NORRIE (1913)

Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens (1913) written by Louis Marchetti, pages 567-569 ---Transcribed by Marla Zwakman


The town of Norrie was created out of the territory of the towns of Knowlton and Weston on December 30, 1886, and elected its town officers in the spring of 1887, with I. M. Jennie as chairman. It was organized as a separate town in the year 1887 with townships 26 and 27 north of range 10 east as its territory.

There is a very beautiful small lake in that town, known as "Mayflower" lake, on the shores of which are several very neat cottages belonging to Wausau people who spend their summer vacation there. The Chicago & Northwestern Railway traverses the town, the railroad station being eighteen miles east from Wausau. Like all the rest of Marathon county, this part was heavily timbered, there being little logging done until the railroad ran through the town on its way to Wausau, in 1880. Then a number of saw mills came in, one at the village at Norrie, which sawed a very large amount for nearly twenty years, and then shut down. The earliest settler in that town - in the village rather, before there were any farmers around there - was Richard Jewsen who built a hotel in the village and a saw mill. He died some years ago and his saw mill quit running when the timber near the mill was exhausted. There is now one little saw mill in the village operated -by William Kuehn, who does custom sawing mainly.

.The farm settlement is still light, but there is another village in the same town named Hatley, where there also were saw mills which have disappeared. There are five schoolhouses in the town with as many districts.

At Hatley there is a Polish Catholic church styled the St. Florian church, which was erected in 1898, while Reverend Garus was in charge of the congregation. The first organization of the parish goes back to February of that year. First services were held in the schoolhouse, then R. E. Parcher who operated the mill at that time gave the society fifteen acres of land for a church site, and in the same year the church was built and consecrated. For some years there was no resident pastor, and the services were conducted after Reverend Garus by Rev. Leo Jankowski, Rev. John Adamowski, and Rev. John Kula. The spiritual affairs were conducted later on by the Franciscan Fathers of Green Bay for nearly a year up to July, 1903, and by Rev. Hieronimous Schneider. The following pastors visited once or twice a month and held service, to-wit: Stan. Elbert, Ladislaus Slisz. Then the following became the resident pastors: Rev. Ignatius Mordaski, Rev. Joseph Miller, Rev. J. Orlowski, and the present pastor, Rev. John Karcz. Under the administration of the last named one, the church debt has been paid, and $1,200 are now in the treasury for the purpose of erecting a new and larger church. It is expected that in the year 1913 a new edifice will be built, for which plans have been adopted; it is to be a solid brick building 135 by 50 feet. The congregation was very small when originally organized, but now it numbers over 135 families. It belongs now to the diocese of La Crosse. The present trustees are: Rev. John Karsz, president; John Kozmeja, secretary, and John Podjaski, treasurer.

There is also a Catholic church in the village of Norrie which is a mission of the church in Hatley and served by the same priest.

The Congregationalists have a church in the village of Norrie, named the First Congregational Church at Norrie, which was organized on February 22, 1892, with Rev. Margeret Elliot as pastor and nineteen members, and the present house of worship erected during the same year. Since that time some of the old members have moved away, some (Norwegians) have joined the Scandinavian church, which has been organized since, and others have come to take their places. The present congregation numbers eighteen and it has no resident pastor. The Sunday school has been kept up regularly, is well attended and has a total membership of sixty, including home department and cradle roll. Mrs. A. R Bucknam is the clerk of the congregation, and to her earnest and faithful work is due the continuous flourishing condition of the congregation.

There is also a German Lutheran church in the village of Norrie, which is a mission and has no resident minister.

A cheese factory exists in the village of Hatley, in the town, which, is well supplied with milk during all of the season.

The village of Hatley has voted to incorporate and will be an independent political entity in 1913.

Hatley has become an important shipping point for train loads of potatoes raised in the vicinity.


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