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
TOWNS AND VILLAGES
SETTLEMENT OF THE VARIOUS TOWNS AND BIRTH OF VILLAGES - NAMES OF MANY PIONEERS - GROWTH OF THE COMMUNITIES - THEIR VARIED INDUSTRIES - EARLY MILLS AND FARM PRODUCTS.
Lima was originally a precinct of the town of Sheboygan Falls. It was separated from the latter in 1850 and on April 2nd of that year a town meeting was held in Gibbsville and the following officers elected:
S. Roberts was elected chairman; J. D. Parrish clerk; and Thomas Currier, superintendent of schools. The town adjoins Wilson on the west and Lyndon on the east. To the north of it is the town of Sheboygan Falls and its south boundary is the town of Holland. The Mullet River makes the bend into the town at section 4 and leaves it at section 2. The Onion River enters at section 31 and leaves the town at the southeast corner of section 33. It again enters at section 29 and taking a northerly course leaves it at the northeast corner of section 1. The land is a rich clay loam and produces excellent crops of the various cereals produced in other sections of the county. Live stock and dairying are both important industries. There are a number of America citizens located here but the majority of the families are of foreign birth. The population of the town in 1910 was 1,847.
This section of the county was settled almost at as early a period as Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls. In the fall of 1836 James H., Benjamin L. and John D. Gibbs, brothers, left their homes in the state of New York and coming to Sheboygan county, located on the northeast quarter of section 26 in Lima town. At that time the land was covered by a dense growth of timber and these hardy pioneers were several days cutting a road through the woods. For nearly two years theirs was the only settlement in the town and it was not until 1839 that they were joined by any considerable number of neighbors. However, Benjamin Farmin came in 1838 and in the winter of 1839 Newell Upham arrived. Before this, however A. G. Dye moved out from Sheboygan in the spring of 1839 and located on section 8 and the locality afterwards became known as the Dye settlement, a more extended account of which will be found on another page of this work.
During the years from 1840 to 1850 the settlements greatly increased in numbers and in the latter year the town was organized.
John D. Parrish was one of the early settlers of Lima, coming with his family in 1844. An interesting account of the Parrish family is given elsewhere.
Richmond Wheeler settled here in 1844, preempting eighty acres of wild land at $1.25 per acre, and with his children, of whom Rufus L. Wheeler was the oldest boy, cleared the land and was one of the first settlers of this section of the county. The reader's attention is directed to an article on the pioneers in this volume for a further account of this family.
Amherst P. Humphrey came with his father and mother, Hiram and Martha Humphrey, to this town in 1845, and in 1849 the father bestowed the name of Lima upon the town in honor of his old home in New York. The family at first lived in a log cabin upon a tract of land which he had bought, consisting of four hundred acres. (See pioneer article.)
Timothy Littlefield came here in 1845 with his parents, Zebediah and Deborah Littlefield, from Maine. John Shaver and family were pioneers of this town, coming from New York, in this same year. He, however, removed to Holland the following year. In this same year Dr. Cephas Whipple settled on one hundred and sixty acres of land in this town. He built the first good frame house and planted the first orchard of any importance in Sheboygan County with but one or two exceptions.
John W. and Hannah D. Swett came to Sheboygan County from New York in 1846 and settled in Lima town. One of the earliest settlers in this town and in fact in the county was David W. Gilbert, who arrived in Sheboygan with his wife Keziah in the summer of 1846, landing at the pier in Sheboygan, having made the journey from Buffalo by water. After two weeks spent in prospecting he bought sixty-five acres of land in this town for $1.25 an acre, upon which he erected a frame building 16x24 feet. He was present at the first election in the town and was made one of the supervisors.
Benjamin and Sallie Tibbitts were natives of Maine and immigrated to Sheboygan County with their family of nine children in 1846, purchasing eighty acres of partly improved land, upon which was a small log and frame house. The first mill dam in Hingham was erected by Mr. Tibitts for Mr. Giddings.
Martin and Mary Miley came from Ireland in 1847 and settled in Lima town. The following year, 1848, Benjamin Halter, with his parents, Jacob and Elizabeth Halter, came to the town from New York. Benjamin was a veteran of the Civil war.
In the spring of 1840 John Johnson removed from Sheboygan and located on section 35 and about the same time the Palmer brothers took up land on the same section.
In the fall of 1840 Rev. Isaac Lewis held religious services at the Gibbsville settlement. The first birth to occur in the town was in 1839. The child was a daughter of John D. Gibbs. In 1842 James H. Gibbs married Clarissa Terry. The first school taught in Lima was at the residence of J. D. There are no incorporated villages in Lima. The town has two hamlets, however, Gibbsville, the original settlement of the Gibbs brothers, which is located on the old stage road from Milwaukee to Green Bay. It has general stores, flour mill, cheese factory and shops. Hingham is in the southwest corner of the town and has a flour mill, hotel and stores. There is also a schoolhouse and church located here, both of which are well attended.
The town of Lyndon has Mitchell on its left hand and Lima on the right as its neighbors, Plymouth on the north and Sherman on the south. It is most profusely watered and the drainage is excellent. It originally was a wilderness, covered with a growth of hard and soft wood timber. The forests were alive with fur-bearing game and many edible fowl. It was a paradise for the hunter and trapper. Wild fruit, such as cherries, plums, blackberries, gooseberries and cranberries abounded and went a long ways toward helping out the pioneers' table. Honey and nuts were here in great profusion and the hunter and settler had no excuse for going hungry. These conditions naturally attracted the Indian and on section 28 near Lake Ellen they located their village of many wigwams, built principally of logs and bark and here they hunted game, fished and made maple sugar, living undoubtedly in peace and contentment until the advent of the whites.
They were peaceably disposed toward the intruders, however, and exchanged with them game and furs for ammunition, provisions, tobacco and whisky. It was not long, however, until they were compelled to pull up stakes, move further and further from the haunts of civilization until they became scattered, dwindled away and have finally almost lost their identity as tribes.
The general surface of the town is uneven and rolling but the soil is of great fertility. In fact the excellence of the land taken as a whole cannot be questioned and is hardly to be surpassed by any in this section of the country. Corn, oats, wheat and rye and various grasses yield abundant crops and the industry of dairying and cheese-making is one of the principal pursuits of the denizens of this community.
The first settlement made in the town was by Albert Rounseville, who came down from Sheboygan Falls in 1840, built a log cabin on section 4 on the banks of the Onion River and lived there until the spring of 1841, when he returned to the Falls. The first permanent settlement, however, was not made until in 1844, when Dr. Joseph Mallory located on the Onion River. Thaddeus Harmon, with his family, arrived about the same time and located near a spring in section 2, and Cyrus Webster chose the southeast part of the town. During the next two years a large number of settlers arrived from the eastern and middle states and scattered in various parts of the community, and by 1847 the numbers had so increased that they felt strong enough for self government.
