T< ' C C" CCC f it< c«L«m<£ x° « c «c ^«e -c -V c c cjfc^&.c, Kg ..£ fccx. c < c c <F • «£ cf vC Cj <£- v t- V , c <x c c ^ c cl cc: <lc cocc; C C C C - c c ■■ b^ *5*s ^ cc. jgcg «.«: L cc. tree C CE C C C CC c cc CCC c>c C CC. <q < c: <cc < c SI C..CL«<: cc c «l«*£ j±~ cc.cc^. C c CC, c <x «8fe € <£ ^SsSl Sfc «r c* «r e c c~ C'< c. X* CC «. C" : <C m '§■ <t ■ f c CE ks i gf eg ~" i cc c , I ' .. CC i cc. ■ v «. "-.cc c< I • c< ■■'■'■ • c<£ • cc C<£ '■ ■ cC (< - cc ■-■ ^ CCC *? CfC CC <rcc - Cft ft etc. f.s- ec '' Cv "< <^'- . V <r. :, CC ■(' << << ^1 ^«C C_«tt Cac i _ CK.cc .«QC d.CCC_ t c e d. CLS- & C S^£ S3 ^ -^ .. C C cy<^ ex- <icc^ < ^CC f «C£^C_^^CC c< k. CL - CT_ CL CTCGCfl^Q c_ <cc „c ct«.< C C_ «C_- CC. ! CSL c_ • <CC- c < ccc c?c c; cecC cl ok : 5CLCLCii; ; ( Cl„ «2L C^«CC^ ^o . CL <G <3L CL ^T CICi CL CCL CsLCcSL CL -CCc <ci<CT CL ccc Cc or «L <8Cc CCC <c:c ^ CL <L ^c C^G<C C" c<C .'i'C «L ■ < <3C? LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. PRESENTED BY UNITED STATES OE AMEEIOA. JL<C cLc<c «S c.«L ccLcccr 5 CCC C« c. cCCcCl « c « c c cc < « c << c < <: <c c C C <c c < c «r c <c c «: c CC- C < c S c : c <c tc" <<r c<xc^c ^cTr«t cccc crcccc gar c:| ^c^c^cc ctcc <c«c c CxC ( C ec. >L' C_ tg <t rc<C C C C Cc4C «X. (GcC^CCC C «C -Ccr. CL g CC t Cl C c cT ; c : " ccc cs.ee. ccc . c c c «l vo cc cc c<: rC; C- c ■ r c « ccc c" r c cccc ccccc C3Q CC <&c c: c c cxf<c « c c: c c t ct ccc c c ccc c> c; -*.c CCd CCC r: «.c c< ccc c c r crc-c<rc ^cr c c «ccc ccc <zc^ cj< c CCCC <X CC CL . C3 C Cc <r ^ c «:. <: <i CV (Cc CCC <Lc CL C <£ CCC CCC C <rr re ■, « c*'^ *^"' r *" CleCC ff c:c<c:" .cc CX'CL •(-•■ • C ' ecc i C c t. c .( CC'vC „ «C <-e « e.cce <■ c « C C c< CeCC c ccc C*C CC c C v C C< •C-'C> Ci c c c o C CC c e C CC e C cc < c c c C C ec cecc cc crcc ec Cecc cc Ccec CccC e <£ c <sr <r c« cc cc c«c <<i C«CT CC cc <e«C CC ccC • e. ccc e < c < c .c c e v S S- c < ^c c c c » c < B£ ^ ^ ict«:> co.c_ ccc <Cc c c< CC CC.M .cc'c. c<® -I C<R ^ c • C c -c < c c jjE* CC CCC <_ CCvt <«yL <CCI C'C -«C'<< c ttcU - ■S*=- v <- ' C. OC<3,<. ^ 8-VS-'-' <^ ctcc <1 C«K ;$«&££ -«£<<< . V . -^ CL. <£« <C_\ C p C . C£ CC C/-C « c >- ^L <S C C • ~% ^ ^ cc 5 5 « eie^S -=£ C due C<. C CCCC <Z< c: ac 'p C csccj CI: - CI CCC C CCCC Cc c cc c: <: C «3: C O Cc ~c c: cc i c <; tec C_ c_ C (Cc < Cc c: ccc? | . C C OCC scc c ccc a <'<c<: cc TC^OC cc. X oc *c c <■ c : cc cc - c c » « c C"C &- c c cc cc c c c c c c c C c c c c C C C C C C< cc c.. CC S> CI c c: 55. -d cl W c <: ^- - O ci ^c c 4 S- o c: « c; cc c ^ Cc C • S^Q C «L c: c c <r Cc c arc #1 C C' c: c«c . d.ccc: _ <cc C .cccr ^ccc <Z_C£ C ■■ ^*^ct S^ccc <L<Cd CLcc<c ct< <: C( c ^ ''C <T r f CT- d r CT cr c cr ci -cr. < c cr c C C c c: c c 1 Ccc: C'C c c __ CC CI cc c < c C c c f c c c: fC c c C C C Ci c c c c C.CC c: Cr q Cc cccc C CTC C CC • ■ C/ Cc O Cc C€ <Ic. c^c c: «sc-d: Cl'.cc <L c~<cc: : <r§ : -: c CC <5 C c c . <-' c CC <~ c ■c c cc: c cr c c cr c ^.«cr "if c < d C c < c c ■*£.Cd «cc«: S-*3C ■ c c c C . CC cc cc c^ $:£ cc <3 C C? C cc CC r CC. CC CC C CC «. cc. cc cc< cc C CCv c' cc CC CCCOX CC C Cctc C <c - CC C C3R <T<C CC C cmc'CT CC «C,C < CM-CrX. CC C Cc* V. t< CC C.C>^ CC CC C CcaC <C CC cc c c«* c-c cr -c cjsg c c> §£ c c c c Cli c__ c-c C'C^cC cacj-ack: c^.c ■ C C Ccf cc c «c c C^ Si <r* • < <r V,,s r. *■, </ <, ' rr/£+ + <'* rr / s 4 / y^r *" -r^ : / : /T t /!f £*. - i • * 1 : ' History of Portage County, Wisconsin, written by A. G. v Ellis, and read at the Centennial celebration, held at the city of Stevens Point, Jul)- 4th, 1S76. STEVENS POINT. WIS. STEVENS POINT JOURNAL JOB PK1NT. 1876. r£7 S9B1 Mr. President, Fellow Citizens, Ladies and Gentlemen:— The government of the United States having existed for a century, on the 4th of July, this year of our Lord, 187(1, by common consent a celebration suitable to the Centennial is being made throughout the length and breadth of the land. Congress, on the 13th of March last, passed a joint resolu- tion of the two houses, recommending the people of the State to assemble in their sever- al counties or towns, on this Centennial an- niversary of our national independence, and cause to have delivered an historical sketch of said county or town from its foundation ; and that a copy of said sketch be tiled in the Clerk's office of said county, and an addition al copy, in print or manuscript, be tiled in the office oi the Librarian of Congress: and the same having been further recommended by the President of the United States in his pro- clamation of the 25th of May last, this paper is respectfully submitted responsive to such resolution and proclamation, as for Portage county and the city of Stevens Point, State oi Wisconsin, to-wit : Portage County is nearly central of the Stale, having Adams and Waushara on the south, Marathon on the north, Waupaca on the cast and Wood on the west. It was set ofl from Brown county in 1836, comprising what is now Columbia county; Wisconsin Portage (from which the name is derived) be- ing the center. In is i 1 the boundaries were much enlarged by the addition of all the ter- ritory north of Sauk and Portage, being ranges •1, 3, t, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, east of the meridian, to the north line of the State; it was attached to Dane county for judicial purposes. In Jan- uary, L844, by act of the legislature, Portage county was fully organized and the inhabi- taats at the same time authorized to make choice by a vote of the people of a seat of jus- tice. This vote was had on the 18th of April of that year. Fort Winnebago, at the Wis cousin Portage, and Plover, were the contest- ing points The vote of Bull Falls was un- derstood to have turned the scale, and decid- ed" the question in favor of Plover, which thenceforward became the county seat. The first house built here was by Houghton and Batten. The County Commis- sioners on the day of 1ST granted a tavern license to Luther Houghton at Rusfi- ri'Ie. The house stood a little southwesl of the present village of Plover, then called Rushville. The election of officers succeeded in the fall, when the following named persons were chosen, to-wit : County Commissioners, Math- ias Mitchell, Benjamin F. Berry and Luther Houghton ; Sheriff, Nelson Strong, who ap- pointed Geo. W. Mitchell his deputy ; George Wyatt, Clerk of Court, Clerk of County hoard and Register of Deeds; John Batten, '1 rcasurer. The first Court was held at Plov- er, (in a house or store belonging to Keith & Miles) on the 1st Monday of April, 1845, lion. David Irwin, Jr., presiding. The first case en the docket was that of Abraham Brawlcy Vo. A idrew Dunn and Henry Carpenter. In ls-fii Columbia county was set oil' with limits almcst identical with those of Portage, a- taken from Brown county in 1836. Adams county was set oil' in 1848, Marathon in 1.850, and Wood in 1856, leaving Portage with its present constitutional limits. It is about 30 miles square, W>uld be exactly so, but that three townships were nicked oil on the south- HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY. west, to be put into Wood county. It now contains, according to public survey, towns24 and 25, north, in range (> east, and towns 31, 22, 23, 24 and 35, north, in ranges 7, 8, !t and 10 east; twenty-two townships in all, having an area of 506,880 acres. The Wisconsin River enters it in town 25 north, range 9 east, and leaves it in town 23 north, range <i east. The MHitheasterly partis openings, with scatter- ing bur oak timber; the northeasterly part (but thinly settled as yet) is closely timbered, white pine prevailing. The face of th« coun- try is slightly undulating; it is beautifully watered. The streams, besides the Wis-con- siu, are the Big and Little Plover, Mill Cieek, Bau Pleine and Buena Vista Creek. The soil in the openings is sandy alluvion, favorable to agriculture; that in the timbered part is generally heavier, inclining to gravel and clay. Portage county, :ts indeed Wood and Mara- thon, was first sought out for its pine lini- ber, and lumbering has been the lending busi- ness from the first, though the openings are now well >L-t t k*il and covered with £ood farms, that branch of industry being found quite re- munerative Forty years ago this county, with the whole Upper Wisconsin, was an unbroken wilder- ness ; possessed by tie' Indian tribes, who held the right of soil, Dubay's trailing post having the only home in the whole regions As early as 1831 Daniel Whitney of Green lay, having obtained a permit for that pur- pose from tie- War Department, commenced the building of a saw null at Whitney Kapids, below Point Ba*. Other parties, Messnfj Grignon A: Merrill, soon followed, going fur- ther up; and soon land lookers, searchers tor pine, were tilling the' country. This alarmed the Indians, who began to complain to the government agents. In ls:;i;, Gov. Dodge$ supt. of Indian Affairs, negotiated a treaty at Cedar Point, on Fox River, with the Me- nomonees lor a cession of a strip ot land three mill's in width on each side of (lie Wisconsin? from Point Bas, 40 miles up the River to Big Bull Falls. This was specially to cover the operations of the lumbermen. In ls:_!.i this cession was ordered surveyed by the .Survey- or General at Dubuque, which was donf forthwith, Joshua Hatheway, Esq., of Mil wauky being the Deputy [Surveyor. This tract was tiered at public sale at Mineral Point in 1840, which fairly opened tie- coun- try to the extent of this Strip, at least, to oc- cupation and settlement Sealers in the pio- per sense of the term, were at this time (I h but few. The following named persons are recollected as being in the county at that date: Abraham Brawley, Horace Judd, John <-. Mebard, Thomas McDill, Richard V< V.. 11. Mctcalf, Solomon Leach, John Bomb- er, Antoine Pricourt, Gilbert Conant, Valen- tine Brown, Charles Maddy, Peter Cane, Jobs Raish, John Eckels, Thomas Harper, James Harper, James Sitherwood, A. M. MeCaulev, H. W. Kintrsbury, Conrad Rotherman, Orrif May ice, Hugh McGr< e.