July 26, 1990


Guyants Lives Center on the History of the Waupaca Area

By Loren F. Sperry


Wayne Guyant and his wife, Alta, share their home in Waupacas Chain O Lakes area with cats, birds and books.

Not your run-of-the-mill books; these are ring-binder books, in the hundreds, that are jammed full of the history of Waupaca County and much of the rest of Wisconsin, as well.

The retired (almost) consultant to potato growers and his wife, who is retired from Woodys Cheese in Waupaca, share a passion for history that is mind-boggling.

Theyve spent much of the past two decades systematically mapping cemeteries, copying or clipping obituaries, wedding and birth reports from newspapers, delving into courthouse files, and meticulously cataloging their accumulated information in the ring-binder books that fill several huge bookshelves at their home at N3062 Otter Dr., Waupaca.

They gladly share what theyve found with anyone, averaging two or three inquiries a week from people from all around the country who are investigating their roots.

If they tell us the name, said Alta, we look it up in our books, then look at our maps of the cemetery and can tell them where the grave is.

One man from California, Wayne recalled, was here, in the wintertime, looking for he grave of an ancestor. We were able to give him the location in the cemetery and, despite the heavy snow cover, he was able to walk right to it.

They have a complete record of every known burial and cemetery in five counties: Waupaca, Waushara, Portage, Langlade and Florence, as well as partial records of cemeteries in Wisconsins 67 other counties.

Wayne and Alta are active in genealogical societies and Wayne is northwest regional director for the Wisconsin Cemetery Association.

They got started in their hobby in 1971, when a cousin in Weyauwega asked for some help when their children were doing a genealogy report for school.

The Guyants responded by taking their vacation to go to New York, where, with much detective work they found records of Waynes great-great-grandfather.

After their return to Wisconsin, they attended a genealogical society meeting in Mayville, where a copying bee at a local cemetery was held, with everyone recording the information on gravestones.

On the way home, says Alta, we remarked that thats never been done in Waupaca County.

Now, thanks to their efforts, it has.

In the comfort of your home, free from mosquitoes, the heat and rain, sit back in the comfort of your easy chair with your Waupaca County Post in hand, and take this imaginary cemetery walk through the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.

The Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park consists of three main sections: the original section, the Lakeside addition and the Townsend addition.

I will start out with the original section which is bordered on the north by St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery, on the east by High Street, on the south by Center Street and the Lakeside Addition, and on the west by the woods.








July 26, 1990


Warranty Deed, volume 5, page 75, shows that on the 13th day of August, 1855, Erastus Sessions and his wife Abby Sessions sold to the Waupaca Cemetery Association for $80 and a lot, the following described tract of land: Commencing 27 rods west of the Southeast corner of the Northwest of the Southeast ,, in section 30, thence west 30 rods, thence north 28 rods and 2 links, thence, East 27 rods, thence, in a Southeasterly direction to the place of beginning. This was surveyed June 7, 1861.

E. C. Sessions arrived at the Falls June 15, 1849, along with Joseph and William B. Hibbard, Martin Burnham and a Mr. Pratt. These were all Vermonters and the first to reach the Falls (Waupaca).

Mr. Pratt could not see any future for him at the Falls, and left in search for some settlement that had already been established.

Mr. Burnham remained long enough to help the remaining three to survey and stake out their claims. He then went to Missouri and joined up with a caravan headed for the gold fields of California. He later returned to the state of Illinois, where he was still living in 1917.

E. C. Sessions set claim to three of the original forties of the Village plat of Waupaca, and one forty in the third ward.

In 1859, the Sessions family left by covered wagon for the gold fields of California, but not before they left behind a small grave of little Abby C. Sessions, their infant daughter, who died September 14, 1856, aged 11 weeks and 2 days (lot 157).

According to the obituary of Edward Sessions, son of E. C. and Abigail Sessions, who died at his home in Berkeley, CA, in 1928, their gold mine eventually turned into one of the large cattle ranches of the southwest. It also stated that Edward was supposed to have been the first white child born in Waupaca.




August 2, 1990


A Correction.


After reading the portion of my story last week about E. C. Sessions, I want to make a correction in the year that he went to California. After re-reading the obituary of Edward Sessions, it just states that his parents enthused by the gold fever of California in 1849, made the trip from here in a covered wagon.

The grave of the little infant daughter Abby C. Sessions who died September 14, 1856, tells us that they were still in Waupaca at that time.

I have since gone to the Courthouse to check the land records to find when Mr. Sessions sold the last parcel of land in Waupaca. I found 21 land transactions dating from 1854 to February 14, 1859. The Grantor records are missing from this time until 1873, and there is no record of him after this time.




August 2, 1990


The oldest complete date found on a marker in Waupacas Lakeside Cemetery is found on the stone for Lucius Hibbard, son of William B. and his wife, Philens Hibbard. He was born November 23, 1844, in the state of Vermont and died in Waupaca on September 24, 1851, aged six years, ten months and one day. There are, however, two other burials that show only the year of birth and the year of death. They are Ada Scott, 1846-1851 and S. H. Hutchinson, 1829-1851.

William B. Hibbard was one of the first five Vermonters who arrived at the Waupaca Falls in the summer of 1849. I cannot find what happened to this family; they may have gone back to their native Vermont as did his brother, Joseph.

Olive H. Hibbard, wife of Joseph Hibbard, was born in 1814, possibly in Vermont. She died November 28, 1878, in Vermont, to where she and Joseph Hibbard had moved in 1878 to spend their remaining years with their only son, Henry J. Hibbard.

They left behind in this cemetery, far from their native Vermont, two children: Abbie A. Hibbard, who died February 21, 1864, aged 19 years, 9 months; and Fred R., who died May 23, 1874. Their daughter, Mary, was supposed to be the first white female born in Waupaca.

A cemetery is not only a place for the dead, but also the living. A cemetery can be a classroom full of history, geography, poetry, art and nature study.

You can find on some of the older stones where the person was born, such as: the country, state, county or city. Some stones have poems, Bible verses, pictures of the person embedded in the stone, hobbies depicted on the stone, or an occasional epitaph.

I will share with you at various times some of my favorites. The eastern and western states are where the most unusual epitaphs are found.

Here is a starter:

Here I lie between two of the best women in the world, both my wives, but I have requested my relatives to tip me a little toward Tillie.

Here lies the body of Soloman Pease, under the daisies and under the trees. Pease is not here, only the pod, Pease shelled out and went to God.

Future articles will be directed more to people of the area, buildings of the past, or unusual happenings in and around Waupaca.

The majority of the people I will be writing about are buried in either the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park or St. Mary Magdalenes Cemetery




August 23, 1990


In the first of my stories, I mentioned taking you on an imaginary cemetery walk, but since have decided to extend my field of research to other events, as you may have noticed; so our cemetery walk can be compared to a baseball game it can run into rain delays.

Today I will resume the cemetery walk by stopping at the gravesite of Capt. Thomas Spencer, who served in the War of 1812.

The location of his grave is in the Lakeside Addition of the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park, a name that was changed several years ago from the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery. The Lakeside Addition is bordered on the east and south by County Trunk K, on the west by the Townsend Addition and on the north by Center Avenue and the Old Original Cemetery.

Thomas Spencer was born in Hartford, CT, March 19, 1789, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Epiphas Spencer. He was married to Hannah Aikens, who was born at Potsdam, St. Lawerence County, New York, November 19, 1798. Their children were: Rodney, who died in New York at the age of 14; Laura, who later married Charles Chesley in Waupaca; Myra, who married Ezra Thompson of Greenwood, Clark County; and Ira, who married and stayed on the home farm in the Town of Lind.

Thomas Spencer was raised on a farm in Connecticut, and when still a young man he migrated to the state of New York. He was a captain during the War of 1812, and was in the Battle of Lundys Lane and served with distinction throughout the war.

This is found in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Upper Wisconsin. I have in the past written to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. for his military record, but they have failed to locate any with the information that I have supplied from the state of New York.

While Thomas Spencer lived in the state of New York, he was sheriff of Franklin County and held a Customhouse office. Franklin County borders the St. Lawrence over in the north-west corner.

His wife died in New York state in 1846, and in the spring of 1850, he left two graves behind and took his other three children and started to what was then the Far West. They came down the St. Lawrence into the Great Lakes and around Michigan to Milwaukee. They brought with them five horses that hauled the family as far as Berlin, Green Lake County. Here the children stayed while Capt. Spencer ventured farther north in search of a good place to settle.

He settled in what was later section 18, Town of Lind. This was still Indian land and was not opened for settlement until June 2, 1862, at midnight. This made him a squatter.

His first shelter was a shanty of lumber hauled from Weyauwega. Poles were stretched from tree to tree and the boards leaned up against them. This was on the north shores of what is now known as Spencer Lake, named in honor of the Spencer family that settled there.

Here he married again, but had no children. I have never been able to find out who this lady was, or whatever happened to her. She does not have a tombstone on the Spencer lot beside her husband.

He built a large house which was known far and wide as Spencers Hotel. He donated the location for a grist mill to Robert Parfrey in Parfreyville, with the stipulation that he grind the first grain before Waupaca could.

It is well remembered that the first grinding in Parfreys mill was one Saturday afternoon. The next day Robert Parfrey attended a meeting at the home of Thomas Spencer. After the sermon, and before the benediction was fairly finished, Mr. Parfrey jumped to his feet and, taking a handful of flour from his coat pocket, shouted at the top of his voice, Heres a sample of my flour. This can be found in the Standard History of Waupaca County, by Ware.

Capt. Thomas Spencer died July 26, 1881, thus ending the life of the only veteran of the War in 1812 buried in Waupaca.

A notice that appeared in the Waupaca Record, Thursday, May 26, 1910: Veterans in the Lakeside Cemetery, whose graves will be decorated Monday, May 30: 75 Civil War, 5 Spanish American and 1 War of 1812.




August 30, 1990


This article will be about some interesting facts about some of the early inventions in Waupaca and what has followed.

The Stewart four-wheel drive tractor was manufactured in Waupaca about 1919. It had solid hard rubber tires with deep grooves for better traction. There was no cab; the driver sat out in the open.

The Wagner Bros. of Waupaca bought one of these tractors that was three years old to take up north to Oneida County, to be used for stumping and plowing a large tract of cut-over farm land that was to become their potato operation in Oneida County.

Alex Stewart, who was at the head of the Stewart Tractor Company, said that the machine was in splendid condition, and with proper care it would last for a long time.

The plow that was to be used with this tractor had a 22-inch bottom and weighed approximately 1,500 pounds.

This was one of the tractors that Mr. Stewart had used at the time that he had his contract for the graveling of Mill Street from the depot to the Mill Street Bridge, and for the work that had been done on East Fulton and Granite Streets.

It was said to be the most economical power made for that class of work. The City of Waupaca was to have saved a considerable sum of money, and at the same time the local tractor company made a nice profit.

During the grading of Mill Street the tractor used approximately 15 gallons of gas per day hauling large trailers with 24 yards of gravel a distance of six miles.

The Wagner Bros. took their Stewart tractor to their holdings in Oneida County, nine miles west of Rhinelander, where they grew potatoes until 1949. I am very familiar with this property. In the over 25 years that I was a certified seed potato inspector for the College of Agriculture, I inspected many acres of potatoes for Starks Farms Inc., there.

This property has since been taken over the by the University of Wisconsin and now is one of the best Elite and Foundation Seed Potato Farms in the United States. It is now known as the Lelah Starks Elite Foundation Seed Potato Farm. It produces disease-free seed stock that is sold to the Certified and Foundation seed growers of Wisconsin. These growers in turn plant this stock in their own seed plots.

In the early years of the 1900s, Waupaca had it own Industrial Development Corporation. This was a group of people that was also looking for the business firms to locate in Waupaca. Even then the progressive men of Waupaca were thinking of the future. This progressive group was called the Commercial Club.

An article in the Waupaca Record-Leader, dated August 13, 1916, states that at the last meeting, Mr. J. A. Terrio and Mr. Lewis Larson of Ogdensburg demonstrated a device which would test 24 eggs at one time, and by some ingenious device it would transfer the eggs from the candler directly to the case without touching the eggs.

They also hold a patent on a butter tester, as well as several other patents pending. This company was called the Terrio Manufacturing Company. N. Cohen and C. N. Nelson were the chief contributors, and the article said that there was still a small block of stock for sale.

Taken from the Waupaca Record, dated October 7, 1915.

Carpenters are at work on a building on Shearer Street which will be ready in about a month, directly opposite the Central Lumber Companys office.

The Hoaglin Manufacturing Company will be manufacturing novelties in their new building. This is to be a one-story building 26 x 26 feet, with the long side to the street.

The machinery had been purchased and would be installed as soon as possible for the manufacturing of fly swats, kitchen recipe files, and no-spill gasoline funnels.

All of the specialties were inventions of F. L. Hoaglin. When in full operation they would employ about 10 people producing a daily output of about 10,000 fly swats and 1.000 recipe files.




September 06, 1990


Jens Hansen, an extensive wagon and carriage manufacturer of Waupaca, was born in Boesholm, near Helsigor, Nort Sjeland, Denmark, in July of 1838. He was the son of Hans Christian Rasmussen and his wife, Meta Marie Larson Monk. The father, Hans Christian Rasmussen, was a blacksmith with the reputation of making the best wagons and carriages in all of that part of Denmark. Young Jens learned the skills of a blacksmith and wagon maker from his father. (His last name was different from his fathers due to Danish custom.)

In 1864, Jens enlisted in the services of his native country. He served for 14 months, and retired with the rank of corporal. After he returned home he assisted his father in his shop until 1869 when he emigrated to the United States, and Waupaca. Here he found employment with Henry D. Prior, and on November 5, 1869 he bought out Mr. Prior. He paid him $400 for the west 60 feet of out lot 38, in the village plat.

In 1870, Jens Hansen returned to Denmark to bring his father back to Waupaca. His father returned with him and worked with his son until his death in 1879.

Jens Hansens blacksmith and wagon shop was located where the old Kruenen Implement building was, now the Flying Kernels. The original shop had his motto, Live and Let Live, painted in big letters on the front.

He employed 12 men and they manufactured wagons, carriages and sleighs, besides doing general blacksmith work and handling farm machinery of all kinds.

Jens Hansens half-brother, Albert Martin (A.M.) Hansen, came to Waupaca when only ten years old, supposedly with his father and Jens. At the age of 17, young A.M. Hansen started his training in his half-brothers shop. Here he had excellent training under Jens and his father, Hans Christian Rasmussen.

A.M. Hansen opened his own business after seven years, and ran it for the next 10 years, when he ventured into the sawmill business. More about A.M. Hansen in Waupaca will appear in future articles.

In 1890, Jens Hansen built a new and much-improved building on the same location. His original shop was of wooden construction, two stories high with three windows on each side of a large display door in the middle of the second story, and one window on each side of the two large, double doors on the ground floor.

The new building that stands today was of brick construction with a lower, or basement level, and at the same time it has the same basic design right down to the two big double doors to permit a team of horses to enter to be shod, or room for a wagon or carriage to enter to be repaired or painted. There is also the large door in the upper story. Mr. George Frieberg told me that this was used as a display door to show models. Both buildings first had hand-operated freight elevators, but later was mechanized with a large electric motor. The freight elevator was approximately 10 by 10 feet.

Jens Hansen married Johanna M. Person. She was born in Sweden, March 19, 1851. They were married December 25, 1869, and she died April 6, 1908 here in Waupaca. Jens Hansen passed away January 16, 1902.

Warranty Deed Volume 117 page 100, dated August 15, 1906, shows that Johanna Hansen sold out to Herman, Thorvold, Albert and Carl C. Nelson on January 13, 1910; Carl C. Nelson sold to Matilde Ekstrom in 1911; Matilde Ekstrom sold to Thorwold and Albert Nelson on April 19, 1920; Thorwold Nelson and his wife Anne Nelson, and Albert Nelson sold to Kreunen and Skinner. They were partners until January 26, 1924, when George Skinner and Gaywood A. Skinner, his wife, sold his share to Cornelius Kreunen, who died April 17, 1932.

From 1920 until 1924 the business went under the name of Kreunen and Skinner, but since that time it has been known as the Kreunen Implement Company. After the death of Mr. Kreunen the property went to Bernice Kreunen, his daughter, and George Frieberg, her husband. They sold John Deere machinery and had John Deere Days held in the Palace Theater. George Frieberg began selling Pontiac cars at this time.

In 1973 George E. Frieberg sold out to James and Gerald Cook, and the Cooks in turn sold to Bill Marek in 1986. This is now the empty building of the Flying Kernals. What next is in store for this old historic building?

At some time in the past, someone stated that Olaf Skye used the building for his blacksmith shop. This is not the case. Olaf Skye worked for Jens Hansen before he went to Scandinavia to open a shop. In 1898, he went to the gold rush in Alaska. He remained there for three years, then he homesteaded in Canada from 1908 until 1921. When he came home to Waupaca he started to work for Claude Knight on the corner of Washington and Fulton Streets. He purchased a place for himself at the corner of West Union and Washington, where he operated until he became sick in his own shop and died February 19, 1951.








September 13, 1990


Caleb S. Ogden led a most interesting life. He was a farmer, businessman, lawyer, judge and newspaper.

Born August 2, 1819, near Cannonville, Delaware County, New York, he was the son of Abraham and Mary Smith Ogden.

On February 23, 1845, he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Hoag, who was born in Montgomery County, New York. They became the parents of 11 children, one dying in infancy. Five sons and five daughters lived to adulthood.

In 1848 the year Wisconsin became a state Caleb S. Ogden moved to the Township of Plover, Portage County, Wisconsin and engaged in the mercantile and lumbering pursuits. A couple of years later, he added farming.

In 1854, he came to Waupaca County, settling on the site of Ogdensburg which later was named in his honor. Here he built a sawmill, constructed new roads and purchased a large stock of merchandise. He built a large machine shop in Waupaca which was destroyed by fire a short time later at a loss of $30,000 to him.

In 1857 or 1858, he was elected district attorney, and in 1861 became judge, a position he held until 1894, except for one term when he chose not to run because of other commitments.

In 1865, he moved to Waupaca and in 1868, launched into existence the Waupaca Republican. He also founded the New London Times, and later with the aid of his sons, four of whom were printers, formed the Waupaca Post in 1877.

In the early county plat books you can find extensive land holdings that Caleb S. Ogden had purchased; possibly he was in a position to see good deals when they came up.

I will not dwell on the early life of Judge Ogden, or his family life before he became a newspaperman in Waupaca. This all can be found on page 316 of the Commemorative Biographical Record of Upper Wisconsin.

Judge Ogdens five sons all grew to manhood, four of them followed in newspaper work: Francis E., who first helped with the Waupaca Post but died at the early age of 43; William C., who was a newspaper publisher in Rhinelander; John, who also was a judge and purchased the Antigo Republican in 1886; and Charles.

John Ogden married Alida Randall of Waupaca in 1879. They had two sons: Caleb and Howard. Young Caleb was only 20 years old in 1902 when he was accidentally killed while sawing wood on his fathers farm north of Anitgo.

All of John Ogdens family are buried in the Antigo City Cemetery.

Charles W. Ogden was a part owner in the Waupaca Post before he left the paper to embark on an adventurous life as a showman with his own traveling tent show which headquartered in Waupaca. After some years of this life, he went to Saquache, Colorado, where he purchased the Saquache Crescent and ran it until his death in 1935.

In some later article, I would like to relate to you some of the interesting accounts of his life with his traveling tent show days until his death and burial here in Waupaca.




September 20, 1990


These bits and pieces were gleaned from either the Waupaca Record, the Waupaca Post or the Waupaca Republican Post dating back to 1904-1909. I thought our readers might enjoy these nostalgic glimpses of our past.


A.J. HOLLY & SONS PUT IN A MORGUE Excellently fitted up for cases of emergency which often arise. A morgue is a new thing in this city and is something that people have many times felt the want of. A.J Holly & Sons have fitted up a room beneath the store for such cases, putting in water works and other conveniences. They have recently purchased an excellent lowering device.

SCOTT HOTEL This was run by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Scott. It had three levels. The main floor had a tavern, the upper floor was the hotel rooms, and in the basement it has been said that some gambling took place. Robert Scott was a Negro and bought cattle as a sideline. This building was located on the corner of Main and Sessions Streets. It was struck by lightning around 1912, and burned to the ground. This was replaced as the Whittington Building in 1913. Kays Gift Shop was in this building.

GLOVE FACTORY Just opened in the city. We manufacture first class canvass gloves and mittens. Place orders now for the fall trade. B. H. Edmunds, 116 Water Street.

ELECTRIC THEATER We always appreciate your attendance and are never so busy that we can not give our entire attention. We carry fourteen reels of film each week, and we select the six best subjects for our own use. We have installed a $60 Edison Triumph Phonograph for the musical programme. We admit the little ones free when accompanied by parents. We do not take up your time with announcing break-downs, or have long waits. We give you twice the amount of pleasure you get elsewhere. We do business to please the people, not ourselves. Give your mind a rest and give us your patronage. Bert Quimby.

WAUPACA CITY OF GOOD SIDEWALKS 30,000 square feet built in the past year (1904) at the expense of nearly $4,000. Waupaca has more fine cement walks than any other city its size in the state. Up to four years ago a cement sidewalk in our neat little city was a rarity, now we have a trifle more than five miles of walks ten and twelve feet wide with a cement curb combined.

THE LIBERTY MOVING PICTURE CO. The Liberty Moving Picture Co. will open in this city Saturday night, May 29, 1909, under canvas on the lot back of J.E. Cristys store, W.F. Peterson, a well-known and popular Waupaca boy, is the manager. The Company carries its own electric light plant and will travel by wagon and show under canvas, making a large number of towns in the northern part of the state and in Minnesota. Duke, the worlds champion high diving dog, that makes a leap from the top of a 40-foot ladder, is one of the features in the free exhibition on the outside at 7:30, just before the opening of the show. Admission, 15 and 25.

OPERA HOUSE AND CHURCH BURNED Fire wipes out Waupacas modern play house, St. Marks Church and several small buildings. The church bell rang its own doom. Waupacas model opera house is no more. What promised to be the most serious conflagration in this citys history was narrowly averted, but not before some of the landmarks, as well as more modern structures had vanished in smoke and ashes. Shortly after three oclock Tuesday morning, night clerk Ed Pipe, who was sitting in the office of the Gordinier, saw a red light reflected in one of the upper stories of the Roberts Block. Thinking that the block was afire he ran out to give the alarm and saw the red glow in the eastern sky. He ran to St. Marks Church and sounded the alarm that was the doom of that edifice. Earl Gurley, who was with Mr. Pipe, ran to the City Hall and sounded the second alarm. The fire company responded promptly, but the opera house was a mass of flames which quickly spread to St. Marks Church, the Park Hotel barn, the Curtis barn and the Chandler residence and barn. The worse difficulty was the lack of water which only came in jerks with no pressure.

Supt. I.C. Nelson was called as soon as possible and he directed the operation on trying to save the other places of business and residence in the area. To add to the ordeal two of the water hoses broke.

Since the opera house and the church fire was out of control the stand was directed to the office of the Citizens Telephone Exchange, which caused several blistered faces. The firemen done themselves proud, and just how they managed to save the day was hard to under-stand. The heat was terrific and as the Park Hotel began to sizzle as well as the Sam P. Godfrey storage building, the Randall bicycle and machine shop, the Curtis residence and the Citizens Telephone Exchange, there seemed to be no possibility of saving the eastern part of the city. However, the deed was accomplished.

After viewing the smouldering remains they could see how the fire had burned right up to the buildings and had lapped at the overheated shingles and siding. It was now that they first realized what a terrific job that the firemen had accomplished.

During the course of the fire goods were being removed from the office of E. E. Brown, the Sam Godfrey, M.R. Randall, the Curtis residence, which was the only residence that suffered more than cracked windows and burned shingles. William Bruley, the Park Hotel and Mrs. Brown were ready to move out at a moments notice. Burning flying shingles were carried high into the air and deposited as far north as the depot. Many residents in the third ward were not able to leave their homes for fear of the flying burning shingles. Only the lack of a high wind saved a terrible disaster.

The opera house was a great loss to the community. It had just been remodeled under the direction of G. H. Slater, by the late Richard Lea. Mr. Slater took his ideas from St. Peter, a Minnesota opera house, which burned about a year before.

Many that witnessed the destruction of St. Marks Church has assisted in its building. Regardless of the fact that water was kept on the church, the bell melted down and the Baptismal font crumbled into dust. Most of the furniture was removed by willing hands before the fire drove them away.

St. Marks Church as located approximately on the same location where Stiebs Jeep Eagle Inc. is today, at 219 Jefferson.

The night operator at the Citizens Telephone Exchange stuck to her post answering calls as to the fire, but when it seemed as if no human could stay any longer, she received her orders from the Weyauwega office to vacate the building.

The full story can be found in the old Waupaca Record in the April 7, 1904, edition.




September 27, 1990


Not too many people living today can remember the hey-days of the granite quarry that once existed in Sections 32 and 33 in the Township of St. Lawrence, and Sections 4 and 5 in the Township of Waupaca.

The 1889 Waupaca County plat book shows that the company buildings were located in Sections 4 and 5. This location was on a power site of the South Branch of the Little Wolf, so that the plant could be operated by water power.

The granite that was quarried was mostly red and black in color, but there was some green and pink mixed with black. It was polished at the plant, and sold mostly for ornamental purposes.

It has been said that 276 pieces were used in the construction of the granite pillar work in the state capitol in Madison.

Large blocks were used in the construction of the Omaha Bee building in Omaha, NE. In Minneapolis, MN, the gateway leading into Lake Wood Cemetery, the chapel and large vault in the Grace Wood Cemetery and the telephone building were all, or in part, made from this Waupaca granite. There is also a soldiers monument in Chattanooga, TN, made from this granite.

Prior to 1907, all of the finished product had to be hauled by teams of horses and wagons to be loaded on railroad cars at some distant point.

The quarry opened around 1886, and was located about midway between Waupaca and Ogdensburg. Which way did they go with the heavy loads of granite? Did they go to Ogdensburg and load onto the Green Bay-Winona & St. Paul, or from Waupaca on the Wisconsin Central? As the name of the company was The Waupaca Granite Company, and with the more level terrain for the horses to pull the heavy loads, it would seem as if Waupaca would have been the better choice.

The 1912 Waupaca County plat book shows the Scandinavia-Waupaca branch of the Green Bay & Western with tracks near the quarry, so the coming of the tracks to the quarry made the shipping of the finished product faster and cheaper.

The Waupaca Granite Company at one time employed as many as 145 men, mostly stone-cutters, and they maintained their own general store and sleeping quarters for the employees. They had their own machine shop and blacksmith shop to care for the horses.

Thomas W. Davidson of Waupaca was in charge of the Waupaca Granite Company until it closed. Under his supervision, three carloads of pilasters and columns were sent to Madison for the south and east wings of the state capitol.

Tommy Davidson had a small shop where he sold monuments. Small bits and pieces of granite may be found at this location directly across to the west of the lower South Park entrance.

The going wages at the Waupaca Granite Company ranged from $1 to $4 per day. It appears that after several years of operation, seams appeared in the granite and it became unprofitable to operate. It was abandoned in the early 1920s.

Warranty Deed, volume 65, page 41, shows that S. Ripley and J. L. Mead of Winnebago County purchased from Thorwoldt Nelson, for $50, the property sections 32 and 33, in the Town of St. Lawrence. This was dated August 3, 1885.

Warranty Deed, volume 65, page 39, also dated August 3, 1885, shows that Boe Peterson sold to S. Ripley and J. L. Mead, that part of the NE of the NE of Section 5 of the Town of Waupaca, and that part of the NW and the NW of Section 4, lying and being on the north side of the highway as now traveled across said forties, containing about 10 acres, expecting and reserving the timber now lying, or being on said land and the right to enter upon and remove in a reasonable time.

In the later part of the 1880s, it became evident that granite had possibilities in building and ornamental works. The tombstones made of granite came on the scene now, because they came in beautiful colors, were far more durable than marble or sandstone, and would last for years and years.

On October 25, 1899, there came the inception of the Wisconsin Granite Company, which was located a few rods northwest of the Waupaca depot. More about this granite quarry in a later column.




October 04, 1990


One evening I received a telephone call from Mr. Everett Anderson. He asked me if I was interested in the story about an attempted rain robbery that happened September 19, 1885. I told him that I would be very much interested. He told me that the article could be found in the September 20, 1885 issue of the Waupaca Republican. He ran across this story while he was doing some genealogical research.

The first attempted train robbery, in central Wisconsin, happened the night of September 19, 1885, in a spruce swamp three miles northwest of Waupaca. Old No. 2 was coming south after leaving Sheridan, with an express and baggage car, a smoking car, two coaches and two sleepers. Gilbert Whitney was the conductor. Scott Blaine was the engineer and Charley was the fireman.

The train was nearing the spruce swamp about halfway between Waupaca and Sheridan when a man came running toward the train swinging a torch and yelling for the engineer to stop because there was a broken rail ahead. The engineer slowed the train down when he saw the trouble ahead, but not in time to prevent the ditching of Old No. 2. Luckily no other damage resulted.

No sooner had the train come to a stop when three or four men with large revolvers fired volleys of shots into the air and through the windows of the smoker and coaches, at the same time ordering the passengers to lay low or be shot, and the command was obeyed.

Two men boarded the express and baggage car and ordered F. L. Robinson to open the safe. He refused, so the gunman held Mr. Robinson in the corner of the car with his gun while the other one of the gang attempted to blow open the safe with dynamite. Eight charges were used in all, the last being made with a whole stick. At this point they assisted Mr. Robinson out of the car before it went off. The outer door of the safe was blown off, but they failed to damage the inner steel chest that held the money.

They either became scared or ran out of dynamite because they took off for the woods. In the meantime the engineer had gotten away and started down the tracks toward Waupaca to meet the next train coming north, and the brakeman went back to Sheridan and telegraphed for help.

Sheriff Peterson was on the train at the time, but he said when the bullets commenced to whiz through the windows it was impossible to organize any force to face the Winchesters and the dynamite. It seems that the passengers thought it best to follow the instruction and lay low until the ordeal was over. One man boarded one of the sleepers, and the porter asked him what he wanted. His answer was that he was looking for his partner, and then walked through the car and left. It was thought that an effort would be made to rob the passengers, but since the outlaw did not find his partner as he had expected, the attempt was abandoned. They had been working for over an hour in their attempt to rob the train, and maybe, thinking that they had heard another train and fearing that they might get trapped, they fled into the darkness.

All of the night trains were stopped in Waupaca and the restaurants did a rushing business. Superintendent Marsh was on the scene soon after the incident with a crew to clear the tracks and get the engine jacked up and put back on the tracks. The ill-fated train was pulled into the depot about 10:00 the next morning looking as if it had been in a war. Many spectators had gathered to view the damages. The express company and the authorities ordered a rigid search. Sheriff Peterson also had a big posse searching the area, but the robbers seemed to have vanished into the air.

If my memory serves me right, I read at one time that a skeleton had been found in that swamp area many years later, and it was thought that the skeleton may have been one of the robbers.




October 11, 1990


The Wisconsin Granite Company operated in Waupaca until about 1915, when it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Over the years, the methods of street paving had changed to concrete and asphalt and the plant was abandoned.

According to the Warranty Deed, volume 97, page 204, dated May 25, 1899, N. P. Nelson and his wife, Ellen R. Nelson, and Mads Rasmussen and his wife, Mary Rasmussen, all of Waupaca, sold to the Waupaca Crushed Granite and Stone Company of Racine, Wis. The description of the property is faint and hard to read, but it is described in chains, link and degrees. The selling price was $1,000.

Warranty Deed, volume 104, page 32, dated April 26, 1902, shows that the Waupaca Crushed Granite and Stone Company sold their holdings to the Western Consolidated Granite Company of Chicago, Ill., including in the machinery, crushers, boilers, screens and other equipment.

Warranty Deed, volume 110, page 593, dated May 20, 1905, shows that the Western Consolidated Granite and Stone Company sold out to the Wisconsin Granite Company, also of Chicago, Ill., so now we are at the beginning of the Wisconsin Granite Company that was located north of the main Soo Line tracks, about one half mile west of the Waupaca Depot. This was supposed to be one of the six quarries owned and operated in Wisconsin. The Red Granite and Montello quarries may have been two of the others.

The Wisconsin Granite Company produced, in carload lots, granite paving blocks for pavements and crushed granite in various sizes for of the types of pavement work. Most of the products were shipped to the Chicago market.

In the first years of operation they employed 50 to 60 men in manufacturing paving blocks and six different sizes, or grades, of crushed granite for paving and cement work. It also produced a grade of crushed granite that was in the manufacturing of asphalt shingles, and sold to other roofing places where the patent roofing was manufactured.

A considerable amount of the crushed granite was used on state highways in Waupaca and Portage counties. In later years the work force increased to approximately 100 men. Many were employed as stone-cutters who produced paving blocks by hand. These blocks were about eight by eight feet, by 10 inches.

The huge crushing and screening plant was of wooden construction three or four stories in height with a cable-way leading from the quarry hole to hoist the granite to the plant to be crashed.

The hole was 150 to 200 feet deep and required constant pumping of the water to keep the pit dry.

A big power plant supplied the steam power for operating the crushers and screens, as well as many steam drills operating in the quarry hole.

This plant was different from the one that was four miles to the north, in that it did not have a polishing plant. It may have been that this granite was of poorer quality and color and not suited to ornamental work.




October 18, 1990


This story is not historical or earthshaking, but it is about a man who was born and raised on a farm in the Scandinavia area, who later in his life was billed as the tallest man in the world.

Clifford Thomason was born sometime in the very first years of the 1900s, a son of Julius and Carrie Johnson Thompson. He was 8 6 tall, and tipped the scales at 324 pounds. But in an article in the Waupaca County Post dated July 6, 1944, he is shown as the second tallest man, following a man who was 8 7 tall and weighed in at 460 pounds.

After his graduation from the Stevens Point Teachers College in 1926, he made his living with carnivals and circuses because of his height. In the spring of 1926, after his completion of college, he filed several applications for teacher positions. One of the requirements on the application was to list some personal data including height. Since he showed his height at 8 6, none of the applications were ever answered. None had even the courtesy of polite refusal. He often wondered if the school heads to whom the applications were sent believed that he made a simple error in arithmetic in putting down his height as 8 6, or believed that he would scare the children. At any rate, that closed the doors to a teaching profession.

In the summer of 1926, a traveling carnival came to Stevens Point. He was wandering around the lot when he was noticed and immediately offered employment. He was kept busy for the next five years traveling with five different carnival companies. It was not unusual for many performers to stay with the same show until death or old age ended their careers.

The Al. G. Barnes show was one of the big outfits that belonged to the giant Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey organization, which controlled nearly all of the outfits under the canvas tops.

In the carnivals, Cliff Thompson was advertised for a time as Count Olaf of Norway, but with the Al G. Barnes show, he was known throughout the United States as Cliff Thompson.

Part of his act was selling pictures of himself, and metal rings that were a snug fit on his forefinger and through which a half dollar could pass with ease.

His one difficulty was sleeping accommodations. A few hotels in the West which he favored had special size beds where he could stretch out for a good night sleep and not have to be curled up like a crescent.

His clothes were made to measure. He once stated that the only things that he could buy in a store were neckties and toothbrushes.

One night in the early 1940s, my wife, Alta, and I were standing in line for the doors of the Palace Theater to open when Alta, with bewilderment in her eyes, motioned for me to turn around. As I slowly turned around, I was looking nearly straight at a big belt buckle. My eyes started to look upward at the big bulk of a man, and here was Cliff Thompson with his big hat and broad smile.

Cliff Thompson traveled the circus circuit for 12 years throughout the country. In 1944, he was granted a writ of attachment against the Cole Bros. Circus for back pay.

In June of 1944, Mr. and Mrs. Julius G. Thompson, formerly of Scandinavia, returned from Milwaukee where they attended the graduation of their son Clifford from the law school at Marquette University.

Clifford Thompson was married to Harriet Bryant of Fort Worth, TX, in May of 1930 in Fort Myers, FL, where the circus troupe was playing. His bride was 5 2 tall. In their wedding picture, she had to raise her hand face level for him to place the ring on her finger.

Clifford Thompson passed away October 12, 1955 in Portland, OR. He had been a practicing attorney there for some time. When he first started out, he practiced law in Iola for a short time. He had moved to the West Coast about 10 years before his death.




October 25, 1990


Frederick Emil Lund had the largest harness business in Waupaca County in 1895. He was born in the Province of Sjelland, Denmark, Nov. 7, 1843, a son of Nelson and Anna (Jensen) Lund.

Nelson Lund, the father, was born in 1800, in Jylland, Denmark. In 1840, he was appointed roadmaster, or road inspector, a position which he held for 16 years. He retired due to ill health and died in 1859. His wife lived until 1870. They were the parents of 13 children; in 1895 there was only five still living: Peter, Christian, Caroline, Sophia and Frederick E., the subject of this story.

Frederick attended school in Denmark, from ages 7 through 14. These were the years that were prescribed by law in Denmark at that time, so at the age of 15, he was apprenticed by his mother to a harness maker for five years.

During this period of time the young apprentice would receive nothing for his services; his clothing was provided by his mother.

For about a year after he completed his apprenticeship he worked in various shops, and in the spring of 1867, he decided to come to America. He landed at New York City May 1, 1867, and reached Waupaca eight days later with only 50 in his pocket. Now, he was forced to work as a common laborer to provide for his daily existence, but all the time he kept in mind his trade as a harness maker.

Within two months to be exact it was on July 8, 1867 he went to work in the shop of a William Temme. Here he stayed as a steady and reliable employee for the next two years. In 1869 he left for Iowa, where he remained for a couple of years before returning to Waupaca with his new wife, Mary Larson, whom he had married in Iowa.

Mr. Lund resumed his old place in the shop of Mr. Temme where he worked for the next five years. By that time he had saved a neat sum of money and wished for a shop of his own.

Frederick Emil Lund realized his dreams on July 4, 1876, when he opened a harness shop for himself. This was the Centennial Day of the Declaration of American Independence, so this was a double celebration for him.

Frederick E. Lund was married three times. His first wife was Mary Larson, and they had three children: Anna, Albert and Waldemar. His second wife was Christine Johnson. They were married in Waupaca in 1878. She died four years later leaving a little daughter, Caroline. For his third wife he married Berthine Christianson, in 1884, and she bore him two children: Christian and Martha.

In 1893 Mr. Lund paid a visit to his old home and friends in Denmark. Mr. Lund died in 1919. It was then that his son-in-law, Frederick Andersen, purchased the business.

Frederick Christian Andersen, son of Thomas and Kerstine Andersen, was born in Hjorring, Jutland, Denmark, September 6, 1865 and died at the home of his brother, Louis, in Berkeley, California.

As a young lad he learned the harness trade in Hjorring, Denmark. After the completion of his apprenticeship he left Denmark for America, landing May 3, 1884. He then came directly to Waupaca where he found employment with Frederick Emil Lund, at the Old Reliable Harness Shop.

On April 12, 1898 he married Anna Lund, his boss daughter. They had one daughter, Helga. Mrs. Anna Andersen passed away on October 7, 1924. After the death of F. E. Lund in 1919, Mr. Andersen bought the business and ran it until his death, except for a few months that he worked in Amherst, Racine and Chicago. Frederick Christian Andersen passed away June 16, 1939.

Delbert (Dell) Carl Andersen married Helga, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Lund on July 2, 1939 in Waupaca, so now another son-in-law became an owner of the Old Reliable Harness Shop on North Main Street.

There were hundreds of harnesses that were switched, oiled and repaired at this location through the years of existence, up to the year 1956, when only three harnesses were oiled. In 1956 Delbert Andersen sold out his stock, and the building was leased to the Assembly of God, who remodeled the building and operated a stationery and book, besides using part of the space for offices.

How many can remember the life-size model of a horse that stood in the big window?


The information for this story was taken from the Commemorative Biographical Record of Upper Wisconsin, and the Waupaca Centennial Book 1857-1957.




November 1, 1990


Charles W. Ogden was one of five sons of Caleb and Catherine E. (Hoag) Ogden. There were also five daughters in the family.

Charles W., for a short time, was a partner with his father in the Waupaca newspaper business, until he decided to try a more adventurous life.

Charles Ogden was born in Ogdensburg, Wis., December 16, 1862. In 1866, the family moved to Waupaca. When he was 13 years of age, he started work in the office of his brother, John Ogden, at the Waupaca Post, to learn the newspaper business.

In 1881, he went on his own and opened the first music store in Waupaca. It was about 1883 that he sold out to try the hotel business at the Lewis House. This was the same location on which the Delavan Hotel was later built. It is now the site of Bank One.

Not content with the hotel life, he ventured into the dramatic profession under Harry L. Seymore. After a couple of years of character acting, he was convinced that he was not cut out to be an actor.

It was sometime in this part of his life that he married Carrie Scoville. I cannot find any marriage or death record for her, but there is a death record in the Register of Deeds office for a two-day-old-infant daughter who was born to Charles Ogden and Carrie Scoville. The infant was born July 19, 1883 and died July 21, 1883. She was buried in the Waupaca cemetery.

In 1886, he started out as a foreman at the Mining Record in Ironwood, Mich., when the Gogebic Range was in its infancy. Mr. Ogden remained there for 18 months before he became engaged as a manager of the Iron Journal, a paper devoted to the interests of mining of the Vermilion Range, located in Tower, Minn. He once again felt foot-loose and fancy free, so in February of 1888, he resigned his position with the Iron Journal and left for San Diego, Calif., where he met and married Miss Sylvia Sherman.

It was in June of 1889 that the newlyweds returned to Waupaca, and in the fall, he went into partnership with John L. Sturtevant in buying the Waupaca-Post. John M. Ware, a farmer and livestock dealer living two miles north of Waupaca, also had a financial interest in the venture. This was known as Sturtevant-Ogden and Ware. It has been written that there is no reliable record of the transitions in several years, but John L. Sturtevant sold out to D. F. Burnham back in about 1907.

Let us turn back a few years in time to 1888 when Charles Ogden married Sylvia Sherman and returned to Waupaca to live. She was born in 1872.

It was here in Waupaca that they became the parents of five children, one of these died in infancy. This was a daughter born June 6, 1891 and died June 7, 1891. She was buried in the Waupaca cemetery. This left four children to live and enjoy a full life. There were: Ray, Francis, Ethel and Mary. Sylvia Ogden died on June 2, 1907 in Dalton, Wis., and is also buried in the Waupaca cemetery, the only grave with a marker. It is presumed that she died while the stock show of Uncle Toms Cabin was on the road. Charles W. Ogden had a traveling show, Uncle Toms Cabin, for several years before the death of his wife.

The following is taken from an ad that appeared in the Waupaca Record dated May 11, 1905:

Ogdens Uncle Toms Cabin Company will open the seasons work with a performance on May 13, under a large, waterproof canvas. Ogdens Company has grown more popular each year under the capable management of Chas. Ogden. The cast is:

Uncle Tom George Miltimore

St. Claire Hal Lawrence

Geo. Harris W. L. Holmes

Marks Otis Knight

Simon Legree Willys L. Holmes

Phineas Fletcher Harry Janette

Geo. Shelby Ray Ogden

Haley Harry Bye

Gumption Cute Ralph Nowell

Harry Harris Master Sherman

Sambo Al. G. Frost

Quimbo Wm. Lark

Eliza Bessie Knight

Orphelia Myrtle LaPaloma

Marie Flossie Gates

Chloe Allie Thorn

Emiline Marie Bell

Topsy Ethel Ogden

Eva Francis Ogden

Specialties during each wait, Biff Bang from the raise of the front drop until the closing. We can only mention a few to be featured: Jenette, the Mexican Juggler; Wiggins, contortionist; Knight and Miss Bessie, a sketch team; the Holmes Entertainers; the Hayseed Quartette; Ethel Ogden, in coon songs and King Sherman, the five-year-old wonder, in a new line. Ask your leading musician in regard to Frank E. Rose and his slip horn. The prices remain the same, 15 and 25. Parade at 11:30, concert 7:15.


I did not find when Charles Ogden dispersed his show, but in 1910, he went to Colorado to live, and he disappeared from the Waupaca scene. The rest of his life in Colorado came to light in 1935, when his obituary appeared in the Waupaca County Post. This is only the start of a burial mystery to follow:

It was in 1976, while I was doing some research at the Holly Funeral Home, that in the course of a conversation with Tom Holly, he mentioned receiving the ashes of Charles W. Ogden with a note that said hold for further burial instructions. This was in 1935, and it was now 1976 41 years later and as of yet, no instructions had been forthcoming. As a result, his ashes were still on a shelf in the basement of Hollys Funeral Home in a metal container bearing the name of Charles W. Ogden, register #6002, December 18, 1935, Denver Crematory, Denver, Colorado.

It was at this point that I thought that his ashes should be buried in the Lakeside Memorial Park beside Sylvia, his second wife. His funeral had been held in Saquache, Colo., prior to his cremation in Denver. I knew from his obituary that the family still ran the Saquache Crescent, so I wrote a letter to that address in hope of finding someone to see if they were aware that his ashes were never buried. To my surprise, I received a nice letter from Mrs. Jack K. (Irene) Gray, who is a daughter of Mr. Ogden by his third wife.

The first letter I received from Irene Gray stated that she was surprised to hear that her fathers ashes were never buried. The family never realized that they had never sent the final instructions for burial. To my knowledge, no instructions have ever been sent.

Irene Gray went on to say that, at the time of his death, the family never appreciated the colorful life he led. In fact, I think we took it for granted as we grew up with the stories of the shows, etc. In looking back, we realize his life was indeed an adventuresome one.

Mr. Ogden ran a paper in Moffat, Colo., where Irene was born right on press day. Shortly after, he sold the paper and moved to Albuquerque, NM, where her sister, Marie, was born. They lived in Albuquerque about four years where she said that her daddy worked on a newspaper there in the mailing department.

In 1917, it was learned through a lawyer friend that the Saquache Crescent was for sale. After the down payment was made, he had only a nickel left in his pocket.

By now; Charles W. Ogden had a fourth wife, Mary Elizabeth, but her last name was not given. Irene Gray went on to say that Mom worked as a typesetter in the office and they hired another typesetter for $18 a month. When Marie and I were teenagers, Dad purchased a dance hall, and the family ran it along with the printing office. Marie and I both learned to set type, both by hand and to run a Linotype which dad purchased in 1925. I remember that Francis Ogden came to help set it up and ran it for about a year. Francis then married and moved to Albuquerque where he worked on a newspaper until his death on August 7, 1950, at the age of 53.

In the obituary for Charles W. Ogden, it states that the Ogden family now publishes the only newspaper in Saquache, the county seat, and the paper bears a striking resemblance to the old Waupaca Post as it was published by Sturtevant, Ogden and Ware 40 years ago.

Ray Ogden followed the circus route all his life, and played in various bands in and around Dallas, Texas. He died July 25, 1965 in Fort Smith, Arizona, at the age of 66. Ethel married and moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where she lived until her death on May 19, 1958, at the age of 67. Mary never married and was a private secretary to the head of the veterans hospital, first in Oklahoma City, and later in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She died on August 16, 1963.

I recently contacted Roman Jungers of Holly Funeral Home. It was agreed that since the ashes of Charles W. Ogden had been held for nearly 55 years with no instructions for burial, they could be buried with his second wife, Sylvia, in Lakeside Memorial Park.

I contacted Rick Martin, the sexton at the cemetery, and he told me that there would be no problem and that he would take care of it.

On October 17, 1990, the Holly Funeral Home delivered the ashes to Mr. Martin for burial.

Now the curtain has fallen on the final act in the life of Charles W. Ogden and his families throughout the years.




November 8, 1990


The pride and joy of the Waupaca Historical Society is the 136-year old Hutchinson House that stands on the north shore of Shadow Lake in the Waupaca South Park. This site was donated by the City of Waupaca in 1956 for that purpose.

The Hutchinson House stands as a monument to the fine example of a house that was built in 1854, and after 136 years has retained very close the original design inside and out.

Chester F. Hutchinson and his wife, Susannah (Pray) Hutchinson, left their home in New York State with their two sons, George and Denison, and headed west for new horizons. They first settled on a farm in Rock County for a few years, where it is believed that a daughter, Mary, was born. They remained there until 1853, when they came to Waupaca to make their home.

In the Register of Deeds Office in Waupaca are the records of two land transactions in which Chester Hutchinson purchased property in Waupaca. Both transactions were made on November 15, 1853. Warranty Deed volume 2, page 178, shows that Charles Bartlett sold Chester Hutchinson three acres of land for $100, and adjoining was one acre of land for $40. This was purchased from Olaf Dreutzer, and is in Warranty Deed volume 2, page 179.

It was on this property that Chester Hutchinson and his two sons built their home in 1854. Chester F. Hutchinson, the father who was born in 1799, died at his home in Waupaca in 1867. About 1869 the Hutchinson home was sold to Winthrop Lord.

In 1860 the Federal census for the City of Waupaca shows Chester Hutchinson as 61 years old, Susanna his wife as 60 years old, Denison, their son, as 14 years old and Mary, their daughter, as 8 year old. George, who was the eldest had already struck out on his own and bought land both in the Townships of Farmington, Waupaca County, and in Lanark Township, Portage County, only a couple of miles west of Sheridan.

Denison, the younger son, was born in Darin, NY, on February 15, 1837. After the death of his father in 1867, he purchased a farm in the Township of Lanark just over the county line in Portage County, and it was here that he took his mother to live with him until she passed away in 1882. Denison was never married and continued to live alone on his farm until 1906, when he returned to Waupaca to live with his brother, George, and family who had regained possession of the home on the corner of West Fulton and South Jefferson Streets in 1905.

Denison Palmer Hutchinson passed away November 26, 1927 in the home that his parents had built in 1854, at 303 W. Fulton Street.

George Hutchinson, who had farmed on his land in Portage and Waupaca counties for many years, returned to Waupaca and bought back the old home at 303 West Fulton Street from Julia Lord, the widow of Winthrop Lord. Warranty Deed, volume 113, page 398, dated February 4, 1905 and February 6, 1905, shows the selling price at $1,800.

George Hutchinson was married to Kate Clinton on December 5, 1859, and they had two daughters. Julia H. Hutchinson was born February 11, 1860, on her fathers farm west of Sheridan. She was the only one to live to maturity. Julia H. Hutchinson taught in rural schools for about seven years. She moved to Cedar Rapids and did office work for three years. Her mother died in 1903. She lived in Amherst in 1909, before returning to Waupaca after the death of her father in 1911, to live with her uncle, Denison, at 303 W. Fulton Street. Julia, the last of the Hutchinson family, passed away July 2, 1944.

Julia joined the Sheridan Presbyterian Church while still a young girl, where she was active in Sunday School work. She later became a member of the Sheridan Christian Temperance Union, and it was then that she received the inspiration for her life work for temperance reform.

Julia H. Hutchinson became known throughout the state for her fearless and loyal devotion to temperance work. She would never compromise with evil. Only ill health prevented her from carrying-on her beloved work. She was laid to rest in the family plot in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.

After the death of Miss Julia Hutchinson in 1944, the property was for sale. Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Mannel purchased the property and rented the house. A Warranty Deed, dated December 28, 1955, shows that Frederick and Marion Mannel sold the property to the D-X Sunray Oil Company, a Delaware Corporation, of Madison, that wanted the property for a service station. Now that they owned the property, the question was how to dispose of the house on the property.

To make a long story short, the D-X Sunray Oil Company donated the house to the Waupaca Historical Society which had high hopes of obtaining the house. The Historical Society made arrangements with Nyman Rasmussen to move the house to its new location in South Park on a site that the City of Waupaca had donated to the Society for that purpose.

In the April 26, 1956 edition of the Waupaca County Post, there is a picture of the house being made ready to be loaded on one of Nyman Rasmussens moving trucks.

The group that had gathered on April 27, 1953, in the library club rooms for the purpose of organizing a society for the purpose of the preservation of historical material of interest and value of the people of Waupaca and surrounding area, was now ready to take on the task of renovating and preserving the old Hutchinson House. The Historical Societys major endeavor from 1956 through 1957 was the acquiring and the restoration of the old Hutchinson House. There was hard work to be done and much money to be raised to finance the project.

The dedication and the laying of the cornerstone was an important part of the program in 1957, when Waupaca celebrated its centennial as an incorporated village.

The Waupaca Historical Society has had well over 100 paid members at one time, but has now dwindled down to 36, of which over one-half are now residing in nursing homes, or are unable to attend meetings due to old age, poor health, or just neglect to attend.

The Waupaca Historical Society is open to anyone interested in history. It needs new blood with new ideas. The society meets the fourth Monday of each month in the Methodist Church parlors.

I urge readers of this column to join and to give support to the Historical Society, so that it may continue to function as a society. Thank you.




November 15, 1990


Christian Neilson was born on a small farm near Copenhagen, Denmark, a son of Neils Christianson and Christine Jorgenson. Christian had a brother, George, who was older than he, and a sister, Mary, who was younger. Neils Christianson also had a daughter, Anna, and possibly a son by a previous marriage, of whom there seems to be no record.

Neils Christianson, the father, was the owner of a small farm near Copenhagen where he lived and cultivated the land. Neils Christianson sawed ship lumber to help in making a better life, until that day in 1845, when he was killed by being struck by a log.

Christian was born on the farm near Copenhagen, on December 3, 1828. He was only 17 years old when his father was killed in that accident. As a young boy, Christian herded the cattle and the geese on the farm, as there were no fences to keep them within their boundaries.

After the death of his father in 1845, Christian remained on the farm for another year, attending school in the meantime until he was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Frederiksborg, Denmark, a small community near Copenhagen, to learn the shoemaker trade. He served his five year apprenticeship while living with his employer and received his living as compensation. After his apprenticeship he worked another three years to become a master shoemaker. He then moved into Copenhagen and opened his own business. He often had shoes from the Kings Palace to repair and was often paid in used clothing.

By now, he was using the name of Christian Nelson. Christian Nelson was united in marriage to Miss Julie Marie Pauling Jorgenson, in Copenhagen, on June 5, 1854. She was a daughter of Hans Jorgenson and Johanne Marie Christensen. She was born December 23, 1827. She received her education and special training as a seamstress. Five children were born to this union of which two boys and a girl died in Denmark. The two sons to survive were Julius, born in 1858, and Thorwoldt, born in 1861.

At the time American steamship companies sent special agents to the European countries to encourage people to come to the United States to live. Some worked on a commission basis. It was an Episcopal minister, named Sorenson, who sold Christian Nelson the tickets for himself and his family.

They left their home at Number 2, Spring Street, Copenhagen, in early May of 1863. Julius was five years old and Thorwoldt had his second birthday while in Liverpool, England, where they met a group of Norwegians who were on their way to Scandinavia, Wis., to join some relatives who had settled there.

Their ship landed in Montreal, Canada. They traveled together as far as Grand Haven, Mich., when they ran out of money. Their Norwegian friends turned out to be more than friends; they offered to loan Christian the $40 to complete his trip, and assured him that their relatives could put the family up until something came along.

Upon arriving at Scandinavia, the situation was not as rosy as it was first thought to be. The relatives home was not as large as they had thought and the Nelsons moved into a one-room log shed with no windows or doors to keep out the cold. It was also located about a mile from Scandinavia. They lived there until after the fall harvest. The neighbors gave them milk for the two boys for the first week,

From there Christian walked to Waupaca where he found employment with a shoemaker who paid him $10 a week. Julie did any work that she could find to supplement their income. Within four weeks Christian had paid back the $40 loan.

Christian walked to Waupaca, a distance of about eight miles, every Sunday evening or early Monday morning and returned to Scandinavia every Saturday night, so he could spend Sundays with his family.

At harvest time Julie gleaned wheat from the farmers fields and ground it in a coffee mill for bread. When fall came they had saved enough money to move to a home in Waupaca, on Granite Street.

Christian Nelson worked for Louis Larson in his shop on South Main Street. It seems as if a Mr. Parrish owned a shop next door to Mr. Larsons and he also wanted Christian to work for him. Christian wondered just how he could do justice to both parties and show equal time to both, so he bought a two-room house at 211 N. Division Street, where he worked for both men. He used the front room for his shop where he repaired shoes. He also made new shoes, and on some Julie did decorative stitching. Someone convinced Mr. Larson that there was a wonderful opportunity in the state of Kansas raising corn and hogs, so Christian bought him out and ran this shop on South Main Street for a few years.

Later, Christian bought a building on the river bank on East Fulton Street. At this location there was a big drop from the street level to the river, so the shop was built up in several levels from the river bank to the street level, with the shop located on the street level. It was not connected, however, so a narrow bridge was built from the street to the shop.

The family lived in the bottom room, below the shop. Each room was on a different level with steps from the lowest level to the next room. The third room was two steps above the second room, and this was the sleeping quarters for the two boys. This room was not high enough for a man to stand erect.

Julies health became poor during their residence in the basement, and their doctor advised them to move to their place at 211 N. Division St.

It was during these years that a young man by the name of Chris Wied came to America from Denmark and worked for Christian Nelson and made his home with them. When young Chris Wied had earned enough money for the passage of his family, he sent for them, but his mother wrote back that his father had passed away and she didnt feel that she could make the trip alone with the other five children.

Sometime later Christian Nelson went to Denmark for a visit and brought Mrs. Wied and her three sons and two daughters with him to Waupaca where they moved into the basement under the shoe store, where they lived until they moved to the Town of Lind where William bought a farm. The William Wied family was well known in this area.

Christians next venture was to buy a lot on Water Street, where he built and operated a shoe shop for a couple of years. It was here that Thorwoldt, his youngest son, started to learn the trade from his father, at a very early age. He was only 13 years old when he quit school, but his brother, Julius, was interested in school and was among the first class to graduate from Waupaca High School.

Christian was helping Julius finance his education, so to even things he bought Thorwoldt a farm in the Granite Quarry District when he was 17. Thorwoldt left his fathers shop and went to live alone on the farm. His mother made regular trips to see Thorwoldt to do some baking and cleaning.

The land was rocky, and some years passed when he realized that most of his time was spent in clearing the rocks from the land. He took pride in his horses, especially fast-driving horses that let no one pass him on the road.

At that time the Granite Quarry was doing a booming business and Thorwoldt did some hauling of the granite for them. He also cut and hauled logs to Waupaca. He stamped the ends of each log with his initials TN. This was done so each loggers logs could be identified at the mill. The logs were rolled down the hill from Main Street to the river just south of the City Hall. In the spring when the ice broke up, the logs would float downstream to the sawmill.

Thorwoldt played the fiddle and the accordion at country dances.

In 1883 Christian sold his shop and went to the state of Washington to try his fortune there. His wife, Julie, then went to live with Thorwoldt on the farm. In Washington, Christian worked for a shoemaker, who was forced out of business and Christian no longer had a job, so he returned to Waupaca and stayed for a year on his farm that he had previously purchased.

Julius had finished his high school education and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin and John Hopkins University and received his degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He then became professor of biology at Rutgers University, at New Brunswick, NJ. He married Nellie Chase of Madison on August of 1888. They had six children. Julius died in March 1915 and Nellie died in 1935.

In 1888 Christian Nelson bought back his former shop on East Fulton Street from the widow of Mr. Peterson, and went back to shoemaking, the occupation he continued at this location until he retired about 1902, but not before he had razed the old shoe shop in East Fulton Street and rebuilt a new modern one on the same location, that stands today at 109 East Fulton, owned by Attorney Laurie W. Anderson and used as his law office.

Thorwoldt was married on May 2, 1888, to Miss Anna Caroline Peterson, who was a daughter of Soren and Karen Marie Jacobson Peterson. After Thorwoldt was married, Christian built a small house for Julie on the farm close to the Granite Quarry, where she lived until Thorwoldt left the farm and she moved back to Waupaca and lived in the rooms above Christians shop, which was nothing more than a loft.

One day Thorwoldt returned to the farm and told his wife, Annie, I guess we will move to town; father needs help in the shop, and wants me to work for him. So the spring of 1898 found them in Waupaca in the house at 211 N. Division St. There was plenty of land for gardening, a barn for a pair of horses, with a stable beneath for a cow, an island for the cow to graze in the summer and a playground for the children. Thorwoldt built a small bridge to the island. On this island the children picked violets, climbed the butternut tree and had picnics with the neighborhood children. The children played house in a little box house that the boys had made.

This island was removed in 1934 to make way for progress. This island was dug out and deposited back of the City Hall to provide access to the rear entrance of the buildings there. This altered the course of the river and it no longer ran close to the rear of the buildings. There is a nice playground area here today.

Thorwoldt and Anna had nine children: one died at birth and was buried in the garden behind the house on the farm in the Granite Quarry District. The children that grew to maturity were: Julia, who married Clarence Nelson; Harry, who married Marjorie Sherman; Walter, who married Grace Wied; Mabel, who married Myron Godfrey; Clara, who married Kenneth Cristy; Esther, who married Earl Granberg; George, who married Agnes Kolb; and Reuben, who married Gertrude Manson.

Sometime just before the 1900s, Thorwoldt went to work for Ed Churchill in his shop on Union Street opposite the jail. Christian told Thorwoldt to take the job, because it was more than he could pay. In 1903 Ed Churchill decided to move to the west coast and he sold out his stock and business to Thorwoldt and moved away. Thorwoldt then moved back to his fathers former place on West Fulton Street on the north side of the Courthouse Square. He did some remodeling and was open for business in 1904 at his new shop, The Stone Front Shoe Store. Here he sold new shoes and repaired old ones. Thorwoldt used the same repair bench that Christian, his father, brought from Canada. Although all of the children at one time or another helped in the store, Walter really became the manager from the time that he graduated from high school until he enlisted in the Army in World War I. After the war, Walter became the postmaster for Waupaca. Seth Ballard and a Mr. Todd were hired as clerks during the war years. The store was sold to Harold Harrington, but Thorwoldt remained at his bench until 1947, working for Mr. Harrington.

In the Waupaca County Post, dated February 13, 1947, there was a picture of Thorwoldt Nelson working at his cobbler bench which he had used for 55 years. He was 86 years old at the time. Mr. Nelsons greatest fear was the day that he would have to retire; he said that he felt like 50 and was good for another 10 years.

Thorwoldt Nelson did retire in 1947, and died January 5, 1959, age 98 years. His wife, Anna, preceded him in death on December 20, 1943, age 84 years. They are buried in the family plot in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.

Julia, Mrs. Clarence Nelson, who is now 101 years old, living in Fort Wayne, IN, is the last survivor of Thorwoldt Nelsons family. It is through her memoirs that much of this material was taken.

Tom and Eloise Godfrey have most graciously loaned me her papers, that she had written as she had remembered things as a girl growing up.

Tom Godfrey is a great-grandson of Christian Nelson and has in his possession the old cobbler bench that his great-grandfather bought secondhand in Canada, well over 100 years ago.




November 21, 1990


I wish to apologize for omitting the names of the other two living descendants of Thorwoldt and Anna Caroline Nelson in my last article that appeared in the November 15 issue of the Waupaca County Post. They are: Clara Marie Christy who is living in a nursing home in Woodstock, Ill., and just had her 94th birthday on November 14, 1990, and Esther Jeannette Granberg, who is still living alone in Oshkosh and just had her 92nd birthday on November 9, 1990.




November 21, 1990


Adelbert Monroe Penney, the one-time Potato King of Wisconsin, at one time had plans to build a new and modern hotel in Waupaca on the site where the Delavan Hotel was located on the southeast corner of Main and East Union Streets.

His daughter, Rose was instrumental in changing his mind to building a new theater instead of putting his money into a hotel. A. M. Penney, as he was better known, started to break ground for the new theater in early spring of 1920.

C. W. Nelson was the architect, Theodore Anderson was the general contractor, Bernie Wilson was the electrical contractor, and William Auer had the plumbing contract.

The New Palace Theater opened two weeks later than scheduled because Bernie Wilson had to spend two weeks at the National Guard Camp.

It was built at an estimated cost of $100,000, and was erected as a monument to the City of Waupaca. The Palace Theater opened its doors for the first time October 4, 1920, with the stage production, The Old Homestead, put on by a road company passing through Waupaca from Milwaukee to Minneapolis.

J. W. Schienssner, who was the manager, had also booked Barriers Waupaca Orchestra for the opening occasion and Ethwell (Eddy) Hanson at the Golden Voiced baritone pipe organ, Eddys father, Gus Hanson, was playing cornet, Soren Johnson on trombone, Clint Hartman on bass, Art Feregan on clarinet and Ben Peterson on cello.

Through the early years the Palace Theater served as a hub for civic activities as well as showing stage productions and silent films. The popular Carrolls Waupaca City Band of those days and the Lawrence College Mens Glee Club of Appleton were frequent performers in those days.

The admission price ranged from 25 for adults and 15 for children on weekdays to 50 for adults on Sundays.

Easter Sunday, 1921, was a big day for the Palace Theater patrons, as Mary Pickford smiled across the screen in Pollyanna and the Palace Male Quartet sang. The members of this quartet were: Henry Nelson, Orlando Anderson, Arnold Christiansen and George Lindahl. The Palace Theater also had its own orchestra in the pit. They were E. Lowe, E. Chady, Jesse Loberg, Tom Temple, Henry Nelson, John McCall and Reed Holm.

Through the early years, the Palace had several managers, including O.H. Brown, Schienssner, Joe Winneger, John Lucia and R. C. Wheller. In the later years there were Arlo Clausen, E. P. Kissinger, E.D. Rodgers and Dorothy Helgerson.

During the roaring 20s, the Palace featured such stars of the silent films as Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Rudolph Valentino, the Gish Sisters, Harold Lloyd and William Boyd. When the Depression hit in 1929 the theater was forced to make some price changes. On Thursday nights they had what they called a family night, when the whole family was admitted for 25. By now the talkies were coming into existence. There were problems tying to keep the audio synchronized with the video. The mouth may have been moving, but there was no sound.

On February 10, 1929, The Shopworn Angel, starring Nancy Carroll and Gary Cooper, gained the distinction of being the first talkie to reach the Palace screen. Local talent was not forgotten. On November 3 and 4, 1931, the Girl Scouts of Waupaca sponsored West of Broadway. The cast were: Allen Scott, Josephine Diekhoff, Howard Jeffers, Carolyn Court, Ray Jensen, Eloise Quimby and Andrew Larson.

In 1932, John P. Adler of Marshfield leased the Palace Theater from the Penney estate. During these early years of the 1930s, Bank Nights were started on Thursday nights with a double feature and the admission price dropped to 14 and childrens matinees on Saturday were 5.

They still had shows on the stage. The local paper stated that the local gay blades got an eyeful when Sally Rand appeared as a fan dancer. Lula Belle and Scotty of WLS barn dance fame and Gene Autry, before he became a star, all graced the Palace stage.

In 1934, the pretty Maxine Holman, a Waupaca personality, appeared on the stage doing her fan dance routine. It is something to do a fan dance, and it something to do a toe dance, but it is really something to combine them together!

In 1937 J.P. Adler bought the Palace Theater from the Penney estate, and in 1939 he carried out a full-scale remodeling job. The orchestra pit and the organ, which both had since ceased to be important with the advent of talkies, were taken out. The organ was sold to a church in Stevens Point, the wooden seats received new cushions, a new ticket booth was built, the projectionist booth was revamped, new fire-proof doors were installed, as was a new generator. The two ornamental lamps that stood in front of the theater were removed and later they were installed in front off the Scandinavia Lutheran church at Scandinavia.

Back in 1936 when the film, Birth of a Baby, was shown there were nurses on hand and two men fainted during the show. On the brighter side, Sing-Alongs were popular at the Palace when the audience would all join in and sing together. After 1939 the Palace Theater became more of a straight movie house, although the Waupaca High School continued to hold their graduation exercises there until the late 1950s.

Attendance records were set with such movies as, Gone With the Wind, Mutiny On the Bounty and the Greatest Show on Earth, which all ran for a week. The last senior class play was held there in 1953 when the curtain fell on the final act of A Change of Heart. The cast consisted of: Carol Barden, Sheilla Harris, Marge Schmahl, Marie Doro, Kathleen Hill, Donna Bartleson, Jim Abrahamson, Mike Fallgatter, Tim Schroeder, Bob Hanson, Roger Wilson, Mary Bradley, Shirley Button, Lois Nikles, Paul Suhs and Dave Hathaway.

By the mid-1950s the die had been cast. The attendance was dwindling as the movies were being replaced by TV.

On January 12, 1957 the Palace closed its doors forever as manager Dorothy Helgerson counted the last receipts and projectionist Orville Ayres rewound the last roll of film.

The last film to be shown was, Seven Men From the Nile, starring Randolph Scott, Gail Russell and Lee Marvin.

In 1961 seven men staged the biggest production ever played at the Palace, as they demolished the once beautiful theater that was rated as one of the theatrical and cinema showpieces of central Wisconsin. The Palace Theater was being sold to the Farmers State Bank, of Waupaca to be used as their parking lot. The Farmers State Bank that once stood on the corner of Main and West Fulton Streets now stands on the old Palace Theater site.




November 29, 1990


George H. Calkins was a great grandson of John Calkins, a yeoman of New York, a liberty-loving patriot who took up arms against the British to save the American cause.

John Calkins, the grandfather, married Jane Eyre and they had a family of eight children. Varanes Calkins, who was one of these eight children, married Betsey Utter, and they had two children. George H. Calkins, who was one of the two children, is the subject of this article. He was born April 21, 1830, at Castle (Wyoming County), N.Y.

Varanes Calkins, the father, was a farmer. He left New York and moved to Maryland in 1852, and settled on a farm just outside Washington. Two years later he moved to Delavan, Wis., and then on to Waupaca. He died here December 18, 1867, and is buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park in the family plot. Betsey, his wife, died July 10, 1880. There is no marker, but I would presume that she would be buried beside her husband.

Young George remained on the farm until he was 18 years of age, attending school at every opportunity. He was undecided for a time as to which profession he would pursue, law or medicine.

In 1849, George Calkins went to work in the office of Dr. J. B. Stanton at Ellicottsville, Cattaraugus County, N.Y. He remained there for the next five years in the drug store. G. H. Calkins was married March 18, 1852, to Miss Caroline L. Jenkins. She was born February 5, 1834, a daughter of John and Rachel (Greene) Jenkins. Rachels mother was a close relative of the brilliant Gen. Nathaniel Green of Revolutionary War fame.

He received his diploma at Buffalo, N.Y., in 1856, and stayed there for some time in the college and hospital, becoming Dr. George H. Calkins.

Dr. Calkins came to Waupaca and opened his office in 1857, and built up a very successful practice, making many friends throughout his years of practice.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Dr. G. H. Calkins enlisted in the Army as a contract surgeon, doing hospital duty. He was commissioned assistant surgeon of the 37th Wisconsin Infantry. On May 12, 1864, he took charge of the Harvey Branch Hospital at Camp Randall in Madison and served until the end of the Civil War.

In 1874 Dr. Calkins became a candidate for State Assembly and was elected by a large majority, serving for two years. Besides his lovely home in Waupaca, he owned property at the Chain o Lakes. On his property on Sunset Lake he built a building for a bottling house. Early history called this Hicks Lake after the early landholder.

Dr. Calkins was the owner of the celebrated Shealtiel Mineral Springs, whose sparkling waters were free from organic matter and sulphate of lime, had won a wide reputation and was shipped to all parts of the county. It being remarkably free from solid matter, it acted as a tonic solvent when taken as a beverage, and for many of the ailments of mankind.

Shealtiel was a Biblical name for a pure water spring meaning, Asked of God. Dr. Calkins had the water chemically analyzed and he realized the potential of this pure water. It became the only water served at the Grand View Hotel on Rainbow Lake. It also became the base of many soft drinks manufactured by Dr. G. H. Calkins at his factory near the springs.

His products were bottled in glass bottles with the words Shealtiel Mineral Springs, Waupaca, Wis., that was molded in raised letters on the bottles. He allowed the townspeople the benefit of the Shealtiel water. They could come with their containers and fill them up, free of charge. The spring still exists in 1990, but it has been capped over for many years. If you were to take a ride on a boat cruise on the northeast corner of Sunset Lake you could see the gazebo which shelters these springs

Dr. Calkins advertisement read, Shealtiel Mineral Springs at the Chain O Lakes, three miles west of Waupaca, the purest water in the world, palatable, acts agreeable on the system and cures where medicine fails.

A home testimony dated May 6, 1884: Having ourselves used and received benefit from Dr. G. H. Calkins Shealtiel Mineral Springs water, and believe that it possesses rare medical qualities, we gladly subscribe our names as recommending the same. M. L. Skinner, J. W. McCormick, J. O. Scott, A. J. Poll, Mrs. G. L. Lord, Mrs. P. Gurley, Mrs. M. J. Nordvi, J. J. Demarest, W. H. Noys, F. L. King, F. D. Randall, Merrick T. Allen, H. C. Beadleson and J. W. Bemis.

Dr. G. H. Calkins passed away June 24, 1896 and is buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park in the family lot.

His famous seltzer, ginger ale and birch beer, among other kinds of drinks, were all made from pure Shealtiel water.




December 6, 1990


John W. Evans was born July 10, 1843, at Newton, Montgomeryshire, Wales, a son of Evan and Mary Hughes Evans. His birthplace was in a region in Wales that was noted for its flannels.

His father, Evan Evans, and his grandfather, Nathaniel Evans, were weavers before him. Evan Evans was born in 1809, and married Mary Hughes at Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales, and they became the parents of six children: Mary, Evan, Elizabeth, John W., whom this story is about, Thomas E., and one child that died in infancy.

In 1846 the Evan Evans family came to America from Liverpool, and nearly three months later arrived in New York. They first located at New Hartford, N.Y., which is only a few miles south of Utica.

At New Hartford, Evan worked at his trade as a weaver for five years. They then moved from New Hartford to Madison County, N.Y., where they stayed for the next six years, before moving to Marcellus, N.Y. It was here that his father died in 1865, and his mother died in 1866.

John W. Evans, the subject of this article, had very few privileges in early life. He had little time for his education, for when only eight years of age, he began working in the woolen mills. It was not unusual for children of that age to work in the textile mills in the East.

In February of 1862, John W. Evans tried to enlist in support of the Union cause, but due to his age, he was unable to get his parents consent and was not allowed to muster in.

However, in February, 1864, after he came of age, he enlisted in Battery E., Third New York Light Artillery. He saw action in the last years of the war. He went into the army as a private and was promoted to corporal before he was honorably discharged in July 1865 at the end of the war between the states.

He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln while he was in the army, or at least he intended to. Soldiers in the army at that time had to send their ballot to their home voting place. In opening the letter, the inner envelope containing the ballot was accidentally torn and the vote was rejected.

After his discharge, he returned to Marcellus and worked at his old position in the woolen mill for the next year. He then attended school at Cazenovia, N.Y., for another year.

In 1867, accompanied by his brother, Thomas E. Evans, and their sister, Mary, John Evans came to Waupaca, where another sister, Elizabeth (Mrs. William Smith), was already residing.

As stories have it, John W. Evans formed a partnership with Dayton, Dewey and Baldwin, and they began to remodel the old grist mill. (This property now belongs to the Shanak Foundry and Machine Co.).

Quit claim deed, volume 58, page 292, dated April 1, 1884, shows that a quit claim deed was given by Charles Evans and his wife, Hortense Evans, for $1 and other valuable consideration, for the following described tract of land: the undivided one-fourth part of the northeast of the northwest and the northwest of the northeast of section 32, T.22N-R.12E to east.

When the mill was completed, they employed about 20 people and manufactured cashmeres, mens suitings and flannels. The mill prospered and grew and had a good business until the price of raw wool declined. George McGill, who was one of our old-time historians and has now passed away, remembered taking raw wool from sheep sheared on his fathers farm in the Town of Dayton to be processed at the mill.

John W. Evans returned to Marcellus, N.Y., where he married Anna Edwards, the daughter of a weaver, and the couple returned to Waupaca to live.

Here they became the parents of four children: William L., Grace M., May E., and Llewellyn. Anna Evans died in March 1890, and in April of 1891, John W. Evans was married to Cora McAllister in Oshkosh. John and Cora had two children: John Kenneth, who died in 1894, age two years, and Bryant McAllister, born June 17, 1895.

John W. Evans passed away October 15, 1920 and his wife passed away in 1930. All are buried in the Evans lot in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.

It seems as if the woolen mill ran into some bad years. The Waupaca Record, dated April 16, 1903, had this to say:

The lease held by J. Bower of the Waupaca Woolen Mill ran out on the first of April and Mr. Evans is anxious to dispose of the factory and has been in communication with a knitting factory whose management considered coming here and putting in a knitting factory.

John Evans did dispose of his holdings. A warranty deed, dated May 22, 1906, shows that John W. Evans and his wife Cora sold all of the woolen mill property, including the flowage and power rights, the storehouses and all tools and machinery in the woolen mill, to William and James Proctor of Milwaukee and J. Bower of Waupaca, for $7,000.

In the summer of 1906, a stock company was organized with a capital of $50,000, one-half of the stock being held by the National Straw Works of Milwaukee. John Hebblewhite was the manager and Nathan Cohen served as president.

Then, on October 15, 1906, they filed an Article of Incorporation to become the Waupaca Felting Mills, for the purpose of carrying on business of manufacturing, jobbing and dealing in all kinds of felt, woolen and knit goods, to manufacture felt, felt hats, bodies and other articles of every kind and description out of wool and woolen yarns, including cloths and cloths of wool and cotton mixture.

The headlines of the Waupaca Record Leader, dated March 25, 1914, proclaimed:

Waupaca Hat Mills are manufacturing. It went on to say that, it was with great pride that the directors and stockholders of the Waupaca Hat Factory had made arrangements for the manufacturing of mens, ladies, and boys hats, and that they would completely finish and box the hats for market.

