten thousand 
dollars by the county besides the expenses had by the towns through which 
it ran, to make a fairly passable road. 

But it was a great improvement, making the distance to Stevens Point 
shorter by ten miles and enabled people to come to Wausau in two instead of 
three or four days, and making it passable for horse teams by taking due care. 

A bridge was built across the Wisconsin at ^losinee by Henry Gate in 
1854-1855, and a bridge ordered to be built across the Eau Claire river at 
Scholfield by C. A. Single for $1,250, and one across the Wisconsin at Wausau 
by Perley Dodge for $1,815. T'le years from 1855 to 1857 were the flush 
times of Wisconsin. 

An emigration unprecedented in the annals of the United States had set 
in and was coming to the new state of Wisconsin. The great majority of the 
emigrants were German farmers who settled on lands in the southern and 
western parts of the state, next in numbers were the Norwegians, and then 
the Irish, most all of whom took to farming, only Milwaukee attracting a 
considerable number of professional workers. The population had increased 

* Several questions of similar kind regarding tax levies had been submitted to a vote 
of the people, which shows that the referendcim was made use of by our forefathers as a 
self-evident proposition, but they did not think worth while to claim a patent right as for 
an invention. 


from 305,391 in 1850 to 552,109 in 1855; the emmigrants, as a rule, brought 
sufficient money with them to buy the cheap lands which attracted them ; they 
were industrious and thrifty, all of which stimulated business and helped to 
make good times. But it gave at the same time an impulse to speculation, 
which was aided by the issue of large amounts of notes of state banks which 
circulated as money. Railroad building was contemplated, promised to be 
built into every settlement, and farmers and village residents were induced to 
subscribe for railroad stocks, and gave notes secured by mortgages on their 
real estate in payment for stock, expecting rich returns from the increased 
value of their land after the railroad came within a short distance from their 
farms or villages. The Milwaukee & Horican Railroad succeeded in securing 
quite a large amount of mortgages in the pinery at Wausau on village lots 
and lands in Marathon county as well as in other parts of the state. These 
securities were sold, came in the hands of innocent purchasers (so-called) 
long before they became due, and had to be paid, although the railroad stock 
given in exchange was absolutely worthless, the promised railroad not having 
been built. Some of the Wausau parties who had subscribed paid, some set- 
tled, some let their lands go for the mortgage, and in many instances the 
mortgages were cut off by later tax deeds, and by some sharp practice some 
of the bitten victims escaped payment. But in the south where farmers were 
living and occupying their lands, they had to pay when the bubble bursted. 
Marathon county profited indirectly in this flush times; the bonds were taken 
and the road to Stevens Point cut out in 1857-1858; lumber prices were high 
and this county got a share of the most desirable emigration, Germans and 
Irish, going farming. 

The road to Stevens Point was cut out where it is now located \\ith very 
slight changes made later ; it stopped at the south line of the county on the 
town line of 25 and 26 from where it was yet eighteen miles to Stevens Point. 
It has always been claimed by the supply teamsters, who knew every foot of 
the road, that Portage county refused to improve the road from the county 
line to Stevens Point to the great dissatisfaction and hurt of the people in 
Marathon county. The whole supply trade came now from Berlin in the 
winter and from Gills Landing in the summer via Stevens Point, and Stevens 
Point profited undoubtedly greatly by the constant travel and hauling of sup- 
plies. But its failure to do its share in making a fairly passable road to con- 
nect the end of the South Line road with Stevens Point created an unfriendly 
feeling in the minds of the Wausau people against Portage county which 
existed for many years and asserted itself finally in the detemiination of the 
Wausau business men to resist the building of the Wisconsin "Valley Railroad 


to Wausau via Stevens Point, leaving the two cities unconnected by railroad, 
except by way of Junction City, no doubt to the detriment of both places. It 
is sumiised if not susceptible of proof, that the sum of $25,000 given by a 
large number of the business men of Marathon county, nearly all Wausau 
men, as an additional contribution to the Wisconsin Valley Railroad after it 
had already contracted with the county for the building of the road to Wau- 
sau, was expressly given on condition that said railroad should not run into 
Stevens Point. They seemed to fear that if the road once struck Stevens 
Point, some mysterious influence would prevent the building of the road to 

If the Wisconsin Valley Railroad would have run into Stevens Point and 
then to Wausau instead of cutting off the latter city by way of Junction City, 
it would have benefited both cities, but that unfriendly feeling referred to had 
its baneful effect for the existence of which, however. Portage county must 
be held responsible. 

The next temi of the circuit court was held in the "Blue Eagle" — a one 
and one-half story building. It opened February 16, 1852, with the same 
judge and other officers, and an indictment was found against Timothy 
Engler, the town treasurer. He had collected some of the taxes and absconded, 
but the amount must have been hardly more than to get him out of the country, 
because it appears in later proceedings that the bondsman, G. G. Green, was 
discharged from all liability by the pajnnent of $200. 

Walter D. Mclndoe was again the man upon whom the task fell to accept 
the vacant office and bring order in the chaos brought about by Engler's flight. 

There were several other indictments found which, however, never cul- 
minated in a trial, and there being no other business, court adjourned Feb- 
ruary 17th, after one day's session. The next and last court held by Judge 
Larrabbee was held in August, 1853, and again adjourned without any impor- 
tant business having been brought to the attention of the court. 

The building and erection of the saw mills and keeping them in repair had 
brought quite a number of millwrights and mechanics to Wausau. After 
they had ascertained that the hardwood ridges around Wausau were good, 
arable land, they improved the opportunity to enter lands from the govern- 
ment as soon as it was sun'eyed and subject to entry, secured eighty acres, 
and they went farming. They could clear and plant when not otherwise 
engaged, leave their families on the land (those who had families), raise some 
vegetables and keep at least a cow. Cows were purchased and brought up 
from what was then called "The Indian Countrj^" in the Green Lake prairie 
near Berlin and Princeton. They cut the road out in 1854 and started. The 


road went slanting up the east hill, beginning somewhere at the east end of 
La Salle street, and from the top of the hill took a northeasterly direction 
not quite reaching what is now called Nutterville. Along that road they set-, 
tied, scattering from four to six miles and started farming. There were D. 
Ferguson, William Gowan, Daniel Gowan, W. W. Wilson, B. Millard, E. 
Wilson, Calvin Crocker, Hass and M. F. Billing, G. Perkins, and later Wil- 
liam Bradford, J. W. Nutter and F. Constable. Nearly all sold out as soon 
as German emigration had given more value to the land, except J. W. Nutter, 
who died after making a fine farm. The ridge whereon they settled is one of 
the finest in all Marathon county, and became widely known as "Mechanic's 

Another short road was begun to be cut out by the county to lead up into 
town Texas, a little north from James Moore creek, going east and then 
north, which became known as the "Whiskey Road'' from the fact that in the 
opinion of the county board too much whiskey was consumed while cut out, 
which unnecessarily increased the cost. 

Among the new arrivals in 1854 was Dr. D. B. Wiley, who engaged in 
lumbering; bringing up here the first portable mill in 1856, where logs were 
hauled to the mill in the winter and sawed, the lumber hauled to the river below 
the fall, and rafted during the winter, and run out in the same spring, where 
there was always a good reliable freshet. 

It has already been described how the pinery settlements were scattered 
over a large territory and there was little chance if any for social gatherings. 
Nevertheless or because of that scattered condition, they felt the need of 
coming together sometimes, and the distance to be walked or traveled by ox 
team, there being neither stage nor stage horses or roads, only lent increased 
charms to occasions of that kind. In the spring of 1853, John Le Messurier 
had his new hotel or tavern finished, and the event was celebrated with a dance, 
solemn for the occasion and the published program printed in Stevens Point, 
because there was then no printing office here, is reprinted here to show how 
far people at that time would go or come for a social gathering. 

The following is a copy : 


The company of yourself and Lady is respectfully solicited to attend a 
ball in Wausau on Friday, March 4th, 1853, at the House of John Le Mes- 



Charles Rodman, W'ausau ; James Single. W'ausau ; M. De Courcey. Wau- 
sau ; Lonis Kraff, Wausau ; J. Gunsully, W'ausau ; Dan Whiting, W'ausau ; 
John Tuttle, W'ausau; Thomas Grundy, Pine River; B. F. Luce, Pine River; 
Isaac Coulthurst, Pine River; J. Aldrich, Stevens Point; B. L. Sparstein (a 
Lawyer), Stevens Point; D. R. Clemens, Stevens Point; George Strobridge, 
Point Washington ; Newcome Williams. Point W'ashington ; A. Aldon, Point 
Washington; J. i\I. Smith, Point Washington: Wm. H. Byrn, Point Washing- 
ton; Commodore Perry, Eau Plain; Aaron Drake, Plover; Jeremia Rogers, 

Floor Managers: 
L. O. Jones. Burton Millard 

Music by M. Rousseau's band. 

M. Rousseau's band consisted of himself alone. He played the fiddle for 
this and the next generation and there was no one who could compete with 
him. Xo dance was a first class dance unless he furnished the music. His 
fiddle could be heard over a whole city block and he had a way of singing out 
the figures of the quadrille or square dances in a stentorial, nevertheless mel- 
lifluous voice as an accompaniment to his violin, which simply charmed the 

He was a character in himself. Good natured withal, a large, massive 
man, of fair education obtained in the Soult Mary's misson school I he had 
a trace of Indian blood), where he was brought up, he came here early and 
for years acted as interpreter for the Indians at Washington and later after- 
wards was foreman in the mill of W. D. Mclndoe; still later he removed to 
Stevens Point where he was sheriff and deputy sheriff for several years, but 
even as late as 1890 the older generation which had danced to his music in 
their younger days, when they v.anted a good old-fashioned dance, had him 
come to play and sing out his figures as in the auld lang syne. 

The enlarged output of lumber caused by the installing of muley saws, 
needed the employment of more men in the mills and also in the running of the 
Imnber ; the village had been platted, people could get title to land on which to 
build, in consequence of which little buildings were put up, scattered though 
over four or five blocks of the original plat with trails leading up to the 

One saw filer. J. Kennedy, also working for Mclndoe and e\'idently im- 
pressed by the spirit of his employer, built a house for himself and his family 


on the comer of Fourth and Forest street in 1854 which at the time and for 
many years afterwards, was the finest home in Wausau. It stands today, with 
very small additions made since that time, where originally built and is now 
the property of the A. Schuetz heirs. 

Corey built a house on Third street where now stands the First National 
Bank building, and a few buildings were erected on \\'ashington street. How- 
few and scattered the buildings were as late as 1854 is apparent from the 
fact that even as late as 1854 a saw filer working in the mill of \V. D. Mc- 
Indoe, buried his deceased wife on his lot in the block between First and 
Second and Jefferson and Scott streets, where the little mound covering her 
grave could be seen until his removal from here years afterwards. 

Galena still remained the base of supply for the pineries until the latter 
part of the decade from 1850 to i860, which may seem curious to many 
readers and needs some explanation. As heretofore pointed out, the lead 
region had attracted the first great emigration, part of which took up farming. 

The lands-being rich, fertile and easy of cultivation because mostly prairie, 
soon proved more attractive than lead mining and so when Wisconsin became 
a state that portion, including Grant county with a population of 16,169, 
Lafayette with a population of 11,531, and Rock with 20,750, was the thickest 
settled portion of the state. The erection of Fort Winnebago in 1828, 
so-called because it stood on land claimed by that tribe, caused a settlement 
to spring up in close proximity which took the name of Portage City, from 
the historic portage. It became the county seat of Columbia county which 
in 1850 had a population of 9,565, a large element being emigrant farmers. 

It was the time prior to the railroads when the natural water routes were 
utilized. Galena being the largest nearest place to Fort Winnebago and 
Portage City with a navigable water way connecting them, it was not long 
before a steamboat plied upon the \\-aters of the Mississippi and the Wisconsin 
between the two places. As early as 1849 a little steamboat, the Enterprise, 
made trips between them and carried on commerce. Then from Portage 
City supplies were carried up through the open country by wagon as far as 
Stevens Point; from there the heavy forest barred the passage of wagons, 
and as early as 1850 there was a regular stage service between Portage and 
Stevens Point which carried mail. 

But after 1856 there was a change. The Green Lake prairies had become 
settled, a railroad began building towards Berlin and Oshkosh, and from the 
latter place a steamboat was already on the Wolf river to Gills Landing; Berlin 
could be reached from Stevens Point better than Portage City, and when the 
railroad reached Oshkosh in 1859 with a boat on the \Volf river to Gills 
Landing and a railroad ran as far as Berlin, the base of supply was changed. 


The lower country had so much grown that a new judicial circuit was 
created in 1854, including the counties of Adams, Waupacca, Waushara, 
Portage, Wood, Marathon, and Juneau, constituting the sixth judicial circuit 
of Wisconsin, and the Hon. George W. Gate was elected as judge thereof. 

He held the first term in Marathon county in the month of February, 
1855, and was continually elected without opposition, remaining on the 
bench until 1874, in which year he was elected a member of congress from 
the eighth congressional district, of which Marathon county was then a part. 

This congressional district was heavily republican, and it was his own 
popularity which carried him through, but in the following election when 
party feeling ran high and party lines were closely draw^n, he was defeated 
by a small majority. Before his election as judge he had served two terms 
with distinction as a member of the assembly and w-as one of the managers 
for the state in the impeachment trial of Judge Hubbell. Although a resi- 
dent of Portage county he was personally very highly thought of by the 
people of Marathon county. He was a fine lawyer, a scholar, and as an 
advocate before a jury he had no superior in the state. He had come to 
the pinery when only nineteen years of age, a poor lad, and supported him- 
self for a while as a common mill laborer, working on the construction of 
the Eau Glair dam. He reached a high old age and retained his mental facul- 
ties until the end, practicing his profession and died universally respected at 
Stevens Point in the spring of 1905. 

The Ghippewa Indians were all the while very numerous around Wausau, 
Mosinee, and Merrill, but did not molest the whites. They received their 
annuities at Wausau, which undoubtedly helped the trade in this place. Mail 
continued to arrive from Stevens Point, and there was a mail route estab- 
lished from Ontonagon to Wausau. There was the old Indian trail from 
Lake Superior to the portage, which was utilized. The mail was carried in 
sleds by dogs in the winter, but was discontinued in the summer, as then 
steamboats kept up commerce on Lake Superior. Later on towards the end 
of the fifties the trail was cut and widened to let a team through in the 
winter, and mail went there nearly regularly being drawn by ponies, and 
then called the pony express. It was discontinued when the railroad reached 
up in the northern peninsula. 

There were stations so-called, one at Grand Father Falls, the next at 
Grand Mother, next at Pelican near Rhinelander, and from there to Lake 
View Dessert, and crossing the watershed, the route followed closely the 
course of the Ontanagon river. 


First Farming Settlements — /;;. the Present Tozms of Berlin, Main, and 
Hamburg — The Pittsburg Settlers' Club — Marathon City and Town — 
Town of Stettin — Little Bndl and the Irish Settlement — Knozdton — 
Keelerville — The Village of Forestvillc. 

It has been shown that it was the majestic white pine forest on and along 
the Wisconsin river and its tributaries with its natural waterfalls easily 
harnessed by man, which attracted the first settlers to the Wisconsin valley 
and Marathon county, that farming was not gi\-en a thought by these men 
who came solely for the pine; that, indeed, for years they believed the soil 
to be wholly unproductive, the climate to severe, and the winters too long 
for the raising of agricultural crops ; how their hopes of making a fortune 
by cutting the splendid pine which could be had, say, for nothing, and taking 
the lumber to market, were blasted by the expense of bringing the food stuffs 
up here and the still higher expense of running the lumber to market; how 
some of the pinery men had given up in despair and left. But many were 
still here; they had invested their little capital and could not leave without 
sacrificing not only that, but also the fruit of years of the hardest sort of 
labor, however little it may have been, performed under hardships which 
only the strongest constitution could survive. 

But they sa\».the dawn of a new and better era after the county govern- 
ment was established and a united effort had been made to bring them in 
closer contact with civilization and market. They had also discovered by 
this time that the lands which they had believed unfit for cultivation would 
yield excellent crops when worked in husbandlike manner after the timber 
had been removed and the sun been given a chance to send its fructifying 
rays in the ground and awaken its dormant powers. Attempts at fanning 
had already been made as mentioned in the foregoing chapter, but while 
the results exceeded all expectations, especially as they were made by mechan- 
ics more as a side line to their more congenial work in their regular profes- 
sion or trade, they had no lasting beneficial effect other than to convince 


people of the fertile character of the soil and a belief in the future progress 
of Alarathon county because of the fitness of the soil for agricultural pur- 

The population in 1855 was still confined to the saw mill settlements 
where people at least lived in close proximity to each other which in some 
degree satisfied the yearning of the human heart for association with kin- 
dred beings and compensated them in part for the want of all reasonable 
comforts which they had to endure. It was not only the hard steady unac- 
customed and monotonous work of making a farm in the unbroken forest, 
but the necessity of staying away for weeks and months from all other 
human society, shut out from all association with mankind which prevented 
the pinery- people from going into the woods and clear the land for cultiva- 
tion. This work of subjugating the wilderness and bring into a state of civ- 
ilization was begun by the Gemian farmers who arrived after 1855. 

At that time Marathon county presented still the appearance of an 
unbroken forest. Only a sled road passable in the winter for teams existed 
between Merrill and Stevens Point, touching at the small settlement at 
Wausau, a little clearing at Mosinee and Knowlton with the small mill settle- 
ments at Eau Clair, Trappe and Pine rivers with another trail to Little Rib 
river from Wausau. The whole population in 1850 was 508, and the state 
census of 1855 gives the population as only 447, which evidently is not quite 
correct, although there was, if no decrease, only a very slight increase over 
the census of 1850. And all these people lived at and near the mills in the 
county, and outside of them there were not more than twenty small clear- 
ings on the immense area of 44 townships. The small clearings mentioned 
were unoccupied during most of the times. All the rest was wild, unoccu- 
pied in its natural state. What pine had been cut was all cut close to the 
rivers and hardly noticeable. Everywhere was forest, heavily timbered, dark, 
forbidding looking. Xo ray of the sun could pierce the heavy foliage of the 
hardwood and pine woods. The shadow was on the ground all during sum- 
mer, and the snow which fell during winter lay there until the sun rose high 
in the month of April. 

That was the condition of Marathon county in 1856 when the southern 
part of the state was being rapidly settled. Xo state in the Union had enjoyed 
so large a growth in so short a time as Wisconsin in the first ten years of its 
admission as a state. There was a boom for \\'isconsin lands in the years 
from 1853 to 1858. partly caused by speculators in lands, but more so by 
actual settlers who soon discovered that the government had millions of 
acres from which anv amount from fortv acres to a whole section and more 


could be selected and bought for $1.25 per acre, and land speculators after 
holding on for several years at a high price were glad to sell at reasonable 

The reaction in Germany following the stormy years of 1848 and 1849 
induced emigration from that country. Many of these emigrants were 
highly educated people who found employment as teachers, journalists, and 
many being mechanics, found good paying employment in the several 
branches of industry; only a few of them took to farming. But they were 
good writers, and by their letters written to their friends at the old home, 
describing the free democratic life in this republic, the ease with which land 
could be acquired and an industrious man could become independent, gave 
an impetus to emigration of the most desirable character. Many came to 
Wisconsin, and the establishment of the United States land office at Stevens 
Point brought some of those seekers for land up in this part of the state. 

It is a curious fact, however, that the first fami settlements in Marathon 
county were begun almost simultaneously from different quarters wholly 
independent and unconnected with each other, one having its origin in the 
city of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by a number of laboring men, and the other 
by farmer emigrants coming directly from Gennany. 

The first farmer emigrants coming to this county seems to ha\'e been 
one William Thiele, who came with his grown son and wife in 1856 and 
settled in Township 30, Range 6, now the town of Berlin. In the same year 
came the four brothers, Barteld, John, David, Gottlieb, and Frank, and a 
relative of theirs by the name of Roemer; they all took land in the present 
town of Main near what is now known as Taegeville. . In the same year 
came John Kufahl and his brother Carl, Gottfriend Stubbe, Gottlieb Beilke, 
C. Schlueter, and Mollendorf. They all settled not very far from each other 
in the present towns of Berlin and Main from nine to twelve miles from 
Wausau. David Barteld was quite intelligent and a shrewd man in his way 
with a sense for business. Before coming to Marathon he had lived in the 
neighborhood of Madison, worked with the surveyors and familiarized 
himself with following section lines and locating section corners, and he 
was not slow to commercialize his capacity in locating his countrymen. The 
land had been surveyed only a short time before, and the blazes were fresh 
and could be followed easily by any woodsmen. 

This John Barteld stayed on his farm for some years, even erected a dis- 
tillery (it was when distilling was yet free), but the product was too raw 
even for uncultivated taste, and he gave it up. After some years he came 
to Wausau, opened a little grocery and boarding house on Clark's Island 


immediately north of the bridge until his removal to the far West in the 
early seventies. William Thiele did some locating too, but Barteld having 
the good will of the land office, got the bulk of the trade. Of all the Bartelds 
there is ony one descendent now living on a farm in the neighborhood of 
the original settlement. Another family came from Germany in 1856. It 
was Carl Fehlhaber with his family, consisting of wife and four grown 
sons and two daughters. He went to Stevens Point, bought 320 acres lo- 
cated by Thiele, but the season being too late, he stayed with his family in 
a rented house on the Green Lake prairie during winter, coming up early 
in the spring of 1857 to make settlements. They came with their ox team 
from there to Wausau ; it was early as soon as the snow was gone ; the creeks 
and water courses were full, no bridges, only a trail for a road, and it took 
them two weeks to make the trip from Stevens Point to Wausau. They 
had to bridge the creeks, turn out of the road, cut new ones, but succeeded 
in reaching Wausau without great mishap. It was somewhat but not much 
better in reaching their land in Township 30, Range 6 E. There were ten 
strong willing hands and arms, for whom the woods had no terrors. They 
had their household and one cow with them. They went to work at once, 
made a brush tent for themselves, while the women slept in the canvass 
covered wagon, until the first rough shed was finished with a roof of birch 
bark. Next spring they brought the first sheep in their settlement. It seems 
that the cattle seemed to know instinctively that their safety depended upon 
their not straying far in the woods, they kept near the little clearing, and 
their bells could always be heard. 

In the same years (1857) came August W. Schmidt, for many years a 
member of the county board and for twelve years register of deeds of Mara- 
thon county and later one of the directors of the German American Bank 
of ^^'ausau ; also Gottlieb Plish with a family of wife and two sons and five 
daughters, and Klinger, Anklamm, Hartel, and Aschbrenner, all with fam- 
ilies, all direct from Germany, all settling in the town of Berlin. 

In the same year (1857) there settled in the present town of Hamburg 
Carl Zastrow, August Borchardt, Stephen Juedes, and Carl Juedes, and 
later John Miller, and Fred Ziebell, the two last families in the present town 
of Halsey nearly thirty miles from Wausau, with no road from this place 
to any of the settlements. This locating was done by John Barteld, and it 
is said that in locating settlers he would spend several days showing them 
lands in order to enhance his compensation which was $5.00 per day. it 
being in his interest to spend more than one day in showing the lands. 

The families of ]\Iillert and Ziebell probably experienced the hardest 


luck of all new settlers. Their families were large, especially the Ziebells, 
and one of the big boys was constantly on the road, rather trail through the 
woods, carrying flour and groceries home, two days going and three days 
coming with a pack of fifty pounds on his back. Ziebell stayed three or four 
years on the farm, made quite a clearing, but the strain was too heavy, and 
he abandoned his land with all improvements made under the hardest sort 
of toil and wants, and his land was sold for taxes and lost. The family was 
game, however. The oldest son began life anew on eighty acres of land 
about seven miles from Wausau in the town of Main and became quite com- 
fortable; the others came to Wausau where they acquired a competency. 
The youngest of the sons, fourteen years old when they went out there. August 
Ziebell, only lately sold out his grocery store in the McCrossen building. 

John Millert, too, left his improved farm of fifteen acres which was sold 
for taxes, remained long as county land and was conveyed by the county 
with- the 200,000 acres county lands to the Wisconsin valley as an induce- 
ment for the building of the road. 

Another enterprising German, 'Charles Mante, erected a little farmer 
store near the present Lutheran church in the town of Main, west of the 
place known as the Armstrong farm, in 1856, where Herman Miller, after- 
wards member of the assembly, began his life career as clerk. He ^id a 
small business for some years, but when there was a lull in newcomers and 
the older comers had spent their money and needed credit, which he was 
unable to give, he sold out and left. 

That was the beginning of the low or north German settlement in Mara- 
thon county. Most all men came directly to this county from Germany for 
the purpose of farming, and all of them, except a few like Bartelds, remained 
and succeeded in their undertaking. They became independent, fairly well 
to do, securing for themselves that competency in their old age which prompted 
them to leave home and friends to seek new and better homes in America. 

A little earlier in point of time of the arrival of the north Gennan set- 
tlers here, a colonization scheme was planned in the city of Pittsburg. It 
had its origin in a Catholic church society consisting in the main of work- 
ingmen and mechanics. They had labored for years in the rolling mills 
in that city and other trades ; they saw that there was no likelihood for them 
while in employ to make provision for their old age, much less to give their 
children a start in life. They had heard of the good lands in Wisconsin 
and made up their minds to become farmers in the West. Knowing that 
they were going to an unsettled country, they desired to be as much as pos- 
sible together, to help each other in cases of need. In order to accomplish 


this end, they organized a settlers' club, each member agreeing to pay into 
the common treasury the sum of $iio.oo with which to buy government 
land in one large complex, each member to receive in return therefore eighty 
acres of land and one village lot in the village to be laid out on said land, 
and three acres of land on the outside bordering on the village and called 
out lots. The land ^^•as to be drawn by lot by each member from the \\hole 
body of the land. This club organized in 1856, the same year that the first 
German fanner settlers came to Marathon county. They elected one Christ- 
mann, one Kalkenbeck, and John Kapp as a committee to proceed to Wis- 
consin to locate the land in compact form for the society. The committee 
arrived at Stevens Point and took up about three thousand acres for the use 
of the society in township 28, range 6 east and selected that portion on the 
west shore of Big Rib river, which was supposed to be navigable (which it 
was for logs and canoes only) and had the village of Alarathon ciiy laid out 
and platted. 

In making that selection they very probably were influenced by what they 
undoubtedly heard in Stevens Point that there were mills in W'ausau and at 
Mosinee not far from the proposed new village of Marathon City, and also 
that one hundred and sixty acres bordering on the proposed new village had 
already been entered and a farm made thereon by Joseph Dessert. These set- 
tlers knew they were going on timber lands and expected hard work ahead 
in clearing because they had seen the improved lands around Pittsburg which 
were originally timber lands, and a lumber industry carried on there on the 
Allegheny river, but they did not know that there was no road to their land 
nor from one place to the other. 

In the spring of 1857 a number of colonists left Pittsburg for their new 
homes arriving by way of Berlin in Stevens Point, and there took the steam- 
boat which ran for the first season from there to Mosinee. So far every- 
thing looked promising. But when they arrived at Mosinee, they were told 
that they could not reach their destination by any road nor by steamboat, 
that the only way to get there was by going through the woods or, what 
was recommended, by canoes. It was ]Mr. Joseph Dessert who was consulted, 
and being familiar with the descriptions of the land, gave them reliable 
infonnation. That was the first surprise, but there were more and stronger 
ones for them in store. With the aid of a half-breed Indian and Indians, 
they embarked in canoes and were landed at the present site of Marathon 

They were Robert Schilling, John Linder, Thomas Peternick, Joseph 
Haesle, Michael Bauer, Francis Tigges, and Anton Koester. 


Some were single, some had families. They remained together for a 
while, putting up two temporary log huts in the proposed village, until to 
each was pointed out his particular land by a surveyor, then began the work 
of putting up huts on their own lands, meanwhile helping out each other. 
During the same season came George Vetter, George Lang, Joseph Seliger, 
and Vogedes, all club members, and a few others not members. Vogedes 
died the same year, and his death made a deep and lasting impression on the 
remaining ones. A few others not belonging to the club arrived, among 
them Alathias Halkowitz, who went as far as township 28, range 4, now 
the town of Wien, and Bernhard Hilber, who settled near Marathon City. 
Others came, and after finding themselves in an immense forest, without signs 
of civilization, such as roads, schools, churches, and the absence of all con- 
veniences which seem an absolute necessity for cultured people, such as had 
the means to leave, left, returning in disgust. But those who had not the 
means, and most of them were in that condition, had no choice; they stayed 
and took up the fight for existence as best as they could. 

More arrived the following year, among them Anthony Schilling, who 
had been a fireman on the Mississippi steamboats, plying the whole length 
of the father of the waters and tributaries ; others who came during this 
year and remained were Joseph Schuster, a bachelor who taught school for 
many years in that community; John Stumm, another teacher, Peter Heil, 
John Lemmer, all from Pittsburg; and Charles Marquardt, Fred Haman, 
and William Garbrecht coming direct from Germany, and soon afterwards 
came Jacob Duerrstein, who settled in the town of Wien, so named because 
the first settler in that township. Math. Halkowitz had come from the city 
of Vienna (Wien). He had been a "ladies' tailor" in Vienna, and to ex- 
change the needle for the ax and plow was not an easy matter for him. 

That was the modest beginning of farming in Marathon county, from 
which sprang up the wealthy fanning communities of today, which compare 
well with much older settlements in eastern and middle states. 

These farmer pioneers had their trials, their hardships, their sufferings, 
their privations, for many years the coarsest of fare and garments ; but the 
worst days of anxiety and fear, amounting almost to desperation, and not 
only of daj^s but often of weeks, were experienced when sickness laid its 
paralyzing hand on a member and the family had to see the suffering of one 
of them without ability to alleviate the pain, there being no physician within 
ten or tens of miles without even a road to reach him, and in any event with- 
out the means to secure his attendance. And when death came as an angel 
of mercy to the stricken one and the wasted body was laid to rest, what 


must have been the feehngs of father or mother or children, raised in Chris- 
tian communities when the body was interred without the last consolation 
of religion? How often under such circumstances may not the afflicted 
ones have cried out in the bitterness of their heart : "Oh, why did I come 
to this country?" It was a life hard enough for the strong and healthy ones. 
The rough cabin completed, the man had to go forth for provisions from 
fifteen to twenty-five miles, carrying it back on his back through trails over 
swamps hardly passable, leave his wife and children alone at home in the 
wilderness until he returned after an absence of two or three days, often 

Returning with the necessities he had to go forth again to seek work to 
earn the means to sustain bare life which the gound did not give him until 
he had cleared and cultivated at least ten or fifteen acres, which took several 
years at best, often longer. They sought for and obtained work in the saw 
mills, in logging camps, going to the prairie in harvest time a hundred or 
more miles away, taking their pay in provisions, in anything offered; those 
that went harvesting brought back cattle taken in payment for work in 
those days when money was a rarity. For at least eight years their life 
was a continual struggle with nature against hardships of all sorts, which 
only the strongest constitutions and characters could conquer. W'hen a 
settler had provision to last him for, say, four to six weeks, he could begin 
clearing; first to cut the underbrush; then chopped down the trees, a hun- 
dred or more to an acre, then cut the trees in lengths to fit them for the 
burning pile, then haul the logs together and roll them in piles, then bum 
the piles, keep rolling until everything was burned, and it was not an easy 
or quick job to burn big green basswood or hemlock logs or pines. It 
sounds like blasphemy today to speak of burning basswood, pine, and hem- 
lock logs, but what else could be done if crops were to be raised? There 
was no sale for hardwood timber, it could not be floated, and it cost more 
to haul the very best pine logs ten miles to the mill than they were worth; 
in most instances it was impossible by reason of distance to haul even pine 
to the mill. The settlers' club desired to have the village ground cleared, 
and it was on Rib river. They were glad to give the standing pine, and it 
was splendid pine, too, to "Mr. Joseph Dessert for the cutting and hauling 
it away. But Mr. Dessert was not unmindful of their wants. When the first 
church was built in Marathon City, he gave them all the lumber free of any 
charge, of course, at the mill yard. It sounds somtimes ridiculous to hear 
conservationalists, so-called, to lament the loss of timber in early days and 
speak reproachingly of the waste of wealth of timber. But if the country 


had to wait for them to open the land for cultivation, it is safe to say that 
Marathon county would be today in its original wild state. And where was 
the damage? The cleared land produced crops every year, but there was 
only one crop in timber, and that had to be taken off to raise the crops with- 
out which the settlers could not exist. After the land was cleared, then came 
the planting among stumps, roots, and stones or rocks, which had to be piled 
together, too, and fence making also. Cattle were roaming free; in fact, all 
domestic animals were running at large picking their food in the woods. 
After cattle food, such as hay and straw, had given out in the spring, the 
cattle browsed on the young shoots of the fresh cut trees, not good for 
milking cows, but it kept them alive. Men and women wore home spun col- 
ored by boiling it in bark of hemlock or butternut shell. 

But if the work of men was hard, the life of the pioneer women was 
harder still. They were the true helpmates of the men, helping in the clear- 
ing, piling the underbrush, sawing logs, handspiking them together and 
burning them, helping in the planting and harvesting, taking the little child 
out in the field wrapped in comforters and attending to the wants of the little 
ones during pauses in the field work. 

The pioneer women as well as the men were heroes in their way. Many men 
and women might be mentioned by name as deserving of the lasting grati- 
tude of later generations. They all made a mark for themselves ; they opened 
a road for thousands to come after them who all profited by the sacrifices 
of them. Pioneer women were not given much to fear, least of all to hys- 
terics. During the war it happened that the wife of a farmer and her 
mother, they being the only adult persons in the house, the farmer being 
with the army in the field, heard the squealing of the pig in the night, and 
they knew that in all probability a bear was attacking them in the pen. They 
could not afford to lose their best and only pig. The wife and her mother 
jumped out of bed, took no time to dress, did not look for a gun, with the 
handling of which they were probably not accustomed, but coming out of 
the house reached for handspikes always ready to roll logs, and made for 
the pig pen where their worst fears were realized. A black bear trying to 
make away with the pig. Without hesitation they belabored the bear with 
their handspikes to such good purpose that the surprised bruin dropped the 
pig and fled. The pig was torn and nearly dead, and not to lose it, they 
killed the pig, heated the kettle without waiting for the morning's dawn, 
dressed it and salted the meat to save as much as possible. How many men 
could have done better, how many would have done as much? 

Matharon county is now one of the best counties in the state, containing 


thousands of fine farms, well stocked, with all modern improvements, all 
farms occupied by its owner, each an independent and free citizen ; there is 
not one renter to two hundred of farm owners in this county. Marathon 
county farmers are well to do, some are' more wealthy than others, but for 
the staying qualities, for the endurance, for the grit and the frugality of these 
pioneers they might not enjoy the prosperity which is theirs today. The 
fanner pioneers all mentioned here by name were men of industry, men of 
character, of honor, of integrity and rectitude, who brought up families 
who still occupy the lands of their parents, and more besides, and are hon- 
ored citizens of the state. It is due to those pioneers that some at least, the 
first ones be mentioned by name as persons whose examples are worthy of 
emulation and imitation. They were Christian men and women, w ith whom 
Christianity was not a mere profession or theory, but who practiced their 
faith in their every day life. As soon as their means permitted, they built 
houses of worship to bring up their children in Christian surroundings rather 
than in comfort; they had no schools for them for some years, being too 
scattered over a large territory, which made the building of schoolhouses im- 
practicable; but they taught them respect for their elders, to give everybody 
his own. They needed neither criminal nor civil courts for their govern- 
ment, because they governed themselves w ith due regard for the rights of 
others. It is from this race of pioneers from which sprung the stock of 
sturdy, strong, patriotic and intelligent fanning community which inhabits 
Marathon county. It was necessary to mention them first when speaking of 
Marathon county in this chapter, because Marathon county at that time, 
1856, constituted only one organized town, the town of Marathon. \Miat 
has been said of these men applies with equal force to the pioneers in other 
towns, the towns of Settin and Wausau. and the Irish settlement. They 
began settlement a little later, say one or two years ; but they had to go 
through the same hardships and the same privations, only they were a little 
nearer to people, where they could get assistance in case of need, because the 
mill settlements in \Vausau and Mosinee had grown, to which they were 
a little nearer in point of location. 

The organization of the settlers' club in Pittsburg became, of course, 
known in that city, and real estate speculators were not slow to let a chance 
for making money out of real estate pass away from them. They purchased 
for a song land warrants issued to all honorable discharged soldiers of the 
Mexican war, and with these land warrants, which were taken for money 
at the United States land ofifices. purchased lands in Marathon county and 
sold it to prospective settlers. 

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By shrewd advertising, in which these lands, and especially the new 
settlement of the settlers' club was painted in rose colors, they succeeded 
in selling a large part; some people buying as an investment; some, though 
not many, came up and made settlement in the present towns of Cassell, 
Marathon and Wien, many of them going back after seeing the wilderness, 
only a few remained. 

The settlers' club had laid out the village of Marathon City, and soon 
recorded the plat, as each of their members was entitled to one city lot, and 
three acres of the out lots, but the land was wild and unimproved, except for 
the few huts which the first pioneers had erected as a temporary shelter until 
their houses were built on their lands. They had laid out a square for a 
church, and one square as a public square, with a cemetery on the outlots. 
The speculators got hold of this plat, changed it for their purposes by show- 
ing thereon a fine church building and a town hall, and in the river they had 
a picture of a steamboat, a fine two-wheeler, in the act of going to the steam- 
boat dock. This was done to make people believe that there was already a 
city, with a market and fair-sized population as a persuasive argument in 
selling the wild land. 

Those that bought the land and held it for many years, paying the taxes 
thereon, were able in after years to get their money back with perhaps very 
little, if any, interest; many neglected to pay the taxes, and lost it thereby. 
When, after fifteen or twenty years, the settlement had largely grown and 
improved, the tax titles were attacked in court, in most cases by specu- 
lators, who had procured the original title for a few dollars, and were usually 
successful in having the tax title set aside. 

It was this sort of legal business which kept the courts busy for a long 
time, until the abuse of the rights of the speculator claiming under the orig- 
inal title led the legislature to the enactment of the statutes of limitation, 
which, under a strict construction given by the courts, made an end of this 
sort of litigation, protecting at the same time the rights of minors. 

It has been stated that all lands in Marthon county at the time of the 
appearance of the first settlers were government lands, not even surveyed, 
and the question may have arisen in the minds of many a reader, why did 
the settlers, especially the fanners, not enter the land under the homestead 
act? The answer is, that the homestead act did not exist at that time, and 
not until 1862; and three was no other way of getting land from the govern- 
ment except by purchase. Even after the act was passed, and when there 
was still much government land in this country, very little advantage was 
taken of this act, most settlers preferring to buy their land and hold it, inde- 


pendent of the government. The territory in ranges 2 and 3, townships 26, 
27, 28 and 29, remained wholly wild until the building of the Wisconsin 
Central Railroad in 1872, which had a large grant from the government 
for the building of the road, and then most of the settlers in that territory 
entered under the homestead act, and it was not until most of the government 
lands were sold, or entered, that the railroad was enabled to sell, except their 
splendid pine timber lands, which was sold to lumbennen. 


The saw mill erected at Little Rib by Benjamin Single in 1845 '^^^ o^t 
as much lumber in early days as any of the mills at Wausau, and gave em- 
ployment to as many men. Later on it was rented to Perley Dodge and 
Gerry Judson, who operated it as partners in the latter fifties. This Dodge 
(not to be confounded with William Dodge, of Wausau) made probably 
one of the first farms in Marathon county, not personally but with hired 
help. He had eighty acres cleared, seeded mainly to grass, in the fifties, the 
farm being only about five miles northwest from the mill. The partner of 
P. Dodge got in some trouble or difficulty with Benjamin Single, and it is 
said that even a shot was fired at Benjamin Single, but whatever it was, the 
trouble was never aired in court or in public; but it had the effect of breaking 
up the partnership between Dodge and Judson, and Dodge departed, selling 
the farm to an employee of the mill, John Marquadt by name, to whom 
Benjamin Single advanced the purchase money. This was about i860. 
Another working man at Rib mill, a native of Norway, had commenced to 
clear some land in the early fifties in section 30, now owned by Fred Roeder; 
he cut down nearly fifteen acres, but never cultivated it or lived on it, and 
sold it after he had removed from Marathon county in the latter part of 
the fifties. It was called the Norwegian farm. It grew up into brush and 
small trees, lay wild for about twelve years, when Caspar Traxel bought it, 
settled on it in 1868 and improved it. 

The first real farmer settler who came to the present town of Stettin was 
John Artus, who had been working in the Wausau mills for some years, 
then bought eighty acres and moved upon the land in 1856, and made a farm. 
In the same year came the four brothers, Ferdinand, Carl, Christian and 
William Buttke, and their cousin, Carl Buttke II, followed by Gottlieb Wen- 
dorf in the next year, the brothers Kippke, Fred Kopplin, August Weinke, 
Carl Haasch, F. Sager, Carl Kickbusch, Daniel Radke. G. Kaatz, Carl Haasch, 
Carl Erdmann, Frederich Beilke, and J. Hildensperger. The year 1858, 


Othmar Sauter and John Sauter, Michael Erdmann, and John Loy, Sr., 
to the same town. Nearly all of these men, or at least their sons, worked at 
times at the mill at Little Rib, which was not more than seven miles from 
the farthest farm mentioned. 

The present town of Rib Falls, being township 29, range 5, was settled 
contemporaneously with Stettin, the brothers Wilde, August Heise, August 
Schroeder, coming there in 1856, followed by Carl Hanke and four or five 
other families in 1857. In speaking of the early settlers of the town of 
Stettin, John Wilberle and Vogedes must also be mentioned. 

In 1861, Re\'. A. F. H. Gebhard came to that settlement and organized 
the "Lutheran Trinity Congregation," which he served as pastor for over a 
quarter of a century. He was not only the pastor but the friend and advisor 
of his congregation, and much of the rise of the new settlement was due to 
his good counsel. He was not only the spiritual counsel of his flock, but their 
faithful advisor and helper in things temporal. The great influence for good 
which he exerted over the whole township, besides several missions in other 
towns, is attested by the fact that his congregation remained united in one 
to this day, over fifty years, the largest of any in a farming community in 
Marathon county. Not all settlers belonged to his church ; there were some 
Catholic families, and a few adhering to the doctrines of the Methodist 
church, but the best of feeling always prevailed among all the settlers ; they 
were always ready for mutual assistance, and there was none of the little 
misunderstandings among them which sometimes creep in, even among 
neighbors. Rev. Gebhard was later called upon and took charge of another 
congregation in Illinois ; but he had spent the best years of his manhood 
here and his heart yearned for his old home and friends. He returned after 
a few years of absense to his farm and cultivated it, in the full enjoyment of 
all his mental and physical factulties, in spite of his years, and respected and 
beloved by young and old for the many noble qualities of his mind and heart. 

The settlement in the town of Stettin soon became for years the most 
popular and flourishing one in the county. 


The Mechanics Ridge settlement, the first in the county, has already been 
alluded to. It was a settlement made by mechanics, who carried on farming 
more as a sideline, and in course of time all sold out except James W. Nutter, 
after whom Nutterville is named, who closed his eyes on that fann in 1898. 
The first German farmers in town of Wausau appeared about 1859, and were 


Carl Kunz, Frederick Schniutzler, followed by Fred Dumdei, and George 
and Martin Reinhard. Others came soon after them, but the growth of the 
settlement on the east side of Wausau was much slower than on the west. 
There was a prejudice against the eastern lands. First, all lands were sup- 
posed to be unfit for agricultural purposes; that prejudice died out slowly, as 
the farms on the west improved; but it still existed to the unsettled land on 
the eastern portion, and settlers coming to Marathon county naturally would 
go where, there were already settlements, which was Main, Berlin, Stettin 
and Marathon City. The German settlers went into these towns where their 
countrymen were, with whom they could speak; while new Irish settlers went 
to the Irish settlement. The larger number of farmers did not go to the 
towns of Wausau and Easton. which was included in town Wausau, until 
after the close of the war, and then, after 1866, when there was a great im- 
migration from Germany, many of whom went in the eastern settlement, 
including the present town of Texas. 

It soon developed that there was no difference in the soil, and that one 
part of Marathon county was as good for farming as any other. This fact 
was more particularly established by the first colony fairs held in the county, 
which began in a very moderate way in 1867. 

The old farm known as the Marshall farm, one of the first ones in this 
county, as well as the Hobart farm, joining the Marshall farm, have been 
mentioned. The Marshall farm became the property of \\'illiam Swafe, 
who had first settled in the town of Berlin, but afterwards purchased and 
greatly improved the ^Marshall farm and made it one of the best in the county. 
The Hobart farm became the property of Ludwiz Zamzow after several 


The appropriation of the splendid and easily harnessed water power at 
Little Bulls Falls has already been referred to. It was made by Henry Mer- 
rill in 1840 and 1841, and the dam and mill was built in 1842, and probably 
in operation at that time. It was built by John L. Moore, not to be con- 
founded with James L. Moore, whose mill was at Big Bull Falls. The mill 
property changed hands several times, until it came finally in the sole control 
and possession of Joseph Dessert in 1857 (who had been interested in it with 
some partners before), and remained in his possession; was later operated 
by the Joseph Dessert Lumlier Company, until 1902, when the pine supply- 
was exhausted, the mill dismantled, and the water power turns now the 
machinery of the ^^'ausau Sulphite & Fibre Company in Mosinee. 


The records of the United States land office show that lot 3 and "Little 
Bull Island'" (so named on the official go\-ernment plot) were entered by- 
Henry Merrill at the Washington ( D. C. ) land office, October 5, 1840, and 
lot 4, by Henry iVIerrill on January 29, 1841. These lots and island included 
the water power at Mosinee, and not only were these lots entered later than 
the lots of the Big Bull water power, but while Merrill made the first entry, 
it is certain that it was not he, but J. L. ;\Ioor who built the dam and mill at 
Mosinee, and it is not likely that ^loor would have done so unless he had 
either a lease or conveyance from Henry ^lerrill, of whom he afterwards 
purchased these lots and island. 

In early days lumbermen who had their logs manufactured at Little Bull 
Falls had some advantage over lumbermen further abo\-e, because their lum- 
ber was rafted below that fall, and was ready to go out as soon as the river 
was free from ice, while lumber from above was detained often for days 
and weeks in case the river was too high for running through the falls there. 
Thus while fleets were held above Mosinee because of water being too high, 
the fleets below^ could go, and with the high stage were well on their way to 
and sometimes had reached the Mississippi before the fleets from above 
passed over the falls. 

Then Mosinee was a little nearer the base of supplies, which was a great 
deal in point of economy. Nevertheless, the first owners of the mill had their 
trials and difficulties, too, their shares of failures, and when it passed finally 
in the sole control of Joseph Dessert, in 1857, it took him ten years of the 
hardest toil, strictest economy and keenest business sagacity, in spite of his 
approved integrity which gave him credit, to bring the business up to a point 
of prosperity. This mill did much sawing for other lumbennen, in conse- 
quence of which quite a settlement grew in and around the mill and a village. 
Joseph Dessert was fortunate in the choice of his assistants, and made it a 
point to attach his men to him and his plant. 

One of the pioneers who came there and stayed with Joseph Dessert all 
during the remainder of his life, was a native American, Samuel Hinkley, 
who came in 185 1. He was first employed in the mill, and soon worked him- 
self up to the place of a foreman and trusted manager of all the outside busi- 
ness, until advanced age made his voluntary retirement congenial. In early 
youth he had been a sailor, and spent five years of his youth on the x\tlantic 
ocean. He was deservedly popular with all the people, not excepting the 
ladies and children, always having a helping hand for them at church fairs, 
picnics, patriotic celebrations and sports. He saw to it that a liberty pole 
was not wanting in the village, and took good care that the flag was always 
floating at every proper occasion. 


Another native born pioneer was H. A. Bean, familiarly called Judge 
Bean, who came in the early fifties, and was employed as bookkeeper by Mr. 
Dessert, in which position he remained until the end of his life, in 1880. He 
was well educated, which fact was early recognized by the people of Mosinee, 
who elected him town clerk when the town was first organized, in which office 
he was kept until his death, and frequently he served as justice of the peace. 
He was very good-natured but a little quaint in his ways, combining as justice 
of the peace the stern majesty of the law with dry humor of the eastern 

Another pioneer of Mosinee is Robert Freeman, a native of the north of 
Ireland, who emigrated in 1850, and located at Mos'inee in 1851, bringing 
with him his wife and little child. He must be regarded as the first farmer 
in the Irish settlement, although he did not stay long on the land to make 
a farm, his choice of the land having proved rather unforunate. He then 
settled in the village, devoted himself to master the art of cruising, in which 
he became quite an expert ; then turned his attention again to farming on an 
excellent 160-acre tract, through which flows a clear spring brook, which is 
known as Freeman's creek. Later on he engaged in lumbering, manufactur- 
ing and general mercantile business, and met with his success in all his under- 
takings. He disposed of all his other business and in later years returned to 
his first love, farming and raising fine stock. . He is still hale and hearty, in 
spite of his age, and loves to speak and listen to the tales of olden times, with 
its hardships and occasional frolics. 

O. E. Priest and his son came to Mosinee from New York, settling there 
in 1853, on land about four miles north of Mosinee. O. E. Priest enlisted in 
July 1861, served throughout the war, and was honorably discharged June 7, 
1865, when he returned to the old place. He was in many of the hard-fought 
battles on the eastern peninsula, serving in the Potomac Army. 

In very early days a village had been platted on the east side of the 
river, and a little tavern built there, which is still standing. Of course it was 
expected that a village should grow up there, but that hope, with many 
others, vanished. That tavern was one of the four prominent places on which 
one of the four notices for the first election in Marathon county was posted 
up. It was run by George Kollock, and sold by him in 1852 to Mr. William 
Blair. The village did not materialize; the travel for many years was very 
limited, and Mr. Blair had a hard time to make ends meet, although he and 
his worthy wife did their best to entertain travelers and make them com- 
fortable. Other misfortunes came upon them. Mr. Blair was a patriotic 
citizen, and at Lincoln's first call he went to the front; was wounded at the 


Battle of Shiloah and taken prisoner. After three months he was exchanged, 
still sick, taken to a hospital and there died, and was buried in the National 
cemetery at Chattanooga. Mrs. Blair was left alone, with three children and 
a small tavern on a roadside. She, like her husband, had come from Scot- 
land, and had the tenacity and perseverance which distinguishes that race. 

Like Spartan mother, she took care of her children, while at the same 
time she managed her tavern, which retained its fine reputation. Teamsters 
going to or coming from Stevens Point with supplies made it a point to 
either get at least one meal there or stay overnight. Under her management 
the business grew, Mrs. Blair having added some farm land to her 

Mrs. Blair was one of the noble educated pioneer women of Marathon 
county. Of fine personal appearance, and endowed with rare intelligence 
and an inborn capacity for hotel management, looking after the comfort of 
her guests, often under the perplexing circumstances incident to pioneer life. 
She was sympathetic and charitable, always ready to assist where assistance 
was needful. The Indians were always more numerous around Mosinee 
than Wausau. and sometimes they would commit little thefts, and more often 
beg. Mrs. Blair had a way of dealing with them which made them respectful, 
and at the sarrie time they held her high in esteem. She would treat them 
kindly, but kept them in proper reserve. Her tavern was not infrequently 
the visit of Wausau people when they wanted to enjoy a first class old- 
fashioned dance. 

She prospered and had the satisfaction to see her children grow up, like 
her, respected and honored members of society. 

David Roberts came to Mosinee in 1850, and for the first nine years 
worked as a pinery man in the camps and mills ; then he engaged in lumber- 
ing for himself until 1882; then in general merchandise, in which he was 
quite successful. Like all pioneers, he was a man of good parts, serving his 
town and village in official capacities, also as postmaster, and did his full 
share to make his name one to be held in grateful memory. 

F. L. Demars came as early as 1856, as a common laborer, from Canada; 
later tried farming, and since 1871 has kept a store in Mosinee. He has had 
his share of hard times, too, but enjoys the best of health in his ripe old age, 
with a comfortable competency well earned. 

Another employee of Joseph Dessert who rose to an honorable position in 
the business world in the pinery, was J. R. Bruneau. He was a native of 
Canada, arriving at Mosinee in May, 1857, entered the employ of Joseph 
Dessert as bookkeeper and salesman in the store, remaining in that capacity 


until 1866, when the opened a general store for himself, and later engaged in 
lumbering; but the confidential relation between himself and his former 
employer never changed. J. R. Bruneau was afterwards elected county treas- 
urer of Marathon county, and several times reelected, and made an envious 
record in that office. 

William Cuer, one of the earliest settlers in Mosinee, was for over thirty 
years the star pilot of Little Bull Falls. He ran more fleets over those falls 
than all other pilots combined, and with less damage; never a single man 
drowned on a piece run over Little Bull which was piloted by William Cuer. 

William Gilbert, also a pioneer and highly respected citizen, was a suc- 
cessful pilot, running Little Bull. He had just put a fleet successfully through, 
when on the last rapids piece he was swept off the raft and drowned, on April 
19, 1872. 

It was but natural that the fine hardwood and farm lands within a few 
miles from Mosinee should in time attract attention. 

People of different nations, when they go to a foreign country, will try 
to be with their countrymen. That is the reason why the north German 
settlers, who first settled in the' present towns of Berlin and Main, attracted 
other north Germans ; why in and around Marathon City southern Germans 
settled, the Pittsburg club being all from the southern part of Germany. 

The splendid lands west of Mosinee, all vacant and wild, were first in- 
vaded by the Irish, and others followed, and thus it became in time the "Irish 

The pioneer farmer in that community was Thomas O'Connor. Before 
coming there he worked in a rolling mill in Wauwatosa, now part of Mil- 
waukee. He had a family and, like the Pittsburg settlers, made up his mind 
that he could be more independent, and make better provisions for his family 
by making a farm than by continuing to work in the mill, with its uncer- 
tainties of laying ofi and the consequent failure of earnings, etc. He bought 
160 acres in township 2y. range 6; fine hardwood land, and the fact that it 
was all wild and unimproved for miles around did not deter him. 

\\'ith a yoke of cattle and a wagon, he moved his family, consisting of 
wife and five children, the oldest ten. and the youngest less than one year, 
up north, coming to Mosinee in i860, then cut out a road for nine miles to 
his land, and then commenced to start his farm. He was a stalwart man of 
six feet, not afraid of the hardest kind of work, but he too needed all the 
grit, the dogged perseverance and economy to carry him through the first 
years of farm life. He was held in the highest esteem by all his neighbors 
and acquaintances, often representing his town as chairman in the county 


board, and he was elected member of assembly for the western district of 
Marathon county in 1890. 

He was a man of sterling character, well educated, who could speak inter- 
estingly on many topics, especially farming, and his conversation was fre- 
quently interspersed with native Irish wit. After he had opened the road, 
others came, among them Felix ]\IcGuire. who had been working in Mosinee 
for many years; but it was the example of Thomas O'Connor who encour- 
aged him to take up farming, and he too made a success. Others were 
Edward Fitzgerald and his brother, James Murrey, Timothy Kennedy and 
\\'illiam Hayes and his sons, Patrick Burns, Garret Hughes, William Keefe 
and John Keefe. They all settled soon after Thomas O'Connor, but it must 
not be believed that they were all close together. The Irish settlement was 
stretched out over much territory, much like the German settlements. The 
"Irish Settlement," so-called, includes the area now covered by the present 
towns of Emmett, Mosinee, and Cleveland. All that was said of the pioneers 
of the towns of Berlin and Main and Marathon applies with equal force to 
the settlers in the Irish settlements, only they began a few years later. They 
occupy as fine a section of Marathon county as can be found anywhere, not 
only in the county, but in the state : and their farms are models of good 


In 1853, a German family, consisting of Thomas Stark, father, and wife 
and his three sons, Anthony, ^^'endell and Alois, settled on land in the present 
village of Knowlton. They were the first comers, and being carpenters, they 
engaged in making shingles and hewed square timbers for a couple of seasons, 
which they rafted and floated down to points below. 

A few years afterwards they built a steam mill, which was burned in 
1870, and rebuilt and operated by them until the year 1899, when the timber 
was exhausted in the neighborhood. Each of the brothers also made a fine 
farm. Leonhard Guenther came from Beaver Dam, in the pinery, as early 
as 1849, working in mills and camps in the neighborhood, and having taken 
care of his earnings, he was able to purchase the tavern at Knowlton owned 
by J. X. Brands, immediately after his marriage in 1854 to a daughter of 
Thomas Stark. The tavern was called the Knowlton House, and after the 
completion of the Wausau and South Line road, did a splendid business, 
there being no more popular stopping place between Wausau and Stevens 
Point. Leonhard Guenther was the prince of a landlord, with an excellent 
wife to super\-ise the culinary department. At the completion of the Wis- 


consin Valley Railroad to Wausau in 1874, this tavern, like all others on 
the road, lost much of the business, which was to be expected. Leonhard 
was at that time a member of the county board of Marathon county, and see- 
ing that a railroad would be of immense benefit to the whole county, although 
it would, in the first instance, hurt his hotel business, nevertheless subordi- 
nated his own personal advantage to the advantage of the whole population, 
and gave his aid and influence to secure the building of the railroad. He 
then invested in some real estate in Wausau, intending to open a hotel at this 
place, but died before his plans materialized in Knowlton in May, 1876. 
The tavern still exists, with a spacious hall besides, which is the center for 
popular gatherings on festival occasions. His four sons, Charles, Anthony, 
Thomas and Leonhard, still live in Knowlton and are engaged in land and 
real estate, in commercial business and farming. 


Bull Junior is a small stream which empties in the Wisconsin a little 
distance above the east end of the dam at Little Bull Falls. A short distance 
above its mouth it runs close to the high bank of the ^^'isconsi^, then takes 
a sharp turn to the south and east before it empties finally in the main river. 
A shrewd native American by the name of Keeler cut a canal from where 
the stream flows nearest to the river, diverted its course, and in that way 
obtained a high fall, which he used to run a little saw mill as early as 1855. 
Mr. William Gouldsbury bought the property in 1862, rebuilt the mill, oper- 
ated it until 1870, when he sold it to Sebastion Kronenwetter, who in turn 
operated until 1903, when sawing on this creek ended. This little settlement 
was called Keelerville. from its owner. Not long after the mill was first 
established a saloon was established too near the mill, which became the 
scene of a tragedy. An Indian was killed in a drunken fight, which for a 
time threatened the peace of the community. 


A little saw mill was built in section 13, township 26, range 5 E. by 
Andrew Weeks as early as 1849. who sold to his brother, John Weeks, in 
185 1. John Weeks enlarged the mill after circular saws were used, also 
run a shingle mill; both mills operated by steam as well as water until it 
burned in 1881, when it was not rebuilt, owing to the absence of railroad 
communication. For many years, like all other mills in the Wisconsin pinery. 


all provisions had to be brought from Stevens Point and up the Eau Plain 
river nine miles above its mouth, by canoes, there being no other mode of 

John Weeks, nevertheless, made a success by his industry and economy; 
he w^as often elected as a member of the county board of Marathon county, 
and when the mill burned, he purchased the Owen Clark water power in 
Stevens Point, where he sawed the remaining part of his large pine holdings 
on the Eau Plain, which mill is still operated by his sons. Many years after 
the mill was located, John Weeks succeeded in getting a fine turnpike road 
to his mill from Dancy, the nearest railroad station on fhe Wisconsin Valley 
Railroad. He was one of the first Scandinavians arriving in the United 
States, as early as 1839. He died at Stevens Point on June 14, 1891. 


Few people in Marathon county ever knew of that village; it was an 
example of the fever of real-estate speculation of the early days of Wisconsin. 
It covered the north ^ of the southwest Ya and south ^ of the southwest yi 
and southwest 54 of the southeast Ya of section 2^), township 26 north of 
range 8 east, and a fraction of lots 5, 6 and 7 of section 28 in the same town 
and range. It was platted by one W. G. Blair, John Phillips, John Dubay, 
and William Walton in June, 1857. Never a lot appears to have been 
sold, and the whole village was wiped out by tax sales. It is near the present 
village of Knowlton, and the owners no doubt had visions of high prices for 
city lots when they plotted it. The plot was acknowledged in Chicago, Illinois, 
from which fact the inference is drawn that Chicago parties had an interest 
in the land, but the name of J. B. Dubey disclosed an inhabitant of the neigh- 
borhood, it being the same J. B. Dubay heretofore mentioned as Indian 
trader, and owner of a little mill on the Eau Claire river. 


The First Nezvspapcr — The Steamboat — Nezc Arrivals at IVaitsau — County 
Orders — County Commissioners — Hard Times. 

Under the circumstances mentioned in the foregoing chapter, it is not 
surprising that there was little increase in the population from 1850 to 
1855, one would rather look for a decrease; but the hardest time had passed 
for the new settlement, and better times were in sight, although slowly com- 
ing. The boom for Wisconsin lands continued, and while in former years 
lands in the southern part of the state were sought by speculators, the 
demand shifted now to northern lands, and thousands of acres were sold 
weekly at the land ofifice at Stevens Point, which were mainly taken for the 
timber by speculators. The influx of fanners in 1856 had given a wide 
advertisement to this county, and the inflation of currency in banknotes 
gave an impetus to the acquiring of real estate. Wausau, too, had its men- 
tion as a prosperous village, and people came here to engage in lumber trade. 

The mail service had improved ; instead of one, there was a three weekly 
service, mail arriving and going out three times a week. 

The name of the postoffice of Little Bull had been changed to Mosinee. 
Lumber prices had been rising, selling as high as $18 a thousand in St. Louis. 
Mills had been improved and steam portable mills introduced, the first one 
by Dr. D. B. \\'ylie ; next another one by M. Stafford ; the four mills in 
Wausau now cut 100.000 feet daily, and all that with the increase of the 
farming population, had its good effect on business. The highway to Stevens 
Point had been cut out in places and was to be completed, and the general 
despondency following the first years immediately before and after the 
organization of the county gave way to a feeling of cheerfulness and security. 
Buildings were erected in Wausau, and the little pinery town assumed an air 
of thrift unknown theretofore. 

And now, in 1857, the first weekly newspaper. The Central Jl'isconsin, 
made its appearance, a neat and sprightly sheet, with J. W. Chubbuck as 
founder and editor, who was endowed with a fine literary vein, and was a 



keen observer. That event was duly celebrated with a banquet held in Forest 
Hall, where toasts were spoken and the festivities closed with grajid dance. 
Some of the toasts announced and responded to are worthy of being men- 
tioned, as throwing a light on the mental caliber of the pioneers, Dr. Gordon 
acting as toastmaster. The first toast proposed was : 

"Our Chubbuck. May he entwine the rope of literature around the 
horns of the Big Bull and lead him out into the green fields of wealth and 

Second toast: "The Village of Wausau. May its great natural advan- 
tages be improved by art to the utmost extent, and where the forest pine now 
stands, may the spires of a city rise — the homes of thousands, and a great 
center of inland trade and commerce." 

Third toast: "The Boys of the Pinery, the bones and sinews of Central 
and Northern Wisconsin. May they be worthy of the Pinery Girls." 

In the local news of that paper of April 29th, 1857, a bit of news gives an 
index to the business of that time at Wausau, viz : 

"The ice has gone out, six rafts of timber and three of lumber belonging 
two to Huntley of Boon county, Illinois, started out on Sunday; two fleets 
of W. D. Mclndoe, two of Lymann, two of B. Barnes, two of Walrod and 
one of Doolittle." 

The fleets may safely estimated to be of half a million feet each, if not 

"Colonel Shuter sold village lots last week to the amount of $4,500.00. 

"Dr. Gordon prepares the foundation of a building on Jefferson street, 
and William Bradford will build a house on 3d street" (where the Nicolls 
block now stands). 

"The bank of the river above the falls is lined with rafts ; the Scholfield 
mill, burned last fall, has been rebuilt and has a gang edger of 21 saws, 
which recently cut 21,000 feet in day time, and is the only gang edger in the 

Another item, speaking of losses, says : 

"Three men were drowned at Grand Rapids, two at the Clinton dam." 

"Three rapids pieces belonging to J. G. Goodhue, above Little Bull, broke 
loose, became unmanageable and passed through the falls to destruction." 

This news of men being drowned and lumber lost was nothing very 
rare, rather occurred every year. Little Bull on the whole exacting the most 

The Ontonagon mail service was always carried on under great difficul- 
ties. The mail was brought down from there and started up from here. 


As may be imagined, the trip could not always be made on time, often was 
delayed by storms, and mail was detained; towards spring when the snow 
melted, the trail was not passable at all, and all mail was stopped. 

A large amount of such mail was held at Wausau, and on the 20th day 
of May, 1857, the postmaster Thomas Single, contracted with Levy Flem- 
ming to carry the accumulated mail from here to Ontonagan for $300. 

There were about fifteen sacks of mail, and Mr. Flemming started out 
with the help of another man by bark canoe up north. They made the jour- 
ney together as far as Grandmother Falls, when in portaging i\Ir. Flemming 
lost his assistant and was forced to proceed alone. He started alone on his 
journey by water until he reached Eagle, then carried the mail over the 
divide afoot, going with one sack and coming back for another, until he 
had one-half of it again on the bank of a river; then with that half of the 
mail he went to Ontonagon; came for the rest to Eagle, and started again 
for Ontonagon. He deposited the last sack of mail on June 13th, then 
started for home. A trip like that, under the conditions as they were at the 
time, would seem like an impossibility today. 

Another ad\ertisement published in The Central Jl'iscoiisiii in May, 1857, 
is now interesting reading: 

"Daily line of Stages: between Wausau and Mosinee, connecting with 
the steamer 'Northerner,' leaves Wausau e\ery morning, arriving at Mosinee 
in time to connect with the steamer at that place. Return will leave Mosinee 
on the arrival of the steamer; at W^ausau at 6 o'clock in the evening." 

Prices in 1857: at \\'ausau — Flour. $8.00 per barrel; pork, $37.00 per 
barrel; white sugar. 18 cents per lb.; brown sugar. 17 cents per lb. 

The assessment for 1857 shows a large increase in property as against 
the fomier year, viz : 

Number of acres assessed, 314,026: value $ 934.277.00 

Value of village lots 77,809.00 

Value of personal property 236,140.00 

Total $1 ,248,226.00 

As against valuation in 185 1, which was . .$ 92,000.00 

In 1854. which was 227,252.00 

In 1855, wliich was 301,743.00 

In 1856, which was 486,134.00 

The immense rise in the valuation can only be explained by the large 
amount of lands sold by the government, which thereby became taxable 
after being surveyed, in 1852 and 1853; but the rise in personal property is 


explained on the much larger output of lumber and shingles, which was 
encouraged by the general demand for the same throughout the west, all 
along the Mississippi, and the inflation of currency by banknotes. 

But the shadow of hard times became visible. 

In the issue of September, 1857, of the Central, that paper says: 

"Eastern papers report the failure of 75 banks." 

In the spring of this year, B. Barnes, who was then still in possession 
and the owner of the mill which soon came into possession of B. G. Plumer, 
had, evidently in expectation of a continuance of "flush times," begun the 
erection of a new hotel on the corner of Alain and Jackson streets. It was a 
mammoth building, 60 by 120 feet, three stories high, built of timber frame; 
the frame was up and the building enclosed, but it was never finished; Mr. 
Barnes got into financial difficulties and the timber was taken down by the 
contractor, John Brown, to save himself from loss. 

During the boom of Wisconsin, from 1853 to 1857, many banks had 
started in Wisconsin and issued their notes, which passed current for money. 
Their notes were redeemable in coin only at their place of business ; that is, 
where the bank was located. Two enterprising gentlemen by the name of 
Fox and Helms opened a bank at Eagle River, where there was already some 
logging done. The bank building is still standing, a log house, fallen down 
now, of course, and in ruins, on Eagle river, a short distance above the 
present city of Eagle River. That bank could safely rely on that not many 
of their notes would ever be presented for redemption in coin at that place, 
about seventy-five miles from Wausau, with no road from this place, say 
nothing of the communication to Wausau. 

Nevertheless there was some progress in Wausau. In the following year. 
1858-1859, the flour mill was built, to the great advantage of the pioneer 
farmers, who had to drive with their ox-teams to Plover for grinding their 
wheat or rye, or did what most of them did, ground the wheat in little hand 

The population had increased ; Jacob PafT had opened another store, and 
a Mr. Hoffmann opened a tin and hardware store. 

In the state election a larger vote was cast, with the following result: 
For governor, James B. Cross. Democrat, 210; for governor, Alexander 
Randall, Republican, 195 : for member of assembly. Burton Millard, Repub- 
lican, 204; for member of assembly, Thomas Hinton, Democrat, 167. 

An event of supposed great importance occurred on the 8th day of April, 
1858. The first steamboat arrived at Wausau. It landed on the east bank, 
which was then the main channel, a little south where now stands the Tre- 


month House, or on what would be the end of Fourth street if it were con- 
tinued to the river. The steamboat left Mosinee the afternoon before with 
about twenty tons of freight, and tied up at Eau Claire about sunset, not 
deeming it prudent to come further in the dark, the channel not having been 
decided upon at that time. High expectations were entertained from this 
new means of transportation, which were not realized, the boat only running 
for part of two seasons, the stage of water not being at all times sufficient, 
and there being not enough passenger traffic. The unloading at the low 
bank in Mosinee and carting freight over the hill to load again on the steam- 
boat, and again unloading at the lower bank here after so short a trip, was not 
much inviting for heavy transport, esjiecially after the road got better. 

The steamboat between Stevens Point and Mosinee was longer in com- 
mission; in fact, made trips as late as 1866, when it was laid up for good. 

Up to 1856 the whole county was organized as one town and governed 
under the township government, but now with the increase in population and 
taxable property, the county was divided in three towns, the county board 
creating the town of Wausau, the town of Eau Claire and the town of Mos- 
inee, with territory as follows : 

Town of Wausau to have township 28, ranges 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, and 
sections 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of township 28, range 8 east. 

Town of Eau Clair to have township 28, range 8, except the four sections 
above, which were to belong to Wausau, and townships 28, 29 and 30, range 
9 east, and town of Mosinee to have townships 26 and 27 from range 2 to 
range 9. In the December meeting of the same year the county board cre- 
ated the town of Jenny, consisting of townships 31, ^2, 33 and 34 of ranges 
5, 6, 7, and 8 and in a meeting on March , 1858, the town of Texas was 
established out of territory from the town of Jenny. 

In the same meeting of the county board it was ordered to advertise for 
letting the contract for the clearing and fencing of the courthouse block. 

On the 27th day of April, 1858. the new county board met for the first 
time with Milo Kelly of Eau Clair. Perley Dodge of Wausau, Joseph Dessert 
of Mosinee, Thomas Hinton of Texas and William Wilson of Jenny and 
Milo Kelly was elected as chaimian. 

The primitive condition of the county building appears from the follow- 
ing order of the board : "Ordered, that the chairman be authorized to pro- 
cure the materials and employ some person to build a chimney in the county 

The need of a poor farm seemed necessary, at so early a stage, for the 
county board purchased ninety acres from Thomas Hinton for $3,100. This 


looks like a big price for those times, but the order specifies that the purchase 
price was to be paid in county orders, which were probably worth 60 cents, 
or less, on the dollar face value. 

M. D. Corey had his home on the corner of Third and Jefferson streets, 
where the National Bank now stands, and east of the house he had a large 
cabinet-maker's shop, with a steam engine to furnish power. On the floor 
above the shop circuit court was held sometimes, and also a school. In 1858, 
N. Daniels came to Wausau and associated himself with Corey, and this 
shop was converted into a shingle mill, until it was destroyed by fire in 1866. 
H. -Daniels built a new and larger steam mill on the west shore of the river, 
where Spruce street intersects First avenue, which was operated until 1877; 
this site was afterwards sold to McDonald and Dunbar Lumber Company 
in 1881, which was in operation until 1888, and subsequently burned down. 
The land is now owned by the Curtis and Yale Lumber Company. 

R. E. Parcher arrived in 1858; first worked as a clerk in the drug store 
of Taylor & Ellis; soon purchased the interest of Ellis, and later that of 
Taylor; the drug store was situated .in a part of a store standing where the 
Marathon County Bank now stands, the front part thereof being occupied 
as a postoffice, and the rear as a drug store. 

B. G. Plumer and John Irwin had a vacant store on Main street, half 
way between Washington and Jackson streets, still standing, which R. E. 
Parcher purchased about 1862 or 1863, and opened his general merchandise 
business, combined with a drug department, and conducted it until about 
1880, when he sold out. 

August Kickbush arrived from Milwaukee in i860, with a wagonload 
of merchandise, opened a store in a little shanty on Clarke's Island and soon 
thereafter acquired the Doolittle place on corner of Main and Washington 
streets, where he engaged in general merchandise business, becoming in a 
few years the leading merchant in the pinery. 

A boarding house, styled the United States Hotel, had been erected 
towards the end of the decade closing with i860, on Second street, between 
Washington and Jackson streets, which was rented and conducted by Sebas- 
tion Kronenwetter, until it burned in 1863 he losing his whole investment of 
personal property in the fire. 

Nearly all business houses were on Main street and Second and Third 
streets, and from Forest to Washington street, excepting the postoffice, 
already referred to, and the Bank of Interior, opposite the courthouse; some 
dwelling houses and shanties further east and north ; especially on Forest an^' 
Main streets. Shingle street had lost its importance by that time. 


In i860, there were the four large saw mills and one shingle mill in 
Wausau, and three portable mills from three to five miles from the village; 
three general stores, one drug store, and four lawyers and four physicians. 
Some farmers continued to arrive every year after the first settlers had come 
in 1856, but the influx of German emigrants practically ceased during the 
war between the states, followed by the wars on the continent in 1864 and 
1866. By this time a very large part of the lands entered after their sur\-ey 
in 1852 and 1853 had become county lands for the nonpayment of taxes. 
Speculators had bought the lands, expecting quick sales, which did not mate- 
rialize, and then failed to pay the taxes. The large amount of such lands 
sold for nonpayment of taxes can be estimated from the fact that as early 
as 1858 the county board engaged Asa Lawrence to make an abstract (prob- 
ably only a list by description) of such lands, in order to keep them out of 
the tax rolls, for which service the county agreed to pay $700. 

The salary of the county clerk was fixed at $350 for the term beginning 
January ist, 1859; that of the district attorney at $300; other officers, in- 
cluding the county treasurer, received fe«s up to this time and for some years 
to come. 

The town of Berlin was created in February, 1859, to consist of township 
30, ranges 2 to 6 inclusive, and all of township 30, range 7 west of the Wis- 
consin river, the first election to be held at the house of John Kopplin, and 
at the first election held in April, 1859, William Drost was elected chairman. 

At the same meeting the county board created the town of Marathon out 
of township 28, ranges 2 to 6 inclusive; also the town of Knowlton, out of 
township 28, ranges 8 and 9 and all of township 28, range 7 east of the 
Wisconsin river. 

Francis Mitsch was the first chaimian of the town of Marathon, and C. 
Washburn from the town of Knowlton. Perley Dodge, the county treasurer, 
vacated his office, going to Pike's Peak, and the county board elected J. A. 
Farnham to fill the vacancy, but in the next election. Charles Hoeflinger was 
elected for the first time as county treasurer. 

A resolution passed by the county board July 8. 1861, throws some light 
on the paper money misery of those times. It reads : "That a committee of 
three be appointed to investigate in relation to discredited money in the hands 
of the county treasurer," and from orders of the county board at a later 
date, it seems that the difference or discount, whatever it was, was charged 
up to the treasurer, and he was directed to pay the same. Besides the mills 
mentioned, there was a number of smaller shops, blacksmiths, wagonmakers, 
and shoemakers. 


George Ruder began building his brewery in i860; had his first brew on 
the market in 1861 ; and five saloons administered to the wants of the popu- 
lation for a light stimulant. The hotels and boarding houses were filled to 
overflow in the spring by hundreds of men coming out of the logging camps, 
waiting to go rafting and running lumber out. 

A village government became now a necessity; a charter was obtained in 
the session of the legislature of 1861, and by the election of officers in the 
same year, on April 8, 1861, Wausau became an incorporated village. 

Its first officers were: F. A. Hoffmann, president of board of trustees; 
Charles A. Single, Jacob Paff, John Irwin. John C. Clarke, trustees ; Thomas 
Single, clerk. 

This John Irwin was one of the pinery pioneers ; he was a millwright of 
exceptional ability, continuously employed either in building or remodeling 
mills, a thoroughly competent and honest man ; sobor and industrious, his 
ability only rivalled by his modesty, a gentleman in speech and manners. 
He remained a bachelor and removed from Marathon county in 1880. 

F. A. Hoffmann, the village president, kept a hardware store on the 
comer of Third and Washington streets, and at the time of his election had 
some interest in the Central JJ'isconsiii. He must have been a refomier of 
the violent kind, to judge from his record in the county board, where he rep- 
resented the village. At the first meeting of this board, in 1861, which con- 
sisted of himself, from the village of Wausau; Dr. I. E. Thayer, of the town 
of Wausau; William Cuer, of Mosinee; M. L. Winslow. of Knowlton; W. V. 
Lambereaux, of Weston ; John Lemmer, of Marathon ; C. Buttke, of Stettin ; 
William Drost, of Berlin; J. E. Armstrong, of Texas, and Harrison Combs, 
of Jenny, being ten in number, if all present; he moved for a set of rules for 
the government of the county board in conducting the business, and being 
appointed as the committee to propose the rules, he reported a code consisting 
of twenty-nine sections, one among them, that all motions should be in writ- 
ing, etc. These rules, besides a number of others relating to the duties of 
each and every county officer, were adopted before the board started to do 
any business, except electing a chairman. Page after page of the minutes 
of the proceedings is taken up with his motions, never failing to begin with 
the enacting clause: "The board of supcnnsors of Marathon county do order 
and determine," and winding up with the stereotyped phrase : "This act shall 
take effect and be in force from and after its passage." To show what sort 
of a practical reformer he was, and how he attempted to cure some of the 
bad practices which seemed to have grown up, the following resolution is 
cited, which he introduced and which was passed in the first meeting of the 
board, to wit: 


The board of supervistors of the county of Marathon do order and 
determine : 

Sec. I. That the chairman of the board appoint a committee of one 
to proceed to Milwaukee or such other place as he shall deem expedient and 
consult such lawyer of ability as he may decide in regard to the following 
questions as to their legality : 

A. Is it legal for this county board to issue county orders payable at 
some specified time hereafter? 

B. Is it legal for this county board to pay interest on such orders as 
mentioned in paragraph i ? 

C. Is it legal for the county board to build the road to the north line 
of this state as provided in chapter 310 by paying the contractor in county 
orders, the county to take said lands as a reimbursement ? 

D. What is the remedy if the county officers do not obey orders of this 
board ? 

E. Can the credit system of the county treasurer and the clerk extended 
to land agents be stopped? 

F. Is the county treasurer responsible for loss of any money deposited 
by him in a bank? 

Sec. 2. Said committee so appointed shall also engage the services of 
such lawyer to defend all suits in which Marathon county may become a 
party and which may have already been instituted or may be instituted here- 
after in consequence of bonds of said county, and that said lawyer shall 
defend and protect this county in all such cases. 

Sec. 3. That the commissioner shall receive $100.00 in Marathon 
country orders, etc., to defray expenses of this trip and return the balance, 
if any, to the county. 

Sec. 4. That the lawyer engaged to defend all such suits shall receive 
not more than $500.00 for his services in Marathon county orders, or so 
much less, as the committee shall decide to be paid, when the present case 
pending for the amount of $5,000 instituted by J. V. Peace is decided. 

Sec. 5. The expense of such lawyer in coming to this county for the 
purpose of investigating such case to be paid by this county, provided it does 
not exceed $50.00. 

The bonds referred to were bonds issued for the building of the Wausau 
and South Line Plank Road. 

Of course Hoffmann was appointed as such committee, and he made 
his trip to Milwaukee and later reported, but as to what the report was, the 
record is silent. There were some lawyers here, and if he did not trust 


them, there were good lawyers in Stevens Point, Plover, and Waupaca, and 
as to the bonds, the county could have really no defense. Some of the com- 
plaints against one or the other of the county officers may have had good 
foundation to rest upon; there might have been incompetency or carelessness 
in collecting taxes, but never anything come from this investigation. The 
reform movement left no impression. 

In another resolution of J. A. Hoffman introduced November 13, 1861, 
and adpoted relating to settlement for delinquent taxes, leaving out the sev- 
eral preambles, the following appears : 

"Whereas, Most of the lands, so bid in by the county in the years 1857- 
1858- 1 859 and i860, have not been redeemed but the county orders issued 
for the purpose of settling with the towns have increased at a fearful rate 
so that their real value stands at this moment at one-half of their nominal 
value," etc., which is simply cited as an authorative admission that Mara- 
thon county orderse in 1861 were worth only fifty cents on the dollar. 

The county had now been organized for ten years, and the question may 
arrive, why were county orders still at such a frightful discount? When 
the county began business as a municipality, it had no money, no property. 
The expenses were necessarily greater than the income, and at this time the 
county was substantially a wild territory as yet. Lands were not thought 
to be worth enough to redeem from tax sale, which went to the county in 
lieu of taxes, and there was no sale for them. The county had too much 
land, was land poor. There may have been other causes tending to keep 
county orders at a heavy discount. If there were, they were not discovered 
or remedied. Hoffmann may have acted from the best of motives, or it 
may have been otherwise. 

The fact remains that as a reformer he was a failure, expecting too much 
from resolutions without work, and often self-denial, to see that they were 

Towns were organized and they, too, issued their orders without money 
in the treasury to pay them, which also were discounted; the only town 
making an exception was the town of Berlin, where through the efforts of 
their chairman, G. Plisch, and later Aug. W. Schmidt, no orders were issued 
unless there was money to pay, and people taking road contracts or other 
work for the town knew they would have to wait, and were satisfied to 
wait until tax paying time, when they were paid. The town thus receiving 
full value for work contracted, while when orders were issued with no money 
to pay that fact was always taken in consideration, and contracts were based 
upon a scale of depreciated currency. These orders circulated as money to 


a limited extent in buying goods, etc., but the county and town was always 
a heavy loser by doing business along those lines. This condition of things 
remained nearly sixteen years longer, only to a lesser degree so far as the 
county was concerned, and the change will be duly noted when it came. 

Hoffman was not re-elected. His store burned down the following year, 
and after running a tin shop for about two year's longer, he removed from 
Marathon county. 

In the same year (1861) the county was divided in three districts, each 
was to elect one commissioner at the general election, the three commis- 
sioners so elected to constitute the county board. 

The first district included the towns of Jenny, Wausau, Texas, and the 
the village of Wausau. 

The second district : Towns of Weston, Mosinee, and Knowlton. 

The third district: Towns of Berlin, Stettin, and Marathon. 

On January 13, 1862, the new county board met for the first time. 

First district represented by Jacob Paff. 

Second district represented by John Weeks. 

Third district represented by Aug. W. Schmidt. 

Before closing the narration of events which happened up to i860 it 
may not be out of place here to cast a glance backwards on the general con- 
dition of the business in the pinery. 