Wentworth Barber, a Vermonter, immigrated to the west in 1841 and first located at Sheboygan, where he was employed by William Farnsworth, the old Indian trader. In 1845 he entered eighty acres of government land in the town of Lyndon, which was the first land entered in this locality. Luther Witt, with his young bride, Betsey Thompson, arrived in Sheboygan County and located on a farm about two miles south of Cascade, in 1845. A few years later he removed to Plymouth town. David S. Mclntyre, with his young bride, also came here in 1845 and purchased eighty acres of unbroken land. He afterward removed to a forty acre farm on section 21.
James and Lucinda Stone settled in Lyndon in 1846 and was the first postmaster in the town. His daughter Helen was probably the first schoolteacher. For a more extended sketch of the Stone family and others who settled here, see article on pioneers.
Thomas Lawson came with his parents, Robert and Hannah Lawson, from England, in 1846, and settled here. Selden Akin was here about as early as 1846, when he purchased two eighty acre tracts on sections 5 and 8. He spent the winter of 1847 clearing fifteen acres, which he cultivated in the spring. C. L. Sibley, a native of New York, also settled here this year. He had previously lived in Sheboygan Falls for two years, where he engaged in the manufacture of fanning mills. William Burton, with his parents, William and Mary Burton, settled on an eighty acre timber farm on section 36, in 1846. William attended the first school in Lyndon town held in a house which his father helped to build. The teacher was Helen Stone. Others who taught there were Mrs. E. P. Andrus, Glenville, Jewett and Harvey Cummings. The first church services were held in a log schoolhouse near the Burton home. Levi H. Pelton removed from Trumbull county, Ohio, to the town in 1846. His son, Dr. Levi H. Pelton, was born here, July 10, 1848.
George and William Austin came from Ohio in 1847 and that winter "kept batch" in a log cabin they had built on land entered by George. Freeman Austin, their father, came in 1849 and bought two hundred and forty acres. Lyman D. Hill came to Sheboygan County in the spring of 1847, with his parents, Lyman A. and Lavina Hill. They settled on section 36 on an eighty acre tract of land, bought from the government at $1.25 per acre.
Melvin Pierce came with his parents, James and Elizabeth Pierce, in 1848. About this time E. Palmer Andrus arrived here from Vermont. Clark L. Sibley, a native of New York, located here on an eighty acre tract of land.
Clark R. Mead came with his parents, Major and Betsey (Robinson) Mead, from New York in 1849 and purchased eighty acres of land from the old Indian chief, paying $300 for it. An Indian cemetery occupied the place upon which he erected his buildings, and he removed many of the bodies from their burial ground. Clark, then a boy, would often place pennies upon a stick for the little Indians to shoot at with bows and arrows and if they hit the mark the coin was given them. Mr. Mead became one of the prominent men of the town. George W. Peck, a native of New York, settled in the town in the '40s.
The town of Lyndon was organized in 1847 and the first election was held in the log cabin of William Croff, at which time the following officers were elected: Benjamin C. Trowbridge, William Thompson and Edward Shaw, supervisors; William Croff, clerk; N. C. Harmon, justice of the peace.
Some of the first happenings among the settlers were: The marriage of Charles Taylor to Ruth Smith; death of Gilbert Lyman in the fall of 1845; birth of Josephine Mclntyre, daughter of D. S. Mclntyre, October 16, 1847; the first religious service in the town was held by Rev. Lewis, a young Methodist clergyman, at the Harmon home.
There are two quite important villages in Lyndon, although neither is incorporated.
Cascade is a thriving trading point and was laid out by James Preston and H. Lyman in 1849. The first year a number of houses were built and a saw mill was erected to furnish the lumber. Previous to this, in 1848, McIntosh & Norman put up a grist mill and in 1856 the old sawmill was displaced by another grist mill. At the time of the settlement of Cascade, it became one of the trading and stopping points on the Madison and Mayville roads. It has had a substantial, though not rapid, growth as the years have gone by. The place now has two grist mills, cheese factory, hotels, mercantile establishments and blacksmith shops. . There is also a well conducted school and three churches-the Lutheran, the United Brethren and St. Mary's Catholic-and in connection with the Lutheran church is a parochial school.
St. Mary's Church, Cascade
St. Mary's congregation at Cascade, town of Lyndon, was established in 1859, after which time it was attended successively by the Revs. Father Francis Fusseder, Patrick F. Petit, Patrick Bradley, James McGowan, Henry McMahon, John Tiernan, E. J. Goss, Dennis Tierney, Thomas Maher, M. Dedecus, John Casey and Bernard J. Burke. The present pastor is Rev. J. H. Fischer. In 1893 a new church was built and dedicated November 22d of that year, the dedicatory services being conducted by the Most Rev. F. X. Katzer. The church was built at a cost of $10,000. The congregation consists of about fifty-six families.
Waldo is a station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad and is situated on section 14, through which crosses the Onion River. The village was platted by N. C. Harmon in 1873, shortly after the building of Milwaukee Northern railroad. It was not long thereafter until an elevator was built, then came a store building by Henry Jordan and a hotel by F. FreiIt. In 1878 the post office was discontinued at Onion River and moved to Waldo. The first settlement in Onion River was made in 1846. A few years later a mill was built on the river and in 1852 a post office was established. A grist mill was erected in 1854, also a store building but after the railroad had been built through Waldo, Onion River ceased to be a trading point of any consequence and at present it has lost its identity in that of its close neighbor, Waldo.
The population of the town of Lyndon in 1910, including the villages, was 1,742.
The town of Holland was organized in the spring of 1849 and given the name it retains today. The first election was held at the house of S. Burr. Edwin Palmer was elected chairman; William Mitchell and Peter Souffrouw, supervisors; Joseph Palmer, clerk; David Cook, assessor; John Pool, treasurer; and William Mitchell, superintendent of schools. There were sixty-five votes cast.
Holland is located in the southeastern corner of the county and is bordered on the east by Lake Michigan, on the north by Wilson and Lima towns, on the west by Sherman town and on the south by Ozaukee County. The soil is clay, sand, black muck and marsh. The land is gently rolling except in the extreme western part, where it is very broken and stony. A considerable quantity of law and swamp land abounds in the eastern and southern parts, some of which has been reclaimed. Before the settlements there was a superabundance of timber consisting of beech, maple, oak, elm, hickory, ash and basswood on the uplands, black ash, swamp elm, tamarack, cedar and butternut on the lowlands and hemlock near the lake. The locality is well supplied with streams and springs, the principal stream being Onion River. As the soil is very productive and the inhabitants principally Hollanders, intensely industrious, the farms had yield bountifully and are among the best in the county. Stock-raising has been quite an industry here, also the cultivation of fruit.
The first actual settler in the town of Holland was Mr. Ellsworth, who moved into a frame house, built on section 25, by David Giddings, of Sheboygan Falls, in 1841. G. H. Smith, with his family, arrived here in 1844 and settled near the lake in the southeastern part of the town. John Owens and a Wilcox family settled here soon thereafter. In 1845 a Mr. De Vos and Peter Zeweld were the first Hollanders to settle in the county. They were soon thereafter joined by G. H. Kolste, another Hollander.
Peter Zeweld and his father, Lawrence Zeweld, as above stated, came in 1845. They settled on section 24 and stayed there about a year, when it was discovered that the property could not be purchased from the government and accordingly one hundred and sixty acres were preempted on sections 35 and 36.
