Wisconsin Miscellaneous News

Proposed State of Superior
Source: Chicago Tribune (5 May 1895) from Wisconsin State Historical Society; transcribed by Sandra Wright

People who have been figuring on an arrangement of the stars on the field of the American flag overlooked the possibility of a new State which may soon be constructed out of slices of two States—Michigan and Wisconsin. The name of this possible star has already been agreed upon by the proposers. They say it will be Superior. If so the children who will be born there will have some claims not enjoyed by others, provided they shall belong to that class of humorists that finds fun in making a joke on a name.

If these two slices of two states should be made one, the new Commonwealth will spring into the Union like the fabled goddess of commerce—winged at the heels and ready for business. There are already within the proposed boundaries 400,000 people, and they are not the untutored, ungoverned prowlers who usually get together in a new country. They have been citizens in every sense from the time Michigan and Wisconsin became States to the present.

The proposed new State is that portion of Michigan known as the Upper Peninsula and that section of Wisconsin lying north of a line drawn east and west across the State from some point on Green Bay. The exact spot has not been agreed upon, but there is an impression that it will be somewhere near the mouth of the Menominee River. It will have for its boundaries plenty of land and water. Lake Superior will give it an outlet to the sea; Lake Michigan will give it water communication with Chicago. Wisconsin is on the south, Minnesota on the west and north, with the province of Ontario near at hand. In area, and somewhat similar in shape, the new State will be like Kentucky.

It is a little remarkable that a community having so much in common, so many inexhaustible mines, all in operation and highly productive; with so many good towns, so many established institutions, and such a future should be allowed to assemble for a Statehood without any apparent opposition from either of the States which will lose thereby. And yet that is the exact situation. From the treatment extended to these portions of two States, by the lawmaking power of each, they have been told, virtually, that they were not to expect equitable consideration, and now when these two sections have proposed to get under one coat of arms the two States from which the sections are to secede enter no objection. On the contrary, so far as The Tribune has been advised, the two States have rather favored the proposal.

The people o the peninsula and the northern slice of Wisconsin are all the more incensed at the treatment they have received because they claim that they have furnished a good deal of the revenue for State proposed, as well as the “hoop-la” necessary in peopling a Western State. They point to the fact-they assert it as a fact-that before the interior towns of the two States had attained that developing process necessary to create booms, there were substantial business houses and clocks, and pretty homes, and asphalt pavements, and modern conveniences in the towns on the frontier. The town of West Superior had boulevards and parks, and put on metropolitan frills when Madison and Fortescue, and Stevens Point and other towns had hayseed in their hair. In fact West Superior in a cut-away coat, and other modern makeup, actually challenged Duluth for commercial supremacy and at one time it looked as if the few sentences which made Proctor Knott immortal—those he affixed to Duluth—would be brushed away and trampled under the heel of this stripling.

All along the northern coast of this proposed State there sprung up manufacturing towns and summer resorts. Ashland and Bay View became favorite places with the resorters from the South. The Apostle Islands, gems in the inland sea, crowned by a monastery, gave the people a sort of perpetual benediction. Isle Royal was so remote from the State capital, Lansing, that the inhabitants there had to do some unlawful acts in order to get the attention of the Wolverine Solovs. When a member to the Legislature from the Wisconsin slip went to Madison he was given back room at the hotel and had to the town pump to get a drink. He was generally placed on a committee that had no jurisdiction. The same sort of contempt, it is alleged, was shown the peninsula statesman who went to Lansing. If either ever asked for an appropriation for his section it was always the signal for some other representative to move the previous question or an adjournment.

So far as the peninsula is concerned Michigan proper has always regarded it as an adopted child any way. In 1831, when Michigan knocked for admission, Uncle Sam would not let her in until she gave us a strip of her southern border. Ohio then, as ever since, which has made Toledo a seaport. In fact, long before this, in 1816, Indiana wanted a little lake breeze to mix with the malaria of the Wabash and insisted and received from the Wolverine territory a slice from its southern extremity. This sort of thing nearly created a war between the two Commonwealths. Old Gov. Arnold called out the Territorial militia and gave Brig-Gen. Brown orders to shoot the first surveyor from Ohio who was caught looking through a spy-glass at the sacred soil of Michigan.

Then Uncle Sam had to call in this wayward child and give it something in return, for Congress had by this time decided that Ohio could have a slice off Michigan, just as Indiana had. And the return for this was the barren—it was barren then—plum known as the peninsula. The people of the territory proper didn’t know where the peninsula was at that time, but they took it just as children are induced to take castor oil when it is concealed in sweets. And the people who have developed the peninsula and made it what it is have been forced to feel this ever since. As one of the evidences of disregard which has been shown by the Legislature for the peninsula it is cited that the Legislature enacted that the legal fare for passenger rates below the straits should be three cents a mile, but as soon as a passenger strikes the territory north of that line he is compelled to pay four cents a mile. When a member from Houghton County introduced a bill at the present session of the Legislature to make the rate uniform over all of Michigan the representatives and Senators from the southern portion of the State got up and opposed it to a man.

And to cap the climax of the situation there is now a story afloat, credited to ex-congressman Jay A. Hubbeil of Michigan, that many years ago the Legislature of Wisconsin passed a law giving up all of Wisconsin north of a line drawn west from the head of Green Bay, to form a new State with the upper peninsula and that that law has never been repealed.

Should the people of the two sections here-in referred to send proper representatives to Washington next winter it is not only possible but highly probable that before the next Electoral College meets there will be two more votes for the Republican who will be elected in 1896.
And already the political pot in the proposed new State is boiling. Jay Hubbell of Michigan is mentioned as the first Governor, Alexander Macdougal of West Superior is ticketed as Lieutenant-Governor, and T. F. Comstock of Ontonagon and H.O. Young of Ishpeming are being groomed by Republicans for United States Senators, while Ed Ryan of Hancock and Richard Flannigan of Norway are already practicing on the Democratic course. So that in case the new State comes in the politicians will be ready as soon as the flag drops.

Changes in Wisconsin Post Offices
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) 20 June 1882; Vol. XLIII Issue 43 Pg 2; submitted by Christine Walters

During the month of May, the following changes were made in Wisconsin postoffices:

Established: Crucher's Landing, Portage County; Dickeyville, Clark County; Harmony, Marquette County; London, Dane county; Mitchell, Fond du Lac county; Polar, Langlade county; Riley, Dane county; Rolling, Langlade county; Stalwart, Richland county; Steuben, Crawford county; Timothy, Manitowoc county.

Discontinued: Kinnickinnic, St. Croix county; Shelby, LaCrosse county: Swansby, Chippewa county; Werlich, Marathon county.

Name Changed: Greenfield, Milwaukee county, to North Greenfield.

There were, May 27, 1,391 postoffices in the state.


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