Sheboygan County Wisconsin
Towns and Villages
Source: History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, past and present, Volume 1;
By Carl Zillier, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company; Publ. 1912;
Transcribed and donated by Andrea Stawski Pack
CHAPTER XVII - PLYMOUTH TOWN VILLAGES AND CITY ONE OF THE EARLIEST SETTLEMENTS IN THE COUNTY - EARLY CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS - THE VILLAGE OF PLYMOUTH IS LAID OUT - MERCHANDISING AND COST OF LIVING - THE FIRST GRIST MILL - CITY OF PLYMOUTH - PUBLIC UTILITIES AND INSTITUTIONS - POSTMASTERS - SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES -INDUSTRIAL PLYMOUTH.
Plymouth town was surveyed in 1835 by United States Engineers Mullet, Brincke and King, and the river which flows through the town, the Mullet, a branch of the Sheboygan River, was named after the first named engineer. It was called by the Indians, Ta-quit-qui-oc (crooked river). The town is in the second tier from the north and is bounded on the north by Rhine, on the east by Sheboygan Falls, the south by Lyndon, and the west by Greenbush towns. It is well watered by the Mullet River and several smaller streams. The first land sold to private parties in the present town of Plymouth was a portion of section 1, to John Law, of London, England, August 13, 1836. The next entry was on the 23rd of August, 1836, by Thomas Margrave, of London, on section 5. Other aliens also held titles to land in the town about this time.
The town of Plymouth then comprising Rhine and Plymouth towns, was organized April 3, 1849. At the town meeting held on that date at the home of John W. Taylor, Daniel Hyatt was chosen temporary chairman, L. A. Babcock, clerk, and Albert Walton and Henry P. Davidson, trustees. There were then elected the following officers: Supervisors, Elon W. Baldwin, Daniel Hyatt and Francis Krackenberger; clerk, James Cleveland; assessors, Adonijah Carter and Valentine Bub; superintendent of schools, Franklin Bond; treasurer, Hiram Bishop; justices of the peace, J. F. Moore, Erastus C. Sessions, Henry Giffin and Julius Wolff; constables, Samuel C. Jerome, S. D. Wilson and Augustus Bettlehauser; sealer of weights and measures, Daniel Weary. The whole number of votes cast at the election was ninety.
The geographical center of the county is within this town in section 36. The eastern part of the town is gently undulating, is highly productive and the farms are among the finest in the county. The western part is more hilly, as here is located a range of the Potash Kettle hills. Notwithstanding this there are many good farms in this locality. The town of Plymouth is unsurpassed by any in the county for the variety and quality of rich productions. Its cheese factories have a world wide reputation.
HISTORY OF THE TOWN
In 1872, Mrs. H. N. Smith, a pioneer resident, wrote a series of historical articles pertinent to this locality, which were published in the Plymouth Reporter from week to week. Most of the facts herein related will therefore be taken as coming from the pen of Mrs. Smith, as the compiler of this history has extracted from her articles practically all of the data relating to the town of Plymouth. This foreword has been adopted in order to give Mrs. Smith credit for her excellent work and to avoid the use of quotation marks.
It was on the 8th day of May, 1845, Mrs. Smith relates, that Isaac Thorpe, William Bowen, John Thorpe, Renssalaer Thorpe, with wagons and lumber, traveled all day from Sheboygan Falls and camped at night just below where the house of H. N. Smith stands (1872). They were immigrants from Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Examining the land upon which the city of Plymouth now stands, they found it all along the stream to be swampy ground and covered with thickets of alder. Tired and hungry they went back as far as the place known as the Boutwell farm. Isaac Thorpe, then an old man, determined to remain here and on the same day Renssalaer Thorpe, a young man of nineteen, cut down the first tree for a house, which was constructed of logs and completed on the 12th of May. Its roof was made of long boards laid across the top. There was no floor and no chimney. Just as the four men were preparing for their first night under shelter, three wagons loaded with emigrants, men and women and children, stopped at the door. A little later Lieutenant Webster, U. S. A. and J. L. Moore rode up to the door. They also joined the party in the new cabin. A fire was built by the side of the logs and the smoke escaped through apertures in the roof. In four days more Mr. Thorpe's wife and children arrived, and in a few weeks' potatoes, corn, buckwheat and garden vegetables were in the ground that had been cleared. The yield of all these showed the excellence of Isaac Thorpe's judgment. The soil of the new farm was pronounced to be good. The same fall Renssalaer Thorpe cleared four acres of land on what later became the Reuben Clark farm and sowed the first winter wheat in the town. The yield was forty-four bushels to the acre. There was then a one "run of stone" in the county,-in the mill at Sheboygan Falls, so that in spite of the good yield the first crop of wheat in Plymouth was not a valuable one in dollars and cents, but precious as grains of gold in another point of view. It demonstrated to the settlers that their land was valuable and the soil as good for wheat as any in the world. The necessaries of life were cheap and well it was for the settlers, as the time and cost of transporting flour and provisions over the woodland tract was considerable. Flour at Sheboygan was $5 a barrel; a pair of boots cost $2.50. Game was abundant-partridges, rabbit, squirrel and deer.' Young Thorpe soon became an expert huntsman and supplied the family with an abundance of excellent meat.
The Thorpe family was not left long in solitude. In July, 1845, Henry P. Davidson and his son, Thomas I. Davidson, selected the land near the Cold Springs, which had been rejected by Isaac Thorpe. Mr. Davidson at once built a log cabin here, with the assistance of a few men from Sheboygan Falls. Besides himself there were in his family his wife, two sons, Thomas and Henry, and two daughters, Julia and Susan. They had come from Hartford, Connecticut, and had brought with them much of the culture of New England breeding. The elder Davidson gave the name of Springfield to the new settlement, but Thomas named it Plymouth, in memory of a town in Connecticut dear to him. Davidson's log cabin soon became famous as the best on the road.