-, Daniel Campbell, So* mou Story, Peter Barnard. There is no data whereby to fix the number 3 of inhabitants at that time in what is now Portage county. It is believed it could not have been more than one hundred. But the opening of the land — the six mile strip — to market, was heralded far and near, and peo- ple began to pour in from the southern part oi Wisconsin and northern Illinois; and in a tew years thereafter the population of the Pinery, including Portage county, might have been numbered by thousands. The water powers, eligible sites lor mills, Mere rapidly taken up; (Jonant Rapids and Mill Creek were among the first in this county. The first house was that at Dubay's trading post, on the east branch of the Wisconsin River, town 25; but the first saw mill built in the county was that upon Mill Creek, by Abraham Braw- ley, in L839. Perry & Veeder occupied a site on this stream about the same time. Camp- bell & Conant built one on the Conant Kapids of the Wisconsin, the same year. Bloomer & Harper built the following year at McGrecr's Rapids, (now Jordoli) on B*ig Plover. In fact the lumbering business took Ion-strides in 1S40, 1841 and 1S42, mills going up at all ad- vantageous points on the Wisconsin and its tributaries. The commencement oi this busi- ness of reducing the huge pines to boards and shingles and de.ivering them at Galena, Du- buque or .St. Louis, was a serious undcrtak- ing,involving great outlay ofcapitaland labor as well as risk ot money, life and limb, Not- wi hstanding all, it was'embarked in by thou- sands of men, with their teams and outfits, so that in three or four years the woods were alive with choppers, loggers and teams, and the rivers with rafts of logs and lumber, As the business increased, men began to cast about lor means of obtaining supplies at less cost than wagoniug them all the way from southern Wisconsin or northern lllinoi , which brought about a trial oj'tfu soil. Some of the lumbermen even, began raising farm pro- ducts, and not a tew private adventurers risked breaking on the openiugs and planting both roots and small grain, such experiments prov.- Lng successful: many of those who had cone' up into the Pinery with their team- to ad- vance their fortui.es in the logging business, changed off their bobsleds lor wagons ami ploughs and settled, down quietly to farming, selling their potatoes, com, oats, wheat, ece., to the lumtnbermen. Notwithstanding all, thelumbering business took the lead, engross- ing the chief outlays of capital and employ- ment of laber. It is somewhat difficult to furnish an estimate of it as lor Portage coun- ty at this time, as it was running in con- stant connection with the whole Wisconsin Pin erv from Point Bas to Eagle River. In L8o~ the business of the river was estimated i.. give constant employment to nearlj men, and tie- yearly product to be not less than one hundred and twenty million feet, valued herein tin- Pinery at the sum of on, /nil/;,,,,., four hundrcdaud twenty-tight tho dollars. What proportion ot the h lioli would be n»lit to put dow i to Portage coun- ty at that linn-, is somewhat uncertain: sure- ly not less than one sixth, which would-:." 30,000,000 feet, at a valuation ol two bat HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY. and thirty-six thousand dollars per annum! i This in 1857 The market for this lumber at that day was all along down the waters from Portage City to St. Louis, and the only mode of egress was by the rivers. All that is changed now ; that is, we are no longer confined to the rivers for means of' getting lumber to market. The cars have reached us; we have 3 railroads passing through the county, all of which are used more or less in sending off the lumber, though not all of it toes by ears ; a large por- tion is still committed to the water. Phescnding it by ears, however, is working ;i great change in the business. Formerly .there was much uncertainty as to time when returns could be had. It was, is still, but sel- dom that a Beet leaving here could be ^ot out on the same rise of water. Frequently it re- quired two and sometimes even three Hoods j to carry a fleet to St. Louis; indeed maiiv years the drouth and low waters prevailed to 'that degree that scarce a fleet of lumber could he got out in course of the season. Rafts lay in the water, tilling with sand, the grubs decaying, so that it became necessary to haul and re raft it, all which caused serious delay an I treat da mage. This is avoided by send. |ng by ears. Now an operator going into the woods can calculate with reasonable certain- ty (by shipping by rail) how Ion-' he will have to hold his investment, that is, provided he , (Mil make sales — a ri-k he has to encounter in either ease, whether shipping by cars or tiood. In 1848, at the treaty of Lake Poygan, the Menominees ceded all tlu'ir land on the Wis- consin, tastwardly to the Fox River. The surveys followed soon alter. The Stevens Point land ollie • was opened in 1853 ; land sales were rapid ; speculation overrun the country ; immense tracts of pine and other lands were < ntered, all which quickened the lumber trade, as also, in a good degree, the farming in Portage county. In the year 1855-6 certain parties represent ing the Milwaukie A: Horieon Railroad Com- pany, (which road was built and in operation from Horieon northwesterly as lar as Berlin) appeared in this county, at Plover and Stev- ens Point, soliciting aid for the purpose <>! extending said railroad from Berlin to Plover ami Stevens Point. Their negotiations and solicitations were continued here for more than a year, res ulting in their obtaining bonus, mortgages and deeds ol land in exchange for their stock, as is believed to be an amount little short of 600,000 dollars. All this time nothing had been done hut on paper; not a shovel full of earth had been moved, do sur- vey and location of the road, no right of way obtained, not hint, whatever towards con structiou. The money crisis of 1857 came on, when, presto, the whole thing colapsed, van- ished into thin air. But the operators had seemed tie- bonds and mortgages and the. deeds of land, and some years afterwards it was found these securities had gone into cir- culation, as commercial paper! Some of our citizens have since been sued on them and judgments obtained against them. Such was our first experience in getting the blessings of railroads. The Congress of the United States in lSlU passed an act making a liberal grant of land to aid in building a railroad from Portage City, or from Fond du Lac, Berlin oi Men. . sha. Ha Steven* Point to Lake Superior. Af- ter some most unaccountable delav, the ! _cg- islature accepted the grant and passed an act chartering two companies, one to build from Portage City and the other from Meu- asha or Berlin or Fond du Lac, via Stevens Point to Lake Superior, and turning over the bonds to iheni on condition of full 1 ment of terms of the charters. Hon. Geo. Reed, of Manitowoc, after many difficulties succeeded in getting the companies organized— the two <■ nsolidated into one and moved towards eon- s ruction oi a railroad, On his first appear- ance here in IMi ), he could get no audience of l lie peopl ■, the "rate head and bloody bonesf ol the old Horizon fraud met him at every turn. With the exercise, however, of a comiuenda hie patience and perseverance, he was able, li iiliy to be neard ; which being done, the proposition met with favor. It was at once found that Judge Reed, unlike the Hqrrieon gentlemen, meant business: people of the county, especially at Stevens Point , g've mos' assured countenance and support tot he meas- ure: snvey and location of the road from Venaslia .o Stevens Point was made forth- with, and very soon a preliminary survey quite through to Lake Superior. Capitalists to take; hold id' the enlcipri-e were found in Boston: a construction .ompany with