MARATHON COUNTY, WISCONSIN
(Transcribed by Marla
Source: "The History of Northern
Wisconsin," (1881) page 570
This is a stirring village on the Wisconsin River, eighteen miles
above Stevens Point. Including the mill hands there are 200
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
Wallace & Redford’s mill is two miles south, and cuts 6,000,000 feet
John Redfield’s mill is three miles north, and cuts 3,000,000 feet a
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
Guenther Brothers, sons of the old gentleman, who died in 1876, keep
the hotel, store and post-office.
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
(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
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
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
There is a Catholic church in the village, built by Leonhard
Guenther in the year 1875, and it is visited by the resident priest
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