While the Thorpe's and Davidson's were the first settlers of the town, they were not the first purchasers of land here. Cyrus Johnson on the 7th of June, 1845, entered land but did not settle in the town until the fall of that year. On December 18, 1845, Hiram Bishop purchased land on section 22. He located in the town with his newly married wife, in August, 1846. Joseph F. Weed purchased land on section 22, October 10, 1845. October 24, 1845, J. W. Briggs bought land on section 23, and December 29th of the same year, Jacob Mantz bought on section 23. William S. Turner secured land on section 27, October 16, 1845; Peter Van Patton, on section 25, November 20th of the same year, and James De Groff bought land on section 26, November 3, 1845. At the close of 1845 there were in the town the following persons and their families: Isaac Thorpe, John Thorpe, Renssalaer Thorpe, Avery Childs, William Bowen, Henry P. Davidson, Thomas Davidson, Cyrus Johnson, John D. Briggs, James De Groff, Bradbury Robinson, Abner Walton, Jacob Mantz, Ezra Andrews, Almon Andrews and Henry Gilman.
Early in the spring of 1846 Nelson and Ira Bradford settled here, and on the 28th day of May, 1846, William Hueppgen purchased land on section 22. This land is now a part of the city of Plymouth. Mr. Hueppgen built a log shanty just south from the old Quitquioc House, and cleared an acre or two of ground. John W. Taylor arrived in August, 1846, and purchased the property then owned by Henry P. Davidson on section 21, including the cabin tavern, which later became the bar room of the Cold Springs House of later date. The Taylor family were from Byron, New York, and consisted of J. W. Taylor, wife and three daughters, Mr. Taylor's parents and a sister of Mrs. Taylor, Miss Coleman, who afterwards married Thomas I. Davidson. Mr. Taylor soon established a land agency here, which was in no small degree the means of bringing many settlers to this part of the county.
In the fall of 1846 Martin H. Flint, with his wife and one child, came to Mr. Taylor's log cabin from Vermont. He bought the land then occupied by William Hueppgen and also a tract on section 22 of Henry P. Davidson. Before winter had set in, Flint had erected the first frame house in Plymouth, which later served as the kitchen and dining room of the Quitquioc House. C. E. Sessions and a Mr. Butters assisted in building this structure. There were several purchases of land in the town in 1846; James Crane on section 10, in November; James Coon, on section 11, in November; James Tryon, on section 11, the same month; William Tryon, on section 11, in November; Almon Andrews, on section 30, July 17; also on section 30, June 25. The Andrews were the first settlers west of the village. W. D. Moore purchased on section 33 in November; Aaron Henry Sedgwick, on section 30, in December; William W. Webster, on section 27 and section 28, in September; James M. Bunker, on section 23, in December; Albert Walton on section 23, May 14; Peter Rogers, on section 27, January 25; J. T. Maxby, on section 28, in August. Other purchasers this year were Adam Moore, George McCausey, Amos F. Brewster, James Andrews, Albert Walton, William Holcomb, O. D. Andrews, Elisha Taylor, Hubbard Sanderson, M. M. Flint and Ebon W. Baldwin. Not all of these purchasers, however, settled in the town.
MURDERED BY INDIANS
In April, 1846, an event occurred which must have cast a deep gloom over the minds of the settlers. On the morning of the 27th of that month Mrs. Asenath Briggs, the wife of J. W. Briggs, left her home to go to Nelson Bradford's cabin a half mile northwest, leaving her little son with her disabled husband, her errand being to get some milk and meal for her family, but she never returned and never again was seen alive. She was tracked by her alarmed neighbors and after days of fruitless search, all hope was abandoned. Weeks afterward word was brought to the friends of the unfortunate woman by Indians that they had found her remains in the "big bend" of the Sheboygan River in Manitowoc County. Renssalaer Thorpe, Cyrus Johnson, Avery Childs and E. F. Wright went at once in search. They found the body as indicated and strong suspicions were entertained that the poor woman had been murdered by the savages. The condition of the body led to the dreadful conclusion. The skull was found several feet from the bank. Her shawl was not upon her person but under her body and her clothes spread over her. Her pail and wooden measure were standing by her side. Strange to say, the remains were not removed and buried until the following fall.
February 8, 1846, the birth of the first white child took place in the community. This child was the daughter of Cyrus Johnson, who later became the wife of John Knowd, long the station agent of the M. & N. railroad. A son of Jacob Mantz, born on the 20th of March, 1846, was the next. Samuel Savage Robinson, a son of Bradbury Robinson, was born September 27, 1846. It might here be stated that a doctor and nurse were not needed at this period of Plymouth's history.
The first religious services held in the town were at Isaac Thorpe's cabin, conducted by "Father" Cole, an English Methodist, in the summer of 1845. It has been ascertained that a Mr. Hitchcock, a Baptist preacher who lived in Sheboygan Falls, also held services here occasionally that year. In September, 1846, Thomas I. Davidson became the first postmaster at Plymouth. He kept his office in the log tavern and later in the kitchen of his new log house. The receipts of the office for the first quarter were $2.50. Postage was ten cents, and the mail arrived once a week by "pony express" by way of Sheboygan.
J. T. Maxby, who came here in 1846, was the first tailor in the town and it is believed that Miss Plautina Stone taught the first school, in Reuben Clark's house. In the winter of 1847-8 a Mr. Babcock, a young lawyer from St. Paul, Minnesota, taught a very small school in the village.