Joseph Dessert in his "Reminiscences" speaking this time said: 

"The panic of 1857 was followed by the hard times of 1858 and by the 
spring of 1859 the outlook was very dark. Everybody was in debt and 
nobody could pay. In the spring of 1859, after a trip to the lower river 
markets, which was discouraging, everything looked blue, and he set his 
bookkeeper to work to see how the concern stood. He found that the firm 
owned $82,000.00 and had a large amount outstanding. Of this, thirteen 
thousand dollars was owing their store from laboring men and others in 
the neighborhood. They owed a large amount in Galena. Henry Convith 
of that place was their principal creditor, the amount due him being about 
$25,000.00. After getting a full understanding Mr. Dessert suggested to 
his partner, Henry Gate, that he should send for his brother, George W. 
Gate (already referred to as the circuit judge). When he arrived the con- 
dition of afifairs was explained, and Mr. Dessert told the Gates they could 
have the business if they would agree to pay the debts, and he (Dessert) 
would give up everything. He told them that he had worked there since 
1849 with Henry Gate, and had besides his hard work put in about fifteen 
hundred dollars in money. George W. Gate advised his brother against 


accepting the offer. He did not think he could ever get out of debt. When 
they reached this conckision, Mr. Dessert took the opposite tack and said he 
would take the business on these temis and would undertake to pull it 
through. Practically Gate accepted the offer. Henry Gate had an outside 
partner in a mail and stage line between Mosinee and Stevens Point and 
had invested the firm's money in the team and outfit. Mr. Dessert allowed 
him that team, which was all he took out of the concern. Mr. Dessert then 
went to Galena and saw Mr. Gorwith and stated to him the condition of 
affairs. Mr. Gorwith did not think he could weather the stomi, but Mr. 
Dessert insisted upon trying, and as Mr. Gorwith could make nothing by 
forcing him, so he consented, and Mr. Dessert struggled along. Towards 
the end of the war and for some years after, lumber prices began to rise, 
and by 1870 he was well upon his feet, and ultimately paid off every obliga- 
tion. This was not alone the condition of Joseph Dessert, but was the con- 
dition of every lumberman on the Wisconsin river with but slight varia- 
tions, but not all weathered the storm ; some went down in spite of their 
hard work to save themselves, in spite of all exertions made and privations 
endured. The only mill owner who seemed to be able to stand safely in 
these perilous business years, was William Scholfield of the Eau Glair mill. 
His mill and business had been safely operated by S. Hutchinson until 1856, 
while he was in practice as a physician in Stevens Point, and no doubt by 
his earnings in his profession was able to put his business on a firm founda- 
tion. Men working at this mill were always paid promptly, which is more 
than could be said of other concerns. 


The Tozvns of the Wisconsin Central R. R. nozi' M., St. P. & Saitlt St. 
Marie R. R. and First Settlements — Tax Exemptions of R. R. Lands — 
Toxim of Rietbrook — Athens in i8j9 — Settlements on the Extreme South, 
East and IVest — Incorporated Villages and R. R. Stations. 


Up to the year 1871 the territory in ranges 2 and 3 was yet wholly unset- 
tled and wild ; not a clearing, mill or road existed in that part. The farmers 
had gone in east and west from Mosinee, Wausau, and a few from Merrill 
not any further west, however, than range 4, so that for nearly eighteen 
miles from the east line of range 4 to the county line of the county the west 
line of range 2, there was an area of 10 townships, or a territory of 360 
square miles in which no white man had yet set his foot with the intention 
of subduing wilderness. 

In township 26; range 4, there existed a very small settlement, only a 
few families, the brothers Campbell, one Rozell, and one Beach, which was 
called the Campbell settlement after the brothers "Campbell," who had 
gone there from Weeks mill on the Eau Plain river; their beginning dates 
back to about 1868. These settlers have died or removed, and the last one 
of them known to be in Marathon county, Mr. Beach, died at the farm of 
his son in the town of Cleveland in 19 12. The only outlet for these farmers 
was the saw mill of John Weeks, and from there up to Mosinee, or later to 
the railroad station Dancy. 

The settlement of the present towns of Spencer, McMillan, Day Brighton, 
Hull, and Holeton began with the building of the Wisconsin Central R. R. 
in 1 87 1 and 1872, the settlers following the track of the railroad, and slowly 
continuing their march in either direction, east and west from that line, 
into Marathon and Clark county, invading the present towns of Eau Plain, 
Frankfort. Bern, Johnson, and Halsey, in this county which at that time 
were attached to other towns. 



The first train of cars ran into Stevens Point on the 15th day of Novem- 
ber, 1 87 1, but the construction crew had already cleared out and surveyed 
the right of way at that time as far as where the village of Unity is now 
situated. As soon as a trail was cut and the line sun'eyed, the fine govern- 
ment lands invited homesteaders and settlement. They were taken very 
slowly at first, because when taken under the homestead law, settlement and 
residence was required, and without any other highway or road than simply 
the surveyor's line for a railroad track, a homesteader had to brave all the 
hardships and absence of all comforts of pioneer life. The entrymen in 
this section were not emigrants, but native Americans, many of them honor- 
ably discharged soldiers of the Civil war who saw a chance to become land 
owners with a small outlay of money, but they improved the opporunity and 
were willing to brave the discomforts of forest life and hard work incident 
to the making of a farm in the wilderness. It is true, the railroad was run- 
ning cars as far as Colby in the summer of 1872, but the trains were still 
construction trains ; passenger service was subordinate to construction work, 
and consequently trains were not run on time table time, and while a per- 
son might travel as far as a railroad station, he was in the woods as soon 
as he had left the right of way of the road or the depot ground. 

The first homestead entry (h. e.) in that territory was made by Ebenezer 
Lowe on September 6, 1871, in section 8, township 28, range 2 east in the 
present town of Hull and final proof made thereon 1873. 

John Gardner made homestead entry September 11, 1871, in section 4, 
township 26, range 2 east, and final October 2, 1873. 

Edgar Tenant made homestead entry on September 15, 1871, in section 
30, township 26, range 2 east, and final proof October 2, 1873. 

David B. Hull made homestead entry September 27, 1871, in section 20, 
township 28, range 2 east, in the present town of Hull, the town being given 
his name as the first actual settler, though the entry of Lowe precedes his 
by a few days. 

Francis Parrot made homestead entry in section 30, township 27, range 
2 east, October 30, 1871, and Edmond Creed and F. H. Darling made 
homestead entry each in section 6, township zy, range 2 east on November 
I, 1871, the first two mentioned ones being the first actual settlers, having 
come there in the summer of 1871 and made settlement prior to entry in 
the land office. 

George Holeton made homestead entry on November 18, 1871. and final 
proof on December 9, 1873, and being the first homesteader to hold land in 
his own name, the town was named in his honor the "Town of Holeton." 


That was the beginning of the settlements in the towns of Spencer, 
Brighton, Hull, and Holeton with the present villages of Spencer, Unity, 
and Colby. 

As already mentioned all these settlers and all those that came years after 
them had to cut their roads out to their lands through heavy woods, swamps 
or low marshy lands where no wagon could be used, only crotches or in the 
winter sleds. The timber in that section of the county was, if anything, 
even heavier and thicker than in the older towns and therefore harder to 
clear, although there was sooner a market for the pine because mills sprung 
up at nearly every railroad station. 

Among other earlier settlers must be mentioned George Burnett who 
made homestead entry in section 6, township ly, range 2 east, November 
19, 1872. 

Henry Pradt, homestead entry made j\lay 20, 1872, in section 14, town- 
ship 29, range 2 east. 

Namon Hodge, homestead entry made May 14, 1872, in section 28, 
township 29, range i east. 

Theophile Bouciere, homestead entry made November 13, 1872, in section 
2, township 28, range 2 east. 

James Brown, homestead entry made April 2"], 1872, in section 10, town- 
ship 28, range 2 east. 

Peter Beckins, homestead entry November 9, 1872, in section 18. town- 
ship 28, range 2 east. 

N. J. White, homestead entry April i, 1873, in section 18, township 28, 
range 2 east. 

W. L. Parkill, homestead entry May 3, 1873; Daniel Mahoney, home- 
stead entry, November 10, 1873; Walter Pradt, homestead entry, November 
I, 1873; Augustus Wilms, homestead entry April 21, 1873, in section 24, 
township 28, range 2 east. 

Other pioneers are John K. Hay ward who came to Spencer in 1873 ; C. 
K. Richardson, who came to the same place in 1875 ; to the town of Brighton 
came Alfred Cook in the summer of 1871 with a crew of men who cut out 
the road from Loyal Clark county to the railroad track to get men and mate- 
rial for the saw mill of D. J. Spaulding near Unity, and when that crew 
arrived they found nobody there but Ed. Creed and F. H. Darling on the 
ground where now stands the village of Unity, and one little log shanty 
which served as a boarding house for the working crew of the railroad. 

In the year 1873 there settled at the village of Colby George Ghoca, who 
built the first store there, and the following year the hotel ; H. J. Blanchard 


who came the same year with George Ghoca, J. E. Borden, I. C. Gotchy, N. 
P. Peterson, J. W. Wicker and Frank Riplinger, and N. P. Peterson. George 
Ghoca played an important part in the new settlement. He was elected as 
sheriff in 1878, was a candidate for member of assembly in 1881 and defeated 
by John C. Clarke for fear that his election would be tantamount to an 
expression by the people of Marathon county that they were in favor of 
taking off a portion of Marathon county to form a new county with a part 
of Clark county. 

All these farmer settlers took their land as near as possible to the rail- 
road line, and while many of them entered their land at the land office in 
the year of 1871 when the railroad had not even reached Stevens Point, which 
place is at least forty miles from Spencer and fifty from Colby, still they 
had six months from date of entry to establish actual residence on their home- 
stead, and it may safely be assumed that they waited until spring next before 
going with their families onto the land and establishing their homes thereon. 

For some years following their settlements they had to go through the 
same experience of all pioneers in a new country, the same as the first set- 
tlers in the county. The influx of new settlers was very slow for the first 
six years ; true, provisions could be brought up from Stevens Point by rail- 
road to the stations, but freight was high and therefore goods purchased at 
the local stores were sold at the advanced price. But with the establishment 
of depots there came saw mills, and work could be had at the mills in the 

The Wisconsin Central railroad traverses and runs on the line of Mara- 
thon county for only twenty-four miles, yet in this short distance there were 
not fewer than six depots, to wit : Mannville, Spencer, Unity, Colby, Abbotts- 
ford, and Dorchester; there was a saw mill at Mannville owned by Curtis 
Mann; four smaller mills were at Spencer; one large one at Unity, owned 
by D. J. Spaulding, and some smaller mills further north, and a mill settle- 
ment at every mill. Spencer, Unity, and Colby were growing rapidly after 
a few years and had quite a population, much of which, however, especially 
in Spencer, was floating, or of the temporary kind. From Mannville nearly 
up to Unity the white pine predominated as standing timber and supplied 
the mills with raw material. Above Unity there was more of hardwood 
mixed with hemlock. All these mills ceased to exist after a run of from fif- 
teen to twenty years, the D. J. Spaulding mill being the last to cease opera- 
tion in 1894. 

When the brothers McMillan came to the present town of McMillan in 
1873, there was just one settler in township 26, range 3 east, by name of 


Thomas Woefle. He had come there in 1870 by way of the Campbell settle- 
ment, but his improvements were hardly worth mentioning. The McMillans 
found him when they looked over their land and for the location of a mill 
site, coming from Unity and following as much as practicable the course of 
the Eau Plain river. This Woefle committed suicide later, and nothing was 
ever heard of his family or where he had originally come from. 

The McMillan brothers commenced building their mill in 1873 and had 
it in running order in 1874. It was rigged up with a band saw, the first in 
the pinery and also the first manufactured by the E. P. Allis Mfg. Co., Mil- 
waukee, Wisconsin. A spur track was built from their mill to Mannville on 
the Wisconsin Central railroad, over which road the lumber was shipped. 
For the first years, up until about the year 1880, only pine was cut, but at 
that date commenced in a slow way the cutting of hardwood, which increased 
as the pine decreased. 

Hardwood was at that time very low in price, not much in demand. Mc- 
Millan brothers sold 400,000 feet of basswood for $4.50 per thousand feet, 
half of the purchase price to be taken in woolen goods, the other half in 

The best of red oak lumljer, clear, twelve inches wide, brought in 
Milwaukee $17.00 per thousand feet at that time. 

This mill was operated from 1874 until 191 1 when it closed down for 
good. It was supplied with logs cut on land in the neighborhood not very 
distant from the mill, and one gets a good idea of the standing timber on 
those lands from the fact that this mill sawed on an average ten million per 
year for thirty-seven years, or 370 million feet of lumber, of all kinds, of 
course, including hemlock. Especially in later years, hemlock was the staple 
product. After the mill had begun operations farmers settled upon lands, 
and the town of McMillan has now a large number of fiije cultivated farms. 
The township was soon thereafter set ofif from the town of Bergen and 
organized as a separate town. Only one large mill was operated above Unity, 
the mill of Angus Lamont about two miles south of Colby. Built in 1874 
and operated from 1875 to 1896. But as the mills were going into operation 
more settlers came and moved eastward into Marathon and west into Clark 
county. The strongest farm settlement was in the town of Hull in which 
was located the village of Colby, and that town was the first newly organized 
town on the "line," meaning the boundary line of the county. The lumber 
industry employed many men on the "line;" it brought quick returns, and 
therefore was favorable to the new settlers. The population had so increased 
that for a number of years from 1877 to about 1898 there was a desire on 





the part of many of the people of the villages on the "line" to be set off from 
Marathon county and with some territory from Clark county establish a 
new county. This movement came nearest to realization in the session of 
the legislature in 1877. There was then no opposition to the creation of a 
new county, and a bill for the organization of one was ready to be favorably 
reported to both houses of the legislature and would have passed without 
doubt, had not the question of the location of the county seat cropped up 
as a disturbing factor at the most inopportune time for the scheme. Colby 
wanted the county seat. It had a plausible argument in its favor. It had 
the most settlers east and west for twelve miles; had the best buildings, and 
its population was not of the floating kind, there being no saw mills to swell 
the same ; the lobby from Colby therefore insisted to have their village 
named in the bill as the county seat. This was objected to by Spencer and 
Unity, which insisted that the place of the county seat should be left to a 
vote of the people. If so left to the voters there was great danger that Colby 
would not be selected because Spencer with its four mill crews and another 
mill crew at Mannville south and the settled portion west in Clark county 
could outvote both Colby and Unity. When this dispute arose between the 
contestants for the county seat, the legislature with the silent acquiescence 
of the lobby from the "line" postponed the whole project to the next session. 
The project was kept alive for many years afterwards, but it never advanced 
so far as in the first attempt, and although bills were introduced in nearly 
every session thereafter, they never were favorably reported and died the 
death in the committee room. 

It may be interesting to know why the first attempt found no opposition 
from the two members representing the counties of Marathon and Clark. 
The reason is not far to seek. By the first bill it was sought to take ranges 
2 and 3 from Marathon only. At that time they were very sparsely settled ; 
nearly all the land in that territory was either government or railroad land 
and yielded to taxes, the railroad lands being exempt from taxation. It was 
supposed that the territory was unprofitable to Marathon county. The ques- 
tion of division had not been agitated in the county, and the people were 
indifferent, did not care one way or the other. The members representing the 
counties of Marathon and Clark were of the opinion that expenses for roads, 
schools, and courts would be more than the territory would bring in taxes, 
and that it would be good policy to let this territory go. Other motives inay 
also have influenced their course. But afterwards a strong current agamst 
any division of Marathon county set in and also in Clark county, and from 
that time on the project was doomed to failure. Any man who was offered 


for member of assembly who was suspected to be in favor of division was 
invariably defeated, and in later years, after 1896 when Marshfield revived 
the project with the intention of being made a county seat, the people on the 
line opposed the scheme as strongly as those from any other part of the county. 
The extension of the Northwestern railroad from W^ausau to Marshfield, 
the building of good roads, the railroad from Abbottsford to Athens which 
has outstripped the villages on the "line" in growth, and other influences 
have put a quietus on the whole project, which is not likely to be revived in 
the near future. Good roads are running in every direction from east to 
west, railroads and automobiles make now a trip to Wausau one of pleasure 
to be made in a few hours, where it formerly never took less than two, often 
three days, and the people inhabiting this territory are at this time as much 
opposed to a division as any other part of the county. 

The advantage which the early settlers on the "line" had over the earliest 
settlers in Marathon county by being nearer a railroad line and a base of 
supplies was nearly if not all counterbalanced by the fact that most of the 
lands in the town in which they had located were exempted from taxation 
for many years to come. The Wisconsin Central railroad was a land grant 
road. By act of congress approved May 5, 1864, enacted through the efforts 
of Hon. Walter D. Mclndoe, later amended so as to require the road to run 
through Marathon county, there was granted to such railroad "every alter- 
nate section of government land, designated by odd numbers for ten miles 
on each side of its line, to aid in the construction of a railroad from Portage 
City, Berlin, Doty's Island or Fond du Lac, to Bayfield, thence to Superior 
on Lake Superior;" and for any deficiency in the number of sections or acres 
of land lost to the railroad by pre-emption or settler's rights, the railroad had 
the right to select an equal amount of government land within twenty miles 
on either side of its line. 

The lands so granted were by the legislature of the state of Wisconsin 
exempt for ten years, which exemption extended to the year of 1877, and by 
act of the legislature, chapter 21, laws of 1877, the lands were freed from 
taxation for three years more, or up to 1880. All the odd sections in the 
present towns of Spencer, Brighton, Hull, and Holeton for ten miles along 
on the railroad were thus made railroad lands and left untaxed, only such 
as were sold for the timber to lumbermen could come in the tax roll, and 
that was but an insignificant amount. On such lands the timber was removed 
as rapidly as possible and cut lands were almost deemed worthless at that 
time, yielding but an insignificant amount of tax. But the settlers had to 
make the roads, pay the tax for the maintenances of town and county gov- 


eminent, build school houses, pay the wages of the teachers; in a word, keep 
schools going, and were thus forced to pay high taxes with which to improve 
or raise the value of the railroad lands which no tax could touch. 

Some of the pioneers who, like D. B. Hull and George Holeton, made 
early final proof by having their time of service in the army during the war, 
deducted from the required period of five years of residence whereby their 
land became taxable as real estate, were almost swamped with taxes which 
threatened to eat up their homes. 

Yet before the exemption of the railroad lands expired by operation of 
law in 1880, the Wisconsin Central railroad asked for another exemption of 
their lands for five years more and came very near obtaining the privilege 
from the legislature. The bill did pass the senate by a comfortably large 
majority, but was fortunately defeated in the assembly by the narrow margin 
of two or three votes. The credit for defeating this iniquitous act belongs 
mainly to Hon. John Ringle, who was in the assembly as member from Mara- 
thon county for the first term, powerfully aided by Hon. T. W. Spence of 
Fond du Lac and W. E. Carter of Platteville, Grant county. Mr. T. W. 
Spence was himself a land owner on the "line" and knew the injustice done 
to settlers by the exemption under which he as well as all other land owners 
suffered. He convinced Hon. W. E. Carter that the bill should not pass, 
and both of these men being influential leaders with the Republican majority 
in the assembly and Mr. John Ringle using all the influence he could bring to 
bear on the Democratic members, they succeeded in overcoming the powerful 
railroad lobby at Madison. After that was accomplished, the early settlers on 
the "line" had a breathing spell from heavy taxation which almost amounted 
to a confiscation of their property. And there was another advantage by the 
defeat of this measure. Since the land became taxable, the railroad was eager 
to sell the land rather than hold it, and consequently could not ask exorbitant 
prices for the same. Selling at a reasonable figure brought more actual set- 
tlers, farmers, to that region and in a few years population increased, clear- 
ings were made, and the new towns assumed the character of an agricultural 
country. In the same measure as the pine was cut, the timber sawed and 
carried away by the railroad, the farms increased in number and \alue. and 
the "line" towns are now as fine agricultural towns as the oldest ones in 
Marathon county. 

The lumber industry on the "line" is ended; the pine all along the rail- 
road is cut and shipped long ago, but there are now^ farms as finely culti- 
vated, productive; and profitable as in any part of the county. The farm 
population, which was first without exception all native American, is now 


mainly naturalized American emigrants, German, Polish, Austrian, and some 
Scandina\ians. The native Americans were the first to come, but did not 
receive much succor. When the new emigrant settlers arrived, the older 
settlers sold out and mainly left, some went into the villages, some left for 
other fields, and only in few instances are the first settlers or their children 
on the original farms. 

As the lands near the railroad were first taken up later settlers had to 
go further away from it, because there they found virgin timber, readily sal- 
able and lower prices for the land. That they had to make miles of road at 
their own expense or with their own labor, did not deter them, for they 
were willing to undergo that hardship which they knew they would conquer, 
and that their industry and thrift would make them independent. They have 
been sooner rewarded than their brothers in the further east of the county. 
All the western townships of Marathon county are now settled : they have 
good roads, good schools, churches, creameries, cheese factories, their little 
mills and factories and brick yards. 

The town of Day was formed out of portions of the town of Bergen. 
The door to these settlements was Marshfield, a very small village in 1880. 
Up to 1877, emigration went north from Marshfield, then it turned eastward 
towards Rozellville. The old Campbell settlement has already been referred 
to, where a few families existed for a long time until the tide of immigration 
turned in their direction. Leonhard Schmidt came to Rozellville in 1877; 
early in 1878 came William Raschke and Andrew Daul, the latter erecting 
a small saw mill ; also Peter Xicolay, Caspar Ably, Joseph Schmidt. Adam 
Zimmerman, John Derfus, John Holzmann, N. Benz, Louis Spindler, Jacob 
Reicher, N. Roehlinger, Math Folz, and Peter Riplinger. Joseph Schmidt, 
Adam Sturm, and John Brinkmann, came in the same year, the latter open- 
ing a store, and Kiefer came in 1879. The majority of these settlers came 
from the farms of southern Wisconsin, to whom the work of clearing land 
was familiar work, and they succeeded admirably in reducing the fine hard- 
wood lands to farms in short time ; but there were also some emigrants from 
Germany among them. It was with hardly an exception a German settlement. 

They were mainly from the south and west of Germany, from Bavaria, 
Hesse, and the Rhine. The town of McMillan was settled about the same 
time, the population, however, being from the north of Germany, the brothers 
Schilling and Brand being among the first. In the course of twenty years 
these towns have undergone a great change. Many of the first settlers died, 
but their children still occupy the lands; some have sold out and removed, 
but everywhere are the signs of progress and prosperity. The settlement of 


the towns of Riebrook and Halsey began in 1878. Fred Riebrook of the 
Milwaukee law firm of Johnson, Riebrook & Halsey colonized these towns 
mainly with settlers of the Polish nationality from Milwaukee. One of the 
first settlers in Riebrook was P. Theusz, the first chairman of the town, 
and I.udwig Findorf and L. Schwager, who kept tavern and was the first 
postmaster, the name of the postoffice being "Poniatowski." 

About the same time or a little later came Fred Bradfish, who settled in 
township 29, range 5, east of Poniatowski, followed by other Germans, and 
in 1880 the town was already strong enough to demand and obtain recog- 
nition as an organized town. This new town was named Riebrook, and the 
first town election was held in the spring of 1881. 

How slow migration was from the Wisconsin Central east is apparent 
from the fact that when Andrew Kreutzer bought land and settled in the 
forest, which spot afterwards became the village of Athens, in the year of 
1879, there were at that time only two homesteaders, the brothers Olson, 
in township 30, range 3, and Charles Riemer, who had settled as early as 
1858 on the east line of township 30, range 4, which had only one other 
farmer settler in that township, a relative, by the name of Charles Lindeberg. 
A dam was put in across Rib river in the northeast quarter of township 
30, range 4, in the latter part of the seventies, and a water mill run there for 
a few years by Gustavus Werlich, and lumber was rafted as in olden times 
and run out of the river to the Wisconsin and down, but the experiment 
proved too expensive and costly. Only a rapids piece could be run at a time 
from the northeast of township 30, range 4, on Rib river to the Wisconsin, 
passing two dams and the winding crooked course of the Rib. 

Operations of this mill ceased about 1880 or 1881. and. the erection and 
operation of that mill did not much advance the growth of the settlement. 
The eastern portion of Marathon county is attracting most settlers in later 
years, townships 28, 29, 30, in ranges 9 and 10. The G. D. Jones Land 
Company is doing most of the locating of farmers in that part of the county, 
the settlers being Hollanders, Germans, and Scandinavians. In the south- 
east portion in townships 26 and 2-], ranges 9 and 10, the Holway Land 
Company has succeeded in getting the same class of actual settlers on lands, 
and at this time every portion of Marathon county is settled and improved 
by good roads from east to west, from north to south, although there is yet 
wild land enough for thousands of farms. 

In all of the incorporated villages and railroad stations are stores with 
well supplied stocks of goods where a farmer can supply himself with needed 
goods without traveling far from home, all of these villages having railroad 


The incorporated villages in Marathon county and railroad stations are: 
Dancy, Knowlton, Mosinee, Rothschield, Scholfield, Brokaw, and Heights, 
all on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; then there are Norrie, 
Hatley, Ringle, Callon, Kelly, Marathon City, Edgar, Kenwood, Stratford, 
and McMillan on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, and Athens, Milano, 
and Corinth on the Sault St. Mary Railroad, and Spencer, Unity, and Colby 
on the same railroad, and Eldron and Gallowa on a branch of the North- 
western railroad, branching off and running south from Eland Junction. 
In citing railroad stations, the flag stations have been omitted. 

Thus were settled the utmost western parts of Marathon county, mainly 
from the railroad lines of the Wisconsin Central. Ranges 4 and 5 were 
settled from Wausau and Mosinee, and the extreme southeast, townships 
26 and 27, ranges 9 and 10, were the last ones settled on, but they can now 
boast of as large a population as other towns, and more are coming in every 

The town of Pike Lake, being township 26, range 10, was settled from 
Stevens Point about thirty years ago, the population being nearly all Polish, 
with a sprinkling of Bohemians and Germans. J. Milanowski and Gustav 
Baranowski were the first settlers in that town in which is situated the vil- 
lage of Bevant. The farmers in that town had no road to Wausau for a 
long time; if they wanted to come to the county seat, they had to travel by 
way of Stevens Point. But that has been remedied and two goc5d highways 
connect Wausau now with that thriving settlement, one being the so-called 
Waupaca road and another one by way of the village of Hatley. 


JVar Times — Indian Scare — Railroads and Railroad Litigation — The IVis- 
consin Central Railroad Company — The Wisconsin Valley Railroad Com- 
pany^~The Lake Shore & Western Railroad Company — The Passing of 
the Rivermen — Lincoln County Set Off. 


The presidential election of i860 did not create much of a stir, although 
the political questions involved in that contest were and had been aired in 
the debating club existing at Wausau for more than a year. In these debates 
the Democrats had always the best, because they were always there in the 
greatest number. It is easy, too, to understand why men in the pinery, work- 
ing hard for a living and without any of the comforts of life and settlers in 
the woods working day and night to keep the wolf from the door, did not 
give much thought to the wrongs of another race five hundred miles away. 
They had their own troubles, their own difficulties to solve, did not and 
could not give much time to politics, and they were almost cut off in their 
isolation from other parts of the United States. In the election of i860 
Lincoln received in Marathon county 219 votes to 481 for Stephen A. 
Douglas, Breckinridge had 4 and Bell i vote. 

The votes by towns being as follows : 

Lincoln Douglas Breckinridge Bell 

Wausau 104 140 2 i 

Jenny 25 20 ... 

Marathon 4 28 ... 

Mosinee 28 49 

Knowlton 20 19 2 

Weston . 13 28 ... 

Stettin 3 54 

Berlin 5 128 

Texas 17 15 



But when the crisis came, when the question was whether this country 
should remain as it was, one Union, or be broken up into fragments, when 
Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 men and Stephen A. Douglas answered 
— not 75,000 but 300,000 men, the last dollar, the last drop of blood in 
defense of the Union, the Democrats of Marathon county w-ere not behind 
their Republican brethren in upholding the starry emblem of the Union. The 
bombardment of Fort Sumter reverberated through the country, the echoes 
of it were heard at \\'ausau, and Silas S. Stoddard with his fife, and B. F. 
Luce with his drum announced the breaking out of the war, and the patriotic 
pinery men rallied in defense of our common country. 

On the first day of May, 1861, Leander Swope came to W'ausau from 
Pine river and was joined here by Burton Millard, Preston Lord, John 
Cooper, Charles Tracy, and Alphonse Poor and took the stage to Berlin, 
where they enlisted. The county board and afterwards the towns made some 
provision for assistance to those families where the father had enlisted. 

No record of names was ever kept; at least none can be found to show 
who served in the army from Marathon county, but the archives of the state 
show that there served in the army from Marathon county soldiers as fol- 
lows : 

Recruits 143 

Veterans 36 

Distribution of excess 45 

Drafted 62 

Total : 286 

Distributed over the county, to wit : 

Berlin 40 

Jenny 27 

Marathon 12 

Stettin 22 

W'ausau 116 

Easton 7 

Knowlton 19 

Mosinee 19 

Texas 11 

Weston 13 

This is a very creditable showing for Marathon county, with only 705 
votes of men of all ages, with one-third at least who had come but two or 
three years or less from Germany and were not yet citizens. 


The soldiers of Marathon county served in the severely buffeted Army 
of the Potomac, in the Army of the Cumberland, they were with Sherman 
at Atlanta and through Georgia, with Thomas at Nashville, some even with 
the ill-fated expedition on the Red river under Banks. Burton Millard was 
the first to fall; others followed him and are buried on the southern battle 
fields ; other carried honorable wounds to their graves ; many did not return. 

The following is a list of persons who enlisted from Marathon county 
and served during the war, far from being complete, but it contains all the 
names which could be collected after careful inquiry among survivors at 
this late day: Edw. Armstrong. S. Armstrong, William Averill, Fred Asch- 

brenner, Braatz, Brunow, M. H. Barnum, M. D. Brown, Carl 

Baerwald, Fred Baerwald, William Blair, B. Brabant, Robert Berry, D. P. 
Bentley, John Cooper, E. Christian, M. M. Charles, J. T. Callon. H. Calkins. 
Oscar Crampton, Thomas W. Clark, A. Carbono, Edw. Connors, Joseph Dere- 
silie, William Deutsch, W. W. DeVoe, Stephen Durkee, Michael Dejardine, 
Joe Doud, William Ebert, Joseph Eschenbach, David Fulkerson, John Feltis, 
Levy Fleming, Aug. Glebke, Fred Gilham, B. Gilham, P. Gifford, William 
Gruetzmacher, H. B. Gardner, Tunis Guyette, Bazil Guyette, William Gilbert,^ 

Aug. Hoff, Horn, J. C. Hogarthy. S. Jahns, Edw. Knorr, Carl Kufahl, 

John Kufahl, Seb. Kirstein, Charles Klein, John Keefe, Jackson Keefe, Aug. 
Luedke, Ferdinand Luedke, J. W. Lawrence, B. F. Luce, Werley Luce, Pres- 
ton Lord, Burton Millard, Mueller, J. Mollendorf, Charles Marquardt, 

Thomas McCormick, James Meservie, Joseph McEwen, Henry McLean, W. 
W. Mitchell, Peter Mitchell, Jr., Peter Mitchell, Sr., James Mitchell, Aug. 
Nass, Carl Neumann, Edw. Nass, Knute Nelson, Joseph Noiseaux, Ole Ole- 
son, Elb. Parker, Alph. Poor, James Perry, A. Porter, Oswald Plisch, Wil- 
liam Plautz, Aug. Prechel, Com. Perry, Jonathan Pierce, Ch. Poor, W. B. 
Philbreek, O. A. Priest, Stephen Pauquette, Louis Potter, Joseph Pasha. 
F. Rollenhagen, A. Rollenhagen, George Reinhard, Sam Radezke, Rues- 
tow, Joseph Robbins. Amy Rancour. Eugene Roberts. C. Riemer, Leander 
Swope, F. Sobatke. William Sobatke, Fred Schmidt. Aug. Seefeld. Carl 

Staege, William Steidmann, Aug. Schroeder, James Sigafus, Shaugh- 

nessy, C. A. Single, R. Schilling, B. F. Single, Charles Tracy. F. Trantow, 
Napoleon Thayer, Andrew Tyrrell, Henry Tichnor, Fred Tyler, Moses 
Turner. D. B. Willard. John Whitmore, King Young. 

The first year of the war brought the business nearly to a standstill, but 
it revived in the second year and ad\anced with every following year with 
rapid strides. Lumber was then in great demand on all points on the Missis- 
sippi, and brought good prices. Greenbacks had displaced state currency and 


if they were at a discount, they were at the same discount at every point in 
the Union and always a legal tender at face value. The increased demand for 
lumber, with corresponding good prices, brought enlarged saw mills and im- 
provements in the manufacture. 

W. D. Mclndoe was the first to replace his gang and muley saws with ro- 
tary saws, in the winter of 1862-1863, the first ones in the Wisconsin pinery. 
His example was soon followed, and in a few years every mill was operating 
with circle saws, which more than doubled the output of lumber. B. G. 
Plumer had succeeded B. Barnes in 1861 and acquired the Lyman mill in 1865, 
and both mills were running to their full capacity, Plumer operating his first 
mill, and the Lyman mill was rented to Brown and Fellows. The booms 
were extended to hold more logs, business was brisk generally for several 
years after the war, and an agitation for railroad connection began. At a 
public meeting in 1863 a delegation of five of the most prominent business 
men of Marathon county (John C. Clarke among them) was sent to Milwau- 
kee to interview Alexander Mitchell, then the president or manager of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, to induce him to build that road 
from Berlin via Wautoma and Stevens Point to W'ausau, and they were 
authorized to offer a bonus of $50,000 from business men of the county. 
Mitchell could not be convinced that there was business enough to warrant 
the expense, and gave no encouragement. Curiously enough, in speaking 
to him of freight, only such as would come to Wausau was mentioned, while 
freight from W'ausau, such as lumber, was not mentioned at all. Evidently 
it was supposed that railroad transportation could not compete with the river 
route. Lumber had been rafted and sent down to the Mississippi so long by 
river that another mode of transportation was not even thought of at those 
times. Such is the force of custom and habit, which accommodates itself but 
slowly to great changes. 

Meanwhile fanning had progressed ; some new settlers had come, not 
many, but there was an influx every year; the Wausau and South Line road 
had become fairly passable, houses and stores were being built and, in 1867, 
the lumber output alone in ^^^ausau had increased to about twenty million 
feet. Roads in the farming settlements had been made and the fanners had 
already some of their produce to sell, all of which had formerly been imported 
at great expense. 

The mills were doing a large amount of custom sawing for people who 
engaged in lumbering. Wages, for rivermen were high, bowsmen getting 
from $150 to $175; talesmen from $100 to $125 per trip, which on an aver- 
age was made between five and six weeks. Small shopkeepers, such as black- 


smiths, shoemakers, carpenters, and many of the farmer sons made at least 
one trip out in the spring, coming back with money which, as a rule, was well 
invested. Formerly the raftsmen were nearly all transient men, who brought 
no money back to this country. In 1867 there were a number of portable mills 
near Wausau, one owned by Dr. Wylie and Judson ; one by Wylie and Aucutt ; 
one by John Grey, and one by M. Stafford, and R. P. Manson had erected a 
large stationary steam mill on the west shore of the Wisconsin, near the mouth 
of Rib river. The portable mills nearly all exploded after a time, with more 
or less loss of life or personal injuries ; hardly one ran more than two seasons ; 
but they were displaced by better mills. A bridge had been built across the 
Rib river at Marathon City in 1861, which was of immense benefit to the 
farmer community in that town and town of Wien. 

The town of Easton was created in the March, 1865, meeting of the board 
of supervisors; the town of Main established in 1866, and the town of Wien 
in 1867. A good bridge was built across the Wisconsin river at the falls in 
1866 by Adam Young and J. Dern, resting on a substantial pier, with a roof 
over the bridge, in old-country fashion. 

On July I, 1867, the contract for a courthouse was let to .August Hett 
for $7,500. which was to be and was completed so as to accommodate the 
circuit court in the fall term of 1868. Up to this time the circuit court had 
been moved from place to place ; the first term was held in a vacant bowling 
alley; then at a hotel; then at the second story of the shop of N. D. Corey, 
which was fixed up as a hall, and where also school was taught for a while ; 
then at Forest Hall of C. A. Single, until it finally got into permanent quar- 
ters. Marathon county had now a courthouse and was beginning to feel its 
political importance. 

Pine timber became valuable. The county had hundreds of thousands of 
acres of land, and was glad to sell the timber to receive something 
for stumpage. 

On December 13, 1867, the county board fixed the price of pine stumpage 
at the following rates : 

On tracts cutting 400,000 feet or more, within one mile from an outlet, 
$1.50 per 1,000 feet; on tracts cutting 100,000 to 400,000, same distance, 
$1.00 per 1,000 feet; on tracts cutting 300,000, and within two miles from 
an outlet, $1.00 per 1,000 feet; on tracts cutting from 100,000 to 300,000, 
within two miles, 75 cents per 1,000 feet, and for less, 65 cents per thousand. 

In 1869, hardwood lands were sold by the county at 75 cents an acre; one 
third could be paid in county orders, which were still at a discount of from 
25 to 30 per cent. But signs of advancements and culture were seen every- 


where, and Marathon county saw now the ghmmer of the dawn of prosperity. 
In 1865, the IVisconsin River Pilot made its appearance in Wausau, a 
weekly newspaper, which always championed the public interests of Marathon 
county. It was founded and owned by Valentine Ringle, a practical news- 
paper man, and sold by him in 1884 to E. B. Thayer. It exists to this day in 
all its pristine vigor. It has never missed a publication, and has never wa- 
vered in its allegiance to the Democratic party. J. W. Chubbuck edited the 
Pilot for more than ten years. It was a sprightly paper, advocating the 
principles of the Democratic party. 


Marathon county had a touch of the Indian scare which swept over the 
state of Wisconsin, when thousands of farmers fled to the larger cities, fol- 
lowing the Sioux war in Minnesota, which began with the terrible massacre of 
the people of New Ulm in the summer of 1862; but in Marathon county the 
panic was wholly confined to the village of \\'ausau. An incident happening 
near the village had caused some friction or unfriendly feeling between Indians 
and whites, and that, together with the more than ordinary number of Indians 
around the village, and the outbreak in Minnesota, caused apprehension of 
the possibility of a concerted movement of all Indians against the whites. A 
white woman complained that she had been assaulted while picking berries 
near the Wisconsin river by a young Chippewa, and claimed to have identified 
her assailant as the son of a certain chief or Indian headman. The sheriff 
with some assistants, visited several camps, and not finding the supposed 
culprit, demanded of the Indians that they should give him up for trial, assert- 
ing that they well knew his whereabouts. They indignantly claimed not to 
know where he kept himself and refused any assistance to capture him. 
That this occurrence left a sort of hostile feeling is evident. 

The terrible news from Minnesota had recently reached the people here, 
and the whites feared for their safety. A meeting was consequently held at 
Ringle's Hall one evening to discuss the situation and prepare for a defense 
in case of an attack, although Mr. Aug. Kickbusch, who carried on quite a 
trade in furs with the Indians and knew many of them, gave it as his opinion 
that no harm was planned by them. 

While debating was going on, an old man came running in the hall, nearly 
out of breath, with the exclamation, "They are coming down the river in 
canoes. I have seen their lights," which announcement stampeded the meet- 
ing, each man running home to arm himself. In a few minutes they met 


again on some corner — (the populated part of the village being still very 
small) some armed with guns, some with axes, more with pitchforks, and one 
had a scythe, and a portion of them was sent down to the guardlock as an 
advance guard to reconnoiter. 

When they reached the guardlock they found the Indians in two bark 
canoes, spearing for fish, having lights of course. 

Another party went down Grand avenue as far as the brewery, intending 
to keep watch on a large Indian camp on the east side of the marsh, which 
then extended from there for half a mile north, without seeing anything to 
justify suspicion. The movements of the Indians were carefully watched 
the following day and at night, and a patrol was sent at night across the 
river as guards. They proceeded slowly and carefully through the thick 
brush and timber which covered the ground, when all at once they heard some 
suspicious noises, cracking of dry twigs and grunts, and while investigating, 
were all at once almost scared out of their wits by hearing a breaking and 
cracking through the bushes, and some pigs jumped across their path. The 
grunters had been disturbed in their quiet night repose and were fleeing from 
the disturbers. 

Having discovered nothing more dangerous, they returned and reported, 
and Wausau had a sudden recovery from the scare. The panic did not affect 
the settlement at all; they evidently had heard nothing of any supposed out- 
break, which again shows that news was traveling very slowly yet in Mara- 
thon county. The young Chippewa, however, whose misconduct, with its 
consequences, is said to have been the main cause of the feared Indian hos- 
tility, afterwards took service in the Union army. 


A fight with Indians, in which one of them was killed, occurred in Octo- 
ber, 1866, at a saloon at Keelerville kept by a man by the name of Aaron 

A party of Indians came there in the evening, demanded whiskey and got 
it ; then they wanted more, and got it, and got intoxicated and boisterous and 
wanted more, then were refused. The Indians then began demolishing the 
furniture, and the scared saloonkeeper ran for assistance to the mill boarding 
house of Mr. Gouldsbury. He returned with some of the men, ordered the 
Indians out, and upon their refusal, attempted to put them out. In the ensu- 
ing tussle and fight an Indian was killed (stabbed), which so aroused the 
Indians that the whites fled. The Indians proceeded to demolish counter and 


bar and everything- in the saloon — Hquor and bottles included; but there was 
probably not much of a stock in the little place. 

Next day the Indians demanded that the white man who had killed their 
brother should be given up, but he had fled, and a hunt for him proved fruit- 
less. For awhile it looked as if the Indians were bent upon promiscuous 
revenge, but better counsel prevailed, and through influence of some of the 
white friends of the Indians, further trouble was happily averted. Public 
opinion was strongly against Forbes, who, it was said, had made it a practice 
to sell whiskey to the Indians, and he did not resume a business in Marathon 
county, but emigrated. 


Railroads were now the topics of discussion, and when the Wisconsin 
Central began building its road from Doty's Island to Stevens Point, event- 
ually to Ashland, a strong effort was made to have the railroad go to Ash- 
land via Stevens Point and Wausau. By taking this route, the Central road 
would have lost a part of the land grant until it struck out west from Wau- 
sau again ; but there were government lands yet in Marathon county, which 
in part would have reimbursed the road, besides getting all the traffic ; but 
the men at the head of the Wisconsin Central were shortsighted and insisted 
they could not come to Wausau without extra compensation, but proposed 
running a spur from Stevens Point. They submitted an agreement, whereby 
the railroad agreed to build that road to Wausau, and give the county its 
common stock (worthless) in the amount of $250,000, in consideration of 
which Marathon county was to give $250,000 of its corporate bonds, payable 
in twenty years, with interest thereon at 10% — interest payable semi- 
annually, and besides furnish depot grounds at Mosinee and Wausau and 
right of way in Marathon county. 

The bonds to be immediately issued after a favorable vote, to be deposited 
in "escrow" with a financial institution in New York or Boston, to be chosen 
by the Wisconsin Central Company, to be delivered by them to the railroad, 
after completion ef the road to Wausau. A vote upon that proposition was 
taken on the 21st day of October, 1871. The village of Wausau voted almost 
unanimously in favor, there being only eleven votes cast against it, and also 
the towns on the proposed line of the road, while the vote in the farming 
communities was strongly against it. 

The proposition to accept the railroad proposition was carried by about 
two hundred majority, mainly brought about by the vote in the village of 


Wausau. The only person of prominence in the whole county opposed to the 
proposition was the Hon. W. C. Silvertliorn, then district attorney, but his 
words fell on deaf ears in Wausau. With the fanners it was different. They 
remembered that county orders were still at a discount from 25 to 3o7o ; that 
$12,500 interest payable every six months for twenty years would be a fear- 
ful drain on the resources of the county, saying nothing about the payment 
of the principal of $250,000 after twenty years, and besides securing the right 
of way and depot grounds. The hard common sense of these farmers re- 
belled against voting so large a debt, even then with no absolute certainty of 
getting the road without more sacrifices. 

Consequently, when the proposition was carried, the town of Berlin, then 
the strongest farming community in the county, consulted Mr. Silverthorn, 
and as the result of that consultation, a suit was commenced by that town in 
the name of F. Sellin, Town Clerk, et al., and an injunction obtained in the 
circuit court of Winnebago county restraining the county authorities of 
Marathon county from issuing the bonds. These towns were later joined 
by five or six other towns. The case never came to a trial, the county not 
pressing for a trial, nor the Wisconsin Central Railroad. The road did not 
enter upon its work of building, evidently because no bonds being issued as 
yet, and it was doubtful whether they ever would be issued, and without a 
showing of a portion of the road built at least, the railroad company could 
not have much standing in a court ; and perhaps, too, because the road could 
not get the money to build. 

The case was adjourned over several terms, and in 1873, Mr. Silverthorn 
was elected a member of assembly. He procured the passage of an act, chap. 
317, Laws of 1874, by which, among other provisions, any municipality hav- 
ing voted bonds in aid of a railroad, could under certain conditions vote again 
on the same proposition, and if the vote should be against granting aid, the 
former vote in favor of aid should thereby be rescinded. 

This provision of the act was applicable to Marathon county and other 
municipalities similarly affected : the act was drawn up, in fact, to fit the 
condition of this county. Under this act a new election was held on June 13, 
1874, and the proposition defeated by an almost unanimous vote. Thereupon 
and in order to remove any possible cloud or claim of the Wisconsin Central 
Railroad, arising out of the first vote, Mr. Silverthorn was instrumental in 
securing from the Wisconsin Central Railroad a disclaimer, which was filed 
and is recorded in the office of the county clerk of Marathon county, to wit: 



"Whereas, the county of Marathon, by a vote of the people of said county in the year 
1871, agreed to issue bonds of said county, to the Wis. Central Railroad Co. to the amount 
of $250,000, in payment of a like amount of the common stock of said company at par, 
and to furnish the right of way through said county with certain depot grounds, and 
whereas, the said bonds have never been issued by reason of injunction issued in certain 
suits dismissed and now pending, and the vote by which said agreement was entered into, 
having been rescinded under and by virtue of Chapter 317 of the general laws of the state 
of Wisconsin for the year 1874. 

"Now therefore, the Wisconsin Central Railroad Co. hereby fully and completely disclaims 
and releases to the county of Marathon, all liabilities that may exist or that may have 
existed under said agreement, and this may be filed on record in the office of the county 
clerk 01 Marathon county for the purposes therein expressed. 
"Dated at Madison, Wisconsin, February 25th, A. D. 1875. 

"Wisconsin Centr.\l Railroad Company [Seal] 

"By Charles L. Colby, 
"Vice President." 

That disposed of the whole controversy for all times to come. All suits 
were withdrawn, each_ party paying its own costs, and Marathon county, not 
having been to any expenses, although defendant, by order of the county 
board, paid a small sum to the towns to help them pay their expenses, mainly 
attorney fees. The town of Berlin is entitled to the credit of having insti- 
tuted the proceedings, and Mr. Silverthorn to the credit of having taken hold 
of a very unpopular case at the time, leaving his vindication to the future. 
He carried the controversy through successfully and his vindication came 
sooner than expected. Meanwhile railroad agitation had been kept up and 
negotiations had been begun with another embryo railroad, the Wisconsin 
Valley Railroad, to extend their line of road from Tomah and Grand Rapids 
to W'ausau. This road connected at Tomah with the main line of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, and thereby furnished connections with a 
first-class railroad and other roads. 

On the 3d day of March, 1873, by an order of the county board, a com- 
mittee was appointed, consisting of C. A. Single, Leonhard Guenther, and 
j\Iichael Baumann to confer with Messrs. Remington and W'hyatt, the rep- 
resentatives of the Wisconsin Valley Railroad, then at Wausau, in relation 
to the extension of their line of road from Grand Rapids to Wausau and 
Merrill. A proposed contract was reported to the county board the next day 
and consideration thereof postponed until March 15th next, to feel the public 
pulse; but in anticipation of such a contract the county lands were withdrawn 
from sale. 

On March 15, 1873, the county board met and after debate the agreement 
was somewhat changed and the following resolution adopted : 


"Resolved, That the railroad contract between the Wisconsin Valley Rail- 
road Company be, and the same is hereby accepted, and the chairman and clerk 
are hereby ordered to execute the same." 

This resolution was adopted by the following vote : 

Ayes: C. A. Single, R. P. Manson, John Schneider, David Roberts, 
Michael Baumann, Leonhard Guenther, John Baesemann, Henry Wilde, John 
Kufahl, Fred Rollenhagen, and James Hobart. 

Nays: John Weeks, Charles Sales, and Peter Stelz. The three negati\e 
votes coming from the towns of Bergen, Jenny, and Wausau. 

The following is a copy of the contract entered into on that date: 

Railroad Contract 

"This Indenture made and entered into this 15th day of March, A. D. 1873, ^Y and 
between the Wisconsin Valley Railroad Company and the county of Marathon, Witnesseth ; 

"That for and in consideration of tlie agreement to be performed and kept on the part 
of the county of iMarathon as hereinafter sfet fortla, said Wisconsin Valley Railroad Com- 
pany hereby promises and agrees to build, construct and operate a first class railroad with 
all necessary equipments, turnouts, culverts, bridges, stations and depots, from Centralia in 
the county of Wood to the city of Wausau in the county of Marathon, said railroad to be 
completed and the cars run over the same for ordinary railroad business from Centralia 
to the city of Wausau before the close of the year 1874; 

"That there shall be a station on said railroad in range 6 or range 7 in township 
26 and said line of railroad shall touch at a point and have a station within three- 
fourths of a mile of Little Bull Falls in the town of Mosinee and from said point on the 
most feasible and direct route to the city of Wausau aforesaid, and have a station and 
depot at said city of Wausau within three-fourths of a mile of the courthouse on the east 
side of the Wisconsin river, provided the right of way is furnished free to said company 
one hundred feet in width within and through the limits of said city. That active operations 
shall be commenced upon the building and construction of said line of railroad within 
ninety days from the date hereof and the work thereon shall thereupon be finished to com- 
pletion to said city of Wausau from Centralia as aforesaid without cessation unless pre- 
vented by severity of weather and at all events with sufficient force and vigor to insure 
completion of said line within the time before mentioned. And upon the completion of 
said line of railroad as aforesaid the said railroad company shall issue to the said county of 
Marathon, 250 shares of the common stock of said company of $100 each, and being in the 
aggregate $25,000 of the capital stock of said railroad company and shall deliver to the 
said county full paid certificates thereof in due form, and for and in consideration of the 
premises the said county of Marathon hereby agrees to subscribe for and take the said 
shares of stock and to convey to the said Wisconsin Valley Railroad Company by ordinary 
form of quit claim deed all the right, title and interest which the said county may 
have in and to two hundred thousand (200,000) acres of county lands (so called) within 
said county as follows : Twenty-five thousand acres when said line of railroad shall be 
completed as aforesaid to the south line of said county of Marathon, as an advance for the 
line of road to be built and completed as aforesaid within the limits of said county; 
seventv-five thousand acres when said line of railroad shall be completed as aforesaid to 
the point before mentioned in the town of Mosinee as an advance for the line of road to 
be built and completed within the limits of said county, as aforesaid, and the balance of 


one hundred thousand acres when said line of railroad is completed as aforesaid to the 
city of Wausau, in full for the building and completion of said line of railroad within 
the limits of said county of Marathon as aforesaid. And it is understood that there are 
now of said lands about one hundred and eighty thousand acres deeded to said county, with a 
large additional incoming list, sufficient to meet the obligations of this contract. But 
in case there should be a deficiency in the quantity of said lands, it is hereby further 
agreed and fully understood by the parties hereto that such deficiency shall be made up 
by the assignment on the part of said county to said railroad company of all the certificates 
of sale held by said county upon a sufficient quantity of lands within said county to make 
up such deficiency, and such lands shall be such as shall be soonest subject to deed. And 
it is further understood and agreed that said lands shall be from and after the 15th day of 
March, A. D. 1873, withdrawn from sale by said county and the same set apart for the 
purposes of this contract, and none of said lands are to be conveyed by said county to 
other parties. And it is understood and agreed that in case work on said line of railroad 
is not commenced within ninety days from the date hereof and the same prosecuted to com- 
pletion as aforesaid the said county may consider the building of said line of railroad 
abandoned and the obligations of this contract of no effect otherwise of full force. 

"And for the faithful performance hereof each of the parties hereto are firmly held 
and bound. In witness whereof this instrument is executed on behalf of said county by 
the undersigned county clerk and chairman of the board of supervisors under and by 
virtue of an order of said board of supervisors of the county of Marathon of even date 
herewith and in the presence of said board and by the undersigned vice president of said 
company at Wausau, Wisconsin, the day and year first above written. 

"John Rixgle, [Se.\l] 
"In presence of "County Clerk of Marathon County, Wisconsin. 

"A. KlCKBUSCH, "D. B. WlLL.\RD, [SeAl] 

"C. H. Mueller. "Cluiinnan of the County Board of Supervisors. 

[Seal of Covntv] "H. W. Remington, [Seal] 

"Vice President of the ll'isconsin I'alley Railroad Company. 

"State of Wisconsin, Colntv of Marathon. 
"Be it remembered that on this 15th day of March, A. D. 1873, came before me John Ringle, 
as county clerk of the county of Marathon, and D. B. Willard as chairman of the board of 
supervisors of Marathon county, and H. W. Remington as vice president of the Wisconsin 
Valley Railroad Company to me known to be the persons and officers who executed and 
affixed their seals and the seal of the county board of supervisors to the foregoing instru- 
ment and acknowledged the execution and sealing of said instrument as therein set forth 
for the uses and purposes set forth in said instrument. 


"Court Commissioner, Marathon County, JVisconsin." 

As another and further consideration for some particular purpose, the 
county voted $25,000 in tax certificates to the same company and received 
therefor $25,000 of its common stock; and besides, other aid was given by 
some individuals and towns through which the railroad passed, amounting 
to somewhere near $55,000. But the railroad was completed before the 
time fixed and the first train of cars came to Wausau on the 31st day of Octo- 
ber, 1874. It was a gala day for Wausau and arrangements were made for a 


grand celebration to be held on the nth day of November, to which the 
people living on the southern end of the road were to be invited as guests 
of the people of Wausau. On that day a special free train came up from 
Tomah, bringing the guests, who were entertained by Wausau people with 
rides, banquets, and speeches. These were banquets at Music and Forest Hall, 
Mrs. Winkley and Mrs. Paradise having charge of the tables. The welcome 
address was made by Hon. W. C. Silverthorn, resixinded to by F. O. Whyatt, 
superintendent of the railroad, the whole affair being in charge of a commit- 
tee of ladies of Wausau, to wit : Mrs. James McCrossen, Mrs. George Mc- 
Crossen, Mrs. R. E. Parcher, Mrs. Henry French, Mrs. Mary B. Scholfield, 
Mrs. James Peters, Mrs. F. W. Morman, Mrs. J. Poranteau, Mrs. MeKim, 
Mrs. James Armstrong. Mrs. L. Thayer, Mrs. Aug. Gotche, Mrs. D. Sullivan, 
Miss Kate Scholfield, Miss Lina Williams, Miss Mary J. Thompson, Miss 
Josie Thayer, Miss Nellie McCrossen, Miss Josie Bradford, Miss Nettie 
Meriam, Miss Ida Brightman, Miss Nellie Blair, Miss May Conolly, and Miss 
Mary Poor. 

There were hundreds of guests for the first time in Wausau, and everyone 
left duly impressed with the hospitality of the city and best wishes for future 

It would seem extravagant at this day to give two hundred thousand acres 
of land for the building of a railroad, of which only about thirty miles were 
to be built in this county. But at the time of making the contract the lands 
were bringing little or no revenue ; the title was deficient ; they were not read- 
ily salable, or at best at one dollar per acre ; they were liable to continual tres- 
passes and stripping of valuable timbers, and were of course not taxable, 
increasing to that extent the taxes on lands which were taxable. 

By conveying the land to .the railroad, they became assessable and taxes 
had to be paid thereon. The new owner perfected the title and had a personal 
interest in selling them, thereby bringing more settlers into the county. 

The contractors who built the road, one of which was J. M. Smith, took 
part of their pay in lands ; Mr. J. M. Smith opened a land office here and 
widely and intelligently advertised these lands, bringing in many new settlers 
year after year, and encouraging them in every possible way, mainly by sell- 
ing them the lands at low prices and giving them years and years of credit, 
until the land was paid from the earnings of the improvements and clearings 
made by them on the land. It is due mainly to the labors of J. M. Smith 
that the population increased in the decade from 1870 to 1880 as never before. 

From the time the lands were conveyed to the railroad company, they 
became a continued source of revenue to the county, which increased from 


year to year as the lands increased in v-alue. Even the $25,000 tax certificates 
given to the railroad were not all thrown away. The county had received 
and owned $50,000 of the common stock of the railroad. 

Lincoln county was set off from Marathon county in 1874, and under the 
temis of the settlement was entitled to and did receive $17,400 of that stock; 
the balance of $36,600 belonging to Marathon county, was sold to Thomas 
Scott at 52 cents on the dollar face value, on May 29, 1880, according to the 
minutes of the county board, the county realizing of that supposed worthless 
stock, the sum of $16,952. 

After Alarathon county had one railroad, it was not long before another 
one entered its boundaries. It was the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western 
Railway, which, when building its main line to Ashland, built its road to 
Wausau from Eland Junction, without asking for any aid. It reached Wau- 
sau in the fall of 1880. and really caused more of the growth of Wausau, and 
the development of Marathon county than the Wisconsin Valley Railroad. 

In 1890. the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western extended its line to 
Marshfield, and by way of inducement, all the county lands were deeded to 
that road, being about twenty thousand acres. 

A logging railroad was built from Stratford into the town of Cleveland, 
which later incorporated as a railway corporation, and will reach Mosinee in 
no distant time. 

The Wisconsin Central Railroad entered Marathon county, built its line 
west from Stevens Point, reaching Abbottsford about the year 1872. After 
leaving Marshfield it enters Marathon county, running nearly diagonal 
through township 26, range 2, to the village of Spencer, and then north on the 
boundary line between the counties of Marathon and Clark to Dorchester. 
At Abbottsford a spur runs to the village ot Athens, a distance of about 
fifteen miles, gi\ing Athens a railroad connection with the Central, now the 
Minneapolis & Sault St. Mary Railroad. 

In 1881, the \\'isconsin Valley Railroad extended its line north to Merrill 
and later as far north as Star Lake in Vilas county. Wisconsin. 


With the completion of the railroad to Wausau in the fall of 1874, and 
to Merrill in 1881, rafting and running of lumber on the river ceased and 
railroad transportation took its place. Lumber found new markets in the 
newly opened states of the west, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and in eastern points, 
some going as far as New York state. The railroads also opened a market 


for the hardwood which was abundant in this county and tlieretofore been of 
no use, except a little for home consumption, and the burning of timber came 
to an end. The riverman had to look for other employment and became a 
figure of the past; but being used to hard work, easily accommodated himself 
to other spheres of work under new conditions. 

The riverman was a picturesque character. His work, exciting, demand- 
ing quick judgment, often dangerous, hard at all times, with only occasional 
spells for rest, for weeks out of touch with any other associates than his co- 
rivermen on the fleets, made him loud-mouthed, rough-spoken, but only at 
very rare times indulging in a spree to sort of make up for the long intimate 
familiarity with river water, which kept him wet not only inside, but often 
outside from foot to head. There were thousands of them that went down 
annually, every spring and summer, and there must have been sometimes a 
bad character among them, as can be found in an equal number of men in 
every vocation of life; and from such an occasional bully or rowdy a false 
deduction was often made as to all others. As a rule they did not stand high 
in the estimation of the low river farmer, and were looked askance by the 
people of the low river towns, where a fleet sometimes tied up overnight. Yet 
they were better than their reputation. They committed no willful acts of 
depredation; molested no peaceful citizen, nor their property; enjoyed only 
at times in pranks or little mischief, which were often unduly magnified. 
Many of these boys were from the farms of this state and Illinois and Canada, 
and could milk cows as the best dairymaid. When a fleet was landed and cow 
bells were heard in the woods fringing the river, some of these boys would 
steal away from the fleet with a pail, one of the boys coax the cow to stand 
still while another relieved her of the precious fluid, and they were hailed as 
benefactors on their return by the crew. Sometimes a landing had to be 
made, and quick, too, when a proper place was found, and it happened that 
a green talesman, a sucker, hitched the line to an old fence post, and the raft 
would pull down fence post and part of the fence as well, to the consternation 
of the riverman as well as to the farmer, when he discovered the damage. 
On the other hand, the fleets furnished a good market for small farm products, 
which more than made up for all damage done. Rivermen were voracious 
eaters ; they had to have strong food and plenty of it. and when a fleet passed 
a river town, the cook was always out looking for eggs and butter, and paid 
a good price for it. The boys, as a rule, had no money when they started out, 
and only in very pressing and exceptional cases would the pilot make any 
advances, nothing being due until the trip was ended. In Sauk City a fleet 
landed one night and some of the crew were detennined to have a frolic and 


some drinks ; but being in the usual condition without money, they made the 
pilot advance them some shingles for money, which were duly charged to 
them. They took a bunch of shingles each man, proceeded to the next saloon 
and traded their shingles for drinks, without keeping a strict account 
of the drinks they had. When they wanted more they were informed they 
had their full share, and if more drinks were wanted, more shingles must be 
produced. Good-naturedly, they promised to get them : he that was acting 
as a foreman or leader, told some of the boys to go to the rafts to get them 
while he and others were waiting for them, playing cards to pass the time. 
In due time the boys returned with the shingles, went in at the front door, 
delivered them througli the back door in the yard and had their fill, and 
departed in the best of spirits. When the saloonkeeper counted his 
bunches of shingles next day he found only the original consignment; they 
had, instead of going to the fleet for shingles, gone to the back yard on the 
outside, taken the shingles, carried them through the saloon and back again, 
and in that way balanced their account. It is not likely that the saloonkeeper 
was the loser thereby after all. 

When on the Wisconsin the fleet started at the first glimpse of the dawn, 
and ran until dark. After landing and supper, the boys would sit around a 
fire, tell stories, when at times one would break out in the most ribald song, 
and when through, another would intonate "Father, dear father, come home 
with me now," or some similar touching sentimental song, the rest all joining 
in the chorus, and when completed, one after another would silently creep 
to his hard bunk, and drawing the grey blanket over his face, sink into deep 
sleep under the melanchol}^ cry of the whippoorwill, until roused out by the 
loud "tile ut" of the pilot, repeated from raft to raft. 

On the Mississippi tlie fleet ran day and night, unless a strong wmd or 
storm made landing a necessity. 

While as a rule the rivermen were rough in speech, especially when on 
the trip, they were good-natured and even tender-hearted. There was no 
shooting, no pistol cowboy practices on the river ; their work made them inter- 
dependent on each other, and their common dangers and hardships bound 
them together, and often friendships were formed which lasted a lifetime. 
Years afterwards, even to this day. old rivermen, when they meet, love to 
speak of their experiences and adventures through which they passed on their 
trips. There were a number of pilots at Wausau which took fleets out and 
down the Mississippi, and only some of them can be mentioned. There was 
John C. Clarke, who was a pilot in the beginning of his career as lumberman, 
but quit when liis lumber business increased, only on rare occasion running 


lumber for others over Big Bull Fall; there were Edw. Nicolls, Orson Phelps, 
Louis Lenneville, A. Lee, who drowned at Little Bull; Joseph Latour, who 
shared the same fate; Ben Jones, A. B. Fitzer, William Beers, Joseph Hollis, 
and Peter Crochiere. 

At every fall or rapids the rivermen liad their favorite to whom they gave 
the particular honorable designation "Star Pilot." 

Beginning above at Merrill, Charles and Henry Sales were the favorites ; 
Leander Swope had the distinction of running more falls successfully than 
any other, for he took nearly all the lumber out from Pine river, and had to 
run it not only over Big Bull Fall, and all others, but get the lumber over six 
dams in Pine river before he landed it in the Wisconsin; at Wausau, Edw. 
Nicolls was the star pilot. When he ran rafts over the falls in the best 
stage of water, his piece carried always numerous passengers, female as well 
as male, who made the trip for the pleasure and excitement ; when the stage 
was high, the bridge was lined with spectators, sometimes betting between 
themselves as to how few cribs would be stove in the passage. At Little Bull, 
as has already been said, William Cuer excelled. The last fleets taken out 
from Wausau were piloted by a young German, Charles Hagen, who made a 
fine record as a pilot, coming up here from Grand Rapids only a few years 
before the railroad, but then the time for rafting out lumber had nearly 
passed away, and he has the melancholy satisfaction of being the last of the 
renowned Wausau pilots. 


It has been stated that at the time of the creation of Marathon county 
there was no land surveyed in the whole county, except the few lots which 
were specially surveyed and the land sold in Washington, which were the 
lots bordering on the river, and with the fall and rapids constituted the water 
power in Wausau and Mosinee. The lands above township 31 were unsur- 
veyed until after i860, when surveying began, which was not completed until 
1865, and these lands were first offered for public sale in October, 1866. 

After some years much of it was sold and became subject to taxation, and 
the people north demanded a new county to develop the resources of the upper 
territory. This demand was justified and was heeded, and no opposition was 
made when a bill was introduced in the legislature for the creation of Lincoln 
county. By Chapter 128, Laws of 1874, the new county was created, an elec- 
tion ordered to be held in the fall of the same year; only for judicial purposes 
it was attached to Marathon county, simply because it had no place to hold 


a term of court, which was quickly remedied, a courthouse being built in 
Merrill the next summer, and Lincoln county started out as a fullfledged 
county in the state. The new county included all the territory "in the county 
of Marathon lying north of the correction line on the south line of township 
numbered thirty-one (31) north." The new county had an area of about 
one hundred congressional townships, but has been cut down considerably by 
creation of new counties in the next twenty years. 

Lincoln county elected its county officers and the following is a copy of 
the settlement made between the two counties, to wit : 


Resources of Marathon County. 

Balance in treasury $19,975.80 

Value of tax certificates, on hand 18,000.00 

Value of Poor Farm 2,000.00 

Value of Courthouse and buildings 4,000.00 

Value of Public Square 3,000.00 

Furniture and Fixtures 1,446.00 

Total $48,421.80 

The Wisconsin Valley Railroad stock was left as an unsettled account of 
unknown value, as also the records of Marathon county. 


South Line and Plank Road bonds $12,120.00 

Outstanding county orders 39,218. 1 1 

Due to towns 3,003.54 

Balance due on railroad contract 1,500.00 

Bills presented and not yet allowed 2,862.50 

Total $58,720.65 

Liabilities above resources $10,298.85 

Assessed against Lincoln county accord- 
ing to last assessment 3,706.85 

and all unsettled accounts not presented to be settled 
on the same basis. 


It was further stipulated that the amount assessed against Lincoln county 
shall become due and payable as follows : 

April I, 1876 $1,000.00 

April 1 , 1877 1 ,000.00 

April I, 1878 1,706.05 

The above settlement was made by a committee of J. Paff, D. L. Plumer 
and A. W. Schmidt on the part of Marathon county, and Charles Sailes, 
H. A. Keyes, T. B. Mathews and Z. Space on the part of Lincoln county. 

Attention is called to the resources and liabilities of the county, and 
especially to the amount of outstanding county orders, showing that the out- 
standing orders exceed the cash on hand just about 33%. The last installment 
due from Lincoln county was not paid until the time when Lincoln county 
demanded its share of the Wisconsin Valley Railroad stock, in 1881, when 
it was delivered upon payment of this last part of the amount found due upon 
settlement made in 1874. 


Timber left in iS/j — Far)ii Development — Roads and Comniunications — 
Timber Lands in jpi2 — Schools — Courthouse and County Institutions — 
The Marathon County Agricultural Society — The Marathon County Bar. 


After railroads had penetrated the county, the population increased speed- 
ily. Up to that time ( 1871 ) there was no settlement at all in ranges 2 and 3, 
in townships 26, 27, 28 and 29, and none as far north as Ashland ; and the 
first settler in fact was the Wisconsin Central Railroad. It passed through 
a splendid timber county, and saw mills sprang up almost simultaneously with 
the road. From the mill settlements at Mannville, Spencer, and Unity, farm- 
ers went in east and west, making famis in Clark and ]\Iarathon counties. At 
Colby a farmer settlement sprang up, and the towns of Hull and Holton were 
the strongest fanning communities in the extreme west of the county in the 
first years, there being a large amount of government lands which was taken 
up by homesteaders. They had to go through the same experience as the ear- 
liest pioneers, except that they were a little nearer to a base of supplies along 
all the railroad stations. Otherwise their work was as hard and their distress 
at times as severe as those of all pioneers. Like all others, they had to cut 
their roads for themselves ; were deprived of all comforts for some years, but 
their compensation for braving the wilderness came sooner because they were 
nearer markets and a railroad to connect them with civilization. During the 
decade from 1870 to 1880 the county increased faster proportionately than 
before or after. The population in 1870 was 5.S85, but in 1880 it was 17,121, 
having more than trebled; and it must be remembered that in 1874 all that 
part of Marathon county lying north of township 30, which had a population 
of over 800 in 1870, which is included in the census of 1870. was taken off 
from Marathon county and organized as Lincoln county. 

In 1875 there was still an immense amount of standing timber in Mara- 
thon county, which was computed at that time by D. L. Plumer and John 
Ringle, from estimates received from the best and most reliable sources, as 
follows : 



On the Central Railroad 200 million feet 

On the Little Eau Pleine 200 million feet 

On Rib River 75 million feet 

On the Big Eau Pleine 100 million feet 

On Little Eau Claire 100 million feet 

On Big Eau Claire 1 50 million feet 

On Big Plover 150 million feet • 

On Trappe 40 million feet 

On Wisconsin 50 million feet 

valued at the time at $1.50 per thousand feet, stumpage. 

This estimate was based, of course, upon the best information obtainable, 
and included only the standing pine timber; but judging from the fact that 
pine lumber operations on these streams have been carried on until very- 
recent years, it is safe to assume that it was rather an under than over 

There is little pine, if any, left on these streams, but there are yet many 
million feet in this county standing among the hardwood timber, which is 
carefully saved and guarded by the owners, mostly farmers. 

The saw mills have decreased, but other factories where wood is manu- 
factured into smaller articles have increased; but the output of lumber is 
still very large, amounting to somewhere one hundred million or more in the 
county, mainly manufactured at Wausau, Scholfield and Stratford. 

Some of the logs come still on the river route, but most are shipped in 
by rail from the north. In place of saw mills, paper mills have been built, 
and give employment to labor; veneer mills cut up the timber into less than 
one-sixteenth of an inch, where formerly lumber, was sawed one and two 
inches thick. Sash and door factories work up the rough material into high 
priced articles, and iron factories furnish the mills with the machines and 
build bridges for export. All these factories will be mentioned later, when 
coming to each city, village or town. But most of all, the fanning industry 
had developed to an extent never dreamed of before. 

With the slightly diminished supply of pine came a demand for other 
woods ; first for hemlock, which was regarded as almost worthless and gave 
the farmer the most trouble in burning ; hemlock bark was being shipped to 
the tanneries of Milwaukee and La Crosse by thousands of cords every year, 
but much is now consumed at the large tannery at Wausau; after the bark 
was stripped off, the logs could be sold for a fair price at the mills, being at 
least salable, and in later years commanded a good price, especially compared 
with its former worthlessness ; next basswood came in large demand, and after 


1880 there was not a stick of timber that could not be sold at a mill, at a low 
price sometimes, but the burning had an end. 

Every log was now worth something, and paid the farmer a fair compen- 
sation for clearing, where formerly he had to burn. Such being the case, the 
clearings became larger and larger; the country settled up; new villages 
sprang up; towns had to be divided, and new ones organized; agriculture 
advaneed ; new farm houses were being built ; the old log house and barn dis- 
appeared and in its place came fine, comfortable frame, brick and even con- 
crete houses, and large frame barns and stables. The many creameries and 
cheese factories created a demand for improved stock, and prosperity smiled 
upon the farmers of Marathon county. The ox as a draft animal is no longer 
to be seen anywhere; even the logging, rather skidding, is now done with 
horses. The German farmer, who is in the overwhelming majority in this 
county, getting fast Americanized, however, in this generation, did never take 
very kindly to ox driving; as soon as he had a farm large enough to keep a 
team of horses in feed, he took to horses; and it is a fact that no finer or 
better horses can be seen anywhere in the state. The German farmer loves 
his horses and takes care of tliem as if they were human beings, and they 
repay his kindness and care. 

The progress of farm development from 1900 to 1910 is clearly indicated 
by the following statistics : 

1900. 1910. percent. 

Population 43.256 55,054 27 

Number of farms 4.276 5,080 19 

Acreage in farms 442.878 532,876 20 

Acreage in improved farm land 145,060 184,153 27 

Woodland on farms, acres 236,444 

Value of all farm property $10,688,438 $25,293,638 136 

Value of farm land 6,328,210 15,640,771 147 

Value of buildings 2,253.170 5,611,400 149 

Value of implements and machinery. . 497,820 1,273,612 156 

Value of domestic animals 1,609,238 2,767,855 72 

Value of farm land, per acre 1429 29.35 106 

The census of 1910 shows 5,080 farms in ^Marathon county, having an 
average of 105 acres. The general average is decreased by the number of 
small holdings of one or a few acres by workingmen on the outskirts of the 
cities and villages, which are counted as farms in the census, as otherwise the 
farms usually exceed 120 acres. 


The best paying crops are winter wheat, barley, oats, rye, corn, peas, 
potatoes, vegetables, and hay. Of the latter, bluegrass, white and red clover 
are important. Bluegrass and clover spring up naturally and grow to perfec- 
tion. Oats yields from 40 to 60 bushels per acre. Corn is now grown suc- 
cessfully. Wisconsin is as good an agricultural state as any of the middle 
west, and no county has better crops on an average than Marathon county. 
The following figures, taken from the yearbook of the United States depart- 
ment of agriculture for 191 1, are convincing as to the excellent character of 
Wisconsin soils, and when in later years an effort was made by the Agri- 
cultural Society of Marathon county to make an exhibit at the State Fair at 
Madison, this county has been awarded first prize for its agricultural pro- 
ducts in competition with all otlier counties in the state. 

Average Yield Per Acre. 


Barley, Corn, Oats, Wheat, Rye, toes. Hay, 

State Bu. Bu. Bu. Bu. Bu. Bu. Ton. 

Illinois 27.8 34.5 31.2 15.5 17.6 85 1.35 

Indiana 25.4 34.7 29.0 14.2 15.2 79 1.36 

Iowa 25.6 32.3 29.5 14.6 18.0 82 1.55 

Michigan 25.0 32.7 31.6 14.5 15. i 88 1.34 

Minnesota 25.7 29.4 31.7 13.0 19.1 88 1.66 

Missouri 21.9 28.6 23.4 13.4 14.8 81 1.28 

Ohio 27.3 35.6 3^.2 14.9 17.1 84 1.38 

WISCONSIN .... 28.6 33.2 33.3 16.6 17.0 92 1.56 

Marathon is preeminently the clover county of the state, and for this 
reason one of the foremost dairy regions in the state. With one-sixtli of the 
cheese factories and one-half of the creameries, Wisconsin is the greatest dairy 
state in the Union, with an annual production valued approximately at eighty 
million dollars. Marathon county contributes a goodly portion to this 
immense total. There are more than thirty thousand milk cows in the county, 
from which 29 creameries and 64 cheese factories are supplied, which produce 
one and one- fourth million pounds of butter and two and one-half millions 
of cheese. There are fine herds of Guernsey and Holstein cows, but also 
short horns and Angus cattle are raised for beef. Bee culture is carried on 
and two thousand colonies of bees are busy gathering the nectar from the 
white clover and basswood and other blossoms. Excellent well water is found 
at depths from forty to sixty feet in the rock bottom, and there is an abun- 
dance of live springs and spring brooks. 



The public roads are, with few exceptions, laid on section and one-fourth 
section lines, and all parts of the county are easily accessible. In the year 
191 2 the sum of $20,000 was expended for macadamizing roads, in addition 
to the usual expense for road repair. Macadam roads can be and are made 
cheap because the material is close at hand. There are now 1900 miles 
of road in the county, and 176 miles of railroads traverse it from north 
to south and east to west; 300 miles of telephone lines and 35 railroad sta- 
tions with 31 rural routes serve 4,000 families, and the daily mail brings to 
the farmer the daily paper only a few hours later than the city resident. 
Nothing has done more to make farm life attractive than the telephone and 
rural delivery, to which will soon be added the parcel post. 

Between one-half and one-third of the people live in cities and villages 
and are engaged in industrial pursuits, the rest in agriculture. This gives 
the farmer a good home market for all his products. More than half of the 
farms are clear of any incumbrance, and many farmers have bank deposits, 
while the indebtedness carried by others is less than one-third of the value 
of the property and with present prices for farm products will be wiped out 
in a few years. 

When the county gave 200,000 acres of land to the Wisconsin Valley 
Railroad Company it was a good stroke of policy; it brought revenues where 
formerly were none. At that time the best of timber lands could be bought 
for from $3.00 to $6.00 per acre according to location, depending on the 
nearness of the city of Wausau, which was really the only market at that time. 

The average value of improved fann land ranges from $30.00 to $100.00 
per acre. Wild hardwood lands are selling from $15.00 to $25.00, and cut 
over lands with little timber on it, for from $8.00 to $15.00 per acre. Prices 
for wood and timber, liable to vary a little were as follows in 191 1 : 

Cordwood, from $3.50 to $5.00 per cord. 

Basswood excelsior bolts, $3.50 to $4.50 per cord of 96 cubic feet. 

Hemlock logs, from $8.00 to $10.00 per feet. 

Rock elm logs, $10.00 to $12.00. 

Oak, red or white, $25.00 to $35.00. 

Birch and ash, $14.00 to $16.00. 

Maple, $8.00 to $10.00, 
and there is no likelihood for a drop in prices, rather an increase in the future. 

Sleighing can be relied upon for from five to nine weeks every winter, 
which enables fanners to haul logs to mills and take lumber home on a sleigh 


road, drawing a heavy load, saving thereby time and exertion of himself 
and team. 


The whole area of Marathon county in acres is 994,560 

Lands in farms 532,876 

Lands not in farms 461,684 

Deducting one-fourth for cities, villages, railroad, 

right of way and land not covered with timber. . 115,421 

Leaves lands covered by timber not in farms 346,263 acres 

To which add lands in farms covered with timber . .236,444 acres 

Leaves land covered with timber in acres 582,707 

These figures are taken from the agricultural census of the United States 
for 1910 and are pretty reliable. The land covered with timber is rather 
under than overestimated. The standing timber is still one of the great 
resources of the county, and the annual cut is nearly balanced by the new 


The old log scliool houses have given way to frame buildings of modern 
type, with due regard to ventilation, comfort of pupils and sanitation. But one 
or two of the counties in the state pay a higher salary to the county super- 
intendent, and towns and villages vie with each other to make their schools 
attractive and secure good teachers, and 9,000 pupils are in regular attendance. 

Instruction is carried up to and including the eighth grade, and older or 
advanced pupils get a course of instruction equal to the ninth. Two-thirds 
of the schools have a term of eight months and all others nine. W.ithin a 
short time all schools will be open nine months. The wages paid to rural 
teachers are a little better than the average in the state and range up to $60.00 
per month. In 181 1 the county districts received from the state school fund 
$2.69 for every child between four and twenty years of age. An equal 
amount is levied by the county at large, and the remainder must be provided 
by local district taxation. The schools are well distributed, the district so 
arranged that only in exceptional cases a child lives more than one and a half 
miles from the school house. 

The flourishing condition of the rural schools is in a large measure due to 


the zeal and vigor of the county superintendent, Mr. W. Pivernetz, who per- 
sonally visits every school at least once in each year, and whose devotion 
to duty and ceaseless endeavor to raise the standard of education in Mara- 
thon county so as to equip the growing generation with the means to grapple 
successfully with the problems which will be theirs to solve in time, reflects 
credit upon himself as well as the communities which look upon him as their 
adviser and friend. 

Besides the high school at W'ausau there are five accredited high schools 
in the county, a county training school for teachers (the first in the state), 
a county school for agriculture and domestic science, the last two institutions 
being situated in the city of Wausau, to the maintenance of which the state 
contributes two-thirds and the county one-third of the expense. 

Some of the parish schools rival the public schools in excellence and are 
evidently proof of the fact that church organizations are not only willing to 
maintain their own schools, but take pride in keeping them up to the standard 
of the public schools. 


A true and correct illustration of this superb structure is shown on a 
page in this chapter. It is a spacious building with ample office accommoda- 
tions for each county officer. It has yet some unoccupied rooms, but they 
will be found useful when the ixjpulation of the county has increased to 
100,000 or more. It is simple in style, chaste, almost severe, but on account 
of its fine proportions makes a pleasing impression. No attempt was made 
at art display, which so often results in a woeful compromise between the 
conflicting demands of real art and economy, when the means at hand are 
unequal to the demands of art, and a compromise between art and economy 
is made, usually disastrous in both directions. It may be said to be a fireproof 
building, each office being supplied with a large, absolutely fireproof vault, yet 
so constructed as to receive light and air from without, so that no artificial 
light is needed during day time. It is well ventilated and heated, and fur- 
nished with tasty practical furniture. 

H. C. Koch, the Milwaukee architect, made the plans, and the contract 
for its erection was awarded to John Miller, contractor and builder of 
Wausau, as the lowest bidder, on the 13th day of November, 1890, for the 
sum of $51,800.00, which, however, did not include the heating apparatus. 

Excavation was begun April i, 1891, and the building completed and 
turned over to the county authorities May 10, 1892. A particular circum- 




stance worth mentioning is that there were only a few sHght changes from 
the original plans, which were made with a corresponding slight increase in 
the contract price. The net cost of the building when completed and taken 
over by the county was a little less than $65,, not including fees of 
committee and cost of plans. It stands as a monument to the skill and busi- 
ness capacity of its contractor who was able to erect that massive towering 
structure- at so comparatively low a price, and yet was not a loser on the con- 
tract. The building of the court house convinced people that good substan- 
tial buildings could be erected at Wausau at as low a cost as anywhere in 
the state: that all building material is close at hand and as skilled workmen 
here as anywhere. 

The First National Bank erected their splendid building in the same year, 
and from that time dates a building era in Wausau which far surpasses any- 
thing done in that line in former years. 

The building committee having the charge and supervision of the court 
house during the process of its erection were John Ringle, John Kiefer, and 
Frank Fellows, and it must be said that that committee solved the problem 
put in their charge with credit to themselves and with high degree of intel- 
ligence and honor to the county. After several terms of court had been held 
it was found that the acoustics in the court room were defective, the room 
being too plain without enough breakers of sound, and too 'high. This was 
remedied by putting in a false ceiling about three feet lower than the original, 
and covering the plaster finish with coarse linen cloth to prevent an echo, 
since which change the acoustics are all that may be desired. After a use 
of nearly twenty years the hardwood floor on the lobby of the first floor and 
landing of the second floor was taken up and replaced by a tile floor, and a 
new heating plant installed. The court house is a credit to Marathon county, 
not the least of which is that every cent it costs was well earned and honestly 
accounted for. 


is located east of the depot ground of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railroad depot ground, about a half mile from the court house. 

At the time this location was much criticised as being too far from the 
court house, but it is now seen that that criticism was unfounded. The 
building stands on two blocks of ground, fully isolated, has a well kept lawn, 
and with its fine cottage style has more the appearance of the residence of 
a well to do citizen than the place of detention of criminals and other persons. 
It has a number of steel lined cells to harbor dangerous prisoners, the cells 


being 6>4 by 8 feet, leading out to a corridor where detained persons may 
exercise. There are separate rooms for witnesses, for juvenile offenders, also 
one cell for persons under examination for insanity, and a bathroom and 

It is built to keep prisoners safely, no escape is possible when the sheriff 
or jailer uses ordinary care. At the same time it is comfortable, clean, and 
sanitary. It is so constructed as to keep persons of different sex completely 
apart, also juveniles. 