Nathan Cohen and John Hebblewhite had been in New York and Reading, Pa., and other eastern cities and had made a partial contract with I. C. Young of Reading, Pa., to come to Waupaca and take charge of the now improved plant.

There was to be $5,000 worth of new machinery to be shipped and installed as soon as possible. The article stated that there would be employment for many people, who would have to be trained for the new order of things.

In April of 1916, high water caused by the spring thaw caused a break in the dam, resulting in $5,000 damage to the old felting mill.

On January 30, 1919, the Waupaca Felting Mills filed for Dissolution of Organization.

In the 1930s, the two story frame building and basement was completely destroyed by fire, and was never rebuilt. Part of an old chimney still stands at the north end today.

The property passed on to the Jorgensen Bros. Manufacturing Co., and presently to the Shanak Foundry and Machine Co.




December 13, 1990


It was the morning of December 3 when I gazed out of the windows at the first major snowstorm of the season to strike the area, and as I gazed at the drifting snow outside, it brought back memories of how the methods and cost of snow removal have changed in the last 50 years.

Back then you could purchase a good snow shovel for under $5, but now we think that we have to have a new powerful snow blower that costs upwards to $500 and more, depending upon the make, model and size of the machine.

I thought that it would be interesting to go back nearly 90 years and see what the prices were then. In fact, the following prices were taken from the 1902 Waupaca Post.

Waupaca Starch and Potato Company was selling Pillsbury Best, Ceresota, Superletive, Gold Mine and Gold Crown Flour for $3.75 per barrel.

Peter Holst Grocery Store, that was located on North Main Street opposite the old City Hall, had these to offer: Oat Meal at 3-1/2 per lb., Fancy white clover honey at 15 per lb., Imported Spanish olives 38 a qt. Butter and eggs bought for cash at the highest prices.

The Fair Store listed childrens black woolen mittens an 8 value for 2; fine India linen, a 9 value for 5; mens hemstitched handkerchiefs, a 10 value for 4; stocking caps, a 25 value for 10; 27-inch length ladies jackets worth $6 now going for $2.48.

Churchills Shoe Store, located on East Union Street, opposite the jail: mens tan shoes were $3.50, now $1.97; ladies tan shoes were $2.50, now $1.47; lumbermans rubbers, selling 88 to $1 per pair.

Sam P. Godfrey Machinery, located on East Union Street: new buggies, runabouts, tops and open buggies and surreys, selling from $35 to $150.

E, C, Williams Hardware Store, located at 103 North Main Street (this is the present location of the Market Place): 1 large 6-hole steel range $39; 1 large 6-hole Sunshine steel range $32, and 1 large 6-hole cast iron range for $32.

George H. James Furniture Store, located on the second floor over the Union Dry Goods Store, had for sale three-piece oak chamber suites ranging from $12.75 to $18.75 and McLean swing rockers at $3.90.

Hoffmanns, eight-day clocks, $2.50 to $4.

Laabs Bros., fancy table syrup 20 a gal.; maple syrup $1.08 to $1.35 per gal.; tea 30 per lb., down to 24; 22 lbs. of prunes for $1; Reg. 5 gal oil can filled up with oil, regular price was $1.68, now $1.50.

Alfred R. Lea, mens clothing: mens suits $5 to $20; mens overcoats $5 to $20; boys suits $1.50 to $10; fancy and white dress shirts from 50 to $1.50; collars 15 and cuffs 25, umbrellas in serge and silk tops and steel rods, with natural or silver trimmed handles at 50 to $5.

Now lets move on to the 1930s, just coming out of the Great Depression years.

Pioneer Hardware Store, 103 N. Main, Atwater Kent radio for $39.90; electric toaster completed with cord for 95, other models at $2.85; Nester Johnson tubular ice skates at $4.85 and alarm clocks 98 and up.

A & P Grocery Store: Eight O Clock coffee, 3 lbs. for 55; brown sugar, 3 lbs. for 17; P & G soap, 10 giant bars 39; 10 Texas seedless grapefruit 29 and peanut butter, 2 lb. jar 25.

Louise Mary Shoppe, E. Union, panties all sizes, lace trimmed or plain $1; slips that everyone loves $1.50 and Beldings ringless hose in gift boxes $1.

Mendelson & Solie, Main Street in the post office block: ladies silk dresses $1.98 to $2.98; mens union suits heavyweight $1 and boys mackinaws all-wool blazers $1.50.

Haebigs Clothing: Portes and Mallory fall hats $2.50 to $4; belted back suits and free swing models $18.50 to $21, and 14-oz. Worsteds $23.50.

Gambles Hardware, 117 N. Main: tire prices, 30x3-1/2 $3.45, 4.40x21 $4.26 and 4.50x20 at $4.45.

Waupaca Candy Kitchen: 5 lb. box of chocolates 80; 5 lb. box of finest assorted chocolates $1.35, and hard candies at 15 per lb.

This would not be complete without the mention of the cost of having a baby. In 1943 Dr. A.M. Christofferson drove to our place at Blaine and he delivered our twins, Gary and Jerry, on the dining room table, and he made a trip back the next day to see how the boys were coming. The bill was only $25.

These cheap prices were not what they seemed to be. You were lucky to be getting $1 for a 10-hour day of hard labor, with no coffee breaks.

In the mid-1940s I was still farming, battling the rocks and low farm prices, running out of money, patience and cuss words. I figured that there was a better way to make a living and I found it.




December 20, 1990


Christmas Eve, sometime around 1917 or so, Glenn Dent had moved to his new farm one mile west of Blaine Corners, just over the county line. It was customary that they spend every other Christmas with their parents. Glenns parents were Frank and Ernie Dent, and Elsies parents were Cyrenius and Clara Rogers. In those days, the roads were not plowed and the only travel was by horse and sleigh.

This was the year the Glenn Dent family was to spend its Christmas at the Cyrenius Rogers home in the Town of Dayton. The road from the Glenn Dent farm went directly east from Blaine, down past Fountain Lake, the Grant Mill, and through the big pines.

The Frank Dent farm was located on County Trunk D, and ran south nearly to the point where the Glenn Dent family had to pass by. As a surprise, Frank and his wife, Ernie, walked through the snow that one-half mile carrying Christmas trimmings and presents. There they cut a Christmas tree and trimmed it and stood it in the middle of the road with the presents under it. Then, they sat and waited for their son and family to come along so they might have a few moments of Christmas together.

This is a true story and shows how one family figured out a way they, too, could have a Merry Christmas over 70 years ago.

Alta, my wife, is a granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dent and Dr. Robert Dent is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Dent.

Albert Mathew (Dr. A.M.) Christofferson left his practice in Colby in 1920, and came back to his native Waupaca to join his brother Peter John (Dr. P.J.) Christofferson in the medical field. Together in 1921, they built the Waupaca Hospital, located on the corner of Lake and Washington Streets. This building is now the South Park Retirement Home.

Much can be written about the Christofferson brothers in Waupaca; indeed, the following poem is entitled, Reflections on Christoffersons Hospital.



Should illness or accident happen your way,

Go straight to Waupaca to Dr. P.J.

If great is your need, your requirements to meet,

Hell promptly convey you right up to Lake Street.


A kindly faced nurse in immaculate white,

Is there to receive you by day or by night.

A good restful bed in a room light and airy,

With linen and blankets so clean and sanitary.


With dear Mrs. Bowers, the best nurse in the land,

A ministering angel with heart and with hand,

She soothes all your fears, your doubts will take flight,

At once youre convinced that youll soon be alright.


A competent cook and a lady refined,

In good Mrs. Dopp you will find combined,

She prepares our meals with those fine filled trays,

We wish she might do so the rest of our days.


The eagle-eyed doctor so genial and fat,

Comes often each day to see just where youre at,

His medicines are bitter, but many a life,

Has been saved by his skill with scalpel or knife.


When patients grow restless and time seems to pall,

The doctors good wife cheers us up with a call.

A dish of ice cream or a bouquet of flowers,

She knows what will help while away the long hours.


To chase away blues and to drown melancholy,

To speed your recovery by keeping you jolly,

Forget all your troubles both little and big,

Then Miles will come over and dance you a jig.


When daylight is fading and time comes to sleep,

Then Mrs. McGinley her vigil will keep.

Shes patient and quiet as many can tell,

And always alert for the sound of the bell.


If eer your appendix or liver act funny,

Or if the x-rays show you have no money,

On either occasion the doctors no dunce,

Hell start operations to relieve you at once.


Heres health to the doctor and all of the staff,

But for them Id not be here to write all of this chaff.

My honest convictions, theres no better berth,

To be found till St. Peter reclaims you from earth.

The people mentioned were Ulrecka, Mrs. Charles Bowers, mother of Mrs. Allen (Ethel M.) Guyant; Myra Buckholt Dopp, wife of Robert Pryse; Mrs. Clara Collier McGinley and Miles Matson.


Wishing You All A Merry Christmas

And A Happy New Year!




December 27, 1990


Francis Marion Benedict, educator, archaeologist, farmer and teacher of penmanship, was born June 9, 1853, at Dale in Outagamie County, the son of William W. and Achsah H. (Hoar) Benedict. The parents were both born in Delaware County, Ohio, where most of their eight children were born.

In 1847 William Benedict and his wife and children came to Troy Center, Wis., where they remained until 1849 when they moved to Dale. In 1853 William, the father, came to Waupaca in search of some good land and in 1854 he moved his family to a farm of 160 acres located in Section 19, Township of Farmington.

William Benedict was the chairman of the Town of Farmington for eight years. During this time he laid out most of the roads in the area. Achsah, the mother, died in 1881 and William died in 1893. Both are buried in Sheridan Cemetery.

Frances Marion Benedict, the subject of this article, was the sixth in line of the eight children. As a boy growing up on the farm, Francis learned a great deal about nature around him and became quite a naturalist. He once stated that he felt that he had the best teachers while growing up, and that it was the teachers rather than the schoolhouse or equipment which accounts for a true education.

In 1870 Francis M. Benedict himself became a teacher. He taught schools in Pleasant Valley and Parfreyville, both in the township of Dayton, and at Weyauwega High School.

In 1870, while attending a teachers institute at Waupaca, he took a course in writing lessons from Prof. Walter C. Hooker. During the following winters while he was teaching me made a special study in writing, not only practicing it himself, but instructing his students. It was during this period of time that he developed a system of teaching penmanship that became called Rythmic Writing, From 1880 to 1895 Mr. Benedict taught writing as a specialty.

It was on September 16, 1874, that Francis M. Benedict was united in marriage to Millicent M. Taylor, a daughter of David and Mary (Radley) Taylor. Seven children were born to this union.

In 1878, Francis Benedict bought 125 acres of undeveloped land in Section 26, Township of Farmington. This farm is located on State Highway 10, approximately one mile east of King. Some will remember this farm as the John Montgomery, or the Carroll Christensen place. Look for the tall water tower. In every year from 1878 to 1880, when Mr. Benedict was teaching, he took his vacations between school terms working on his farm. Here he put in much physical labor clearing out the trees and brush and removing the stumps until he had about 100 acres under cultivation.

He received substantial returns from his farm, especially from his operations as a breeder of high grade Holstein cattle, and his thoroughbred Ancona chickens. Mr. Benedict erected a fine set of buildings, and was supposed to have driven every nail in those buildings. He had constructed one of the best built barns in Waupaca County at that time. He acquired the water tank from the Cristy House property, in Waupaca, and set it upon a tall structure on his farm, using the lumber from the old water tower at the Wisconsin Veterans Home when it was razed in about 1906.

At one time in his early life he was an emigration agent for 15 years for the Wisconsin Central Railroad, later the Soo Line. He gave over 500 lectures to induce people to settle in the new districts of northern Wisconsin.

He was an archaeologist and student of the Aboriginal remains found in Wisconsin. F. M. Benedict located no less than 61 mounds around the Chain o Lakes, that he copyrighted in 1896.

Mr. Benedict wrote several papers about these effigy mounds that were built by a pre-historic culture of which we know nothing, or very little. The effigy mound builders inhabited this area, as well as some others, long before the Indians as we know them. Their mounds gave our forefathers fits when settling in the new world.

There is enough material that has been written by F. M. Benedict about the Indians and the prehistoric race in this area, that a complete story can be written in some later article.

The Benedicts in America are descendents from Thomas Benedict, who came from Nottinghampshire, England, in 1638, landing at the Plymouth Rock settlement, 18 years after the original colony was established by the passengers from the Mayflower.




January 3, 1991


Rev. Silas Miller came to Waupaca about 1850, in search for a good location for a sawmill. He made a bargain with E. C. Sessions for his entire claims.

For payment he traded his 80 acres of land in the Township of Alto, in Fond du Lac County, six head of cattle and a promise of 6,000 feet of lumber as soon as it could be sawed.

Rev. Miller and Mr. Sessions went to Alto to sell the land and bring back the cattle to Waupaca. They had good luck and sold the land and sold the cattle before they reached Ripon on the way home.

Soon upon arriving home, Mr. Sessions went up on the prairie northwest of Waupaca (Township of Farmington) and secured a claim. This became known as Sessions Prairie; now we know it as Sheridan.

Rev. Silas Miller did build his sawmill and sawed one Norway pine log and part of another on September 10, 1850. A couple of years later he sold out to W. C. Lord.

He then went north to Iola, along with Samuel S. and John W. Chandler and built their sawmill in 1854.

Rev. Silas Miller did not live long enough to saw his mark into the history of Waupaca. He passed away May 30, 1855, at the age of 59 years, 4 months and 28 days. Eunice, his wife, passed away in 1878, at the home of her son in Milwaukee.

Rev. Silas Miller did leave a little history in Waupaca, as a Methodist minister. He was a circuit rider and was the first man to deliver the Word of God to the people in Waupaca, where he preached in the homes. The Methodists were the first to build their own church in 1853.

On October 19, 1975, the Methodist church celebrated 125 years of Methodism in Waupaca. The first church that was built in 1853 was of wooden construction located on the corner of Badger and Main Streets.

After the second church was built it became a blacksmith shop. This location, you may remember as the location of the Waupaca Motor which was owned by the Laux brothers, where they sold Buicks and Chevrolets. It is now the used car lot for Colligan Motors (northeast corner of Main and Badger Streets).

A metal plaque with the figure of a circuit rider for Rev. Silas Miller, was purchased by the congregation and was mounted on a new white marble stone, that was donated by the Henry Haertel Company of Stevens Point. This was dedicated on the morning of October 19, 1975, as the church bells chimed in the distance, Rev. Barry Shaw led the prayers of the group of people who had gathered at the gravesite of the Rev. Silas Miller.

This was the start of the days festivities.






January 10, 1991


The present site now occupied by Radio Shack and Colligans Bakery goes back to the days just after World War I, when a Mr. Downey had erected a wooden platform from the street out over the bank that dropped down to where the river ran by. He had a popcorn stand at this location.

In 1921, Carl Cohen bought the property and built a new, two-story brick building. The building was completed in October 1921, and at that time it became the first home of the National Guard unit of Waupaca. A five-year lease was signed to provide an armory and home for the Howitzer Company 127th Infantry, known as the Waupaca National Guards.

The Guard unit was to occupy the ground floor and basement. The rental fee was $1,500, which would include heat and fire service. The main floor was used for drill purposes and was fitted up with a gymnasium for use by the members of the company. On the lower floor Mr. Cohen reserved space for the boiler and coal rooms; the National Guard had the remaining space for toilets and bath, club room, property room, locker room with lockers for every man in the company, a reading room, a company commanders office and a first sergeants office. The club room and reading room were to be open at all times to the members.

Capt. Holly had estimated that $10,000 would come annually to the City of Waupaca from the U.S. Treasury because of the National Guards being in Waupaca.

After the lease expired the National Guard unit drilled on the second floor of the Danes Home, because the armory building, it was felt, would not withstand the weight and the marching, despite the fact that while the building was being constructed state architects were here to approve the construction for its safety to be used as an armory.

Wrestling matches were held here in the armory. Waupaca had quite a following in wrestling in those days.

After the National Guards lease ran out, Carl Cohen filed for an Article of Organization with the state of Wisconsin, to form the Waupaca Theatre Company. It was accepted and filed July 3, 1926. It was to have capital stock of $10,000 consisting of 1,000 shares at $10 a share. The officers were: Carl Cohen, president; Sylvia Cohen, vice president; Harry Balkansky, secretary; Solomon Minkoff, treasurer; and a board of directors of four stockholders.

The main floor was completely renovated and made over for a theatre and it was named the Waupaca. This was the beginning of a theatre business at 108 N. Main Street for Carl Cohen that lasted until 1949. However, Mr. Cohen was one of the first Waupaca theatre operators dating back to 1913. Clifford Quimby told me that his father, Bert Quimby, and Carl Cohen had been partners in a theatre enterprise at one time.

The newly decorated Waupaca was leased to J. P. Adler of Marshfield in 1926 and continued to operate as a popular showhouse until December 24, 1946, when his lease ran out.

Irving Ashe of the Ashe Theatre Corporation, picked up the expired lease from Mr. Cohen and renamed the Waupaca Theatre to the State. The new State opened on January 5, 1947, showing A Night in Casablanca.

When it first opened, the State Theatre was in the process of being remodeled, at an estimated cost of between $12,000 and $15,000 to completely modernize the building. The Nelson Painting Company had the contract for redecorating the interior; Lear Electric handled the wiring and other installations; the Nelson Sign Company had the contract for the signs at the front of the theatre, and some new projection equipment was installed. Due to some material shortage new chairs had to be put on hold; meanwhile the Wisconsin Chair Company re-upholstered where necessary and did the re-varnishing. Do you remember walking into the theatre and having to turn around to be seated to see the movie?

In the Waupaca County Post there was a notice dated December 22, 1949, that the State Theatre reluctantly bids the public Farewell.

Our last show after 30 years in our present location will be screened Friday night, Dec. 23, 1949. After that the State Theatre will exist no more. Marvin Cohen and all employees of the State Theatre join in thanking you for your support and wishing you a Happy Holiday Season.

The last show to be shown was a double feature, the Bohemian Girl and Mob Town.

The building was once again remodeled to make way for a hardware store. Arthur L. Terhune purchased the building and opened the doors of his new Coast to Coast agency until 1972, when he became affiliated with True-Value. Mr. Loomis retired in 1973 and sold his business to Jack Wachholz and Jesse Kennow, who continued with True-Value.

Norah, wife of Douglas Loomis, let this property out on land contract in August 1975, and gave a clear title in July 1982. Through several real estate transactions the building ended up in the possession of Darlene Shafer. She told me that in 1985, she had the building front remodeled.

This building is now the present location of Radio Shack and Colligans Old Time Bakery




January 17, 1991


Up to at least 1946, Charles A. Hansen had spent more time serving the Waupaca public than any other resident of the city.

Charles A. (Charley) Hansen was born in Waupaca, April 14, 1876, a son of Morten and Karen Jorgenson Hansen. Morten and Karen came to America from Denmark in 1873.

Charles A. Hansen was united in marriage to Eva Johnson of Saxeville, Waushara County, Wis., in July 1910. To them three children were born, one daughter, Cleo, and two sons, Everett and Lowell.

Charley Hansen started work in the Waupaca Post Office at the age of 15. He had to stand on a dry goods box to look over the postal counter. Wages were $5 a week, but later were increased to $30 a month. Included in his duties were cleaning and filling the old kerosene lamps that were used to illuminate the post office, and to keep a supply of wood to feed the hungry round oak stove that was used to heat the building.

Charleys long employment with the Waupaca Post Office started back in 1891, when there was still some mail and passengers arriving by stagecoach. These were the days of no free rural delivery, and no city deliveries.

The building in which he started, in 1891, was located on the corner of Sessions and North Main Streets, which is now the location of Stus Interior Decorators, 121 N. Main. According to two past postmasters research, the first post office was located in Edward L. Brownes law office on the corner of Jefferson and East Union Streets. In 1989 this was the law office of Franzoi and Franzoi. The next post office was located at 106 East Union Street, now the Shambeau and Lyons Realty Office.

The 1889 Waupaca County plat book shows a map of the original plat of the City of Waupaca, and it shows that there was a post office located adjacent to the alley on the west, on Lot 10, Bock O. The third site was at the present location of Stus Interior Decorators, where Charley Hansen started his long employment with the Waupaca Post Office back in 1891. Mr. Hansen was named assistant postmaster here under the U.S. Civil Service Board of Examiners. As part of his duties in that capacity he gave examinations for postal positions throughout Waupaca County.

The fourth location was 212 S. Main Street, in the building now occupied by the Culligan Water Company. When James W. Carew was postmaster he started the proceeding which resulted in the erection of the new post office on the corner of South Main and Badger Streets. The new post office was dedicated August 30, 1939. This is the fifth location.

About 1921 an Act of Congress created for postal employees the privilege of sick leave pay, but Mr. Hansen never availed himself of this privilege until about 1941. In 55 years one can acquire a considerable amount of knowledge about the postal rules and regulations. Mr. Hansen received a letter from Joseph A. Connor, regional director, expressing appreciation for his fine record.

One patron that Mr. Hansen recalled at the post office was Dana Dewey, who was one of the early pioneers to Waupaca. Dana Dewey was always first to pay his taxes, the first to pay his box rent and was first every morning to pick up his mail.

Charley Hansen served as assistant postmaster under seven postmasters before retiring in 1946. He took the oath of office under Evan Coolidge on June 16, 1891, and served under the following postmasters: Henry C. Mumbrue, A. M. Penney, S. P. Godfrey, Mrs. Charlotte Ware, Walter J. Nelson and James W. Carew.

Charley Hansen retired April 30, 1946. There was a pleasant coincidence: on the same day his son, Lowell G. Hansen received his honorable discharge from the armed forces at Camp McCoy.

Mr. Hansen passed away at his home on Granite Street on February 10, 1956, and was laid to rest in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.




January 24, 1991


In the western town of Verna, Utah, Jacob Alkins and his family had made plans in July 1976 to take their vacation in western Canada, when all of a sudden they changed their minds and decided to come to Ogdensburg, Wis., instead. Their ancestors once lived in the area from 1858 to 1880.

The big factor that made them change their minds was a family heirloom that contained a record to the fact that a Centennial Box had been buried on Juniper Island, in Hicks Lake, one of Waupacas Chain o Lakes, on July 4, 1876, by Manasseh T. Phewsby who was a great-great-grandfather to Jacob Alkins. Family records showed that Phewsby had been a stagecoach driver on the run between Berlin and Stevens Point.

On July 4, 1876, Manasseh T. Phewsby, then 41, sealed a box which was to be passed on to the oldest child of each generation and was not to be opened until July 4, 1976. The request that he had expressed on this Centennial Box was respected and on July 4, 1976, the box was opened by his granddaughter, Ada C. Alkins of Vernal, Utah.

Among the various mementoes and memorabilia there was a copy of the Ogdensburg Criterion for June 29, 1876, which discussed the local events that were planned for the celebration of the nations 100th anniversary. I find no record of the Criterion ever being published in Ogdensburg, but it was a Waupaca paper in the early days.

A note that was written by Mr. Plewsby and attached to the paper stated Please read of my activities reported in this paper, so you may learn of this area and your ancestors.

The account that was related in that paper is what ultimately led Mr. Alkins to his discovery 100 years later. The account described a ceremony that occurred in July 1876.

The Criterion reported that it contained a list of the names of the area residents, coins and other items thought to be of future interest.

M. T. Phewsby had constructed a weather proof box which was sealed in glass. The box was on display at School Number 6, and on next Tuesday, July 4, it would be permanently sealed and buried on Juniper Island, in Hicks Lake. The directions for locating this box were that it would be buried in the center of a ring of juniper trees, approximately 100 yards from the north bank of the island.

The Alkins family arrived in the Chain o Lakes and rented a cottage at Long Lake on July 20, 1976. They made numerous inquiries about the location of Hicks Lake and Juniper Island to no avail. Someone recommended that they consult the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at Madison. Here they discovered on some old maps what they were searching for. The old maps showed Hicks Lake and Juniper Island, but around the turn of the century Hicks Lake was renamed Sunset Lake and Juniper Island was changed to Onaway Island.

After the Alkinses returned from their find in Madison, they started their search for the Centennial Box. They paced off approximately the 100 yards from the north end of the island and ran into a thick growth of trees and brush but no junipers. They soon spotted some juniper trees a little farther to the south and discovered that they had been planted in a circle, although they had grown together over the last 100 years. After a difficult time trying to find the center of the ring, it was finally allocated. Here was a series of red granite blocks encompassing a three-by-three foot area.

They removed the granite blocks and started to dig; at about five feet they struck a layer of rocks. Underneath the rocks was the box for which they had been searching.

The box was sealed in a glass container and remained protected for all of the 100 years.

The contents of the box were the following items: a note written by M. T. Phewsby explaining the ceremony in 1876; a Bible; President Grants second Inaugural Address; a timetable for the Wisconsin Central Railroad; a set of U.S. coins for 1876, including a $10 gold piece; a listing of the 10 students who graduated from the Waupaca High School; and a watch that Mr. Phewsby used while driving the stagecoach.

Mr. Phewsbys letter mentioned that the box was partially put together by the Old Settlers Society.

I would like to know why Juniper Island was chosen for the burial site of that Centennial Box, it being quite a distance from Ogdensburg in those days.




January 31, 1991


Main Street Musings.


To The Editor:

It was with great interest that I read Mr. Guyants memory-jogging story about the Cohen theatre and apartment building erected on Main Street in the early 20s.

My family had just moved to Waupaca from Iola into the old red brick jail which stood beside the Courthouse on the corner across from the (new) First National Bank. Dad was the new sheriff of Waupaca County. I was only 10 and watched the construction of that building which we thought was quite grand.

Do any of you remember the little stand operated by a Mrs. Kline and her son on the same location? It stood on high stilts because of the deep ravine and river. It was just a little one-story shack which opened right onto the sidewalk. Seems to me it was sort of a concession stand, but what I remember most was the parrot named Polly which always sat perched on the sidewalk and to everyone who walked by, she squawked Polly want a cracker!

Balkansky and Minkoff were two fellows from Chicago who later opened a fruit and grocery store where the Travel Shop is now, and later moved to the Lighthouse corner where it was known for years as the Fruit Store.

Getting back to the theatre. The first talkie I saw was there, and it starred Charles King and Bessie Love about 1928 and as Mr. Guyant said, One had to walk in and turn around to face the stage. Mickey Pope Anderson was the first ticket seller, in a glass projection, I recall. A talented girl from Rhinelander played skillfully on a big grand piano during various intermissions. Her name was Catherine Nitke.

Who of you remember the ever-popular curling rink on the Courthouse Square where the old Chamber of Commerce shack stood? We kids used to watch the men sweeping those heavy granite blocks down that stretch of ice toward a target. Oh, yes, there were names like Soren Johnson, Peter Holst, Irving Hansen, Frank Stratton, Harry Rawson and many other prominent businessmen.

Im sure many of you remember the old Fair Store a three-floor department store the former Schultz Store now beautifully remodeled into several badly needed downtown shops, with attractive apartments planned for later above. The former store was also owned and operated by Nate Cohen, I believe a relative of Carl. They lived in a huge yellow house that stood where the Catholic Church is located, and owned a Winton Six Sedan, probably the swellest car in town. At least we kids thought it was!

In a sadder vein does anyone recall the two little boys who drowned in the water at the foot of the Water Street Bridge? (One of the names was Grogan.) All of this was about 1920.

Wouldnt it be fun to go up and down Main Street and tell about what businesses were existing then? I remember almost all of them and this was 70 years ago.

Remembrances of Waupaca,

Cal Swenson,





January 31, 1991


Richard J. Woolsey was born on October 25, 1834, at Harbor Creek, Erie County, Pa., one of 12 children born to the Joseph Woolseys. Four male members of this family served the Union cause during the Civil War. Richard attended the common district schools of that area until he was 11 years of age, when he went out on his own working for farmers. He received his education in Erie County, going to school in the wintertime and working for his room and board. Richard decided to leave Pennsylvania and come to the Town of Lind, Waupaca County, where his uncle, John Brown, then was living.

He started out from Girard in Erie County, went to Cleveland, Ohio, then on to Chicago, and from there went by rail and stage to Madison and Waupun, thence by rail to Fond du Lac, and from Fond du Lac he took a stage for some time before he transferred to oxen through the woods to Omro. He proceeded on to the north and arrived in the Town of Lind on March 3, 1855.

All the money that he had was script from Pennsylvania, which was worthless here. So, broke and without work, he went to live with his uncle, John Brown.

The first thing Woolsey did in the line of work was to make shingles which he hauled to Berlin in Green Lake County, a distance of 26 miles, and trade them for provisions. The following year he worked at lumbering in the woods and ran logs on the Wisconsin River.

On November 18, 1856, Richard J. Woolsey was married to Laura Lamphear in the Town of Lind. She was born in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., April 1, 1838. They were to become the parents of two children: Fred Z., and Eunice M.

In the spring of 1856 he bought some land in Marathon County. He had saved enough money to pay for this, but never lived there. Richard later traded this land for a yoke of steers and a wagon.

After their marriage, the Woolseys rented a farm in Section 27, Town of Lind, and they lived here until May 27, 1859, when he, with his wife, hauled by that same yoke of steers started for Wright County, Minn., which was still a pioneer section. From Wright County they moved on to Blue Earth County, Minn., before the days of the homestead laws, and pre-empted 160 acres of government land.

Their cabin was like all others, built from lumber taken from speculators land. He remained here until the spring of 1860, when his wifes health became poorly and he abandoned the place. After selling all his possessions and leaving any improvements to the place, they had barely enough money left to get them back to the Town of Lind. He was again penniless and had to start out all over again. Richard worked some land on shares in the summer and went to work in the woods in the winter.

Richard J. Woolsey enlisted in Company M, First Wisconsin Cavalry, on November 21, 1861, at Weyauwega. He was recruited by Lt. Caldwell, a well known and respected man from this area. Mr. Woolsey was actively engaged in many battles of the Civil War.

On page 819, in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Upper Wisconsin, there is an interesting account of Richard J. Woolsey, Dick Woolseys Daring Dash.

In essence, this is what it went on to say:

Dick was a large-framed man of 200 pounds and a bundle of good nature, rather decided in his opinions and ways of doing things. He was a private in Co. M, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry in the spring of 1864, when he was out on patrol duty with 13 other men with Shermans army in Georgia. They were not to exceed 14 miles from the main body.

Somewhere along the way they met up with some southern women who offered them water and were unusually talkative. Dick became uneasy and feared that something was up and suggested to the officer in command that they meant mischief. After some discussion the officer discovered that a body of Wheelers Rebel Cavalry was after them, across the road ahead of them was another line. There was a dense forest on both the right and left and no place to go. Now the officer realized that Dick was right, that the women had been stalling for time. The officer halted to consider what avenue to take, but the Rebel Cavalry unit behind just kept coming on.

Here Dick took the initiative and called for the men to follow him. With reins in his teeth, revolver in his left hand and saber in his right, he spurred his big horse straight ahead, firing as he went. The line opened up and let them through, firing as they did. When the patrol reached the Union lines there were only six left. It was supposed that the others had been taken prisoners, as no bodies were found on the road the next day. None were ever heard from. Woolsey was made corporal the next day for his gallantry.

Here is another interesting account:

When on a march to Selma, Ala., they had a skirmish with the Confederate Generals Chalmers and Forrest. After this fight Mr. Woolsey came upon a lieutenant of the 8th Mississippi Cavalry who was dying. He took from him four buttons, some Masonic emblems and a white stone ring set in gold. He also secured his portfolio containing letters addressed to parties in Tip Top, Jasper County, Miss. Mr. Woolsey was also a Mason and would have returned all of these mementoes to the proper parties, but no replies were ever received from his many letters.

Richard J. Woolsey was discharged July 19, 1865 and mustered out July 22, 1865. He passed away March 1, 1914, and is buried in the family plot at Lind Center.

This poem, The Old Canteen, was written by Richard Woolseys daughter, Eunice, Mrs. William Bartlett, who passed away July 20, 1903. She is buried in the Lind Center Cemetery.




Ill treasure the old canteen,

So battered and worn,

For it was fathers companion

Through sunshine and storm.

Oh! What tales it could tell

Of the battles that were fought

And the comrades who fell.


While now it is rusty, battered and old,

But more precious to me

Than diamonds or gold.

It is dear to me,

And Ill guard it with care,

For it went with father

All through the war.


It was away down in Dixie,

At a place called Burnt Hickory,

That a Rebs rifle bullet

Brought it to the ground;

But father, undaunted,

From his horse sprang down

To save his canteen,

While bullets whistled around.


All through the ranks

This sent a great cheer,

Which routed the Rebs,

From the front to the rear.

Oh, I thank God

That the hardships of war are oer,

And the North and the South

Are at peace once more.

Our mother bravely waited

With us little ones at home,

None can tell the fears she had

For the beloved one that was gone.

He went at his countrys call,

Perhaps never to return,

But oh! What joy when the struggle was oer,

Our father returned.

We hoped, to leave us no more.


He brought home to mother

His old haversack,

And the old canteen, too,

Which was saved at risk of his life;

For twas shot from his side

In the midst of the strife.


Ofttimes Ive heard father tell

Of the hunger and thirst,

When for want of food

Shared corn with his horse.

Often at night,

The damp ground for a bed,

His saddle for a pillow,

And the stars overhead.










February 7, 1991


There were four different barbershops in 1902 with advertisements in the Waupaca Post. They were: A. F. Larson, F. E. Paronto, The Star Barber Shop and James Paris, whose ad read, Special attention to shampooing ladies hair and cutting childrens hair.

Since I have some material about James Paris and his family, I will write this article about them and other barbers who followed at the same location, which is now down under the Grey Dove Antiques building on Main Street.

James Monroe Paris was born in Louisville, KY., on December 22, 1842. In 1845 he came to Chicago with his parents. His parents passed away in Chicago.

James Paris completed three years apprenticeship at the barber trade in Chicago, and then left for a somewhat cooler climate in New London in 1861. He remained there for a year, coming in 1862 to Waupaca where he opened his own barbershop.

He remained at his chair until 1909, when failing eyesight prompted him to retire.

James Monroe Paris was united in marriage to Anna Emerson on December 9, 1874. She was born February 17, 1851, at Moores Forks, NY, where she came to the Township of Lind with her parents when only a young girl. They had two sons born to them: Charles Robert and Claude Monroe.

Charles R. Paris, the elder son, had the misfortune of having an accident at the early age of seven, that left him a cripple for life. He was born December 9, 1877. From 1916 he was confined to a wheelchair until death in 1951.

James Monroe Paris passed away in Waupaca, August 16, 1915 and Anna, his wife, in March of 1924.

Claude Monroe Paris was born June 6, 1880, and went on to follow his fathers footsteps. He was a barber at King for many years.

Harold Plowman apprenticed under Claude Paris at King, about 1924, and in about 1925 he came back to Waupaca and bought out Felix Paronto. Harold Plowman and John Baker were partners for a time before Ray Plutz joined Harold in the partnership. They shared the same partnership for nearly 36 years when Mr. Plutz retired. In 1967 Jim Vander Bloomen became Harold Plowmans new partner until Plowman retired in 1967, after 42 years as a barber. Vander Bloomen took over the shop in 1967 and has since sold out and moved to his new location on East Badger Street. All of the mentioned barbers made many friends and listened to many tall tales while a customer was sitting in his chair. Thus ends the many years of barbering down under the old pool hall.

This story would not be complete without the telling about the life of Claude M. Paris, the barber son of that pioneer barber, James Paris.

In the April 9, 1903 issue of the Waupaca Record, there was a long article in honor of Claude Paris. Here I will attempt to relay some of the material that was in that article:

Claude M. Paris was elected president of his freshman class by an overwhelming majority. He graduated from the Waupaca High School with an excellent record, having gained some distinction in scholarship, declamation and in athletics. After graduating from high school, he worked in his fathers barbershop for the next three years before going to Stevens Point as a journeyman. While in Stevens Point he played on their basketball team which tied Kenton, Ohio for the National Championship in 1901. In 1901 and 1902 Claude Paris was picked by the critics as one of the five players to constitute an all American team.

All of this time he was planning for a college education. In September of 1902 he enrolled at St. Lawrence University in Appleton, possibly in electrical engineering. In his spare time he helped on Saturdays in a barbershop, and during the remainder of the week he cared for some horses and attended several furnaces besides doing odd jobs of various kinds. In addition to his studies and work, he found time for athletics and had a fine record.

Thus the article had to say pluckily, steadily unostentatiously working his way through the college course at St. Lawrence university is a young colored man, Claude M. Paris of Waupaca, who in every detail of his personality and every incident of his career makes a lie to Senator Ben Tillmans dictum that a Negro is and must always remain an inferior creature.

Claude M. Paris was married to Clara Marie Ehrgott and they had one daughter who lived in Appleton. Mr. Paris remained at his barber chair at King for many years and passed away in 1970.




February 14, 1991


The Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA) of Waupaca filed for an Article of Incorporation with the state of Wisconsin and was approved August 7, 1905. The purpose being exclusively benevolent, charitable and reformatory for the purpose of improvement of the spiritual, mental, social and physical condition of young men.

A news item that was found in the Waupaca Record dated January 25, 1912: YMCA Hall burns to the ground. A destructive fire gave some Waupaca citizens an exciting hour when it was found that the flames had gained such headway that it would be impossible to even make an attempt to save the building and but very little of the contents was saved.

The building was being used by the Dispensio Club and the Waupaca High School basketball team.

The building was a wooden frame structure with brick veneer and the space between the frame walls was filled with sawdust and shavings, both of these materials are poor when it comes to fire protection.

It was even very doubtful for a time as to whether Larson Bros. store and the adjoining building could be saved, the buildings being connected to the YMCA Hall at the rear. The two buildings had been formerly occupied by the Fair Store with a frontage on two streets.

This would put the location of the Fair Store at the corner of East Union and Jefferson Streets. The location of the YMCA Hall building was approximately where the vacant Wisconsin Bell Telephone Company office is now located.

Though the efforts of the firemen who had hoses from four fire hydrants were successful in preventing the fire from reaching the main part of the Larson building, a considerable amount of damage was done to the rear storeroom.

Both buildings were owned by John Pinkerton who stood to stand a considerable amount of loss as he had only $1,500 insurance on the property. The loss to Larson Bros. was due to the damage by smoke and water to the nearly one carload of flour that was stored in the back room. This flour could no longer be sold for human consumption.

After the fire, the people of Waupaca realized that they had escaped what could have been a far more serious fire.

The fire was supposed to have originated from a fire that was left in the stove by the high school boys who were heating the hall for a basketball game that night with Wausau. The game was cancelled that night for obvious reasons, and the Wausau basketball team returned home.

Now some of you may say, Whoa the Fair Store was on Main Street. And so it was, but Nathan Cohen came to Waupaca in 1897, and opened a small store in the Perkins building with one clerk. This building was located on East Union Street. It burned many years ago. The next building to stand there was the former Chris Hansen Studio, next to the old Delavan Hotel. In 1899, Mr. Cohen moved to the John Pinkerton building, also on East Union Street. In 1907, he moved to his new location on South Main Street. This all can be found in the January 10, 1912 edition of the Waupaca Leader.




February 21, 1991


Hakon Martinus Nordvi was born in Martensos, East Finmarken, Trondhyems Still, Norway, February 4, 1829. His father was a well-to-do mercantile merchant in Norway, who had business dealings with merchants from Russia, Spain and Denmark.

The father had the means and wanted young Hakon to go to the best schools to study medicine. Young Hakon spent his early years in a school in Copenhagen, Denmark. At the age of 17 he entered the National University of Norway, at Christiania, where he graduated from the department of medicine.

The urge to become a merchant was too strong in the veins and won out over the medical profession. After the death of his parents and his only sister, he left his native Norway in 1852 and immigrated to America.

It seems as if he came directly to Wisconsin, where he was in the mercantile business in Taycheedah, Fond du Lac County; Manitowoc, Manitowoc County; Fort Howard, Brown County; and Kewaunee, in Kewaunee County.

It was when Hakon was in Manitowoc as a member of the firm of O. Torrison and Company that he became ill and decided to return to his native Norway to see if he could regain his strength. He actually went to New York to embark for Norway, but was too late and he missed the steamer. This possibly was the best luck of his life, as the steamer, the Austria, burned at sea when only a few days out of port and nearly all perished at sea.

He then returned to Wisconsin and to his trade in the mercantile business at Fort Howard.

It was at Fort Howard that he was united in marriage to Mary Jane Hudson on September 29, 1863.

His next move was to Waupaca, in 1865. Here they lived out their natural lives and here they became the parents of four children: Charlotte Annis, George Henry, Alfred Charles and Albert M., who died in 1872, Hakon also had a brother who remained in Norway, and died at Christiania, Norway, in January 1892.

Hakon M. Nordvi was called a living encyclopedia by his friends, as he had a terrific memory. As a linguist besides his native Norwegian he spoke English, French and German. He could translate Greek, Hebrew and Latin.

George Henry Nordvi, the son of Hakon Nordvi, became associated with his father in the mercantile business while he was still in the last years of school. George Henry Nordvis obituary that appeared in the Waupaca County Post in 1928, stated that the building in which he became associated with his father was the Arcade Building. The building has had many different occupants down through the years. Now, 1991, it is known as Merediths Fashion Shop at 109 North Main.

After the death of his father on September 6, 1894, George continued with the business until 1900, when he merged his line with several other merchants and they became the Union Store. In 1905 the business was sold to Nathan Cohen who had recently established the Fair Store.

This later became a part of Schultz Bros. five and dime store. The Kruger food chain had its store in this building until Schultz Bros. remodeled and expanded in 1948.

A city of Waupaca building permit, according to the Waupaca County Post, Oct. 15, 1990, was granted to Hansen, Shambeau and Johnson for conversion of a commercial building at 112 S. Main Street to five apartments and mall arrangement. There is still a doorway on the south end of this building that used to lead upstairs over the old Union store where George James had his furniture store.

After the business was sold, George Nordvi became a salesman representing several lines of merchandise.

George Henry Nordvi was born in Waupaca May 3, 1866, and in 1896 he was married to Blanche Dunbar, who was a teacher in the public schools of the area. They had three daughters: Carolyn, Victoria, and Mary. George died in 1928 and his wife Blanche, died in 1941. All members of the original Hakon Nordvi family are buried in Waupaca.


February 28, 1991


The other day I came across a news item in the Waupaca County Post from October 1921 that drew my attention. It stated that Chris Oyen had received word of the death of his brother, Olaf Henry Oyen, that occurred at his home in Forest Hills, Long Island, NY, on October 23, 1921, at the age of 38. The cause of death was by a cerebral hemorrhage.

Olaf Henry Oyen was born in Christiania, Norway, November 28, 1882. His parents immigrated to the United States and to Waupaca when he was only two years old. He attended Waupaca schools during his boyhood and showed a great aptitude for descriptive writing and had a fondness for hunting, fishing and travel.

At the age of 16 he left Waupaca and went to Chicago, there, for the next two years, he was employed by the Swift Packing Company. He had in the meantime written some short stories that attracted the attention of the Chicago Tribune and he was hired as a reporter for its Sunday section.

The farther that I read the article the more intrigued I became about the author, Olaf Henry Oyen.

I knew that Mrs. Gayhart (Henrietta) Sannes, who lives out on Otto Road between Sheridan and Amherst, is a daughter of Chris Oyen, and would be a niece of Olaf Henry Oyen. I gave her a call one evening to see if she had any history of her uncle. Well, I hit the jackpot. She told me that she had a history written by his wife several years ago, and that she was coming to Waupaca the next day and would bring me a copy of it.

Olaf Henry Oyen always went by the name Henry, perhaps to save the confusion of being mistaken for his father, whose name was also Olaf Oyen. From this point on, I will follow her story as closely as space will allow. You may note some discrepancies, but they do not alter the life of the author, Henry Oyen.

Olaf Henry Oyen was born in Christiania, Norway, November 28, 1882. He was a son of Olaf and Henrietta (Johannason) Oyen, Olaf, the father, had previously come to America and to Waupaca to prepare a home for his little family that remained in Norway.

When only a year old, little Henry Oyen came to Waupaca with his mother, an older sister, Bertha, and a brother, Karl. Olaf Oyen, the father, was like all of the other Norwegians who settled here among the hills and lakes that reminded them so much of their homeland. Olaf was a farmer and sold produce wholesale. The farmers of those days were a close-knit bunch, they helped each other build their homes, put in the crops, and fished and hunted together. Henrietta Oyen took her children to church twice every Sunday. The family was happy in this new land. Karl was always sickly and passed away December 5, 1888, at the age of 13. Two other sons blessed their home. Christopher J. (Chris) was born in 1884, and the baby of the family, Norman Morris, was born in 1888.

Skating on the Chain o Lakes and exploring the woods with his brothers, Henry developed a love for the great out-of-doors, which never left him. Tragedy struck in 1889, when Henry was only six years old. His father suddenly died and money became scarce for the family. After a few lean years the widow decided to move to Chicago, where she had hoped that the children would have a better chance in life. In Chicago, hard times continued and often there was nothing on the table but oatmeal. Henry worked at any job that he could find. Here in Chicago, Henry went to night school and spent as much time as possible in the public library, not only to read, but to keep warm.

As he grew older he tried professional baseball for one season. He next got a job as a bookkeeper with the Swift Packing Company; it was while here that he wrote a short story about an educated Indian, who went primitive under strain, and the story was published by Century. It was on the strength of this story that Henry was hired as a reporter for the Sunday section of the Chicago Tribune. But, what Henry really wanted was to be able to save $2,000 on which to go to New York City and become a novelist. Finally, a well-known publishing house, Doubleday-Page, accepted his first novel and Joey the Dreamer, a story about a boy from the slums of Chicago, was published. They promised to take occasional articles for their magazine The World Work. Although the $2,000 was never saved, one spring day, at the age of 27, after five good years on the Tribune, Henry took the train for New York City.

Henrys mother, with the rest of the family returned to Waupaca to live.

Oscar Caesare, a cartoonist friend from Chicago, who was on a New York newspaper, was living in a room facing Washington Square. It was here that Henry settled in a small room facing the park, the room furnished only with an iron bed, a pitcher and bowl and a straight chair with a hole in the cane seat.

The landlady was a German-Swiss widow and would often say, If only dese lodgers did nefer open the windows, no dust vould come in.

The first summer Henry wrote articles for The World Work. Soon afterwards Henry left for Waupaca where his mother was dying from cancer. Henrietta, his mother, passed away November 17, 1911, in Chicago. After the death of his mother, Henry Oyen returned to Washington Square in New York City. He was still determined to make a name for himself as a fiction writer. He often had said, Id rather starve writing stories than to make a million at anything else.

The going was tough. The World Work had stopped publication, and his stories were being returned. One day in January somebody stole his overcoat and he did not have money enough to buy another. He was now living in a cheaper room, heated only by a smoking oil stove. He soon learned that, when hungry, it was better to stay in bed, that he felt it less; also that peanuts and chocolate bars were cheap and filling.

There was a young lady rooming in the same house who was working on a newspaper, and she suggested that she cook dinner every night in a chafing dish on her fireplace. Henry paid her 37 per night. It really came to more than that, but she had taken a liking to him. Whenever he sold a story, he would generally celebrate by getting a shoeshine, a store shave, and buy some oranges, then he and the lady would take a bus ride up Fifth Avenue, or a 5 round trip ferry ride to Staten Island. One snowy night they walked to the Battery on the Bay, from here they could see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island which was the port of entry into the United States. As Henry gazed over the water he was trying to imagine what it was like here when his mother came to this same spot, met by his father, and himself an infant in her arms.

Toward spring, one year after his return to New York, so many of his stories had been returned that he wrote his brothers asking for a loan to come back to Waupaca. Here he moved in with his two unmarried brothers in a cottage on Otter Lake, which in happier days he had bought for his mother.

(From our dining room window on Otter Lake Drive we can see the general area where the cottage stood).

It was the only cottage on the lake. Here living was cheap. Here they could fish and game was abundant. Here Henry used to stand looking out of the window and wonder how to mend his fortune. Here Henry had the inspiration to write a novel, The Snow Burner. It was about a man of wonderful powers, against a background of those beloved Wisconsin woods. Adventure Magazine bought his works at once and asked for more. Henry wrote the Snow Burner Pays, which Adventure also like, and that was the end of hard times for Henry Oyen.

Henry turned to writing novels. The first two, The Man Trail and Gaston Olaf, both tales of the woods, were published by Adventure Magazine and were later published in book form, as was The Snow Burner.

The Snow Burner and The Man Trail were made into moving pictures by Essanay, a Chicago company. Gaston Olaf was filled by Metro, a forerunner of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. There appeared a billing for the Lyric Theatre in Waupaca, dated June 1, 1916: Waupaca boy stories are dramatized. Henry Oyen, author of the Man Trail, will be shown at the Lyric Theatre.

The history of the Lyric Theatre will be a story in itself, but the location of this building is now the location of Uni-Travel, 104 North Main Street.

Adventure Magazine had asked its readers to vote for the author whom they like best. Henry Oyen won this contest by a large majority.

Henry Oyen was married by this time you guessed it it was to the young lady who had so graciously cooked for him at Washington Square. He did not like New York particularly, but it was the literary center of the country.

Henry changed over to a larger publication, Country Gentlemen. His next novel, Big Flat, also about Wisconsin, came out in the Country Gentleman.

A pattern was established, a new novel almost every year, which was published by the Country Gentleman and was later published as a book by Doran, who after a few years merged with Doubleday and Company. The actual writing of a book took him only six months, during which time he sort of went into seclusion, then loafed around the next six months searching for ideas.

The editor of the Country Gentleman asked Henry to dramatize for them in his novels various activities in different parts of the country. They sent him to the Mississippi Valley for The Plunder, to Louisiana for Twister Trails, and to the Texas oil fields for his last novel Tarrant of Tinspout. Henry did not live long enough to proofread this last novel. He left his widow, Sara, and small son, Henry Jr., a sister, Bertha Moosler, who was a widow of L. A. Moosler of Evansville, Ill. Bertha was born in 1879, and passed away January 25, 1945. Norman M was born July 2, 1888, and passed away February 28, 1952. He was a Navy veteran in World War I.

Henrys body was brought back to Waupaca and was laid to rest in the family plot, along with his parents, Olaf and Henrietta Oyen, his sister, Bertha Moosler, and brothers Karl and Norman.

His other brother, Chris Oyen, who married Charlotte H. Anderson, died in 1960. Both he and his wife are buried in the Salem (Old Swede) Cemetery in the Town of Farmington, Waupaca County. Henrietta, Mrs. Gayhard Sannes, was born in the old Oyen home, which is now the property of the Richard Studleys, on the corner of Otter Drive and Highway 54. This house is due for destruction in the near future to make way for the Highway 54 expansion.




March 7, 1991


The old tannery that stood on the east bank of the Waupaca River just over the bridge is the present location of the Waupaca Glass and Paint Company. This building has undergone several changes from the original structure that was built in 1863 by two gentlemen a Mr. Timme and a Mr. Zahl. They operated here for several years, manufacturing leather from hides.

In 1870 Mr. Timme sold his interest in the tannery to Mr. Zahl, and directed his entire attention to converting leather into harnesses at his new shop on North Main Street. This location became known as the Old Reliable Harness Shop for many years.

The land on which the old tannery now stands was purchased by the Rev. Silas Miller, for $88.40, in 1853, just two years before Waupacas first grist mill was put into operation located on the Pearl (now the Crystal) River. This location later became John W. Evans felting mills, and now is the property of the Shanak Foundry on Churchill Street.

In 1873 Mr. Zahl sold a half interest in the tannery to a Chris Johnson and in 1878 Johnson purchased the remaining half interest.

Christian (Chris) Johnson was born in Denmark on November 28, 1826, a son of John and Mary (Nelson) Johnson. He was the youngest of the five children born to John and Mary Johnson. The other four were John, Soren, Nels and Sophia.

Christian was reared on his fathers farm and attended the local schools. At the age of 23 he entered the artillery service of the Danish Government. For three years he participated in the war raging between Denmark and Germany over the possession of the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein. After he had served his service time he returned to farming and working for others until his marriage in 1856, to Dora Larson. They never had any children.

In 1863 Chris Johnson immigrated to America with very little resources. He reached Waupaca with an indebtedness of $50. For the next several years he worked on a farm for $12 per month, and by 1873 he had saved enough capital to buy the half interest in the tannery with Mr. Zahl.

In 1881 Chris Johnson sold a half interest in the tannery to M. E. Hansen. The competition from the larger tanneries proved too much for the smaller ones and the business of the old tannery gradually shifted to that of dealers in hides instead of the manufacturing of hides into leather.

In 1893 Mr. Hansen sold his interest back to Chris Johnson, but in 1894 Johnson retired and sold the tannery property back to Mr. Hansen, who then expanded the business to a dealership in hides, wool and farm seeds until 1900, when he sold the tannery to Alfred and Jens Peter Johnson who were nephews of Chris Johnson.

After a partnership of four years, Alfred sold his interest to his brother, Jens Peter Johnson, who continued to do an extensive business in the shipping of wool, hides, furs and clover and timothy seed. He continued to cater to the local needs of the community in supplying first-class farm seeds.

Jens Peter Johnson, perhaps better known as J. Peter Johnson, was born in Laaland, Denmark, June 7, 1869, a son of Soren W. and Nellie Johnson. He came to America in the spring of 1882. He was married to Wilhelmina (Minnie) Black in Waupaca, July 14, 1897. Seven children were born to this union: William, Margaret, Waldemar, Catherine, Kenneth, Dorothy and James.

J. Peter Johnson passed away January 31, 1924. After the death of his father, Waldemar left his position with a banking and real estate firm in Slayton, Minn., and returned to Waupaca to take over his fathers business.

Waldemar G. Johnson was born in Waupaca, the second son of J. Peter and Minnie Black Johnson on September 9, 1902, and was married August 28, 1929, in Saxeville, Waushara County, to Juanita Bartleson. They became the parents of two sons: David and Paul. He was married for a second time to Alice Johnson.

Waldemar G. Johnson continued to run the Johnson Seed Company at 214 Water Street until 1976, when he sold out to Richard and Dennis Schultz. It was at that time one of the oldest family names still in business in Waupaca County.

Mr. Johnson once made the remark that he had the privilege of seeing many changes in businesses and in agriculture during his half-century in business in Waupaca. At one time there was a street car line going past his place of business, there was a potato brokerage house, a grist mill and the old blacksmith shop, all within sight of his place. Throughout the years Mr. Johnson modernized his operations and finally devoted his time to garden and lawn seeds.

When he sold out to the Schultzs the old tanning vats were still in the basement under the old tannery part.

I remember coming to Waupaca with my father, who had a cow hide to sell. I remember the trap door that was opened up so they could drop the hides into the basement. The odor that came from the basement was not that of roses. I asked the people who moved into this building, if the vats were still in the basement and was told that they were no longer there.

Waldermar G. Johnson died November 13, 1976, in the Northside hospital in Atlanta, Ga., while en route to Florida. Thus ends the last Johnson associated with the old tannery at 214 Water Street.




March 14, 1991


George Allen was born February 25, 1820 in Sturbridge, Mass. His parents were Timothy and Theresa Marsh Allen, who were members of the Puritan families who were of the stock that settled in Massachusetts when it was a Bay Colony. Ethan Allen of colonial fame was a member of one of the branches of the family, and General T. S. Allen, who was a hero in the Civil War, was also connected with them in their ancestral origin.

When George was six years of age, his parents moved to Madison County, NY, where he grew to manhood. In 1846 he came to Dane County, Wisconsin, before it became a state, and in the following years he returned to Madison County, NY, where he was married to Miss Julia Richmond. She was a granddaughter of Atzar (Abrezer) Richmond, a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

George Allen and his new bride returned to Wisconsin and to the Township of Vinland, Winnebago County. It was here that their only child, a son, Merrick Timothy Allen, was born on August 15, 1850. The little family remained there until the spring of 1856, when they moved to their new home in Section 6, Township of Dayton, Waupaca County.

George Allen enlisted in Company A, 8th Infantry, Wisconsin Volunteers, on September 13, 1861. He served a year with his regiment, and about two years on hospital duty, was discharged on account of disability. He returned to his family and took up farming once more. He remained in charge of the farm until 1880, when he moved to Waupaca to live. Merrick T. Allen grew up working on the farm and was now ready to take over.

I have viewed the microfilm of the diary of the day-by-day events of the life of George Allen that was sent to me by Marion J. Thomas, who is a great-granddaughter of George Allen and lives in California. This diary was kept on a daily basis from 1874 through 1892.

I will start with the May 19, 1874 entry.

George Allen started his basement for a new barn. Sometime later an entry said that the barn had been completed and was being painted as well as was the hop house. (In the history of northern Wisconsin, it states that the Allens had the largest hop house in the county, it being 30x56, and well-equipped.)

An August 1874 entry indicated that they started picking and drying hops: September 15, hauled 12 bales of hops to Waupaca; September 22, 1875, went to the Portage County Fair; July 31, 1875, the bees swarmed for the third time, and in November 1875, he put up a windmill.

Most of the daily entries were farm life related. It seems as if hop growing was his main enterprise in his first years of farming. The diary tells of hop growing from 1874 through 1879. It tells of his going to Ogdensburg and buying hop poles, hauling hop poles, setting hop poles, setting out hops, and tying hops. He mentions corn planting, cultivating, harvesting and husking the corn in the hop house. Other crops mentioned were potatoes, wheat, oats and buckwheat.

In the winter months it tells of cutting and sawing wood by hand, burning the brush and taking the grain to the grist mill to be ground into feed for the cattle.

There were many growing hops in those early years. My grandfather grew hops on his farm, less than a mile from the Allen farm.

It seems that ice and disease started to take their toll on the hops and it no longer was profitable to grow hops. More barns were built and more and more cattle and livestock were being kept by area farmers. George Allen was one of them. In his diary he talked of cattle, sheep and hogs in his farm operation.

Most all of the dates in his diary told about the weather. There were mentions of neighbors and friends who came to see them, as well as their return visits. Many pages were not legible, too faint to read. Some of the writing was hard to decipher because of the spelling. The microfilm was put together by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

George Allen retired in 1880, and his son, Merrick, took control.

Merrick T. Allen was married on March 29, 1871 to Jennie Collins and they had five children: Arvin D., Carrie D., George W., Fay, and Julia. During his active years in farming he was a fancier of the Holstein breed of dairy cattle. It is not clear just who set out the apple orchard, that long has outlasted its usefulness, which is located as part of the campgrounds in the Hartman Creek State Park.

Asa D. (Apple Tree) Barnes, located in Waupaca, had established the Artic Nursery about 1885. It would seem reasonable to assume that Merrick T. Allen set out this orchard from stock purchased from Barnes. John Windfeldt leased this orchard for many years before it became the property of the state of Wisconsin.

As milk production began to increase, the farmers had to have a place to sell their milk, so a group of farmers formed the Spring Hill Creamery Cooperative. The association was organized on February 24, 1903, with the purpose of building a creamery, located at or near Section 6 in the Township of Dayton. Merrick T. Allen sold them one and one-quarter acres of land, dated February 27, 1903. After nearly two decades the creamery ceased to operate and was purchased by John J. Windfeldt on April 1, 1921.

To better explain the location of the Spring Hill Creamery, I would direct you straight through the main entrance of the Hartman Creek State Park, proceeding straight south to the T in the road, turn right, and there on your right, on the south bank of the creek stood the creamery and a house. Before the state closed the road that continued on, it went up past the old Munger place which later became the John J. Windfeldt place. Continuing on, this road came out on County Trunk D, in Portage County. The Gary Grants live at this intersection today. This was the main shortcut to the Wisconsin Veterans Home for people coming from the south and west.

George Allen, the father, died at his home on Fulton Street in Waupaca in 1901, and his wife, Julia, died in 1911. After the death of George Allen, his son, Merrick T. Allen left the farm in charge of his son, George W. Allen, and moved to Waupaca to live with his mother on Fulton Street. This left George W. Allen, the third generation in charge of the Spring Hill Farm, but it was not until 1925 that he came in full ownership.

From the time George W. Allen first took control of the farm he started to convert the dairy farm into a fish ranch. During the 1920s, he cleared the swamps and built dams to regulate the water. In 1930 he built the dam that regulates the flow of water out of the east lake.

Besides investing most of his earning and inheritance into this development, George W. became a serious student of trout propagation. He was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and was a former instructor at the North Dakota Agricultural College, at Fargo, ND.

On January 24, 1927, John J. Windfeldt gave George W. Allen a land lease on the abandoned Spring Hill Creamery and he converted it into a fish hatchery. When the fingerlings were three to four months old, they were transplanted to ponds which would provide them a natural habitat. At first the annual yield was estimated at 300,000. In January 1936 the plantings totaled 3.5 million.

These were in the Depression years and times were tough. In 1935, after borrowing from various private individuals, he faced foreclosure; 247 acres reverted to the state of Wisconsin, and the WPA crews began setting it out with the wonderful pines that we all can enjoy today. It is only a few minutes drive to Waupaca for supplies.

Merrick T. Allen died at his home in Waupaca on October 15, 1928 and his wife, the former Jennie Collins, died at the home of her son, George W. Allen, in Stevens Point in 1962, and is buried with his parents on Lot 590 in the Waupaca cemetery. George W. was born in 1878 and died in Stevens Point in 1962, and is buried with his wife, Mary, in St. Josephs Catholic Cemetery in Stevens Point.

George W. Allen had two sons: George F. of Stevens Point and Walter M. of Kalispell, MT. Walter M. Allen followed in the footsteps of his father and became a fish culturist during the 30s and 40s. He worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and, from 1949 until his retirement in 1968, he was superintendent of the Fisheries for the state of Montana.

The Spring Hill Farm was the foundation of the Hartman Creek State Park, as other holdings were added onto it in later years.

In a June 24, 1976 paper, there was a large article that there was a movement on to rename the Hartman State Park to Allen Creek State Park, or possibly Spring Hill State Park. The article was written by George F. Allen and Walter M. Allen, sons of the late George W. Allen. They listed a good many reasons why the name should be changed, but I dont believe it has ever been pursued farther.






March 21, 1991


Leonard Arnold, the owner of the first and only brewery in Waupaca, was born in Bavaria, Germany, April 15, 1851.

His father was a farmer in their homeland, and did not want to see his son become a farmer, so apprenticed young Leonard out to learn the cooper and brewery trade. This required three years of hard work. After his apprenticeship was completed he worked at his trade for some time before deciding to come to America to seek his fortune.

In 1853 he landed in Boston, MA, and from there proceeded on to Milwaukee, and then to Oshkosh, where he worked at his trade for five years. In 1856, he married Amelia Krouse in Oshkosh. After five years in Oshkosh they moved to Weyauwega and worked there for two years.

In the History of Northern Wisconsin that was published in 1881, it states that he worked in a brewery in Weyauwega. His next move was to Waupaca, to build a brewery for himself.

Warranty Deed, Volume 15, page 620, dated May 21, 1865, shows that Leonard Arnold purchased three and one-quarter acres of land from John Ostertag and his wife, for $100. This property was located on an irregular shaped tract of land between what in later years was the Wisconsin Central railroad tracks on the west and Ballard Street on the east. Ballard Street was the main road out of Waupaca going north toward Scandinavia. How many of you remember the old High Bridge, with the sharp turn just before it entered onto Elm Street? This was the site of many accidents and even deaths before the new Highway 49 was built from Harrison Street north, out over the new High Bridge over the railroad tracks.

On his newly acquired land, he cleared the trees and brush away so that he could build a small 20x40 foot building, and here he started his own brewery.

Arnold built all of his kegs and casks at the brewery, as he was also a cooper. The malt was also ground by hand.

His business prospered and grew, so, by 1881, he owned 24 acres of land, and his brewery was enlarged to 20x100 feet, with an addition of 14x40 feet for machinery and cooling rooms. There was a full basement and a second floor, housing their living quarters. He had his own icehouse, too.

When the construction of the Wisconsin Central Railroad was started in the late 1860s and early 1870s the Arnolds boarded many of the railroad workers. It was in October 1872, that the first train came through Waupaca.

The brewery had a room where the customers could come and sit at a table and order a stein of beer for a nickel.

Leonard Arnold lost an arm on July 4, 1869, at a political campaign in the Waupaca Courthouse Square. The cannon accidentally discharged, blowing off his arm.

The information thus far has been recovered from The History of Northern Wisconsin, published in 1881, from the History of Waupaca County, and various obituaries.

Leonard and Amelia Krouse Arnold had 10 children, of whom eight grew to adulthood. In the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park, on the Arnold lot, there are two small markers, one that has just Charles, no dates, and the other, just Baby, with no dates. On page 524, in the History of Waupaca County, it lists the following children of Leonard and Amelia Arnold: Charles, who died in infancy; Frances; Emma; Carrie; Minnie; Amelia; Hulda; and the twin boys, Leonard and Albert. There is no mention of another baby.

Amelia, the mother, died in 1872 and following that Leonard Arnold married her sister, Frances, who died in 1924.

So far, I have found nothing on Carrie, Minnie or Amelia. Emma was born September 28, 1861 and died January 28, 1931; Hulda T. was born February 25, 1868. The eldest daughter, Frances H., went on to become a lawyer. She was admitted to the bar in 1880, being only the third woman lawyer in the state.

Leonard Arnold died in 1888, and his son, Albert, took over for a few years before he became a local distributor for the Schlitz Brewing Company. The brewery burned to the ground in the early 1900s.

Albert W. was with the Waupaca Police Department for several years and was sheriff of Waupaca County for some time. Leonard O. was also on the police force at the same time, in the early 1900s. There were descendents remaining from these families, but Ill end the story of the Arnold Brewery at this point.




March 28, 1991

Fred Nelson, in 1895, had already built up a good trade in his Waupaca cigar factory that was located near the bridge on Water Street. There are few people who today realize just how much business was done in that little, modest cigar factory.

His output in 1897 was 230,000 cigars. In 1895, Mr. Nelson began to make a new brand, the Legal Tender which equaled the sale of the K.P. and the famous Keystone brand of cigars.

A jobber in Grafton, ND, made arrangements to handle his cigars. He had remarked that he could not get the quality of cigar, for so little anywhere else. A firm in Minneapolis, Minn., also handled his Keystone brand.

Mr. Nelson generally employed about six people in his factory and expected to hire more as business grew. He made 14 brands of cigars, and his local sales in Waupaca alone were in the neighborhood of 5,000 cigars per week.

In June 1895, W. N. Jersild leased the front of the Fred Nelson Cigar Factory, where he opened up a fruit and confectionary store.

Mr. Harold Holly, who is now a resident of Bethany Home, recently told me that Al Born, who lived on Fifth Street, had a cigar factory in his home, and as a young man, he stripped tobacco leaves for him. Al Born had two brothers, Jake and George who both had cigar factories in their own homes as well.

Jesse Cohen, 1919 graduate of Waupaca High School and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Cohen, who were the former owners of the old Fair Store in Waupaca for nearly 25 years, won acclaim for his accomplishments at the piano.

He played over WBBM every Sunday after the ball game.

Jesse had a number of dance orchestras in Madison, before moving to Chicago, Il.




For the most part of 1933, Julius H. Halvorson was seriously ill and during his long months of convalescence he amused himself by writing music and verse.

The song that won him the greatest acclaim was That Wonderful Mother of Mine, for which he wrote both the words and music.

It was published by the DeVaignie Music Corp., Chicago, a firm with branches in London, England, and Melbourne, Australia.

The cover sheet had a red background showing an artists conception of a doorway to a country home. Beneath the title was printed, Words and music by Julius H. Halvorson. Beneath this was the picture of Miss Lora Sanderson. She was the vocalist who brought the son to popularity by her renditions over the radio from a New York Studio.




Another Waupacan who went on to become a star in his own right was Ethwell (Eddy) Hanson, a nationally known master organist, composer, and pianist.

Although Hanson was born in New London, on August 1, 1893, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Hanson, he spent most of his 92 years in Waupaca when not performing on the road.

Eddy Hanson first gained fame at the organ in Chicago, Ill. He was the first radio organist in Chicago, beginning in 1923, on station WDAP, which later became WGN.

From 1924 to 1948 he became staff organist on Chicago stations WBBM, WLS and WCFL.

Through the years Eddy played the organ in various theaters and supper clubs.

Eddy Hanson was at the Golden Voiced Baritone Pipe Organ on the opening night of the Palace Theater here in Waupaca, October 4, 1920. He also played the saxophone, and was a soloist with the John Philip Sousa Band and was a longtime featured performer at the Circus Inn and at Simpsons nightclub here in Waupaca, besides writing and publishing many songs during his career.

There are over 300 of his pieces which are listed with ASCAP. Mr. Hanson passed away in 1986.




April 4, 1991


Dorothy Graham Mills was a daughter of Charles E. and Sara (Strong) Mills, born July 19, 1897, in Montevideo, Minn.

She was raised and attended school there, and always had the love for the stage even from her childhood. Dorothy graduated from the Phail School of Music and Dramatic Arts in Minneapolis, Minn.

Dorothy started out first as the city editor on her fathers newspaper, the Montevideoan Daily American. Four of her five brothers also owned their own newspapers. It was while she was with her fathers newspaper, that she met the man she would eventually marry.

Her stage debut was quite by accident, and brief; it all happened one night in 1922, when an actress with the Acme Chautauqua Company became ill and was hospitalized for two weeks. Dorothys chance was just long enough for her to get the trouping bug in her blood.

After the two-week engagement she returned to work for her father in the newspaper business until the following year, when she joined the Boyd Clark Stock Company in Carroll, Iowa, and the dramatic career of Dorothy Mills shifted into high gear.

Like so many theatrical people she had to make many changes in jobs to secure advancement in her profession.

At the age of 26, she joined the Neil Schaffner troupe in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and then traveled with the Frank Norton Company from Oklahoma City, during the late 1920s.

Dorothy Mills stage name had now become Diana Mills. She stayed with the Norton Company for three years, which included a full months engagement in Houston, Texas. There were nights when she and others from the cast would take in the final acts of the up-and-coming actor, Clark Gable. Ginger Rogers and Guy Kibbee were among other celebrities she met in the theaters.

The new Diana Mills went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, playing summer stock in Iowa and Wyoming with the Boyd Truesdale unit for four seasons. In the beginning of the Depression years she joined the troupe of Leo Truesdale, a nephew of Boyd Truesdale, in South Dakota.

Along with many others in the entertainment world, salary cuts were the order of the day and only a little summer stock work was available. Diana Mills folded with the Truesdale players in Leeds, SD. It was on a Saturday night that they played to a meager crowd of 12; the next day they didnt eat and things were nip and tuck.

She returned to Iowa for a few months before going back to the theater. There was a four-month stand in Montgomery, AL, with Walter Amber, followed by another series of summer stock engagements with Harry Hugo in Nebraska, from 1931 through 1934, and with the Christy Obrecht Troupe. The Depression was still taking its toll.

In 1935 Diana Mills joined a troupe in Aberdeen, Iowa and two years later on September 17,1937, she married the man she had first met in her fathers newspaper office. They were married at Milbank, SD. He was an actor in his own right and a veteran of World War I. This man was Melvin (Blondic) Helgerson who was born August 8, 1893, in Soldiers Grove, WI, a son of Martin and Susan (Nelson) Helgerson. He was the director of his own company, so now the stage names changed to Dick and Dorothy Dickson, and from 1938 through 1946 they played on radio shows in the Dakotas, traveling through many adverse conditions. There was one night when a blinding blizzard forced them to seek shelter in a schoolhouse. They said that this was mild compared to the night they had to sleep on pool tables in Stanley, ND.

After their tour through Wisconsin and Illinois, doing summer stock work, they decided to settle down. In 1948 they made arrangements with J. P. Adler of Marshfield to manage his Waupaca Theatres. For months there was the desire to return to the stage, but as time passed they met many people and the desire faded away.

Melvin (Blondic) Helgerson loved to be in the lobby talking to old friends and making new ones.

Melvin Helgerson passed away at his home in Waupaca on March 1, 1952, and was buried in the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Park, at King. On March 5, 1952, Dorothy, his wife, took over his duties as manager and carried on as he had, meeting the people.

Her beautiful, smiling face will always be remembered by the patrons who attended the Rosa Theatre. Dorothy Helgerson was the person who counted the last nights receipts when the Palace Theatre closed its doors forever on January 12, 1957.

Dorothy continued to run the Rosa Theatre until September 7, 1962, when she passed away at her home in Waupaca, from a heart attack, three weeks before her planned retirement. She was laid to rest in the Wisconsin Veterans Home Memorial Cemetery, beside her husband.




April 11, 1991


Erastus C. Sessions, better known as E. C. Sessions, was one of the first five Vermonters to arrive at the Falls (Waupaca) in the summer of 1849. He erected a 12x13 foot log cabin, with a bark roof and a bark floor, near the granite ledge where the old Danes Home is located.

There was not a board used in the construction, as the first sawmills were not in operation yet.

Since E.C. Sessions was a bachelor and had a home, he began thinking of marriage. It seems as if he already had someone in mind: a special lady who was living with friends in the southeastern part of the state, who had come from the green hills of Vermont the year before.

E.C. Sessions was married somewhere in the southeastern part of the state, and immediately started back to the Falls. They had an unusual wedding trip, that you could hardly call a honeymoon.

The wedding trip back began by taking the stagecoach to Fond du Lac, thence by steamer to Oshkosh, and on to find their way up the Wolf River. At Oshkosh they chartered a schooner, as it was called, capable of carrying three to four tons of freight. The schooners crew consisted of two men. They left Oshkosh in mid-afternoon with a fair wind, expecting to reach Butte des Morts, or even Winneconne, before dark. But they were in the middle of Lake Butte des Morts when the wind subsided and it became very calm. They were at a standstill. The water was too deep to use the poles, but a tie-up was finally made to a raft of logs.

There they were, newlyweds, out in the open boat with only a single cover for a bed, and in the company of two total strangers, with the unsympathetic moon looking straight down on them. Dawn finally came with a breeze that took them out of Lake Butte des Morts and into the channel leading to Winneconne. By much hard work the party reached Winneconne as the sun was sinking behind the horizon. Here they found shelter at the home of the Mumbrues.

Capt. David Scott and a Mister Gard joined the crew the next day, helping whenever necessary. The progress was slow going through Lake Winneconne and around the Indian pay grounds in Lake Poygan. Averse winds hindered their progress, but by repeated tackings back and forth across the lake they reached the entrance of the Wolf River. It was now evident to the newlyweds that they could make better time if they left the main craft and used the rowboat that was being towed behind. Scott, Gard and the newlywed pair pressed on with Gard as the steersman, and the other two being the motive power, with the bride seated in a rocking chair in the middle of the boat. Their destination was Little River where a sawmill was being erected. It is not clear just where they disembarked and left the Wolf River was it at the place that became known as Gills Landing, or was it at a point downriver where they could proceed straight west to Little River? At any rate, night was coming on, but they continued on foot through the timber and darkness. To make things worse, at one point water was some rods in width and several inches in depth. This was overcome by carrying the bride safely across.

The next morning a walk of five miles brought the weary party to the Chandler Settlement, where they found women, children and the comforts of home. The party pressed on to the Falls where they started a new life in the log shanty with the bark roof and the bark floor.

I never found out what E.C. Sessions wifes maiden name was, but her first name was Abigail (Abby).

E.C. Sessions was a businessman, so he set out and laid claim to three of the original 40s in the plat of the Village of Waupaca, and one in the Third Ward.

About 1850, Rev. Silas Miller came to the Falls in search for a good location for a sawmill. E. C. Sessions had just what he was looking for, and made a deal whereby he traded his farm and livestock at Alto, Fond du Lac County, for Mr. Sessions entire holdings. Mr. Sessions then moved to the property that he bought northwest of the Falls; this was then called Sessions Prairie, and is now Sheridan.

It was not known to me until recently when the Sessions family left the Waupaca area. On March 4, 1991, I received a letter from Mrs. John (Shirley) McArthur, of McArthur, CA, asking me to do some research. In the letter she included a copy of the Reminiscences of Edward P. Sessions, who was a son of E.C. and Abigail Sessions. It has been said that he was the first white boy born in Waupaca. This goes on to tell when they left the area, and an interesting story of their lives in the West. The McArthur families left the Waupaca area and founded the city of McArthur, CA, in 1902.




April 18, 1991


The reminiscences of Edward P. Sessions confirm when, exactly, the Sessions family left the Waupaca area for the far west. Edward Parish Sessions was a son of Erastus C. and Abigail Sessions, and was the first white boy to be born in Waupaca County.

It was one spring day in 1858, when E. C. Sessions, as he was better known, along with William and Robert Steele, started out for Pikes Peak, CO. While on their journey westward they met a party coming back from Pikes Peak, and after talking to them, they switched their course and headed for California, wintering on the old Shaffer ranch, which later became the George Mapes ranch, about 10 miles west of Amadee. They mined on the Feather River for a couple of years before E.C. Sessions went to Nevada to prepare a home for his family, coming soon from Waupaca.

On May 1, 1861, Mrs. Esther Steele and her three children Sophia, Alex, and Minnie; Mrs. Abigail Sessions, with her three children John Orville, Edward Parish and Charles Dana all left Waupaca for new frontiers in the west. Mrs. Sessions left behind a little grave in the Waupaca cemetery, that of Abby C. Sessions, who was the only daughter of E.C. and Abby Sessions, who had died on September 14, 1856, aged 11 weeks and two days.

Jule Cody, Lon Harris and a couple of others were hired on to escort this little caravan of pioneers to Nevada. The caravan consisted of the two grown women and their six children, a crew of four, two covered wagons, and two yoke of oxen. They left Waupaca heading for Council Bluffs, IA, crossing the river there, through Omaha, NE, and up the north side of the Platte River, to Sweetwater Valley and then Fort Bridger, over the Rocky Mountains and down into Salt Lake City, UT.