Mr. Colby ot Boston and a gentleman from Chi e.it'o, E. B Phillips, Esq., was organized, eon- tracts for building the road from Mcnasha to Stev.'iis Point soon followed, the road was built and equipped, and the first train of cars arrived in Stevens Point on the 20th day of November, 1872. This was a new era for For- t tc county; a treat impetus to business im- mediately followed, the city of Stevens Point being chiefly affected by it. That winter and t he following summer the work was prosecut - cd northwesterly, not only through the coun- ty, but PH) miles towards Lake Superior. This railroad en crs Portage county in town 2 ',, north, range 10 east, and passing through the south part leaves it in town 25 north, range (j east. A \ ear after this the Green Bay A: Minneso- ta railroad was built from Winona, on the Mississippi. This road enters the county in town 2 ; north, rant'' 10 east, forms a junction with the Wisconsin Central about a mile west of Amherst, and passing through Plover, leaves the county in town 23 north, range i east. Besides its main line from Milwaukee to Lake Superior, the Wisconsin Central has a branch railroad known as the "Portage Branch," frcm Stevens Point in a direct line to Portage City. It is now nearly completed. The Wisconsin Valley railroad, IromTomah to Wausau, going north, enters Portage coun- ty in town 24 north, range (j east, forms a junction with the Wisconsin Central nearly on the line, between towns 24 and 25 north, and leaves the county in town 25 north, range 7 east. These four railroads, all now built, equipped HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY 5 with train* running daily, have greatly in- creased the population and quickened tini business of Portage county.* Tin- amount "f indebtedness incurred i>\ the county in rail' road behalf, is 100,000 dollars in bonds, voft cil, issued and delivered to the Central in aii| of their direot line. A like amount was voted in aid cf tin 1 Ptfrtage Branch ; the company, however, through delays, failing to construct the road in stipulated time, the County Board repudiated the bonds; the matter is in lit- igation. These two parcels ol bonds for 100,- 0H0 dollars each, constitute the entire indebt- edness ol Portage county. For several years previous, uneasiness had existed in regard to the location of the seat of justice at Plover, the pica being that it should be at the business center of the coun- ty, which was Stevens Point. Frequent dis- cussions and agitations of the matter ensued; finally it was referred to the Legislature, which in 1867 passed an act requiring a vote of the people to settle the question. The vote was had, and carried in favor of Stevens Point, and the county scat was removed in 1869. The county buildings, a court house and jail of beautiful stone, were erected in 1868-9, at a cost ot 32,000 dollars. To return once more to the lumber trade : We have before estimated the product for Portage county in"1857 at -20,000,000 feet pet- annum, with a valuation of $-336,000. That was nearly 20 yeais ago ; the business has in- creased vastly since that day ; nearly ten times the capital is now invested in the trade; the logging part of it has been comparative- ly increased, and the number and especially the capacity of the mills greatly enlarged. At that day only the old style of up and down saws was used; these are all now laid aside — made to give place to the rotary. T. e best of sash saws would cut from 10 to 15 thou sa:.d per day; the rotarys now cut from 20 to 30 thousand, and many of them more than that. Besides which very great improvements have been made in the streams for handling togs, such as booms, roll-ways and slides. There arc now in actual operation within the bounds of Portage county 25 saw mills, and 16 shingle mills. An experienced, practical lumberman, estimates the quantity manufac- tured within the county for the year past, from 25 saw mills, at seventy-nine million, nine hundred thousand, and of shingles, from 16 mills, at thirty-two millions. The quanti- ties will be somewhat increased the current year, say not less than 80 million feet of lum- ber and 40 million of shingles. And all this from pine alone, the immense forests ol hard- wood being comparatively untouched. This much for the lumber. *.— Old Portage county, before Colum- bia was set off, had a railroad defacto in early times. It was in what is now Wood county. In 1830, Gideon Truesdale, operating Kings- ton's, Fay's and Draper's mills, at what was then known as Draper's, now Biron's Rapids. built a wooden railroad a mile and a half east to a small grove of pine, and on which he got out his logs, hauling the car with oxen, yoked tandem. Besides the uU-y of Stevens Point, there are several villages in the county : as Plover, Bue- na v*ista,Amberst .Jordan, Eau Pleine, Almond, McDillville and Springville. Plover, six miles south of Stevens Point, has a population of some live hundred; the tun railroads, the Stevens Point and Portage, and the Green Bay & Minnesota, form a junction here, having on each, both freight and pas- senger trains running daily ; it is quite a mart of trade for farmers; ha.-, several good puhlie buildings — as a large public school bouse*, two nice churches, a hue grist and flouring. mill, and several hotels, smith's shops. and stores, with a live newspaper — the Plover Times; it is one of the most pleasant places in the county for private residences, with good society. Amherst. 14 miles east of Plover and some 15 from Stevens Point, is perhaps the most flourishing village in the county; it is directly on the Wisconsin Central Railroad, the Green Bay & Minnesota forming a junction with the Central about a mile west of it ; here dwell some of the most enterprising men of the county ; there is a population of about six hundred; one church, an excellent public school house, several taverns and stores, and two first class flouring mills. Surrounded by the best farming lands, in the; hands of well- to-do, astute pushing operators, Amherst un- doubtedly has a most encouraging and hope- ful future. A glance at the farm products for 1875, shows under cultivation : In wheat 12,128 acres " oats 5,066% " " corn 8,827% " " barley 305% " "hops 370 " "rye 4,143 " " all other crops, including grass, 15,445 " Total acres under cultivation, . .46,295, at an estimated value of 51(5,655 dollars. The assessed value of personal property in the county, consisting of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, farming utensils, manufacturer stock, and other personal property is, $577,510.0."), divided as follow*: Horses $ 93,003 Cattle 109,022 Mules 4,407 Sheep 9,93o Swme 7,958 Wagon* 35,275 Watches 4,335 Pianos and organs 12, ( 1:;.-, Shares bank stock 5,590 Merchants and manufacturers stock.. 104,320 All other personal property 130,915 Total assessed valuation for 1876 of all property, both personal and real. is set down at '.$2,491,003 % should be added for current value 830,331 Making a total valuation of both personal and real property of.. .$3,321,334 A majority of the population of the county engage in agriculture: they have organized a spirited Agricultural Society, which has existed HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY. ten years; has a large li-t of members; Wm. V. Flemming Esq. is President, H. S. Rood Viee President, Wm. Loing Treasurer, and A. J. Smith Secretary. Fairs are held annually, always well attended, and the exhibitions highly credible; the fair grounds are at Am- herst. OF MANUFACTURES, There are but few aside from the lumber trade: chiefly confined to grinding of wheat and other grains ; there has been put up, as they were required from time to time 8 toed and flouring mills; the data is not quite per- fect, but it is estimated that thev have ground, hitherto one year with another, 30,000 barrels of flour and 1,500,000 pounds of course grain —all the product of the county. The manufacture of flour will doubtless b i considerably increased this year, a new mill of lars^e capacity, 5 runs of stone, having just been completed in Stevens Point. At Stockton there is a very credible estab- lishment for the manufacture of cheese. Population of the county for 1876 is 14,870. Portage county as at present organized is divided into 16 towns, besides the city of Stevens Point, 17 in all, to-wit : Plover, Sharon, Stockton, Stevens Point, Linvvood, Pine Grove, New Hope. Lanark, Hull, Grant, Ean Pleine, Buena Vista, Bel- mont, Amherst, Almond, city of Stevens Point, The county officers are, John Stumpf, Coun- ty Judiie. J. B. Carpenter, Countv Clerk, John Eckels, Sheriff, Wm. Albcrtie, County Treas- urer, Ole O. Wogsland, Register of Deeds, Wm, H. Packard, Dist. Attorney, Jas. E. Rogers, Clerk Circuit Court. N. G. Hinman, County Surveyor, J. O. Morrison, Superinten- dent Schools. The Count)/ Hoard consists of C. E. Webstei, of Almond, chairman; A. H. Bancraft, < > I Amherst; S. F. Devoin, Belmont; Geo, P. Nu- gent, Buena Vista; R. B. Whitehouse, Fan Pleine; Adolph Panter, Grant; Robert Maine, Hull; Ira Whipple, Lanark; Gunder O. Wem me, New Hope; Geo. W. Franklin, Plover; A. M, Harris, Pine Grove; Jas. Meehan, Linwood, John Landers, Stevens Point; Henry Cate, Stockton; Jos. Oesterle, Sharon; Stevens Point city: Mathew Wadleigh, 1st Ward; N. H. Emmons, 2d Ward; E. D. Brown, 3d Ward. There are 80 public and several private schools organized in the county, all in a sound flourishing condition; these schools employed in 1874, according to County Superintendent's report, from time to time during the year, no less than 144 teachers; and it required that year, to keep the schools properly goin^, 01 teachers continually; the number of scholars in attendance was 3,221; whole number of children in the county of suitable age to at- tend school, 4,930. Amount of money appropriated for all school purposes during the year, . . .