KNOWLTON 

MARATHON COUNTY, WISCONSIN

(Transcribed by Marla Zwakman)


Source: "The History of Northern Wisconsin," (1881) page 570

KNOWLTON

This is a stirring village on the Wisconsin River, eighteen miles above Stevens Point. Including the mill hands there are 200 inhabitants.

It is a mill village. The town is not yet all taken up to farming, but as the lumber is cut up, it will be promptly under cultivation.

Stark Bros. have a saw mill near the village cutting 2,000,000 feet a year.

Wallace & Redford’s mill is two miles south, and cuts 6,000,000 feet a year.

John Redfield’s mill is three miles north, and cuts 3,000,000 feet a year.

The village proper has fifteen dwellings, a hotel, store, and Catholic Church supplied from Wausau.

Leonard Guenther settled here in 1848, when it was the center of a very valuable pine tract, some of the forties yielding 1,800,000 feet.

Guenther Brothers, sons of the old gentleman, who died in 1876, keep the hotel, store and post-office.

KNOWLTON STATION

Is on the Wisconsin Valley road, one mile west of the village.

C. E. & A. Guenther at this point are building a planing and a feed mill, all to be first-class in every respect, with ample steam power. A fine village must spring up here.


Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens (1913) written by Louis Marchetti, pages 540-542

THE TOWN OF KNOWLTON

The settlement in this town was one of the earliest in Marathon county, but, like the settlement in Wausau and Mosinee, it was a pinery settlement. There is a tavern which stands to this day, not used as a tavern now, still in the possession of the family of Leonhard Guenther, who purchased it from the former owner in the early fifties - the historic Leonhard Guenther tavern, or Knowlton House, the most popular roadhouse, which had a very large number of patrons until the building of the railroad to Wausau in 1874 ended the road travel. The settlement was confined to immediate surroundings of the tavern, and the saw mill of the Starks, father and sons, which was located a short distance below the tavern. The town was created by the county board in the year 1859 to consist of township 26, in ranges 8 and 9, and all of range 7 of the same township, lying east of the Wisconsin river. This settlement has been noticed in Chapter IX and it did not materially grow after the railroad was built.

There is a tradition that a mill once stood on the Wisconsin river at the mouth or just below the mouth of the Eau Plaine river, which empties a little more than a mile above Knowlton, at a place called Warren's place, and it is barely possible that Andrew Warren thought of building, or had a little mill there (it must have been a steam mill if one was there at all), but no reliable data can at this time be ascertained. Certain it is, that since 1850 no mill has been there.

In the last six years, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad has run a spur track for about four miles east to a saw and planing mill owned by F. W. Huebner, and still further east for about eight miles, more to assist in the settlement of the lands in that territory.

In the village of Knowlton there is a saw mill owned by Charles Guenther, doing custom sawing, a grist mill owned by the same gentleman; a general merchandise store conducted by C. Guenther & Sons, and a general merchandise store conducted by L. Breitenstein.

There is a creamery in the village which has a very large patronage and its products are shipped to the east. A public hall owned by Adam Feit is the central meeting place for social entertainings and public meetings.

There is a Catholic church in the village, built by Leonhard Guenther in the year 1875, and it is visited by the resident priest at Mosinee.

A Methodist congregation was organized in 1900 by Rev. Burton Richardson and services held in the schoolhouse. On January, 1905, the eleven members of the society purchased half an acre of ground from the Wendell Stark farm for a church site and in the same year, with the assistance of their neighbors, regardless of religious beliefs, finished a fine chapel costing about twelve hundred dollars - which was dedicated December 10, 1905, by Rev. Perry Millar, D. D., assisted by Rev. Oliver Saylor, local pastor. The memberships consisted of the following persons: Mrs. Jane Wilcox, Mrs. F. A. Wilcox, Mrs. St. Rogers, Mrs. Robert Brace, Mrs. L. Kuntzmann, Mrs. R. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Arleigh Peabody, Mrs. Maria Baxter, Mrs. Kate Richmond and Miss Bertha Richmond.

The lands east of the village which are yet nearly uninhabited, will, from present appearances, be taken up and settled upon in not far time.
 

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