The trip to Salt Lake City was not without incident. On the plains along the North Platte the children had to gather buffalo chips for the campfires and cooking purposes. To make matters worse Mrs. Sessions best ox got alkalied so the load had to be lightened by throwing out many of her precious keep-sakes. Abigail, better known as Abby, cried as if her heart would break.

The children had to walk as much as possible until they could find another ox. Their bare feet became chapped and sore.

Mr. Steele met the little caravan at Salt Lake City and he happened to have an extra ox. The caravan was now under his guidance. He took them down through the Humboldt Valley, Carson Sink, to Silver City, NV, where they arrived about October 20, 1861, after 173 days on the trail. Silver City, Gold Hill and Virginia City were the three mining towns of the Comstock Lode, all within a few miles of each other.

At one point between Salt Lake City and Silver City, Mr. Steele lined the children up and made them eat some chopped-up onions with some salt. It was said that it made the tears come to their eyes, and they were the strongest onions that they ever ate. Mr. Steele had a very good reason for the onions. Scurvy was a common and dreaded affliction among overland immigrants, and raw onions, being rich in vitamin C, were commonly used as an antiscorbutic.

The little caravan from Waupaca did not encounter any Indians, although they had someone stand guard at night. They were relieved when they arrived at Salt Lake City, because Mr. Steele told them that the Indians were peaceful, as there was no Indian war in progress in 1861.

Shortly after arriving at Silver City, E.C. Sessions built a two-room house where they spent the winter. In the spring of 1862, the Sessions moved in Virginia City, and lived there until April 18, 1863, when they moved to Truckee Meadows, CA, where Mr. Sessions had bought a ranch. Truckee Meadows was approximately 16 miles west of Reno, NV. There was now a new addition to the family; Carrie was about five weeks old when they moved from Nevada into CA.

In the fall of 1864, E.C. Sessions was county commissioner of Washoe County, NV, and the family moved back to Washoe City, which was the county seat. It was here in Washoe City that another girl, Celia, was born January 14, 1865. E.C. Sessions lived in Washoe City and had his ranch over in California. E.C. Sessions started a milk business in Reno, NV and Edward P. peddled milk for 2-1/2 years for his father.

In 1869 E.C. Sessions, his wife, Abby, and three of their children Charles, Carrie and Celia went back to Vermont to visit relatives. Orville and Edward, with a hired man, stayed home and ran the ranch and dairy business. When the family returned from Vermont, Aunt Bessie Parish returned with them, later marrying C.H. Eastman. Now this tells me that Abigail had a sister, Bessie Parish, so Abigails maiden name had to be Parish. After returning from Vermont, Mr. Sessions started Edward and Orville out in the cattle business. He gave them eight cows.

There are several pages of the Reminiscences of Edward P. Sessions that goes on about the trials and tribulations of being a rancher. Edward tells of several cattle drives that he made from Truckee Meadows to Fort Bidwell, in Modoc County, which is in the extreme northeastern corner of California.

He and his brothers trailed some horse thieves over 2,000 miles; there was claim jumping; rodeoing; dry summers with little feed and cold winters with deep snows.

By 1890, he had a herd of 750 head of cattle, only to lose one-third of them that winter.

In 1892, Edward Sessions purchased 300 feet of light well casing and in 1893 he put in wells. He no longer had to break the ice each morning before the cattle could drink. Edward Sessions was now in Modoc County, CA, and like so many other pioneer ranchers in Modoc County, their ranches finally passed out of the family ownership when they were combined with other pioneer properties, to become the Sagehorn Ranch.

Edward Parish Sessions, the first white boy to be born in Waupaca County, was married in the spring of 1877. There is no mention of his wifes name. After retiring, Edward Sessions moved to Berkely, CA, to live. He died there February 11, 1928, aged 75 years.




April 25, 1991


Godfrey is an old pioneer name in Waupaca.

Thomas Godfrey was born in County Derry, on the Emerald Isle, July 13, 1823; his parents were Robert and Mary (Orr) Godfrey. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Godfrey had a family of eight children, five sons and three daughters. Thomas was the third in order of births.

Thomas remained and helped on the family farm in Ireland until the spring of 1846 when he came to America. His parents supplied him with what money he needed for his passage. He said goodbye to his parents and friends and set sail from Londonderry on the vessel Fannie. The crossing took six weeks and three days before the Fannie dropped anchor in the harbor of Philadelphia.

He had heard of the advantages and opportunities afforded in the New World, and he was willing to work at anything that would yield him an honest living. His first employment was as a driver of an ice wagon for $10 per month. After some time he became dissatisfied with Philadelphia and moved north to Germantown and worked as a farm hand in that locality for nearly three years. He also served as coachman for two years for a Judge Kane who was the father of Elisha Kane, the Arctic explorer, who was spending some time at home. He often rode behind the horses that were driven by Thomas Godfrey.

In the spring of 1851, our subject developed the urge to come westward. He first went by boat through the Hudson River to Albany, NY, then by rail to Buffalo, by boat to Toledo, OH, by rail again to New Buffalo, MI, then across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee.

In Milwaukee he caught a ride with a farmer from Big Foot Prairie who was returning home after taking a load of grain to market. From this point he started out on foot in search of government land to buy. He circled around in south-central Wisconsin, visiting Janesville, Fort Atkinson, Beloit, Johnstown Center, Watertown, Oak Grove and on to Strongs Landing (Berlin). He stayed in Berlin one night and then set out for Waupaca. It has been written that he crossed the Waupaca River at Waupaca where the old electric light plant was built years later. He struck a trail leading northwest and came to what became Sheridan. He chose 120 acres in Section 7, which became the Town of Farmington, and 80 acres in what later became the Town of Lanark, Portage County.

This was in 1851 and not a furrow had been turned or any improvements had been made. The Indians roamed the area and the game was plentiful, in what was still Indian land.

After three months Mr. Godfrey walked to Kane County, IL, where he worked for four seasons on a farm, returning at intervals to his farm west of Waupaca to make what improvements he could afford. He gradually saved enough money to buy some stock and farm implements and soon began to cultivate his own land.

For a time he was engaged in teaming, hauling goods for merchants from Ripon to Stevens Point. He found time to spend a few months each year to improve his farm. On September 27, 1861 he married Elizabeth Pinkerton in Waupaca. She was a native of County Antrium, Ireland. She was born September 18, 1843, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Pinkerton. She was only about four years old when she came to America with her parents.

Thomas and Eliza Pinkerton Godfrey were the parents of 10 children: Samuel, William, Mary, Ella, Robert, Elizabeth B., James and George. A son, Robert, and a daughter, Mary Ann, died when less than a year old. They are both buried on the Godfrey lot in the Sheridan Cemetery.

Thomas Godfrey died April 19, 1899, and his wife, Elizabeth, died March 4, 1898. They are buried in the Sheridan Cemetery with other members of the family.

Their son, Samuel P. (Sam) Godfrey, was one of Waupacas most successful businessmen. He was born June 8, 1865 on the family farm in Section 7, Township of Farmington near the Portage County line, west of Sheridan.

At the age of 17, he became dissatisfied with life on the farm, and decided that farming was not the vocation for him. He left home with the intention of attending school, but instead he hired out to work as a clerk in a general store. After he had saved enough money to buy in on a half interest in a business, Waupaca became his new home.

After three years in the partnership, he sold out his half interest and spent the next two years as an insurance salesman. At the end of the two years it was evident to him that selling insurance was not for him, either.

Sam P. Godfreys next venture was selling farm implements for one of the larger farm implement companies. He found that he liked this type of work. His past experience in business had given him a thorough knowledge of the implement business, so he went out on his own and bought a large stock of farm implements.

His first place of business was on East Union Street, located approximately midway between the old Browne Law Office and the present Waupaca Hotel, and from 1896 until 1944 he remained in the farm implement business in Waupaca.

I have been told that when he first started out on his own, that when a representative from an implement company would make their annual round to settle up his bills, they would take inventory of returned and damaged stock. They would begin by making two piles of merchandise. If they agreed on the value of a particular piece, it was thrown into one pile, and if they disagreed it was put on the other pile. That is when the real dickering began, and often lasted for hours.

His business grew rapidly and his trade came from many miles in every direction from Waupaca. In 1906 he bought out the stock of implements from his stiffest competition, J. F. Gallagher, and added it to his own on Union Street. The J. F. Gallagher place of business was located at the corner of West Fulton and South Washington Streets, now the location of the Waupaca Youth and Senior Citizens Building (southeast corner of intersection).

In 1902 Sam P. Godfrey ran such advertisements as this in the local newspaper: Racine Runabout buggies, a complete line of plows, seeders, drills, drags, McCormick binders, mowers, corn binders, pianos and sewing machines.

On October 5, 1908, Sam P. Godfrey purchased the former place of business of J.F. Gallagher from John and Mary Pinkerton.

He had the agency for the DeLaval cream separator and McCormick Deering machinery and parts. In 1909 his ads were for Iron Age four row potato sprayers and potato diggers.

Mr. Godfrey claimed that he owed his success to the fact that he handled only the very best of any line that he had taken on. His dealings with customers were fair, square and upright, and a satisfied customer was said to be his main object at all times.

He was Waupacas postmaster from 1914 to 1921. He served as director and vice president of the Farmers State Bank for 28 years, and was on the Waupaca City Council for 10 years.

Sam P. Godfrey retired from business in 1944, and leased the building to the Thompson Implement Company and in 1953 he joined partnership with Werner Jensen and they started the Ford Implement business at that location until 1963, when they moved to their new location one mile east of Waupaca. The building was razed to make room for a new brick building that was to become the home of the Waupaca Youth and Senior Citizens Building. That ended another of Waupacas old wooden buildings.

On January 21, 1891, Samuel P. Godfrey was united in marriage to Edna M. Plowman, daughter of Jabez and Sarah Shaw Plowman.

To this union three children were born: Edwin, who became a lawyer; Marjorie, who became a teacher; and Myron P., who at the age of 21, became associated in business with his father until October 1915, when he went into the automobile business for himself, selling Studebakers.

Myron (Mike) Godfrey was married June 11, 1918, to Mabel Nelson, and they had two children Tom and Dorothy and the Godfrey name carries on in Waupaca.




May 2, 1991


An Admiral in the U.S. Navy once called Waupaca his hometown. Capt. C. E. Ekstrom and family paid a visit to his hometown, Waupaca, in August of 1950. While here they were guests at the Fred Suhs home. The naval officer had just been relieved of command of the aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt and was en-route to his new command, the navy station on Whidbey Island, Wash.

In 1951 he was promoted to the temporary grade of rear admiral. Ekstrom was selected for promotion to what the Navy calls flag rank by a board in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1951, and was approved by the President of the United States, Harry Truman, 10 days later.

Shortly after the President approved his selection for the promotion, Ekstrom received his orders detaching him as commanding officer of the Whidbey Air Station, and directed him to report to San Diego as chief of staff to Vice Admiral T. L. Sprague, naval air commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Clarence E. Ekstrom was born in Waupaca on March 10, 1902, a son of John and Mathila Ekstrom. He graduated from Waupaca High School and shortly afterward he entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD. It was there that he earned the nickname Swede.

After graduating from Annapolis in 1924, he completed his flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station and was assigned to the Navys historic aircraft carrier, the U.S. Langley, in 1929.

Ekstrom returned to the Naval Academy for a post-graduate course in aeronautical engineering. He completed this training in 1931 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a years duty at the naval aircraft factory in Philadelphia, PA.

In 1935 Ekstrom went on shore duty in Washington, D.C., in the Bureau of Aeronautics. It was during this time that he met and married a Seattle, Wash. girl, Elizabeth Lodoll, and to them a son, John, and a daughter, Martha, were born.

During World War II he commanded patrol and seaplane squadrons and was an executive officer aboard the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill. He also commanded the carrier escort Savo Island in action against the Japanese in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Navy Cross, Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star.

Admiral Ekstroms later duties involved commands of Carrier Division 17 during the Korean War and Carrier Division 6 with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea.

In October 1959 Admiral Ekstrom became the commander of the Pacific Navy Air Force at San Diego. He retired there in 1962.

Admiral Clarence E. Ekstrom died January 10, 1986, in San Diego. A private burial with full military honors was held at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

This is most probably the only time that a naval officer of such high rank has called Waupaca his home.

(The material for this article was found in the July 19, 1951, edition of the Waupaca County Post and the obituary for Admiral Clarence E. Ekstrom.)










May 9, 1991


Recently I came across two interesting items: one from the January 27, 1916 issue of the Milwaukee Sentinel, captioned Unique Family in Sports, and the other a family picture of T. M., Oscar, Carl, Alfred and William, the Cook Family Bowling Team of Waupaca, in the March 3, 1910, issue of the Waupaca Record.

It seems as if there was a statewide organization whereby families competed against families in bowling.

In 1907 the father, Theodore M. Cook, with four of his sons, formed their family team. The article that appeared in 1910 indicated that the Cook family had competed several times since 1907, and never was defeated.

In the winter of 1910, Theodore M. Cook, with four of his sons, defeated F. W. Kehl and his sons of Madison, at a tournament that was held in Milwaukee to claim the State Family Bowling Championship.

The Cook Family Bowling Team made everyone who was interested in bowling stand up and take notice. The Cook family teams game was off the night that they defeated the Kehl family in Milwaukee, but managed to win by six pins. The entire Cook and Kehl families were invited to a banquet that was held in the Blatz Hotel in Milwaukee.

The highest scores ever rolled by the Cook family team up to 1910 was an 893, a 967 and a 1,030. That was an average of 192 for the five men, for the three games. The highest individual score was a 272, rolled by William R. Cook.

It was also in February 1910 that the Cook family team went to a tournament in Stevens Point, where they won the Wisconsin River League Championship.

Theodore M. Cook was once a member of the National Gun Club and the champion trapshooter of Wisconsin. His best record was 93 out of a possible 100. He often remarked that his boys could also shoot a little.

Theodore M. Cook was born in 1856 and passed away in November 5, 1939. He was married to Johanna Anderson in the Town of Farmington on June 26, 1885. She had been born in Turndrup, Denmark, September 4, 1864. They were the parents of seven sons: Carl, Oscar, William and Irving of Waupaca; Dr. Alfred of Lancaster, Dr. Arthur of Stevens Point; and Edward, who was a teacher at Hayward.

Mrs. Cook died January 18, 1936. Her pallbearers were all men with familiar names in Waupaca: Will C. Ware, Oscar and Charles Larson, Chr. J. Miller, Peter Holst, and D. C. Hayward of Weyauwega.




May 16, 1991


This will be a bits and pieces column.

An old Civil War relic, a muzzle-loader converted into a shotgun, was found by George Gregorson in 1921 on his Route 3, Waupaca, farm.

Stranger even than the appearance of the gun is the way that it was found.

George Gregorson was walking through the woods on his farm one day when he noticed a peculiar bunch of branches protruding from the trunk of a tree.

The branches grew outward and back to the trunk in a peculiar manner. After cutting the branches and part of the trunk he discovered the aged firearm, overgrown by limbs, laying in such a way as to indicate that someone had placed the gun in the fork of the tree and left it there until the tree branches had completely hidden it.




The Chapel Car St. Anthony arrived at the Wisconsin Central depot in Waupaca on a Monday and remained until Tuesday in the summer of 1908. This was a beautiful car constructed to make a church, with accommodations for 100 people, costing $25,000, being donated by Ambrose Petry in memory of his parents, John and Caroline Petry.

The Chapel Car attracted great crowds throughout the country as it toured. The Chapel Car was used by the Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States. Although the majority of those attending were Catholics, thousands of various denominations took advantage of seeing this beautifully constructed church on wheels.




In April of 1908, Postmaster A. M. Penney notified the people of Waupaca that he had not received the official notice to start city free mail delivery, because of the questions with the number and condition of the sidewalks, although Waupaca had more walks than many cities with free delivery.

A month later, Postmaster Penney received word from Washington that the Post Office inspector who had recently visited Waupaca recommended that as soon as the street signs and house numbers were erected, the city delivery could be initiated.

The territory for delivery was bounded as follows: Beginning at the south end of Main Street, thence north in a direct line including Washington Street to Badger Street. Thence west to Franklin Street, thence north to Fulton Street, thence west to one and one-half blocks beyond Harrison Street and including Morton Street, thence one and one-half blocks south to Fulton Street, then north one block to and including North Fulton Street, thence northeast to Harrison Street, thence north to Hulda Street, thence east to Elm Street, thence northeast to the Wisconsin Central Railroad, thence directly east to Jensen Street, thence south to the Wisconsin Central Railroad, thence southeasterly along the line of said railroad to Miller Street, thence in a direct line to the south corner of School and Royalton Streets, thence west to Berlin Street, thence south one and one-half blocks, thence southwest to the point of beginning.

City delivery began Monday, Nov. 16, 1908, with Will Ottman and John Kiffner as carriers. They were all decked out with their new uniforms.

Mr. Ottman delivered mail to all of the business places and the First and Third Wards north of Mill Street. Mr. Kiffner delivered to the residences in the Fourth, Second and Third Wards to Mill Street.




In the spring of 1911, A. E. Cartwright established a grocery delivering service to the people of Waupaca. In July, only three months later, a notice appeared in the local paper, that the parcel delivery was being discontinued due to the lack of patronage by the local merchants.

The merchants that had supported the delivery system were: The Peterson Grocery Co., J. E. Cristy, E. W. Czeskleba, Mortenson and Co. and S. J. Danielson.




The earthquake which was felt over large sections in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan on May 26, 1909, was felt to a slight degree in Waupaca.

In several places throughout the city the shock was felt: chairs rocked and dishes rattled, but the disturbance was attributed to a heavy blast at the quarry.




In April 1909, the lease had expired on the old park grounds on the Larson farm.

Irving P. Lord of the Waupaca Electric Light and Railway Co. obtained a 10-year lease for a new location of approximately eight acres for park purposes on a trace of land owned by John Pryse which adjoins the railway track on the north and the Frank Benedict farm on the west.

Mr. Lords plans were to fit up the park in fine style for baseball, tennis, football and trapshooting as well as other sports. The park on the Larson farm was to be discontinued and the grandstand fence moved to the new location. A side track was to be put in and ample platform accommodations provided to the public. There would be a 5 fare to the park.

There was to be a 15 minute schedule with a 10-minute running time between the city and the ballpark.




May 23, 1991


From the Waupaca Record, May 23, 1912, comes this story about the origin of Memorial Day.

Early in 1866, just after the close of the Civil War, Mrs. Mary A. W. Howard, widow of a Confederate officer, suggested the setting apart of a day for placing flowers on the graves of Confederate soldiers, and for appropriate memorial exercises.

This idea was received with general approval, and on April 26, 1866, it was made the first Confederate Memorial Observance. This southern idea appealed to the sentiments of the men and women of the north. In 1868, General John A. Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army, issued an order calling for Memorial Day exercises May 30, 1868.

When I was a young lad going to the Pickerel Lake school at Blaine, the school put on a program each Memorial Day at the Blaine Methodist Church.

Memorial Day was a big day for us kids. We had parts and songs to learn.

The main attraction each year was Hannah Rebecca Sutherland Taylor reciting the Gettysburg Address. She pleased the audience with her rendition until she was in her 90s. She was born in 1838 and passed away in 1933. Mrs. Taylor was the wife of Albert Taylor, who was a Civil War veteran. She remembered all about the Civil War, and had many memories of it. She still wrote poetry while she was in her 90s.

After the church services, everyone went to the First Belmont Cemetery in one large body. Here all the children placed flowers on the veterans graves. These flowers were picked mostly the day before. These flowers were picked in the wild, mostly violets, paint brushes, lilacs, lady slippers, or any flower that was blooming at that time of year. In those days the people did not have the nice flower gardens. Before the automobile, there used to be a long string of horse-drawn conveyances going to the cemetery.

How times have changed. The school house has long been removed, and now pine tree plantings hide the original location. The old church that was built in 1875 has stood empty for many years now, deteriorating each day, and the old custom of Memorial Day exercises like that exists no more.

The Waupaca Post of May 29, 1902, lists 59 Civil War veterans, one Mexican War and four Spanish-American War veterans graves that would be decorated on Memorial Day at the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.

In 1986 I received a computer list of 429 veterans who are buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery. It lists 163 Civil War, 147 WWI, 85 WWII, 19 Spanish-American War, four Korean, two Vietnam, two Mexican War, one War of 1812, and six peacetime veterans.

I just received a list from the Veterans Office of all veterans who passed away from May 1, 1990, to May 1, 1991, in Waupaca County. The rundown goes like this: 53 WWII, 10 peacetime, 13 Korean, seven Vietnam, three WWI, and one who served in both Korea and Vietnam. This totals 87 in all.


Let us not forget our veterans on this upcoming Memorial Day.


May 30, 1991


Waupaca has had many men and women who have followed an honorable profession.

This article is about a printer who may have set a record for dedication to his profession. This printer retired after 51 years of service, and then only because he had to. This was the prominent Alderman J. Henry Christenson, who was a veteran printer of the local newspapers in Waupaca.

He was born July 9, 1878, in Medford, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Mads Christenson. The Christenson family came to Waupaca in 1884 when J. Henry was only six years old. His given name was really James Henry, but he always went by Henry.

James Henry Christenson was 12 and 13 years of age when he spent two years on the farm of James and Nancy Smith, north of Blaine, in the Town of Belmont, Portage County. He attended the District Number 8 School (Pickerel Lake) in the winter of 1891 when he was 13 years old. Hannah Tobin was the teacher in 1890 and 1891. This was the same school that I attended from 1921 through 1929.

At the age of 14, J. Henry Christenson started at the Waupaca Post as a student apprentice. He became the foreman of the shop in 1907 when J. L. Sturtevant moved to Wausau.

He was one of the partners who purchased the Waupaca Post in November of 1908 and merged with the Republican, later, to form the Republican Post. When the Warner Brothers purchased the Waupaca County Post in 1946, Mr. Christenson remained with the paper, but was forced to retire in 1947 due to ill health. Fifty-one years is quite a record.

He served as alderman from the Fourth Ward, and he was elected president of the Common Council in 1947. At the time of his death a year later, he was chairman of the council committee negotiating the purchase of the Armory to be converted into a Civic Auditorium and Recreation Center. He belonged to several fraternal organizations in Waupaca.

James Henry Christenson passed away at his home at 421 West Fulton Street, May 23, 1948. His obituary states that One of the finest tributes which could be paid his industrious character, is the fact that in 51 years as a printer he never missed a paycheck.

Officiating at his funeral were his two nephews, Rev. Austin Sorenson and Rev. Henry Sorenson. He was laid to rest in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park Cemetery. Among the survivors were his widow, Lucille Ermine Mowry; two daughters, Mrs. Theodore Stearns of Berlin and Mrs. Carl Ter Haar of Stevens Point; and one sister, Mrs. Walter Sorenson of Waupaca.




June 6, 1991


On March 16, 1886, an Article of Incorporation was signed by a dozen citizens of Waupaca, to form the Waupaca Electric Light Association, the purpose and object of which was to purchase, locate and operate an electric plant in the City of Waupaca.

Irving P. Lord was a businessman who envisioned that the introduction of electricity to Waupaca and surrounding area would be a shot in the arm to the development and economy of Waupaca. It seems that when it came to financing such an undertaking, the businessmen of Waupaca did not share Mr. Lords enthusiasm.

Lord, as president, and Mr. W. B. Baker, as secretary, attempted to sell bonds to the people of Waupaca. Only one man agreed to buy a single share of stock worth $100. When the time came to pay for the stock this man was excused from fulfilling his contract, and as a result Lord and Baker furnished the entire capital required, by themselves.

Lord had already had dreams of connecting Waupaca to the Wisconsin Veterans Home by electric railway. On June 23, 1898, there was an Article of Incorporation drawn up to form the Waupaca Electric Light and Railway Company. Its purpose was to furnish electric light, and power to maintain and operate a street railway. Lord and his wife and Baker and his wife became the principal officers.

Before continuing further I will interject a little about Irving P. Lords early life. Irving Parish Lord was born in Waupaca on October 10, 1858, the eldest son of George Loren and Hannah Parish Lord.

He attended the public school in Waupaca and graduated with the first of the Waupaca High School class in June 1876. The following August he went to the state of Nevada, where he put in a year teaching school and doing newspaper work.

In September 1877, he returned to Wisconsin and entered Lawrence College at Appleton and finished his sophomore year in 1878. Lord then studied law at Waupaca in the office of Judge C. S. Ogden and F. F. Wheeler, was admitted to the bar in March 1881, and he opened his own law business in the Lord building on North Main Street. He specialized largely in commercial and corporate law. He remained active in law business until he moved to Los Angeles, CA, about 1923. Jeff Fletcher, the grandson of Mike Fletcher Sr., the originator of Fletchers Jewelry Store, told me that he had in his possession the law books of Irving P. Lord that were found in the building at 204 North Main Street. This is the building in which Mike Fletcher Sr. first operated his own jewelry store. On November 9, 1891, Irving P. Lord was married to Grace Allen Beach in Dewitt, IA, and they had three children, a daughter, Betty, and two sons, Reginal and Allan. Allan died in an accident on October 20, 1912, at the age of 11.

Irving P. Lords dream of connecting Waupaca to the Wisconsin Veterans Home became a reality on July 4, 1899. At the signal from W. B. Baker, at 2 p.m., the cars rolled from the barn as they started on their maiden trip to the Wisconsin Veterans Home.

But before all of this could become a reality more money had to be raised to build the streetcar line. Lord and Baker closed a deal for floating bonds on May 4, 1899, the contract for building the line was completed a short time later, and a franchise was granted to the company by the City of Waupaca and the Farmington Town Board.

There was a scarcity of men, but 20 teams and 50 men started the task of laying the tracks. Laborers were paid $1.50 per day. By June 1, 1899, 50 cars of material had been shipped to Waupaca on the Wisconsin Central Railroad, including 500 tons of steel rails. On June 16, five streetcars from Milwaukee arrived at the Wisconsin Central Depot. These included two motor cars, two trailers and one baggage car. Construction was delayed for a few days by the lack of supplies, including iron and copper strips which connected the rails electrically. By June 29, the poles had been set and the electric wires were strung. The car barn was 40 by 100 feet, located at the corner of Mill and Oak Streets. It was reported that the tickets would be for sale at 20 rides for $2.50, single rides at 15 and within the city, a nickel.

The streetcar line finally totaled over five miles of track, beginning at the Wisconsin Central Depot, which became the Soo Line in 1909. The line passed over the Waupaca River on Mill Street, down part of Main Street to Fulton Street, then west up Fulton Street. This was a long, steep climb, and it has been said that so much power was used by the streetcar in negotiating the grade that all electric lights in Waupaca dimmed. The line left Waupaca on what is now Highways 22, 10 and 54. One mile west of Waupaca is Chadys Corners. This was known as the intersection of Home and Penney roads. There was at one time a small store located there, and a platform on which passengers could wait for the streetcar. Nearby was the ballpark located approximately in the area of Noffkes lumberyard. Sunday baseball games often attracted many people who used the electric railway for transportation. Back to the north of the intersection of the Penney property, was Penneys Shooting Park, which was located in the area of todays River Bend Sports Shop.

The track turned south, following the old Indian trail now County Trunk QQ on its way to the Chain O Lakes. At the Wisconsin Veterans Home (King), the streetcar stopped where people waited for rides, either to the Grand View Hotel or back to Waupaca. This top was originally Mr. Johnsons store, which was later moved to the Wisconsin Veterans Home Memorial Cemetery where it was used as a morgue for many years. Later, the streetcar stopped at Spindts store. This building is now being razed to make room for a new branch bank for the Farmers State Bank of Waupaca.

After leaving Spindts store, the track took a right turn at the point where Rumors tavern is now located, then up the hill overlooking Rainbow Lake to a depot at Downeys Dock. In June 1914, the Electric Park was opened in this general area. One of the advertisements read as follows: The Ideal spot to spend the 4th of July. Tables and benches for picnic parties; soft drinks, ice cream, candies; boating, bathing, canoeing, dancing afternoons and evenings. The dance pavilion is Waupacas choicest spot for the Independence Day frolic. Come and dance to the special waltz dedicated to the Electric Park.

The Waupaca Post for April 20, 1899 said, the building of the electric road would mean much to the Chain o Lakes and would greatly add to the city and vicinity as a summer resort.

The famous Grand View Hotel was built in 1886 on the south shore of Rainbow Lake by Chris Hill and Sam Nessling, two retired railroad men.

The hotel complex consisted of the hotel with 20 sleeping rooms; an annex with 45 rooms; 10 cottages, each with a fireplace and four bedrooms; an amusement hall (Japanese Gardens); and four dining rooms.

Irving P. Lord saw an excellent opportunity, and he purchased the Grand View Hotel in 1901 and appointed his brother, Wallace Lord, as its manager. He extended the streetcar track from Downeys to the Grand View Hotel. In 1902, Mr. Baker sold out his interest in the company to John D. Caughell, who later sold to A. M. Penney and P. M. Olfson. They, in turn, transferred their holdings to Irving P. Lord, who then became the sole owner and manager of the Waupaca Electric Light and Railway Company.

Lord advertised in several papers about the beauty and accommodations of the Grand View Hotel at the Chain o Lakes. People came by the hundreds from as far away as St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee. They came to Waupaca on the Wisconsin Central Railroad, where they could transfer to the streetcar that took them directly to the Grand View Hotel. Here they could relax in a place of grandeur, where they could go boating, fishing and swimming in the crystal-clear water of Rainbow Lake. Many people liked what they saw and came back year after year, while some came to the Waupaca area to make it their home.

The electricity generated to provide the electricity for the lights and railway came from the powerhouse located on the Waupaca River between Elm and Wisconsin Streets. The dam had a head of 18 feet of water, sufficient to drive a waterwheel which generated 210 horsepower. Other equipment included one direct-current generator at 150 kilowatts and two direct-current generators at 175 kilowatts each. In addition, there were two boilers at 140 horsepower each, and one steamboiler at 165 horsepower.

By 1910, there was a total of seven cars including one closed car with an electric heater. Children from the Wisconsin Veterans Home rode the street car to Gards Corner to school.

The Waupaca Record Leader had notices in their October and November, 1913, papers. The first one was that the Town of Farmington granted a freight franchise to haul freight to the Waupaca Electric Light and Railway, and the other was that the Waupaca Electric Light and Railway gets the freight franchise to carry coal and freight to the Wisconsin Veterans Home. At the Common Council meeting, the mayor cast the deciding vote.

On October 24, 1916, A. E. Aspenes and J. F. Richardson of Chicago bought the road and changed the name to the Waupaca Electric Service and Railway Company. The road shut down its operation on July 4, 1925, on its 26th birthday since its maiden run, July 4, 1899. It was sold to the Wisconsin Valley Electric Company, which later merged with the Wisconsin Public Service Company.

The Waupaca County Post for September 10, 1925, summarized the situation beautifully when it said: Today the streetcar has been superseded by its swifter rival, the motorcar, and is doomed to pass away, having seen its time, even as the livery barns, the blacksmith shops, the windmills, and other remnants of an earlier day; where speed is the aim, efficiency is a necessity, specialization is a means and money is the goal.

The Waupaca Picture Post for August 27, 1976, ran a picture of West Fulton Street in 1925, with the streetcar tracks removed. It also stated that the tracks on Main Street were not removed until 1947.

Much more in detail can be found in an essay written by Todd Fonstad on the Electric Railway, published by El-Ray Associates, South River Drive, Stevens Point, WI, for the Wisconsin State University Foundation, Inc., Stevens Point, WI, in 1965.




June 13, 1991


The Glover name has appeared in the Weyauwega, Lind Center and Waupaca areas periodically since the days of the Civil War.

It all begins with Albert Glover, son of Solomon and Clara Glover, who was born in Oshkosh, August 1, 1856. When Albert was still a small boy, he moved with his parents to Weyauwega during the Civil War. A few years later his parents settled on a farm in the Town of Lind, which in later years became the property of William Wied.

Some of you may remember William and Caroline Georgina (Madsen) Wied, or possibly went to the Waupaca High School with one or another of their children: Edward, Walter, Bert, Grace, Ida, Elizabeth, John Clifford, who died early in life, or Milton Bill, who was killed in an airplane crash near Neenah in 1929.

When still on the farm as a lad of 14, Albert Glover was apprenticed to William Timme, who at that time operated the harness shop on North Main Street in Waupaca. Frederick E Lund was also employed by Mr. Timme at the same time; Lund went on to be the owner of the Old Reliable Harness Shop at 102 North Main Street.

After Albert Glover completed his apprenticeship he moved to Stevens Point to find employment.

Albert Glover and Sarah Feldman were married in 1884; she preceded him in death in 1916, but not before there were two daughters, the future Mrs. Ben Picus and Mrs. Alex Levin, and one son, Louis was born in Stevens Point on September 9, 1887.

Louis also became a harness maker, like his father, and during his youth he operated a harness business with his father in Wild Rose.

Louis Glover was united in marriage to Miss Mildred Stahl in Madison, February 23, 1912. Mildred Stahl was born in Lodi, September 5, 1880, a daughter of Samuel and Ellen (Keyes) Stahl. Her parents came to Wisconsin from Pennsylvania and settled in Barneveld. Louis and Mildred Glover were the parents of two sons, Kenneth and Keith.

After the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Glover in 1912, they started a hardware and harness business in Barneveld.

In 1920 they moved to Waupaca and bought out the harness shop owned by William Koening. This would be the same building which was under Chris Hansens photo studio. There have been many different businesses in this location. One you may remember well was the Taylor and Stange furniture store before they moved to the Central Wisconsin Seed Company building on West Union Street.

In 1922 Mr. Glover moved to the building on the corner of East Union and Jefferson Streets and opened a hardware store. At one time this location was Cohens second location for his Fair Store, before moving to Main Street.

In 1930 Louis Glover and associates bought out the old Pioneer Hardware Store from Chris Christensen. This was the former hardware store of E. C. Williams. Now, 1991, it is the Main Street Marketplace. In 1931 he sold out his interest to the balance of stockholders and moved to Blue Earth, MN, where Louis Glover and his eldest son, Kenneth, operated a hardware store until 1933, when they returned to Waupaca to open a grocery and hardware store. The hardware store was the same location on East Union and Jefferson Streets, where Mr. Glover started in 1922, and the grocery store was in the building adjacent to the west. This building has just been vacated by the Harbor Bicycle Shop. Mr. Glover took on a dry goods line in 1938, when they bought the other section of their building that was previously occupied by the Central Wisconsin Seed Company.

Keith, the Glovers youngest son, joined the firm in 1940. In 1950 Keith was the manager of the Glover branch in Weyauwega.

In the Waupaca County Post of September 5, 1946, Glovers Making Many Alterations in Local Store. At this time they expanded the various departments to make service to the customers more efficient. The most notable change was the transformation of the former hardware department into a meat and produce department. They removed the walls in the eastern section, the opening between the clothing and dry goods section was enlarged for the patrons convenience, which gave them more floor space.

Louis Glover passed away in December of 1954, and the partnership was dissolved. Kenneth Glover took over the dry goods department and Keith took over the grocery business. Keith closed out the grocery business in 1963 and Kenneth closed out in May 1964. Louis Glover and Sons enjoyed several years of prosperity, but the Glover family business would not have been the same, if it was not for Mrs. Glover and her smiling face, as she met the customers in the store. Mildred Glover at one time worked as a graduate nurse in Madison and Milwaukee. The Glovers were active members of the First Methodist Church and staunch supporters in the development of Waupaca.

When Kenneth Glover closed his store on May 29, 1964, he stated that a new store would be opening in the near future.

On July 9, 10, and 11, a new store had an opening sale. The new store was known as Ballards V Store, and was under the ownership of Clinton Ballard. Clint Ballard was not new to the people of Waupaca, as he had been employed by the Glovers for 28 years.

Six years later there was a notice in the Waupaca County Post for April 16, 1970. Glover takes over the Ballard V Store at 110 East Union Street. Kenneth Glover, who was employed in Glencoe, MN, stated that the store was presently closed, but would open sometime soon, when all merchandise in the store would be sold at a further reduced price. The reason for this action was that Clinton Ballard was moving from the city.

Louis Glovers parents, Albert and Sarah Glover, are buried in the Hebrew Cemetery in Wausau. Mildred Glover lived until February 13, 1958, and Louis Glover passed away January 25, 1954. Their youngest son, Keith, passed away April 21, 1978. They all are laid to rest in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.




June 20, 1991


Allen King, world-famed wild animal trainer, and his wife spent the winter of 1949 in Waupaca, at the home of Mrs. Kings mother, Mrs. Olive Wilson.

Mrs. Wilson owned and operated the Circus Inn on Churchill Street for several years.

The Kings had many friends in Waupaca. Allen King died in Chicago in September of 1951, only a week after the Kings had been in Waupaca to visit Mrs. Wilson. He was cremated and his ashes were returned to his home city, Chattanooga, TN. His death occurred after he had just completed a tour with the Mill Brothers circus.

Mr. King started his profession with the Al G. Barnes circus and later he joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Baily circus.

He performed with 27 lions and nine tigers at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1934. Mr. King was the teacher of Clyde Beatty and Terrell Jacobs.

I can remember Mrs. Wilsons beautiful white hair, and her pet cockatoo. It was white with a yellow crown. It amused her patrons with its antics. There was always unexpected entertainment at the Circus Inn for any stranger who might drop in.

One of the things that caused the most amusement for the patrons was the talking toilet in the ladies room. There was also a large spider that would drop down from the ceiling on a long string. This received quite a reaction from the ladies. There was a coin that was embedded in the floor that could not be picked up, and then there was the air hole in the floor in front of the jukebox that could be turned on at anytime.

I remember the Circus Inn for another reason. During the severe winter of 1945, I started to work at the Northwestern Co-op in Waupaca. One of my jobs was to deliver coal around town with the half-ton truck. One morning I had my orders to deliver some coal to the Circus Inn. It was early in the morning and no one was around, so I put the coal down the coal chute and left. It seems as if the circulating air fan for the upstairs had not been turned off; consequently there was a fine coal dust that was brought upstairs. Before I had returned to the office, they received a call from a very disturbed Mrs. Wilson. It was a mess. The glassware on the back bar was covered with the black dust, and the furniture and dance floor all had to be cleaned. The Northwestern Co-op hired a lady to clean up the mess.

From then on I made it a point to check if they had any air fans on. Live and learn.




From the Waupaca Record, May 5, 1910: Twenty-five machines owned by Waupaca citizens. Six years ago an automobile was a curiosity in Waupaca. For two years we boasted of one. The number has grown in the last four years to 25. There are three garages here, all doing a good business as Waupaca is an objective point for those touring this part of the state.

The paper listed the machines owned by Waupaca people:

Charles Hanson, Cadillac; Dan Downey, Cadillac; Wm. Dressen, Reo; John Madsen, Cadillac; N. Cohen, Cadillac; Dr. J. P. Christofferson, Rambler, Dr. L. H. Pelton, Mason; C. E. Cain, Ford; A. M. Penney, Ford; George Faulks, Ford; Matt Jensen, Buick; F. L. Hoaglin, Mason; Dr. E. M. McIntosh, Buick; Hans Peter Mortenson, Reo;

John Gordon, Reo; Walter Jensen, Reo; Amel Johnson, Reo; Myron Randell, Ford; A. C. Larson, Ford; Dr. Delano, Buick; Gus Hanson, Buick; John Dorffler, Ford; Michel Jensen, Ford; A. M. Hanson, Rambler; A. M. Hanson, Maxwell.




June 27, 1991


Waupacas Bethany Home name dates back to its inception in August 1895, when the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Synod (better known as the Blair Synod), decided to inaugurate a Christian welfare program for orphaned, indigent and neglected children.

Albert Lea, Minnesota, was chosen as the first site for the new childrens home. At first a dwelling house was rented to provide temporary housing until the new home was built.

When the new building was completed and made ready for the big move, it was named Bethania Bornerjem, Danish for Bethany Childrens Home.

It was through the influence and encouragement of her pastor that Mrs. Ane Petersen, who had just recently become a widow, took the position as the first homes matron.

Ane Petersen was born December 7, 1851, in Lolland, Denmark, a daughter of Rasmus and Anna Marie Jensen Jacobsen. She emigrated to America sometime between 1859 and 1869. Records show the two different dates. Ane was married in Oshkosh in 1872, to Christian Peterson. They lived in Oshkosh for six years before moving to their farm in Section 4, Township of Waupaca.

Misfortune struck the Peterson family. Their daughter, Mary C., died March 28, 1882, aged five years ad four months, and 15 days later on April 6, 1882, their son, Victor W., died, age eight years and nine months. When their third child was born they named him Victor Mannus. Anes husband, Christian, passed away August 6, 1894. Her only remaining child, Victor, went to Albert Lea to be with his mother and help her as much as possible. He was only 12 years old at the time.

At the annual convention held in Blair, NE, in July 1897, it was voted to move the Bethany Childrens Home from Albert Lea to Waupaca.

The Danish people of Waupaca all pulled together and raised $600 to help defray the expenses of moving and purchasing the new property on which to erect the new childrens home.

September 7, 1897, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church purchased approximately 30 acres of land from Henry Warren and Fredrick Dunbar for $1,400. This property is located from the banks of the Crystal River to the southeastern shores of Shadow Lake on the old Berlin Road. When this property was first purchased, it was approximately one mile from downtown Waupaca.

While the new home on Berlin Street was being built, Mrs. Peterson and her 10 to 12 children lived in a small house near the Soo Line depot.

The new childrens home was completed in 1899, at a cost of $2,400, including the equipment and furnishings, and would accommodate about 40 children. In October 1899, it was officially opened and it was not long before the Bethany Childrens Home population grew to 33. Mrs. Ane Petersen resigned her position in 1908, after serving 13 years of dedicated service, and for this, she was presented a gift of $100 in gold by the president of the synod.

Ane Petersen, following her retirement, went to live with her son, Victor, on his farm. She died April 26, 1930.

I find the name Petersen also spelled Peterson in different documents. On the Petersen (Peterson) lot in the Waupaca cemetery, Christians marker is Peterson and Anes marker is Petersen.

Ideas and times change policies and in the early 1950s, it became apparent that the children could be placed in foster homes to a better advantage, so the Bethany Home was taken down board by board and the land leveled. The only evidence that was left of the two-story wooden structure with the two huge screened-in porches in the front, one above the other, was the cornerstone that read Bethania 1898.

In 1953, at the annual Wisconsin District Convention of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church, a directive was made to arrange for the incorporation of Bethany as an operating Christian home for the aged.

The Bethany Lutheran Home, Inc. on March 22, 1954, filed for its Article of Incorporation.

The Bethany Lutheran Home, Inc. for the aged began operation with 18 guests on a budget less than $4,000, and a lot of faith.

March 10, 1959, the Bethany Lutheran Home, Inc. filed amendments to the original Article of Incorporation, and the Bethany Foundation, Inc. filed for its Article of Incorporation on October 12, 1978.




July 3, 1991

George Nehm started his career with the Schultz Bros. on March 16, 1926. Schultz Bros., then known as the 5 and 10 Cent Store, opened its doors in Waupaca on March 28, 1926. The location at that time is where the present Paca Pub is located, 106 N. Main Street.

Schultz Bros. 5 and 10 Cent Store continued to operate at this location until 1931, when it moved across the street to the building that is now the business location of Merediths Fashion Shop at 109 N. Main.

In 1940 Schultzs rented the Scott Building at 112 S. Main; this was the former location of the Cohen Bros. Fair Store.

Schultz Bros. wanted to expand and in 1948 they rented the Hebblewhite Building that was adjacent to the south. This building had just been vacated by the Kroger Food Store. The Waupaca County Post for March 4, 1948, stated that a considerable amount of wall space was being removed in the remodeling project that was in progress at the Schultz Bros. store.

Mrs. John (Carrie) Hebblewhite passed away on March 27, 1957, and she willed the Hebblewhite Building to the Riverside Community Hospital, Inc. Warranty Deed, volume 286, page 431, dated December 30, 1957, shows that the Schultz Bros. Company, an Illinois corporation, purchased from the Riverside Community Hospital, Inc., for the sum of $1 and other valuable consideration, the following described property. The South twenty four (24) feet in lot number 3, in Block K, of the original plat of the Village (now city) of Waupaca, according to the recorded plat thereof, except the South six (6) inches thereof.

In a news item that appeared in the Waupaca County Post for October 16, 1958, a report by a Schultz Bros. representative stated that they were proud to offer to their customers in the Waupaca and surrounding community the most modern shopping facilities to be found in any variety store for miles around.

With the installation of the new counters and modern self-service fixtures it greatly increased the merchandise area. With four checkout stations and plenty of help to answer inquiries when needed, saved time for the customer. There was also a bell at each checkout if you needed personal service.

Schultz Bros. held a big three-day grand opening sale, starting October 16, 1958. A big two-page ad in the Waupaca County Post advertised ladies, childrens and infants clothing; household goods and a pet department; in fact, the new Schultz Bros. variety store carried nearly everything from alarm clocks to zippers.

George Nehm, who was with the Schultz Bros. opened a new store in the new shopping center that was built on Waupacas west side, but continued to operate its variety store on Main Street until October of 1988.

The new shopping center, Waupaca Woods Mall, was built between Neuville Motors and the Bowlby Candy Company. It had an area of 80,000 square feet. Schultz Bros. settled in the west 40,000 square feet of the building. This made their new store almost six times the size of the downtown store.

A little history of the Schultz Bros.: the 5 and 10 Cent chain began in Appleton in 1902, when Robert Schultz opened a small store there.

Louis Schultz, Roberts brother, opened the second store in Green Bay in 1903, and a third one in 1904. Two other brothers, Charles and Gustave, joined the expansion which became the forerunner of the chain of 65 modern variety and 11 family stores located in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

In 1906 the Schultz Bros. chain moved its headquarters to Chicago, Ill., and in November of 1974, their headquarters moved to Lake Zurich, IL, where a new office complex and distribution center was located.

A news article appeared in the November 3, 1988 edition of the Waupaca County Post. Prange Way set sights on Schultzs in the Mall. Larry Sommers, president of the Prange Way Division of H. C. Prange, stated that they were anxious to come to Waupaca, and if all loose ends could be tied up soon, they could be open in the spring of 1989.

Prange Way opened its doors in the former Schultz Bros. family store on March 13, 1989, and they held their grand opening in April. This ended over 60 years for the Schultz Bros. in Waupaca, serving the public well.

The Waupaca County Post for September 13, 1990, shows a picture of the architects concept of the downtown Schultz building after the exterior renovation is completed. The article goes on to say that the former Schultz building at 112 South Main Street, which has been owned by Stephen Hansen, Steven Shambeau and Richard G. Johnson since January 1987, is slated for an October 1, 1990 construction start and approximately completion date set for mid-1991. The tentative plan is to rename the renovated building as the Scott Building.






July 10, 1991

On April 15, 1853, the Waupaca County Board, by a vote of 3-2, ordered the removal of the county seat from Mukwa to Waupaca, and the Gothic Hall was designated for holding the county and circuit court.

The Gothic Hall was then located east, across Jefferson Street, from the Public Square. In 1920 Sherm Sanders purchased the Dr. Brown property on the corner of Jefferson and Union Streets and built his Ford garage. At that time the Gothic Hall was moved to the west end of Badger Street, across from the Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church, and the former site of Gothic Hall became the Ford parking lot. This property now belongs to the First National Bank of Waupaca.

In 1855 it was decided by the State Supreme Court that Waupaca would be the county seat. In the winter of 1855, construction on the new Courthouse had begun, near the center of the Public Square, and after its completion it served as the Waupaca County Courthouse until 1881.

The title to the Public Square originally was received by David Scott by a United States govern-ment patent. This land was platted in the original plat of the Village of Waupaca and was dedicated at that time to public use.

In some research by Roy Rasmus, found in the Waupaca Centennial 1857-1957, he gives the transactions and transfers of the old Courthouse building, but not the land on which it stood. This led up to the disposal of the old Courthouse to the Danes Home in 1882.

The De Danske Hjem (the Danes Home) held its organizational meeting on January 6, 1877. From then on they held meetings in four different buildings before they became the owners of their own building. The last location that they rented was over Matt Jensens Market on North Main Street, where they remained until November 14, 1882.

When the new brick Courthouse was erected on the Public Square in 1882, the old Courthouse had to be moved to make room for the new, so it was moved to one corner of the Square. Here it was purchased by the Danes Home for $275. Now, they needed to find a home for their new acquisition. According to Warranty Deed, Volume 56, page 229, dated September 19, 1882, the Danes Home purchased lot one (1), Block D, in the Village plat for $600, from Edson L. and Mary E. Demarest. With the moving of the building and what improvements had to be made, the total cost for their new home was $1,300.

The Danes Home building, now empty, stands on the corner of Granite and North Main Streets. The old Courthouse that sat at this location served the Danish Society until in 1894, when it was sold once again and moved to the west end of the Water Street Bridge, on the edge of the Waupaca River.

One of the last businesses to operate here was a bargain store that was run by Mossie Lucie before it was condemned. It was razed in December 1965.

This was another of our historic buildings that met the fate of the wreckers hammer.




July 17, 1991


September of 1941, the old barn that stood on the A. M Penny property on South Main Street was moved to the Bailey cranberry marsh eight miles south of Waupaca on County Trunk E, where the old barn became a cranberry storage building.

The barn was a sturdily built frame building that measured approximately 30 by 54 feet, and 20 feet in height on the foundation.

This old barn stabled some of the finest carriage horses 90 years ago, back in the days when the horse and buggy was king.

A. M. Penney used to travel by horse and buggy to keep in touch with potato warehouses in a wide area around central Wisconsin. The last horse that Mr. Penney drove was a little sorrel. A young boy named Hanford Strand drove for him on frequent trips to the Penney farm just west of town.

The barn was sold by Mrs. Etta Penney Townsend, daughter of a potato magnate,

to Ralph and Ned Bailey, who also were members of another pioneer Waupaca family.

Earl Cartwright had the task of moving the Penney barn, and it has been said that he handled it skillfully despite the size of the building and the length of the haul. He sat the old barn down on the edge of the cranberry marsh without scraping a single shingle.

In talking to Mr. Edmund Bailey, I learned that the move did not go all that smoothly.

It seems that Mr. Cartwright had made a few miscalculations in road measurements, so Mr. Bailey had to pay for a few trees that were in the way, and the railing on the Dunbar Bridge had to be removed so the loaded barn could pass through without the need to block the building higher on the moving trucks.

The old barn served as a cranberry storage house until into the 1950s. It still stands on the Bailey property today, one end serving as a garage.




July 25, 1991


When the first white settlers come to the Waupaca area in 1849, they initially built their crude shanties of logs, using blankets to cover the doorways and any windows. These crude abodes served them well until such time that a better home could be built.

It was not long before saw mills and planing mills came into operation, but most of the first lumber had to be hauled long distances. Some of the lumber came by boats to Gills Landing, on the Wolf River, and had to be hauled overland from there to Waupaca by oxen.

As lumber became more available, frame buildings were being erected, and soon after, a new source of material for the fireplaces and chimneys, other than the field stones found in the area, came into existence.

An article that appeared in the Waupaca County Post, January 4, 1945, made note that Waupaca had been identified with a brick industry since pioneer days.

The picture combined with this story was loaned to me by the Waupaca Historical Society for this story. This is a picture of the Waupaca Brick Yard, owned and operated by Conrad Gmeiner in the late 1920s. The eight funny-shaped structures that resemble corncribs were drying sheds, for drying the green brick. The green brick remained in these drying sheds for about one week.

Mining the clay was strictly manual labor at first. The clay was shoveled into two-wheeled carts and hauled by one horse from the clay pit to the mixing shed, which stands at the left side of the picture.

The 1874 plat map of the Township of Waupaca shows two 40 acre parcels in Section 32 belonging to Isaac N. West; this property in later years was owned by Chas. Churchill, whom Churchill Street was named after. This property you will best remember as the Merle Pennebecker place on Apple Tree Lane, Isaac N. West and his son, Newton, manufactured brick from the clay pit on the 40 on the south side of the Crystal River, before it empties into the Waupaca River. There was another pioneer brick yard that was referred to as the Webb Brick Yard. It was located further down stream on the north side of the Waupaca River.

The 1889 plat map of the Township of Waupaca shows this property as belonging to William J. Chamberlain, and it shows a brick yard in Section 33. This is the first true indication of any brick yard in the area. William J. Chamberlain purchased this tract of land from G. L. Lord on November 28, 1881. William J. Chamberlain and his son, Elmer, owned the property until March 24, 1903, when it was sold to Conrad Gmeiner, who operated the brick yard until June of 1944, when it was sold to Elmer Dushek.

The Waupaca Record of April 1903, mentioned that Con Gmeiner had recently purchased the brick yard property, the former Chamberlain property, and was going to purchase some new and modern machinery in the fall, at a cost of $2,000, and he expected to make the Waupaca plant one of the best in the northwest.

In the early 30s, the Waupaca Brick Yard was a place where the young men of high school age could find summertime employment. The brick yard only operated from April to November.

The early 30s were rough, and you were lucky to have a job.

Edwin Eddie Pope told me that he was a water boy there as a young lad, carrying water to the men.

As time passed, new technique in brick making came about.

Mercedes Sundby was interviewed by the Waupaca County Post in 1980. She told the Post that she started work at the Waupaca brick Yard right out of high school as a secretary and a general handyman. She remained associated with the brick business, off and on for 50 years.

The Conrad Gmeiner Brick Yard was doing well. It employed about 32 people, and the pay was from 30 cents to 45 cents per hour. There were only three bee hive kilns in operation at the time.

The following information comes from Elmer Dushek, who purchased the controlling interest in the Conrad Gmeiner and Sons Inc. Brick Yard in June of 1944, where he employed between 15 and 25 people.

The one-horse, two-wheeled cart had long given way to the steam crane that used a 40 foot boom and a clam bucket to mine the clay. Now there were five kilns looking like giant bee hives.

The quantity and the quality of the clay was excellent, lying only a few feet belong the top layer of sand and gravel. Mining clay became quite complicated here as the Waupaca and Crystal Rivers joined at this point. This required diking the river and pumping the pit at all times. An electric pump mounted on a float and used to pump the water from the bottom of the pit. One of the pits was approximately four acres in area and 80 feet deep.

A 24 inch gauge railroad, powered by a gasoline donkey engine, pulled two side dump cars that hauled the clay out of the pit and delivered it to the storage shed, where an overhead electric crane with a clam bucket moved the clay into the building where it was ground and mixed to make the brick. Mike Tarr was the steam crane operator and Bob Prochnow was the donkey driver.

In 1938 a 16mm movie was made of Waupaca and its people. This has been transferred to video, and copies can be purchased. The Waupaca Library has the film on loan. One segment shows scenes of the Waupaca Brick Yard, and the donkey engine pulling the two side dump cars, dumping the clay directly into the mixing shed before the storage shed was built.

Emil Peg Abrahamson was the plant foreman and brick machine operator. Hans Anderson and Ken Nichols were the premiere brick pitchers. They pitched the fresh dried brick (not fired) up to the brick setters in the kiln before firing. Herschel Heath and Chris Schroeder, among others, were brick setters. Gerhardt Sannes, Marlin Opper, Alfred Thiel, among others, were firemen.

Firing, of course, was a round the clock job, which accounted for four men on three shifts, plus weekends, Bob and Wally Niemuth, Reuben Abrahamson and several other high school boys were brick pitchers. There are two other names that come to my mind: Wilbur Larson and Harold Buck.

When the brick machine was in operation, it would extrude and cut 6,000 bricks per hour. These extruded bricks were soft clay, just firm enough to be handled carefully and placed on a car. A conveyor belt took the brick from the cutter that was traveling just fast enough to allow about five inches between each brick.

It was the job of the three pickers to pick up two bricks, one in each hand, turn around and place them on the dried car, turn around and there would be more bricks in front of them. This continued at the rate of 6,000 bricks per hour.

It was a matter of pride for the pickers to allow only a minimum of bricks to go over the end.

The drier cars were steel, and arranged so that the air could circulate around the brick. These cars also traveled on a 24-inch gauge rail, carrying about 500 bricks. These were transferred into the tunnel drier that was heated by waste heat. It took 24 to 48 hours to dry the brick before they were ready to be set in the kiln for firing.

The tunnel driers replaced the old drier sheds that resembled corncribs. The waste heat was the heat that was released mechanically from the fired kiln to the tunnel drier while it was cooling down.

On temporary tracks, the drier cars were switched into the kiln, where the brick pitchers tossed two bricks at a time to the setters who placed them in a precise position for correct heat transfer by exposing the greatest surface of the brick to the heat. The kilns had a capacity of 40,000 to 60,000 bricks at each setting.

After bricking up the doors, eight fireboxes around the kiln would gradually heat the entire mass to about 1,960 degrees F. Melting cones of clay, which were about three inches in length, were placed in various places in the kiln to spot and signal possible overheating. There was also an electric thermometer set strategically in the kiln to charter the temperature throughout the firing. This process took five to seven days to complete, and it took another several days for the kiln to cool down.

Waupaca clay naturally burned to a deep, red color. However, for a variation of color, some kilns were finished off by adding pure zinc to the fire at the end of the firing and smoking. Smoking was actually smothering the fire to make it smoke. The chemical reaction of the zinc and molten clay left a permanent greenish, or tan color to the brick.

Elmer Dushek told me that they used to buy all of the old zinc canning jar covers that they could. Another source was the Feinberg junk yard.

Following cooling, the kilns were unloaded as quickly as possible, to start the cycle over again. The lower brick in the kiln would not get as hot and would have to be sorted out as common brick, while the greater portion would grade out as high-quality face brick.

The wide range of colors set a standard for quality face brick in central Wisconsin.

Mr. Dushek sold to several sizeable post-war housing projects. One was in Mundelein, IL, which was 150 homes, and another was in Neenah, with 40 houses.

The larger projects demanded a continuous supply of brick, which in turn required them to operate most of the winter months. Winter operation increased the cost considerably and proved to be non-economical.

The kilns required a large amount of hand labor. Then, too, the clay mining costs kept rising as they went deeper, requiring more diking and more pumping.

In 1953 Charley Schultz, a young ceramics engineer, was hired with the intent of making the operation more automatic. In 1954 he formed the Badger Ceramics Corp., and lease-purchased the plant. Badger Ceramics built a new, small continuous kiln that was more labor saving.

However, with labor and mining costs on the rise, it used up any efficiency produced by the kiln. They experimented with clay shipped in from other areas, but no changes seemed to ease the economic pressure, and Badger Ceramics turned the plant back to Elmer Dushek, who in turn, sold it to Edwin Pope in 1963.

Mr. Pope operated the plant for a couple of years and then leased it to Graff Brick Co. of Waupaca, Inc., which filed for Article of Incorporation on May 25, 1965, who operated it only a short time before closing permanently.

Folks who have the privilege of enjoying the Pope River Bend picturesque canoe trip may well remember seeing, at the point of disembarkation, what the Waupaca Brick Yard looked like before it was dismantled, only a couple of years ago.









August 1, 1991


An article in the January 20, 1916, issue of a local paper proclaimed: Waupaca to have an Automatic Base Ball Game.

F. L. Lewis of Lodi rented the building on West Fulton Street next to the alley adjacent to Prinks barbershop. This, it would appear to be, is the present location of the U.S. Army recruiting office at 111 West Fulton.

This is what the article went on to say:

The equipment consists of a large canvas placed at the back of the room, set at an incline to be perpendicular with the top edge of the canvas farther from the front than at the bottom end. Marked across the canvas are three lines, the lower line represents a single, the second line represents a two-base hit and the top one a home run.

Immediately in front of the canvas is an automatic pitcher which throws the balls to the batsman who stands well to the front of the floor which is set at an incline in order to return the ball to the pitcher if the batsman misses it.

When the ball is driven straight into any of the fields on the canvas without first touching the floor in front of the canvas, the batsman scores as the legend on the canvas indicates.

In a March 16, 1916 paper, only two months later, was this notice: Base ball game did not prosper here.

The business thrived for a time but soon the novelty wore off and the patronage declined to a point where it was not profitable to continue. So Mr. Lewis struck out, took down his canvas, packed his equipment and returned to Lodi.




August 8, 1991


Lot 1, Block L, is the original plat of the village, now the City of Waupaca, may

have been a business location as early as 1863, and possibly even before.

This location, 202 South Main Street, is JRs True Value Hardware Store in 1991, owned and operated by Roger and Gloria Coenen.

There had been four owners of this property when on August 24, 1922, Joseph E. Cristy purchased it from Mrs. Louisa Spaulding, the widow of Henry J. Stetson of Chicago, Illinois.

Going back in warranty deed records, on January 21, 1857, Benson Survey and his wife, Eliza, of Waukesha, sold Lots 1 and 10 in Block L, as recorded in the original plat of the village, to Thomas McCrossen.

Four months later on May 19, 1857, McCrossen sold the same two lots to William P. and Isabel Quint. The property again changed hands on August 15, 1863, when William P. Quint and wife sold the property to Henry J. and Austin Stetson.

It is believed that Henry and Austin Stetson operated a mercantile or jewelry business together until June 18, 1877, when Austin sold out his interest to Henry, who continued to operate the business until his death on July 16, 1892. Austin had passed away in 1881.

It would seem only logical that Henry J. Stetson built his large, two-story brick building sometime shortly after the big fire on January 19, 1877, that destroyed many of the old wooden structures on Main Street.

The Stetson store had a stairway on the south side of the building that led upstairs to a large hall on the second floor over the Stetson store. This was known as Stetson Hall where large parties, dances, and roller skating were held.

I found an interesting account that told about J. H. Hudson, who had one of the first bands in Waupaca that was active in playing at gatherings, such as concerts, patriotic celebrations, baseball games and at the roller skating rink over Cristys store (Stetson Hall).

Mrs. Kathleen Marceil of Wisconsin Rapids, who is a granddaughter of the late Joseph E. Cristy, told me that Cristys also held style shows there.

And when Turkey Trot days were held in Waupaca, she said that Cristys released their turkey from their roof.

As close as I can find out, Turkey Trot days started shortly after the years of World War I. It was a day set aside before Thanksgiving when the merchants of Waupaca got together and ran big sales to induce the people of the surrounding area to come to Waupaca to do their shopping and to have a chance of catching a free turkey.

Large crowds gathered in the streets below waiting for the moment that a turkey would be released from the roof of a store building. Whoever wound up with the turkey probably scared out if its wits and lacking some of its feathers was his or hers to keep for Thanksgiving dinner. This practice was discontinued in a few years because things got a little out of control, and I believe that a football was substituted to replace the live turkey.

C. J. (Curtis John) Vosburg was employed in the mercantile establishment of H. J. Stetson in 1892, at the time of Mr. Stetsons death. Mr. Vosburg took over the operation of the Stetson store in 1893, and ran it until 1900, when he retired.

A notice in a Waupaca newspaper for August 24, 1895, noted that C. J. Vosburg had a new hardwood floor and new plate glass front windows put in, which gave him a better chance to display his large stock of goods.

Vosburg was born in Milwaukee, March 12, 1847 and died August 8, 1931. He was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Havenor and they had two daughters: Frances, who married Carroll H. Cristy, and Florence, who married W. M. Lukes.

Vosburg gained his experience in clerking at an early age, working for A. M. Kimball at Pine River and at Northport and later was a partner in a store in Plainfield before coming to Waupaca after his marriage in 1886. Both Mr. and Mrs. Vosburg are buried in the Saxeville Union Cemetery.

After C. J. Vosburg retired in 1900, the Nielson Bros., Frank and Edward, took over the store and operated their mercantile business until they were forced to close in 1903.

A Waupaca paper dated October 8, 1903, stated that, J. E. (Joseph Elmore) Cristy, a young man from Ringwood, Illinois, came to Waupaca last week with the view of renting the store building that was operated by the Nielson Bros.

J. E. Cristy opened the Cristy store March 15, 1904. He opened with a big three-day sale. This was the start of one of the three big names in business in Waupaca: Cristys, Cohen Bros. (Fair Store) and Leas.

Another news item that appeared in the Waupaca Leader, May 8, 1912, said, Cristy will remodel store. Plans are underway for extensive improvements. The store building will be extended 36 feet to the west, and will be two stories high, and the same width as the present building. He will have a galley room 36 by 43 feet at the west end, where he will have offices and a rest room. The womens ready-made clothing will be upstairs. The partitions in the main store room will be taken out. There will be no change in the basement.

For several years J. E. Cristy conducted an annual vegetable fair, whereby people were encouraged to exhibit their labors. The winners were given different amounts as premiums for the different categories of produce. These premiums were payable in merchandise of their choice from any department.

The premium list for September 1910, for Cristys fourth annual vegetable fair, included vegetables of all types: field corn, apples, grapes, canned fruit, jellies, pickles, and flowers, a total of 43 categories in all. The prize winners produce, except roses, canned fruit, pickles and jellies became the property of J. E. Cristy after the fair. He paid them the market price. He also bought any other produce that was for sale.

A $1 premium was paid for most of the categories. I will list only a few: peck of Rural New Yorker potatoes, peck of Burbank potatoes, peck of Early Rose potatoes, also pecks of Early Ohios and Triumphs; pecks of red, white and yellow onions, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, sugar beets, parsnips, rutabagas, watermelons, musk melons, squash, popcorn, sweet corn, white and yellow Dent corn and white and yellow flint corn; largest and best variety of apples; canned fruit; pickles; jellies; roses, cut flowers and dahlias in bloom.

Joseph Elmore Cristy was born January 1, 1865, at Johnson, VT. His parents moved to Ringwood, IL, when he was still a small boy. He attended the public schools at Ringwood and later at the University of Valparaiso. When he returned from Valparaiso he became associated his father in the general merchandising business. He later purchased his fathers interest and established a bank in connection with it.

On September 30, 1885, Joseph E. Cristy was united in marriage to Flora Harsh of Ringwood. They became the parents of five children: Carroll, Harry, Mae, Kenneth and Jay. Flora Harsh Cristy passed away in Waupaca on October 14, 1920. On February 12, 1924, J. E. was married to Beatrice McCallen, who died the following October 6.

Mr. Cristy was the superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School nearly the entire time that he resided in Waupaca. J. E. Cristy passed away January 25, 1927, and is buried in the family plot in Waupaca.

It was not until August 24, 1922, that J. E. Cristy purchased on land contract the property where he had opened his store in March of 1904. After his death in 1927, his son, Carroll H. Cristy, took over the business. It was on January 20, 1928, that Carroll H. Cristy fulfilled the land contract obligation, with Mrs. Louisa S. Spaulding of Chicago, IL (Mrs. Spaulding was the widow of Henry J. Stetson, who had remarried.)

The Cristy store continued to operate on the corner of West Union and South Main streets until March 5, 1942, when Mrs. Carroll Cristy leased her entire store to Gamble-Skogmo, Inc. The article in the Waupaca County Post stated that Gambles had plans to greatly enlarge their sales room in both the basement and the main floor as well as the balcony and that Mrs. Cristy would dispose of her ready-wear and dry goods stock immediately.

In 1939 Gambles moved from their location at 117 North Main Street to the Cristy building. Mrs. Cristy rented them the left, or inside one-half of her building, and in 1942 they took over the entire building.

In 1981 Roger and Gloria Coenen rented the building, converting it to JRs True Value Hardware Store, and in 1988 they purchased the property from Mrs. B. L. (Kathleen) Marceil, the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Cristy.




August 15, 1991


Con artists generally concentrate on the unfortunate; the aged, the sick and the poor, often resulting in the loss of their money, or even death.

Operation Desert Con, an article that appeared in the Washington Post, February 15, 1991, told about a family who had a son fighting in the Persian Golf. They answered a knock on their door, and there stood two men dressed to give the impression that they were emissaries from the military. They were solemn as they told the couple their son had been arrested for the possession of marijuana in Saudi Arabia. They said that the courts were rough over there, but that they might be able to get him off. It would cost about $5,000.

Anyone connected to this type of scam is so low that they could crawl under the belly of a snake, and still have plenty of room.

Closer to home: in the local newspapers of May 7, 1908, the story broke that Ole Budsburg of Iola may have been murdered. Ole Budsburg was about 50 years old when he left his home north of Iola, and went to LaPort, IN, in the fall of 1906. He soon returned and drew out $1,000 from his bank account. Since that time he was never heard from again. It was thought by his family that he may have gone to Norway.

Henry Gurhold of Scandinavia also had been missing for two years. His friends said that he had been in communication with a matrimonial bureau through a Scandinavia paper, and was corresponding with a Mrs. Gunness. When he left Scandinavia he said he was going to marry a widow who owned a large farm near Chicago.

Mrs. Bell Gunness of LaPorte, IN, had placed ads for matrimony and farm managers in some Scandinavian newspapers, but there was a catch; they had to come up with a certain amount of money. It seems as if there was too many things not accounted for, so the authorities were called in. They unearthed 22 bodies on her farm in LaPorte.

Oscar and Matt Budsburg, sons of Ole Budsburg, and Ed Chapin went to LaPorte for the grim purpose of identifying one of the corpses as that of their father. The remains were brought back to the Scandinavia Lutheran Cemetery for burial.

Another incident that was of interest was that Carl Peterson, a fireman at the Wisconsin Veterans Home, had corresponded with Mrs. Gunness relating to renting her farm. Evidently he could not come up with the proper amount of money, because in another letter, the deal was off. He answered another ad from her for a farm manager. Luckily for him that he was unable to come up with enough money to make the deal attractive enough for her. Carl Peterson lived to read about the scam that almost cost his life.




August 22, 1991


Peg Holzman put in several hours researching Waupaca City Council minutes to find out when the Waupaca bandstand was built. It seems that Peg had received a query from a lady in New London, asking if she knew when the bandstand was built, and this prompted her search for the answer.

She spent all of the first day with no luck. The second day she started again with less spring in her step. After about three hours she spied the word Bandstand. She felt like shouting at the top of her voice Eureka, Ive found it at last.

The minutes of the Waupaca City Council for June 17, 1898, state: Whereas the city of Waupaca has two bands and whereas there is no bandstand in the city of Waupaca, therefore be it resolved that a committee of three, two appointed by the Mayor, and the Mayor as chairman of said committee, to investigate the advisability of said city to erect a bandstand in the courtyard. A. R. Lea, Secretary.

On June 27, 1898, the committee reported that it found general approval for a bandstand. They offered a resolution authorizing the city to spend $250 for it.

On July 18, 1898, it was reported that the committee had let the contract for building the same at a cost of $275 and authorized that another $25 more be appropriated. All voted aye.

The City Council continued in assisting the city band for band purposes such as concerts.

In August of 1904, $7.50 was appropriated to light the bandstand, and on June 18, 1907, $25 was appropriated to help pay the expense of a Fourth of July celebration.

In the Waupaca Centennial 1857-1957, that was published in 1957, can be found this story about one of Waupacas earliest bands.

This band was a group of country boys from the Town of Farmington who practiced in the Barton School House under the guidance of Lee Dana, who received the enormous amount of $3 a week for his instructions. The Barton Schoolhouse is now the Farmington Town Hall, at the intersection of State Highway 54 and County Trunk Q, approximately four miles west of Waupaca.

Four Smith Brothers Alfred, Fred, Dave and Ed were all born on the old homestead, then called the Hill, which is on Smith Lane, were the four surviving children of William and Elizabeth Evans Smith.

These four brothers formed the backbone of a musical group that played together for nearly a decade.

The most outstanding achievement of this musical group took place when they played for a G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) encampment in Milwaukee that was headed by General William Sherman of Civil War fame.

Their big moment came when this band of country boys from the Waupaca area was chosen from among 52 bands from all over the north to go with General Sherman as he addressed large crowds in various halls.

One of the group had remarked that they didnt get anything but their expenses, but they didnt want any more, as they had made a name for themselves. On the day of the great encampment in Milwaukee, they marched and played for six consecutive hours.

A little background on the Smith Family. The father, William Smith, was born in Wales in 1840, and came to America when only 12 years of age. He first settled in New York State where he met and married Miss Elizabeth Evans in 1857. In 1858, they came to the Town of Farmington, Waupaca County, to make their home near the Chain o Lakes. It was here that they became the parents of six children. Only four survived to adulthood.

In 1897 or 1898, Mr. and Mrs. William Smith erected the first main building which was named Locksley Hall, on Round Lake. This became a very popular summer resort. This later became known as Locksley Lodge.

In 1948 and 1949, the Waupaca County Post published the memoirs of the Chain o Lakes, by Fred M. Smith, the Patriarch of the Lakes.

Fred M. Smith and his wife built the Brinsmere Inn, also another popular resort before the days of the automobile, when people could travel long distances to other areas of the state.

There was another band that started in Waupaca in the 1880s, directed by J. H. Hudson. They gave regular weekly concerts and played at celebrations on patriotic holidays, baseball games and at the roller skating rink over Cristys Store.

Charles Carroll, from the east, was another outstanding director of the 32-man Waupaca City Band from 1918 to 1935. In 1936, the Waupaca schools established a regular band department.




August 29, 1991


Lets start back in Merrie Old England on February 6, 1817, the day that Joseph Bucknall was married to Miss Mary Wilson, at Withern, North Alford, Lincolnshire, England.

Here they became the parents of four children: Hannah, John Wilson, Sarah and another daughter, who stayed in England.

John W. Bucknall married Jane Housam; Hannah married George Harness, and Sarah married Nathan Hebblewhite. They were all married in England, in the mid-1850s, and came to America right after their marriages. Nothing is really known about the other sister who stayed in England.

There are many living descendents of the Bucknell and Hebblewhite pioneers in the Waupaca area. The Harness descendents are mostly in the Neenah area.

The name of Bucknell in England was changed to Bucknell in America. John W. Bucknell was this columnists great-grandfather.

This story is going to branch out to the Hebblewhite family. John Hebblewhite was the eldest son of Nathan and Sarah Bucknell Hebblewhite, who was active in business circles in Waupaca for several years.

Warranty Deed, volume 9, page 314, dated September 20, 1899, shows that Frank and Carrie Stout sold to John Hebblewhite 19 feet in width off the north side of Lot 4, Block K, as shown in the original plat of the Village (now the City) of Waupaca. The Waupaca County National Bank was the owner of the south 39 feet of Lot 4, Block K.

On May 25, 1901, there was an agreement drawn up between the Waupaca County National Bank and John Hebblewhite for $475, whereby Hebblewhite could utilize the north wall of the bank building that had previously been built on the lot line between the two lots. It also was understood and agreed that the $475 only gave John Hebblewhite the use of the wall to a height of 32 feet, and if at any time he decided to go higher, he could do so by paying, at the same rate.

In the Waupaca Post, July 17, 1901, a notice states that the Hebblewhite building next to the bank building was torn down and work on a new structure will commence in a few days.

John Hebblewhite willed this property to his son, Earl T. Hebblewhite, who in turn willed it to his niece and nephews; Clement, Walter and Jeanette Hebblewhite, all of Oshkosh. A warranty deed recorded January 18, 1974, shows that C. Kenneth Petersen purchased the property from the Hebblewhites. This completes the owners up to the present, but between 1901 and the present, there were several different establishments renting this building.

The Waupaca Record for July 4, 1912: Two more saloons here. Waupaca now has 12 saloons, which is the limit for a town of this size. The two new licenses were issued to Whittington and Thurston, who will start a saloon in the Lord building formerly occupied by Hub Bessingers pool room, and to Guy Lyons, who will occupy the place that was vacated by Jake Hofberger. This is the building owned by John Hebblewhite at 118 S. Main Street.

Two years later on July 1, 1914, at the stroke of the clock at midnight all saloons closed, as the city went dry. A reporter from the Waupaca Record Leader interviewed all of the proprietors of each saloon asking them what their future plans were. It seems as if he received many different answers. Frank Guyant was evidently backing Guy Lyons, because he reported that his plans were to dispose of the fixtures of his place as soon as he could and retire, that he came into it by accident and was anxious to get out.

On Sunday, October 17, 1915, Mr. A. C. White and Mr. A. E. Sherr held a formal opening of their New England Restaurant in the Hebblewhite building that was formerly a saloon.

Their opening advertisement read: Every energy had been put forth to make the restaurant a beautiful, as well as a home-like place to eat. Besides they had a soda fountain, fresh candies, cigars, as well as other delicacies.

The Sunday evening dinner was served from 6 to 8 p.m., with music. The menu consisted of celery, olives and ill pickles; choice of prime roast beef, spring chicken, baked lake trout with tomato sauce, roast pork with applesauce, escalloped oysters, Hungarian goulash, fresh vegetables; brown pudding with brandy sauce, tea, coffee, milk, brick ice cream, cake, fruit and nuts. There was no price on the ad, but the New England Restaurant ad for Sunday, October 28, 1915s list for the Sunday dinner menu was cream of tomato soup, celery, olives and sweet pickles, roast veal with dressing, chicken pie, scalloped corn, roast beef with brown gravy, combination salad, orange pudding, pie and ice cream, tea, coffee and milk. Price 50.

An ad dated November 18, 1915, boasted 15 lunches. The ad stated that it was not necessary to spend 35 for a meal when you can get meat, potatoes, bread and coffee for 15.

The main floor of the building was the main dining room, with the second floor a banquet hall fitted up in a modern way with a wash room, toilet room and a writing room for the ladies and children. The kitchen was in the basement. We remember this basement as always being a barber shop.

I found a poem written by A. W. Ross about the New England Restaurant that I am going to share with you.

Sherr and White, so they say,

Have opened up this very day

A brand new restaurant, spick and span

That will please the heart of any man.

Then Sherr and White, we will say

Are up to date in every way;

Their table service is the best,

That you will hear from every quest.

And in their larder you will find

The very things you had in mind,

And so it will be easy for the rest

To get the things you like the best.