$30,560.25 Amount disbursed " "... 24,508 15 " paid to male teachers 5,789.35 female " 12.291.62 There are 82 school houses, built in the county, all in good order — some of them quite expensive; these houses are generally fur- nished in the most approved, modern style, and are calculated to accommodate comforta- bly at all seasons no less than 4,300 pupils; the 150 teachers are not only duly qualified ac- cording to requirements of the statute, but they are understood to be an emulative corps of educators, equal to any other in the state, and under the direction of our excellent Coun- ty Superintendent, J. 0. MorrUon, Esq., are establishing for themselves most enviable rep- utations, and laying the youth as well as the older oi.es, under lasting obligations. There are three live newspapers, the Times published at Plover, and the Pinery and the Journal at Stevens Point. There are 14 practicing attorneys, It physi- cians and surgeons settled and in business in the county. Portage county is an inclined plane, flipping slightly to the south, with neither mountain range nor deep valley — not an acre of waste land ; and though 200 feet above the level of Lake Michigan, we are nevertheless, geologi- cally speaking, low down — on the old sand -tone ; but little clay, and scarce a particle of lime stone is to be found either in Portage county, or all the. "Upper Wisconsin:"— there is a moderate quantity of marsh, but it is by no means waste land — much of it yields ex- cellent grass, both for pasturage and hay; and better than that, cranberry marghm&rQ found here, and with slight improvement, become the best paying lands of all. Building stone of a superior quality and in great abundance is found along the Wiscon- sin river ; and an excellent quality of brick is made from a mixture of clay and sand, 2)4 miles north of Stevens Point. The future of Portage county can scarcely be doubtful ; with her climate unexcelled in salubrity, excellent soil, pure water, her unsurpassed facilities for safe and speedy com- munication, her great natural resources, her rapidly developiuir improvements, both phys- ical, moral and social, her excellent schools, her energetic population, with all the ele- ments of moral excellence, her course, under the blessings of a Benign Providence, must be onward and upward, till she shall stand sec- ond to none other in Wisconsin ; who ever shall take note of her at another centennial .' will find her densely populated with an intel- ligent, virtuous, patriotic people. I0m§ fp« Is near the center of Portage county, in Sec. 32, Town 24 north. Range 8 cast, on the <nst bank of the Wisconsin River ; it is the lanreft town on the "Upper Wisconsin ;" and some people have wondered how it come so '! In early times — 1839 and 1840— head quarters of the -'Wisconsin Pinery" were lower down the river— tirst at Grand Rapids and then at Plov- er ; the latter having been laid out on speed- lation by Francis Dunn and Moses M. Strong in 1841, and the scat of justice for Portage county soon after located there ; large hotels were built h >th at Plover and at Grand Rap ids, and other appointments made with a view to business centers of the Pinery ; no one thought of Stevens Point in any such connec- tion; accidentally or otherwise, people were found stopping here: the occupants them- selves had not the remotest idea of founding a town ; they were merely pursuing their business; which was forwarding supplies from the lower country to Big Bull Falls, which was being done by wagons thus far, where the teamsters came to the end of the road; but they found a good river, and a smooth slack water navigation, for 30 miles up: — to extract a few words from the Stevens Point Hand Book published in 1857 : "No one at the beginning had a suspicion that there was to be a town here; it has come to its present size in the "natural way," without force or arti- fice of any kind. It is made by its location at the foot of a long slack-water in the Wis- consin from Little Bull, and at the head of the great chain of the Conant Rapids. Some 12 years ago, a lumberman — George Stevens, urging his way up the river with a load of goods for Big Bull Falls, stopped his ox wag- on and load near the slough, at the foot of (what is now) Main street, put his goods un- der a few boards, and went back to Portage City for another load. A day or two after his return, he put his goods into a dug out, and went up the river. This point thus be- came a landing and place for trans-shipment from wagons to boats, and was soon known as Stevens' Point. A ware-house was then found necessary, and the increased resort soon called for a tavern. The raftsmen in their downward course found it a proper place to make com- plete outfits for entering the great chain of rapids. Provisions, cable, and other articles were required, which soon produced stores of different kinds at the place. Thus matters went on for a year or two, when the owners of the ground were forced to lay off a few lots for building purposes. This decided its tate, and made it a village before either the lot owners or the settlers were aware of the fact." The lumbermen had occupied G'onant Rap- ids and Mill Greek, as early as 1840 ; very lit- tle had been done at Stevens Point, as far as can be learned, sooner than ls44: — accounts differ very much as to the tirst building put up in the place; some say it was a ware limine at the foot of Main street, and built by Ghas. Maddy and Henry Mularky; others affirm that in the fall of 1844, Abraham Brawley built a log house on the fiat, just above the Shaurette Rapids, which he moved into in December of that year; while still others say that Matthias Mitchell built a tavern house on what is since known as the old Phelps stand; and not to admit the claims of any of these to priority, it is maintained by one wb.3 came here as ear- ly as 1842, that early in the fall of 1844 Math- iiis Mitchell built a shanty near the foot of Main street, positively the very first thing in shape of a house, pus up in Stevens Point ; after all, the preponderance of testimony seems to be in favor of the house of A. Braw- ley on the flat, as the first one built within the city limits; the ware house followed, and then Mitchell's' t» vera. The next building put up was a house by Richard Gardner, just west of the store of N. F. Bliss. The first rapid piece of lumber over Shau- rette rapids, was run from Wausau, by Hiram Stowe, in 1842. In 1845, Richard Johuson built a log house just aboye Shaurette Rapids on the east side, and commenced darning the Wisconsin River on the rapids, preparatory to building a saw mill; the dam was not completed till 1840-7, Kingsbury built a tavern house on the south side of Main street in the winter of 1845-6; it was burnt soon after. HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY The place now became a general resort; two or three tavern houses were up and occupied one on the smith side of Ma n street, near where the old Doet. .Morrison store now Btands; the granting ol a license to Mr. Kings- bury by the County Board, is the first not ice ot Stevens Point iu the records of that body. Places to sell goods followed; the first stock that we hear of was by Robert Bloomer; an- other by the two Mr, Campbells; and being the resort of the river men, saloons became .1 matter of first necessity; two were soon ran- ning— the Star and the Ocean Wave. By this time — 1846-7 — there were some '20 buildings of all sorts, and Stevens Point was a village. Frontiers men with their wives and children had braved the forest, the climate, and driven their stakes here. Now caii.e the appoint- ments of society and civilization; Miss Ainan- dina Hale, now Mrs. N. F Bliss, kept a pri vate school— the first in Stevens Point, in a board shanty on the ground now occupied by the. Mansion House. A preacher ap- peared about this time— one of the Methodist persuasion— a Mr. Hurlburt. A highly respectable physician and surgeon, Doctor Bristol, arrived; he