Jacob De Smidt came from Holland in 1845. At that time he purchased of George Cole eighty acres of timber land at $1.25 per acre.
The following families settled in the town in 1846: the Van Diests on section 19; John Caljon on section 18; De Lyzer, Van Dain and Vreihied on section 6; and G. Kolste on section 13. Peter De Lyzer settled on section 3 in 1846.
Quite a colony of Hollanders arrived in 1847, under the leadership of Rev. Peter Zonne. There were here in that year the following: Carl Ott, a native of Germany, who settled on an eighty acre tract of land; Jennes De Smidt, who was a native of Holland, and came with his parents, Abraham and Lucy De Smidt; Gilbert H. Smith arrived here from New York in 1847 and preempted a piece of government land. He became one of the most prosperous men of Amsterdam, where he established a fishery. Samuel F. Hickenbotham, a native of New York, purchased eighty acres of land on section 10 and settled thereon. Henry Walvoord, who also dated his residence here from 1847, became one of the prosperous figures of this town. He served on the county board and in the general assembly. He also held other positions of trust. Peter Daane came with his parents, Peter and Peternella Daane from Holland in the spring of this year and settled on eighty acres of heavily timbered land, which the father had purchased from the government. Cornelius De Smidt came with his parents, Abraham and Wilhelmina De Smidt, from Holland and settled on section 35. Martinus A. Ketman also came in this year. He was accompanied by his father, Tony Ketman, who purchased eighty acres of land on section 35. Derk A. Voskuil is another Hollander who settled here in 1847. He purchased thirty acres of land and erected thereon a log house 16x20 feet, to which he brought his bride. Silas and Nancy Palmer, who were natives of New York, also were among those who came in, this year. . They were the parents of fourteen children. William Higby was born in New York, also arrived in this year and preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land. He was a school teacher and in 1847 taught the Gibbsville School in Lima town. He was one of the pioneer pedagogues of Sheboygan County. Berent J. Wissink and his young bride, Teuntje Landewaart, landed in America from Holland in 1847 and coming to Sheboygan County, located in the woods in the town of Holland, building a cabin, which was their home for many years. In this cabin their son Gerrett was born in 1854.
Immigration to the town kept up in a steady stream in 1848. Among those to settle here that year were the Sprangers, Booland, Daane, Voskuil, Lemmennes, Drayer, Bleekink, Harmelink, Heyink, Van Baaden, Lemkuil, Meerdink, Kreunen, Ooterhuis, Berendschot, Claerbaut, Huisheere, Lemahein, Hartman, Souffrouw, Brethouwer, Keetman, H. and A. J. Kolsta, Isaac De Smidt; William and Ransford Wonser, who settled on section 9.
Among others who came in the '40s were: John W. Stronks, and Grace, his wife, who came from Holland in the late '40s and purchased twenty acres of wooded land. Here Gerrett, their son, was born in 1852. Herman Wevers came from Rotterdam in 1849 and located in Holland town. In 1854 Mr. Wevers bought forty acres of land which he improved and added thereto. Thomas Koning, a native of Holland, arrived in the United States in May, 1849, and came direct to Sheboygan County. From Sheboygan he walked to the town of Holland and here worked at his trade as a carpenter until 1856, when he purchased ten acres of land. John Van Der Jagt and his parents, Cornelius and Martha, arrived in this town in 1849. Gert J. Hilbelink arrived in the town in the early '40s and a few years later was joined by his father, Aretyan. Gert settled on section 27. In 1850 he bought forty acres of land on section 26, where he took up his residence, having built thereon a log cabin.
The first school in the town was taught in a building on section 25, probably the one erected by David Giddings and occupied by Mr. Ellsworth. A postoffice was established and named Cedar Grove, in 1848. S. Burr was the first postmaster.
The first birth in the town was a daughter of Mr. Ellsworth in 1842.
There were quite a number of English speaking settlers came to the town in 1847 and 1848 and settled in the north and western parts of it. At this time there was quite a settlement of Ohioans in the southeastern portion where the village of Amsterdam was wont to flourish. Here the settlers employed the greater part of their time in the summer fishing and in the winter in hunting and trapping, there being an abundance of game. Amsterdam was a village platted by G. H. Smith in 1852, and for some time quite a business was carried on in lumber, cord wood and fish, but as the timber disappeared and the fish became scarcer, Amsterdam began to dwindle away until it now has scarcely any existence. There are three other villages in the town of Holland, Oostburg, Cedar Grove and Dacada.
WISCONSIN MEMORIAL COLLEGE.
In the year 1847, a colony of pioneers from the Netherlands located in eastern Wisconsin, about forty miles north of the city of Milwaukee. Here, with tireless energy, unceasing toil and persevering zeal, they labored to clear the heavily-timbered land and build their homes. They found the soil to be very fertile, and in time Providence rewarded their diligence, answered their prayers, and blessed them with prosperity and peace. The settlement grew rapidly in numbers and extent, until at present it embraces almost all of Holland Township, as well as other parts of Sheboygan County, and comprises the villages of Cedar Grove, Gibbsville, Hingham and Oostburg, while also a goodly number of Hollanders live in the city of Sheboygan.
The inhabitants of these communities, true to their wholesome Dutch breeding, have ever been a God-fearing and God-serving people, and have always been deeply interested in bringing up their children in quiet Christian homes, with a firm adherence to sound religious convictions and principles. They have also cherished the desire to educate their children to the best of their ability, and soon realized that their resources for higher Christian education were inadequate. Whatever resources along this line were at their command, were largely neutralized by their remoteness, so that the need for a home school became more and more evident and pressing.
Meanwhile other minds and hearts were at work. In April, 1900, Dr. G. J. Kollen, president of Hope College, Holland, Mich., presented to the council of Hope College a plan for the establishment of an academy in eastern Wisconsin. The council, in its report, recommended the plan to the general synod of the Reformed Church. The plan was received with enthusiasm by the church at large and the people of the community, and immediate action was taken upon it. At every stated session immediately succeeding, the Classis of Wisconsin took favorable action for the establishment of an academy, and since then has exercised direct supervision over it. The Particular Synod of Chicago warmly endorsed the actions taken by the Classis. In June, 1901, the general synod recommended the academy for aid to the board of education, and it is largely through the assistance of this board that the academy has been maintained. Thus the relationship between the church and the academy has been firmly established.
The enterprise in Wisconsin was locally led and earnestly promoted by the Rev. J. J. Van Zanten, pastor of the Reformed Church at Cedar Grove, at the time. Temporary instruction was immediately begun in the chapel of the church, under his supervision. Upon decision of the Classis of Wisconsin, Cedar Grove was selected as a permanent location for the academy, and steps were taken at once to incorporate the school, secure a site and erect a building.
Since then, regular instruction has been given in the classical and normal courses, equivalent to that given in these courses in any high school of the state. The number of students in attendance has nearly always been between forty and fifty. At present, six classes have graduated forty persons in all. About fifty per cent, of these graduates have continued their education in institutions of higher learning, principally at Hope College. Owing to the youth of the academy, it has no long list of successful alumni to point to as witnesses of its worth, but the indications for such a list are very hopeful. Two of her graduates are at present studying for the ministry of the gospel, while fully one-third of them have taught with marked efficiency in the public schools of Sheboygan County.