The sheriff has his residence in the jail, and it is large enough to accom- 
modate a good sized family. 

There is a barn and stable built of brick on the same lot to be used in con- 
nection with the sheriff's work. 

The contract for the building was let in December, 1899, and it was com- 
pleted in 1900. 

The entire cost of the jail was $35,000.00. 
The mason and stone work was done by John Miller, and the steel jail work 
proper by the Pardy Jail Co., St. Louis, Mo. 

The building committee in charge of the erection were : F. \V. Genrich, 
A. L. Cook, A. F. Marquardt, Christ Franzen, and H. Ramthun. 


This meritorious institution was built upon the earnest request of L. 
Marchetti. who was at that time the county judge, under whose jurisdiction 
comes the adjudication of insanity and orders for their care in proper asylums. 
Humanitarian as well as economic considerations prompted him to urge 
the county board to this undertaking. After the county board had directed 
a committee to investigate asylums of this kind and the costs of maintenance 
and receiving a favorable report, the county board on the 22d day of March, 
1893, ordered the building of the asylum and the issue of $80,000.00 bonds 
for the erection and completion of the same. 

At the time of its erection it was a model of its kind, and so far as the 
building itself for the caring of the patients is concerned, it has needed no 
repairs or improvements to this date. It is conducted upon modem lines 
relating to the care and treatment of the inmates. There are no other 
restraints placed upon the patients than would be placed upon a similar large 
number of rational persons of different sex occupying the same building. 
They are managed by appealing to those qualities of mind and heart which 
still respond to a pathetic or kind touch ; by constant endeavor to arouse the 


slumbering faculties of the mind ; by directing them to some useful occupa- 
tion calculated to bring into action their mental as well as physical capacities ; 
by teaching them to recognize in the superintendent and the matron their 
best friends and protectors. All holidays receive due attention, and no effort 
is spared to make them enjoyable. Thanksgiving is remembered by a turkey 
dinner; each patient receives a present at Christmas either from a friend or 
relative, or from the institution; the Fourth of July is duly celebrated each 
year, and everything within reason is done to make the lot of the patient com- 

The asylum is now in the eighteenth year of its existence and reflects 
honor upon Marathon county as well as upon the management. It ranks 
among the best institutions of its kind in the state. No better location could 
be found for it. It stands on the high bank of the Wisconsin river which 
affords excellent drainage ; its surroundings are picturesque ; it has imme- 
diately surrounding it lOO acres of land which is under cultivation, and more 
land in close proximity belonging to the asylum; the soil is a sandy loam 
easily worked and well adapted for cultivation of all crops with good hus- 
bandry. From a sanitary point of view nothing better could be desired. It 
is within three miles of the court house, easily accessible by visitors, physi- 
cians, and officers. 

It was built in 18933- 1894 °" plans approved by the state board of con- 
trol, and the original cost, including the building and the entire outfit of 
personal property within it, was $80,000.00, for which bonds bearing four 
per cent interest were issued payable in annual installments, the last payment 
to be after twenty years. No tax was ever levied to provide funds for the 
institution, the same being self-sustaining from the start. The land was 
purchased by the county at very reasonable figures, and the whole amount 
invested in land and personal property up to date with all improvements 
which have been made such as barns and other buildings, amounts to 

The building committee which had the letting of the contract and super- 
vise the execution thereof, were F. T. Zentner, William F. Hewitt, F. W. 
Kickbusch, P. F. Curran, and E. Heath, to which was added as an honor- 
able member the county judge Louis Marchetti. 

The asylum and the management proved a success from the humani- 
tarian point of view as well as from an economical one. Marathon county 
was and is large, and had then and now many chronic insane. These patients 
where transferred to this place where they can be often visited by relatives 
who may thus convince themselves that they have the best possible treatment. 


So much for the humanitarian point of view. It is an economic affair, 
because it has brought a large surplus into the county treasury every year 
instead of being an item of expense. At the present time there are 173 
inmates in the institution of both sexes. 


The eminently successful operation of the asylum induced the county 
board to locate the Home of the Poor on the same ground and put both insti- 
tutions under the control of the asylum trustees. There are three of them, 
one to be elected every year for three years. A detention hospital is con- 
nected with the home, where alleged insane persons may be observed pend- 
ing an investigation and examination. It serves also the purpose of treating 
very poor patients under certain conditions, and is also a maternity hospital. 
It was completed three years ago by Anderes & Son of Wausau, contractors 
and builders, to the full satisfaction of the county board. It will house sixty 
persons comfortably, one person to each room, and more in cases of necessity. 
It is modern in every respect, sanitary, and comfortable. At present there 
are thirty-one men and ten women inmates. One central heating plant in 
a separate building heats both asylum and home. 

At and near the asylum and home there are 320 acres which are worked 
as a farm, on which all necessary foodstuffs except groceries, spices, and fish 
food for the use of both institutions is raised, mostly by the inmates under 
proper supervision and assistance. Three hundred and twenty acres more 
are located about seven miles away which is timber land and was purchased 
and is used as a woodlot. A herd of 48 milk cows, 20 head of young cattle, 
16 draft horses. 100 pigs, and 250 chickens are kept on the fann besides 40 
steers on an average, raised for slaughter, and all sorts of vegetables are 
cultivated for home consumption. There is a laundry building, a cold stor- 
age, an ice house, and all necessary stables, barns, and other buildings, in 
short, every building needed on a first-class farm. A stand for discoursing 
sweet music has been erected where on proper occasions the inmates enjoy 
a concert in the open air. 

The asylum trustees for the last decade were Anton Mehl, president. 
Charles Craemer and Henry Vollhard, in place of Anton Mehl, who declined 
a re-election in 19 12, Aug. F. Marquardt was elected, and Charles Craemer 
took the place as president. 

The home and hospital was built under the supervision of the committee 
of public property, to wit : John Manson, chairman ; W. W. Thayer, Charles 
Zarnke, A. J- Cherney, and Herman Vetter. 







// " 

If > !• / 1 



-: ^i 


The superintendent of the asylum and home and hospital is M. H. Duncan 
with his very estimable wife as matron. Mr. Duncan has been now super- 
intendent since 1909, and the institutions have been conducted in a very satis- 
factory and creditable manner. 

Dr. W. A. Ladwig is now the resident physician and visits both institu- 
tions daily and oftener, if necessary. 


was the first institution of this kind in the state. The object is expressed in 
its name, but it is more particularly the aim of the school to graduate teachers 
at home without the expense of going away to a state normal school, and 
thus attract pupils which could not afford to prepare themselves for the pro- 
fession of teaching except by graduating them at home, and thus furnish a 
good supply of teachers for the great number of county district schools under 
proper training. By act of legislature, chapter 268, law of 1889. two coun- 
ties in the state were empowered to found a county training school, and 
Marathon county was the first in the field to reap the benefits of that act. 

An appropriation of $2,500.00 was immediately made by the county for 
the school, and the city of Wausau gave the use of the Humboldt school 
building to the school. On September 11, 1899, this school opened with 
twenty-two pupils, but the number increased so that in the fourth tenn 
there were forty-four, who took the advantages offered to prepare them- 
selves for teaching. 

The state paid one-half of the sum appropriated by the county. $1,250.00. 
In 1902 the county board made an appropriation for teaching agriculture 
and domestic economy, and had a separate building put up, immediately 
east of the fair grounds, at a cost of $20,000.00 for building and equipment, 
for the use of the training as well as the agricultural school. It stands on 
six acres of grounds, of which eight lots were donated by Mr. C. S. Curtis 
of Wausau. The teachers' training school has come up fully to the expec- 
tations of the founders. Through this school the county schools are fur- 
nished with a corps of competent teachers, particularly trained for such 
schools; as a consequence the standard of teaching is higher, better discipline 
is maintained, the school boards have become more interestfd than before 
and give the teacher every assistance, such as providing sanitary, good ven- 
tilated rooms, books, and instruments. 

Every school is more or less what the principal teacher makes it. and it 
was fortunate for the Marathon County Training School to secure right at 


the beginning two such excellent instructors as Prof. O. E. Wells, formerly 
state superintendent, and Miss Rosalia Bohrer as his assistant. They prepared 
the course of study, adhered to it, extended the curriculum from time to 
time, and have been able to turn out a corps of competent teachers, and the 
fruit of their labor is plainly seen in the higher education of the growing 
generation in the county. The fact that both Mr. Wells and Miss Bohrer 
have been able to work harmoniously side by side without interruption since 
the organization of the school in 1899, that they have conquered the prejudice 
with which the undertaking was first looked upon and have the full confi- 
dence not only of the board of trustees and pupils, but of the school boards 
generally throughout the county, is the best proof of their high standing as 
instructors and managers of this institution. A moral atmosphere pervades 
the training school; pupils are made to understand that they have duties to 
perform in return for the education which they receive. In the fall of 1908 
it became necessary to engage another assistant, Miss Ellen McDonald, 
principal of the Oconto high school, who was since elected county superin- 
tendent of schools of Oconto county, and Miss Edith Hamaker has taken her 
place as assistant. 

The School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy gives instruction in 
all sorts of work required to be done on the farm and such knowledge as 
every farmer needs. It teaches the boys to learn the composition of the soil 
upon which crops are to be raised; the due care of stock, of buildings, and 
machinery, and everything which the farmer needs to know in these days of 
scientific farming. 


Girls are tauglit sewing and otiier hand work, cooking, house work, and 
the practical manner of housekeeping generally, which is so often neglected 
in our families of late. To give the women of the future that instruction 
which will enable her to conduct her household neat and at the same time 
on economic lines is, to the majority of them of more importance than ac- 
complishments on the piano or similar studies in arts, which usually give the 
pupil no more than a very superficial knowledge of the art which is usually 
dropped when the stern realities of life make their demands upon the house- 

The first instructor in the agricultural school was R. H. Johns, whose 
competency brought him soon a place as manager of a Pease canning factory 
at a higher price than as teacher; he was succeeded by Mr. Crosswait and 
for the last three years Mr. J. F. Kadonski has very successfully presided over 
that institution. 


The School of Domestic Economy had an excellent teacher in the person 
of Miss Emma Conley, who has since been called to the state normal school 
at Oshkosh as teacher in the same branch, and her place has been ably filled 
by Miss Mary Ellis Brown. 

The board of trustees of the training school are : A. L. Kreutzer, presi- 
dent; E. J. Benson, treasurer, and W.Pievemetz, county superintendent, as 
a member ex officio. 

The board of trustees for the agricultural school are : Ben. Lang, presi- 
dent; Frank Chesak, treasurer, and W. Pievernetz, county superintendent, as 
a member ex officio. 

Both of these schools, which exert much influence for good in their way, 
are the creation of A. L. Kreutzer, who was at the time of the enactment 
of the laws authorizing their organization a senator for the twenty-fifth sen- 
atorial district of Wisconsin, composed of Clark and Marathon counties. 
It was he who introduced the bills, urged and succeeded in their enactment, 
and advocated the immediate acceptance of the opportunity given the county 
by the acts, and as trustee from their very organization has taken much 
interest to keep the schools up to their high standard of efificiency. At first 
the state paid only one-half of the costs of maintenance, but by a later act, 
chapter 509, laws of 1905, also introduced by and enacted through Mr. 
Kreutzer's influence as a senator, the state now pays two-thirds of the 
expenses of the schools, which in later years have been $6,000.00 annually, 
but which this year are $7,000.00, of which the state pays two-thirds. These 
schools present a splendid opportunity for Alarathon county boys and girls 
to equip themselves with the knowledge and the training which will enable 
them to shoulder the burdens of life and acquit themselves honorably in the 
discharge of the duties of American citizenship. If Senator Kreutzer had 
done nothing else than to secure for this county these two schools with state 
aid, he would be entitled to the thanks of the community. 


The Marathon County Agricultural Society was founded in 1867. Some 
previously made attempts for the organization of such a society failed for 
several reasons. Up to that time farming was yet in its infancy, all farm 
work was yet done by hand. The first threshing machine and separator was 
brought to the county by Charles Zastrow, of the town of Hamburg in 1866, 
though there were a few open cylinder threshers in use, which did not sep- 
arate the kernel from the chafif. But many farmers still threshed by flail 


up to 1870, especially new beginners, whose harvest was too small to justify 
the setting up of a thresher and separator. Nor were there many fanning 
mills. The grain was cleaned in the old-fashioned way by throwing it against 
the wind. 

The first mowers and reapers \\ere introduced in 1874, and the first har- 
vester, a McCormick, in 1880. The ax, the side, the scythe, cradle, and hoe, 
besides plow and harrow were the only agricultural implements of the pio- 
neer. Sometimes young farmers are heard talking like this, "If we should 
farm like our parents now, we could not make a living." That is true enough, 
but perhaps in a double sense. Could they fami like their fathers and make 
the headway which they made, clearing, then sowing and harvesting among 
stumps and rocks, with hoe and side and cradle threshing with the flail? 

In the year 1867, two gentlemen pioneers saw the necessity of doing some- 
thing to encourage agriculture, and as practical men they knew that the first 
condition was to have a place or spot, on which to hold agricultural fairs. 
And- they organized the Marathon County Agricultural Society and deeded 
to the society for a nominal consideration the northwest >4 of northwest 34 
of section 35 and northeast Y^ northeast 34 of section 34 in township 29, 
range 7 east, for a fair ground. These gentlemen were B. G. Plumer and 
August Kickbusch, the deed bears date January 28, 1867. Other business 
men of W'ausau. and even laboring men, helped in the clearing up, fencing, 
and improving the ground by laboring, or by giving lumber and nails. 

In the course of years, buildings and bams were erected, a race track laid, 
and a grand stand put up, and everything done which is needed to give an 
exhibition of agricultural products, to bring fine live stock to the farmers' 
attention at home, and induce him to improve his stock. 

Much good has been done of late years, although for the first twenty 
years the society had hard traveling to make ends meet. 

The admission fee was only $5.00, which made the payer a life member 
and entitled him to free admission at all fairs during life. Only a few farm- 
ers joined, and even at this late day, the membership is almost exclusively 
confined to people living in the city of W'ausau, with not to exceed thirty 
farmer members. 

The grounds have been kept up by voluntary contributions by the people 
of the city of Wausau, and by an annual appropriation of the county board 
of $500.00 for premiums. The society has one of the finest grounds in the 
state, eighty acres, of which forty lie in the city limits. About fifty acres 
of cleared ground, occupied by buildings and race course ; the other thirty 
acres are finelv timbered land. Twentv acres were leased to the W'ausau 


Sharp Shooters' Society for 99 years, which has a fine club house and range, 
and Company G of the Third Regiment Wisconsin National Guard, has 
also their range on this twenty acre piece. These twenty acres, together with 
ten acres timber land under the control of the agricultural society, make a 
splendid natural park in the city. 

The society is now nearly out of debt. It owes $1,000.00 spent for build- 
ings and improvements, and one fair with good weather will clear the debt. 

The following were the officers of the society for the year 1912: Charles 
Barwig, president; William F. Lemke, vice-president; E. C. Zimmerman, 
treasurer; J. D. Christie, secretary; and eleven trustees constitute the execu- 
tive board. 

The present trustees are : S. M. Quaw, A. J._ Plowmann, E. C. Zimmer- 
man, William Lemke, Frank Deichsel, G. A. Mills, Aug. F. Marquardt, John 
Kreutzer, C. A. Barwig, W. J. Brill, and J. D. Christie. 

Of the original founders and members who joined the society in 1867, 
only about ten are still alive, their names appearing on the roll of member- 
ship. The others ha\'e gone to that bourn from whence no traveler returns. 


IN I9I2. 

Adams, H., Wausau; date of joining, 1868. 
Albers, W. W., Wausau; date of joining, 1892. 
Alderson, W. A., \\'ausau; date of joining, 1892. 
Alexander, Walter, Wausau; date of joining, 1892. 
Anderes. Gottlieb, Wausau; date of joining. 1897. 
Armstrong, Walter, \\'ausau ; date of joining. 1868. 
Baerwald, William. Wausau; date of joining, 1870. 
Barnum, M. H., Minoqua; date of joining, 1870. 
Barrett, C. C, Edgar; date of joining, 1903. 
Baumann, R., Wausau; date of joining, 1870. 
Bellis, M. G., Wausau; date of joining, 1897. 
Benz, Aug., Wausau; date of joining, 1892. 
Bird, C. B., Wausau; date of joining. 1903. 
Brown, Neal, Wausau; date of joining, 1896. 
Braatz, Aug., (Canada) : date of joining. 1876. 
Curtis, C. S., Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Delaney, Patrick, \\'ausau; date of joining, 1884. 
Dern, Anton, Wausau; date of joining, 1884. 


DeVoe, W. W., Wausau; date of joining, 1870. 
Dumdei, Fred, Town of Wausau; date of joining, 1883. 
Dunbar, C. F., Wausau; date of joining, 1885. 
Duncan, M. H., Wausau; date of joining, 1901. 
Egeler, John, Wausau; date of joining, 1870. 
Empter, J. F., Wausau ; date of joining, 1900. 
Freeman, Robert, Emmett; date of joining, 1900. 
Gehrke, J. W., Cal. ; date of joining, 1897. 
Gensman, Jacob, Wausau; date of joining, 1867. 
Gerbsch, Herman, Wausau; date of joining, 1886. 
Gilbert, C. S., Wausau; date of joining, 1896. 
Ghodes, Carl, Town of Texas; date of joining, 1893. 
Gritzmacher, John, W'ausau; date of joining, 1893. 
Gorman, Dennis, Wausau; date of joining, 1895. 
Gorman, P., Wausau; date of joining, 1895. 
Hagen, Charles, Town of Easton; date of joining, 1886. 
Harger, C. W., Wausau; date of joining, 1896. 
Head, H. C, Antigo; date of joining, 1900. 
Helke, Charles, W^ausau; date of joining, 1895. 
Helke, Gust., Town of Berlin; date of joining, 1895. 
Heinmann, Ed., Wausau; date of joining, 1895. 
Heinemann, Ben, Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Heinemann, N., Wausau; date of joining, 1885. 
Hewitt, William F., Schofield ; date of joining, 1882. 
Hunt, Peter, Wausau; date of joining. 1874. 
Hurley, M. A., Wausau; date of joining. 1900. 
Johnson, R. H., W^ausau; date of joining, 1885. 
Jones, G. D., Wausau; date of joining. 1900. 
Kelly, Frank, Wausau; date of joining. 1896. 
Kempt, James, Town of Texas; date of joining. 1868. 
Kennedy, John, Town of Wausau; date of joining, 1901. 
Keyes, H. A., Merrill; date of joining. 1867. 
Keil, J. H., Wausau; date of joining. 1900. 
Kickbusch, Robert, Wausau; date of joining. 1886. 
Kiefer, John, Wausau; date of joining. 1884. 
Kiefer, John L., Wausau; date of joining. 1896. 
Kleinschmidt, C. A., Merrill; date of joining. 1871. 
Kline, D. A., Merrill; date of joining. 1867. 
Klein. George, Wausau; date of joining. 1903. 


Koch, Earnst, Wausau; date of joining, 1899. 
Kretlow, E. C, Wausau; date of joining, 1897. 
Kreutzer, A. L., Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 
Kronenwetter, Carl, Mosinee; date of joining, 1897. 
Lamont, J. P., Wausau; date of joining, 1896. 
Lehy, J. E., Wausau; date of joining, 1868. 
Lemke, William, Naugart; date of joining, 1902. 
Levenhagen, Fred, Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Lipinski, Albert, Wausau; date of joining, 1897. 
McCrossen, James, Pasadena; date of joining, 1870. 
Manser, John, Wausau; date of joining, 1901. 
Manson, J. N., Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Marquardt, A. P., Wausau; date of joining, 1875. 
Marchetti, Louis, Wausau; date of joining, 1883. 
Meisekothen, Aug., Madison; date of joining, 1897. 
Meuret, J. G., Scholfield; date of joining, 1893. 
Miller, John, Wausau; date of joining, 1868. 
Miller, Henry, Wausau; date of joining, 1882. 
Miller, John W., Wausau; date of joining, 1895. 
Miller, Herman, ^^'ausau; date of joining, 1868. 
Mitchel, W. W., Wausau; date of joining, 1869. 
Morman, Pred. Wausau; date of joining, 1879. 
Montgomery, James, Wausau; date of joining, 1885. 
Mueller, Gust., Wausau; date of joining, 1896. 
Murray, D. J., Wausau; date of joining, 1890. 
Nicolls, Edw., \\'ausau; date of joining, 1868. 
Paronto, Alfred, Kelly; date of joining, 1868. 
Peters, Hugo, \\"ausau; date of joining. 1896. 
Plumer, D. L., Wausau; date of joining, 1867. 
Pradt, L. A., Wausau; date of joining, 1896. 
Quaw, S. M., Wausau; date of joining, 1883. 
Rick, George, Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Ringle, John, Wausau; date of joining, 1874. 
Ritter, Prank, Wausau; date of joining. 1896. 
Rosenberry, M. B., Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 
Sauerhering, D., Wausau; date of joining, 1892. 
Schmidt, Robert, Wausau; date of joining, 1901. 
Schmidt, William, Scholfield: date of joining, 1896. 
Schmieden, Herman. Wausau; date of joining, 1870. 


Schoeneberg, William, Wausau; date of joining, 1886. 
Schubring, Fred T., Wausau; date of joining, 1870. 
Silverthorn, W. C, Wausau; date of joining, 1867. 
Slimmer, Jacob, Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Smith, J. C, \\'ausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Speer, E. V., Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Stadler, Philip, \\'ausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Stewart, H. C, Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 
Stuhlfauth, George, Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 
Talier, Louis, Wausau; date of joining, 1868. 
Thayer, E. B., Wausau; date of joining, 1883. 
Trevitt, A. W., Wausau; date of joining. 1890. 
Ventzke, Fred, Wausau; date of joining, 1899. 
Voigt, H. E., Hamburg; date of joining, 1895. 
Vollhard. Henry, Marathon; date of joining. 1893. 
Wendorf, Albert, Stettin; date of joining, 1867. 
W^ilson, William. (Washington) ; date of joining, 1867. 
Winton, C. J., Minneapolis; date of joining, 1890. 
Witter, H. E., Wausau; date of joining, 1893. 
Witter, G. W., Wausau; date of joining, 1900. 
Whitmore, J. T., Wausau; date of joining, 1893. 
Young, Frank, Wausau; date of joining. 1892. 
Zender, N. H., Wausau; date of joining. 1897. 
Zentner, F. T., Manitowoc; date of joining. 1882. 
Zimmerman, E. C, Manitowoc; date of joining, 1895. 

Names after January 7, /poj; 

Belanger, Ovid, Wausau ; date of joining. 1903. 
Cauley, Mich.. Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 
Cauley, William, Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 
Gallon, William, Wausau (1892) ; date of joining, 1903. 
Collins, W. F., Wausau; date of joining. 1903. 
Duncan, Roy, Wausau ; date of joining, 1903. 
Flieth, H. G., Wausau (1892) ; date of joining, 1903. 
Farnham, George S., \\'ausau ; date of joining, 1903. 
Haider, Albert. Wausau; date of joining. 1903. 
James, E. M.. Wausau; date of joining. 1903. 
Kollock, W. D., Wausau; date of joining. 1903. 


Mills, G. A., Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 

Means, P. O., Wausau ( 1892) ; date of joining, 1903. 

Pinder, R. W., Duluth; date of joining, 1903. 

Reiser, J. H., Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 

Sexsmith, Lamar, Wausau ; date of joining, 1903. 

Slimmer, R. F., Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 

Struck, Paul, Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 

Wegner, Joseph, Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 

Zahn, Otto, Wausau; date of joining, 1903. 

Deichsel, Charles, Wausau (1890); date of joining, 

Voigt, William A., Naugard; date of joining, 1900. 

John, R. B., Antigo; date of joining, 1903. 

Ruder, Henry, Wausau; date of joining, 1905. 

Wilson, B. F., Wausau; date of joining, 1906. 

Thompson, D. O., Athens; date of joining, 1906. 

Willard, Lillie, Wausau; date of joining, 1907. 

Mylrea, W. H., Wausau; date of joining, 1907. 

Genrich, Fred, Wausau; date of joining, 1907. 

Plowman, A. J., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Earwig, C. A., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Haider, H. H., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Reitbrock, A. C, Milwaukee; date of joining, 1908. 

Klann, Milwaukee ; date of joining, 1908. 

Erbach, William L., Athens; date of joining, 1908. 

Schmidt, Edwin F., Scholfield; date of joining, 1908. 

LaCerte, I. A., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Wegner, C. H., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Schlueter, Hemian, Marathon City; date of joining, 1908. 

Reinke, Frank, Naugard; date of joining, 1908. 

Dundei, Paul, Wausau R. R. ; date of joining, 1908. 

Brown, Gust., Town of Texas; date of joining, 1908. 

Clark, Fred, Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Edie, Mrs. James, Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Felling, A. L., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Gamble, Joe, Wausau; date of joining. 1908. 

Imm, Fred, Jr., Wausau: date of joining, 1908. 

Mumm, A. W., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Nutter, J. H., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 

Patzer, Mrs. John, Wausau ; date of joining, 1908. 


Pierce, Mrs. F. H., Wausau; date of joining, 1908. 
Ziebell, A. E., Wausau; date of joining. 1908. 
Deichsel, Frank, Wausau; date of joining, 1909. 
Chellis, William, Wausau; date of joining. 1909. 
Nafz, Gust, Wausau; date of joining. 1910. 
Single, Mrs. Susan V., Wausau; date of joining. 1910. 
Mueller. Otto. Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Weinkauf, Paul, Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Lull, John, Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
DeVoe, Fred, Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Barwig, Melvin, Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Lemke, O. C, Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Graft, John, Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Marquardt, Aug., Jr., Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Bean, J. J.. Wausau; date of joining, 1910. 
Albrecht. William, Jr.. Wausau; date of joining. 1910. 
Bock, A. A.. Wausau; date of joining. 1910. 
Zimmerman. Alfred. Wausau; date of joining. 1910. 
Beilke, Henry A.. Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Schmidt, Aug. F., Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Krueger, Otto. Wausau; date of joining. 191 1. 
Bean. E. E., Wausau; date of joining. 191 1. 
Joster, John, Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Hofifmann, William, Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Heil, Fred, Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Hochtritt, E. A., Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Amhaus, Herman, Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Bean, G. W., Wausau; date of joining. 191 1. 
Holub, Adolph, Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Parsch, Gust, Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Morgan, F. A., Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Prehn, A. W., Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Marquardt, A. E., Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Cook, L. H., Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Christie, John D.. Wausau; date of joining, 191 1. 
Ramthun, Herman, R. 2, Wausau; date of joining, 1912. 
Gordon, W. W., R. 3, Wausau; date of joining, 1912. 
Becker, Louis. Rothschield; date of joining, 1912. 
Holzem. Jacob, R. 2, Wausau: date of joining, 1912. 



Poeske, Aug., Wausau; date of joining, 1912. 
Sawyer, C. S., Wausau; date of joining, 1912. 


President, F. B. Wilson ; vice-president, S. AI. Ouaw ; secretary, J. D. 
Christie; treasurer, E. C. Zimmermann. 


H. C. Eggebrecht, Town Frankfort, chairman. 

Athens, village, J. W. Kreutzer. 
Bergen, Fred Bower. 
Berlin, W. F. Lemke. 
Bern, Gust. Doering. 
Brighton, J. H. Vogt. 
Brokaw, village, George A. Runkel. 
Cassel, F. X. Schilling. 
Cleveland, Albert Naehring. 
Colby, east ward, N. P. Peterson. 
Day, John Etringer. 
Easton, C. E. Bessert. 
Eau Plaine, Hennan Jeske. 
Edgar, village, Justin IMeans. 
Elderon, Frank Schulz. 
Emmet, F. J. Krieg. 
Fenwood, village, Ed. Protze. 
Flieth, J. J. Bean. 
Franzen, A. J. Torgerson. 
Halsey, A. F. Hoge. 
Hamburg, P'rank Marth. 
Harrison, R. W. Roberts. 
Hewitt, Jacob Holzen. 
Holton, Herman Hedrich. 
Hull, Nick Kanter. 
Johnson, John Junk. 
Knowlton, A. Guenther. 
Kronenwetter, Carl Kronenwetter. 
Maine, F. C. Erdman. 
Marathon, Carl Hilber. 
Marathon, village, Aug. Ritger. 

McMillan, William Schilling. 

McMillan, village, A. E. Beebee. 

Mosinee, G. W. Parker. 

Mosinee, village, J. P. Kanter. 

Norrie, H. C. Gowell. 

Pike Lake, Roman Woijtasik. 

Plover, Fred Thomas. 

Rib Falls, Ernst Ringle. 

Rietbrock, Alex Cichon. 

Ringle, C. L. Wyatt. 

Schofield, village, M. P. McCul- 

Spencer, F. C. Blankenburg. 

Spencer, village, George Farring- 

Stettin, Carl Schewe. 

Stratford, village, W. F. Goetz. 

Texas, Robert Arendt. 

Unity, village, Charles Creed. 

Wausau, H. Ramthun. 

Weston, J. D. Christie. 

Wien, Martin Marquardt. 

Wausau, ist ward, F. J. Gaetzman; 
2d ward, E. C. Kretlow ; 3d ward, 
Fred E. Schroeder; 4th ward, M. W. 
Sweet; 5th ward, John Kiefer; 6th 
ward, W. A. Berger; 7th ward. F. 
W. Krause; 8th ward, Bernhard 
Krueger; 9th ward, Ernst Koch. 



Municipal judge, Louis Marchetti; term, 1912-1916. 
County judge, Clyde L. Warren; temi, 1910-1914. 
Sheriff, H. J. Abraham; term, 1913-1915. 
District attorney, Edw. Gorman; term, 1913-1915. 
Clerk circuit court, K. A. Beyreis; term, 1913-1915. 
County clerk, Louis Cook; term, 1913-1915. 
County treasurer, John Schirpke; term, 1913-1915. 
County register of deeds, John Sell; term, 1913-1915. 
County surveyor, William H. Gowan; term, 1913-1915. 
County coroner. Dr. R. M. Frawley; term, 1913-1915. 
County superintendent of schools, Wenzel Pivemitz; tern:, 1911-1913, 
and re-elected to 191 5. 


Until j\Iarathon county was organized in 1851, there is no trace or 
remembrance of the existence of any tribunal having any resemblance to a 
court of justice in the whole territory north of township 25, and before that 
event the territory had been attached to Dane county for judicial purposes. 
There is not a trace of a lawyer in Marathon county until 1851, when Hiram 
Calkins is mentioned as district attorney, which ofifice he held for several 
terms. He was evidently appointed by the governor and took up his resi- 
dence at or shortly before his appointment. Next appears William Ken- 
nedy, elected county judge and admitted to practice before the circuit court 
of the county in 1853, and the next attorney who came to \\'ausau and 
opened an office was Lyman Thayer, who came in 1853. Up to 1856 the 
following were the resident attorne3's and in actual practice : 

Hiram Calkins, William H. Kennedy, L}Tnan W. Thayer, 'SI. 'SI. Charles, 
Eli R. Chase, and M. H. Bamum. 

Of these, ^^'illiam H. Kennedy died in 1859, and was soon followed to 
the grave by L}anan ^\'. Thayer. 

After i860 and up to 1900 the following named gentlemen constituted 
the bar: 

Hiram Calkins, Eli R. Chase, W. F. Terhune. ^I. H. Bamum, M. M. 
Charles, W. C. Silverthom, J. P. West. E. L. Bump. i\L A. Hurley, C. H. 
Mueller, B. W. James, H. S. Alban, C. V. Bardeen, R. C. Spooner, J. A. Kel- 

y, B. Ringle, C. F. Eldred, Louis Marchetti, J. McKay, T. C. Ryan, Neal 


Brown, Louis A. Pradt, W. H. JMylrea, B. J. Pink, H. H. Grace, E. B. Lord, 
Alexander Craven, J. Livermoor, G. D. Jones, H. B. Huntington, C. B. Bird, 
A. L. Kreutzer, M. B. Rosenberry, F. E. Bump, \Y. V. Silverthorn, F. W. 
Genrich, John Okoneski, H. H. Manson, Otto Krueger, W. S. Williams, G. 
Heinemann, George C. Dickingson, G. L Follett, and A. B. Barney. 

After 1890 and up to 19 12 the foUowing additional attorneys took up 
their residence at Wausau and were in practice: 

John B. Andrews, F. P. Regner, M. W. Sweet, C. L. Warren, Orlaf An- 
derson, C. T. Edgar, R. A. Edgar, Joseph W. Coates. J. P. Ford, E. P. 
Gorman, P. L. Halsey, J. P. Riley, O. L. Ringle, B. E. Smith, G. J. Leicht, 
Frank Markus, R. E. Puchner, A. W^ Prehn, and Thomas H. Ryan. 

Of these the following have removed from Marathon county at differ- 
ent dates : 

Hiram Calkins, Eli R. Chase, J. P. West, W. F. Terhune, M. H. Bamum, 
C. V. Bardeen (elected judge of the supreme court), H. S. Alban, B. J. 
Pink, H. H. Grace, Otto Krueger, W. S. Williams, W. V. Silverthorn, 
George C. Dickingson, R. A. Edgar, and John B. Andrews. 

And the following died at Wausau : 

B. W. James, Alexander Craven, B. Ringle, J. A. Kellogg, M. M. Charles, 
C. F. Crosby, C. F. Eldred, John Livennoor, E. B. Lord, C. H. Mueller, 
E. L. Bump. T. C. Ryan, J. W. Coates, G. L Follett, and A. B. Barney. 

The following constitute the roll of attorneys and members of the Mara- 
thon county bar in the year 19 12: 

Orlaf Anderson, C. B. Bird, Neal Brown, F. E. Bump, C. T. Edgar, 
John P. Ford, F. W. Genrich, E. P. Gorman. H. B. Huntington, M. A. 
Hurley, P. L. Halsey, G. D. Jones, A. L. Kreutzer, G. J. Leicht, F. Markus, 
H. H. Manson, L. Marchetti, W. H. Mylrea, J. Okoneski, L. A. Pradt, A. 
W. Prehn, R. E. Puchner, F. P. Regner, J. P. Riley, O. L. Ringle, M. B. 
Rosenberry, T. C. Ryan, B. E. Smith, M. W. Sweet. C. L. Warren, F. H. 
Ryan, and G. N. Heinemann. 

In ability and character, the Marathon county bar always stood well in 
the estimation of the State Bar Association, and many of the individual 
members took high rank as lawyers among the fraternity in the state. Some 
became distinguished in the halls of the legislature and others upon the bench. 

Hon. W. C. Silverthorn was elected state senator for the 21st senatorial 
district; he was the candidate of the Democratic party in 1884 for attorney 
general, and in 1896 for governor of the state. He was appointed circuit 
judge by Governor Scofield in 1898, elected the same spring and reelected in 
1904, and resigned the offce in the summer of 1908. 


Hon. J. A. Kellogg was elected to the state senate in 1878. He died in 
the spring of 1884, was buried at W'ausau, and later his body was removed 
and buried in La Crosse. 

Hon. C. V. Bardeen was elected circuit judge of the newly created i6th 
judicial circuit of Wisconsin in 189 1 ; reelected in 1897, and appointed by 
Governor Scofield as judge of the supreme court in 1898, and elected for 
the unexpired term of Justice Newman, and reelected and died at Madison, 
March 20, 1903. 

W. H. Mylrea was elected attorney general in 1894, and reelected in 

Neal Brown was elected to the assembly in 1890, and to the state senate 
in 1892, and received the primary nomination of his party (Democratic) 
for United States senator in 1898, and the vote of the Democratic minority 
in the legislature of 1903 for the same high office 

L. A. Pradt was appointed as United States assistant attorney general 
in 1897, and reappointed in 1901. 

A. L. Kreutzer was elected state senator of the district composed of 
Clark and Marathon counties in 1898, and reelected in 1902. 

G. D. Jones was appointed regent of the State University by Governor 
Davidson in 1909 and reappointed in 191 1 by Gov. Francis McGovem. 


Political History from the Organization of the County Until the 
Close of 1912. 


At the time of the organization of Wisconsin as a territory and its admis- 
sion as a state in the Union, the Democratic party was at the height of its 
power in the United States. Under the lead of its statesmen, the country had 
enjoyed marvelous growth. By the Louisiana purchase under Thomas Jef- 
ferson the whole of the Mississippi and Missouri valley was acquired; Florida 
was ceded by Spain ; Texas admitted as a state, and by the war with Mexico 
the boundaries of the Union were extended clear through this continent to the 
Pacific coast. The United States had become the greatest compact country 
in the world, and under its free institutions and its immense surplus of fruit- 
ful lands, the people were prosperous and contented. Wisconsin was the last 
state carved out of the old Northwest territory, admitted as a state in 1848. 
The majority of the people in Wisconsin, like the majority in all the north- 
western states, adhered to that party. The policy of the newly admitted 
western states under its Democratic leaders was friendly to emigration, and 
it was but natural that these emigrants should range themselves on that side. 
These western states extended the rights of suffrage to the newcomers in a 
short time, and encouraged them to become citizens, which was in strong 
contrast with the policy of the New England and southern states. Indiana, 
for instance, required only a bona fide residence of six months, and other 
states one year, besides the declaration of the emigrant to become a citizen, 
to allow him to vote on all questions coming before the people. 

It was undoubtedly this liberality towards emigrants which attracted 
European settlers and- populated the West. The sudden growth of the North 
and West excited the jealousy of the narrow-minded minority, which pretended 
to scent danger to American institutions by extending the right of suffragt 
in so short time, and they organized a new party, called the "American 
Party," whose aim was to restrict office to native bom Americans, and ex- 



tend the right to vote only to such foreign born persons as resided within 
the United States for twenty-one years. The Democratic party at once took 
strong ground against the American party, called the "Know Nothing" party, 
while the Whig party was rather vacillating in their opposition to the de- 
mands of the American party, in consecjuence of which, the by far largest 
portion of the foreign bom population became more closely attached to the 
Democratic party. 

But at about the same time, the slavery problem began to cast its shadow 
over the Union and led to some desertions from its ranks. At about 1850, 
the Democratic party in Wisconsin had only a slight majority in the state, 
which it lost in 185 1, when the Whig party elected their candidate, Farwell, 
by 507 votes over Upham, tiie Democratic candidate; but Farwell's election 
was the last triumph of the Whig party, which went out of existence, the 
bulk of that party going into the Republican party, which sprang into exist- 
ence a few years afterwards. 

In 1853 the Democratic party elected their candidate. Barstow, by a large 
vote over the combined vote of the Republicans and Whigs, but it was the 
last Democratic victory for twenty years in Wisconsin. 

At the time of the first settlement of Marathon county, or at its organ- 
ization, the population was nearly entirely native bom, with only a sprinkling 
of Canadian and Irish, and the Democratic and \\'hig parties nearly balanced 
«ach other, the \\h\g party having a slight lead, unquestionably due to the 
influence of \\'alter D. Mclndoe, aided by C. A. Single and his brothers. 

The vote of Marathon county in early years for governor was : 

185 1 — Upham. Democrat, received 94 votes. 
1851 — Farwell, ^\'hig, received 113 votes. 
1853 — Barstow, Democrat, received 205 votes. 
1853 — Baird, ^^'hig, recei\ed 208 votes. 
1855 — Barstow, Democrat, received 104 votes. 
1855 — Bashford, Republican, received 88 votes. 
1857 — Cross, Democrat, received 209 votes. 
1857 — Randall, Republican, received 197 votes, 
1859 — Hobart, Democrat, received 509 votes. 
1859 — Randall, Republican, received 206 votes. 
1861 — Ferguson, Democrat, received 403 votes. 
1861 — Randall, Republican, received 100 votes. 
1863 — Palmer, Democrat, received 403 votes. 


1863 — Lewis, Republican, received 107 votes. 

1865 — Hobart, Democrat, received 499 votes. 

1865 — Fairchield, Republican, received 112 votes. 

1867 — Tallmadge, Democrat, received 618 votes. 

1867 — Fairchield, Republican, received 90 votes. 

1869 — Robinson, Democrat, received 594 votes. 

1869 — Fairchield, Republican, received 131 votes. 

1871 — Doolittle, Democrat, received 780 votes. 

1 87 1 — ^^'ashburn, Republican, received 218 votes. 

1873 — Taylor, Democrat, received 779 votes. 

1873 — Washburn, Republican, received 317 votes. 

1875 — Greeley (for President), Democrat, received 911 votes. 

1875 — Grant (for President), Republican, received 491 votes. 

The vote of these years is interesting as showing the slow growth in 
population, aside from the political character, throwing a light on the condi- 
tion and situation of the people. 

The growth of the Democratic vote from 1855 was due to the appearance 
of new men from the East, especially R. P. Manson, B. G. Plumer and D. L. 
Plumer, and the new settlements in Marathon City, and the Gemian emigrants. 
The settlers who founded Marathon City came from Pennsylvania, which 
w"as then Democratic; and while residing there, had a test of intolerance of 
the Know Nothing party, which forced them in the Democratic ranks, where 
they remained ; and as the influx of German and Irish settlers increased, that 
party grew stronger from year to year in Marathon county; but it asserted 
itself only in the vote for state or presidential candidates, but not in the 
election of county officers. County officers, in the first fifteen years, were 
not remunerative, and consec^uently excited no strife. Then the population 
was so small, that everybody knew everybody, and the election of county 
officers was simply a question of personal friendship or personal preference. 

It seems that up to i860 there was no election machinery; a caucus was 
held, candidates nominated, but party lines were not drawn. But after i860, 
with the growth of population and better pay for county officers, conven- 
tions for nomination of officers were held. In the first years of the existence 
of the county the pay for all officers, except treasurer, was $2.00 per day for 
actual service, the treasurer receiving fees as town treasurers do now. They 
were not required to keep open office at stated hours, but conducted their 
offices on the plan of town officers now. Up to 1854 the offices of county 
clerk, clerk of the circuit court and register of deeds were filled by the same 


person, and he was probably in attendance in the county house most of the 
time during the day. Later, in 1856, the county clerk received a salary of 
$300 per annum. 

Party conventions were called in the early sixties by the Democrats, as 
that party was in an overwhelming majority, and that ticket seems to have 
been opposed by independents, so-called. If people were not satisfied with 
the candidates nominated, they would induce others to run; and sometimes 
one or the other of these independents would be elected, which has become 
an impossibility under the present "incorporated character"' of parties, which 
is claimed a great evolution to take the power from the bosses. But with 
the growth of the population, with halls for public meeting, with newspapers 
and chances for hearing good speeches on political topics, there came a 
stronger organization of political parties. In the fall of 1872, there was a 
Democratic convention held in the courthouse for the nomination of candi- 
dates in accordance with a call duly issued weeks before. There was a 
strife for the county offices, particularly for sheriff, treasurer, and county 
clerk; and when the convention was called to order and the delegates took 
their seats, the right of one of the delegates was challenged on the ground 
that he was a Republican, and as a supporter of U. S. Grant could not claim 
a seat in that convention. The delegate admitted the fact as to his political 
status, but claimed that this was only a convention for nominating county 
officers, which had nothing to do with politics. He was told that this was a 
Greeley convention, called as such; that only Greeley supporters would be 
permitted to nominate a county ticket, and that only candidates supporting 
Greeley would be nominated, and he was excluded from the convention. The 
delegate withdrew and, upon a statement made by another delegate that any 
other Grant supporter, if present as a delegate, should withdraw, two other 
delegates left the convention, stating that they were present in accordance 
with the older usage and custom, but if this was a Greeley convention pure 
and simple, they would withdraw, too, and feel under no obligation to sup- 
port the ticket to be nominated by this convention. 

A Republican convention was called thereupon and a Republican county 
ticket nominated; and from that time on political conventions were held, 
strict party ties were drawn more or less, and elections became more than 
ever before, a test of party strength. 

The Democratic party was in the majority, and by organization and 
popular nominations, gained in numbers and strength, electing with two or 
three exceptions, every county officer up to 1892, its success being only slightly 
and temporarily interrupted by the Greenback party in 1877 and 1878. 


The Democratic vote for Grover Cleveland in 1892 was 3,791, against 
1,959 for Benjamin Harrison, which was the highwater mark of Democratic 
ascendency, from which it steadily declined, until the county could be fairly 
relied upon for substantial Republican majorities. But high as Cleveland's 
majority was, it was comparatively less than the vote for Samuel J. Tilden in 
1876, who received 1,796 votes, against 668 for R. B. Hayes. 

In the election contests from 1872 on, the Democrats had a superior 
organization. Hon. B. Ringle, county judge; Hon. W. C. Silverthorn, John 
C. Clarke and August Kickbusch were a quartet of strong and popular leaders, 
working in complete harmony, and Greeley received 911 to 491 votes for 
General Grant. 

In 1874, Hon. George W. Cate was nominated for congress by the Demo- 
crats in the eighth congressional district, theretofore strongly Republican, and 
Cate was elected by a slight majority over his Republican opponent, the sit- 
ting member of congress, Hon. Alexander McDill ; and in the campaign of 
1876 the Democrats gave Tilden the unprecedented majority of 1,128, out of 
a total of 2,464. 

C. H. Mueller was elected as district attorney in 1874, but failed of 
renomination in 1876, because of the active opposition to him by the gambling 
fraternity and their friends in high life, so-called. Rog. C. Spooner, who 
came to Wausau in 1875, was nominated in his place. The opposition to 
him centered on another young lawyer, Charles V. Bardeen, of Republican 
proclivities, who made a fine canvass as an independent candidate, but could 
not wholly overcome the tremendous Democratic majority. 

R. C. Spooner was elected, took the office; but a few months afterwards 
his father, the venerable P. L. Spooner, insisted that he return to Madison, 
the father not approving of his son's surroundings. R. C. Spooner resigned, 
and the governor appointed C. V. Bardeen as his successor. This was the 
beginning of the fine professional career of C. V. Bardeen, who was, fifteen 
years later, elected circuit judge, then appointed as justice of the supreme 
court in 1898 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Alf. W. Newman, to 
which office he was elected, and died in Madison while a member of the 
supreme court, in 1908. 

The decision of the electoral commission, by which R. B. Hayes was 
given the presidency, had a depressing effect upon many Democrats; they 
began to despair of future national success. The hard times caused by the 
money stringency following the contraction of the currency, preparatory to 
the resumption of specie payment, opened a fruitful field of agitation for the 
Greenback party. Business was depressed. Lumber had reached bottom 


prices. Fleets of lumber, mill run; that is, lumber as it was sawed from the 
log, including the best grades of lumber, and no poor lumber at all, were sold 
in St. Louis from $io to $15; some for even less, which was less than the 
original costs. 

This condition of business continued until 1880, and the effect was that 
every small lumberman, who had run out a fleet of lumber in former years, 
or cut logs and had it sawed at the mill, expecting to sell the lumber at Wau- 
sau or other ri\-er points, was forced out of business, only a few of the larger 
manufacturers being able to stand up under the heavy losses. Of course the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad had come to Wausau in the fall of 
1874, but the lumbermen had not yet found a market in the state west of the 
Mississippi, and were still more or less controlled by the market on the Missis- 
sippi river. Commercial houses in Wausau were forced into bankruptcy, and 
only a few of the strongest, and they only by stretching their credit to the 
utmost, survived the business crash which, beginning with the failure of Jay 
Cook in 1873, swept over the whole country. 

This was the situation in 1877, when Samuel F. Carey came to W'ausau 
in the summer and delivered an address in opposition to the resumption of 
specie payment, which he claimed was the cause of the financial disturbance 
and commercial depression. Carey was an orator ; he was an actor, an artist, 
not a barn-stormer ; he understood human nature; he could play upon the 
sentiments of his listeners, painting word pictures of the universal distress 
so vividly that his hearers could see the distress of others as they felt their 
own, and he completely captured the immense audience which had come to 
listen to him. The effect of his speech was instantaneous. A Greenback club 
was formed at once, which drew its members from all existing parties, includ- 
ing the few Prohibitionists, but most of the club members had formerly acted 
with the Democratic party. 

The newly formed Greenback party in \\'ausau assisted M. H. Barnum in 
establishing a weekly paper devoted to their principles, the Torch of Liberty, 
and during the summer of 1878, M. H. Barnum founded also a Gemian news- 
paper devoted to the same cause, the Watchman on the Wisconsin, which 
was edited by Henry Miller. The German paper ceased to be published soon 
after the election of 1878, but the material was purchased by Republican poli- 
ticians in 1 88 1, and the paper reissued under the name of Deutscher Pioneer, 
ably edited by one Koslowski, and still exists, being now owned by Paul 

The Torch, after a few years, became attached to the principles of the 
Republican party, and was later purchased by the Daily Record, a daily Re- 
publican sheet. 


In the fall election for state officers, there were three tickets in the field. 
W. E. Smith, at the head of the Republican ticket; Judge JMallory, at the 
head of the Democratic, and E. P. Allis, at the head of the Greenback ticket, 
and, as usual, the Republican ticket in the state was elected. In Marathon 
county the Greenback party elected their candidate for assembly, F. W. 
Kickbusch, by a small majority, more on his own popularity, however, than 
on his party strength, Mallory receiving 755 votes to 746 for Allis and 301 
for W. E. 5mith. 

This success encouraged the Greenback party to renewed exertions, and 
although an attempt was made by the leaders of the Democratic and Green- 
back parties in the congressional district to coalesce on member of congress 
and candidates for the legislature, the feeling between the old and new par- 
ties and some of its leaders, and the rank and file had become so bitter, as to 
make a coalition impossible. The Greenback party was led by men who stood 
well in the business community as, for instance, D. L. Plumer, August Kick- 
busch and his brother, F. W. Kickbusch, former Democrats ; R. E. Parcher, 
James McCrosen and Conrad Althen, former Republicans, with ]\I. H. Bar- 
num, a fluent and ready speaker, as the orator, and they were greatly aided 
by Robert Schilling of Milwaukee, a very able and eloquent debator. 

The election of 1878, when there was a member of congress to be elected, 
also a state senator for the 21st district, including Marathon county, and one 
member of the assembly, besides a county ticket, was the most bitter and 
heated contest ever carried on in Marathon county. Men who had been 
friends for years refused to speak or recognize each other on the street, be- 
cause of having changed party affiliations ; charges and counter charges with- 
out justifications were hurled at each other, and left sores which never healed. 
The Republicans put no county ticket in the field ; they centered their energies 
upon the election of their candidate, T. C. Pound, for congress, and J. A. 
Kellogg for senator, and were successful in both instances, although the 
Democratic and Greenback conventions had combined on A. R. Barrows, of 
Chippewa Falls, for congress, and M. H. ^^'adleigh, of Stevens Point, for the 
senate. The candidates of the coalition would have been elected if the votes 
of the two parties could have been combined. But the bitter personal feeling 
of the rank and file and some of their leaders, and some fine political maneu- 
vers of E. W. Keyes of Madison, who was a candidate for a seat in the 
United States senate, prevented a hearty combination. In that memorable 
campaign the bulk of the work on the part of the Democratic party fell upon 
younger men, Mr. John Ringle and Louis Marchetti, supported by J. C. 
Clarke and C. F. Eldred, an able and eloquent attorney of Wausau. The 


Republican candidate for congress, T. C. Pound, was elected, and also Gen. 
J. A. Kellogg,' as senator for 21st district of Wisconsin, the Greenback 
party electing George W. Ghoca, their candidate for sheriff; Henry Miller, 
county clerk, and A. W. Schmidt, for register of deeds ; while the Democrats 
elected J. R. Bruneau for county treasurer; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit 
court; William N. Allen, for county surveyor, and their candidate for mem- 
ber of assembly, John Ringle, against whom the Greenback party made a very 
strong fight. 

By the virtual repeal of the resumption act in reissuing the redeemed 
greenbacks after the amount of the same had been contracted to 346 million 
dollars, by destroying 54 millions redeemed, and by the coinage of two million 
silver dollars per month under the Bland-Allison act of 1878, contraction of 
the currency ceased ; it rather expanded slowly. Business began to revive 
in 1879, and much of the bitterness which had characterized political differ- 
ences vanished. 

The presidential election of 1880 was not exciting, but nevertheless 
the parties entered into the canvass with a vigor and determination to win. 
The Democrats nominated Hon. W. C. Silverthom for member of congress 
of the eigth congressional district, which was overwhelmingly Republican. 
That party at that time had a good organization in Marathon county. They 
arranged for a mass meeting and barbecue to be held at the courthouse 
square in September. An immense concourse of people gathered in the after- 
noon, listening to the speeches of Gen. E. S. Bragg and Col. E. Juessen, a 
brother-in-law of Carl Schurz, who spoke in German. After the conclusion 
of the speeches, a wagon having a wide platform was being driven upon the 
square, gaily decorated, on which there was in sitting posture a roasted ox, 
with a number of trenchermen, who began cutting after the square was 
reached. The roasted animal was a heavy young steer, roasted in the whole 
in the foundry of the Murrey Manufacturing Company, under the care of 
Christ Oswald, who did the -work as a labor of love. Other wagons came 
with bread and apples and there was a gay Democratic time. 

In the evening Music Hall was crowded to its full capacity, where the 
same speakers addressed the meeting. During the speech of General Bragg 
at the courthouse, a telegram was received by him and read, saying that the 
state of Maine had gone Democratic, and there was unbounded enthusiasm, 
which never flagged during the campaign. The Republicans were not back- 
wards. Soon after the Democratic barbecue they held one of their own on the 


courthouse square, too, putting up a number of tents in which they served 
chicken and geese, and urged their farmer friends to partake of their hos- 
pitaHty. In the afternoon T. C. Pound made a speech, and a Gennan speaker 
by the name of Koslowski entertained the audience. That was the opening 
of the RepubHcan campaign, which was kept up by local speakers until the 
day before election ; but there was shown more respect for the opinion of 
opponents than had been before. The Greenback party tried to keep up an 
organization through a club working for their presidential ticket, but aside 
from that they gave their strength to the Democratic ticket, which was made 
up of all the county officers elected two years ago, except sheriff, whose term 
is limited to two years and one term, and for which place the Democrats had 
nominated R. P. Manson, and old standby Democrat. General Hancock 
received 1,977 votes; Gen. J. A. Garfield received 1,025 votes; W. C. Silver- 
thorn, for congress, received 2,198 votes; T. C. Pound, for congress, received 
i,o6g votes, and he was elected by the heavy Republican majorities in other 
counties. John Ringle was reelected member of assembly, and the whole 
Democratic county ticket was elected by substantially the same vote that 
Hancock received, and even higher; but the vote for General Weaver, the 
Greenback party candidate, was largely reduced from the vote of 1878. 

In 1881, arrangements had been made by the people of Wausau for a 
more than usual solemn celebration of the Fourth of July. A speakers' 
tribune had been erected from out of the courthouse porch, speakers were 
appointed in time to prepare themselves for the occasion, and when the sun 
rose over the east hills everybody was ready to celebrate the day of our inde- 
pendence ; to feel as one people, as members of one great family, and nourish 
the fire of patriotism ; the sun rose clear, no threatening cloud could be seen 
on the horizon. Hundreds of farmers came to W^ausau with their families 
to take part in the celebration. The courthouse square was crowded at about 
ten o'clock, when the exercises were to begin in the forenoon with music, 
and sports on the fairgrounds in the afternoon. 

Just before the assemblage was to be called to order, Mr. M. A. Hurley 
approached the speakers' stand with a worn look in his face, holding a yellow 
telegram paper in his hand and waving 'for silence. The whole audience 
instinctively felt that some extraordinary announcement was about to be 
made, and a hush fell over the immense assemblage. With a few words of 
preparation, Mr. Hurley, his body shaking with emotion, then read the tele- 
gram just received, of the terrible shooting of the president, James A. Gar- 
field, at the Washington railroad depot, following up the reading with a 
statement that from the nature of the wound there was little hope of recovery. 


Judge Louis Marchetti made the same announcement in the German lan- 
guage. The effect produced was indescribable. Glen's faces blanched, women 
cried, and the people who had come together in anticipation of a patriotic 
festival and frolic, quietly and mournfully wended their way home, with a 
heavy heart. The telegraph office was besieged in the afternoon for more 
dispatches, in the hope of getting news holding out hope for the president's 
life, and everv' ray, slight tliough. was gladly welcomed. 

James A. Garfield's body was borne to the grave on the 26th day of 
September, 1881, and at the same time a solemn public service was held at 
the courthouse square, made more impressive by the part therein taken by the 
Hon. G. L. Park, circuit judge, who was visiting in Wausau at that time. 

The year 1881 closed fairly prosperous to all classes of people in ]\Iarathon 
county. The best of feeling prevailed, which was shown when the flood of 
1881 threatened to sweep away the guardlock, to the certain destruction of 
the three mills below, w-ith all the many millions of feet of lumber in the 
yards, when hundreds of people volunteered their help in strengthening the 
same and erecting a levee or dam on its east side to prevent a break. Every- 
body then felt that the wiping out of these mills would be a calamity to 
everybody else, not only to the owners. 

In the election for state officers in 1881, the Democratic candidate, N. D. 
Fratt. received 1.305; his opponent. Jer. Rusk, 6go votes, and Rusk was 
elected by a greatly reduced majority for governor of the state. 


When the next election came around, the dissension in the Repub- 
lican party forebode Democratic success. In tliat year the Democrats 
nominated Judge G. L. Park, of Portage county, for congress; John Ringle 
for senator of the 21st senatorial district of Wisconsin, and J. E. Leahy for 
member of assembly. These were exceptional strong nominations. 

The Republican congressional convention was held at Wausau, and after 
a stormy session, and after charges of bribery of delegates were openly made, 
Isaac Stevenson received his first nomination for congress, against E. L. 
Brown, of W'aupacca, and Charles M. Webb, of Wood county. Stevenson 
was little known outside of ^Marinette, Oconto and Shawano counties ; his 
nomination left a bitter taste in the mouths of the supporters of Brown and 
Webb, while on the other hand the nomination of G. L. Park was hailed with 
acclamation by the Democrats. 

By the census of 1880, Wisconsin had gained one member of congress, 


and Marathon county was in the new ninth congressional district, which 
included sixteen counties, or nearly one-third of the entire state. It was 
organized as an absolute certain Republican district, but in the election G. L. 
Park received 12,518 votes, and Isaac Stevenson received 12,774 votes. 
Judge Park contested the election of Stevenson on the ground of fraud and 
corruption, especially for the casting of hundreds of illegal votes in Marinette 
county by men claimed to ha\e come across the state line from Menominee, 
Michigan, on election day to cast their vote for Stevenson. There were 
many facts and circumstances to substantiate the claim. But Judge Park was 
a very sick man at the time of his nomination, more seriously sick than he 
himself suspected. The slight attempt of speaking during the canvass, which 
he made against the advise of his physicians and friends, had a bad effect 
on his health, and he was forced to suspend the canvass. 

The new congress did not go into session until a year after the election, 
and meanwhile Judge Park's condition had become much worse, and he then 
knew that his days were counted; that his life would ebb away before his 
contest would be decided, although he knew, at least was satisfied that it 
would be decided in his favor, but he withdrew the contest to die in peace. 
He closed his eyes on the 4th day of June, 1884, only a few weeks after the 
withdrawal of his contest against Isaac Stevenson. 

Judge Park had received in Marathon county, 2,493 votes ; Isaac Steven- 
son, 896 votes ; and John Ringle was elected senator over F. 'SI. Guernsey by a 
majority of 375 votes in the counties of Marathon, Shawano and Waupacca, 
which then constituted the 21st senatorial district. The Democratic candidate 
for member of assembly, J. E. Leahy, was elected, and the whole Democratic 
county ticket was reelected, with John Werner as sheriff in place of R. P. 
Manson, who as sheriff, was by law ineligible for reelection. 

In anticipation of a heated political campaign, R. H. Johnson, the owner 
and editor of the Central Wisconsin, the only Republican newspaper then in 
Marathon county, converted his paper in a daily in 1883, and engaged Arthur 
Dodge as editor. Dodge was a keen political writer, well versed in political 
warfare, and the Central was a by far better daily than the city could really 
afford, by which is meant that Mr. Johnson must have lost money in the 
venture. But he was postmaster at the time, and it may be that hope of 
political preferment was one of the leading motives in undertaking the costly 
change. The paper rendered yeoman service to Blaine and Logan in the cam- 
paign of 1884. Not to be outdone, Mr. E. B. Thayer, of the Wausau Weekly 
Rcinew, purchased the old long-established Pilot, combined the two weekly 
papers, and issued a daily in 1884; so that Wausau had the convenience of 


having two daily papers when it could hardly afford one. The Daily Pilot 
ceased soon after election, but the Central continued for a few months 
longer, but it too could not exist, and both were reduced to weekly editions. 

The political events of 1884 were the most exciting in Marathon county. 
The lumber business at Wausau and in the whole Wisconsin valley had largely 
increased ; factories had come, and with them a greatly enlarged population 
in cities as well as counties. The nomination of Blaine and Logan had been 
enthusiastically received by the Republicans, not less so than the nomination 
of Cleveland and Hendricks by the Democrats. The Democrats were the 
first to open tlie campaign in an infomial way by receiving with acclamation 
the returning delegates and the body of citizens which had attended the 
national convention at Chicago. Clubs were formed, local speakers were 
heard in every town and village, and both parties vied with each other in 
arranging for meetings. 

Among the local speakers, M. A. Hurely and Neal Brown, the latter hav- 
ing come to Wausau as a practicing lawyer in 1880, took prominent part; 
with them was L. A. Pradt and W. H. Mylrea, young attorneys. L. A. Pradt 
had formerly resided in the town of Holeton and was well acquainted, 
especially on the "Line," and W. H. Alylrea had come to Wausau the previous 
year and was in partnership with C. V. Bardeen. Each of these men men- 
tioned made his mark in the history of ]\Iarathon county, and even in a larger 
sense in after years. Of the business men who took a prominent part for 
Blaine and Logan was C. S. Curtis and J. E. Leahy, James McCrossen and 
A. Stewart. Curtis had come to Wausau in 1880 and erected his sash, door 
and blind factory, which under his management became the largest industrial 
concern in Wausau ; J. E. Leahy was a great admirer of James G. Blaine, and 
in supporting him followed his own fomier inclinations. Another active 
worker in the Republican field was K. S. Markstrum, a young man who 
came from Sweden in 1874; a painter by trade, with a good school education, 
who took to politics like a duck to water. He was appointed deputy revenue 
collector in 1881. He spoke fluently English, German and Scandinavian, 
with an ability as a mixer which gave him a large personal acquaintance in 
the county. The Democrats succeeded in keeping up their organization with 
hard work and sacrifices. They felt the loss of J. E. Leahy and J. C. Clarke, 
who had sold out and commenced life anew on a tobacco plantation in 

B. G. Plumer, W. H. Knox, D. L. Plumer, F. W. Kickbusch and J. Gens- 
man were the business men who took the most prominent part on the Demo- 
cratic side, with John Ringle, District Attorney C. F. Eldred and Louis Mar- 
chetti looking after the organization. 


It was a hurrah campaign from beginning to end. Torchlight proces- 
sions were in vogue nearly every week for the last four weeks before election, 
each party vieing with the other in the number of torches carried. Rockets 
and red lights were much in evidence to arouse enthusiasm, but little argu- 
ment. In first class speakers the Democrats easily overmatched the Repub- 
licans. The Blaine Club opened its campaign with a torchlight procession and 
a meeting in the splendid new opera house (since burned), with Lucius Fair- 
child a candidate for United States senator, as speaker ; the Democrats replied 
with a bigger procession and ex-Senator James R. Doolittle as orator. His 
audience was much too large for the opera house and he spoke from the 
band stand at the courthouse square. Then the Republicans made much of 
Joseph Brucker, whom they had brought in the county to stump the German 
towns, who posed as a businessman, because he had a little excelsior mill in 
Medford. He, too, had a great torchlight procession in the city of Wausau, 
and spoke in the large skating rink, being introduced as the "silver tongued 
pinery boy," but the Democrats has no difficulty in replying with home- 
speakers. The Republicans held many meetings with the local talent address- 
ing the voters, M. A. Hurley, Neil Brown and L. A. Pradt; but had only 
ex-Governor Fairchild and Colonel Goodwin from Milwaukee, while the 
Democrats had James R. Doolittle, Gen. E. S. Bragg and A. K. Delaney. 
Nevertheless the campaign was carried on without animosity, as appears from 
this incident : One evening there was a great Blaine procession ; Scandinavian 
clubs and others from outside the city were in line, besides all city clubs. It 
was really a very well arranged affair ; there were at least one thousand men in 
line marching in good order, with music and flags galore. Mr. Conrad 
Althen stood outside his store, on the sidewalk on Jackson street, to look it 
over, being himself in sympathy with it, and so were his clerks, all looking on, 
leaving the store empty. When the procession had passed and Mr. Althen 
returned to his office, he found to his great surprise that somebody had 
emptied his safe of the cash on hand, and in telling the story in a sort of 
laughing way, told it thus : Well, I went out to count the Republicans in line, 

and while I was gone, some d Democrat came in and counted my money. 

He was laughed at some more and told not to take so much interest in Repub- 
lican processions, but should rather honor the Democrats with his attention. 
The best of it was, that he was in the habit, and done so that evening, to 
deposit all the cash received until 4 o'clock in the bank, so that there was ■ 
only so much in the safe as was received after that time. Of course nobody 
thought the thief could ever be caught and he was not. 

Isaac Stevenson was the Republican nominee for congress, and the Demo- 


crats nominated James Meehan of Portage county, also a lumberman, in 
opposition to him. At the time of Meehan's nomination at Grand Rapids, 
there were two torchlight processions there, one for Cleveland and Hen- 
dricks and one for Blaine and Logan. A train of fourteen box cars, filled 
with torch bearers, went down to Grand Rapids to help their brethren of 
Wood county to make a show of strength against the combined Blaine and 
Logan clubs of Wood county, Stevens Point, Amherst and Plover. The 
AX'ausau clubs took all their campaign wagons along with them on a ilat car, 
and also their gun to make noise, which they did not fail to do, and they did 
outnumber the other side. 

At the Democratic meeting the speakers were John W. Cary, W. C. Sil- 
verthorn and C. F. Eldred. The Republican meeting was addrtssed by W. T. 
Price, a lumbennan and good speaker, and member of congress from the 
adjoining eighth district. 

There was a clash between the two processions which looked very serious 
for a minute or two, but they separated and no harm was done. Republican 
papers afterwards said that the Democratic torchlight procession had broke 
up the Republican meeting. But the fault was probably on both sides. W. C. 
Silverthom was the Democratic candidate for attorney general, and was kept 
busy on the rostrum all over the state, but his name nevertheless materially 
strengthened the Democratic ticket in the county. 

In the election, Marathon county gave the following vote : 

To Cleveland and Hendricks 3.358 

To Blaine and Logan 2,144 

To James Meehan for congress 3)434 

To Isaac Stevenson for congress 2,144 

\Mien Cleveland's election became assured on Thursday afternoon follow- 
ing election day, there was a huge bonfire half way up the east hill, which was 
still unoccupied at that time. The whole Democratic county ticket was elected 
with the exception of sherifif, for which office William Kickbusch, Republican, 
was chosen, all officers having been reelected, except B. J. Pink, who was 
nominated in place of C. F. Eldred for district attorney as a Democrat and 

There was a reaction in 1886. The bomb throwing on the Hajnnarket 
square in Chicago in May of that year and the so-called labor riots in Mil- 
waukee about the same time had some influence in favor of the Republican 


For governor, Gilbert M. Woodward, Democrat, received in Marathon 
county 2,608, and Governor Rusk 1,923 votes. 

Isaac Stevenson was reelected over John Ringle to congress ; and the 
county offices were divided between the parties, the Democrats electing : 
N. A. Healy, for sheriff; A. \V. Schmidt, for register of deeds; Hugo Peters, 
clerk of circuit court ; B. Gowan, surveyor, and Charles Quandt, coroner. 
The Republican candidates elected were : John W. Miller, county clerk ; 
William Kickbusch, county treasurer, and W. H. Mylrea, district attorney. 
Henry Miller, Democrat, was elected as member of assembly. 

President Cleveland's veto of the dependent pension bill, and his message 
recommending a reduction of the tariff gave the Republicans the issues for 
the next campaign. 

There was some notable shifting in the voting population on the tariff 
issue in both parties, but the Grand Army of the Republic took strong ground 
against the president, and no doubt brought about his defeat. On the tariff 
issue the Democratic party in Marathon county gained a young attorney, 
who had already taken a prominent part in politics. It was Neal Brown, 
who declared for Cleveland and tariff reform, and became one of the staunch- 
est advocates of his election. The Republicans brought up John F. Scanlan 
from Chicago to make the opening address in the opera house, and his 
speech was thought to have made much of an impression, especially on the 
citizens of Irish extraction, who were nearly all Democrats. 

Neal Brown was chosen by the Democrats to reply at the same place 
without much delay. This meeting was the great Democratic demonstra- 
tion in that campaign. The opera house was splendidly lighted, the stage 
was made a veritable exotic garden, the Hon. R. P. Manson, one of the most, 
if not the most popular lumbermen, was chosen to preside, and ever3rthing 
was done to make the first appearance of Neal Brown on the Democratic 
forum a memorable event. He was received with loud acclamation and his 
address was an excellent and eloquent presentation of the Democratic position 
on the tariff. Mr. Scanlan had quoted statistics until his hearers had got tired, 
as showing good and bad times under high and low tariff, and replying and 
referring to the same statistics, Mr. Brown said that according to Mr. Scan- 
lan's notion, when whiskey was low in price times were good and when 
whiskey was high, times were bad, and it may be, said Mr. Brown, that these 
facts may have influenced Mr. Scanlan's notions as to what were good and 
bad times. 

This good-natured sally at Mr. Scanlan's expense, as well as many other 
humorous references to Republican arguments, kept the whole house in excel- 


lent humor, and the Democratic canvass had been very successfully inaugu- 
rated in 1888. 

Cleveland received 3,358 votes to 2,144 for Harrison. The Republican 
nominee for congress, M. H. McCord, was elected over his Democratic com- 
petitor, General Early, of Chippewa county. 

Under the new apportionment, Marathon county was divided in two 
assembly districts, and both districts went Democratic, electing Joseph Chessak 
from the first, and M. P. Beebe member of assembly of the second district. 

For county officers the Democrats elected M. E. Manson for sheriff; 
Hugo Peters, clerk circuit court; A. W. Schmidt, register of deeds; P. F. 
Curran, surveyor, and Charles Quandt, coroner; C. F. Eldred, district attor- 
ney, and J. R. Bruneau, treasurer. Of the Republican candidates only John 
W. Miller for county clerk was elected. 


There was a new issue in 1890 brought on by the disposition of Gov. 
W.- D. Hoard not to make concessions to a popular demand for the repeal 
of the so-called Bennett Law. This act was passed by the legislature in 1889, 
and seemingly gave the state some sort of supervision over private and 
parochial schools, in the teaching of the English language. Such at least was 
the claim made by the religious denominations, having parochial schools, 
and they were quick to resent the interference of the state. It cannot be 
honestly denied, that the law squinted that way. 

The Democratic party in their state convention declared for the repeal of 
the law, the Republican convention only for an amended act, thus making 
up the issue, which went into history as the "Little Red School House" cam- 
paign because the Republicans had taken up as their cry "For the little red 
house," meaning the public schools, and the Democrats as their answer, "For 
all the schools." 

When the votes were counted, the election turned out a veritable land- 
slide to the Democratic party. George W. Peck, Democrat, was elected gov- 
ernor over W. D. Hoard, Republican, by a plurality of 28,320. Both houses 
of the legislature had a Democratic majority, and William F. Vilas was 
chosen by them as senator in place of John C. Spooner whose term expired 
Thomas hynch was elected member of congress for the ninth congressional 
district over M. H. McCord, the sitting member. 

In Marathon county George W. Peck received 3,300 votes: W. D. Hoard, 
1,391 votes; Thomas Lynch, Democrat, 3,426 votes; M. H. McCord, Repub- 


lican, 1,490 votes, and the Democrats also elected Thomas O'Connor and 
Neal Brown as members of the assembly and their whole county ticket with 
little varying majorities, to wit: August Martin, sheriff; William J. Gehrke, 
county clerk; J. C. Berg, county treasurer; C. F. Eldred, district attorney; 
Edward C. Kretlow, register of deeds; Hugo Peters, clerk circuit court; P. 
C. Werle, surveyor; Charles Ouandt, coroner, and F. A. Strupp, school 

The Democratic part}' was then well entrenched not only in the solid 
South, but in the northern states as well and looked confidently forward to 
the next presidential election. 


That year marks the high tide of Democratic ascendency in state and 
nation, from which it steadily declined. The dissensions in the Republican 
party continued under President Harrison; the McKinley tariff act, the 
attempt to pass the force bill, so-called, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, 
which satisfied neither the bi-metallists nor the gold standard men, with the 
final breach between Harrison and James G. Blaine plainly showed that there 
was no complete unity in that party. 

Simultaneously with the passage of the Bennett law, in Wisconsin, sim- 
ilar laws were enacted in some western states, for instance, in Illinois and 
Ohio, which were repealed when the Democrats came into power on the 
pledge to repeal these laws, which established a friendly feeling between the 
leaders of that party and the religious denominations having parochial schools, 
which asserted itself in the presidential election nearly to the same extent 
as it had in the state elections of 1890, although the national leaders of the 
Democratic party insisted that it was the position of the Democratic party 
on the tariff solely and alone, which gave them their victories in 1890, and 
they felt confident that the people would sustain them to the same extent 
in 1892. 

In Wisconsin as well as in Illinois and Ohio, the Democratic party was 
in possession of the state governments. In Wisconsin the administration 
of Gov. George W. Peck was very commendable. It had carried out its 
promise in repealing the obnoxious Bennett law ; it had carried through the 
supreme court to a successful conclusion its cases against the fonner state 
treasurers for the return to the state of the interests paid to them by banks 
on state deposits which they kept as their own. It had thereby established 
the principle that interests on state money deposited in banks belonged to 
the state. The amount recovered by the state from the last two state treas- 


urers amouned to something like $300,000 alone. Taxes were reduced, and 
the state was growing in population and wealth. Under those circumstances 
the state Democracy entered into the compaign of 1892 with the full con- 
fidence of holding its strength, in which it was not disappointed. 

It had good leaders in Senator William F. Vilas and Gen. Edw. S. Bragg, 
who was as popular as Senator Vilas, even more so by the older members of 
the party. A United States senator in place of Philitus Sawyer was to be 
elected by the next legislature, which gave particular zest to the Democrats 
to carry the state, and General Bragg was supposed to be the logical candi- 
date for the place as the foremost Democratic statesman next or as the equal 
to Vilas. There was a spirited canvass, the Republicans nominating Col. 
J. C. Spooner much against his will for governor, who made a strong can- 
vass against great odds, and was defeated, but left at least his party united 
for the future. 

The vote in Marathon county was : 

For Grover Cleveland 3-791 

For Benjamin Harrison I-959 

For Thomas Lynch, I\I. C 3-76i 

For Myron H. McCord, M. C 1.937 

For Governor Peck 3,820 

For John C. Spooner. Republican candidate for gov- 
ernor 1,901 

Thomas Lynch was re-elected to congress, as well as the Democratic state 
ticket, both assembly districts in Marathon county were carried by the Dem- 
ocrats, electing A. B. Barney of Spencer and John Ringle of Wausau, as 
also the entire Democratic county ticket, to wit: Adolph Salzmann, sheriff: 
William J. Gehrke. county clerk; J. C. Berg, county treasurer; C. F. Eldred, 
district attorney ; Edward C. Kretlow, register of deeds ; Hugo Peters, clerk 
of circuit court; P. C. Werle, county surveyor; Charles Ouandt, coroner, 
and F. Strupp, school superintendent. 

The election for United States senator did not pass off as wished by the 
rank and file of the Democrats. Gen. E. S. Bragg received the most votes in 
the caucus, but lacked a majority. Alexander Mitchell of Milwaukee being a 
strong competitor, with Col. J. H. Knight of Ashland a third candidate. 

Senator Brown and Assemblyman John Ringle voted in the caucus for 
Colonel Knight, seeing that their votes could not give Bragg a majority and 
in the hope that by staying with the third candidate they would prevail upon 


their co-supporters to go to General Bragg when the general break-up would 
come. But the deadlock lasted a long time, and when the final break-up came, 
Messrs. Brown and Ringle voted for Bragg, even when they saw his defeat 
staring them in the face. The other member from Marathon county had 
consistently voted for Mitchell against the strongly expressed wish of not 
only the Democrats of the county, but the people without regard of party 
as well. Alexander Mitchell was in Milwaukee a very popular man; he 
had generously spent large amounts of money for charitable and humani- 
tarian purposes, which was rightly or wrongly construed against him, inas- 
much as he had not done much else to endear him to the party. He was 
elected through the efforts of a lobby from Milwaukee in his favor, and 
charges of corrupting the vote of members of the assembly and senators were 
made, but no proof was ever offered on that score. Nevertheless it gave the 
Republican party a chance to hurl the cry of corruption upon their opponents 

In 1893 a financial panic not unlike the panic of 1873 paralyzed business. 
It is not within the scope of this book to attempt to analyze the causes of 
the disturbance, but the fact must be mentioned. It began with the failure 
of the great banking house of Baring Brothers in London in previous years, 
had spread over Europe and South America and made itself felt in this 

The distress following in the wake of this panic was not near so severe 
in Wausau as in other parts, especially in the crowded factory and tenement 
districts of the country, and farmers were less affected than any other class. 
It is true that lumber shipments ceased entirely for a while; that mills were 
shut up for a time; that many men were consequently out of employment; 
but municipal works undertaken at that time here at Wausau in that period 
tempered to some extent the rigors which otherwise would have been more 
seriously felt. 

The party in power was of course held responsible for the business stag- 
nation, and the year 1894 witnessed a complete political revolution in Mara- 
thon county as well as everywhere else. The Democratic party seemed to 
be swept out of existence in the nation. It had elected 244 members to the 
house of representatives in 1892, but in 1894 only 104, and these almost 
without exception from the Southern states. The Democratic majority in 
Marathon county was nearly wiped out. 

The administration of George W. Peck in the state was a splendid suc- 
cess. It had in final judgments for the benefit of the people in money and 
judgments, which were absolutely good, the sum of a little over $600,000, 


all against ex-treasurers for interests on bank deposits which these treasurers 
had received from the banks and kept. It had been honest and economic and 
was free from bossism. But it had to suffer for the business depression, 
together with the national government. 

George W. Peck, Democrat, for governor received in Marathon county, 
3,272 votes; William Upham, Republican, for governor, received in Mara- 
thon county, 3.049 votes ; Thomas Lynch, Democrat, for congress, re- 
ceived in Marathon county, 2,765 votes; and Alexander Stewart, Republican, 
for congress, received in Marathon county, 3,557 votes and was elected the 
first member of congress from Marathon county since Walter D. Mclndoe. 
It is a curious fact that Alexander Stewart after the death of W. D. Mclndoe 
succeeded to his mill property and also to congress, which latter event, how- 
ever, took place twenty-two years after Mclndoe's death. 

The eastern assembly district of Marathon county elected George Wer- 
heim. Republican, and the western district, Robert Plish, Democrat: the 
county officers were divided between the two parties, the Republicans elect- 
ing their candidates for district attorney, A. L. Kreutzer ; Theo. Beste, for 
sheriff; Gustav Braeger, for county clerk; and the Democrats, Carl Paff, for 
county treasurer; Edward C. Kretlow, for register; Hugo Peters, for clerk 
of circuit court, and John F. Lamont, for school superintendent ; Dr. D. 
Sauerhering, coroner, and William N. Allen, county surveyor. 

Another Wausau citizen was elected to an important state office, William 
H. Mylrea. for attorney-general of Wisconsin. 

In canvassing the county A. L. Kreutzer took a prominent part and laid 
the foundation for his fine public career. 

The county clerk, Gust. Braeger, died soon after election, and the county 
board filled the vacant place by electing William Gehrke. who had been 
defeated in the election. 


In the years from 1894 to 1896 business had revived to some extent, 
but was still far from being satisfactory. The Wilson tariff bill had been 
passed, and manufacturers were almost a unit in naming it as the cause 
of the hard times. Others laid it to the financial condition, especially to the 
contraction of the currency, which undoubtedly had taken place under Cleve- 
land's administration, and the unconditional repeal of the silver purchasing 
clause of the Shennan act. and it was apparent that both of the great political 


parties were divided among themselves on the great issue of remonitizing 
silver. No question since the Civil war had so taken hold of the people and 
divided them. The conventions of the great parties were followed with the 
utmost interest, and their platfomis were eagerly applauded or condemned, 
as people chose one side or the other. It was the hottest contest since 1876, 
only more intense in feeling, and for a long time William J. Bryan seemed 
to have a long lead on the Republican candidate, William McKinley. 

The presidential contest in Marathon county was excited as every- 
where else, and there were defections from the party here as elsewhere, which 
for a long time seemed to be wholly balanced by accessions from the other 
party. The older Democrats stood faithfully by Bryan's colors, they were 
in fact bi-metallists before the convention, and jubilant with the work of 
the same, and while they felt the loss of some of their fomier friends, they 
were materially assisted in the canvass by former Senator J. E. Leahy, who 
made a number of speeches for Bryan. The great debate between "Horr and 
Harvey" was distributed in thousands of circulars all over the county, and 
had its effect. The prospect for the Democratic ticket seemed bright until 
two weeks before election when it began to pale, and it became apparent that 
there was a strong resistless undercurrent against Bryan, and when the vote 
was counted, it turned out that Marathon county for the first time since its 
existence had given a Republican majority for president, small though it was. 
William McKinley received 3,958 votes; William J. Bryan, 3,829 votes; 
Alexander Stewart for congress, 4,095 votes; William O'Keefe, his com- 
petitor, 3,768 votes; but the Democrats saved the majority of county officers 
out of the general wreck, electing Karl Kronenwetter for sheriff, Carl Faff 
for county treasurer, William J. Gehrke for county clerk, Edward C. Kret- 
low for register, William N. Allen for county surveyor, and Dr. D. Sauer- 
hering for coroner, while the Republicans elected A. L. Kreutzer, district 
attorney and A. A. Bock, clerk circuit court. 

The candidate for governor on the Democratic ticket this year was W. 
C. Silverthorn of Marathon county, who made a splendid canvass of the 
whole state, running nearly 4,000 votes ahead of William J. Bryan, and he 
carried Marathon county by 530 majority over Edward Scofield, a splendid 
home endorsement for the Democratic candidate. 

Both assembly districts went Republican, chosing Henry M. Thompson 
in the western district and M. H. Barnum in the eastern district of Mara- 
thon county. 


Republican ascendency continued ; the Spanish- American war broke out, 
and while the war itself was not popular in this county, still there was a feel- 
ing that the administration should be supported. Marathon county, through 
its militia, Company G of the Third Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard, 
took an honorable part in the war, which will be referred to later under the 
chapter of "The City of \\'ausau." 

The election passed off rather dull with the following result in this county : 
For governor, Edw. Scofield, Republican, received 3,068 votes; N. W. Saw- 
yer, Democrat, received 2,765 votes ; for congress, Alexander Stewart, Re- 
publican, received 3.217 votes; W. W. Ruggles, Democrat, received 2,723 
votes. Both assembly districts were carried by the Republicans, electing G. 
E. Vandercook for the western and Herman Miller for the eastern district ; 
the county ofificers elected were Thomas Malone for sheriff; H. H. Mansoh 
for district attorney, William J. Gehrke for county clerk, Edward C. Kret- 
low for register, all Democrats, and Anton Mehl county treasurer, A. A. 
Bock clerk circuit court, and W. C. Dickens coroner, Republicans. 