Then all their waiters are right in line

To serve refreshments at any time,

But when the public have once been served,

They will shout without reserve

To all their friends to get in line,

For Sherr and White is the place to dine.

And when they have dined one and all

They will adjourn to the K of P Hall

There they will trip the fantastic toe

Till the wee small hours and its time to go

But at midnight then is the time

When Sherr and White will get in line

To serve refreshments spick and span

Which will certainly please the inner man.

Then they will go and shake their toes

For another hour and its time to close.

Then they will adjourn for home and bed,

Thinking for once they are well fed,

But in the morn, if they are still in need,

They will start for Whites to get more feed,

And you will hear them shouting along the way

That Sherr and White is the place to stay.

And they will keep this up from morn till night,

And all youll hear will be good things for White and Sherr.


Sometime around 1919, Arthur White and Henry Buedding joined in as partners starting the Buedding and White Billiard Hall in the building vacated by the New England Restaurant.

In June of 1942 the Buedding and White pool hall had a face lifting, as a result of an accident when a flare fell from the top of the wall above, and set fire to the awning and cracked two large plate glass windows at the time that Waupaca held its rally to promote the sale of war bonds. Sherm Neuman repaired the damage in a fitting manner, so as to keep company with the Schultz Bros. store front.

Arthur White passed away in 1937, but Henry Buedding continued to operate the pool hall for some time.

While talking to Ted Girard over a cup of coffee at Katies one day, the subject of Buedding and White came up about the pool room.

Mr. Girard mentioned a couple of incidents that happened in Buedding and Whites pool room. Art Hewitt, who was at one time the city motorcycle cop and was a dare-devil on the motorcycle, having been seen at various times standing upright on his motorcycle coming down one of Waupacas streets, came into the pool room and pulled out his revolver and shot two shots straight into the floor.

I believe it was about the time that Mr. Buedding wanted to sell out and that Art Hewitt considered buying him out.

Hewitt ran the pool hall for about three days, and the kids gave him so much grief he gave up the idea of buying.

I remember Buedding and Whites mostly for the large, thick chocolate malts.

There was no beer sold while Buedding and White ran the pool hall. The high school boys played pool there, but at a certain time they were ordered to rack them up to they would have plenty of time to get back to the schoolhouse.

Since Buedding and White, there were other operators of the pool hall such as Pedersen, Cliff Potts and Carroll Johnson.

The building is now occupied by the Grey Dove Antiques and Resale, and in the basement where the barber shops of James Paris, Plutz and Plowman and lastly Jim Vander Bloomen were, is now the Book Cellar and Sound Investments.




September 5, 1991


Many people pick up a nickname sometime in their lifetime. Maybe the nickname was Red, due to the color of their hair, or possibly by an occupation such as a dealer in cranberries. One such was Cranberry Jones.

When I was still in high school, I had the misfortune of cutting a deep gash in my leg with an axe, while cutting wood. Consequently I walked with a limp for some time. At the time there was a man whom some of you may remember. He was Louie Seavy, who had a wooden leg, and he walked with a limp, so I picked up the nickname of Louie. You might say that I acquired my nickname by accident.

The rest of the story you might also say, is about the Jones boys. The following is taken from the obituary of Ansel Jones, better known as Cranberry Jones. He passed away at the home of his son, Eugene, on February 10, 1910, at the ripe age of 95 years.

He was born in Cayauga County, NY, in 1915. In 1849 he came to Wisconsin with his new bride, Helen Schell, whom he had married in New York. They arrived in Waupaca County sometimes in the 1850s and purchased land in Sections 31 and 32, in the Township of Farmington. The homestead farm is located near the entrance to the Hartman Creek State Park.

Ansel Jones was engaged in farming until the 1880s. In his earlier years he was engaged in lumbering for several winters, and he dealt in cranberries quite extensively, and from this derived his name of Cranberry Jones.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones had seven children; two died at an early age Ernest L. and Josephine. The five who grew to adulthood were Clinton, Neil, Herbert, Eugene and Edith, who married W. A. Hartman. The mother, Mrs. Ansel (Helen) Jones passed away January 9, 1887. Ansel Cranberry Jones lived a full life, and died on the homestead. All are buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

His obituary quotes that in business he valued his word from man-to-man, both physically and mentally, but in his declining years he was nearly blind.

The rest of the story will follow Eugene Jones family. The other brothers left home to make their fortunes in the West.

Actually, Eugene Jones proper name was Ansel Eugene Jones. On November 25, 1880 he married Lorn Ann Perry and they had two sons, Thad H. and J. Paul. Both were veterans of World War I.

When Gene and Lola, as they were always called, began their married life together, they were harnessed with a little less than nothing. Their farm, with only an old ramshackle house, and a big mortgage, was Gene Jones start in farming. But with youth and a great ambition he paid off the mortgage and built a nice new farm home.

Gene Jones was a great lover of music. In his early youth he began taking music lessons on the organ, but his quick ear for music betrayed him into playing by ear instead of by note.

His ability to improve on accompaniments, both to human voice and to other instruments, let him to join with the neighboring family of Truman Hartman and sons, who were known far and wide as Hartmans String Band, with Gene Jones at the melodeon. They were in big demand for dances through-out the country. Later Gene took up with the violin, and with one or the other of his brothers playing the melodeon, he struck out on his own and became an accomplished performer on the violin.

Gene Jones passed away December 28, 1928, and Lola, his wife, passed away December 1, 1940. They are buried in the Waupaca Cemetery. One part of Gene Jones obituary states that he had many virtues and some faults, but let us remember the virtues and bury the faults with his worn-out body in the grave.

Thad H. Jones, a son, also had musical talent. He ran his own Jones Music Company in Waupaca, at 116 North Main Street. He was a piano tuner and repaired organs. In his ads he advertised selling New Home sewing machines. He served in World War I, and finally went to the Tomahawk area, where he stayed.

J. Paul Jones, better remembered as Paul Jones, was born May 9, 1893, in the Town of Farming-ton, on the old homestead, and on October 14, 1925, he was married to Irene Kain, in Chicago, IL. They had no children.

Paul Jones was the Waupaca Police Chief from 1937 to July of 1944, and went on to be the super-intendent of the Waupaca County Hospital at Weyauwega from July 1, 1944 to March 1, 1966. His wife, Irene, was the matron. Together they were responsible for many improvements at the hospital, that made the place a better place for the inmates to live. Mr. Jones was likely by everyone who knew him.

After retiring in 1964, Mr. and Mrs. Jones retired to the old homestead farm near the Chain o Lakes and the Hartman Creek State Park. Here he could be seen driving his tractor after both legs had been amputated. Both Paul and Thad had diabetes and had lost both legs to this dreaded disease.

My father was born and raised on the farm adjacent, to the north, of the Jones farm, and he spent many hours playing with the Jones boys.

It was some time after Paul Jones had retired, when Dad was talking to him about his brother Thad, who also had lost both legs, when Paul Jones remarked that you might say that the Jones boys dont have a leg to stand on.

One story that I remember my father telling was about when they were kids, over to the Jones place playing with Paul and Thad. Their parents were away, so the kids thought up some deviltry. Grandpa Ansel Jones was home, his eyesight was bad, so the boys threw small stones at the house roof. It made quite a noise, and Grandpa Jones would come out of the house and yell at them. Boys can be cruel at times.




September 12, 1991


Charles R. Hoffmann, Waupacas optometrist for 57 years, passed away November 12, 1938, due to a fatal heart attack.

Charles Hoffmann, his grandfather, was a citizen of Prussia, Germany, and reared a family of five children. Their eldest son, also Charles, served an apprenticeship to a jeweler in Germany.

After he had mastered the trade he came to America. In New York he was married and remained there for a few years before moving on to Chicago, becoming one of that citys early settlers. It was in Chicago that his first wife died, leaving two small children, Charles R., the subject of this sketch, and his sister, Laura. Charles R. Hoffmann had been born in Chicago, March 10, 1858.

At the time of the great Chicago fire, October 9, 1871, Mr. Hoffmann had one of the largest jewelry establishments in Chicago, at 88 North Clark Street, and was among those who lost everything in the big fire. He began all over again and was successful enough to save enough money to enable him to live in comfort for the remaining years of his life.

He remarried again when young Charles was only 12 years of age and the boy was sent to a military school for the next two years. After he attended the Academy at Lake Forest, near Chicago, he spent another three years at a school in Kankakee, IL. After he had enough schooling he was apprenticed to a watch maker, paying a tuition fee of $200 per year for the next three years.

After he completed his apprenticeship he joined the large jewelry establishment of Giles Bros. in Chicago, until he decided to come to Waupaca in June 1881.

It seems as if prior to 1881, Charles R. Hoffmann had been suffering from a sinus complaint, then called by the old-fashioned name Catarrh.

He was advised by his physician to leave Chicago and move to a clean northern climate. He had heard that a Mr. Chady had a jewelry and notions store in Waupaca, and had a position open for a clerk and jeweler. This brought him to Waupaca and he worked for Mr. Chady for a year and then went into business for himself.

On January 23, 1883, he was united in marriage to Anna Lea, who was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Lea, one of Waupacas early clothing store operators.

In 1911 the jewelry stock was sold out, and now special training was required for Mr. Hoffmanns new-found profession of making and fitting eye glasses. A new business with new termin-ology was born.

Four children were born to the Charles R. Hoffmann family, and one son, Ralph, eventually worked with is father, starting in 1933.

Ralph L. Hoffmann had been born in Waupaca on March 12, 1894, and graduated from the Waupaca High School and from the Chicago School of Optometry in 1916.

Dr. Hoffmann was a World War I combat veteran in France; following his army service he married Lucille Czeskleba in Waupaca on January 15, 1920. They were the parents of two children, another Charles and Beverly.

He retired due to ill health in 1962.

I can still see the long metal stairway leading up the north side of the old Farmers State Bank building to the Hoffmann office on the second floor.




September 19, 1991


The material for this story is taken from an old Waupaca newspaper, dated October 4, 1906. The story started out by commemorating the 100th birthday of Mary Marshall, who was a member of the Wis-consin Veterans Home, King.

In 1906 she was one of the very few widows of soldiers of the Mexican War, whose names were on the pension roll. She herself was a nurse in both the Mexican War and the American Civil War.

She quoted that her life had spanned the most remarkable 100 years in all of the worlds history.

She witnessed the rise and development of our American republic from the 13 original infant colonies to it becoming the most powerful nation in all the world (1906), whose brilliant and sublime achievements, both in the arts of war and peace, were supreme.

She would be amazed today, in 1991, if she could see the advancements our country has made since 1906. She may have never in her wildest dreams thought of television, radio, automobiles, aeroplanes, atomic bombs, computers and the confisticated equipment that was recently employed in Desert Storm.

Mary Marshall was born October 1, 1806, in Gunnon, Ireland, and had been a resident of these United States for 70 years in 1906. In volume 6, page 217 of the death records, it shows her father as Patrick Skivewkon and her mother was unknown.

She married Andrew Marshall at Toronto, Canada, in 1822. He was a British soldier there at the time. They moved to Milwaukee in 1849, and there Andrew became engaged in business. He served in the Mexican War for 17 months. During their married years they had nine children, of which two sons went into service of his country during the Civil War and never did return.

I could not find any mention as to when and where her husband, Andrew Marshall, died or is buried, but Mary E. Marshall died December 14, 1908, aged 102 years old at the Wisconsin Veterans Home hospital at King. She is buried at the WVH Cemetery.




September 26, 1991


The June 25, 1903 issue of the Waupaca Record wrote about this interesting account of Old Abe, the famous Wisconsin eagle.

Chief Sky, a member of the Wisconsin Chippewas, was on a hunting tour in the spring of 1861 when he climbed on top of a ledge of rocks, and from this vantage point saw a large nest with two young eaglets in it. The mother eagle was nowhere in sight so he took the two eaglets home with him as pets for his papoose. One of them died shortly afterwards and the other one turned out to become famous.

In the fall of 1861 a group of soldiers stopped at the home of Chief Sky and made a trade with him; a bushel of corn for the young eagle. Soon thereafter, they presented the young eagle to their regi-ment, which left for the Civil War. The young eagle was placed in the charge of one soldier. During the long marches this soldier often carried him on a shield fastened to a standard. Sometimes when he was tired of riding or needed some exercise, he would leave his perch and fly away. If fresh meat for his meals became scarce, he would be gone for several days and would return with a lamb.

He could distinguish between the blue and the grey. Sometimes he went to the wrong regiment before he found the right one. During the battle at Jackson, MS, Old Abe, as he had by then been named, flew into the air and remained there from dawn to dusk.

Old Abe was struck down several times by bullets during the war once at Gettysburgs Missionary Ridge but he was soaring so high and his feathers were so thick that he suffered little harm.

After the war was over he became the property of the State of Wisconsin and the basement of the Capitol at Madison became his home. In the winter he roamed within the building and in the summer he occupied a cage on the grounds. A live animal was always given him for his breakfast. One day a white chicken was offered him for his breakfast, but whether it was from compassion or just longing to have a feathered friend to share his loneliness, he shared his corn with the chicken. He allowed her to share his perch at night and would shelter her with his big wing.

In 1876 Old Abe was taken to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Visitors came from all over the country to see him. He seemed to feel that he was highly honored. He appeared to be watching the sale of his pictures and the story of his life. Some of his quills sold for $5, the money going for charity.

In the spring of 1881 Old Abe fell ill. The doctors pronounced it a case of lung trouble. Everything was done for him, but he soon died. His body was preserved in a museum at Madison.

After reading this article, I became interested in learning more about Old Abe. I found a publica-tion Old Abe the War Eagle. It has been documented to be a much more accurate and up-to-date account of Old Abe.

O-ge-ma-we-ge-zhig (Charlie) Chief Sky killed the mother eagle and had to cut down a tall pine tree that contained the nest with the eaglets. He was a member of the Flambeau band of Chippewa Indians.

Mrs. Dan McCann who lived near Jim Falls in Chippewa County, purchased the young eaglet for a bushel of corn. They kept a large blue ribbon around its neck, clipped its wings and tied his feet. Their two children were kept busy furnishing food for the growing bird. They found rabbits, mice and partridges for his menu. Once he escaped for four days, but the large ribbon around his neck prevented him from flying very well. He was growing day by day and becoming more and more a problem.

Dan McCann took Abe to Chippewa Falls, which was forming a militia, and offered him to the soldiers for a mascot. They rejected his offer, so he then went to Eau Claire and made them the same offer and they accepted.

So now Abe was in the army. The regiment from Eau Claire went to Camp Randall in Madison for training on September 4, 1861.

Camp Randall was the training facility that transformed most of Wisconsins volunteers into soldiers. When the Eau Clair company marched into Camp Randall to the tune of Yankee Doodle, Old Abe, aroused by the music, the trip and the attention of the citizens who had lined the streets, grasped the end of the company flag with his beak. Flapping and stretching his wings, he created quite a sensation.

The Madison State Journal described the event as a majestic sight. Obviously the sound of a snappy tune turned Old Abe on, because when he was living in the Dan McCann household he enjoyed hearing Dan play his violin. When he heard the fast part of Bonapartes Retreat he would jump up and down and flutter his wings.

Old Abe now received a new perch to replace the old one. The regimental quartermaster, Francis L. Billings, a 30-year-old-Oshkosh merchant, constructed a shield-shaped wooden plate above which a crosspiece was placed for Old Abe to perch on. The shield was painted with stars and strips, with three wooden arrows along each side of the roost, and attached the device to a five-foot pole. At the base of the shield was inscribed 8th Reg. W.V.

Men from the 8th came from all over Wisconsin. They represented many different skills from mechanics, carpenters, lumberjacks, farmers and blacksmiths to name only a few. It took nearly 100 men in several companies to form a regiment. Company A were men from Waupaca, Portage and Waushara counties. Company C came from the Eau Claire area.

Old Abe stayed with Company C as its mascot. Six different members of Company C served as bearers during the Civil War. James McGinnis, an Eau Claire farmer, carried the eagle until May 1862, when he died of some disease in Mississippi. Thomas J. Hill of Eau Claire became Abes next bearer until August of 1862. David McLain, a carpenter and farmer from Buffalo County, became Old Abes best-remembered bearer. He carried the eagle during the fiercely fought battle that lasted for two days at Corinth, in October 1862. Edwin Homaston, an Eau Claire blacksmith, became Old Abes closes human associate. He carried him through the Vicksburg Campaign. Jacob Burkhardt, a German immigrant from Eau Claire, bore the eagle to 1864, John F. Hill, the 16-year-old brother of Thomas Hill, who was wounded at Corinth, carried Old Abe back to Madison and was mustered out in September 1864.

Old Abe was home at last, free from the sounds and horrors of war. He now became the property of the State of Wisconsin, and was now classified along with the battle flags that were returned by the state regiments, as a War Relic. He was no longer a member of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry, but the eagle mascot now became a Civil War Curiosity. As the years passed Old Abes fame grew.

In the State Capitol, Old Abe had access to a specially constructed bathtub, was fed fresh rabbits daily, and had several sawhorses to roost upon. The Eagle Department never lacked for visitors.

Wisconsins War Eagle was not destined to spend his remaining years relaxing in his pen at the Capitol. After January 1865, Old Abe made many journeys through Wisconsin and many other states. All of this can be found in detail in the publication Old Abe The War Eagle, by Richard H. Zeitlin, and copyrighted by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1986.

The bitter cold winter of 1880-1881 proved to be disastrous for Old Abe. In February 1881, a small fire broke out in the basement of the State Capitol in a storage area containing paints and oils. The fire was quickly brought under control, but an enormous amount of smoke filled the War Eagles quarters.

On March 20,1881, Old Abe refused to eat and continually lost strength. On Friday, March 25, the bird went into spasms, appearing to be suffering from lung difficulties. Old Abe died in George Giles arms the following afternoon. Immediately the question arose as to what should be done with the eagles remains. Having the bird mounted won out over the burial in Union Rest at Madisons Forest Hill Cemetery. It seems as if the taxidermist did a poor job on Old Abe, as he did not look very natural.

In May a dispute arose over where and how the stuffed eagle would be displayed. On September 17, 1881, Old Abe went on display in the rotunda of the State Capitol. Four years later the eagle was removed to the War Museum which was a part of the State Historical Society of Wisconsins room in the Capitol. The eagle was placed in an octagonal black walnut and glass case which stood near the rows of tattered flags that had survived the Civil War.

Old Abe, even after death, traveled in his eight-sided black walnut case to be viewed at fairs and expositions around the country.

In 1900, when the State Historical Society moved into its new location on the University campus, Old Abe went along. Pressure from veterans groups convinced Governor Robert M. LaFollette to have the eagle and the war flags returned to the Capitol. As it turned out that was a grave mistake.

In the spring of 1903, the encased Old Abe became part of the exhibits at the G.A.R. Memorial Hall in the Capitol. Old Abe did not even spend an entire year in the G.A.R. Memorial Hall, because in February of 1904, a fire broke out in the Capitol once more. Despite all efforts, the fire consumed Old Abe in his beautiful case.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did in putting it together. Be sure to read the full account of Old Abe in Old Abe the War Eagle.




October 3, 1991


Pick out your favorite easy chair, close your eyes and make yourself comfortable for a trip down memory lane.

Do you remember getting out of the warm feather tick on those cold winter mornings, only to find the stoves all out, and ice on the water pail?

You try to start the fire in the kitchen cook stove, so you could start breakfast, only to find that you had not brought in any dry kindling the night before to start the morning fires, and there was no dry wood in the wood box. Corn cobs soaked in kerosene were excellent for starting a fire.

Did you ever take a dare from someone to stick your tongue on the pump handle on one of those cold winter days, only to find that you were stuck there until someone came with some warm water to pour on the pump handle, or you lost some skin? Ouch!

Since you had no modern conveniences, such as running water, you had the old outhouse in the backyard. Sometimes you wished that you had started out a little earlier. And there was nothing more disturbing than to find only the smooth pages of the Sears-Roebuck catalogue.

Remember the old-fashioned flat irons that were heated on top of the kitchen range? These were not only used to iron the freshly-washed clothes, but were many times wrapped in a blanket and placed at the foot of the bed to keep your feet warm if you slept in a cold, non-heated room. If you did not have a charcoal heater to keep your feet warm while riding in a sleigh or a cutter, these flat irons made a good substitute.

Back in the days when we received our first big winter snows, the old flivver was put in the garage, up on blocks until spring.

The country folks used to be a cooperative lot; at least they were in Blaine when I was growing up. They worked hard and played together. Many exchanged work when it came harvest time. At thresh-ing time, each one helped his neighbors. Oh, what meals the ladies put on at threshing time.

When the cook yelled, Come and get it, she had better get out of the way. They did not take a lot of time washing or primping up. They were hungry and wanted to eat so that they could get back to work as soon as possible. Sometimes they ate in shifts to save time.

Ethel Bowers, who was raised under the influence of city life in Waupaca, married my father and was introduced to country life on the farm. Her first experience with threshing crews was something else. She had expected the men to clean up and put on their best manners at the table. She had put her best tablecloth on the table, but when the men sat down to eat, she just stood there in shock, as the men passed, or reached for the bread, meat and potatoes.

There was silo filling and corn shreading to be done before the winter set in.

In the winter each farmer would put up his own wood pile, to be sawed by some power-driven circular saw. I distinctly recall helping saw wood a few days before Christmas, when it was 10 below zero. The saw rig was powered by an old stationary gasoline engine. The engine would continually stop, and to keep warm we burned the sawed wood nearly as fast as it was sawed. Better saw rigs were being built by mounting an automobile engine on a car frame with a swinging saw. You who never helped saw wood dont realize how dangerous it was.

Another winter chore was putting up ice for summer use. It was generally very cold weather when that task was done. More than one man took a dip in the cold water when a large chunk of ice broke from the main part.

Saturday night was time to relax and enjoy life. If there was no dance at the Blaine Hall, or in the area, there was a card party in one of the homes in the community. Dr. Sam Salan and his Troubadours from Waupaca were popular at the Blaine Hall.

Each family in a club would take their turn at hosting a card party. Generally the family that was the farthest away would take its team and sleigh and pick up neighbors as they went.

How we kids enjoyed this. We would tie our sleds behind the sleigh. We spent as much time picking ourselves out of the snow, as we did on the sleds.

Once at the party, we would play kid games until we were tuckered out, and then we would lie on the beds and cover ourselves with the coats that were there. When it came time to go home our folks had to sort out their right kids from under the coats. This was the tough part, to be awakened in the wee hours of the morning, put back in our warm coats and go out in the cold again for the trip back home. We were satisfied to ride in the sleigh going home.

Remember the old dry cell operated telephone that hung on the kitchen wall? The one with the receiver hanging on the left side and the hand crank that was on the right side? In those days it was all party lines, and when the phone rang, it rang on every phone on that party line.

Each party on the line had a certain number of rings such as two short, one short and one long, etc. One long ring was for central. It seemed as if some people had nothing better to do than to listen to every ring that came on their phone. It did not take long to memorize the rings for all on that line, so if you wanted to keep tabs on a certain party you listened in. This was how the news and gossip traveled, and sometimes there must have been some red faces.

It was nice, after the chores were done, after a day of hauling in hay, to go to Pine or Pickerel Lake for a swim. You met most of your neighbors there for a good time. I remember of one instance when a rather heavy woman jumped off the springboard and landed straddle on a fellows neck and drove him to the bottom.

What happened to the 5 ice cream cone, package of gum and the Baby Ruth candy bar?

How much did you pay for your first automobile? An ad in the Waupaca County Post in 1934 went something like this, The Ford V-9 for 1934, the only car under $2,000 with a V-8 cylinder engine, dual carburetion and gives 2-1/2 more miles per gallon. The new Terraplanes and Hudsons were on display in 1934, at Rohde Motor Co., at the Modern Garage at 219 Jefferson Street, Waupaca.

The Terraplane 6 sold for $565, for a coupe at the factory, and a Hudson 8 at $695, for a coupe at the factory. Leo J. Fuhrman, 114 Granite Street, advertised his Oldsmobiles at $845 for a beautiful V-8, and a six-cylinder for $640.

Van Nelson Company, at 200 North Main Street, received a carload of Overlands in March, 1914. He also handled Jeffery cars. This building was for many years the Nelson Paint Company, and now stands empty. There is a story in itself on this building.

A. M. Hanson had his ad in the 1909 paper for his Maxwell cars, the car for the farmer and a car for the businessman, selling from $500 to $1,750.

In 1916, Myron P. Godfrey sold 40-horse power, 4-cylinder Studebakers, selling at $885.

Here is a car that not many people remember; the Allen. William Koenig was the agent located at 106 East Union Street in 1916. It had a long wheel base, 112 inches, ample power, 37 hp, lightweight, 2,300 lbs., and priced at $795.

F. L. Hoaglin, proprietor of the Waupaca garage, advertised in 1912, Ford Model T, 2-passenger, 4-cylinder and 20-horsepower for $590. This Ford was full equipped with top, automatic windshield, speedometer, two gas lights, three oil lamps, horn and tools.




October 10, 1991


While nicknames may still be in your mind, another interesting one has come to my mind: Apple Tree Barnes.

I will start with his father, Horace Barnes, who was born in Onondaga County, New York, and died at his home in Oakfield (Fond du Lac County). He was married in Onondaga County, NY, about 1846, to Phoebe L. Higgins.

Samuel W. Soule, a nephew of Mrs. Barnes, was the original inventor of the typewriter, the plans of which, and the first model were made on Horace Barnes farm in the Township of LeRoy (Dodge County).

Horace Barnes came to Dodge County with his bride, being among the first settlers in LeRoy Township. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes were blessed with 11 children: William D., who was the first white boy born in LeRoy Township, Asa D., Horace, Henry B., Julius A., Flora A., Blanch D., Duane P., Phoebe I., and two more who died in infancy.

Asa D. (Apple Tree) Barnes, the subject of this story, was born September 5, 1852. He attended school in a log schoolhouse in which the desks were supported by wooden pegs, set in holes bored in the logs on the side of the building.

At the early age of 10 he became interested in planting, pruning and grafting trees. His interest was due to his mother, who was very fond of trees, shrubs and flowers.

Asa D. Barnes was reared on the family farm, where he assisted in the hard work of helping clear the land and digging out stones all day. Asa remained on the farm until he became of age. Asa D. Barnes had visions of a better life as he toiled in the fields on the home farm.

He left home, arriving in Nebraska on November 10, 1873, with only $28.40 in his pocket. On the first of January 1874, he filed a homestead entry, and the next four years he devoted his time and attention to the development of his farm. Meanwhile he had purchased three other farms. His first house was a dugout in a bank.

He planted the first orchard in Fillmore County, Nebraska, and started the first nursery, but it was destroyed by wind and drought.

On September 30, 1877, Asa D. Barnes was united in marriage to Miss Lucie J. Wheeler, in Fillmore, NE. Her father was supposed to have been a cousin of the Wheeler who was then the countrys vice president.

In 1880 he traded his Nebraska holdings for a farm back in Wisconsin, in Fond du Lac County. He spent the next two years there before moving to the City of Fond du Lac, and became engaged in the nursery business in Waupun. In 1883 they moved to South Dakota. While there he acted as a head foreman for a nursery firm at Atlantic, IA, often having as many as 50-100 men in his charge.

In 1885, Mr. and Mrs. Barnes disposed of their interest in Fond du Lac and came to Waupaca County to live. On May 19, 1887, A.D. Barnes purchased on land contract from Chas. Churchill, all of the SE of the NE in Section 32, T.22N-R.12E, lying south of the corner of the highway, also a sufficient amount, or portion of the NE of the SE , also in Section 32, which together with the first piece described will make 20 acres of land. According to the 1889 plat of the Township of Waupaca, it shows 53 acres of land in Section 32, as belonging to A.D. Barnes and Fruit Farm.

The 1912 Waupaca County plat book, in Section 32, Township of Waupaca, shows A.D. Barnes as owning a total of 83 acres.

Here in Waupaca, Mr. and Mrs. Barnes became the parents of three sons: Roy W., Ray V., and Vernon Dee, who was the eldest of the three. He was born in 1883, and died at the age of six years, as a result of accidental drowning in 1889. He is buried beside his father, Asa D. Barnes, in the Waupaca Cemetery. Asa D. Barnes died at his home in Friendship, January 31, 1927. Lucie (Lucy) Wheeler Barnes died in 1911, and is buried in the Waupaca Cemetery, but in a different area, beside their son, Ray W. Barnes.

The obituary for Asa D. (Apple Tree) Barnes states that he was married for a second time. This time to Elsie Ewing, in 1910, and in 1920 they moved to Friendship, and established an abstract agency. This would suggest that A.D. Barnes and Lucie Barnes had been divorced as he had married Elsie Ewing in 1910, and Lucie died in 1911. This would account for their being buried in different parts of the Waupaca Cemetery.

In 1887 Asa D. Barnes established the Arctic Nursery in Waupaca, from which he harvested as many as 8,000 bushels of apples in one year. He took prizes on his fruit at the Worlds Fair in Chicago and the World Exposition at St. Louis. He received a diploma and medal at the Continental Exposition at Omaha, NE, and a gold medal valued at $175 at the Pan-American exposition at Buffalo, NY. His winning at Chicago was for the best bushel of apples of any variety.

It seems as if Apple Tree Barnes was the first person to introduce the idea of putting out fruit trees on contract. He sold grape vines on contract with the guarantee of 12 pounds of grapes from every vine, and had 10,000 apple trees in the state from which he was to receive a certain percent of the fruit. Throughout the years he had eight traveling men on the road selling his nursery stocks.

On October 6, 1919, A.D. Barnes sold out to John T. and Sophia Meier, who ran it for a few years before giving up and returned to Iowa.

In the early years of the 1930s, Mearl Pennebecker purchased the property and combined it with his Churchill property until about 1976, when he retired, and Mr. and Mrs. Pennebecker moved to town. Mrs. Evelyn Pennebeckers father was at one time a nursery salesman for Mr. Barnes.

The Pennebecker Orchards that were located on Old Highway 10 (now Apple Tree Lane) have been renamed Crystal River Orchards.




October 17, 1991


In the spring of 1946, the old frame building that stood next to the Leo J. Fuhrman garage, that was an old landmark in the central part of Waupaca, was being razed.

The building, some 60 years old, had served a wide variety of uses since it was first constructed.

It was first used as a church before it was moved to its present location. I have been told that at one time there used to be a church standing on the hill to the north of this location. It apparently existed for only a few years.

After this old building was moved to its new location it was used as a blacksmith shop; with the advent of the automobile the building was converted into a garage, with living quarters on the second floor.


It next became a place for the storage for Waupaca school buses.

What became of the buildings location after the structure was razed?

Further research answers that question. Warranty Deed, Volume 209, page 93, dated February 8, 1946, shows Peter W. Heckel and Leona, his wife, sold to Lee J. Fuhrman lot 4, block D, except the north 43 feet of said lot.

In the Waupaca County Post, dated November 20, 1947, was an article stating that L. J. Fuhrman, proprietor of the Oldsmobile garage on Granite Street, was erecting a one-story building directly west of his present building: it was to become a modern workshop when completed.

A building was constructed 27 feet wide by 51 feet long. It was constructed of special baked blocks that are similar in size to concrete blocks, but are much lighter in weight and possesses much better insulating qualities.

The front of the building was of the conventional brick, similar to the front of the original garage. After the building was completed, they were joined by removing a portion of the west wall of the old garage building.

Ev. Hansen, owner of Evs Service Center, has operated out of this building for several years, and brother Kerm Hansen, owner of Hansen Auto Exchange, has operated out of the old Leo J. Fuhrman garage since 1976. As of January 1, 1991, the Hansen brothers united their businesses at 112 Granite Street.




October 24, 1991


In the winter of 1876-77, the Wisconsin Central Railroad had just been completed to Ashland and many of the men who had worked on the line were idle.

Combined with the young men idled by the lack of work on the local farms, there was an enormous amount of men who had no place to go for an evening of companionship and amusement, except at the local saloons.

A group of members of the Waupaca community got together to see just what could be done to provide these men with a more suitable environment in which to gather.

Lars Larson, William Bendixen and Nels Larson from Waupaca, and A.P. Anderson from Farmington circulated a pledge and a petition, and when 12 people had signed the pledge a room was rented in the wooden building owned by O.O. Olson. The first meeting was held January 6, 1877. Each signer paid a fee of 50 and the Danes Home was born. A short time later this building was destroyed by fire.

The Danes Home (De Danske Hjem) was the first lodge to organize for social and literary purposes. In 1882 it incorporated under the laws of Wisconsin.

The constitution and bylaws were adopted and the name The Danes Home was formally adopted. The bylaws provided that all males born to Danish parents, 18 yeas of age, or older, who were able to read and speak the Danish language, be eligible for membership. Gambling and intoxicating beverages were strictly forbidden on the premises.

After some years they had their own insurance branch for the benefit of the sick and incapacitated.

The charter members were Hans Yorkson, president; A. Rasmussen, vice president; George Nelson, secretary; William Bendixen, treasurer; Lars Larson, librarian; Jens Peterson, John Georgeson, George Hennegsen, N. Larson, A.P. Anderson and Jens Rasmussen.

The newly-organized Danes Home rented three more different locations before they made the purchase of a building of their own in 1882. The second location was upstairs in the F. Peterson building; the third was over the post office in the Chady building on East Union Street, south of the Courthouse Square. While here this building burned; the next location was over Matt Jensens market on North Main Street, where the home remained until November 14, 1882, when they purchased the old original courthouse, that had been moved to one side of the square to make room for the new courthouse, the one that was demolished this past summer.

The old courthouse was purchased for $275, and now the Danes Home had a building to be moved to their property that they had previously purchased.

According to Warranty Deed, volume 56, page 229, dated September 19, 1882, the Danes Home purchased lot one (1), Block D, in the Waupaca village plat, for $600 from Edson L. and Mary E. Demarest. With the cost of moving the building to this location and with what improvements that had to be made, the total cost for the new home was $1,300.

The money was raised by non-interest bearing notes of $10, payable to the members at the pleasure of the society. Within four to five years the debt had been discharged, there was money in the treasury, and 560 books in Danish were in their library.

This building served the societys needs until in 1894, when they sold the building and it was moved to the west end of the Water Street bridge, where it remained until it was demolished in 1965.

The Danes Home building that was erected in 1894, that stands empty today on the corner of Granite and North Main Streets, was designed by the architect, William Waters of Oshkosh, who was a highly-respected architect of his day, and was drafted by Peter Jensen of Oshkosh, a former resident of Waupaca.

Construction of the building began in early August 1894, and the building was turned over complete to the society by the contractor on November 22, 1894. The building was completed at a cost of $7,000.

The dedication ceremonies took place on November 29, 1894, with about 400 people in attendance. The Waupaca Republican stated that the building was brilliantly illuminated with electric lights and profusely decorated with festoons of evergreens, flowers and flags, and that all enjoyed the exercise, the dance, the music, the social and the supper.

From the description that appeared in the Waupaca Republican on December 7, 1894, the main entrance from the sidewalk opened through three doors to a vestibule, where there were two doors which led to the assembly hall, ladies parlor, smoking room, cloak room and ticket office.

At the rear there was a wide stairway leading to the dance hall and lecture room. This was a fine hall where 15 to 20 couples could dance with ease. In case of a lecture or other entertainment there was room for 300 chairs and 200 more could be placed in the gallery above, which occupied three sides of the building.

Some of this information was gleaned from an article written by Margaret Saart in 1980.

For about 25 years, from the time of its dedication until 1920, when the Palace Theatre was built, the Danes Home was known as the Danes Home Opera House. The main room was also used by the Waupaca Howitzer Company of the National Guard for a drill room for some time.

Many Waupaca High School graduation exercises were held in the Danes Home auditorium.

In the fall of 1923, the Ku Klux Klan (K.K.K.) held a public lecture in the Danes Home gymnasium. More on this interesting account can be found in full detail in an article that was written by Edwin Emmons, in April of 1988.

At one time the Danes Home Society had 150 active members and a library of over 1,000 Danish books.

The Waupaca County Post for March 8, 1945, reported: Danes Home a landmark for 50 years is sold. One of Waupacas old landmarks changed ownership last week when the D.A. Hall, opposite the city hall, was sold to Henry Bille, local tinsmith. The building had been in the possession of the Danes Home Society for the past 50 years. Formerly a lodge room, theatre and dance hall, the structure had been condemned for such use by the Industrial Commission.

Mr. Bille continued to operate his business from this location until in April of 1977, when he incorporated, and moved to his new location at King, where Billes Inc. continues to operate today.

Henry Bille sold the building in June of 1975, to Johnson, Hansen and Shambeau, but maintained the use of the basement rent free for two years. This is why he did not move to King until 1977.

The giant magnificent structure that stands at the head of Main Street is still a reminder of the many good times that were had there.

The Old Danes Home is on the National Register of Historic Places and although its future may be uncertain, nothing could be finer for downtown Waupaca than to see this building refurbished to its original condition.




October 31, 1991


Two men who served the North during the days of the Civil War spent their last days at the Old Grand Army Home on the shores of the beautiful Rainbow Lake at King.

Both Israel J. Cannon and Lansing A. Wilcox lived past 100.

Lansing A. Wilcox, who was one of the nations last five surviving Civil War veterans at his death on September 29, 1951, had attained the advanced age of 105 years.

In 1947, with the death of Josiah Cass of Eau Claire, Wilcox became the states last surviving Civil War veteran.

Wilcox was born at Salem (Kenosha County), March, 1846. A short time later the family moved to New York, NY, where they remained for a short time; while Lansing was still a young lad they returned to Wisconsin, locating this time in the Cadott area near the village which was named for Jean Baptiste Cadotte, a French Indian trapper who in 1838 had settled there, on the Yellow River.

The War Between the States started while Lansing Wilcox was a teenager and continued for three years before he attained the age of 18.

He enlisted in Company F, 4th Wis. Cavalry, and was sent to Baton Rouge, LA. Upon his discharge from the Army at the end of the Civil War with the rank of corporal, he returned to Wisconsin. Here he became restless and moved about during the next three years, first to Kansas and back to Wisconsin, then to Washington and back to the Badger State.

He taught school at Cadott for a time, and in 1902, when he was 56, became the postmaster there, serving for the next 10 years. At the end of this time he retired and lived on his pension. For his final 18 months, he lived at the Grand Army Home, where he was in his own words waiting for the last trumpet to call me home.

Preceding Mr. Wilcox in death were his first three wives and a son, Alonzo.

In 1942, when he was 96 years old, he married 65-year-old Marie Duttle, who survived him.

This old veteran lies beside his first wife, Mary (1841-1926), and his son, Alonzo (1876-1899), in the Brooklawn Cemetery at Cadott (Chippewa County).

It was almost 19 years after the death of Lansing A. Wilcox, that Wisconsins last Civil War veteran finally had a marker erected at his gravesite. It is a plain, 12 by 24 inch tombstone, which lies level with the ground that marks the grave of a soldier who was one of almost four million men who served in the War Between the States.

Israel J. Cannon passed away at the Grand Army Home March 13, 1941. The 101-year-old Civil War veteran was one of the last of many Boys in Blue who had walked, chatted, rested and lived at the Grand Army Home at Waupacas beautiful Chain o Lakes since the institution was established in 1888.

On the night of his death, he left a half glass of milk that he had been drinking, and the centenarian quietly took leave of this world, slumping in his bed so quietly that the attendant was surprised when he found his lifeless body.

He went to join his comrades of Chickamauga, Lynchberg, Bull Run and Gettysburg.

Israel J. Cannon had lived a full life on this earth before he answered Taps, a soldiers farewell.

Cannon was born in Pennsylvania in 1840, but was a resident of Wisconsin when he enlisted at Columbia County on August 15, 1862. He served in Company C, 23rd Wis. Infantry until his honorable discharge January 21, 1865, at Madison.

On July 11, 1886, he was married to Parthena Quimby, at Marion, after which they became the parents of six children: Mrs. Julius (Amelia) Satier; Mrs. Edward Pomplum of Wautoma; Mrs. Charles Thomas of Lee Center, NY; Benjamin Cannon, Rib Lake; Cecil R. Cannon, West DePere; and Stillman Cannon, Rome, NY.

Mr. Cannon first entered the home in 1905, but was there continuously after 1921.




November 7, 1991


Romance and tragedy arent only found in novels. They can be found close to home, as this true life story unfolded to a writer for the Waupaca Record, dated May 11, 1905 shows.

Mrs. James White came to the Wisconsin Veterans Home in search of her husband whom, she had learned through the Pension Department in Washington, D.C., was a member here.

She stated that she was born at Mineral Point and was married there to James White in 1853, and to this union were born three children, two dying when very young.

Her husband, James White, enlisted in Company E, 11th Wisconsin Infantry, and served until the end of the War Between the States. Soon after his return a difference arose between them, which resulted in a separation. She took their only child and moved to Chicago, where she cared for herself and the child by working as a domestic.

The years passed and their son grew to manhood, married and moved to Omaha, Neb., where he was engaged as an electrician.

A child was born to them at Omaha. In 1903 the sons wife died in a hospital in Omaha from blood poison, then three months later the son died from an electrical shock.

This left their child an orphan, and the grandparents of the childs mother took the child to live with them in a small town near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here they received the appointment by the court as legal guardian. Within a short time the child was kicked by a horse, and died two weeks later.

There was some property amounting to $6,000 left, and this was the reason that Mrs. White came looking for Mr. White. She needed to get his signature to get her share of the property. This was the first time Mr. and Mrs. White had met in 40 years, though each had made several fruitless efforts to find each other.

Mrs. White, according to the local newspaper account, was returning to Omaha to settle the estate and planned to come back to King to join her husband.

I did not look up the date of James Whites death, but his government marker, in Section 11, in the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery at King, is engraved with these words, Jas. White, Co. E, 11th Wis. Inf.




November 14, 1991


It has now been well over a year since I have written anything about cemeteries, so I have decided to bring to you a little insight into what we encounter while copying cemeteries.

I will start out by explaining what is meant by the term copying. When I say we, I mean Alta, my wife, and I. We first select a cemetery that we would like to copy. This usually depends on the distance from home and the time that we can spend that day. Also, if the weather is hot, we try to find a well-shaded cemetery.

We both start out with large spiral notebooks in which to enter the inscriptions from the tomb-stones. We carry stiff bristle brushes to clean off any foreign material from the marker. One should never use wire brushes or metal objects to clean the stones; they can cause damage. White chalk the kind used on school blackboards is a necessity to chalk the badly eroded markers; this helps to bring out the lettering more clearly. A thermos of cold water is also a must on hot days.

Before entering the cemetery we write in our notebooks the name of the cemetery, the county, the township and the section.

Then we draw a map of the cemetery, drawing in all driveways. This divides the cemetery into sections which we give numbers to work with. These are our own section and numbers, and not neces-sarily the same as the original plat of the cemetery.

We are now ready to take our pencils and notebooks and go to work.

We each enter our section number in our notebook, make note if we are copying the cemetery from east to west, or west to east, as the case may be, and if we started on row one to the south, then it was row two to the north and so on until the section was completed. As we move down the row of lots, we enter every name, date and all pertinent information in our notebooks from every tombstone as we progress back and forth.

You may be wondering why I said that we started copying from the east to west or, west to east. That is because all Protestant cemeteries have their graves facing east and west, therefore, the walkways are running north and south. Some Catholic cemeteries have their graves facing north and south, but only if they face the church.

In the winter months Alta types up our summers work from our notebooks on reinforced, three-ring typing paper. I then index the names. Our books are recorded by county and townships. Each township has all of their cemeteries in their own book.

By our system we can walk to any given grave in a cemetery in a short time by referring back to our section number, which row that name was on, and if we copied from north to south, or south to north.

Hopefully, we have copied the inscriptions from every marker in every cemetery or burial site in Waupaca, Waushara, Portage, Langlade and Florence counties.

We have copied, indexed and filed a total of 350 cemeteries from 16 counties. Alta has a collection of thousands of obituaries pasted in books, all separated and entered into their proper cemetery along with the inscriptions.

This all started back in 1971. We have been asked many times why we ever started such a weird hobby.

The answer is easy. In doing our family genealogies, we found that most of the old pioneer names could not be found in the death records in the courthouses, and the only proof of their existence is found on the old white tombstones that are eroding away so fast. These old stones are falling down, being broken, hauled off the lot, or vandalized.

We felt someone had to record this history before it is all gone.

Just a short summary on the number and the condition of the cemeteries in Waupaca, Waushara and Portage Counties. We have copied and recorded 74 cemeteries in Waushara County, of which eight have been totally destroyed and eight that are neglected, or are in bad condition; in Portage County we have recorded 84 cemeteries, of which eight have been totally destroyed and seven are neglected, or are in bad condition, and in Waupaca County we have recorded 104 cemeteries or burial sites, of which 23 are completely destroyed and 11 are neglected, or are in bad repair.

A cemetery is like a classroom; you can study the birds, animals, flowers, find history, geography, poetry, and even some humor.

Epitaphs can be humorous. Here are a couple that have been brought to our attention:

In a cemetery there were two single markers, on the first was: Im snug as a bug in a rug, and on the one that died last it said, Im snugger than that other bugger.

Another said, Ive never been seriously ill before.

Another: I told you I was sick.

The epitaphs bring to mind the story of the two old gentlemen sitting on the park bench one day, both getting quite forgetful. One of the men turned to the other and said, I forgot, was it you or your brother that died?

The following are things that we have encountered through our hobby.

In the Plainfield Cemetery there is a marker that reads, Eliza A. Hagerman Crandell, Apr. 28, 1803-Nov. 20, 1903. Embedded on her marker is a metal emblem furnished by the Daughters of the American Revolution, which states that she was a Real Daughter. This means that her father fought in the Revolutionary War.

In the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park Cemetery, there is a marker for Asa James Holly, the founder of the Holly Funeral Home, who was born in 1840 and died in 1917. It seems as if he had a habit of smoking cigars. On his marker there is sketched a man sitting on the seat of a horse-drawn hearse with the stub of a cigar in his mouth.

We have an old obituary for Mrs. R. E. Davis, from the Waushara Argus, dated March 27, 1897, telling that while the remains of Mrs. R. E. Davis was being brought to Wild Rose from Waupaca for burial, the team attached to the hearse became frightened while descending a steep incline and ran away, smashing out one side window of the hearse, letting the casket fall to the ground. The glass in the casket was broken and its contents disarranged considerably. Mr. Holly, the gentleman who was driving the team, was badly hurt and was obliged to remain in Wild Rose for several days before he could be moved home.

In the Little Wolf Cemetery at Manawa, there is a tall, white marker with the names of Abram Bruley and his wife with only their birth dates 1826 and 1827, and, very faintly, can be found these words: Father and Mother of 21 children.

In the Greenleaf Cemetery in Marion, there is a marker for Frank M. DeVaud, Sept. 14, 1859-Jan. 4, 1937, In memory of the first white child born in the Township of Dupont, Waupaca Co., Wis., to Mr. and Mrs. Louis DeVaud.

In Section 7, Town of Evergreen, Langlade County, are two graves, one for Henry Thornberry, Jan. 6, 1882-Feb. 10, 1918, and the other one is for Isaac Thornberry, Apr. 16, 1849-May 18, 1931. In checking the death records in the Langlade County Courthouse in Antigo, I found that Isaac Thornberry built the first house in the Sherry District, and Henry was killed as a result of being hit on the head from the spikes on a falling log jammer.

We have found burial sites in some of the most unusual places, some still have markers, while others have been destroyed, if they ever had one. Just to name a few, they are: On the banks of the Wolf River, only a few rods north of the Winnebago County line, under a house are the graves of four young children of Henry G. and A.J. Reifland. All died as a result of a contagious disease. Big John Bonnell told me first about this little cemetery where he used to lie in wait for game violators.

In the schoolyard of the old Helstad School on Highway 49, south of Scandinavia, I was told that there was a cemetery in the schoolyard and even some graves under the school house.

On the banks of the Waupaca River, on Frost Valley Road, there remains only the small foot stones for two children of John and Sarah Morey. Back about 50 years ago someone had potatoes near this spot, and they had migrant pickers. I was told that they had used the big markers for the steps to the building that housed them. I could never find them around the buildings so they might even be in Texas by now.

Many gravesites are found on farms where the people buried there lived. One such site was vandalized this past summer, not too far from Waupaca, where someone dug two openings, one on each side of the large headstone. One might ask what they were looking for; it is a serious offense for anyone caught molesting a gravesite, Indian or white.

We get so many phone calls asking for me to answer a question about our cemetery records. Alta can answer these questions as well as I, because she has been involved from the beginning.



The Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society welcomes your support in helping preserve cemetery records for future generations. Anyone wishing to support the cause and receive four to five issues of Inscriptions, can send $8 for an annual membership to Miss Bernadine Boulia, 3325 S. 26th St. #18, Milwaukee, WI 53215.




November 21, 1991


The Waupaca Post for August 20, 1908, reported the bills announcing the Potato Bake attractions have been printed and are being circulated all over the county and railroad stations of the Wisconsin Central and the Green Bay and Western

Copies have been sent to the newspapers in central and northern Wisconsin.

All we need to insure a great success on September 7, will be fair weather, the paper said. A great crowd is expected at this first Potato Bake, which will be, very soon a state day.

The program that appeared in the Waupaca Post for September 3, 1908, consisted of the following: George G. Ghoca, Grand Marshall, The Waupaca City Band, on the bandstand; the Oneida Indian Band, near the City Hall; 10 oclock, high wire performance; 10:30 oclock exhibits of vegetables, grains and cooking at the YMCA Hall, open for inspection all day Monday and Tuesday; 11 oclock, speaking will be Hon. J.H. Davidson; noon, baked potatoes, barbecued beef and bread free of charge, coffee 5. The Potato Bake Dance will be held in the Danes Home Hall, with music furnished by Allens 10-piece orchestra.

The Waupaca Post for September 10, 1908: Waupaca making history. The Potato Bake and barbecue has proven to be a great success. Monday, September 7, 1908, will long be remembered as a red letter day for Waupaca, it being the inauguration of the Potato Bake Carnival. Experts estimated the crowd to be from 8,000 to 10,000 people. The weather was ideal and everything went off splendidly.

The large crowd was handled in a satisfactory manner. It was a great day for music, as the band never played better. The Oneida Indians had a great band and attracted much attention as they marched down Main Street. Congressman J.H. Davidsons address was heard by fully 5,000 people.

One thousand pounds of imported beef was barbequed on wire netting placed over charcoal beds in trenches 40 feet long. Mr. Murray started the fires at two oclock in the morning. One hundred and fifty gallons of the finest flavored soup ever tasted in this part of the country was added to the meat, and the potatoes were baked in stone ovens.

In arranging for the lunch, service tables were built in the Courthouse Square 70 feet long, with a line of tables in the center for supplies.

Several hundred loaves of bead were used in making the sandwiches. The coffee was cooked in large quantities.

Great credit was due to the splendid manner in which the committee conducted the lunch service, which must be taken into consideration that 500 people were served in one hour without a single hitch, the newspaper reported.

The high wire performer who had signed a contract to give two exhibitions failed to materialize, but a troupe of acrobats were secured in his place, among them being a singer from the Hawaiian Islands whose voice had such volume, he could be heard for four blocks.

The tug of war teams were composed of the following teams: Dayton Ed Fonet, John Chase, George Currier, Will Hathaway, Warner Caldwell; Farmington Albert Olson, John Nelson, Albert Peterson, Mark Johnson and Lars Nelson, and Waupaca Town John Huffcutt, Van Faulks, Enoch Smith, Henry Kobiski, Nels Claussen. Dayton defeated Farmington in the first contest. The second contest was between Waupaca and Dayton, with Waupaca the winner.

The chicken chase Stanley Salter, Ernest Peterson, Raymond Sawyer, Einer Hanson, Will Johnson and Raymond Logan each won a chicken.

Barrel rolling contest J. Elsworth, Raymond Logan, Walter Velie, Peter Brazil, Myron Anderson, Walter Velie won first money.

Foot race over 15 years Peter Brazil, Joe Palfrey, Myron Mower, Chich Keeney, V. Prink, Frank Utley. Chich Keeney was the winner.

Foot race under 15 years Chas Larson, Ray Paulson, Sidney Brasure, Walter Keaton, John Jacobson, Ralph Constance, John Pinkerton, Elmer Anderson, Matt Wilcox. Sidney Brasure the winner.

Kids shoe race Sidney Brasure, Donald Lockman, Ray Paulson, Myron Dorfler, Walter Hanson, Alvin Peterson. Donald Lockman the winner.

Ladies nail driving contest Lizzie Price, Jennie Hanson, Mary Peterson, Mary Nelson. It did not give the name of the winner.

Hurdle race Frank Utley, Walter Velie, Peter Brazil, Chich Keeney, Albert Christofferson, V. Prink. Frank Utley the winner.

The balloon ascension was made about 6 oclock and was perfect, being viewed by the entire gathering.

The illuminated parade, headed by the City Band, was just great as it passed through the streets, according to the newspaper account. The decorations were very attractive. The streets were crowded until midnight, as well were the various halls where dancing was going on.

The exhibits of vegetables, grains and pastry were considered as being equal to anything ever in the state. Thus ends the account of the very first Potato Bake in the City of Waupaca.

Another year passed swiftly and the Waupaca Record for August 5, 1909, came out with an article about a second Potato Bake to be held in Waupaca, on September 6 and 7, 1909.

The Business Mens Advancement Association met on Monday evening, and all of the committees on the Potato Bake reported progress. The committees on advertising, contests, and premiums have been busy. They met with hearty support and encouragement from the Waupaca citizens and this year promises to excel the event of 1908, the newspaper predicted.

The events and contests were much the same as in 1908. The contests were mainly a cross country race, tug of war, barrel race, fat mans race, ladies nail driving contest and the judging of the vegetables, grains and bakery goods.

A new contest was added for 1909, it was a potato race scheduled for 2:30 p.m. September 6, in the block between Fulton and Union Streets. Thirty-three potatoes were placed three feet apart in a straight line, and must be picked up with a spoon and carried herein to a basket, one potato at a time. After finishing his line each contestant must run 15 rods to a finishing line. Each contestant must furnish their own spoon. The first prize was $3.

Again at 2:30 p.m. on September 7, at the same location was another potato race. This time the potatoes were scattered over an area of 40 by 100 feet. The contestants were again to pick up one potato at a time and place them in a basket at the finishing line. The winners were chosen by the number of potatoes they had put in their basket.

There were the usual large selection of vegetables, grains and bakery display. The barbecue dinner was served on the North Main Street Hill and the Courthouse yard.

I could not find anything about a Potato Bake in 1910, but on June 8, 1911, the Waupaca Business Mens Advancement Association held their meeting to decide upon a committee to act upon a date and arrangements for a Potato Bake for 1911. In August 1911, the Waupaca Business Mens Association held a special meeting for the purpose of taking action on whether Waupaca should have a Potato Bake that year. Besides the president and the secretary, there were only four other persons present. It was decided due to the lack of interest and cooperation, that there would not be a Potato Bake in 1911.

The Waupaca Leader, for July 10, 1912, announced that the Executive Committee of the Waupaca Advancement Association made plans for a big two-day Potato Day in early September.

Well look back at the 1912 Potato Bake next week in the Waupaca Count y Post.




November 27, 1991


The attractions for the 1912 Potato Bake in Waupaca were to be conducted somewhat differently than in former years, by putting on the most up-to-date attractions with livestock exhibits.

The Waupaca Record Leader for September 5, 1912, reported, There will be one or two and possibly more flights by an experienced Bird Man. The most recently constructed aeroplane and expert driver will be here and the crowd will witness real flights in the air. Waupaca will be the first city in this section of the state to attempt to get an airship.

It was in the minds of the committee to have a parade of farmer teams and drivers. There were to be premiums for the best matched team, largest draught horse and best single driver.

There was billed to be a free public wedding in the bandstand in the Courthouse Square; I never did find if there were any applications for the free wedding and gifts.

Two baseball games were scheduled between Waupaca and Clintonville.

In the next weeks paper was the official program for the Waupaca Potato Bake and Big Street Carnival, Thursday and Friday, Sept. 5 and 6.

The committee had secured the Capital City Amusement Company to come here Monday and remain with us all week. The company carries a street band which gives three marvelous and entertaining free shows upon the streets three times daily. The free shows that they give trapeze performance by a lady and gentleman; a trapeze performance by the human monstrosity, the man-monkey, and a comic clown. Besides these free acts the company carries the Twentieth Century merry-go-round and spectacular ferris wheel. Besides the free attractions the amusement company has six or seven shows which they charge admission of 10 and 15. The attractions and free shows by the Capital City Amusement Company will be given every day of the week beginning at 10 oclock in the morning and concluding at 11 oclock at night from Monday, Sept. 2, to Saturday night, Sept. 7.

Aeroplane Notice The Curtis Exhibition Company of New York City will give their aeroplane flights in the Demarest field on the outskirts of the city. They will use this field for their starting and stopping points, and during the course of flight will make several ascensions from the ground showing the people the manner in which an aeroplane rises from the ground and descends to the ground. Besides this, they will remain in the air from 10 to 30 minutes and will circle around the city and surrounding country.

The aeroplane will be housed on the field in a large tent, and any person who is desirous of a more closely inspection of the machine, will be admitted to the tent for the nominal fee of 10. The D.D.H. Society have kindly donated the use of their hall as a rest room for the two days and a large room on the second floor of the city hall will also be used for that purpose.

The agricultural exhibits will be held in the A.M. Hanson garage.

Contributions for the Potato Bake by the businessmen of the city supported the festival. This two-day event was known as the Aviation and Potato Show. There were 120 contributors pledging $1,123.

The Waupaca Record and the Waupaca Leader, both carried accounts of the two-day affair. The following is taken in part from both of these newspapers:

At the original Potato Bake held in Waupaca in 1908, they furnished the barbecued beef and baked potatoes free of charge, while there was a charge of 5 for coffee. This was a big task on the part of the ladies of Waupaca to feed that many thousand that visited that former occasion.

The new plan in 1912, was to have the potatoes baked in the ovens of the local bakers, which they did furnish both days, but on the account of congestion of both bakeries the supply was somewhat limited, and it was thought by the committee that the aeroplane event would take place of the beef and potatoes.

Thursday and Friday were great days for Waupaca. There was probably the largest crowd that ever visited this city, for any two-day occasion.

The sun came out Thursday morning which insured the committee that there would be an opportunity to carry out their program. Both days were exceedingly hot, the continuous raining weather previous to this time was a great hardship on the committee members, who had worked so hard to give the visitors to this city two full days of entertainment.

An immense crowd of people, estimated at between 7,000 and 8,000, gathered on Thursday morning in anticipation of the aeroplane flight.

The first event on the morning program was the Auto Parade, which, although not as large as it should have been, was very pretty. The first prize was won by Ward Olfson and second by Harry Gordon, both cars being trimmed in pink and white. J.E. Cristys car represented a large basket and was a novel affair.

The crowd then trouped by the thousand to the Demarest field to see the airship, and then came the biggest disappointment of the whole affair. After waiting about one hour and a half the big machine was wheeled out on the field and a flight was attempted, but the pilot was unable to elevate his machine sufficiently to clear the telephone wires at the west end of the field. The aeroplane ran quite a distance on the ground then raised and sailed over the crowd at a low height, turning in a southwesterly direction just barely missing the tops of the trees as it left the grounds and flew across the Crystal River, near Dunbars bridge, and lit in a field near the big hill on the former Peter Larson farm, damaging the plane slightly. The pilot was Lloyd Barlow, an experienced pilot.

About 5:30 the motor of the ship could be heard for blocks, as it started from the field in which it had lit. Soon a great number of citizens, in their homes and several hundred people who were still gathered at the aviation grounds, saw the ship cross Berlin Road (Berlin Street) over the tops of the trees, going in a partial circle towards the Felting Mills, where it turned north and came towards town about on a line with Churchill Street. It passed the aviation field a couple of blocks toward town, as it was the pilots intention to pass over the city of Waupaca, but being unable to reach a sufficient height he circled back to the grounds and landed most successfully. He again tried to make a flight from the grounds, but, unable to reach a sufficient height, he landed on the west end of the Demarest field, and in doing so damaged his machine, making further attempts impossible.

It may have been to some a satisfaction to know that $300 was deducted from his original contract of $500.

Many kicks were registered against the committee for bringing in the carnival company, but how would the thousands of people be entertained had it not been for the free shows and carnival attractions? The committee had guaranteed the carnival company $200 for its week stay in Waupaca. In turn the carnival company returned 10% of its receipts from the shows. Merry-go-round and ferris wheel which came to $194.02, plus $50 from the concessions, which left the committee paying only $5.98, for providing a week of entertainment for Waupaca and community.

There was only one draft team entered in the parade. Winners of the horse parade were: A.A. Papineau; best draft team, Anders O. Olofson; best single driving horse, Mrs. Williams; best riding horse, Arlington Stearns.

The tug-of-war between the city and the farmers was won by the farmers. The following were on the winning team: E.O. Frihart, Peter Rasmussen, John Tessen, Chas. Rasmussen, Dave Danielson, Wm. Jensen, Louis Minton, Bert Anderson, Albert Chady, Phil Faulks, Wm. Nelson, H.P. Nelson, Van Faulks, J.A. Nelson and J.C. Madsen.

The Clintonville Four Wheel Drive automobile created much interest. It headed the automobile parade with the Waupaca band boys in the forenoon. In the afternoon it was hooked up to two big wagons loaded with people and there was no trouble in pulling the load with a capacity of six tons.

The first baseball game was won by Clintonville, by a score of 7 to 0. The Waupaca players were: Reed, ss; Breit, 1b; Flanagan, 2b; Huffcutt, 3b; Thiex, c; Galloway, 1f; Boyles cf; Parish rf and Hollenbeck, p. The second game was between Waupaca and Stevens Point. Waupaca won by a score of 3 to 0. The following players were: Reed, 3b; Weekler, ss; Kline, cf; Snow, c; Flanagan, 2b; Breit, 1b; Thiex, rf; Galloway, lf; Baillies, p; and Huffcutt, rf.

The horse-pulling contest on Friday afternoon drew a large crowd near the stone crusher. A wagon was loaded with stone and the wheels blocked. The contest was advertised for farmers teams, but since there were no entries previous to Friday, a hurried performance was gotten up. Ed Durant, Fred Minton, Con Gmeiner and Oscar Larson came in with their teams and put on a good show for steady pulling horses.

On Thursday evening the illuminated parade passed along Main Street, headed by the city band. There were all colors of pot fires and Roman Candles which gave the street an illumination of a variety of colors. Following the band were men and boys carrying torches. After arriving at the city hall, fireworks were set off and the parade returned to the south end of the street.

There was dancing both evenings at the Danes Home, M.W.A. and F.R.A. halls which were supplied with good music. The M.W.A. kindly donated their receipts of $20 to the association.

So, in only five short years the original Waupaca Potato Bake was transformed into a Potato, Aviation, Live Stock Show and a carnival.




December 5, 1991


This story has its beginning with Tyler C. Caldwell and Mary Warner, who both were natives of Vermont. Tyler C. Caldwell was born July 11, 1798, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Caldwell. Tyler was married in Rutland County, VT, to Mary Warner, who was born October 9, 1804, a daughter of Capt. Warner, who was a veteran of the War of 1812.

Soon after their marriage, the couple migrated to Chautauqua County, NY. It was there that they became the parents of seven children: Columbia, who married Stephen P. Thresher, and died in California; Columbus, who is the main character of this story; Mariette, who married Harvey S. Bowers, of the Town of Dayton; Sophia, who married George Campbell, and died in California; Emily, who married Augustus Chandler, and died in Iola, and Harrison and Tyler, who were twins and died in infancy.

In 1835 Tyler C. Caldwell made a trip from his home in Chautauqua, NY, to Kenosha County, Wisconsin Territory, with the intention of settling in that new frontier. It was at this same period of time that his brother, Joseph Caldwell, also came to Kenosha County, from his home in Rutland County, VT, in search of land. Joseph had already settled at Pike River, where he was met by Tyler.

Tyler C. returned to his home in Chautauqua County, NY, in the following spring to bring his family back to Kenosha County. They took a boat from Buffalo, NY, to Kenosha, then only a settlement of three houses.

The Caldwell brothers were not satisfied with their location in Kenosha County, so three years later the Caldwells moved up the Fox River to Rochester Township, Racine County, where they took out the first land claim, since that time known as Caldwells Prairie. Tyler C. Caldwell lived there for the next 10 years, and it was there that he built the first bridge over the Fox River, on the road between Racine and Janesville.

On October 28, 1849 this pioneer family again moved northward, this time on a long, perilous journey past the outpost of civilization. By team they traveled through the forests from Racine County to Section 22, Township of Lind, Waupaca County. Mr. Caldwell worked his land until in January of 1861, when he made a trip to his old home in Vermont to visit his aging mother and the scenes of his childhood. There was no mention about his father, who must by then have passed away. One week after his arrival, he died in the home of his birthplace. His mother lived to be 101 years of age. There seems to be no record of Tyler C. Caldwells body ever being returned to the Crystal Lake Cemetery for burial. His wife, Mary Warner Caldwell, died in February of 1888, and was buried in the Crystal Lake Cemetery, beside his daughter, Mariette (Maryette) Bowers.

When the Caldwell family was still living at Caldwells Prairie, young Columbus Caldwell, the only living son of Tyler C. and Mary Caldwell, was only eight years of age when he began driving a yoke of oxen, breaking up the virgin prairie sod. He was paid $10 a month.

In February 1852, Columbus Caldwell and his brother-in-law, Stephen P. Thresher, started for the gold fields of California, by the new Overland Route, crossing the Missouri River May 11 and reaching California on July 28. He remained engaged in gold mining for the next seven years before returning to Wisconsin, in 1859, via the Isthmus of Panama and New York City, and resumed farming in the Township of Lind.

He was married at Weyauwega on November 21, 1861, to Mary L. Taggart, a daughter of George W. and Eunice L. (Fulton) Taggart. Eunice L. Fulton was a cousin of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the first steamboat.

On December 6, 1861, less than one month after his marriage, he enlisted in Company M, First Wisconsin Cavalry, a company which he was largely instrumental in forming. His regiment was ordered to Missouri and first saw active service at Cape Girardeau, MO, on May 15, 1862. His regiment was responsible for ridding Missouri and Arkansas of the bushwackers that overran that part of the country during the early years of the war.

While in Missouri Private Caldwell was commissioned quartermaster of the regiment, and when it was ordered to join Gen. Rosecrans army at Murfreesboro, TN, in the fall of 1862, he had received his commission as second lieutenant. Participating with the company about Murfreesboro was regiment accompanied the army to Chickamauga, TN.

In October of 1863 Lieutenant Caldwell was taken sick, and after spending a week in the hospital at Nashville, was sent home to die. He reached home in November 1863, but by March 1, 1864, he had sufficiently recovered enough to return to his regiment.

While in charge of 25 men on detached duty, he and 19 of his little squad were captured on the Duck Town Road, 12 miles east of Cleveland, TN by Gen. Wheeler, then in command of the rebel cavalry.

He was first sent to Andersonville Prison. The day after his capture his commission as captain arrived at the regimental headquarters, although he had been acting as captain for some time. The story goes that Captain Caldwell received preferred treatment. He was permitted to eat from pieces of broken dishes, because he was an officer. Most people did not get out of the Andersonville Prison alive, but Captain Caldwell was jailed in Macon, GA, thence sent to Savannah, GA, and on to Charleston, SC, where the prisoners were put under the fire, while the Union Army was shelling the city.

He remained a prisoner until being exchanged on March 1, 1865. The imprisonment and treat-ment received in his confinement had broken down his health to a point where this fine specimen of a man, six feet, one inch tall and weighing 190 pounds, was weakened to a point of not being able to walk.

Captain Caldwell was sent home on a 30-day furlough, after spending two weeks at Annapolis, MD. While still on furlough at his farm in the Town of Lind, Richmond fell, and the war between the states was nearly over. He was honorably discharged from Camp Chase, Columbus, OH, May 15, 1865, and never was wounded.

The children of Capt. Caldwell and Eunice Fulton, his first wife, were: Minnie L. and Ida S. His first wife died January 6, 1886, and for his second wife, he married her sister, Ida Jane Taggart. The children by this marriage were: George T., Warner F., Otis L., Beatrice L., and Eunice.

After his discharge, and the war was over, he returned to his farm in the Township of Lind. Although physically unable to work, he supervised its operation.

His fellow citizens soon honored him with a number of important offices. For two years he was clerk of the Town of Lind, and a member of the school board. He was elected register of deeds in 1867, and while serving in this capacity, he was elected a member of Waupacas City Council. In 1870 he was elected assessor for the city and the Township of Waupaca. In 1871, he returned to his farm in the Town of Lind, where he partially resumed farming.

In 1872 and again in 1873, he was elected to the Wisconsin Legislature. In 1880 he was one of five men appointed by the Waupaca City Council to serve on a building committee to erect a new courthouse.

In 1882 he was elected superintendent of the Waupaca County Poor Farm, near Manawa. He served there for nearly five years, until resigning December 1, 1887, to accept the position as commandant the Wisconsin Veterans Home. He held this position until July 1897. Mrs. Caldwell was a very efficient matron during those years.

Columbus C. Caldwell died at his home in Waupaca on December 18, 1908. His wife, Ida Jane Taggart Caldwell, born November 24, 1848, at Rochester, Racine County, died at her home in Waupaca on November 6, 1916. They are buried on the Caldwell lot along with five other members of the Caldwell family in the Oakwood Cemetery in Weyauwega.

There are two grandsons of Mr. and Mrs. Columbus C. Caldwell living today in the area. They are Clifford Caldwell, still living on his place in the Town of Belmont, Portage County, and Gilbert (Gibb) Caldwell, formerly of the Town of Farmington, who is presently convalescing in the Manawa Nursing Home. Get well soon, Gibb.

There are other living descendents through the Warner F. Caldwell and the Mrs. Walter L. (Beatrice Caldwell) Radley families.




December 12, 1991

The Waupaca Historical Society taped the memoirs of Mrs. Robert (Florence) Ewald in August of 1981. Members of the Wisconsin Historical Society taping committee were: the Rev. George Warren, George Jeffers, Ken Poulton and John Holzman.

Mrs. Ewald talked freely about some early business places and Waupaca in its potato heydays.

Florence Ethel Peterson Ewald was born March 31, 1894, in the Town of Saxeville (Waushara County) to Christian and Mary (Jensen) Peterson, who started out their married life on a farm near Saxe-ville. During the years that followed they became the parents of nine children. The first two were twins who died in infancy, but the remaining seven grew to adulthood.

It was on Florences sixth birthday that the Peterson family moved to Waupaca.

In Waupaca, Christian Peterson, her father, went into business with his brother, James Peterson, and together they ran the Peterson Cash Grocery on South Main Street. This building, in 1991, is the present location of Knutson & Sons Inc., at 210 South Main. Florence Ewald described the location as being located between Duttons Bakery and John F. Breitenstiens Jewelry Store on the north and the U.S. Post Office and Gordons Meat Market on the south side. Continuing to the south, there was a large empty lot, and the next building was a large store. This was Knaaps Variety Store, now the present location of Simpsons Indian Room Restaurant, at 222 South Main. The empty lot that Mrs. Ewald mentioned became Webbs Bratwurst and the Rosa Theatre properties.

The Christian Peterson family remained in Waupaca for a year and a half, then moved back to Saxeville, as the income from the store did not support two large families. Back in Saxeville, her father purchased stock in a general store. For the next six years they lived in Saxeville. It was in the store there that Florence learned to clerk and meet people.

Florence was about nine years old at the time and was paid 25 cents a week. Mrs. Ewald went on to tell the taping committee that when they ran the store in Saxeville, tobacco came in pails. Fine-cut tobacco, like Brother Jonathon, was sticky and awful to handle, she said.

At the end of six years, the Petersons moved to Waupaca once more, where her father had been selling potatoes for the A.M. Penney Company, while still a partner in the grocery store with his brother, Jim Peterson.

In the Peterson Cash Grocery on South Main Street, a glass showcase was on the right hand side as you came into the store. In it was displayed cigars, five cents or two for ten cents; also on display were small sacks of Bull Durham from which cigarettes could be rolled. There were no factory rolled cigar-ettes in those early days.

Grocery stores were quite different in those days. You gave the clerk the list of groceries that you wanted, then you waited for the clerk to pick up the items. The clerk would make out the bill, and you paid at the cashier. Some stores had stools where a customer could rest while waiting.

Most grocery stores took eggs and butter in exchange for groceries. The quality of butter varied from each patron. Each lot of butter was kept in separate jars. When a customer wanted some butter, the clerk would take a small chip from a jar of butter for tasting. If the customer was not satisfied, they would try another.

Very few articles came in packages in those days. Sugar, coffee and the cheaper candy came in bulk. Some candy came in trays for showcase display. Bar soaps, like Fels Naptha and P&G, were popular, as was the Gold Dust Twins for a cleaning powder.

The Fourth of July was a very exciting day at the Peterson Grocery. They had a booth outside and sold ice cream, oranges and so forth. Florence Ewalds father had a nephew, Will Olson, who manufactured ice cream from his own special recipe, and had a good business around town. Petersons sold ice cream only on holidays, as they had only one eight-foot by ten-foot refrigerator. This was cooled by ice delivered by the Larson Ice Company, harvested from Mirror Lake.

Mrs. Ewald remarked that as she looked back on her childhood, it was fun to hear the hustle and bustle in the mornings, as the wheels started turning, such as the horse-drawn sprinkling wagon coming down Main Street, settling the dust.

Florence Ewalds mother always had to keep busy. It got so that she kept busy in baby care. A baby case usually meant working with the baby in the home from ten days to two weeks, this usually included cooking for the family, cleaning the house, and the other daily duties.

It was in 1910 that a new doctor, Fred C. Wood, came to Waupaca, looking for a place to open a cottage hospital. He asked Florences mother to run it for him. It was decided to use the upstairs of their home for this hospital. She ran the hospital for 12 years. It was located on Ware Street, two doors from their potato warehouse.

The Peterson Cash Grocery existed from 1898 to 1921.

In about 1910, Christian Peterson, with his brother William, who also had been working for A.M. Penney, and Florences brother, formed the Peterson Produce Company. Their main warehouse was located on the corner of Oborn and Ware streets, which several years ago was the location of the Badger Building Company. Jesses Seed Market is now in the rear of this location. The Peterson Produce Company also had a smaller warehouse nearby. They shipped about 1,000 carloads of potatoes a month during the fall harvest season. Each car held 600 bushels of potatoes. This would amount to 360, 100-pound bags by todays standards. Some days as many as 35 to 40 loads of potatoes would come into Waupaca in a single day. All of the potatoes were being hauled by team and wagon, or sleigh in the winter months.

Many buyers met the loads of potatoes on the outskirts of town, where they would dicker over the price. If the buyer came to an agreement with the farmer, he would generally ride back to town to make sure the load was delivered to the proper warehouse and that no other buyer could intercept the load by paying more.

The Peterson Produce Company ran 14 buying stations in the small towns around Waupaca and Waupaca County. These were rented and all sales business was conducted from the Waupaca headquart-ers.

It was during these years that Waupaca was known as the Potato Capital of the World. There were about 14 dealers and buyers, some from Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati, who had their main office here.

In the early years the standard measurement was in bushels, and shipped in 150-pound bags, which would be two and a half bushels. These were too heavy and cumbersome to handle. Mrs. Ewald said that her brother and Mr. Nelson of Christensen and Nelson went to Washington when they standard-ized and changed the size to 100-pound sacks.

This is only a small bit about the potato business in the early years. In a later article, I will write about the many changes that have taken place in the potato operations since those days, such as growing, varieties, harvesting, storage, marketing, shipping and potatoes in their many uses as food from fresh market to processing.

Florence Ethel Peterson was married in Waupaca on March 26, 1921, to Robert Ewald, who died May 21, 1960. She passed away September 5, 1991. They were the parents of two children. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ewald are buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park cemetery.




December 19, 1991


Col. Theodore W. Goldin, who has been officially recorded as the last white man to see General George Armstrong Custer alive that fateful June 25, 1876, is buried at the Wisconsin Veterans Home Cemetery at King.

Theodore W. Goldin, then a lieutenant, was with Co. G, 7th U.S. Cavalry, under General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

He escaped the fate of approximately 225 men, along with General Custer, only because he had been detailed to deliver a message to Major Marcus A. Reno, who had dug in, in a gully a short distance away. Goldin had just left when the Indians came swooping down on Custer.

Theodore W. Goldin was born July 25, 1857, a son of Rufus W. and Elizabeth Lozier Goldin. He died February 15, 1936 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, and is buried in the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Section 52.

The Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery also has claim to another man known to General Custer and he was Loren Hollix, who was a lieutenant with Custer for six years. He died September 3, 1916, aged 86.

The treaty of 1868, signed at Fort Laramie, WY, had set aside a permanent home for the Sioux and Cheyenne. This area was called the Great Sioux Reservation. It extended westward from the Missouri River to Wyoming and Montana, to Nebraska on the south and to North Dakota on the north.

In this area was the Black Hills with its hidden gold. This area was also abundant with game, which was most essential to the livelihood of the Indians.

In 1874, General Custer and the 7th Cavalry were sent from Fort Lincoln on an expedition into the Black Hills. It was said that the nature of this mission was only to gain military information. Horatio M. Ross, a member of Custers 7th Cavalry, was credited with making the first gold discovery on French Creek, July 4, 1874.

Immediately upon the world receiving this news of gold in the Black Hills, hordes of prospective miners invaded this Indian land in search of gold.

The Federal Government was bound to honor the treaty that they had signed in 1868, making this area the Great Sioux Reservation, so they now had to try to prevent this influx of people into their land. Despite the repeated warnings issued by the Federal Government against their entering this area, and giving no thought as to their well-being or to what consequences that they might face from these Indian nations, they just kept coming. The word gold was just too great a lure. It was like a disease, so the westward movement was on.