VIEW OF PLYMOUTH TAKEN IN THE '60s FROM WEST HILL LOOKING EAST DOWN MILL STREET
To the left is the first graded school of Plymouth, the Lutheran and Episcopal churches
Three weddings took place in 1847. The first was that of S. V. R. Thorpe and Miss Jane Van Patton, who were married by Elder Hitchcock, March 12 of that year. This was the first marriage to be celebrated in the town. The second was that of William Richardson, of Sheboygan Falls, and Miss Julia Davidson, September 27. On Christmas day of that year the Cold Spring House was formally opened and the occasion made most interesting by the marriage of Thomas I. Davidson and Miss Elizabeth Coleman. In 1847 occurred the births of Marshall Baldwin, Marvin Gilman, Ira Jerome Bishop and Mary Asenath Flint. Adam Moore, who lived alone in a log shanty near the Cleveland place, was found crushed by a tree and buried near the spot. He was a brother of J. F. Moore.
On the 1st day of July, 1847, H. N. Smith, with his wife, the author of this history of Plymouth, one child, Anna, Mrs. Eliza Chase, mother of Mrs. Smith, Miss Charlotte Smith, who afterwards became the wife of Samuel B. Ormsbee, and Patrick Henry Smith, a brother of H. N. Smith, came to M. M. Flint's house. Mr. Smith returned to Sheboygan, where he opened a store.
The first important road leading out of Plymouth north and south was laid out during the month of June, 1847, by Commissioners Davidson and Taylor. Its course was from the corner of Main and Milwaukee streets north to the county line, also south to the county line. Elon W. Baldwin was the only settler north of Plymouth at this time.
Other settlers who came to the town in 1847 were Adonijah Carter, and Allen Carter, from Indiana; Jacob F. Moore, George W. Barnard, C. W. Dawley, from New York; John Barber, Charles Ubbelido, James Collins, Charles Warbush, Daniel Hyatt, B. Li and Charles Nutt, a Mr. Plugge, Ferdinand Brown and Harvey Treadwell.
THE VILLAGE OF PLYMOUTH IS LAID OUT
In the summer of 1847 John W. Taylor employed a surveyor to lay out the village of Plymouth, having purchased that portion of Plymouth lying west of Division Street, and divided it into town lots. Mr. Davidson, who assisted Mr. Taylor, at the time, expressed little faith in the future of Plymouth. In the spring of 1847 Thomas I. Davidson built a log grocery store, having purchased a small stock of goods from G. N. Lyman. In June, 1847, William D. Lipe built a small log shop opposite the Cold Spring House, wherein he placed a forge and anvil and became the first blacksmith of the village. He also built a log dwelling house for himself and family. George W. Barnard, a carpenter and joiner, erected a small shop for the first shoemaker, S. H. Houghton. This was the second frame building in the town.
MERCHANDISING AND COST OF LIVING
In the early part of 1848 H. N. Smith put up a small building 13 by 30 feet, two stories in height, on lot 4, block 13, the work being done by Daniel Weary. It was neither plastered nor painted and had no chimney. A stock of goods amounting to $2,500, furnished by Mr. Smith, was placed in the building and on March 11, P. H. Smith, his brother, opened the store as general manager. At this time maple sugar, shingles, baskets, eggs, beeswax, ax helves, hand made window sash, all in very small quantities, were taken in exchange for coffee, at twelve cents per pound, Young Hyson tea at seventy-five cents a pound, whiskey at ten cents per quart, tobacco at twenty-five cents a pound, shoes one dollar a pair, corn meal $175 per hundred pounds, flour two and one-half cents per pound. The first butter trade of the town was begun by Mrs. Benson. She brought five and a quarter pounds of butter on the 20th of June, 1848, and received for it at eleven cents a pound, goods to the amount of forty-eight cents. Indians were frequent customers at the store. They would receive nothing but the hard cash for their goods but would at once return and purchase articles they desired, one of which would be a goodly supply of "fire water."
At this time twenty-five dollars a year was a fair average for the actual outlay of a settler's family. Kerosene was not in vogue, tallow candles were cheap and people had but little use for a light in their cabins other than that given by the fire place. Maple sugar and wild honey, blackberries and wild strawberries, gooseberries and wild crab apples supplied the backwoods tea table with the sauce dear to every housekeeper's heart. Canning fruit was not then thought of. Salt pork was a once-a-week luxury, white fish another. The woods were full of game and those who had cows were fortunate. As for clothes, a "wamus" was a man's coat. Boots* were $2.50 a pair, and calico or cotton delaine was the height of feminine ambition.
During the summer of 1848 Henry I. Davidson, having purchased the water power, built the first sawmill in Plymouth. William Glenny made the dam and a Mr. Curtis was the millwright.
Others who came in 1847 were James T. Flint, a brother of M. M. Flint, Joel Parmeter, Carl Roehr and Carl Schwartze. L. F. Eastman and family arrived in the village in May, 1848, and built a small log house near Enos Eastman's subsequent residence. G. W. Glidden arrived in the fall of 1848 and settled on what afterwards became known as the Sanford farm. Joseph Ichstedt also was a settler of 1848, and the first wagon maker here. Others prominent among the "forty-eighters" were George Kebbel, Eliab West, S. C. Jerome, James Cleveland, William Witte, Jonah Brown, John Keiper, William and John Burton, John Vanderhoff, Solomon Dobbin, W. W. Warner, Hobart, Allen C. and George W. Grant, three brothers, who came from Maine. They bought land on section 11 of the Tryons, paying $2.50 an acre. The Grant families did not come until 1849.