In the spring of 1909, the principal, Paul E. Hinkamp, personally submitted a statement of the urgent need of improvements to the academy building, and plans for the accomplishment of the same to the board of trustees, the Classis of Wisconsin, and the general synod at Rochester, N. Y. In each case the plans were heartily endorsed. A subscription list was started to secure funds for this purpose, and met with quite general and liberal response. The plans called for the entire remodelling of the first floor, the completing of the second floor, the installation of a steam heating plant, the equipment of a physical laboratory, and other minor improvements. Work was begun immediately after commencement day, and continued throughout the whole summer vacation. The principal and Prof. Herman Renskers gave up their vacation for this purpose, and, with the assistance of the students, did a large part of the work themselves. At the opening of school in September, the faculty and students were greatly rejoiced to take up their work in the almost entirely new and much improved quarters.
When all of the finishing touches were added, a rededication and public inspection day was celebrated, on November 19th, with much enthusiasm and gratitude. The present principal is W. P. Van der Laan and in place of Prof. Renskers is now Prof. E. C. Van der Laan. It may seem a mistake that these two men "have the same last name, yet such is the case, though they are not related. The principal now has charge of the department of natural sciences and E. C. Van der Laan has the department of ancient languages and history. The president of the board of trustees is Rev. J. B. Straks of Gibbsville.
Cedar Grove is located on the northeast corner of section 26 and is a station on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad. Here a store was built in 1847 by H. J. Traas. The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1853 and a building erected for religious purposes about 1865. The first pastor was Rev. J. P. Zonne. The Dutch Reform church was organized in 1856. This organization erected a church building in 1861, which was replaced by a better and more commodious one in 1870. The first pastor was Rev. Van Leuwen.
A Dr. C. Van Altena located here in 1850 and probably was the first regular physician in the town.
After the building of the railroad now known as the Northwestern, in 1872, the growth of Cedar Grove increased and business kept a proportionate pace therewith. A grist mill with three run of stones, was built in 1876 and an elevator in 1878. Previous to this, however, the Phoenix elevator had been built by G. A. Lammers. A cheese factory was in operation in 1880 by J. Van De Wall. The village was incorporated in 1899 and Gerrett Zammers was elected the first president; Dr. James Van de Veen, clerk; and Adrian Fonteine, supervisor. Cedar Grove now has a foundry and bank, the latter having been established in 1901. The village has a population of 498.
Oostburg is also a station on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad and had no existence until the road was built and placed in operation in 1872. The village has a population of 380, and was separated from the town of Holland and incorporated as a village in 1909. Oostburg is in a flourishing condition, has a Christian Reform church; organized in 1875, grain elevator, grist mill, hotel, several general stores, cheese factory and a blacksmith shop.
Dacada is located in the extreme southwestern corner of the town on section 31. It is an unincorporated village but is quite a trade center for that section of the town. There are three general stores, a hotel and blacksmith shop.
ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH
The parish of St. Nicholas at Dacada was first established November 25, 1848, at which time the congregation was also given a resident pastor in the person of Rev. George Laufhuber. His successors were the Rev. Fathers De Becke, Deisenrieder, B. Smedding, Michael Obermueller, Hieronymus Berckman, John Stuchy, Fusseder, John. Mehlmann, M. Retzer, Herman Joseph Muckerheide, T. Willer, Peter Schwaiger, August Zeininger and John Huber. The Rev. Joseph Hamm had charge of the congregation from 1870 until 1892, when Rev. A. S. Leitner took charge.
Tuesday, April 9, 1912, the congregation of St. Nicholas Catholic church, witnessed the dedication by Bishop Koudelka, of Milwaukee. The handsome structure cost $20,000.
The congregation is composed of about one hundred and twenty-five families, or nine hundred and fifty-five communicants. There is a parochial school, with an average attendance of one hundred. The order of Catholic Knights of Wisconsin has a branch of about forty-five members in the congregation; also the St. Nicholas Benevolent Society, of about sixty members, and the Altar Society with about ninety members. The parish is in a very flourishing condition.
The first settler in this town was David Wilson, who came from Ohio in March, 1840, and located on section 11. He built a log cabin and in 1842 was joined by his family. The next settlers were James Osgood and his brother Leonard, who came in 1849 and located on section 14. Joseph Fairchilds arrived in the following year and located on section 14. These settlements were along the lake shore and were not made for the purpose of farming, but to engage in fishing, the lake abounding with many varieties of the finny tribe and the fisheries there established became profitable. The fish were packed in salt and for the first few years shipped to Cleveland and Detroit, where they were sold at an average price of $6 a barrel.
About 1846 all of the territory now comprising Wilson town was separated from Sheboygan town and organized. The first town meeting was held at Graham's store in the city of Sheboygan and the name of Wilson was given the new organization in honor of its first settler.
Wilson is in the second tier of townships from the south and is bounded on the east by Lake Michigan and on the north, west and south by the towns of Sheboygan, Lima and Holland respectively. The Northwestern railroad crosses the west part of the town from south to north, and the land is drained and watered by the Black river and tributary streams. The soil is a rich clay loam, producing excellent crops, and the inhabitants are mostly Germans, who have fine farms and are enterprising and prosperous. A great many of these farms are devoted to dairy purposes and not a few of the people still engage in fishing to a greater or less extent.
The first birth in the community was that of Andris Wilson, son of David Wilson, in 1843. The first marriage was that of James R. Brown and Louisa Wilson in 1844. The first death was that of Waterman Jackson in the fall of 1847.
The first school was taught in the winter of 1846-7 by Milo Chamberlin Other early settlers in this town were Bartholomew Trumbla in 1840; Henry and Dorothea Herbst, Jacob Brehm, on section 4, in 1847; Carl Roehrborn, 1848; Carl Reich, 1849; Frederick Zimmerman, 1851; F. Boehm, 1852.
Haines W. Wilson died at Sheboygan, March 15, 1912, at the age of seventy-eight. He came to Sheboygan County with his parents in the early '40s and located in what is now Wilson town, named after his father, David Wilson.
The town of Greenbush was organized in the summer of 1845 and was named after a town in Vermont, and Sylvanus Wade was elected the first chairman of the town.
Greenbush in point of area is the largest town in the county, having attached on the north one-third of the sections originally belonging to Russell. It is bounded on the west by Fond du Lac County, on the north by Russell, on the east by Rhine and Plymouth and on the south by Mitchell towns. The Sheboygan river cuts across the extreme northwest corner and the Mullet River crosses the town from section 18 to section 1, passing through the village of Glenbeulah. The soil is a clay loam and is well adapted to all the cereals grown in this latitude. In localities there are large quantities of limestone. In the north part of the town the land is gently rolling and in the extreme north portion was the Sheboygan marsh, a great part of which has been drained and made tillable. The southern portion of the town is more broken and gives place to what is known as the Potash Kettle hills. However, there are many good farms, especially on the south portion. The principal lucrative industry is dairying and the manufacture of cheese, which has a ready market on account of its excellent quality. Early in the settlement a mixed population was found in the northern part, while in the southern sections German and Irish predominated.