This invasion by the whites was the main cause for many of the Indians to leave their reservation to plunder and kill, in retaliation against these white intruders. This retaliation was the immediate cause of the 1876 campaign against the Indians.

Previously on the Third of December, 1875, the Federal Government had ordered all Sioux and Cheyenne to return to their reservation, or be deemed hostile and would be dealt with accordingly.

They had until January 31, 1876 to comply to this order. Due to the extreme winter weather con-ditions it was practically impossible for them to comply in such a short time.

So the Indians failed to comply, and on February 7, 1876, the Secretary of the Interior and the General of the Army gave General P.H. Sheridan authority to commence operations against the so-called hostile Indians.

There were several conflicts and encounters which led up to that fateful day, June 25, 1976, when General Custer and the 7th Cavalry, 225 men strong, were wiped out at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

It has been reported that Comanche, a horse from Custers command, was the only thing found living after the massacre at the Little Big Horn.

General Custer had divided his command into three battalions; Companies A, G and M were assigned to the command of Major Marcus A. Reno; Companies H, D and K went under the command of Captain Frederick W. Benteen; Companies C, E, F, I and L stayed under Custers command; and Company B was left behind to protect the pack train.

Each officer had been briefed on his mission and assigned to his position, so they all separated to take up their stand against the Indians. Major Reno had traveled only a short distance down a gully, when Indian warriors swarmed into full view and the fight was on. Being so greatly out-numbered, Major Reno ordered his men to retreat to the bluffs for safety; now every man was for himself. At this maneuver the Indians turned back and attacked Custers troops. Custer was outnumbered 20 to 1. History tells us that Custer had reliable reports from his scouts that there were several thousand Indians encamped ahead.

Why did he divide his men? That question has puzzled historians ever since.

Captain Benteen had not encountered any hostiles. There had been many speculations as to what just really did happen at the Little Big Horn, on June 25, 1976.

Where was Benteen and Reno when Custer needed them?




December 24, 1991


Nathan (Nat) Cohen was born in Russia December 24, 1870, and received only a fair education in his native land. When he left Russia and came to America, he had to start life on the bottom rung of the ladder.

In 1887 he went to Milwaukee and joined his two brothers, Max and Joseph Cohen. In 1892 the Cohen Brothers relocated to Neenah, and in 1894 they moved again. This time to Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids), where they again became active in business.

In 1897 the Cohen Brothers came to Waupaca in search of a location to open a branch of their enterprise. They first located in the H. J. Perkins building on East Union Street. This was the birth of the Fair Store in Waupaca and Nat Cohen became its operator for the next 41 years.

Many people have had the misconception that the Fair Store was always on South Main Street. Here, I will explain a little about the H.J. Perkins building. H.J. Perkins had a studio, or an art gallery, as they were called in the early days. This location, in later years, became known as 104 East Union Street. The original building was destroyed by fire, but on the same lot a new and larger art gallery was built. Mr. Perkins sold out to James Knudsen, who operated it for several years before selling out to Chris H. Hansen in 1893. There was an inside stairway on the left hand side of the building, leading up to the second floor, where Mr. Hansen operated his photo studio until his death in 1940. It was then taken over by his son, Randolph C. (Randy) Hansen. Randy Hansen operated his fathers old studio until the last months of 1974. In January 1975, the building was razed to make room for a new Homestead Savings and Loan Building. This location is now Bank One, on the corner of East Union and South Main streets. Through the years there were many different businesses on the main floor under the Chris H. Hansen Studio.

In the fall of 1897, the Perkins Building was leased to the Cohen Bros. for their new Fair Store. They opened here with only one clerk, in 1899, the building was enlarged to meet their growing needs.

This building soon became too small once again, and they moved to a large building in 1900. The building was the John Pinkerton Building on the corner of East Union and Jefferson streets. Two years later this building was enlarged.

The Cohen Brothers had set their eyes on a building on Main Street for some time, and in April of 1904, they secured a 10-year lease on the Scott-Hebblewhite block on Main Street, then occupied by the Union Store. The lease was to take effect on January 1, 1905.

The Union Store that had occupied this location since 1900 was a group of businessmen, who were united as an organization, but operated independently from one another in the Scott-Hebblewhite block.

M.J. Nordvi had the dry goods department; Ing. Ovrom, the clothing department; A.G. Larson and Son, the grocery department, and George James, the furniture department on the second floor. James Paris had his barbershop at one time in the basement under the Hebblewhite section in the south one-third of the building.

In the Waupaca Record for the 5th of January, 1905, there was this Cohen Bros. notice: Wait if you want bargains.

They bought $8,000 worth of merchandise, as they had bought the entire stock of the Union Store for 47-1/2 on the dollar. In the Waupaca Record for January 9, 1905, there was this interesting announcement, that they were often asked by their customers, why dont you put in a grocery department? It seems that up to this point in time, they never had room enough for groceries, but now in their new location, they had fixed up the southeast corner of the Scott basement, and would be ready for business Monday, February 13, 1905. Mr. Louis Jeffers of Wild Rose would be in charge.

The departments of the Union Store in the Scott-Hebblewhite block were adjacent to one another. When the Fair Store took over, it was remodeled and refitted to make the interior one mammoth establishment. The Fair Store occupied the entire basement and first and second floors, except the M.B. Scott office on the second floor in the Scott building. They added a toilet, and cloak and dressing room. The Fair store when completely remodeled became one of the finest stores in central Wisconsin. The Fair Stores slogan that appeared in their advertisements for 41 years were, The Originators and Champions of Low Prices.

The Fair Store continued to operate until December 6, 1939. It had been decided by the officers, that it would no longer be feasible to operate under the present conditions, whatever that meant. There was a big spread in the November 6, 1939, Waupaca County Post announcing the big 30-day closeout sale. This three-floor sale was under the management of I. R. Ross, of Milwaukee. On December 6, 1939, the shades were drawn and the clock recorded the last checkout of the clerks. This was the end of the Fair Store that had operated in Waupaca for 11 years.

How many of you remember where the stairway was located, that led down to the large basement area? Mrs. Charles Yost had the distinction of having a record of 32 years of faithful service. I have heard that the Fair Store was the first to display some ladies under apparel in their show windows, and when the men passed by on the streets, they always had to turn their heads for a second glance.

How many recall the days before self-service became the thing, when the Fair Store sales clerks put the sales slip, money and goods purchased into a screen basket on the counter? By a pulley arrangement she raised the basket to a tight overhead wire on which the basket traveled up to a cashiers balcony where the items were wrapped and money changed. Then the basket was returned across the store to the station from which it had been sent. As many as five baskets might be floating in the air high above the counters and showcases at one time on a busy day.

At Cristys, only the money was placed in cylindrical cups that went whisking up to the cashier. While you waited for the change to return, you could see the sales person wrap your purchase.

The old Fair Store location became the Schultz Bros. five and dime store and just recently remodeled completely inside and out is the business places of the Harbor Bike and Ski and the Little Professor Book Store.



December 31, 1991


This is what the July 28, 1910, issued of the Waupaca Record had to say: Charter for a State Bank. Waupaca will have another financial institution in the near future.

The fact that a city the size of Waupaca had only one bank caused some concern among the people of the area, especially after the event of the Charles Churchill incident and his resigning in February, 1910, after 20 years as president and director of the First National Bank. This was the primary cause that led to the birth of the Farmers State Bank.

On October 1, 1910, the State Bank Commissioner approved the Article of Incorporation of the Farmers State Bank of Waupaca. They had a capital stock of $25,000, 250 shares at $100 each. The incorporators were Dr. L.H. Pelton, with 100 shares; John Pinkerton, 100 shares; E.B. Jeffers, 35 shares; L.D. Moses, 10 shares, and G.J. Moses, five shares.

The building owned by John Pinkerton, next door to Alfred Johnsons Abstract Office, was to become the new banks permanent home, which it was to occupy later. Dr. L.H. Pelton was elected president and G.J. Moses as cashier.

In the Waupaca Record for October 20, 1910, there appeared an ad for the Farmers State Bank: The Farmers State Bank will open next week at 114 East Union Street. Also in that same issue was a notice that the Rosholt Brothers had secured a home for a new bank and they closed a deal that assured a third bank for the City of Waupaca.

Things were happening fast since the shakeup of the First National Bank. There was another article that appeared the 27th of October, 1910, stating that the Farmers State Bank had changed hands in its infancy. A deal which had been pending for a week was consummated whereby the Rosholt Brothers Julius Rosholt of Minneapolis and Kim Rosholt of Eau Claire purchased the property and took over the charter of the newly organized Farmers State Bank of Waupaca.

When the Rosholt Bros. came to Waupaca looking for a location to open a bank they leased the building just vacated by Charles Hoffmann, who retired from the jewelry business after 29 years.

A deal was made the first day of November, 1910, by and between the Estate of Richard Lea, of the City of Waupaca, and the Farmers State Bank of Waupaca.

The party of the first part agreed to lease to the party of the second part the following described premises; the basement and first floor of the building used by Charles Hoffmann as a jewelry store. Said building being located on lot one (1) Block K, in the City of Waupaca, to hold for a term of 10 years November 1, 1910, November 1, 1920, for an annual rental of $550.

The party of the second part was authorized to build a suitable fire proof vault in said building at their own expense, provided however that at the expiration of said lease, if it is not renewed, the party of the second part had the right to remove such vault, provided the floors and building shall be repaired and placed in as good condition as it was before the erection of the vault.

The Waupaca Record, dated November 5, 1910, had this to say: New State Bank to open soon. Work on remodeling the Hoffmann building is going ahead rapidly. Mr. Kim Rosholt of Eau Claire told the representative of the Waupaca Record that they expect to have one of the most modern banks in the state. They are installing a large burglar-proof vault with safety deposit boxes, and the floors and the front of the building will be marble. The officers have not as yet been elected, but would be soon.

The original Article of Incorporation was amended December 29, 1910. The time had come, and the Waupaca Record for Thursday, Jan. 12, 1911, brought the news to the people of Waupaca: The new State Bank opens Saturday. The Farmers State Bank held its first meeting on Wednesday afternoon (and) 26 stockholders were present. The bank opened for business on Saturday, Jan. 14, 1911.

The first officers elected were: president, J. Rosholt; vice president, K. Rosholt, H.J. Myhus, C.R. Hoffmann, E.W. Smith, Albert Breit, O.C. Harrington, and Mr. Hoffmann was elected as chairman.

The original stockholders were Herm Felker, O.C. Hole, Carrie A. Wheeler, B.P. Hom, E.W. Smith, R.J. Havenor, N. Cohen, O.B. Ware, Albert Chady, J.R. Keating, F.D. Axtell, Chas. R. Hoffmann, Albert Breit, Thos. Davidson, Lawrence Miller, A.B. Axtell, R. McCabe, M.E. Hansen, O.C. Harrington, John Wallace, Carl A. Sander, Fred Hess, S.J. Danielson, Thos. Oyans, William Pope, A.W. Warren, K. Rosholt and J. Rosholt.

When the building was completed, the wainscot was Grecian marble set off most beautifully by a base board of Italian marble. The dealing plate was of Belgian marble and the woodwork and fixtures were all in mahogany.

The 10 years lease came up, and it was renewed for another 10-year period.

On June 12, 1930, they renewed the lease for a third time for 10 years.

On September 30, 1939, the Farmers State Bank purchased the entire lot one (1) Block K from the estate of Richard Lea, for $30,000. This was a Trustee Deed, volume 193, page 221, executed by Charles W. Lea, who was a son, and Harry R. Lea, who was a grandson of Richard Lea; the original builder of the building.

Farmers State Bank in home of its own, in Lea Block. The Farmers State Bank, 28-year-old Waupaca financial institution, soon will boost a roof of its own and a home of its own.

On October 2, 1939, a deal will be consummated whereby the bank acquires the Richard Lea estate property now occupied by the bank, McLeans Market, Stedmans Drugs store and Allens Restaurant. All occupants will continue in their present quarters, states Harry Rawson, the bank president, and will continue as tenants of the bank excepting Allens Restaurant. David Allen has already arranged to purchase the quarters occupied by his restaurant.

The above was published in the Waupaca County Post.

On January 13, 1955, there was a picture in the Waupaca County Post of workmen installing a new revolving clock on the Farmers State Bank building. The old clock prior had been installed on October 25, 1916.

The new revolving clock was unique in design, and there were only four of them in Wisconsin, the others in Milwaukee, Madison and Fond du Lac. It was installed under a lease agreement by the Federal Sign and Signal Co., Milwaukee, assisted by Reuben Nelson of Nelson Sign Service, who became in charge of the maintenance. Kissinger Electric did the wiring.

The clock was installed so that its twin faces were visible for long distances in all directions as it revolved. The faces were three feet six inches square and were of white plastic with black plastic numerals. They were illuminated by white grid tubing. The signs at the top and bottom that advertised the bank were maroon with gold letters. They too were illuminated.

In the Waupaca County Post, for October 23, 1958, there was a picture of the Farmers State Bank before it underwent its extensive exterior remodeling. The heading was, Waupacas Main Street undergoes a Face-lifting.

The west side of the 100 block on South Main Street in Waupaca is undergoing extensive Face-lifting. From Union Street northward, the First National Bank remodeled the exterior and the interior of its building some months ago, the Schultz Bros. Variety store remodeled the interior, converting to self-service, the Campbell store is in the process of doubling its space by annexing the former Leader Hardware building and on the corner of Main and West Fulton streets, the Farmers State Bank is sealing off the second floor and installing a modern new front which will include Winches drug store.

Sometime between January 1955 and June 1966, the first temperature-time clock was installed on the Farmers State Bank building on the corner of Main and Fulton streets. This clock replaced the revolving time clock that had been installed there in January of 1955.

When the Farmers State Bank moved to their new location at 112 West Fulton Street on March 7, 1966, they took their time-temperature clock with them to their new location.

For years the clocks that were mounted on the corner of the Farmers State Bank had dominated the Main and Fulton streets intersection. The people had acquired the habit of glancing at these as they stopped for the stop sign to get the time of the day or the temperature.

As the result of the move of the clock, the officials of the bank received many hints and remarks on how they missed the clock on the corner while shopping downtown. The courthouse workers and businessmen found it convenient to take a look out of their doors of windows. County Treasurer John DeVaud could see the clock from his office window and had remarked, that he looked at the bank clock more than his own office clock.

While admitting that there had been some pressure to maintain some device at the citys principal intersection, Executive Vice President P.L. Karling said, that when the bank officials found out how much the clock meant to the people, the decision was made to provide another clock, with the compliments of the Farmers State Bank, and as a public service to the community.

The Waupaca County Post for June 9, 1966, had this to say: Bank with a soft heart bends to the will of the clock watchers. There was also a picture of the clock being installed. Above the new clock were the words Compliments of the Farmers State Bank, and below the clock was One block West.

The new clock took its orders through the old clock at 112 West Fulton Street by means of wires which carried the proper instructions. If it was 2 p.m. at the new bank, it would be 2 p.m. at the old location, and the same went for the temperature.

Sometime between 1966 and December 1982, another new clock was installed. This new clock had just the words Farmers State Bank of Waupaca. In the afternoon of Christmas Day, 1982, a pictured appeared in the Waupaca paper showing the temperature at 49. I understand that the present clock was installed in 1984. I am sure that the people of Waupaca and surrounding areas appreciate this service provided by the Farmers State Bank.

When the Farmers State Bank moved to its new location, the old bank building was for sale. On the first day of March, 1967, Edward J. Hart purchased from the Farmers State Bank the north 17 feet of lot 1, Block K of the original plat of the Village (now City) of Waupaca, except the West 29 feet thereof. The Grantor reserved the right to maintain the time and temperature clock attached to the building on said premises for a period of 10 years. This location is now the Law Office of Attorneys Edward and John Hart.




January 9, 1992


The large brick building on the corner of Main and West Fulton streets, that was built in 1870 by Richard Lea, became the largest place of business in Waupaca at the time.

In a previous article I wrote about the Farmers State Bank purchasing the north 17 feet of lot 1, Block K from the Richard Lea estate on September 30, 1939. This is now 100 South Main Street, the present location of Hart and Hart Attorneys office.

The door adjacent to the south was also a part of the Richard Lea estate. Hugo M. Lea, son of Richard Lea, became the proprietor and executor of the estate. Hugo M. Lea closed out his clothing store at 102 South Main in 1906, and in October of 1906, the Hocking Brothers Rexall drug store moved into the empty clothing store. This location has since became the business location of five different drug stores.

William J. Hocking was born in Dodgeville in 1857, where he spent his youth and early manhood. He spent two years in Madison, after which time he went to Chicago and worked as a clerk, finally graduating as a pharmacist. He then was engaged in his own business in Rockford for a short time, going from there to Florence, in upper Wisconsin, until 1896, when he came to Waupaca to open a drug store.

In 1883 William J. Hocking was married to Mary Elizabeth Wright. To them were born three daughters and three sons. He had a brother, J. F. Hocking, who was associated with him for some time in the drug store business. Wm. J. Hocking died May 14, 1912, and is buried in the family plot in the Waupaca Cemetery.

The Hocking Bros. name remained until it was taken over by the Murphy Drug Store. These dates I do not know. The Murphy Drug Store was first owned by Stack and Murphy, then Murphy and Fox and finally by A. J. Murphy alone.

Miss Helen Stedman took possession of the Murphy Drug Store on March 1, 1929, and ran it for the next 16 years. Miss Stedman graduated from the Waupaca High School with the class of 1918. She completed the course in pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin in 1922, and that same year became a registered pharmacist while working in the Frank O. Stratton Drug Store in Waupaca, where she built up a wide circle of friends.

Helen Ruth Stedman was born December 19, 1898, in the Town of Lanark, Portage County, and came to Waupaca with her parents when but a small child. She never married, and a lingering illness forced her to retire in 1945. She passed away in 1950, leaving her mother, Cora Stedman, one sister, Evelyn and two half-brothers, Robert and Leman Stedman. She was buried in the family plot in the Barton Cemetery, Town of Farmington.

On October 1, 1945 Harold D. Olson purchased the business from Helen Stedman. Mr. Olson was a former lieutenant in the Navy Air Corps. He was released from active duty September 22, 1945, after serving four and a half years as an aviator. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar L. Olson, moved to Waupaca in 1938 while Harold was attending the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Vernon Peterson, who had been employed by Miss Stedman for 13 years, remained in charge of the prescription department. Harold D. Olson sold out to Sam Winch, effective April 1, 1954, and moved his family to Madison.

Sam Winch, band director at Waupaca High School, took over the Olson Pharmacy April 1, 1954. Mr. Winch told the Waupaca County Post at the time that he would not be active in the store, but Mrs. Winch, who had many years experience in drug stores in Stratford and Marshfield, would be the active manager.

Mrs. Sam Winch, was the former Minnie Giles of Marshfield, and they were married in 1938. They had three sons: Tim, Tom and Terry. Sam Tim Winch was born and raised at Chain O Lakes near Waupaca.

The Farmers State Bank sold to John C. Cormican the south part of the Richard Lea estate on March 1, 1967. This was the end of the era of drug stores located at 102 South Main Street.




January 16, 1992


John P. Adler, owner of the Adler Theatre Company of Marshfield, came to Waupaca in 1926, when he leased the Waupaca Theatre, located in the Carl Cohen building at 108 N. Main Street. This location, in 1922, is Colligans Old Time Bakery.

In 1932 Mr. Adler leased the Palace Theatre on West Fulton Street from the A.M. Penney estate, and in 1938 he purchased the building.

J.P. Adler continued to operate both show houses until December 24, 1946, when his lease expired on the Waupaca Theatre, and the option was picked up by the Ashe Theatre Corporation, and they changed the name to the State Theatre.

J.P. Adler had been associated with the theaters in Waupaca for 20 years, and he figured that the people of Waupaca deserved a new, modern theater. The wheels of progress had already been put in motion for a new theater. Adlers Trio, Inc. purchased from Maurice Behnke and Associates the south 10 feet, off Lot Number 3, and the north 29 feet and 11 inches off Lot Number 4, all in Block L of the original plat of the Village of Waupaca, now the City of Waupaca. Adlers trio, Inc. was a corporation of three people headed by John P. Adler and his wife, Rose, and one other person.

This location was then a vacant lot between Behnkes Food Market on the north and Webbs Bratwurst Restaurant on the south. This location was later to become the now Rosa Theatre.

The Waupaca County Post for April 8, 1948, had this to say about the construction for a new theater: The partially constructed theater on South Main Street was started in 1946, two years previous. The construction was halted at that time by some legal restrictions, but not before 165 feet of wall had been built.

Could there have been an error in the boundary lines that caused the delay? Perhaps, because on August 28, 1946, Alice Webb sold to Adlers Trio, Inc. one foot and ten and three-quarters inches off the north side of their lot. Once the restrictions were lifted, the construction was to begin on the new fire-proof Adler theater as soon as circumstances such as luck, labor and materials became available.

The Waupaca County Post, dated June 3, 1948: Construction of the new theater coming along fine. The steel supports for the ceiling of the new Waupaca theater, being constructed by the Adler Theatre Company, were put up this week and the motion picture house was well along towards completion.

Mr. Adler was in town recently and announced that he still hopes to have the building completed by July 1. The cement floor is being laid now, seats, projector, air conditioning, and various other equip-ment is already arranged. The theater will seat 554 people.

Despite difficulties and setbacks the beautiful new Rose Theatre had its grand opening as planned on July 31, 1948. The show went on, even though the front doors of the theater had not as yet arrived, and there were odds and ends to be taken care of. The opening night was ready with band, speakers and the whole works.

Mr. Adler dedicated this theatre to his wife Rosamond, who was of Danish descent. The first syllable of her name, translated in Danish, is a derivative of the name Rose. It was then fitting and proper to carry out the Rose motif in the decorative design.

The new theater had a number of unusual features. One was the lighting on the inside of the theater, which was neon instead of the usual florescent. Others were the openings at the top of the auditorium ceiling for ventilation, the 554 cushioned seats and the variation of colors of rose and green that predominated throughout.

Among the outstanding exterior features were the modern, triangular marquee; the concave panels of brick above the marquee that was to be covered with light green plaster. Mr. Adler had gotten this idea from a $4 million store in St. Petersburg, FL, and to make it complete there was the new sign, Rosa.

Getting back to the opening night: Mrs. Adler was unexpectedly called to the front of the theater by her husband and introduced to the public. She had not known that the new theater was being dedicated to her, until about two weeks before.

Souvenir books and roses were presented at the door, the roses to the ladies of course. Distributing the roses was Adlers two daughters, Anne Victoria and Elizabeth Bille. The souvenir books were attractive and clever. A circle being cut out in the front cover to show a red rose over the name Rosa on the cover. In addition to telling about the policy and personnel of the Adler theatres, the souvenir books gave a chronological description of the construction of the theater. As each section and part of the building was discussed, the advertisement of the tradesmen and contractors who had worked on the Rosa were published alongside it.

In the lobby of the theater on Saturday and Sunday were boards on which congratulatory telegrams from film people and motion picture companies were posted. Among the motion picture companies were such names as RKO, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Republic Pictures and MGM.

Wires were received from the following stars: Johnny Mack Brown, Rod Cameron, William Bendix, Esther Williams, Clair Trevor, Van Johnson, Gene Autry, Margaret OBrien, June Allyson, Red Skelton, Evelyn Keys, Nina Foch, William Holden, Greer Garson, Paulette Goddard, John Lund, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Alan Ladd, Betty Hutton and Clifton Webb.

The decorators were to return on Monday to paint the lobby and rest rooms, because the plaster at the time of the grand opening was not dry enough to paint. The air conditioning unit had not as yet arrived either. Luckily, the weather was cool enough, so the air conditioning was not needed.

The feature attraction on the screen for the grand opening was a comedy, Sitting Pretty, starring Robert Young, Maureen OHara and Clifton Webb, plus a Bugs Bunny cartoon. How many of you remember the night of the grand opening of the Rosa Theatre, or saved one of the souvenir books?

J.P. Adler also continued to operate the Palace Theatre until January 12, 1957, when its doors were closed forever as a theater. This location at 112 West Fulton Street now belongs to the Farmers State Bank.

In October 1948, Melvin T. (Blondie) Helgerson and his wife, the former Dorothy Mills, finally gave up their acting careers and came to Waupaca where they became the managers of the Adler Theatres.

Mr. Helgerson managed the Palace and Rosa theatres in Waupaca for three and one-half years, until his death on March 1, 1952. He had been assisted by his wife, Mrs. Helgerson then became the manager of the Rosa Theatre until her sudden death on September 7, 1962.

A couple of managers of the Rosa Theatre that followed Mrs. Helgerson were Clarence Kissinger and a Gene Wilson from Marshfield.

In 1969 Laverne Kienert became the manager until May 31, 1972, when he bought the theater. The document was signed by Elizabeth B. Adler and William H. Halverson, who were the officers of Adlers Trio Corporation.

Mr. and Mrs. Laverne Kienert continued to operate the Rose until December 19, 1986, when they sold the theater to Otto Settele and wife, who operate the Rose Theatre today.

Mr. and Mrs. Settele are only the third owners of the Rosa Theatre. Just a last note. I have been told that Earl Schnieder was the contractor of the Rosa Theatre.

After this article was all typed up and ready to take to the Waupaca County Post, I came across the story of the Rosa Theatre celebrating its 20th anniversary on October 17, 1968. In the article it explained why the delay of the construction of the theater. It was because they were faced with a govern-ment restriction against building amusement places.

Gene Wilson, who was the manager for the 20th anniversary, advertised that the first 250 people would be given a free deck of cards. The special movie was Five Card Stud.




January 23, 1992


Back in the early years of the 1900s, before the days of the professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey, horse racing was the entertainment of the day in the Waupaca area.

I dont believe that there were many young men out for a Sunday ride with their special girl, who did not pass another buggy and challenge the driver to a race, just to impress the lady fair.

In the February 10, 1910 Waupaca Republican Post, was an item about horse racing on the ice:

Last Sunday the owners of fast driving and racing horses again enjoyed the fine sport on the ice track on the lake. Hundreds of spectators are said to have been present. H. Habersaat, Will Ware, F.E. Paronto, Fred Brown, Dr. G.H. Atkinson, A.A. Papineau, and R.P. Hanson were among those who parti-cipated in the sport.

Just a little about Dr. George Atkinson He had his veterinary office in a building on the east side of the McLean feed barn on the southeast corner of Washington and West Union. Dr. Atkinsons advertisements in the local paper read like this: Dr. G.H. Atkinson Veterinary Surgeon and Dentist.

Harry Edmund Beans Atkinson was a son of George H. and Katherine (Schneider) Atkinson, and as he was growing up, he too was interested in horses, and he spent many hours around the office of his father.

Young Beans Atkinson met with an accident, when a horse that he was riding pinned him against a pole, which resulted in the loss of a leg.

It was in the winter time, and some boy threw a snowball that spooked the horse, which caused Mr. Atkinsons leg to be pinned against the pole.

Both father and son loved horses and both were instrumental in the promotion of horse racing. In his younger years Beans Atkinson also drove in harness races. He also helped to care for some show horses for Mr. and Mrs. Miles S. Loberg at their Mi-Lo-Way stable just west of Waupaca.

The old McLean feed barn became the Farm Market of Jay Kelley Ware, before it was razed to make room for a machinery lot, on the corner of West Union and South Washington streets.

When I was first married, and lived in Waupaca County, I would often cull out a few of the laying hens to take down to Kelley Wares to sell to get a little money so we could go to the movies.

There was this hen that was really light in weight, and he would pick it out for me to take home. After my trying for about the third time to get this hen through, Kelley said, You cant fool me with that chicken, so take it home and kill it.

F. E. Paronto was a barber in Waupaca for many years and also served as mayor.

R.P. Hanson owned the bakery that became known as the Star Bakery.

A.A. Papineau operated a saloon in the building that was, until the end of 1991, the Army Recruiting office on West Fulton Street.

Will Ware was Waupacas chief of police.

Another man who competed in sports was Asa W. Hollenbeck, who came to Waupaca in 1887 and established the Crystal Springs Bottling Works on Churchill Street.

Mr. Hollenbeck was a member of the Chandler rink, which in January of 1895 captured first place from competitors at the National Curling Bonspiel held in Milwaukee, which included leading curlers from the United States and Canada.




January 30, 1992


Earl Thomas Knight, who left the family homestead in Section 29, Township of Farmington, Waupaca County, to go west in 1909, was reunited with his sister after a separation of 48 years. His sister, Mary, who had grown to womanhood during his long absence, married Myron Schultz and raised a family of her own.

The Knight family homestead is located at the bottom of the big hill on State Highway 54, five miles west of Waupaca. The hill has been known as Knights Hill for many years.

John Knight married Helena Hearn, August 29, 1883, and it was on the homestead that they started out their married life together. They became the parents of seven children, three boys Earl, Robert and Hugh and four daughters Florence, Margaret, Olive and Mary, the baby of the family.

When Earl left his home he was 24 years old and little Mary was only four. When Mr. Knight embraced his sister after 48 year he made the remark that he could not have held her like this before he left home, because he was so big and she was afraid of him. When he came in one door, he said, she would exit out another. Mrs. Schultz countered with, Well, I am not too little or afraid now, so this calls for another big hug.

Mr. Knight told of his life after leaving home. He worked as a deck hand on a Columbia River steamboat in Washington, then as a surveyor for the Oregon Trunk Railroad.

Then he went to Tucson, AZ, where he was married and worked as a well driller. Later he became an extra on the Tucson Volunteer Fire Department. In 1913, a fireman friend asked him to work a couple of hours for him, as a hose driver. The friend gave him $1 and never did return. He continued as a hoseman, then as a driver of a chemical wagon, as now he had a full-time job.

When he started as a fireman, horses were in use. It was not until four years later that motorized apparatuses replaced them. He retired from the Tucson Fire Department in 1913. He died in Tucson, on April 9, 1964. His sister, Mrs. Myron (Mary) Schultz, is the last survivor of the John Knight family. She makes her home at the South Side Retirement Home, Waupaca.




February 6, 1992


Two brothers, Horace Ted and Ira August Christoph, came to Waupaca in 1924 from Neenah in search of a location to start a dairy business.

Ted Christoph was born in Neenah on October 17, 1900, and on July 27, 1925, he married Edna J. Hesselman. They became the parents of two sons: James C. and John W.

Ira Christoph was also born in Neenah on June 10, 1892. He was united in marriage in the Town of Vinland, Winnebago County, to Julia Smith on November 8, 1916. They had one daughter, Doris.

Their first location in Waupaca was a small vacant building located directly behind the former George James Furniture Store at 121 N. Main St. Paul B. Bammel Sr. came to Waupaca in 1929, and purchased the furniture business from the George James estate. At one time during Bammels ownership, the building directly behind the furniture store was Bammels Provincetown Shop. This marks the location of the first business site of the Christoph Bros. Waupaca Dairy Products Company.

Their business soon outgrew the building, and they made arrangements to rent the building at 111 W. Fulton St. that had been vacated earlier by Martha Traders Model Garment Shoppe. In October 1929, the Christoph brothers told the local paper that their new home would be renovated and redecorated before they would move in around January 1, 1930.

The six-ton refrigeration unit that held their milk, cream, butter and ice cream, a new boiler and pasteurizing equipment were installed in the new location. The front part of the building was used as a retail outlet.

The Christoph Bros. Waupaca Dairy Products Company had been handicapped in the old location because the ice cream plant had to be in a separate building. The name of the firm was changed to Christophs Dairy after they moved to 111 W. Fulton St. The Christoph brothers retired in August 1953. They sold out to Adolph Ritter of Fond du Lac, after serving the people of the Waupaca area for 29 years.

In one of the interviews with the Waupaca County Post, Ted Christoph spoke of the many changes in the dairy business. The milk was first bottled in round glass bottles, then went into square glass bottles and finally into paper-plastic cartons. There were home deliveries seven days a week by horse-drawn wagons in the summer and sleighs in the winter. The change to truck delivery began in the early 40s.

Originally, there was no refrigeration equipment so ice cream making required much ice and rock salt. The busiest time in the Christoph Dairy was on Thursday nights during the band concert, where up until World War II the double dip ice cream cones were only a nickel.

Horace Ted Christoph died in the River View Nursing Home on March 19, 1973 and Ira August Christoph died on April 13, 1975. They are both buried with their wives in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park Cemetery. They left behind many friends and acquaintances through their association with the Christoph Dairy.

Ritter operated the business for one year before selling out to Woodys Cheese Company on August 1, 1954. On January 1, 1956, Woodys sold out to the Nelson Dairy Company, and by mid-June of 1956, Lunds Music and TV shop occupied the building. That ended the buildings use as the home of a dairy.

The following is only a brief history of the building that Christophs Dairy occupied next to the alley on West Fulton Street. Dating back to 1914, an ad appeared in the local paper for the A.A. Pappineau Saloon that read: We will start serving food in the fall.

By starting a lunch counter in the fall, when the farmers began to haul loads of potatoes to town by teams of horses, it provided another place where the farmer could get a hot meal while his horses were resting and being fed in the Colburn Barn, which was just around the corner where the old Armory stands today.

At 1 a.m. Sunday, June 4, 1916, fire broke out in the building, then owned by Mrs. George Hanson. The east two-thirds of the building was formerly the saloon of A.A. Pappineau, but was vacant at the time. The west one-third of the building was occupied by Ed Prinks barber shop.

Some trouble was experienced in getting the fire, owing to the fact that the fire had started in the partition and worked its way up to the lone attic where it continued to burn above the steel ceiling. After the fire was thought to be out, the firemen went home, but left the fire fighting equipment at the scene. The proved to have been a wise move, because at 4 a.m. a second fire run had to be made, as the fire had broken out again.

The interior and the roof was a wreck. The walls seemed to be unharmed, but there was some question as to whether the building could be repaired so that it would be fit for occupancy. The furnishings in the barber shop were saved and only slightly damaged.

The origin of the fire was a mystery. The most plausible theory was that a match or a cigar stub had fallen through a hole in the floor. It seems that there were several such holes in the floor in the passageway which connected the barber shop and a toilet in back of the vacant saloon building.

Since Lunds Music and TV shop took over the building in June 1956 the building ceased to be used as a dairy store. There have been only two other occupants since. Lund sold the music and television service to William Bill Ellingsworth in mid-June 1964. It then became known as Waupaca TV Sales and Service. Ellingsworth operated out of this building until in 1974, when it became the U.S. Army Recruiting Office. That office recently moved to Stevens Point, and as of January 1, 1992, the building has stood vacant.

Many of you remember Ted Girard and Howard Wilson making their early morning milk deliveries for the Christoph Dairy.



February 13, 1992


This story will include some of the highlights in the lives of the Chandler families who settled in the Chandler-Vaughn District midway between what is now Waupaca and Weyauwega, in 1849.

Augustus Chandler was born August 12, 1782, at Hanover Centre, Grafton County, New Hampshire. He was married there on November 22, 1804, to Polly S. Slade. Augustus Chandler died in Waupaca April 17, 1871, and is buried in the family lot in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery. His wife, the former Polly S. Slade, was born November 26, 1784, in New Hampshire, and died in Waupaca, March 19, 1864. She is also buried in the family lot.

Augustus and Polly Chandler were the parents of 10 children, all born in Grafton County, NH; they were: John Wilkes, Samuel Slade, Augusta, Sarah Slade, William Henry (who died in infancy), William Henry, Augustus Hill, Harriet Jane, Martha Hill and Thomas Baldwin.

The Chandlers embarked on a new life in the mid-1840s. Augustus Chandler decided to take his family to what was then the Western frontier, so they left their home in Hanover Centre, NH, and headed for Wisconsin. Two members of the family stayed behind. William Henry, who died in infancy, and Harriet Jane Chandler, who chose teaching as a profession. She graduated from the New Hampton Seminary in 1843, and in the fall of that same year, accepted a teaching position in Barryton, AL.

In September of 1846, the Chandler clan had settled in Waterford (Racine County) except for Augustus Hill Chandler and family, who went on to Jo Davis County, IL. This was two years before Wisconsin became a state.

The Augustus and Polly Slade Chandler family including John Wilkes Chandler, their eldest son, John W. Chandler, his wife, Phebe Bridgman Chandler, with their two daughters Mary M. and Harriet A., all left their homes in Waterford to make a new start again in the unsettled wilderness in the Indian Lands farther to the north in central Wisconsin.

John Wilkes Chandler had been born at Hanover, NH, in 1808, and was married there to Miss Phebe Bridgman, and they had three children born there also: Mary Bridgman and Harriet Augusta. They had a son, John Wilkes Jr., who died February 22, 1842. He was about two and one-half years old. He was buried in New Hampshire. Phebe Bridgman was born March 2, 1806. John W. Chandler became a lieutenant colonel in the militia in New Hampshire before moving to Wisconsin.

Early in the spring of 1849, after some weeks of travel, this group of the Chandler family arrived on the south bank of the Waupaca River, in Section 1, Township of Lind, Waupaca County. Here they lived with the Simon C. Dow family in a 14 by 16 foot shanty.

Many of us may be wondering just what mode of transportation these pioneers had when they embarked into the unbroken wilderness. It is not known how the Chandler families traveled from their home in New Hampshire, to Racine County, or from Racine County to Algoma at the mouth of the Fox River. At that time Algoma was located on the south side of the Fox, and Oshkosh was on the north side.

But Mrs. John Wilkes Chandler did record how they traveled to the Town of Lind from Algoma. They started by sailboat and went up the Fox River to Winneconne, and into the Wolf River, and on up to Gills Landing. Here they found a man with a single ox and a drag (stoneboat) for sale. This was the conveyance on which grandmother Polly Slade Chandler rode on from Gills Landings, to their destination in the new land.

In a letter written by Phebe Chandler to Mrs. Augustus Hill (Susan) Chandler postmarked July 10, 1849, urging them to leave Jo Davis County and come to this new land, she described their new home with the Dows: Our new shanty is only 14 by 16, made of boards and no partitions. Mrs. Dow and mother Chandler have beds set up on one side; the rest of us has to bundle in well. How we do this is, there are curtains before the beds, then I hung a curtain across the other way, so we are made into four bedrooms. We have not been by ourselves but a few nights since we have been here, 14 sometimes, and as thick as three in a bed, and we all look tether way.

They had only one stove for both families. Phebe Bridgman Chandler, wife of John Wilkes Chandler, was struck down in the prime of her life, on August 14, 1853, before her hopes and dreams had a chance to materialize. She was buried on their property on the south bank of the Waupaca River. Hers is one of the oldest markers in Waupaca County. In 1857 Col. John W. Chandler left the Iola and Waupaca areas and returned to Waterford in Racine County. He remarried to Mrs. Catherine M. Tyler. He died there of consumption on July 21, 1862, aged 54 years, and was buried in the Oakwood cemetery there, so many miles from the small lonely burial place of his first wife, Phebe.

It was on June 1, 1862, that the government through an act of Congress first opened up the Indian Lands for sale to the white man. Fremont was the main crossing point on the Wolf River. The Big Crossing as it was called, started at midnight June 1, 1852, when a large wave of whites crossed the Wolf, in hopes of laying out a claim. All early settlers that lived in the Indian Lands west of the Wolf River and east of the Wisconsin River prior to June 1, 1852, were squatters, or sometimes called waiters, but they preferred to be called preemptors.

In March of 1850 the Samuel Slade Chandler Sr. family left their home in Racine County and joined the Chandler clan that had settled in the Chandler district between Weyauwega and Waupaca Falls.

Samuel Slade Chandler Sr. was born August 11, 1809, at Hanover Center, NH, and was married there to Sarah Gould Colcord, who was born January 12, 1815 at Kingston, NH. She died in Iola February 20, 1872, and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery there.

Samuel S. and Sarah Chandler had the following children: Daniel Augustus, Mary Colcord, Sarah Frances, William Henry H., Samuel Slade Jr., Harriet Jane and Martha Foss. The Samuel S. Chandler family was in Iola by 1854, and was one of the very first families to be living there. Samuel S. and his brother, Col. John W. Chandler, built a saw mill in Iola, if not the first one. Mr. Chandler hired the first school teacher in Iola, paying all of her wages, except for $7.50, and he boarded her besides for the first three months.

Samuel S. Chandler Sr. was a pioneer in the days when clearing the forests and converting the timber into lumber was king.

Mr. Chandler was 63 years old when his wife, Sarah, died. After her death he moved to Waupaca to live with his son, Samuel S. Jr. Here he was married for a second time, this time to Mrs. Harriet Ingalls, on April 16, 1873. He died on March 22, 1899, and Harriet died February 2, 1910. Both are buried in Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.

Remember, when the Chandler families left their home in New Hampshire, and settled at Waterford, Racine County, Augustus Hill Chandler and his wife, Susan Woodward Chandler, continued on to Jo Davis County, IL, to live. There was a letter, dated July 10, 1849, that Phebe Bridgman Chandler, Mrs. John W. Chandler, wrote to Susan, Mrs. Augustus H. Chandler, in Jo Davis County, IL., urging them to hurry and come to this new land before all of the claims were taken up.

Mr. Chandler, his wife, Susan, and children responded to her plea, and left their home in Jo Davis County, and arrived upon the scene in the Chandler settlement in the spring of 1850, on a claim of government land. This property now includes much of the Waupaca Municipal Airport.

It was here, in Section 35, Town of Waupaca, that they built their first home, and it was in this home that the first school classes were held, taught by Mrs. Susan Chandler. This made her the first teacher to teach in the first school in Waupaca County.

School started on June 5, 1851, because school classes had to be started in June, so as to complete a three-month term to draw state money. Three weeks later a new one-room schoolhouse was built and made serviceable and classes resumed in the new schoolhouse. There were about 20 pupils ranging in ages from 5 to 17, all coming from the surrounding area within a radius of one and one-half miles.

Augustus Hill Chandler was born March 31, 1819, at Hanover Center, NH. He married Susan Woodward there on September 22, 1842. She was born August 7, 1823, also in Hanover Center. She died January 22, 1899, in Chicago, IL, and Augustus H. died January 15, 1893. Both were laid to rest in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery. They were the parents of three children: William Augustus, who died September 12, 1865, aged 13 years; Jessie Estelle, who died March 12, 1865, aged six years, and are both buried in the Waupaca cemetery, and a third child, Fremont Elmer, was born in the Town of Lind in 1861.

Fremont C. Chandler graduated from Waupaca High School in 1876, and continued his education at the University of Wisconsin. He finished his bachelor of science course in 1886. He attended the Rush Medical College in Chicago, graduating in 1893, going from there to Augustana Hospital where he served his internship under the famed Dr. Ochsner.

Dr. Chandler practiced medicine in Chicago until 1915, when he returned to Waupaca to assume his practice until his death in 1931.

In 1889 Dr. Fremont E. Chandler was married to Mary Rebecca Saxe of Whitewater, WI. They became the parents of eight children, two of whom died young.

Dr. Arthur H. Chandler, son of Dr. Fremont E. Chandler, practiced dentistry in Waupaca from 1918 until his death in 1968.

Samuel Slade Chandler Jr., son of Samuel Slade Sr. and wife, Sarah, was born in New Hampshire on August 8, 1842. He served nearly three years with Co. G, 21st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in the Civil War, with quite a distinguished record. He married Ella E. McKenzie of Iola in 1868, and they had two sons, Arthur M. and Clarence C.

Ella E. Chandler died August 5, 1929 and 19 days later he husband Samuel S. Chandler Jr. passed away. Both are buried in Waupaca. Arthur M., their eldest son, was born July 18, 1870, and died October 2, 1898, of typhoid fever, aged 28 years. He had graduated from the Waupaca High School with the class of 1888. After graduating he was assistant postmaster until January 1893, when he was appointed deputy register of deeds by his father. He held this position until January 1897, when he accepted a position with the March-Davis Cycle Company of Chicago. He held state records in bicycle racing for the one-quarter, the one-half and the one mile.

Going back to Harriet Jane Chandler, who was a daughter of Augustus and Polly Chandler, and had not come to Wisconsin in 1846 with the others of the family: She had met Thomas S. Parker while attending school at Deerfield, MA, and married him in 1846. When the Civil War broke out he joined the southern army. In 1864 they arrived in Iola, and resided there until her death on May 15, 1901. Thomas S. Parker died in the Riverside Cemetery there. He was one of only a very few Confederate soldiers buried this far north in Wisconsin.




February 20, 1992


Due to the Jan. 23 issue of the Waupaca County Post some interest in the name of Asa W. Hollenbeck has been raised.

First, I received a phone call from Mrs. Lester Barrington telling me that in her collection of old bottles there was one with the name of A. W. Hollenbeck on it. This was found on the present property of Allen Barrington who lives approximately three-quarters of a mile east of Heffron. It has apparently been dug up by some dogs from an old garbage burial site.

In checking the Portage County plat book I found that Allen Barrington owned 40 acres of land in Section 33, Township of Belmont (Portage County). I also found that Joseph Wiora came from Chicago, IL, in 1903 and purchased this very tract of land. This property is only approximately three-quarters of a mile east of the old Frank Wiora store and tavern that existed from the turn of the century until in February of 1934, when it was destroyed by fire. Is it possible that this little store in Heffron handled soft drinks in the bottles from the A.W. Hollenbeck bottling works in Waupaca?

The day following after this first call, I received another call, this time it was from my sister, Mrs. Paul E. (Phyllis) Pope, in Lind Center. You guessed it she has one of these ice blue-colored glass bottles, with the writing A.W. Hollenbeck Bottling Works, Waupaca, Wis., with a number 15 on the bottom. This was plowed up near an old dwelling site in the Town of Lind. These bottles could be nearly 100 years old.

Asa W. Hollenbeck was born June 20, 1857, at Pine River (Waushara County). He was a son of Abraham and Malinda (Boyington) Hollenbeck, and was a grandson of Nathaniel Hollenbeck, one of the very early pioneers of Jefferson County.

When but a mere boy Abraham came with his parents from Pennsylvania to Pine River. Abraham was a cabinet maker in his early years, but in later years followed farming. Abraham and Malinda Hollenbeck had three children: Asa W., and two daughters.

Asas parents left Pine River when he was only six months old, and moved to Rome (Jefferson County). Here Asa received his common schooling, and at the age of 14 took on the tasks of every day life. He spent some time in his fathers shop, but did not care for it. His parents offered to place him in a machine shop, and he turned that down. He preferred instead to work on a farm for $8 per month.

However, sometime later he learned the molders trade at Fort Atkinson, a trade that he followed for over a year. In 1878 he went to Marinette, where he found employment in the Marinette Iron Works. Asa W. Hollenbeck was married to Miss Belle Harrison in 1876, in Hebron (Jefferson County). They had five children: Jessie, Leo, Fred, Warren and Linda.

In 1887 Mr. Hollenbeck came to Waupaca. On June 19, 1888, Asa W. Hollenbeck and J. Bowers purchased a part of Section 32, Township of Waupaca, from John W. Evans and his wife, Anne. On this property was a sparkling mineral spring. Here on the banks of the Crystal River, Mr. Hollenbeck and Mr. Bowers built a building that became the home of the Crystal Springs Bottling Works.

The water from this spring was in such demand that Mr. Hollenbeck not only supplied local dealers, but sold his product to many outside points. Apparently they first bottled and sold just mineral spring water. This was the birth of the Crystal Springs Bottling Works that was to flourish for many years on the steep banks of the Crystal River on Churchill Street.

The Wisconsin Semi-Centennial souvenir edition of the Waupaca Post, published October 13, 1898, shows a picture of the residence and bottling works of Asa W. Hollenbeck. The residence sat on the site where Pine Ridge Manor stands today and the bottling works was a one-story building with a basement. The wooden structure was facing east and west on the bank of the Crystal River, and the west one-half of the basement was constructed of stone and cement. When the building was razed and new additions were added this stone wall was never removed, and remains in the basement of the Pepsi Cola shop on Churchill Street today.

Lemon seltzer and ginger ale were the best sellers for the Crystal Springs Bottling Works in its early years. It has been said that Mr. Hollenbeck was also an agent for the Pepsi Brewing Company in Milwaukee.

On or about July 30, 1901 A.W. Hollenbeck and wife, Belle, and J. Bowers and wife, Mary, sold out to J. Petrie and Henry Glattly, for the sum of $1,000. Nothing is mentioned about the Crystal Springs Bottling Works in the deed.

On or about December 1, 1902 Joseph Petrie and wife, Nell, and Henry Glattly sold out to Nels Gunderson for $1,200. Still no mention about the bottling works.

On or about March 25, 1904 Nels Gunderson and wife, Ella, sold out to Richard McCabe for $1,350. No mention about the bottling works. On that same day, March 25, 1904, Richard McCabe and wife, Mary, sold the property to Mary Machin for $1,450. This was recorded on March 26, 1904.

On or about January 17, 1912 Sarah Williams sold out to P.H. Trader and E.J. Trader for $1,500. This was the first warranty deed to list all buildings and new additions.

On or about May 12, 1917 P.H. Trader and wife, Letitia, sold their share to E.J. Trader. The amount was not given. The warranty deed lists all buildings and appurtenances.

On or about April 24, 1920 E.J. Trader and wife, Hazel, sold out to W.W. Wilcox, no price given. This time the deed shows the listing of all property of the Crystal Springs Bottling Works. This would indicate that the Crystal Springs Bottling Works was back in business.

On or about May 5, 1936 W.W. Wilcox and wife, Agnes, sold out to Evan H. Smith and wife, Eleanor. The deed shows together with the machinery and fixtures of the carbonated beverage bottling plant on said premises, including the automatic bottling machine, the carbonator, the bottle washer with electric motor, about 500 bottles and cases for same, the automatic water pump, a 1934 Dodge truck used in the business, and other small tools and articles used in said business.

E.H. Smith was from New London, and was a field man for the Knapstein Brewing Company there. He continued on in this position and delegated the management of the bottling works to his son, Gorman. Gordon McCunn continued on with Mr. Smith in the same position he had held with W.W. Wilcox. At that time the pop and soda water was bottled in the basement of the building. There was a driveway leading down to the basement on the south side of the building, where the trucks could drive to load and unload their product.

By 1940 the Smiths had added to their line of carbonated beverages and wide range of flavors of pop and soda water, a new flavor, Mission Orange, also a Natural Setup, which was supposed to wash away that rocky, morning after feeling, when your mouth tasted like the bottom of a bird cage.

In 1953 Mr. Smith tore down a part of the original structure and built on some new additions. After this the bottling process was moved upstairs.

The next acquisition was the Waupaca County franchise for Pepsi Cola.

Sanford E. Sonny Snyder purchased the Crystal Springs Bottling Works on Churchill Street from E.H. Smith on July 1, 1957, and in the fall of 1960, he removed the remaining part of the original structure, and between 1960 and 1964, he erected the building as it stands today.

When he extended the east end of the new building, it was built over the original spring.

Most of the material was supplied to me by Mr. Snyder. He ran the business for nine years before selling out to the Pepsi Cola Company of Oshkosh. During that time his business had more than quadrupled. The Pepsi Cola Company took over August 26, 1966, at which time Mr. Snyder held the franchise for Pepsi Cola in Waupaca County and Dads Root Beer and Canada Dry for seven counties.

This building is now being used by the Pepsi Cola Company for a storage and repair shop for their pop vending machines, and the south part is a truck storage room.


February 27, 1992


There is still standing today the sad remains of the once dream resort of two Chicago men.

The badly neglected former Charmaine Hotel stands partially hidden behind a row of cedar trees on State Highway 54, approximately 4-1/2 miles west of Waupaca.

A Warranty Deed dated December 4, 1929, shows that Louis Anderson, a widower, sold to Louis Austmann, about 99 acres in the Town of Farmington. The lake mentioned in the land description is called Silver Lake on plat maps, but was known as Andersons Lake by the people of the area.

On March 7, 1930 Louis Austmann, who was a single man, sold the property to Charles A. Kramer and Joseph Rausch, except for a recorded mortgage of $5,5000, due on or before five years from December 4, 1929.

The two new owners formed a corporation called Charmaine Country Estates. It was filed with the state on March 18, 1930. The purpose of the corporation was to buy, sell, deal in, lease, hold or improve real estate and personal property and generally hold, manage, deal with and improve the property of the company to construct, erect, equip and improve houses and buildings; to purchase real estate and plat and sub-divide the same, to erect, provide, maintain, operate, lease, purchase and acquire hotels, restaurants, inns, or places of entertainment and refreshments, to conduct and operate amusement enterprises and all the branches pertaining hereto and thereof consisting of summer gardens, parks, hotels, dance halls, and bathing beaches; to operate and maintain a golf course

Their plans called for building a two-story clubhouse, 44 feet by 56 feet, that would be lighted by electricity and contain showers and baths, all steam-heated. The work was completed on the building and included a bath house on the lake.

The Waupaca County Post on May of 1931, had an article which explained a little bit about the new Hotel Charmaine. The hotel promised to be the most exclusive resort in Waupaca County. It was scheduled to open to the public on Memorial Day, 1931.

The resort was opened under the management of R. C. Wheeler.

The building, according to the article, was completely remodeled and redecorated as a summer hotel and clubhouse, was expensively furnished, and the interior was a place of beauty.

Mr. Wheeler featured chicken and steak dinners, and chicken and steak sandwiches. Private parties were especially catered to and dancing was permitted in the main dining hall.

The beautiful Silver Lake was located on the property, and a tennis court and a golf course were in the process of construction in 1931. But the bathing beach and the golf course were never completed, as the organization went broke it was, after all, early in the Great Depression.

At a sale held at the Waupaca County Courthouse on October 8, 1932, descendents of the late Louis C. Anderson brought back their former property, with Chris G. Peterson as administrator. The Waupaca County Post for October 13, 1932, stated that the Anderson family was again in possession of the property, and that they planned on holding it until such time that it would sell for a larger portion on the money invested in it.

A large number of merchants, plumbers, lumber dealers and others who had liens against the property all forfeited their claims. The property stood empty until March of 1936, when the property was leased by Alvin Carlson of Minneapolis. Workmen began to renovate the spacious building, installing new equipment and furniture and a new sign went up proclaiming it the Ranch Hotel.

The Ranch Hotel sign came down that same year, however, and a new sign was in its place. It was now the Charmaine Hotel, and had its opening on Saturday, Nov. 2, 1936. The Charmaine Hotel featured a splendid line of foods. Mr. and Mrs. A. Joly, the new operators, served barbecued ribs, spaghetti, steaks, chops, chicken, homemade pies and a pastry department.

On October 21, 1947, Andrew R. Newhoff sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. Benson Burns, who again remodeled the Charmaine Hotel. An article found in the Waupaca County Post, dated March 25, 1948, reported that interior redecorations of the Charmaine Hotel were nearing completion and the exterior landscaping was about to begin.

The Charmaine Hotel had been under the ownership of Benson Burns, formerly of Chicago, since September 1947. Burns, the newspaper said, had made many changes in this spacious tourist hotel. All of the hotels 24 bedrooms had been redecorated and equipped with closet space which they did not have before. The lobby gave a pleasant lodge atmosphere, and lodging and meals were available at all times by reservations. Private parties were available by reservation only. Only home cooking was served, prepared by Mrs. Burns, who was Hungarian and specialized in dishes of her native land.

Mr. and Mrs. Burns had hoped to begin with the landscaping soon the County Post reported. The tennis court would be in order for the summer season. A woman experienced as a recreation director had been engaged to supervise the sports program. A stable of riding horses was added, along with outdoor table tennis.

On December 6, 1952, Benson Burns and his wife, Vilma, sold the property to Richard G. Selke and his wife, Ellieen, and once again remodeling and redecorating was in order.

After nearly two years, on August 14, 1954, the Charmaine opened again under the managership of Marie Classon and the new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Selke of Chicago.

The dining room was open daily for all meals from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Special catering services were provided for parties in the remodeled dining room that extended approximately 40 feet on the east side of the building. A small private dining room adjoined the large room on the north side. Now there were only 14 bedrooms upstairs that had been redecorated and refurnished. A modern kitchen had been installed, the dining atmosphere was highlighted by flowers, carpeting and candles.

Bob Paulson was chef, assisted by Mrs. Elsa Lillie and Mrs. Elmer Williams. Waitresses were Beverly Dixon and Mrs. Bob Paulson. Victor Berzin, a nephew of Mr. Selke, was a general handyman.

The next change of ownership was on February 1, 1957, when Richard G. and Elliene Selke sold the property to the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament of Hyde Park, NY. Soon thereafter bids were taken for the construction of a Catholic seminary to be built to the north and east of the Charmaine Lodge. The original plans called for a two-story building approximately 110 by 60 feet. The second floor was to have a study hall, classrooms and a library which would serve as a temporary chapel.

The ground floor was to house the dormitory and showers. The basic structure was to be built, so other wings could be added as needed. The Marks Construction Co. of Marshfield was awarded the general contract. Construction was started in the summer of 1957, and was completed one year later, in time for the fall classes to start after Labor Day. The construction cost was $215,000. Classes started with about 35 first and second year high school students. The new facility included a chapel, dormitory, recreation room, study hall and classrooms. Until future buildings were constructed, the students ate their meals in the Charmaine Lodge. A locker room for the students was built at the rear of the building. The old barn that stood behind the lodge was razed and a new garage was built.

The Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers was established in September 1958 for the purpose of fostering and encouraging vocations to the priesthood. They announced on March 19, 1971, that the school would close in June, at the end of the school year, and on May 2, 1973, the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament sold out to Tomorrows, Inc.

Tomorrows, Inc. was incorporated May 3, 1973, for the purpose or purposes to establish facilities for education, to educate anew, especially to rehabilitate handicapped persons by special training, and to provide expert counseling service to organizations engaged in similar endeavors. It was during the time of the ownership of Tomorrows, Inc. that a fire was set and burned the garage that was behind the Charmaine Lodge. The garage was used as a training shop to teach the members in automobile repair. Sterling Petersen was the instructor at the time.

July 31, 1976, Tomorrows, Inc. sold out to Louis H. Neuville, L.I. Forman and Carol M. Block. The Neuville group sold the seminary location to the joint school district No. 1, of Waupaca, and this is now the Chain o Lakes Elementary School.

On Friday night, March 21, 1986, the Waupaca Fire Department was called to the property owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Steinpreis, located on Silver Lake Drive. The building was the former famous Charmaine Hotel and Lodge. It was not occupied at the time, but was used for storage. The Waupaca Fire Department fought the fire for five hours. State Marshall Don Kessler from Kaukauna and the Waupaca County Sheriffs Department were called in to investigate. No cause of the fire was ever determined.

The old Charmaine Hotel and Lodge stands like a ghost, a burned-out shell of a dream of the past.




March 12, 1992


Do you remember the date that Radio Station WDUX first went on the air?

WDUX began broadcasting at 800 kilocycles and 500 watts of power from their studios in Waupaca and New London. The resident manager in Waupaca was Tom Karavakes and Noel Franzin handled the duties at New London, and Allen Embury was the general manager of station WDUZ at Green Bay.

The station went on the air each weekday at 5:30 a.m. It seems as if they went off the air at sun-down. They broadcasted the news, music programs and sports, including the Milwaukee Braves baseball games.

The station personnel in Waupaca included Don Richards, Stewert Olson and John Olson as announcers, Helen Webb as secretary and receptionist; Robert F. Stange as newsman and continuity writer, and Garth Bowker was the chief engineer.

You are right if you guessed that WDUX began broadcasting at 7 a.m., Sunday, April 29, 1956, from their studio above the Waupaca Abstract and Title Co., on South Main Street.

On December 11, 1930, the Central Wisconsin Gas Company, Waupacas newest public utility, turned gas into the mains, and that evening some 20-odd homes were using gas to cook their evening meal. A number of gas ranges and other appliances were being installed in other homes that week.

The Central Wisconsin Gas Company started erecting their plant and laying the gas mains earlier in the fall. The plant where the gas was manufactured was located north of Elm Street and just south of the Green Bay and Western railroad tracks.

This was a small brick building of excellent construction according to the Waupaca County Post. It housed the automatic machinery which turned the high grade distillate oil into gas. When first converted into gas the mixture was too rich for use as a fuel, so before it entered the gas mains it was mixed with air until the correct mixture was obtained. The mixing process was done in a series of mixing tanks, all automatically controlled. Five and one-half gallons of liquid gas were used to make 1,000 cubic feet of gas as it entered the mains.

Just east of the building were three large tanks. One tank had the capacity of 17,000 gallons of the liquid butane gas as it was delivered her by rail. From this tank the gas was piped into a second tank where it was heated. This, in turn, was followed by more heat and air mixing. Two motor-driven pumps located in the plant proper were used in the air mixing. A third pump would start up automatically whenever the load became too heavy for the two pumps.

Another 17,000 gallon tank contained a supply of prepared gas. This was a 24-hour supply for emergency use, if trouble should develop at the plant.

The plant was in the charge of James Ogletree, a young man who had the technical training and knowledge of the operation of automatic gas making machinery. He had been with the company for several years, coming from Sparta. The sales room and business office was located in the Lord building on North Main Street. They are located today, 1992, at the same location at 211 North Main Street.

Edwin Chandler was the local manager and was assisted with the clerical work by Miss Lota Wied. The Central Wisconsin Gas Company had expectations that nearly 100 homes would be using gas for cooking and water heating before the summer months.

Dan Carlson told me where to find the original brick building. The tanks are gone and the brick building with some metal additions is boarded up. Death due to natural gas.

I apologize for omitting the name of Aileen Beth Christoph in the When Then Was Now that appeared in the Waupaca County Post, dated February 2, 1992.

Many times I turn to obituaries for some of my information, and I realize that sometimes they are not complete. I obtained the names of the two sons of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Christoph from their obituaries, but for some unknown reason, the obituaries for Mr. and Mrs. Ira Christoph stated that they had one daughter, Doris, and there was no mention of a deceased daughter.

Now, since that article appeared, I have been asked by several people what happened to the other daughter, Aileen, who married Dr. Lawerence G. Patterson? This prompted me to do some research to learn more about her.

I first went through our records of the tombstones in the Waupaca cemetery, but found no Patterson names. I knew that the Pattersons lived at one time in Arizona after leaving Waupaca, so I checked the obituaries from that state. Here I found an obituary for Dr. Lawerence Patterson, but it showed Jeanette B. Whale as the surviving wife, and that they had moved to Arizona from Florida in 1971.

So I turned to the obituaries from Florida. Yes, here was Aileen Christoph Patterson. Her obituary shows that she died November 14, 1956 at her home in Largo, FL, and she was buried in that city.

Survivors were her husband, Dr. L.G. Patterson, a son Larry, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ira Christoph, and a sister, Mrs. Ray (Doris) Sherrill of Decatur, GA. The former Aileen B. Christoph was born in Neenah on November 11, 1918, and came to Waupaca with her parents when only a child.

Her obituary did not mention when she was married to Dr. L.G. Patterson, so I went to the marriage record collection. In these records I found that Aileen Beth Christoph was united in marriage to Dr. Lawerence G. Patterson at the Neil Hotel in Waupaca on March 26, 1946.

Rev. A.E. Tink of the Methodist church officiated, as the couple stood in front of the fireplace, in which a fire was burning. Candles and pictures of the bride and groom reflected in the mirror above the fireplace.

Today she lies buried in the southern city of Largo, FL, many miles from the place of her birth and the graves of her parents, who are buried in Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.

Another correction that I would like to make at this time are the names of the children of Asa W. and Phoebe B. Hollenbeck that appeared in the story about the Crystal Springs Bottling Works on February 2, 1992.

I had found no record of where Asa Hollenbeck went after he sold his Crystal Springs Bottling Works in 1901 until I asked Mrs. Warren (Pat) Hollenbeck at the Waupaca Public Library a few days ago if her husband was by any chance related to Asa W. Hollenbeck. It was at this point that I realized that I had not completed my homework, because she told me that Asa was a grandfather to her husband. She went on to say that Mr. Hollenbeck moved to Neenah where he found employment in the foundry there. From Neenah he moved to New Holstein.

I searched farther, and found his obituary, which told me that he died on April 29, 1921, at his home at New Holstein, where he had lived for the past 10 years since leaving Neenah. His body was brought back to Waupaca for burial. A burial permit that was issued for Phoebe B. Hollenbeck showed that she died October 29, 1937, at Appleton, at the home of her daughter, Lynda, who never married. She, too, is buried in the family plot here in Waupaca.








March 19, 1992


This column is about a gentleman who may hold the record for moving his place of business more than any person on Waupacas Main Street. This man was Sophus J. Danielson.

His parents were Peter James Danielsen and Maren Kristine Jensen, who were married in 1871 and started out their married life on a 100-acre sand farm in the Town of Farmington, 1-1/2 miles east of what is now King at the intersection of what is now King and Pryse Roads. The Wisconsin Veterans Home at King was not founded until 1887, and prior to that time there was no King Road running east.

It was here that they had two sons, Fred and Sophus, born to them before the young mother passed away in the spring of 1876. Sophus J. was born January 2, 1876. The father was then left with two motherless sons to care for, but in 1877 Peter James Danielsen married for a second time. His second wife was Miss Karen Kristine Hansen, and they became the parents of 10 children. Three died in infancy and were buried in the family plot in the Waupaca Cemetery.

At the age of 22, Sophus J. Danielsen started to clerk in a grocery store in Waupaca. His first boss was a man by the name of Peter Holtz, who was a cousin to Miss Meta C. Mortenson, whom he eventually married on July 12, 1904, in Waupaca. For 40 years following his first employment with Mr. Holtz, it is believed that Mr. Danielsen operated grocery and seed stores in about eight different locations.

It seems as if Mr. Danielsen moved only a few doors each time, so that with careful planning he could move at night with the aid of his children. In a Waupaca paper for August, 1929, there was an ad that read: Red and White Store, S.J. Danielsen and Son. Many of the ads through the years advertised for butter and eggs. He sold Badger Brand grass seeds and garden seeds. Sophus J. Danielsen always had time to say Hello to whomever he met on the street. His Christmas ad for December 1910 advertised special discounts to churches and schools.

Sophus J. Danielsen was married to Meta C. Mortenson in Waupaca on July 12, 1904, and they had five children born to them: Reuben, Harold, Ellen (Mrs. Maurice Rendell), Marion (Mrs. Ray Martin) and Inga (Mrs. Carroll Peterson).

There was a short notice in the Waupaca County Post in June 4, 1931, that stated that Sophus J. Danielsen had taken a trip to Nebraska to attend a Danish Evangelical Lutheran convention, and two of his daughters, Marian and Inga, remained to manage the store. The notice added that they had much experience in wrapping merchandise and making change.

After 40 years, the Quality Grocery stores operated by S.J. Danielsen came to a close. It is believed that his last location lasted for only a few months in the building behind the Bammels Furniture Store, while he was disposing the last of his stocks.

In 1941, after retiring from his active business, S.J. Danielsen became the manager of the Haertel Monument Company on South Main Street. To say that a monument display is attractive may seem a bit peculiar, but S.J. Danielsen, who was the manager at the time for the local office of the Henry Haertel Service, laid out such a display.

It was laid out like a miniature cemetery, against a background of green in the show window of the South Main Street office. There were 30-some miniature monuments and markers, all cut and engraved with names, all replicas of larger stones manufactured by the company.

I have tried to locate this display, but no luck. The younger generation at the Haertel Monument Company in Stevens Point never heard of it.








March 26, 1992


Recently I received a phone call from Mrs. Johnny Hansen, the former Beatrice Darling, asking if I would be interested in seeing an old original document, dated September 6, 1888. It was the confirmation for membership of Christ Nelson to become a member of the De Danske Hjem (Danes Home).

This interested me very much, so I went to see her.

In my article about the Danes Home that appeared in the Waupaca County Post, October 24, 1991, I made mention that the De Danske Hjem was the first lodge to organize for social and literary purposes. The constitution and bylaws were adopted and the name De Danske Hjem (Danes Home) was adopted. The bylaws provided that all males born to Danish parents, 18 years of age or older, who were able to read and speak the Danish language, be eligible for membership. This document of confirmation for membership in the De Danske Hjem is a part of the history of Waupaca, and especially the Danes Home.

Mrs. Hansen was quite concerned as to where this document could best be saved and preserved for future generations to see. Mrs. Hansen plans to have the document laminated and framed. The Hutchinson House seemed to us to be the logical place, if it was to be property displayed in their glass showcase where the public could view this old original document.

For those who may be wondering who Christ Nelson was, I did a little research and came up with a brief account for this young Dane, who had applied for membership in the Danes Home. The original document was written in Danish, but this is the translation in English:

The Danes Home, Danes Home Hall 6th Sept., 1888. To the President and members of the association of D.D.H. The undersigned who were chosen as a committee to interview Mr. Christ Nelsons application and therewith report. Having done the necessary questions in regard to his health, morals and character, we recommend him to membership in association of De Danske Hjem, Signed by the committee, C.P. Dall, Mary Bendixen and Thorvald Nelson.

Christ Nelson was born at Lolland, Denmark, November 14, 1862, a son of Nels Christensen and Anna Christenson, Christ Nelsons name was derived from the Christ in Christensen and adding sons to Nels. This is a Danish and Norwegian system of name changes.

Christ Nelson came to the Town of Lind when only 11 years old with his parents. His parents are buried in the Lind Center Cemetery.

Christ Nelson was married to Mary Gabrielson, March 3, 1892, and they had five children born to them Frances, Mae, Levi, Roy W., and infant son who died.

Christ Nelson died August 19, 1942, and is buried in the Waupaca cemetery, along with his wife, who died in 1955.

Frances Nelson married Fred H. Ted Smith, April 3, 1912. Fred H. Smith died June 29, 1959 and is buried in Waupaca, while Frances, his wife, who is now 98 years old, is living at the Bethany Home. They had three sons and three daughters: Glenn, Fred Jr., Ronald, Ethelyn, Lois and Shirley.

News Flash

Waupaca newspaper, August 8, 1929: Three planes of the George A. Whiting Airport will fly at the Bucknell farm near the Barton schoolhouse, five miles west of Waupaca, Sat.-Sun., August 10-11. One plane is a six-passenger monoplane, also a stunting exhibition, Elwyn West, chief pilot. Planes and pilots are government licensed.








April 9, 1992


The Cain family that operated the general machine shop and garage at 111 West Fulton Street in Waupaca between 1909 and 1917 came from Sheboygan County to Waupaca in the late 1890s.

Charles and Phoebe (True) Cain secured their land holdings in Sheboygan County from the United States Government in 1852. They were the parents of 14 children. The father, Charles Cain, died there in 1913, and his wife, Phoebe, passed away one year later.

The eldest son was also named Charles Ed Cain. He was born June 11, 1854, in the Township of Holland, Sheboygan County. It was here that he received his early education in local schools. Charles Ed Cain went by C.E. Cain. His obituary was the only place that I could find his correct name. C.E. Cain took up the trade of machinist and was employed as a journeyman and foreman in railroading for a number of years.

C.E. Cain was married to Miss Ann Elizabeth Brown and they had two children, William Charles and Pearl. Pearl married Ed Saecker, who was connected with the Menasha Furniture Company and Undertaking business in Menasha. William C. Cain was born August 15, 1876, and in 1878 the family moved to Milwaukee, where William finished a course in a business college.

According to the Standard History of Waupaca County, by John M. Ware, William C. came to Waupaca with his father in 1897, at which time they established a general repair business and a bicycle shop where he learned the machinist trade largely under his father.

W.C. Cain had an ad in the Waupaca Post, dated April 3, 1902. It advertised to take your wheels to W.C. Cain for repairs, and that he handled the new Racycle. The ad stated that all bicycles are alike. The heart of the bike is in the crank hangers, and every bicycle on the market, except for Racycle, has heart disease.

In 1902 William C. Cain went to California and spent the next seven years employed there largely in the automobile business.

In the Waupaca Post dated February 8 and again on April 12, 1906, C.E. Cain ran ads directing the farmers and all engine users that he handled the very best gasoline engine on the market. The gasoline engine that he was selling was the Milwaukee engine. He was also agent for the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company. He made repairs on al kinds of engines, boilers and ran a general machine shop. Call on C.E. Cain at School and Royalton Streets, the ad said.

In 1909 William C. Cain returned to Waupaca from California, and on March 25, 1909, he and his father, C.E. Cain, purchased from A.E. Nourse and wife, Belle, of Santa Barbara, CA, the east 60 feet in width of Lot 10, in Block L, in the original plat of the Village of Waupaca.

By May 20, 1909 C.E. Cain and son were building a large machine shop and garage on the lot directly behind J.E. Cristys store. Con Gmeimer had the contract to build a 60 by 40 solid brick building. C.E. Cain and Son had an ad in the local paper dated August 26, 1909. We want every farmer to help us by bringing their machinery to be repaired. We can fix anything from threshing machines down to a shovel.

They were equipped with machinery and appliances for a general machine shop. There was a large sign at the top in front of the building, C.E. Cain and Son, Garage and Machine Shop. Also in one of the early pictures, there was a small sign nailed to the telephone pole next to the alley that read, Bicycle repair.

It is not clear if C.E. Cain and Son ever sold Studebaker automobiles from their garage, but Tom Salverson had an ad in the Waupaca Record Leader for May 13, 1914, Just received another carload of FORD automobiles. Better call and get one now. They will soon be gone. Cains Garage, Tom Salverson Agent.

It seems as if Myron P. Godfrey had a chance for the Studebaker Agency and in October 1915 he must have leased the Cain Garage and Machine Shop. Mr. Godfrey served in the U.S. Army in WWI, and was gone for some time. Meanwhile, he had a friend oversee his business when he was gone.

A warranty deed in the Register of Deeds office in Waupaca shows that on February 12, 1917, C.E. Cain (a widower) and W.C. Cain and his wife, Etta, sold to Myron P. Godfrey the east 60 feet in width in Lot 10, Block L, of the original plat of the Village of Waupaca, except the steel garage building in the rear, with the right to remove same on, or before May 15, 1917.

During the years under the ownership of Myron P. Godfrey several changes were made in the front of the building and a couple of additions were added to the rear of the building. After the Studebaker Corp. discontinued production, it became known as the Godfrey Equipment Company.

In a conversation with Tom Godfrey, I learned that the original bricks on the exterior walls were soft and was in need of repair, so Myron P. Godfrey made some major repairs. Two more layers of bricks were added so the outside of the building now has a wall of brick three layers thick. Tom also mentioned that in the early years of the automobile when the salesmen from the various companies stayed at the nearby hotel, the salesmen would store their cars in the Godfrey garage overnight; on cold nights, this assured them that the engines would start in the morning. Sometimes there was not room enough for another car. Toms father said that the storage fees paid for the winter heating bill.

After selling out to Mr. Godfrey in 1917, the Cains apparently left the Waupaca area. I found an obituary for Charles Ed Cain (C.E.) which stated that he had died January 1, 1946, age 92 years, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. E.J. Saecker in Menasha, and was buried back at Hingham (Sheboygan County). He was also survived by his son, William C. Cain, who resided at Corpus Christi, TX.




April 23, 1992


According to the Waupaca County Post, May 21, 1931, A new lunch stand is to be erected on South Main Street. The two billboards between the Service Grocery and Behnkes Homstor, on the West side of Main Street are being torn down and re-located in order to make space for a lunch room, which is to be erected on that site.

The two billboards are being placed at an angle near the Homstor, leaving a space next to the Service Grocery (which is now Simpsons), in which the new stand will be erected by Everett T. Webb, of Fond du Lac. Construction will start as soon as the lot can be cleaned out. I have heard people saying that they had looked through the cracks in the boards, and seeing the lot overgrown by weeds.

Everett T. Webb leased this location for a term of five years from Herbert E. Miles, in the spring of 1931. The Waupaca County Post, July 9, 1931, reported the hot dog stand is in operation, and it gives Waupacas Main Street a new spick and span, new white building. E.T. Webb, the proprietor of the new business, told the Post that he would serve hot and fast refreshments to both the tourist and local patrons.

On March 28, 1934, Everett T. Webb leased the whole lot form Herbert E. Miles.

On August 1, 1942, Maurice and Alfred Behnke purchased the entire lot from the First National Bank of Madison, and on July 9, 1945, the Behnkes sold the north three-quarters of the lot to Adlers Trio, Inc. who built the Rosa Theatre on this location. A land contract was made December 1, 1943 whereby, Alice Webb leased her restaurant location from the Behnkes, until August 1, 1945, when she bought it.

The Waupaca County Post, October 16, 1947, reported that Bratwurst Restaurant, operated by E.T. Webb, was undergoing remodeling. Construction is now underway to increase the size of the establishment. Present plans include a horseshoe counter which will seat 45.

Do you remember the days when the grill was by the front window and the straight counter? The Post went on to say that the new kitchen would have the latest equipment and a special floor constructed of a metal cement. There was to be a full basement with the bakery located there for the making of pies and pastry for the restaurant.

The dining room part was to be furnished with enameled tile and indirect fluorescent lighting, the floor constructed of plexo-tile, and the entire interior of the dining room constructed of plastics. The entire building was to be 70 feet long and the exterior having a finish corresponding to that part of the Palace Theatre, but I am sure that they meant the Rosa Theatre, and not the Palace. The remodeling was to be completed by April 1, 1948.

The Waupaca County Post, April 8, 1948: The new Bratwurst Eat Shop, one of the finest in the state, held its grand opening last Tuesday (April 6), with roses for the ladies and cigars for the men. The Bratwurst boats of all new equipment in its stainless steel kitchen. Food is prepared in the basement kitchen and sent via dumbwaiter to the main floor. Homemade pies and rolls are a feature of the Bratwurst cuisine.

The only flaw of the grand opening occurred during the transporting of food from the lower kitchen to the main floor. Mrs. Alice Webb, wife of the owner, sent the first batch of homemade pies up the dumbwaiter, only to have several of them turn upside down before reaching the upper kitchen.