rode from Point Bas to Bull Falls; he died in 1848; and was buried in the cemetery out of town ; that is to say, on a swell of ground since graded down, just in front of Claflin'S jewelry store; a wor- thy man passed away in Dr. Bristol; a "tear to hi* memory;" would that we could say "peace to his ashes;" but alas! the "the march ot im- provement"— inexorable necessities ot a city, removed them from their resting place in the cemetery, and where they now are, who can tell? that grave yard has disappeared; in its place ;.re a graded street, side walks, houses, stores, and' other improvement s too numer- ous to mention. With the doctors and the preachers, came also the lawyers; the people had been peace- able enough so far, but who could think of a town without something to get tolks by the ears? Thomas Mormon, John Delaney and Wm. L De Witt were the. first disciples of Coke and Littlejohn. Mr. Mormon represent this district in the Legislature in 1840-7. * Growing apace, as all great towns always do, it became one of commerce, and must have its money lender ; it had one, John Wet- land was its first banker and broker ; he lived where Mr. John Walker's stone block now stands. E. G. Bean assumed to act, (by what authority is not apparent) as a magistrate; his first official act was to unite in the bands of matrimony Mr. J. K. Mitchell with Miss Fannie Luther— these parties of Plover ; Mr. *This Mr. De Witt, a son of the venerable Surveyor General De Witt of the State of New York, was an accomplished Civil Engineer, as well as an Attorney, and by direction of the state authorities, in 1850 made a careful sur- vey and reconnoisance of the Wisconsin Riv- er, from Point Bas to Big Bull Falls: His re- port, accompanied with the necessary profiles, and plattings, was published in pamphlet in 1851. Abraham Brawlev, also assuming Che magis- terial robes, celebrated his first official act in our city by marrying Mr. Henry Blanchere to Mrs. Powe, a widow lady. ■Jut this Esquire Brawlev had other matters in hand, than tying knots hymenial or dis- pensing justice; he was indeed our first repre- sentative ;o the Legislature, as well as im- mersed head and heels in the lumber trade; but in the midst of all, he found lime, as he had occasion, to attend to agriculture; true, he lived on the bottoms that overflowed twice at least a year — a poor place we would say tor farming; but stepping back a few paces to higher groin d, he fenced, ploughed aud plant ed a fine field where now stands our stone courthouse; his labors were well repaid ; no better corn or potatoes and garden stuff gen erally ever burtheued the earth than Mr, Brawley raised there in 1S45 and 0. Stevens Point was thought by some at this day as rather a rough place; the people at Plover were aecunstomed to stigmatize it as "up in the Pinery;" out of the pale of civiliz- ation, while they were among people of cul- ture and taste, ai the county seat. Well, the denizens of the Point accepted the situation without demur ; they were in the Pinery, and must submit to their fortunes. As soon as the ice left in the spring, or even before, the "suckers" began to run] up ; I need UJt stop here to tell who or what the suckers were: they were bipeds; and though able to swim on occasion (as when they got knocked off a raft) yet their scales and tinny adornments were more imaginary than real; they ran up however every spring in immense shoals, filling all space, and making no little noise, and sometimes creating excitement; they were on the whole a rather harmless, and eminently useful race; their number was any- thing, from hundreds to legions, according to times and circumstances; while the rafts were running, they were running also, and gener- ally on the water. But let the river go down and the rafts stop, which they did of course every summer; when instantly the suckers, from above, from below, from all quarters, made a "straight shoot" for Stevens Point; there they were counted (no they could not be counted) but they appeared in huge shoals, overwhelming all places and persons; the on- ly wonder is that they were not the fearful roughs the people of refined Plover would have the world believe; they were in tact, gen- erally, under the circumstances, a merry- hearted, generous and well behaved set of Boy-, as ever ran a river, or pulled an oar; all honor to the suckers; their day is nearly past; the locomotive has come and their occupation is about gone. While on the matter of the rivermen, there are two characters, pre-eminently such of Stevens Point, which we shall be pardoned for noting: the one is the ifr(/7s//«m— the oth-» er the Pilot: mention is made ot the first in the 18th number of the 1st volume of the Pin- ery news paper, published here in April, 1858; speaking of the river and the rivermen that paper had the following: '•Old Wisconsk.— For the last 8 months this old HISTORY OF PORTAGK COUNTY. "follow has been so quirt a> scarcely '•to remind us of hi* existence;— even the lit -tic children mounted his back and played "with his mane with impunity;— he seemed a ^'fallen hero, and so destitute "I life thai some "even doubt his ability to riseagain. B,H the "I ng sunny days of March and April have "thawed him out, quickened hi- sluggish "nerves and restored hi- wasted strength. "Like a Li in n t refreshed with a long s'eep, he "has awaked and shaken bimself, and as if "conscious of i long delinquency in businc-Sj "Ue seem- in haste, to be oil towards the Fatbv "6rof Waters. He trembles in every limb, and "his \ oice like the linn's roar, is heard among "the rocks: to the uninitiated he seems a i<t- "rOr, but not so to t lie Raftsman; -accustomed "to his modes, he treat- bis marine.- and foain- "ing as so much swagger, and mounts his hack "with as little concern as a jockey would an "old hack. Nor is it for mere sport aloi e i hat "the man of Fines essays such a noble steed; "he harnesses him to his chain of a dozen or "twenty rafts, and compels him to drag fori "ward in his course to the Mississippi a train "that would put to shame thai ot any rarlf "road in Christendom. Well, the thing is "going on here now; and all you down yonder "that are fond of "grand sport," should come "and see our Raftsmen drive old II isciwwse." Mich was the view taken by the newspaper man of the Raftsman in 1853. All those eaj gaged in running out the lumber were Rafts- men; hut the other c assspoken of— the Pilots —were few; oiilv those oi lone,' experience — skill in managing the whole operation of tak- ing lumber from the niiils and delivering it safely at the point of destination — it might lie Dubuque or St. Louis— and only those who had character and reputation, were entitled to the more honorable distinction of Pilots: they were hut few at the day we speak ot — twenty at most. The Stevens Point Hand Book speaks of tin/ Pilots : s follows: — "The piloting of raits over these interinina- ble falls, from Jenny Bull, to and below the Dells, requires great skill, practice, courage, and extreme peril and hard labor. — This branch of the business has produced a class ot men known ae Pilots, wh > have become masters, both of the rapids, and the capitalists in the lumber trade; as nothing can he done without them; at least in getting the, product to market after it is cut out at 'he mills. When engaging by the day, they make their own terms at from five to fifteen dollars. Those of the better character, with a little mean:', ahead, are accustomed to job the Inisi- ness, entering into contract with the producer to take the boards in pile at the mill-, and furnishing all necessary men and outlays at their own cost and charges, to deliver the lum- ber at Dubuque or St. Louis, at a stipulated price per thousand feet. Partaking somewhat of the rigorous, wild character of the liver and its whirlpools, they are nevertheless for the most part, men of generous impulses, en- ergetic, honest and trustworthy; I icing fre- quently entrusted not only with' the custody ot a year's earnings of a large establishment, in its transit to market, but with the sale of the rafts, the disbursement of large amount- oft he proceed- to hand-, and the rendition of final accounts to the o\> ners." As with Hie Raftsmen so with the pilots; their occupation too i~ being abridged in a good degree by t lie locomotive: many of them hav ■ not braved the perils of the dee], fir nought; they have made their business n suc- cess, and arc quietly enjoying the fruit ot their toil. The old Count v Board (records p. 89) on the t'.th of .1 muar\, 1847, '•re. -ted f 22 N., P. (1 F.. into a school district, to he numbered oru and to in- known a- the Grand Rapids District. On the nth April, 1847, they erected T. :l-\ N., R. i'. lv, (which i- on:- eitv of Steven- Point) into a - hool district, to he known as the Stevens Poit t Distric; and numbered /"•<>. The first election was directed to he held at the house ot A. It Baneraft. We. are