The first permanent settler in the town of Greenbush was Sylvanus Wade, who came from Massachusetts with his wife and nine children, in 1844, first locating in the locality where the village of Greenbush now stands. Here he built a log cabin and opened a blacksmith shop and also plowed ten acres of prairie and in addition kept a hotel. There was no road cut through to Fond du Lac at that time and in the fall of 1850 the first plank road meeting was held at his home.
In 1845 several additions were made to the settlement. Among those who came and located in the town that year were Job Babcock, Orrin Lamb, Peter Nair and Charles Robinson. C. B. Coleman located on section 9 and Horatio Sparks on section 31.
Among those who came in 1847 were Russell Barrett, Samuel P. Crandall, D. P. Roberts, W. L. Williams, Jacob Stoddard, A. E. Stoddard, J. Stoddard, Dr. L. H. Carey, D. P. Brevier, H. and A. A. Lampheer, O. P. Sampson, M. Albright and D. D. Hosford. Others who came in 1847 were: Henry C. Laack, who entered forty acres of government land, which he soon converted into a valuable and productive farm; Henry Dockstader, a New Yorker, settled on land now the site of the village of Greenbush, which was then a wilderness. He there opened a blacksmith shop and soon secured plenty of work, as he was on the line of the old plank road between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, which became a great thoroughfare between the lake port at Sheboygan and the interior.
Galusha Mansfield, a native of Vermont, settled in the town in 1848. That winter he taught the first school in Greenbush, making his home with Milo Hard, who lived some two miles west of the village. Thomas and Catherine Sweet came from Canada in 1848 and settled on section 8. Michael Sweet, who later became postmaster at Plymouth, was a son of this worthy pioneer couple.
James Shufflebotham was born in England and came to the United States in 1849, with his family. He settled in the town of Greenbush on a farm of eighty acres. William Hull, a Canadian by birth, also settled here in the same year.
Hazael P. Clark, with his wife, three sons and one daughter, settled on section 1 near the village of Glenbeulah, in 1850. The section was covered with fine timber and he erected a mill and engaged in the business of providing lumber for his neighbors.
Captain Erastus W. Stannard settled in the town in 1851 and took a leading part in the community. He was supervisor and served in the general assembly from this district. In the same year John Andrew Smith also settled here. He was a veteran of the Mexican war. He assisted in raising a company which was mustered into the service of the United States as Company B of the Eighth Wisconsin Infantry, the famous "Eagle Regiment," of which he was made first lieutenant.
Rev. Mr. Ferguson, of Glenbeulah, performed the marriage ceremony for Job Babcock and Miss Clarissa Fuller in May, 1847. This was the first marriage in Greenbush. The first birth occurred in 1847. The child was a son of W. L. Williams. Deacon Trowbridge preached the first sermon at the residence of Sylvanus Wade in 1844, and the first school was taught in the summer of 1848 by Miss Betsey L. Roberts.
The town has good schools and churches, its people are progressive and the farms will compare favorably with any in the state. Its population in 1910, including villages, was 1,599.
Sunday, August 15, the sixty-first anniversary of the founding of the Christian church of West Greenbush was celebrated.
VILLAGE OF GREENBUSH
This trading point is located on the Mullet River in section 10 and was platted by Sylvanus Wade in 1848, being located on the plank road between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac. In its early days and before the building of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, this village was of no inconsiderable consequence. It still retains a large trade, from a rich farming community and has a mill, cheese factory, hotel, two general stores, blacksmith shops and other utilities.
VILLAGE OF GLENBEULAH
The land upon which Glenbeulah stands was chosen as farms by a Mr. Pool and H. P. Clark. As is the case with Greenbush, the Mullet River flows through a portion of the village. In 1857 settlers and building increased in the locality and that year Stephen and J. T. Dillingham, Edwin Slade and Joseph Swift, having bought land and the water power, put up flouring and sawmill, to which was added a store. In 1859 Edward Appleton and Joseph Swift as agents for a company that had been organized, platted the land into village lots. It was about this time that the Sheboygan & Mississippi railroad was being constructed and in the spring of 1860 was completed to Glenbeulah, which for nine years thereafter was the road's western terminus. Here a post office was opened, February 7, 1860, having been removed from Elkhart. The village was given its name by Mr. Appleton in remembrance of his mother, who first name was Beulah, to which he prefixed Glen.
In the Historical Review, of 1910, a journal devoted to the publication of local history, appeared the following lucid and comprehensive review of the salient features of Glenbeulah's existence. The greater part of the data was taken by the Review from Miss Anna Titel's sketch, entitled "History of Glenbeulah" The history of Glenbeulah can be said to date back to 1850, when Hazel Peckham Clark came to this county from Rhode Island and settled on a piece of land, a part of which is the site of the village. There was no village there for several years after Mr. Clark came, still he saw the possibilities in the fine timber growing in that region, and erected a mill, which until very recently was operated. Mrs. R. A. Vanalstyne is a daughter of Mr. Clark. At about the same time that Mr. Clark settled at what now is Glenbeulah, William Poole also settled there.
"It was not, however, until 1857 that a village was thought of. It was that year that J. T. Dillingham, Edwin Slade, Captain Joseph Swift, Edward Appleton and Harrison Barret arrived in the town. As was said before there was a lot of fine timber in that region and a stream which might afford water power, and Messrs, Dillingham, Swift and Slade at once conceived the idea of utilizing the power and making use of the wood. They opened a store and established both a saw mill and a flouring mill. After several years they expanded their business by beginning to manufacture woodenware. It was in 1866 that the firm of Swift, Dillingham & Company dissolved, Mr. Dillingham taking the mills and factory and Mr. Slade, the store. Mr. Dillingham continued to operate his factory at Glenbeulah until 1884, when he removed it to Sheboygan, where it is one of the best enterprises of that city. The factory was of much importance to Glenbeulah, because it employed a number of men. During the period the factory was in the village, the place flourished. It existed long enough, however, to arouse a feeling of pride and to encourage public spirit, and to this day the people of the village hold to certain high standards. If it had not been for the factory a high school would probably never have been established in the village, but it is there and the people take a pride in maintaining it, and it was never more intelligently conducted than just now.
"Among the early comers was Edward Appleton, and he and Harrison Barret shared the honor of naming the place, and they certainly showed that they had poetry in their souls. It is a name which would attract attention anywhere for its beauty and euphony. It is explained that their invention was assisted by the beauty of the location in a glen and that the given name of Mr. Appleton's mother was Beulah.
''While Clark and Poole were the original private owners of the land of Glenbeulah, a house was built there as early as 1848, by Donden Ferguson. In 1850 it was purchased of C. Conger by Clark, who transformed it into a saw mill. In 1857 Clark disposed of the mill to Mr. Dillingham, in whose possession it remained for about twenty-seven years, when it became the property of R. A. Vanalstyne, who owned it until recently, when he sold it to Gust Baumann. It was only a few years ago that the old landmark was torn down.