This same dumbwaiter is still being used today, in Katies Restaurant.

On July 20, 1961, Kathryn Gresen purchased Webbs Bratwurst Restaurant from Mrs. Alice Webb.

The sign in the window may say Katies Restaurant, but there is still the big red, lighted sign on the top of the building, Bratwurst. Katie serves a good home-cooked meal, reasonably priced, and where you can still get a good cup of hot coffee for 35, and on Wednesdays her special homemade lemon pie.

The following is taken from the obituary of E.T. Webb, who died December 11, 1958, of a heart attack at the Waupaca Riverside Hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Webb operated the Webbs Bratwurst Restaurant on Main Street in Waupaca for 27 years, and at one time Webbs drive-in at Chadys corners, just west of the city.

Everett T. Webb was the first president of the Waupaca Industrial Development Corp. (WIDC), which was organized in 1953. He initiated three debenture bond drives which financed industrial expansion in Waupaca. The first one brought the Woodys Cheese Company to the city, and the other two made it possible for the Waupaca Foundry, Inc.

Everett Thomas Webb had been born in Fond du Lac, on July 4, 1901, a son of John and Mary Dwyre Webb, and was married to Alice Nettekoven in Fond du Lac on July 9, 1928. They had two children, Neil and Nancy. Mr. E.T. Webb was laid to rest in St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Cemetery in the city of Waupaca.




Because of a telephone call, I would like to make an addition to my article of When Then Was Now in the March 26 issue of the Waupaca County Post.

I had written that Frances Nelson had married Fred H. Ted Smith, and they had three sons and three daughters. This was copied from Mr. Smiths obituary. Whoever made out his obituary failed to mention that he had been preceded in death by a son, Gerald.

Mr. and Mrs. Ted Smith received a telegram from the war department, telling them of the death of their son, Pvt. Gerald E. Smith, who died June 30, 1944, in France, while with the infantry commandoes.

Gerald Everett Smith was born in the Town of Waupaca, November 5, 1919. He was inducted into the Army in January 1941. In November of 1942, he was in Africa where he saw active service. In 1943 he was in England. He was survived by his wife, the former Mae Bennet in London, England and a son, Gerald, whom his father never saw. Gerald Smith now lives in Waupaca.








May 7, 1992


Let us step into your brand new automobile of your choice, start up the motor, put it in reverse and back up in time, back to when the automobile was just making its appearance.

In May of 1908, while Sam P. Godfrey and C. Kreunen were running ads for farm machinery, buggies and surries, and N.P. Peterson and Sorenson and Pederson advertised hose shoeing and repair, A.M. Hansen was running ads for Maxwell cars.

The May 21, 1908 ad read as follows: The Rambler Model 31. It is the car for the farmer. It is a car for the businessman. A.M. Hansens new machinery hall. Price $1,400.

Within a year the Nelson Painting Company advertised to paint buggies and automobiles at a fair price. The location that they gave was northeast of the Courthouse Square. In 100 years from now people will be asking, just where was the Courthouse in 1908? Northeast of the Courthouse stood a tall, two-story wooden building. This building stood in what is now the vacant lot adjacent to Vernas, Inc. at 195 Jefferson St. The building burned to the ground in 1920.

On a nice spring day in May in 1942, Alton Hansen took the opportunity to do some shop cleaning when his father, A.M. Hansen, was home sick. After 30 years of accumulation, the office was spick and span again with varnish and new paint. In the process of the cleaning up job, there was unearthed old printed brochures of the birth of the automobile industry pamphlets and pictures from 1910.

A test officially sanctioned by the American Automobile Association, according to the pamphlet, showed that a Maxwell car costs less to use than a horse and buggy. The itemized expense account showed hay, oats, straw, shoeing and axle grease in one column. The figures showed that a salesman using the horse and buggy could cover only 197 miles in a six-day work week, while the salesman using the Maxwell Runabout was able to cover 457 miles in the same six days.

The Maxwell won with a mileage cost of 3-1/2 per mile against 5 per mile with the hay burner.

Also from the Hansen office cleaning was found a rare volume a motor car directory for 1909. The 1909 directory listed 183 manufacturers of gasoline-propelled pleasure vehicles, five steam-propelled manufacturers and 13 companies with electric-powered vehicles.

The cars in the pictures of the 1910 brochure were not as streamlined as they were in 1942, many of the cars being only buggies or surries with gasoline motors concealed under the seat in the space intended for a halter, lap-robe and a sack of oats. The horsepower, too, wasnt much greater with the gasoline engine, than with old dobbin.

There was the Bendix, priced at $650, which had a 12-horsepower, two-cylinder engine, chainbelt drive with 1-1/2 inch solid rubber tires.

The Invincible Schacht, model K, had the same specifications, except that it developed 18 to 20 horsepower. The $680 model had a 74-inch wheelbase and a genuine 72-inch Corning buggy spring. The driving power was chains, one to each rear wheel.

For $750 you could buy a McIntre two-seater, with 34 by 1-1/2 inch solid rubber tires, 24-horsepower motor, two forward speeds and real roller bearings in the wheels.

The International Buggy had high surrey wheels and a top that covered both seats. It cost $850 and developed only 14 horsepower. Like 100 other makes that year, it had but two cylinders.

The Hobble Accessible had 46 by 1-1/2 inch solid rubber tires, two cute little kerosene lamps on the dashboard, two cylinders, dry cell current supply and double-side chain drive. The cost was $850.

When you wanted 30 h.p. model you got into big money, with the brass plated two-seater, custom made by Premier Motors, selling for $2,500 to $3,600. It was a four-cylinder, with 34 by 3-1/2 inch inflated tires, Bosch magneto, forced fed lubrication, multiple disc clutch, doors that enclosed the rear seat, and left-hand drive.

It seems as if the list went on for over 150 more names showing the wide variety of experimenta-tion which went on before Walter Chrysler, Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan, who, 30 years later, controlled 95% of Americas 800,000 new units per year.

The Waupaca Record for May 5, 1910, gave the names of the owners and the automobiles they owned. There were seven Fords, five Reos, four Cadillacs, four Buicks, two Ramblers, two Masons and one Maxwell, for a total of 25.

Here is a partial list of automobile sellers in the past that you might remember. These names were found in old newspaper ads:

April 1, 1909, the Cadillac Thirty, at the Waupaca Garage, F.L. Hoaglin, Prop., 200 North Main Street;

Godfrey Auto Company, at 111 West Union, Studebaker-Packard dealer since 1915;

March 11, 1914, just received a carload of Overlands, Van Nelson Company, 200 North Main Street.

Yes, 200 North Main Street was N.P. Petersons blacksmith shop before F.L. Hoaglin purchased it on January 12, 1912.

April 13, 1916, Van Nelson sold the Jeffery at 200 North Main Street;

March 16, 1916, Wm. Koenig was agent for the Allen, at 106 East Union Street;

May 25, 1916, W.M. Wolcott, sold the Chevrolet 490 model with electric lights and starter;

May 4, 1916, Salverson and Gunderson received a carload of Fords and a carload of Reos. Come and see us at the old Public Garage, located on the corner of Jefferson and Badger Streets.

July 13, 1916, the Modern Garage at 217 Jefferson Street, Tom Salverson, G.S. Gunderson and Sherman Salverson, prop. Gasoline at 20 per gallon, oil at 30 per gallon, all Ford supplies and accessories always on hand.

In late 1928, after 20 years, Henry Ford came out with a new conception for his Ford. This was known as the Model A. There were quite a few sold in 1928, but 1929, was the first full year of production.

In the Waupaca County Post, for May 23, 1929, S.E. Sanders, Inc. ran his ad for the new Ford at the Ford Garage. S.E. Sanders built this garage in 1920. This exact location is where the First National Bank stands today. In 1932 Ford came out with is first V-8; this was known as the Model B.

In the Waupaca County Post, for August 4, 1932, J.C. Opperman Inc. ran an ad that had an appli-cation blank for people to fill out if they wished for a demonstration ride in the new V-8. Then on November 10, 1932, J.C. Opperman ran an ad for a 1932 Ford V-8 tudor demonstrator, with a new car guarantee. Opperman operated his Ford agency at a different location, other than with S.E. Sanders. This Model B ended by 1934, when Ford came out with a new version from his first V-8, which ultimately led to the great success of the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln cars of today.

Here are the names of some of the makes of cars that have come and gone through the years: The Oakland, Durrant, Willys Knight, LaFayette, Nash, Hupmobile, Marquette, Auburn, Graham-Page, Victory 6, by Dodge Bros., Star, DeSota, Essex, Whippet, Packard, Terroplane, Hudson and Studebaker.

Whether it be Ford, Chrysler, General Motors or any other, they all had from time to time various models that did not fare so well. Here are three makes of automobiles that did not make the grade, at least here in Waupaca. The Kaiser-Frazer came out in 1946 and the Henry J. came out in 1950. Hetzel and Nelson, at 300 West Fulton Street, had the dealership, and the biggest disappointment of all was perhaps the Edsel, by Ford, which I understand did not have a dealership in Waupaca.

In 1948, there was the Tucker Torpedo, a car that most people never heard of, and very few ever saw, because less than 50 ever came off the production line. It was the fastest sedan available in America in 1948, capable of reaching speeds of 120 miles per hour. This car weighed in at 4,200 lbs., with a modified six-cylinder helicopter engine mounted in the rear.

I believe that it would be interesting to do a story on the different automobile dealers and what lines of cars that they sold, all within walking distance of Main Street in the past 30 years.



May 21, 1992


The Larsen name is one that is well remembered and respected in the Waupaca area. Ill start back a few generations in Denmark, with Ole Larsen, who was a farmer there, and had spent some time in the Danish Army during the campaign in the West Indies. Ole Larsen had a family of seven children, four of whom Peter, Andrew, Maggie and Lars S. lived to immigrate with their parents to America in 1860.

Lars S. Larsen was born near the City of Holbeck, Island of Sjeland, Denmark, November 14, 1857.

Upon their arrival in the Town of Waupaca, the Larsens were only the second Danish family to settle there. They remained in the Town of Waupaca only for five years before moving to the Town of Lind, where for the following 15 years Ole Larsen supervised the farm of his son-in-law. Ole Larsen then moved into Waupaca, where this pioneer died on November 26, 1885. His wife, Ane Marie Larsen, died April 6, 1882. They are buried in the Waupaca Cemetery.

Lars S. Larsen, the youngest son of Ole and Ane Larsen, attended the district schools of Lind Township until the age of 14. Young Lars then hired out as a farm laborer for the next two years. He saved his money and it went towards the purchase of a home for his parents, in Waupaca. When 17 years of age he began working in the woods in the wintertime and worked in the sawmills during the summer. He followed this life for three years. It was during this time that he severely injured a hand on a saw. He was very athletic as a young man; weighing only 175 pounds, he was strongest in the gang of 17 lumbermen.

Lars S. Larsen was married in December 1876 to Nicalena Andersen, also a native of Denmark. After the marriage, he rented a farm in the Town of Lind, and worked it for three years.

It was by mere accident that he was directed to the butchering business. He had five head of cattle for sale, and could not find a buyer. It was in sheer desperation that he killed the animals and sold the meat, and made a nice profit. He then bought more cattle and disposed of them in the same way.

The following spring he bought four 40s of unimproved land. This he cleared in the summer months and did his butchering in the winter. After four years he sold the farm and moved to Waupaca, and worked in a butcher shop for a year; then in 1884, he went into business for himself. He was the senior member of the firm of Larsen and Yosham. It became Larsen and Pope, and Larsen then sold out to John Gordon, the business becoming Gordon and Pope. A picture from 1900 shows the sign in the window, City Market Gordon and Pope. This is the same location that later became Behnkes, the Homstor, Erv Nicolaisen and Clair Matsons, City Food Market and Fredricksons Red Owl Agency, and lastly Team Outfitters, at 214 South Main Street.

Lars S. Larsen and his wife, Nicalene, had the following children: Carrie M., Charles, Fred, Oscar, Emma, Marie, Eva and Jessie. Lars had been ward policeman for several years, and was Chief of Police for seven terms. He died in 1914 and his wife, who was called Lena, died in 1910. They are buried in the Waupaca Cemetery.

From there, I will branch out, only to the three sons, Charles, Fred and Oscar, not that the sisters were not important, but because the men were more closely involved with the ice business in Waupaca.

The Larson Ice Company was first started by Hans Benlick, who had married Margaret (Maggie) Larsen, who was a sister to Lars S. Larsen. About 1898, after operating the ice business for a few months, Mr. Benlick sold out to his brother-in-law, Lars S. Larsen. I would presume that when Mr. Larsen took over the ice business, his three young sons worked for him until his death in 1914, at which time Oscar and Fred took over the ice business, with Oscar as the senior partner, and Charlie followed the butchering business, working for McLeans Meat Market for many years.

I found an ad in a 1908 Waupaca newspaper for Larson and Son listing ice prices for the season from May 1 to October 15, 1908: family refrigerator per season, dropped $5; family refrigerators, per season boxed $7; family refrigerator per month, dropped $1.25; family refrigerators per month, boxed $1.50; family refrigerators 3 or 4 times a week, boxed $1.25, and meat markets, hotels, restaurants and saloons, special contract.

A newspaper ad for January 15, 1931 called it the Oscar Larson, Mirror Lake Ice Company. From April 23, 1932: Oscar Larson purchased a new pair of greys, one of the prettiest teams that you ever saw, to deliver ice with. They weigh 4040 pounds, one was 20 pounds lighter than the other. They were matched both for color and gait.

By now you will notice that the spelling of Larsen changed to Larson since the sons had taken over.

Charles (Charlie) Larson was born in the Town of Lind, June 15, 1878, and was married to Jessie Carolyn Hansen, on December 29, 1921. They had two children, Kenneth and Bernice. Charlie Larson died January 20, 1947. Mr. Larson was always actively interested in outdoor sports, particularly in trap and sharp shooting, and was an enthusiastic bicyclist.

On July 25, 1918, the Waupaca area trap shooters carried away the top honors at the trap shooters tourney at Wausau, Charles Larson winning the state championship by breaking 99 out of a possible 100 birds, and the Waupaca team of Dr. P.C. Ware, H.E. Gordon, Charles Larson, Fred Larson and Oscar Larson won the state five-man championship. The Waupaca men came home loaded down with silver trophies, medals and cash prizes.

Charles Larson represented the state at the National Tourney at Chicago, August 21 to 28, 1918. The Grand American Handicap was the premier shooting event of the world, and it was won by our Charles Larson, of Waupaca, over 798 competitors from all over the country. Many records were set that were said to stand for years at the South Shore Country Club Traps at Chicago. Charles Larson had to beat Mark Arie of Thomasboro, Ill., in a shoot-off for first place. Mr. Larson won by a score of 135 to 133.

The last days shoot-off was held under poor conditions. It was breezy and a light drizzle fell. Larson was then 38 years of age, being the youngest man in the competition. He won $782.40 cash in addition to a beautiful set of sterling silver.

Fred J. Larson was born September 1, 1881, and married Kate Burgoyne of the Town of Belmont, Portage County, September 4, 1922. They had one child, Doris Irene. Fred J. Larson died October 10, 1941. Fred J. Larson was a noted hunter and fisherman, and loved his guns. Here is a memorial written by Erle Whipple, called The Fishermans Guide.

He was not a humble fishing guide, but a noble man,

who spoke with properly modest pride, of his

descendants on his fathers side, from the Danish clan.

The forest was his home, his church and his all.

The birds, the leaves, a waterfall performed at his will in his music hall.

He had garnered prodigious stores of knowledge in days

ago, as he thrilled to the rhythm of swishing oars,

and smelled the pancakes cooking outdoors at the early crack of dawn.

O, may there be lakes and morning dew, and all

of the beloved woods creatures, wild skies of blue.

Arbutus and pines, yes, and fishing too,

where Fred has gone.

Oscar Larson was born April 11, 1882, and died April 13, 1944. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Gibbons on October 23, 1907. They were the parents of four children: Gordon, Harriette, Marjorie and Arlene, who died at the age of two years. All of the previously mentioned Larson families are buried in the Waupaca Cemetery.

The Larson Ice Company, that was owned and operated by members of the Larson families for nearly 60 years, was sold to William E. Feathers, who operated it for some time. It was during this period of time that Joe Naylor was Mr. Feathers key man in his feed, seed, potato and coal operations. The Marion Olson coal yard was then operated by Mr. Feathers. Joe Naylor told me that they used to wash the sawdust from the ice at the coal yard before delivery. By now, home delivery of ice was a thing of the past, and ice was used primarily to ice railroad cars in the summertime and early fall potato shipments.

On January 2, 1946 Tom Gunderson and his wife Marjorie purchased the ice business from Mr. Feathers, and operated the business until December 13, 1955, when Tom Gunderson was killed in a car-truck accident. He had been born September 12, 1911, in the Town of Farmington, to Gunder and Bessie Salverson Gunderson. It was on February 2, 1934, that Tom Gunderson was married to Marjorie L. Pope, and to them two sons, Jack and Larry, were born.

After the death of his father, Jack took over the ice business. A year or so later, Jack dismantled the old Larson ice house on the north shores of Mirror Lake, and moved one half of it to Manawa, where he put up ice to ice railroad cars for the Sturm Company.

This ended in about 1959, and the old ice house was burnt down, so all that remains of the old Larson ice house are its memories, except that there stands a plaque near the original ice house location that reads: This land has been donated by Marjorie Gunderson, in Memory of Tom Gunderson, September 1973, and on the ice house site stands an abandoned city well.

Marjorie L. Gunderson was a nurse at the Wisconsin Veterans Home when she passed away on June 21, 1982. Mr. and Mrs. Gunderson are both buried in the Waupaca Memorial Park.




June 11, 1992


A new large, three-story brick building was erected on Lot 4, Block K, of the original plat of the Village of Waupaca in 1893. This location is on the northwest corner of South Main and West Union streets. It was originally the location of Roberts clothing store in the early years of Waupaca.

This historic Old National Bank building was rescued from the fate of the wreckers ball in 1975 by Kenneth Penrod Petersen, and now is the offices of Coldwell Bankers-Peterson Realtors.

Mr. Petersen, who was a historical preservationist, made several changes in the interior architecture and dcor, attempting to retain the flavor of the past by keeping the old bank building basically unchanged.

Going back in time, to the turn of the century, there was a picture of the original bank that was built in 1893, showing a doorway to the bank, being at an angle, facing directly southeast. This would be looking across the street at todays Bank One, which was then the location of the Delavan Hotel.

Clarence H. Truesdell came to Waupaca in 1894 and shortly thereafter opened up a drug store in the north side of the bank building. The doorway to the drug store was located practically where the doorway today leads to Coldwell Bankers-Petersen Realtor office. It has been written that the Truesdell Drug Store had the first soda fountain in Waupaca.

I believe it was in 1914 that Mr. Truesdells lease ran out, and the bank wanted to enlarge due to their increasing business so, his lease was not renewed. It was at this point in time that the exterior of the bank building was altered, much as it is today.

The Old National Bank remained in business until January 27, 1933, when, due to the Great Depression, the bank closed its doors. Many anxious months followed. Banks were failing all over American. Waupaca fared better than most, and in March of 1934, the bank was reorganized as the First National Bank.

In the Waupaca County Post for Thursday, March 15, 1934, was this notice: To Creditors of the Old National Bank of Waupaca, Wisconsin. In accordance with the authority of the comptroller of currency I am now paying 50% of the proved liabilities of the Old National Bank of Waupaca as of the close of business January 27, 1933. This payment is made through the newly organized First National Bank of Waupaca, C. W. Plowman, Conservator.

This remained the home of the First National Bank until their new facility at 111 Jefferson Street was completed in November 1973. As I said before, the people of Waupaca fared better than many, because it was not long before the bank settled with the creditors, resulting in very little or no financial loss to the depositors.

In an old newspaper dated June 30, 1894, there was an ad for Peterson Bros. coffee house and lunch counter located on the south side of the bank building.

The Waupaca Record for April 30, 1903, had a notice: Restaurant for sale. The well-known and established restaurant business of D. L. Barnhart, located in the new bank building, is offered for sale on the account of the health of the proprietor. This stand has been one of the best paying investments in the city for some years.

By 1906, this restaurant became known as the Red Front Restaurant. The Waupaca Post for January 11, 1906, ran this ad: We want your trade, and we will give you more for your money than any other place in the city. Meals and lunches at all hours. Oyster Stew, the best there is, bring in your lady friends with you. Candies, Bitter sweets and Bonita Chocolates, cigars and tobacco. The Red Front Restaurant in the bank building. If things are not right, tell McGill.

On November 22, 1913, the Express offices in Waupaca were consolidated, with the business being transacted at the Western Companys office in the rear of the Old National Bank building. C. W. Pier was the joint agent and Harry Larsen was the former agent for Wells Fargo Co., and had his office in his grocery store.

I will move on to 1934 when Frank Lubenetsky informed the Waupaca County Post that he would be moving his Electric Shoe Shop from his present location in the Old National Bank building, to the former Turners Sporting Goods store next to Clarks Restaurant on West Fulton Street, on about March 15. Mr. Lubenetsky came to Waupaca in 1921, and was originally in partnership with Joe Misky in the Electric Shoe Shop on West Union Street.

In December 1939, Norman Darky Barrington opened the Warehouse Furniture Mart on West Union Street in the Old National Bank building.

Mrs. Rose Mendelson moved her dress shop, the Rosemere Dress Shop, from the Delevan Hotel annex on East Union Street to her new location just around the corner from the First National Bank, February 1, 1942.

After 32 years in active business, Rose Mendelson sold her Rosemere Dress Shop to Mrs. Ethel Myrick, and then the womens ready-to-wear store at 106 West Union Street became known as Ethels Dress Shoppe.

The doorway to 106 West Union Street now leads to a backroom at Coldwell Bankers-Petersen Realtors. Over the years the building also housed, for a time, the law office of attorney Gerald Anderson, and a barber shop.




June 25, 1992


This story is about an old business location that still exists at 108 S. Main Street in Waupaca.

Alfred (Fred) R. Lea of Waupaca owned and operated a mens clothing store there from 1888 until his untimely death on September 8, 1931. He died at 11:25 p.m., as the result of a self-inflicted rifle shot, while standing in the rear of his backyard on Jefferson Street.

Mr. Lea had enjoyed many years of prosperity from his clothing stores both in Iola and Waupaca, until in the 1930s when the Great Depression caused him to suffer serious financial losses. He was considered, at the time of his death, to be the oldest businessman in Waupaca.

This was taken from an article that appeared in the Waupaca County Post August 28, 1931: A new Campbells Dollar Store, the fourth store to open in Wisconsin, will open in the Fred Lea building Saturday, according to the managers of the stores, who were in Waupaca putting up advertising and making other final arrangements for the opening. The firm has one store in Neenah and two in Oshkosh. The stores carry light dry goods items, including womens hosiery, lingerie and wash dresses, and childrens clothing and infant wear. The manager of the new store is Reynold Parks of Iola, who will be assisted by two local women as clerks.

It is not known for sure how long Mr. Parks was the manager, but Mr. Rowland Campbell, who was the owner of the Campbell Dollar Stores, Inc., transferred Miss Caroline Eckhart from his Oshkosh store to Waupaca to manage it. She lived in the apartment above the store.

Another article that appeared in the Waupaca County Post, on February 18, 1943, reported: The Campbell Store is rearranged for the patrons convenience. The popular Campbell Store in Waupaca, under the direction of the efficient management of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Malinsky, has undergone extensive improvement the past two weeks. A canopy now extends the full length of the north wall beneath which are coat and dress racks, which permit the display of the womens ready-to-wear for the convenience of the shopper. The interior woodwork has all felt the touch of the brush, that revives dull surfaces with color and pleasing freshness. The spacious show windows that flank the lobby of the Campbell Store are distinctive features found only in metropolitan stores.

Etola Hanson became the next manager. Here are the names of some of the ladies that clerked in the Campbell Store through its years of existence in Waupaca, as they have been given to me. Meta Behm, Madge Jensen, Cora Olson, Donna Schroeder, Margaret Frazer, Sylvia Axtell, Alta Sannes, Mable Tarr and Mary Lautenbach. Mary Lautenbach started work as a clerk in March of 1943. In 1949 she became the manager, the position that she held until Campbells closed its doors in May of 1985.

On May 2, 1958, Phil Tiesberg announced that he had sold his lease of the Leader Hardware Store to the Campbell Store, which was adjacent on the north for their planned expansion. On December 11, 1958, the Campbell Store held its grand opening of their newly enlarged and redecorated store.

Turning back in time to the article that appeared in the Waupaca County Post on October 19, 1943, which carried the obituary for Rowland Campbell. He died unexpectedly in a doctors office in Appleton, at the early age of 48. Mr. Campbell operated not only his Campbell Store in Appleton, but also Janeys Cotton Shop and Nancys Sport Shop, also in Appleton. These last two stores were named after his daughters. Mr. Campbell was a former president of the Reo Motor Car Company, and was responsible for a handy low step delivery truck produced by the Reo Co. Later it became a widely used type for home delivery service. He also served as chairman of the board of the Reo Motor Company, Lansing, Mich., from 1937 to 1939. This young man was also president of the Campbell Engineering Company of Appleton, a heating and draft control company. He was credited with personally designing an electric draft control for furnaces.

In the fall of 1985, after Campbells closed their store, Leah Jean Minton opened up her Leah Jeans, ladies, children and infant clothing store. A picture of Leah Jeans ribbon cutting appeared in the Waupaca County Post on March 6, 1986. Seven months later, on October 6, Darrell and Leah Minton purchased the building from Mrs. Barbara Disher.

Now, you remember that after 1958, when the Campbell Store at 108 S. Main Street enlarged their store after acquiring the Leader Hardware Store at 110 S. Main, they became one store by cutting a large doorway between the two buildings.

Mrs. Minton operated the children and infant department in the original Campbell Store location for some time before renting this location at 108 to Zwickers Knit Picker outlet store. The Knit Picker, under the management of Mrs. Nancy Hirte, operated for a couple of years, before this location was taken over by the Preferred Video. Preferred Video had their ribbon cutting ceremony picture in the Waupaca County Post for October 11, 1989. As of this June 1992, the store is vacant, a they moved to a different location.

Mrs. Minton continued to operate Leah Jeans at 110 S. Main, which was the former Leader Hardware Store. While under the ownership of the Mintons, a stairway leading to the basement was installed to give them added rental space.

Leah Jean Minton had an ad in the Waupaca County Post, July 6, 1989, Going out of business, and her ad for August 26, 1989, Closing soon.

After Mrs. Minton discontinued her store at 110 S. Main, Enlightened Video rented a part of her building, and Shirley Carlson became the next occupant. Shirley Carlsons Printables-Shirt Shack had her picture of her ribbon cutting ceremony on September 4, 1990. She still occupies this location at 110 S. Main. The Mintons still are the owners of this two-door establishment in 1992.




July 2, 1992


William J. Knights was one of eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Knights, in the little village of Shawangunk, near Grant, N.Y., on March 26, 1853

In his early years he worked on farms, and at the age of 19, he came to Wisconsin, where he became associated with one of his old schoolmates, C. A. Smart, who was operating a general store in Wild Rose.

A few years later he moved to Evansville, in southern Wisconsin, where he became connected with the Evansville Mercantile Company. Due to failing health he turned to being a salesman for the John S. Gould and Company of Chicago, and he moved to Janesville in 1895.

It was a chance on a cold winter night that John Nicholson and Samuel Hill met with William J. Knights in a small hotel room in Boscobel in 1899. In this hotel room in Boscobel the three salesmen discussed the idea of placing Bibles in hotel rooms for the Christian commercial traveling salesmen.

The three men met again in Janesville, and the Gideon Society was organized on July 1, 1899, to help travelers in keeping their Christian faith.

Lacking for a name, Mr. Knights called for prayer. The three men knelt in silent prayer, and as they rose Mr. Knights said the name of their organization would be Gideons because Gideon was always ready to do what God commanded without regard to his own judgment.

Their first work was placing Bibles in hotel rooms in the United States, and soon extended into Canada and many foreign countries. They also placed Bibles in hospitals, sanitariums, schools and penal institutions. Mr. Knights returned to Wild Rose in the early years of the 1900s to make the Waushara County community his home.

William J. Knights was married to Ella A. Smart of Wild Rose on February 25, 1882; she died January 16, 1919. On November 14, 1992, he was married to Lelah May Larsen of Wild Rose, and she lived until 1964.

William J. Knights died at his home in Wild Rose, August 22, 1940. He is buried beside both of his wives in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Wild Rose. His marker has the following inscription: William J. Knights, March 26, 1853-August 22, 1940. Co-Founder, the Gideons International, organized July 1, 1899.

In 1940, before the death of William J. Knights, he attended the State Gideon convention in Janesville, and by that time they had placed over 1,400,000 Bibles in hotel rooms, penal institutions, schools and hospitals throughout the world.

On the other side of the coin, there are others who wish to take the chance of making a fast buck by breaking the law.

This was the case of a man known only as Patsy, one of the four men that robbed the Wild Rose Post Office on October 6, 1905.

A posse of 30 men were quickly formed under Marshal Prothroe, and the next day the four robbers were apprehended in a shootout, which resulted in the death of Patsy. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Wild Rose.

The full account of this daring robbery can be found in the Wild Rose, Wisconsin, Centennial book, 1873-1973.




July 9, 1992


Linus Bidwell Brainard, M.D., was born in Boardman, Trumbull County, Ohio, October 30, 1805, the eldest of 11 children.

His father came from Connecticut and was a pioneer in the Ohio wilds, losing his life by being crushed under a log while helping a fellow pioneer erect his cabin.

While yet in his teens, young Linus was obliged to become the head of the family. He superintended the work of the family, and began his own career by teaching school. Having a rich, mellow voice he gave singing lessons and became a successful instructor.

After some time he entered upon the study of theology, looking forward to working in the Episcopal ministry, but after a few months he turned his attention to medicine. He pursued his studies at the Western Reserve College and graduated with highest scores.

In 1839 he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he continued his medical practice until in 1844. In the summer of 1844 he was seized with the urge to move west. The family followed the next year. Brainards first purchase was a tract of 1,040 acres in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. He erected a sawmill on the Pigeon River, but there was some question on the title, and he lost the land.

In 1849 he moved to Green Bay and stayed there until June 1853, when he came on horseback to Waupaca County, and entered 280 acres of land near the Village of Waupaca. He returned to Green Bay for his family, and they arrived back in Waupaca in November of that year.

Thus at the age of 48, he began anew the life of a first settler on virgin land. A portion of the forest had been cleared, and the land plowed. He erected a sawmill on the Waupaca River one-half mile above the Village of Waupaca and put it into an active operation, working day and night. The demands upon his time as a skilled physician and surgeon were such that the mill and the various shops were wholly left in the care of others.

The mill did not prove to be a lasting success. A few years later the mill burned and was never rebuilt.

Dr. Brainard brought about the establishment of the Masonic Lodge, and was its first worshipful master. His fame as a physician and surgeon spread through the area, and many times his horseback rides were often to points 70 to 80 miles from his home.

In 1862 he received a surgeons commission in the army, and served with the Seventh Wisconsin Infantry until the end of the war.

He lived to see his 40-acre homestead embraced within the city limits of Waupaca, and to see his other land rise greatly in value.

Linus Bidwell Brainards aim in life was to see his 80th birthday. He passed away November 14, 1885, two weeks after his 80th birthday.

There seems to be no record in the Waupaca County history books telling who Linus B. Brainard married, so I went to the 1860 federal census for the Town of Waupaca. Here I found the Brainard family. Linus B., age 54, born in Ohio, physician, real estate value $5,660, personal property $700. Huldah R., age 39, physician, born in Ohio. Charles Rollin, age 19, college student, born in Ohio. Alice E., age 18, college student, born in Ohio, Lucius Henry, age 10, born in Wisconsin.

As you must have gathered by now, the Brainard homestead was located just to the south of the Waupaca River, on the hill next to the Brainard Bridge City Park.

Now I know that L.B. Brainards wife had the first name of Huldah, but still do not know her maiden name. I have not had the time to go to the Courthouse to see if she had a death certificate, which would give her full name.

Following the death of Dr. Brainard on November 14, 1885, his wife Huldah ran a dairy and drove the village street of Waupaca, peddling milk. Her transportation was a pair of small mules, with their short bodies filling only two-thirds the length of the buggy pole.

She would stop in front of the home of her patron, and the aged lady would ring her little bell, then wait for the housewife to come out with her pitcher to hold up for one or two quarts of milk.

The well-noted doctor may be buried alone in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park, as there is no marker for his wife, Huldah.

Where did Huldah and the three children go?




July 23, 1992


My last article that appeared in the Waupaca County Post (July 9, 1992) would not be complete without this story about Charles Bidwell Brainard and the ghost at the pole bridge.

The story is from the Waupaca Republican Post, January 15, 1897. The story goes on about a man with a fictitious name, who was living northwest of Waupaca, who took a shortcut through the woods by the way of the old pole bridge on the Brainard property.

This man did not fear the darkness, because he was fortified with fire water, but upon approaching the bridge, nearing midnight, he was surprised to see a figure of a woman standing on the bridge, quietly looking at the boiling rapids in the river below.

He stood there for a few moments watching the figure before she turned and walked toward him. That was the last straw. He took the trail up the back road at a speed that would break the record set by any bicyclist in the country, and he did not stop until he was safely back at home.

A few days later he met Charles R. Brainard, who owned the property, and he confidentially told him of his encounter with the ghost at the bridge.

Mr. Brainards reply was, I have known for the past three months about the ghost. I have an incurable lung malady, and I cannot undress and go to bed as other people do.

I am obliged to get my sleep sitting in an armchair, or bolstered up on a sofa.

I have waking spells when I cannot sleep, so I put on my overcoat and go for a walk in the cool night air.

One night I walked down the lane along the river bank, then up toward the cornfield on the north side of Mt. Tom, when I suddenly became aware of a moving object ahead of me. This was in October. The figure was walking slowly toward the pole bridge, and was evidently that of a woman. I watched her until I became chilled through.

After a time, she turned, went across the bridge and disappeared in the darkness of the woods.

Mr. Brainard said that he had seen her 15 to 20 times during the last three months.

I have on several occasions went out ahead of time, to see if I could discover the direction from which she came, but my first view has invariably been near the cornfield gate, as if she had suddenly risen from the ground.

Since my article about the Brainard family I received a nice phone call from Mrs. Mary (Knight) Schultz, and she told me that Charles R. Brainard carried mail on Route One, Waupaca, when she was a small child, and in the wintertime, the road over Knights Hill was very bad, and Mr. Brainard would circle to the north around Knights Hill, passing through the Knight farm. She described him as being a very heavy man.

I also took some time and went to the Register of Deeds office in Waupaca, where I found the death certificate of Huldah R. (Bradley) Brainard. She was born July 25, 1820 and passed away March 12, 1893, and was buried in the Lakeside Cemetery.

There is no marker or other identification to indicate that she is buried with her husband. Now, being that there are no cemetery records to show where she is buried, could she have been buried near the cornfield gate on the Brainard farm, and have been the ghost that appeared on the bridge in 1896, in search of her burial place?

Many people were buried on their own farm in those days.


July 30, 1992


The Waupaca County Post for July 31, 1931, gave an interesting account of a snow white squirrel, who became the mascot of Simon W. Bunce, an old veteran of the Civil War living at the Wisconsin Veterans Home.

Corporal Bunce served four years in Company F, 13th Wisconsin Infantry. He died at his home on Wisconsin Street in the Wisconsin Veterans Home on the 19th of January, 1918.

The little squirrel was called Pet and he was raised and cared for by Bunce. When little Petes end came, Mr. Bunce had Pete stuffed and preserved in a glass case.

After the death of Simon W. Bunce, E. Grant Bunce of Berlin, who was a cousin of Simon, became Petes second owner, and he donated the squirrel to the Berlin Public Library, where Pete occupied a place of honor on the librarians desk.

I became curious as to what happened to Pete, so I called the Berlin Library and asked if they still had the stuffed snow white squirrel on the librarians desk.

A sweet voice answered, Yes, we have the snow white squirrel, but it is preserved in a glass case where it still receives much attention from the patrons and the library staff.

The Wisconsin Veterans Home may still be known for its many black squirrels but Pete, the snow white squirrel, remains King.




August 6, 1992


Taken from the Wisconsin Semi-centennial souvenir edition of the Waupaca Post, Thursday, October 13, 1898, one year before the street car line was completed from Waupaca to the Chain o Lakes.

WHIPPLE & FELKER Waupaca is blessed with good livery accommodations, as should be the case with towns desirous of attracting summer pleasure seekers. At the head of the procession stands the firm of Whipple and Felker, adjacent to the Hotel Florence (this is Bank One today). They have a barn 80 by 100 feet. It is neatly kept, well ventilated, keeps about 20 good horses, a large number of comfortable carriages, buggies and other vehicles, as well as two hearses, buss and dray lines also are operated, and a prompt, efficient service given.

A specialty is made of the Chain o Lakes trade, and tourists and excursionists will find rates reasonable and the equipment of the best. Careful and gentlemanly drivers are always supplied when desired. The members of the firm are F. Whipple and H. Felker. During the two and one-half years they have been associated in business they have built up a splendid trade and an enviable standing in the community.

Word had been spread some years before the days of the streetcar about the unspoiled beauty of the Chain o Lakes near Waupaca.

People would come from St. Louis and Chicago by train to Waupaca where they would have to hire some form of transportation to the Chain o Lakes area. Whipple and Felker filled the bill.

In a 1902 newspaper, was this announcement.

Whipple and Felker are driving a swell buss for the Gordinier Hotel to convey patrons to and from trains. The former Florence buss has been newly painted and varnished, and the name Gordinier now adorns the top while the wheels have been rubber tired.







August 20, 1992


Business places come and go, some due to financial difficulties, while others move to a new and larger location, so as to increase the capacity of their showroom, where they can better display their merchandise for the convenience of their patrons.

The Hansen Appliance and Home Entertainment business that was located at 221 North Main Street until August 5, 1992, is a good example of this.

The building that was left vacant at 221 North Main was at one time the location of several different businesses, each operating independently from each other for many years the Automotive Supply, the Faultless Dry Cleaners, the Fisher Dairy and the Zwicker Knitting Company, only to name a few.

The other side of the coin is the little building at 117 West Fulton St., which is now the office of Bargs Real Estate and Auction Service. This was the Midget Restaurant in the late 1920s and early 1930s. This little restaurant ceased to operate, not for the lack of good food, but for space and the hard times of the Great Depression.

According to the February 5, 1931, newspaper, Clyde Holmes bought the Midget Restaurant business from Eugene Rasmussen. Mr. Holmes had operated a business for a year previous to buying in 1931.

I learned that Harley Darrow had worked for Clyde Holmes for some years before Mr. Holmes closed out. I had a couple of nice visits with Mr. Darrow at his apartment on West Union Street. Mr. Darrow explained that there was a grill, a refrigerator, a sink and a small cupboard that held the cups, small plates, silverware and the homemade pies along one wall. In the corner was a water fountain and on the south wall Christophs had an ice cream freezer, but there were no restroom facilities.

As Mr. Darrow remembered, there were nine or 11 stools with a counter where the patrons faced the wall. They served only one hot meal at noon. This consisted of meat, potatoes, vegetables, bread and coffee for 35, with pie 10 extra.

You may wonder, as I did, where they prepared the food. Mr. Darrow told me that Clyde Holmes lived upstairs in the large house on Harrison and West Fulton streets, and it was here that the food was prepared and delivered hot to the restaurant by mid-morning. After the noon meal, the dirty dishes were returned to their home and were washed for another day.

You could get short orders from the grill all day, and they were noted for their hamburgers and pickles.

Harley Darrow told me about the time that he was held up at 5 oclock in the morning. Two men came in and ordered a hamburger and coffee. There was another patron in the place at the time. The first thing that he knew the two gunmen had a pistol pointed at them while they rifled the cash register. Mr. Darrow said that the longer he had to look at the pistols the larger the barrels looked.

Amos the crow became a pet and a pest around town. When they took the Courthouse tower down, they found many articles that Amos had stolen and stashed away in the old tower.

Amos used to come to a window ledge of the Midget Restaurant for his daily handout of hamburger from Mr. Darrow.

Mr. Darrow told me about the fun George Wilson, who was running a gasoline station, had with Amos the crow. It seems as if Amos could pick up a nickel from a smooth surface, but could not pick up a dime, so they had their fun watching Amos try to pick up a shiny dime.

Maybe some of you remember having one of the delicious hamburgers and a pickle at the Midget Restaurant across from the Palace Theatre, or having something stolen by the mischievous crow.

How many of you senior citizens patronized the Comet Canteen or the Ranch House Restaurant back in the 1940s and 1950s, both being located on North Main Street?

Taken from a newspaper article: Saturday evening, October 30, 1943, was the opening night for the new Comet Canteen located at 207 North Main Street.

The Comet Club was organized by the students of the Waupaca High School. Membership was available to all students of the 7th and 8th grades, high school and first year high school alumni. Club dues were 25 per month.

Mrs. E. M. Atkinson was appointed counselor and Rev. C.B. Maddock adviser, chaperones were selected by civic clubs and the hostess committee. The plans started out to have a ping-pong table, a pool table, a jukebox and a place for dancing and serving Coke and candy bars.

The club asked for contributions for furniture, among the items needed were two lounge chairs and floor lamps, also a piano, and phonograph case. Some civic clubs made cash donations for mainten-ance.

The Ranch House, advertised as Waupacas newest and most modern restaurant and dairy bar for youngsters from one to 99, opened for business at 205 North Main Street, May 24, 1956. This location was formerly Abrahams Radio Service and Appliance Store.

Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Abrahamson and son, Leland, invited all of the community to see and visit the new place of business.

The Ranch House staff was prepared to serve sandwiches of all kinds, malts and ice cream, and would eventually serve complete dinners and plate lunches.

The Ranch House included a recreation room in the rear, a Corral dining room in the front, and a horseshoe-shaped counter in the center with 24 stools.




September 3, 1992


According to the Waupaca Post for September 4, 1902, Louis R Larson, who had been in the tailoring business with his father, C. Larson, the past few years bought the business and the stock of Peter Sorenson and moved into the Lewis P. Earle building that Mr. Sorenson had vacated.

Sometime thereafter, but before 1904, the Matthew Tailoring Company was the next new tailor business in the Earle building. Their ads in the Waupaca Post for September 8, 1904, ran something like this: They were showing some exceptional stylish patterns in overcoats and suits, including all of the latest weavers. There is a style and finish to their work which stamps it as tailor made, and made by city tailors.

Suits, $22.50 and up. Overcoats $22.50 and up. Considering material and workmanship, these prices will be found to be low. Cleaning and pressing, at moderate rates, and work promptly done. The Matthews Tailoring Company.

Not many years later a young man by the name of Edward Robert Haebig sold out his business in West Bend, and came to Waupaca looking for a place of business. In August of 1909 he bought out the business of Mr. Matthews.

The news item dated August 19, 1909: R.F. Matthews sold his tailoring business to E.R. Haebig of West Bend, who will take possession at once, and will move his family here as soon as he can find a suitable residence. Mr. Matthews sold his residence on State Street, and shipped his household goods to Red Wing, Minn., where he will engage in the same type of business.

In those days of the hitching posts, dirt streets and wooden sidewalks, most clothing was handmade, and it kept a force of several tailors busy supplying the needs of the community.

The former tailor shop of Sorenson, Larson and Matthews was located in the L. P. Earle building (called the Earle Block); this same building today is Fletchers Jewelry Store. Prior to Fletchers owning it, it was the office of Chris J. Miller Insurance Agency and the Harold F. Petersen Insurance Agency.

In one part of the building there was a Chinese laundry. It was called the Sun Lee Laundry, and Jim Wing was the proprietor. George Haebig told me that when his father, E.R. Haebig, had his tailor shop next door to the Chinese laundry, that the kids used to torment Mr. Wing by calling him names. A few years ago Grant Sorensen asked me if I had ever run across any article about the Chinaman getting thrown through his plate glass window. I have never been able to verify this.

I understand that, when Harold F. Petersen first bought the building that you could see a path worn in the wooden floor, where the tailors walked around the large cutting table. George Haebig told me that in his fathers shop there was a large stove that held some 25-pound pressing irons, used to press the heavier materials.

In an article in the Waupaca County Post in 1960, it told about Haebigs celebrating their 50th anniversary in business. It mentioned that in 1919, Eugene Nerone bought into the business with Mr. Haebig in the new location in the building at 113 North Main Street, which was practically across the street from the original location. This building at 113 North Main, was at one time a saloon. On August 18, 1910, John Cook was granted a license to operate a saloon there.

With the advent of factory-made clothing the business gradually converted to a mens ready-to-wear.

The Waupaca County Post had a write-up about the Haebigs celebrating their golden wedding anniversary on October 3, 1948, but their actual marriage was on October 4, 1898. There was a notation that Haebig established his complete ready-to-wear store in 1921. Mr. Nerone left the business in 1923, and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.

George Haebig, who at the time had a position with an Oshkosh clothing firm, returned to Waupaca to help out his father, later becoming a partner in the business. On February 25, 1924, E.R. Haebig and his wife, Mary, purchased the south half of Lot 2, Block H, from J.P. Jenson and his wife, Mary. This location is 113 North Main. Found in Warranty Deed volume 159, page 466.

Edward Robert Haebig, the founder of Haebigs Men and Boys Wear Store, was born in Appleton, March 27, 1878. He was married in St. Josephs Church in Appleton, October 4, 1898, to Mary Margaret Wettengel. They had two sons, Herbert and George, and one daughter, Marie. In 1904, E.R. Haebig moved from Appleton to West Bend, where he spent five years before coming to Waupaca. Edward Robert Haebig passed away May 6, 1959, and his wife, Mary passed away March 9, 1960. Both are buried in St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery in Waupaca.

Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, Haebigs store went through extensive remodeling.

This story would not be complete without the account of the deer that crashed through Haebigs rear window and out through the front window, crossing Main Street and crashing through the Coast to Coast store window.

There is a picture in the November 24, 1966, Waupaca County Post. It shows Rex (tracker) Oatman, Don (driver) Fabricius and Fred (stander) Rasmussen, kneeling beside the dead doe. The article states that the three hunters finally brought the deer down after a prolonged drive in aisle 4. Stander Rasmussen tagged his deer with a long shot deep in the interior of aisle 5, which just happened to be the ammunition counter. All the time that this was happening Doug Loomis, manager of the store, was up north hunting deer.

Mr. Rode sketched a cartoon of two deer hunters standing near Haebigs, looking at a deer all dressed up with hat and coat, and a pipe in its mouth, also a cane in one hand, with the caption: No wonder we didnt get any! Theyre all in town shopping.

Mr. Grimme had this original cartoon hanging in his clothing store.

After the death of his father in 1959, George Haebig took over until he retired in 1968, at which time three Waupaca men Vic Billmeyer, who had been with the firm for 20 years; George Wood, 16 years, and Alfred Grimme, 11 years bought the business from George Haebig, and established the corp-oration, Haebigs Inc., on January 24, 1968.

The firm not only offered a formal rental service, and in addition was an exclusive distributor for Boy Scout clothing and equipment.

Victor Billmeyer retired in 1976, and George Wood retired in 1981. It was on November 19, 1981, that Alfred Grimme and his wife Rosemarie bought out Haebigs Inc. and became the sole owners. Of the south half of Lot 2, Block H in the original Village of Waupaca, now the City of Waupaca.

Mr. and Mrs. Grimmes place of business is known today as Haebigs Mens Wear.




September 10, 1992


Prior to 1920 there stood a large, high two-story, old, weather-beaten wood frame structure on what is today the vacant lot adjacent to the north of Vernas Inc at 105 Jefferson Street. The building was destroyed by fire. Vernas Inc. place of business was once the fine home of Eugene Ware. Many still remember this as the office of Drs. Sam and Jerry Salan.

Getting back to the old building, there was a picture of it that appeared in a local paper sometime in the early 1900s that showed the building to be 22 feet by 80 feet. The picture showed the building to have four windows, and a doorway in the rear of the ground floor, and on the second floor there were five windows, all were on the south side facing the Ware home.

The front, or west end, facing Jefferson Street was a tall, rectangular front approximately 24 feet in width and 40 feet in height.

On the ground floor there were two high, wide doors opening onto Jefferson, and on the second floor there was one high, wide doorway in the center with a window on each side.

The picture showed five men standing in the doorways, and in comparison to the height of the men, the doors would be approximately 10 feet high, high enough to let in horses, buggies, wagons or automobiles to be painted or repaired.

There were two chimneys which would indicate that each floor was heated independently.

Painted in large white letters across the top of the upper story was the legend, Wallpapers & room moldings of all kinds. Above this on the west end of the building, there was what appeared to be a large bell tower, with a tall pole that may have been a flag pole.

For what purpose was this old building originally built to accommodate?

The first occupant of this old building, that I have found so far, was John J.C. Ekstrom, who was born in Sweden in 1866, where he learned his trade as a pointer and home decorator.

He left his native Sweden and came to Waupaca in 1885. He remained in Waupaca for one year before he went to Minneapolis, where he worked for the next five years, after which time he returned to Waupaca to make his home.

It was here in Waupaca he married, in 1895. His wifes first name was Matilda; her maiden name I do not know. They had only one child, a son. Readers may remember the son, Clarence Ekstrom, who was born and raised in Waupaca and went onto become Vice Admiral, commanding the U.S. Navys Seventh Fleet in the Pacific.

Just before the turn of the century, Mr. Ekstrom was having difficulties meeting his financial obligations. Discouraged in trying times, I have been told that he offered Thorval Nelsen the business for $1. This then became the first location of the Nelson Painting Company in Waupaca.

In one of the first early ads in the local paper, there appeared this ad, Wallpaper Sale, a few more real bargains from last seasons stock. A full new selected stock of independent walls, crowns, cutout borders, and combinations now ready for exhibition. Paints, calsomine and glass. Call and examine. Salesrooms upstairs. Nelsen Painting Company, John Ekstrom Mgr.

The Nelson Painting Company was operated by Thorval and Albert Nelsen as proprietors, according to their ads in the local paper, up to April 1, 1914, when the ads were changed to read Nelson Painting Company, which name continued up to the time that Mrs. Emil T. (Verna) Nelson sold the building to Barry D. Maxom, effective January 3, 1972. Was it possible that the Nelsens made a complete name change, as of April 1, 1914?

Thorval E. Nelsen was born July 20, 1867 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He came to Waupaca in 1882, and was united in marriage to Annie C. Johnson, on July 3, 1894. They became the parents of six children, two dying in infancy, the others are Margaret (Mrs. Hans Nelson); Lydia (Mrs. Levi Nelson); Emil and Myron. Myron died at the age of 22 years.

Mr. Nelsons tombstone inscriptions and legal papers show Thorwald and not Thorval.

The old wooden structure on the corner of Jefferson and East Fulton streets was destroyed by fire sometime in 1919 or early 1920. On April 19, 1920 Thorwald and Albert Nelson purchased from John C. Osborn, the south 28 feet of lot 3, Outlot Block 28, and so much of Sessions Street on which was located the south wall of the brick building. Subject to the agreement made and recorded in deed volume 95, page 321. This location was at 200 N. Main Street. The building stands empty today.

After the death of Thorwald E. Nelson in 1929, his son Emil was the operator of the Nelson Painting Company. Emil T. Nelson was born April 9, 1900 in Waupaca and was married to Verna G. Ireland on May 16, 1936. Together they ran the Nelson Paint Store until his death on March 21, 1970. They are the parents of three children JoAnne, Rosalie and Thor.




September 17, 1992


This is a story about an occupation that one could think came right out of a Wild West Show. It is about L. W. Bill Johnson, and his wife, Frances Y. Fran Johnson, both champions in their own right.

Lane Walter Johnson was born September 20, 1900, in Assumption, Ill., a son of Ray and Gertrude Johnson. He attended the schools in Assumption and graduated from the University of Illinois.

Johnson came to Waupaca in 1930, and it was here on July 9, 1932, that he was united in marriage to Frances Yvonne Zitelberger. She was born February 15, 1908, in Almena, a daughter of Matt and Mary (Bichelmier) Zitelberger.

When not on tour, the Johnsons made their home in Waupaca, at 218 East Lake Street, until the death of Mrs. Johnson on November 9, 1951. She is buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery. On February 14, 1953, L.W. Johnson was married again, to Norma Rasmussen in Madison, and in 1968 they moved to their farm near Scandinavia. Mr. Johnson died December 24, 1987, and was buried in the Scandinavia Lutheran Cemetery. His widow, Mrs. Norma Johnson, still lives on Rasmussen Drive, Scandinavia.

For 36 years, L.W. Johnson was a noted exhibition shooter for the Remington Arms Company, and his wife Fran was a national pistol champion in the 1930s and held the Wisconsin State skeet and trap championship for many years. She set many pistol records in 1937 and 1938, and has claimed womens handicap championships.

Fran Johnson and her husband traveled as a shooting team for 11 years throughout the country. She demonstrated all types of small caliber guns and ammunition before approximately three million servicemen during World War II. The shooting pair visited more than 300 army camps, giving approximately 1,400 demonstrations and averaging four exhibitions a day from 1941 to 1945.

In the Waupaca County Post, dated August 1, 1946, there was this account about Waupacas Shooting Pair:

Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Johnson, Shooting Bill Johnson who was just plain Bill and Fran around these parts, returned recently from an extensive tour of the eastern states. The Johnson made a neat living knocking the centers out of bulls-eyes with rifles, shotguns and pistols, and tricks like drawing pictures with a series of bullet holes. All of which would make an exciting existence for almost anyone, but which, the Johnsons declared, gets a bit monotonous after a while.

Right now (1946) traffic is one of their problems. To avoid congested highways between Wisconsin and the east they swung northward toward Canada, only to find the roads just as crowded with cars as in the states.

Right now they are making up a schedule of appearances for a western tour. Next winter they will be back in the south, but not in a certain part of Texas, that they visited during the war years.

Sand said Bill, speaking of the Texas stop, sand isnt so bad when it is blowing around, but in that certain part of Texas it was blowing gravel. I had to borrow a pair of flyers goggles to finish out the exhibition, and the gravel made dents in our windshield. We ate sand, shook it out of our clothes, wiped it off the woodwork. The whole country seemed to get up and move before the Texas wind.

Shooter Bill Johnson also hosted a television show, The Wisconsin Hunter. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson made a motion picture short for Paramount Studios in 1941, when two mobile units from Hollywood filmed the picture on the Shambeaus farm northeast of town. The short was one of a series of Unusual Occupations. The Johnsons retired from the exhibition field in the fall of 1949.




September 24, 1992


An article that appeared in the Waupaca Post for July 4, 1901, it gave the provisions of a contract that was made on February 4, 1894, when the City Council voted to vacate Sessions Street east from Main Street.

By doing so, the City of Waupaca received a quit-claim deed for the property, and in return Mrs. L. P. Earle received a nine-foot platform on the north side of her property. This is presently the site of the Miller Insurance Agency, and N. P. Peterson received $873 for the use of the south wall of the stone building that he had erected.

This is the former Nelson Paint Store at 200 N. Main Street. It is interesting to learn that Sessions Street crossed Main Street at this point prior to 1894.

Looking over the railing at the drop-off between these two buildings, it is hard to realize that East Sessions Street started at this point, and one must wonder just what North Main Street looked like at that time.

For several years prior to 1908, N. P. Peterson operated his blacksmith shop at what is now 200 N. Main Street, where he also sold cutters, bob sleighs, buggies, wagons and other farm equipment. In 1908 F. L. Hoaglin leased the building from Mr. Peterson, and operated it as a garage and machine shop.

It was on January 12, 1912, that N. P. Peterson and his wife, Julia, sold out to F. L. Hoaglin for $3,300, the south 28 feet of Lot 3, Out Lot Block 28, and as much of Sessions Street on which was located the south wall of the brick building situated on the above described premise subject to the Party Wall Agreement as recorded in deeds volume 95, page 321.

The Waupaca Record for January 18 1912, gave the following plans as to how Mr. Hoaglin was going to renovate the building after the purchase.

Mr. Hoaglin now uses only the first floor of the building as a store room, having his machine shop on the second floor, but will remodel it in such a way, that it will give him four floors.

He will install an elevator, operated by power, large enough to carry an automobile to the second floor above street level, or to either of the floors below street level. The building will be constructed so that there will be ample room for two stories between the street level and the ground level.

On January 6, 1913, after renting for four years and owning for one year, F. L. Hoaglin and his wife, Marie, sold the building to Van Nelson. Mr. Nelson sold Overland automobiles at this location.

It was on December 14, 1918, that John W. Osborn bought the building from Nelson, but in addition to the original legal description of the property, there was added the following, The deed now states, including all machinery, furniture, fixtures, tools, stock and contents of every description now contained in the building.

Once again the building changed hands. It was on April 19, 1920, that Thorvold and Albert Nelson bought out John W. Osborn, and this was the beginning of the Nelson Paint Store at 200 N. Main Street, that existed at this location until January 3, 1972, when Verna Nelson, widow of the former Emil Nelson, disposed of the property to Barry Maxson.




October 8, 1992


Death came to George H. James, a pioneer Waupaca businessman, on Tuesday, May 17, 1928. Mr. James was the first owner and operator of the furniture store that is now located on the southwest corner of Sessions and North Main streets, today known as Stus Home Interiors, after 88 years of successful operations of three different furniture stores.

George H. James was born on November 19, 1858, on a farm at Pine River, in Waushara County. He was a son of William and Mary James, who had come to the United States from Wales. He grew to manhood, assisting with the farm work and attending school. In 1882 he graduated from Waupaca High School, being the only student of the graduating class of 82.

Following graduation, he taught school at Marion for one term. He then came back to Waupaca and became associated with Ing. Ovrom in the clothing business on North Main Street. In 1898 this partnership was dissolved and both Mr. James and Mr. Ovrom became affiliated with the Union Store. The Union Store was several businesses that joined together as one department store. George H. James had his furniture store on the second floor of the Union Store until it dissolved in 1904, becoming the Fair Store.

In September of 1904, Mr. James moved his furniture from the second floor of the Union Store to his new location at 121 North Main Street, where he remained in business until his death in May 1928.

On October 15, 1907 Mr. James was married to Catherine Hambletom. Their obituaries made no mention of children. They are both buried in the Waupaca Cemetery.

In the mid-1920s Paul B. Bammel, who was associated with his brother Otto in the furniture and undertaking business in Fort Atkinson and Edgerton, sold out his interest in the business to his brother, and became a salesman for a furniture company.

In about 1927, Mr. Bammel decided that he wanted to get back in business for himself and moved to Kaukauna, where he opened a new furniture store. He stayed there for a year and a half. It was through his travels as a furniture salesman that he became acquainted with George H. James in Waupaca, and when he learned that Mr. James business was for sale, he came to Waupaca in 1929 and purchased the business from Mr. James estate. Paul F. Bammel told me that William Koenig had worked for Mr. James, and continued to work for Mr. Bammel for several years. The George H. James Furniture Store was located on the north 24 feet, in Lot One, Block H, in the original plat of the Village of Waupaca. This site is now 121 North Main Street, which is the extreme north section of Stus Home Interiors.

Paul B. Bammel had been born March 10, 1881, in Adell (Sheboygan County). He was a son of Christoph and Dorothy (Dannies) Bammel. Paul B. Bammel had two brothers, Otto and Fred, and three sisters, Alma, Algunda and Selma.

Paul B. Bammel was married in Fond du Lac to Emma Louise Pape. Two sons, Paul F. and Harold F., was born in Fond du Lac. After moving to Fort Atkinson, two daughters were born. They were Sylvia and Evelyn. The children all grew up in Fort Atkinson.

The Bammel Furniture Mart in Waupaca was a family business, with the elder Bammel in charge. In 1933, Paul F. Bammel acquired his Funeral Director and Embalmer License, and a couple of years later Harold F. Bammel acquired his license.

In 1933, Bammels opened up a funeral home at 209 North Main Street, in the building now occupied by the Kirby Vacuum Service, at one time it was the Market Basket. They soon outgrew this location and in 1935 they purchased the residence at 325 South Division Street; the former St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church Rectory. Here they had their living quarters upstairs.

In 1946, after Paul F. Bammel returned from three years service in the Army in World War II, the father, Paul B. Bammel, entered into a partnership with his two sons, Paul and Harold, which lasted until the death of the elder Mr. Bammel in 1955.

According to Focus 72, Waupaca Business in Review for December 7, 1972, the store offered four floors of furniture, carpeting and appliances in a complete line of home decorating features. National brands included Simmons bedding, Bigelow carpeting, Master Craft upholstered furniture, Provincetown Early American and Speed Queen and Eureka appliances, plus many others. An Early American Shop located behind the main store was added to their enterprising business in 1967. The firm did their own repair and maintenance work along with carpet installation. In 1946, Paul Axtell, a brother-in-law, became a full-time employee and Tim Hales joined the workforce in 1968 full time, and Clifford Hales was on a part-time basis.

Paul B. Bammel passed away November 12, 1955, and his wife, Emma L. Bammel, passed away April 1, 1969. They both are buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.

Harold F. Bammel was married in Milwaukee to Marjorie A. Hensel on the 26th day of September, 1931. They had two children, Brian and Barbara. Harold Bammel passed away May 29, 1979, and their daughter Barbara, Mrs. Gerald Farwell, passed away in Chicago on October 28, 1970. Both she and her father are buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.

Sylvia Clara Bammel was married to Paul Axtell in Waupaca on April 30, 1941. They had two children, Jean and Thomas. Sylvia C. Axtell passed away November 3, 1991, and is buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.

Evelyn Bammel was first married to Charles Booth and they had one daughter, Sharon. Evelyn and Charles separated, and Evelyn married again to William Botten. Evelyn Botten passed away at Daytona Beach, Fla., November 7, 1987, and is buried here in the family plot in the Waupaca Lakeside Cemetery.

The only other member of the original Bammel family that came to Waupaca in 1929 that has not lost a loved one from their midst is Paul F. Bammel. Mr. Paul F. Bammel was married to Miss Ellen T. Peterson in Waupaca on October 14, 1939, and to this union was born two children, Patricia and Paul.

Stuart (Stu) Duchow took over the business from the Bammels as of June 20, 1977.




October 22, 1992


Samuel Sam T. Oborn, who became a successful miller in Waupaca in the early years of the 1880s, was a son of Samuel Oborn Sr., and the grandson of Thomas Oborn, who were both millers in England before coming to America.

Samuel Oborn Sr. was married in England to Mary Milsom, and they had a child, Edwin, born in England. In 1842, Sam Sr. disposed of his milling interest in his native England and came to America with his wife and son, Edwin.

In America, the Oborn family settled in Schuyler County, New York, where he purchased a mill and operated it for the next 17 years. It was in Odessa, (Schuyler County) N.Y., that a son, Samuel T. Oborn, was born on February 14, 1849.

In 1859, the family moved west, locating first in Neenah, where Mr. Oborn became engaged in the milling business with A. W. Patten. From Neenah, he had milling interests in Mazomanic and Platteville. Young Samuel T. Oborn learned the milling trade with his father in the various mills. The senior Oborn passed away in Neenah.

In 1876, Samuel T. Oborn came to Waupaca where he found employment with Milton Baldwin and William Dayton in their City Grist Mills. Here, he assumed full charge of their flour operations.

Milton Baldwin bought out the interests of his partner William Dayton, and became the sole owner of the mill until Samuel T. Oborn purchased half interest in the mill in 1878. The City Grist Mills was destroyed by fire on Jan. 26, 1883. The location of the City Grist Mills was on the east bank of the Waupaca River, where it flows under the Mill Street bridge. Today, this is the beautifully landscaped area on the Waupaca Foundry property next to the river.

After the mill was destroyed by fire in 1883, Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Oborn dissolved partnership, and Samuel T. Oborn became associated with Major R. N. Roberts under the firm name of Roberts and Oborn. They selected a new site for a mill, less than a mile down river where the City Grist Mills and the Waupaca Roller Mills were located.

The Crescent Roller Mills that were built during the summer of 1884, under the supervision of Samuel T. Oborn and J. Johnson (a millwright from Neenah), was a 40 x 50, three-story frame structure and cost Roberts and Oborn nearly $20,000.

The original land where Crescent Mills was built was first owned by Waupacas first doctor, the Rev. Dr. Cutting Marsh. After that, other people owned this property and one of them erected a dam and mill pond for a sawmill,, a foundry and feed mill.

The two partners had to dig across the road, where the Waupaca River makes a loop, to build a flume to pass under the road from the mill pond, under the mill and into the river as it runs behind the mill site.

The mill rested on a fieldstone foundation, and the 45 Monitor turbine that powered the machinery was located beneath the mill basement under a 14 head of water. The mill was fitted with the latest in modern equipment of the day, including six double sets of Stevens Rollers. It was during this period of time that there was a transition from the millstones to the rollers. This is why they were called roller mills.

The new Crescent Roller Mills began operation in September of 1884, with a daily capacity of approximately 100 barrels of flour. The mill operated throughout the year grinding wheat, oats, buckwheat and rye. The large three-story frame building, through several renovations, additions and improvement in machinery operated successfully for 85 years before it closed its doors.

The farmers brought in their grain by horse drawn wagons or sleighs and either sold it for cash, feed or flour, or requested that it be ground for feed. The horses could be tied to the rings on the street side of the building, and a watering trough was located near the millpond.

While most of the Crescent Mill flour was sold locally, Roberts and Oborn contracted with the Wisconsin Central Railroad to lay a spur track along the side of their building so barrels of flour could be shipped to lumber camps and other markets in Wisconsin and neighboring states.

After successfully operating the Crescent Mill for 17 years, it was sold June 20, 1901 to J. C. Eilertson, former manager of the North Star Mills in Stevens Point. Mr. Eilertson changed the name to the Waupaca Roller Mills, but April 1, 1902, he sold the business to the Fallgatter brothers, Walter, Victor and Ward. The Fallgatter brothers owned a small mill in Marshalltown, Iowa, and Ward and Victor came to Waupaca to operate their new acquisition while Walter remained in Marshalltown to operate the mill there.

The Fallgatter brothers spent a large amount of money in completely remodeling the mill, and installing new machinery to meet the new processes in the manufacturing of flour. This enabled them to put a flour on the market and with it a guarantee that there was no better flour made.

They were manufacturers of Wiskota flour.

After purchasing the Waupaca Roller Mills, the Fallgatter brothers hired Fred Fisher to manage the Iowa mill. In less than a year, the Fallgatters sold the Waupaca Roller Mills to Milo P. Merritt of Onawa, Iowa, and then returned to Iowa. In March of 1903, Victor, Ward and Walter repurchased the mill from Mr. Merritt, but within a year, Victor and Walter returned to Iowa. Fred Fisher came back to Waupaca, and in May of 1905, he established a partnership with Ward Fallgatter as co-owners of the Waupaca Roller Mills.

Mr. Fisher had started working at the Old Red Mill, just east of Amherst, when he was only 18 years old in 1889. He worked for two years at the Hatton Mill in the Town Lind, then for three years at Manawa. Later, he operated mills in his own right in the wheat country of Canada and the Dakotas.

During the first years as partners in the Fisher-Fallgatter mill, several structural additions were made. They installed a complete electric lighting system. In 1912, the capacity was increased from 100 barrels of flour per day to 135 barrels, when ample storage was added to provide facilities for increasing operations. A ventilation system was installed to insure the proper curing of the grain before milling it.

The two partners gradually changed the mill from a largely local retail business to a commercial operation. Fallgatter replaced much of the old machinery with new equipment that enabled them to ship carloads of flour by rail to distant markets such as New York City. The mill capacity was now increased to 150 barrels of flour per day.

When they first started the flour was packed in wooden barrels or cloth sacks, and now the flour was shipped in cotton and jute sacks that held 140 pounds, or five-sevenths of a barrel.

The Fallgatter Mill purchased about 70% of the local rye crop. Rye was not a cash crop and the supply became limited, so they purchased rye that was grown in western Minnesota and the Dakotas.

In 1926, Ward Fallgatter and Fred Fisher applied for and received a patent for their own brand name Acme a pure white rye flour.

After Ward Fallgatters death in 1926, the Fisher-Fallgatter Mill was up for sale.

The Fisher-Fallgatter Mill was for sale for nearly two years without receiving a suitable offer; finally, Ward and Nora Fallgatters son, Don, decided to give it a try. Don Fallgatter brought his family back to Waupaca from Chicago, where they were living in 1938, and became co-partners with Fred Fisher.

Mr. Fisher was more interested in politics than the mill, so he sold out to Don Fallgatter in 1943. The mill was still actively involved in custom grinding and selling feed to the local farmers.

As soon as Mr. Fisher retired in 1943, Mr. Fallgatter decided to curtail the feed grinding business so he could concentrate fully on milling flour. Without the feed business, the amount of activity at the mill decreased.

Fallgatter sold the feed machinery and equipment, along with the turbine that powered them, and emptied the feed storage warehouse.

When Mr. Fallgatter had to turn to buying rye from Minneapolis Grain Market, which was graded and federally inspected, he never purchased any grain that was less than a number 2 milling rye. By using a number 2 rye or better, he could usually count on extracting approximately 75% flour and 25% by-products. Fallgatter manufactured white, medium and dark rye flour.

In the early years as a miller, Don Fallgatter shipped by rail most of his flour to bakers and jobbers in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland. New York with its Jewish trade was approximately 70% of his business. He sold practically none in Waupaca unless a local person came to the mill for a small sack.

In the 40s and 50s, more grain was being grown in the east, near the eastern markets. This gave them a big transportation cost advantage. Mr. Fallgatter could not meet this competition and lost his eastern markets.

Don Fallgatter could always tell the quality and grade of his flour by touch, which required a great deal of expertise. If the flour was off-grade, he could usually remedy the problem by adjusting the rollers. The actual process of grinding flour was a 13 grinding operation. Don Fallgatter could sit in his office and tell if the mill operations were working properly by the hum of the machines.

Mr. Fallgatters patent white rye flour was sold to such prestigious eastern firms as Pepperidge Farms. Another interesting note is that he sold a great deal of flour to the DuPont Company to use as a base in the manufacturing of dynamite. Throughout the years in business, buyers were increasingly requesting paper sacks holding 100 pounds, and occasionally they ordered cloth sacks holding 140 pounds.

Eventually, the larger consumers were requiring shipment in bulk tank cars or bulk trucks, and for Mr. Fallgatter to renovate and make the necessary equipment changes to change over to bulk sales, it would not be feasible, so Mr. Fallgatter decided to hang up his hat. Mr. Fallgatter said that in his 31 years of business, he had made over one million 100 pound sacks of rye flour.

After 31 years in business, the mill closed down on May 2, 1969, after the last bushel of rye was ground. The last bag of Acme pure patent white rye flour was sold to an employee, who was a baker from Weyauwega.

Going back to the days when Fisher and Fallgatter were in partnership, they also did custom feed grinding. There were two turbines, one was a 26 turbine that operated the machines in the production of feed, and the other was the 35 turbine that powered the flour mill machinery.

After the mill was closed down in May of 1969, all machinery was left intact, and the building was rented out for storage. Mr. Fallgatter sold the mills water power rights, the dam broke and the millpond became marshland.

Robert and Marjorie Paske purchased the mill in 1978. The mill structure and its contents had changed very little. Some milling equipment was missing, and the old feed warehouse at the north end of the flour mill had been torn down.

The Paskes recognized the historic value of the old mill and it was through their initiation that the old Fisher-Fallgatter Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. This was the first structure to achieve this distinction in Waupaca County.

During the summer of 1979, the Paskes opened up the mill as a museum, so that people could see the equipment and machinery, so as to get an idea how a water-powered flour mill operated.

In 1980, Marcel Van Camp bought the mill from the Paskes. In 1991, he sealed up the mills doors and windows, and made roof repairs, to prevent further deterioration of the building. To date, he is currently researching potential uses for the building as well as sources of funding to restore the historic structure.

This publication can be found in the Waupaca Public Library. I am sure that you would enjoy reading the article in its entirety.




November 12, 1992


One evening in early October 1992, the phone rang and it was Tim Koll, who is an English teacher in the Waupaca High School. He explained his reason for calling was due to the fact, that on a recent bicycle ride he happened by the old McAuly family burial site, located on the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Jensen, on Erickson Road in the Town of Farmington.

Upon noticing the large homemade cemetery sign made from railroad ties, with the letters McAuly Cemetery cut deep by a power saw, this intrigued Mr. Koll to the point of stopping for further investigation.

He walked to the rear of the burial site where he found a large tombstone that was lying flat on the ground, embedded in cement. The message on this marker still remains legible after 137 long years, and tells this story: Lovisa, wife of Jeremiah McAuly, died September 24, 1855, age 48 years, 6 ms. This is one of the oldest death dates that is legible on any tombstone in Waupaca or Portage County.

Mr. Koll found my name among some other names on the back side of the cemetery sign, and this is how I became involved in a very worthwhile project that you will learn about as time goes on.

Mr. Koll, who is originally from Minnesota, is very much interested in the early history of this area of Wisconsin. In our phone conversation, he asked me if I knew anything about this burial site. After I told him of the condition that existed with fallen trees, branches, underbrush and lilac bushes prior to May 17, 1980, when Mr. and Mrs. Robert McAuly of Fond du Lac and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence McAuly and families of Chilton merged upon this overgrown burial site with chain saws, axes, rakes and a lot of determination. Mr. Jensen has taken great pride in keeping up this site, so it does not revert to the original condition. Robert and Lawrence McAuly are both great-grandsons of Lovisa.

Tim Koll was becoming more and more interested in this pioneer cemetery, and asked if I would meet with him and a group of his senior English class students at this site. It was only a few days later that Fred Jensen and I met with him at the grave site of Lovisa McAuly.

Mr. Jensen explained to the group how Jeremiah and Lovisa McAuly homesteaded this farm in 1854. The deed shows that there is an exemption of one-quarter of an acre reserved for a cemetery. It has been told time after time, by old-timers that were familiar with the site, that there several tombstones here. No death records have been found as to when Jeremiah or his second wife, Elizabeth, died, or were buried. One should not assume, but it is my firm belief that they are all buried in the family plot on their farm.

Mr. Kolls interest in the history of the Waupaca area that is being lost to the world was the birth of an idea for the students of his senior English class to put together a book on the histories of the pioneers, their lives, modes of travel, old, unusual buildings, and how times have changed in agriculture. One chapter will be devoted to some of the areas old, forgotten pioneer burial sites.

This group of 20 students from the senior English class of 1992-93 are divided into four groups. Each has their leader and each has their specific chapter to undertake. Some of the groups have been out in the field interviewing senior citizens, asking how times have changed while they were growing up, and taking pictures whenever possible.

There is also interest in a project of cleaning up, or in helping to clean up and maintain some of our old abandoned and neglected cemeteries.

Some of the sites that are targeted for some clean-up are:

The John B. Bray site (John B. Gray died August 12, 1863);

The Spurr family site (Luke Spurr died August 1, 1855, and his wife, Maria Ann, died April 29, 1856). These two sites are in the Town of Lanark, Portage County.

The Lovisa McAuly grave in the Town of Farmington; and

The graves of Phebe B. Chandler (who died August 14, 1853) and John R. Vaughn (who died November 28, 1855) who are both buried in what I call the Vaughn-Chandler Pioneer Cemetery, in the Town of Waupaca.

The death dates on the markers in these burial sites are among the oldest death dates that are legible in this part of Portage and Waupaca counties.

The oldest is for Julius Nordman, in the Floral Hill Cemetery in New London. He died July 9, 1949. The next oldest is for Henry O. Sumner, who died August 1, 1850, and is buried in the Old Pioneer Cemetery at Fremont.

This article would not be complete without the names of the following senior English class students who are participating in this wonderful project of preserving our history and our heritage: Chad Aldrich, Dean Barth, Andy Colden, Steve Canterbury, Amy Edwards, Aaron Garbe, Jason Hilke, Emily Kasprick, Bob Miller, Karla Miles.

Steve Niemi, Adam Reetz, Kim Rasmussen, Tony Reynolds, Shannon Schroeder, Amy Schwerzenska, Shane Sopa, Shawn Springstroh, Greg Schultz and Sam Wieck.

If someone does not take the time to do this, all will be lost for future generations.

On behalf of the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society and myself, we thank Tim Koll and this fine group of students for their time and efforts in preserving our heritage, and the time put in, in construction and not destruction. Good luck in publishing your works.

Wayne A. Guyant is central regional director of the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society.







December 22, 1992


The Waupaca County Post lost perhaps one of its most ardent admirers at the time of the death of William J. Bendixen, in Green Bay on March 21, 1932.

In the February 12, 1931, issue of the Waupaca County Post, there was an article about Mr. Bendixen, who was a resident of the Odd Fellows Home in Green Bay, and every time that he was in Waupaca he took the opportunity to visit the office of the Waupaca County Post to talk over old times about Waupaca.

William J. Bendixen was born in Grestad, Denmark, in 1854, and came to Waupaca in 1870 when he was only 16 years of age. He became a continual subscriber to the various Waupaca papers for 50 years.

He was a charter member of the Danes Home when it was organized in 1877, and was elected its first treasurer. At the time of his death, he had the distinction of being a continual member since its beginning.

On one occasion, Mr. Bendixen told the Waupaca County Post that the only business building that was still standing, then in 1931, that was in operation in 1870 when he came to Waupaca, was the little building located across the street to the north of the City Hall. Here Jens P. Mortenson operated a barrel factory for many years.

The obituary that was found in the local paper in August of 1918 also verifies the fact that Mr. Mortenson did operate a barrel factory at this location. Jens Peter Mortenson was born on the Island of Moen, Denmark, on January 11, 1837. He came to America in 1867, and in 1869 he built the cooper shop next to the city hall in Waupaca.