A. L. Kreutzer, Republican, was nominated for state senator of the 
twenty-fifth senatorial district, composed of the counties of Clark and Mara- 
thon, receiving 5.314 votes to 3.708 votes for his opponent, R. B. Salter, 

At this time business had revived : the effects of the panic were passing 
away, labor found ready employment with a tendency of a rise in wages, 
not the least caused by the large number of young husky men and workers 
who had joined the army. 


When the political conventions for presidential nominations were held, 
mills and factories in Wausau were running full time, the people were satis- 
fied with existing conditions, and McKinley's re-election was only a question 
of majorities. The war in the Philippine Islands was still going on, and Wil- 
liam J. Bryan's declaration in favor of the independence of a Philippine 
republic did not strengthen him before the people. 

In the election the vote of Marathon county was : For president, William 
McKinley, 4,717 votes; for president, William J. Bryan, 3,768 votes; for 
governor, Robert M. LaFollette, Republican. 4,480 votes ; for governor, 
Louis G. Bohmrich. Democrat, 4,018 votes; for member of congress, W. E. 
Brown, Republican, 4,635 votes : for member of congress, E. Schweppe. 


Democrat. 3,866 votes. Both assembly districts of Marathon county elected 
Republicans, A. L. Cook and Herman Miller, and the Republicans elected 
the following county officers : A. F. Marquardt, sheriff ; Anton Mehl, county 
treasurer ; W. J. Kregel, county clerk ; A. A. Bock, clerk circuit court ; R. H. 
Brown, county surveyor; \Y. C. Dickens, coroner; the only successful Dem- 
ocratic candidates were Fred W. Genrich, district attorney, and Edward 
C. Kretlow, register of deeds. 


There was no change of any consequence in 1902, except the usual lighter 
vote in off years, so-called. For governor, R. M. LaFoUette, Republican, 
received 3,745 votes; Dave S. Rose, Democrat, 3,657 votes; for congress, 
W. E. Brown, Republican, 3,749 votes; Burt Williams, Democrat, 3,515 
votes. The eastern assembly district elected Herman Miller, Republican, 
but the western district went Democratic, electing Willis F. LaDu, and the 
county offices were again divided between the two parties, to wit : \\'. R. 
Chellis, Republican, sheriff; W. J. Kregel. Republican, county clerk; A. A. 
Bock, Republican, clerk circuit court; Fred W. Kitzki, Republican, coroner; 
and Edward C. Kretlow, Democrat, register; J. C. Heinrichs, Democrat, 
county treasurer; \\'illiam H. Gowan, Democrat, county surveyor; Fred W. 
Genrich, Democrat, district attorney, and John F. Lamont, Democrat, school 

The term of State Senator A. L. Kreutzer had expired and a convention 
was held at Wausau for the twenty-fifth congressional district of Wisconsin. 
The delegates from Clark county strongly opposed the re-nomination of Sen- 
ator Kreutzer, not on any particular ground, but merely because they claimed 
that Senator Kreutzer having had one term and he being from Marathon 
county, it was the turn of Clark county to name one of their citizens for this 
place, and they even threatened a bolt if their claim was not recognized. 
There was a little more than this claim of right on behalf of Clark county 
behind that opposition. Sen. A. L. Kreutzer had not been a blind follower 
of Governor LaFollette, but exercised his right as legislator to follow his 
conviction in matters not strictly party affairs. His course was not at all 
times wholly pleasing to the governor, who acted dictatorially and demanded 
unconditional obedience from all Republicans. In Clark county the followers 
of the governor held unlimited sway, and they no doubt believed that by the 
nomination of one of their own politicians they would rise high in the esteem 
and favor of the governor. But Senator Kreutzer's course had been quite 
satisfactory to the people of both counties; he had proved himself a very 


acceptable legislator and senator and was not afraid to go before the people 
upon his record. He was nominated, the delegates of Marathon county 
standing faithfully by him, and made the canvass, carrying both counties, 
although the Democrats had nominated a candidate from Clark county in 
the expectation of making gains in that county. 

The result of the election was quite a vindication for Senator Kreutzer. 
He received in Marathon county 4,058 votes ; in Clark county, 2,622 votes, 
against his competitor, Mulvey, who received in Marathon county 3,256 votes 
and in Clark county, 1,638 votes, giving Senator Kreutzer a majority of 
1,786 in the two counties. 


The Republican party got stronger and stronger in county as well as in 
state and nation, as shown by the following vote in 1904: For president, The- 
odore Roosevelt. Republican, 6.144 votes; A. B. Parker, Democrat, 3,225 
votes; for governor, R. M. LaFollette, Republican, 4,782 votes; George W. 
Peck, Democrat, 4,566 votes; for member of congress, W. E. Brown, Re- 
publican, 5.695 votes ; \y. M. Ruggles, Democrat, 3.645 votes. Both assembly 
districts in Marathon county elected Republicans, Fred Prehn from the west- 
em and A. F. Marquardt from the eastern district, and the Republican party 
succeeded for the first time in electing every man on the county ticket, to wit : 
F. F. Damon, sheriff; William R. Chellis, register of deeds; R. H. Juedes, 
county treasurer; John King, county clerk; F. E. Bump, district attorney; 
A. A. Bock, clerk circuit court; R. H. Brown, county surveyor; W. C. 
Dickens, coroner. That year was the high tide of Republican ascendency; 
it never reached so high a vote as in that election. 


There was a great falling off in the vote in the state election, as shown 
by the following figures : For governor, James O. Davidson, Republican, 
received 3,696 votes; John A. Aylward, Democrat, 3,435 votes; for member 
of congress, E. A. Morse, Republican, 3,920 votes; D. D. Conway, Democrat, 
3,151 votes. But the Democrats regained the western assembly district, elect- 
ing Nicholas Schmidt member of assembly, while Aug. F. Marquardt, Re- 
publican, was re-elected in the eastern district. 

The twenty-fifth senatorial district elected S. M. Marsh of Clark county 
in place of Sen. A. L. Kreutzer, whose term had expired and who was not 
a candidate. Of county officers the Republicans elected William R. Chellis 


register of deeds; John King, county clerk; R. H. Juedes, county treasurer; 
A. A. Bock, clerk circuit court ; R. H. Brown, county surveyor, and" W. C. 
Dickens, coroner, while the Democrats succeeded with their candidates for 
district attorney, F. P. Regner, and Frank O'Connor, sheriff. 

In this year for the first time all officers were nominated by direct primary, 
which law had been passed in the last term of Governor LaFollette, who 
made the passage of this act a question of party loyalty and thereby suc- 
ceeded in engrafting it upon the statutes of Wisconsin. But it failed by far 
in remedying all the political and social ills of the state, and the governor 
himself had occasion to oppose his party candidates nominated in accordance 
with this very act. An amendment which even he could not force through 
a very obliging and willing legislature, providing for a second choice, was 
passed under the reign of Gov. Francis McGovern, but it only had the effect 
of muddling up the situation still more. 

It was pointed out as an argument against the primary law that under 
this act the poor man would have no chance to be nominated against a wealthy 
man, and this contention was fully proven when Isaac Stevenson received 
the popular nomination for United States senator after an expenditure of 
over $100,000, and as a remedy the "corrupt practice act" was passed, in- 
tended to put a barrier to the ertravagant use of money. 

As to primary nomination so far as Marathon county is concerned, it 
may be safely said that if the main object of the act was to bring out the 
people to make their choice, it was not as good as the old caucus system was. 
There were at least three times as many people attending caucuses and elect- 
ing delegates than there were votes cast in the primary. It is clear that the 
people took more interest in the old caucus system than they do now in the 
primaries, but time may bring the change. 

In this year Gov. R. M. LaFollette was a candidate for the presidency 
and held the organization of the Republican party in the hollow of his hand; 
only delegates friendly to support his nomination were recommended to the 
voters and had the support of the regular state organization; delegates for 
William Taft were opposed with all the vigor and determination of a 
remorseless triumphant party machinery. Among the few who had the 
temerity to offer themselves as delegates for William H. Taft was Walter 
Alexander of Wausau with Theo. W. Brazeau, a state senator from Wood 
county as a running mate. The whole power of the state administration 


which inchided an organization in every county was thrown against the two 
men. Brazeau was not entirely a novice in politics, having been through 
several elections before, but Walter Alexander was for the first time in his 
life a candidate for popular suffrage, and that on the unpopular side, too. 
Up to this time he had given his whole time to business, especially that of 
the Stewart Lumber Company, only helping some particular friend at times, 
for instance, when Alexander Stewart was a candidate for congress, but 
he had at all times been a consistent Republican and a supporter of that party. 

To be a candidate for an office was a new experience for him, but he 
went into the canvass with an enthusiasm born of his conviction to be on 
the right side; he was one of the pioneers though young in years, and favor- 
ably known throughout the Wisconsin valley in business circles as well as 
to the pinery boys or laborig men and farmers. It is doing only common 
justice to Walter Alexander to say that he had the respect and good will of 
the people generally, and he had the honor and satisfaction of being elected 
on his own personal strength. His running mate, Theo. Brazeau, had not 
the same personal strength as Mr. Alexander and failed, thus giving W. 
Alexander the distinction of being elected as the only Taft delegate from 

The vote in Alarathon county in 1898 was: For president, William H. 
Taft, Republican, 5,228 votes; William J- Bryan, Democrat, 4,722 votes; 
for governor, J. O. Davidson, Republican, 5,089 votes ; John A. Aylward, 
Democrat, 4,804 votes ; for member of congress, E. A. Morse, Republican. 
5,239 votes ; Wells M. Ruggles, Democrat, 4,656 voteS ; for member of assem- 
bly, first district, Nicholas Schmidt. Democrat. 2,490 votes; A. E. Beebe, 
Republican. 2.070: second district, A. F. Marquardt. Republican. 2.763 votes; 
A. J. Plowman. Democrat. 2.070 votes. 

The Republicans elected their candidates : For county clerk, John King ; 
county treasurer, Herman Vetter; register of deeds, W^illiam R. Chellis; 
clerk circuit court. A. A. Bock; county surveyor, R. H. Brow-n, and coroner, 
W'. C. Dickens, and the Democrats their candidate: For sheriff, John Sell, 
and district attorney, F. P. Regner. 

1910. — This was an off year, so-called, and the election caused no com- 
motion at all. The factional disputes in the national Republican party, which 
had been patched up with some difficulty in later years, became more acute, 
and while not manifesting themselves in open opposition to the party 
nominees asserted themselves by tens of thousands of voters staying 
away from the polls, some quietly voting with the opposition; but the 
factional differences in the Democratic party and discouraged by the many 


defeats which the party had suffered, prevented it from gaining that ascend- 
ency in the state which it might have reached under a strong leadership and 
united effort. The result was a large falling off in the Republican vote, with 
a perceptible gain in the Democratic vote. 

The result in Marathon county was : For governor, Adolph N. Schmitz, 
Democrat, 4,087 votes; Francis McGovern, Republican, 2,952 votes; for 
member of congress, John F. Lamont, Democrat, 4,255 votes ; E. A. ]\Iorse, 
Republican, 2,833 votes; for member of assembly, first district, Nicholas 
Schmidt, Democrat, 2,010 votes; first district, N. G. Tank, Republican, 
1,185 votes; second district, A. J. Plowman. Democrat, 2,134 votes; A. F. 
Marquardt, Republican, 1,683 votes. The Democrats also elected all their 
county officers, excepting only county clerk, to wit : Frank O'Connor, sheriff ; 
John Schirpke, county treasurer; John Sell, register of deeds: Kurth Beyreis, 
clerk of circuit court; William H. Gowan, county surveyor; F. P. Regner, 
district attorney, and Edw. E. Schulze, coroner; and the Republicans, John 
King, county clerk. 

W. W. Albers was the Democratice nominee for senator of the twenty- 
fifth senatorial district, opposed by Dr. N. G. Daniels of ilarathon county, 
the Republican nominee. This district was the same as in former years, and 
the vote for senator in Marathon county was : 

For W. W. Albers 4.299 votes 

For Daniels 2,849 votes 

In Clark county — 

For Albers "JTJ votes 

For W. D. Daniels 2.033 votes 

which clearly shows that the defeat of the Republican candidate was brought 
about by the factional differences in the Republican party. 

1912 — The preliminaries to the Republican convention of 1912 so far 
as Wisconsin was concerned were exceedingly dull and one sided. Sen, R. 
M. LaFollette still held undisputed sway over his party, and he could safely 
leave the state to be taken care of in his interest by his numerous lieutenants, 
while he canvassed other states for delegates. But while there was a perfect 
quiet in this state, matters had taken on a wholly different aspect in the nation. 

The beginning of the first session of congress evidenced the existence of 
two factions in the Republican party striving for supremacy and drifting 
further apart every day, plainly indicating that a day of complete rupture 
was soon at hand. The personally conducted canvass for delegates to the 


national convention by Colonel Roosevelt and President Taft was to say the 
least, distasteful to the American people. The rivalry between the Demo- 
cratic candidates was active, but not venomous, just enough to give a zest 
to the canvass. There was some strife between the adherence of Champ 
Clark and Woodrow Wilson in this congressional district, which resulted in 
the election of Edward C. Kretlow of Wausau and A. G. Pankow of Marsh- 
field as Clark delegates over their opponents, E. B. Thayer and R. B. Gog- 
gins of Wood county, who had no particular choice except that they were 
not bound to vote for Clark. The Republican delegates were A. W. Prehn 
of Wausau and E. E. Winkins of Marshfield, pledged with the whole dele- 
gation to Senator La Follette. At the Republican convention A. W. Prehn 
with ten others voted for the Roosevelt candidate for temporary chairman, 
the governor of Wisconsin, thereby earning the enmity of the senator and 
his adherents. 

The rivalry between Taft and Roosevelt widened after the convention, 
and the sequel to that convention and the nomination of Theodore Roose- 
velt as the candidate of a third, "the Progressive party," is too fresh in the 
minds of the people to need any discussion. In the national Democratic 
convention at Baltimore, Woodrow Wilson, governor of Xew Jersey, was 
nominated through the powerful influence of \\'illiam J. Bryan, and with his 
running mate, Thomas R. Marshall, governor of Indiana, a ticket was com- 
pleted, which gave entire satisfaction to the Democratic party. There were 
less sores left after the convention had finished its work than is usually the 
case. The sting of defeat of Clark after he had received a majority, but 
lacking the required two-thirds was lessened by the assurance that his elec- 
tion to congress and re-election as speaker of the house of representatives 
was a foregone conclusion. The heated words spoken by William J. Bryan 
and hurled back at him by the attacked delegates made honors easy between 
the affected persons, and the party went into the campaign with a united 
front as it had not done since 1892. 

But there was no enthusiasm, no shouting, no heated controversies. State 
and county officers were nominated, and they made their canvass. Political 
meetings were many but not largely attended. The Democrats in this part 
of the country were unable to secure a speaker of national reputation and 
renown, and the brunt of the campaign had to be borne wholly by their own 
speakers. On the other hand Governor McGovem personally canvassed 
the county in his own interest. Congressman McKinley, a very eloquent 
speaker, gave an address in favor of President Taft, Congressman Lenroot 
in favor of Theodore Roosevelt. Senator LaFollette delivered a long address 


in favor of he did not say. He was very severe on Theodore 

Roosevelt, spoke rather disrespectfully of President Taft, and thereby indi- 
rectly contributed to the election of Woodrow Wilson. 

Although many of the Republicans throughout the state threatened dire 
vengeance on Governor McGovern, who had declared for Theodore Roose- 
velt after receiving and accepting the Republican nomination, still the threat 
did not materialize to any alarming extent, and Francis McGovern received 
a small majority in the state over Judge Karel, his Democratic opponent, and 
was elected in spite of the fact that Milwaukee county, the home of both 
candidates, gave Karel the unprecedented majority of 15,000 votes. 

The Democratic nomination for congress in the eighth congressional dis- 
trict was given to A. J. Plowman, who had represented the second district 
of Marathon county in an able and conspicuous manner in the legislature 
of 191 1. His Republican opponent was Senator Brown of Waupaca county, 
a lawyer by profession, who had the immense advantage over his opponent 
of a majority in this district of 3,920 on the light vote of 1910 and a major- 
ity of 9,552 in the vote of 1908. Nevertheless, the Democratice candidate, 
A. J. Plowman, bravely and unflinchingly carried the forlorn hope of the 
Democracy, making a splendid canvass against overwhelming odds. In the 
election he received in Marathon county 4.310 \otes and his opiX)nent. E. E. 
Brown, received 3,690 votes. 

The result of the election brought many surprises. Wilson and Marshall 
carried Wisconsin by a big plurality, Marathon county giving them 4,443 
votes; to William H. Taft, 3,033 votes; to Theodore Roosevelt, 1,274 votes; 
to E. V. Debs, Socialist, 597 votes ; Francis McGovern received 3.865 votes ; 
J. C. Karel received 4,374 votes. 

The first assembly district elected for member of assembly, Francis A. 
"Schilling, Republican, and the second district, Oscar Ringle, Democrat. 

The Democratic candidate. Judge Karel, made his canvass on a platform 
demanding the repeal of the income tax law, which Gov. Francis E, Mc- 
Govern favored. It is now an open secret that the tax commission recom- 
mends not less than twenty-nine amendments to this law, and when so 
amended, as is most likely the case, its putative father will hardly be able to 
recognize the child. Still the cry that the income tax reached only the rich 
and made them pay, helping the poor, served its purposes. In the election 
of county officers, honors were divided, the Democrats electing H. J. Abra- 
ham for sherifif ; John Sell, register of deeds ; Kurth Beyreis, clerk of the cir- 
cuit court; John Schirpke, county treasurer; R. M. Frawley, coroner, and 
William N. Gowan, surveyor; the Republicans elected Edward Gorman for 
district attorney and Louis H. Cook for county clerk. 



The Socialist vote in the county increased from 2j^ fur E. \'. Deljs in 
1908 to 597 for their candidate. 

As to woman suffrage Marathon county voted 6.446 noes and 1.924 ayes. 


This officer was formerly elected in the fall with the state ticket. 

Up to the year 1882 the election for state officers were held in une\en 
years, and national election in even years, but by an amendment to the state 
constitution passed in 1882, the election for all state and national officers 
were ordered to be held in the same year, making elections bi-annual and in 
even numbered years. Under the old law the count\- superintendent was 
elected in the uneven years, then with the state and national election in the 
fall. He was the only county officer of Marathon county whose election 
up to 1884 was held in uneven years, and the persons wlio held the office in 
Marathon county were M. D. Coursey. a lumberman, then Jacob J. Hoff- 
mann, a Lutheran minister for the years 1866 and 1867. when he removed 
from this county. He was followed by Rev. Thomas Green, who held this 
office from 1868 to January, 1885; he was succeeded by Ludwig Findorf. 
who was county superintendent for one term from January. 1885. to Jan- 
uary, 1887. 

J. P. Briggs was elected to succeed him and held the office for due term, 
from 1887 to 1889. 

F. A. Strupp was elected as school superintendent and held tlie office 
from January, 1889, to January, 1895. In the year 1894 John F. Lamont 
was elected and re-elected four times and held the office until the law was 
changed so that the elections for school superintendents were held in the 
spring uninfluenced by political considerations. Declining to l)e a candidate 
for another term he was succeeded by J. F. Farrell, who was elected for two 
terms, was succeeded by W. Pivernetz, who is now holding his second term 
which will expire July i, 1913. the term of school superintendent beginning 
and ending on that date.* 

M. D. Coursey was really the first county superintendent, as up to that 
time the county was governed under the town scliool system. 


From the organization of the state the elections of all judges were fixed 
to be held in the spring election at the time with the election of town officers. 

* He was re-elected in 1913. 


The spring election was and is known yet as "town meeting day" because 
on that day the town oiificers must make report to tlie assembled town electors ; 
town taxes are levied by the people themselves on that meeting, and the term 
"town meeting" has a fixed legalized meaning. 

The election of judges was set for that day to keep the judiciary out of 
political elections and judges out of political entanglements. There were 
frecjuently contested judicial elections, but the candidates were either inde- 
pendent candidates nominated by the bar, or upon calls from the people, but 
never were they nominated on a party ticket, at least so far as circuit judges 
and justices of the supreme court were involved. The nearest to a party 
nomination in opposition to a sitting justice of the supreme court was in 
1895, when Judge George Clementson of Lancaster was a candidate in oppo- 
sition to Justice Winslow, and was supported by a political committee of 
Milwaukee county, but it did not succeed. It has been the universal rule in 
this state to keep judges who have proved themselves learned and upright 
men, in their places during good behavior, and the state has been the gainer 
by that policy. 

At the time of the organization of this county, it was attached to the 
third judicial circuit of Wisconsin, which included all the territory north 
of Dane county, with Judge Charles H. Larrabee as circuit judge. He held 
several terms of court at Wausau, but either because there was no court 
house or no pressing business, the terms were only for one day at a time, 
and for over one year there was no term at all. 

When the seventh judicial circuit was established in 1854, George W. 
Gate was elected circuit judge and held the office until the end of the year 
1874, when he resigned, having been elected member of congress in the fall 
of that year. He was succeeded as circuit judge by Gilbert L. Park who 
held the office until his death in 1884. 

After the death of Judge G. L. Park, Charles ]\L Webb was chosen cir- 
cuit judge and re-elected until his death in August. 191 1, but when the six- 
teenth judicial circuit was established in 1891, including Marathon county. 
Charles V. Bardeen was elected as judge and afterwards was appointed and 
elected to fill the place on the supreme court made vacant by the death of 
Justice Newman. W. C. Silverthorn succeeded Judge Bardeen from 1898 to 
1908 when he resigned, and A. H. Reid was elected and now presides over 
the circuit court. 



Tlie first county judge of Marathon county was William H. Kennedy, 
from 1851 to 1859; he was succeeded by Hiram Calkins, who held the office 
for three years, then was succeeded by C. Graham for one year. From 1864 
to the end of the year 1881, B. Ringle was county judge, and he in turn was 
succeeded by Louis Marchetti, whose last term would have expired in Jan- 
uary, 1894, but who resigned before the completion of his term. John J. 
Sherman was elected county judge in 1893 and took the unexpired term of 
his predecessor, but removed from the county at New Year, 1894, and 
resigned and Henry Miller was appointed for his unexpired tenn and elected 
judge from January i, 1895, to the expiration of his last term in December, 
1909. He was succeeded by Clyde L. Warren, who was elected in the spring 
of 1909, and his term will expire January, 1914, the term of the county judge 
beginning on the first Monday in January after election. 

The municipal court of Marathon county was created by statute in the 
session of the legislature of 1878. the act amended the session of 1879. by 
which act the jurisdiction was raised, giving that court the same jurisdiction 
as a justice of the peace, except that the amount in controversy instead of 
$200.00, as in justice court, was raised to $500.00. besides giving the munic- 
ipal court exclusive jurisdiction of all cases arising under the ordinances of 
the ctiy of Wausau. 

In the year 1905 the municipal court was made a court of record, giving 
it all the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace, and over all cases arising 
under the ordinances of the city of Wausau, and jurisdiction in suits at law 
and equity where the amount in controversy does not exceed the sum of $23.- 
000, and jurisdiction in all criminal cases except murder. 

Louis Marchetti was elected as municipal judge in the spring of 1904 
and re-elected since; his present term will expire in May. 1916. 

The election returns since 1896 show a total change of party strength in 
this county, more so than in most other counties in the state, a greater change 
in favor of the Republican party ; in fact, than on an average throughout the 
nation. What was the cause of this change? 

The main cause lies in the fact that this county has become the manu- 
facturing center of the Wisconsin valley; that manufacturers, as a rule, and 
in Marathon county with hardly an exception, are with the Republican party, 
because in favor of a high protective tariff. Then the hard times from 1893 
to 1898 were laid rightly or wrongly at the door of the Democratic party, as 
being caused by the \\'ilson tariff. 


The younger growing generation naturally ranged itself with the winning 
side, and the successive defeats from 1894 to 1910 disheartened many Demo- 
crats, and they staid away from the polls. The younger generation of De- 
mocrats had an uphill contest ever since 1896, when a number of old influen- 
tial leaders opposed Bryan. Most of them returned in 1900, but they could 
not bring back their following. 

In later years the speaker canvassing the county in the interest of the 
Derhocratic party and its candidates were younger men, notably F. W. Gen- 
rich and F. P. Regner, the latter canvassing the county thoroughly since 
1906. They were assisted in the last few years by J. F. Lamont. J. P. Coates, 
John Ford, and R. E. Puchner. On the Republican side A. L. Kreutzer, 
F. E. Bump, C. B. Bird, M. B. Rosenberry were a quartet of eloquent speak- 
ers with C. S. Curtis and A. W. Trevitt and John Oskoneski assisting, but 
they have not been heard since 1908. Anton Mehl has been the stand by 
Republican German speaker in this county, addressing meetings more or less 
in every campaign, with Edw. Gorman and A. W. Prehn. especially in 1910 
and 1912. 

Neal Brown has not been heard in this county since 1902, although he 
made a state canvass in 1908. .The last speaker of national reputation heard 
in Marathon county was ex-Gov. J. P. Altgeld in 1900 and Judson M. Har- 
man in 1904. The Republicans had Sen. R. M. LaFollette speak here in 
1902 and 1912. 

Marathon county has been governed by honest, patriotic men since its 
organization. No scandals have ever darkened its history. As a rule, its 
officers were honest, efficient in the discharge of their duties, and accom- 
modating, some more than others. A few, very few, have been found short 
in their accounts when the office was turned over to the successor, but in 
every instance the county was reimbursed, and in only one instance were the 
bondsmen the losers, and that not to a large amount. 

It may be said in passing that those that proved unfaithful were not 
known as strong, active partisans, and either party had its share of unfaith- 
ful public servants. Especially is it gratifying and to the credit of the county 
board, which holds the purse strings of the county, that in all those matters 
over which this body has large and discretionary powers, in the building of 
public buildings, bridges, and highways, no spot can be found to darken the 
fair record of Marathon county. 

This chapter cannot be closed without mentioning at least two of the 
county officers for particular conspicuous service. 

One of them is Mr. John Ringle who was elected as a very young man 


to the office of county clerk in 1872 and twice re-elected. The office kept 
by him, the books are a model of its kind, especially the important tax ab- 
stracts and tax sale books. But that alone would not recommend liim to any 
particular mention. At the close of his third term he was elected as a mem- 
ber of the assembly for the session of 1879. It was in that session in his 
first term, too, that he met and defeated the powerful Wisconsin Central 
Railroad lobby, who had obtained another five years' exemption bill from 
taxes for their lands through the senate, and they felt confident and 
assured of passing it through the assembly. The real manager of that 
railroad, a powerful Republican politician, Charles L. Colby, was at Madi- 
son to attend personally to the passage of the measure. A tyro in politics 
would have accomplished nothing against him. But Mr. Ringle understood 
how to combat lobby, and after a hard fight and witliout calling upon the 
county for any assistance in tlie way of liome support or home lobby, he 
killed the iniquitous measure. Tlie only iielp he had was from a friend who 
hurriedly circulated throughout the county a number of remonstrances which 
were signed by thousands of people and forwarded to Madison. Still in 
those days petitions and remonstrances had not much weight in the legis- 
lature, but nevertheless it gave the member a weapon in hand to work. 

In the same session, also single handed, lie defeated the liill to di\ide 
tlie county. This is surely a record to be proud of. When there was a great 
danger of a smallpox epidemic in 1874. he urged the city council to purchase 
from the county for the sum of $40.00 the forty acres of land which the city 
bought and now owns on the southwest side, for the site of an isolation Iios- 
pital. He had to urge it strong, because at that time it was thought to be 
too far away. Now it is one of the most \aluable possessions of the city. 
Will be made into a fine park before long. 

Another gentleman who needs be mentioned especially is J. R. Bruneau. 
who died in harness close at the end of his term as county treasurer. As has 
been said in another place, his first election in the year 1898 was the most 
stubbornly contested: he took charge of the office in 1879. Any one who 
read the former chapters may have been surprised to learn of the discount 
on county orders in this now wealthy county. County orders sold at fifty 
cents on the dollar. Yes, for years. Towards the close of the sixties orders 
had come to about sixty-five and seventy cents, and at the close of the temi 
of F. \\'. Kickbusch orders had advanced to eighty and eighty-five cents, and 
may even have touched par. when presented at tax paying time. 

With the advent of J. R- Bruneau this discount vanished at once. County 
orders were cashed and have been ever since. How was it accomplished? 


By Mr. Bruneau not only acting as treaurer, as holder of the funds, but in 
the capacity of comptroller as well. When he saw the funds dwindle, he 
called the attention of the county board to the state of finances. By his books 
he could tell day after day what the balances were in the different funds. He 
convinced the members that it was more profitable for the county to borrow 
money when needed at the rate of 6 or even 7 per cent a year, being 2 per cent 
for three months, than letting orders go to protest and a discount. He 
"taught" the county board to keep expenses within the income of the county. 

From the time that orders were cashed, the county contracted on a cash 
basis ; its business was sought by contractors and merchants ; the county saved 
thousands of dollars year after year by his acting in the double capacity of 
treasurer and comptroller. 

J. R. Bruneau was elected and tiiree times re-elected and declined the 
fifth nomination. After he was out of the ofiice for two years, he submitted 
under pressure from party friends to another nomination and was elected. 
He had accepted under misgivings, pleading ill health as an excuse or rather 
justification for declining further service. 

Time proved that his health was not as strong as might have been wished, 
and he peremptorily refused another nomination, saying that he would be 
happy when his term would be ended. It ended sooner than expected from 
sudden failure of the heart. He died without previous warning a few weeks 
before the, end of his term. His office was turned over to his successor imme- 
diately after the funeral, with every account and fund and cash in the best 
of order. No man has given more faithful service, and no one was more 
accommodating or more efficient in public life than J. R. Bruneau. 

The election of Woodrow Wilson and Thomas R. Marshall marks the 
beginning of a new era in American politics. The feeling engendered by the 
Civil war and the color line is wiped out. If the Spanish- American war had 
no other good results, it had at least that result. There is now a united coun- 
try. Economical and sociological problems will divide the people South as 
well as North. Wilson enters upon the administration with the hearty good 
will of the people, including his opponents, and if he can rise to the heights 
of statesmanship and be able to control and unify the conflicting elements 
in his own party, the country will enter upon an era of prosperity as no other 
country in the world. 


Senators and Members of Assembly. 


For purposes of legislation, the state is divided into 33 senatorial and 
100 assembly districts, which should be nearly equal in point of population. 
The southern part of the state being first settled and populated when the 
northern half was yet a wilderness, this portion of the state was for a long 
time attached to other counties as a part of a senatorial or assembly district, 
which other counties exerted a controlling influence in the nomination and 
election of senators and members of assembly, especially senators. The first 
state senator elected from Marathon county was \\\ C. Silverthorn, elected 
in 1874. As the county became stronger in votes other parts of the senatorial 
district found it necessary to give more attention to this part of the district 
by taking candidates from Marathon county. Up to the year 1883 the ses- 
sions of the legislature were held every year, but by an amendment to the 
constitution adopted in 1881, the sessions were made bi-annually and the 
term of a senator fixed for four years, or two sessions. 

This county was represented in the senate by the following gentlemen 
from Marathon county: W. C. Silverthorn, Democrat, 1875-1876; J. A. 
Kellogg. Republican, 1879-1880; Charles F. Crosby, Republican, 1881-1882. 

The sessions from now on were bi-annually and the term of the senator 
was four years. John Ringle, Democrat, 1883-1885; J. E. Leahy, Repub- 
lican, 1887-1889; Xeal Brown. Democrat, 1893-1895; A. L. Kreutzer, Re- 
publican, 1899-1901-1903-1905; W. W. Albers. Democrat, 1911-1913. 

Members of assembly: Walter D. Mclndoe, Whig. 1 850- 1854- 185 5 ; 
Burton Millard, Republican, 1858; B. Ringle. Democrat, 1861-1872- 
1875-76-77; B. G. Plumer, 1866; C. Hoefiinger, Democrat, 1862-1870: W. 
C. Silverthorn, Democrat, 1868-1874: R. P. Manson, Democrat, 1871: D. 
L. Plumer, Democrat, 1873: F. W. Kickbusch. G. B., 1878; John Ringle, 
Democrat, 1879-1880-1881-1893 ; John C. Clarke, Democrat, 1882; J. E. 
Leahy, Democrat. 1883. 



From this time on the sessions are bi-annually : S. Kronenvetter, Demo- 
crat, 1885; Henry Miller, Democrat, 1887. 

At this time the county was divided into two assembly districts : District 
No. I, including the territory west of the Wisconsin river except the city of 
Wausau and being numbered district No. i. All the territory east of the 
Wisconsin river and including the city of Wausau was numbered district No. 
2. Joseph Chesek, first district. Democrat, 1889; M. P. Beebe, second dis- 
trict, Democrat, 1889; Thomas O'Connor, first district. Democrat. 1891 ; 
Neil Brown, second district. Democrat, 1891 ; A. B. Barney, first district, 
Democrat, 1893; John Ringle, second district. Democrat, 1893; Robert Plisch, 
first district. Democrat, 1895 ; George Werheim, second district, Republican, 
1895; H. M. Thompson, first district. Republican, 1897; M. H. Bamum, 
second district. Republican, 1897; G. E. Vandercook, first district. Repub- 
lican, 1899; George Werheim, second district, Republican, 1899: Alfred 
Cook, first district. Republican, 1901 ; Herman Miller, second district. Re- 
publican, 1901 ; Willis LaDue, first district. Democrat, 1903; Herman ]\Iiller, 
second district. Republican, 1903 ; Fred Prehn, first district. Republican, 
1905; A. F. Marquardt, second district, Republican, 1905; Nicholas Schmidt, 
first district. Democrat, 1907; A. F. Marcjuardt, second district, Republican, 
1907; Nicholas Schmidt, first district. Democrat, 1909; A. F, Marquardt, 
second district. Republican, 1909; Nicholas Schmidt, first district. Democrat 
191 1 ; A. J. Plowman, second district. Democrat, 191 1; Francis F. Schilling, 
first district. Republican, 1913; Oscar Ringle, second district, Democrat 


Senator John A. Kellogg was born in Bethany, Wain county. Pennsyl- 
vania, March 16, 1828. In 1840 his parents removed to Prairie du Sac. \\'is- 
consin. He studied law in Madison and was admitted to the bar in Sauk 
county, Wisconsin, in 1857, where he commenced the practice of his pro- 
fession. He enlisted in 1861, was made first lieutenant in Company K, Sixth 
Wisconsin Infantry; reached the grade of Colonel December 10, 1864, and 
was assigned to the command of the so-called "Iron Brigade," in the absence 
of Gen. E. S. Bragg, was made brevetted brigadier general for meritorius 
service April 9, 1866. with rank from April 19, 1865. He served in the 
Potomac army from the beginning of the war until the Battle of the Wilder- 


ness, when he was wounded, left on the field, and taken prisoner May 5, 1864. 
After several unsuccessful attempts he succeeded in escaping and reached 
the federal lines at Calhoun, Georgia, October 26, 1864. He was United 
States pension agent for the La Crosse, Wisconsin, district, from 1866 until 
1875, when he resigned and removed with his family to Wausau to practice 
his profession. He was an able lawyer, and until his death was a partner 
of C. V. Bardeen under the firm name of Kellogg & Bardeen. From the time 
of his residence at Wausau, he became prominent in political circles and a 
leader of the Republican party. He was elected as a Republican senator 
over M. H. Wadleigh (Democrat) of the twenty-first senatorial district, 
being then composed of Marathon county and Portage county. Gen. J. A. 
Kellogg was a generous hearted, patriotic citizen; politically he belonged to 
the radical wing of the Republican party. He died at \\'ausau in the early 
part of 1884 and was buried with the honors of an Odd Fellow by Wausau 
Lodge 215, of which he had been an honored and faithful member. 


Charles F. Crosby was born in the town of Waterloo, Jefferson county. 
Wisconsin. December 12. 1847. His boyhood days were spent in Adams 
county, Wisconsin. He was educated in Bronson and Kilbourn institutes, 
pursuing a collegiate course. He was admitted to the bar in the fall of 1870: 
went to Minnesota in 1871, and while there was elected to the office of dis- 
trict attorney, county judge, and member of assembly. He came to Wau- 
sau in 1S75, entered into the practice of law with B. W. James under the 
firm name of James & Crosby: was elected as district attorney in 1878 as 
a candidate of the Greenback party, and to the state senate in 1880 as a 
Republican. At the resignation of H. S. Alban as municipal judge of Mara"- 
thon county caused by changing his residence to Rhinelander, Oneida county, 
Mr. Crosby was appointed as successor to Judge Alban, in January, 1888, 
which office he held until his death on the first day of December, 1889. C. 
F. Crosby made a host of friends during his short sojourn in Marathon 
county by his affability and generous good nature. He was buried with 
Masonic honors at Wausau. 


Burton Millard has been mentioned as one of the pioneers of Wausau; 
he was a millwright by trade, and on his coming to Wausau, opened a shop 


on the property still owned by his children on Third and Washington and 
Fourth streets. He was young and unmarried as most pioneers, but ex- 
changed the state of single blessedness and became a faithful benedict by 
marrying Miss Harriette Crown in 1854. He was one of the few pioneers 
who had some means when he arrived, not sufficient to engage in large 
enterprises, but sufficient to assist where he saw a little help would do good 
and could be safely advanced. His popularity is attested by the fact that ^ 
he was elected as a Whig and Republican in the county which gave a major- 
ity for other Democratic candidates, against another popular candidate and 
Democrat, Thomas Hinton. When the war broke out, B. Millard enlisted 
with the first batch from Marathon county in 1861, and was shot by the 
enemy, in the last days of April, 1862, at Lee's Mill, Virginia, while on 
picket duty, dying almost instantly — the first man killed from Marathon 
county. His esteemed widow later married Dr. T. W. Smith, and is still liv- 
ing, enjoying good health. Besides his widow, he left three sons : Albert, 
Arthur and Paul, and a daughter, Henriette. 


Sebastian Kronenwetter was born January 20. 1833, in Wuertemberg, 
Germany; received a good common school education and emigrated to the 
United States, where he worked in the pineries of Pennsylvania ; he was 
married to Miss Mary Biry, in St. Mary, Elk county. Pennsylvania. He 
migrated to Wisconsin in 1857, first settling in Mosinee; then kept a boarding 
house for some time and came to Wausau, where he conducted the United 
States Hotel, already referred hereinbefore, for two years, when it burned 
down, leaving him penniless. Undaunted by his hard luck, he returned to 
Mosinee ; working, laboring and saving, and after two years began logging 
on a small scale with good success. In the decade from 1865 to 1870 his 
logging operations were carried on on Scotch creek, and while successful in 
a general way, still he was handicapped again by twice failing to get his logs 
out of the creek in the spring and into the Rib river by reason of an insuffi- 
cient freshet. He purchased the Gouldsbury (Keelerville) mill in 1870 and 
removed there with his family, where he carried on the lumber business until 
his death, on April 2"], 1902. A man of honor and strict integrity, generous 
hearted, always responding to the appeals of the worthy needy, and accom- 
modating almost to a fault, he was held in the highest esteem by his numer- 
ous friends and acquaintances. For ten years he was a member of the county 
board and its chairman in 1880. As a public officer he was honest and fear- 


less in the discharge of his duties, and enjoyed alike the esteem of opponents 
as well as friends. He was a worthy and influenthial member of the Catholic 
church. A patriotic American citizen in the best sense, he loved good Ger- 
man customs and manners, and was a friend of German societies. His widow 
and his children, Mrs. Helen Lutz, Karl, George, Mrs. Clara Wirth, Henry, 
Mrs. May Kretlow and Mrs. Anna O'Connor, survive him. 


Henry Miller was born in Langgoens, Hesse, Darmstadt, Germany, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1849. He received a good common school education in Germany; 
was then apprenticed to a merchant to learn bookkeeping and the mercan- 
tile trade. He emigrated in 1868, and settled first in Belfast, Alleghany 
county. New York ; later in Friendship, New York, where he was married to 
Helen A. Mathews, a native of that town. He engaged in teaching; came 
with his family to Wausau in 1872, and taught school for three years. In 
1875 he was elected city clerk of Wausau, reelected in 1876 and 1877. In 
1878 he was editor of the Waechter am Wisconsin, a weekly newspaper 
printed in the German language, founded in the interest of the Greenback 
party. In 1878 he was elected county clerk as a candidate of the Greenback 
ticket, and reelected as a Democrat in 1880, 1882 and 1884. He was the 
candidate of the Democratic party for member of assembly in 1886 and 
elected by a good majority over his Republican opponent. In 1892 he was 
elected municipal judge, to which office he was reelected and served until 
1904, when he declined to be a candidate. On the resignation and removal 
from Marathon county of J. J. Sherman, county judge, he was appointed 
to fill the vacancy, and reelected until 1909. He has filled every office in a 
highly satisfactory manner, and his urbane manners, his attention to duties 
and his impartial discharge of duties made him respected among the members 
of the bar and the people. He is an honored member of the Masonic fra- 
ternity, the A. F. and A. M. He was foreman of the volunteer fire depart- 
ment of Wausau from 1880 to 1881, an association which worked hard and 
faithfully and voluntarily, i. e.. without compensation. He is also a mem- 
ber of the "Sons of Herman" and was the grand master of that order. His 
family consists of wife and four children, Harry, Leon, Nina and Amy. 


Joseph Chesak was bom in Pilsen, Bohemia, Austria, on December 8, 
1854; his father emigrated to Wisconsin and settled in the town of Trenton, 




Washington county, when Joseph was three years of age. He received the 
common school education in that town, and later took a course in the Spen- 
cerian College at Milwaukee. He engaged in mercantile business and hotel- 
keeping and held the office of town clerk for the last three years in that town, 
before his migration to Marathon county in 1881. It .was at the time that J. 
M. Smith and Fred Rietbrook, through intelligent and judicious advertising 
brought many new settlers to Marathon county, mainly in the present town 
of Rietbrook, the majority being Polish people coming from Milwaukee. 
Mr. Chesak built a store and engaged in general merchandise business ; was 
appointed postmaster, the postoffice being named "Poniatowski." When he 
arrived there, some roads had already been opened, but they were new and 
impassable at times ; the settlers were all beginners and poor, of course, and it 
took a long time and hard work to make a farm. However, Mr. Chesak had 
faith in the industry and honesty of these hard-working, frugal beginners, 
and assisted them to the best of his ability by extending credit to them, and 
was their advisor in a general way. The fact that he could speak four lan- 
guages made his store the center of intelligence in that community. He was 
elected and reelected town clerk for years, and school treasurer and justice 
of the peace. His faith in the new country and the people was fully justified 
by events. His business was carried on under some difficulties first, he having 
to bring his merchandise from Wausau out by wagon or sleigh over poor 
country roads, take all sorts of farm produce in exchange and carry them 
in the same way to Wausau and market them; but the settlement grew, the 
farms became larger, and his business too grew up to big dimensions and 
brought him prosperity and honors. 

When his sons had grown up, he turned his business in Poniatowski over 
to them, and with his two brothers, John and Frank, built and still operates 
a saw mill and engaged in general lumber business in the village of Athens, 
where he took up his residence. He is also interested in the Athens Bank. 
He has done his full share in the upbuilding of that part of Marathon county, 
and can look back with contentment upon his achievements. Affable, kind 
and courteous, he is an excellent companion and enjoys society and is held 
in the highest esteem by the people of that section and his many acquaintances 
throughout the county. 

M. p. BEEBE. 

M. p. Beebe was born in Pottersville, New York, and came to Wausau 
when it was in its infancy, in 1852; was a millwright by trade and was busy 
as such in the mills in and around Wausau, and in 1862 took up his residence 


and charge of the Pine River mill under his brother-in-law, Edw. Armstrong. 
The mill passed into the possession of John L. Davies in 1868, but Mr. 
Beebe was retained as general manager of the sawing and logging depart- 
ment until 1877, \vhen he returned to Wausau and engaged in the lumber 
business on his own account. He associated himself with J. E. Leahy and 
they built the saw mill now known as the Mortinson and Stone mill. Mr. 
Beebe withdrew from the concern in 1890, and took a homestead near Minoc- 
qua, on the so-called "Water Reserve Lands," Vilas county, where he kept 
a summer resort on Tomahawk lake, well patronized by Wausau people. He 
sold his resort in the year 1900, and returned to Wausau, where he died Octo- 
ber 27th, 1 90 1. 

AL P. Beebe had many noble qualities of mind and heart ; he was confiding 
and trustworthy, but suffered losses by relying on representations of men who 
betrayed his confidence. With his employees he was always on the best of 
terms and deservedly popular with all classes of people. He left only a 
moderate competency for his wife, who did not long survive him, and one 
child, a son, now in business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 


has been mentioned as the pioneer settler of the town of Mosinee, or rather 
the Irish settlement. He was born in Kings county, Ireland, on December 
21, 1815. He emigrated to the United States in 1846 and settled in Pennsyl- 
vania, where he worked in the rolling mills for several years; then went to 
Michigan, continuing in the same occupation. In 1856 he came to Wau- 
watosa, now Milwaukee, working in the same occupation, but seeing no 
future for him and for his family in that employment, he concluded to take 
up farming. From his meager earnings in the rolling mills he had saved 
up a little money, which he invested in one hundred and twenty acres of land 
in Marathon county. It has already been told how he cut out a road to his 
land for nine miles from Mosinee, Little Bull at that time. For many years 
he lived alone in the wilderness with his family, until some settlers arrived in 
the neighborhood. He had his full share of privations and hard luck as, for 
instance: In the winter from 1870 to 1871 there was an unusual fall of snow, 
even for this part of the state; it lay from four to five feet high in the woods, 
and logging had to stop when the last storm came, about the middle of 
March. Air. O'Connor was then still living in the log house, 16 by 24 feet in 
extent, with his wife and nine children, when six of them were taken down 
with scarlet fever at the same time ; and the nearest neighbor, Joseph Free- 

AND REPRESEXTATIVF: citizens ' 233 

men, full one mile off. He had Dr. Root from Stevens Point to attend to 
his sick children, who came once or twice a week on horseback to see them. 
It was a trip of thirty-five miles to make for the doctor, and there was little 
or no communication with neighbors. All the children recovered fully, with 
no trace of sickness afterwards. The good constitution of their parents and 
good nursing and care evidently more than medicine brought them through. 
It is another instance that the pioneers were a strong and healthy race, or 
they and their children could not have survived the hardships incident to 
pioneer life. Mr. O'Connor was a splendid specimen of manhood; he was a 
little over six feet tall, strongly knit and muscular. He took to farming 
as if he had done nothing else in his life, and his farm soon became the 
model farm in the -settlement. He was seventy-five years of age when nomi- 
nated to the assembly, but hale and hearty, and canvassed his district actively 
like a young man. He w^as known by every man, woman and child in the 
Irish settlement, and loved and respected by all. He died December 15, 1901, 
surviving his wife by about one year, and left five children to mourn his 
death : Maria Freeman, Edw. O'Connor, Frank O'Connor, Christopher 
O'Connor and Thomas O'Connor. The last one mentioned died January 25, 


A. B. Barney was born at Mayville, Dodge county, Wisconsin, June 2, 
1835; attended the public school of his native town, one term at the White- 
water Normal School, and for a short time the United States Military 
Academy at West Point, New York, then studied law in the office of A. K. 
Delaney in Mayville; was admitted to the bar in 1878 and removed to Spencer, 
Marathon county, after his admission, where he practiced his profession and 
dealt some in real estate. He had natural ability, but found no opportunity 
in the little village to make a mark in his profession, his law business being 
confined nearly entirely to justice court practice. He died in 1910, having 
been at different times in the last years of his life an inmate of the state 
hospital at Winnebago, Wisconsin. He left no family. 


Robert Plisch was born in Silesia, Austria, April 7, 1845. His father 
emigrated to the United States in 1856, coming directly to Marathon county, 
where he settled in the town of Berlin, and where the family has ever since 
resided. Robert Plisch had attended school diligently in the old country and 


eagerly availed himself of every oportunity which the early schools of the 
town of Berlin offered. Before he was twenty-one he passed a teacher's 
examination and taught school in the winter months, working on his father's 
farm in the summer, but attending lectures and reading books to cultivate his 
mind. When he took his father's farm over about 1880, he dropped teaching 
and devoted himself wholly to agriculture and working the fine 160-acre 
farm in the town of Berlin. He has a good herd of milk cows and was one 
of the first farmers who saw that the dairy business was best adapted to Mar- 
athon county. For eight years he was chairman of the town board of the 
town of Berlin, and also a member of the executive board of the Marathon 
County Agricultural Society. He was instrumental in having a cheese fac- 
tory located on one acre of his farm, which does excellent and profitable 
business — profitable to the factory as well as the farms in the neighborhood. 
Being a pioneer settler, he saw the county emerge out of the wilderness to its 
present fine agricultural condition, and is familiar with the needs of the 
county as well as the towns. He married Miss Augusta Mathwig. and twelve 
children are living to bless their union. 


George Werheim in another of the sturdy race of the pioneers of Mara- 
thon county. He was born in Hesse-Darmstadt. January 6, 1834, and re- 
ceived his education in the common schools of that little country, which had 
probably the best school system at that time in all Germany. He emigrated 
to the United States in 1852, worked in New York and Chicago, and came 
to Wausau in 1855. a carpenter and joiner by trade. The early frame build- 
ings were all joined — timber frame and only boards were nailed. The join- 
ing together of the frames was a job which required great accuracy, and it 
was George Werheim's reputation this his frames always fitted. Many of 
the old houses and buildings are his work. In 1872 he associated himself 
with F. W. Kickbusch. under the firm name of Werheim & Kickbusch. and 
they built the first sash, door and blind factory in Wausau, a little north of 
where now stands the Northern Milling Company. The partnership continued 
successfully until 1880, when it was dissolved by agreement, Mr. Kickbusch 
carrying on the business alone, and Mr. Werheim building another similar 
factory on Third street. Later on he organized the Werheim Manufacturing 
Company, under which name the business was carried on until 191 1, when 
George Werheim sold his interest therein and the business is now carried on 
under firm name of J. M. Kuebler Company. Mr. Werheim held many 


offices in Wausau and acquitted himself honorably of the trust confided in 
him. He was city treasurer four terms, village trustee, aldemian, under 
sheriff, and three times the candidate of the Republican party for the assem- 
bly and twice elected. He enjoyed the confidence of the Wausau people to a 
high degree: he had no superior in his profession as builder; personally, his 
joviality, coupled with his personal honesty, made him a favorite in Wausau. 
When the drift was strongly with the Democratic party in 1884, he was nom- 
inated by the Republicans for member of assembly, and defeated after making 
a very creditable canvass, running three hundred votes ahead of the presiden- 
tial ticket. He was elected to the assembly as a Republican in 1895 and 1899. 


Henry M. Thompson was born in Dover, Maine, December 20, 1861 ; 
was educated in Milwaukee public schools and Milnor Hall, Gambia, Ohio. 
He came to Wisconsin in 1868; resided in Milwaukee until 1888, and was 
a clerk in the Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance Company Bank from 1882 
to 1888. On March i. 1888, he was married to Stella Dessert, and then took 
up his residence at Mosinee, and with Louis Dessert, a nephew of Joseph 
Dessert, attended to the large lumber interest of the Dessert Lumber Com- 
pany, in which he took a share. He was elected supervisor of the village of 
Mosinee in the years from 1891 to 1897, and was elected a member of assen;- 
bly as a Republican by a slight majority over his Democratic opponent. 

Henry M. Thompson belongs to the younger generation, which made its 
influence felt in Marathon county. His stay in Marathon county was of short 
duration. When the timber owned by the Dessert Lumber Company was all 
cut in 1902, the mill ceased operations, was dismantled, and Mr. Thompson 
removed to Milwaukee. 


M. H. Barnum led a long and varied life. He was a native of Syracuse, 
New York, born March 14, 1834. After spending a little over a year in 
Rosendale, Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, he came to Wausau in 1857, 
and for a while managed a mill boarding house. He conducted religious 
services in the Methodist church; was admitted to practice law. and for a 
little over a decade practiced this, his profession, at the same time running 
the river, and at least on one occasion piloted out a fleet. He at one time 
had a furniture store and shop on McClellan street. He left Wausau to look 
up another location, but returned after a short absence and edited the U'is- 



consin River Pilot for two years; then, in 1877, founded a paper of his own, 
The Torch of Liberty, of which he was the editor and manager until he sold 
it in 1894. It was first advocating the principles of the Greenback party, 
but after a few years became a stalwart Republican newspaper. He enlisted 
in the Civil war from 1861 to December 2, 1862, serving in the Potomac- 
Army; participated in the siege of Yorktown, the battle of Williamsburg, 
and the se\-en days' fighting before Richmond. About 1897 he took up a 
homestead in Vilas county and opened a summer resort on Lake Shishebo- 
gama, a short distance west from Minocqua. M. H. Barnum was a fluent 
speaker and his knowledge of the ways, feelings and manners of the pinery 
boys made him a valuable adjunct in the political battles in the ninth and 
later the tenth congressional district. He was married in New York Decem- 
ber 6, 1854, to Phoeba T. Reynolds, who with their six children, Charles, 
Ada Gearhard, May Barry, William, Mark H., and Bessie, survive him. He 
died at Wausau July 31, 1904. 


Gilbert E. Vandercook was born at Newberg, Washington county, Wis- 
consin, and after receiving a common school education, entered the county 
printing office and served an apprenticeship. He edited several papers in 
northern Wisconsin, one of which was the Spencer Tribune^ in Spencer, in 
Marathon county; was appointed chief clerk in the state department at Madi- 
son in 1895, and afterwards assistant secretary of state. He graduated from 
the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1896. He had severed his con- 
nection with the Spencer Tribune when he went to Madison, but still claimed 
a residence there, it was said for political purposes. Certain it is, that after 
his election as member of assembly he never returned to Spencer to reside 
there, which gives color to the charge that his claim of residence was a ficti- 
tious one. He was employed in the Mikvaukce Sentinel after the assembly 
adjourned and reported for Chicago papers at the same time, and held high 
rank as a newspaper writer. 


Alfred Cook was born in Lloyd Town, Canada, West, October 4, 1850; 
came to Wisconsin with his parents in 1854, settling on a farm in Calumet 
county, where he attended high school in Fond du Lac. He came to Mara- 
thon county, bought land and cleared a farm, giving some attention to lumber 
business while the timber on that part of the county traversed by the Wis- 


consin Central Railroad lasted. He is still farming, devoting himself to 
stock raising. He has been postmaster in the village of Unity, chairman of 
the town board of the town of Brighton, and also supervisor of the village 
of Unity, which municipalities he represented in the county board of Mara- 
thon county. He is one of the pioneer settlers of the western part of the 
county, coming to Unity as the right of way was being cut out, and when only 
one little shanty stood at the site of Unity, which had been built only a few 
weeks before to give shelter to the workmen on the railroad. He was a 
Republican, but claiming to be an independent and acting independently, he 
was nominated by the Democrats and elected over his Republican opponent, 
G. E. Vandercook, whose claim of residence in the county was looked upon 
as a spurious one and only made for political purposes. 


Herman Miller must be classed among the pioneers of Marathon county. 
He was born in Pommerania, Prussia ; received a high school education, and 
emigrated to the United States in 1856, coming to Marathon county in the 
fall of the same year, where he served as clerk in the little country store of 
Charles Mante, opened a short time before, which was situated about one mile 
west from the Armstrong farm, in the present town of Main. This store 
has already been mentioned as being opened when the first farmer settlers 
came to the county, and that after a few years it had to close for want of 

Herman Miller then came to Wausau, where he worked as occasion 
offered, either as a clerk or in a mill. He made shingles, bought them and 
sold them down on the Mississippi. When the town of Wausau was estab- 
lished with the village included, he was elected the first town clerk of the 
town, the polling place at that time being "Poor's House," on the west side 
of the river. He was elected register of deeds in 1865, and reelected in 1867 
and 1869; was chairman of the county board in 1876 and held many other 
minor offices, such as member of the village board, supervisor, which last 
place he held for more than ten years in succession. He also kept a general 
store, and dealt in luipber during the years from 1867 to 1880. He was 
appointed assistant supervisor of the census for the eighth congressional dis- 
trict of Wisconsin in 1900. In the decade from 1890 to 1900 he erected the 
spacious Delmonico Hotel and conducted it for a few years, but the times 
were not propitious and he sold it at a great sacrifice. He has since been 
elected three times in succession for assessor for the city of Wausau and 


twice for member of assembly. Herman Miller was an enterprising, hard 
working man; personally honest, he met with many misfortunes in business, 
but he was honored for his grit and perseverance, with which he overcame 
adversities which would have discouraged almost any other man. Like most 
pioneers, it was not his good fortune to acquire wealth, but he did his share 
in upbuilding the country. 


Willis F. La Du was born in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, on July 2, 
1856, and belongs to the second generation of Marathon county. He came 
with his parents to Marathon courtty in 1866; they settled in Mosinee in that 
year and have ever since resided there. His father, Edward La Du, wrote 
a history of the village of Mosinee, which materially assisted this writer in 
citing old history. Willis F. La Du received the common school education 
at that place, but broadened his mind by reading and studying books after 
school years. He engaged in mercantile business in Mosinee in 1880, which 
he still conducts in a flourishing state. For some time, from 1888 to 1900, 
he engaged also in logging and lumbering. He took much interest in bring- 
ing the comforts of city life to his native village, and was elected vice presi- 
dent of the Marathon County Telephone Company; he was chairman of the 
town of Bergen for 1888-89-90; also president of the village of Mosinee in 
1900, and postmaster from 1904 to 1908. Mr. La Du has been a consistent 
Democrat through all the years since he became of voting age, and it was only 
his hard work and personal popularity, based upon his good work done as 
an officer in his village and in the county board, and his personal worth as a 
citizen, which gave him his majority for member of assembly when he was 
elected. He held many other minor offices and was a delegate to every Dem- 
ocratic county or state convention since 1886. 


Fred Prehn was born in tlie city of Manitowac, Wisconsin, on the 5th 
day of May, i860, and brought up on a farm, and after graduating from the 
common school, attended high school in the city of Manitowoc ; he then learned 
the trade of harnessmaker and saddler and after coming to Marathon county 
in 1 88 1, established a harnessmaker shop in Marathon City, to which after 
a few years he added a hardware and furniture store. He was appointed 
postmaster under the Harrison administration in 1889 and held the office 
until 1893. He was village president for three years; for two years a mem- 


ber of the county board, and for three years a member of the village school 
board. His large store building caught fire in 1905, and building, together 
with contents of hardware and furniture, was a complete loss, with only an 
insurance of $5,000, which did not cover one-fourth of the loss. But Mr. 
Prehn was undaunted by his hard luck, and carried on his business with his 
son in another store at Marathon City. He also owns a farm of two hundred 
and forty acres in Jackson county, Wisconsin ; stands well as a business man 
and citizen and is working hard to recoup his loss. His first wife died, 
leaving him two children, and he has five children by his second wife, a Miss 
Erdmann, of Settin, Marathon county, and also an adopted child. 


Nicholas Schmidt was born in Germany on the 8th day of November, 
i860, where he received the common school education for wdiich that country 
is noted. While learning the trade of a machinist he attended an evening 
school to make up for his deficiency of a high school education. He traveled 
extensively in Europe, working at his trade before he emigrated to the 
United States in 1880, settling first at Chicago, where he worked five years 
at his trade, and again attended evening school to acquire the English lan- 
guage. An injury received in the line of duty in his profession forced him 
to seek other employment, and for the next six years he was busy in the flour, 
feed, coal and wood business, dealing also some in real estate. He bought 
the Marathon City Brewery, reorganized it as a corporation and was made 
its president. He took up his residence in Marathon City soon afterwards 
and managed the business himself. He served the village as member of the 
board of trustees for five years, is president of the State Bank of Marathon 
City, and has been elected three times as member of assembly in succession 
from the first district. His strict attention to his legislative duties, his per- 
sonal courtesy and gentlemanly bearing, his sense of fairness and justice 
endeared him to his party friends and gave him a large circle of acquainances 
throughout the state, which resulted in his nomination for the office of state 
treasurer on the Democratic ticket in 1912. 


August F. Marquardt was born at Bandekow, Pommern, Germany, Jan- 
uary 8th, 1850, and came to the United States in 1866, settling at Wausau 
on the 1st day of July. For many years he was engaged in logging, lumbering 


and teaming, in mercantile operations and contracting. He owns now a fine 
farm in the northwestern part of the city of Wausau. He is a director of the 
Citizens State Bank of Wausau; has represented the ninth ward in the city 
council for eighteen years; was president of the common council from 1900- 
1901 ; was a member of the county board for sixteen years ; president of the 
Marathon County Agricultural Society for two years, and vice president of 
the State Agricultural Society in 1899; was elected by the common council 
as member of the board of water commission May i, 1905, for a term of 
three years; was appointed as a member of the park board of Wausau for a 
term of five years ; was elected sheriff of Marathon county in the fall of 
1900; and was elected as member of assembly in 1904-1906 and 1908, and 
was appointed by the governor as member of the national river and harbor 
convention sitting at Washington, District of Columbia, in 1912. From the 
time of his appearance at Wausau up to the present time, he was hard work- 
ing and an industrious man, shrinking from no hardship in the way of honest 
labor. He settled upon his farm in 1876 and has continually resided thereon, 
and with the sole exception of two years while attending to the duties of sher- 
iff, has cultivated it himself, bringing up the land to a high degree of cultiva- 
tion. He has behind himself a life of honest toil and activity such as few 
people can boast of, and he can now enjoy in contentment the fruit of his 
labor of former years. 


Arthur J. Plowman was born in \\'aupacca county October 28, 1872; 
reared on a farm and is a graduate of the high school of the city of Wau- 
pacca. He came to the town of Eldron, Marathon county, in 1897, and has 
since resided there, farming, cattle raising and logging. He has been very 
active in promoting the rise of that section of the country from a pinery 
slashing to a flourishing farmer settlement. His work in that respect is 
highly appreciated by the people of that community, as is shown by his elec- 
tion for thirteen consecutive years as school district clerk, and four years 
chairman of the town. He owns a herd of as fine Guernsey cows as any in the 
state, and is treasurer of the Marathon County Breeders Association. He is 
president of the Eland State Bank, president of the Eldron Light & Power 
Company, president and treasurer of the Eldron Telephone Company, and 
treasurer of the Eldron Cooperative Creamery Company. He was chairman 
of the county board in 1910. His general information as to the needs of 
the newly settled parts of the state, and his sound views on state affairs gave 


him a prominent place in the assembly and recommended him so much to the 
voters of the eighth congressional district that they have given him without 
any effort on his part, the Democratic nomination for member of congress 
in 19 12, which district includes ^Marathon county, Shawano county, Wood 
county, Portage county, Waupacca county and Washara county. Mr. Plow- 
man is a man of striking personality and well informed on any of the subjects 
which now attract public attention. 


Francis X. Schilling, member of assembly for the first district of Mara- 
thon county in 1912 (session 1913), was born in Marathon county on April 
26th, 1868, and belongs to the second generation of citizens of Marathon 
county. His father, Anthony Schilling, who is still alive and enjoying old 
age in good health, was one of the original members of the Pittsburg settlers 
club, coming to settle in Marathon county in 1858. Francis Schilling is a 
product of the Marathon county country schools. When he was twenty-one 
years of age he had saved enough of his earnings to buy himself eighty acres 
of good wild hardwood land and went to work to make himself a farm. By 
industry and intelligent farming he was able to increase his holdings to a 
land complex of two hundred acres, a large part of which is cleared and in 
a high state of cultivation, and the rest is fine hardwood timber land. He 
is held in the highest confidence by the people of his town as is shown by the 
fact that he was elected continually justice of the peace since he became 
twenty-one years of age, held the office of town treasurer for ten years, then 
the office of chairman of his town of twelve years continually, during which 
time he was elected three times as chairman of the board of supervisors of 
Marathon county from 1907 to 1910. He is president of the Marathon City 
Telephone Company and secretary of the Central Creamery Company of the 
town of Marathon, both cooperative associations ; also treasurer of the Ger- 
mania U. G., a mutual sick benefit society, with main office in JiliUvaukee, 
Wisconsin. He was married to Miss Kathie Deininger of Marathon county, 
and their union is blessed with seven children. Mr. F. X. Schilling is a 
Republican, belonging to the so-called progressive wing of that party. 


Oscar Ringle, member of assembly elect from the second district of Mar- 
athon county, was born at Wausau, Wisconsin, on the 12th day of April, 


1878; he is a son of John Ringle, at present mayor of Wausau, and his wife, 
Auguste Engel. He graduated from the Wausau High School in 1896, 
then entered the University of Wisconsin, attending the College of Letters 
and Science for two years, then the College of Law for three years, grad- 
uating in 1901. Having received his diploma, he entered the law office of 
W. H. Mylrea at Wausau, practicing his profession for one year, then 
formed a partnership with Frank P. Regner for the practice of law under 
the firm name of Regner & Ringle, which firm has built up an enviable repu- 
tation and good practice. He was a candidate for the first time before the 
people and was elected as a Democrat in the district which had for the last 
sixteen years given Republican majorities, except only in 1910. Mr. O. 
Ringle was married to Miss Clara Baesemann of Marathon county on the 
2 1 St day of November, 19 10, and a daughter, Dorothea, was born to them 
September 28th, 191 1. 

[Biographical sketches of state senators and members of assembly not 
given in this chapter, will appear under other proper headings.] 


Population of Marathon County According to Federal Census, and Popula- 
tion by Tozvns — Roster of County Oifjcers from the Organisation of the 
County to 1912 to 1914. 

The population of Marathon county up to the year 1870 is given by the 
county as a whole, because there are no figures at hand which show the 
population by towns. Tliere was no organized city in Marathon county until 
1872, and only the towns of Berlin, Knowlton, Maine, Marathon, Mosinee, 
Stettin, Texas, Wausau, Wien and Weston, and Jenny. 

County. 1840. 1850. i860. 1870. 1875. 

Marathon County 489 2,892 5,885 10,111 

In the population of 1870 the town of Jenny is included. This town at 
that time covered nearly all the territory afterwards included in the county 
of Lincoln, which was detached from Marathon county and organized as a 
separate county in the session of the legislature in 1874. The county officers 
for Lincoln county were elected at the general election in the fall of 1874. 
The town of Jenny had a population of 895 when detached from Marathon 
county, which is given in the census report of 1875 as the population of the 
county of Lincoln. The town of Jenny included the whole of Lincoln county 
at the time of its organization, but soon thereafter the village of Jenny was 
organized as a city under the name of the city of Merrill (known as Jenny 
Bull at the time of the settlement of the Wisconsin valley). 


By towns and wards, according to the state census : 

Towns. Male. Female. Total. 

Bergen 109 50 159 

Berlin 585 539 1,124 

Brighton 359 227, 582 



Hull 373 298 671 

Knowlton 135 129 264 

Maine 414 351 765 

Marathon 2^2 235 • 467 

Mosinee 307 238 545 

Stettin 479 430 909 

Texas 1 59 119 278 

Wausau 439 385 824 

Wausau City 1.560 1,260 2,820 

Wien 1 10 114 224 

Weston 264 215 479 

Total 5,525 4.586 10,111 


Towns. Population. 

Bergen 450 

Berlin i ,000 

Brighton 726 

Easton 186 

Hamburg 563 

Holton 749 

Hull 461 

Knowlton 379 

Maine 880 

Marathon 871 

Mosinee, including Mosinee village 882 

Mosinee village alone 201 

Rib Falls 574 

Rietbrock 409 

Spencer 1,091 

Stettin 684 

Texas 458 

\\'ausau 1 ,061 

Wausau, city 4.277 

Wein 452 

Weston 968 

Total 1 7. 1 2 1 



Marathon County — Population, 30,369. 

Bergen, including Emmett 616 

Berlin, including Hamburg, 693 1.776 

Brighton 686 

Cleveland (see Frankfort) 

Day, including McMillan 1.255 

Caston, including Wausau town, 1,378 1,620 

Eau Pleine (see Frankfort) 

Eldron, including Norrie 585 

Emmett (see Bergen) 

Frankfort, including \\ien, Eau Pleine and Cleveland. . 1,284 

Halsey 654 

Hamburg (see Berlin) 

Harrison, including Texas 1,146 

Holeton 760 

Hull 893 

Johnson, including Reitbrock, 717 1.030 

Knovvlton (see Kronenwetter) 

Kronemvetter, including Knowlton, Pike Lake. 542.. . 1,139 

Maine 1,178 

Marathon, including Marathon City, village 1,438 

McMillan (see Day) 

Mosinee, including village 626 

Norrie (see Eldron) 

Pike Lake (see Kronenwetter) 

Rib Falls (see Stettin) 

Rietbrock (see Johnson) 

Spencer, including village, 526, and Manville 1,018 

Stettin, including Rib Falls, 672 1,636 

Texas (see Harrison) 

Wausau (see Easton) 

Wausau City — 

ist ward 1.349 

2d ward 1.165 

3d ward i.ioi 

4th ward 967 

5th ward 1.831 

6th ward i .845 


7th ward i>095 — 9,253 

Weston 1 ,776 

Wien (see Frankfort) 

Total 30,369. 


Increase * Decrease — 
Towns, Cities United States Census, in 19 lo as compared wi,th 1900, 

and Villages. 1900. 1910. Number. Percent. 

Athens, village ' 904 .... .... 

Bergen ^ 552 654 

Berlin 1,078 1,005 — 71 — ^-77 

Bern ^ 408 .... .... 

Brighton ^ 599 444 *99 * 16.53 

Brokaw, village " 458 .... .... 

Cassel 1,034 1,165 *I3^ *I2.67 

Cleveland ^ 1,060 689 *392 *36.98 

Colby, city, east ward. 213 252 *39 * 18.31 

Day' 821 1,053 •■•• ■••• 

Easton 987 865 -j-122 — 12.36 

Eau Pleine 735 758 =^23 *3.i3 

Edgar, village 478 746 *268 *56.07 

Elderon * 568 779- *478 *84.i5 

Emmett » 786 894 

Fenwood, village '" 220 .... .... 

Flieth " 397 .... .... 

Frankfort 568 685 *ii7 *20.6o 

Franzen ^ 267 .... .... 

1 Incorporated from part of Halsey town and made independent in 1903. 
^ Parts of Day and Mosinee towns annexed in 1909. 
3 Organized from part of Halsey in 1904. 

* Unity village incorporated from part of Brighton town and made independent in 1906. 
^ Brokaw village incorporated from part of Texas town and made independent in 1906. 

" Stratford village incorporated from part of Cleveland town and made independent 
in 1910. 

' Part annexed to Bergen in 1909. 

* Franzen town organized from part of Elderon town in 1904. 
" Part annexed to Mosinee town in 1909. 

1" Fenwood village incorporated from part of Wien town and made independent in 1907. 
" Organized from part of Weston town in 1906. 


Increase * Decrease — 
Towns, Cities United States Census, in 1910 as compared with 1900, 

and Villages. 1900. 1910. Number, Percent. 

Halsey '^ 1,231 • 643 .... ..•• 

Hamburg 891 985 *94 * 10.55 

Harrison 211 399 *i88 ^89.10 

Hewitt 287 463 *i76 *6i.32 

Holton 1,022 1,298 *276 *27.oi 

Hull 796 1,096 *300 *37-69 

Johnson 587 901 *3i4 *53-49 

Knowlton 435 592 *i57 *36.09 

Kronenwetter 434 570 *i36 *3i-34 

McMillan 852 1,063 *2i i *24.77 

McMillan, village .... 200 130 — 70 — 35-00 

Maine 1,119 i-US *-6 ""^-Z^ 

Marathon 678 857 *i79 +26.40 

Marathon, village ... . 528 656 *I28 +24.24 

Mosinee '^ 371 441 • • • • 

Mosinee. village 657 482 — 175 — 26.64 

Norrie 770 1,147 *m +48.96 

Pike Lake 1,022 1,322 +300 *29.35 

Plover 302 542 +240 *79-47 

Rib Falls 771 942 +171 +22.18 

Rietbrock 1,016 1,118 *I02 +10.04 

Ringle ^^ 560 

Schofield, village '' 889 .... • • • • 

Spencer '« 841 760 +281 +33.41 

Spencer, village ^" 362 .... .... 

Stettin 1,1 10 1,153 *43 '^I'^l 

Stratford, village ^^ 7^1 

Texas" 1,081 1.024 +401 *37io 

1- Parts taken to form Athens village and Bern town in 1903 and 1904, respectively. 
13 Part annexed to Bergen town in 1909 ; part of Emmet town annexed in 1909. 
" Organized from part of Weston town in 1905. 

15 Incorporated from part of Weston town and made independent in 1904. 

16 Spencer village incorporated from part of Spencer town and made independent in 1904. 
" Brokaw village incorporated from part of Texas town and made independent in 1906. 
IS Stratford village incorporated from part of Cleveland town and made independent 

in 1910. 


Increase * Decrease — 

Towns, Cities United States Census, in 1910 as compared with 1900, 

and Villages. 1900. 1910. Number, Percent. 

Unity, village (part 

of)>» 254 

Wausau City I-.354 16,560 *4,2o6 *3405 

Ward I 1.574 2,128 

Ward 2 1,252 1,440 

^Vard 3 1. 149 1,255 

Ward 4 1,045 I.I 13 

Ward 5 1,527 2,585 

Ward 6 1,362 1,877 

Ward 7 1,421 2,539 

Ward 8 1,515 2,088 

Ward 9 1,509 1,535 

Wausau 1,109 1.134 *25 *2.25 

Wien -0 965 741 —4 _ .41 

Weston^' 2,137 I-4I9 •••• 

Total 43-256 55-054 *ii.788 "'i-joy 


1850, Spring — John Wiggington, sheriff; Joshua Fox. clerk of circuit 
court; Joshua Fox, county clerk; Joshua Fox, register of deeds. 

1850, Fall — Charles Single, sheriff'; John G. Corey, clerk of circuit court; 
John G. Corey, county clerk ; John G. Corey, register of deeds. 

1 85 1 — Charles Single, sheriff; Asa Lawrence, clerk of circuit court; Asa 
Lawrence, county clerk; Asa Lawrence, register of deeds. 

1852-3 — Thomas Hinton, sheriff'; Asa Lawrence, clerk of circuit court; 
N. D. Corey, county clerk; no choice for register of deeds. 

^^ Unity village incorporated from part of Brighton town and made independent in 1906. 
-" Fenwood village incorporated from part of Wien town and made independent in 1907. 
°- Parts taken to form Schofield village and Ringle and Flieth towns in 1904, 1905, and 
1906, respectively. 


1854-5 — Burton Millard, sheriff; Asa Lawrence, clerk of circuit court; 
Asa Lawrence, county clerk; L. M. Thayer, register of deeds. 

1856-7 — Garry L. Judson, sheriff; Asa Lawrence, clerk of circuit court; 
Asa Lawrence, county clerk; Thomas Single, register of deeds. 

1858-9 — John C. Clarke, sheriff; Rufus P. Manson, clerk of circuit court; 
Rufus P. Manson, county clerk ; Lyman W. Thayer, register of deeds. 

i860- 1 — Uriah E. Maine, sheriff; Rufus P. Manson, clerk of circuit court; 
Rufus P. Manson, county clerk ; J. H. Babcock, register of deeds. 

1862 — Uriah E. Maine, sheriff; Rufus P. Manson, clerk of circuit court; 
Rufus P. Manson, county clerk; J. H. Babcock, register of deeds. 

1863 — M. Stafford, sheriff; William S. Purdy, clerk of circuit court; 
Rufus P. Manson, county clerk ; J. H. Babcock, register of deeds. 

1864 — M. Stafford, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; 
Rufus P. Manson, county clerk; J. H. Babcock, register of deeds. 

1865 — E. M. Mott, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; B. 
Ringle, county clerk; Hemian Miller, register of deeds. 

1866 — E. M. Mott, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; B. 
Ringle, county clerk; Hennan Miller, register of deeds. 

1867 — W. Wilson, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court: B. 
Ringle, county clerk; Herman Miller, register of deeds. 

1868— W. Wilson, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; B. 
Ringle, county clerk ; Herman Miller, register of deeds. 

1869-70 — Joseph Barnard, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; 
B. Ringle, county clerk; Herman Miller, register of deeds. 

1871 — William Homrig, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; 
Jacob Paff, county clerk ; John Patzer, register of deeds. 

1872— William Homrig, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; 
Jacob Paff, county clerk ; John Patzer, register of deeds. 

1873 — O. Phelps, sheriff; J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court: John 
Ringle, county clerk; John Patzer, register of deeds. 

1874 — O. Phelps, sheriff: J. W. Chubbuck, clerk of circuit court; John 
Ringle, county clerk; John Patzer, register of deeds. 

1875 — R. P. Manson, sheriff; Louis Marchetti, clerk of circuit court; John 
Ringle, county clerk; John Patzer, register of deeds. 

1876 — R. P. Manson, sheriff; Louis Marchetti, clerk of circuit court; John 
Ringle, county clerk; John Patzer, register of deeds. 

1877 — Orson Phelps, sheriff; Louis Marchetti, clerk of circuit court; John 
Ringle, county clerk; John Patzer, register of deeds. 


1878 — Orson Phelps, sheriff; *Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; John 
Ringle, county clerk; John Patzer, register of deeds. 

1879 — G. W. Ghoca, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; Henry- 
Miller, county clerk; A. W. Schmidt, register of deeds. 

1880 — G. W. Ghoca, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; Henry 
Miller, county clerk; A. W. Schmidt, register of deeds. 

1881-82 — R. P. Manson, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; 
Henry Miller, county clerk; A. \V. Schmidt, register of deeds. 

1883-84 — John Werner, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; Henry 
Miller, county clerk; A. W. Schmidt, register of deeds. 

1885-86 — William Kickbusch, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; 
Henry Miller, county clerk ; A. W. Schmidt, register of deeds. 

1887-88 — N. A. Healy sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; John 
W. Miller, county clerk; A. W. Schmidt, register of deeds. 

1889-90 — M. E. Manson, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; 
John W. Miller, county clerk; A. W. Schmidt, register of deeds. 

1891-92 — Aug. Martin, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; Wil- 
liam Gehrke, county clerk; E. C. Kretlow, register of deeds. 

1893-94 — A. Salzmann, sheriff; Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; Wil- 
liam Gehrke, county clerk; E. C. Kretlow. register of deeds. 

1895-96 — Theo. Beste. sheriff: Hugo Peters, clerk of circuit court; 
*Gust. Braeger and \\'illiam J. Gehrke. county clerk; E. C. Kretlow, register 
of deeds. 

1897-98 — Carl Kronenwetter, sheriff; A. A. Bock, clerk of circuit court; 
William J. Gehrke, county clerk; E. C. Kretlow, register of deeds. 

1899-1900 — Thomas Malone, sheriff; A. A. Bock, clerk of circuit court; 
William J. Gehrke. county clerk ; E. C. Kretlow, register of deeds. 

1901-02 — Aug. F. Marquardt, sheriff; A. A. Bock, clerk of circuit court; 
William J. Kregel, county clerk; E. C. Kretlow, register of deeds. 

1903-04 — W. H. Chellis, sheriff; A. A. Bock, clerk of circuit court; Wil- 
liam J. Kregel, county clerk; E. C. Kretlow, register of deeds. 

1905-06 — F. F. Damon, sheriff; A. A. Bock, clerk of circuit court: John 
King, county clerk; W. R. Chellis. register of deeds. 

1907-08 — Frank O'Connor, sheriff; A. A. Botk, clerk of circuit court; 
John King, county clerk ; W. R. Chellis, register of deeds. 

1909-10 — John Sell, sheriff; A. A. Bock, clerk of circuit court; John 
King, county clerk; W. R. Chellis, register of deeds. 

*Hugo Peters was appointed in the place of Louis Marchetti, who resigned. 
* Gust. Braeger died and Wm. J. Gehrke was elected by the county board. 


1911-12 — Frank O'Connor, sheriff; Kurt A. Beyreis, clerk of circuit 
court; John King, county clerk; John Sell, register of deeds. 

1913-14 — H. J. Abraham, sheriff; Kurt A. Beyreis, clerk of circuit court; 
Louis H. Cook, county clerk; John Sell, register of deeds. 

1850, Spring — John Stackhouse, treasurer; Henry C. Goodrich, county 
surve3'or; Timothy Soper, coroner; John O. A. Roollins, district attorney. 

1850 — Morris Walrod, treasurer; Henry C. Goodrich, county surveyor; 
Timothy Soper, coroner. 

185 1 — Reuben M. Welch, treasurer; Henry C. Goodrich, county sur- 
veyor; Timothy Soper, coroner; Hiram Calkins, district attorney. 

1852-53 — Charles C. Wilson, treasurer; Asa Lawrence, county surveyor; 
Joseph Barnard, coroner; Hiram Calkins, district attorney. 

1854-55 — Charles C. Wilson, treasurer; Asa Lawrence, county surveyor; 
James E. Armstrong, coroner; Hiram Calkins, district attorney. 

1856-57 — James E. Armstrong, treasurer; Asa Lawrence, county sur- 
veyor; Burton Millard, coroner; Eli R. Chase, district attorney. 

1858-59 — Perley Dodge, *C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; Uriah E, Maine, 
county surveyor; Jacob Faff, coroner; M. H. Barnum, district attorney. 

1860-61 — ^^C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; William Hendrick, county surveyor; 
H. H. Lawrence, coroner; Eli R. Chase, district attorney. 

1862 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; William Hendrick, county surveyor; 
H. H. Lawrence, coroner; Eli R. Chase, district attorney. 

1863 — Jacob Faff, treasurer; D. L. Plumer, county surveyor; H. H. 
Lawrence, coroner; W. F. Terhune, district attorney. 

1864 — Jacob Faff, treasurer; D. L. Flumer, county surveyor; H. H. 
Lawrence, coroner; J. F. West, district attorney. 

1865 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; D. L. Plumer, county surveyor; H. H. 
Lawrence, coroner; W. C. Silverthorn, district attorney. 

1866 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; D. L. Plumer, county surveyor; H. H. 
Lawrence, coroner; W. C. Silverthorn, district attorney. 

1867 — C. Hoeflinger. treasurer; C. W. Xutter, county surveyor; G. 
Flisch, coroner; W. C. Silverthorn. district attorney. 

1868-69 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; C. W. Nutter, county surveyor; G. 
Flisch, coroner; W. C. Silverthorn, district attorney. 

1870 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; D. L. Plumer, county surveyor; G. 
W. Casterlein, coroner; W. C. Silverthorn, district attorney. 

''Appointed to fill vacancy caused by Perley Dodge ceasing to be an inhabitant of the 



1871 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; D. L. Plumer, county surveyor; James 
Barnard, coroner; J. P. West, district attorney. 

1872 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; D. L. Plumer, county surveyor; James 
Barnard, coroner; M. H. Barnum, district attorney. 

1873 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; G. Sturdevant, county sun-eyor; C. 
Bemhard, coroner; E. L. Bump, district attorney. 

1874 — C. Hoeflinger, treasurer; G. Sturdevant, county surveyor; C. 
Bernhard, coroner; E. L. Bump, district attorney. 

1875 — f". W. Kickbusch, treasurer; Joseph McEwen, county surveyor; 
Henry Dern, coroner; C. H. Mueller, district attorney. 

1876 — F. W. Kickbusch, treasurer; Joseph McEwen, county surveyor; 
Henry Dern, coroner; C. H. Mueller, district attorney. 