In June, 1848, Dr. Franklin Bond settled in the village.
Thomas Arnold settled in the town in 1849 and about this time came a Mr. McDonald and William Haigh and family. Other settlers in the town in 1849 were Enos Eastman and L. M. Evans, a young Vermonter, who was one of the pioneer fruit growers of the county. In October 1849, E. M. McGraw removed with his family from Sheboygan here. He soon afterward, in company with J. Ichstedt, opened a wagon shop in the upper room of Lipe's building. Carl Schwartze built his blacksmith shop in the summer of 1849, and that same year Daniel Weary, who removed here from Sheboygan, put up a house. The first schoolhouse was built during this summer, which became the only resort for church, school, lecture, or any popular entertainment. Charles Krumrey was also a settler early in 1849. He met an untimely death by an accident in 1870. A Mr. Laudenbach and Ara Wilson were "forty-niners," the latter the first mason in the town.
THE FIRST GRIST MILL
In the fall of 1849 Henry I. Davidson and Robert H. Hotchkiss, of Milwaukee, erected a mill upon a site later known as the Wattier mill, which was under the charge of George Chamberlin, of Sheboygan Falls, during the winter of 1849-50. On the 27th of March, 1850, the first grist was ground, which was wheat belonging to Hiram Bishop. On the 28th of that month H. N. Smith bought Mr. Davidson's interests and the mill was then conducted under the firm name of Smith & Hotchkiss. Owing to the lack of wheat in the county and surrounding country, the mill had very little to do for a long while.
INCREASE OF WHEAT CROP
The wheat crop in 1850 was good in quantity and quality. Four retailed at the mill for five dollars per barrel and the Smith & Hotchkiss mill during the fall and winter of that year had a very good run of custom. People living in Manitowoc, Calumet and Fond du Lac counties, though thirty miles distant, were regular customers, frequently remaining over night for their grist to be ground. Wages for laborers were from eight dollars to twelve dollars per month, with board. At this time winter wheat was the principal crop, little spring wheat being sown.
THE QUITQUIOC HOUSE
The hostelry which became widely known as the Quitquioc House was built in the summer and fall of 1850 by W. D. Moore, G. W. Barnard and others, the workmen being paid one dollar a day. The house was formally opened February 22, 1851, with a ball and supper in honor of the event and the birthday of the Father of his Country. At the banquet were served oysters, turkey, chicken pie, ice cream and every dainty in the shape of cake conceivable. It is said that G. W. Barnard declared "that he was going to this ball if it took every dried apple he had."
Among others who came to the town in 1850 were Henry Fischer, Francis Lozau, Herman Kropp, William Steele, Isaac Shauger, John Zinkgraf, Anthony Romans, with his son, Christian, and William Ristner, with his first wife and child, William.
In the winter of 1849-50 M. M. Flint taught the first school in the new schoolhouse. He was a man of education and a superior teacher. In the summer of 1850 Miss Mary Tickner taught this school and she also taught here a portion of the next winter. She married Daniel O'Neal and her place was supplied by a Miss Averill. In the summer of 1851 Miss Fannie Lawrence, of Sheboygan, taught this school.
The year 1851 witnessed the completion of the plank road between Plymouth and Sheboygan. The planks were sawed by means of a portable horse sawmill. This same year Mr. and Mrs. Orrin Treadwell became settlers of the then village of Plymouth, bringing with them the first piano known to the place.
Many have become residents of the community since 1850 but it is not the purpose of this work to name each individual for the reason that space forbids it. Matters of importance, however, will be given place.
FIRST FAIR IN SHEBOYGAN COUNTY
The first fair in the county took place at Sheboygan, October 1, 1851, where Adonijah Carter, of Plymouth, took the premium for three-year old colts, and James Cleveland captured the first premium on field crops. Miss Carter received the first premium on bed quilts. The second county fair was held in Plymouth in the fall of 1852. This fair was notable from the fact that Henry Tidman, of Sheboygan Falls, exhibited two merino rams, the first fine wool sheep in the county.
In this same year the name of the village was changed from Quitquioc to that of Plymouth.
In 1852 G. W. Glidden opened a fanning mill factory and in 1854 the cemetery association was organized.
In 1867 William Schwartz built the Central Mills, putting in three run of stone, and in the fall of that year V. Wattier purchased Mr. Schwartz' lower mill and gave it the name of "Paris," adding two run of stone, making four in all.
THE CITY OF PLYMOUTH
While Plymouth has not grown as rapidly as the county seat, its attractions in the way of population and trade have been steady and substantial. For a large section of the county this place is an important trading and shipping point and its many large and well-stocked mercantile establishments are attractions that make for a generous patronage. Plymouth is the greatest cheese mart in the state of Wisconsin and is the place for the activities of the largest individual cheese dealer in the country. Its chair factory gives employment to many hands, and other industries of this thriving little city gives her prestige with the outside world needing her manufactures.
The city now has a population of 3,100. The site is an ideal one, both for business and residential purposes, nestling down in a beautiful valley as it does, where nature protects it from the elements by her hills and forest. Plymouth, now in the vernacular known as "The Hub," by reason of being almost in the center of the county, is about fifteen miles from Sheboygan city and fifty-five miles from Milwaukee. Seven miles away is the enchanting summer resort of Lake Elkhart.
Transportation facilities are equal to the needs of merchant and traveler. Direct communication with the outer world is accessible over the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul and the Chicago & Northwestern railroads. Hourly, trains run on an interurban electric line to Sheboygan and also to Elkhart Lake. Many beautiful and substantial homes, churches, schoolhouses, places of amusement, fraternal and social bodies and the like make Plymouth a most desirable place to select as a permanent abode.