unable to tind any organization of this Stevens Point D'i-trict ai that time, byelectio.i of District Officers. Under date oi May 24, 1847, the Hoard creeled T. 23 N., R. 8 E., into a school dis trict to he numbered three, and known a- the Plover District. All this time, the County of Portage had never been divided into towns, and was prac- tically under the government of the three County Commissioners. )\\ the '.nh of January, 1849, the Commis- sioners being B. W, Finch, S. R. Merrill and Win. V. ETeuiming, tin- county was divided into towns as follows: — "All that part of Portage county south of a line running east and west, one mile south of the north line of Town 23 N., Range 8 E.. shall be named the town ol Plover; the first election of town officers to he at the house of Geo. Neeves, Grand Rapid-. All that part ot the county lying north ol the north line oi Plover, and south of the north line of Town 27, shall he called and known by the name of Middletown; and the first election shall he at the house of Freeman Keeler, Duhay's trading post: — All that part of Portage county north of Town :l'i shall constitute one town and be known by the name of bull Falls; the first election to be at the bouse of Thomas Uin- ton. We have no data to describe the elec- tion and organization ot this town of Middle- town, which included Stevens Point; tho' it is said A. Brawley was a Justice ol Peace, and Samuel W. Rollins, Constable. On the 1st ot March, 1850, we tind the Coun- ty Board further dealing with the matter of the boundaries of township-;; the only impor- tant change made in our affairs, was to re- move the seat of government from Middle- town to Stevens Point, and ordering elections to be held at the house ot Hinton A: Phelps. The town of Stevens Point now fairly set up for itself with regular township govern ment, N. F. Bliss was elected Justice ol the Peace, Abraham Brawley, Orrin Mayhee, and Supervisors, Brawley chair- man; -las, S.Young Town Clerk, Ira Yaughan Assessor and Collector, and a Mr. llolden Superintendent of Schools. A, H. Baneraft IO HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY was Sheriff of the county, Win Griffin was thc first Post Master; had to go to Plover for the mails, there being no post route to Stev- ens Point. About this time School District No. 1, Stev- ens Point, was organized; Di rector. Treasurer, and N. K. Bliss District Clerk; according to the Clerk's report tor September, 1K50, the school had been taught seven months, by Miss B. Ale LnugMin, who was paid ?2.» per month; the number of children in attendance was (id: — 30 girls and 36 hoys. A new school house had been erected the year before, valued at $600. The population' at that date (sept., 1850,) was estimated at some 200. Our town was now some live years old: — it was acknow- ledged tlw place of transhipment from wagons to boats, (canoes); no practical wagon road bavintr yet been made Irom this to Big Bull ; tho' that place was growing apae •; mills hav- ing been built there, and a other points above, all which required lanre amounts of supplies, which found their way from Stevens Point by river in boats. As a central point of business for the pinery, on- town had (in 1850) three hotels, four stores, two rousing saloons, black- smith shops, carpenters, mill- wrights, wagon ers, traders — especially dealers in lumber and shingles; one of the residents of that day hands in the following tnemorandu u: lie .-ays "we had two hotels; Joseph Phelps kept the Mitchell House; Bro rn it Grover kept the City Hotel; the Star saloon was kept by Wal ton & Walsworth: the Ocean Wave b\ Sailor Jack and a Mr. Watts:— Matt Campbell and John Campbell, successors to Robert Bloom- er, kept store, where Krembs' hardware store now is; — John Strong had a store near Sloth- ewer's old store; — the principal traders and business men were, Matthias .Mitchell, lumber dealer and owner of the town site; Young A: Maybee, lumber dealers; Thos. Hinton, lum- ber dealer; A. Bra i ley, mill owner and lum her dealer; Campbell & Brothers, merchants ami lumber dealers ; B. Finch, lumber deal ci" Valentine Brown, Horace Judd, Azro Minn and Annus .McCauley, river pilots; Jas. Cran- dall, boarding house keeper; Seneca Harris, boot and shoe maker and dealer; Anson Rood, builder and merchant; Francis Lam ere, board- ing house; (), Wiswald and J Young, hotel keepers; John Welland, money lender and banker " Some enterprising parties, J. L. Prentice surveyor, had explored easterly as far as the branches of Wolf river for a road, hence called the Green Bay road:— it served the pur- poses of selecting and lo ating farms, and ex- tending settlements in that direction as far as To-morrow river, and a little beyond. To this lime. Gills Landing on the wolf river, wasjust being heard of; but scarcely a wagon track from there here was known: — there was a road traveled somewhat, from Strong's landing on t he Fox i iver, (near Berlin) through to Plover: — but practically nearly all the supplies came up the great wagon road from Galena. \ strip ci land t luce miles in width on each side of the Wisconsin had been brought into market as early as 1840: — the land office then being at Mineral Point:- the Indian title to the Upper Wisconsin country generally, was extinguished in 1S4S, and the lands were sur- veyed and in market soon after. In August, 1852, < iongress passed an act creating two new land districts — one at La Crosse, and one at Stevens Point: the latter was opened the sum- mer of L853; — Abraham Brawley having been appointed Register, and Albert G. Ellis Re- ceiver It was thought sales would hardly pay expense?! How different the result V The rush was unprecedented; the offices were thronged night and day; the Register and Receiver were soon compelled to double their clerical force, lo keep up current hu.-iness; the thorough- fares were crowded— new stage lines had to be established for the r->ad, and new hotels lor the travelers:— the money was coin— all gold in those days: manv thousand dollars went into the Receiver's office daily: two, three and even four clerks were kept on the road carry- ing oil' the funds to dep isitaries, at Dubuque and Chicago. Stevens Point felt the impulse; population began to increase — new buildings went up in every direction: the Pointers thought the Millenium had come sure. Our citizens began to think they could no longer exist without a railroad; and specula- tors in that line at .Milwaukee were of the same opinion; — in L85T, agents of the Milwau- kee & ilorieou railroad appeared here solicit ing bonds and mortgages, and deeds of con- veyance in exchange for their stock, promis- ing to have the cars here from Berlin within a twelve month: — our people responded — bled freely:- -not less than 400,000 dollars worth of securities were handed over to these agents; we are charitable enough to believe that they intended to build a road! Alas for human hopes! A money crisis, succeeded the good tinns, anil the Horieon railroad scheme \ ani.-hed. Next came the hard times — credit was at an end; everybody suspended, and our flourishing little city eolapsed with all the rest of the world. Prices ol lots went down: — buildings 'ii tint outskirts were without occupants: we had a great fire in 1858, which swept half the business part of the town; these vacant buildings in the outskirts were found of use; i hey were moved in to replace those destroyed by the fire: this process has been repeated — lor we have endured two destructive confla- grations within the last decade. In the midst of all this, some ambitious minds could no longer endure township gov- ernment: — application was made to the Leg- islature; and in IS5S, that body granted us a city charter. The city of Stevens Point by that charier, was nearly -?J/, miles square, embracing within it about 4,200 acres. The charter was accepted by the people; tin- first election held on the26th davof June, 1858. Win. Scholfield was chosen Mayor. A, J. Aldrich, Marshal. c. B. Jackson, Police Justice. HISTORY OF POSTAGE COUNTY II H. B. Martin, rreasurer. ■T, j. Cone, Assessor. C. B. Curtis City Clerk. W. B. Agnew, Surveyor. The Aldermen wew : A. 6. llamackcr and Valentine Brown, 1st Ward. II. Fuiyason and Martin Perkins. '3d Ward. Anson Rood and S. W. Homsted, 3d Ward. For the next ten years, matters progressed with lew changes: the shock occasioned by the late money cr eis gradually wore off: the energy of our people restored business ; es- pccially that of the lumber trade; it was con- tinually on the increase;— in 1865, the product of our Stevens Point operators in the trade, either as producers or jobbers, could not have h en less than 50 million feet of boards; ' e- j sides lath, pickets and shingles. Al i this time j our communication with the world below was by wagons; no ears nearer than 00 or 70 miles. * Iu 1869, we had a new excitement about railroads; Hon. George Reed of Menasha, (or