The obituary for Kristine (Hansen) Mortenson indicates that she was born on the Island of Moen, Denmark. Kristine Hansen was born March 29, 1844, and came to Waupaca on May 18, 1872. She was united in marriage to Jens Peter Mortenson in Scandinavia, June 3, 1872.

Jens Peter Mortensen passed away August 29, 1918, and his wife Kristine passed away January 31, 1924. Both are buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park Cemetery. One daughter, Meta, Mrs. Sophus J. Danielsen; and five sons: Mourtis, Henry, Carl, Walter and William, all survived their parents.

Another subject that was discussed by Mr. Bendixen was about the big fire in 1872 that destroyed all but two of the buildings in one block; 17 buildings in all went up in smoke.

It was believed that the fire started in the livery stable, which was located on the south side of a hotel. This hotel location is now Bank One. Buildings in those days were of wooden construction, and there was very little equipment to fight fires, so often a fire proved disastrous. The two buildings that were saved were a blacksmith shop that stood where the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce building is today, and a bank building that was on East Union Street, east of where Bank One is today.

The bank building did not burn because it was torn down to prevent the flames from spreading! A new bank building was rebuilt on the same location and later was moved to the south of the old E.E. Browne Law Office on Jefferson Street. I wish to add that this building was the Mead Bank (where H.C. Mead was murdered) before it was moved from Union Street to Jefferson Street.

When the new bank was built on Union Street after the fire, it was rebuilt to fit the doors and windows of the original bank.

Mary, wife of William Bendixen, was born in 1849, and passed away in 1917. They were the parents of Annie, Hattie, Emma and Oscar. Both are buried here in Waupaca.








January 7, 1993


The Haertel Monuments Inc., located at 219 South Main Street, had its inception possibly prior to 1882, when A. L. Bailey purchased this location from A. E. Silverthorne on October 19, 1882. It has been noted that Daniel (Dan) Downey built the original building o this lot. Dan Downey became the son-in-law of A.L. Bailey.

There was an obituary that appeared in a Waupaca paper in July of 1928, that gave us this information. Almeda Wright was born July 15, 1848, and in 1866 she was married to A.L. Bailey. In 1880 the family came to Waupaca to reside, A.L. Bailey being associated with his brother, W.S. Bailey, in a monument business for some years.

Dan Downey married Miss Maude Bailey, who was the daughter of A.L. and Almeda Bailey, June 22, 1886, and now the sign over the Waupaca Granite Works also had the names of Bailey and Downey.

Dan Downey was born in Boston, Mass., October 5, 1857, and in 1860, when he was only three years old, he came to Waupaca with his parents, John and Rose (McCafferty) Downey.

Here in Waupaca the Dan Downeys became the parents of three children, but they were denied the joy of seeing them grow to adulthood. Little Robert Downey was only 10 months old when he died on May 11, 1901, and was buried on the lot in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park, that now contains the remains of his parents. There were two other infants also buried here who had passed on before.

Dan Downey had another love. He was the proprietor of the Downey Boat Livery at the Electric Dock on Rainbow Lake for some 20 years. It was here that he came in contact with thousands of resorters and vacationers, with whom he made countless friends.

Mr. Downey had been suffering from a paralysis of the lower limbs for over three years before his death. Death came by pneumonia in June of 1931. His wife, the former Maude Bailey, followed on June 9, 1936.

The next name that appeared on the Waupaca Granite Works sign was Downey and Spindt. It was in 1917 that Albert W. Spindt purchased the monument business from Dan Downey. In 1926 A. W. Spindt added a large workroom on the rear of the office, enclosed with brick. Business was good and was increasing in volume at a rate that was affecting his health. The strain was such that his doctor advised him to locate in a more suitable climate.

Albert W. Spindt was born in Waupaca December 10, 1893, and passed away in a Madison hospital May 18, 1928. He was a son of Morten and Katherine Margretha Peterson Spindt, and was married October 30, 1917 to Katherine Jenson. They had one son, Roderick. Albert W. Spindt also had one sister, Mrs. William Nelson, and a brother, Axel E. Spindt, who owned and operated a store in King.

It was 10 to 11 years after Mr. Spindt bought out the monument business from Dan Downey, that he sold out to Henry Haertel of Stevens Point, who then leased the building.

A deal was concluded on November 14, 1927, for the purchase, which included the manufacturing plant in Waupaca, the salesroom and the display area, between Henry Haertel and Albert W. Spindt. Henry Haertel was president of the Henry Haertel Service, Inc., a business which he developed in 1901 in Stevens Point from an infant memorial crafts concern to a manufactory that supplied memorials to customers in 25 counties, north to Michigan and west to Minnesota. In the years from 1901 to 1927 his business had increased from 42 orders to over 1,000. J.H. Halverson of Iola, who had been a salesman for several years, became the Waupaca branch manager.

The Henry Haertel Service, Inc. served the people of this area from 1927 to about five years ago when the business was sold to Richard Lansing, but Mr. Haertel retains ownership of the building. Mrs. Polly Fabricius is the office manager of Haertel Monuments, Inc.





January 14, 1993


Louis (Louie) A. Larson and Son were still operating a grocery store in the building that was located at 111 North Main Street in Waupaca in 1904. The newspaper notice dated September 19, 1904, made mention that Charles A. Yorkson and Louie A. Larson were soon to become partners in handling a first class line of gents furnishings and shoes. Mr. Yorkson had completed many years in the employ of Ing. Ovrom in the clothing field.

Mr. Larson, the notice said, expected to close out his entire grocery stock by January 1, 1905, and the building was to be calcimined (a painting process), the partitions taken out and several other improvements made for the new business.

In the year of 1907 the firm of Yorkson and Larson dissolved partnership after two years of successful business, but the business continued under the same policy under the name of Charles A. Yorkson and Company, until in June of 1911 when J.E. Cristy purchased the complete stock of mens and boys clothing and furnishings from Charles A. Yorkson and Company.

Mr. Cristy began at once to put the stock in shape for a sale. Mr. Cristy then moved what stock remained after the sale to his stores in New London and Waupaca.

This information is taken from the Waupaca Record for September 21, 1911. George P. Drivas and his brother opened up the Candy Kitchen in the building recently vacated by Chas. A. Yorkson Clothing Store. The young men came here from Antigo and, the paper said, have opened up a very clean attractive place of business. They will make homemade candies, their specialty, and will handle confections, fruit, cigars and ice cream.

In 1904 when only 16 years of age, young George Peter Drivas left his native Greece and arrived in New York City where an uncle lived. This uncle did not have any children of his own, and wanted to adopt George.

The adoption never took place, but young George Drivas stayed and worked for five years for his uncle in the import and export business. George did not care much for New York City, and left for Glad-stone, Mich., where another uncle lived and owned a candy store. After working here in the candy store for several years he felt that he had learned enough about the candy business that he could strike out on his own.

James P. Drivas did come to America, and Waupaca, and together they opened up a candy store and ice cream store in 1911, at 111 North Main Street. They worked hard and prospered, and wanted to share their good fortune with another member of their family. Angelos Peter Drivas, another brother, then only 16 years old in 1912, left the mountains of his native Greece, and came to Waupaca to join his two brothers.

Angelos arrived in America not knowing a word of English. In New York he was met by other relatives who put him on a train for Waupaca. They pinned a sign on him with instructions that he should be put off at Waupaca, Wis.

Angelos was anxious to begin working for his brothers, but George wanted him to go to school. He offered him $20 a month pay if he would go to school in addition to working in the store. On the other hand, if Angelos decided not to go to school, he would get only $10 a month.

It was a difficult time for Angelos, as he knew no English. He was teased and picked on by his schoolmates to the point that he dropped out of school to learn on his own. He now started working full time for his brother George in the store. It was not too long before George decided to pay Angelos $20 a month, because he was doing such a good job.

The three brothers worked together until the advent of World War I.

Angelos volunteered for service in May 1917 in the Waupaca State Guards. He was a private in Battery E, 121st Heavy Artillery. He completed his basic training, but due to a disability, he was discharged before he saw active duty. Meanwhile, his brother, George, also enlisted in the Army. George P. Drivas died of the influenza, October 6, 1918.

He had never married, but left behind not only his two brothers, James and Angelos in Waupaca, but three brothers with the Greek Patriot Army under General Venizelos in Greece. Also another brother and three sisters still in Greece.

George Peter Drivas left a will. This can be found in the Waupaca County Courthouse in volume E, page 289, document number 2251, in the wills. The will states that his property goes to his parents, Peter G. and Maria Drivas, of Horion Richea, Demon Zayakos, Greece.

During the time that George and Angelos were serving time in the Army, the candy store was closed, which left brother James jobless. James found work on a farm for the time. When Angelos returned home, he reopened the candy store. After a couple of years Angelos had saved enough money so he could buy the store property, as they had been renting up until this time. In the register of deeds office here in Waupaca County in Warranty Deeds volume 150, page 99, is the purchase made by Angelos P. Drivas from Louis A. and Louise D. Larson, the North 21 feet of lot 3, Block H, dated March 10, 1920.

He tore down the old store and built the building that stands today; it was renamed the Waupaca Candy Kitchen.

While on a trip to Chicago at Christmastime, 1922, Angelos met Katherine Melches, whom he married the following year. They lived for many years over the Waupaca Candy Kitchen.

They became the parents of three children: George P., Peter A. and a daughter, Maria. In 1923, Tom Karavakis, who was a Greek friend of Angelos Drivas, became a partner in the business.

The Waupaca Candy Kitchen became a popular place for the young folks to gather for a Coke, malt or a soda. This was also true of the theatre patrons. It was a place to go for refreshments before going home.

Here is an interesting account on the amount of ice cream consumed in Waupaca and the Chain o Lakes in the month of July 1916. The Waupaca Record Leader, dated August 3, 1916: Our dealers tell us that over 2,000 gallons were consumed. Wm. Olson is one of our large producers. The Waupaca Ice Cream Company is a new concern; the Drivas Bros. have an excellent trade, and the Star Bakery has a nice trade.

In 1952 several changes were made at the Waupaca Candy Kitchen and drug store. The interior underwent extensive remodeling. All new shelving and a showcase were added, the ceiling was painted and 16 fluorescent lights were installed.

It was then that George Drivas, son of Angelos and Katherine Drivas, became the new proprietor. George had graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy in 1950. After then he was employed at pharmacies in Eau Claire and LaCrosse before coming to Waupaca to open up a new Rexall Drug Store.

In the Waupaca County Post dated December 4, 1952, there is a full-page ad: Drivas Pharmacy Grand Opening of our new super Rexall Drug Store. Formerly the Waupaca Candy Kitchen, 111 North Main Street.

Tom Karavakis retired the following year, and Angelos Drivas became semi-retired as he continued to keep in contact with the daily business. Many people refuse to retire and give up, but prefer to stay active as long as possible.

After Peter (Pete) Drivas, also a son of Angelos and Katherine Drivas, was discharged from the Army, he bought into the business with his brother, George, which continued until the last day of February 1991 when the Drivas Rexall Drug Store closed its doors forever. This ended nearly 80 years of business at this location under the Drivas name.

On May 2, 1991, George P. and Peter A. Drivas sold the property to Lanae M. Janda and Thomas Carroll. After a complete renovation and a couple of months time, the building became the Gateway Real Estate office.






January 21, 1993


This time I have decided to do something different, and have taken odds and ends from the Waupaca County Post during the past years. This may bring back to mind names of people or business places where you may have shopped.

March 1, 1938 Mrs. Marie Wikel announced this week the opening of a new beauty shop, to be called Maries Craft Shop, in the rooms over the Candy Kitchen of the Drivas building, formerly occupied by the offices of Dr. W. G. Rudersdorf. The latter has moved to the Abstract and Loan building.

Mrs. Wikel, wife of the man who recently purchased the Pedersen Barber Shop, will be assisted in her shop by Miss Belva Forseth, popular Waupaca beautician.

October 6, 1938 An indoor greasing rack and office is being erected for the Wadhams Oil Company at their service station on West Fulton Street. The building is to be 27 by 54 feet.

September 15, 1938 McLellans Mens Wear will hold their grand opening at 210 South Main St. on September 22.

August 11, 1938 Work will start immediately on a new 36 by 124 foot building to house a new bowling alley, states M.E. Laux, who is erecting the structure on two lots that he had purchased near the Soo Line depot Lent Mertz will be the manager.

October 13, 1938 The George Sage News Stand that was located for many years on East Union Street was sold to Woody Marceil.

October 13, 1938 Laatsch Radio Service is opening a radio service shop at 115-1/2 West Fulton St., formerly the Midget Shoe Repair.

January 19, 1939 C.M. Parish who operates the Parish Tavern at 112 North Main St. has bought the two adjacent businesses. The deal was closed whereby he acquired the property from Dr. C.W. Andrews, now occupied by Normingtons, and the Sanitary Barber Shop.

June 15, 1939 The Earl Fabricius building that for several years was occupied by the Parish Tavern and was damaged by fire April 20, is being repaired.

July 20, 1939 The re-opening of the former Palace Restaurant now to be known as the Fairbanks Caf is set for July 22. It will be run by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Fairbanks.

January 24, 1940 The A & P Store leased the old post office building from the Penney Estate. They moved from the Beadleston building. (The old post office building was located at 212 South Main St. This is now the business place of the Culligan Water Conditioning Co. and the Beadleston building is now the business place of Broadway Optical, at 101 North Main St. and the Marketplace at 103 North Main.)

January 11, 1940 Ben Weiner, who was associated with his brother Ike in the Boston Store in Weyauwega, will soon open up a small mens wear store in a portion of the Holly building now occupied by the Waupaca Fruit Store.

May 2, 1940 Leon Jacklin is to start a Case Agency in the Atkinson building on the corner of West Union and South Washington.

August 1, 1940 Jacklin moves his J.I. Case Agency to South Main Street.

June 24, 1940 The McFadden Five Star Hardware will open in the building just recently vacated by Piggly Wiggly at 210 South Main. They held their grand opening June 29, 1940.

May 5, 1938 The biggest attraction in Waupaca Monday and Tuesday was the big steam shovel working at the lot on West Union Street, where the Central Wisconsin Seed Company will make their new home. After the chap with the big caterpillar and power shovel had dug himself into a big hole, scores of local citizens stood on the edge of the excavation wondering how the big machine would get out. (There was a picture taken by the Waupaca County Post of the activity from the roof of the Cristy building.)

The seed company plans to move to its new home by August 1, 1938. The new building will be 60 by 57-1/2 feet, and will be of brick construction, full basement and one story. The move from East Unions Street was required by plans for the Glover Store expansion.

October 3, 1940 Elmer Pedersen leased the Fairbanks Caf, the former Palace Restaurant.

September 2, 1943 Pedersens Restaurant on West Fulton Street will have an new name Saturday, when the place is opened for business after being closed several days for renovation and painting. It will be known as Carls Restaurant. A deal was closed the first of the week when Elmer Pedersen, proprietor for the last three years, sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. Carl Ter Haar.

September 6, 1945 George R. Johnson, Endeavor, became the new owner of the Waupaca Fruit Store this week, having completed negotiations with the former owner, Sol Minkoff.

October 23, 1947 Last Saturday Duwain Bonnell, a member of the Grand Army Home Fire Department at King, held a Hand in a million, a perfect 29 hand in cribbage. Very few cribbage players ever draw a hand of four fives and a jack in their entire lifetime, so Dewey is to be congratulated, or something; the odds on drawing such a hand is astronomical. Mr. Bonnell will probably play a long time before ever seeing another such phenomenon.

January 2, 1963 For the remainder of the week the 4 postage rate for first class letters holds good, but starting Monday, Jan. 7, 1963, the rates goes up to a nickel.

The new Hiway 10 Outdoor Theatre, located on Highway 10 between Waupaca and Weyauwega, will open for the first time at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, June 18, 1950, with the showing of Challenge to Lassie. Albert Behm Jr., proprietor, announced today.

September 3, 1942 Proof that Waupaca Countys deer herds are increasing is seen in fact that five deer have been killed by cars on county highways this summer. The last reported Saturday night on Highway 161 near the Sandburr Inn, north of Ogdensburg. Other deer killed on Waupaca County highways this year include one on Highway 54, west of Waupaca; one on Highway 49 towards Bloomfield, south of Sunset Curve, and two near Big Falls. Dr. John Pelton saw two deer near his Crystal Greenhouse.




January 28, 1993


This is a story about two brothers, Henry and Hiram C. Beadleston, who left their native state of New York to make a new life in Waupaca.

Henry Beadleston was born November 23, 1833, at Lake George (Warren County), N.Y., and came to Waupaca in the early years of the 1850s.

Hiram C. Beadleston was born December 30, 1835, at Glen Falls, also in Warren County, on the Hudson River, 45 miles north of Albany, the capitol of the state. It is believed that Hiram came to Waupaca about 1857.

In April of 1862, the two brothers entered into a grocery business in a small wooden frame structure on the northwest corner of West Fulton and North Main streets. In one of the old Waupaca newspapers dated July 23, 1913, there was a picture of this original Beadleston store.

From their beginning in 1862, up to 1875, they carried almost exclusively groceries. In 1875 they added a fine line of drugs and medicine to their grocery line.

Warranty Deed volume 18, page 540, dated January 13, 1863, indicates that H.C. Beadleston purchased lot number five, Block H, of the original plat of the Village of Waupaca, from Eliza L. and her husband Syrenus Belden.

There were three big fires in Waupaca in the 1870s that destroyed most all of the wooden frame buildings in that block. The big fire of February 19, 1877, burned to the ground the Beadleston store, along with several others in that block.

Prior to these big fires, each wooden structure stood independently of each other. In other words, animals could go between buildings, or trash could have been thrown in there, so when the new brick buildings were erected they had to share existing outside walls, leaving no empty areas between buildings.

Now, party wall agreements came into effect. These were agreements between adjoining parties whereby they agreed to share the cost of using the party wall, as in the case where a party wanted to build between two existing buildings, they would not have to erect outside walls, but use them as their own walls. There was a cost involved in doing so.

When the Beadleston Bros. rebuilt, so did the Waupaca Lodge No. 123, Free and Accepted Masons, whose lot was adjacent on the north. There was a part wall agreement made between the two on May 19, 1877.

A quit claim deed was issued to the Beadlestons for all of lot five and the south four and one-half feet of lot 4. It was at this time that an error, undetected in the original deed, dated January 13, 1863, when Henry Beadlestons name had been omitted on the original deed, was discovered.

The Beadleston Bros. built their new brick building that stands today on the corner of West Fulton and North Main streets (Broadway Optical and Main Street Market Place). According to the history of northern Wisconsin, the building when built was 65 feet by 44 feet, with a store room 38 by 44 feet. The building was built in the autumn of 1878. However, the date on top of the building shows a date of 1877. Waupaca Lodge 123 Free and Accepted Masons building that is adjacent on the north, also has the date of 1877.

It seems as if it was in the early 1880s, that Henry and Hiram Beadleston sold out their business to the firm of Hudson and Jeffers, but retained ownership of the building. Hudson and Jeffers in turn sold out their general merchandise business to J.A. Versen, who had come to Waupaca from Marshfield in 1894.

More will appear in a later issue about the many different business places that have occupied this building in the 1900s.

In Waupaca on November 20, 1879, Henry Beadleston was united in marriage to Eliza Jane Arters. She had been born in Dayton, Ohio, on November 6, 1857.

As they continued along lifes highway, they raised a foster child Alta May, who was born February 23, 1890, in Tomah. It was on September 20, 1908, that she was married to Herbert F. Quimby, and they became the parents of 10 children. Eight grew to adulthood: Clifford, Billie, Jack, Eloise, Meta, Betty, Beverly and Etola. The two children that did not survive were Francis Loren and Sue Lee.

Herbert Francis Quimby was born January 24, 1887 and passed away August 21, 1970, and Alta May Quimby was born February 23, 1890 and passed away August 7, 1971. Both are buried on lot 298 in the original section of the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.

Hiram C. Beadleston was married at least four times. On the Hiram C. Beadleston lot in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park, there are these markers to verify this. The following are the inscriptions on the four markers: Irena L., wife of Hiram C. Beadleston, born February 19, 1836, died July 16, 1890; Annie, wife of H.C. Beadleston, 1842-1896; Exie, wife of H.C. Beadleston, 1849-1898 and Sarah Jane Beadleston,1837-1931. Hiram C. Beadlestons marker reads 1836-1932.

There are two marriage records recorded in the Waupaca Register of Deeds office. On November 2, 1897 Hiram C. Beadleston married Miss Exie Hewitt of New York, and on March 22, 1900, he was married to Sarah Jane Burdick of Andover, N.Y.









February 11, 1993


This well-known and highly respected family were descendents from one Thomas Pope of Plymouth and Dartmouth, Mass., whose descendants went on to become pioneers in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

I will skip over several generations and begin with the Nathaniel Pope Jr. line, who left their home in Erie, Pa., and came to the wilds of the Town of Lind in Waupaca County in 1853.

Nathaniel Pope Jr. was the ninth child in line of 12 born to Nathaniel Pope Sr. and Ida Strong Mattocks (some places Ida was spelled Idea). His other brothers and sisters were George Mitchell, Ansel Winship, Sarah Ann, Pline Platt, Alexander, Alvin, Alfred, Mary, Albert, Mary Ida and Andrew Florimond.

Nathaniel Pope Jr. was born in Erie on June 3, 1829; there he spent his early school days. When Nathaniel Jr. was about 14, he began to follow the life of a sailor. He sailed the Great Lakes for six years before working on river boats on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. He again turned to the sea in 1849, whether it was the gold fever or for adventure, and being only 20 years of age he made a voyage that ended up in San Francisco, Calif., by the way around Cape Horn on the schooner Kate, that was shipwrecked. He lost all of his belongings, but finally found his way to California. He spent 18 months in the gold fields with some success, having accumulated $4,000 in gold coin.

Leaving California, he returned to his home at Erie, Pa., the home of his parents, where he remained for a short time before he came to the Town of Lind, where a couple of his older brothers had purchased land.

According to Warranty Deed, volume 2, page 155, dated July 5, 1853, Nathaniel Pope Jr. purchased the East one-half of the South West one-quarter and the West one-half of the South East one-quarter, all in Section 28, T.21N.-Range 12E from George M. Pope for $1,000.

Another land purchase found in Warranty Deed, volume 2, page 437, dated April 13, 1855, indicates Nathaniel Pope Jr. purchased land from Alvin Pope. The deed shows five-eights of the West one-half of the South East one-quarter and five-eights of the East one-half of the South West one-quarter, all in Section 16, T.21 N-R.12E. Paid $200. This included the land known as the Chapman place. This was the beginning of the Pope homestead.

Within a few weeks time his parents, Nathaniel Sr. Pope and his wife Ida (Idea) Strong Mattocks Pope, along with the remainder of their children, came to the Town of Lind, where they lived in a log cabin at what was known as Chapman Corner. Here he plied his trade as a shoemaker and reared his large family.

On September 1, 1855 Nathaniel Pope Jr. was united in marriage to Eliza Jane Loomis in Cleveland, Ohio. Eliza Jane was born August 19, 1840. To this union 14 children were born, as follows: Mary Ellen, Pline Eugene, Charles Lincoln, Rush Loomis, Ida Viola, Gale Nathaniel, Alice May, Guy Walter, Albert Platt, Bertha Lutina, Lyle Clement, Ethel Clare and two infants who died.

When Nathaniel Sr. and his wife Ida (Idea) Pope became unable to care for themselves, they moved into the south wing of their sons home, which was adjoining the senior Popes place. Here they lived out the last days of their lives.

Nathaniel Pope Sr. had been born on a farm near South Woodstock, Vt., on January 7, 1790. He was married at Litchfield, Conn., in 1813 to Idea Strongs Mattocks; she had been born April 2, 1793. They both are buried in the Lind Center Cemetery.

I would like to stop here for a moment and go back one more generation, to Mitchell and Ruth Hammond Pope, who were the parents of Nathaniel Pope Sr. who was born on their farm near South Woodstock, Vt., in Windsor County. This old homestead has been abandoned for many years, and now is covered with brush and large trees, but contain the unmarked graves of Mitchell Pope, who died January 23, 1849, age 81 years, and seven of their children.

After the death of Mitchell Pope in 1849, his widow, Ruth Hamond Pope, lived with their son, Thomas, until in March of 1856 when she came with them to Waupaca County. She died May 9, 1857 and has one of the oldest markers in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Town of Dayton.

I will now come back to the Pope line in the Town of Lind to Rush Loomis Pope, the fourth child of the family of 14. He was born on the Pope homestead September 21, 1862. He was named in honor of his mothers brother, Rush Loomis. It seems as if he was a beautiful baby, so his mother called him Robin, but as he grew up he was always called Rob by his family and friends.

Rush (Rob) Loomis Pope attended the district school at Lind Center. As a young man he worked on his fathers farm and assisted his father in buying stock and selling meat. He hauled beef with a team of horses to the Moran Galloway lumber camps in the north.

On July 8, 1881, Rush Loomis Pope was married in Minneapolis, Minn., to Claribel Charlotte Nordeen, who was born June 20, 1859, a daughter of Peter John and Amelia Price Nordeen.

In October of 1881 they started keeping house on the farm that was formerly occupied by Rush and Alice Pope Loomis, which later was known as the Harry Testin farm north of the Post Corner School. This farm now belongs to Roger Green. In February of 1882 the house burned, and they rebuilt the following spring.

Rob farmed and worked by the day for the neighbors, and lived on the place until 1892, when he purchased the Columbus Caldwell farm in the Town of Lind. They lived here for the next 12 years, and it was here that he developed the first purebred herd of Guernseys in Waupaca County. He still remained active in buying stock, and for 10 years he furnished meat to the Wisconsin Veterans Home.

By 1900, Rush Loomis and Gale Pope had entered into the meat market business with John Gordon, under the firm name of Gordon and Pope. This building is located at 214 S. Main St., Waupaca, the present business site of the Team Outfitters.

In 1904 Mr. Pope sold out his share to Mr. Gordon and with his brother, Gale, purchased the H.W. Williams Hardware business and became the Pope Hardware Company. Later Fred Parish, who was a cousin, joined the firm. It was sometime later, due to ill health, that the business was sold to Fred Parish. This building is at 217 S. Main St. today the business site of United Service Agency, Inc.

In 1913 Mr. R.L. Pope purchased the Albert P. Pope farm and started another Guernsey herd. His son, Paul N. Pope, took over the farm, and it was here that his father, Rob Pope, remained interested in farming and dairying while spending his last year.

During their married years, Rush Loomis Pope and Claribel Charlotte Nordeen Pope became the parents of three children: Amelia Eliza, Beatrice and Paul Nordeen.

Paul N. Pope was born September 13, 1897 in the Town of Lind and was married December 11, 1919 to Miss Lois Elizabeth Sheard at Randolph. The marriage was performed by the brides father, the Rev. S.A. Sheard. Lois E. Sheard was born May 24, 1899 at Brandon. Paul N. Pope passed away July 5, 1975, and Lois E. Pope passed away May 20, 1979. They are buried in the Lind Center Cemetery. They were the parents of three children: Mary Ann, Paul E. and Allen.

Paul E. Pope was married September 15, 1945, to my sister, Phyllis June Guyant, who was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Dale Sawyer when she was an infant. To Paul (Pep) and Phyllis Pope were born five children: Susan Jean, Willis Rush, Connie Elizabeth, and twin daughters, Kay Frances and Gay Cynthia.

Susan Jean married Lee Halverson, and they have two sons: Paul Eric and Keith Michael. Willis Rush married Patricia Lynn Duer, and they have two children: Holly Jean and Howard Anthony. Connie Elizabeth married Robert Andraschko, and they have two children: Mark John and Christopher Robert. Kay Frances married Daniel Lee Stocker, and they have two children: Amy June and Joshua Daniel. Gay Cynthia married Kent Romeis, and they have no children.

Christopher Robert Andraschko married Donna Mae Handrich. They are practically newlyweds.





February 25, 1993


As the first pioneers began to settle in an area, and they had children, thoughts began to think of a school and the education for their children.

Many times when a schoolhouse was built first, it also served as their place of worship. The women were most often the first to get behind the school movement.

Waupaca was no different than any other pioneer settlement, because in the summer of 1851, a young lady by the name of Theodora Thompson, a daughter of Luman and Lauretta (Button) Thompson, came to Waupaca with her parents.

Through her foresight and encouragement the first school sessions were held in the old Baxter building that stood the corner of Oak and Ware streets in Waupacas Third Ward.

Theodora (Dora) Thompson was born in Columbia (Warren County), Pa., on September 13, 1834. She was the eldest of eight children. In her early childhood she moved with her parents to Chautauqua County, N.Y. There she attended the public schools and received her Normal training under the direction of Horace Mann, the pioneer Normal School leader of America. Under Mr. Mann she studied mathematics, philosophy, astronomy and chemistry, and was one of a few women to acquire a knowledge of these sciences.

In 1849 the family moved to Wisconsin and settled for a short time at Ceresco (Fond du Lac County). In checking the names of early post offices, I found that Ceresco changed its name to Ripon on December 10, 1856.

In 1851 the Thompson family came to Waupaca. It was at this time that the first school was held in the Baxter Building in the Third Ward with Miss Theodora Thompson as its first teacher.

The Baxter building was first built as a dwelling. It was a structure enclosed with rough boards, having only one window. The seats were made of rough boards laid across wooden blocks.

The school opened with 21 scholars: Thomas Scott, son of Capt. David Scott; Henry and Mary Hibbard, son of W. B. Hibbard (whose marker in Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park has the oldest death date); Judge S.F. Ware had sent four children, the youngest was John M. Ware, who was to become the publisher of the Standard History of Waupaca County. There was a young Dieter boy, and several others.

The teacher received $1.25 per week. Each family paid his proportion according to the number of children sent at $1.50 for the three-month term.

After the summer and winter term the school was closed and the building was sold and moved to 725 E. Fulton St., where the original old Baxter Building stands today (1993) after several modifications and enclosed with a new exterior.

In 1852 Miss Theodora Thompson was married to Charles William LeGro. Mr. LeGro enlisted in 1862, in Co. G, 21st Wisconsin Volunteers. He served the Union well, and was unable to accept several promotions due to poor health. He was honorably discharged and returned to Waupaca, but death occurred February 10, 1864, leaving his wife and three children, Hale, Fanny, and Elma.

After the death of her husband, she taught school in the Town of Waupaca for 15 years.

Theodora LeGro died March 30, 1921. She is buried beside her husband. On their marker in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park is this inscription: He died for his country and she lived for her children.










March 11, 1993


Elijah Meynard Atkinson was born in Kansas on June 25, 1895, the son of John and Margaret Atkinson.

He and Miss Laurene Wallichs were married in Fond du Lac, her hometown, on February 25, 1921, and they were the parents of one daughter, Laurene, later Mrs. E.J. Morgan.

His early years in merchandising were spent with the J.C. Penney organization. He was with the Penney Co. in Lewiston, Maine, and Berlin, Wis., before going to Waupun as the manager of their store.

In the Waupaca County Post for March 25, 1937, Meynard and Laurene Atkinson had an announcement that they were going to open up a new retail department store in early May, in the two-store building that they had leased from Mrs. H.P. Mortenson. These two stores stood side by side and previously housed the Gamble Store at 117 North Main. (Gambles had moved to a part of the Cristy building on the southwest corner of East Union ad South Main streets) and the other business at 119 North Main was Oliver Fredricksons Arcade Tavern.

After some major renovations for a new front and interior remodeling the two stores combined into one. Meynard Atkinson opened his store in Waupaca, while his brother Loid Atkinson, opened a store in Portage.

Atkinsons Federated Store was an immediate success and continued to grow until the death of E. Meynard Atkinson on May 26, 1952. Closely associated with Mr. Atkinson in directing the stores affairs was V.P. Billmeyer, who managed the business during Mr. Atkinsons long illness. Mr. E.M. Atkinson served in the Army in World War I, and he is buried in the Rienzi Cemetery in Fond du Lac County.

After the death of his brother, E. Maynard, Loid Atkinson took over the general operations of the store. According to Loid Atkinson, the growth of his business in his Portage store, and the addition of his shoe and bargain store, made it impossible for him to give the Waupaca store the proper care that it should have, so he elected to sell the business.

On March 1, 1972 Loid Atkinson, president of the Atkinson department stores in Portage, presented the keys of the Waupaca store to Mr. Charles Gamm, thus starting a new era in the Waupaca business district where the name of Atkinson has appeared for 35 years.

The stores new name was His N Hers.

Charles (Chuck) Gamm was a native of Milwaukee, and he met his wife Paula while on active duty aboard the USS Lake Champlain. He was a party of the recovery crew for Commander Allen B. Shepard, who was the first man in space. His wife, Paula, was born in Gloucester, R.I., and the couple was married in 1962 I Rhode Island.

They moved to Milwaukee where they resided for six years, where Chuck began his career in the retail grocery business as a stock boy. He later became the assistant manager of the Red Owl store in Glendale.

In June of 1960 the Gamms came to Waupaca, where he became the manager of Evs Red Owl store. The Gamms resided at 503 S. Washington Street with their children, Cary, then 6, Christopher, 4 and Kathy, 2.

In 1978, after six years in business in the His N Hers store, Charles Gamm filed for bankruptcy.

The property was picked up by one of our local realtors, and this property now belongs to Stuart Duchow, and now Stus Home Interiors is the only business occupying space that at one time was three different business places. Mr. Duchows first purchase was on June 21, 1977, when he purchased the Bammel Furniture store at 121 N. Main St.







March 18, 1993


Father Time slips by faster than we realize. This article is to test your guess, as to when certain events took place. The answers were found in the Waupaca County Post, and can be found at the end of this article.

(01)   In what year did Philip Teisberg buy out his partner, O.F. Hardware Pete Peterson, in the Leader Hardware at 110 S. Main St. and joined the Marshall-Wells stores program?

(02)   In what year did James A. (Jim) McPherson and wife buy out the Rasmussen Jewelry business at 108 W. Fulton St.? (The place of business had been operated by Ray Rasmussen since 1950.)

(03)   When did Miss Helen Stedman sell her Rexall Pharmacy business at 102 S. Main St. to Harold D. Olson after 16 years in business?

(04)   In what year did Milton Wenzel move his Badger Paint Store into the adjoining building at 101 N. Main St.? (Then he operated at both 101 and 103 N. Main. Vego Jensen was a member of the sales force.)

(05)   In this year Gale Anderson and Floyd Urra, both GIs, opened up a restaurant in conjunction with the CQ tavern at 106 N. Main.

(06)   D.R. Valentine sold his barber shop on North Main Street to Bill Calkins, who was operating it as the Calkins Barber Shop. William Sylvester Calkins began barbering at the age of 20 and continued until his late 80s.

(07)   In what year did the Sears Roebuck Company open their order office at 104 N. Main, with Mrs. Edna Jensen as manager, assisted by Mrs. Amanda Goldsmith and Mrs. Blanche Pinkerton?

(08)   What was the year that Mr. and Mrs. Dave Allen sold their restaurant business at 107 West Fulton to Douglas Paulson and Reid McLean?

(09)   Otto Bauer buys out Milius Electric on January 2 of what year, and then took over full manage-ment at 215 N. Main?

(10)   No Name Barber Shop bids goodbye to a barber of 44 years. Al Kreeger, who had been barber-ing for a total of 44 years, of which 38 years was in the same nameless barber shop at 108 East Union St. This shop did not have a name since its opening in 1916. In what year was it sold to Frank Kernen?

(11)   The Economy Food Market, Waupacas newest grocery store and meat market, opened its doors to the public in what year? (The store was located on East Union, just east of the Delavan Hotel in the Chris Hansen building. The grocery department was operated by Elnore Kurkowski and Ed Zemlock, with the meat department being conducted by Charles Larson.)

(12)   Harringtons new shoe store at 104 South Main Street was opened in the former Charles McLean and Son IGA Store location in what year? The building had been gutted by fire and was rebuilt by George Notman as general contractor. When it was completed, it was described as one of Wisconsins newest and most modern stores carrying the largest stock of shoes in central Wisconsin.

(13)   In what year did V.O. Parrish and son Robert lease the building at 112 W. Fulton, formerly occupied by the Palace Restaurant, and open up the Quality Shop, a mens clothing store? (In addition to mens clothing they handled ladies and childrens hose and underwear, boys clothes and work clothes of all kinds.)

(14)   In what year did the E.C. Williams Hardware Store move from the east side of North Main, approximately where Smiths Paca Pub is located at 106 N. Main, to the corner store of the Beadleston building, opposite the C.R. Hoffmann Jewelry Store. (This is now Broadway Optical.)




The answers to the questions are as follows: Numbers 1 through 14.

01.   1943

02.   1956

03.   1945

04.   1945

05.   1946

06.   1957

07.   1948

08.   1943

09.   1964

10.   1958

11.   1934

12.   1957

13.   1946

14.   1908




March 25, 1993


C. H. (Clarence Henry) Truesdell was born in Kenosha on September 30, 1866, where he received his early education in the public schools. He then attended Beloit College, and later the Chicago College of Pharmacy.

For seven years he was the successful proprietor of a drug store on the corner of 43rd Street and St. Lawrence Avenue in Chicago; this gave him the experience that he needed in compounding physicians prescriptions.

Truesdell came to Waupaca in 1894, and opened up a drug store in the north one-half of the newly-built Waupaca County National Bank building, that was located on the northwest corner of East Union and South Main Streets. This building is presently the headquarters of Coldwell Banker Petersen Realtors.

It is here that Truesdell supposedly had the first soda fountain in Waupaca.

Truesdells lease ran out on April 1, 1914, and was not going to be renewed because the bank had plans for expansion and needed the extra space. Truesdell moved his drug business to the Masonic Block, to the building that had just been vacated by the W. H. Laabs Grocery Store.

According to the Waupaca Record Leader, on May 13, 1914, Clarence H. Truesdell moved his drug business to 107 N. Main Street, the first door north of the Star Bakery. The Star Bakery, that operated at 105 N. Main for many years, is now (1993) the south one-half of the Stratton Drug Store.

C. H. Truesdell remained at this location for just over a year, when illness forced him to retire. On September 1, 1915 he sold the business to Frank O. Stratton. Death cut short the young life of Clarence Henry Truesdell at his winter home at Biloxi, Miss., on March 24, 1917.

On September 13, 1892, Clarence Henry Truesdell had been united in marriage to Miss Jennie Browne, the only daughter of the Honorable E. L. Browne, and they became the parents of three children: Mary, Edward B., who died in 1901 age four years, and Philip. The Truesdell lot is in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.








April 1, 1993


.You cant judge a book by its cover, as this article will reveal.

In 1852 young Charles Churchill came to Waupaca with his parents and settled in a farm in the Town of Waupaca. The young Charles Churchill was born in Fulton County, New York, December 24, 1846.

He received his common school education here and attended the first Waupaca High School. He next taught district schools in Waupaca County.

It was in 1868 that he attended the Eastman Business College in Chicago, and in the fall of 1869 he was elected Clerk of Circuit Court for Waupaca County, a position which he was re-elected five times, holding that office for 12 years.

He was deputy county clerk for six years, deputy register of deeds for six years and deputy county treasurer for four years.

In 1874, while clerk of Circuit Court, he commenced working on an abstract title of all lands in Waupaca County. In 1869 he added real estate and money loaning to his business, and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1882. Other official services noted were clerk for the Town of Waupaca, four years; Waupaca city clerk for four years, and member of the Board of Education for 10 years.

Churchill Street in Waupaca was named in honor of this man. His life up to this point is quite impressive.

In checking the real estate transactions found in the grantee and grantor index books you would be amazed as to the number of real estate transactions made by Mr. Churchill each year before he was forced into bankruptcy.

Apparently during his years as a public servant he was in a position of having access to bargain properties coming up for sale; however, it takes capital to purchase property, and Mr. Churchill borrowed money from whoever he could to cover his investments. Something must have gone wrong, though, because in 1910 he was forced into bankruptcy.

The following is quoted from the Waupaca Republican Post, for September 1, 1910:

Another sidelight story on the Churchill case is added to the long list of his efforts to leave his creditors with nothing. An attempt was made to move his office furniture in the bank building, by drayman, Frank Craig, by direction of Frank Baldwin (who was his son-in-law). The shipment was to be shipped to West Allis, the home of Mr. Baldwin. It was not shipped because Albert Breit attached the same for $190, due him for sporting goods sold to Churchills son.

This attempt to sneak a hundred dollars worth of furniture away from creditors is in keeping with the spirit of rascality that predominated every turn of Churchills life. Little did he care for those who were wrecked by his career. His sole ambition was to shine as an aristocrat, even though it made penniless widows and orphans. His offence by comparison makes the darkened career of many men in the penitentiary assume a creditable appearance.

Also in the Waupaca Republican Post for October 13, 1910, a story was reprinted from the Milwaukee Sentinel that gives additional information on the Churchill bankruptcy proceedings. The following is only a portion of this story.

Charles Churchill, lawyer and real estate agent, West Allis, and for 12 years referee in bankruptcy in Waupaca, from which position he resigned six months ago, has failed for $65,237.83, all except a few hundred dollars of which is in the form of personal loans from friends.

In another part of the article it named many women who had loaned money to Mr. Churchill:

Mrs. Libby McCrossen, $1,400, Mrs. Anna Jensen, $511.89, Mrs. Freda McIntire, $120, Mrs. Marie Hole, $1,500, Elizabeth Jardine, $800, Mrs. Thomas Evans, $500, Jessie McQueen, $265, all of Waupaca; Kate Beardmore, Sheridan, $600, and Julia T. Booth, Enfield, $650.

Some of the other creditors were: Estate of Orville Beach, $10,000; estate of Mr. Mobbs, $1,500; Lawrence Godfriedson, judgment, $2,707.08; N.W. White, $2,312.24; Lorton A. Moore, Portland, Ore., $500; Weed and Gumar & Co., Weyauwega, $500; A.R. Lea, $225; Albert Breit, $50, and L.M. Anthony, $1,435.08.

These banks made the following claims: First National Bank, Stevens Point; First National Bank, Antigo, and the Bank of Scandinavia.

The Waupaca Record, March 9, 1911, reported The sheriffs sale of the Charles Churchill property took place in the corridors of the Courthouse on Saturday. There was a large attendance and L.D. Smith of this city was the auctioneer.

The Park Hotel property was sold to Wm. Voysey for $3,327, free from all encumbrance. Mr. Voysey has a claim against Chas. Churchill for $23,000. Scattering 40s were sold at prices from $50 to $160 per 40. The total amount realized from the sale was approximately $5,500. The total outstanding claims against Churchill exceeded $75,000.

The Churchills left Waupaca and resided in California for a year before moving on to Newbury, Ore., where they spent their declining years.




April 8, 1993


This is, in part, some of the history of the A & P stores that existed in Waupaca for over 50 years.

According to what information that I can find in the Waupaca County Post, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company came to Waupaca in 1922. The location is not known for sure at this time.

The first newspaper ad that I found for the A & P store in the Waupaca County Post was in late December, 1922: A & P where economy rules, and prices are right. Sugar, 5 pounds for 37; lard, 12-1/2 lb.; Milk, tall can, 10; A & P flour, 24-1/2 lb. Sack, 83; Pink salmon, 14; Kitchen Klener, 4 for 25; Pork and beans No. 2 can, 9-1/2; A & P milk, tall can, 9-1/2 and Gold Metal flour, 24-1/2 lb. Sack, 89.

The first concrete evidence that I have found at this time is that the A & P was located in the Hebblewhite building that was adjacent to the south of the Fair Store. Mrs. Carl (Theresa) Carlson told me that she began employment with the A & P at this location in 1934. It was here that Carl Carlson became manager, a position that he maintained for 21 years.

Mr. Carlson started to work part-time for the A & P store while yet in high school. Upon graduation he became a full-time employee, and shortly after this he was made the manager of the local store.

Sometime before 1936, the A & P store was moved to the Beadleston building on the corner of West Fulton and North Main streets (Broadway Optical, now). They remained here until in January 1940, when they moved the Old Post Office building at 212 S. Main St. (Culligan Water Conditioning Co. now).

A news article taken from the Waupaca County Post for April 18, 1940: Carl Carlson returned to Waupaca to again take over the management of the A & P store after spending several months in Appleton in charge of a similar store.

The A & P store remained in the Old Post Office building for three years. The Waupaca County Post, January 7, 1943: The A & P grocery soon will vacate its quarters in the Old Post Office building at the south end of Main Street and move to the Odd Fellows building (Merediths Fashion Shop, 109 North Main, now) into quarters recently vacated by Riders Dime Store. According to the manager Carl Carlson, the Odd Fellow building will be renovated, and a supermarket installed.

The 212 S. Main St. store was closed permanently on Monday night, Jan. 25, 1943.

At 9 a.m. January 26, 1943, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company opened up the newest self-service food store in Waupaca at 100 N. Main. According to Carl Carlson, every convenience for ease of shopping was incorporated in the interior arrangement of the store. In addition, they had a bakery department where bakery was received fresh daily. Handy shopping gliders, or market baskets on wheels, were provided for the customers. Mr. Carlson remained as manager until in May of 1953, when he went into business with George Johnson at the Waupaca Fruit Store. He reported to work at the Waupaca Fruit Store May 18, 1953. After a few years they dissolved their partnership and Carl and Theresa Carlson purchased the grocery store at King from Leo Martin. This they ran until they retired.

The A & P store was to make one more move and it proved to be the last. In August 1958, the Milwaukee general office stated that plans were underway for an elaborate grand opening of the companys new A & P supermarket on West Fulton Street, on the northeast corner of West Fulton and Franklin streets (Cas Liquor now). This was to replace the store on 109 North Main.

Charles E. Nelson, the owner of the property formerly used for Mid-City Motors Co., leased the building to A & P.

Extensive remodeling changed the appearance of the entire building. The new store was more than twice the size of the Main Street location. Air conditioning was an added convenience for comfortable shopping. Magic (Out)doors whisked customers on their way to a parcel pick-up area, where the groceries were placed in their automobiles.

After 15 years at this location, the A & P store carried their last ad in the Waupaca County Post, on August 30, 1973. They boxed up their merchandise and sent it to other stores. They left Waupaca as silent as they came in 1922, after nearly 51 years of dedicated service to the people of the Waupaca area.

Less than a month later, on September 27, 1973, Ron and Lloyds Red Owl store, with Giles Bellin as manager, hold their grand opening in the former A & P location.




April 29, 1993


The year 1921 turned out to be a record construction year for Waupaca, not equaled by many small cities.

C.W. Nelson, then the city engineer, made out what he believed to be conservative figures for all building construction in the City of Waupaca to total approximately $230,000.

The number of fine homes built exceeded the number of any previous year.

The Palace Theatre and the Palace Caf erected by A.M. Penney was the largest single improve-ments in 1920.

During the year of 1921, Carl Cohen erected the building on North Main Street, two floors of which were used as an armory by the Howitzer Company of the National Guard and the second floor was fitted up for six modern flats that were all occupied when the building was completed.

The Waupaca Fair Store was remodeled and greatly improved in arrangements of the office and cloak room.

Chris J. Miller made extensive improvements on the Earle Building by finishing up several suites of offices for Jorgenson Manufacturing Company on the second floor and extensive improvements on the lower floor.

Angelos Drivas made extensive interior changes and put in a new front in the Candy Kitchen which was leased by John Batsos. He also equipped two of the finest offices in the city which were occupied by Drs. H.L. Cormican and R.G. Rudersdorf as dental parlors which were claimed to be the equal of any offices north of Milwaukee.

Miss M.M. Trader made changes in her building on Water Street before occupying same as the Model Garment Shop. The building on Water Street, then occupied by Wm. Calkins, was fitted up for his use as a barber shop.

Bethany Orphan Home on Berlin Street had been extensively improved by the installation of new heating and water systems.

On Fulton Street Hopkins and Wildfant, under the name of the Waupaca Floral Company, built and equipped a modern greenhouse.

Extensive improvements were made in the interior of the building occupied by Cristys Store, also in the rooms occupied by Drs. F.C. Wood and A.C. Barry as offices on the second floor of the same building.

Mr. H.P. Emerrichs built a cleaning plant on his property on Ninth Street.

The Co-Operative Consumers Corporation built a gasoline filling station and repaired the residence on the corner of Jefferson and Badger Streets.

The building of the brick machine shop and spacious sheds in which to repair and house the county road machinery on East Fulton Street was built.

The razing of the old livery barn east of the old Courthouse was an improvement for which the city was indebted to the Waupaca County Board of Supervisors.

The interior furnishings of the Palace Caf were replaced with very elaborate furnishings during 1921.

M.P. Godfrey had a new tile floor put in his office and sales room, similar to that in the Drivas building.

A.M. Hansen put up an ice cream plant on Sessions Street.

John M. Ware put in a modern front and made other changes in his building at 217 North Street occupied by Brunn and Rasmussen as a five and ten cent store.

Many new residences were built and others were in construction in 1921.

Among these were the colonial residence of S.P. Godfrey on State Street; S.W. Johnson remodeled his residence and Chris Mortenson had broken ground for a brick bungalow on the corner of State and Randall streets. On Waupaca Street A.C. Looker made extensive changes in one of his residences, School Street was improved by the erection of a new bungalow by Clyde Taylor.

South Main Street saw the completion of a new Colonial residence of Harry W. Rawson and another by Stanley Hocking, as well as a large garage at the rear of the Roy Holly residence.

East Lake Street showed marked improvement by the completion of a fine brick residence of Charles Stafford and extensive remodeling of the residence of Theodore Nelson. Louis Borchard had a foundation for a residence and a garage erected near the west end of the street.

Ray Button erected a fine bungalow and the Waupaca Retail Lumber Company had a foundation for a new residence. This group all had a fine view of Mirror Lake.

On West Union Street N.P. Peterson built a residence and Milton Laux had just completed a bungalow.

On West Fulton Street three new residences were built: one for Thomas Evans and two for Shambeau and Nelson and one was under construction for Dan Downey. On East Fulton Street was the new residence occupied by Mr. and Mrs. M.J. Hopkins.

On Granite Street a bungalow had just been completed and was occupied by Dr. and Mrs. C.W. Andrews. It was something quite novel, being on mission design.

Miss Gertrude Fisher had a foundation laid for a fine residence to be completed as soon as the weather permitted in the spring. Chris J. Miller made an addition to his garage the past season.

The fine bungalow that was on Jefferson Street was occupied by City Clerk F. A. Houseman and family.

On North Street a bungalow was built by Alfred Olson; on Fifth Street the Kratz bungalow was occupied by the new owners Mr. and Mrs. R. Wright; Thomas Nelson remodeled his residence on North Franklin Street; on Center Street Alvin Rasmussen erected a bungalow and Louis Olson built a new garage; on Berlin Street Mrs. J. Lemberg had a new residence and Oscar Larson finished remodeling his residence.

On South Franklin Street Levi Flagg made extensive improvements on his place; Seventh Street had a new residence by Henry Anderson and a new Adventist church was under construction on Maple Street and the Lutheran Church was remodeled.

This was the list of construction and improvements in the City of Waupaca in 1921, according to the Waupaca County Post, dated December 22, 1921.


May 6, 1993


Joel Stratton was born in Cambridge (Lamville County), Vermont, August 30, 1817, and it was on October 12, 1841, that he was united in marriage to Adaline Lewis (sometimes spelled Adeline). She was also born in the Green Mountain State of Vermont, August 14, 1820.

Before leaving that beautiful state of Vermont in 1846, they had become the parents of three children: Winchester E., born April 13, 1842; Edgar A., born April 21, 1844 and Emma, born May 25, 1846.

In the year 1846 the Stratton family arrived at Lyons Township (Walworth County). It was there that another son was born. Wellington Stratton was born February 2, 1848. The Stratton family remained in Walworth County until 1853.

In 1853 the family again picked up stakes and settled in the undeveloped wilderness in the Indian Lands of Waupaca County, in the Town of Dayton, where they acquired 40 acres of wild land.

In the Government Land Entry book in the Register of Deeds office in the Waupaca County Courthouse, there is an entry dated July 27, 1853, that shows that the North West Quarter of the South East Quarter in Section 8, T.21N-R.11E (this is Dayton) was issued to Joel Stratton. Land records show that by 1872 and 1873, Joel and Adaline Stratton owned most of the South West Quarter of Section 27, all land from the Crystal Lake Church to the Crystal Lake Corners.

The Joel Stratton family grew in number to 10 children as follows: Winchester E., who was born April 13, 1842, married Martha M. Mynard; Edgar A., who was born April 21, 1844, died at the early age of 12; Emma, who was born May 25, 1846, married Nelson Brigham; Wellington, who was born February 2, 1848, and his first wife was Anna Marion Warren; Oliver S. was born February 13, 1853, and he married Clara Morey; Charles L. was born March 6, 1856, and he married Anna Kurtz; Ella M. was born February 26, 1858, and was married to John Lewis, and died when only 22 years; Alice was born July 31, 1861, and married Robert Pinkerton; Martha, I have no birth date, but she married M.E. Bailey and they lived in Breit, Iowa. There was also an infant son, Frankie, who died April 6, 1863, aged two months and eight days.

These names were the foundation of the well-known and highly-respected Stratton descendents who had their start in the Crystal Lake area in the Town of Dayton. Stratton Lake, with its clear blue water, located between State Highway 22 on the south and the Stratton Lake Road on the north, received its name in honor of these pioneer families.

I will now continue with the Oliver Sheldon Stratton line, as this leads me to my objective, Frank O. Stratton, and the Stratton Drug Store that still exists today.

Oliver Sheldon Stratton was born February 13, 1853, in Walworth County, and when he was only about six months of age he came with his parents who settled in Section Eight, Township of Dayton.

When Oliver was about 19 years of age he began working out on neighbors farms. He soon met a young lady by the name of Clara E. Morey, and they were married on November 27, 1873. Clara E. Morey, a daughter of Joseph and Eliza (Warren) Morey, was born February 15, 1852.

This union became parents of five children, three sons and two daughters: Fred B., born December 5, 1876; Frank O., born October 27, 1878; Freamont C., born August 27, 1887; Addie Eliza, born October 30, 1882, and was married to Levi Christenson, and Kate, who was born April 14, 1885, and was married to Mahlon Wilson.

Fred B. Stratton married Della M. Darling, Frank O. Stratton married Amanda Elizabeth Nelson and Freamont never married.

This brings us to Frank O. Stratton, the second child of Oliver and Clara Stratton, who was born November 26, 1879 on the family farm in the Town of Dayton.

Frank O. Stratton graduated with the Waupaca High School Class of 1901. He completed his course in Pharmacy in Milwaukee and returned to Waupaca where he took employment with C.H. Truesdell in the Truesdell Drug Store that was located at that time in the north part of the old National Bank building.

On October 21, 1909, Frank O. Stratton was united in marriage to Amanda Elizabeth Nelson. She was a daughter of Carl and Anna Nelson, born May 20, 1886. Frank and Ann Stratton had one son, Oliver Richard (Ollie).

Due to the banks expansion, Mr. Truesdells lease was not renewed, and on May 13, 1914 the C.H. Truesdell Drug Store was re-located to the Masonic building at 107 North Main. Due to illness, Mr. Truesdell was forced to dispose of his business, and it was sold to Frank O. Stratton, who took possession on September 1, 1915.

The Truesdell Drug Store now became known as the Stratton Drug Store and it prospered under the management of Frank O. Stratton for about 33 years when he took his son, Oliver, into full partnership.

Oliver Richard Stratton was born to Frank O. and Anna Stratton on October 13, 1911, and he was married June 28, 1933 to Miss Mary Louise Bowers. She is best known as just Louise. They were the parents of two children, Sally and John.

Ollie became a partner on January 1, 1948 in the drug store. Frank Stratton stayed active for several years assisting Ollie and Louise with the business.

It was on April 15, 1968 that Ollie Stratton passed away while vacationing in Florida. From this time on his wife Louise took control.

Louise Stratton headed a staff of nine full time and three part time employees and three registered pharmacists, Dick DeTerville, Dick Kempfert and Don Shelp.

The Stratton Drug Store was not an official Walgreen Agency, but it did handle Walgreen items. In 1970 Mrs. Louise Stratton elected to discontinue the popular soda fountain and lunch counter, and she donated this unit to the Youth Center. This unit is still intact in the Senior Center at 101 South Washington Street.

Frank O. Stratton entered Bethany Home on April 14, 1967, and passed away there January 26, 1973, but not before he was honored at a testimonial dinner held in November 1971 for his dedicated service to the First National Bank, his participation in the Chamber of Commerce, and having served 24 years with the Waupaca County Selective Service Board.

His wife and lifelong partner, Amanda (Nelson) Stratton passed away November 27, 1953. Both are buried in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park as is Ollie Stratton.

In 1974 the Stratton Drug Store changed hands. An Article of Incorporation dated April 1, 1974, shows that the Stratton Drug, Inc. was purchased by Richard J. DeTerville and Richard W. Kempfert. In 1976 Stratton Drug, Inc. purchased Robbs Bakery from John and Kris Robbers, that was located next door to the south. This had been the Star Bakery and later Olsons Bakery.

Dons Construction of Waupaca had the contract for renovation of the two stores. It was mostly a one-man crew that spent the better part of the summer cutting a large door between the buildings and reinforcing and putting in new floors where the bakery ovens had caused considerable damage through the many years as a bakery.

On May 3, 1985 there was another change in ownership of the Stratton Drug, Inc. Richard (Dick) Kempfert became the sole owner of the business that was in the Stratton family for nearly 60 years.











May 27, 1993


This article could be called miscellaneous, as it skips from year to year with various tidbits of news items taken from the Waupaca County Post.

July 11, 1940 The old Whipple and Felker livery barn property, formerly occupied by M. E. Lauxs liquor store and beer storage, was rented to Leon Jacklin, who found that the Atkinson barn on West Union Street was too limited for his J. I. Case farm machinery agency.

August 4, 1921 Guy H. McLean and John Anderson, formerly of Lodi, became the new owners of the Modern Restaurant (Pat & Kathys Waupaca Caf), which had been operated by H. J. Wagner for the past two years.

December 22, 1921 John Kadolph bought the Fabricius Billiard Hall, Soft Drink Parlor and Bowling Alleys from Earl Fabricius, to take effect January 1, 1922.

June 8, 1922 The old White Sox now designated as the Black Sox because of their expulsion from the eastern league last year on charges of unsportsmanlike tactics, are scheduled to play at the Penney Ball Park.

June 29, 1922 Earl Morch of Waukesha leased the Peterson building at 207 North Main Street for a bakery. He contracted with the Nelson Paint Co. to paint the interior white, so it would be clean and sanitary.

October 19, 1922 Earl Morch closed the Bake-Rite Bakery Shop at 207 North Main Street, due to alleged defective ovens. As he could not get a proper settlement, he closed the doors and left the equip-ment and Waupaca.

February 21, 1918 Ideal Ice Cream in bulk or brick, made to order. We deliver in the city. W. J.

Olson, 811 South Main.

August 28, 1918 W. J. Olson closes his ice cream business due to the sugar shortage.

March 27, 1930 Gambles will open at 117 North Main Street. Their first store was opened five years ago, at that time they handled only automobile supplies.

April 24, 1930 H. P. Emmerich, proprietor of the Faultless Dry Cleaners, was to have a new laundry at 219 North Main Street within a month. The new laundry was installed behind the front office.

July 31, 1930 On Thursday and Saturday nights at the Indian Crossing Casino was held the battle of music, whereby two orchestras battled for a $75 purse, and performing on August 7 will be Rube Tronson and his Cowboy Band, who were famous radio broadcasters over WLS, the Prairie Farmer station in Chicago. His band came direct to the Casino from the WHS Hayloft in Chicago.

December 13, 1957 Fishers Dairy held their grand opening in the former Harrington Shoe Store site at 109 East Fulton Street.




June 3, 1993


For those of you who never listened to or danced to Rube Tronsons music, this is a little insight on his life. Reuben Lester Tronson was born at Amherst, to Thomas and Hannah Tronson, on April 9, 1896.

He grew to manhood in the Amherst vicinity and attended the local schools.

After the death of his father in 1918, he took over the farm duties.

He left the farm in 1922, going to Chicago where he eventually qualified as a railroad engineer on the Northwestern Railroad in 1926.

In 1927 he commenced broadcasting with the WLS Barn Dance band in Chicago, and was affiliated with that station for 10 years.

During this 10 years he toured the country with the band, and anytime they were booked to appear anywhere in the vicinity, Mr. Tronsons many friends from the Amherst and surrounding community were sure to be present.

Rube, as everyone knew him, had an unusually pleasant personality.

In 1922 he was married to Miss Irene Hawks of Curtis, and to them were born two children: Thomas Keith and Jean Natalie.

On June 11, 1936, Rube was married for a second time, this marriage was to Miss Frances Beyer of Beaver Dam. The marriage took place at Waukegan, Ill.

Rube Tronson passed away suddenly on March 9, 1939, in Wausau, where he, his wife, and his Texas Cowboy Orchestra were located. Mr. Tronson and his orchestra had gone to Wausau a month earlier to play at the Winter Carnival which resulted in a contract with the Wausau Radio Station (WSAU). They accepted dance and musical engagements in the surrounding vicinity.

Donald Blanchard, David Denny and Russell Smith appeared with Rube Tronson and his Texas Cowboys.

The trademark of the Tronson Texas Cowboys was the large touring car that they traveled in. It had a set of Texas Longhorn horns that ornamented the hood of the car.

Reuben Lester Tronson is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery, east of Amherst. His marker reads, Husband Reuben L. Tronson, 1896-1939. Thy soul is remembered by strains of music from a violin.




June 10, 1993


Growing up on the family farm in Blaine, and even later as I was farming for myself for a time, I would often daydream as I walked behind a team of horses on a plow of riding spirited horses with all the fancy trappings in parades, show rings, or just a leisurely ride down a country lane, until the plow struck one of those hidden rocks and the plow handles hit me in the ribs. This would suddenly get my attention, and my mind came back to reality. This could go on several times, plowing furrow after furrow until the field was completed.

Miles S. Loberg explained it quite well in the Waupaca County Post, July 2, 1942: The old plow horse was not the only one to put in a days hard labor. He went on to say that saddle horses were a serious business with him. As one watches those sleek high-stepping show horses prancing around the tanbark ring at a horse show, you get a thrill as all Americans have at the sight of good horseflesh, but life is not all beer and kippers for those sleek animals.

The spectator at a horse show does not realize the generations of careful breeding, the dreary months of training and the agonizing hours and days of preparation that precedes that flashing appearance in the show ring.

Before leaving for a weekend show, each horse had to be blanketed and their legs bandaged for the weeklong trip on a stock truck, which included two shows and miles of tiresome travel. Mr. Loberg said, No plow horse on any Waupaca County farm ever felt more weary than these after the arduous week of travel and shows.

On July 6, 1939, Miles S. and June Loberg purchased the old John Gordon property, just west of the Waupaca city limits, from Mabel J. Gordon. Here they built the Mi-Lo-Way Stables enclosed with a white Kentucky-style board fence, with a sign, Mi-Lo-Way Farms, over an archway leading up to the stables.

In the Mi-Lo-Way Stables besides the office, tack room and box stalls, there was an indoor exercise runway that compensated for the short outdoor training season in central Wisconsin, as compared to the big stables in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky.

Miles S. and June Loberg loved horses, so this was not a fad, but an interesting business. Mr. Loberg said that he had a real affection for all of his horses in his stable, but every one was for sale if the price was right.

Jessie Rex A. was the first horse that the Lobergs purchased. She came from Lexington, Ky., in 1939. Jessie Rex A. took a second-place at the Wisconsin State Fair in August 1940. Jessie Rex A., a chestnut mare, was the first of his fine horses to take first place and the winners trophy in the fine harness division at the fourth annual Mid-West Horse Show Classic in Chicago in September 1941, and Marthas Maid, her stablemate, a 2-year-old filly, took a fourth place in the same class in a field of 15 horses.

The following were the names of some of Lobergs show horses: Jessie Rex A., Marthas Maid, Kalarama Raider, Royal Miracle, Dinah Moe, Mi-Lo-Way Maid, Mi-Lo-Way Denmark, Mi-Lo-Way Mac, Spot O Gold, Arbor Gold Rush and, last but not least, Last Minute.

Clem Lovell was the principal trainer and rider while the Lobergs trained in Waupaca. There were, occasionally, years when the horses were trained elsewhere. Louis B. Robinson was a trainer at Peoria, Ill., and Marion Brown at Hartland. I believe, other than Jessie Rex A., that Arbor Gold Rush and Last Minute were perhaps their most loved animals.

The Lobergs purchased Last Minute, a 5-year-old mare, in Kentucky in 1950. Mrs. Loberg described her as a liver-colored chestnut with blond mane and tail. She was in the money every time she showed.

In November 1950, the Mi-Lo-Way Stables entered their prize mares in the International Live Stock Show in Chicago. This show was referred to as The Court of Last Appeal by the horse world. The show was the best in the nation. Dinah Moe and Last Minute, who were full sisters, rubbed noses with other prize horses from throughout the world.

In 1950, the Palomino horse world knew the Lobergs well. Arbor Gold Rush, a golden colt with a white mane and tail was born and raised on the Mi-Lo-Way farm two years earlier. Gold Rushs father was the worlds champion five-gaited show horse. Golden Arbor, owned by Paul Siepman, Milwaukee, was the son of Lobergs first show horse, Jessie Rex A.

At the Wisconsin State Palomino Show, held in Madison in August 1950, Arbor Gold Rush won the blue ribbon trophy in the 2-year-old class, at halter, and moved into the grand championship class that night to win another blue ribbon, which gave him the distinction of being the grand champion Palomino of Wisconsin. This gave him eligibility to enter into the National Palomino show at Springfield, Mo., on October 7 and 9, where horses were being shown from almost every state in the nation.

In a large class, Arbor Gold Rush nipped third in the 2-year-old, at halter, elevating him as the third-best 2-year-old Palomino in the United States.

The Lobergs were very proud of him, as he had been in training only since August 1950. Arbor Gold Rush had never trained for fine harness, according to the Lobergs. He just used his natural trot.

Last Minute, a five-gaited chestnut mare, also won third in the mares stakes and fourth in the grand championship five-gaited stake, behind the three world champion geldings.

In 1951, as a 3-year-old Palomino stud, Arbors Gold Rush won the Grand Championship Cut in the fifth annual National Stallion show in Waterloo, Iowa.

The Waupaca County Post, July 3, 1952, reported Lobergs palomino wins five ribbons at the seventh annual All American Palomino Show at Eaton, Ohio. The Lobergs returned home with three first and two seconds in a field of 350 to 400 entries.

Arbors Gold Rush topped his own class with one first, then went back to win the 4-year-old-and-over class for the Senior Championship. The parading palomino then competed with all blue ribbon winners and won the reserve grand championship. Lobergs stallion took a second in the open fine harness class, second to the worlds fine harness palomino champ, Hill View Challenger.

Edmund Beans Atkinson, another lover of fine horseflesh, spent many hours caring for the horses at the Mi-Lo-Way Stables. One day as we were talking over a cup of coffee, I asked Mr. Atkinson what he knew about the two horse graves. I do not recall the reason, or the year, but Mr. Atkinson had advised the Lobergs that Last Minute should be put to sleep.

Edwin Huntoon, with his heavy earth equipment, dug her grave just to the southeast of the stable, and her daughters grave just to the west of the stable.

I am sure that, if the Lobergs had any idea of the business development that is taking place on West Fulton Street today, they would not have buried Last Minute where they did. It is very possible that the grave of Last Minute has already been destroyed.

Miles S. and June Loberg had only one daughter, Marijane, who was married to Edward Adam, and they in turn had two sons: Miles and Kurt. Kurt Adam became the trustee of the June Loberg Estate, and in 1989, Thomas and Steven Shambeau became owners of the Loberg property. The Mi-Lo-Way Stable was then doomed to the wreckers hammer.

However, Susan Shambeau, who is a sister to Thomas and Steven Shambeau, had visions of what could be done by preserving the stable. Her brothers were very skeptical at first. Ms. Shambeau, who was a personal friend of June Loberg and is an avid horse breeder in her own right, acquired the Mi-Lo-Way Stable.

Ms. Shambeau had a contractor give her an estimate as to the cost of taking the stable down, piece by piece, and reassembling it on her Sweet Medicine Farm. The Mi-Lo-Way Stable was taken down and reassembled a few years ago on the sloping shoreline of Selmer Lake, north of Iola, where over 500 years ago was held the annual midsummer meeting place for the various Indian tribes. Here they gathered to do their medicine dances. The green pastures along the west side of Selmer Lake is now the home of the ancient breed of horses, the Spanish Andalusian.

When Mi-Lo-Way Stable was reassembled on the Sweet Medicine Farm, some alterations were made due to the loss of some unusable lumber. The hayloft is now two feet lower, and there were some window changes.

In one corner of the hayloft is a large, metal-lined, oat storage bin with a grain chute leading down to an oat bin on the stable level. The hay and oats are transferred from the ground to the loft by means of elevators and augers. The large cupola posed some problems due to its size and weight. Ms. Shambeau told me that she employed a large crane to pick it up and place it on the roof. She also said, when all is said and done, the total cost to her was more than double the original estimate, but it is well worth it.

The stable is now complete with tack room and box stalls, and an office where she can conduct business with prospective buyers.

A part of the old fireplace that was in the office at Lobergs Mi-Lo-Way Stable can still be seen from the highway, just a few rods west of the stoplights at Western Avenue. The bricks that came from the old Waupaca Brick Yards were removed and are in the inner-lining of the fireplace on Ms. Shambeaus farm. The front of the fireplace is faced with beautiful stone, and in front of the fireplace, a stone floor. The unique thing about this floor and the semicircle of stone in front of the main outside door is the millstone from the old Ogdensburg Mill, according to Mrs. June Loberg.

Other items that Ms. Shambeau brought from the original Loberg stable include the large, tall, granite hitching post with the iron ring on the top to tie horses to in the olden days. It has the name Roberts on one side. Another item is the granite marker that marked Last Minutes grave, and the other item of historical interest is the large granite watering trough that at one time stood in the northwest corner of the old Courthouse Square, where horses could be watered. This is not a wooden trough like you see in Western movies, but it is made of solid granite hollowed out to look like a very large bathtub. It is believed that both the hitching post and this watering trough were made from granite from one of the Waupaca granite quarries.






June 24, 1993


Since I am the present custodian of the scrapbook collection belonging to the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society, I periodically receive articles from members throughout the state concerning the different activities about old cemeteries somewhere here in Wisconsin. Occasionally, there are interesting stories about cemeteries in other states.

On June 15, I received a large package of clippings to add to the scrapbooks. In this collection, I found an interesting article that had appeared in the Milwaukee Journal in 1991 written by Barbara S. Moffet, under the heading the great and infamous lie at rest in the forgotten Congressional Cemetery. We will now leave the Waupaca area and look into some of our history in Washington D.C. as told by Barbara S. Moffet.

It was in the early years of the 1800s, when members of Congress faced the question as to how they could best pay tribute to members who died while in office. The legislators didnt have far to look for an answer. They decided that their late colleagues should be honored by being buried about a mile and a half southeast of the Capitol, in a picturesque site on the banks of the Anacostia River. This site was known as the Washington Parish Burial Ground. It had just recently been purchased by members of the nearby Church of Christ.

So, beginning with Senator Uriah Tracy of Connecticut in 1807, nearly every early congressman who died while in office was buried there. Congress supported the cemetery with government funds, and even commissioned architect Benjamin Latrobe to design a uniform sandstone marker for each grave. It was not long before the site became known as Congressional Cemetery.

Great processions of carriages would wind their way to the cemetery for services, while the Capitol closed for the day, but the tradition died young. In the mid-1830s, the nations railroads could whisk the bodies of the dignitaries to their home state for burial.

Congressional Cemetery waned, although, until 1876 a cenotaph (empty tomb) was erected in memory of each congressman who died in office. In 1877, the custom was halted, and from then on, our countrys national burial ground was to be Arlington National Cemetery, leaving Congressional Cemetery to be haunted by ghosts of promises past.

Before Congressional Cemetery was abandoned, almost 100 senators and representatives had been interred there, along with two U.S. presidents, John Adams and Zachary Taylor; several Supreme Court Justices, and the first five mayors of Washington D.C. The bodies of John Adams and Zachary Taylor were later transferred to their home states, as were the remains of Dolly Madison and statesmen John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay.

Notables still at rest in the Congressional Cemetery include several Revolutionary War generals, the first architect of the Capitol building, newspaper editor Joseph Cales, and Indian leaders such as Push-Ma-Ta, a Choctaw chief who died in Washington D.C. in 1825 while there to negotiate a treaty with the U.S. government.

Since its heyday, Congressional Cemetery has been the burial place for other notables, such as the Civil War photographer Matthew Brady, who died in poverty in 1896. The Marines file in every year for a ceremony at the grave of Marine Corps bandmaster John Philip Sousa, who died in 1932, and John Edgar Hoover, longtime FBI director, who died in 1972 and is buried alongside his parents and sister, Sadie.

Most of the rest of the 80,000 graves contain the remains of the not-so-famous and a few of the infamous. There is a three-foot high Victorian sculpture of a 10-year-old girl who was Washington D.C.s first traffic accident victim in 1904.

There is a monument that stands over a mass grave of 21 women killed in an explosion in 1864 at the Washington Arsenal.

There are several people connected to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln buried in Congressional, including David Edgar Herold, hanged as a conspirator in the case.

Today, Congressional Cemetery is a rather lonely place, tucked away in one of Washingtons working class neighborhoods suffering from the many years of neglect and defacement by vandals and stray dogs. Federal appropriations for the upkeep dried up many years ago. The most recent unsuccessful effort to get federal money was during the bi-centennial.

Peter Larson, who was the caretaker in 1981 said in 1969, when he moved there, the weeds were up to his waist. The weeds are no longer up to his waist, but the lack of money keeps him from fixing many overturned stones and making other repairs. Keeping the 30 acres of grass cut proves to be a problem. Congressional Cemetery is now administered by a citizens group called The Congressional Cemetery Association, and relies on private donations.

Throughout the years, there have been many members of Congress that have tried unsuccessfully to get Congressional federally funded.

Another booster was Rep. Lindy Boggs (D-La.) who decided to erect a cenotaph in memory of her late husband, Rep. Hale Boggs, who disappeared in a plane crash in Alaska in 1972.




August 5, 1993


This ad appeared in the Waupaca County Post, for September 9, 1948: CENTRAL BOWLING ALLEYS now open. Alleys completely reconditioned and redecorated, come and try them out.

A couple of months later disaster struck. It was in the early morning hours, in early November of 1948, that the Central Bowling Alleys, Tavern and Restaurant in Waupacas Third Ward was completely destroyed by fire.

The fire, which started in the bowling alleys, spread so rapidly that it endangered the lives of the three families having living quarters in the upstairs in the building. Nothing was saved from the blaze, except the contents of the freight warehouse, which was the last to go.

An unexplained explosion was believed to have caused the fire. The people living in the bowling alley building were awakened when the explosion rocked the structure.

The fire was believed to have started just before 2 a.m., and the alarm was turned in at 2:05. By that time the blaze had a big start, and the occupants narrowly escaped with their lives.

Meanwhile the fire department was experiencing difficulty in fighting the fire because of low water pressure from the fire hydrant. The building was a mass of flames when the fire department arrived, and it was doubtful whether ideal fire-fighting conditions could have saved the structure.

The bowling alleys had been covered with a chemical that was highly inflammable. The flames literally raced down the alleys to the rear of the building. This sent flames into a portion of the building containing highly explosive lacquers. All through the night cans of lacquer exploded, causing flames to shoot skyward, mushrooming somewhat like a miniature atomic bomb.

It was feared at first that the County Post warehouse, filled with newsprint and other paper, would catch fire. A small portion of the roof did catch fire, but the wind shifted, and it was the freight warehouse that went instead.

The contents of the freight warehouse had been removed and piled across the street before it went up in flames. The freight was later moved to several other storage places. There was some water loss on some of the freight.

The bowling alley building was still burning in the morning. A small portion of the wall in front of the building on the restaurant side still stood.

The strangest sight of the entire wreckage was the bowling balls, many of which were owned by local people and were kept in the lockers. The balls had been reduced to strange, black, round, square, oval and flat lumps.

The bowling alley, tavern and restaurant was owned by partners Edward Vande Yacht and Alvin Sachs. Adam Horle had leased the Central Restaurant for the winter months.

Living in the quarters on the second floor of the building were Mr. and Mrs. Vande Yacht and their twin sons, Mr. and Mrs. Sachs and their two-month-old son, and Mr. and Mrs. Adam Horle and daughter. All personal belongings of the three families were lost. The three families were all taken in by friends.

Vande Yacht and Sachs had purchased the alleys from Jack Prossen of Milwaukee in March 1948, coming to Waupaca from Seymour where they had been cheesemakers. During the short time they had made many improvements leading up to the 1948-49 bowling season.

Action was taken at once to find places to bowl, so that the leagues that formerly bowled at the Central Alleys could complete their season.

Al Martin, manager of the Uptown Alleys, said they would install two or three more lanes that would be ready in two weeks. This would give the Uptown Alleys eight or nine alleys.

The Young Mens League was expected to roll at Manawa and the Jaycee League at Weyauwega.




August 19, 1993


Long before the appearance of the white man here in Waupaca County and the Chain o Lakes area, there existed a race, or civilization, that farmed, hunted, fought, fished and buried their dead there.

These aborigines, the first known man to roam the wilds of this area, were here well before the birth of Christ. They have also been referred to as prehistoric man and ancient Indians.

According to F.M. Benedict in the Standard History of Waupaca County, the findings that were unearthed around the turn of the century from many of the effigy mounds that existed in Waupaca County clearly revealed artifacts and soil disturbances of a civilization that once existed. Moreover, the Indians as we know them today knew nothing of this race of man.