The government and business affairs of Plymouth were conducted under a village charter until 1877, when the general assembly granted the village wider privileges under a city charter. That year the municipality was legalized as a city and perfected as such, by its first election under the new charter. H. H. Huson was chosen as the first mayor, D. M. Jackson, clerk, and E. A. Dow, treasurer.
In 1874, a fire engine house had been erected for the use of the fire department and council and in 1893 a new and more commodious structure took its place on the corner of Main and Stafford, and is known as the city hall, where the fire apparatus is kept and the city council holds its meetings.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
The fire department was organized October 5, 1868. The officers elected were: William Elwell, foreman; Andrew Schneider, assistant foreman; Otto Puhlmann, secretary. A hand engine and 200 feet of rubber hose were purchased for $650, the money being raised by subscription.
In 1874 a fire house, with basement, was built, the upper room being used as a place for meetings and the basement was used for storing the engine and hose.
In 1875 a hook and ladder truck was bought, with necessary equipments. They were under charge of the fire company but owing to lack of interest on the part of the citizens, that part of the apparatus was never successfully handled. A desire was felt to organize a separate company that would devote their time to that part of the department, and October 8, 1883, a company was organized to take charge of the hook and ladder truck. In December of the latter year the two companies formed a fire department and elected as the first chief, August Scheibe, Sr. Eventually the city purchased a new Watrous engine, a new hose cart and sufficient hose, also a new hook and ladder truck. The charter members of the hook and Ladder Company, fourteen in all, were: John Carroll, James Blackmore, Fred Dobbratz, B. A. Gaffron, C. W. Brown, H. M. Freutel, John Holzschuh, W. G. Karpe, Andrew Dowset, Fred Donarth, Otto Derrwaldt, E. Pokriefke, G. Albrecht, W. Schwartz. At a meeting held November 8, 1883, the following officers were elected: E. Pokriefke, foreman; C. W. Brown, assistant foreman; W. G. Karpe, secretary; B. A. Gaffron, treasurer; H. M. Freutel, steward.
January 22, 1897, a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing a chemical engine company, and the following were elected the first officers: Foreman, R. H. Koehler; assistant foreman, L. A. Kaestner; pipeman, M. Larson; assistant pipeman, H. Reinhold; secretary, G. F. Kegler; treasurer, L. J. Kaestner. The charter members were: R. H. Koehler, G. F. Kegler, L. J. Kaestner, L, A. Kaestner, George W. Corbett, F. V. Smith, Otto Carthaus, J. W. Kroeger, M. Larson, Hugo Reinhold, J. H. remained but six months, when he became connected with the schools at Two Rivers. He was succeeded by W. B. Collins, under whose direction the school course was changed to meet the state requirements. The course now covers eight years in the grades and four years in the high school. In 1904 a new nine-room structure was completed, at a cost of $26,000, equipped with the Johnson ventilating and heating system. J. J. Enright is the present principal of the school.
The state bank of Plymouth was organized first as a private concern by J. W. Dow, who came to the city in 1873 and opened a bank, which he conducted for his own individual profit until 1890, when with others he secured a charter from the state and in the year last above mentioned the Plymouth State Bank began operations, with a capital stock of $25,000. The first officials were: J. W. Dow, president; August Schmidt, vice president; E. A. Dow, cashier; H. W. Hostman, assistant cashier. After the senior Dow's death his son, E. A. Dow, succeeded to the presidency and Mr. Hostman also took a stride forward and assumed the duties of cashier, which position he still ably holds. In 1904 the capital stock was increased to $50,000 and in 1906 the capital was further enlarged to $60,000. The home of the bank is a beautiful structure with a stone front tastefully and attractively designed. The interior has all the essentials of a modern bank, having spaciousness, safety vaults, burglar-proof safes, etc. The capital stock and surplus are $120, 000, undivided profits, $27,000; deposits, $808,000. The present officials are: E. A, Dow, president; August Schmidt, vice president; H. W. Hostman, cashier & W. Dow, assistant cashier.
PLYMOUTH EXCHANGE BANK
The above named financial institution was organized as a state bank, May 6, 1886, and capitalized at $25,000. W. C. Saemann, Frances Taylor, .Mary F. Behnke, Henry Nickel and others were the chief promoters of the enterprise. The first board of directors consisted of W. C. Saemann, F. W. Behnke, Adam Wolf, Frances Taylor, Henry Nickel, R. R. Wilson, John J. Koch. Officials: W. C. Saemann, president; Henry Nickel, vice president; O. Osthelder, cashier. Mr. Osthelder remained cashier until September 30, 1902, when he resigned, and Henry Garbisch was elected in his stead. Mr. Garbisch only retained the position about six weeks, when he voluntarily gave way to R. H. Koehler, the latter taking charge of his position January 1, 1903.
W. C. Saemann died September 12, 1904, when R. R. Wilson assumed the duties of the office, but, at the regular meeting of the board of directors, held January 10, 1905, C. D. Eastman was elected to the presidency. The present handsome bank building was erected in 1905 and its beautiful outlines would grace a city of much more pretensions than Plymouth.
May 10, 1905, the capital stock of the Exchange Bank was increased from $25,000 to $50,000. The surplus and profits amount to $42,000, and deposits reach $510,000. Charles D. Eastman, president; O. A. Scheibe, vice president; R. H. Koehler, cashier.