"Dillingham, Slade and others had scarcely come into possession of the land and water powers when the erection of a flouring mill, now owned by George Metzger was begun. A store was built on the site of that now belonging to Goelzer Brothers. At about the same time the Glen House was erected and this hotel is now being conducted by James Mooney. The village was thus started in 1857.
"The mill was the property of Swift, Dillingham, Slade & Company, as was also the store. Herman Schnebly was the first to run the mill, the greater part of the product of which found its way to Boston and other eastern points. The partnership lasted until 1866, when Mr. Dillingham took the mills and the woodenware factory, which was established a few years before. The flouring mill was bought by J. Bauernfeind and a man by the name of Meyers, in 1873. For sixteen years it remained in their possession, when they sold it to Mr. Metzger, who subsequently disposed of 1t to his son, George Metzger, in whose possession it still remains.
"The Glen House, built by Mr. Dillingham in 1857, was at first merely a boarding house for the men employed in the construction of the dam for the flouring mill and in building the mill. Two years later it was made a hotel and thrown open to the public. It was then that G. Stannard took charge of it. The hotel has been successively owned or leased as follows: Mr. Scott, Mr. Hadley, Mr. Root, Mr. Miller, Mrs. Troop, Mr. Boggs, Mrs. Troop, Mr. Huntley, Mr. Imig, Mr. Maurer, Mr. Hitzler and Mr. Mooney. Not until Mr. Hadley came into possession of the hotel and livery was there any connection by rail between Glenbeulah and Fond du Lac. In the earlier days there was a stage coach running between the two places and it cost two dollars to ride from one place to the other, while at present it costs forty-eight cents by rail. Mr. Kendall drove the stage coach.
"The store erected in 1857 stood until 1892, when it was destroyed by fire. It was owned jointly by Messrs. Dillingham and Slade until 1866, when Mr. Slade became sole owner. He conducted it until 1891, when he sold it to E. Weaver, who had been in possession of it scarcely a year when it burned down. The site remained vacant until 1902, when Goelzer Brothers erected thereon their present store.
"One of the earliest comers to this part of the town was Joseph Syron, still living. He came in 1848. He was a carpenter by trade.
"The first meat market was opened by John Rossmann. The late Fred Beck, Sr., was the first to open a shoe shop in the village. Mr. Ladenberger was the first to swing the heavy sledge in the village. He opened a blacksmith shop in 1857, about the time the village was started. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Ladenberger, settled there in 1855, but the son spent two years, until 1857, in a machine shop in Fond du Lac. In 1875 he also began to deal in machinery and farm implements, and in 1884 he gave up blacksmithing and devoted his attention exclusively to his implement and machine business. Three years after Mr. Ladenberger established his blacksmith shop in the village, John Dennis opened a wagon shop. The latter stood on the site of the present residence of H. E. Garling.
"Among the early acquisitions to the business interests of the county was a hardware store owned by a Mr. Badger. It was located on the lot now occupied by the residence of Mrs. Clark.
"Glenbeulah was exceedingly fortunate in the character of most of its early residents. They were men and women of intelligence and enterprise, and sought to establish a community in which it would be an advantage and an honor to reside. The names Dillingham, Slade, Swift, Clark, Syron, Ladenberger, Dennis, Barrett, Vanalstyne, Beck and scores of others stand for the things which make for better conditions, and no one can doubt that had Glenbeulah been more favorably located for trade, it would rank only second to Sheboygan in size and importance among the places of the county. The village had been scarcely more than established when a physician opened an office there. It was no less a personage than Dr. Emerson, who had come from the state of Maine. He was not a recent graduate but he had practiced for some time, and among his patients in the Pine Tree state were the members of the family of Hannibal Hamlin, who was elected vice president with Lincoln in 1860.
THE WOODEN WARE FACTORY
"The enterprise which for a time seemed destined to give prominence to the village was the woodenware factory, mentioned in the early part of this article. It gave employment to sixty persons and made Glenbeulah a live village for a number of years. "When, however, the timber in that region began to give out, the proprietor saw that he could operate his factory to a far greater advantage by changing its location and decided on removing to Sheboygan, which he did in 1884. This was a serious blow to the village and shattered the hopes of those who had seen in a vision the creation of a fond desire, a thriving and prosperous village. The factory produced many useful articles, such as cheese and butter boxes, measures, barrel covers, broom racks, cheese cases, hubs and others. Its yearly output was valued at about $75,000, and its product was widely distributed.
William Heyer located here in 1848. Philip H. Wolff arrived in this country from Germany with his young bride, Philipine, in March, 1848, and settled on eighty acres of timber land in section 26.
Charles H. Halbach, who later became a photographer in Sheboygan, settled in Howard's Grove in this town in 1848.
Cord Boedecker was one of the German pioneers of this town, arriving in 1849. He bought three hundred and twenty acres of timber land, upon which he built a log house.
August Pott came to this country with his parents, Gottfried and Anna Catherine Pott, from Rhenish Prussia, in 1849, and settled on wild land in the town of Herman.
A school district was organized in 1848, and Miss Eva Atwood taught the first school at the home of Charles Oetling.
The birth of a daughter was to Fred Bender in December, 1846, and a son was born to Charles Oetling in August, 1847 which was the first births in the town.
Herman Frederick Reineking was the first of the settlers to be married after coming here. The ceremony was performed in 1848 but not in Sheboygan County, however, for the reason there was no one here at the time vested with the right to perform the marriage rites of the church to which the contracting parties belonged. His bride was Miss Charlotte Luhmann, a daughter of Simon and Sophia (Heitmann) Luhmann, who were members of the thirteen families who immigrated from Lippe-Detmold to the United States in 1847 and settled in Hermantown.
Rev. Mr. Clees held religious services here as early as 1849.
Herman is situated in the north tier of towns and is bounded on the east by Mosel, north by Manitowoc County, west by Rhine and south by Sheboygan Falls towns. There are four small trading places-Howard Franklin, Ada and Edwards. Howard is situated at the junction of the Green Bay and the Sheboygan and Calumet roads, where a grist mill was built on the Pigeon river as early as 1853, but which burned clown shortly after and was replaced by a sawmill put up by F. Beckfeld. Besides this the village had a cheese and cheese box factory, hotel, two general stores and a blacksmith shop. Franklin is on the Sheboygan river and has a saw mill and grist mill, both built as early as 1853. The village also had in 1854 a blacksmith shop and store. Besides its mills, Franklin has a hotel, two general stores and two or three shops. The college and theological seminary of the German Reform church, more familiarly known as the Mission House, is a mile and a half northeast of Franklin, and is one of the largest institutions of the kind in the United States. At Ada on the Sheboygan and Calumet road in the northern part of section 8 is a hotel, cheese factory, store and blacksmith shop. At Edwards, on the Green Bay road in section 2, is a general store.
The population of Herman town in 1910 was 1,913, the majority of whom are Germans.
St. Mary's Church, Random Lake
St. Mary's congregation was organized about 1854, at which time quite a number of Catholic families had settled in and around that place. The site selected by these people at that time for a church, and which was located about a mile and a half from the village, was donated to the congregation by David Leahy and wife, who were among the earliest settlers. The first church was a small frame structure. After the parish had been organized and the church erected, Random Lake received occasional visits from the pastor residing at Cascade. These visits, however, were necessarily few and far between as, owing to the almost impassable condition of the roads during a considerable portion of the year and the many arduous duties devolving upon the pastor, it was impossible for him to devote any considerable time to the welfare and advancement of any particular flock. After the parish had been attended for some time in this manner, it was made a mission to St. Nicholas, at Dacada.