1877 — F. \\\ Kickbusch, treasurer; C. \V. Nutter, county surveyor; 
George Werheim, coroner; R. C. Spooner, district attorney. 

1878 — F. W. Kickbusch, treasurer; C. W. Nutter, county surveyor; 
George Werheim, coroner; C. F. Crosby, district attorney. 

1879 — J. R. Bruneau, treasurer; William Allen, county surveyor; Fred 
Neu, coroner; C. F. Crosby, district attorney. 

1880 — J. R. Bruneau, treasurer; William Allen, county surveyor; Fred 
Neu, coroner; C. F. Eldred, district attorney. 

1881-82 — J. R. Bruneau, treasurer; \\'illiam Allen, county surveyor; Fred 
Neu, coroner; C. F. Eldred, district attorney. 

1883-84 — J. R. Bruneau, treasurer; William Allen, county surveyor; 
C. Bernhardt, coroner; C. F. Eldred, district attorney. 

1885-86 — J. R. Bnmeau, treasurer; B. C. Gowan, county surveyor; Ernst 
Schultz, coroner; B. J. Pink, district attorney. 

1887-88 — William Kickbusch, treasurer; B. Gowan, county sun-eyor; 
Charles Quandt, coroner; W. W. 2ilylrea, district attorney. 

1889-90 — J. R. Bruneau, treasurer; P. F. Curran, county surveyor; 
Charles Quandt, coroner; C. F. Eldred, district attorney. 

1891-92 — J. C. Berg, treasurer; P. C. \\'erle, county surveyor; Charles 
Quandt, coroner; C. F. Eldred, district attorney. 

1893-94 — J. C. Berg, treasurer; P. C. \\'erle, county suneyor; D. Sauer- 
hering, coroner; C. F. Eldred, district attorney. 

1895-96 — Carl Paff, treasurer; William N. Allen, county sun-eyor; D. 
Sauerhering, coroner; A. L. Kreutzer, district attorney. 

1897-98 — Carl Paff, treasurer; William N. Allen, county sun-eyor; D. 
Sauerhering, coroner; A. L. Kreutzer, district attorney. 


1899-1900 — Anton Mehl, treasurer; William N. Allen, county surveyor; 
W. C. Dickens, coroner; H. H. Manson, district attorney. 

1901-02 — Anton Mehl, treasurer; R. H. Brown, county surveyor; W. C. 
Dickens, coroner; F. W. Genrich, district attorney. 

1903-04 — J. C. Hinrichs, treasurer; William H. Gowan, county sur- 
veyor; F. W. Kitzke, coroner; F. W. Genrich, district attorney. 

1905-06 — R. H. Juedes, treasurer; R. H. Brown, county surveyor; W. 
C. Dickens, coroner; F. B. Bump, district attorney. 

1907-08 — R. H. Juedes, treasurer; R. H. Brown, county surveyor; W. 
C. Dickens, coroner ; F. P. Regner, district attorney. 

1909-10 — Herman Vetter, treasurer; R. H. Brown, county surveyor; W. 
C. Dickens, coroner; F. P. Regner, district attorney. 

1911-12 — John Schirpke, treasurer; William H. Gowan, county sur- 
veyor; Ed. C. Schulze. coroner; E. P. Gorman, district attorney. 

1913-14 — John Schirpke, treasurer; William H. Gowan, county sur- 
veyor; R. M. Frawley, coroner; E. P. Gorman, district attorney (appointed). 

1850 — Xo record in 1850 of county judge nor of county superintendent of 
schools up to 1865 ; schools seem to have been conducted under a town system. 

185 1 — W^illiam H. Kennedy, county judge; schools seem to have been 
conducted under a town system. 

1852-53 — William H. Kennedy, county judge; schools seem to have 
been conducted under a town system. 

1854-55' — William H. Kennedy, county judge; schools seem to have been 
conducted under a town system. 

1856-57 — William H. Kennedy, county judge; schools seem to have been 
conducted under a town system. 

1858-59 — William H. Kennedy, county judge; schools seem to have been 
conducted under a town system. 

1860-61 — Hiram Calkins, county judge; schools seem to have been con- 
ducted under a town system. 

1862 — Hiram Calkins, county judge ; schools seem to have been con- 
ducted under a town system. 

1863 — C. Graham, county judge; schools seem to have been conducted 
under a town system. 

1864 — B. Ringle, county judge; schools seem to have been conducted 
under a town system. 

1865 — B. Ringle, county judge; Mat. DeCourcey, county superintendent. 

1866 — B. Ringle, county judge; Jacob J. Hoffman, county superintendent. 

1867 — B. Ringle, county judge; Jacob J. Hoffman, county superintendent. 


1868-69 — ^- Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superin- 

1870 — B. Ringle, county judge: Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1871 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1872 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1873 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1874 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1875 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1876 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1877 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1878 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1879 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1880 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superintendent. 

1881-82 — B. Ringle, county judge; Thomas Greene, county superin- 

1883-84 — Louis Marchetti, county judge; Thomas Greene, county super- 

1885-86 — Louis Marchetti, county judge; Ludwig Findorf, county su- 

1887-88 — Louis Marchetti, county judge; J. P. Briggs, county superin- 

1889-90 — Louis Alarchetti. county judge; F. A. Strupp, county superin- 

1891-92 — Louis jMarchetti, county judge; F. A. Strupp, county superin- 

1893-94 — Louis Marchetti, county judge (resigned) ; F. A. Strupp, county 

Louis Marchetti, municipal judge. 1878-1885; H. S. Albon, 1885-88 and 
resigned; C. F. Crosby. January, 1889, December, 1889, died; John C. Clarke, 
appointed, 1890-91; Henry INIiller, 1892-1904. 

1893 — J. J. Sherman (apiwinted), county judge; Henry Miller municipal 
judge, served till 1904. At this time the jurisdiction of the municipal court 
was extended, the court raised to a court of record, and Louis Marchetti 
was elected judge in 1904 and re-elected in 1908 and 1912. 

1894-98 — Henry [Miller, county judge; 1895-96 — J. F. Lament, county 

1898-1902 — Henry Miller, county judge; 1897-98, J. F. Lamont, county 


1902-06 — Henry Miller, county judge; 1S99-1900, J. F. Lament, county 

1906-10 — Henry Miller, county judge; 1901-02 — J. F. Lamont, county 

1910-14 — Clyde L. Warren, county judge; 1903-04, J. F. Lamont, county 

1905-06 — J. F. Farrell, county superintendent. 

1907-08 — J. F. Farrell, county superintendent. 

1909-10 — W. Pivernitz, county superintendent. 

1911-12 — W. Pivernitz, county superintendent. 


The City of IVansau — As It Was as a I'illagc from 1861 to 18 J2 — Its 
Officers — Historical Events — The Flood of 1866 — Fires — Wausan Fire 
Company No. i — Music Hall — Dramatic Clubs — The Social Life. 


The city of Wausau is practicall_v in the center of Marathon county, as 
the county is in the center of the state. It covers an area of GlA square 
miles, being three miles from north to south, two miles from east to west, 
with an additional half section of land on the southeast side of the paral- 
lelogram. The Wisconsin river traverses it from north to south, dividing 
it into two nearly equal parts. From the southeast corner of Mclndoe park, 
the width of the city is exactly one mile east and one mile west. The city 
is finely located in the valley of the river; there are few, if any, cities which 
have so nice or picturesque a location. The river banks are high, keeping 
the stream within its shores, even at high floods. It spreads out for nearly 
a mile on each side of the river over a plateau, then the gradually rising 
hills encircle it like a garland on the east and west. 

Many elegant residences and buildings are scattered over the hillsides; 
the eye rests with pleasure on these elevations with their beautiful soft ver- 
dure in the summer, with swelling fields of golden grain, mixed with green 
fields of com in the distance, with the placid sheet of water of Lake Wausau 
in the center, while the dark green of the needle trees which crown the crest 
of the hillsides when the ground is covered with snow make it a beautiful 
landscape in the winter. 

To the southwest, only two miles from the city limits. Rib ^Mountain, 
covered with dark green foliage during the whole year, rises gradually from 
the shores of the Rib and Wisconsin rivers to a height of 1,841 feet above 
the level of the sea, the highest elevation in the state. 

Standing on the top of the eastern hills at the end of Franklin or ;Mc- 
Intosh street, or on the town line road, or on the end of Gallon or Elm 
street on the west, the landscape presents an admirable view, and in the early 



fall when the leaves begin to turn, the beauty of the scenery must be seen 
and felt, because the pen fails to do justice to its magnificence. 

The dam at the Rothschield paper mill creates a very large reservoir, 
called Lake Wausau, which when cleaned out of the unsightly flood trash, 
which will be done in a short time, gives a fine chance for water sports, boat- 
ing, yachting, and fishing, allowing steam or gasoline boats to run up to and 
land on the shores of the river at Wausau. 

The city is built up in compact form from the center. The original plat 
as 'laid out by the founder, W. D. Mclndoe, is still the center in every direc- 
tion, with the court house as the heart, with fine substantial business blocks 
fronting it on every side : the banks. Hotel Bellis, McCrossen Block, the 
Federal Building with the post and United States land offices, the Wisconsin 
Valley Trust Company, and offices of the gas company. Other substantial 
and fairly fireproof buildings stretch in every direction, from the court 
house north to the spacious and elegant quarters of the Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association building and the Methodist church and the majestic St 
James church, and south to the city hall, interspersed with the Nicolls, Liv- 
ingston, Gensman, Kickbusch, Ruder, the Paff, Baumann, and Mueller build- 
ings, and west to the Widmer College and the Mclndoe park and public 
library, covering almost the entire original plat from Main to Fifth and from 
Forest to Franklin street, which territory is rightly included in the fire limits 
of Wausau. In good substantial buildings which have a claim to architec- 
tural beauty this city compares favorably with any of its size, and many 
much larger ones. 

Three bridges span the river, the so-called Leahy and Beebe bridge, in 
the north, the Falls bridge in the center, and Stroller's bridge on the south, 
so called presumably because of the picturesque walk to and from the same, 
which invites promenading in the cool river breeze after a hot summer day. 

The growth of Wausau has been slow, very slow, indeed, comparing it 
with the mushroom-like growth of some railroad towns, but unlike many 
others, it has been permanent. 

It owes its growth not to railroads, nor to the speculative spirit of for- 
eign capitalists, but to its natural advantages and its pioneers, foremost of 
all to Walter D. Mclndoe, who better than anyone else foresaw its great 
future, but whose life was cut short by fate, before his high, but reasonable, 
expectations could be realized. 

This city and county is only 200 miles from Milwaukee and less than 
300 miles from Chicago, soon the center of the population of the United 
States ; the next generation will see the whole county occupied by prosperous 


farmers and hear the lium of industry throughout the River valley with 
electricity as the motive power, and who can fail to foresee a still greater 
future for Wausau? The city is easily accessible from all parts of the coun- 
ty, with its 40,000 people who live outside of its borders now, on thou- 
sands of profitable famis and in industrial villages, and who all have more 
or less business to transact at the county seat. 

It has large, comfortable hotels and a hospitable people, who take pride 
in entertaining visitors and visiting societies, and Wausau has become the 
convention city of this state next to Milwaukee. 

From the time that the first railroad struck ^Vausau in 1874, the city 
has entertained guests by the hundreds, and as early as 1887, the state turn 
"fest" was held here, where over 1,000 visitors were cared for for three days. 
The next year brought here the grand lodge of the I. O. O. F., and since 
that time not a year has passed but what some association or society held 
the annual session of its grand body or annual picnic in this place. Mercan- 
tile travelers make it a point to so regulate their trips as to spend the Sunday 
at Wausau in preference to any other place except home, because of hotel 
accommodations and sociability. 

The business men of Wausau, its manufacturers and merchants, live 
here, which makes them equally interested in the welfare of the city with the 
workingmen. By far the largest majority of our laboring men own their 
homes; many of their residences are models of family dwellings, combining 
comfort with sanitation, having water ser^-ice, electric or gas light and bath 
room. A reasonably low street car service brings them to the mill or factor}', 
giving quick and restful transportation from and to their homes where the 
distance is too far to be traveled comfortably afoot. 

With good schools, play grounds, with parks and a good water supply 
and lighting system, with street cars to places of amusements, Wausau has 
all the advantages of a modern city without the drawbacks of a congested 
population in overcrowded tenement houses and districts. A modern hos- 
pital, excellently conducted by the Sisters of the Divine Savior, with a staff 
of eminent physicians and surgeons and carefully trained and educated 
nurses, provides home treatment at low rates for the unfortunate sick. The 
men who conduct large business enterprises in Wausau have learned the 
lesson that there is virtue in co-operation, in working together for each other. 
The large capital invested in mills and undertakings is nearly all furnished 
by people who live here, not by any one man or by a few men, but by the 
association of many, which brings not only the means together for con- 
ducting the enterprise, but also the business capacity, the mental energv, and 


the combined wisdom flowing from the experience of them all, which leads 
to success, divides the gain among many, and distributes the losses to lighten 
the burden. Business men in Wausau have ceased to quarrel, have ceased 
to look upon a rival as an enemy, and have adopted as their motto : "In 
union there is strength." Only on that hypothesis can be explained the erec- 
tion of the Brokaw, the Rothschield, and the Mosinee paper mills, the growth 
of other industrial concerns which started with a small capital a few years 
ago, the alteration of the immense water power of the fall at Wausau, much 
of which passed down stream unused, into an immense volume of an electric 
current which furnishes power and light to factories and the household. 

Social amenities are not neglected, intellectual life is fostered, recrea- 
tion is furnished for the mind as well as for the body. For more than a 
score of years, the Ladies' Literary Society has provided a winter lecture course 
entertaining as well as instructive. The university extension lecture courses 
on American history, on popular astronomy, and on literature have been 
heard, and the excellent travelogues of Colonel Sanford ; two of the fore- 
most women of America, Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, have ap- 
peared on the rostrum, and lectures by Will Carlton, Theo. Tilton, Colonel 
Watterson, Rev. Nugent, and William J. Bryan (the last one under the 
auspices of the Young Men's Christian Association) were provided for our 
people. The best of music has been brought here to entrance our music lov- 
ing population. The first opera house, a jewel of its kind, unfortunately 
destroyed by fire, was opened by the Emma Abbott Company with two even- 
ing performances and a matinee, and in the same house was heard Camilla 
Urso, the unparalleled mistress of the violin of her time and the great mas- 
ters of the bow. Remeniy and Jacob Renter. Lulu Jane Abercrombie, the 
renowned American prima donna, sang here often in the high school quar- 
tet and her first operatic role as Arline in the "Bohemian Girl," which opened 
the way to her to the operatic stage, upon which she has a triumphant career, 
and F'. W. Kickbusch winning laurels as the national American baritone. 
The German singing societies, notably the "Liederkranz," has brought here 
twice the "Sangerfest" of the northern district of Wisconsin with its choir 
of hundreds of male voices and Gust. Mueller of Wausau acting as con- 
ductor of the combined choirs. Christoph Bach, the master conductor and 
composer of the West, has been heard here with his symphony orchestra. 

It was always the pride of Wausau to have good schools; its temples of 
learning are supplied with proper apparatus and improved furniture ; its 
staff of teachers is competent, and Supt. Silas B. Tobey and his predecessor. 
Carl Mathie, a Wausau man born and bred, have worked in season and out 


of season to raise the standard of education, and in this labor were supported 
by the board of education, which in its personnel is with no other change in the 
last ten years except such as death has brought, and which has aided super- 
intendent, teachers, pupils and parents to the best of their ability. 

The different men's clubs and societies, the Merchant Association, the 
Ladies' Literary Club, Tuesday Musical Club and Singing Societies, notably 
the "Liederkranz," not to forget two orchestras and brass bands, all com- 
bine to make Wausau a city of commercial importance where the indus- 
trious man can make a living, and where it can be made attractive and pleas- 
ant, removing as much as possible the dullness caused by a life of labor 
without intellectual refreshment and recreation. 

A great number of edifices with lofty spires pointing to the sky, some 
grand in appearance, are evidence that the people here believe in the doctrines 
of Christianity and endeavor to practice its teachings. 

But it was not always thus. The present appearance of Wausau is the 
growth of over sixty years, counting only from the organization of Mara- 
thon county as a political entity in 1850, remembering, however, that the 
pinery here was invaded in 1839 and saw mills existed and had their begin- 
ning in 1840. The slowness of the growth of Wausau in the first twenty 
years from 1840 to i860 is apparent from the vote cast for president in the 
last year mentioned, which was only 247 in the whole town of Wausau, 
which included the village, the Little Rib mill settlement, and the farmers 
in the present town of Wausau. 

From the time of the organization as a village in 1861 up to 1867, there 
was some growth, of course, but the old original buildings were then still 
standing, only a few new ones, mainly little houses or shanties, were added. 

The whole population was still depending on work for the four mills, 
the cutting, hauling, and driving of logs to the mills, running the lumber to 
market, and the few workers in the original trades, the blacksmiths, wagon 
and sleigh makers and shoemakers, without which business could not* exist. 

The following is a fairly accurate pen picture of Wausau in 1867, as it 
appeared to an observer: 

On Clarke's Island was situated J. C. Clarke's saw mill and boarding 
house, a ver\' primitive building, occupied also by Clarke's family; on the 
north side of the road coming up the hill from the slough bridge, was the 
blacksmith shop and residence of Charles Klein, one of the original Pitts- 
burg settlers ; he sold his shop to Otto Schochow in the fall of that year, and 
moved back to Marathon City: next to him was the house and shoemaker 
shop of Charles \\'iskow, next a grocery and saloon kept by a Braun ; fur- 


ther north lived the widow of Gottlieb Gritzmacher with her family, and 
still further north was the farmers' boarding house and stable, kept by 
Christlieb Berwald, an excellent stopping place, where farmers could eat 
their lunch and get a cup of coffee for live cents, paying ten cents for stable 
money. A very light cheap bridge connected Clarke's Island with Mclndoe 
Island. At the end of the dam was the flour mill of Thayer & Corey and 
on the little island above the dam was the residence of N. Thayer; this house 
was broken up and washed away by the flood of 1881 with all the top ground, 
leaving the bare rock exposed, on which stands now the cooper shop of the 
McEachron Mill Company. At the road (it was not a street) from Main 
street to the slough bridge, which was down a very steep hill, there was on 
the north side of the road the blacksmith shop of Frank Mathie, next the 
wagon shop of August Lemke, then the blacksmith shop of John Schneider. 
On the south side of the road was a barn and stable owned by W. D. Mc- 
lndoe and the wagon shop of Louis Storch. On the east side of Shingle 
street were two houses, both owned by John Schneider, one occupied by him, 
and one by a Norwegian by the name of Andrew Iverson, and on the west 
side of the street were the three houses occupied by Louis Storch, \\'illiam 
Berwald, and Fred Berwald. 

On Plumer's Island were the two mills owned by B. G. Plumer, one 
supplied by water power from the mill pond by a conductor, which mill was 
operated by Brown & Fellows until 1869: the other mill was operated by B. 
G. Plumer until his death in 1886. Each mill had its boarding house for the 
mill hands, and the Plumer boarding house was in charge of Mrs. Aug. 
Gotchy, a kind, good soul, whose culinary skill was high above par, who set 
a table for the men unexcelled even at the Forest House. The property line 
between the Plumer and Mclndoe was marked by a tight board fence; 
close to the fence and in close proximity to the Plumer boarding house was 
the boarding house for the INIcIndoe mill hands, in charge of Augustus Gotchy, 
with a gate between them. 

The fence extended down to the river and was used as a backing to the 
rafting shanties of the two mills, which were of the simplest kind, where 
rivermen slept while rafting the lumber. Of course, people having homes 
at Wausau slept at home. 

On Plumer's Island sloping down from the boarding house to the river, 
was a vegetable garden in fine cultivation with two shanties, one occupied by 
John Miller, the other by Fred Schultz, both for years employees in Plumer's 
mill. A little to the north where now the St. Paul railroad track strikes 
Plumer's Island, was a log house with a little space of ground surrounding 


it and fenced with slabs, the home of the widow Philbrick, mother of W. 
B. Philbrick. This house was unceremoniously torn down in 1874 when the 
big high rock which blocked the track was blasted out of the way to make room 
for the railroad track. 

Main street was then the principal street and remained so for several 
years more ; it was called the Jenny road, being at that time the only road 
leading out from W'ausau to the north and the supply road for Jenny and 
the camps above. On the south end was the Mclndoe mill, still in operation 
by the Heineman Lumber Company now, and a road from there down to 
the flat where there were two houses, one occupied by J. Meuret and his 
family, and the other by the parents of August Kickbusch and their daughter 
Caroline, dec. Radant. North from the mill was the large store building 
of \V. D. Mclndoe. The road was four rods wide and as high on the west 
as on the east, the biggest part of it used as a piling ground for oar stems, 
spring poles, and grubs. 

Crossing Washington street (or road rather), there was the Lake Supe- 
rior House (John Le Messurier), the biggest hotel at that time in town, 
then came the residences of W. D. Mclndoe, and Hugh Mclndoe. On the 
next corner was the B. Whitacre house, and further up on the same side 
lived John Peters, ^\'illiam Gowan, August Hett, and then a house owned 
by Judge Ringle and one by C. A. Single. Beginning on the other side 
south, there was the Riverside Hotel, the Jolly saloon across the street on 
the corner (ofifice building now), next was the saloon building then owned 
by William Ziemer and his half brother Ziebell. who were also loggers, 
next was the R. E. Parcher store, next the little hardware store and ware- 
house of Kickbusch Brothers, the upper story being occupied by F. W. 
Kickbusch and family; next was the store building of Aug. Kickbusch. 
All these buildings from Riverside Hotel up were in existence for some 
years and are still standing, and with the mills in close proximity the prin- 
cipal shops and stores on this, the only road north to the camps, it is easy to 
see that the business was concentrated on Main street between Washington 
and Jackson streets. 

The corner of Main and Washington streets opposite the Kickbusch store 
was unoccupied, but north towards Jefferson street were two little houses 
still standing owned by the Stackhouse estate, one occupied by the heirs 
and one by Charles Clarke, and a house on the corner, occupied by H. L. 
Wheeler; across Jefiferson street w^as the home of M. Stafford, next the 
house of Dr. George E. Clark, then a vacant space, and on the further corner 
of Scott street was the house of Fred Tyler on the lots now occupied by the 


Anderes Hotel and other buildings. Further north lived the widow of 
Thomas Single, then two other small houses, one of the occupied by Alex- 
ander Stewart and wife beyond McClellan street; then a house owned by 
Dan. Sullivan, next the house of Fred Neu and across from him the house 
of Dr. Wylie; still further north a house or shanty occupied by William 
Homrig. That was as far north as Franklin street, and there were no more 
buildings on either side; the road then slanted down to Stiensfield creek, 
crossed it and ran to Merrill, Grandfather, and incidentally as far as Eagle 

At .Stienfield creek vacated Indian tepees were quite numerous. There 
were also two Indian graves, marked by poles indicating that W'ausau was 
a sort of regular camping ground for the Chippewa tribe. 

On the south side of Forest srteet, beginning at the west end were the 
houses of James Single, E. B. Stoddard, and Thomas Youles, the city hall 
ground was vacant, then the house of Mrs. Lyman Thayer on corner of 
Fourth street; across Fourth street was the house of Cyrus Strobridge 
(owned by Schuetz estate now), who was in business at that time in ]\Ier- 
rill; next was the house occupied by Mrs. Gross, a midwife, then were three 
shanties, one of them occupied by Dahlmann and one by Charles Cramer ; 
the road then turned diagonally through the last block and connected with 
Grand avenue more than one block further south than at present. On corner 
of Grand avenue was the house of Mich. Lemere, and on the next lot east, 
lived Peter Crochier, a river man and pilot. 

Tliere were two small buildings on the alley running south of Forest 
street from Second *up to Fourth street; on the end of Fourth street lived 
Carl Hoeflinger, and across from him was the house of D. \Y. Fellows, still 
standing. Fourth street was not open further than to the alley just men- 

On the end of Fifth street was the little building put up in the same 
spring by C. H. Mueller and next to him in the alley another little one owned 
and occupied by Julius Ouade. 

On the north side of Forest street beginning on the west was a black- 
smith shop of Hinton, then crossing Second street, there was the home 
now occupied by Charles Wagner. This house is one of the oldest with the 
exception of the Stackhouse buildings, probably the oldest now standing in 
Wausau, and was quite pretensions at the time it was built, about 1852. 
It was erected by Kraft & Wilson for Taylor, the brother of Mrs. W. D. 
Mclndoe, but it seems he did not occupy it, at least, I>ut a very short time if 
he did. Going east passing the Forest House there was vacant ground. 


until one came to the home of Conrad Bemhard on corner of Fourth, next 
the little house of Heppner, then the Seim boarding house, then the houses 
of Mrs. Haase and Levy Gennett, on corner of Fifth; on the other corner 
were the houses of F. H. JMorman, next that of Tuttle and a house occupied 
by J. W. Chubbuck; further east were some small buildings, one of them 
occupied by old man Ziebell who had abandoned his farm in township 30, 
range 4 east, after making quite an improvement thereon. On the south 
side of Jackson street was the house of Mrs. Thomas Hinton, the Mich. 
Duffy grocery store, the W'inkley House and Forest Hall, then across the 
street was the little tinner's shop of John Egeler, then the residence and 
hall of Judge Ringle (now occupied by O. C. Callies), further east the house 
of A. Lee; and some shanties further east towards the edge of the marsh. 
In Fifth street, nearly opposite the Northern Hotel, was the cabinet shop 
of Joseph Hildensperger. 

On the north side of Jackson street beginning on the west, was the saloon 
of Joseph Noiseaux, on the next block the house and barber shop of Ch. 
Poor, next the Winkley House bam, next the house and store of Jacob Paff 
on comer of Third and Jackson : on the next block was the Althen store, 
the butcher shop of John Merklein, next the Henry Dern saloon, next the 
B. William saloon on comer of Fourth ; on the next block east was the 
house of Aug. Lemke. and next the house of Mrs. Adam and her son John 
Adam, which was the last one on this side. 

On south side of Washington street was the barn of August Kickbusch, 
on comer of Second the one-story store of William Barteld, next the Frank 
Wartman building, next one of John Dern. next Charles W'oessner's cloth- 
ing store and tailor shop, and on the corner the office building of George 
W. Casterline, fronting Third street. Across on the corner was a one- 
story store occupied by August Engel as a watch repair and gunsmith shop, 
and on the other corner was the house of Gerry Judson, part of it now 
attached to the \\'ashington Hotel. Further east were some shanties, but 
Christian Osswald commenced the erection of his bakery shop the following 

On the north side of Washington street was the barn of the Lake Supe- 
rior house, on the corner of Second was the house of John Cramer, next the 
residence and shop of Ernst Felling, next the little toy store and house of 
Jacob Kolter and parents, and on the two lots up to Third street stood the 
house of Frank Mathie. Across from him was the house of Dr. Smith, 
now on Fourth street, and the rest of the block on this street was vacant, 
and so was the next block, until near Fifth street, where there was the 


house of Mrs. Henry Paff, who furnished the yeast for the housewives, 
and next was the St. Paul church. 

Only a few shanties were east from the church towards the marsh. 

On Jefferson street, coming from Main street, was the house of J. Burns 
(now Fingerhut), the house of Bradford on corner of Third street, Corey's 
house on Third and Jefferson and the Slosson house on corner of Fourth and 
Jefferson, with some shanties further east, occupied by the brothers George 
and Jacob Stelz, who had removed to Wausau from a fami in the town 
of Stettin a few years before. 

On the north side of Jefiferson street beginning west, was the house of 
George G. Green and another small building near the corner of Third; the 
court house block was unfenced, and Herman Miller's house occupied the 
place where the gas company building and opera house now stand. 

On Scott street were no buildings at all until Third street was reached, 
where George Lawrence had a building on the site of the Bellis House, 
and where the McCrossen store now stands, was a building owned by Slos- 
son; well towards Fourth street was the home of Ely R. Chase and the post- 
ofifice. This postofifice building was later removed to Main street and served 
as an office for W. D. Mclndoe and the Stewart Lumber Compaay and was 
later moved to Second street near Forest street. 

Where the Federal building now stands, was the house of W. Wilson, 
occupied by him until the site was chosen for the present postoffice. On 
McClellan street lived J. Dobbly, Louis Lenneville, and next to him was 
the St. John's Episcopal church, and opposite the church the residence of 
R. P. Manson, one of the most prominent buildings at the time. On Sec- 
ond street from the south, was the house of Ernst Schultz, next one belong- 
ing to Luedke, both shoemakers, and further north passing Scott street, 
lived Mich. Rouseau; also Shaughnessy which place is now o\Mied by P. O. 
Means; further north was the house of William Dodge. 

On Third street was the Forest House, the Paff store already mentioned, 
the hardware store, and the tin shop of Richard Baumann, the Casterline 
and Bradford buildings already referred to, and opposite the court house 
was a one and one-half story building, "the Bank of the Interior," owned by 
J. A. Farnham. On the east side of Third street was the Forest House 
barn, in the next block north the grocery and lumbermen's supply store of 
E. M. Mott and Herman Miller, the J. Gensman's residence and shoe shop, 
which is now on Second street; on the comer was the August Engle watch- 
maker's shop already referred to, and on the corner of McClellan street 
was the home of Babcock. No buildings at all were on Fifth street. 


There were otlier small houses and shanties scattered through this ter- 
ritory here and there; the streets were not graded, and only in the business 
portion of the village had the stumps been removed; very few and narrow 
sidewalks existed. The end of Washington street at the Kickbusch store 
and Main street were much higher than at present, the slough bridge was 
much lower than now, and consequently so steep a descent down as to 
make it impossible for one team to haul up a heavy load. On Washington 
street was a well near the sidewalk at Kolter's toy store, which was well 
patronized by the neighborhood. This is mentioned only to show the rural 
character of the streets at that time. 

In the northern end of the town as far north as Grant street lived John 
Haines, Benjamin Thomas, and Lawyer J. P. West. 

W. C. Silverthorn, district attorney, occupied the second story of the 
Strobridge building on Fourth and Forest streets. On Grand avenue was 
the house of Mich. Le Mere, one block further south the house of Lamereaux 
(Edee estate), and still further south the house of M. Walrad; then came 
the property of Plumer and \\'alton. unplatted, and culti\ated by B. G. Plumer 
as a farm. 

The Ruder brewery was the only building on the west side of Grand 
avenue and a saloon with a small dance hall was standing in Columbia 
Park with the residence of Edw. Kretlow, father of Ed. C. Kretlow, who 
had come from Milwaukee to take charge of the newly organized \\'ausau 
concert band and teach and conduct its practices. That park was and 
remained for thirty years and upwards, the recreation ground of the work- 
ing population of Wausau. 

Opposite the Brewery park was the house of Adam Young, whose busi- 
ness was to haul freight from points below. 

The marsh stretched out from a little south of Mcintosh street to some- 
where up to Franklin street and extended west to Seventh, and in the spring 
even to Sixth street. The roads leading out from Wausau were the Jenny 
road, the road to Little Rib. Stettin, and Marathon, the road on the west 
side through the town of Main to Berlin, the Whiskey road, so-called, Ijranch- 
ing off from the Jenny road at the three-mile boom, a corderoy road across 
the marsh at the head of Jackson street and slanting up east hill to the set- 
tlement in Wausau and Easton; the town line road to Eau Clair and Hog- 
arthy, the south line road to Mosinee, and a road branching off at Schol- 
field to the Kelly mills. No other streets except on the original plat had 
been platted, and only half of them were worked; for instance. Fourth street 
east of the court house had only a wagon track winding around the stumps. 


On the west side of the river were two or three shanties close to the river 
bank, and further down was a house on the Kennedy farm (now Chelhs), 
then occupied by the widow of Judge Kennedy who had married Peter Gif- 
f ord, a saw filer, and the place became known as the Gifford place ; the forty 
acres owned by the Aug. Kickbusch estate, was in a good state of cul- 
tivation, owned at the time by John Kopplin and sold to Aug. Kickbusch 
in this year, and Anton Schuetz had commenced clearing on his farm on the 
hill joining the Kickbusch place. 

On the road leading north in the settlement, there was the H. Daniel's 
shingle mill, the house of Mrs. Poor, and a farmer by the name of Hoff- 
mann, father of William Hoffmann, who with his sons engaged some in 
logging. Up towards the north, on the west side of the road, the land 
where now are located the fields of John Egeler, the fields enclosing the 
George Jung slaughter house, the S. M. Quaw and Herman Hartel farm, 
and other well cultivated smaller tracts, was termed the "Brand," meaning 
burned district. The timber had been cut, then a high wind threw down 
the remaining trees, the iire ran through and gave it a desolate appearance ; 
the whole tract was supposed to be sterile and worthless. 

To summarize: There were in Wausau in 1867 — The original four saw 
mills, seven general merchandise stores, one hardware store, one toy store, 
four blacksmith shops, three wagonmaker shops, four shoemaker shops, 
three hotels, and one boarding house, and seven saloons. 

The hotels and boarding houses were crowded except in midwinter and 

The lumbermen in business at Wausau were : First the nfill owners W. 
D. Mclndoe, B. G. Plumer, John C. Clark, and Brown & Fellows, J. and 
A. Stewart, R. P. Manson, Kickbusch Brothers, R. E. Parcher, Lawrence 
& Peters, Mich. Stafford, Jacob Paff, and Herman Miller. 

Of the men who operated portable mills D. B. Wylie and Gerry Judson 
only lived in Wausau. J. D. Gray lived at Scholfield, and so did William 
Gallon, and the brothers William P. and N. T. Kelly operated two mills on 
Eau Clair river and resided there. 

The Trappe mill was operated by IM. D. Courcey, the Pine river mill by 
Ed. Armstrong, and the mill in Jenny by Combs and Andrews. William 
Mcintosh had a mill on Sandy creek. The mill on Little Rib owned by B. 
Single sawed a large amount of lumber annually for years yet to come. 

The Scholfield mill probably cut the largest amount of lumber about 
that time, doing a large amount of custom sawing under the management 
of D. B. Willard. Nearly all the trade from these mills came from Wausau. 


J. E. Leahy had come to Wausau in 1866 and commenced logging operations 
in 1867 and lived at the Forest House until his marriage in 1872 to Miss 
M. D. McCrossen. 

The question may arise in the minds of some readers : Where did the 
hundreds of river men stop or sleep until the lumber was rafted and was 
on its way down stream? Many of these young men came after the ice had 
gone out and rafting had commenced; they slept in the rafting shanties at 
each mill in bunks until the fleet started down, when they made room for 
others. Wausau was the place where they congregated, and from here they 
went to the mills at other points, to Scholfield, to Kelly, to Little Rib, Big 
Rib and Trapp, Pine, and Jenny, and to the points in the Wisconsin where 
the lumber sawed at the portable mills was piled or stacked. 

The capacity of the mills after the introduction of circular saws had 
immensely increased, still it was small when compared to the output of a 
modern mill. 

In 1867 the largest output on record in one day's run of twelve hours 
less the time consumed for dinner, was a little over 30,000 feet, and was 
made in Plumer's mill, but it was only made by selecting the best of logs 
from the crop of good, fine logs at hand, and much of it was sawed into 
i^ and 2 inch stuff. 

The small capacity of early mills accounts for the holding out of the 
pine supply as long as it did; and only the best of logs were taken; such as 
showed some ring rot, and punk knot were left in the woods on the ground 
to rot. And it cannot be said that it was willfully wasted. Such were left 
in the woods 5imply because to cut, haul, drive, and saw them would have 
entailed actual loss to the lumbermen. Xo such loss occurred later with bet- 
ter prices for lumber and cheaper and better transportation facilities, but in 
early years this loss was unavoidable. With the great number of young 
men, especially in the spring, street brawls were not uncommon, but had no 
serious consequences; such crimes as shooting and stabbing did not occur. 
Indeed the carrying of a pistol was very uncommon. Women and girls 
were safe from molestation as much and more so than now, the dude or 
masher was an unknown being. 

Mail arrived daily, but the roads left much to be desired. " It often hap- 
pened that passengers had to walk a distance where the horses could only 
get through with the empty stage, or over a hill, or lift it out of the mire. 

The village marshal kept, or attempted to keep order. Indians were 
still numerous, but inoffensive. Xo gambling or sporting house existed, 
and the community was a peaceable one. Mills stopped running during the 


day on Sundays, but not rafting, when the freshet was on. The churches 
having regular services on Sunday were the Methodist church, the St. John's 
Episcopal, and the St. Paul's Lutheran church. 

Business conditions in the year 1867 were exceptionally good. Lumber 
brought good prices and cash pay. Mills prepared for a greater output, and 
the mill owners for an enlargement of the boom to hold the greater quantity 
of logs, which was expected to be manufactured next season. B. G. Plumer, 
with the keen foresight which was characteristic of him, had obtained the 
Baetz Island, and the land adjoining the river for the boomage of his logs, 
and in the coming winter he put in the piers and the Baetz Island boom, 
which while put in for his own use, nevertheless were of immense advantage 
to the other mill owners, in that it at least doubled the capacity of the boom, 
besides making a safe boom, able to withstand high freshets easily. Another 
event occurring in that year, needs mentioning. 

Mr. August Kickbusch, the senior member of the fimi of Kickbusch 
Brothers, was another one of the business men who saw the advantage which 
this county offered to the industrious poor man, who was willing to under- 
take the cultivation of the land, in other words, go farming. In the spring 
of that year, he made a trip to his old home in Pommerania, a province in 
the kingdom of Prussia. He had left his home just about ten years before, 
a comparatively poor man, and when he returned, a wealthy man, his coming 
created a mild sensation. In speaking of this country, he had to tell only 
the truth without exaggeration, to induce many people to emigrate and cast 
their lot with the new country. He was able to assure them that they could 
find employment at paying wages, and could with their earnings purchase 
good land and become independent men, and being willing to work, a great 
many took his advice and came to Marathon county. 

He did not spend much time in Germany, having to hurry home to give 
his attention to the firm's business, and returned about the end of June. A 
number of families came with him, among them, John Marquart and wife, 
August Laabs and wife, Carl Goetsch, John Grochow, John Bartz, Henry 
Hintz, Ludwig Marth, Otto Schochow, Ferdinand Kickbusch and family, 
Ferdinand Laabs. August Buss and wife, and August Borchardt and sister, 
and some young unmarried men and women. 

They made their home first in Wausau, but most of them took up land 
after one or two years and became prosperous farmers. But they were only 
the first ones of the large emigration of low Germans which followed them 
year after year until about 1880, and which built up the towns of Main, 
Berlin, Stettin, Wausau, Easton, and Hamburg. 


The first settlement in W'ausau, which was the first settlement in Mara- 
thon county when it was part of Portage county, has already been referred 
to, and how the growth of the village made it necessary to organize a village 
government, which was effected in the spring of the year 1861. 

The principal village officers were : 

1861 — F. A. Hoffmann, president of board of trustees; Thomas Single, 
village clerk. 

1862 — B. Ringle, president of board of trustees; Thomas Single, village 

1863 — B. Ringle, president of board of trustees; M. H. Barnum, village 

1864 — R. P. Manson, president of board of trustees; M. H. Barnum, 
village clerk. 

1865 — Aug. Kickbusch, president of board of trustees; William Wilson, 
^'illage clerk. 

1866 — Aug. Kickbusch, president of board of trustees; R. P. Manson, 
village clerk. 

1867 — Jacob Paff, president of board of trustees; J. W. Chubbuck, vil- 
lage clerk. 

1868 — Jacob Paff, president of board of trustees; J. W. Chubbuck, vil- 
lage clerk. 

1869 — Jacob Paff, president of board of trustees; J. W. Chubbuck, vil- 
lage clerk. 

1870 — C. Hoeflinger, president of board of trustees; J. W. Chubbuck, 
\'illage clerk. 

1871 — C. Hoeflinger, president of board of trustees; J. W. Chubbuck, 
village clerk. 

All these names were familiar as the names of old residents at the time, 
except F. A, Hoffmann, whose career was rather meteoric and not lasting. 
The proceedings of the county board mentioned in a former chapter show 
him as the power in that body for a space of time at least. Thomas Single 
was one of the four brothers Single, w-ho were among the first comers into 
this county. 

In the last years of the war and after its close, the lumber business was 
profitable, mill owners made improvements to increase the capacity of their 
mills, and there was a general good and secure feeling as to the future. Lum- 
ber was in demand and advances on lumber in piles could be procured before 
it was rafted. Nevertheless some unforeseen events occurred from time to 
time which retarded any sudden advance in prosperity. 


In April, 1866, there was a high freshet which swept away the bridge 
(at the falls), went over the guardlock, and people living on Shingle street 
removed with their goods in time to escape destruction. The east end of 
the guardlock was swept away, the wall of water coming down washed out 
the street, tore away the pier under the slough bridge and also the conductor 
between the Clarke and Plumer's mill, a part of Clarke's mill, and some 
lumber and logs. The carrying away of part of the dam of the mill pond 
between the Clarke and Plumer mill delayed all mills in their work until the 
damage was repaired and gave rise to some hard feeling between the owners, 
it being claimed that repairing the damage was unduly delayed. 

During the summer and until the bridge at the falls was rebuilt, a com- 
munication with the western settlements was established by running a ferry 
boat from the eddy above the dam to Mclndoe's Island, which was connected 
with a light bridge with Clarke's Island. To raise some cash, needed for 
the building of the bridge at the falls, the county board ordered an issue 
of county orders, sufficient to realize at a sale of them the sum of $1,000.00. 
the orders not to be sold for less than seventy-five cents on the dollar at their 
face value. 

When the county board fixed that value on county orders, it could not 
be expected they would bring more, and they did not. 

The portable mills closed sawing in April, 1866, with an output estimated 
at 16 million feet. 

No calamity of any kind befell Wausau in 1867 and 1868; but in 1869 
a fire consumed the built-up portion of the north side of Washington street 
between Second and Third streets. It broke out in the night time in the 
house of John Cramer on corner of Second street, and with only water pails 
to fight, it spread to the next, the residence and harness shop of Ernst Felling, 
then to the residence and toy store of Jacob Kolter, then to Kolter's music 
hall, the finest hall then in Wausau, completed in the fall of 1868. and threat- 
ened to fire the house of Frank Mathie. which was saved by tearing down 
the addition nearest the burning music hall and keeping wet blankets on the 
roof of the main building. The buildings on the south side of the street, 
the residence of F. Wartman, the house of John Dern, and the house and 
store of Charles Woessner were saved by the same methods, nearly the 
whole population being in line from the river up to handle water in pails 
to the fire. 

All these buildings were substantially new buildings, especially music 
hall, which was quite a pretentious one for the time, and as the insurance 
companies in which they were insured turned out wholly or partly insolvent, 


the loss was severely felt by the owners ; but with pioneer grit they all went 
at once to work to rebuild. 

The fire was an object lesson to the people, which the village board was 
not slow to comprehend. The night of the fire was still, hardly any air stir- 
ring, else had there been only a moderate wind, increased by the heat of 
the flames, all the portion of the village within the sweep of the wind would 
have been swept clear by the fire. A hand engine was promptly purchased, 
which arrived on the 226. day of July, 1869, which was named "W". D. Mc- 
Indoe" by the village board. No holiday was proclaimed on the day of its 
arrival, but there was an impromptu celebration nevertheless. 

Wausau Fire Company No. i was already organized, and this company 
with that hand engine, for nearl}- twenty years worked voluntarily, that is, 
without any pay, attending meetings, fire practices and working at fires, 
protecting the property of the citizens from heavy losses, and on more than 
one occasion saved the village from destruction. It proved its efficiency in 
the same year when on October 8th, the Clarke mill caught fire in the night 
time, and in spite of the immense inflammable material in and all around it, 
through the efiforts of the fire company, aided, of course, by the citizens, the 
conflagration was confined to the mill proper, no other building or lumber 
piles being consumed. B. G. Plumer, whose property was in greatest danger, 
gave to the Wausau company a silver speaking tube as a memorial of good 
service. Another instance was the burning down of the large Forest Hotel, 
a three-story building, standing close to Forest Hall and the W'inkley House, 
on the 2d day of August, 187S. In spite of heat and falling sparks, the fire 
was limited to the Forest House, and the adjoining buildings escaped destruc- 
tion, although not more than twenty feet distant from the burning one. The 
streets from Main up to Fourth between Forest and ^^'ashington streets had 
then been built up very compact with only two or three exceptions, all light 
frame buildings, and more than one had caught fire and burned down, and 
in each instance the fire was confined to the burning building, a record of 
which any regularly paid company might justly be proud. 

The engine house with an alarm bell stood first on the southeast corner 
of the Court House square; in 1880 it was removed on the corner one block 
further east. When fire broke out somebody ran to the engine house, rang 
the bell, the firemen dropping everything in hand, ran to the engine house, 
pulled out the engine and two hose carts, each with five hundred feet of 
hose and hurried to the fire. In most cases the fire could be reached with 
hose from the shore of the slough or from platforms erected on convenient 
places on those shores ; later cisterns were built at the intersection of streets 


to ftirnish water. No time was lost waiting for horses, the fire company 
always responding promptly. This engine house is now the property of 
Mr. Charles Burke on Scott street and used by him as a barn and stable. 

The following named gentlemen were foremen at different times of this 
fire company, but it is barely possible that one or two names may have been 
overlooked, the names being cited from memory, the records of the company 
having been lost. The first foreman was George Werheim ; others were : 
B. G. Plumer, \V. C. Silverthorn, Jacob Paff, F. W. Kickbusch, Valentine 
Ringle, C. H. Mueller, Henry Miller, and Louis Marchetti. 

During the whole of its existence, excepting only the first two years, Mr. 
August Lemke was hose captain, and no man ever rendered more efficient 
and patriotic sen'ice than he. \^'hen he died in February, 1901, the sur- 
vivors of the extinct company, feeling that such a mark of respect was due 
to his memory, assembled, and under the lead of Louis Marchetti, the last 
foreman of the company, escorted his remains to the grave.* 

Before the casket was lowered Judge Marchetti said : 

"We stand at the bier of a dear friend, whom we have known long and 
well. W^ith him is gone from our midst another of those generous, daring 
and whole souled pioneers, who have opened up a wilderness for thousands 
of people to follow them, who profiting by their toil, have found homes and 
comfort, and happiness, and many of them even wealth. Few men are liv- 
ing yet, who, like the deceased, have seen Wausau grow from a mere 
trading post to its present proud position among the sisterhood of cities of 
our proud state. Nearly his w-hole life was spent here, from early youth to 
his ripe old age. His life was an open book that everybody could read. 

"At his bier the injunction to speak only good of the dead becomes use- 
less for there is nothing else to say. No man could ever say that August 
Lemke did him wrong, not even in thought, much less in deed. In hi? prime 
of life, his body was that of a giant, yet his soul was that of a child, hannless, 
guileless, innocent. He never harbored malice, never knew what it was. 
Like all human beings, he had his joys and his sorrows, but he was never 
boastful in his success, never bitter in his grief. 

"He was an intensely loyal and patriotic citizen. He loved his family and 
brought up his children to be honest, useful citizens, not drones in society. 
Next to his family he loved this city, and gave his best thoughts and many 
months and even years of his life to the service of this community without 

* After the inauguration of the water works, the hand engine was sold to the village 
of Athens, where it is still doing as good work as ever. 


pecuniary compensation. Who is there that has done more than that; how 
many are there that have done as much as that? 

"For twenty years or more he was an active fireman in the voluntary fire 
department and second in command during the whole time, his modesty pre- 
venting him from taking first place, which he would have filled with credit to 
himself and benefit to the community. 

"Often have we seen him surrounded by smoke and flame drenched 
through and through in the cold of a winter night, and never flinch. He never 
sent a man to a place of danger where he would not go himself. He served 
his city and county well in other places, but he was one of those silent, 
modest men, who would rather shun than seek publicity. It all the more be- 
comes the duty of those who knew him well to speak of his many merits at 
his grave and point out to the younger generation that they might well emulate 
the example of our honored friend. August Lemke was a thorough disciple of 
Christ. His life was regulated by the rule 'As you would that others should 
do unto you, do you even so unto them.' 

"Like most other pioneers he did not accumulate great wealth ; he does 
not leave riches to his children, but something of more value than that; he 
leaves behind him a name honored and beloved for good acts and deeds done 
in life, for his civic virtues, for his spotless character, for his unflinching 
integrity, and a name which will be remembered in the history of Wausau 
along with those other good and noble men who have gone before him, and 
with those who will soon follow him. as the founders of our city. 

"Let us now reverently and tenderly return his earthly remains to mother 
earth, and may he rest and sleep sweetly in her bosom, like a child in its 
mother's arm. until the day of resurrection." 

Of the many saw mills erected between 1840 and 1850 the B. Single mill 
on Little Rib was the first to quit operations. It burned down in 1871 and 
was not rebuilt. 

In the winter of 1871 there was established the first public library. A 
number of gentlemen contributing to the purchase of books, adopting a con- 
stitution by which the society was named "Pine Knot Literary Club." The 
books were kept for some years in the office of the "Wisconsin River Pilot," 
and later given in charge of the "Ladies' Literary Club" and became the 
nucleus around which grew up the Wausau Public Library. The founders 
of this club were W. C. Silverthorn, John Ringle, Valentine Ringle. D. L. 
Plumer, Orson Phelps. John Patzer, and a few more. 

In 1 87 1 a lumber pile on J. C. Clarke's yard, standing close to the river, 
caught fire, communicating it to another pile, but by the prompt arrival of 


the fire company aided by tlie mill crew, the fire was put out without doing 
much damage. 

Jacob Kolter had now erected and completed a building on the corner 
of Washington and Third street called music hall, a large two-story building 
co\ering the entire lot 120x60 feet. On the first floor were two stores, 
fronting Washington street, the corner store occupied as a drug store, the 
next one was occupied as the banking house of Silverthorn & Plumer. On 
the north side of the building was a saloon, and above the saloon was a 
dining room, the saloon and dining room being separated from the stores and 
the hall on the second floor above the stores, by the stairway, landing, and 
ticket office. 

That hall was the scene of many festivities and celebrations. Theatricals, 
lectures, concerts, political meetings, and society dances were held in that 
hall for a score of years, reflecting the social, intellectual, and political life 
of Wausau. The hall was hardly completed with stage and some scenery, 
when an amateur theatrical club gave some performances, with Mrs. Dr. 
Wylie as leading lady. Miss Mary Jane Coulthurst as ingenue and other ladies, 
and W. H. Barnum, Charles W. Nutter and George Lenneville as the main 
.support of the venture. The leading lady had all the qualifications of a great 
actress, but the club was shortlived ; after a few good performances it broke up. 

A little later the German Dramatic Club began its career and for many 
years entertained the German-speaking population with its performances in 
melodrama, tragedy, and farce, and it may be truthfully said that their acting 
was often superior to the performances of some of the wandering troups that 
come with great pretensions and big advertisements. In the Gemian club, 
Mrs. H. J. Lohmar was the leading lady; she had the mimic, the verve, the 
correct pronunciation and appearance of a great actress. Her "Jane Eyre" 
was a piece of great acting, both as the poor, oppressed orphan and the great 

Mrs. P. A. Riebe acted the parts of the ingenue, supported by the Misses 
Caroline and Louise Ringle, and others. Dr. P. A. Riebe was equally at home 
in comedy as in tragedy, while J. W. Miller played the villain to perfection. 
When Riebe sang his song, in the "Songs of the Musician," and J. W. Miller 
acted the part of the respectable innkeeper, who, caught as a poacher, treach- 
erously kills the game warden and is tortured by his conscience into his grave, 
when at last he confesses, a hush fell over the assemblage and many eyes were 

H. J. Lohmar, as the loving young man, would have been perfection had 
he better memorized his lines and relied less on his extemporizing. Many 


others assisted, but they cannot all be named. In later years B. Riebe took the 
place of P. A. Riebe, but the void left by the removal of Mrs. Lohmar was 
never filled. 

There was a Choral Society, too, in the seventies, and they gave the 
oratorio "Esther" in costume, with Miss Alice Bradford in the title role, 
which she sang in fine voice and good effect. 

Will Carleton recited his poems in that hall, and lectures on popular as- 
tronomy followed. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony both 
lectured in Music Hall, and a few words on the apppearance and lecture of 
these, probably the most noted American women on the lecture platform, may 
not be inappropriate. 

The name of Cady Stanton was not unknown even in the pinery, and 
attracted a full house, more probably from curiosity to see her, than from 
any sympathy with her work. It was on a Saturday evening and the hall 
fairly well filled. As she walked up to the stage, an elderly, grandmotherly 
looking woman, simple and very becomingly dressed, all eyes were fixed on 
her. \\'ithout much of an exordium, she started on her subject, "Women's 
Rights," in a clear, conversational tone that could plainly be heard every- 
where, her pronunciation being slow and very distinct, and in a very short 
time the audience gave her their closest attention. Speaking of the advance 
made by the movement, she spoke a little reprovingly of the young reporters, 
"Hardly dry behind their ears," who in former years referred to her and 
her co-workers as the cackling geese; she did not fail to weave into her lec- 
ture some humorous episodes, even when the joke was on her; as, for instance, 
when she told of how she and other ladies of her inclination had made up a 
purse to enable a bright boy to make his way through college, to become a 
minister, and after having graduated with honors, having received his degree 
and having been ordained, was invited by the ladies to preach his first sermon 
in their church ; how the church was filled by a pious assemblage to listen to 
the words of the new minister; how after the introductory hymn was sung, 
the young minister mounted the pulpit, opened the good book and read from 
the epistle of St. Paul : "Let the women be silent in the congregation," and 
made that the text for his sermon in the spirit of St. Paul. "And," said 
Mrs. Stanton, with a sly twinkle in her es^es, "we women made up our mind 
right then and there, never to pay for the education of another boy to the 
ministry in that denomination." Speaking of her experience before legislative 
committees and political conventions, she told how she appeared in behalf of 
her co-workers before the committee on resolutions of the national Republican 
convention in 1864, which gave Abraham Lincoln his second nomination, and 


asked for the incorporation of a woman's suffrage plank ; how the committee 
graciously pennitted her to address them, and after ha\-ing spoken but a short 
time, was impatiently interrupted by the chairman, Horace Greeley, with the 
tart remark, "Madam, the ballot goes with the bayonet." and her instant reply : 
"Very well, Mr. Greeley, I have furnished two substitutes to fight for me, 
my two sons; how many have you?" which was rather a little unkind on Gree- 
ley, he having no son. At the end of her lecture she announced that on .Sun- 
day afternoon she would speak at a church (Universalist) and in the evening 
again in this hall on another subject. Sunday night Music Hall was crowded 
to its full capacity, even all available standing room was taken up. 

Mrs. Stanton took up for her subject, "Domestic relations; husband and 
wife; parent and child," and treated it in a masterful way. And she could 
speak with authority on these subjects, for hers was a most happy household, 
and she was in position to give advise: and the whole large audience was in 
complete sympathy with her discourse, she having so enraptured it, that not 
one was seen to leave the hall during the whole lecture of full two hours' 

The following winter Susan B. Anthony delivered her great lecture, 
"Woman wants bread, not the ballot," to a large appreciative audience; the 
idea carried out, of course was, the ballot is a means to earn the bread, having 
particular reference to the army of women working in industrial pursuits 
and factories. Like Cady Stanton, she appeared plain and simply dressed, 
though in good taste ; and she, too, was eargerly listened to by the assemblage. 
When she feelingly mentioned the oppression that women were frequently 
subjected to in factories, and the starvation wages received by them, her face 
lit up and gave her a commanding appearance. She laid bare existing wrongs ; 
and no doubt it is through the labor of these two women that many abuses 
have been corrected in later years, though it was done without resorting to 
woman suffrage. Susan B. Anthony was a really eloquent woman, and some 
of her utterances will not suffer in comparison to be placed side by side with 
the best of American oratory. 

There were also the travelogues of Colonel Sanford, unrivaled as a word 
painter. Leaving the port of New York, he took his audience over the old 
continent, showing and explaining the great historical sights there to be seen, 
and never failed to close with a peroration of the grandeur, political and geo- 
graphical, of our own country, the east, and of his own home, the beautiful 
Mississippi valley. 

There were other lectures, concerts, Aljby Carrington and others of her 
and of a higher class, and there were the political meetings with good speakers. 


It was in Music Hall that H. S. Alban made his first poHtical speech here in 
reply to a speech made by Gen. E. S. Bragg, and his appearance on the ros- 
trum was a most pleasing surprise to his friends, because he showed himself 
not only as an able speaker, but as one who was a student of political atYairs. 
And there was the joint debate between Thomas W. Nichols and Robert 
Schilling on the greenback question. 

Many of the entertainments given in Alusic Hall came up in excellence to 
any given in the opera house at later dates. That hall was, of course, the 
scene of all society dances, concerts by the singing societies, the Hamiony and 
later the Liederkranz, and lastly the meeting place of the social German so- 
ciety, "Frohsinn," the best interpretation of which would be "good cheer." 

The decline of Music Hall began with the opening of the Opera House, 
which was much larger and better equipped. During the last years of its 
existence it was not improved; on the contrary, even repairs were neglected, 
and when J. M. Smith and C. J. Winton became the owners and existing 
leases expired, it was torn down, because the realty on that corner would 
warrant the erection of a new and better building. On its place now stands 
the Livingston block, the finest commercial emporium in the city. 

Nevertheless the satisfaction felt by the tearing down of this building in 
the expectation of something worthier of the time and place was not wholly 
without some regret. It was in this building that the firm of Silverthorn and 
Plumer, although having done a brokerage business before, started out as a 
full fledged banking house : after this firm had put up a building of their own 
on the land owned by the Millard estate, J. M. Smith occupied their former 
quarters as a real-estate office, from which Marathon county was populated 
as never before. 

Around Music Hall clustered many of the most pleasing, humorous and 
enjoyable memories of the past; it seemed as if with the demolishment of 
Music Hall went down the good old W^ausau of olden times, to make room for 
the new. When built in 1870, and completed in 1871, it was the best and 
largest public building, and in a quarter of a century it was no longer good 
enough for the times. So passes the glory of the world, and how many of 
the buildings which are today the pride of Wausau may still be so in fifty 
years ? 

\\'hy take so much space in writing about old Music Hall ? Because there 
was the focus of the social and intellectual and political life from the begin- 
ning of the city, in distinction from the village, and these references serve to 
give an illustration as to what that life really was. 


From 1861 to 1871 the village had enjoyed an unexampled, thereofore 
unknown growth. Several additions had been platted and the village stretched 
out south, east and north ; more than two hundred buildings had been added 
in a few years, and the time had come to organize a city government. 


City of Wattsau, Continued — The Times from i8j2 to 1879. 


was obtained in 1S72 and sections 36, 25, 26, and 35, in township 29, range 7 
east, were set off as a city. 

The territory is four square miles in extent, exactly one mile in each 
direction from the northwest corner of Main and Washington streets, yet 
the settled portion covered only a part. The marsh still existed, one corderoy 
road at Jackson street crossed it, but during the summer Henrietta street was 
opened and a road cut out, from the end of which a corderoy road was built 
to connect with Mcintosh street, which was also made passable. 

No new buildings had been added on the west side to those already men- 
tioned, but good residence buildings were put up on Fourth and Fifth streets 
as far north as Franklin, and south on Grand avenue as far as the breweries. 

At the presidential election in 1872, the total number of votes cast in the 
city was 425. 

The charter election was held on the first Tuesday in April and resulted 
in the election of August Kickbusch as mayor. 

With its organization as a city, the great work of improvements began, 
which has been continued ever since, more prominent in some years than in 
others, but never at a standstill. 

Street grading was undertaken ; a new bridge across the slough was built 
much higher above the water than the old one, and the street to the bridge 
from Main street west was filled in from three to five feet in some places to 
reduce its steepness. About three thousand dollars was spent in that year 
on street improvements alone, which was a large sum at that time, but it was 
a paying investment. 

The inauguration of Mr. Kickbusch was quite a solemn affair, and evi- 
denced the fact that the officers as well as the people were conscious that a 
change had taken place in their political status, which deserved special ob- 



The outgoing village board was in session, presided over by Carl Hoeflin- 
ger, its president, when the mayor and new city council appeared in the meet- 
ing room of the engine house, which served as a village and city hall for many 
years. Mr. Hoeflinger then made a short address, referring to the changed 
condition, congratulated the people upon the advancement and the mayor and 
aldermen upon their election, and then the old village board vacated their 
chairs, and the city council took their places. 

The council was called to order, the mayor delivered his inaugural, brimful 
of good common sense, and the new government was installed and proceeded 
to business. The administration of August Kickbusch was a great credit to the 
city, which took a decided step towards municipal progress, and gracefully and 
successfully passed through the metamorphose from village to city. 

Two years afterwards he was again elected as mayor, and in 1889 was 
appointed by President Harrison as receiver of the United States land office 
at Wausau. The duties of this office were not congenial to him and he vol- 
untarily retired in 1891, for the following reasons, which reflected credit 
upon his character: 

On the 20th day of December, 1890, there were made subject to home- 
stead entry about 200,000 acres of land, situated in Lincoln, Vilas and Oneida 
counties, which had theretofore been withdrawn for entry and settlement, 
and much of it was valuable pine land. These facts, and that the lands became 
subject to homestead entry on that day, had been very widely advertised and 
described as worth thousands of dollars each 80-acre tract, and conse- 
quently thousands of people came to \\'ausau from all parts of the United 
States to take up these lands under the homestead act. On the afternoon of 
the 1 8th day of December some ten to twelve men were seen running to the 
window in the courthouse, where according to advertisement publicly made 
by the register and receiver of the United States land office, the applications 
for homestead entry would be received on December 20, 1890, from 9 o'clock 
A. M. ; and in less than an hour hundreds of applicants were standing in a line 
from that window to the street east, and across the sidewalk, with many 
hundreds of others on the courthouse square, coming too late. It took three 
and part of the fourth day to dispose of these applicants one after another, 
who were waiting out there in the cold all during these days, standing up or 
squatting on the snow and freezing, while hundreds of others hastened to 
the lands to take possession of them by settlement, as the legal phrase is, 
immediately after midnight of December 19, 1890, and thousands of others 
left the city, disgusted by being fooled to come hundreds and some over one 
thousand miles for a homestead, at great expense and with no certainty of 
being able to get one. 


The lyen who went to the land after midnight of December 19, 1890, 
claimed a preference right over the men who filed their application and paid 
for their entry at the land office, and contested the rights of the filers (the 
men who filed for their land at the land office) to the lands. Mr. Kickbusch 
was not a lawyer and not familiar with land office practice, but he had a 
strongly developed sense of what was right and what was wrong. There 
was a difference of opinion even among lawyers as to who should have the 
preference right, the men who filed or the men who settled after midnight. 

These conflicting claims had to be settled first of the local land office by 
suits, called contests. When hundreds of contests were brought by the set- 
tlers who had no papers from the land office, against the filers, who had the 
papers, and August Kickbusch was given to understand by the register of 
the land office, who had been in office for sixteen years and who was familiar 
with the United States land laws, that all things being equal, the settler had 
the best right to the land and the filer would lose it, Mr. Kickbusch said : "No, 
that is not right. I have taken from these filers their money and they have 
stood there in line for days and frozen, and now I should decide against them ? 
That I will not do, even if it is the law; rather than do that I will resign," 
and he did resign before the first contest was brought on for a hearing. 
He followed the dictates of his conscience, preferring to resign the high 
office than do that which he deemed a wrong. 

His name has often been mentioned as one of the pioneer businessmen in 
former chapters ; many years his general store was the largest commercial 
house in Wausau, and he also dealt in lumber. He was a keen judge of 
human nature, but warm-hearted and accommodating. Always ready to help 
his countrymen, not only with his counsel, but with giving credit when others 
refused, he was deservedly popular with all classes of people. For years he 
was one of the most powerful political factors in Marathon county, first as a 
Democrat, then as a member of the Greenback party; later still, as a Repub- 
lican until his death, in May, IQ04, which caused widespread mourning. He 
was the founder of the Aug. Kickbusch Wholesale Grocery Company, and 
one of the directors of the First National Bank of Wausau from its organi- 
zation until his death, and also a director in the Ruder Brewery Company. 

In 1873 J^cob Paff was elected mayor, under whose administration 
another important problem concerning the future development of the city 
came up for solution. The annual agricultural products of Marathon county 
were then far from supplying the home demand, and as the farming industry 
at that time practically ended on the north line of township 30 the deficiency 
had to be hauled up from the nearest railroad station, which was still Stevens 


Point, while the export of Uimber depended on the caprices of the Wisconsin 

The first railroad was secured in this year, though not finished until 1874, 
and the mayor of Wausau, Jacob Paff, was an important personage in induc- 
ing the Wisconsin Valley Railroad to enter Wausau. 

In this year was also made the contract for the first large schoolhouse, the 
first brick building in Wausau, heated by hot air, the Humbolt Schoolhouse, 
slightly enlarged since that time. The contract price was $18,000, and L. S. 
Hayne, a stranger, was the contractor, but when it was completed it came to 
$24,000. To pay for this building, Wausau bonded itself for the first time, 
issuing $10,000 in bonds and paying 10 per cent interest thereon. 

The high rate of interest paid on these bonds issued by a city who had no 
other indebtedness at all at that time, shows another instance of the prevailing 
scarcity of money at that time. 

Buildings nevertheless increased ; o\'er one hundred houses were erected 
that year. 

Jacob Paff was one of the earliest German settlers in Wausau ; he came 
about 1 85 1, and for seven years worked as a carpenter and cabinetmaker, 
having a shop on Jackson street, later built a store on Jackson and Third 
streets, where he carried on a general merchandise business and also engaged 
in lumbering. He demonstrated his belief in the pennanency of Wausau by 
erected its first solid brick building, where his first store building stood, and 
following it up with the building of more brick stores on Third street, which 
made it the principal business street in the city. He was one of the founders of 
the First National Bank and its vice-president from the time of its organiza- 
tion until his death, on the 6th day of May, 1895, often acting as president. 

Much of the prosperity of this bank was due to the confidence which the 
people of all classes of society had in his business capacity and personal integ- 
rity, for he at all times enjoyed the respect and esteem of the business world 
and the people generally. 

He was county clerk of ]\Iarathon county, and for more than a decade one 
of the principal merchants and lumbermen of Wausau. 

In 1874 August Kickbusch was again called upon to preside over the des- 
tinies of Wausau. The Wisconsin Valley Railroad was expected to reach 
Wausau, and he having taken a prominent part in the conferences which cul- 
minated in the contract for the building of that road, it was thought proper 
that he should be the official head to welcome the iron horse. The day of the 
arrival of the first train was duly celebrated, as has already been related. 

In this year were finished the fine residences of N. T. Kelly, Mrs. M. B. 


Scholfield, William Gallon and many others. The Marathon County Bank 
erected its first solid brick building, (since torn down and replaced with its 
present structure) and James McCrossen built his big store on corner of 
Scott and Third streets. 

Lincoln county, with one hundred townships, was set off from Marathon 
county in the legislative session of 1874. 

The total vote in the fall election for the highest office voted for in that 
year, member of congress, in the city of Wausau, was 592. 

The election of 1875 brought Mr. Carl Hoeflinger to the head of city 
officers. Wausau's growth had been comparatively rapid during the two 
previous years; streets had been laid out and graded, the new school house 
completed and was used, but it was soon discovered that instead of answering 
the needs of many years yet to come, it was just comfortably answering pres- 
ent needs and no more. 

The railroad had brought many people, among whom were those that 
always follow railroad building and extensions; people whose acquisitions is 
of doubtful value to any place, and sometimes even a positive damage. The 
booms had been extended, lumber output largely increased, and ^Vausau be- 
came the center of the lumber industry on the Wisconsin river, which it has 
maintained to this day. 

Merrill was then, and remained without a railroad until 1881. It had no 
large boom to hold logs ; the Scott & Andrews mill the only mill there, boomed 
most of their logs in Prairie river. Only a few boarding houses were in 
Merrill, and the many hundreds of men who worked in the large number of 
camps in Lincoln county and all camps above Wausau, all came down here 
to be paid off, many remained here to go on the log drives after the river 
opened and returned again after the driving, or with the drive to Wausau. 
Wausau was their headquarters, as they called it, filling every hotel and board- 
ing house to overflowing during the spring and early summer months, and 
had their earnings to spend. There were places willing to lighten them of 
their burden, even watching out for them, having runners to show them the 
sights, runners to show them to places where Dame Fortune might smile 
upon them, and incidentally relieve them of their hard-earned winter wages. 

The police force consisted of a marshal and one night watchman, re- 
enforced for a couple of months in the spring by a special policeman. The fire 
department consisted of the unpaid voluntary fire company, with the hand 
engine, assisted by the hook and ladder company, also volunteers. There was 
enough for the mayor to do in those days, especially if one was inclined to be 
more than mayor in name only, or limit his official authority to the presidency 


over the city council. Mr. Hoeflinger was conscious that, although there was 
no salary attached to the office, still some duties were to be performed, not 
of a pleasing nature, or in connection with the merely administrative affairs 
of the city, but duties onerous and unpleasant, but he did not shrink from 
perfomiing them. 

W'ausau being then on the end of a railroad line, and the last place of 
importance on the Wisconsin river, had a very large floating population, 
sometimes as many as a thousand, who spent a large part of their earnings 
here. It had assumed somewhat the airs and complexion of a frontier town, 
which in fact it was, and shady characters plied their trade almost everywhere. 
Livery rigs, whose occupants delighted in gaudy colored and highly scented 
dresses, paraded the streets, inviting the unsophisticated pinery boy to make 
accjuaintance with the world, rather demi-monde. Mayor Hoeflinger under- 
took the heroic task of cleaning out the city. He made no pompous declara- 
tion of what he was going to do, did not begin this work by a bugle blast. He 
went at it in a most primitive way. One night he called to his aid his faithful 
adlatus, the city marshal, George Stelz, and — Harun al Raschid-like — they 
made a tour of the suspected parlors of Dame Fortune. No arrests were made 
on the spot, but next day it was said on the street that the mayor had deliv- 
ered himself of some forceful speeches in some places. Some arrests fol- 
lowed and a number of business men in the wet goods line gave bond for their 
appearance in circuit court. After some terms of court these cases were for- 
gotten, but the mayor's bold appearance as a social reformer had a good 
efifect for more than his own term of office. Some of the professionals left 
the town, the bunco steerer disappeared, and the olfactory nen^es of the 
pinery boys were no longer termpted on the streets by the odors of musk or 
patchoulie with which the air seemingly had theretofore been impregnated. 
Wausau assumed its nonnal condition ; legitimate enterprises prospered ; the 
building of fine residences, especially in the northeastern part, continued, 
mainly the work of a new architect and builder, John fiercer, who had come 
to Wausau in 1872. The N. T. Kelly residence was his first work here, which 
to this day is one of the finest residence buildings in the city, and many others 
are of his conception and plans. 

At this time the city began to spread out across the river, but ne\ertheless 
the hard times beginning with the fall of the bankingjiouse of Jay Cook begun 
to be felt in Wausau. Its effect had been retarded somewhat by the building 
of the railroad to Wausau in 1874, but lumber had fallen in price, collections 
were slow, and the municipality began to feel the downward trend of affairs 
about this time. 


Mr. Hoeflinger did his best to keep city expenses down to a proper limit, 
but he could not prevent a large return of unpaid taxes, which in those days, 
at least so far as personal property tax was concerned, was nearly a clear 
loss. He was glad to relinquish the cares of ofhce and devote himself to his 
private business as a real estate and insurance man. 

Carl Hoeflinger came to Wausau in i860, and was county treasurer from 
1865 to 1873; he occupied the chair as editor of the JVaitsau IVochcnblatt 
when it was founded, and at different times thereafter, being a fluent and 
racy writer in both the German and English languages. Alone and unaided 
by any society or organization, he organized and led the first procession on 
Memorial Day in honor of the departed soldiers of the Civil war, furnishing 
with a lavish hand, from his own garden, all the flowers for the occasion. 
The ceremony fell in disuse after this first procession, to be revived after 
many years by Cutler Post, G. A. R., at Wausau. C. Hoeflinger was a man 
of attractive qualities of mind and heart, always popular, generous almost to 
a fault. He died a victim to that dread disease, consumption, on the 21st day 
of September, 1880, only forty-eight years of age. 

The office of mayor was purely an honorary one until lately, but there 
never was a dearth of candidates, many citizens not only being willing, but 
glad to serve their fellow citizens in that capacity, though they had to go 
through the ordeal of an election and take the chances of defeat at the polls. 
They considered it an honor to be the candidate of a portion of the people, 
the candidate of their party, and next to the honor of being elected, stood the 
honor of being defeated ; at least that was the view taken by people in earlier 
days, and they brought forward good men in each instance, the community 
being the gainer by it. 

The choice for mayor in 1876 was B. Ringle, who was then and had been 
for years, the county judge of this county. The election was very animated, 
not only as to mayor, but for every office from mayor down. The political 
parties were drawing the lines and marshaling their forces preparatory for 
the presidential contest of 1876, and each party put forward their best and 
most popular man. 

Such men as D. L. Plumer and R. E. Parcher were contestants for the 
office of supervisor of the Third ward, which included all the territory north 
of Washington and east of Main street. Both of these men were excellent 
citizens, their reputation for competency, integrity and local patriotism as 
well established as now, but curiously enough their nomination, instead of 
bringing forth unanimous rejoicing, brought forth only bitter denunciations 
from their respective partisans. It was Archbishop Whatley who said that 


in a heated political contest it could easily be proven that Abel had killed 
Cain, and the truth of this remark was proven by the heated disputes of the 
partisans of these candidates. 

The Republicans were bound to elect their candidate ; the Democrats felt 
they could not afford to have their candidate defeated, and other wards took 
more interest in the election of the Third ward than in their own. When on 
the night of the election, D. L. Plumer emerged with a majority of three 
votes out of the contest there was a sigh of relief among Democrats, and the 
Republicans were satisfied, feeling that they had done their whole duty by 
their candidate. 

The election in this year, including the presidential election of 1876, was 
the last one in which these two gentlemen were found in opposite camps. The 
exigency of politics brought them together in less than two years, and from 
that' time on until the death of R. E. Parcher, they trained together in busi- 
ness and pretty much in the same political camp. 

The administration of Mayor B. Ringle continued the established policy 
of street improvements, and in general kept a watchful eye on the interests 
of the city. But business was getting duller and duller, prices were still fall- 
ing, and as taxes were bearing hard on the people the expenses of the city 
were curtailed as much as possible. Still one work worth mentioning was 
undertaken. The city had been spreading out and homes were erected all 
along and close up to the edges of the marsh. The miasma arising from this 
stagnant pool caused much sickness, especially among children, with an appal- 
ling death rate. 

The drainage of this marsh was undertaken by digging a ditch at the 
southwest end of the marsh leading to a plank culvert, which ran underground 
through the property of Adam Young and P. B. McKellar, and underground 
across Grand avenue into the ravine which comes up to Grand avenue at 
Columbia park, leading to the river. That ditch and culvert served its purpose 
for a time, lowering the height of the pond and narrowing its limits, but in 
the nature of things could only be of a temporary character. • 

The pool on William's flat in the first ward, was also partially trained and 
the sanitary condition was greatly improved, though the cause was not wholly 

Few men, if any, filled the office of mayor who devoted more time to its 
interests and had more executive ability, a more thorough understanding and 
knowledge of municipal affairs. B. Ringle had been county clerk of Mara- 
thon county for six years, had served it five times as representative in the leg- 
islature and was county judge from 1864 until his death, on the 27th day of 


October, 1881. He was familiar with the needs of the city as well as the 

When he took the office of county clerk, and found the county owing the 
state $20,000 for taxes, a very large sum in those days, when money brought 
one and one-half or two per cent interest per month, and lands were considered 
a burden, he was the originator and, with the aid of his intimate friend, Sena- 
tor E. L. Brawn of Waupaca, succeeding in enacting a law by which the state 
accepted forty thousand acres of tax title land in cancellation of this debt. 

These lands were sold by the state for 75 cents an acre soon afterwards, 
and thereby again returned to the assessment rolls, increasing to that extent 
the taxable property of the county. For this act Mr. B. Ringle received high 
praise from all parties at that time. 

In his private life, as well as in his official capacity, he was a man of un- 
impeachable integrity, plain-spoken in language, going always directly to the 
point, never deceiving friend or foe with phrases of doubtful imiwrt or double 
meaning. He was a powerful factor in shaping the destinies of Marathon 
county and the city of \^^ausau, and politically exerted more influence soon 
-after his coming to Wausau than any other man. He was a native of the 
■Palatine, Germany, \\here he was educated and worked in some minor official 
capacity. He emigrated to this county in 1846, and came directly to W^is- 
consin. settling first in Germantown, Washington county, but two years later 
took up farm life in the town of Herman, Dodge county, Wisconsm. where 
he remained until the spring of 1859, when he came to Wausau. He was 
postmaster, chainnan and justice of the peace in Dodge county, and familiar 
with town, village and county government when he came to Wausau. The 
numerous German settlers who came to Marathon county about that time 
and settled in the new towns, consulted him more than any one of the lawyers 
then here on town organization and the like, because he could speak their 
language, explain the meaning of the law and instruct them in their duties. 
They found him a reliable and willing advisor, and that in connection with 
his sturdy and honest character accounted for the strong political influence 
which he exerted until his death. 

The census of 1875 and the presidential vote of 1876 showed a large gain 
over the previous years. Nevertheless business was suft'ering more and more, 
there was a disposition to find fault with the government of nation, state and 
municipality, and whenever a mayor had served his one-year tenn. he asked 
for no other, but was glad to retire and leave the thankless job to some other 

In 1877 T- C. Clarke became mayor and the council which was elected 


with him was conspicuous in more than one sense, than any of its prede- 
cessors. Not only was the mayor one of the largest businessmen of the city, 
but so were most of the supervisors, who under the old charter were also mem- 
bers of the city council. There were B. G. Plumer, from the first ward; 
Jacob Faff, from the second; Carl Hoeflinger, from the fourth, and Alex 
Stewart, from the newly created fifth ward. They found an empty treasury, 
empty because a large amount of taxes was returned as unpaid, and in those 
days the county treasurer did not pay the delinquent taxes on the return to him 
of the tax rolls. It took an order of the county board requiring him to do so 
after the tax sale, at which the county was usually the only bidder, and then 
county orders were issued to the city or towns for unpaid taxes. In 1877 
the city had no less than $4,000 in county orders for unpaid taxes, but these 
county orders were not par. but stood at a discount of from 20 to 25 per cent. 
Of course the city kept these orders in the treasury expecting to pay the 
county taxes for the ensuing year, and tried to get along with the license 
money which was not to exceed $50 a year where it is now $200 until the 
next tax paying time. 

There was not much change for improvements, and the best that could 
be done was to keep streets and bridges in some kind of repair. There was 
then no money for such luxuries as street lights or street crossings. 

Still the administration managed to run the city without going into debt, 
and they had to exercise much wisdom in accompli.shing it. The hard times 
had struck \\^ausau with full force; many men were out of employment, and 
wages were at low ebb. Yet one ray of hope penetrated the dark outlook. 
The Wisconsin Valley Railroad opened a real estate office at Wausau in Music 
Hall building, and put J. M. Smith in charge of the business. He as principal 
contractor of the building of the road had taken a large interest in that land in 
part payment and was directly interested in the sale ; it was said at the time 
that he had a half interest. Certain it is that after a few years he purchased 
the interest of the railroad in the land, and owned it himself with his co-part- 
ner Thompson. In the spring of 1875 he made his first trip through the 
settled portion with a view of examining the land as to fertility of the soil 
and its adaption for farming. The season was unusually late that year, and 
he found the growing crops decidedly backwards and felt rather blue over 
the prospect of realizing much out of the land. About two months later he 
made the same trip again, and was then surprised to see the waving fields of 
grain and thick fields of timothy which greeted his astonished gaze. He 
knew then that his interest in the lands would turn out much better than 
expected, and he lost no time in endeavoring to get actual settlers. He adver- 


tised liberally, but judiciously, spending thousands of dollars in making known 
the agricultural richness of Marathon county, establishing a number of branch 
ofifices, and had hundreds of little frames made, boxes, in which the grains 
produced in Marathon county were exhibited, which were distributed at rail- 
road stations and on all points liable to attract the attention of prospective 
purchasers. His energetic work began to tell in 1877; there was a large 
influx of strangers who settled on these lands, and they had to purchase their 
home and farm supplies at Wausau, as their nearest market. Their trade 
not only enlivened the extremely dull season somewhat, but held out great 
hopes for the future. 

He was very successful in bringing settlers to this county, selling lands 
at reasonably low rates, even for that time and by giving such liberal terms 
as to payments that even the poorest was enabled to obtain a home; provided 
he would be industrious and honest. Nearly every one of these settlers 
became a well to do farmer, and to J. M. Smith's push and energy, and his 
honorable and fair dealing w-ith the parties to whom he sold, was due much 
of the growth of agriculture in this county, and a corresponding growth of 
Wausau as an industrial and manufacturing center. This immigration helped 
Wausau over the worst of the hard times in 1877, and the careful manage- 
ment of city afifairs saved it from rvmning into debt. 

The end of Mayor Clarke's administration was remarkable by the begin- 
ning of suits against city and county with a view of the cancellation of taxes 
which were sought to be declared illegal. This controversy was hurtful to the 
city more than to the county, but both passed out of it with no more damage 
than a black eye, for the time being, figuratively speaking, but the after effect 
was rather beneficial in that assessors were brought about to a better under- 
standing and realization of their duties. 

J. C. Clarke had often been mentioned as pioneer lumberman who came 
as a boy to Wausau in 1845. He was harder pressed than any other of the mill 
owners at Wausau during the time from 1874 to 1879, but he held up his head 
and succeeded in saving his property when other lumbermen went down. 
Fortune began smiling on him after 1879, and he was on the road to pros- 
perity, when he sold out his mill property and standing pine to the McDonald 
Brother Company, a corporation in 1882, retaining only a respectable minor- 
ity of the shares. But being used to the full and unrestricted control of his 
large business for so many years, which he was no longer allowed to exer- 
cise after the new corporation had taken possession, he sold his remaining 
interest in the following year and looked around for a new field of labor. 
In an evil hour he invested in a tobacco plantation in Virginia, and what it 


was that could induce him, a Wisconsin pioneer lumbemian, to go down into 
old Virginia among the Southern planters with whom he could not have any- 
thing in common, remained a mystery to his friends until the end of his life. 
The venture turned out a complete failure and so was his next venture of 
fanning in the state of New Jersey. He returned to Wausau after a few 
years, then took up a homestead near Bradley on the Sault St. IMary Railroad, 
cleared the title to some of his propertly at and near Tomahawk City, which 
was then being founded by a Mr. Bradley, and succeeded in getting means 
enough to build himself a decent and respectable home, the only property 
which descended to his children. He was an energetic and hard worker all 
his life ; came as a boy of fourteen years into the pinery without any acquaint- 
ances or friends; he understood the lumber business thoroughly, and in his 
younger days was sought as a pilot, particularly to run Big Bull. He was 
honest and warm hearted, but he could not always read the signs of the times; 
his first error was in selling out at a time when remaining a few more years 
in sole control of his property would have brought him a little fortune; but 
his greatest error was his venture in going into the plantation country" of Vir- 
ginia which came nigh ruining him financially. When he returned, how- 
ever, he was the same John C. Clarke, undaunted by reverses, beginning life 
anew, and to the end of his days had the respect and good will of all his many 
old friends and acquaintances. 