Cassia Lodge, No. 167, A. F. & A. M. was organized June 11, 1867. J. C. F. McNeal was the charter worshipful master and A. E. Stoddard, senior warden. With modest beginning the lodge has grown and prospered, having now a membership of eighty-five, and headquarters especially designed and furnished in the new Plymouth Exchange Bank building. The present officials are: W. M., O. W. Timm; S. W., J. H. Wheeler; J. W., W. L. Kaestner; S. D., E. J. Larson; J. D., G. T. Larfeld; Treasurer, H. W. Hostman; Secretary, C. W. Jackson.
Plymouth Union Lodge, No. 71, I. O. O. F., was organized January 21, 1887, with the following charter members: O. Treadwell, Hiram N. Smith, William Elwell, Ernest Kaestner and Robert Hotchkiss. The lodge now has a membership of fifty-two, all of whom are strong in the tenets of the order and work faithfully to keep it in the front ranks. The officials for 1912 are: N. G., John F. Goelzer; V. G., Peter Staley; Secretary, Edward Fox; Financial Secretary, H. E. Haugh; Treasurer, R. H. Koehler. The lodge meets in rooms in the Dow block.
Alice Lodge of Rebekahs, No. 155, an auxiliary of the Odd Fellows, was organized June 5, 1907, with the following charter members: William Graef, G. W. Ubbelohde, Louis Feld, Ben Feld, Fanny Feld, Rose Feld, Abe Feld and Elvyn Goelzer.
The Modern Woodmen of America, Camp No. 724, was organized May 31, 1898. The charter members were: A. G. Glenn, T. J. Lahl, C. F. Delo, Charles Huson, H. N. Shadbolt, H. F. Flagg, George M. Huson, George C. Sweet, Michael Gaffron, Byron A. Huson, G. L. Hostman, H. W. Timm, J. H. Gilman, M. M. Kaestner, L. J. Wittenberg.
Royal Arcanum, Hiawatha Lodge, No. 520, was organized April 13, 1881, with twelve charter members. There is also a lodge of Royal Neighbors, which meets in the Dow building in the same room as the Odd Fellows and Woodmen.
Hub City Aerie, No. 1312, Order of Eagles, was organized February 8, 1906, with sixty-four charter members.
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
Henry G. Davidson Post, G. A. R., No. 212, was organized November 9, 1895, and had twenty-seven charter members. As death has been very busy with veterans of the Civil war, keeping the ranks of the lodge from thinning out has been a losing fight. It is, therefore, but a question of time when the last member of this patriotic band will be commanded to answer the final roll call.
The Iroquois Club is a social organization that came into existence in 1905. It now has fifty-five members and meets in beautifully appointed rooms in the Exchange Bank building. The officers are: president, O. W. Timm; vice president, R. H. Hanke; secretary and treasurer, W. W. Saemann.
Congregational Church - High School
Catholic Church - Grade School
View of the Mullet River - City Hall
St. Paul's Church
This city has many inducements that should attract to its confines manufacturing concerns desiring a good location. As it is, there are industries here that should be given special mention.
In 1895 a number of business men subscribed for capital stock and the Plymouth Refrigerating, Water, Light & Power Company was organized. H. E. Dow was its president and the capitalization was $20,000. A large three-story building was erected, but the patronage having increased so rapidly another story was added in 1896 and the capital stock increased to $50,000. The plant was built for the dry storage of perishable goods and when first remodeled its capacity was equal to 75,000 boxes of cheese and 5,000 cases of eggs, besides meat and other articles. In 1899 C. D. Eastman became president and additional storage room was added to the plant. Several warehouses have been built by the company to accommodate its customers-principally large cheese dealers-and having a well equipped water, steam and electric plant attached, is capable of meeting the wants of all who may deal with the company.
The Schwartz Manufacturing Company, makers of kitchen furniture, cabinets, etc., was organized in 1891 and was under the management of William Schwartz until his death, which occurred in 1903. In August, 1903, the business was incorporated under the name of The Schwartz Manufacturing Company, with G. A. Albrecht, president; H. Hostman, vice president; and E. Eastman, secretary and treasurer. In 1904 fire destroyed one of the buildings located on Stafford Street, but was soon rebuilt. This concern's product is in great demand and it finds employment for about forty hands.
The Schwartz Foundry is a long established industry of Plymouth. Carl Schwartz, who settled here in 1847, started the business in a small way many years since and today his sons, William, Carl and John, are continuing the work begun by the father so long ago, with a new shop built by the elder Schwartz in 1905.
The Plymouth Roller Mills is an historic institution of this region and will be so recognized by the reader when its original name, Quitquioc, is mentioned. As will be seen elsewhere in this work, the Quitquioc mill was built by H. I. Davidson in 1849, and completed by R. H. Hotchkiss in 1857. Rudolph Puhlman became a partner of Mr. Hotchkiss and the mill became known as the Hotchkiss & Puhlman Mill and so continued until 1889, when it was purchased by William Schwartz. In 1901 Gottlieb Pfeiffer became owner of the property and has so improved the mill that it meets all demand by its patrons of the present day.
The F. Thurmann & Company foundry and machine shops are important adjuncts to the business interests of the community. The shops were established in 1886. The proprietors were John and Carl Schwartz and Fred Thurman. In 1889 Thurman withdrew and for eighteen years thereafter employed his time in blacksmithing. In 1885 another foundry had been started by G. A. Albrecht, Charles Fuchs and Charles Knauer. Knauer disposed of his interests the same year to William Thurmann, son of Fred, and later the Thurmanns and G. A. Albrecht acquired the plant, the latter retiring from the firm in 1902. The Thurmanns make feed cutters, plows, castings and do general foundry work.