St. Mary's grew and prospered as the years passed until in 1873 the number had increased to such an extent that it became necessary to erect a larger church. This was a solid stone structure 34 by 60 feet, which was dedicated in November of that year. Soon thereafter Rev. Charles Fessler became the first resident pastor, with St. Patrick's congregation at Adell as its mission. About this time a parsonage was also built. Prior to the coming of Rev. Fessler the church had been attended by a number of priests located at Holy Cross, Cascade and Dacada.
The first of whom there is any record was Rev. La Foeber, who was followed successively by:
Revs. Gernbauer, De Becke, Stoeki, Bradley, Tierney, Bradley, Fusseder, McGowan, Petit, Seif, McMahon, Schwaiger and Hamm.
Father Fessler's successors have been Rev's. Haberstock, Welbes, Lochemes, Muenzer, Froehlich and A. V. Mueller. March 24, 1895, the church was burned to the ground. By this time Random Lake village had grown to considerable extent and it was believed by the parishioners that the interests of the congregation would be best promoted by erecting the new church in the village. Accordingly a site was secured in the village from the Butler estate, Mrs. Butler donating her interests in the same. This is Roman Gothic in style and is 38 by 88 feet in size. There is also a parochial school in connection with the church.
The village of Silver Creek is located about three miles west of Random Lake. There is located here a sawmill, a flour mill, cheese factory, stores, a blacksmith shop, also the Charles Hamm brewery and distillery and a soda water manufactory.
Adell is a railroad station on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, and is located on section 2. It was originally known as Sherman Station. The plat of the village was made by Chester Gerschmehl in 1873. Here are established grain elevators, two hotels, stores and other business enterprises.
Rhine is in the north tier of towns and is bounded on the west by the towns of Russell and Greenbush, on the south by Plymouth, on the east by Herman and on the north by Manitowoc County. It is located in the heart of the Potash Kettle hills. Its height would indicate it is the watershed of the county. It is about 360 feet above sea level. The soil on the east side is black loam, about two miles wide, and then come the hills, where is to be found gravel and sand and much erratic rock. The town has an exceptional quantity of floating rock. The forests were mainly hard wood and in the southern limit there was a great deal of pine. The river has a fall of about ninety feet and three splendid water powers. The Sheboygan River crosses the town in the northwest and northeast parts. In the northwest section along the river there is considerable swamp land, including the greater part of sections 6 and 7. Among the hills above referred to are a number of beautiful lakes-Elkhart, Cedar, Little Elkhart and others. Elkhart Lake is the largest and is situated in the southwest part of the town in sections 29 and 30.
This section of the county was alive with game early in its history. The lakes and river teemed with a fine variety of fish. Indians were mainly of the Chippewa and Menominee tribes but there were scattering bands of Pottawattomie's and Sauk's. Chief Solomon, who was well known throughout this region, was a Pottawattomie. George W. Wolff, well known throughout the county, a resident of Elkhart, knew Solomon quite intimately. "King" Solomon was born near Chicago and died about 1889 at Keshena, the Indian reservation. When last seen here he was over eighty years of age. His son John, still living on the reservation, visited some of his old friends of Sheboygan County in 1909. John spoke to Mr. Wolff upon approaching him and called him by name.
Mr. Wolff tells the story that one day "King" Solomon came to his father's farm while the latter was building a rail fence. He was induced to assist in the work but it was very much against the Indian's will and habits to perform any bodily labor. The Indians were pretty well scattered over the town of Rhine. They had their clearings, one of which covered at least forty acres, upon which they planted corn and beans, chiefly the latter. They had in the neighborhood a village at one time of sixty-eight wigwams. The Indian paths were from twenty inches to two feet wide and were worn three or four inches in depth. Many Indian mounds have been discovered here and some of them still remain unopened. These mounds range in height from six to nine feet. George Wolff stated to the writer that he has seen in the vicinity of these mounds a wagon load of flint instruments of all shapes.
The first settlers in the town of Rhine were the three Krauss brothers, Rudolph, Herman and another whose name cannot be remembered. They located on sections 25 and 26. About the same time, 1847, Augustus and Catherine Bettelhauser located on section 35, where he intended to erect a flax mill. He was a native of Germany. About this time came Bettelhauser's father, Julius Bettelhauser, who settled on section 22. Charles A. Born, Sr., a native of Barmen, Rhine Prussia, arrived in the town in 1848 and engaged in merchandising and farming until 1854, when he removed to Sheboygan. In the same year John G. Brickbauer, also a native of Germany, arrived here, and purchased sixty acres of land on section 27. He was prominently identified with the construction of all roads in the town.
In 1847 John Mathes and Peter Bub settled on sections 25 and 36, also Julius Wolff, father of George Wolff, on section 22. The latter came here from Germany and became one of the wealthiest men of the community, helping to organize the town of Rhine, of which he was the first clerk. He held various offices of trust. He was a member of the board of supervisors, one of the county commissioners during the building of the courthouse, sheriff of the county in 1856 and 1857 and a member of the general assembly in 1866, 1868 and 1870. He also held the responsible position of county treasurer. John Mathes also came from Germany. He took a prominent part in the improvement of the community and organization of the town and county. He was a life long democrat and in 1884 represented his district in the state legislature.
Rhine town was originally settled by what were known as Rhinelander's, immigrants from the Rhine section of Germany, and by the year 1852 the town was quite well settled, except in the hill region.
The town was organized in 1852. It was originally part of Plymouth. About 1856 there were almost as many inhabitants as there are now. There was a steam grist mill on section 27, built in 1855, by the Sperling brothers. Along about this period, Luther Witt located in the town and built a saw mill on section 18, and shortly thereafter a man by the name of Thiele built an oil mill, run by water power.
His product was obtained from grape seeds, beech nuts, etc. The chief products of the farm were wheat and beans. As a matter of fact, this locality was noted in early days for its production of wheat. There were few dairy cattle previous to 1860 and no villages. There was a blacksmith shop on section 14, conducted by one Moerschen. Hay was secured from the marshes. The highways were cut along the Indian trails. Sheboygan Falls and Sheboygan were the nearest markets.
The first religious services were held in the homes of the settlers and Rev. Schmidt preached here in the early '50s. Later on, Rev. Renatus Erbe ministered to the spiritual wants of the settlement. Several church buildings were erected within this period-an Evangelical on the southwest quarter of section 14, and another one on the southeast quarter of section 15. A Catholic church was built on the southwest quarter of section 15 in 1856, and about the same time a German Reformed church was built on section 36, and another of the same denomination on section 16.
The first schoolhouse was built early in the town's history on the northeast quarter of section 26 and taught by one Grant. The building was a log structure, had a fire place, and doors swung on wooden hinges.
In 1850 a man by the name of Riess put up a "pit" sawmill on section 22.