He was sheriff of Marathon county in 1859 and i860, and many years a 
very influential member of the county board. He was elected to the assem- 
bly in 1 881, and was a very creditable representative. While in the legis- 
lature, it happened that the railroad construction company which was building 
the railroad from the city of Eau Claire to Superior City went into bank- 
ruptcy and the state was forced by sheer humanity to send provisions up the 
line of the road to save the working people of that road from starvation. 

John C. Clarke with a few other honorable and far seeing members 
desired the state to take the land grant given for the building of the road 
and build and operate the railroad itself. That land grant was worth more 
than it cost to build and equip the railroad, but for the state to take the grant, 
as it had a perfect right to do, and get the railroad substantially for nothing 
and still have valuable land was, in the opinion of the great majority of the 
legislature at that time, looking too much towards socialism, and the grant 
was given to the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, which built the new line 
and organized it as the Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad. 

There was a sequel to that land grant. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railroad also sought to get that grant, and the competition of these 


railroads endangered the success of either and worked indirectly in favor of 
the scheme of John C. Clarke and a few of his friends, who wanted the state 
to take over the grant and build the railroad itself. 

Under the circumstances the two railroads made common cause; the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Company withdrew, leaving the field clear 
to Chicago & Northwestern Railroad under a secret agreement, letting the 
last mentioned railroad take the grant, and build the road, about 62 miles in 
length, in consideration of which the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road should have a one-fourth interest in the lands granted, and be allowed 
to run their trains over the newly built road on very favorable temis and 
other very important and valuable concessions. 

When the Chicago, Milwaukee, ^Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad had 
obtained that grant, had built the road and operated it. it refused to stand 
by the bargain made with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, claim- 
ing that the contract was void as against public policy. In the litigation which 
followed the breach of the contract, the Omaha road made that their defense, 
and the supreme court could not but adopt the same view. In the language 
of later days, this agreement was "a gentleman's agreement" ("rogue" would 
be a better temi), which is binding on gentlemen without any aid of courts, 
just as gambling debts are called "debts of honor" because no court in the 
world will enforce them, and in this instance the Omaha road did not play 
the part of the gentleman with the gentleman on the other side. In strict 
course of justice, the successful railroad should have been also deprived of 
the grant or the benefits derived from it, because obtained under a corrupt 

See 75 Wis. 225, and Sec. 4482 R. S., cited by court. 

Such and similar agreements of and between railroads and faxored cor- 
porations and large shippers, and actions of this sort, have brought about 
the hostile feeling against railroads which manifested itself in unfriendly 
legislation in late years, under which railroading is suffering to some extent 
at this time, but for which they themselves are largely responsible. 

Since his return to Wausau. John C. Clarke was elected justice of the peace, 
re-elected from term to term, and he died at the age of seventy-six years, 
after a comparatively short illness. The last years of his life were spent 
fairly comfortably at his home on Franklin street, a modest, unpretentious 
but neat little house. He was a native of north Wales and came as boy with 
some emigrant friends to Dane county in June, 1845, from where he \\an- 
dered up in the Wisconsin pinery in the same year, a poor, friendless boy, 
and stayed here all his life, with the exception of the few years spent in Vir- 
ginia and New Jersey after he sold out in 1883 before his return back home. 


The CUy of U'ausaii from i8/8-igi3-^. 


Up to the year 1878 the majority of voters in Wausaii were attached to 
the Democratic party. Olficers were nominated by political conventions, but 
while there was opposition in tlie election, the Democratic party succeeded in 
electing the head of the village or city government without interruption, and 
also most of the minor ofificers, and the village trustees or the city council. 
The government was honest though a party government, no charges of graft 
were ever made, much less discovered or sustained, nor did any defalcation of 
public funds occur. 

But in the* spring of 1878 there came a change. It was brought about by 
the organization and growth of the Greenback party, \vhich had drawn its 
strength so much from the Democratic party that when the Greenback party 
nominated a city ticket in 1878 with D. L. Plumer, a prominent formed Dem- 
ocrat at the head, the Democrats put up no ticket in opposition, but left it to 
the Republican party alone to put up the opposition ticket. The Repub- 
lican party thus challenged, nominated a straight party ticket, which was 
defeated, and Mr. D. L. Plumer and the whole Greenback ticket was elected 
by a big majority. IMr. R. E. Parcher was elected on the Greenback ticket 
for assessor. 

D. L. Plumer was no novice in city government, and with a competent 
council he did all that could be done to steer the city clear of the bars and 
cliffs which threatened the municipality. It was a time when tax litigation 
was rampant. A fe wsuits had already been commenced in the winter of 
1877-78 to cancel taxes, and towards spring they multiplied. A decision of 
the highest court in the state seemed an inducement to fight taxes. In one 
day not less than twenty actions were served upon Mayor Plumer. The treas- 
ury was at low ebb, and the outlook for a bettennent was not flattering. 
But in matters of litigation of this kind the mayor was of an unyielding dis- 
position, and by his holding out against all settlements or compromises with 



litigants, and the city and county attorneys working together in harness and 
digging deep into old musty law books, they found a hole through which to 
escape, and at the end of the year the city had obtained favorable decisions 
in most cases, escaping with no more damage than a discolored eye. From 
that time on, too, there was more attention paid to assessments, and on the 
whole, taking into account the after effect, the tax litigation did no lasting 
harm to the city, though it crippled it for a while. 

D. L. Plumer refused to be a candidate at the end of his term, but three 
years later was again chosen to head the city government. 

Under those circumstances there was a little chance for great improve- 
ments of a municipal character, but it was glory enough to have passed safely 
between the Scylla and Charybdis of litigation and an empty treasury. When 
Mr. Plumer turned city affairs over to his successor at the expiration of his 
first term, the taxes were collected, and the treasury was relieved from its 
former prostrate condition. 


J. E. Leahy was elected mayor in 1879 and re-elected in 1880 and 1881. 
His three years of service mark the beginning of a new era for Wausau. 
Times began to mend ; the resumption of specie payment was an accomplished 
fact; the contraction of the currency had ceased, and the beginning of a period 
of expansion had set in. Business revived with advancing prices. These and 
other causes helped to mark the three years of Mayor Leahy's incumbency of 
office as a return of flush times of Wausau. In the summer of 1879 the Wis- 
consin Valley Railroad (now Chicago, Michigan & St. Paul) extended its 
line to Merrill, and the large crew of men engaged in that work were paid off 
at Wausau. In 1880, the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway (now 
the Chicago & Northwestern) reached the city, which gave it an impetus, 
such as it had never enjoyed before. The Clark, Johnson & Co. saw mill 
(now the Barker & Stewart mill) was built in 1880 and was in full operation 
in 1881, and in this year was also commenced the erection of the factory of 
Curtis Bros. & Co. (now Curtis & Yale) and the Dunbar & McDonald mill, 
which burned down in July, 1885. The Murray Foundry works made a large 
addition to its already great establishment, and everybody was busy. 

The location of the depot of the IMilwaukee. Lake Shore & Western Rail- 
way in B. Williams' addition made it necessary to fill in the street down the 
hill to make it less steep and fit to haul freight over. It was an expensive work 
and left the road still deep enough to make hauling of freight very expensive 
and tiresome. The Northwestern railway felt the necessity of a different 


depot location, and when it extended its line west, it bought the property on 
which the freight depot is now located, and the city donated it a strip off the 
west side of Main street to make ample room for freight carriers and easy 
approach into the business part of the city. In these years was also begun the 
improvement of streets by planking the gutters to facilitate the surface drain- 
age, and the putting down of street crossings. The steam fire engine was 
purchased in 1880, and that was the commencement of the transition from 
the voluntary fire department to the paid department which, however, was not 
completed for several years thereafter. 

In 1880 and 1881 occurred the highest floods known to the earliest set- 
tlers. During the summer of 1880 the railroad traffic between Wausau and 
Stevens Point was interrupted by the flood for two weeks, and as the high- 
way south was also overflowed, especially between Mosinee and Wausau, and 
at other places, too, and there being no other means of communication, there 
was for some days no communication at all with the outside world. 

When the traffic was thus interrupted by the flood between Wausau and 
Stevens Point, it so happened that \lr. John Ringle was a delegate to the 
national Democratic convention at Cincinnati, Ohio, and had he waited for 
the flood to subside, he would have been too late for the opening of the con- 
vention and maybe too late altogether. Determined to be on time, he and 
W. C. Silverthom, who accompanied him, put their suit cases in a skiff and 
made the journey from Wausau to Stevens Point on the high, roaring Wis- 
consin, stopping one night at Mosinee, portaging their boat over the falls, 
and arriving next day in Stevens Point where they took the railroad. It was 
not a very pleasant trip for two gentlemen not accustomed to that sort of 
travel, but it was a duty which the delegate would not shirk, and his friend 
w-as patriotic enough to stay with him and share the duty and the danger. 

Another flood occurred in the fall of the same year, though without doing 
much damage. The highest flood known on the Wisconsin up to that time 
occurred in the last days of September, 1881, when the river rose to a height 
of 141,4 feet above low water mark. During this last flood the upper boom 
broke and sixty million feet of logs came rushing down in a heap against 
the big round piers on the lower divide. These piers stopped the first power- 
ful rush, and then the logs formed an immense jam, which helped to relieve 
the mighty pressure and kept the logs confined in the boom. During the night 
hundreds of men and all available teams were hauling rock on the guardlock 
to weigh it down, but in the forenoon the water overflowed the embankment 
from the top, which also showed leakage below. To stop the leakage and the 
overflow of the bank became of the utmost necessity, for had a break occurred 


between the lock and the bank, the rush of the water would have swept the 
lock away in an instant, and the mills and mill yards full of lumber below- 
would have been carried away. 

J. .M. Smith voluntarily directed the work of stopping the leakage and 
making the embankment from the guardlock to and over the railroad track. 
Under his intelligent and cool management it was accomplished successfully. 
His long and varied experience as a railroad builder was worth a great deal 
to the lumbermen below and to Wausau at that time. It was an exciting 
moment when, w-hile a score of men were at work on the eastern portion of 
the lock, that work fonned of timber squares and filled with rock, suddenly 
moved between three and four feet down stream, and while everybody was 
jumping for life to reach the bank expecting a breakage, it suddenly came to 
a stop again. The ground timbers had struck a solid rock which gave it the 
required force of resistance. A number of lives were saved by this timely 

The strengthening of the east wing of the guardlock by backing it against 
the pressure from above was undertaken by B. G. Plumer, who personally 
took the place of greatest danger and accomplished his purpose. 

The outlet to drain the marsh had become clogged up so as to let no water 
flow through the culvert, and the creeks from the east side and the water 
from the east hill filled the low ground of the marsh to overflow, converting 
it into a lake, so that at Mr. Young's place on Grand avenue it overflowed the 
street and ran in the ravine south of the Columbia Park. It is said that some 
person wishing to prevent the water from rising in the marsh and overflowing 
the near buildings, dug a ditch across the road to facilitate the flow of water. 
If that was his purpose he succeeded admirably. As soon as the water began 
flowing it commenced to wash out and in a couple of hours it had made a 
tear in the street about forty feet wide and twenty-four feet deep through 
which the water rushed wnth a tremendous velocity. The house of P. B. 
McKellar stood on the east side of Grand avenue some few feet from the 
street. The water tore a great ravine washing away the land from under- 
neath the house, part of which tumbled down in the ditch, and the house was 
substantially destroyed. The ditch so created by the washing away, served 
as a complete drainage of the marsh ; the large quantity of sand and dirt swept 
into the river and created a bar, plugging the free course of the river, since 
which time the river changed its channel and the largest portion flows now in 
the two western channels of the river. Afterwards a brick sewer was laid in 
that ditch, intending to carry off the water to the river. The break in the 
street was spanned by a bridge, but afterwards sufficient ground was had 


nearby, mainly from macadamizing of Grand avenue, to fill the break in 
the road again when the bridge was taken up, and the street was again its 
original width. 

There was more or less damage done to streets, but that was quickly 
repaired, and when Mr. Leahy turned the city over to his successor, the inju- 
rious effects of the flood had all disappeared. The city, too, had largely 
grown in population, but the growth was more marked on the west side of 
the river than on the east side. 

Mr. Leahy was a student at the state university when the war broke out, 
but left school and entered the Thirty-fifth Wisconsin Infantry as a volunteer, 
advancing to the grade of captain of Company E before the war closed. He 
came to Wausau in 1866 and engaged in lumbering, operating mainly on 
Trappe river, until in company with M. P. Beebe he built the Leahy & Beebe 
saw mill in 1882 and operated it until iBgo, when the partnership was dis- 
solved, and the mill shortly afterwards sold. It is now owned and operated 
by the Jacob Mortenson Lumber Company. 

J. E. Leahy was elected to the state assembly in 1882 and to the senate 
in 1886. While engaged in lumbering there was no man more popular with 
his employes. He was liberal in his views, fair in the treatment of. his men 
and in business affairs, and clean in his private character, and these qualities, 
coupled with a fine education, enabled him to give the city an eminently suc- 
cessful administration. J. E. Leahy has always taken much interest in polit- 
ical affairs, and as late as 1896 was an effective campaign speaker in Marathon 
county, his support being eagerly sought by the contending parties. His 
views on the coinage question made him a supporter of William J. Bryan, 
and since that time he has been in sympathy with advanced progressive legis- 
lation without becoming a radical. Although retired from active business, he 
still resides here and takes great interest in everything that is of advantage 
to the city. 

By the census of 1880 the population of Wausau was 4,272, as against 
2,820 in 1875. 


D. L. Plumer was again elected mayor in 1882, re-elected in 1883, and 
much progress was made in these two years. School houses were built and 
enlarged, the first steel bridge built across the Wisconsin river over the falls 
at an expense of nearly $20,000, also the pile bridge constructed at the north 
end (both- built in 1882), cisterns dug for fire protection, and all that without 
going into debt. The two sections which were added to the city on the north 


had become largely settled, as well as Dunbar's and Marquardt's additions on 
the west side, and those were years of great municipal activity. 

Mr. Plumer was always a strong believer in the pennanency of Wausau 
and at all times diligent in advancing its interest. With Mr. W. H. Knox 
and James McCrossen he founded the Wausau Lumber Company in 1879, 
which company erected and kept in operation its mill located at the mouth 
of Stinchfield creek until it burned in May, 1889. 

For many years he was county sur\'eyor of Marathon county, and as county 
surveyor he more than any other man became familiar with the lands and 
resources of Marathon county. 

As early as 1866 he entered into partnership with W. C. Silverthorn, 
doing a brokerage business with the well known Milwaukee banking house 
of Marshall & Isley as co-respondent, and in 1868, with George Silverthorn 
as another co-partner, started out in a regular banking business under the 
finn name of Silverthorn & Plumer. From a small beginning it grew to quite 
large .dimensions, and at the request of many of the business men of Wausau, 
who desired to take an interest in the bank, it organized as the First National 
Bank of Wausau in 1880, electing D. L. Plumer as president of the bank 
which office he has since continuously occupied. 

He is one of the pioneers, coming from his native state. New Hampshire, 
to Wausau in 1857, and being a civil engineer and surveyor, he soon became 
thoroughly familiar with the resources of the middle and northern part of 

As a surveyor his senices were much in demand in fonner years, and it 
was he who made the first preliminar\- survey for the Wisconsin Central Rail- 
road at their urgent request, from Unity to Bayfield. 

His business capacity and sound financial management as president of the 
bank stood the crucial test, when, by his foresight, prudence, and business 
tact he brought the First National Bank of U'ausau successfully over the 
financial storms of 1893 when bank after bank tumbled down, and people pale 
with anxiety asked themselves day after day the question: "What ne.xt?" 
In these times the president, D. L. Plumer, was behind the counter day after 
day, meeting everv^ caller with a pleasant smile, paying out cheerfully the 
time deposits called for by anxious depositors, before they were due — mostly 
working men and farmers — but keeping on fortifying the cash reserve, and in 
less than one month the panicky feeling of this class of depositors was changed 
to a feeling of utmost confidence, while other large banks outside of Wausau 
were still going down or still battling for months on the brink of destruction. 

D. L. Plumer is one of \\'ausau's most liberal minded citizens, not only 


in ideas or words, but also when it comes to show Hberality by deeds. While 
chief stockholder of the Wausau Gas Light and Coke Company and its presi- 
dent, he has twice enlarged the plant to satisfy the demand for gas for illumi- 
nating as well as for heating purposes, and erected a fine tasty office building 
for the use of the company. He sold the gas works in 1905 and has since 
given his entire time to the business of the First National bank. He is also 
president of the Northern Chief Iron Company, the mines being located on 
the Gogebic Range, Wisconsin. 

For a period of over a quarter of a century, D. L. Plumer has sensed the 
people of Marathon county and of Wausau in many capacities, as county sur- 
veyor, supervisor in the county board, and as its chaimian, and as member of 
assembly for the county, and four years as mayor of Wausau, and in every 
position he has conducted himself so as to reflect credit upon his constituency 
and honor upon himself. 

He has been a consistent Democrat all his life, even while training a short 
time with the Greenback party. He was a regent of the University of Wis- 
consin from 1 89 1 to 1895, and was elected delegate at large to the national 
Democratic convention at Kansas City in 1900. His residence is the finest 
in Wausau ; the First National bank building is the largest and finest business 
block in Wausau. and the Gas Light and Coke Company building, erected by 
D. L. Plumer is another solid and tasty business building, which all give 
evidence of D. L. Plumer's perse\'erance in upbuilding the city of Wausau. 

Wausau was now growing rapidly, and with the increase of building and 
population arose the question of water supply for domestic purposes and for 
fire protection. Prior to 1884 the granting of a franchise to a private cor- 
poration was voted down, and in 1884 the people decided by a large affirmative 
vote in favor of the municipal ownership of a system of waterworks, and 
Mr. John Ringle was elected mayor. 


The construction of such a system was no small undertaking. The project 
was new, and opinions as to the kind of power and the source of supply were 
as varied as the hues of the rainbow. Nor was the council a unit on the 
question of city ownership. But under the instigation of the mayor the 
project was taken up, was thoroughly investigated and, after careful planning 
and reviewing fairly accurate estimates of the probable costs, bids were 
invited, opened, read, and the meeting of the council adjourned for two weeks 
without action. It did not look very rosy for the success of the project at 



that time. When the first meeting was held, Mr. Ringle was in attendance in 
the senate, but he hurried home and a special meeting was called, at which 
he presided. He was in favor of the construction and his influence helped 
to carry the measure through, which was done in the last days in the month 
of January, 1885. There were several bids, but finally the bid from the Holly 
Manufacturing Company at Lockport, New York, was accepted, their price 
being $110,500, and the contract for the construction awarded to them finally 
by a nearly unanimous vote. 

To Mr. John Ringle's administration belongs the credit of having inaugur- 
ated this greatest public improvement, which is still the pride of the city. 
Many cities, as, for instance, Oshkosh, Appleton, Ashland, and others, gave 
a franchise for the construction of water works to a private corporation at 
about tlie same time that Wausau constructed its municipal works, and every 
one of the cities regretted ever to have allowed the sale of water to pass out 
of its control. If Mr. J. Ringle had done nothing else than to secure the 
people of Wausau the absolute control of its municipal water works, he 
would be entitled for that alone to the grateful remembrance of the people. 
The works were to be paid in bonds to the amount of $90,000 and cash $20,- 
000. These works have proved a blessing to \\'ausau, although at this time 
and for some years last past, the supply has deteriorated, but the remedy has 
been found, a new supply provided, which will bring it back to its original 
purity, tastiness, and crystal clearness. This matter will be treated later 
under the title "water works." Not only are the rates here lower than in 
any other city, not excluding those who also have municipal plants, but they 
have brought a net surplus to the city for a number of years, which last year 
was $10,000 over and above operating expenses, besides giving ample fire pro- 

The administration also contracted for the building of the first city hall 
at the foot of Washington street, for $10,200, but in this price was not 
included the cost of the tower, which was an extra contract, after Mr. B. 
G. Plumer and August Kickbusch had made a gift to the city of the tower 
clock. There was also the contract let for lighting the city with gas in the 
place of kerosene lamps, at the anuunal cost of $25 per light. 

The proceedings of the council also show that in the same year a saloon 
license was revoked by an unanimous vote of the council because of gambling, 
liaving been carried on on the premises by card sharps, who made it their busi- 
ness to fleece unwarv visitors. 


J. Ringle declined a re-nomination, and during the summer of 1885, ac- 
companied by his wife, made a trip to his father's old home in Germany, 
visiting places of interest, and the baths at Carlsbad. 

R. p. MANSON. 

It fell to the lot of R. P. Manson, who was elected mayor in 1885 and 
re-elected in 1886, to see that the work contracted for by the previous admin- 
istration was faithfully executed, and while Mr. Ringle is entitled to praise 
for planning and contracting, to Mr. R. P. Manson belongs the credit of 
accomplishing it. The contract for the construction of the water works 
system did not include the sinking of the supply well, and that additional 
work added another expense of $4,500 to the entire first cost. The work 
of laying the mains, building of the pumping station, etc., was completed in 
the fall of 1885, and after a thorough test, the works were accepted. It kept 
the administration busy during that summer, and between the ordinary work 
and the extra work thrown on the mayor in this uncommonly busy season, in 
which not only the water works, but the first city hall was built and completed, 
the mayor had his head and hands occupied with city affairs. The money 
had to be provided, too, for payment, which was not one of the least troubles 
which the administration had to meet and conquer. But all difficulties were 
met and overcome, and at the end of his term of ofifice, Mr. Manson has the 
satisfaction of seeing the city advanced as it had never advanced before 
in two short years. And he was hampered, too, by partisan politics creeping 
into the city council of a very unpleasant character. It happened that the 
city council in the first year of his administration was exactly equally divided, 
one-half belonging to one, and the other half to the other national party, with 
the mayor having the casting vote. 

It was well for the city that he was a man too old and too wise to let 
little politics disturb the even tenor of his way. He mapped out a line of 
policy for the interests of the city, as shown by results, and he was able to 
carry all his measures through because he commanded the undivided support 
of his party friends at least, even though he was nearly always opposed by the 
other party until towards the latter part of the year, when the petty opposition 
and sparring for some supposed political or personal advantage ceased. 

He was glad to relinquish the cares of the office at the end of the second 
term, carrying with him into pri\-ate life the highest regard and esteem of 
the people of Wausau, irrespective of party. 

R. P. Manson also belonged to the group of pioneers, coming to Wzu- 


sau in the spring of 185 1, being then twenty years of age, from his native 
state, New Hampshire. He was elected county clerk and held the office from 
1858 to 1864. The court house was then a small one-story frame building 
(no court was ever held, only the county offices were located therein), which 
was moved down on Maine street, opposite the August Kickbusch second 
store, when the second court house building was completed, where it burned 
down late in the seventies, being then used as a saloon. Mr. Manson not only 
was county clerk, but most of the time also acted for the treasurer and some- 
times for the clerk of court in those days. 

He was prompt in the discharge of his duties and very affable in his 
treatment of the many farmers who came to the court house for advice in 
town matters or private affairs, and the old settlers with most of whom he 
came in contact in his position, always held him in the highest regard for the 
patience and attention with which he listened to their tales, with their lim- 
ited knowledge of the English language, until he understood what they wanted 
and then made them understand him in repl}'. He was twice elected sheriff 
and once member of the assembly. He, too, took to logging and lumbering 
soon after he came to Wausau, and for a number of years operated a steam 
mill on Rib river, and in 1883 built a saw mill in the city which burned down 
in 1902. Mr. R. P. Manson died on the 19th day of February. 1897, being 
sixty-seven years of age. 

He was a man of strict integrity in his business as well as private affairs ; 
no man stood higher in the estimation of the people of Marathon county for 
his amiable characteristics, his candor, and goodness of heart. 

Politically he adhered to the Democratic party, and to his influence was 
due in a large measure the united front which that party preserved decade 
after decade, until 1896, when new issues made a break, and led to new align- 

R. P. Mason belonged to the Masonic order, being a member of Forest 
Lodge F. and A. M., and Wausau Chapter 31, R. A. I\I., and St. Omer Com- 
mandery 19, K. T. 

The census of 1885 showed the population of Wausau to be 8,810, a 
gain of over 4,277 over 1880, a gain of over one hundred per cent in five 


Anton Mehl was elected to succeed Mr. R. P. Alanson in 1887. \\nth the 
exception of one year's service as alderman during the Leahy administration, 
this was the first office which he held, and as a public man he was nearly an 


unknown quantity, outside of the circle of his intimate friends. Until elected 
to this office, he had strictly attended to his business as a dealer in boots and 
shoes, beginning in a small way, and working up a large trade by clean, 
honorable business methods. Occasionally he had assisted some particular 
personal friend politically, but rather in a quiet, unostentatious way. He had 
come to Wausau from Germany in 1872, and did not belong to the pioneer 
class. His acquaintance was not very large, but all his acquaintances were 
also his friends. There was much speculation after his election as to whether 
he would turn out to be a competent chief executive, and not a few persons 
expressed their fears that he would prove a failure. All these doubting Thom- 
ases were happily disappointed. Mr. ]\Iehl took hold of city affairs with a 
strong hand and justified not only the high opinions of his friends, but by his 
open and straightforward course disarmed all adverse criticism. In the dis- 
charge of his duties he displayed that rugged common sense without which 
no success is possible. 

In the last three years prior to his election, large enterprises were carried 
out, which had taxed the resources of the city to a more than ordinary degree, 
and economy in public expenditure became a public virtue. Considering 
the time when Mr. Mehl was elected, after such great expenses had been 
incurred, which had to be in part settled for during his one year's incumbency, 
it was a great accomplishment to clean up the floating indebtedness without 
neglecting the usual work of keeping the city clean and streets and bridges in 
repair, as well as providing for tuition of the ever-increasing young Wausau. 
It became necessary at times for the mayor to check aldermanic extravagance, 
which he did without fear or favor. An ordinance was passed granting an 
exclusive franchise for an electric power and lighting plant, which he vetoed, 
and in which he was sustained on reconsideration of the ordinance. 

About that time the city had begun to attract the attention of the state and 
the state turner festival was held here, which brought five hundred active 
turners and their friends to ^^'ausau. This was the first of the large gather- 
ings of societies, of which \\'ausau has had a good many since, and which 
have given the city a reputation throughout the state as a convention city 
second to none except Milwaukee. 

Mr. Mehl was elected county treasurer of Marathon county in 1898 and 
reelected in 1900, and at the end of his tenn of office the county board unan- 
imously passed a resolution, recommending his bookkeeping as a model of 
neatness and accuracy. After his retirement from office he made a trip to 
his old home in Germany for his health and returned restored in strength and 
with a greater love for Wausau, if such a thing were possible, than ever before. 


When the National German AlHance was organized a few years ago 
throughout the United States as a means to keep aHve the knowledge of the 
German language in the native born Americans of Gennan descent, and also 
to guard against legislation to enforce virtues upon the individual which he 
can have or acquire only by force of character,, he was elected as president of 
the Wausau branch of the society. He has always been in sympathy with 
every move which has for its object liberality in thought and action and 
advancement in education. Broad minded, claiming for himself the right to 
think and act independently in political as well as social affairs, he is fair 
and candid enough to freely concede the same right to everybody else. 

Fomierly adhering to the Republican party, he has acted in later years 
entirely independent in political affairs, following only the dictates of his 
conscience, and throwing his influence to that side which in his judgment best 
promotes the interest of the great masses. He is well read in history and 
familiar with the works of the great German authors. He is a native of Rhen- 
ish Prussia and barely of age when the German-Franco war broke out; he 
served with his regiment throughout the whole of that epoch making war, 
emigrating to the United States the year after peace was declared 


E. C. Zimmennann succeeded Anton Mehl as mayor, having been elected in 
1888 and reelected in 1889, and while economy was still the watchword, this 
administration already began to look to a greater \\'ausau. The market 
square and site for a fire engine house was purchased at a very reasonable 
price; the engine house was built, the fire alarm system established and the 
\\'ashington school house built for high school use at a cost of $11,400, not 
including the furnishing. The unsatisfactory condition of the streets re- 
ceived attention and the question of sewerage was taken up, a plan adopted 
and a contract let for laying sewers on Second and Third streets from Foj-est 
street to Franklin; on Fourth street from Forest to Mclndoe street; on 
Franklin street from Seventh street west to the Wisconsin river; on Warren 
and :\IcIndoe streets from Sixth to Fourth street, and on Grant street from 
Seventh street to Fourth street. The work of constructing the sewer system 
was left to the incoming administration, but the outgoing one had taken care 
to provide the means. The city was financially on the high road of pros- 
perity, there being but $8,000 debts outside the water works bonds, which 
debt of $8,000 was payable in four years at the rate of $2,000 each year. 
That debt was contracted to obtain the money for the building of the Wash- 


ington high schcMDl, and the new administration was not hampered for funds 
when it took charge after Mr. Zimmermann's terms had expired. 

The two years of his administration were prosperous years for Wausau. 
The saw mills and factories were in full operation, and a larger number of 
men were employed than ever before. Many new business houses were 
erected in these two years, notably on Third street. 

The city steadily increased in population and a large number of resi- 
dences were built, mainly on the north and west side. This increase in busi- 
ness and population was the effect of the extension of the Chicago & North- 
western Railroad to Wausau, which opened a larger market for the products 
of the northern forests, gave better railroad connections and facilities, and 
consequently increased the manufacture of lumber and other products. An- 
other measure which was a large factor in the increase of business in Wau- 
sau was the enlargement and extension of the boom northward for six 
miles. The dam at Brokaw was built by the Boom Company for the pur- 
pose of creating slack water above for the dividing of the logs, so as to 
be able to supply the steam mills on the banks of the river above the falls, 
which had been erected since 1879. The booming capacity after the year 
last mentioned was 150 million feet, which amount was sawed with little 
variations annually after 1881 up to and including 1890, after which the 
lumber output gradually decreased, while other manufactured products in- 

After 1880 there were the following large saw mills running, 
naming them in the order of their location above the falls : The Dunbar mill, 
the Leahy & Beebe mill, the R. P. Manson mill, the L. S. Cohn mill, later 
Stewart & Parcher mill, on the west shore, and the Wausau Lumber Com- 
pany mill below the mouth of Stiensfield creek. 

Mr. Zimmemiann's administration was remarkable also for the good order 
prevailing during his term of office, no crime of any magnitude having been 
committed during his two terms and the city otherwise enjoying peace, com- 
fort, and security in spite of the strong floating population. 

E. C. Zimmermann came from Eau Claire City in 1878, a very young 
man, and opened a fire insurance ofifice, which business he had followed in 
Eau Claire. Soon after his coming here he formed a partnership for 
carrying on the same business with H. L. Wheeler, who was in the same line. 
Before he was elected mayor he served two years as supervisor in the admin- 
istration of R. P. Manson, under whose guidance he proved an apt pupil, 
and his nomination and election were a fit recognition of his excellent services 
rendered to both city and county government. While serving as supervisor 


he was made chainnan of the county board, and in that position had occa- 
sion to show his capacity for presiding over a large deliberate body of men 
and dispatching public business. Unlike his predecessors he was not a 
businessman engaging a large number of workinginen, nor a merchant doing 
business on a large capital, and his election was due to his merits as a public 
man only. Like all his predecessors, he was glad when his term expired, 
giving his whole time to his insurance business, when, knowing his capacity 
for business and integrity, as well as his large and favorable acquaintance 
in city and county, the Marathon County Bank, successor to the Bank of 
the Interior, the oldest banking institution in Wausau, offered him the place 
of cashier of the bank, which offer he accepted and which place he still holds. 
Having retired from public life for fourteen years, he was again called 
upon to take the reins as mayor of Wausau, in 1904. 


Previous to his election as mayor in 1890, Mr. Gustav Mueller held 
no public office whatever. While he took interest enough in politics to 
cast his vote regularly at every recurring election and sometimes even at 
a caucus, he was rather averse to office holding and preferred the freedom 
of private life. His nomination was a surprise to him, and it took some 
persuasion to make him stand as a candidate. Nevertheless municipal affairs 
were no sealed book to him, because he was a studious reader and close 
obser\'er as well, though he preferred the reading of the "Scientific Ameri- 
can" to the congressional record or political speeches. He applied himself 
to his task as executive with the enthusiastic vigor which the constantly 
growing demands of the city demanded, and took good care to secure for 
the city a fair return for all money expended. 

The water works system was largely extended, and the work of laying 
a sewer system, contracted for by the outgoing administration, was accom- 
plished. This was the first main sewer, running from the foot of Third 
street to Franklin street and emptying in the river at the foot of that street. 
This was no small drain on the finances of the city, but it was done without 
borrowing. The city was kept uncommonly clean, which was much to the 
credit of the mayor, considering that there was not a single paved or mac- 
adamized block in existence, and all drainage was surface drainage over 
muddy or sandy streets. The steel bridge spanning the slough to the Chi- 
cago & Northwestern Railway depot was contracted, and the money for its 
payment was in the treasury before the construction work was begun. The 


administration of Mr. Mueller left no debts nor unpaid bills to its successor, 
but a well filled treasury, having over $12,000 in cash in the general fund. 

In the year 1890 Wausau harbored more people for three or four days 
than it ever did before or since. In that year the opening of the water 
resen-e lands, so-called, for entry at the United States land office at Wausau, 
which was to take place on December 20th, at 9 o'clock A. M., and which 
event was heralded throughout the United States, brought many thousand 
people here, willing to secure a good quarter section of land under the 
homestead law for $14.00. There were men from the East, South, and 
North, and some even from the West as far as the Missouri river. For this 
particular occasion the land office was held in the northwest corner of the 
old court house, and applicants had to stand outside and hand their applica- 
tions in, one after another through the window. In the afternoon of the 
i8th day of December a long line of applicants had formed from the window 
clear to Fourth street, and thousands of others wanted their places. It 
was an exciting time. The hotels and boarding houses were unable to pro- 
vide room or beds for the multitude and the saloons were kept open and 
people slept on benches and chairs and on the floor. But these strangers 
behaved admirably, in spite of highly colored sensational dispatches sent 
to Chicago dailies predicting all sorts of riot and even bloodshed. There 
were only a few unifomied police officers, and about a score of special offi- 
cers were appointed. These officers were selected with care, for their good 
sense and cool temper, and they preserved excellent order. Xo into.xicated 
persons were seen on the streets, no fights or altercations occurred, and not 
a single arrest was made. For the sake of security, however, and at the 
recjuest of the citizens, the mayor called on the militia to do police duty on 
the morning of the 20th; the militia promptly responded, and the day so 
much dreaded by some timid people passed off as if nothing unusual was 
transpiring. When the thousands who found no place in the line saw that 
at best not more than sixty applications could be received and disposed of on 
the first day, and many less in the days to come, and when they learned that 
about one thousand applications would take all the land, and that only a 
small part had desirable timber on it and was nearly entirely unsuitable for 
fanning purposes, they took the trains and left faster than they had come, 
and on Sunday, the 21st of December, the largest part of them had left; 
only those remained here who had been in the line. 

Gustav Mueller came to Wausau in 1867, without any friends or rela- 
tives here, a young man of twenty years of age. He was educated for the 
profession of teaching at home, which in the old country includes instruc- 
tion in music, to which art he is still greatly devoted. 


Coming to \\'ausau. he was employed in the store of August Kickbusch, 
and later in the store of Otto Sigrist, successor to Hemian Miller. While 
in the employ of August Kickbusch he and another clerk in that store, Charles 
Quandt, became fast friends, and in 1870 they fomied a partnership and 
opened a shoe store in Wausau on Third street, which at that time had 
become the principal business street. This partnership existed until the 
death of his partner, who was succeeded in the business by, his widow. 

In his official position as mayor Gustav Mueller was wholly unselfish 
and patriotic, having no axes to grind, no portion of the city to favor at the 
expense of the other. 

Soon after his coming to Wausau, he became a leader in German circles, 
taking a prominent part in their social affairs, and has been repeatedly and 
justly honored by being put at the head of the best and longest established 
Gennan societies. 

The United States census of 1890 gives the population of Wausau as 
9.253, a gain of over 100 per cent since 1880. 


With the election of Mr. R. E. Parcher as mayor in 1891, and his 
reelection in 1892 and 1893, there was inaugurated a new era, a new munic- 
ipal policy in ^^'ausau. The establishment of water works and sewers had 
brought many people to Wausau, who remained here after these works were 
in the main completed, but the mills and factories did not keep pace with 
the increased supply of men willing to work and depending upon their labor 
for their support. More factories, even with municipal aid, became the 
war cry. Mr. Parcher had been for a generation in business as merchant, 
lumberman, real estate man, manager of the Wausau boom, and he was. 
heart and soul in this new movement. Some factories were established with 
slight municipal aid, which are doing a large business still, employing hun- 
dreds of men. Only one, and that the one in which the city took a large 
amount of stock, voting aid directly, and which started up as a chair fac- 
tory, proved a failure. But the loss which the city suffered by the deprecia- 
tion of its stock was largely compensated for by the factory going into pri- 
vate hands and being operated and known as Curtis' factory No. 2, which 
employs more men and pays out more money in wages than was ever thought 
the chair factory would. 

During the three years of Mr. Parcher's mayoralty, there were estab- 
lished besides the chair factory, the Wausau Novelty Works, the \\'ausau 


Box Factory, two excelsior mills, one quartz mill, and one veneer mill, the 
latter being one of the largest of its kind in the United States, all of which 
are in operation, and others have come since. Some of those first established 
received small aid in cash, others by a grant of the factory site, and as these 
works prospered, new ones came without any aid. The building of resi- 
dences followed the activity of the mills and factories, and the city opened 
up new streets in all directions. The high bridge (so called because it crosses 
over the railroad track), connecting the island directly with Scott street, 
was erected, which induced the building of business blocks on Scott and north 
of Scott on Third street; water mains and the sewer system were extended, 
and the last work done was the letting of a contract for paving Third street 
with cedar blocks, which was the first pavement in Wausau, but this work 
itself was commenced under a new administration. 

It was the standing complaint of Wausau people that mill sites along the 
Wisconsin river, which were in demand soon after the St. Paul railroad 
reached Wausau, were held at exorbitant prices by the non-resident owner, 
Andrew Warren, and that his grossly exacting demands prevented capitalists 
from locating here, who located and built establishments in Merrill. There 
is no doubt but that some very desirable establishments were lost to Wausau 
because of unreasonable high prices for sites, to the detriment of the city as 
well as to the land owner himself. When Mr. Parcher was mayor a chance 
presented itself to the city to buy lot i, sections 24, 29, 7, containing 57 
acres, and lot i, sections 21,, 29, 7, containing about 20 acres, for the price 
of $1,200, and with the keen foresight which was ever characteristic of him, 
he urged the city to make the purchase and keep the land for factory sites, 
to .be given away to bona fide industrial establishments. Some of it was 
given away while Mr. Parcher was mayor, and some since, but the city still 
owns about 55 acres and its value has increased tenfold. These lots offer a 
splendid location for anchoring of a natatorium in the Wisconsin river. 

R. E. Parcher was a native of the Green Mountain state: he came to 
Wausau in 1858, and, like all pioneers, worked his way up from the bot- 
tom, beginning life at Wausau as a clerk in a drug store, buying the stock 
of his principal the following year and adding a stock of general merchan- 
dise, soon becoming one of the leading merchants in Wausau. Like all other 
business men, he engaged in logging and lumbering. When the Wausau 
Boom Company was organized in 1874, he became the president of the cor- 
poration, and the extension and enlargement of the Wausau Boom upon 
which so much depended for the future growth of this city was carried 
out successfully under his supervision. 


At a public meeting held at the public library the 14th day of Novem- 
ber, 191 1, addresses were made as to his worth as a citizen, as a friend and 
public officer by his old friends; one of them. Judge Marchetti, said, in part: 

"His name and means were connected with nearly every business venture 
since that time (1874) ; they either had what was often the case, his finan- 
cial assistance, or at least his friendly support. Wherever you look you 
will find evidences of his activity in nearly every branch of industry. His 
influence in business extended far beyond the limits of Wausau and Mara- 
thon county. Like all pioneers he commenced with meager means ; but his 
integrity brought him credit which he never misused, but he was not afraid 
to lend to men starting in business when their industry, ability, and honesty 
merited his confidence. 

"He was charitable, but when he gave, he gave as a gentleman in silence, 
without ostentation; he was neighborly and accommodating, never jealous 
of the success of others, too broad minded to pennit the spirit of envy to 
darken his soul. 

"I have said that he was charitable and intended to honor his memory 
by confining myself to the simple statement of fact in accordance with his 
well known aversion of having his own acts on this field talked about ; but 
he made one gift which came so unexpectedly in aid of a very deserving 
institution at a most opportune time, that it once became a matter of general 
but grateful notoriety, and not to mention it would seem like a studied effort 
on my part to belittle its importance from more than one point of view. 

"I refer to his gift of $5,000 to the St. ]Mary's hospital of this city. 
What institution could be more worthy of his liberality? Conducted by the 
Sisters of Mercy who have voluntarily taken upon themselves the vow of 
poverty, whose life is devoted to the serA'ice of those upon w-hom sickness 
has laid its paralyzing hand, where is there a place more worthy of human 
and and sympathy? 

"He well knew that the sisterhood derives no personal benefit from his 
gift; that they in their self-chosen poverty have no personal needs; that 
they perform their unremitting toil in obedience to Him, who said, 'What- 
ever ye do unto the humblest or lowest among ye, ye have done unto me :' 
he knew that the gift so made to them in name, was made to suffering 
humanity, and so it was intended. 

"I feel at liberty to mention it, too, because I know that the sisters are 
barred from their presence here by the rules of their order, as otherwise they 
would be glad to express here in some form their pious remembrance of 
R. E. Parcher in behalf of the poor and friendless whose trustees they are. 


but they with a grateful heart will never forget his kindness and timely help, 
which enabled them without limiting their field of labor, to continue in their 
mission of ministering to the sick and afflicted, and failing to restore 
health, with tender hands comfort the dying in their physical suffering and 
bring hope and consolation to the despairing in spirit in their last hours on 

"The making of this gift is convincing proof of Mr. Parcher's con- 
sciousness of, and performance of the obligation which rests upon wealth 
to make good and proper use of the opportunities which wealth carries in 
its train. Wealth brings noble opportunities, and competence is a proper 
object of pursuit; but wealth and competence may be bought at too high a 
price. W.ealth has no moral attribute. It is not money, but the love of 
money, which is the root of all evil. It is the relation between wealth and 
the mind and the character of the possessor, which is the essential thing, 
and to R. E. Parcher's honor it must be said that he understood and acted 
in accordance with this great truth in life." 

After the expiration of his last term as mayor, R. E. Parcher held no 
other office; in fact, his whole official life was limited to one year as post- 
master of Wausau from April, 1868, to June, 1869, a one-year term as 
assessor, and three years as mayor, after which time he kept busy in his 
various occupations as director in the First National Bank of Wausau, and 
other corporations, and spent most of his leisure hours attending to his 
farms on the north boundary line of the city, one on each side of the river 
bank. He died December 4, 1907. 

With Mr. Parcher closes the list of the pioneer mayors of Wausau until 
1 91 2, when John Ringle was chosen again. Those that were chosen after him 
for that position belong to the second generation, and as the city was planned 
by broad minded, noble hearted pioneers, who blazed the path for the Wau- 
sau of the present and the future, so does Mr. Parcher worthily close the 
list of its mayors as one who has greatly advanced the city over the destiny 
of which he presided for three years, and as one who is entitled to and 
received the plaudits of its citizens for the integrity and fidelity with which 
he labored in the interest of the city. 


John W. Miller was elected mayor in 1894, and for one year he gave the 
city an unstinted full measure of excellent service. The previous adminis- 
tration had made extensive municipal improvements in anticipation of as 


rapid a growth of the city as it enjoyed in the period from 1880 to 1890, 
when it doubled its population, anticipating its revenues accordingly, but 
these expectations were not fully realized. 

When the new mayor assumed charge of city affairs, he deemed it to be 
his duty to take soundings and decide upon a safe and proper course. No 
man was better fitted by training and experience for this function. He had 
been city clerk for many years and knew as well as anybody the value of 
accurate information with reference to the finances of the city, with a view 
of meeting immediate demands upon the treasury, as well as the necessity 
of providing means for future contingencies. After a careful examination 
into the obligations which the city had assumed, it was found necessary to 
procure money to take up a floating debt of $30,000 and meet other liabili- 
ties incurred or to be incurred in the sum of $45,000, and a bond issue of 
$75,000 was determined upon as the best way of meeting all liabilities. 
These bonds were sold at par, bearing 5 per cent interest, and were payable 
in installments of $5,000, the last payment becoming due September 18, 

On the day of his installation the work of paving Third street with cedar 
blocks was commenced, and after it was finished, was so satisfactory that 
upon the urgent request of the property owners, a similar pavement was laid 
on Washington street from the city hall to Fifth street, and on Scott street 
from Main to Fourth street; school houses were enlarged and a new one 
built; the water supply, which had become insufficient in case of a large 
demand, was increased by laying a tunnel in the ground and connecting 
it with the supply well. More water mains were laid and some attention 
given to street work, as well as to the sewer system which was extended. 
In consequence of the appearance of smallpox, a brick building was erected 
on the southeast northeast 34-29-7, owned by the city, for an isolation hos- 
pital, which was used and did very good service during the prevalence of 
smallpox in 1901 and 1902. The city was kept uncommonly clean and much 
attention was given to the enforcement of the regulations intended to pre- 
serve public health. 

J. W. Miller came to Wausau in 1866. being then only sixteen years of 
age. He had received a good common school education in Germany : learned 
the shoemaker trade; then worked as clerk and bookkeeper, also as school 
teacher, until he was elected city clerk in 1878, which office he held for many 
years, and he served also as county clerk of ^Marathon county, and in every 
position he has acquitted himself with honor. In 1901 he was appointed by 
President McKinley to the office of register of the United States land office 


at Wausau, which position was made vacant by the resignation of Mr. Ed. 
Wheelock, and was reappointed in 1905 and 1909 — a deserved recognition 
of his abiHty arid integrity. When he took charge of this office he found a 
large amount of unfinished business which awaited disposition. He was per- 
fectly at home with the clerical work of the office, but unacquainted with the 
legal practice and the laws and their construction concerning United States 
land laws; but, with the determination and perseverance characteristic of 
him, he applied himself to the study of laws and the procedure, and in a 
short time all unfinished business was disposed of to the satisfaction of 
the department in Washington, which in nearly every instance confirmed the 
decision of the Wausau office, which was recognized as the model land 
office of Wisconsin. 

It is now the only United States land office in this state, the offices for- 
merly existing in Eau Claire and Ashland having been transferred and com- 
bined with the Wausau land office since his appointment to office. 

In addition to the offices mentioned he has been deputy county clerk 
during the incumbency of this office by Henry Miller. He was born in Ger- 
many, and has always taken great interest in Gemian societies and interested 
himself especially to assist the German emigrant with advice and instruction 
where the newcomer's ignorance of the knowledge of the language and laws 
of the country made such an advice much valuable. 

In th§ discharge of official duties as well as in private life, he was always 
afifable and courteous, freely giving all information requested of him, and 
the writer acknowledges his gratitude for courtesies extended to him in 
allowing examination of United States land office records and assistance 
rendered him in the gathering of information from the United States land 
office in the compilation of this book. 


H. E. McEachron, who was elected in 1895 and again in 1897, was the 
first mayor of Wausau who had the benefit of a college and university edu- 
cation. At the state university he became intimately acquainted with the 
late Charles V. Bardeen, later a justice of the supreme court, and with Alva 
Adams, thrice elected governor of Colorado, who were, like him, university 
students at that time. He had sen-ed as chairman of the finance committee 
during Mayor Miller's administration and negotiated the bond sale of $75,- 
000 previously referred to. Fully realizing the necessity of practicing econ- 
omy, he followed in the footsteps of the previous administration, trying to 


keep city expenses down without allowing public utilities or public property 
to suffer or depreciate for want of repairs. 

The abutments of the high bridge built in 1892 were found to be defec- 
tive and were promptly repaired; inquiries were made as to the cost and 
manner of different kinds of pavement and much useful information was 
gathered. The Brodie tannery was encouraged to locate here by giving it a 
five-acre tract for a site, which tannery is now owned and operated by the 
United States Leather Company, and is one of the important industries of 
Wausau. A franchise was granted to the Wausau Telephone Company — a 
sort of cooperative society — and its organization encouraged so far as the 
city could give it aid legally. This company has reduced telephone rates in 
Wausau from $4.00 per month for business 'phones and $3.00 per month 
for residence 'phones theretofore charged by the Wisconsin Telephone Com- 
pany, to $3.00 for business and $1.50 per month for residence 'phones. 

Soon after his election in 1897, he urged the constriKtion of the so-called 
Seventh street sewer, which was a new main sewer outlet, calculated not only 
to give sewerage to the middle and eastern portions of the city, but to effect- 
ually and permanently drain the low grounds which were fonnerly marsh, 
and a large part of which were subject to o\erflow at every spring freshet 
and after heavy rains. His recommendations were acted upon and the work 
accomplished at a cost of over $14,000. This expenditure was met by a 
bond issue of $12,000. bearing 5 per cent interest and payable $1,000 semi- 
annually. The last of these bonds were paid in 1903. The drainage of these 
low grounds was demanded in the interest of public health, and the fevers 
which were of frequent occurrence in that territory have entirely disappeared. 
It was also successful from a pecuniar)- point of view, because that region 
is now dotted with good residences, the revenues from which swell the tax 
income of this city. 

Mr. McEachron came to Wausau in 1882 knd acquired an interest in the 
Herchenbach flour mill by purchase, but soon bought his partners out, became 
sole owner until he organized a corporation. The large increase in the 
business of this mill since Mr. ]McEachron acquired it speaks volumes for 
his ability and integrity as a business man, and as he is diligent and accom- 
modating in his business affairs, so was he in his official capacity. A person 
of great intellect and fine address, he is nevertheless unassuming in his man- 
ner and enjoys great popularity. His fine residence on Franklin street is 
one of the salons of Wausau. where since the death of Mrs. McEachron, his 
daughter. Miss DeEtte. delights to do honors to a large circle of literary 
and music loving people of Wausau. 


1896 — The People's party, so called, which was in reality the reorganized 
Greenback party under a new name, with a somewhat changed political pro- 
gram, demanding the equal coinage of gold and silver as money, with govern- 
ment ownership of all public utilities added to the program, which under this 
new name and program achieved sudden success in Kansas and other western 
states in 1892 and the year immediately following, had its enthusiastic adher- 
ents in Wausau, more so probably than in any other city in Wisconsin. 


It held a convention, nominated E. J. Anderson as its candidate for 
mayor, and after a short but enthusiastic canvass, he was elected. With 
commendable frankness the new mayor acknowledged in his inaugural that 
he had no previous experience as legislator or executive officer, having in 
fact held no office whatever up to this time, but that he was desirous of doing 
his full duty and coveted the aid and counsel of the older and more expe^ 
rienced public officers. Still, his message, which by the way, is the lengthiest 
document of the kind on record in Wausau, shows him to be well informed 
on city affairs, and reveals him as a man of original ideas. He pointed to 
the unpleasant fact that the city treasury was empty and that unpaid obliga- 
tions to the tune of about $7,000 were to be met. As a remedy he urged 
spartan simplicity and economy, not failing to specify where, in his opinion, 
expenses could be reduced in order to relieve the tax payers and clear the 
way in the near future for the improvements of public streets, the establish- 
ment of a public library, and the purchase of land for a large public park. 
The vacuum in the treasury was so apparent, that the city council at its first 
meeting authorized a temporary loan of $6,000 to meet the demand, until the 
receipts from the water department on May ist and for litiuor licenses would 
become available. 

The mayor made a strong effort of adhering to his policy of economizing 
and in that he was fairly successful. No great works were undertaken, but 
the city emerged with a greatly reduced indebtedness towards the end and 
the treasury recovered somewhat from the chronic depletion which charac- 
terized it on the beginning of his administration. A new bridge was ordered 
to be built at an expense of $2,400 and plans prepared for the drainage of the 
eastern and southern portions of the city, which work was carried out under 
the succeeding administration. 

E. J. Anderson enlisted in the army when yet a boy and served his country 
in the great struggle for the integrity of the Union. He came to Wisconsin 



in 1873 from Michigan, arriving at Wausau and making this city his home, 
although he spent a large portion of his time working in Merrill or for Mer- 
rill parties. He took to cruising, timber hunting and estimating, and the relia- 
bility of his estimates caused the late Thomas B. Scott to take an interest in 
him, which was of great mutual benefit to both. Later on Anderson bought 
timber lands on his own account and has since been dealing in pine and farm- 
ing lands, and has acquired an enviable reputation for fair dealing. 


1898 — ^John Manson, who took the office of mayor in 1898, has the dis- 
tinction of being the first mayor born and educated in Wausau. His first 
message to the council was like the air in which he was brought up, breezy 
and pointed. The treasury was in the chronic state of exhaustion which had 
been its condition since 1892, excepting only the close of Mayor J. W. Mil- 
ler's administration, and the new mayor's first business was to find a remedy 
for the disease. The streets, with the exception of a few blocks on which 
cedar pavement was laid, were more like country roads than city streets, and 
their improvement became the question of the hour. 

This administration made the first step in that direction by purchasing a 
Kelly steam roller, which is still in service, for $3,300, payable one-half on 
January 15th, 1899, and the other half in June following. 

The erection of a larger high school building became necessary. Its cost 
was estimated at $50,000 — -and the board of education, while strongly in 
favor of letting the contract, desired, however, the city council to express its 
judgment upon the need of erecting it without delay, which was done and 
the building was authorized on the assurance that the Wausau banks would 
advance the money at 6 per cent. The loan had to be made from the banks, 
because no bonds could be issued as the bonded debt had already reached the 
5 per cent limitation on the assessed valuation. But, while the estimates for 
the schoolhouse called only for $50,000, the actual cost, including furniture, 
was $65,000. Messrs. Miller & Krause were given the contract for the build- 
ing, and the council borrowed $8,000 to make the first payment. 

A \ery good improvement made by this administration was the arching 
of the Stiensfield creek where the same crosses Third street, instead of build- 
ing a bridge over it. 

During the year the Spanish-American war broke out, and the part there- 
in played by the city of Wausau and its mayor will be referred to in a sep- 
erate chapter. 

AND representative: citizens SlV 

John Manson is in the insurance business and a gentleman wliose word 
can be relied upon. Born a pinery boy, he is broad-gauged, fair-minded, 
charitable where charity is proper, and he is not only well schooled, but had 
that deeper, wider education which comes to a man who is brought in con- 
tact with people in all stations in life. This makes him at home with people 
in the cottage as well as with refined society. He has been elected for years 
as supervisor of the third ward ; has been chairman of the county board, 
chairman of the committee on public property, and in that capacity was in- 
strumental in having the Marathon County Home and Hospital built, and 
the control of that institution put in the hands of the board of trustees of the 
insane asylum. He takes much interest in educational matters, has taken 
charge of a class of boy scouts and is deservedly popular generally. He is 
the oldest living son of R. P. Manson, one of the best remembered pioneers. 
It is safe to predict that his political career will not be closed with his tenii as 


1899 — Joseph Reiser was elected to succeed John Manson in 1899. In his 
first message he recommended among other things, drainage for the 7th, 8th 
and 9th wards, the funding of the debt created by the building of the high 
school house (which was to be ready for use at the commencement of the 
new term in September of this year) and economy in public expenditures. 

Additional real estate to the existing school sites was purchased, on de- 
ferred payments, however, no money being available for that purpose. The 
Elm street sewer was built at an expense of $3,400 — a stone crusher pur- 
chased for $900. In this year a good road convention was held under the 
supervision of General Harrison of he United States army, and a short piece 
of Gland avenue from the railroad cut south was macadamized by way of 
example, the city aiding the movement, securing the material and machinery. 
It was pronounced a success, and permanent street improvement of this kind 
became now the slogan. 

In conformity with this demand, Third street from Grant street north to 
the St. Paul Railroad crossing was macadamized, which pavement proved 
satisfactory and serviceable. Another contract was entered into for lighting 
the city by electric lamps at the price of $80 per arc light of 2,000 candle- 
power each, and 84 lights were installed, in consideration of which the city 
engine houses, pumping station and city hall were to be lit with incandescent 
lights without charge. This was precisely the same contract the city had 
previously made with the electric company. 


The hard times had now passed away, business began to flourish, work- 
ingmen could find emplojanent at hving wages, the city looked prosperous, 
and new buildings sprang up. This necessitated the extension of water 
service and sewer facilities; but the cost of the high school forbade any other 
great municipal undertaking at the time. 

Joseph Reiser was born in Michigan on a farm. As a boy of fourteen he 
learned the carpenter trade at Detroit, shifting for himself. In 1882 he 
entered the Ferris Institute at Detroit and graduated after a four years' 
course. He came into the Wisconsin valley in 1866, where he was put in 
charge of logging operations in Grand Rapids and Merrill. He came to 
Wausau in 1891. when he became a partner, or rather stockholder, in the 
Werheim Manufacturing Company, which at that time was one of the leading 
industries of the city. After some years he sold his stock in the concern and 
became salesman for some large lumber concerns, and at present is now 
engaged in that capacity by the B. Heinemann Lumber Company, with head- 
quarters at Madison. He served four years as alderman and supervisor 
before his election as mayor, and for one term as trustee of the Marathon 
County Asylum. 


V. A. Alderson was elected as mayor in 1900. He had been in public 
service before, having been a member of the city council for several terms, 
member of the county board and also of the police and fire commission. He 
was known to be an expert accountant, and in his inaugural he gave a de- 
tailed and exhaustive treatment of the finances of the municipality, itemizing 
the public debt, and also an estimate of the probable expenses for the ensuing 
year. The treasury was in the same anaemic condition it had been, already 
referred to, with the debt piling up higher from year to year. The mayor 
struggled to the best of his ability to change this condition of things, and it 
was with that end in view that he gave the city council a resume of its finan- 
cial obligations. The total net debt had now reached the sum of $195,000, 
of which $50,000 was drawing interest at 6 per cent. Under his direction 
and after earnest solicitation, steps were taken which resulted in making a 
loan from the state of $45,000 at 3>4 per cent, payable in annual installments 
of $2,500, with which the notes held by the banks for money advanced on 
the high school house building were taken up. The debt had reached tlie 
highest figure, and it was time to think of paying up. 

A contract was let for macadamizing Grand avenue from the railroad 
cut on the south to the intersection of Forest street on the north at a price 


of somewhat over $3,000 for a 20-foot macadam. On account of tlie un- 
usual wet autumn season of that year, it was not finished until the following 
spring. It proved unsatisfactory after being finished, and people lost con- 
fidence in having such work done by contract. A bridge was built to Mclndoe 
Island, to Barker & Stewart's mill, at a cost of $1,030, and Seventh street 
opened from Franklin to Grant street at a cost of $2,200. The extension of 
this street became necessary to enable children attending the high school to 
reach it without going six blocks out of their way. This measure had been 
pending in the council for over a year, and its accomplishment was much 
to the credit of the administration. 

Mr. Alderson was born near Toronto, Canada ; he came to Wausau in 
1869; his first engagement was as bookkeeper in the bank of Silverthorn & 
Plumer, in which capacity he remained for several years. In 1877 he ac- 
quired an interest in the Thayer & Corey flour mill, which property later came 
in the ownership of H. E. McEachron, Mr. Alderson selling his interest 
therein in 1880. Since that time he has made insurance and real estate a 
specialty, doing some lumbering at times. By strict attention to all matters 
entrusted to him and reliability, he has built up a large business in that line 
and a high reputation. He has organized the V. A. Alderson Investment 
Company, and is secretary of the Wausau Street Railroad Company. He 
was married to Miss Jesse Corey, whose father was one of the pioneers, 
coming to Wausau in 1846, and who was one of the original owners of the 
first flour mill in Wausau. 

According to the United States census, the population of Wausau was 
12,354 in 1900, a gain of 3.101 over i8go, not near as much as from 1880 
to 1890. 


1901-1904 — Louis Marchetti was elected mayor in 1901. Up to this 
time the city was governed by a special 'charter which was subject to amend- 
ment by every state legislature, and which was amended from time to time, 
making its government an experimental one from year to year, without any 

Under the special charter, all city officers from the mayor down were 
elected annually, with the accompanying frequent changes of officers. Under 
this practice it was practically impossible for one administration to map out 
a program extending over one year and adhere to it. To take future needs 
in consideration was out of question in providing for the present. To rem- 
edy this evil, the general charter was adopted under which the city is gov- 


emed now, which makes the terms of all officers two years under a charter 
which can be understood, and which is not liable to the changing whims of 
legislators, because a change affects every city governed by it, which is a 
guarantee that no changes can lightly be made, or made without a full and 
due consideration of the desirability and need for the change. To govern 
a city of ten thousand and more, is a large business, because it includes in its 
operation not only its own municipal property, but affects more or less everj' 
private business, and as no private business would possibly prosper with an 
annual change of its manager, no more can a public business prosper under 
such conditions. The general charter went into effect in the spring of 1902, 
when the mayor was reelected, this time for two years, and so were all other 
officers elected at this time. 

His predecessor had given more attention to the fiscal affairs of the city 
than most of former mayors and administrations, and insisted that the sum 
of $5,000 annually levied as a sinking fund to be applied in payment of the 
bonds issued for the payment of the water works, was to be kept intact for 
the purposes for which it was levied. 

That tax had been raised ever since the bonds were issued and would 
have been sufficient to pay the whole bond issue had it been preserved, but it 
was not, and was used for other purposes, because it could not be directly 
applied in payment from year to year. When the bonds became due, only 
the sum of $35,000 was in the fund instead of $90,000 — all of which had 
been accumulated in the last three administrations of Alderson, Alarchetti 
and Zimmermann. 

When the new administration went into office in 190 1. there was more 
than the usual amount of work to do. 

The chief of police tendered voluntarily his resignation, but at the request 
of the mayor remained in service until his place could be filled. After a care- 
ful review of all available timber, he selected for this important position 'Sir. 
Thomas Malone, an ex-sheriff of Marathon county, who had made an envia- 
ble record while in that office. He has been chief of police ever since, and 
is universally respected as an efficient, painstaking, clear-headed officer, 
prompt in the discharge of his duties, firm but quiet, and the smell of corrup- 
tion never touched his garments. 

The heavy late rains in the previous fall immediately before the ground 
froze, had washed out the roads, especially those leading over the east hills 
in the city, and north out from Wausau, making them impassable for heavy 
traffic. Immediate repairs had to be made, and they were made with a view 
of making them permanent if the word permanency can be applied to high- 


ways. The condition of the city is summed up in the last message of the 
mayor to the council, from which is quoted in part : 


"On the 1st day of April, 1901. the regular funded interest-bearing debt 
of the city was $190,000, and $10,000 assumed for school puri>oses, making 
a gross total debt of $200,000, from which must be deducted the sum of 
$22,500 cash in the treasury applicable to the payment of this debt, leaving 
a net debt of $177,500. On the first day of April, 1904, the debt of the city 
was, and now is $181,200, from which must be deducted the sum of $35,000 
cash on hand applicable to the payinent of this debt, leaving a net indebtedness 
of $146,200, showing a reduction of the liabilities of the city in the amount 
of $31,500 since April i, 1901. Aside from this amount of $35,000 in the 
sinking fund and bond fund, there is in the treasury the sum of $10,000, as 
a special bridge fund to apply in part payment of the contract for the new 
bridge across the Wisconsin river. 


"On the 1st day of April, 1901, there was in the general fund the sum of 
$5,602.86, against which orders had been issued to the amount of $5,164.76, 
leaving a balance of $438.10 in the treasury to the incoming administration. 
There became due during the summer of 1901 the sum of $1,100 and the 
sum of $191 on the unfinished contract of Bellis & Co. for the macadamizing 
done by this company on Grand avenue and Forest street, the completion 
of which contract having been delayed because of the wet fall season of 
1900. The general fund is in a satisfactory condition at the present time. 
After allowing and paying all current expenses of the city up to April 15, 
1904, including salaries of ofificers, and including the payment of labor for 
street cleaning up to April 9th, 1904, the general fund was overdrawn to 
the amount of $1,586.87, which, however, is more than offset by the amount 
of $3,000 paid out during the winter for rock to be used for macadam pur- 
poses, which can and will be used during the working season of 1904. There 
are no unpaid bills against the city, except the salaries of officers since April 
15th and a small amount for street cleaning since April 9th, 1904. On the 
first day of next May there becomes due to the city the sum of $10,000, or 


a little more, for water rentals, and on July ist next the sum of $12,500, or 
a little more for licenses, and on the ist of November there will be due again 
from water rentals the sum of $10,000, all of which belongs to the general 

"While the city debt has been decreased at about the rate of $10,000 per 
annum on an average, needed improvements were not neglected, as is shown 
by the amount of money expended in improvements during the same term, 
to wit: On Lincoln School, $30,000; on bridges, $3,000; on machinery for 
rock crusher, $2,800; for city hall site, $4,500. Besides this, y/2 miles of 
streets were macadamized and more than the usual work of grading and 
opening of streets was done. The water works were extended so that the 
income from the same was $19,913.54 for the year ending May ist, 1904, 
an increase of $4,247.42 over 1901 ; the sewer system was increased by about 
3^ miles of pipes, with three new outlets to the river." 

A ten-acre lot was given to the Marathon County Granite Company, 
which located its works thereon, removing the same from Heights, in this 
county, which has since become one of the leading industries of Wausau. 

With a view of raising the efificiency of the police department, the mayor 
soon after coming into office, drew up "Rules for the Government of the 
Police Force," printed and had them bound in neat book form with leather 
cover to be carried by each police officer. Besides the rules, it contained a 
statement of "Advice to Young Policemen," and also such ordinances the 
enforcement of which depends more particularly upon the police department, 
and the police and fire commission notified the police force that they, the 
commissioners, would be governed by these rules and expected every police 
officer to yield prompt obedience to them. These rules have been in force 
ever since without cliange and have accomplished the purpose for which they 
were made. 

The condition of the waterworks was investigated for the first time 
and the cause discovered for the unsatisfactory supply, but as a remedy 
could not be immediately agreed upon, the mayor undertook to cleanse the 
pipe system of the plants growing therein, by a thorough and energetic flush- 
ing of the whole system, continuously kept up under his own personal direc- 
tion, supervision and obsen-ation, which while it could not remove the cause, 
diminished the growth of, and effect of it, the Xenotrix, the only plant which 
can grow in water without some light. All this was accomplished without 
raising taxes, if anything rather reducing them. 



1904 — The last three years had been prosperous ones for business as well 
as for the municipality. The street work done in the last three years had 
given the city a fine, clean appearance. The macadamizing was done directly 
by the city, not by contractors; the costs were divided between city and 
property holders, the city paying one-half, the property holder on each side 
of the street one-quarter. This sort of pavement became very popular be- 
cause under a good management, the costs were low, and there were petitions 
-from freeholders for that sort of pavement, to keep up the work from year 
to year. 

As much and more in the line of improvements was expected from the 
next administration, and as much of the success of the city government 
depends upon the mayor as its executive head, E. C. Zimmermann was urged 
to become a candidate, and after much hesitation, only yielding to the im- 
portunities of his many friends, he consented to comply with their wishes, 
and was elected mayor. 

Under his administration the work of improvements begun was faithfully 
continued. Nearly four miles of streets were macadamized, the steel bridge 
connecting first and seventh wards, costing $20,000, was completed, and a 
roadway built from the bridge to Grand avenue. A system of municipal 
street sprinkling was inaugurated ; Stiensfield creek was put under ground, 
the Leahy & Beebe bridge repaired, the waterworks system extended where 
it was needed, a schoolhouse site purchased in the southwestern part for 
$2,000 and a municipal wiring system for lighting the streets installed. 

The successful carrying on of municipal work directly by the munici- 
pality in street work, sprinkling, cleaning and ownership of the waterworks, 
created a desire for a municipal street lighting plant, and as the city was in 
a healthy financial condition the matter was carefully investigated. A dis- 
tinguished electrical engineer. Mr. Jacob Klos, of Milwaukee, worked out 
a complete plan for the installation of the plant, to be operated in connection 
with the pumping station of the waterworks and cost of lines and costs of 
operation, complete and reliable in estimates in every particular. The Elec- 
tric Light Company then submitted two propositions, namely : 

1. To light the city at a certain fixed price per lamp. 

2. In case the city should prefer to erect its system of poles, wires and 
lamps, the company to furnish the electrical current for 2 3/10 cents per 
K. W. After a careful examination of the price submitted and an accurate 
estimate of the costs of generating the current, Mr. Jacob Klos gave it as his 


opinion, based upon his experience and knowledge, that the electric current 
could not be generated at so low a cost by the city, from engines operated 
by fuel under the most favorable circumstances. The city then accepted the 
second proposition, erected its pole and wire line at a cost of $12,000, in- 
cluding 125 lamps of the newest and best pattern. The costs of the lights 
averaged somewhat less than $35.00 per light. 

The erection of this pole line for municipal lighting was an excellent 
move. It secured to the city cheap lighting. If the corporation engaged in 
lighting, would not be willing to sell the current to the city at reasonable 
rates after the expiration of a contract, it would take but a short time to 
set up the machinery for generating the current. The city-owned pole and 
wire line is a standing notice and warning to the Electric Lighting Company 
to furnish the current at a fair price. It has done so and will continue to do 
so, as it is in its interest, being able to generate the electric current by its 
water power cheaper than the city can by using fuel, even though the munic- 
ipal plant should be operated with the same economy and intelligence, hav- 
ing due regard to the continual advancements made in electric lighting, which 
it must be confessed, however, is not always the case. 

At the beginning of the year 1904 the city had $35,000 in the sinking 
fund applicable to the payment of the debt of $90,000 for waterworks. It 
was thought advisable, and very properly so, to make a new loan of $125,000 
to take up the water bonds, and keep the balance, together with the $35,000 
in the sinking fund to pay for the expenses of putting Stiensfield's creek 
under ground, to provide the northeast part of the city with sewerage, an 
extensive undertaking, and set aside a balance of $40,000 for the building 
of a new city hall, and an ordinance was passed to this effect, pro\iding that 
this fund of $40,000 could not be used for any other purpose. 

New bonds to that amount were issued and sold at a price making the 
net interest payable thereon 3.85 per cent, the lowest interest on bonds ever 
issued before or after. At the close of the administration of Mayor Zim- 
mermann the debt of the city was $194,000, but that included the smn of 
$40,000 borrowed for a city hall, which was on hand in the treasury, and 
no unpaid bills were outstanding to be settled by the incoming 

The administration of Mayor Zimmermann was very creditable to him. 
and his refusal to stand for reelection was much regretted. The city had 
made great strides forward in the last five years, had in fact become a modern 
city and presented an attractive appearance. It had spread out, new facto- 
ries employing high-priced labor had come in. and W'ausau merited the title 


of "The Pearl of the Wisconsin." The tax levy for the year 1904 for city 
purposes was $112,205.07; for the year 1905, $106,793.76. 


1906-1908 — M. H. Duncan was elected mayor in 1906. He had been 
in business for a good many years, conducting a harness shop; he was also 
engaged in farming in the town of Texas, interesting himself in the raising 
of blooded cattle, and some of his stock had been awarded first prizes. He 
was one of the most active members of the Marathon County Agricultural 
Society, and in cooperation with other stockraisers and farmers made the 
Marathon County Fair a great success in later years. Before his election as 
mayor, he was one of the executive officers of the Marathon County Agri- 
cultural Society, and its secretary for some years. At the time of his election 
as mayor it was a time of general prosperity and demands for civic improve- 
ments made themselves felt more and more. Under his administration there 
was laid a sewer on Grand avenue from the railroad cut south to the Stur- 
geon Eddy road, and west on this road to the Wisconsin river, making a new 
sewer outlet, which was badly needed. The laying of that sewer necessitated 
the remacadamizing of that portion of Grand avenue where the pavement 
had been torn up by the digging of the sewer. Franklin School was enlarged 
for which purpose bonds to the amount of $48,000 were issued; the water 
tower on East Hill was built and halfway up the hill a building was put up 
for the housing of an electrical engine to force the water from the main 
system up into the tower. A better water supply than the water from the 
tunnel made in 1895 was sought to be obtained by sinking thirty 6-inch drive 
wells in the ground near and around the pumping station, to the depth of 
one hundred and thirty-five feet. These wells furnished excellent water, 
but the supply was found to be wholly insufficient and the water from the 
tunnel dug in 1895 was still used, so that the sought for relief was not 

These drive wells, together with the erection of the water tower, which 
was built for the purpose of supplying people living on the hill with drinking 
water from the waterworks, and also for fire protection, and the further 
extension of the water mains were expensive works, and the $40,000 set 
aside for the building of a city hall was drawn upon and used for general 
purposes. Nearly four miles of street were macadamized, and these streets 
looking better than the first streets on which cedar pavement was laid, which 
by this time had become quite rotten, caused a demand for a better pavement 


on the main business streets, without, however, settling upon any particular 

With the close of the administration in the spring of 1908, the net debt 
of the city had risen to $220,000, and the city hall fund which had been 
expended for other purposes, was levied again by taxes. The tax levy for 
all city purposes for the year 1906 was $136,467.15; for the year 1907, 


1908- 1 91 2 — John F. Lamont was elected mayor in 1908 and reelected in 
1910. He had been county superintendent of schools of Marathon county 
from January i, 1895, to July i. 1905, having served for ten years and six 
months, when he declined to be a candidate for tlie office. 

At the time of his election to the office of county superintendent, he was 
a resident of the town of Hull, where his father had been one of the pioneers, 
having operated one of the first saw mills on the Wisconsin Central line, 
almost simultaneously with the building of the railroad to Colby, which he 
operated for many years. John F. Lamont took up his residence in Wausau 
after his election as superintendent, holding his office in the courthouse, and 
at the close of his term formed a copartnership with E. C. Kretlow in the 
real-estate and insurance business. 

The work of his administration in its main features may be summed up 
as follows : The purchase of another steam fire engine, giving the city two 
steam engines, besides the pressure from the waterworks to combat fire ; 
the erection of two fire stations, one on the northeast and one on the south- 
west end of the city, and a corresponding increase in the number of firemen 
and teams ; the building of the Grant School in the 6th ward at a cost of 
$65,000; the laying of a sewer from Franklin street on Seventh street into 
the Stiensfield creek sewer, and another sewer to drain Maple and Spruce 
streets and contiguous territory into Elm street sewer. A large concrete 
sewer was ordered to be built to drain the northwest side and put a creek 
under ground, having an outlet at the Leahy & Beebe bridge. The water- 
works system was greatly enlarged by the sinking of ten lo-inch drive wells 
135 feet deep for an additional water supply at the pumping station, which 
were connected with the existing thirty 6-inch drive wells, but the good 
eflfect from them is not yet realized, because the separate strong pump which 
was planned to be used to draw the water from these wells was not obtained, 
and the old pumps were used instead, which proved insufficient for that pur- 
pose, and i)ecause the pipes were not cleaned of the obnoxious growth of the 


Xenotrix, the plant growing in the pipes. Third street from Forest to Grant 
streets was paved with creosoted wood blocks, and Washington from Third 
to Fourth streets with brick. A 14-inch water main was laid through Canal 
street as far south as the railroad cut on Grand avenue and across the river, 
and as far. west as Fifth avenue, the object being to obtain a complete circu- 
lation of the water in the mains and increase the volume for fire protection. 
With this extension of water mains, the system can now supply a city of 
twenty-five thousand people. 

No steps were taken for the building of a city hall, except a plan was 
procured from Ryan & Gellecke, Milwaukee architects, and the money set 
aside for that purpose was drawn upon for other purposes. 

The market square on which the building was contemplated to be erected, 
-was first sold to the city for a nominal sum upon condition that it should 
be used as a market square, but in 1903, when the adjoining property was 
bought for a city hall site, the former grantors of the market square gave 
their permission to such a change of the use of the place. The additional 
property was purchased for a very reasonable sum upon condition that a 
city hall should be erected on the market square within ten years, and if not 
so erected, the grantors reserved the right to demand a reconveyance to them 
upon payment to the city of the purchase price. There were two houses on this 
property, which were sold by the city and removed a few years afterwards, 
and the real estate had meanwhile greatly increased in value. It was a cer- 
tainty that unless the city hall was built within the ten years stipulated, the 
original grantors or their representatives would demand a reconveyance, in 
which case the city would have to pay for the two houses sold, leaving but 
very little of any part of the purchase price due to the city. The ten year 
term was nearing its end, and instead of creating a larger fund by small 
levies which would be little felt if at all, as was the original plan, this fund 
had been used for other purposes. There was danger that the site would be 
lost to the city, and no other could be obtained except at an exorbitant price, 
or in an out of the way place, if a city hall would be built at all. 

To bring this matter to an issue, one Hans Weik, in his own behalf and 
for other taxpayers, brought suit against the city and obtained a temporary 
injunction restraining it from again using the fund except for the purpose 
for which it was levied. The city defended on the ground it might use it 
as it saw fit, but the supreme court of the state sustained the contention of the 
plaintiff, and from that time on the fund was kept intact.* 

* 14s Wis. 645. 


This judgment was rendered at the close of the year 1910, after the 
tax levy was made for that year. Nevertheless the city took no step towards 
building, but submitted the question whether or not to build, to a vote of the 
people in the spring election of 1912. 

The only ground ever urged against beginning building was, that there 
was not sufficient money on hand, yet there was no compunction against using 
it for other purposes, nor was that fund increased by one cent since the levy 
was first made, leaving a suspicion in the minds of many that there must be 
another motive for this procrastination. 

The cost of the drive wells together was somewhere near $60,000, much 
more than estimated by the engineer in charge, but in order to receive the 
full benefit of that system a new, stronger pump was planned at the same 
time, which was to be lowered about twelve feet below the old pumps, to 
obtain better suction. This engine was not set up, however, until the winter 
of 1913, when the unsatisfactory condition of the water service peremptorily 
demanded its installation. 


The question of installing a municipal lighting plant turned up again 
when, in 1911, the contract for furnishing the current to the city by the 
street railway expired. Mr. W. F. Lusk, a waterworks engineer, who was 
then supervising the sinking of the deep water wells, was requested to make 
an estimate of the costs of a plant, and gave it as his opinion that a plant 
could be installed and the current generated at the station for i cent per 
k. w.", which was i 3/10 cent less than what the city paid for the current 
furnished by the Electric Light Company. 

In the full confidence of this report the city desired to install their plant, 
but before it could do so, it had to make application to the State Commission 
of Public Utilities for a permit to do so, under Section 1797, M-74 Revised 
Statutes of Wisconsin, and prove to the satisfaction of that commission that 
public convenience and necessity required the installation of the plant. A 
hearing before the commission was had, the city relied on the evidence of 
their engineer, W. F. Lusk, to prove his contention that electricity could be 
generated by a plant owned by the city for a lesser price than the price it 
was paying. It is enough here to say, that the contention of the city or the 
statement of the costs as estimated by its consulting engineer, W. F. Lusk, 
was not proven, that the estimates were unreliable, and that the current was 


furnished to the city at a reasonable price. The state commission tlien 
refused to permit the city to engage in the hghting business. 

After the hearing the city did not make a new contract for hgliting, but 
received the current, and the Street Railroad Company which furnished the 
same, reduced the price charged, so that it now charges a fixed price of 
$2.10 for each arch light, and a corresponding rate for ornamental lights. 
A comparison of the cost of lighting the city with electricity with the cost 
in other cities, is much in favor of Wausau. 

With the close of the administration in the spring of 1912, the city's net 
interest-bearing debt in bonds and state debts was $255,000, and there was 
a large floating debt, which was taken up in 1913 by issuing $35,000 school 
bonds, and a debt created for the water system improvement, which with 
other expenses for the same purpose, mainly for the pump, was covered by 
the issue of $40,000 water bonds in October, 1912. 

The total tax levy for all city purposes for the year 1908 was $204,456.90, 
for the year 1909 it was $130,353.79, for 1910 it was $154,262.44, and for 
the year 191 1 it was $168,823.50. 


Towards the latter part of the year 191 1 there was much talk about the 
advantages of the commission form of governing cities. It had been first 
tried out in the city of Galveston after the great flood in that city in the 
year 1900 and had proved a blessing for that city, and some other cities, 
notably Des ]\Ioines, Iowa, followed that example. A law was enacted by 
the Legislature of Wisconsin in 1909, for the government of a city by a 
mayor and two commissioners, and amended by Chapter 387, Laws of 191 1, 
providing that upon petition duly filed the question, whether a city would 
prefer this form to the charter government, should be submitted to a vote 
of the people, the majority of the electors to decide the question which 
should then be binding as a law. A petition was duly filed in time and the 
question submitted to a vote prior in time to the annual charter election, 
to elect officers under the commission form, in case it should be adopted. 
It is an undeniable fact that many people favored the commission form, but 
there was also opposition, and no doubt some good grounds could be urged 
against it as well as for it. To be governed entirely by three men, who were 
the legislative as well as the executive power in their own person, is some- 
thing new in this country, to which people were not yet accustomed. Under 
the circumstances under which it was inaugurated in Galveston, there was 


everything in its favor. That city was ruined by the sea which swept over 
the city, carrying desolation and destruction in its wake. The city was 
nearly destroyed, and there was no time for hesitation, procrastination or 
even deliberation. Something had to be done, an almost absolute power had 
to be entrusted by the people to a centralized government, and the people 
were willing to submit without murmur to such a government in order to 
save themselves from ruination, which stared them in the face. An enlight- 
ened, just and absolute government can accomplish many things in short 
time, which a deliberative body cannot do — at least not in that short time. 
But history also teaches that an absolute government may become oppressive, 
or incompetent as well as imbecile, and many people were afraid to take 
suddenly a plunge in this sea of uncertainty. The German Alliance, an 
organization representing some Gemian societies, having taken a stand 
against the change, was invited to a public discussion of the merits and 
demerits of the commission form, and they chose John Ringle and Anton 
Mehl as their representatives. The other side was represented by W. H. 
Wilcox of Eau Claire, and A. C. Schmidt of Wausau. The debate was held 
in the Opera House, which was filled to its utmost capacity, and during the 
debate it became apparent that the opponents were in a large majority. 

At the election the people voted against commission form, as already 
indicated in the meeting at the Opera House, and John Ringle, who was one 
of the spokesmen against it, was chosen and prevailed upon to offer himself 
for mayor, his aid, Anton Mehl, having absolutely refused to be considered 
as a candidate. 

In the following election he was elected, receiving within three hundred 
votes as many as both the socialistic and independent candidates together. 
The other question which was submitted to the people was "Shall a new city 
hall be built?" 

As has already been mentioned, this question has been before the city 
council for the last six years, and to avoid any responsibility the outgoing 
administration left the matter to be decided by the people directly. When 
this was done in the council it was surmised that the proposition would be 
defeated, because it was made by an outspoken opponent of the project. A 
few courageous men, who saw the need for the building and the danger of 
losing the splendid site, signed and published an address, recommending the 
project to a favorable vote of the people, unless the opponents could show a 
better site for its location. No one replied to that address, for it was patent 
that no better location could be secured. The election was a surprise to the 
faint-hearted and the prejudiced ones. Every ward without exception voted 
in favor, and the proposition to build was carried by a majority of 800. 



1912 — John Ringle assumed the duties of mayor again in 1912, after an 
interval of twenty-seven years of his first temi in that ofiice. 