There are other industries astir in Plymouth and, in a way, probably as important as those given space here. There are other factories, lumber firms doing a large business and their managers being men of affairs and influential in the counsels of those who have the best interests of Plymouth at heart. There is the Plymouth brewery established by G. Weber in 1865, still in operation and giving general satisfaction to its many patrons; there are numerous mercantile establishments, all keeping pace with the rapid times; and there are the newspapers, true and honest reflectors of the sentiment and character of the bailiwick. All of these cannot be individually sketched. Many of them have found a place in the second volume, while others are mentioned in one or more chapters in this one.
The first organization for library purposes was at the home of H. N. Smith, January 21, 1870. This society was formed to put on plays, the proceeds to be used to purchase books. The first officers were: president, R. H. Hotchkiss; vice president, J. L. Dockstader; treasurer, Helen Taylor; secretary, E. H. Bowman. The first librarian was Mrs. P. H. Smith and the library was kept in her home. In 1877 this society, called the "Hub Club," had successfully presented about thirty of the standard plays, the gross receipts in round numbers being two thousand dollars. November 15, 1901, the present public library was opened to the public. For nearly two years prior to this time the ladies of the Woman's Relief Corps had maintained and kept up a public reading room, with hopes of merging this into a public library. They petitioned Mayor A. H. Schram to make an appropriation for the purpose. The members of the Hub Club, with the same interest at heart, would donate the Hub Club books. Upon this basis and decision the public library was brought about, according to state, city and free library commission rules.
The first officers were: President, E. A. Dow; vice president, Miss Franc Taylor; treasurer, E. D. Dennis; secretary, Miss Mary Clark. The beginning was with about 1,100 books. There are now two thousand.
The first agricultural society in Sheboygan county was organized July 4, 1851. Suitable grounds were secured and fairs were held for a number of years. Interest in the meetings finally waned, the grounds and buildings were disposed of and the society went out of existence. On the 10th of October, 1896, in Turner Hall, in the city of Plymouth, a number of influential men of the county assembled and organized the Sheboygan County Agricultural Association. H. Wheeler, Sr., was elected president; Noah Saemann, of Adell, vice president; Otto Gaffron, Plymouth, secretary; E. A. Dow, Plymouth, treasurer. Directors: M. Gottfried, Elkhart; E. B. Robinson, Lyndon; George Wolff, Rhine; F. B. Hesler, Glenbeulah; A. McDonnell, Scott.
A purchase was made of twenty acres lying northeast of the Weeks' property, and two hundred shares of stock of the par value of ten dollars each were sold, a part of which was paid for in labor performed on the grounds. The first fair was held in 1897 and since then the annual meetings have been well attended and from year to year the interest has been maintained. The present officers are: P. K. Wheeler, president; N. Saemann, vice president; O. Gaffron, secretary; E. A. Dow, treasurer; R. A. LaBudde, Rhine; H. W. Timmer, Lyndon; J. E. Brogan, Mitchell; R. B. Melvin, Glenbeulah; George Nohl, Johnsonville, directors. J. O. Parrish, Lima, general superintendent; H. J. Goelzer, Plymouth, superintendent of speed; H. F. Thiedeman, Plymouth, superintendent of grounds.
CHRONOLOGY OF PLYMOUTH TOWN
The first survey was in 1835.
The first purchase of land for settlement was made by Cyrus Johnson, June 7, 1845.
A daughter born to Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Johnson, February 8, 1846, was the first white child born in the town.
Peter Ichstedt, born March 10, 1849, was the first male child.
Rennsalaer Thorpe and Jane Van Patten were married March 12, 1847. This was the first marriage ceremony in Plymouth.
The death of Jacob Mantz, March 20, 1846, was the first to occur in the county.
Renssalaer Thorpe cut the first tree in the town, May 9, 1845.
The Methodists held the first religious services in 1845.
Thomas I. Davidson was the first postmaster in 1846.
Grandma Thorpe, in 1845, was the first to lend medical aid to a patient.
A. S. Doolittle was the first doctor.
Jacob Mantz and William Hueppgen, who came in 1845 and 1846, respectively, were the initial German settlers.
J. W. Taylor laid out the village plat in the summer of 1847.
The first frame store building was erected by H. N. Smith in the spring of 1848.
Enos Eastman was the first settler to own a horse. This was in 1849.
Mr. Babcock was the first male school teacher in 1848-9.
William Lipe opened the first blacksmith shop in 1849.
The first plank road reached the town from Sheboygan in 1851.
The first shoemaker was S. H. Houghton.
The cemetery association was organized in 1852.
A. S. Doolittle was the first regular physician and a Mr. Searles in 1852 was the first lawyer.
The first clerk of the town was James Clark in 1849, and the first treasurer, Hiram Bishop; the first superintendent of schools, Franklin Bond.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
This society was organized in 1855 and was then called the First Congregational church of Lyndon, its meetings being held at the homes of the members or at the Mulleton schoolhouse. It seems, however, that several years prior to 1855 a number of Christian families living near the town line between Plymouth and Lyndon met at their homes and later at the schoolhouse for divine worship. At a meeting held January 14, 1855, Samuel Reed was elected a delegate to attend the Winnebago convention which met the same month at Rosendale, Wisconsin, and to make application for admission to that body. January 3, 1857, C. W. Wilder and Joseph Bamford were chosen a committee to "make a plan of a meeting house, estimate the expense of building and report at some subsequent meeting."
The First Congregational society of Plymouth and Lyndon was organized December 1, 1857, to have charge of the business and legal matters appertaining to the church. C. W. Wilder, Elijah Dawley and Joseph Bamford were elected trustees; M. Benson, clerk; and O. Treadwell, treasurer. A preparatory lecture was delivered in the schoolhouse in Plymouth, Saturday, July 1, 1858. This seems to have been the beginning of a movement to move the church from the town of Lyndon to the village of Plymouth.