It seemed certain that these people practiced cremation, but it is not known whether it was a means of disposing their dead, or was by sacrifice.

Under some mounds were found layers of charred human bones, ashes and charcoal. The charcoal was as fresh as though it had come from the fire that had died in the hearth in the evening before, and not from a flame over 2,000 years before.

Mr. Benedict had no real information or explanation concerning the identity of the earliest Indian inhabitants, as we know them today, who inhabited the Otter Lake village.

The character of the pottery and some of the implements which they left behind indicated that they were Algonquins, which were much like the Menominee, but more likely they were members of some early Menominee band. There was a Menominee Indian village here when the first white man came to the Waupaca area in 1849, and according to Indian history they had been here many years before.

Otter Lake is a long, narrow lake lying in a northeasterly-southwesterly direction, connected to Taylor Lake by Otter Creek. Otter Lake has a water area of only 14 acres and its greatest depth of 40 feet. The Menominee called it Mikek (Otter).

Otter Lake was more or less surrounded by woodlands and marshes, and was a favorite lake for fishing and hunting.

Our home is located across the road from the north end of Otter Lake (Otter Lake Drive), on land that belonged to F.M. Benedict at the time that he made many discoveries. The north end of Otter Lake was a main Indian camping area. It had always been a favorite lake for the Indians in the pioneer days and before, erecting their wigwams about its shores. On the north shore of the lake there was a marshy area 400 feet in width, and about the same distance to the north was a sandy, cultivated field elevated at least 30 feet above the marshland. It was here that heartstones and other debris of former campsites were scattered about.

There was a narrow strip of woodland that separated this site from the richer main Indian village site that was located on the land that became the property of F.M. Benedict before the turn of the century. This area today is south of Highway 54 and east of Otter Drive.

Mr. Benedicts description of this village site, near the clear springs of Otter Lake, seemed to have been the residence center. Here the earth was full of pottery, variously ornamented. Sixty different varieties have been preserved from this locality, while all around were implements of flint, polished stone and copper.

Mr. Benedict, himself, collected from this former Indian campground numerous flint, quartz, quartzite arrows and spear points, knives, scrapers, axes, celts, hand hammers, and other types of heavier stone implements, bone awls, slate gorgets, copper points, knives and awls, as well as a large number of ornamented potsherds.

Also recorded were some iron axes, spear points, harpoon points, awls, glass beads, and other material which had been obtained by the native from white traders or storekeepers.

After years of cultivation and well into the 1900s, visits to this site yielded scattered fireplace stones. The greatest concentration of these were found on a small point of land adjoining a swampy kettlehole on the northern edge. Some of these burned, angular stones were as large as a human head. Although this site had been cultivated for many years, ships, flint and quartz have been found for years since.

Mr. Benedict also reported the presence on this site of eight refuse heaps. In an address that he gave to the members of the Wisconsin Natural History Society at Milwaukee in November 1900, he told about the refuse heaps in some cases were large in size and slightly raised above the surface.

The materials in these heaps contained bones, ashes, and charcoal mingled with potsherds and fire-cracked stones. He also stated that, at two points on this village site were common grave burials. In one was found quartzite, a few flint arrowpoints and a bone knife, eight inches long.

The other graves contained ordinary burials. In one the right parietal plate of a skull was broken, as if by a club or a stone. This person evidently survived this blow as bony matter had filled in and knitted and bulged around the break.




August 26, 1993


On May 11, 1893 W. H. Laabs left Oshkosh and came to Waupaca. Here he bought out Godfrey and Williams Dry Goods Store located in the Masonic building, which is now the original north half of Strattons Drug Store, at 107 North Main Street.

W. H. Laabs had a notice in the Waupaca Record Leader for a removal sale starting June 3, 1914. Mr. Laabs had closed a deal for the Lord building at 211 North Main Street, the first door north of the Colonial Theater.

Yes, there was a theater located at 209 North Main Street. To better help you locate this location, I will give you the names of some of the businesses that have operated from this location: Peder Moller Jeweler; E. Christensen, upholstering, furniture repair and undertaking; Gene Wilson Electric; Bammels Funeral Home; Market Basket and presently Kirby Sales.

Mr. Laabs operated a grocery business at 209 North Main until his lease ran out on October 1, 1922. It was then, that he retired. Mr. Laabs had two hobbies, they were raising fancy chickens and growing dahlias for show purposes.

In July 1905 the Blue Front Restaurant at 115 W. Fulton Street was damaged by Fire. Al Hanson, who was one of the cooks, while frying donuts had the misfortune of having the hot lard catch fire. The building was owned by Mrs. George Hanson. Years later this building was known as Hansons Bar, now it is Just Cruisin.

Does anyone remember the meat market that was known as the Waupaca Cash Market in the stone building owned by Mrs. George Hanson, located on West Fulton Street, half a block from the Farmers State Bank? In August 1922, B. M. Ellingson and G. W. Eland obtained a five-year lease on this building.




September 2, 1993


I came across this interesting article in the Waupaca County Post, dated March 30, 1950. It was taken from an interview that Marjorie Paneitz had with Rosaline Rademacher, who was a member at the Wisconsin Veterans Home.

This is a story of a baby girl born September 15, 1889, in Prairie du Chien, one of seven children born to Wenceal V. and Emily (Sterenas) Vonesh.

Rosaline Josephine Vonesh was married the first time to a Mr. Meach and in 1917 she was married to Fredrick John Rademacher. She died at King on November 26, 1960, and was buried in the East Lawn Cemetery in Beloit, but not before she became a famous trick rider in a wild west show from Oklahoma. She was billed as Montana Rose.

One would think that her parents were show people, or horse trainers, but no, her father was a musician and a tailor in Prairie du Chien. She learned to ride on her grandfathers farm at Beloit. No one taught her, she learned to trick ride by herself.

When the famous 101 Wild West Show came to Beloit in 1910, she joined the troupe.

At that time the show was owned by Joe Zack and George Miller. They owned their own string of horses and a train, which traveled all over the United States and parts of South America. Some of the other performers at that time were Tom Mix, Jesse Willard and the Perry Girls.

Besides trick riding, Montana Rose did trick roping and took part in the cadrille on horseback, the flag drill, and grand march and the pageant with the Indians and covered wagons. Her first husband, Mr. Meach, did trick riding, roping and bronc riding, and he also took care of the string of horses.

The winter quarters for the show was at the 101 Ranch near Bliss, Okla. Mr. and Mrs. Meach spent only one winter there, the only time that they lived for any time outside Wisconsin.

In 1913 Montana Rose left the show, I would guess, to raise a family. She returned to Beloit. In 1917 she was married to Fredrick John Rademacher. Tragedy struck in 1918, when she lost a son and daughter in the flu epidemic.

Rosaline Josephine Rademacher entered the Veterans Home at King on April 3, 1944, and was later confined to a wheelchair, but that did not stop her from getting around. Whenever possible for her to get outside, she went down to the store.

She spent her last years crocheting rugs, doilies, chair sets and afghans. She loved to buy presents and write letters to her aged mother, who was still living at Beloit.

I wonder how many times as she sat in her wheelchair or before going to sleep at night, she thought of her days with the 101 Wild West Show.












September 9, 1993


This story is retracing an imaginary buggy tour that George McGill took with Rosemary Freiburger on a tour of Waupacas early potato warehouses that existed in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

It was one day in early March of 1978 that McGill asked Mrs. Freiburger, who was at the time the editor of the Waupaca County Post, if she had the time to take a ride down memory lane with him to visit the locations of the various warehouses, dealers, and brokers that flourished around the turn of the century.

There were 13 at one time doing a thriving business. There were also two starch factories to take up the slack, running only when the potato crop was exceedingly heavy, and when the prices ranged from 10 to 18 cents per bushel, or when an early freeze ruined the crop before it could all be harvested. These were the days before government programs and subsidies.

George McGill and Rosemary Freiburger started out their imaginary trip in his imaginary buggy by going down Mill Street Bridge. Their first stop was at the intersection of Mill and Elm streets. On the left hand corner was the office and scale house of Walter Baldwin. His office girl was Jessie Darling, a Crystal Lake girl.

Directly across Elm Street to the east was a three-story brick building with basement, that was built by the Wisconsin Central Railroad. After P. M. Olfson left the farm in the Town of Farmington in the late 1890s, he came to Waupaca and started to buy potatoes in this building. The office was on the second floor, and the scales were directly in front of the building on Elm Street.

George and Rosemary continued north up Elm, to the intersection with Holbeck Street, where C. N. Christensen, better remembered as Kentucky Chris, lived and where he built a scale house and a small potato warehouse, which he later enlarged.

The couple now retraced their steps, back to Mill Street, and turning to their left only a few rods was the A. M. Penney Warehouse, sitting back off the street to the left. It had four doors to receive the loads of potatoes as they came in. The loads came in by team and wagons, or sleighs, depending on the time of year. The farmers shoveled up the potatoes in bushel boxes, and the warehouse help carried them into the warehouse where they were dumped into bins. These were the days of all hand labor with no conveyer belts to transfer the potatoes up into bins.

It was the practice of most buyers to fill their bins at harvest time when the volume was at its highest and prices paid to the farmer were at their lowest. During the winter months when the fresh supplies dwindled and the prices began to rise, they were shipped in railroad cars that were insulated with paper. Between the doors in the center of the cars, a space was left open, so a coal- or a wood-burning sheet iron stove could be placed to heat the car. The stove had a stove pipe protruding through one of the doors.

In the winter months it was important that a man accompany each car, or several cars, to check and make sure that the heaters were all burning properly. The cars were checked when the train stopped to pick up other freight in other towns along the way. The shipments were usually to Chicago and Cincinnati. The firemans pay was usually about $2.50 per car, with all expenses paid, and a chance to visit the city, together with a ride back to Waupaca in the caboose; as Mr. McGill put it riding on the cushions.

The warehouse tour continued east on Mill Street to Oak and Hibbard. Only a few rods on Hibbard Street, on the left side, was where Palmer Christensen and his father-in-law did a large business. Another few rods to the east was a warehouse that was run by Talford Penney.

Coming back a few yards and turning north and going under the viaduct was the Ed Bailey Warehouse. Mr. Bailey was known as the largest grain dealer. Ed Bailey was the grandfather of Ned Bailey, a modern-day Waupaca fixture.


The trip now took George and Rosemary south to the intersection of Ware and Oborn streets, where there were three potato warehouses. On the left hand side of Ware was the Leonard Crosset and Riley Warehouse, who had retail offices in Chicago. This is the location where William Feathers operated from for many years. Next door to the east was a smaller warehouse ran by Dick Stafford. Feathers also used this building as a storage warehouse.

Directly across the street to the south was the warehouse that was run by Chris and Will, the Peterson brothers.

Next, going south on Oborn Street to the intersection with East Fulton Street, there was a warehouse run by Walter Baldwin and son, Dayton. They bought and sold potatoes from this location. The Central Wisconsin Seed Company used this building for storage.

Some 10 rods farther to the south, on Oborn, was the largest potato warehouse in Waupaca. It was built by the Northwestern Produce Company, a cooperative built in 1905.

The last stop was down Oborn next to the Fisher-Fallgatter Mill. This was built by Hans Ebby. He also sold salt and cement.

You must remember that the potato warehouses were located on a spur track of the railroad. This enabled them to load rail cars directly out of their warehouse.

Next week, we will retrace George and Rosemarys imaginary buggy tour, and see what has happened to the old warehouses over the years.




September 30, 1993


The Central Wisconsin Seed Co., was incorporated in the fall of 1922, when three young men had an idea that Waupaca needed an up-to-date place to buy field and garden seeds and other agricultural supplies.

These three men were Altai Pinkerton, who had just disposed of his farm operations; Warren Clark, then county agricultural agent for Portage County, and James H Dance, county agent for Waupaca County.

In the spring of 1923 they purchased the John Pinkerton building, at 112 E. Union St. and started wholesale and retail distribution of field seeds and insecticides.

In 1926 Mr. Pinkerton left the firm to sell insurance, and his interests were purchased by J. H Smith and Benjamin D. Dance, and Mr. Dance was appointed manager.

In 1927 a hatchery was added and a short time later the company purchased the old Baldwin Potato Warehouse on Oborn Street, for the purpose of grinding and mixing feed for their customers.

Glovers Store, located next door to the east, wanted to expand, and that included the space that the Central Wisconsin Seed Company occupied, so they decided to sell out and move to a large place.

In May 1938, construction was begun on a new building at 112 West Union Street. The building was a one-story brick building, 60 x 57-1/2 feet, with full basement. The Central Wisconsin Seed Company moved into their new home in August of 1938.

If you have not guessed as yet, this location is now Stanges of Waupaca, Inc.

Following a fire in 1944, which destroyed the old feed mill on Oborn Street, a new concrete block and steel building was erected to house the feed and fertilizer business.

The Central Wisconsin Seed Company that was under the guidance of the two brothers, Benjamin and James Dance, and their associates, developed into one of the largest retail seed outlets in Wisconsin.

The Dance brothers, having no sons interested in following the business and both having reached retirement age, decided to sell their interest in the business. On July 1, 1959, the ownership of the Central Wisconsin Seed Company changed hands. The new owners, Charles H. Landis and Bruce Burghardt, purchased the entire outstanding stock of the company formerly held by Benjamin Dance, James Dance, Warren Clark, Ida Smith Petersen, Kenneth J. Smith and Bess M. Dance.

The Dance brothers died within four days of each other, after only two years retirement. James H. Dance died July 1, 1961, and brother Benjamin died July 4, 1961. James Dance is buried in the Wisconsin Memorial Park in Milwaukee and Benjamin Dance is buried here in Waupaca.

I am sorry that I was unable to follow up on the story of a few weeks ago about the old potato warehouses that existed in Waupaca around the turn of the century, but more research is needed.




November 4, 1993


Back at the turn of the century, H.P. Peterson purchased the old brick Lutheran church that stood on the corner of Badger and Division streets. This is the present location of the Dairy Queen.

In the early days of April 1902, Alvin Cartwright entered into a contract to move the building to the south lot owned by Major Robert N. Roberts, on South Main Street, where Mr. Peterson was to erect a one-story flour and feed store.

On April 10, 1902, William Peterson entered into a five-year lease agreement with Mr. Roberts for the south 34 feet of Lot 4, in Block L, with the privilege of erecting, or moving this structure, if at any time Mr. Peterson decided to sell the building would be appraised and Mr. Roberts would pay the appraisal price.

Soon this ad appeared in the Waupaca Record: New Flour and Feed Store opened on the corner of Badger and South Main streets. Flour-Feed-Bran middlings. Call and get prices before buying elsewhere. H.P. Peterson, phone 523.

According to an article found in the Waupaca Post for September 4, 1902, the H.P. Peterson flour and feed store existed about six months, because Ole O. Hole had moved his store into the flour and feed store in September 1902.

Major R.N. Roberts passed away January 11, 1903, and his holdings were sold to settle the estate. George Lines of Milwaukee purchased the south 22-1/2 feet of Lot 1, all of Lots 2, 3 and 4 and the north one-third of Lot 5, all in Block L, on July 12, 1904, from the Roberts estate.

To make this more clear, Lot 1 in Block L is the present location of JRs True Value Hardware Store, and the south two-thirds of Lot 5 was the location of Miles Lobergs garage.

By 1906 E.B. Knapp and Company was located in the former flour and feed store that was referred to as the corner store, that was located two doors south of the Post Office. The Post Office was then located where Culligans Water Conditioning Company is located today at 212 South Main Street, and the building next to the south at 214 South Main Street, now occupied by Team Outfitters, was the Gordon Meat Market. Then there was a large vacant lot before you got to the corner store. This has since been filled in by the Rosa Theater and Katies Restaurant.

E.B. Knapp was a licensed embalmer and sold furniture in 1906. He also sold crockery, lamps and housekeeping goods.

An ad in the Waupaca Post, July 2, 1908, showed that E.B. Knapp had taken the agency for Chase Hackley pianos. He was the sole agent for Columbia graphophone and cylinder machines and Victor talking machines and records. His was the only music store in town.

In 1909 E.B. Knapp had added a line of clothing and started a new five and ten cent store. Due to the lack of space, E.B. Knapp moved his store to 106 North Main Street. This is now the location of the Paca Pub.

On September 12, 1914, George Lines sold William and his wife Lunetta Moon the south 13 feet of Lot 4 and the north 21-1/2 feet of Lot 5. The Waupaca Record Leader for October 14, 1914: I have just opened my place of business for the purchase and sale of all kinds of second-hand goods. W.R. Moon, 222 South Main Street.

On October 10, 1916, after only a couple of years, William and Lunetta Moon sold the property to Will and Christine Peterson; this then became known as the Peterson Potato Warehouse. The building extended to the alley to the west where farmers could unload their potatoes and grain which was elevated by an elevator to the second story. They operated a grocery store in the front where they may have handled butter and eggs, and vegetables and fruit in season.

In 1922 the Peterson Potato Warehouse was sold to A.C. Larson, who continued on in the grocery business. J.L. Greene operated for a time at this location.

Mr. and Mrs. Wayland N. Simpson came to Waupaca in 1923, and he cooked in various restaurants in Waupaca. Since coming to Waupaca, he became a prominent figure in the Midwests many hunting domains. He and his Irish Setters became well known in both field and water bird hunting. Mr. Simpson and Rusty the second made their last hunt to South Dakota in 1964.

January 31, 1923 Wayland N. Simpson was married to Viola Feutstel in Oshkosh. They became the parents of three children: Bernedine, W.N. Jr., and Dale C.

Ola and Simmy, as they were called, worked in Ernie Woolevers Restaurant. Simmy did the cooking and Ola waited on tables. In the fall of 1930, they were out of work and it was at this time that Mrs. Simpson rented the then vacant half store next to the Red Front Grocery and started a restaurant.

On August 2, 1933 Wayland N. Simpson purchased the south 13 feet of Lot 4 and the north 21 feet, 10 inches of Lot 5 from J.L. Greene.

Charles W. Russell, the proprietor of the Quality Hardware Store, had to move his stock of goods from 220 South Main Street to his residence on Royalton Street to make room for a tavern under the proprietorship of W.N. Simpson, who was granted a liquor license by the Common Council September 5, 1933. The restaurant and the tavern went under a major change and on December 7, 1933 Simpsons Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge held their grand opening.

Again in 1949 Simpsons Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge took on a new look with the beautiful front with these words Simpsons Indian Room.

Simpsons Restaurant and Indian Room held their grand opening Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9, 10 and 11, 1949.

The back portion of the building, that was at one time a part of the Peterson Potato Warehouse, was removed. Donald Clayton has in his possession some of the bricks taken from the back wall of his grandfathers (Will Peterson) Potato Warehouse.

By 1972 Simpsons was ready to expand again. Dale C. and Virginia Simpson purchased the adjacent building to the south, from Mrs. June Loberg on or about January 13, 1972. The old Loberg garage was torn down to make way for the enlargement to the south side of the Simpson building.




December 2, 1993


A dream is all a group of Waupaca citizens had when they got together on the night of Dec. 2, 1947, to map out preliminary goals for the erection of a much-needed hospital. Prior to that time, there were only two large homes operated by Waupaca doctors that were the only hospital facilities available.

Hard work and many disappointing circumstances followed the first hospital board, and in April 1953, at a special meeting, they decided to disband.

Seeking a new approach, a new board of directors was elected in June of that same year, with Howard Manney as president, Erik Lindskoog, vice president; Robert Richards, secretary; Irvin Koren, treasurer; and Steve Tedesko, assistant treasurer.

It became urgent in August of 1953, when the local doctors informed the board that the state had informed them that the small hospitals in Waupaca would be closed within a year if not brought up to standards. Now that the situation became critical, a fund-raising consultant was hired on Sept. 4, 1953.

The problem for a site was solved when, on November 26, 1953, two Waupaca citizens, Erving Kissinger and Dr. John Pelton, donated enough land on the bank of the Crystal River for a new hospital. Not only that, but they donated enough land for future expansions.

Citizens of the community and surrounding areas opened up their hearts and their pocketbooks and, along with a government grant, work was ready to begin on the new hospital that had a price tag of $422,775.

Ground-breaking ceremonies took place on June 17, 1954, and the very next day the actual construction on the 50-bed hospital was begun. A little over a year later the Riverside Memorial Hospital opened up its doors to the first patient on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 1955, and was in full swing by the end of the week.

This first new patient also gave birth to the first baby to come into the world at the Riverside Memorial Hospital. Dr. Marshall O. Boudry delivered a 6-pound, 5-ounce boy, Scott Norman Sannes, son of Mrs. Norman Sannes of Route 1, Scandinavia, at 4:50 p.m., Tuesday, September 6, 1955.

By an odd coincidence, Gordon Sannes, a brother of Norman Sannes, and also of Route 1, Scandinavia, became a father on Sept. 3, 1955, at the old Waupaca Hospital, Inc.

Mrs. Byron Everts of Waupaca was the first actual patient to enter the new hospital, being transferred from the Mirror Lake Hospital that Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 6.

All of the seven patients of the Mirror Lake Hospital were transferred to the new hospital on Sept. 6 by Bammels and Hollys ambulances. Several patients from the Waupaca Hospital, Inc., were transferred the next day.

The present-day Riverside Medical Center (RMC) is the culmination of that dream for a new hospital 46 years ago on December 2, 1947.




January 27, 1994


This is a follow-up to my column in the Waupaca County Post, September 9, 1993, about retracing that imaginary tour that George McGill and Rosemary Freiburger, the editor of the County Post, took on an early spring day in 1978 of the sites of the old potato warehouses that existed nearly 100 years ago.

Now, I will tell you what I have learned has happened to these warehouses since the days when the potato was king in Waupaca.

This starts out by retracing their route up North Main Street, to Water Street, then down Water and over the Water Street Bridge to the intersection on Water and North Division Streets. Here on the northwest corner of this intersection stood the scale house and office of Walter C. Baldwin.

Walter C. Baldwin was born in Iola, in 1860, and in 1866, he came to Waupaca with his parents to live. As a young lad he worked in a drug store for five years. In 1881, when he was only 21 years of age, he decided to go into business for himself as a potato buyer. By 1889 he had opened up a general office in Chicago. From that time on he divided his time between Chicago and Waupaca.

Chris J. Pommer was born in Lolland, Denmark, on April 10, 1869, and during his early youth he came to America, settling first in Marshfield. The obituary for Chris J. Pommer states that he was in the fuel and building supply business in Waupaca since 1904.

There is no mention as to where he started out in business in Waupaca, we do know that sometime in the early 1900s Mr. Pommer did indeed operate a fuel and building supply business in the former Walter C. Baldwin potato office.

After the death of Chris J. Pommer in 1945, the business was taken over by his son, Edward M. Pommer, who was born in Waupaca, October 22, 1898. It was on June 3, 1923, that he was united in marriage to Miss Violet Paulson of Iola. They had no children. Edward M. Pommer passed away on May 8, 1957. Mr. and Mrs. Everett Hansen purchased the property in September of 1957, from Mrs. Edward M. (Violet) Pommer. In March of 1958, Evan Durrant purchased the property from the Hansens. Evan Durrant operated out of this location until 1972. A deed executed January 4, 1973, shows that the Waupaca Foundry, Inc. acquired the property. This building, along with some others, was destroyed. Now, in the last months of 1993, the original North Division Street has been officially abandoned and a new North Division Streets has been located just to the west where it now enters Water Street directly over the location of the original site of the Walter C. Baldwin potato office.

Now, we move to the east across what was North Division Street, and in the northeast corner of the intersection stood a three-story brick warehouse with a full basement. A quit claim deed recorded August 11, 1893, was issued by Richard Lea and wife to P. M. Olfson, for $2,250, covering the undivided one-half of the west three rods of the south four rods of the west one-half of Block W, together with the right to use the Baldwin-Bailey side track to the main line of the railroad (Wisconsin Central Line).

It was here that Peter M. Olfson became engaged in the potato business. The warehouse had a capacity of 30,000 bushels of potatoes, with the office on the second floor. The scales were directly in front of the building on North Division. This large brick building is perhaps best remembered as the Carl Cohen Egg and Cheese Warehouse. This building was also destroyed when the Waupaca Foundry, Inc., purchased the property for their expansion project.

George McGill and Rosemary Freiburger continued their journey northwesterly on North Division Street to where it joined Elm and Holbeck streets. It was here at Elm and Holbeck that C. N. Christensen, long known as Kentucky Chris, first had a scale house and a small potato warehouse. Many people often wondered how C. N. Christensen got the nickname of Kentucky Chris. In 1903 C. N. Christensen had a fire start in the warehouse that was in use by the Leigh Storage and Produce Company of Paducah, Ky., of which he was the manager. It was through the association with this Kentucky company that he acquired his nickname.

In May of 1916, the Waupaca Potato Company, Christensen and Anderson proprietors, broke ground for the erection of an addition to their warehouse at the junction of Elm and Holbeck streets. It had a capacity of 30,000 bushels. It was built east of the original warehouse. The old building was remodeled for use as a storage for cabbage and onions.

One of C. N. Christensens ads were, that he paid the highest prices for Rurals, Burbanks, Ohios and Kings. He also sold pure seed potatoes. The location of the warehouse was west of Nelsons Planing Mill, Elm and Holbeck.

The buildings all have been destroyed and roadways changed; it now leads to the De-Lish-Us Potato Chip Plant, and has just now been named De-Lish-Us Ave.

The couple now retraced their steps back to Mill Street, where A. M. Penney Company, Waupacas largest potato dealer, was located. It was just off Mill Street, to the left behind the Green Bay and Western depot. John F. Jardine, a well-known potato man in his own right, was associated with A. M. Penney. He later became the owner of the company known as Jardine and Jorgensen. George Mumbrue was the farm manager for 10 years for Jardine and Jorgensen, before he and Les Laux became partners and purchased the business. Laux and Mumbrue handled potatoes out of this warehouse for a number of years.

In 1973 this property was sold to the Waupaca Foundry, Inc. which was included in their expansion project plans.

The trip to the various warehouses took George and Rosemary still further east on Mill Street, to Oak Street, then only a few feet to the right on Hibbard Street, then east on Hibbard, just east of the Central Lanes Bowling Alleys, where there was another potato warehouse run by C. N. Nelson and Folmer Christensen, who were brothers-in-law.

The obituary for Charles N. Nelson states that he was born in Germany on January 1, 1878, he came to America in 1896, and settled in Waupaca. He was united in marriage to Nicolene Mortenson in Waupaca on June 1, 1900. He was active for 49 years as a produce dealer in potatoes. He died November 23, 1952.

Oscar and Rose Burns purchased the old Nelson potato warehouse, on Lots 72 and 73 in the Bartlett Addition, just east of the Central Bowling Alleys. Here Oscar Burns conducted his plumbing business until June 28, 1954, when Oscar and Rose Burns issued a quit claim deed to Robert (Bob) Erickson.

Robert Erickson was the last potato shipper to use this warehouse. The A. E. Moore Company, Inc. was the next owner of the building, which they used as a storage warehouse. It was then sold by them to Earl Harris and Son, which is now, 1994, H & H Recycling.

Edwin Huntoon has related to me that his father, Edsil Huntoon, one of the large potato growers at the time, also handled potatoes from a small warehouse in this general area.

The afternoon was coming to a close, so Mr. McGill and Mrs. Freiburger decided to continue their potato warehouse tour at another time.




February 17, 1994


During the many years that Alta and I have copied the inscriptions from tombstones, we have found many tombstones in unusual places, such as scattered bits and pieces where cattle had broken down a fence and had pastured for years in some old burial sites, to lone markers in the woods in the back 40.

We once received a phone call from a person in Wild Rose, asking if we knew of a cemetery in the woods on the south side of Wild Rose. Some children found several broken markers scattered over a small area in the woods while playing. They gave us the names that they had retrieved from some of the broken stones.

We had no record of any burial site in that area, so I started to check the names to see if they were buried somewhere else. The names did appear in one of Wild Roses area cemeteries. New markers had replaced the old stones, that the children had found. We learned that the person who once lived on this property had worked for a monument company and had taken the old markers home. This same situation has happened a few other times, when people found old discarded tombstones in, or under, some out buildings.

This story is about another unusual lone tombstone that has come to light in a basement ceiling in a house in Waupaca.

In January I received a phone call from a lady here in Waupaca, who stated that a friend of hers had just recently discovered a tombstone embedded in the ceiling of her basement.

If you look straight up from the basement floor at the ceiling you can easily read the raised letters on a large tombstone for Laura Beare, who died August 10, 1877. The party that is now living in the house has lived here for several months, and only recently discovered the tombstone while looking at the basement ceiling for bats.

The present occupants became interested in this odd situation, and decided to do so research. They went to the library and found a short death notice in the Waupaca County Republican that read Died at Almond, Portage County, Wis., on the 10th day of August, 1877, very suddenly, Laura Page, wife of Wm. Beare, in the seventy second year of her age.

After learning the name that was on the marker and that she died in Almond, I checked out cemetery index records for the Almond Village Cemetery, and yes, she was listed as having a marker.

In June of 1973, when Alta and I copied the inscriptions from each and every tombstone in the Almond Village Cemetery, we had recorded the following inscriptions: Wm. Beare, born Sept. 24, 1808 and died Aug. 27, 1886, and Laura P., wife of Wm. Beare, born Dec. 10, 1805 and died Aug. 10, 1877.

This arouse my curiosity: Was her tombstone still in the cemetery? Or had someone removed it since we were there in 1973?

It was on one of those cold January days that I braved the temperatures outside and drove to Almond, to the cemetery, not knowing what I might find as I tramped through over a foot of loose snow. Before leaving for Almond, I had checked our records so I knew in what general area to start looking.

After some time, I found a tall, four-sided pillar tapering towards the top, known as obelisk. This old white stone is badly weather beaten and hard to read after being exposed to the elements for over 100 years. Here I found the inscriptions as we had copied in 1973. On one side of the marker was the inscription for William Beare and on another side was the inscription for Laura Beare.

In checking the death dates, I realized that Laura died nine years prior to the death of William. It is my theory that William Beare erected a marker for his wife after her death, and after his death, nine years later, someone erected this large marker and had both names and all dates engraved on one single tombstone, and the original marker was removed from the lot.

The odd marker in the basement ceiling shows no wear and looks clean and new.

The question still remains: Who removed Lauras marker and brought it to Waupaca, and why is it embedded in the ceiling of this basement?

I found this interesting account about William Beare in Our Heritage, Almond and Vicinity written by Ralph Tess. In this book there is only one mention of the Beare name. In the early days, all luxury items were assessed and taxed, among the items was the Reed Organs owned in 1886. William Beares name was on the list.




April 14, 1994


This will conclude that imaginary tour that George McGill had taken Rosemary Freiburger on that early spring day in 1978, of the old potato warehouses that once existed in Waupaca.

I have talked to people, written letters, and spent many hours in the courthouse searching land records. Through this, I have gained information that I am able to add; in many cases, names, dates and locations to what Mr. McGill had related to Mrs. Freiburger.

After leaving the C. N. Nelson and Folmer Christensen warehouse on Hibbard Street, George and Rosemary continued east for only a few rods to Balch Street; here, they turned left, passing under the railroad tracks, and there on their right side stands what was once known as the Bailey Cranberry Warehouse.

Between the old warehouse and the main track only a few feet to the south, is still the spur track, overgrown with grass and weeds. On the east end of the building still stands an old outdoor privy, in poor condition.

The history of this location dates back to October 1852, when Samuel Pinkerton purchased from the United States Government, the southeast quarter of the southwest half, in Section 20, T.22N-R.12E. This being the Township of Waupaca.

It was on September 15, 1857, that Samuel Pinkerton and his wife Margaret, of Page County, Iowa, sold this 40 acres to Charles L. Bartlett of Waupaca for $1,000, excepting 8 rods by 9 rods that Samuel Pinkerton had previously sold to School District Number 4, which was taken off the southwest corner. This 40 became the Bartlett Addition to the Village of Waupaca. It contains lots one through 136.

In 1865 Henry H. Curler became the owner of this 40, and he sold Lot 74 to Skidmore Woodnorth. On May 24, 1871, Mr. Woodnorth and wife Sarah sold a strip of the land to the Wisconsin Central Railroad Company.

After 1871 Henry C. Mumbrue and wife and Milton Baldwin and wife acquired Lot 74, in the Bartlett Addition, and on April 9, 1874, they disposed of the property to Ransom Bailey for $500.54, except as much of the lot that had been conveyed to the Wisconsin Central Railroad Company in 1871.

Edmund T. Bailey, a brother to Ransom Bailey, was the next person to purchase the property. It was purchased July 18, 1877, and after his death on October 10, 1898, the property came into the possession of his wife, Elizabeth Ann (Williams) Bailey.

In 1927 the old National Bank handled the Bailey estate settlement, and Robert W. Erickson, one of the large local potato growers, acquired the property to the late 1930s. It stayed in the Erickson families until July 1, 1972, when the A. E. Moore Company, Inc. bought the property and used it for a storage building. Finally in December of 1977, the property was sold to Dennis A. and Patricia Dulske, who own the building today.

Retracing their steps, George McGill and Rosemary Freiburger came back south under the viaduct on Balch Street and there stands the old A. M. Penney warehouse on Lots 62 and 63, in the Bartlett Addition. Warranty Deed, volume 72, page 381, dated September 6, 1888, shows that Talford L. Jeffers and his wife Adelaide sold to A. M. Penney Lots 62 and 63 in the Bartlett Addition, except the north 12 feet of the lots owned by the Wisconsin Central Railroad.

Record in the Waupaca County Courthouse, dated July 1, 1927, is the sale of Lots 62 and 63 in the Bartlett Addition, whereby, A. M. Penney sold this property to Louis M and William Johnson. Together with the following items on said premises, conveyor, motors and sorter. I would assume that the word sorter means potato sorter, being in a potato warehouse. I am still unable to find out if, and how long, the Johnson Brothers may have operated the potato warehouse.

On September 15, 1947, Louis and Nettie Johnson sold the north half of Lots 62 and 63 in the Bartlett Addition to Frank Higgins and Dell Ward. A little over a year later Frank Higgins and Dell Ward sold out to the Chain O Lakes Mills Company, incorporated the 18th of October, 1947, for the purpose of manufacturing, jobbing, distributing, wholesaling and retailing feed, grain, seeds and other farm commodities, and to grind, mix and prepare feeds.

On February 29, 1952, the Chain O Lakes Mills, Inc. sold out to the Northwest Liquor Company of Stevens Point. On the 6th of August, 1956, the property was purchased by the Midstate Distributors Corporation of Stevens Point. This property was picked up by the Petersen Agency, Inc., on May 31, 1978, and now in 1944 belong to Nicholis Marchetta.

Now, before leaving the old A. M. Penney potato warehouse, I would like to interject here some interesting facts that I ran across in my research.

In 1879 Talford L. Jeffers left his home in Buffalo, N.Y., and came to Waupaca to live. Here, he at once became engaged in a successful egg pickling business, a business that he learned back in Buffalo, N.Y. A. M. Penney came to Waupaca in 1880, and became involved in the produce commission business. The two became the firm of Jeffers and Penney. They had two large potato warehouses, one was here on Lot 62 and 63 in the Bartlett Addition, and the other was the large warehouse that was up the hill behind the Green Bay and Western Depot, just off Mill Street. One of these was known as the Penney Egg Warehouse.

The Waupaca Post in 1898 stated that A. M. Penney shipped as high as 40,000 dozen eggs annually. In 1913, there was an ad in the local paper to announce the new potato firm Stafford and Wagner, dealers in choice potatoes. Office and warehouse known as the Penney Egg warehouse. On September 6, 1888, Talford L. Jeffers sold out to A. M. Penney, and it became the A. M. Penney Company.

We will now continue our tour, south on Balch Street, two blocks to the intersection with Ware Street, turning to the left for one block, and on the left stands the warehouse, perhaps better known as the Wm. Feathers Warehouse. The Feathers Warehouse that I referred to, stands on Lot 10 and the south 37 feet of Lot 25 in the Bartlett Addition.

On July 12, 1904, H. P. Peterson and his wife Annie Peterson, and Wm. Peterson and his wife Anna Peterson, sold this building to Leonard Starks of Plainfield. In 1915 the L. Starks Company sold out to J. R. Beggs and Company of St. Paul. In 1933, the property was sold to Herman Buchner of Cook County, Ill. In 1936, Herman Buchner sold to John S. and Henry T. Bacon (Bacon Bros.). Tom and Marjorie Gunderson purchased the warehouse September 30, 1950, and ran it until September 22, 1956, when it was purchased by Wm. E. Feathers. Jay-Mar, Inc. of Stevens Point purchased the building from Wm E. Feathers in 1985. The Ware Street Market now occupies the warehouse (1994). All transactions had excepted railroad right-of-way.

Directly behind the Feathers Warehouse, on the north 95 feet of Lot 25 in the Bartlett Addition was the office and warehouse of Leonard, Crossett and Riley, who had potato warehouses in all of the towns around Waupaca and bought potatoes from Michigan, Minnesota and the Dakota. Waupaca was their main office.

A warranty deed dated April 19, 1915, shows that William Peterson and his wife Anna Christine, and E. A. Peterson and his wife Lottie L. sold the north 95 feet of right-of-way that had been conveyed to the Wisconsin Central Railroad on August 28, 1899, to Leonard Crosset and Riley.

The smaller potato warehouse that stands on Lot 11 in the Bartlett Addition, adjacent to the east of the well-known Feathers Warehouse, apparently belonged to the Wisconsin Central and Soo Line Railroads for most of its existence.

Miss Rosina Ginnetti told me that as a young girl she remembers Dick Stafford operating a potato warehouse from this building. Joseph Naylor Jr., who was with William Feathers when they started in the seed, fertilizer and potato business in this building in 1940, told me that before Feathers took over that the Sturms of Manawa used this building for government commodity food storage during the World War II years.

Harland E. Smith now owns the property and it is used for dry storage.

Now leaving the Feathers Warehouse on Ware Street and crossing Ware to the southeast corner of Ware and Oborn streets was a potato warehouse owned and run by the Peterson Produce Company. September 9, 1913, Ralph Bailey and his wife Katherine sold this property in Outlot 132, with the rights to use the spur tracks to Christian, William and E. A. Peterson, who had formed the firm of Peterson Produce Company.

The Peterson families continued in business at this location until March 3, 1923, when Harvey E. Peterson and wife Athena, E. A. Peterson and his wife Lottie L., and Mary Peterson, as business co-partners under the firm name of Peterson Produce Company, sold to Alfred Johnson. This building was a lumberyard for several years. The Badger Building Center was the last lumber business to occupy this building.

This building now contains two office spaces Lakeland Press LTD and Telstar Communications, Inc. 1994.

The next potato warehouse, going south, still in Outlot 132, was the warehouse that was run by Walter Baldwin and his son, Dayton, according to Mr. McGill. However, on August 11, 1928, Leonard Crosset and Riley sold this property to the Central Wisconsin Seed Company for the purpose of grinding and mixing feeds for their customers.

Following the fire in 1944 that destroyed the feed mill, a new concrete block and steel building was erected to house the feed and fertilizer business. This building now belongs to Filter Materials.

Only a few rods farther to the south was the Northwestern Produce Company built in about 1905. The Northwestern Produce Company was incorporated May 8, 1905. This later became the Northwestern Co-op and now is Tomorrow Valley Cooperative Services, with the mill at 109 S. Oborn Street.

The last stop was down next to the Fisher-Fallgatter Mill, where Hans Ebby operated a small warehouse.










August 25, 1994


Thousands of years before the first white man set foot in the lakes and forests of the beautiful Chain o Lakes there existed a civilization of man about which very little is actually known.

It is most likely that these people and the later Indian tribes that lived here had their main crossing in the narrows that existed between Limekiln and Columbia lakes. Indian Crossing is the trademark that has been adopted for this area, and is widely known near and far.

The first crossings were made by fording the shallows on foot, or over a crude log bridge.

John V. Sattlers stated it was the former custom of his people, the Menominee, before crossing a ford like this to make a tobacco offering to the water spirits. Then anyone could pass through the water without fear of harm or disaster.

When the first white settlers came to this area, there was still evidence of a crude log bridge at this location. During the years that followed, several different bridges have been built, each time being built larger, taller and more sturdy to accommodate the white mans needs and to provide an access for pleasure boats to pass under, as they became more numerous and larger.

On September 15, 1924, William Arnold and his wife, Harriet, of Chicago, purchased Lots 1, 2 and 3 in the Columbian Park from Mrs. Jim (Abigail) Christensen, who lived on a neighboring farm less than a mile away. Lots 1, 2 and 3 of Columbian Park started at the present day County Trunk Q on the east and extended to Whispering Park Road on the south.

In the early months of 1925, plans were made to erect one of the largest summer pleasure resorts in the area. Jensen and Rasmus of Waupaca were awarded the contract for the sum of $30,000. This big, open air pavilion was built on the north bank of the channel between Limekiln and Columbia lakes. The plans specified a building 80 by 75 feet, or a floor space of 6,000 square feet.

Since its completion in July of 1925 to the present day (1994), this impressive white and tangerine-orange open air pavilion still attracts many dancers and tourists, some who come just to reminisce about the days of old they had enjoyed at the Indian Crossing Casino ad the Chain o Lakes area.

It was on July 1, 1925, that William R. Arnold, the owner of the newly erected Indian Crossing Casino Dance Pavilion, held its preview opening party to celebrate its official opening, July 4, 1925.

Arnolds house-warming party was attended by the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, many Waupaca County and Waupaca City officials, and other invited guests.

Arnold and Francis Steele, the Casino manager, welcomed between 350 and 400 guests at the all-day event. Arnold and Steele had created the casino with the possibilities of establishing a dance pavilion that would attract both local and nationally renowned bands. The Indian Crossing Casino was advertised as Central Wisconsins most modern amusement pavilion.

Foreseeing other possibilities than just dancing, Arnold took advantage of the prime location on the Indian Crossing channel and built a boat landing, installed two 10-foot diving platforms, a springboard and a water toboggan slide in Columbia Lake. He also had secured 2 rowboats.

July 4, 1925 was the end of the street car service between Waupaca and the Chain o Lakes area, and this prompted Arnold to purchase additional land for parking space for 400 cars. He also provided bus service from the City of Waupaca.

The big day came at last, when on July 4, 1925, Wm. R. Arnold officially opened the Indian Crossing Casino to the public. Festivities began at 1:30 p.m., starting out with various sporting events. George A. Murry was the general chairman for the sports events, and J.G. Cornwell was the announcer.

Following are the various winners in each sport event. The Junior Boys Swimming Race, run by Willy Holmes, was won by Wilson Sanders, second place went to Kenneth Paris and third place went to Palmer Richardson.

In the Senior Boys Swimming race run by Clyde Taylor, first place went to Wilson Sanders, second place went to Howard Wipf, and third place went to Palmer Richardson.

In the Mens Swimming Race, run by Robert H. Wright, first place went to Robert McLaughlin, second place went to Wilson Sanders, and third place went to Carl Throp. In the Boys Tub Race run by Loren Gmeiner, first place went to Eugene Hanson, second place to David Shambeau and third place to Everett Johnson.

Walter Nelson was in charge of the Ladies Canoe Races, in which first place went to Adeline Carpenter, second place to Frances Sill, third place to Beulah Olson and fourth place to Elizabeth Kwapil.

Walter Fox was in charge of the Ladies Swimming Race, with first place going to Carmen Barnes and second place to Mona Block.

Dayton C. Baldwin was in charge of the Ladies Fancy Diving Contest, in which first place went to Shirley Holmes, second place to Genevieve Ballard, third place to Goldie Cohen and fourth place to Mona Block.

All day long lines of automobiles and throngs of people made an impressive sight, as more than 10,000 people visited the Indian Crossing Casino during the day and evening. Dancing was enjoyed both during the afternoon and evening by those who were able to gain entrance to the large pavilion.

The Arabian Knights Broadcasting Orchestra, Chicagos most popular eight-piece radio and dance band, provided the music for the gala opening of the Indian Crossing Casino.

Members of the Arabian Knights Orchestra that played at the Casino on opening night were Al Reed at the piano, Billy DeHaven, banjo and trumpet; Art Peterson, saxophone and clarinet; Paul Medalie, saxophone; Anthony J. Schaefer, violin; Harry Loose Jr., trumpet and saxophone; Cedric Read, trombone, and Art Sharkey on drums. Dean Jones, the regular drummer, was confined to the hospital recovering from a serious automobile accident, and missed playing on opening night.

A few weeks prior to the opening, there were people who found it hard to believe that a dance pavilion of this size could be conducted in such a way, as to eliminate those objectionable features that follow large crowds.

Mr. and Mrs. Arnold and Mr. Steele had spent many hours in selecting weekly programs that would be of interest to most of the dancing public.

They chose to have dancing every evening of the week, except Sundays, from 8 to 12.

Monday nights were billed as Waltz Nights. Every other dance would be a waltz, and a waltz contest would be held at 10:30, with prizes given.

Tuesday nights were billed as Feature Nights. Something new and exciting each and every week. The first in the series of features dances was called a Spot Dance. There was no increase in prices 10 per dance, or 25 for three dances. Prizes were given to the women. The following Tuesday was followed by a Bubble Party.

Wednesday and Friday evenings were Get Acquainted Nights. The admission was 50 for gents and 35 for ladies.

The Arabian Knights Orchestra provided the music at the Casino throughout the summer months.

Carroll (Cal) Swenson, who lives at E1376 Grandview Road, gave me some interesting accounts about the grand opening night at the Indian Crossing Casino. He is perhaps the only person living today who was present and part of that grand opening; he was one of the two ticket takers at the gates that led onto the dance floor. The dance floor was completely enclosed by a wooden railing except for the two ticket gates, as it is today.

There were highly reflective streamers from all corners of the building attached to a large ball hanging over the center of the ballroom. High on the east end of the building was a crows nest where colored lights were operated, showing all of their color on the dancers below.

There was a ladder nailed to the east wall that went up to the crows nest. Mr. Swenson told me that he was afraid of heights, so he had a school friend of his take his turn up in the crows nest.

Across the dance floor to the west end of the building was the large stage between the ladies and mens restrooms. Above the restrooms were built dressing quarters where members of the performing orchestra could change, rest and relax.

Mr. Swenson spent most of his time living in the guest quarters one summer and subsisted mostly on hamburgers and pop that were served in one corner of the building.

Part of Mr. Swensons assignments were driving Mrs. Arnold in her big car around the countryside on Mondays, taking down the old posters and replacing them with the new bills for the coming week.

In the July 21, 1925, issue of the Waupaca County Post, Mr. Francis Steele had an article telling how well the Casino was doing in the first few weeks engagements.

In mid-August of 1925, J.G. Cornwell took over the duties of Francis Steele as the manager of the Casino.

Wednesday, Aug. 25, and Friday, Aug. 27, Tom Guyant and his seven-piece band, The Night Hawks, provided the music for the dancing pleasure at the Casino. They stepped out and showed what a local orchestra could do.

The last dance for the season was held Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, 1925. It started out at 1 p.m. and continued throughout the afternoon and evening. All afternoon there were sports events galore, from rowboat and canoe races to swimming and diving contests. Dancing took place throughout the afternoon and evening.

Among the Waupaca business places that donated prizes for the contests winners were The Farmers State Bank, The Old National Bank, E.R. Haebig, Hannon Jewelry, A.J. Holly & Sons, The Fair Store, and Earl Fabricius.

The most unusual feature of the Labor Day program at the Indian Crossing Casino was the appearance and singing of Mrs. Emily Stump Gibbons, who had been totally blind for a number of years. Mrs. Gibbons was a singer of rare ability, coming from Gary, Ind. She had sung on radio stations KYW and WTAB in Chicago, as well as in two Milwaukee stations.

This closed out the first season (1925) at the Indian Crossing Casino.

Next week the Indian Crossing Casino story continues.




September 2, 1994



By Wayne A. Guyant.


Note: This article is a combination of the articles on the Indian Crossing Casino that were run on August 25, 1994 and September 15, 1994.




September 15, 1994


The second season for the Waupaca Chain o Lakes Indian Crossing Casino (1926) started out with enthusiasm. Mr. and Mrs. William R. Arnold left their home in Chicago, and came to Waupaca to make arrangements for the opening of the Indian Crossing Casino.

The opening dance was held on Thursday evening, April 29, 1926. The music that had been engaged for the opening night was Eli Rice and his Dixie Cotton Pickers, one of the best colored orchestras in the state at the time.

Until the first of July, only one dance a week was scheduled, but during July and August dances were held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. There was no Sunday dancing at the Casino.

A new orchestra was engaged for each dance night. On nights that there were no scheduled bands, the Casino could be rented out.

William and Harriet Arnold continued to operate the Indian Crossing Casino until February 28, 1929, when it was purchased by Paul I. Asplund and Louis Wendell.

On July 31, 1930, there was a special attraction called the Battle of Music, when two orchestras battled for a $75 purse. On August 7, 1930, Rube Tronson and his Cowboy Band, who were famous radio broadcasters over WLS, the Prairie Farmer Station in Chicago, came to the Casino from the WLS Hayloft.

On October 14, 1930, Louis Wendell sold out his interest in the Casino to John F. and Agda Martin. Paul I. Asplund and Mr. and Mrs. Martin ran the Casino jointly until in 1935, when Mr. Asplund sold his interest to the Martins.

The ban on Sunday night dances was lifted by the Waupaca County Board in April 1934.

At 12:01 a.m., April 7, 1933, the Prohibition Act on the sale of beer was revoked in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

On June 1, 1934, Allen Martin was issued the first Class B Malt Liquor License by the Town of Farmington, so now there was Sunday dancing and beer was being sold at the bar on the porch at the Indian Crossing Casino.

On September 28, 1935, John F. Martin and Agda Martin, his wife, issued a Quit-Claim deed to Allen J. (Al) Martin and Lillian Martin, his wife, and they then became partners in the Indian Crossing Casino.

This was the beginning of the scheduling of big name bands.

Well over 100 different bands or orchestras played for dancing pleasure at the Indian Crossing Casino, from the Grand Opening Night, July 4, 1925, until the Martins sold out to the James LaSage Sr. and Jr. families who took over September 15, 1955.

Under John and Al Martins management, the two popular orchestras that played the most return engagements were Archie Adrain and Tom Temple. Jimmy James and Benny Graham were two other popular attractions. Tom Temple at one time played the trumpet with Charles Carroll, when he was the director of the Waupaca City Band.

The following are the names of many of the orchestras that played regular engagements at the Casino during the Martin era: Harold Ferron, Harold Menting, Howard Kraemer, Jack Cameron, Wally Beau, Larry Woodbury, Johnny Nugent, the Castillians, Bob Malcolm, Bernie Young, Searl Pickett, Orville Bathke, Al Seeger, Belling Bros., Richard Maltby, Tony Winters, Chet Mauthe and Ray Alderson.

Waupaca, being located on the Soo Line Railroad between Chicago and Minneapolis, offered a good opportunity for the Casino to engage big name bands to appear here on their travel between major engagements.

Here are the names of some of the big name bands of the 40s and 50s that appeared at the Casino: Glenn Miller, at the Casino, July 2, 1942; Tiny Hill, July 10, 1951; Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong, July 29, 1952; Duke Ellington, May 24, 1953; Les Brown, and his Band of Renown, August 17, 1953; Russ Morgan, Music in the Morgan Manner, September 9, 1953; Pee Wee Hunt and his Twelfth Street Rag, August 31, 1954; Count Basie, June 1, 1955; Lionel Hampton and his 17-piece orchestra, June 28, 1955, and Art Kassel, Kassels in the Air, August 7, 1947.

On July 25, 1946, there was a special attraction: Gypsy Rose Lee, of Follies Fame, and her band.

Lionel Hampton at one time played with Louis Armstrong, and he was featured on the drums in the Paramount movie Pennies from Heaven, starring Bing Crosby. He also starred on the drums for four years with the Benny Goodman Orchestra.

Many benefit dances were held while local and area bands played for old-time dances. Dr. Salan and his Waupaca Troubadours, Lloyd Mathesons Orchestra, Cousin Fuzzy, Johnny Check, Romey Gosz and Rube Tronson were only a few that appeared at the Casino.

It has been written by others that in the days of the Big Bands at the Indian Crossing Casino, crowds of college and high school students from many parts of Wisconsin merged at the Casino in May of each year. It was exciting and spontaneous to the students, as with the annual spring break for the college kids on the beaches in Florida.

Groups of 10 or so would rent a cottage on the Chain o Lakes for one week in May of each year. One week the college students came to the Casino, and the next week it was the high school students turn. In those days the students all came well dressed, and often the young ladies wore formals. They looked sharp, too!

After John and Al Martin sold the Casino to the James LaSage Sr. and James LaSage Jr. families in 1955, they officially took possession on September 15, 1955.

The Indian Crossing Casino opened its first season on May 4, 1956, under the new ownership of the LaSage families with platter dancing. The first dance night with live music was on May 19, with the Harold Ferron Orchestra.

The new attraction at the Casino opening of the Sugar Bowl, a snack bar that was built near the Casino dance hall, where the young people could purchase coffee, sandwiches, soft drinks and ice cream.

In the years of the LaSage ownership from 1956 to 1960, the Casino continued to engage the well-known bands such as Russ Nelson, Harold Ferron, Jimmy James, Larry Woodbury, Eddy Howard, Woody Herman, Lee Castle, Art Mooney, Benny Graham, The Diamonds, the Dukes of Dixieland and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. The LaSages continued to have platter dancing (dancing to records) on afternoons and evenings when no bands had been engaged.

The James LaSage families sold out to John Goeltzer and Gene Frederickson in 1960.

During the next 15 years that followed, the big name bands were making fewer and fewer appearances at he Casino. The price to engage one of these bands had escalated to the point where the Casino could not meet the competition from the larger cities.

The following are musical attractions who have been reported to have appeared at the Indian Crossing Casino during Mr. Goeltzers ownership: Ricky Nelson, Bobby Vee, Gene Pimey, Bobby Vinton, The Beach Boys, Hermans Hermits and the Everly Brothers who appeared on Saturday, June 27, 1964.

On the Memorial Day weekend in 1967, John Goeltzer closed the doors to the Casino because of the rowdy students, especially those from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The doors stayed closed for a couple of days, until the students left and things got back to normal.

After running the Casino for 15 years, he announced his plan to close the Casino on July 17, 1975. He gave as the reason for closing was the extra long hours of work with little income.

He said he was tired of babysitting.

If a carload of kids came to the Sugar Shack, you could shake them all upside down and not retrieve three cents.

They would sit and drink water from paper cups that cost him over two cents apiece, he added.

Another factor was the Town of Farmington refusing to issue him a liquor license.

After the death of John Goeltzer in 1978, Ken Petersen purchased the property from the Goeltzer estate and one day later it was sold to Joseph S. and Virginia Leean, who took possession of the property, Lots 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in the Columbian Park, on October 15, 1979.

Ralph E. and Nancy Belkes purchased the Indian Crossing Casino property from the Leeans on April 29, 1983, and with his son, Bill, as a partner have operated the Casino to its present day.

When built in 1925, the original Casino dance pavilion had no porch or bar on the channel side of the building. There were steps leading down to the waters edge, to the large doors to the building proper, where passengers could disembark from a boat, or launch.

After John Goeltzer closed the Casino in 1975, and the light use of the building in the next eight years that followed, the building had deteriorated to a point which took the Belkes a great deal of time and money to restore it to its original condition and safety.

Tons of cement and stones were laid underneath for renewed support and the entire porch was replaced. Much of the work being done by the staff from Dings Dock, headed by Bill Belke.

The tentative date for reopening the Casino after eight years was set for mid-summer, 1983.

In the Waupaca County Post for July 14, 1983, was this announcement: Come to the reopening of the Indian Crossing Casino. Bring back the good-old days. The porch is now open. Cold beer, soft drinks and live music.

Now appearing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through July. Mike Burns 50s 60s 70s. 8:00 p.m. midnight.

The Indian Crossing Casino next to Dings Dock, County Trunk Q, Waupaca, Wisconsin. Come by boat or car.

In 1992, the open porch was enclosed entirely with glass. From July 1983 to the present, 1994, the Belkes have continued to provide top-notch music for the dancers pleasure at the Indian Crossing Casino.




September 22, 1994


William J. Olson was born in the small village of Saxeville (Waushara County) on the tenth day of May 1876. He was a son of Andrew and Anna Sophia Peterson Olson. Both of his parents were born in Denmark, and they left their native country in 1866 and came to America, first settling in Racine, where they were married a short time later.

In Racine, Andrew Olson first found employment in a foundry, and later became engaged in farming. He died November 6, 1880. To this union seven children were born, but only four survived; Hans, Amos, Albert and William J. The mother, Anna Sophia, married for a second time. Her second marriage was to James Olson of Saxeville. They had one daughter, Laura. Anna Sophia died in 1916.

William J. Olson, the subject of this story, spent most of his youth in the townships of Springwater and Saxeville in Waushara County. He attended the public schools there and followed farming for about five years.

William J. Olson came to Waupaca in 1989, where he found employment in the P. M. Olfson potato warehouse. This warehouse stood on the corner of Water and North Division Streets and is remembered by most as the Carl Cohen Egg and Cheese Warehouse. This building was razed to make room for the Waupaca Foundry expansion project.

In 1899, Mr. Olson took up farming once again. He operated the J. P. Peterson farm in the Cedar Lake area, which he later purchased. He sold the farm in 1904, and came to Waupaca and operated the Ideal Restaurant.

Due to a serious illness a short time later, Mr. Olson was compelled to discontinue in the restaurant business, but by 1906, his health had improved, so he was able to get back into the restaurant business once again, which lasted for several years.

An ad in the Waupaca Record for March 7, 1912 had this information: The Ideal Restaurant has changed locations, and is now located in the building formerly occupied by E. B. Knapp, next to the Lyric Theater.

This is the present location of the Paca Pub, at 106 North Main. Uni-Travel, at 104 North Main, now occupies the former Lyric Theater building.

William J. Olson was united in marriage to Ella Peterson on March 10, 1909, and they had one son, Clyde Stanley Olson, born May 9, 1910, Ella, Mrs. William J. Olson, died June 15, 1915.

William J. Olson is probably better remembered for his specially made ice cream that he manufactured in a building behind his residence at 811 South Main. It was from here that he delivered his ice cream to the various business places in town.

An ad in the Waupaca Post for November 29, 1906: Ideal Restaurant ice cream made to order.

On February 21, 1918, his ad states that his Ideal ice cream was made to order, brick or bulk.



Mr. Olson closed his ice cream factory on August 28, 1918, due to the World War I shortage of sugar.

William J. Olson established a taxi line, through which he became widely known. He died May 25, 1939, as a result of an accident and is buried in the family lot in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.




December 8, 1994


Over many years of doing genealogy research for people, we have come up with many interesting accounts and stories about some people buried in various Wisconsin cemeteries.

In coming closer to home, I will relate some interesting accounts that have taken place in Waupacas Lakeside Memorial Park.

It would be a full-time job for anyone to attempt to write about every person buried in Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park that has at one time or another played an important part in the history, or the growth of the Waupaca area.

First of all, we must remember and honor our brave men who died for their country who are buried here, or on foreign soil, and to the members of our armed forces who were able to return home and take an active part in our society.

There are accident and murder victims, prominent professional people, and just the average man on the street buried in the beautiful Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park.

Here are some rare and unusual incidents that I have found in the Waupaca Lakeside Memorial Park. The most recent is the burial of a real daughter of a Revolutionary War Veteran. This is a rare occasion to find a real daughter of the American Revolution War veteran buried this far north in the state of Wisconsin, or this far west of their native eastern states.

Dr. David Waldo, who was born in the state of New York, and married Catherine Weatherbee, in the same state, became the parents of seven children: only five survived to adulthood. Rachel, the second born, was married in New York State to William Rice, and they had 12 children.

In the early months of 1854, Dr. David Waldo, at the advanced age of 91 years, crippled during the Revolutionary War and using a cane, came to Sheboygan, Wis., with his daughter, Rachel, and his son-in-law, William Rice.

On August 10, 1854, Dr. David Waldo passed away and was buried in the Wildwood Cemetery in Sheboygan, in a grave that was unmarked for 119 years until the Joint Committee for Revolutionary War Veterans, headed by F. Winston Luck, president of the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society, unveiled a marker for Dr. David Waldo on August 10, 1973.

William and Rachel Rice, along with some of their families, had moved to Waupaca in the early months of 1854. Soon after coming to Waupaca, Rachel Waldo Rice died on November 29, 1854 at the age of 62 years, 2 months and 19 days. Her husband, William Rice, died March 28, 1864 at the age of 75 years. Both are buried in Lot 36 in Lakeside Memorial Parks old original section. I am sure that the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) will be interested in marking her grave as a Real Daughter of the American Revolution.

I know of only one more Daughter buried in this section of Wisconsin. She is Eliza Hagerman Crandell, born April 29, 1803 and died November 20, 1903. She is buried in the Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield. She has a DAR metal emblem on her tombstone A Real Daughter of the American Revolution.

Taking a step back in time to the Revolutionary War veterans, we find that there were only 44 known Revolutionary War veterans buried in the whole state of Wisconsin.

Samuel Rogers, born in Brandford, Conn., June 3, 1760 and died September 10, 1852, in Winchester, Winnebago County. He lies buried in the Winchester Town Cemetery, Winchester, the furthest north burial of a Revolutionary War veteran in Wisconsin.

Henry C. Mead, proprietor of the Exchange and Savings Bank of Waupaca, the first bank in Waupaca founded in 1862, is also buried at Lakeside.

It was a foggy night on October 7, 1882, when an assailant or assailants, beat and then shot Mr. Mead in the head as he was working at his desk on the days accounts. He also slept in the back room of the bank building.

H.C. Meads Exchange and Savings Bank was then located next to the Vosburg house, where he took his meals. The Vosburg house was located on the corner of South Main and East Union streets. This is now part of the Bank One location. The Old Mead Bank was later moved to a new location on Jefferson Street, which is just north of Stiebs Jeep Eagle, Inc., where it stands empty today.

Some 10 years after the murder of Mr. Mead, his skull was exhumed as evidence in a trial of a group of men accused of his murder. After the men were acquitted, the skull was wrapped in burlap and placed in a vault in the basement of the old Waupaca County Courthouse when it was then located on Main Street.

The Mead murder case was never solved, and over the many years, it became a novel topic for discussion on the streets of Waupaca. When the new Waupaca County Courthouse was built in 1989, there was some discussion of putting Mr. Meads skull on display in a glass case.

Tom Holly, a longtime funeral director in Waupaca, was not in favor of this, and suggested that the skull be reburied with the rest of Mr. Meads remains in Lakeside Memorial Park.

Waupaca County Circuit Court Judge Philip M. Kirk signed an order officially releasing the skull of the late Henry C. Mead to Tom Holly of A.J. Holly and Sons, Ltd., for burial. So, some 97 years after the skull was exhumed for use as evidence in a trial, he was reunited with the rest of his remains.

Clerk of Circuit Court George Jorgensen delivered the skull to Rick Martin, sexton of Lakeside Memorial Park for final burial.

In the Waupaca County Post, November 1, 1990, I had written a complete story on the life and death of Charles W. Odgen, who was born in Ogdensburg on December 16, 1862 and died at his home in Saguache, Colo., December 15,1 935.

It was in 1976 while doing some research at the Holly Funeral Home that in the course of conversation with Tom Holly that he mentioned receiving the ashes of Charles W. Ogden with just a note attached, Hold for further instructions.

The note and ashes had arrived in 1935, and now it was 41 years later and as yet no instructions had been received. The result was that his ashes were on a shelf in the basement of Hollys Funeral Home in a metal container bearing the name of Charles W. Ogden, register #6002, December 18, 1935, Denver Crematory, Denver, Colo.

A few years ago, I talked to someone at Hollys Funeral Home, and they assured me that they would take care of the burial of Mr. Ogdens ashes in the Lakeside Memorial Park beside his wife and infant children.

I was surprised when reading an article in the Waupaca County Post of October 27, 1994, stating that the ashes of the former editor of the Waupaca Post were finally buried in Waupaca on October 18, 1994. I had been told several years ago that this would be taken care of.

Eileen Schraeder and her husband, Orville, decided to make arrangements for the burial of the ashes. On Tuesday, October 18, 1994, Rick Martin, sexton of Lakeside Memorial Park, buried the ashes of Charles W. Ogden, next to his wife, Sylvia, who had died in 1907, and their infant children.

So, now, 59 years after his death in 1935, the final chapter has been written in the life, death and burial of Charles W. Ogden.





January 5, 1995


Before the days of the Palace, Waupaca, State and Rosa theatres, there were other regular movie houses on Waupacas Main Street.

These were the Electric, Gem, Lyric and the Colonial theatres. They also had to compete with tent shows, such as the Liberty Moving Picture Company. One occasion, on a Saturday night, May 29, 1909, under the canvas on the lot behind J.E. Cristys store, they carried their own electric light plant. Admission was 15 and 25 cents.

In the Waupaca Republican Post, February 25, 1909, was the following ad for the Electric Theatre: We carry 14 reels of film each week. We have installed a 860 Edison Triumph phonograph for musical programs. We do not take up your time with announcing breakdowns. - Bert Quimby.

The location of the Electric Theatre was the building presently occupied by Uni-Travel at 104 North Main Street.

From one of the local Waupaca newspapers on April 7, 1910: C. Gmeiner has remodeled the former room occupied by the Electric Theatre and re-christened it the Lyric.

March 31, 1910, news item: The beautiful, brand new Lyric Theatre will open Saturday, April 2, 1910, with a matinee at 2:30 in the afternoon. The general opening will be at 7:30 in the evening with the best moving pictures and illustrated songs that money can buy. It is one of the prettiest and cleanest little playhouses in the city. It is owned by a Waupaca man and is managed by Ben Peterson of this city. We want you and your friends to make up a party and honor us with your presence. Admission 5 cents.

The Waupaca Record Leader, Jan. 7, 1914: The Lyric Theatre will be open to the public Saturday night. It has been remodeled, repainted, reseated with opera chairs, relighted with brackets and indirect lighting. Everything clean and pleasant with an exceptional good program.

One night in early September 1916, there was a fire in the Lyric Theatre. A film reel caught fire causing great excitement among 200 men, women and children. But no serious panic occurred, and the theatre was emptied in less than two minutes. The fire was confined entirely to the operators booth, which was fireproof, being lined with steel. A carbon had dropped on the film causing a flash up, burning the operators arm.

Smoke and gas filled the theatre and for a moment things looked serious, but at no time were the spectators in real danger. The exit in the rear led down two stairways, which were lighted with lamps and could be plainly seen.

An occurrence that could have easily turned into a tragedy was prevented due to the coolness of the many, especially Mrs. George Skinner, who, leaving her seat, went to the piano where she started playing popular tunes until the last person had left the theatre. This gave courage and confidence to the children who immediately calmed down when seeing her so unconcerned.

The only damage that was done was to the movie machine and several reels of film. After that, special precautions were taken to have only one reel of film in the booth at a time.

William J. Olson, who had operated the Ideal Restaurant and ice cream parlor for 14 years, closed his place of business in November 1917. The building in which the Ideal Restaurant had been located was sold to Charles Cohen, proprietor of the Lyric Theatre. Cohen closed the movie house in January 1918, opening on only Saturday and Sunday nights to give carpenters an opportunity to make improvements in the room that had been the Ideal Restaurant. The seating capacity would then be increased to 300.

It seems as if the Lyric Theatre remodeled and improved the interior every few years. In the spring of 1918, the Lyric again opened after extensive remodeling by carpenters, plasterers and decorators and the seating was enlarged. The film operator now worked out of a fire-proof cage which was on the right hand side of the entrance doors.

Penneys new Palace Theatre opened for the first time on October 4, 1920, so apparently the Lyric now had to meet its competition. In the Waupaca County Post, the Lyric had a new and more impressive ad: New Waupaca Lyric Theatre now open, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights, continuous performance, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Admission 10 and 15 cents.

The last ad that I found for the Lyric was for October 22, 1921. Was this the last showing on the screen at the Lyric Theatre?

Occupants that followed the Lyric Theatre before Uni-Travel at 104 North Main were S. Klein, who had a fruit store; Al Klein, his son, who had a dress shop, and Sears, which opened there in 1948.

There was another theater, the Colonial, which lasted a short time. Located at 209 North Main Street, it ran in 1914-15. This is the present location of Kirby Sales. Some of us will remember shopping here at the Market Basket.

The Waupaca Post, November 9, 1915, reported: The Colonial Theatre, well-known playhouse to exhibit every evening High Standard Vaudeville Plays. Misses Ollie Odell and Jennie C. Olson ran the Colonial Theatre from May 25, 1914 to November 4, 1915, when they sold out to J.A. Dowding and H.F. Cran of Chicago. The new management controls four theaters in the central part of the state. Admission 5 and 15 cents.

The program for Wednesday, Nov. 11, 1915 was Business is Business, in six extraordinary acts. Admission 5 and 15 cents.

Oftentimes after reading When Then Was Now, someone has called or written and related to me some additional interesting fact about a certain story. I just received a letter in Mr. Tom Hollys Christmas card in regards to the Charles Ogden case and the Mead murder.

After Tom Hollys Navy service he started his apprenticeship with his father, Roy Holly, in 1946. He remembers the ashes of Charles Ogden being at the funeral home.

In his junior year at the Waupaca High School, Miss Kurkowski was his history teacher, and he did a thesis on the Mead murder, and in doing so he had the opportunity to visit Grandma Ovrom, who was the young girl who worked at the hotel where Mr. Mead took his meals. When he did not show up for a couple of meals, she became concerned and went next door to the bank. Standing on a box looking in a small back window, she saw Mr. Meads body in a pool of blood.

Mr. Meads skull was held for evidence for many years at the old Waupaca County Courthouse; when the new Courthouse was built, Tom Holly said he picked up the skull at the Clerk of Courts office and placed it in a small infant burial case, and Clerk of Courts George Jorgensen met him at the cemetery for the burial.




February 9, 1995


Richard Lea came to Waupaca in 1864 and in 1865 had purchased the old Judson store on the corner of what today is South Main and West Fulton streets. This old wooden structure was the largest store in Waupaca at that time.

By the late 1870s fires had destroyed all of the buildings between West Fulton and West Union streets. It was at this time Richard Lea built the brick structure that stands today.

By observing the appearance of the outside structure, it can be seen that a newer brick building was added adjoining the west end of the Richard Lea building extending to the alley.

This one half, or part of Lot 1, Block K, has become the oldest continual eating establishment in Waupaca.

My oldest confirmed location giving proprietor names and dates was found in the Waupaca Record newspaper dated April 22, 1909. It shows that John Peterson sold his popular New England Coffee House to John Mortensen. The Waupaca Record for September 7, 1911: John Mortensen retired after two years and sold his business to Amos Rice. Then in 1912, Amos Rice sold out to Fred Larson and Arthur C. White. This is the same Art White who later became partners in the pool hall on Main Street with Henry Buedding.

Mr. White dissolved partnership with Mr. Larson and moved his New England Coffee House to 118 South Main Street. Here he had a formal opening on Sunday, Oct. 17, 1915. Fred Larson remained at their old location and it became known as Larsons Dairy Lunch. Mr. Larson sold out to L.W. Davis in 1918.

The next proprietors at this location were Guy H. McLean and a Mr. Anderson. In December of 1922. Guy H. McLean bought out his partner and became the sole operator of the Modern Restaurant. It was still called the Modern Restaurant for several years after, under the proprietors of Dave Allen, then followed by Reid McLean and Douglas Paulson.

Dave Allen purchased the restaurant property from the Farmers State Bank September 30, 1939, who had just purchased all of Lot 1, Block K, from the Richard Lea Estate. Warranty Deed volume 137 page 589. Dave Allen and wife Gladys Allen purchased from the Farmers State Bank the West 29 feet of Lot 1, Block K for $5,000 subject, however, to the right-of-way across that part of the West 29 feet of Lot 1, Block K, which lies south of the building now located on said premises being a strip of land approximately 7 feet in width off the south of the west 29 feet, which right-of-way is for the purpose of access to the remainder of the lot. Subject also to the right to use as a party wall, the east wall of the building erected on the premises herein described by the land lying immediately east of, and adjoining the tract herein described, but permitting no enlargement or extension.

Turning back the time to an old Waupaca newspaper dated September 1, 1904. It stated in effect that James Paris was moving his barbershop from his present location in the Hebblewhite building on Main Street to the Richard Lea building on Fulton Street. His new quarters were repainted, repapered and a new floor was installed.

The Waupaca Record, April 1, 1909, carried a large ad: Whites Restaurant meals at all hours, full line of confections and cigars. We make a specialty of our 25 dinners served at noon. I found no further reference to this restaurant, or a Mr. White. Could Arthur C. White possibly have operated here before 1912? This restaurant and the James Paris barbershop ties in with the following newspaper information.

The Waupaca Post for April 23, 1908: The business at Whites Restaurant has grown to such proportions that a larger room must be provided and to this end the room now being used by J.M. Paris as a barbershop has been secured and work will begin at once to take out the partition between this and the restaurant and the rooms will be thrown together. The front of the building will be remodeled and plate glass windows will be installed.

Reid McLean was the next one after Dave Allen to run the Modern Restaurant. It was about 1952, when Reid McLean sold his restaurant business to Mr. and Mrs. Bob Schwarz, who renamed it to the Capawa Caf. Effective on or before September 15, 1957. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Schwarz sold the Capawa Caf business to Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Campbell. From here on this restaurant has been known as the Waupaca Caf under many different operators.

I have contacted several of the former operators of the Waupaca Caf to find out the proper order of the various operators. After the Campbells, there was Merle Schultz, Irene Mertz, Darrell Lipke, Rita Waush, Tom Cornelly, Mrs. Carlisle Olson and Jeffrey Olson, Paul and Lillian Kubisiak, Maurice Depuis, Pat Arnold and Kathy Kotavak, and lastly Pat Arnold as Pats Waupaca Caf.




February 23, 1995


L.A. (Louie) Olson, a former manager for the Waupaca Creamery, and his son-in-law, Oliver (Ollie) Fredrickson, a former operator of the Arcade Tavern on North Main Street, decided to strike out on their own in a new business venture in 1941.

With a definite view in mind they leased the Hebblewhite Building at 217 S. Main Street and installed lockers for cold storage of vegetables, fruits and all sorts of meat. This location, today in 1995, is the United Service Agency, Inc. The Frozen Food Locker Service was ready for rentals in January 1942, with a full line of meats and fresh frozen fish.

In January 1943 the Frozen Food Locker Service celebrated their one-year birthday by installing 100 new lockers. This was a timely addition at that time, since their other lockers were all taken, and the preserving of home-grown foods and meats by the rural people were increasing in interest in preserving their products in compliance with the war effort.

In the spring of 1943, Mr. and Mrs. Wade Fredrickson leased the meat and grocery business from the Frozen Food Locker Service from Mr. Olson and Oliver Fredrickson. In April 1945, after operating the Cash Food Store in the Hebblewhite Building for a couple of years, Wade Fredrickson sold out to Merle Rice. After only a few months Wade Fredrickson took back his former business. The reported reason given for the resale was quite consoling to Mr. Fredrickson: The volume of business was so large that the new owner found that he could not hold up to the pace required to operate both the meat trade and the sales in the grocery store.

On July 23, 1946, Robert John (Bob) Bergman and his wife Alice of Mount Carroll, Ill., purchased the north 23 feet, four inches of Lot 4, Block O, from Carrie Hebblewhite. On August 1, 1946, only a few days later, they purchased the Frozen Food Locker Service from L.A. Olson and O.N. Fredrickson.

Bob Bergmans business grew and he needed to expand. The Waupaca County Post for August 12, 1954 carried this ad: Bob Bergman opened his new market in his new location, 215 S. Main, in the Jacklin Building adjacent to his locker plant Monday. The spacious new market in the south one-half of the Jacklin Building has a 36-foot frontage on Main Street. A 20-foot meat case arrangement is set up immediately to the front of the processing room. The arrangement eliminates the long hallway used in the former building. The food lockers will remain in the old building joined to the new building through an opening in the walls.

A cooler in the market measures 12 by 24 feet. The meat hoist and track from the back door to the locker building has been moved to the new rear door. The walls were repainted in two tones of green with maroon floors. The new entrance to the Bergman market and locker is through the Jacklin Building.

In 1957, Bob Niemuth became partners with Bob Bergman in the Waupaca butchering and slaughtering operation. The Waupaca County Post for Dec. 26, 1957 had a full-page ad: B & N Packing Co. and retail outlet, South Main Street, Waupaca, WI, formerly Bergmans Market and Locker Service. Now fully equipped to do custom slaughtering, meat cutting, packaging and freezing. Beef and pork for sale by side or quarter. Phone Waupaca 600. Bob Bergman & Bob Niemuth proprietors.

A new slaughterhouse was built on four lots on Redfield Street. Laurence Wiesen was the local contractor. The partnership broke up in 1959, with Mr. Niemuth taking the slaughterhouse, and Mr. Bergman continued business at 215 South Main.

In the May 18, 1967 issue of the Waupaca County Post, there was a picture of Bob Bergman and Bob Niemuth, along with this notice: Robert Bergman, who has operated his Bergmans Market since July, 1946, sold his business this week to Robert Niemuth, who officially took over Monday, May 15. Bergman says his plans for the future are indefinite.

At one point in time Bergman was a meat inspector for the State of Wisconsin. Robert John Bergman was born October 7, 1908 in McGregor, Iowa, a son of Edward and Katherine (Kramer) Bergman. On August 8, 1931, he was married to Alice Hudek in Garnavillo, Iowa. Mr. Bergman passed away January 23, 1992 at the Riverside Medical Center. They were the parents of one daughter, Katherine, and one son, Mark. He is buried in the St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Cemetery, Waupaca.