He held more important positions in public life for a generation or more 
than any other man in Marathon county. He came with his parents to Wau- 
sau in the year 1859, attended the Wausau school and two years at the 
Madison University. Returning from Madison, he was clerk in the office 
of the county clerks, B. Ringle and Jacob Paff, thus becoming early 
familiar with county affairs. He made the first abstract of titles to Mara- 
thon county lands, which he afterwards sold and which is now owned by 
the Wausau Law and Land Association as part of their complete abstract of 
titles; he then served six years as county clerk; then as member of assembly 
in the sessions of 1879-1880 and 1881, and again in the session of 1893. 
While in the assembly in 1879 he was instrumental in defeating the bill which 
had already passed the senate, to exempt the lands of the Wisconsin Central 
Railroad from taxation, to the great relief of the population of the western 
part of the county, and subsequently defeated the scheme for the division 
of the county. When county clerk he induced the city to purchase a forty- 
acre tract of county lands for $40, which is the forty-acre tract on which 
the isolated hospital is located, by which the city got a forty-acre tract which 
it still owns and which is a very valuable tract today for many purposes. 

He was elected to the senate in 1882 and mayor of Wausau in 1884. 
When the question, whether the city should own and operate a waterworks 
system was before the council in the early part of 1885, it was through his 
influence that the measure was carried through ; he was chairman of the 
board of supervisors when the board determined to build the present court- 
house, and he secured a reconsideration of the vote by which the project 
seemed defeated, and upon reconsideration of that vote secured favorable 
action. From 1893 to 1897 he served as postmaster of Wausau, and again 
as supervisor from 1901 to 1904, and for over thirty years as member of the 
school board. 

Since his last term as supervisor he had withdrawn from public life and 
gave his whole time to the carrying on of the business of the Ringle Brick 
Company, located at Ringle, on the Chicago & North Western Railroad, 
which furnishes nearly all the brick used in the city, but has an export trade 
too by rail. The agitation for the commission form of government brought 
him in prominence as an opponent, and made him the leader of the opposi- 
tion, which led to his election in 1912. He assumed the duties of the office 



with a detennination to bring order in the state of finances, which had become 
muddled. By a decisive vote the people had ordered the building of a new 
city hall, but with the advanced price of all building materials and labor since 
1906, it was plain that $40,000 would not pay for the same, and that more 
money must be provided. Wausau owns its waterworks system, does the 
sprinkling of streets, owns part of the lighting system, does the repairing 
and cleaning of streets and macadamizing directly by labor, without the 
intervention of contractors, thus carrying on a large municipal business, 
which needs ofifice rooms and vaults for officers and storage rooms. A city 
building to comport with the dignity of an advancing industrial and commer- 
cial city had to be erected, large enough at least for the next twenty-five years 
or more. 

. Then there was a large debt for school loans which had been carried 
by the Wausau banks for years, besides a debt created for the extension and 
enlargement of the pumping station of the waterworks, for the payment of 
which no provision had been made, neither by a loan nor a tax levy ; the debt 
was simply carried along from time to time. 

But the time had come to liquidate these debts, and there being no money 
in the treasury available for the payment, bond issues became necessary 
shortly after the new mayor had taken charge of the office. That of itself 
would have been sufficient to test the strength and capacity of any city gov- 
ernment: but to cap the climax, there occurred the flood in July, 1912, which 
destroyed bridges, washed out streets and roads, doing damage which it cost 
the city at least $30,000 to repair, and thus it was apparent that the adminis- 
tration was not resting on a bed of roses. 

In October, 191 2, bonds were issued in the amount following, for the pur- 
poses indicated by their names : 

Waterworks bonds, $40,000: bridge bonds, $20,000. A large tax levy 
was made to prevent a too large accumulation of interest-bearing debt, and 
to pay current expenses. The tax levy was felt all the heavier, because 
countv and state taxes had more than doubled in the last ten years, and were 
exceedingly high in 191 2. 

But the repairs had to be made, and no time was lost in making them. 
The Leahy & Beebe bridge was first restored, the abutment and east span of 
the high bridge finished, and in January, 1913, a higher and stronger steel 
bridge on the south (Stroller's) was opened in place of the one destroyed 
by the flood. 

The long-planned enlargement of the pumping station was finished and 
the new powerful pump installed during the winter of 1912-1913, and the 


people now look forward to a thorough cleaning of the pipe system as soon 
as the season pennits, and a good, clear and sparkling water supply as orig- 
inally furnished by the waterworks. 

To take up the debts incurred for school purposes, which had been a float- 
ing debt from three to five years (nobody seems to know exactly when the 
first deficit arose, which grew from year to year) another bond issue of 
$35,000 will be made April i, 1913. Besides these school bonds, there will 
be issued new bonds in the amount of $15,000 for a sewer to carry off the 
sewage and flood water after every heavy rain in the middle portion of the 
east side, which the Canal street sewer and outlet is insufficient to carry off, 
and city hall bonds to the amount of $25,000, when it is to be hoped that the 
whole debt of the city is funded, and an era of debt-paying may set in. 

After these new bonds issued, the city interest-bearing debt will approach 
$375,000, if it does not exceed that amount. 

The city tax levy for all city purposes in 1912 was $210,718.65. 

In trying to put the city back on bedrock financially. Mayor Ringle has 
a great task before him. If he succeeds and the first year of his administration 
gives the best hopes, it will be hailed as one of the greatest accomplishments 
of any administration. 

John Ringle has been a lifelong, consistent democrat politically; he was 
a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Cincinnati in 1880, and 
again to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago in 1892, and twice 
he was nominated by his party for the office of state treasurer and carried 
the forlorn hope of his party in the state. His official record is without a 
flaw and so is his private character. His long, successful official career is 
proof of the high estimate in which he was always held by the people of 
Marathon county and the confidence they have put in his character and 
ability, his first official position dating back to 1871, when he was elected 
county clerk. 


Mayor John Ringle 

City Council. 

First ward W. J. \\'eisbrod, Oscar Leubner 

Second ward Edw. Lemke, Fred Mohr 

Third ward E. E. Schulze, J. Wolf 

Fourth ward John Lull, Hugo Peters 


Fifth ward Henry Zillinann, A. V. Gearhart 

Sixth ward N. P. Morrow, Nath. Pierce 

Seventh ward Emil Flatter, Henry E. Lemke (died) 

Adolph Storch (appointed) 

Eighth ward Charles Holzmann, Edw. Rifleman 

Ninth ward Paul Steidmann, George Ronek 

Executive Officers. 

City Clerk Carl Adams 

City Treasurer Henry Juers 

■ City Comptroller H. Marquardt 

City Assessor George A. Stelz , 

Justices of the Peace. 

R. L. Lamer J. P. Jaeger 


John Eunson John Schmidt 

Officers Elected by the City Council. 

City Attorney F. P. Regner 

Commissioner of Health Dr. D. Sauerhering 

Poor Physjcian Dr. G. A. Thielke 

City Engineer Bert Gowan 

Street Commissioner Ole Smith 

Poor Commissioner F. E. Schneider 

The valuation of the city of Wausau according to the assessment of 


[Merchants" stock $ 1,068,283 

Logs and lumber stock 680,880 

Bank stock i ,004,587 

Automobiles 101,500 

Total personal property 3,200,308 

Total real estate 10,859,600 



The following is the amount of business transacted at this office in 1912, 
and comparing the amount of business in that year in the same branch with 
the business done in that office in the year 1897, shows the increase in the 
business of the postoffice, which is a fair index of the increase of the general 
business in the city of Wausau during the same space of time: 

Sales of stamps and stamped papers during the year 1912 $47,270.03 

During the year 1897 12,676.79 

Gain in fifteen years of $34,593.24 

Net proceeds of the office during the year 19 12 $25,262.24 

Net proceeds for 1897 3,608.88 

Increase of $21,653.36 

Number of registered letters and parcels in the year 1912 5-386 

Number in 1897 i ,084 

Number of domestic money orders in year 1912, 17,079, amount- 
ing to $115,275.03 

Number in 1897. 33^ international money orders, amounting to 8,892.17 
Number of domestic orders during 1912 was 11,430, amounting 

to $102,531.42 

Paid 76 international orders amounting to 3,167.87 

In 1912 received on deposit from other money order offices 

the sum of $85,574.00 

Two postal stations were established since 1897: Station No. i on April 
I, 1905, at 312 S. First avenue; and Station No. 2 on April 16, 1901, at 
1703 Sixth street. 

The number of officers and employes are: Postmaster, one assistant post- 
master, six regular clerks, nine city carriers, and one substitute city carrier, 
five regular rural carriers, and one substitute rural carrier. 

Wausau became an office of the first class on July i, 19 10. 

The postal savings bank .system was established in Wausau on September 
28, 191 1. 

Five rural routes start out from this office. 

The postmasters of Wausau postoffice since its establishment are as fol- 
lows : 


Office. Postmaster. Date of Appointment. 

Wausau, Wisconsin. Charles Shuter (established) May 4, 1850 

Edson Doolittle May 26, 1854 

Thomas Single July 14, 1854 

H. H. Lawrence May 14, 1857 

F. A. Hoffman April 15, 1861 

E. R. Chase January 7, 1862 

J. P. West April 2j, 1863 

Eli R. Chase May 8, 1865 

Robert E. Parcher April 10, 1868 

Theophilus Smith June 29, 1869 

Robert H, Johnson January 13, 1876 

Valentine Ringle ' June 15, 1885 

A. W. Young April 11, 1890 

John Ringle June 13. 1893 

Alfred \\\ Trevitt September 14, 1897-1913 


The Stevens Point land office was established by act of congress approved 
July 30, 1852 (Tenth United States Statutes, 25). Executive order of June 
19, 1872, directed the removal of the same from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 
to Wausau, Wisconsin. The office at Stevens Point was closed August 10, 
1872, and opened at Wausau, August 19, 1872. 

In the fall of 1893 the United States land office at Menasha was com- 
bined with this office, and later the Eau Claire and latest the Ashland United 
States land office, so that now the land office at Wausau is the only United 
States land office in this state. 

The following is a list of the registers and receivers of this office, with 
dates of their commission set opposite their names : 

Date of Commission. 

Abraham Brawley, register, temporary April 20, 1853 

Albert G. Ellis, receiver April 20, 1853 

Abraham Brawley, register May 9, 1854 

Albert G. Ellis, receiver May 9, 1854 

Hugh Brawley, register June 15, 1858 

Albert G. Ellis, receiver April 2-j. 1858 

Stephen H. Alban, register March 25, 1861 


Almanson Eaton, receiver March 25, 1861 

Stephen H. Alban, register June 5, 1865 

Almanson Eaton, receiver June 5, 1865 

Stephen H. Alban, register March 21. 1867 

Almanson Eaton, receiver March 21, 1867 

D. L. Ouaw, receiver December 27, 1871 

Stephen H. Alban, register December 27, 1871 

Stephen H. Alban, register January 1 1, 1876 

D. L. Ouaw, receiver, from 1876 to January 1 1, 1880 

Since the date of the removal of the United States land office the dates 
of the commission of these officers are not at hand, but the following is sub- 
stantially the correct term of service of its occupants : 

Stephen H. Alban, register, until 1883; Myron H. McCord, register, 
from 1883 until 1885; Stephen S, Thayer, register, from 1885 until 1889; 

E. B. Sanders, register, from 1889 to 1893; Louis Marchetti, register, from 
1893 to 1897; Ed. T. Wheelock, register, from 1897 to 1901 ; John W. Miller, 
from 1 90 1 to the present time. 

William Gallon, receiver, from 1881 to 1883 and resigned; E. B. Sanders, 
receiver, from 1883 to 1889; August Kickbusch, receiver, from 1889 to 1891 
and resigned; R. H. Johnson, receiver, from 1891 to 1893; E. B. Thayer, 
receiver, from 1893 ^^ 1^97; Henry McCrossen, receiver, from 1897 up to 
the present time. 


of the city of W'ausau belong to the municipality of Wausau. The contract 
for installing it was let in the winter of 1885, work thereon was begun in the 
spring, and it was completed in the fall of the same year. The machinery was 
put in a solid brick power house situated near the Wisconsin river on the north 
side of the city. It consists of four steel boilers in battery, two pumps, com- 
pound pressure Holly engines, capacity of each 3,000.000 gallons in twenty- 
four hours, and the water was pumped from a well thirty-five feet deep and 
forty feet in diameter. A big pipe was run from the pmnp into the river 
in order to obtain from it an inexhaustible supply of water in case of a con- 
flagration and about eleven miles of mains were put in the ground which 
were sufficient at that time to supply the whole city. The water furnished 
by the well was of the best quality, but the supply from the well was found 
to be insufficient in 1894. The city was financially cramped for money at 
that time, and the fact that good water had been found in ample quantity up 
to that time led the city government to believe that all the water obtained 


from underground at and near the place where the well was sunk to be the 
same. \\'ithout asking any advice they ordered a tunnel to be sunk in a 
northeasterly direction from the well to get another supply of water. At 
a depth of about fourteen feet or less a strong flow of water was struck, 
and by means of a large pipe conducted into the well; it furnished as much 
and more water as both pumps could draw out from the well, but its quality 
was different. After this water was used some years, it was discovered that 
the water supplied by the system deteriorated and pipes that were taken out, 
and especially the supply pipes, were found to be encrusted on the inside. 
In 1902 pieces of this pipe containing the crust were sent to Professor Smith 
of Beloit College, Wisconsin, for investigation. He discovered that the 
crust was due to the growth of a plant called Xenotrix, which is the only 
plant that can grow without sunlight and gets its food from iron dissolved 
in the water. The cause of the deterioration of the drinking supply having 
been now discovered it remained for the city to find the remedy. A newer 
and better supply of water was determined upon, and in 1907, thirty 6-inch 
drive wells were sunk at a depth of 135 feet which, however, did not furnish 
a sufficient supply, and some years later ten lo-inch drive wells at a depth 
of 135 feet were sunk which with the first thirty 6-inch wells were expected 
to furnish a bountiful supply of water for present needs and for years to 
come, but to obtain a continuous strong flow from these drive wells it became 
necessary to get a new pump set deeper in the ground to shorten suction. 
This new engine and pump is expected to be installed during this winter 
(1912-1913); it has a capacity of pumping fully as much and more as the 
two other pumps together. These deep drive wells contain but a very insig- 
nificant amount of iron in solution, insufficient to sustain the life of this 
plant which is expected to die for want of food. Nevertheless, that of itself 
will not cure the evil, but the plant which has grown in the system must 
be expelled before the water will retain its original purity and good taste. 
There is no doubt that this can be accomplished and will be accomplished in 
a short time, especially after the new powerful pump is established. There 
are 38 miles of water pipes in the ground, 260 fire hydrants, and 6 free 
drinking fountains. The watenvorks are now controlled by a water com- 
mission consisting of five members; the mayor being a member, ex-officio, 
the city council electing one of their members for a member of the commis- 
sion, and three others are elected by the council who must not be members 
of the council. The term of the mayor and the alderman is limited to two 
years, but the term of the other members having no other connection with 
the city government directly is three years. The present commissioners are : 


John Ringle, mayor ex-officio, term expires May, 19 14. 

Hugo Peters, aldemian, term expires May, 19 14. 

Charles E. Turner, tenn, three years; term expires October, 19 13. 

Albert J. Kraatz, term, three years; term expires October, 1914. 

G. A. Osswald, term, three years; term expires October, 1915. 

Employes: William C. Slosson, chief engineer; Charles C. Boerke, assist- 
ant engineer; William D. McGee, assistant engineer; Arthur W. Ehricke, 
Ole Olson, and Otto Knacker, firemen; William Schmidt, city tapper; Henry 
Gross, superintendent. 

A large amount of money has been spent since 1906, bringing the cost of 
the system all together up to more than three times its original cost, much 
of which was caused by the effort to free the plant from this obnoxious 


Up to the year 1869 there was no organized force nor any equipment to 
combat fire. Houses and stores or shops were standing scattered over the 
ground, and the burning of one did not immediately endanger the next one. 
Of course, buildings caught fire and were destroyed, as, for instance, the 
United States Hotel, so called, a large boarding house, standing on Second 
street between Washington and Jackson streets ; the Corey and Daniels shingle 
mill on the Corey lot south of the County square which burned in 1866 
with a lot of shingle bolts, but the flames did not reach the next buildings. 
The county was then still a forest with only small clearings and the vil- 
lage surrounded by large timber and trees where the wind had little chance 
to spread the flames, and so a fire was easily limited to the place where it 

Of course if a building caught fire it was doomed and little or nothing 
could be done to save it, as, for instance, when the United States Hotel 
burned in 1863, the flames spread so quickly that the lessee, S. Kronen- 
wetter, lost all his belongings, saving nothing^ but his life and his family. 
But as the village grew and houses began to grow up near to each other 
one burning building would set fire to the next, thereby increasing the danger 
as when in 1869 one building caught fire on Washington street and spread 
and destroyed three others and partially a fourth. This was an object lesson 
to teach the necessity of an equipment to fight fire. Wausau Fire Company 
No. I was organized working a hand engine, as mentioned in a former 
chapter. Later in 1880 a steam engine was purchased and a team of horses 
kept to run the engine out at an alarm, but a voluntary company still existed 


until 1885, when the waterworks were finished which were calculated to and 
did furnish water under pressure to put out fire, and a voluntary hose com- 
pany was organized to work at fires. This hose company served for several 
years until a full paid fire department was established in 1893. 

At the trial of the waterworks as to their power to throw water, the 
works forced ten i-inch streams high enough in the air over the tallest 
building in Wausau. The city engaged a few paid firemen who were in 
constant service at the fire station houses and a few half paid men whose 
duty it was to respond to every alarm. A chief of the fire department was 
appointed by the mayor, usually one who had served in the volunteer com- 
pany and was competent to take command over the paid and half paid fire- 
men at a fire. The chief was not required to be in attendance at the fire sta- 
tions except for practice, and his salary was m.erely nominal. 

The several chiefs of the fire department under this arrangement were : 
D. L. Plumer, F. \V. Kickbusch, August Lemke, J. C. Gebhard, and L. Bellis. 
In 1893 the fire department was fully organized with the chief staying at the 
station like other firemen. The first station house was the present fire sta- 
tion No. I on South Third street, and at about the same time fire station No. 
2 was established on Second avenue. 

Until the year 1908 there were these two station houses with the follow- 
ing number of men and equipment, to wit : 

The chief of the fire department and eleven firemen and three volunteers 
who received $10 per month each. The volunteers attended practices and 
responded to a fire alarm, but were not stationed at the station house; the 
equipment consisted of one Ahrend fire engine, three hose wagons, one hook 
and ladder truck, all . necessary hose, buckets, and fire extinguishers and 
seven horses. 

The chiefs since the full quota of paid firemen were engaged were: Wil- 
liam Waterhouse, from 1893 to 1895; J. Adams, from 1895 to 1897; Henry 
Lemke, from 1897 to 1899; Henry G. Miller, from 1899 to 1909; F. F. Ziels- 
dorf, from 1909 to the present time. 

The present department was greatly enlarged after 1908. Two more 
station houses were built about 1909 and fully equipped in the year follow- 
ing, and the present department (1912-13) consists of the chief and twenty- 
one paid firemen, and one part paid man with the following personnel and 
titles : 

Chief, Frank F. Zielsdorf. 

First assistant chief, Terrence Doonen, station No. i. 

Second assistant chief, Bemhard Krueger, station No. 2. 


Captain, R. D. Sawyer, station No. 3. 

Captain, J. L. Staege, station No. 4. 

Captain of hook and ladder company, William Ziebell, station No. i. 

Equipment. — Thirteen horses, three combination hose and chemical 
wagons, one hose cart, one hook and ladder truck, two steam fire engines, 
one chief's horse and buggy. 


consists of the following: Thomas Malone, chief; John Fehl, Jr., captain; 
James Kennedy, sergeant; and eight uniformed police or patrolmen and one 
plain clothes man. 

The members of the police and fire commission are : W. C. Dickens, presi- 
dent; G. D. Jones, P. J. Werle, Charles A. Earwig, C. B. Mayer. 


The Pioneer Schools — Common Schools and High Schools up to 1912 — 
IVaitsau Bttsincss College. 

The first settlement was undoubtedly made at Wausau in 1839-40, but 
then ten years passed away, before we hear the word "school" mentioned, 
or find any traces of provisions for schools made, which is not surprising, 
however. There were no children here for years, at least not of school age. 
Pioneers, as a rule, are either unmarried or travel alone in the wilderness, 
leaving their families behind in a civilized community. The pinery pioneers 
were no exception from that rule. 

The first settler, George Stevens, never brought his family up here. Of 
all the first millowners J. L. Moore and Hiram Pearson seemed to be the 
only ones who were married in the early forties. J. L. Moore's wife gave 
birth to the first white child born in the winter of 1845-46. When J. Le 
Messurier came here in 1845 with his family, the whole female contingent 
at Big Bull Falls consisted of Mrs. J. L. Moore, Mrs. Hiram Pearson, Mrs. 
Baxter, and was strengthened by the arrival of Mrs. Le Messurier and Mrs. 
Brezette, but Le Messurier, who had a family of wife and three daughters, 
after a short stay moved up on Pine river for some time, where his two old- 
est daughters were married, one to Isaac Coulthurst and one to Thomas 
Gnmdy, and after his return to Wausau the youngest one married Ely R. 
Chase, a Wausau lawyer, who died lately in California. 

It has been told how Miss Crown was given a party by the ladies of 
Wausau after her arrival here in 1852, and that in counting the number of 
ladies, there were eleven in all, Miss Crown included, and two of them were 
still unmarried. 

There is a tradition that a private school was taught here as early as 
1849 by a Miss Livingston, afterwards Mrs. William Fellows of Mosinee, 
but that evidently is based on error, so far as time is concerned. It does 
not seem probable that any child of school age, say older than six years, was 
here at that time, and less probable that a private teacher was engaged for 
tuition. This view is borne out by the fact that in the first public school 



here in 1854 the existence of which is established by at least two of the 
pupils living here, only six or seven were enrolled. 

There was then and for years afterwards no school building and the 
school was held in rented places, the first one in a little building east of the 
Stewart Lumber Company otBce on Jackson street, in all probability in 
the little building built for a county office by T. Hinton, next in a vacant tailor 
shop on Jackson street near the southeast corner of Jackson and Second 
streets, a little later the store or warehouse of Lyman on Forest street was 
used, where also the Presbyterian church services were held, the other part 
of the building being occupied by Silas B. Stoddard. Another building used 
for school purposes in the later fifties or up to i860 was a small two-story 
building on the corner of Second and Washington street where the Widmer 
Business College now stands. Dr. Harriet Wylie, wife of Dr. D. B. Wylie, 
was teaching there one term at least, Bert Gowan being, one of the pupils. 
The front room was used for the school, the back room was a carpenter 
shop, and the family of the owner, a Gudsole, lived on the second floor. 
This building burned down. 

Later the second floor of the millwright shop of M. D. Corey south of 
the Courthouse square was used and at one time there was also a school in 
a small house or shanty on the west bank of the river on what is now Har- 
rison boulevard, the building facing Forest street. All these were rented 
places, and as may be imagined, with little or no equipment. 

There is also a tradition that the first public school was taught by a young 
man named Rouch in 1853. None of the present pioneers remember him, 
but a class was taught in 1854 by W. A. Gordon in the place mentioned 
as being probably the first county office building east of the A. Stewart Lum- 
ber Company office. The teacher. W. A. Gordon, was at the time studying 
with Dr. I. E. Thayer, who was the practicing physician here, preparing 
himself for entrance into a medical college and taking his collegiate course, 
returned and practiced as a full fledged physician at Wausau. Still later 
Gordon left for California, where he practiced as a specialist for eye, ear 
and throat afflictions. The pupils attending this school, evidently the first 
here, were Henry McLaughlin, James Mitchell, Maria Tyler, Edward Nic- 
olls, John Youles. and a daughter of William Gouldsbury, now Mrs. W. W. 
DeVoe. The following year Lyman W. Thayer, a lawyer, father of E. B 
Thayer, taught school, law practice being unremunerative in those days; 
one of his pupils was William Slosson, chief engineer at the pumping station. 
Miss Slosson, afterwards Mrs. John Tuttle, seems to have been the first 
lady teacher, engaged at the munificent salary of $4.00 per week (and board). 


Miss Louise Dexter (later Mrs. John Peters) succeeded her, who was teach- 
ing in the Corey building in 1857, being assisted by Miss Halsey, a daughter 
of the Presbyterian minister. The following named ladies were engaged 
as teachers here at different times until the arrival of W. H. Searles as 
teacher in 1861, namely; Miss Cornelia Gouldsbury, later Mrs. Daniel Kline, 
Miss Perry, Miss Cole, and Miss Halsey, who had a class in the Methodist 
church, which later burned down. 

In 1861 to 1862 the first school house was built on what is now the play- 
ground of the Washington school, with \V. H. Searles, afterwards Doctor 
Searles, as teacher. 

Some of the families represented on the simple benches in these primi- 
tive school buildings were the Singles, Ringles, Millards. Slossons, Man- 
sons, Scholfields, Poors, Bradfords, Alexanders, and others. 

When W. H. Searles took charge of the school in 1862 the village had a 
population of about 500, and the school house stood among the stumps and 
rotten pine logs, but it was the largest building in the village and in the 
county. There were two school rooms, one on the first and one on the sec- 
ond floor, Miss Halsey being the assistant teacher. 

This school house stood until 1889 when it was sold for $225, the board 
reserving the bell. 

W. H. Searles was a graduate of Law-rence College, left Wausau to 
study medicine and surgery and returned to practice his profession here for 
years afterwards. 

James Pound succeeded him in 1863, seemed to have a stormy career in 
the one year of his engagement and left never to return. 

School houses were built in succession as follows : Humboldt school house 
in 1873-74; Grant school house in 1881 (not used now) ; Irving school house 
in 1883; Franklin school house in 1883; Columbia school house in 1885; 
Washington school house in 1889; Lincoln school house in 1892; Longfel- 
low school house in 1894. 

The high school was built in 1898-99 and occupied in the fall of 1899, 
and in 1910 the Grant school was built in the sixth ward, the old Grant school 
on First avenue having been closed as unfit for its use for some years. 

All these school houses with the exception of the high school and Wash- 
ington school have been remodeled and enlarged since they were built. 

The following is a list of the principals of the Wausau schools since 1862 : 

1862-63 Dr. W. H. Searles 1864-67 Frank Atwell 

1863-64 Tames Pound 1S67-68 E. D. Metcalf 





1868-69 Clemence F. Briery 1886-90 Hugh Mclndoe 

1869-71 William C. Butler 1890-92 J. A. Eakin 

1871-72 Henry E. Wright 1892-95 Carl Mathie 

1872-74 George W. Bowen 1895-96 \\\ R. iVloss 

1874-76 John C. Smith 1896-97 Carl Mathie 

1876-80 F. W. Houghton 1897-191 1 C. C. Parlin 

1880-84 C. D. Abbey 1311-13 Ira C. Painter 

1884-86 W. G. Witter 

According to the school census taken in June, 191 2, the population of 
the city was 17,655, the number of children of school age being 6,065. 

The enrollment in public schools was 3,710, and in the parochial schools 
850. The church congregations having their own schools and supporting 
them are : The St. Mary's Catholic congregation, the Lutheran Zion's con- 
gregation, the Lutheran Trinity's congregation, and the Ev. Lutheran Sa- 
lem's congregation and the E. L. St. Stephan's congregation. In the in- 
dustrial school established under the law of 191 1 for children from fourteen 
tp sixteen years of age, out of school under a permit to work, the enrollment 
was 150. These boys and girls are required to attend school five hours a 

The board of education for 1912-13, which in the great majority has 
remained unchanged in the last ten years, consists of : 

First ward Mrs. Frank Kelly Sixth ward Walter Pierce 

Second ward William Paff Seventh ward Henry Johannes 

Third ward W. W. Albers Eighth ward Henry Pagenkopf 

Fourth ward. .William B. Scholfield Ninth ward ... August F. Marquardt 

Fifth ward Mrs. C. B. Bird 

At l^ge : E. C. Zimmermann, G. D. Jones, P. F. Stone. 

Wausau is known as an industrial and manufacturing city, with good 
streets, good schools and school houses, fine church edifices, beautiful resi- 
dences, well kept lawns and healthy surroundings, all of which tends to make 
life attractive, and invited people to make here their homes. 

Woman is the beautifier of the home, and when we see a tasty place of 
residence with beautiful surroundings, we justly conclude that it harbors 
refined and cultivated people. It is manifest to the casual obsen-er that the 
beauty of Wausau, so far as it is artificial at least, is mainly due to the 
women of Wausau, although this fact is often overlooked, or, if not. it is 


taken as so self-evident, so plainly understood as not thought to be worth 

Men are pleased, of course, to find their efforts for the good of the com- 
munity acknowledged and their merits in that respect appreciated, and as 
woman is made of the same clay as man, it is just possible that she may 
have the same feeling as regards due acknowledgment for her particular 
efiforts in that line. 

There is a federation of ladies' clubs here which is doing much good 
in many branches of commercial life, the Tuesday Musical Club has been 
mentioned and also the Ladies' Literary Club, and as the influence of woman 
is always for the better, never for the worse, a little greater field of usefulness 
may well be opened for them to mutual advantage. 

This last mentioned fact has been dawning more and more on this com- 
munity as well as upon others, and has been recognized in Wausau, almost 
blushingly. About twelve years ago for the first time in the history of Wau- 
sau, a lady was appointed as a member of the board of education, and was 
unanimously confirmed by the council. This unanimity might have been 
due to the curiosity of a city council being composed of one political party 
only. Mrs. C. B. Bird has the honor of being the first woman officer in Wau- 
sau, directly connected with the city government in that way. She took 
the office from a sense of duty, and the promise that another lady would be 
appointed on the first vacancy, as not to leave her the only woman member 
of the board. Mrs. C. B. Bird was born in Muscatine. Iowa, and after grad- 
uating from the high school of her home city took the full three years' 
course of Wayland's in that renowned institute until her marriage to Mr. 
C. B. Bird in 1892, when she became a resident of Wausau. 

The next lady member of the board of education was Mrs. Frank Kelly, 
nee Ward, who is a graduate of the celebrated Downer College, Milwaukee. 
She became a teacher in the Wausau schools, and her success became only 
interrupted by her marriage, which occurred in 1892. These two ladies are 
the onlv women members of the board of education, but make up in efficiency 
what they lack in numbers : they not only attend meetings, but visit schools, 
encourage teachers, pupils, examining school houses and grounds, and have 
been active in urging the beautifying of the school rooms on the assumption 
that clean beautiful surroundings will create in the mind of the child a love 
for clean things and will make for a clean mind. 

Our system of co-education makes it eminently proper that mothers 
have a choice in the government of schools, and these ladies have also the 
training which fits them for school supennsors. which is really one of the 


most important duties of the board, and as they are the only women holding 
an official position, to the welfare of the community and with honor to them- 
selves, they have a right to this special notice. 

The curriculum of the Wausau schools has been greatly enlarged in the 
last sixteen years, mainly through the efforts of Supts. Carl Mathie and 
S. B. Tobey. A close observation is kept on school attendance by pupils, and 
the laws passed in later years relating to that subject are kindly but firmly 
enforced. The law requiring school attendance of children between four- 
teen and sixteen years of age who are at work or at home, requiring their 
attendance in school at least five hours each week, has been a source of much 
trouble and vexation, but the superintendent was successful in removing all 
obstacles by organizing separate courses for such children with good results. 

The Wausau schools are all solid brick buildings, modern, sanitary, and 
comfortable with good furniture and equipment: a playground is at every 
school, and the physical welfare of the child is not overlooked. The Wau- 
sau schools are institutions in which the people can justly take pride, and 
the costs of maintenance are willingly borne, although they are large. 

The following is a list of teachers : 


S. B. Tobey, superintendent; Ira C. Painter, principal; T. F. Reynolds, 
manual training; Anne C. Rankin, domestic science; Estella Richards, 
domestic science; Judith Wadleigh, drawing; Florence A. Crane, music; 
Lona Slack, music and drawing; Olga Heinrich, secretary; Miss Hallie 
Haskin, librarian ; Mr. LeRoy Day, commercial ; Miss Margaret Johnson, 
commercial; Miss Sarah Miller, commercial; Miss Ethel Pierce, commercial; 
Mrs. C. E. Trasher, commercial ; Miss Sue Morey, elocution ; Miss Katherine 
Buckland, English; Miss Mary Slack, English; Miss Elizabeth Stoddard, 
English; Miss Ethel Todd, English and mathematics; Miss Marilla Zell- 
hoef er, German ; Miss Beatrice Zimmermann, German ; Miss Gretchen Ruede- 
busch, German; Miss Elsie Smithies, Latin; Mr. Carl Borsack, history; Miss 
Georgiana Clark, history; Miss May Graham, mathematics; Miss Florence 
Van Vliet, geometry ; Miss Mary A. Duff, science ; Mr. Noel Monroe, chem- 
istry; Mr. James Wolf, physics; Miss Gertrude McGuine, assistant. 


Miss Winnifred Carter, eighth grade; Miss Agnes Schaller, eighth grade; 
Miss Florence Gale, second grade; Miss Lizzie Wise, first grade; Miss Jen- 


nie Vincent, subprimary; Miss Marie Johnson, kindergarten director; Miss 
Margaret Roach, kindergarten assistant. 


Miss Frances E. Irvine, principal and seventh grade; Miss Edna Grouse, 
seventh grade; Miss Amy V. McCormick, sixth grade; Miss Esther Cronk, 
fifth grade; Miss Edna Albrecht, subprimary; Miss Myrtle Lillie, kindergar- 
ten director; Miss Margaret Marshall, kindergarten. 


Miss Jennie Johnson, principal and eighth grade; Miss Minnie Doan, 
eighth grade; Miss Karen Opdahl, fourth grade; Miss Hazel Price, third 
grade; Miss Mertie Culbertson, second grade; Miss Lelia V. Armstrong, 
first grade; Mr. George K. A. Shields, ungraded department; Mr. William 
F. Zenke, manual training; Miss Etta R. Gault, director deaf school; Miss 
Gertrude Rusch, assistant deaf school. 


Miss Agnes C. Bessey, principal and fifth grade; Miss Loretta E. Kalk, 
third and fourth grades; Miss Resetta N. Johnson, second and third grades; 
Miss V. Marie Righter, first grade; Miss Alta R. Colby, subprimary; J^Iiss 
Lucille Hebard, kindergarten director; Miss Marie Brands, assistant kinder- 


Mr. Fred Swanson, principal and manual training; Miss Nora Nyhus, 
eighth grade; Miss Mary McCarty, seventh grade; Miss Bessie D. Ellis, 
sixth grade ; Miss Valborg Jensen, fifth grade ; Miss Gertrude Corwith, fifth 
and sixth grades ; Miss Martha E. Fleming, fourih grade ; Miss Margaret 
Dana, fourth and fifth grades; Miss Idele Borgia, second and third grades; 
Miss Mary E. Ross, third grade; Miss Florence Gardner, third and fourth 
grades ; Miss jMargaret E. Kerr, first and second grades ; Miss Minnie Sus- 
tins, first grade; Miss Wanda A. Hopp, subprimary; Miss Mabes Sustins, 
subprimary; Miss Kathryn Nelson, kindergarten director; Miss Bonita 
Shatto, kindergarten assistant. 



Mr. John H. May, principal and manual training; Miss Emma M. Kum- 
merow, fourth grade; Miss Josephine Voshmik, third grade; Miss Mary Sul- 
livan, second grade; Miss Emily Chubbuck, first grade; Miss Emma Lien, 
subprimary; Miss Gertrude Owen, kindergarten director; Miss Pearl Foster, 
kindergarten assistant. 


Mr. A. A. Tews, principal and manual training; Miss Mary Rooney, 
seventh grade; Miss Ruth L. Brule, sixth and seventh grades; Miss Blanche 
Lampert, sixth grade; Miss Florence Lyford, sixth grade; Miss Daisy Acker- 
man, fifth grade; Miss Miriam N. Veeder, fifth grade; Miss Eunice Free- 
man, fourth grade; Miss Marion Southworth, third grade; Miss Lilah G. 
Eberly, second grade; Miss Miriam Tyler, first grade; Miss Anna Young, 
subprimary; Miss Dorothea L. Albrecht, kindergarten director; Miss Vera 
Felling, kindergarten assistant; Miss Helen Johnson, ungraded room. 


Miss Minnie Cliff, principal and fourth grade; Miss Helen Flannigan, 
third grade ; Miss Irene Kyle, second grade ; Miss Ruth C. Warner, first 
grade; Miss Harriet Noel, subprimary; Miss Winnifred Bain, kindergarten 
director; Miss Edna Thon, kindergarten assistant. 


Miss Clarice Olsen, kindergarten and subprimary. 

An industrial school was organized in 19 12 for children from fourteen 
to sixteen years of age who are out of school under a permit to work, but 
who nevertheless are required to attend school five hours each week pur- 
suant to the Act of Legislature of 191 1. 

The enrollment is 150, under Karl Kraatz and Hannah Brunstad, 


One of the institutions of learning besides its common and high schools, 
for which Wausau is distinguished, is the Widmer Business College. 

It was founded in 1886 by Mr. Horton. A short time after it was founded 
a one-half interest was purchased by Mr. C. M. Boyles, who remained in touch 
with the school as partner and proprietor at various times for twenty years. 


A one-half interest was purchased by Mr. Williams. This interest was 
later purchased by Mr. J. F. Stofer, who remained as a one-half owner of the 
school until it was sold to the present proprietor, E. D. Widmer, in 1906. 

Due to a decline of health and desire for rest, Mr. Boyles disposed of the 
one-half interest in the spring of 1906, and for similar reasons he and Mr. 
Stofer sold the remaining one-half interest on November loth in that same 
year, since which time E. D. Widmer has acted as sole proprietor and man- 
ager of the school. 

When the school was first founded, in 1886, it had a mere handful of 
students. It is now rated as one of the largest and one of the best schools 
of the kind in the State of Wisconsin. In the summer of 191 1 Mr. Widmer 
purchased the large three-story building on corner of Second and Washing- 
ton streets and remodeled it for college purposes. The building was admir- 
ably adapted for college purposes, and when being remodeled all modern 
conveniences were installed. Among them are : Single unit electric lights, 
steam heat, ventilation, vacuum cleaner, sanitary drinking fountains, soap 
receptacles, paper towels, electric class bells, intercommunicating telephones, 
and so forth. The rooms are particularly well arranged for college purposes. 
Under Mr. Widmer's management the school has undergone several changes. 
New courses have been added and it has been systemized in snch a manner 
that each department is cared for by a proficient teacher. There are now six 
instructors of more than two hundred students, as against an enrollment of 
seventy-five or eighty, with one or two teachers employed, when he purchased 
the school. 

The departments, with their heads, are as follows : Shorthand, Julia F. 
Wawrzyniak ; academic, Margaret Bhend ; typewriting and stenography. Belle 
C. Stofer ; commercial law, Jolm P. Ford ; bookkeeping, C. A. Cowee ; 
business manager, E. D. Widmer. Knowing that the success of every school 
depends largely upon the proficiency of the teachers, Mr. Widmer has taken 
pains to surround himself with a competent staff which has materially assisted 
him in bringing the college up to its present high reputation. 

E. D. Widmer was born March 5, 1879, in Rockton, Vernon county, 
Wisconsin, a little hamlet on the Kickapoo river. After graduating from the 
state graded school in that village he secured a teacher's certificate and taught 
in rural schools of that county for four years. In the fall of 1900 he enrolled 
in the Stevens Point Normal School and remained there until the course was 
finished in the spring of 1904. During the last year of his school work in 


the normal he also took the bookkeeping course in the business college of that 
city. After completing his school he worked in the First National Bank 
of Stevens Point, which position he resigned to take charge of mathematics 
in the Merrill High School. After teaching one year he resigned and com- 
pleted his course to enter in the course of life's duty in that field of work. 

Religions jyaitsau — Churches and Religious Organizations — Y. M. C. A 


It seems that the Metliodists were the first of all religious denominations 
to hold regular church service; they had visiting ministers regularly as early 
as 1853, and even earlier, a Reverend Greenleaf of Stevens Point coming up 
from Stevens Point and holding meetings ; then Rev. M. D. Warner 
organized a class with the assistance of Judge Kennedy, and somewhat 
later M. H. Barnum was called upon b\' the people to fill the pulpit, 
which he did for about one year. On the i^th day of May, 1858, at the 
conference in Beloit, Bishop Morris made W'ausau a regular appointment, 
sending Rev. R. S. Hayward as the first regularly stationed pastor, and in 
1859 a church and parsonage were completed on corner of Second and Grant 
streets. Rev. W. J. Olmstead was assigned to the post and had a successful 
year. In 1861 Rev. C. Baldock had charge of Wausau and Mosinee. In 
1862 Reverend Olmstead was returned, remaining until 1865, when Reverend 
Bassett came. In 1866 Rev. \\'illiam \\'illard was here until 1868; the par- 
sonage burned in 1866, the pastor losing all his goods; from 1868 to 1869, 
the year the church burned, Rev. J. T. Gaskell was the pastor. 

The church was soon rebuilt and the following named ministers attended 
to the religious wants of the congregation: 1870. Rev. E. T. Briggs; 1871, 
Rev. H. B. Crandall; 1872-75, Thomas Walker. Then there were Revs. G. 
Fallows. Jesse Coles, J. T. Chynoweth, W. W. Stevens and Benjamin San- 
ford; who was pastor from 1880 to 1882, followed by C. L. Logan, 1882-83; 

F. L. Wharton, 1883-86; J. S. Davies, 18S6-89; George Vader, 1889-94; 
Enoch Perry, 1894-97; B. T. Sanford, 1897-99: Frank Pease, 1899-1903; 

G. C. Carmichael, 1903-05: F. H. Brigham, 1905-12; Richard Evans, 1912. 
The church built at corner of Second and Grant streets was sold to the 

Catholic St. James congregation after the new First Methodist Episcopal 
church on Third and Franklin streets was completed and occupied. This 
church is one of the largest and finest edifices in the city. It was completed in 



1905 at a cost of about forty thousand dollars. The cornerstone was laid 
by Bishop H. C. McCabe, August 12, 1904, with appropriate ceremonies, 
Mayor Zimmermann taking part therein, ^^'hile this church building seemed 
very large when built, it does not more than comfortably seat the present 
congregation, which is constantly growing. 

ST. John's episcopal church. 

On March 12, 1854, the first services of the Episcopal church were held 
at Wausau in the assembly room of the "Forest House," Rev. Thomas Green 
conducting the service. There was no resident pastor at that time in Wausau, 
Reverend Green being stationed at Stevens Point, and he for some time after- 
wards visited this city and held church services. 

In 1858 a permanent organization was effected legally and canonically, 
with him as resident rector. A lot was purchased and the erection of a church 
edifice begun, but not completed. It stood in this unfinished state until blown 
down by a storm in 1863. 

Reverend Green had moved away from Wausau in 1861, serving as pastor 
in the anny, and did not return until 1869. After his return the work of 
building a church was begun again and in due time completed and the church 
was consecrated. Reverend Green remained as pastor until 1873, when he 
resigned, and Rev. Philip McKim succeeded him and remained until 1876; 
he was followed by Rev. J. A. Davenport, he being followed by Rev. W. C. 
Armstrong. Rev. Thomas Green was here all that time, but being superinten- 
dent of public schools, gave his time to his official work, only taking the place 
of pastor when the resident pastor was absent or during an interregnum. 
Rev. William E. Wright was installed as pastor in 1881 and remained in 
charge until 189 1. During his incumbency a pastorage was built on the lot 
adjoining the church, and other improvements made. He was succeeded by 
Rev. George E. Jenner, who remained until 1893. Then came Rev. J. A. 
Carr, who remained until 1898, and Rev. W. J. Cordick, from 1898 until 
May I, 1901, followed by Rev. George Hirst, who resigned on March 24, 
1904, and was succeeded by Rev. Edgar Thompson, until his resignation, 
December 22, 1907, to become archdeacon of Stevens Point. Rev. W. Everett 
Johnson had charge of the congregation from September 5, 1908, to Feb- 
ruary 15, 1912, and he was succeeded by Rev. Laurence H. Grant, the present 

A beautiful organ was recently installed and the membership is growing. 
The present list of communicants embraces 125 members. 


Connected with the parish is the St. Martha's Guild, which has proven 
itself a very efficient auxihary to the parish and vestry. 

Reverend Johnson was the moving spirit in the establishment of the 
"Infirmary," which is doing excellent work for children, looking after their 
physical welfare. 


This church was organized in 1863 by the German people of Wausau. 
It was the first Protestant church founded by the German-American citizens, 
who felt the need of spiritual guidance, and who could not consistently join 
any of the existing churches holding their services in the English language, 
even though had they fully understood the language, which they did not. 
The German element was not very strong at that time, and there were just 
families enough to found a church and secure the serA'ice of a pastor by all 
joining together. Consequently the difference in the doctrines of Luther 
and Calvin were not emphasized and all joined in the worship of the Evan- 
gelical church. The first church was built in 1863 and the congregation held 
uninterrupted service, only interrupted for a week or two during a change 
of ministers. 

The first resident minister was Pastor Waldmann, who was followed by 
Pastor Stoeffler, until about 1866, when Pastor Albert took charge, who in 
turn was relieved by Pastor Kern in 1869. Pastor Kern, resigning his pas- 
torate, was followed by Rev. F. Reinecke until 1881, when he resigned, 
organizing the St. Stephan's congregation. After his resignation Reverend 
Kern returned, but resigned after a short time, and a missionary held divine 
service until the arrival of Rev. C. Schaer. Rev. C. Schaer was succeeded by 
his brother. Pastor Fr. W. Schaer, under whose patronage the present edifice 
was built in 1886. At the time it was built it was the finest and largest in 
Wausau. Under Pastor F. W. Schaer many families joined the church, and 
among the many improvements made during his term must be mentioned the 
large organ installed in the year 1890. Pastor Schaer resigned in 1909, 
accepting a call from some Illinois congregation very close to Chicago. Rev. E. 
Grauer, who succeeded him, arrived in May, 1909, and has since been in 
charge of the congregation. 

Owing to the growth of the city and the organizing of more congregations, 
some members have withdrawn, joining some congregations nearer to their 
residence, or because a little closer to their ideas of religious doctrines, but 
new members have come and the church retains its large influence as a factor 


in religious life in German- American circles and Gennan thought and 

In 1912 a new pastorage was built at a cost of $7,200; it has a ladies" aid 
association with 136 members, a sewing circle with 35 members, a young 
men's association with 76 members, three choirs and a juvenile band, and the 
congregation consists of 390 families. 

On February 15. 1913, it celebrated its semi-centennial anniversary with 
great ceremony and a great outpouring of people, the religious and social fes- 
tivities continuing during the week following, until the next Sunday. 

THE ST. Mary's catholic church. 

The Catholics were probably the first that held services in Wausau, for 
there is a record which shows that mass was held by Reverend Dale at the 
house of W. D. Mclndoe as early as 1849. Afterwards Reverend Itchmann 
held ser\^ices in the residence of Mr. M. Stafford, and later there was mass 
service from time to time held in the store of W. D. Mclndoe. Reverend 
Pollock came to Wausau from Stevens Point from time to time to attend 
to the religious wants of the Catholics in this vicinity. After the church in 
Marathon City was built the priest that had charge of that parish visited 
Wausau and held services regularly every four weeks in the hall of Levy 
Gennett, on corner of Forest and Fifth streets, where there is now a bakery. 
The priest who regularly visited Wausau was Rev. Ch. Hengen. 

In July, 1867, the cornerstone of the St. Mary's church was laid with 
proper ceremony, but the church itself was not completed until 1871. From 
that time Rev. L. Comelis and Rev. L. Spitzelberger attended to the religious 
wants of the congregation until 1874, when the first resident priest was sent 
to Wausau. It was Rev. W. Gundelach, whose stay at Wausau was of short 
duration, although a house was then being built for the residence of the priest. 
For a while there was no priest here until Rev. Theo. J. Richards arrived in 
the spring of 1875 and took charge of the congregation. Dissension of a 
personal character had broken out among the congregation during the pas- 
torage of Reverend Gundelach, and when Reverend Richards arrived to take 
charge of the congregation he found it divided in factions, and it was only 
by the exercise of utmost tact and patience that he succeeded in again uniting 
the congregation. Reverend Richards remained here from 1875 to 1894, 
and in that time the church congregation grew largely and there was harmony 
in all their proceedings. The present St. Mary's church, a fine brick building, 
was erected and afterwards the parochial school, which is a very good build- 


ing, and has since that time been conducted as a parochial school. At the 
request of the bishop of the diocese, Reverend Richards left Wausau to take 
charge of the much larger congregation at IMarinette, Wisconsin; but his 
departure was deeply regretted, not only by his congregation, but also by the 
people at large, who had learned to respect and love him. Immediately there- 
after, on August 17, 1894, Rev. P. L. Gasper arrived here and took charge 
of the St. Mary's congregation, and no better selection could have been made. 
In a very short time the members of his church saw in him not only their 
priest and spiritual ad\iser, but their real personal friend as well; he strength- 
ened the ties which bound them together and united them in working to a 
common goal in the spirit of the gospel. 

When he arrived here the congregation was encumbered with a heavy 
indebtedness, caused by the building of the church and the parish school, 
which bore a high rate of interest. His first endeavor was to wipe out the 
debt, and he began by refunding it at a much lower rate of interest, and by 
good, business-like management succeeded in time in wiping it out entirely. 

In 1898 the present residence for the school sisters was built, the sani- 
tary condition of the schoolhouse brought up to modem demands, and an 
organ purchased for the church. In 1902 the church was ornamented with 
fresco paintings and gas and electric lights installed. In 1904 the parsonage 
was built at a cost of about ten thousand dollars, and a steam heat plant put 
in for church and school. These are only the improvements involving large 
expenses, not to mention the smaller expenditures occurring for repairs and 
keeping up the property every year. In this year (1912) there was installed 
a new organ, the largest in the city, played with pneumatic action, a new 
patented device for the relief of the organist. The cost of this organ was 
about three thousand and two hundred dollars. In later years the congrega- 
tion had grown so large that it was thought advisable to build a new church 
for the needs of the steadily growing Catholic population of this city and the 
surrounding county, and in 1905, one hundred and ten families separated 
from the St. Mary's and organized the St. James congregation. Since that 
time all parochial indebtedness contracted for all these improvements made 
during Rev. P. L. Gasper's pastorage, and the old church debt, has been fully 
paid up. 

All these improvements paid for, a congregation maintaining a school 
where 350 pupils, up to and equal to the eighth and ninth grades in the com- 
mon school, taught by seven sisters of the order of "Our Lady" (Notre 
Dame) of Milwaukee, all going smoothly and harmoniously, is the highest 
evidence of the worth and high regard in which Rev. P. L. Gasper is held 
bv his congregation. 


ST. Michael's catholic church. 

A large proportion of the people who came to Wausau in the latter part 
of the seventies and years following were of Polish extraction, and they, of 
course, desired the services of a priest with whom they could communicate 
in their mother tongue. The St. Mary's church, where they worshipped, was 
at that time in charge of Reverend Richards, and he procured for them a 
Polish priest to hold mass and a sermon every four weeks, until they could 
build a church of their own." Reverend Gara, from Poniatowski, was the 
first missionary priest who visited Wausau and collected the Polish families 
together into an organization. Later other Polish priests held service, until 
in 1885-86 the organization became strong enough to undertake the building 
of a church edifice, which was completed in 1886. It was consecrated by 
Right Rev. Bishop Katzer of Green Ba}'. The first resident priest was 
Reverend Livietzki, who was followed by Reverend Malkowski, during whose 
pastorate in 1895 the church burned down. It was winter when the church 
burned, and with the first approach of the milder season a new edifice was 
erected and completed in the year 1896. 

The congregation owns five lots surrounding the church, enough to place 
a good-sized schoolhouse thereon, which no doubt will be done when the debt 
created by the building is paid. The church itself is a large, commodious and 
solid brick building, with fine inside finishings. On account of the burning 
of the records with the building it is not possible now to obtain the names of 
all the resident priests who served the congregation, but among those who are 
well remembered are the following: Reverend Livietzki, Reverend Mal- 
kowski, Rev. N. Kolasinski and Rev. W. Slicz, who was succeeded in 19 12 
by the present pastor, Reverend \\^ojak. There is a powerful organ in the 
church, installed in 1912. 

The congregation consists of between 175 and 200 families. 


This church was built in 1911-12, and is at this time the finest and most 
beautiful church edifice in the city and county. The congregation was organ- 
ized in July, 1905. Most of its members had been members of the St. Mary's 
congregation, whose membership had grown so large as to make the building 
of a new church a necessity. Between 135 and 140 families organized a new 
congregation, and Rev. J. J. Brennan was sent by the bishop of the diocese to 
take charge of it. For a church they secured the vacant Methodist church 


building and parsonage for $6,500 and made some improvements at once. 
The church stood on the corner of Second and Grant streets and was unused, 
because the Methodist congregation was occupying at that time their new 
and much larger church on Third street. 

Under the charge of Reverend Brennan the congregation grew so rapidly 
that in a few years the church could not hold the worshipers, and a new 
edifice was contemplated. Without losing time, Reverend Brennan and the 
trustees secured the lots on corner of Second and McClellan streets and plans 
for a new church were obtained and building begun in 191 1 and completed 
in 1912, large for years yet to come; at least that was the intention of the 
founders. If the congregation continues to grow in the future as in the past, 
it will not be very long, however, when another church will become a neces- 
sity again. 

The church was dedicated by Right Rev. Bishop James A. Schwebach, 
bishop of La Crosse, in whose diocese it is, on the 17th day of December, 
1912, with impressive ceremonies. 

The total cost of the building is $47,500, not including the high altar, 
which was taken over from the old church ; nor the organ, which was do- 
nated by the young ladies of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, which will 
come to $3,500. The value of the property, including the real estate owned 
by the congregation, is fully seventy thousand dollars ; the edifice stands in the 
very heart of the city, though not exactly in the business portion. At the 
present the congregation numbers three hundred families, and over fifteen 
hundred communicants. 

The success of building up this congregation and edifice in so short time 
is the highest testimonial of the confidence the congregation bears to their 
beloved pastor, the Rev. J. J- Brennan, in his worth as a priest as well as in 
his business capacity. 


A society was organized December 10, 1870, probably known as the 
"People's Church," or the "Liberal Religion Society." The early records of 
this society have been lost, but among those who were interested in this move- 
ment may be mentioned the names of B. G. Plmner, R. P. Manson, D. B. 
Willard, Mrs. Mary Scholfield, James McCrossen, William Gouldsbury, 
Nathaniel T. Kelly, William P. Kelly and M. D. Corey, then the leading 
business men in ]\Iarathon county. A substantial church was built in 1871 on 
the northeast corner of Fifth and ^IcClellan streets. This church was after- 
wards, in 1 88 1, sold to the St. Stephan's Evangelical Lutheran church. 


The first minister, Rev. B. F. Schiiltz, came soon after the church was 
finished in 1872, and also conducted a private school, which was well patron- 
ized. He departed from Wausau about the year 1874, and was succeeded 
by Rev. J. S. Fall, who remained about two years. 

After the church was sold there was for some time no regular meeting 
place for this society, but a reorganization was effected in 1886 and the 
society incorporated under the laws of the state as "The First Universalist 
Church of Wausau." During the same year a church building was erected 
on a lot donated by Mrs. Mary Scholiield on northwest corner of Fifth and 
McClellan streets. A parsonage was built in i88g. The preamble to the 
constitution of the congregation reads : "We, whose names are herewith 
annexed, believing that sound morality constitutes the basis of true life, hereby 
associate ourselves together in society relations. The objects of this society 
shall be to promote the welfare of the society by stimulating the acquisition 
and diffusion of knowledge, the cultivation of virtue and honor, to unite the 
members into a close friendship, and encourage them to lead a life consistent 
with morality and sound reason." 

For many years the late Judge T. C. Ryan served the church either as 
moderator or clerk. The following have served as pastors of the church 

since 1886: Revs. B. F. Rogers, J. L. Andrews, Schindler, W. S. 

Williams, B. F. Snook, B. B. Gibbs. and T. B. Fischer. 

The present pastor. Rev. William H. Gould, took charge January i, 1912. 
The church is in a strong and prosperous condition, having a membership of 
ninety-four; having a well organized Sunday school, a society of young 
people's union, boy scouts, missionary society, ladies' aid, and a strong men's 


The First Presbyterian congregation traces its beginning to June 3, 1858, 
when it was organized by Rev. Charles F. Halsey, evidently a missionary 
member, with five charter members, the first members being Richard H. Lib- 
bey, John Dobbie, Mrs. Elizabeth Gouldsbury, Mrs. Jane Hobart, Mrs. 
Clarissa Calkins, Mrs. Mary Poor, Mrs. Adeline Green, and Mrs. Sylvia 
Anne Halsey. 

The membership slowly increased, but was not large enough to build a 
house of worship, and the first meetings were held in a dwelling located about 
211 Forest street, though the actual organization was begun over the work- 
shop of Mr. Corey, across from the courthouse square, which was afterwards 
a shingle mill, which burnt in 1866. 


There seems to have been no regular service after Reverend Halsey left 
in 1863, until a reorganization was effected in 1868. 

The general assembly reports for 1870-71-72 show eight members, and 
no report is given for 1873; and from 1870, 1872 and 1874 the church is 
shown as vacant. 

Divine services commenced again in a schoolhouse by Mr. Farewell, a 
licentiate from Lane Seminary, acting as pastor at request, and religious 
meetings were held at the courthouse, the Universalist church, and school- 
house. Mr. Farewell remained about one year, until the end of 1875. 

Early in 1876, Rev. J. W. Hageman was called as pastor, the congregation 
having been much strengthened in the previous years, especially by the acces- 
sion of the families of J. M. Smith, M. A. Hurley, and the Armstrongs. 
A Sunday school was organized, and under his pastorage, the first church, 
now the garage of T. H. Jacob, was built and dedicated in the fall of 1881. 

In the following year provisions were made for the purchase of a house 
and lot for a parsonage. On July 15. 1882, on a call issued to Rev. William 
R. Stewart, he took charge of the congregation and sensed most acceptably 
until his death, June 14, 1885. 

From February 9, 1886, to May 27, 1888, Rev. Thomas G. Smith, D. D., 
was the resident pastor, and was succeeded by Rev. W. O. Carrier, who was 
pastor until his designation, in August, 1900. Under the ' pastorage of 
Reverend Carrier the congregation had largely grown in numbers ; the present 
fine church, costing about thirty thousand dollars, was built and dedicated 
February 21, 1897; a number of chapels were established in the county, which 
gave evidence of the earnest work of the congregation under his charge. 

He was succeeded by Rev. S. X. Wilson. D. D., who resigned in August, 
1908. whose field of labor was enlarged by the founding of missions in Edgar, 
Stratford, and Fenwood. The present pastor is Rev. James M. Duer, who 
took charge of the congregation April i, 1909. 

The church of the First Presbyterian congregation is one of the many 
fine edifices which certify to the Christian spirit of the people of Wausau, 
with a steadily growing congregation. It celebrated its twenty-fifth anni- 
versary in 1903. There are no debts, the last having been paid in 1901, and 
the congregation can and does assist smaller, struggling missions in the teach- 
ings of the gospel of Christ. 


St. Stephan's Evangelical Lutheran congregation was organized Novem- 
ber 6, 1881, by Rev. F. G. Reinicke, who had been pastor of the St. Paul's 


congregation, and who was pastor of this congregation until 1898, when 
sickness and old age made retirement convenient. 

When the congregation organized it purchased the church building of 
the Universalist congregation on Fifth street. After Reverend Reinicke's 
retirement Rev. F. Werhahn was called to the pastorage, which he filled until 
1910, when Rev. William Spiegel was chosen his successor. 

The congregation had a sound growth from its beginning, but under 
Reverend Werhahn its growth was much more rapid and almost marvelous 
The church soon proved too small to hold the worshiping mass of people. 
and a new and larger one became a necessity. A magnificent church building 
was erected in 19 10 at a cost of about sixty thousand dollars, the largest 
church edifice at the time in Wausau. The building was completed and the 
church dedicated under Pastor Werhahn's pastorage. 

The membership numbers now 450 families, with 1,500 communicants. 

On January 6, 1907, the congregation amended its constitution, adopting 
all confessionals of the Evangelical Lutheran church, hence its confessional 
standpoint is strictly Lutheran. The congregation has its parochial school, 
presided over by teachers C. Giese and O. H. Blase. The service is con- 
ducted in the German language, excepting monthly English evening services, 
which were introduced in January, 191 1. 

Under the pastorate of Rev. Wm. Spiegel the congregation is in a most 
flourishing condition, and the large church is filled with, devoted worshipers 
every Sunday and Holyday. 


This congregation was organized by Rev. W. L. Rosenwinkle, A. D. 1874, 
with eight members. The first church and parsonage were located on Sey- 
mour street near Frenzel street. In 1876 Reverend Rosenwinkel was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. W. Weber, who served the congregation as a filial charge 
while he resided in town Wausau, till April, 1882. In April, 1882, the 
Rev. H. Erck was called. Under Reverend Erck the present church building 
on corner Fifth and Scott streets was built, the same being dedicated October 
19, 1884. It cost $3,600. The congregation then numbered sixty members. 
In June, 1889, when Rev. H. Erck was succeeded by Rev. C. A. Bretscher, 
the congregation numbered one hundred and five voting members. Under 
Rev. C. A. Bretscher the church building was enlarged and remodeled at an 
additional cost of $7,000. This was in 1903. In 1908 all members living on 
the west side of the river (eighty) were branched off and organized the Evan- 


gelical Lutheran Trinity congregation. The mother congregation aided them 
to the extent of $6,000 and the building site. When Reverend Bretscher 
resigned, January, 191 1, the congregation numbered 194 voting members. 
The present pastor. Rev. George C. Schroedel, was installed in May, 191 1. 

Zion congregation maintained a parochial school since 1876. The present 
school building, corner Fifth and McClellan streets, was built in 1892. Under 
the able leadership of Prof. W. Wetzel, assisted by Prof. W. Haas and Miss 
Ida Braun, Zion's school ranks second to none in the schools of Wausau. 

Zion congregation now numbers 207 voting members, about 1,000 souls, 
and has 160 children in its school. 

The property, church, school, parsonage, and teacher's dwelling are valued 
at about thirty thousand dollars. 


The Immanuel Norwegian Lutheran church was organized during the 
early part of the year 1884 by the Rev. N. Foerde (Forde). In August of 
the same year the church was dedicated. The congregation is affiliated with 
the Norwegian Lutheran Synod of the United States. For a number of 
years services have been conducted both in the English and Norwegian lan- 
guages in this church. 

The following pastors have served the congregation: N. Forde, Paul 
Koren, I. G. Monson, T. Norseth, B. J. Larson, A. O. Dolven, J. Grevstad, 
O. Skatteboe, A. W. Hirstendahl, L. O. Oien, G. C. Ulen and O. T. Boe. 

The church is situated on McClellan street. 


The German Baptist congregation of Wausau was organized August 23, 
1880, and the church edifice erected in 1886. Rev. W. M. Kroesch was the 
first minister and served from July, 1880, until May, 1883. From June, 1883, 
to September, 1883, the ser\'ices were conducted by Charles Rocho, a student, 
and a resident minister in the person of Rev. C. Jung took charge of the 
congregation from August, 1884, to February. 1886; he was succeeded by 
Rev. M. Dornke, who served from September, 1886, to May, 1891. From 
September, 1891, Rev. J. F. Matzick was the resident minister until May, 
1895, when he was succeeded by Rev. H. Schroeder, who served from 
August, 1895, to August, 1898; from November. 1898, to April, 1900, Rev. J. 
Schlipf was the resident minister, and from that time to May, 1906, Rev. A. L. 


Tilgner, when Rev. H. Schmidt attended to the wants of the congregation 
until June, 191 1. The present resident minister, Rev. F. W. Socolofski, came 
in October, 191 1. 

The congregation consists of 43 famihes, with a church membership 
of 139. 

The church is situated on corner of Sixth and Steuben streets. 


The congregation organized in the spring of 1884. The foundation of 
the church on the corner of Grant and Fourth streets, now used for worship, 
was laid in the fall of 1886, and the building dedicated January 8, 1888. 
Rev. G. S. Martin, the first' pastor of the church, closed his labors the next 

The succeeding pastorates have been as follows : Rev. J. H. Sampson, 
from 1888 to 1890; Rev. D. R. McGregor, from 1890 to 1892; Rev. K. N. 
Morrill, from 1892 to 1894; Rev. A. J. Morris, from 1894 to 1895; Rev. W. 
I. Coburn, from June, 1896, to September, 1897; Rev. F. C. R. Jackson, 
from 1897 to 1898; Rev. Adam Fawcett, from 1899 to 1903: Rev. E. A. 
Patch, from 1903 to 1906; Rev. Frederick H. Donovan, from 1907 to 1908; 
Rev. Guy C. Crippen, 1908 to 1911 ; Rev. O. D. Briggs is the present pastor. 

Societies connected with the church are : The Ladies' Aid Society ; Graded 
Sunday School, Woman's Missionary Society, Young People's Christian 
Endeavor, Boys" Club. 


The Evangelical Reformed congregation was organized December 25, 
1886, with the following charter members : Peter C. Peterson, William Kiene- 
mann, Rudolph Wiesman, Henry Mannecke, Sr., Adolph Storch, William 
Nagel, Daniel Fischer, E. H. Kohnhorst, and William Hagen. 

About the year 1887, a number of immigrants from Westphalia, Ger- 
many, settled in Wausau ; they were members of the Reformed church while 
in Germany, and naturally desired to worship in that faith in the new home. 
Fortunately, they found a Reformed minister, who was also from Gennany, 
in the person of Rev. H. W. Stienecker, with whom they were personally 
acquainted, and who at that time was pastor of a Reformed congregation in 
Dale, Wisconsin. He conducted their religious services from time to time 
in private houses and school buildings. Thus the people were kept together 


until they were ready to unite in a congregation. A prominent member of 
this small church was H. IMannecke, Sr., who spared neither time nor effort 
to promote the good cause. He was an active member and officer of the 
congregation until his death a few years ago. For his efficient work and 
sacrifices brought for the welfare of the church he will always be gratefully 

The congregation was organized by Rev. O. Muehlmeier, who was also 
its first pastor. In the beginning ser\-ices were held in a small Norwegian 
church on Clark's Island ; later the congregation convened in the Presbyterian 
chapel on Third avenue north. In the year 1888 the congregation erected a 
church edifice of its own on Jefferson street, but when a few years later the 
west side became more densely settled, it was found necessary to relocate to 
Third avenue south, where the congregation has its church and parsonage 
today. During the subsequent years the congregation progressed and has 
grown, so that today it has a membership of one hundred and twenty-five 
families. The following are the names of the ministers who in time have 
served the congregation: Rev. O. Muehlmeier, 1886-90; Rev. L. Bruegger, 
1890-91; Rev. T. C. Schneller, 1892-1901 ; Rev. E. A. Fuenfstueck, 1901-10. 
Since February, 1910, the congregation's first minister, Rev. O. Muehlmeier,. 
has resumed his work as pastor of this field. 

The present officers of the church are : Richard Flatter, president ; Albert 
Michler, secretary; Albert Rapraeger, treasurer. 

The Sunday school is in a prosperous condition, having as many as one 
hundred and forty scholars. During the summer months a parochial school 
is conducted by the minister, the object being to teach the children the funda- 
mental truths of the Christian religion in the German language, thus training 
them to become faithful and loyal church members in later years. 

A Young People's Society has been organized and holds its meetings once 
a month. The work of this society is not exclusively of a religious nature; 
much attention is paid to literary entertainments. 

Two years ago the congregation celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. 
It had the privilege at that time to look over a quarter century of prosperity 
and blessing. The congregation is without debt, which is due mostly to 
the efficient work of the Ladies' Aid Society. This society has an enrollment 
of sixty-five members and is active in every respect. 

The fonner preachers of the congregation are all living, with the excep- 
tion of Rev. L. Bruegger, who died several years ago. Rev. F. C. Schneller 
holds a pastorate in Tillamook, Oregon, and Reverend Fuenfstueck, who 
has retired from the active ministry, lives at Wausau. 



First Church of Christ Scientist of \\'ausau was organized in 1894, with 
Miss Margaret Scholtield first reader and ]\Irs. W. S. \\'illiaiTis second reader. 
There were ten famihes in the congregation at that time, and services were 
held in the Myer's building; later the services were held in the Universalist 
church. In 1906 the old Presbyterian church on McClellan street was pur- 
chased and services held there until the spring of 191 2, when the property 
was sold and the "Log Cabin" (printing office of the Philosopher) property 
at the park of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad depot was pur- 
chased and remodeled, where the services are held now. The congregation 
comprises now over twenty families. The present first reader is J. B. Hall; 
second reader, Mrs. Elmer IMiller. 


A congregation was organized December 13, 1895, by Rev. John O. 
Borjeson as pastor and Mikal Forsmo, Gustaf Rylander and Andrew T. 
Pearson as trustees. They purchased the old Presbyterian church on Scott 
street and there held their services for some years. In 1905 they sold this 
property and under the pastorage of Rev. Louis Johnson built a church on 
Main street in the same year. It is a neat frame building, large enough for 
the congregation for some years to come. The Swedish population is not 
very strong in Wausau, but this congregation numbers twenty families. The 
following named pastors served the congregation at different times, to wit: 
Revs. John O. Borjeson, Klas Okerman, Victor Swift, Andrew Fedrikson, 
Louis Johnson, Alex Sjoding, Theo. Livingston, Elmer F. Lund, A. G. Olson, 
who is the present resident pastor. 


This congregation was founded by those members of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Zion congregation who lived on the west side of the Wisconsin 
river in the summer of 1908. A church was built with a parochial school 
in the basement at a cost of $19,750. Rev. J. T. Destinon of Gleason, Wis- 
consin, accepted the call as minister, and Prof. E. Ritzmann as teacher of the 
school. Both were installed on November i, 1908, the day the church was 
dedicated. Two years later Professor Ritzmann went to Milwaukee, and 
Prof. A. T. Landsmann took his place. A second teacher was deemed neces- 


sary, and on the 2d of September, 1912, Prof. W. Meyer took charge of the 
lower grades. 

The congregation has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth. The charter 
.members numbered 97, while now the lists show 175 families. In 1912 they 
built a beautiful parsonage at a cost of $3,725. 


Different preachers held services in private homes during the years of 
1870-74. Rev. A. H. Kopplin was the first pastor holding meetings at a 
regular time. He lived in the town of Main. Under his successful leader- 
ship it was decided to buy a suitable building lot and to build a church. A 
suitable location was found, being the corner of Jefferson and Sixth streets 
(southeast corner). The church was built in 1874, a vet}' modest building, 
24 X 34 feet, the building committee being Rev. A. H. Kopplin, Aug. Wilde, 
Ferdinand Boemke. First trustees of the organized societ}^ were Aug. 
Wilde, Charles Wilde, John Nass, and F. Lemke. The first parsonage was 
built in 1 881, during the pastorate of Rev. John Beinert, who resided in 
the town of Main. Rev. Gustav Magdsick was the first German Methodist 
Episcopal church pastor who resided here in the city of Wausau, having been 
sent here in the fall of 1881. Sen-ices were held regularly in the city of 
Wausau, town of Wausau, and town of Texas. The present church edifice 
was erected in 1900, Rev. H. F. Mueller being the pastor from 1897 to 1902. 
The present parsonage, a modern and commodious dwelling, was built in 
1906, during the pastorate of Rev. A. M. Wieting. The present membership 
is one hundred and forty (counting individual members, not by families). 

List of German Methodist pastors to the congregation of Wausau: 
Rev. A. H. Kopplin, 1871-74; Rev. Aug. Karnopp, 1874-75; Rev. George 
Killing, 1875-77: Rev. Ferd. Karnopp, 1877-80; Rev. John Beinert, 1881; 
Rev. G. Magdsick, 1881-82. first pastor residing in Wausau, followed by 
Rev. M. Entzminger, 1882-83; Rev. A. C. Berg, 1883-85; Rev. H. F. Schmidt, 
1885-88; Rev. E. Werner, 1888-89; Rev. John Beinert. 1889-91: Rev. R. 
Dresher. 1891-93: Rev. A. Held. 1893-97: Rev. H. F. ISIueller. 1897-1902; 
Rev. A. M. Wieting, 1902-08; Rev. G. H. Elske, 1908-12: Rev. J. L. Menz- 
ner. 1912. 


Tlie Evangelical Lutheran Salems congregation was organized by 
Rev. Johannes Karrer on the 2Sth day of September. 1908. with eighteen 


charter members. The church was built in the same year and dedicated De- 
cember 20, 1908. The congregation is a member of the Evangehcal Lutheran 
Synod of Wisconsin and other states. It enjoyed a rapid growth and at 
present has over one hundred families constituting the congregation. It 
conducts a parochial school, and owns also its parsonage building. The 
property at a fair valuation is $10,000. It is situated on Bridge street, on the 
north side of the city. 

THE Y. M. C. A. 

The above initials are so well understood that they need no explanation 
for their meaning. The association was established in Wausau in December, 
1891. Its first officers and directors were: C. J. Winton, president; C. B. 
Bird, vice-president; Henry Smith, secretary; C. S. Gilbert, treasurer; and 
A. H. Clark, F. U. James. A. H. Grout, F. J. Tyrrel and W. W. Wilson, 
trustees. The first general secretary, F. D. Hopkins, was engaged in the 
spring of 1893. He served the association until August, 1896, when he 
removed to Racine, Wisconsin, and in September, i8g6, Neal Campbell of 
Sheboygan was secured to succeed him. The first permanent home for the 
association was built in the summer of 1893, at the corner of Scott and 
Fourth streets, at a cost of $10,000. Here for fifteen years, twelve of which 
under the management of Mr. Campbell, the association pursued its far- 
reaching work among the men and boys of Wausau. 

With the growth of the city there was a gradual stronger demand for a 
larger building and better equipment, until in January, 1908, the eft'orts of 
the men interested in the upbuilding of the society bore frtiit in the mag- 
nificent building on Third and Grant streets, the present home of the asso- 
ciation, at a cost of not less than seventy-five thousand dollars. The men who 
had direct charge of raising the fund for this new building were Tamar 
Sexsmith, chairman ; C. J. Winton, H. G. Flieth, G. D. Jones, W. H. Bissell, 
C. E. Turner and C. B. Bird. Mr. Campbell remained the general secretary 
continuously from 1896 until the summer of 1912, when he resigned and was 
succeeded by C. F. Ogden of La Crosse, with C. E. Middleton as physical 
director, and F. W. Brandenburger as boys' work director. 

The present officers and board (February, 1913) are: S. B. Tobey, presi- 
dent; P. F. Stone, vice-president; A. A. Hoeper, secretary: C. E. Parker, 
treasurer, and Charles Zahn, F. M. James, H. G. Flieth. \^^ C. Landon, 
James Montgomery, A. H. Clark, C. B. Bird, M. B. Rosenberr\', C. S. 
Gilbert, C. G. Krueger, and Lamar Sexsmith, trustees. 


Financial Institutions: The First Xational Bank — The Marathon County 
Bank — National American Bank — Citizens State Bank — Wisconsin Val- 
ley Trust Company — Marathon County Building-Loan & Investment Co. 
— The Great Northern Life htsurance Co)npan\ — Employers' Mutual 
Liability Insurance Company of Wisconsin. 


This bank succeeded to the old, well established bank of Silverthom & 
Plumer, which last named finn did a brokerage business in \\'ausau as early 
as 1866 and started out as a regular bank of deposit and discount in 1869, 
and under the finn name of Silverthorn & Plumer carried on the banking 
business until 1882, when the growth of its business made it desirable to 
take out a charter as a national bank. It was organized as a national bank 
in December, 1882, the capital increased to $50,000, which was eagerly taken 
by Wausau business men. The business of the bank kept growth with the 
growth of Wausau and Marathon county, and as a consequence the capital 
stock had to be increased several times; its stock was quickly subscribed 
each time it was offered to the public, and the continued success and the 
growth of the bank is the best evidence of careful, upright business man- 
agement. The capital was increased in 1884 to $100,000; in 1903, to $150,- 
000; in 1905, to $200,000; in 1912, to $350,000. 

Capital and Surplus Deposits Resources 

March 13, 1883 $50,000 $ 161,693.12 $ 239.214.06 

March 13, 1893 123,000 712,496.91 863,696.90 

November 26, 1912 500,000 i,6o9,202;03 2,339,894.73 

The following is the bank statement at the close of the business of Novem- 
ber 26, 1912: 




Loans and discounts. . .$1,623,515.28 Due from United States 

United States bonds.. 200.000.00 treasury 10,000.00 

Municipal bonds and Cash and due from 

securities 28,000.00 banks 396,309.45 

Real estate and fixtures 82,070.00 



Capital stock $ 350,000.00 Dividends unpaid 15.00 

Surplus and profits. . . . 180,000.00 Deposits 1,609,202.03 

Circulation 200,000.00 


Officers : D. L. Plumer, president : John Ringle. vice-president ; C. S. 
Curtis, vice-president; A. H. Grout, cashier; C. G. Krueger, assistant treas- 
urer; directors: D. L. Plumer, John Ringle, C. S. Curtis, Jacob Gensman, 
G. D. Jones, F. P. Stone, C. E. Turner. E. B. Thayer, J. X. ^^lanson. 


This bank was organized under the present name on December 7, 1874, 
and opened for business January i, 1875. It succeeded to the banking busi- 
ness of J. A. Farnham, who came to W'ausau in the early fifties, and in a 
few years carried on a private banking business under firm name of "The 
Bank of the Interior" until it merged in the Marathon County Bank in 1874. 
The Marathon County started out with a capital of $25,000 in the 
bank building, a solid brick erected by J. A. Farnham for the use of the bank, 
the first solid brick building in Wausau, which was torn down when the 
present banking house was erected in its place in 1892. Only after nine 
years, on January 6, 1883, the Marathon County Bank increased its capital 
to $60,000, then ten years later in 1903, to $75,000, and on June 11, 1912, 
to $100,000. 

As in the other banks, the capital stock is in its great majority held by 
Wausau people, as indicated by the officers of the bank. 

The following is a copy of the bank statement of this bank at the close 
of the business January 25, 1913 : 


Resources. Liabilities. 

Loans and discounts. . . .$489,440.85 Capital stock $100,000.00 

Bonds and stocks 61,950.00 Surplus 50,000.00 

Overdrafts 1,789.05 Undivided profits 7,788.06 

Bank buildings and fix- Certified checks 557-00 

tures 30,000.00 Unpaid dividends 900.00 

Cash and due from banks 142,520.71 Due to bank's deposits .. . 749-83 

■ • Deposits 565-70572 



Ofificers of the bank : Walter Alexander, president ; Charles W. Harger,' 
vice-president; E. C. Zimmermann, cashier; Walter Alexander, Charles W. 
Harger, William B. Scholfield, B. F. Wilson, E. C. Zimmermann, directors. 


This bank commenced business as a state bank under the name of Ger- 
man American Savings Bank in the year 1890 with a capital of $75,000. It 
organized as a national bank in 1892, increasing its capital to $100,000. In 
1903 it increased its capital to $200,000 and on the ist of April, 1912, it 
increased its capital to $300,000, and at each time the stock was eagerly sub- 
scribed and taken up by Wausau people. It has at the present time a sur- 
plus of $130,000 and undivided profits in the sum of $17,000. The growth 
of the business of the bank is best illustrated by the statements of the years 
following the organization, to wit : 

Surplus and undi- Loans and 

Date. Capital. vided profits. Discounts. 

Jan. I, 1S93 $100,000.00 $ 3.568.99 $ 220,264.88 

Jan. I, 1898 100,000.00 14.472.29 328.427.68 

Jan. I, 1903 100,000.00 42,060.71 851,662.48 

Jan! I, 1908 200,000.00 100,231.71 1,294,105.18 

Jan. I, 1913 300,000.00 147.563.59 1,726,247.69 

Deposits. Cash. 

$ 205,756.83 $ 79,477-99 

353.097.71 119,426.53 

1,136,447.69 250,398.57 

i,434>395.26 282,819-63 

1,905,011.44 488.567.79 

Report to the comptroller of the currency at close of business December 

5> 191 1 : 


Loans and discounts $1,545,018.29 

United States bonds, "par value" 201,000.00 


Other bonds, "par value" 71,700.00 

Premium on United States bonds 0,000.00 

Overdrafts 5,834,82 

Banking house and fixtures 55,912.50 

Cash Resources. 

Due from United States treasury. . .$ 10,000,00 
Cash in vault and due from banks. . 345,341.12 


Total $2,234,806.73 


Capital stock $ 200,000.00 

Surplus 100,000.00 

Undivided profits 59,229.50 

Circulation 200,000.00 

Deposits i,675>577-23 

Total $2,234,806.73 

The officers of the bank are : Benjamin Heinemann, president ; Walter 
Alexander, vice-president ; C. S. Gilbert, vice-president ; board of directors : 
Walter Alexander, W. H. Bissell. Herman G. Flieth, Charles S. Gilbert, 
Benjamin Heinemann, D. J. Murray, John D. Ross, C. J. Winton, Cyrus C. 


The Citizens State Bank was organized in October, 1907, and com- 
menced business October 28, 1907, with a capital of $50,000, all paid up. 

It is the youngest bank in Wausau, prosperous and by reason of its loca- 
tion on the west side of the river is very convenient for the people on that 
side living somewhat remote from the old established banks. 

At the close of the business on November 26, 1912, the bank statement 
is as follows : 


Resources. Liabilities. 

Loans and discounts. . . .$272,912.76 Capital stock $ 50,000.00 

Overdrafts 694.34 Surplus 3,500.00 

Banking house and fix- L'ndivided profits 7,767.17 

turcs 17,576.00 Deposits 297,674.12 

Cash and due from banks 67,758.19 



Officers and directors: President, S. M. Quaw; vice-presideni, C. A. Bar- 
wig; cashier, \V. E. Hudtlofif; directors, A. H. Clark, Anton Mehl, G. A. 
Oswald, Fred. \\'. Genrich. August Marquardt, Henry Ruder, C. J. L. Zahn. 


This company was organized in 1906 by ^Messrs. A. L. Kreutzer, C. B. 
Bird, and M. B. Rosenberry, who for fifteen years before that had been prac- 
ticing lawyers, and as such had practical experience in the making of loans 
and investment of money for their clients in this county. 

The trust company plan of handling investments, closing up estates, man- 
aging guardianships, and all matters requiring the services of a trustee, is 
the established and approved method for doing those things. Most investors 
do not have enough money so that they can devote all of their time to invest- 
ing it, therefore they do not have the knowledge or experience in such mat- 
ters. Naturally they cannot perform the high character of work required in 
such instances, with the proper skill and experience necessary to get the best 

Then there are a large and continually increasing number of cases where 
parties desire to deposit money or make investments upon some trust, i. e., 
upon an arrangement by which the money is to be paid or the property man- 
aged according to certain fixed ideas of the owner. For example : He may 
wish to set aside a certain sum of money and have the income from it, or if 
it be property, have it managed and the rents and profits paid at stated inter- 
vals to the children or other relatives, providing for the payment of the 
principal to them in installments as they increase in age and business expe- 
rience, thereby avoiding the danger which so often results from heirs receiv- 
ing the whole heritage at once and being inexperienced, soon losing it by 
unwise investment or unsafe business management. For all such purposes 
trust companies are organized. It has become the established manner of 


doing business. To fill the demand for such an institution in Wausau, the 
above individuals — who in their law practice had been doing just such things 
— organized the Wisconsin Valley Trust Company. 

The company was incorporated in 1906 with a capital stock of $50,000. 
Subsequently Mr. John J. Okoneski, who became a partner in said law finn, 
and Mr. Otto G. Fehlhaber, formerly cashier of the Bank of Edgar, and before 
that clerk in the United States land office, became members, and these five 
constitute the board of directors. Mr. Kreutzer is president of the company 
and Mr. Fehlhaber its cashier. 