During 1859 the congregation was engaged in building a house of worship in the village of Plymouth. This was dedicated December 17 of that year, and is still in use, having been from time to time repaired and remodeled, and an addition of twelve feet has been added to the front of the church. A new pipe organ was installed in the summer of 1912. The parsonage, which was built in 1866, has also recently been greatly improved and remodeled and it is now a modern and convenient residence. The value of the church property is $18,000.
The present membership of the church is one hundred and sixty, while the Sunday school numbers one hundred and ninety-eight members. There is also a Ladies' Society, a Priscilla Society, composed of the young ladies of the church, a society called the King's Daughters, composed of the young girls of the congregation and a Christian Endeavor Society, all of which are in a thriving condition.
The first pastor to serve the church was Rev. Josephus Morton, who came in 1855 and remained until his death, September 15, 1859. His successors have been: Thomas Wadsworth, 1860-63; Henry Avery, 1863-64; James D. Todd, 1864-67; Sidney H. Barteau, 1867-70; J. N. Powell, 187075; L. Wolfsen, 1875-77; David Wirt, 1877-79; Gilbert Rindell, 1879-85; G. J. Webster, 1885-88; G. B. Hubbard, 1888-98; F. C. Bliss, 1898-1901; George H. Marsh, 1901-05; Charles McIntosh, 1905 until his death in November, 1906. The church was then without a pastor for a few months, when A. J. Wilson came in February, 1907, and remained until 1909; William Lodwick then served from May of the latter year until 1911, and he was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. Winfred Altvater, who assumed charge in December, 1911.
St. John's Lutheran Church
The organization of St. John's Lutheran church was perfected in 1856, with the following charter members: John Adams, John W. Hueppchen, Henry Boecher, Christopher Bade, J. G. W. Hueppchen, J. J. Keuper, Michael Eberhardt and Henry Borges.
The members built the first church in 1858, which was dedicated the following year. This served its purpose until 1890, when the building gave way to a new one, which was erected at a cost of $14,000. The dedication took place March 8, 1891. The church has two bells in its tower and also the city clock. The interior is beautifully finished and decorated.
There are now 710 communicants of St. John's and in the parochial school are 135 pupils.
The pastors who have served the church from the time of the organization to the present time are: Revs. G. Steinbach, 1856-58; E. Rolf, 1858-62; F. Ottmann, 1864-84; J. Herzer, 1884-91; W. Matthes, 1891-95; H. F. Proehl, 1895 until he resigned a short time prior to his death, which occurred April 8, 1911. The church was then without a pastor for a short time when Rev. Martin Schmidt assumed charge and is still with the church.
GERMAN REFORMED CHURCH
The organization of this church was perfected March 6, 1896, with seventeen families, among whom were Henry Schwalenberg, John Kroeger, Henry Zwerg, Christoph Ploetzke, Herman Ploetzke, Carl Hecker, John Stallmann and Huldreich Witzel.
In the same year the congregation began the erection of a house of worship, which was completed and dedicated on the 18th of October, 1896, the dedicatory services being in charge of Rev. Vriesen, of Sheboygan Falls. It is a neat frame structure, with a seating capacity of three hundred, and stands on the corner of Smith street and Forest avenue. The parsonage adjoins the church property and the value of both properties is $6,000. The present membership of the church is 262, while the Sunday school numbers 130.
There have been but two pastors in the church, Rev. Steinecker serving from the time of the organization until his death in 1902, when the present pastor, Rev. F. W. Beisser, assumed charge.
GERMAN EVANGELICAL CHURCH
The German Evangelical, also known as the German Methodist church, was organized about forty years ago and among its first members were the families of Greenisen, Corta, Kunst, Kook, and Fischer. The first meetings were held in a schoolhouse two miles west of Plymouth, and about five years after the organization of the society, a church was built at the corner of Pleasant street and Western avenue. It is a small frame structure, valued at $2,800. This has always been a mission, supplied by pastors from other towns. The first to serve the church was Rev. Deede and at the present time it is served by Rev. Conrad Wiegand, of Sheboygan. Services are held every Sunday and there are nine families in attendance.
St. John's Church, Plymouth
The congregation of St. John the Baptist's at Plymouth, was established in 1861, by the Rev. Father Schmitting. Prior to this and even as far back as 1848, the people in this vicinity received occasional visits from the Revs. F. Schraudenbach and Rehrl, who were among the pioneer missionaries of the northwest and who said mass in the homes of different settlers. Of these Rev. Schraudenbach is credited with having been the first to say mass at Plymouth. The congregation at this place was attended as a mission by Fathers Stehle and Haider between the years 1863 and 1868, services being held during that period once every month. After them came the Capuchin Fathers from Mt. Calvary, who ministered to the spiritual wants of these people until 1888, when Rev. J. P. Van Treeck, located at Sheboygan, visited Plymouth every three weeks. This he continued to do until 1890, when his brother, J. A. Van Treeck, taking charge of his congregation during his sickness and absence, administered to the wants of these congregations Upon his return in August, 1891, Rev. J. P. Van Treeck again took charge of the congregation, his first services as resident pastor being held August 9 of that year at which time the congregation numbered but twenty-two families. This number has since been greatly increased.
There is a school connected with St. John's, which was opened in September, 1896, at which time forty-three pupils were in attendance. The present pastor is Rev. E. J. Meyer.
Source: History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, past and present, Volume 1; By Carl Zillier, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company; Publ. 1912; Transcribed and donated by Andrea Stawski Pack.