Manitowoc,) suddenly dropped down upon us, , proposing to talk railroad to our people; no | one would listen; the blessings of the old Hori- | eon fraud had not yet healed, it was lony; be lore he could be heard: — at last an audience was given, and it was perceived that he was in earnest, and had the wherewith; — that isto say, charters from the Legislature controlling the application of the large land grant made by Congress in 1864, to aid in building railroads from Berlin, Fond du Lac or Mcna-ha, and Portage City, to Lake Superior; and Congress havi ig made our City a point in the proposed railroad, we could not well be given thego-bv, provided one should ever be built at all, on the grant. After numerous consultations our people looked with favor i-m the undertaking, in the hands of Judge Reed; they nominated a di- rector as lor this city, and pledged the corpora ation for certain amounts of local aid — to pro- * The Wisconsin is not a navigable river up stream: — it was attempted in 1850: — the En- terprise, (apt. Harris, a boat of 100 tons bur- then, ascended as far a Point Bas, laden with Mill iron and lumberman's supplies for Clin- ton A; Rablin; the water tailing, she encount- ered untold difficulties in getting down again: tlie navigation ot the Wisconsin, above" the Dells, was considered impracticable. About the year 1853, an enterprize was set on toot, by Anson Rood, and others to navigate the river from Stevens Point, upwards, to Little Bull Falls, and thciue to Wausau:— a small boat, the Northerner, was put on, under steam: a year or two after a larger boat — the City of Seevens Point, was built, and the next year' the Wausau, for the short route between Little Bull and Wausau; — these boats run lor some three years; before any good wagon road had been made from Stevens Point to Rig Bull:— as soon as that was well accomplished, the transportation business, and most of the trav- el, went to the road by wagons and stages:— the boats, no longer paying well, were run out and sold on the lower river. (Hire the right of way and make a survey and location from Menasha to Stevens Point. It took two years to mature all plans, find cap- italists to advance moneys, to make contracts and construct the road; but it succeeded at last; and on the 20th of November, L872, our people had a celebration over the arrival of the first train of cars from Menasha! It de- cided the late of Stevens Point:— our popula- tion iu 1869 was about 1200:— business was with a slow coach; many were disheartened, and we were accustomed to hear every day, people talking of leaving. Our population now is over 4OJ0: — nobody is going away, but everybody seems coming Property — town lots,— have doubled, trebled in value; — all kinds ol business has revived:— the town has spread out in all directions, and no longer any doubt about our success. The Wisconsin Central Railroad, (with the Milwaukee Northern and its connection di- rectly to Green Bay, Milwaukee and Chicago) is oi.e of the institutions of the state; it has built, equipped and is operating 180 miles of new road; besides the Portage Branch, 78 miles, now nearly complete. She is finishing her mam line through to Vshland — equal to about 340 miles in all of her own railroad pro per, besides her connections south of Men- asha. Stevens Point is her headquarters, hav- ing her extensive freight and passenger de- pots, her turn table, round house and new, ex- tensive machine shops, all here. Within the last lew days, anew railroad move is on fort — to-wit, an extension of the Green Bay & Minnesota railroad from Plover to Stev- ens Point: — a survey of the route has actually been made, and as we understand, estimates are being prepared to enable the company to determine thequestion of extending or not. As a tew of the improvements worthy of note in our city, we may mention, first, our extensive water power, central of the city, on the Shaurette rapids of the Wisconsin River: — this dam is considered permanent — furnish- ing a vast power, but a small poition of which is thus far utilized; — there are on it, two grist and flouring mills — one quite new and tirst class, built of stone in most substantial man- ner, of a capacity of 5 or 6 hundred barrels of flour a week: built and owned by Messrs, Lam- pert, Wagner <fe Co. The water power is chiefly owned by ex- Mayor Clark, who has an extensive lumber- ing establishment upon it: all the improve- ments being a;, yet on the ea-t side. Mr. Clark has just completed the rebuilding of his saw mills, at a cost of 6 or 9,000 dollars! In all he runs 22 saws: two double rotarys— with gantc edgers and trimmers for each: — all the ma chineryis new and of the most approved kind: — the mill is calculated to cut 100 thousand per tlay when in full operation, and is doubt- less one of the most complete in the Pinery. There are a number of other mills of various description running by steam: — four saw mills and six shingle mills. But a most important improvement touching the lumbering interest is the Stevens Point Boom; ii is supposed to be permanently built, at a cost of about 12 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY. 40,000 dollars; having a capacity of 100,000,0 10 feet <>l loirs. The railroad company has extended .side l racks to all t he mills on hot li sides of t he riv- er, which facilitates the shipment of lumber and shingles by rail: nineteen million feci of lumber and thirty-six millh ns of shingles are said to have goneout by rail the current year. Our institutions of literary and moral char aeter, are not excelled by any town ol its size in the siate. We have a Catholic. Church with a very large congregation, and Sunday school: there is an excellent private school by the Catholic Sisters ol Noire Dame, attached; a second Catholic Church n. in progress of erec- tion, in the northern part of the 1st Ward. We have five Protestant Churches well at- tended, with .Sunday schools in all. Our pub- lie schools are worthy special mention: they are under supervision of a Board of Education, created by special enactment, consisting of. six members — two from each ward: — the schools arc graded into five departments, occupying four buildings with nine different schools; nine teachers, besides a Principal: — the num- ber of cnildren in the city attending both pri- vate and public schools the past year, is some- thing over 1200. On the 5th of March, 1875, the Legislature passed an act providing for the establishment ol "free High Schools," whereby towns, vil- lages and cities, in addition to their common schools, might, on a vote of the inhabitants, organize free schools, of a higher grade, than under the common law, and provide for tin' teaching ol such branches as should tit the pupils for entrance into the State University, on certificates of the local School Board: the l>eneiits to the towns, villages and cities, of this law, will he very great: — it. is understood our city Board of Education have taken meas- ures for securing the advantages ol this act, by the immediate establishment of a Free High School in the city of Stevens Point. The amount of moneys received Irom all sources into the School District Treasury for the year past is 4, IMS dollars. The amount disbursed : — To teachers i< $3,862 For other purposes 1,086 Total • S4,94> Of fire proof buildings, of .-tone, brick, and two brick vaneered dwellings, there are a dozen and a hall — all lair structures: — the ot . er one thousand buildings, are wood— dry pine, inviting the element, which has tor the thin! time swept the business part of our lit- tle city: — these conflagrations have incited our people— business men and property hold- ers, to find protection — prevention Ifpoesib'e Of these destructive tires: the outcome of which has been the organization of a most vigorous, efficient Fire Oompang, and the fur- nishing of the city with lire engines — of which there are two — a hand engine and a steamer: the latter a splendid affair, at a cost, as is said, of lorty-seven hundred dollars: it has paid for itself and more already; we have scarcely had wfn-e since its appearance. There are several other institutions in the ci y for moral, religious and intellectual im- provements, anions - which is a library <iss<)rin- tum and reading circle, comprizing the intelli- gent portion ol the population:— it hasexisted five, years and is steadily advancing; exercis- ing a marked influence Vim- e,nod: it has regu- lar meetings for reading, lor discussions, and social intercourse; a handsome library of some volumns, and promises welt lor the fu- ture. The population of t' e city, as per census taken one year since, was :\:UY.',; — Assessed valuation of property §669,819 To which ai least one third should lie added tor current value 228,273 True value $893*092 We have said ih •■ city is on the east side ol Hie Wisconsin river:- this must have a slight amendment.— there are some three mill.