In September, 1907, they commenced the erection of their fine office build- 
ing at the corner of Fourth and Scott streets, now occupied by the company ; 
the growing needs of which will require that more and more of the space 
in this building will be used from year to year for the needs of the com- 

The laws of Wisconsin require such companies to deposit 50 per cent of 
its capital stock in cash, bonds, or securities with the state treasurer as a 
pledge of security to their customers, and also create a double liability on the 
stockholders and require the reserve, periodical examination and all other 
limitations imposed upon banks. In addition to this, trust companies are not 
permitted to receive deposits upon demand, but only upon time, and are also 
required to invest their funds only in real estate mortgages or loans where 
approved collateral is deposited as security. In both cases, the loan must 
not be more than 60 per cent of the value of the land or security. These well 
known safety requirements, together with the established business reputation 
for ability and integrity of the members, explain the success which this com- 
pany has had in the conduct of its business, and the rapid growth which it 
has enjoyed. 

The last monthly statement of the company shows the amount of its loans 
to be $391,637.54, its deposits to be $422,535.60, and its capital, surplus and 
undivided profits to be $73,417.71. This institution is filling a large place 
in the community and has become one of the established financial institutions 
in this county. 

While its stockholders are themselves lawyers, yet they abstain scrupu- 
lously from using the company as a means of diverting law business from 
others to themselves. They realize that most persons have their own choice 
of what lawyers they wish to employ, and in the management of all estates 
and trust aflfairs, they always employ to do the legal work, such lawyers as 
their customers wish to handle the matter. All of the lawyers of the county 
are fast finding it to their advantage when they have estates to be closed up, 


or other matters within the piovince of that company to handle, to have the 
company appointed executor of the estate or trustee, knowing that the matter 
ean be better handled and will be more efficiently and economically done than 
is business where the executor or trustee must be an individual, little expe- 
rienced in such matters. 


This corporation is doing business under the laws of the state of Wis- 
consin, mainly as a building and loan association. It was incorporated on 
January 29, 1902, and commenced business March i, 1902. The business of 
the corporation is to loan or advance money to people desirous of building 
themselves a home, at a low rate of interest and on easy terms, giving from 
five to ten years in which to pay, although the borrower has the choice to pay 
at any time sooner if he wishes, and payments are to be made in small monthly 
installments. Small payments can be made from earnings of a workman 
much easier than a large payment once or twice a year, and such small pay- 
ments instill the desire of the borrower to save his means and foster the spirit 
of economy so essential for a man of small income. 

Many of the workmen of Wausau have availed themselves of the advan- 
tages offered by this corporation. When a person owns his building lot in 
the city and wants to borrow the money to build himself a home thereon 
instead of living in rent, this corporation will advance him the money at a 
low rate of interest, upon condition that the money loaned be used in the 
building, and no other purpose, the intention being that the money thus 
obtained should be used for the improvement of the property. Since the 
organization of this company, hundreds of workmen's houses have been 
built in that way and paid for, and many workmen and their families enjoy 
now the comforts of a home of their own, which they would not have acquired 

This institution has become very popular and its loans are sought for not 
only by workmen, but also by professional people and business men of smaller 
means, who wish to build, but do not want to withdraw the necessary capital 
at once from their business. 

The interest charged averages about 4^^ per cent after all payments are 
made. The attorney for the corporation is Neal Brown, whose work consists 
mainly in examining the abstracts to see that the applicant for a loan has good 
title to his real estate, which examination is made at the cost of 
the corporation. 


The securities held are mortgages for loans made, in the amount of $163,- 
275, all of which is the unpaid balance of advances on small residences. Its 
first board of directors were: Walter Alexander, H. G. Flieth, Anton Mehl, 
P. F. Stone, Walter E. Curtis, F. A. Hecker, Charles J. Zahn, John F. La- 
ment. R. Goodrich, G. D. Jones, and I. A. La Certe. A. A. Bock is secretary; 
his office is located in the center of the business portion of the city, which is 
an important point considering the many monthly calls that have to be made 
at his office in paying the monthly installments. 


This company was incorporated May 7, 1909, with a capital stock of 
$200,000. The initiative for the organization of the company was taken by 
Wausau citizens which accounts for the fact that all its officers and managers 
are resident Wausau citizens. Every policy is guaranteed by the capital of 
the company, the legal resen-e and surplus. The annual premium income of 
the company is now in excess of $100,000 a year and the insurance in force 
exceeds the sum of three million dollars. The reserve held by the company 
on outstanding contracts amounts to $104,240.28. The assets of the company 
amount to $357,692.98. It has a surplus in excess of its capital and all other 
liabilities of $44,535.81. The territory in which the company is doing busi- 
ness is Wisconsin and Michigan, and this will be extended in the very near 
future to Minnesota. 

The company offers a definite amount of life insurance at a fixed price 
and guarantees every dollar of insurance value that the premium payments 
can safely provide. There are no estimates, no promises of dividends, and 
no alluring inducements. The actual dividend received in this company is 
the difference in the premium paid for insurance in the Great Northern Life 
and what would be paid in another company furnishing estimates of dividend 
profits in the future. The policies of the Great Northern Life are simple, 
easily understood agreements to pay the face of the policy in the event of 
death, or if an endowment, to the insured, when the time for such payment 
arrives. The provisions and conditions of the policy are few in number 
and are plainly stated in language which cannot be misconstrued. The values 
are clearly stated in figures, and are as liberal as safety and cost will permit. 

If a loan is wanted or the policy surrendered for cash value, or an exchange 
wanted for a paid-up policy, or insurance allowed to continue without fur- 
ther premium payments as extended insurance, all the figures are definitely 


and clearly stated in the policy. The policy is plain, easily understood, so 
that everyone who reads it knows what he is to expect. 

There is no forfeiture, no contest, no law suit. The policy is incontestable 
■ — it is controlled by the person, and he can change the premium payments 
at any time to meet his convenience. 

When one has a policy in the company he carries life insurance that insures, 
without frills and without impossible promises. 

The one and only uncertainty if one carries a policy in this company is : 
When will he die ? But for this one has the certainty that whenever one does 
die, his policy will be promptly paid in full to the beneficiary. 

The company offers a real life insurance at the lowest possible cost. 

No life insurance company can do more. 


Officers and directors: President, Hon. Xeal Brown; vice-presidents, C. 
C. Yawkey, W. H. ]\Iylrea, William A. Fricke; secretary, B. F. Wilson; 
treasurer, C. S. Gilbert; assistant secretary, John A. Sullivan; assistant treas- 
urer, H. G. Flieth ; medical director, A. B. Rosenberry, M. D. ; general counsel, 
Neal Brown; general manager, William A. Fricke. 

Executive committee: Walter Alexander, C. C. Yawkey, B. Heinemann, 
Neal Brown, G. D. Jones, C. S. Curtis, Charles S. Gilbert, B. F. Wilson, W. 
H. JNIylrea, William A. Fricke. 

Every one of the directors is a well known, financially responsible business 
man of Northern Wisconsin. 

employers' mutual LL\BILITY IXSUR.AXCE C0MP.\XY of WISCONSIN. 

The workingmen's compensation act in ^^'isconsin is known as chapter 50 
of the laws of 1911, going into effect September i, 1911. It was enacted 
for the purpose of preventing or reducing the causes of dependency or pov- 
erty caused by accidents, death or physical injury to workmen engaged in 
industrial pursuits, which under modem factory conditions with their large 
numbers of men. working with powerful and complicated machinery and 
engines, are unavoidable. In enacting this law, the state of Wisconsin and 
other states were following the states of Europe which had enacted similar 
laws vears before they were enacted in this country. The rule of liability of 
master and sen-ant as applied a hundred years ago had often worked hardship 
and injustice under present conditions, but the courts felt it was their duty to 


adhere to the existing rule until they were changed by statute, which was 
effectually done by the act above referred to. By this law the liability of 
employers towards their employes was greatly enlarged, and in order to pro- 
tect themselves from great individual losses the employers must combine so 
as to divide the losses, and at the same time enable them to charge up the 
insurance as part of the cost of the running expense of the mill or factory. 

The Employers' Mutual Liability Insurance Company of Wisconsin — 
home office at Wausau, Wisconsin — was organized September i, 191 1, on 
the mutual plan to provide the employers of Wisconsin who accepted the pro- 
visions of the Workmen's Compensation Act with insurance, furnishing the 
compensations and medical and surgical aid required of the employer to be 
furnished employes for injury or death resulting from industrial accidents. 
It was the first company organized in this country for the purpose of pro- 
viding the compensations of the law and solving the problems of workmen's 
compensations; the initiative was taken by Wausau employers of labor. 

The first year's experience of the company, ending August 31, 1912, shows 
that at a premium rate of only 40 per cent of the rate charged by stock casu- 
alty companies this company provided all of the compensations required by 
the law, paid all management expenses, and was enabled to declare a 15 per 
cent dividend credit to its policy holders out of the casualty earned premium. 
The policies of the company now cover 25,000 lives, and up to November 
30, 1912, 2,494 industrial accidents have been reported, 16 of which temii- 
nated fatally, and the payments made by the company chargeable to com- 
pensation have amounted to $48,733.22. and the company has on hand avail- 
able funds for the payment of claims, $56,288.92. The annual premium 
income of the company now is in excess of $100,000. 

The officers of the company are as follows : G. F. Steele, president ; Wil- 
liam A. Fricke, A. Hirshheimer, W. W. Vincent, W. E. Brown, H. W. Bolens, 

Executive committee : G. F. Steele, W. C. Landon. C. A. Babcock. B. F. 
Wilson, Karl Mathie, L. M. Alexander, Neal Brown. William A. Fricke. 
Board of directors: G. F. Steele, Cornell; Walter Alexander, Wausau; W. 
W. Vincent, Kenosha; William A. Fricke, Wausau; W. E. Brown, Rhine- 
lander; L. K. Baker, Odanah; C. C. Yawkey, Wausau; A. Hirshheimer, La 
Crosse; W. C. Landon, Wausau; L. M. Alexander, ^Milwaukee; H. J. Hagge, 
Wausau ; M. A. Wertheimer. Kaukauna ; C. A. Babcock, Neenah ; G. D. Jones, 
Wausau; Karl Mathie, Mosinee; B. F. Wilson, Wausau; H. W. Bolens, Port 
Washington ; Neal Brown, Wausau. 

Industrial JVausan in ipi2. 


The Curtis & Yale Company is not only the largest manufacturing and 
labor employing establishment in Wausau, but as a manufacturer of sash, door, 
blinds, mouldings, and interior finishings, it ranks among the most extensive 
and best equipped establishments in the state of Wisconsin. The factory was 
established in 1881 by Curtis Brothers & Co., of Clinton, Iowa, as a branch 
of their large Clinton establishment of the same kind, and grew from a 
modest beginning to its mammoth proportions of today. 

In January i, 1893, the new firm succeeded to the business, having been 
incorporated under the laws of Iowa, with the following named persons as 
its officers: G. M. Curtis, president, residing at Clinton, Iowa; S. M. Yale, 
vice-president, residing at Minneapolis, Minnesota ; C. S. Curtis, secretary 
and treasurer, residing at Wausau. Wisconsin. 

The fimi has jobbing houses at Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Detroit, Mich- 
igan; also branch sales offices at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Washington, 
District of Columbia, and a purchasing office at Spokane, \\'ashington. 

The firm has two plants in \\'ausau : Plant No. i located on Clinton street 
and First avenue, is the original plant for the manufacture of sash, doors, 
and all interior finishings. Plant No. 2 was originally a chair factory started 
as a stock corporation with municipal aid to the amount of $10,000, given 
by the city of Wausau, and like most plants of this sort, had a short existence. 
The factory was sold by the assignee and purchased by the Curtis & Yale 
Company, an entire set of new machinery was put in, and it became plant 
No. 2 of the Curtis & Yale Company. It is located on the east end of Sher- 
man street, and there is manufactured basswood products and screen goods 
mainly. The main office is at Wausau, W^isconsin, on comer of Clinton street 
and First avenue. 

The volume of business of this concern amounts annually to over $500,- 



ooo. It is incorporated with a capital stock of $300,000 and has a surplus 
exceeding the capital stock. It employs its own "designers" for planing 
"interior finishings'' and first-class mechanics and artists in the line of wood 
cuttings and engravings. Needless to say, it has an automatic sprinkling sys- 
tem for fire protection and powerful pumps able to throw four streams of 
water completely over the mammoth buildings. Steam engines of 500-horse 
power, and two other engines for generating electrical current furnish the 
motive power. 

It employs on an average about 600 men and, excepting a few weeks, when 
the factories close annually for repairs, it has been in continuous operation 
since its beginning in 1881. 

Its present officers are : George M. Curtis, of Clinton, Iowa, president ; 
Stephen M. Yale, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, vice-president; Cornelius S. 
Curtis, Wausau, Wisconsin, secretary and treasurer; Walter E. Curtis, \\'au- 
sau, assistant secretary and treasurer. 


has its mill on the Mclndoe Island on the main river just above the dam. 
It was erected in 1880 by Clark, Johnson & Co., which firm sold out in 1887 
to C. C. Barker and H. C. Stewart. 

This company organized later as a corporation doing business under its 
present title. It is a modern saw mill and capable of sawing about 80,000 
feet of lumber in ten hours. 

There is also a planing mill for planing, matching, and dressing lumber, 
capable of turning out 100,000 feet of dressed lumber in ten hours. Par- 
ticular attention is given by this firm to the retail lumber trade. The power 
to run the mill is furnished by a Corlis engine ; boilers set up in battery supply 
the steam, and all machinery is of the newest approved patterns. 

The company is capitalized at $300,000 and employs about 250 men, 
most of them at the mill in Wausau, only a few in the woods, as most of their 
logging is done by contract. The annual capacity is about 40 million feet of 
lumber, of which about 50 per cent is hemlock and the rest is hardwood and 

The officers of the corporation are: W. C. Landon, president and man- 
ager, Wausau, Wisconsin ; S. B. Stewart, vice-president, Portland, Oregon ; 
H. C. Stewart, secretary and treasurer, Wausau, Wisconsin. 



The first and oldest saw mill property at the site of the George Stevens 
mill, which was built at Wausau in 1839-40, passed into possession of W. D. 
Mclndoe in 1848, who tore down the old mill and erected a new mill a little 
further down. That mill passed into possession of the A. Stewart Lumber 
Company after the death of W. D. Mclndoe, and was operated by it until 
191 1, when it ceased sawing having exhausted its timber supply. 

The water rights were sold to the street railway company of Wausau, 
but not the mill proper, which passed into the possession of the B. Heinemann 
Lumber Company in 1912 by purchase, which has timber enough within less 
than fifty miles to keep up sawing for twenty-five years. 

The saw mill proper consists of a Degroat, Giddings and Lewis band mill, 
one circular saw, each with steam feed, one combination Murray edger with 
strip machine, also shingle and lath mill, having a capacity for sawing 175,- 
000 feet of lumber in 20 hours besides a large quantity of shingles and lath. 

The planing mill has five machines for planing and matching lumber. One 
large double sur facer and cut off machine, and is capable of turning out 100,- 
000 feet of dressed lumber in a run of 10 hours. 

The power to run this mill is furnished by a Buckeye steam engine of 450 
horse power, with 22-inch cylinder and 32-inch stroke. Four steel boilers 
each 16 feet by 60 inches set in battery supply the steam; the engine house 
is 23 by 34 feet, absolutely fireproof, the iron roof resting on iron beams. The 
planing mill is run by electric power furnished by the Wausau Street Railway 

The corporation is capitalized at $200,000. Its officers are : B. Heine- 
mann, president; W. D. Heinemann, vice-president; G. B. Heinemann, sec- 
retary and treasurer. Office at Wausau, Wisconsin. 


commenced business in 1893, purchased in that year the Leahy & Beebe mill, 
situated on the west shore of the river opposite of the pumping station. It 
is a first-class saw mill in every respect. Its capacity is 75,000 feet in ten 
hours with the usual quantity of shingles and lath. 

It has a planing mill separate and distinct from the saw mill, operated 
under its own separate power, situated a short distance west from the saw mill. 
It is incorporated with a capital of $100,000. all paid up, gets its logs nearly 
entirely by rail, and has been running every year since the present manage- 


ment took hold of it. Its output is about in the neighborhood of 15 milhon 
feet annually, mainly hemlock. 

Its present officers are : J. jMortenson, president ; F. P. Stone, vice-presi- 
dent and- secretary; Charles Edgar, treasurer; J. Henry Johannes, assistant 


is operating a first-class saw mill in the southwest part of Wausau. It 
was built only four years ago, although one of the incorporators, Mr. F. 
Schubring, had been in the lumber business for a number of years, and had 
owned a smaller saw mill in the town of Hamburg in this county. The mill 
has a band saw and a lath mill, is operated by steam, and has all the appliances 
of a modern mill, such as auto trucks, etc. 

It is incorporated for $40,000 and does a large custom sawing besides 
sawing its own lumber. During the last two or three years, it was sawing 
for Boswell & Co., they bringing their logs for nearly one hundred miles to 
be manufactured by this mill. 

Its output is nearly all hemlock and hardwood lumber, sawing about 8 
million feet annually, and employing thirty-five men on an average. 

The officers of the corporation are: F. Schubring, president and treasurer; 
Mrs. L. Schubring, vice-president; Carl Lotz, secretary. 


has an office at \\'ausau, but does not manufacture here. The same is true 
also of the "Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Company," "Wisconsin Timber Com- 
pany," and "Cisco Lake Lumber Company," in all of which C. C. Yawkey is 
interested. But he is also largely financially engaged in the "Wausau Street 
Railroad Company," in the "Marathon County Paper Mills," in the "Wausau 
Paper Mills," in other large industrial concerns, and a stockholder in the 
banks in the city. 


which succeeded to the mill property of the Hon. W. D. Mclndoe some years 
after the latter's demise, was the largest lumber fimi on the Wisconsin river 
until is ceased operations in 191 1, having converted all their timber into lum- 
ber at that time, and it has disposed of its manufacturing plant. The corpora- 
tion is still alive, but employing but a few men, selling and disposing of the 


large stock of lumber on hand in thirty or more lumber yards in the western 

It is incorporated for $500,000, and from the time of their organization 
their officers were : Alexander Stewart, president ; John Stewart, vice-presi- 
dent; Walter Alexander, secretary and treasurer.* 


is a well established institution. It was formerly located at Appleton, Wis- 
consin, but removed its machinery and business to Wausau in 1893, ^^'^ ^^^ 
been in continuous and successful operation ever since. 

It has now one of the largest \eneer machines in the country, and is one 
of the best equipped factories in the West. It works up not only all kinds 
of native woods of Wisconsin, but imports and uses up large quantities of 
the finest southern woods. The products of this establishment is mainly used 
in the manufacture of fine furniture, but is not confined to that alone. 

Picture backing "figured birch'' and "quartered oak" are also manufac- 
tured by this institution, which purchases the hardwood logs which the for- 
ests of Marathon county yield in abundant quantities, giving the farmer a 
chance to dispose of his surplus timber to good advantage. The log is first put 
in steam vats and remains under the action of the boiling steam for twelve 
hours ; then the bark is removed and the log put through the machines, which 
cut the timber in all thicknesses demanded from 1/64 to }i of an inch. 

Most of the fine birch oak is cut up in 1-30, 1-20 and 1-16 of an inch, 
basswood mostly, from ^ to ^ of an inch, and other woods are worked up 
comparatively in the same manner. The fine hardwoods are, as a rule, always 
cut thinner than soft woods. This factory has in its equipment a patent dry- 
ing machine invented by Mr. Underwood (its former president, now de- 
ceased), by means of which the factory is enabled to take a fresh cut log in 
the morning, cut it into veneer and have it dried by this process and made 
fit for use in one day. 

This factory has run continuously even in the dull years from 1894 to 
1896, losing no time at all, except on an occasional break-down. Some years 
ago it substituted electrical power furnished by the street railway company 
for its steam power. It employs on an average 125 hands. 

It is capitalized at $120,000. 

Its officers are: O. C. Lemke, president and treasurer; S. W. Underwood, 
vice-president and secretary. 

* Since the demise of -Mr. A. Stewart there will be a change in the officers. 





is situated on the site formerly occupied by tlie R. P. Manson planing mill. 
It manufactures all kinds of K. D. packages usually called box shooks. The 
material is cut to size ready to be nailed up into boxes at destination. This 
industry has grown to be a part of the commercial world, slowly but surely, 
the last hundred years, probably since goods began to be manufactured and 
shipped, as a package was necessary for the shipment. 

This company is capitalized for $100,000. It was incorporated in 1892 
and capitalized for $25,000 which was increased to $100,000. It employs 
on an average 125 men and boys and uses up 13,000,000 feet of lumber annu- 
ally. The power consists of 350 horse power Allis engine. 

This industry is more or less dependent upon local timber and lumber for 
its raw material. All kinds of low grade lumber are used. This business is 
interstate, and the products are shipped to nearly all parts of the United 
■ States. But it has also a large export trade to Mexico. From 1893 to 1897 
it shipped as high as 200 cars annually to Mexico. This business has dropped 
off somewhat owing to the development of Mexico's forest products which 
supplies a share of the home demand and also by the stagnation of business 
in that country owing to its unstaple government in late years. The demand 
in other parts of the United States for the product of this fimi has more 
than made up, however, for the decreased supply to Mexico. 

The officers of this company are : C. E. Turner, president ; W. B. Schol- 
field, secretary and treasurer. 

The president of this company. Mr. E. C. Turner, is the president of the 
Wausau public library board, and to his work in behalf of the library is due 
much growth of the library and its popularity. He is also a member 
of the board of water commission. William B. Scholfield is secretary and 
treasurer and has been on the school board for ten years or more. He is the 
son of Doctor Scholfield, the pioneer who build Scholfield mill on the Eau 
Claire river in the forties. 


In 1889 David L. Goodwillie and James G. Goodwillie came from Chicago 
where they had conducted a small box factory, and purchased the J. C. Smith 
planing mill situated on corner of Bridge and Main streets, east of the pump- 
ing station of the waterworks. 

They converted the planing mill immediately into a box shook factory, 
and have conducted it successfully ever since. 


This concern manufactures shocks for boxes of all kinds, shapes and 
sizes for boxing all kinds of merchandise. While this is the principal article 
which their plant turns out, they deal also in special sizes of lumber manu- 
factured to order from standard sizes. 

The capacity of the factor}^ has been increased from time to time until 
they are now able to work up into shooks 125,000 feet of lumber a day, 
when working full time. The number of hands employed when running 
at full capacity is about 125. They use annually from 10 to 13 million feet 
of lumber. This firm is not incorporated and exists as it did from the begin- 
ning as a partnership. 


is located on the southeast part of the city near the tracks of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad and the Northwestern railroad which have 
side tracks running in their yards. It manufactures boxes, box shooks, and 
lumber, and the annual output amounts to $200,000. 

It employs on an average about 125 men. 

The incorporated capital is $2ro,ooo, and its officers are: E. A. Gooding, 
president; B. Heinemann, vice-president; E. \\'. Behlke, secretary, and G. K. 
Gooding, treasurer. 


has its large plant in the southwestern part of the city, devoted to the manu- 
facture of furniture novelties of all kinds. 

It was incorporated in 1892 and began operations in January-, 1893. 

It has been enlarged from time to time and uses both steam and elec- 
trical power. 

It employs about 80 hands on an average throughout the year. 

Its capital stock is $50,000. 

Its officers are : Frank Kelly, president and treasurer ; E. A. Gooding, 
secretary; O. G. Schilling, vice-president and superintendent. 


is located a short distance east of the fair grounds. It is another of the 
factories which from a very modest beginning worked up to its present 
formidable dimensions. 

It manufactures bank, store and office fixtures and inside finishings of all 


kinds. It employs on an average twenty-four men throughout the year; the 
power is furnished by an electric 8o-horse power motor. 

Incorporated with a capital of $50,000, its officers are : W. H. Thorn, 
president; Gustav A. Janke, vice-president and superintendent, and N. E. 
Pardee, secretary and treasurer. 


succeeded to the factory and business of the George Werheim Manufacturing 
Company in 1912. It continues to manufacture sash, blinds, doors and 
inside finishings, and has its own special designers. 

The factory and yards are located on Third street and east and north 
on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, which runs a 
side track along a platform on the factory, giving it excellent shipping facili- 
ties. Besides manufacturing for home consumption, the products are shipped 
not only to all parts of the state, but the western and eastern states as well. 
The increased demand on the productive powers of the company since it 
went into the hands of the new management, made it necessary to enlarge 
the factory. It employs about 35 men on an average. 

The capital stock is $60,000; its officers are: J. M. Kuebler, president; 
John Lull, vice-president; George Silvernagel, secretary and treasurer. 


manufactures some 70 different specialties of aluminum, wood, paper, sheet 
tine, and wire, all for advertising purposes. This firm began business in a 
small rented building about fifteen years ago, has been growing constantly, 
and two years ago erected a concrete factory building of respectable dimen- 
sions. It employs from ten to twenty hands during the year, and from pres- 
ent appearances will soon be forced to enlarge the factory again to supply 
the growing demand for their wares. It is incorporated with a capital of 
$50,000, and its officers are: G. G. Mcintosh, president; W. D. Siebecker, 
vice-president; A. J. Hurd, secretary; J. D. McKay, treasurer. 


is located on the east shore on the river, a short distance above the pumping 
station; it began operations in 1892 and has been running ever since, turning 
out about twelve tons or more of excelsior on an average of every ten hours. 
It uses up on an average eighteen cords of basswood bolts per day ; the value 


of its output annually is about $60,000. The officers are : J. Loewenthal, 
president; A. L. New, treasurer; and A. Schreiber, secretary. 


In 1874 Ely Wright came simultaneously with the Wisconsin Valley 
Railroad to Wausau and commenced a machine shop. He had come from 
Marinette, Wisconsin, where he had been in the same business. D. J. Mur- 
ray came with him as a partner, and after some years, Ely Wright sold his 
interest to his partner, who organized the Murray Manufacturing Company 
and has conducted the business since, and under his control and management 
it has grown and expanded to its present immense proportions. 

The large machine shops and foundry are located on Third street about 
six blocks from the courthouse and on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul Railroad. This concern makes a specialty of manufacturing saw 
mill machinery and is the largest institution of its kind in the central and 
northern part of this state. The excellence of its machinery and the many 
valuable inventions that have been made by this firm which have been cov- 
ered by patents, have widened and expanded its trade so much that not only 
are the principal mills in Wisconsin supplied with machinery manufactured 
by,this fimi, but orders are constantly received from distant states, even as 
far south as Louisiana. Railroad supplies also form a large part of the 
output of this institution. The plant has been enlarged from time to time, 
until its building and shops cover more than one city block of ground. It 
employs on an average throughout the year eighty men, but this does not 
include the number of men engaged in putting up mills after the machinery 
is delivered. The incorporated capital is only $50,000, but that represents 
but a very small part of its value. A very consen-ative estimate of the value 
of the manufactured product of this firm would be $350,000 annually. 

The officers of this corporation are: D. J. Murray, president and treas- 
urer; D. J. Murray, Jr.. secretary. 


are located on Tenth avenue south. This is one of the factories that located 
at Wausau only a few years ago, coming from the city of Appleton. It manu- 
factured steam boilers and similar apparatus, but soon branched out in the 
bridge building business, in which it was more than ordinarily successful. It 
found it necessary to greatly enlarge its plant, and employs on an average 


from 75 to 80 men, besides the men that are needed to put up the bridges 
over the streams. From the number of orders pouring in for their work, it 
is safe to say that it has a great future and will be one of the leading indus- 
tries in this city. Its capital stock is $25,000, with the following persons as 
officers : F. W. Krause, president ; Charles C. Wegner, vice-president ; T. J. 
Schott, secretary and treasurer, and A. C. Heinzen, manager. 


is one of the oldest manufacturing institutions in Wausau. It was founded 
by J. A. Frenzel in 1874 and by him conducted until the incorporation of 
the present company. The business of repair work for saw mills, etc., is 
still carried on besides the manufacture of feed cutters, wood saw machines, 
hose powers, and other farm machines, but in late years and under the pres- 
ent management, the manufacture of gasoline machines has become a specialty 
in which this firm excells. 

The factory is located on Plumer street and Prospect avenue. It employs 
on an average fourteen men throughout the year and is run by electricity. 
It was incorporated in the year 1903. The capital stock is $25,000. Its offi- 
cers are : Louis Kraatz, president ; B. Kraatz, vice-president ; Albert J. Kraatz, 
secretary and treasurer. 


is engaged in crushing, grinding, and grading the white quartzite rock which 
is found on Rib Hill, and which is used for grinding, polishing, and finishing 
metals and for filtering purposes, and in other industries. The rock exists 
on Rib Hill in inexhaustible quantities and is of fine clean quality. The 
company has been doing business for over ten years with a steady growing 
demand for its product. 

It is incorporated for $35,000; its officers are: W. L. Edmonds, president; 
C. C. Yawkey, vice-president; A. L. Kreutzer, secretary; H. G. Flieth. treas- 
urer, and Ralph W. Collie, manager. Directors : C. C. Yawkey, D. J. Mur- 
ray, H. G. Flieth, A. L. Kreutzer, W. L. Edmonds. 


The inexhaustable quantities of white quartzide forming Rib Hill were 
first put to commercial use about eighteen years ago, in a very small way. 


Jacob Kolter being the first person to make the attempt, but it took several 
years before the excellent quality of ground quartzide became an article of 
commerce on a large scale. 

That was a new venture in the industrial life of Marathon county which 
up to that time had been almost wholly confined to lumbering and the manu- 
facture of the products of the forest. 

But the venture was successful and the field for the use of the quartzide 
of Rib Hill is increasing every month and will in no distant day become one 
of the most important industries carried on in this city. 

The Wausau Sandpaper Company gets its raw material from its own 
quarries and grinds it for making sandpaper, making on an average 9.000 
sheets each day. In making sandpaper is had to meet the competition of the 
old established factories, but by perseverance and by the ven,' excellent quality 
of its product, it secured a steadily growing demand and an enlarged market. 

The factory employs fifteen men ; the value of its output is $80,000 annu- 
ally: its product is shipped to every state in the Union and to eight foreign 
countries. It is incorporated for $100,000. and its oflficers are : C. S. Curtis, 
president ; William Kuckuck, vice-president ; ^^^ ^^^ Albers, treasurer ; P. W. 
Sawyer, general manager. 


stands at the site where the first flour mill was built in Wausau by ^lessrs. 
Thayer & Corey. \Vater furnishes the motive power to this large flour and 
grist mill. It employs on an average _about 45 men at Wausau and the same 
number at branches located throughout the Chicago & Northwestern and 
Chicago, ]\Iilwaukee & St. Paul railways. The value of their manufactured 
products during each year approximates $1,400,000. A considerable part 
of its product is shipped to the East. It is equipped with separate mills for 
wheat, rye, com. and oats and produces about 800 barrels of flour and about 
40 tons of feed stuffs per day, running night and day practically every day in 
the year excepting Sunday and holidays. It deals in grain, hay, potatoes, peas, 
beans, and seeds and has warehouses and elevators located on the Chicago & 
Northwestern, Chicago, Milwaukee cSc St. Paul, Wisconsin Central, Chicago, 
St. Paul, ^Minneapolis & Omaha railways. Its capital and surplus is ^22^^- 
000. Its officers are: H. E. McEachron, president; George Pfeift'er, vice- 
president ; Charles Dodge, treasurer ; W. E. Dodge, secretary. 



purchased the flour and grist mill of F. W. Kickbusch located on Scott street, 
in the year 1906. It is engaged in the manufacture of flour and feed, and the 
jobbing of flour, feed, grain, and hay. It employs on an average 10 men 
during the year, its business amounting annually to about $250,000. Its capi- 
tal stock is $100,000. It uses electrical current for motive power. Its officers 
are : C. G. Krueger, president ; Paul Gebert, vice-president ; C. H. Hooker, 
secretary and treasurer. 


This was the first company in the central and northern part of the state 
to make a business of canning peas. It was organized in the year 1903 
and has since been in operation every year and did a profitable business from 
its beginning. 

The product of this firm has become a standard article of the trade and 
is much in demand, more so than the company was able to supply in later years. 

The peas raised in this county and canned are held the equal to the best 
French imported peas, and are sold in every state of the Union. Thousands 
of acres are under cultivation to raise the delicious little pea, and hundreds 
of hands are busy during the season to can it for shipment. Besides peas, the 
company cans also other agricultural products. 

The capital stock is $40,000, with the following officers : President, P. O. 
Means ; vice-president and treasurer. H. G. Flieth ; secretary, P. F. Stone. 


is a corporation organized to carry on the business indicated by its name. 
Its confectionery supplies the retail trade of a large territory and is always 
in good demand. Capital stock is $15,000. The officers are: President, 
Charles Peth; vice-president, G. D. Jones; secretary and treasurer, H. G. 


which is a foreign corporation, owns the tannery formerly conducted by 
Brodie Company. It was not operated during the last two years, but the 
thousands of cords of bark piled up at the tannery, together with the fact 
that a railroad side track was laid late last fall to the plant, is evidence that 
it will be idle no longer. All preparations are made for a large output in this 
year. When the tannery is in operation it employs from fifty to sixty men. 



In i860 George Ruder established a brewery which was enlarged from 
time to time to suit the growing demand for the light liquid refreshment 
with which he supplied his customers. This brewery was destroyed by fire 
on June 12, 1892, but such was the confidence of the business men of Wausau 
in the business capacity and integrity of George Ruder that when he made 
known his plan of organizing a corporation and rebuilding the brewery on a 
larger scale, stock to the amount of $100,000 was signed in a very short 
time. The business was incorporated on the 29th day of July, 1892, and com- 
menced active operations on the 17th day of August following. The fine 
large brewery and malt house was completed the next spring and Columbia 
Hall built, a large, spacious hall for concerts and public meetings, which 
burned down on March 29, 1908, and was rebuilt and converted into a bot- 
tling establishment. There is ample cellar room for aging 50,000 barrels of 
beer, but the brewing and malting capacity is much higher. The refrigerator 
has a cooling capacity equal of melting thirty tons of ice in twenty-four hours, 
which keeps the cellars at an even cool and dry temperature. 

The founder of this brewery, George Ruder, emigrated from Germany 
(Bavaria) in 1854, coming to Stevens Point in the same year, where he 
remained until i860 when he came to Wausau and built the brewery and 
continually resided here until his death which occurred December 29, 1894. 

He always took much interest in music, and through his efforts the first 
brass band was organized in 1867. and he took good care that it should never 
be without a good leader. Columbia Park, a part of the brewery ground, was 
cleared by him, and there was always a hall there for the amusement of the 
people, and the park was the picnic ground for all German societies and the 
German population generally, and his death was much regretted. 

The company has an incorporated capital of $100,000, with the following 
officers : Jacob Gensman, president ; Julius Ouade, vice-president ; Henry 
Ruder, secretary and treasurer. Regular number of men employed annually, 


The founder of this concern, Frank Mathie, was bom in Ellwangen, 
Wuerttemberg, Germany, and came to Wausau in 1858 from \A'aupaca. He 
came here with I. E. Thayer, who needed a good blacksmith and mechanic 
to help erect the first flour mill in Wausau. Having completed his work he 
found sufficient employment in shoeing horses and cattle, and doing general 


blacksmith work, and he opened a shop or bought the existing shop at the 
foot of Washington street, now the southwest corner of Mclndoe Park. He 
carried on this business successfully until 1868, when he sold his shop and 
lot to Aug. Lemke, the wagonmaker, and he himself put up his brewery. 
He first opened a brickyard in 1868, now the William Garske yard, in the 
town of Main to make the brick for the brewery, got his cellars ready in 
1869 and made his first brew in that year. His beginning was on a small 
scale with a brew kettle holding seven barrels. From this modest start his 
business increased until in 1892 he detemiined to organize it into a corpora- 
tion, withdraw from active participation in it, and spend the remaining years 
of his life in quiet enjoyment and rest. Accordingly he organized the cor- 
poration in October, 1892, with a capital stock of $100,000, which was rap- 
idly taken by Wausau people, then turned his interest therein over to his four 
sons, Edward, Frank, Otto, and John who (with the exception of Edward 
who soon thereafter started in business for himself in California) have since 
carried on the business with much success until the present time. Frank 
Mathie died June 30^ 1900, having the satisfaction to see the business entrusted 
to his sons to grow to big dimensions which exceeded even his expectation. 
The capital has lately been increased to $150,000; the capacity of the brewery 
is 40,000 barrels annually; two refrigerator machines keep the cellars on an 
even low and dry temperature; there are two 200-horsepower boilers, but 
electric power is now used throughout the plant; a deep drive well furnishes 
clear pure water of 200 barrels per day; glass tanks are used where 
formerly wooden vats were used, and every sanitary contrivance is taken 
advantage of to make the product tasty and wholesome. 

When the corporation started it increased the brewery, erected a large 
malt house to malt the barley for its own use ; a bottling department was added 
to care for the growing demand of bottled beer for family use. The present 
officers are: Otto Mathie, president; John Ringle, vice-president; John Mathie, 
secretary; E. C. Zimmennan, treasurer. 


is in a building erected on Plumer's Island (now the street railway company) 
by the United States Government, a few years ago. The object was to find 
a substitute for spruce and poplar in the manufacture for pulp in the manu- 
facture for paper. The investigation was carried on by the chemical experts 
of the department of agriculture and is claimed to have been highly suc- 
cessful. The chemical experts have completed their work, and the laboratory 


will be closed in a short time, until needed for other experimental work. The 
motive power for machinery used was electricity, furnished by the Wausau 
Street Railway Company. 


operates under a franchise granted to John Hempfling & Co. in 1884. After 
the completion of the works during the same year or soon thereafter, it passed 
substantially in the sole possession and control of B. G. Plumer, and after his 
death of his brother, D. L. Plumer, and was by him sold to the present own- 
ers. The company is incorporated for $200,000. It employs at an average 
twenty men during the year. The business done in 19 12 in round figures was 
as follows: Gas sold, $33,000; coke and tar, $13,000; merchandise, $8,000. 

Considering the high cost of freight on coal, the price charged for gas is 
reasonable, the rate for heating or cooking gas being 50 cents per 1,000 feet. 
Officers : K. L. Ames, president and treasurer ; George F. Goodnow, vice- 
president; C. H. Whitelaw, secretary; H. H. Wilson, manager. 


is a" new business which makes use of material heretofore supposed to be 
worthless and expensive even to dispose of. It uses for its raw material Nor- 
way pine stumps, and it makes no difference how old the stumps are, and it 
extracts from them the turpentine, pine oil, creosote oil, pine tar, and other 

To make use of Norway stumps certainly was something new, but it is 
profitable. The oils are extracted by subjecting the stumps to a high degree 
of heat in retorts made for that purpose. The whole process is patented and 
has proved feasible and does everything claimed for it. The capital stock, 
when first incorporated in 191 1, was $50,000, which has lately been increased 
to $100,000. The company was organized by C. V. Doran, L. B. Cate, W. 
H. Mylrea. Its working was interrupted in 191 2 by the floods of that year, 
in July, 1912, which did much damage to the plant., but prompt repairs put 
the plant in working condition again. 

The present officers of the corporation are: President, Otto Mueller; vice- 
president, L. B. Cate; secretary, W. D. Siebecker; treasurer and general man- 
ager, John Mohelnitzky. 



is a new enterprise, which is in operation in its second year. It collects the 
ashes and extracts therefrom the potash, making use of the ashes which 
were thrown to the winds and wasted. While the business is small at this 
time, it has all the appearance of a healthy growth. 

It is conducted and owned by William E. Jones, located at Myron and 
Empter streets. 


A New Farming Industry — About thirty-five years ago, some dealers in 
medicinal herbs discovered that ginseng was growing in the woods of Mara- 
thon county and offered a good price for the dried roots of the plant, which 
were exported to China. The gathering of ginseng roots was made a work 
for boys and girls, like the picking of berries, and as the price for it paid fairly 
well for the work, it was gathered up year after year, until it was all har- 
vested, and wild growing ginseng has almost entirely disappeared. It takes 
seven years to grow roots large enough for commercial use, and then when 
the main root is dug up it does not grow again. But as there is a steady 
demand for this product, Mr. J. H. Koehler made a study of the plant, planted 
it under the same condition as it grew in the woods, in shaded enclosures, 
making shade by boards and brush and succeeded in raising the plant and large 
roots, and he became an authority in ginseng planting and raising. He has 
edited and printed a book, "Ginseng and Golden Seal Growers' Handbook," 
which is recommended to every prospective ginseng grower, and from which 
we quote the following: 

"The root of ginseng is used for medicinal purposes, to some extent in 
this country, but chiefly in China. It is therefore an article of export, bought 
up by dealers in this country for that purpose. While an official drug in this 
country, according to the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1840 to 1880, 
it is at present classed among the unofficial drug plants and quoted as such on 
page 51, Bulletin, No. 89, United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau 
of Plant Industry. From the results obtained by recent scientific investiga- 
tion, indications seem favorable that the real merits of ginseng may also soon 
be discovered in this country, and that it will prove to be a very valuable drug. 
The Chinese and Koreans place a high value on it, and, indeed, regard it as 
a remedy for nearly all diseases. From the humblest citizen through all the 
grades of society, including men of most profound eastern scholarship, high 
officials and emperors, the inhabitants of China for ages have had unlimited 


faith in the power of ginseng to prevent and cure many of the ills of the 
human body. It is also said to be used by the wealthy class for seasoning 

"Among chemists who recently examined ginseng as to its medicinal quali- 
ties, was, according to tha United States Dispensatory, Mr. S. S. Garrigus, 
who obtained from it an entirely new substance, the nature and value of which 
he seems to have been unable to determine. He names the element Panaquilon, 
and gave the formula C12H25O9 (United States Dispensatory 17th ed. 1896, 
p. 1712)." 


"Golden Seal (Hydrastis Canadensis) is another medicinal plant, which, 
on account of the rapid increase in prices paid for the root during late years, 
has attracted the attention of people who are inclined to embark in freak 
farming. While in 1895 the price paid was only 17 cents per pound, the prices 
have steadily increased since that time, so that in the fall of 191 1 $4.50 per 
pound was paid for the article, and indications are favorable that still higher 
prices can be expected, as the wild supply of the forest decreases. 

"Experiments as to the possibility of growing the plant have been made at 
the Government Experiment Station, as well as by individuals in different 
parts of the United States, and it was found that it could be successfully and 
profitably grown even in 1906, at a time when the price was only $1.25 per 

Golden seal as a medicinal herb is used in the United States for its med- 
ical qualities with a steady increasing demand, and can be grown in Marathon 
county in shorter time and with quicker returns than ginseng and may become 
an article of commerce in Marathon county as well as ginseng. 

Under the management of J. H. Koehler, ginseng growing has become an 
industry to a limited extent, and the following firms have engaged in it on 
a large scale, to-wit : 

Badger Ginseng Company, a corporation which has 53/2 acres in the city 
of Wausau in ginseng. Capital stock is $50,000. Its officers are : J. H. 
Koehler, president; A. F. Rapraeger, vice-president; A. A. Bock, secretary; 
W. H. Koehler, treasurer. 

The Wausau Ginseng Gardens have 3^ acres in ginseng. Capital stock, 
$35,000. The officers are : J. H. Koehler. president ; H. Denfeld, vice-presi- 
dent; H. J. Seim, secretary; W. H. Koehler, treasurer. 

Wisconsin Ginseng Gardens, Incorporated. Officers : J. H. Koehler, presi- 
dent; Lydia Koehler, vice-president; W'. H. Koehler, secretary and treasurer. 


There are several other gardens of from one-half to one and one-half 
acres in extent throughout the county and the raising of this medicinal root 
promises to become a profitable staple article of export from Marathon county. 


Ever since the creation of the world a source of wealth was stored under 
the soil of Marathon county, which remained unknown for half a century 
after it was settled upon by civilized men. It is only of recent date that some 
of it has been made useful to mankind, and by its production and preparation 
for use has added an industry to the county which bids fair to become of 
the greatest importance, and which will flourish until the end of time. This 
source of wealth is the granite deposits underlying the soil of Marathon 
county, outcroppings of which can be seen everywhere, and unlike the timber 
saw mill supply, the raw material to be worked up in this industry is 

The first quarry was opened and granite first used as an article of com- 
merce by Adam Groth and Hugo Peters in 1884. Groth was the practical 
man, and Peters furnished some of the means to set the business in motion, 
relying on his partner for its successful operation. 

They were the pioneers, and they shared the fate of most of them ; they 
were new in the business, unacquainted with market conditions, and found 
it unprofitable, mainly because the firm limited itself to the making of paving 
stones for street pavements for the Chicago market, which was at that time 
already on the decline, granite block pavement giving way to other, smoother 
ones. This firm went out of business in 1886 and was succeeded at the same 
place (Heights) by L. S. Cohn and Alexander Robertson, who sought to 
make use of the stone for monumental purposes, which required artistic work- 
manship, and brought consequential higher returns. 

One of the best works gotten out by this firm is the Soldiers' monument 
at the courthouse square in Wausau, but the work was still carried on on a very 
limited scale, the market being confined to Wausau and the neighboring coun- 
ties, furnishing building stone and cemetery monuments, witli a small number 
of men engaged in the work. 

In 1897 Fred J. DeVoe, another quarryman and stonecutter, was attracted, 
saw its possibilities and bought the interest of Cohn & Robertson with a view 
of developing the property. He went into the business alone, working up a 
trade, before he appproached others with an intention to interest them in the 
venture. When his business was well established, knowing that good mate- 


rial and artistic workmanship would not of itself provide an extended market, 
but that it takes advertisements and introduction in other places before a 
profitable business on a large scale could be established, he busied himself to 
find the capital that was needed for that purpose. 

After working the business alone for some time, to show just what could 
be accomplished and produced under good management, he interested some 
of the men of means in W'ausau in joining him in the development and ex- 
tension of the works, and with R. E. Parcher, D. J. Murrey, Walter Alex- 
ander and D. L. Plumer as principal stockholders, they incorporated under 
the firm name of "Marathon County Granite Company,," with a capital of 
$100,000 — leaving the management to F. J. DeVoe as heretofore. 

The works were removed from Heights to Wausau late in the fall of 1901 
and they have been ever since in operation, with an output increasing from 
year to year. 

The works are located on the north end of Second street, on the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, which has a side-track to facilitate shipping. 
For some years after the incorporation there were no dividends for stock- 
holders, but this did not surprise them, for they knew the business was not 
established on the "get-rich-quick" plan. It was first to be put on a solid 
foundation like the rock which it works and puts on the market : all available 
money was used to improve the works and introduce the product in other 
states to make it known and conquer a market. It was the effort of the com- 
pany to make fine interior finishings, besides monumental work, and intro- 
duce and make a demand for them, and in that respect it succeeded beyond 

Among the big contracts given this company may be mentioned : The 
inside finishings for the east wing of the capitol in Madison, to be furnished 
during the summer of 19 13 for $14,000; inside finishing for the big Insur- 
ance and Bank Building in Salt Lake City; a monument in memory of Haney, 
the builder of the Alaska Railroad, erected and set up in Seattle by his brother, 
consisting of an immense cross resting on bases, all polished, at a cost of 
$12,000. The monumental works of this institution are now sold and shipped 
to every state in the Union. 

The Marathon coimty granite which furnishes the raw material for them 
is fine-grained, free from flaws or spots, which takes on a very high polish, 
which is practically as indestructible as the rock itself, which in every respect 
is equal to the best of Scotch, 

The company has four quarries, the stone dififering in color from light to 
dark red, green and gray, to suit the taste of the individual buyer. The im- 


mense growth of the business is due to the strenuous efforts and excellent 
management of F. J- DeVoe, whose business capacity and integrity, coupled 
with his art as a stonecutter and sculptor, enlisted men of capital to furnish 
the means for a business venture wholly unknown to them, only relying on 
his competency and probity, and subsequent events have fully justified the 
trust imposed in him. 

In spite of the enlarged capacity of the plant, the granite industry is still 
only in its infancy in Marathon county, and its growth will be the more 
speedy since access is already had to the markets of the states in the Union. 

Another granite work is doing a large business, the same being still situ- 
ated at Heights, which will be mentioned as being situated in the town of 

The Marathon County Granite Work employ on an average 125 men 
throughout the year; its machinery was worked by steam, but of late electric 
power furnished by the Wausau Street Railroad is used. 

The officers are: President, D. J. Murrey; vice-president, J. M. Lull; 
secretary and treasurer, P. F. Stone; manager, Fred J. DeVoe. 


was organized by the signing of the articles of incorporation on the 28th 
day of August, 1906, by Neal Brown, G. D. Jones, V. A. Alderson and M. 
C. Ewing. The original capital stock was $60,000 in 600 shares of $100 each. 
Actual work of construction was begun in the fall of 1906, and during the 
following year over two miles of track was laid in the city of Wausau. ex- 
tending from the cemetery north. The road began operations May 25, 1907. 
The original capital for the stock was raised by local subscriptions of 
small amounts, there having been about 100 stockholders. The first ex- 
tension to the road was made to the west side in 1907, and during the same 
year the line was extended to Wausau avenue north on Sixth street. In the 
spring" of 1908 the line was extended to the Eau Claire river, in the village 
of Scholfield, and during the same year extended further south to what is 
known as Rothschield Park. The company erected a rustic pavilion in this 
park, which was afterwards destroyed by fire and replaced by a larger build- 
ing, built of stone, rocks and steel. In March, 1908, the company purchased 
the entire property of the Wausau Electric Company, consisting of their elec- 
trical distributing lines, real estate, water power, and power station. The 
company has been successful and has had good patronage from the beginning. 
At the present time the capitalization is $750,000. The company furnishes 


electric current for lighting the city of Wausau, the villages of Scholfield, the 
village of Rothschield, and furnishes electrical power to the majority of fac- 
tories in the city. 

Later the company purchased the D. L. Plumer saw mill property (for- 
merly B. G. Plumer 's mill) with all water power rights, and later still the 
water power rights of the Alexander Stewart Lumber Company, and the real 
estate of the same west of Main street, not including the saw mill proper, 
so that it now owns the whole water power of the Wisconsin river at Wausau 
except the McEachron power. 

The developed power is 2,700 hp. hydraulic power, and 1,000 hp. in steam. 
About one-half of the nomial flow of the river at Wausau is developed. The 
company also owns the water power above the Trappe Rapids, considered to 
be of the same size as the power at Wausau when developed. The following 
factories use electric power furnished by the Street Railroad Company, to wit : 
Wausau Sandpaper Company, Wausau Novelty Company, Underwood 
Veneer Company, Wausau Iron Works, Northern Milling Company, H. E. 
McEachron Company, Marathon County Granite Company, Mathie Brewing 
Company, Ruder Brewing Company, Heinemann Lumber Company, United 
States Forest Laboratory, Marathon Paper Mill Company. The company 
has $400,000 capital stock fully paid up, and $350,000 in bonds. The offices 
are located at 209 Third street, and the officers are : Neal Brown, president ; 
C. C. Yawkey, vice-president: V. A. Alderson, secretary; M. C. Ewing, treas- 
urer and manager. 


The Wisconsin Telephone Company had been granted a franchise to set 
up and operate a telephone system in the city of Wausau, and about the year 
1887 had its system in fairly good operation. For some time it was patron- 
ized only for business purposes, with not many residence 'phones, because the 
price, $4.00 per month for business and $3.00 for private 'phones, was rather 
a high price for the average person and business man to pay. 

So long as the workings of the telephone and costs of maintenance were 
not fully understood it was paid without munnur ; but after some years some 
of the business and professional men had given the matter some thought, and 
they came to the conclusion that a service could be had for much less money 
and still be profitable. After an agitation and consulting among themselves, 
mainly by the directors of the present Wausau Telephone Company, they 
concluded to embark in the business, induce many others to go with them in 
a sort of cooperative society, until there were enough of them, agreeing to 


become a patron when installed, so that a new corporation was organized and 
incorporated in 1895; they obtained a charter from the city of Wausau and 
went to work to install the system, in which they had to overcome the enmity 
of the Wisconsin Telephone Company, which opposed the new company with 
every means in their power, but to no purpose. The new company, or corpora- 
tion, had the backing of the city council and the people generally, and suc- 
ceeded in having their system installed in a comparatively short time. It 
fixed the rates for business telephones at $1.50 per month for business and 
75 cents for residence telephones, and soon had the satisfaction of having the 
Wisconsin Telephone Company withdraw from the city business proper, keep- 
ing up only its long-distance 'phones. After four years of existence, the 
Wausau company raised its rates to $3.00 for business and $1.50 to residence 
service. At about the same time it improved the service by installing the 
automatic service by means of which a person calls up the very person he 
wished to communicate with, provided he or she has a 'phone, without calling 
upon the central office for connection. In this telephone system there is a 
wire to every telephone, not four combined, as in the case in all large systems. 

The corporation started out with a capital of $10,000, which has been 
increased to $80,000. It has a fireproof building for offices and exchange 
connections with the villages of Scholfield and Rothschield, at Wausau city 
rates, and connects with the long distance lines of the following companies : 
The Wisconsin Telephone Company, The Marathon County Telephone Com- 
pany, The Farmers Eastern Company, and the Eldron Telephone Company. 
Its underground conduit system extends from the river to Fifth street, and 
on Fifth, Division and Grand avenue from near Fulton street on the north to 
Plumer street on the south. 

This underground system extends over 5,886 feet and contains 29,494 
duct, feet of conduit, also 22 manholes. In this underground system there 
are 11,538 feet (of 400 parties wire each) of cable. In addition there is 
75,110 feet of aereal cable. In this cable there is a total of 3,276 miles of 
copper wire. The company has J2 miles of pole lines and 436 miles of line 
wire connecting its telephones with its cable system. There are 2,400 pairs or 
4,800 single wires entering its central office, each wire insulated from all 
others and arranged and numbered and soldered to its own particular ter- 
minal. Its property is valued at $186,826.69. 

The officers of this corporation, with only one exception, have not been 
changed since its organization, and are: President, N. Heinemann ; E. B. 
Thayer, vice-president; W. W. Albers, treasurer; James ]\Iontgomery, sec- 
retary; G. D. Jones, counsel. 

CoiiDiicrcial IJ'aiisaii — Mercantile Enterprises. 

Commercial Wausau includes the wholesale grocery stores, one wholesale 
liquor store, department stores and more than a hundred retail dealers, carry- 
ing stock from as high as sixty thousand dollars to three thousand dollars. 
The largest stocks of merchandise are carried in stores located on Third, 
Scott and Washington streets, but there are large stores carrying family 
groceries and goods in all parts of the city. On the west side of the river, 
Clinton, Stewart avenue and Third avenue are the principal business streets, 
with large stores and a fine assortment of merchandise. Silks and velvets, 
furs, dry goods, ladies' tailor-made cloaks and all sorts of novelties for ladies' 
wear are carried in stock by the larger business houses, and with accommodat- 
ing clerks willingly showing goods, makes shopping in \\"ausau stores a 
pleasure and invites visitors from neighboring counties to make trips to the 
city to replenish wardrobes and household goods. 

The central location of the city, with its two railroads and aided by the 
street cars, makes this place a trading point for over fifty thousand people. 
The most fastidious taste can be satisfied and purchases in a well supplied store 
with the goods before the buyer from which he can select, bring more con- 
tentment than any ordering by sample or catalogue can bring. 

The building trade furnishes even>'thing needful for building of every 
kind, from the small frame dwelling to the largest fireproof or concrete build- 
ing for warehouse or office use. 

That with two wholesale grocery houses not only all staple groceries can 
be had, but also the best of delicacies, is apparent. California and southern 
fruits are coming regularly and are distributed by a wholesale fruit house, 
by which the fruit is always fresh and waste is prevented. Jewelry stores 
carry a stock of luxurious tableware of sterling silver and genuine articles 
of adornment of artistic workmanship set with precious stones. 

The value of merchandise of all kinds carried in stocks of goods, as esti- 
mated from the assessment rolls, which rather under than over estimate the 
value, easily foots up to half a million dollars and more. 



The merchants of W'ausau are as progressive as the city in which they 
live; they are in fact a part of its motive power. They own, as a rule, the 
buildings wherein their stocks are kept. 

In the following pages under this head is given the list of men and firms 
engaged in commercial pursuits in 1912-13, and the particular branch they 
axe engaged in, but this list includes only such whose stock is assessed at 
$2,000 and more. Some of the retail stocks carried in Wausau by merchants 
are easily worth $60,000 at a conservative estimate. From a perusal of these 
pages the reader can form a fairly accurate estimate of the large amount 
of business done in this city at the present time. 


is the older of the two wholesale houses. It was incorporated in March, 1899, 
but had been conducted as a partnership for ten years prior thereto, under 
the firm name of August Kickbusch & Son. Its store is located at the foot 
of Washington street and has a sidetrack on Shingle street, along its ware- 
houses and store, enabling it to load and unload directly to and from the 
cars into the warehouses. Its trade extends to all parts north, west and east 
of ]\Iarathon count3^ partially into Michigan and southern Wisconsin. 

The founder, August Kickbusch, has been frequently mentioned as one 
of the pioneers of Marathon county. He died at Wausau in the spring of 
1 90 1. The business is conducted by his son, Robert Kickbusch, who was 
already the manager under the copartnership, the head of the firm having 
put his son in charge thereof, reserving to himself only the right to be con- 
sulted in matters of heavy business importance, and the success of the business 
fully justified his confidence. The incorporated capital is $50,000; the officers 
are: Robert Kickbusch, president; ]\Irs. Lena Kickbusch, vice-president; 
August Kickbusch, treasurer, and Nina Kickbusch, secretary. 


wholesale grocers, was organized in January, 1909, and in the short time 
of its existence not only acquired an enviable reputation, but a large trade, 
rapidly growing. 

It is located at the east end of Jefferson street, with their sidetrack on 
the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, in its own building, 80 x no, 
four stories, equipped with electric elevator, automatic sprinkler and cold 
storage. It has on its pay-roll an average of twenty employees, and its busi- 


ness extends from the peninsula north of the state hne to as far south as 
Tomah, and about the same distance east to west from Wausau. It is capital- 
ized for $75,000, all paid up. Every one of its officers is a well and favorably 
known Wausau man namely: B. F. Wilson, president; F. W. Genrich, vice- 
president; Oscar Weik, secretary; J. W. Laut, treasurer and manager. The 
company does not manufacture any of its goods, but are jobbers only. 


keeps a wholesale wine and liquor store on comer of Second and Washing- 
ton streets. It is the only wholesale house in the central and northern part of 
the state, and consequently has a large territory to supply the retail trade. 
Charles A. Barwig embarked in the business in WauSau in 1902, coming 
from Mayville, Wisconsin, where his father was one of the first pioneers in 
Dodge county. Charles A. Barwig was one of the founders of the Citizen's 
State Bank, and is interested also in other business pursuits. 


The store of Nathan Heinemann is now the oldest established mercantile 
house of that kind. This great establishment is the growth of years of close 
attention to business, coupled with a keen judgment of the wants and desires 
of the population in fashionable goods of all kinds, furs, silks, carpets, house- 
hold linen and all goods needed and desirable in the cottage as well as in the 
mansion. It carries an immense stock, intended and selected to supply family 
and camp, workman's cloth and furnishings and ladies' tailor made creations 
and everything for man and woman. The brothers, N. and B. Heine- 
mann, opened a small clothing store at Wausau in 1873, and in a few years 
were among the leading merchants in Wausau, dealing in general merchan- 
dise, sewing machines, musical instruments and provisions. After twenty-one 
years of a successful business career, B. Heinemann desired to withdraw from 
mercantile life in order to engage in industrial pursuits and real estate. The 
partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in 1905, and then N. Heinemann 
started anew and has since carried on the business alone in the same line, occu- 
pying the immense large McCrossen store on corner of Third and Scott 


is another of the popular department stores, conducted over twenty years by 
John L. Komers on Scott street. Besides a large stock of dry goods, points 

WAUSAU, IN 1875 



and laces, it carries a large stock of fancy groceries, and porcelain, and all 
sorts of children's goods, school supplies and playthings for boys and girls. 


calls himself a dealer in general merchandise, but his stock of goods is as 
large as any in the city and his trade is not confined alone to this city or 
county, but he has an immense supply trade for the lumber camps. The busi- 
ness was founded by F. W. Kickbusch, who a short time before his appoint- 
ment of consul to Stettin in 1893 sold his thriving business to the present 
owner, his son-in-law. The store is situated on corner of Main and Scott 


is the successor to Livingston Brothers, who sold out to Samuel Winkelman 
in 191 1. The building was erected expressly by Livingston Brothers for their 
mammoth department store in 1902-03, and is the finest finished store building 
in Wausau. Livingstone Brothers retired to rest from business cares and 
the whole stock having been purchased by S. Winkelman, he conducts it along 
the same lines with similar success. The store is situated on northwest corner 
of Third and Washington streets. 


making a specialty of dry goods, not carrying other goods to any extent, but 
having a very large selected stock of goods to choose from, are kept by 


This concern, situated on the southwest corner of Third and McClellan 
streets, is a long-established business house. Mr. Neuling being brought up to 
the business, has been engaged in it from early youth, and is thoroughly 
familiar with all the products of the loom. A residence in this city of over 
thirty years gave him an intimate knowledge of the taste and demands of the 
people in that line of merchandise. 


on Third street, in the Mercer Building, carries the same kind of goods, he 
being engaged for over twelve years in the same business, his stock running 
largely to the higher-priced dress goods, such as silks and velvets. 



are located on the northeast corner of Third and Jackson streets, where in 
addition to a stock of dry goods they have added ladies' and children's cloth- 
ing and hosiery. 


Conrad Bopf & Son, 701 Washington street. 

L. J. Bopf, 517 Scott street. 

Cash Trading Company, 304 First avenue South. 

Max Cohen, 216-218 Third street. 

Daniel Curtis & Son, 312 Scott street. 

August Dietl, 531 Jefferson street. 

Nich Graebel, loi Third avenue North. 

Frank Hannemann, 320 Third avenue South. 

E. A. Hochtritt, 202-204 Second avenue North. 

M. J. Klimek, 1202 Sixth street. 

Bertha Knorr, 1 10 Clarke street. 

Bernard F. Koshmann, 1421 Third street. 

Krause & Schaefer, 741 Third avenue South. 

A. J. Krueger, 710 Third. 

Lenz & Boernke, 203 Washington street. 

Bertha Marquardt, 532 Third avenue South. 

Otto Muenchow, 103 Grand avenue. 

G. A. Osswald, 310 First avenue South. 

Henry Osswald, 401 Washington street. 

Henry Pagenkops, 1701 Sixth. 

Otto Bagenkopf, 606 Washington. 

Mathilda Peschmann, 1910 Sixth. 

George Rick, 608 Third. 

Sam Rutzky, 2 no Sixth. 

William Schoeneberg, iiii Sixth. 

Anton Schuetz & Sons, 316 Jackson. 

Leo Schuetz, 102-104 Grand avenue. 

Jacob Graebel, 113 Gallon. 

Wausau Farmers' Produce Company, corner Third and Forest streets. 



M. Aaron (ladies' furnishings), 303 Third street. 

Baer Hyman, 219 Third street. 

Continental Clothing Company, 316 Third street. 

Harry Heinemann, 501-507 Third. 

Hub Mercantile Company, 307-309 Third. 

Palace Clothing Company, First avenue South. 

Seim Brothers, 410 Third. 

Wausau Clothing Company, 315 Third. 

Weinkauf Brothers Company, 202 Third. 

William Weinkauf, 308 Scott. 


Dunbar & Co., 313 Third. 
C. H. Ingraham, 601 Third. 
Fred Manecke, 312 Washington. 
Otto Mueller, 220 Third. 
George Wilke, 314 Scott. 
H. S. Wright, 512 Third. 


W. W. Albers, 301 Third. 

Oscar Bremer, 312 First avenue South. 

Pardee Drug Company, 510 Third. 

George Pradel, 112 Clarke. 

Fred Schmidt, 511 Forest. 

Bert Schwanberg, 412 Third. 

Wausau Drug Company, 309 Jackson. 

Fred Wiechmann, 310 Scott and 1703 Sixth. 


The furniture trade is carried on by four firms, each being the owner of 
the building in which the business is carried on, and each has a very large 
stock to select from, to wit : 

Charles Helke, 31 1-3 13 Fourth. 

Kiefer Furniture Company, 618-620 Third. 


E J. Radant, 202 to 204 Scott. 
Ritter & Deutsch, 113-115 Third. 


The pioneer hardware man in Wausau is Richard Baumann, who came 
to Wausau in 1864 and opened a tinsmith shop and hardware store; he has 
been in the same business in the same place during the whole of this time, 
industrious and diligent, but his work has not been in vain. His stock is 
the largest by far, but he, like others who have behind them a long life of 
labor and business cares, has incorporated his business under the name of 
R. Baumann Hardware Company, unloading part of the business care upon 
his son-in-law, Henry J. Seim. The incorporated capital of this concern is 
$25,000. Its officers are Richard Baumann, president and treasurer; 
Mrs. Anna Dobrinz, vice-president ; Henry J. Seim, secretary and manager. 
It is located at 210-212 Third street. 

Other firms are : 

Hohmann & Kuntz, 116 Scott. 

Frank Kurth, 207 Washington. 

Mader Hardware Company. 

Nickel Hardware & Supply Company, Clarke's Island. 

Herman C. Oelke, 121 Third avenue North. 

Roemer & Thalheim Company, loi Clarke. 

William Sell Hardware Company, 2,-0-2i-- Third. 

Herman Schmidt, 1406 Sixth. 

Louis Wiechmann, 1 1 1 Washington. 

William Sell, 514 Third. 


Besdek & Friedel, 314 Jackson. 

Charles Holzmann, 1706 Sixth. 

Kuhlman & Braasch, 318 Third avenue South. 

C. B. Mayer, 311 Third. 

Mueller & Ouandt, 215 Third. 

B. Silberstein, 208 Jefferson. 


B. F. Laabs, 314 Scott. 

Smith Piano Company (J. Paff), 204 Third. 



O. C. Callies, 313-315 Jackson. 
C. G. Pier, no Scott. 


J. Delsipee, 704 Third. 
John Stark, 604 Third. 
John Young, 518 Third. 


R. W. CoIHe, 508 Third. 
J. L. Rohde, 521 Third. 


Glass Fruit Company, i Scott street. 
L. Hyman, 6 Washington street. 


Healy-Brown Company, 207 McClellan. 
W'ausau Ice & Fuel Co., 6 Scott street. 


has a creamery in the city of Wausau, on the corner of Sixth and Hamilton 
streets, where it makes the butter, ice cream and other cream products; and 
has a large cold storage warehouse on the main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Railroad Company, from where it ships the farm products of 
Marathon county to eastern markets, which are coming more and more in 
demand. Its capital stock is $60,000. The officers of the corporation are: 
John Kiefer, president; R. N. Lamer, \ice-president, and John Kiefer, Jr., 
secretary and treasurer. 


The Opera House takes first rank in that respect. It was finished at the 
close of 1899 at an expense of $25,000. The stage is very large, giving room 
for grand stage setting and efifect, being 70 feet wide by 40 feet deep. It 
has a scenery to answer any of the demands which can be made upon a mod- 


em playhouse. It seats 1,200 comfortably on the parquet and balcony. It 
has room for a fairly large orchestra, where C. S. Cohn swings the baton or 
plays first violin as occasion may demand. It is owned by H. Peters, with 
C. S. Cohn as manager. 


is the largest of the smaller show houses, given over to motion pictures and 

Two other show houses, the Electric and ]\Iajestic, cater to the same sort 
of amusement. 


Three large, finely finished halls are for public meetings and dances, 
namely: The Elks, the hall of the Knights of Pythias, and Kroenings Hall. 


IVausan and Marathon Comity Press — Daily Rccord-Hcrald — Central Wis- 
consin — Wisconsin River Pilot — Wochtcnblatt — Pioneer — The Sun — 
Philosopher Press — List of Papers Published in Marathon County. 


is the only daily newspaper in Wausau, and in furnishing news, including 
foreign news and telegraph service, it is as good as any published outside the 
metropolis of the state. It was started on its journalistic course in 1895, by 
Edw. T. Wheelock. Wheelock was an old newspaper man who came to 
Wausau in the year 1895 with the intention of issuing a daily newspaper. 
He first purchased the Torch of Liberty, edited and owned by M. H. Barnum, 
a Republican weekly newspaper, and almost immediately converted the weekly 
into a daily, changing the name to the name of Wausau Daily-Record, under 
which name it was published until its consolidation with the Daily Herald, 
issued by R. E. Powers, an independent paper with Democratic leanings, 
December i, 1907. 

The Herald started out as a weekly Democratic paper about the year 1888, 
and was converted into a daily in 1906. The Herald strived hard to con- 
tinue, but the field for two dailies was rather narrow, both in subscriptions 
and advertisements, which must furnish means to keep up publication, and in 
the year 1907 the Herald sold its plant to the Daily Record, and since that 
consolidation the name was changed to Wausau Daily Record-Herald. 

The present daily was from its beginning, and always has been, a strictly 
Republican newspaper, and while recognizing the changed condition in all 
things industrial and commercial in the last fifty years, and politically as 
well, and therefore the need of legislation with due regard to those changed 
conditions, it is emphatic that such changes should be made with due consider- 
ation and for some practical purpose and that proper remedies be applied 
to the evils springing from the changes wrought by inventions, the growth 
of the population and society at large. It is therefore not in sympathy with 
many of the so-called progressive measures, which it holds to be really reac- 



tionary in fact, although advocated by men who style themselves progressive. 
It reserves the right to examine for itself the measures proposed and judge 
from the effect they will have upon society at large, whether they are progres- 
sive in fact, or only the makeshift of politicians who simply play for fleeting 
popular favor. 

In tone, the Record-Herald is, like all other Wausau papers, decorous 
and respectable and without that sordid sensationalism which so often dis- 
graces American journalism. 

It is incorporated under the laws of the state with a capital of $30,000. 

Its officers are : J. L. Sturtevant, president ; M. B. Rosenberry. vice-presi- 
rent; B. F. Wilson, secretary-treasurer. 

The editorial staff of the Record-Herald consists of J. L. Sturtevant, 
manager and editor in chief; W. B. Pedigo, political editor; E. D. Underwood, 
city editor; Geneva Graves, society reporter; J. B. Kelly, reporter. 


The first newspaper in Wausau and, of course, in the county, was the 
Central Wisconsin, which was started to fill the demand of the pioneers for 
some means to attract the attention of other people to their settlement. At a 
meeting duly held, W. D. Mclndoe, the most prominent one of them, was 
requested to induce a newspaper man to locate at Wausau and issue a weekly. 
This gentleman soon thereafter met J. W. Chubbuck, who was then on the 
staff of the Milwaukee Sentinel, getting him interested in the venture, and 
got his conditions, which were an advance of $300 and a good, liberal sub- 
scription list. Mr. Mclndoe reported, and the conditions were quickly complied 
with. The money was raised and a list of between three and four hundred 
subscribers was guaranteed, and Mr. J. W. Chubbuck, with one John Foster, 
came to Wausau and on the 226. of April, 1857, issued the first newspaper 
printed in Marathon county. It was to be an independent paper and remained 
so for some years. In i860 Carl Hoeflinger and Francis A. Hoffmann got con- 
trol of it, and made it a Democratic sheet. In 1861 J. \\'. Chubbuck and 
Clarence Jenkins started and run the Marathon County Record as a Repub- 
lican paper for about three years, and the Central suspended publication in 
1861 to 1862, and was merged in the Marathon County Record, but the com- 
bination was published again under the name of the Central. It was then 
published by Mr. Stafford, sold by him a little later to J. C. Clarke, repur- 
chased again by Stafford, who published it until 1868, when he sold it to 
R. H. and C. W. Johnson, since which time it remained a consistent Repub- 


lican paper. C. W. Johnson soon sold his interest to his brother, R. H. John- 
son, who remained as sole proprietor until he sold out in 1909. 

In 1883, R. H. Johnson, e.vidently preparing for the presidential cam- 
paign of 1884, issued the Daily Central, which appeared until the spring of 
1885. He had for its editor A. J. Dodge, a fine writer, who afterwards 
became the Washington reporter for some of the great dailies of the country. 

While the weekly Central had a good subscription list and was a fairly 
paying newspaper, the Daily was not ; it was much too expensive for the little 
support it got in the' city and small surrounding country, with the small settle- 
ment and poor postal service. It was, in fact, a better paper than the country 
could afford. The Central Wisconsin continued as a weekly paper, a bright, 
sprightly sheet, reimbursing in part its owner for his losses on the Daily. 
Since R. H. Johnson sold it to the Sun Publishing Company in 1909, it is 
issued under the name of Wausau Sun, but it was strongly surmised at the 
time that the change of the name from an old established newspaper to a 
new one was of doubtful financial expediency. 


a weekly newspaper devoted to the promulgation of the principles of the 
Democratic party, made its appearance in the year 1865, owned and printed 
by Valentine Ringle, son of Judge Ringle, assisted by J. W. Chubbuck as 
editor, who remained with it until 1874. After that time Mr. Ringle himself 
edited the paper, occasionally assisted by M. H. Bamum, later by C. F. Eldred 
and others. 

The paper remained under the ownership of Valentine Ringle until 1884, 
when it was sold to E. B. Thayer, who had commenced the publication of 
another Democratic paper, the Wausau Weekly Review, in 1882, and after 
purchasing the Pilot, combined both papers under the name of Pilot-Review, 
dropping the last name after a few years and issuing the paper under the 
name of Wausau Pilot. This paper has never missed an issue since its first 
appearance in 1865 ; always a staunch Democratic paper, it supported Demo- 
cratic principles and Democratic nominees. It claims the largest circulation 
of any weekly paper in Wausau, which claim seems to be well founded. 
Nearly all the people who ever emigrated from Wausau continue to receive 
it, and many Wausau people send it to their friends in other states. In the 
year 1884 for about six months, a daily Pilot was issued until after the 
election of that year, and the experiment renewed in 1896, in William J. 
Bryan's first campaign. 



Being in tlie hands of V. Ringle for nearly twenty years, and now owned 
and edited by E. B. Thayer since 1884, or over twenty-eight years, it has 
the advantage of being conducted on one Hne of policy without having to 
make concessions to conflicting interests. 


is the oldest established newspaiier printed in the German language in central 
and northern Wisconsin. It was founded by Valentine Ringle, son of Judge 
Ringle, and made its first appearance in January, 1871. It was founded as 
a newspaper advocating the principles of the Democratic party and in the 
interests of the Gennan- Americans. It has steadily adhered to this course 
and secured a large circle of readers, although in the beginning its circula- 
tion was limited because of the limited number of the German population at 
that time. It has grown with the growth of the city and county and enjoys 
a large circulation in this and adjoining counties. 

When Valentine Ringle was appointed postmaster in 1885, he sold the 
paper to Lohmar Brothers, who in turn sold it to John Ringle, and he not 
being bred to the newspaper business, sold it to H. J. Heise about the close 
of the year 1889, and who is still the owner and editor, with G. Bohndorf as 


is the name of the weekly newspaper of Marathon county, issued at Wausau, 
adhering to the Republican party published in the German language. It was 
in 1881 when the leaders of the Republican party felt the need of a publication 
advocating their creed in the Gennan language, and some of their leaders pur- 
chased the material of the defunct "Watchman on the Wisconsin," a greenback 
paper, and engaged one St. Koslowski from Milwaukee as editor, giving him 
at the same time an interest in the publication. This editor was a very able 
w-riter and good speaker, with a sense for business, and he soon brought the 
paper upon a fairly paying basis. But although strictly Republican in his 
writings, he had some views of his own, which did not coincide with the 
views of the main stockholders, more particularly its German and Norwegian 
stockholders. This disagreement caused his resignation in the fall of 1882. 
He was succeeded as editor by A. W. Young under the same conditions, but 
who soon became sole owner, and who edited it until his death, in the year 
1897. After the death of A. W. Young, the newspaper was purchased by 
Gustav Stolze, who edited and owned it until his death, in 1899, and after 
his death it passed to his son, Paul F. Stolze, who is the present owner. 


The Pioneer secured a large circulation in Alarathon' and adjoining coun- 
ties, and while still adhering to the principles of the Republican party, lately 
follows an independent course in matters of policy. It is devoted to the inter- 
ests of German- Americans and gives much space to the publication of Gennan 
club news, the editor himself being a member of most of the German societies. 


is the youngest of all weekly newspapers, and yet is the oldest, not only in 
the county, but in all the territory north of Stevens Point. It had been suc- 
cessfully conducted by R. H. Johnson as the Central Wisconsin, when he 
sold it to a corporation organized by William C. Brawley, who intended to 
make it a great weekly Democratic paper whose influence should be felt 
throughout the state, and therefore the Sun seemed to him to be the proper 
name for the new venture. William C. Brawley edited the Sun until June, 
191 1, when he removed from Wausau. While under his control the paper 
was a Democratic weekly, but outside of Marathon county it exerted little 
or no influence upon the history of the country or the Democratic party. Its 
circulation remained limited to this county, but did not increase over the 
circulation of the Central while under the management of W. C. Brawley. 
It is now edited by Edw. Fitzgerald and supports Democratic policies advo- 
cated and advanced by President-elect Wilson and is strongly endeavoring 
to gain popular favor. 


Wausau enjoys the distinction of having a press and book making shop 
of the old kind, when books were made to last for centuries, and the work of 
printing and making up of books was regarded as an art before it became the 
machine work of today. The Philosopher Press was founded at Wausau in 
January, 1897, by Philip V. O. Van Vechten and William Ellis for the pub- 
lication of The Philosopher, a magazine, and the making of hand-made books 
in limited numbers. 

In the issues of this Press a high quality of paper is used, the books 
already printed having been made, for the most part, of L. L. Brown and 
Dickingson papers. Extreme care in press work is exercised. 'This part of 
the work is done by Mrs. Helen Brunneau Van Vechten, who brings to it an 
enthusiastic love for the work, based on an intelligent understanding of its 
requirement. The sheets are personally fed through the press by Mrs. Van 
Vechten, each impression being treated as a separate mechanical process, the 


press being absolutely stopped for each impression. It is this extreme care 
which gives Mrs. Van Vechten's work the evenness of ink and perfection of 
registration for which it has justly attracted the attention of book lovers. 

The Philosopher Press is endeavoring to reestablish the shop idea, as 
opposed to the factory plan of industrial development. The practical needs 
of society require the factory, in which the largest amount of work may be 
produced at least cost. Beyond this, however, there is room, here and there, 
for those who choose to do so, to establish shops in which the personal impres- 
sion of all concerned may be put upon the work done. The Philosopher Press 
will never grow into a large institution. It will never make more books than 
Mrs. Van Vechten chooses personally to put through the press. To make the 
best hand book is her ambition, in the output of which she finds the best solu- 
tion of her life. 

The Philosopher, as a magazine, has ceased to exist, the editor, 
Mr. William Ellis, having engaged in other enterprises, but the book printing 
and binding establishment is still the pride of Mrs. Van Vechten, and a few 
of the books issued from out of her book shop may be cited here, just to show 
the appreciation of the quality of work done by her : No\- ember, 1897, Andrea 
Del Sarto, by Robert Browning; 8vo. 28, 6 by 9 cloth, 20 copies, privately 
printed on Japanese vellum paper for Roy U. Conger. 

December, 1897 — The Old W'isconse, by William Ellis and \\'illiam 
Leachman, by James \\'hitcomb Riley; 8vo. pp. 24, 6 by 9; 5 copies; pri- 
vately printed for Charles Allen Johnson; one on Japanese vellum paper 
bound in full crushed levant. 

January, 1908 — A Book of \>rse. by Edgar Lee Masters; 8vo., pp. 
207, 5 by 71^, cloth; 500 copies printed for and sold by ^^'ay & Williams, 

May, 1903 — Saul, by Robert Browning, with introduction by Jenkin 
Lloyd Jones; 4 to pp. 64. gjA by 11. Edition limited to 300 copies on L. L. 
Brown handmade paper, bound in full leather, with stamped reproduction 
of a Little Gidding binding. Price. $10.00. 

Of the many favorable notices which the work of The Philosopher Press 
has received from the great dailies, the following is copied ; 

"To the casual person, the pinewoods of northern Wisconsin as a basis 
of wordly operation suggest nothing beyond the buying, selling and manufac- 
ture of lumber. Yet here. 'At the Sign of the Green Pine Tree,' is a little 
printing shop, from which are being issued exquisite handmade editions of 
rare English classics; and what adds to the interest of this unique situation 
is, that the entire labor, from the spreading of the ink to tlie preparing the 


book for the binder, is done by a woman. The business was hardly well on its 
feet when Mrs. Van Vechten, who is, by the way, a college bred woman of 
unusual culture, volunteered to go into the office and look after the bookkeep- 
ing and correspondence of the fimi, thereby giving her husband more time to 
bestow upon the lumber interest in which she was also engaged. Mrs. Van 
Vechten watched the process of bookmaking with great interest, and threw 
herself heart and soul into a study of the subject. It soon transpired that 
upon all matters of margins, arrangements, color, etc., her taste was fine and 
discriminating. Early in her career as a bookmaker, Mrs. Van Vechten 
proved her right to a foremost place in the rank." — From Bookmaking in the 
West, by Delia T. Davies, in The Critic. 

Many De Lux editions have been printed in this shop, and to have an 
institution which brings out books printed and bound as to receive such 
favorable notices as the above is one of many, is something refreshing in this 
commercial age. 


There exist now in Marathon county not less than twelve weekly news- 
papers and one daily, under the names and places as follows : 

Record-Herald; daily; editor, J. L. Sturdevant; Republican; Wausau, 

Wausau Pilot; weekly; editor, E. B. Thayer; Democratic; Wausau, Wis- 

Wausau Sun; weekly; editor, Edw. Fitzgerald; Democratic; Wausau, 


Wausau Wochenblatt; weekly; German; editor, H. J. Heise; Democratic; 
Wausau, Wisconsin. 

Pioneer; weekly; Gemian; editor, P. F.Stolze; Republican; Wausau, Wis- 

Record; weekly; editor, Athens Publishing Company; Independent; 


Edgar News; weekly; editor, E. B. Crawford; Republican; Edgar. 

Gefluegel Zuechter; weekly; German; editor, Henry E. Voigt (Poultry); 

Marathon City Times ; editor, F. Leuschen ; Independent ; Marathon City. 

Stratford Reporter; weekly; editor, P. Curtin; Republican; Stratford. 

The Times; weekly; editor, E. B. Walters; Independent; Mosinee. 

Marathon County Register; weekly; editor, E. L. Messer; Republican; 


Bench and Bar — Judges of the Circuit Court from 1850 to 1912 — Present 
Members of the Bar. 


Four of the former judges of the circuit in which this county is situ- 
ated are now dead, and as to them some recollections of their characteristics 
and incidents of their judicial career seem appropriate. 

It is needless to say that none of them was ever suspected in the least of be- 
ing influenced by political considerations, or held any other fealty to any party, 
except such as under our form of government every patriotic man voluntarily 
chooses. Indeed, it has ever been the policy of this state to keep judicial posi- 
tions out of politics, and for that reason all judicial elections ever since the or- 
ganization of the state, were and are held in the spring election, or town meet- 
ing day. It was expected that under that mode of selecting and electing candi- 
dates, only the best material would be chosen, and in that respect the people 
were not disappointed. As a rule, with hardly any exception in the state, 
and certainly without exception the judges in this circuit, were men of great 
ability, integrity, and ho