-, and i hiily houses on the west ide, and beyond doubt the town will extend on that .-id'' rap- idly. \ substantial bridue, on live stone and timber piers, spans the river at. loot ol (lark, street— a quarter of a mile above tl e Shau- re'lte dam: the railroad bridge of the Wiscon- sin Central, — a. structureo! iron, on four stone piers, spans the river a quarter of a mile he- low the mill dam. Stevens Point is not without a fair supply of the learned profession.-: — of Attorney at law, we have 10 Physicians and Surgeons 7 ( le. gymen 8 Civil Engineers :; Professors and Tea< hers of Music 15 Qualified Teachers of schools 2U Editors and Authors <> Daguerrian Artists and Portrait Painters... 3 Resident Officials. Hon. c. W. fate, Me triber of Congress for 8th Congressional District. Hon. G. L Park, Judge of Circuit Court. Horace Grant, Esq., U. S. Post Master. .III-. P. Dor.-ey, Ksq., Ganger, .lames E. Rogers, Clerk Dist. Court. John Eckles, Sherill' Prank Whedock, Under Sheriff. John Stumpf, County Judge. J. B. Carpenter, County Clerk. Wm. Albert ie, County Treasurer. Ole O. Wogsland, Register of Deeds. Win. H, Packard, Dist. Attorney. W. G. Hinman, County Surveyor. J. 0. Morrison, Co. Supt. of Schools. John K. McGregor, Principal ol Schools, Of the City GouncM. lion. J. D. McLean, Mayor. Frank Wheelock, Marshal. N. F. Bliss, Police Justice. Alexander Krembs, I Aldermen lst Ward . John O. Johnsen, ) Owen Clark, ' AUl . . 2ml NV . ml . E. R. Herren, \ John Slothower, I AW 3rd w . ml John Ball, ) John Stumpf, City Clerk. | James Bellinger, I P()li( , ( . ln . m . Edward Dunegan, \ HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY. Almansoii I ftton, City Attorney. K. ll. Estabrook, city Physician. .1 I.. Prentice, City Engineer. Tin Board of Education llun. G. L. Park, President. Win VVeston, Owen Clark, Geo. W-M-t, E. I). Brown. A G. rlamacker, Clerk. Of the Fire ( 'ompany. Henry Curran, ( !taief. Charles Krembs, Foreman. Of the Various Hocieties. MASONIC. Forest hapten' of B. A.. Masons, No. 34. Charles Chai'ee, K. P. 11. 1). McCulloch, K. J. K. MeG tgor, Sec. John ('adman, Treas, F.rt rgreen Lodge, No. 93. C has. Chafec, W. M. A. F. Wyatt, F. W. John C.-dman, J. W. Emmon6 Burr, Sec. A. G. Ilainacker, Treas, Monadnmk Encampment No. .VJ, 1. 0. 0. F. L. D. Conery, C. P. M. W. Blan hard, G. P. J. H. Smith, S. W. W. P. Goodhue. S. C. John Stnmpf, Treas. J. B. Marshall, J. W. Sltnurette Lodge, I. O. 0. F., No. 'M. M. W. Blanchard, N. G. J. H. Whiting, V. G. A. M. Pratt, Sec. L. D. Conery, Treas. Stnmpf Lodge, I. 0. 0. F., No. 22o. John Stnmpf. N. G. David Lutz, V. G. Win. B. Koppe, See. Jacob Lutz, Treas. I. 0. of G. T. J. D. Wyatt, W. C. T. Olive. Aldrich, W. V. T. J. T. Kean, W. R. S. J. D. Whitney, W. F, S. Martha Grant, X . T. Alex Empey, W. M. Mrs. Gottery, W. A. M. Clara Wert, I. G. Fred Richardson, O. G. E. C. Sennett, L. D. Rev. D. W, Smith, W. C. J. H. Carlisle, P. W. C. T. I. 0. ofG. T. No. -I. W. C. T — S. L. Bean. L. II. S.— Emma Redfield. B. 11. S.— Lizzie Clark. W. 8.— F. L. Jackson. W. F. 8.— F. Redtield. W. T.— Mary Albertie. W. M.— Sam. Davis. A. M. — Virginia Brawley. A, S.— Acidic Packard. P. W. C— C. H. Lincoln. I. G. — lennic Bccillc. o. <;.— I'oin Boyd. W. ('.—Mrs. Watts W. V. T.— Rhoana Pane. Stevens f'oint Library Association. President— E. R. Herren. Vice President— D. L. Jones. See, — Webster Brown. Tnas.- II D. McCulloch » Librarian— Mrs. L. S. McCulloch. Executive Committee — W. K. Barnes, Mrs. D. R. Clements, Miss Julia Oman. Stevens Point Ladies' Benevolent Society, President — Mrs. 8. Hungerford. See.— Mrs. Dr. Phillips, Treas.— Mrs. Dr. McCulloch. Wisconsin Cent rid Railroad. President— Gardner ( lolby. Vice President — Charles Colby. Genl. Manager— E. B. Phillips. Germania Maennerchor. President — Jacob Lutz. Vice President — John Stenger. Secretary — Anton Ortmaier. r l reasurer — John Weutrieh. Temple of Honor W. T. C— D. L. Jones. W. V. T.— L. R. Lamb. P. W. T.— E. R. Herren. W. R.— W. E. Brown. W. A. R.— G. W. Hnngerford. W, F. R.— W. A. Osborn. W. T.— P. C. Claflin. W. C— A. A. Joss. W. M.-W. R. Barnes, W. A. M.— J. E. Smith. W. G.— A. J. Thomas. W. S. — K. Johnson. L. D.— II McDonald. Juvenile I. 0. G. T. Superintendent— Mrs L M Smith. Executive Committee— Mrs Elizabeth Gottery, Mrs Emma Carlisle, Herman George, Mrs Licta Knox. C T-Wm Gottery. V T— Emma Kingless . Chaplain— Edward Gottery. R S — Henry Ilainacker. A R S— Elizabeth Gottery. F S— Harry Raymond. Treas— Nellie Hungerford. P C T— Lucy Hungerford. Marshal— Walter Wert. * Ass't Marshal— Jennie Empey. Inside Guard — Clara Allen. Outside Guard— Robby Rood. Right. Supporter— Hatty Davis. Left Supporter — Anna Slothower. Tims have we set forth something— not by any means all that ought to be said of Stevens Point- As a point for business, where the enterprising man may find his exertions rewarded with abun- dant success:— as a pleasant, agreeable, healthy location for family resilience, and one of good social and moral influences— for all these it may be most truly commended to the searcher for a western home. A line salubrious elimaae, a beau- tiful location on a large river, with two new rail roads connecting us directly with the world, north, south, east anil west: -the plat nearly level, just undulating enongh fur good drainage ; pine water, both of the Wisconsin river, and only 12 feet he- low the surface, uniformly pure and sweet: -the HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY. 1 4 cily has 4iiik) inhabitants, with ixoml improve- will greallv incense, fill her marts of trade wUI ments; a hundred houses being in process of be crowded, her streets bordered wit h fine build- ereciion to-day. Some of our neighbors have ings. her institutions of education, religion and kindly suggested our being already overgrown- morals multiplied;— refinement and intelligence that another year will witness our decline -our mark the character ol her people— all this and population seceding! This has been said by much more it is but reasonable tolookfor; -and them of us for the last ten years, .-ill the while. ii we who now inhabit here, be true to our trusl however, our population steadily increasing, im- —handing down to our children the blessings of provements extending in ;ill directions, till now it our free government, with our institutions, young is fairly conceded that such an amount of capital though they yet are, of edm ation. moral and civ- i s^n vested here, in real estate, mills and machin- il. unimpaired, may we not hope to bequeath to ery, in stores, hotels, churches, school houses. our state a commnnity of virtuous, patriotic peo- &c., <fcc, as sets that question at rest. Seventy pie, an honor to our name., emulating in their years hence, when Stevens Point shall celebrate turn our example of handing down to their cnil- its Centennial, what may we not expect her to dren those priceless gifts of liberty and freedom ndesenl '■ but t hat she will continue her upward to the latest posterities. par onward course: -that wealth and population ?5? J>~> 23>23B> >>. 5 "> ^3£ ■ "|2»:> "SB* • 13ftfl> '"""SSP ::> >^> > >. 3> > Z2» 3>^ 3* H> :^>^>^ 2> 2>*:> >> » :> > ;> > I> ..23CP > ^> j> :> 3* > 3? > Z3K> >> 3> \> :»>:> "a& "t> ;>2> ^3» >.s» zs». ;:^> :ae» » 3> _ 4» » > » ^S» »> > .>■■■' .>» ^2> ->J3l> Z3S»^fc 7*^g> ^> J> > o "> > > ) > J> > » :> . > > J > >~> ->y> :> > ;>v>. >:> > :> -xv> . »7> 2? > 3£>S> 2S>3> >-> > ?^ > > 3": ^> 3 .^>'3 3 3 3-3 > C» > • :> ^ :» » > >:_">> . > -> :>j> » 3 > :>:> > 3 s»i» :> 3 >^p -> -> >:3» - 3- > ^ :> 3 > » > ■ > , :> > 5 • 3 m ">> 5 3 * O > BD 3 7> 3 3 5 5 _-v> , > >3 3 3 ■■* 3;> > > >3 > > . > >> » :> 3 > 33 > > :> > •> > >. >. 33 . > ^ :!&_ 3 > ^>>3 • 333> 3 t»;> j j r»^» 3 3 33 '. , y>Z> 3 > 33 >3 ,3I>3> 3> 3>:>'-> JE> > 3 j>> 5 > >>^ . J«. 3 -3 =^ 3 <s> ^^ ' 5 > ~^>. 3 >^ 7^ } > j^ .> .3 3ft" ~> > > 3 3^ > 3 3 -. > > 73 ^ > ■ 3 3 Z\ 7> o *i. < 3 3> 3 3 > > . 5 & "3 > 3 :> 3 £> > ■ ..> > 3> > • 3 ■>> .' » ..> ~> 3 3 J> "3 ;>> v^^> 3 >> ^ 2L > > S>3 3>> :> 7> >< :>>:» 3'3 3> 3>> 3 > > >» :> d &;■&£» £> > <> ■ >»> > I> 4>> > ^> ^>^ ^>» 2 ^»H3 "^^ -> -> > ■■3>w SS ? > J )■ ) ' 3> D 9 •O •-> ''3 3£i » '.> " "~3> >' y ^ >1 .*> D> Z> ^ _7> >>> 2> p>» -^ ^> yji > t> :> 7>^3ft^» > _> ->•' :> -> > ^» > ;> ^» t> >3 -^ > "> ^» ~> >> > 1 ? s*>«» > > > j 3 > -> ..~>5> ^ >^< > Z> "> » 29 JZ> ..~? ""A3 - ~> > t» ^> > -> ^> ^ 2> '3 r > 2> 5S> ^ ► 3 3 > > j> > > S2» : ->>■»■ s» : J> > 3> >3 - >z> > 3«> ^ ^> C*2E> 33 3 />73> 7> 7> ^> > > > :3 . ".»"» J»* J> 3» J> 7> ^» 7» ~3t Ob _ > ~> ~>3> > , T > > 5l>-> 3 ' ~> 7> _> • > /7> i> j» J> .7» JSft _> . ►->..> O ^3?^ -.33^ z> ■ -> >jr> F> •" > ^J^^jft^ > ■/■> 3 *3 '3i>':3>- -a _^»» >55 :> ;> )3~S> 3 ->>L>, 2> ^3' .^3> ^ 3- 3 >S»*33 > .>j>>3> 3 >3 . 3E> -^3j> > 3 >o.r> .J> ,>/_> _T> •-.> ^. §5^3 . 3 ».■>>> .^jt> >»2> ■ 3 > .J2» »DS» 3 > 3ft !>>""> •> > ^»;iacfe~3 > > "3>>^3> .^ ^3 Of>3olfc 3 > J» ^> » > ' ' i> ' » Z> "3> > f>>33 £^. ; 373>"2K3S35 -.^S 3 !