Rhine is a very patriotic town and when the Civil war broke out in 1861 one hundred and fifteen men went from here to the front, twenty three of whom never returned. The first to lose his life in fighting for his country was Henry Carver, who fell at Falling Water, Virginia, and the last to lose his life in that great struggle was Gottlieb Strutz, at Averysboro, North Carolina. In 1867 a monument was erected to the soldier dead on the southwest quarter of section 14. It was dedicated on the 4th day of July, 1868.
There are eight cheese factories in the town of Rhine. The first one was installed by Peter Meyer on section 35, in 1879, and in the same year another one was put up on section 36 and one on section 14.
Elkhart Lake, so named by the Indians who were found living at the outlet at the time the United States surveys were made in the year 1835, is situated in the heart of the Kettle country, surrounded by wooded hills 100 feet in width. The lake is about four miles in circumference and has a depth of 117 feet, according to geological surveys made by the state. The waters of this beautiful lake are mainly of spring derivation, but little surface water being able to enter it. Thus the lake affords splendid bathing, fishing and boating. It has an outlet at its western extremity-a small creek which, after winding its way for several miles through meadows and the thick cedar and tamarack swamps, empties into the Sheboygan river.
The village of Elkhart Lake was incorporated in the year 1905, and its first president was T. C. Sharpe. According to the census of 1912, there is a population of 500 inhabitants. The beautiful little summer resort has most of the conveniences of a city, being supplied with water works, electric lights and good streets and sidewalks. A branch of the interurban railway enters the town from Plymouth. The educational facilities are of the best and consist of high and graded schools. There is a public library containing about 2,000 volumes, and the churches are three in number. Its business establishments consist of the Elkhart State Bank, controlled by George W. Wolff, three smitheys, a bakery, two meat markets, two lumberyards, two elevators and one sawmill, besides having five large hotels which accommodate about four thousand tourists during the summer season, which lasts from the first of June, to September first. Elkhart is connected with the outer world by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, which was built in the year 1872.
The town of Mosel contains only eighteen full and six fractional sections and is the smallest in the county. It has no villages. was separated from Sheboygan and completed its organization by the election of William Wipperman as chairman, and Robert Athorp, town clerk. Mosel is situated in the extreme northeast corner of the county and is bounded on the east by Lake Michigan, north by Manitowoc county, west by the town of Herman and south by the town of Sheboygan. It is watered by small streams flowing in an easterly direction, emptying into the lake. It may be stated typographically the surface of the town is gently rolling. The soil is very fertile and consists of a rich clay loam and in the days when the county became noted for the production of its excellent peas, that product of the soil was raised here in large quantities. The Lake Shore & Western railroad, now the Chicago & Northwestern enters the town on section 33 and passing through the town in a straight line, leaves it at section 4. On the line of this railroad are two stations-Mosel, on section 33, and Seven Mile Creek, on section 16.
At the time that settlements were made in Mosel there were no roads to Sheboygan except by way of the Green Bay road to Sheboygan Falls and thence by a road to Sheboygan. The first settlers came in the summer of 1847. They were Michael Feld, who located on section 5; Peter Brust, on section 5; Jacob Demand and Daniel Welsch on section 5; Joseph and Fritz Weiskopf on section 7; and C. Treutmann on section 29. In the fall of the same year A. C. Festerling and Charles Lauterbach settled on section 28 and Michael Truttschel on section 20. In 1849 John and Martha Kaeppler came to this country from Germany and purchased land in the town of Mosel, locating here with their seven children, Louis Koellmer came here in 1850.
Other early settlers were Peter Wagner, Philip Feld, Henry Welsch, Christoph Welsch, Theodore Wunsch, P. Conrad, Fred Festerling, Henry Schuette, Henry Kaeppler, August Truttschel, Henry Conrad, Gottlieb Eischer, Ernst Truttschel, Daniel Leahy, F. Truttschel and C. Truttschel.
The first couple married in the town was George Thomas and Margaret Fuchs.
The first death was that of Jacob Demand in 1848.
The first birth was that of a daughter of Peter Brust.
The first school taught was in the fall of 1849 by Miss Tryphine Taylor.
The sole industry of Mosel town is agriculture and the population is practically German. In 1910 the population was 884. Mosel has within its borders good schools and churches. The farms are highly cultivated, well fenced and stocked and the farms and out-buildings will compare favorably with any in the county.
The history of Scott town is contemporaneous with that of Sherman, for at the time that Sherman was made a separate entity it was part and parcel of Scott. It was organized in 1849 and at the first town meeting held in April, 1850 R. C. Brazleton was elected chairman. The town is in the southwest corner of the county and is bounded on the west by Fond du Lac County, on the north and east by the towns of Mitchell and Sherman, and on the south by Washington County. This is a fine farming community, is well watered by Stanley and Batavia creeks and other streams, together with the Milwaukee River, which traverses sections 25 and 36. It also cuts into the east portion of section 1. In section 6 is Crooked Lake.
The surface of the country is gently rolling but not rough and the soil is excellent. Many of the finest farms in the county are to be found here and its people are made up of a frugal, industrious and prosperous character.
The first settler in the town was John Cleaves, a native of the state of New York, who came in the spring of 1847 and located on section 26. About this time Jacob and Maria Elizabeth Reis, German immigrants, who had been in the United States about one year, settled in the town. Their son Jacob was born here April 7, 1849. Ezra Floyd, a Mr. Dunham and R. C. Brazleton followed soon after.
Good schools and well attended churches abound. There are no railroads entering this region and but two villages have gained a foothold, neither of which has been incorporated. Batavia, the most important one, has a population of about 200. It is located in the center of section 13, and has a grist mill, two hotels, a couple of general stores, a cheese factory, blacksmith and other shops, two churches and an excellent school.
Beechwood is a hamlet on the dividing line between sections 16 and 17, its main street being the Mayville road. Close by is Beechwood Lake. Here are established a cheese factory, hotel, general stores and blacksmith shop. The population of Scott in 1910 was 1,331.
The town of Russell comprises the north two-thirds of town 16 north, range 20 east. The south one-third was attached to Greenbush to accommodate those living on the south side of Sheboygan marsh. This town is bounded on the north by Calumet county, on the east by Rhine, south by Greenbush towns, and on the west by Fond du Lac County. The soil is clay and clay loam, well adapted to the growth of corn, wheat, oats, barley and grass. There are only twenty-four sections in this town and one-third of these are in the marsh section. The Sheboygan River crosses the lower part of the town and there are other streams in the locality.
Russell was organized in 1852 and was named after John Russell, a settler living on section 4. The first election was held at the house of George Keenan in the spring of 1854, the total number of votes cast being fourteen. Michael Byrne was elected chairman and J. L. Sexton clerk.
The first settler here was Lewis Odell, who came in 1848 and located on section 13.
Patrick and Mary Keenan, natives of Ireland, emigrated to America in 1846 and settled in New York. Coming west in 1848 they located in the town of Russell. At the time of their advent here the place was almost a perfect wilderness, there being but two or three families in the whole town. Mr. Keenan built a log house and began the task of clearing the heavy timber and cultivating the ground. He became one of the prosperous and influential men of this community. Valentine Voelker and Anton Boll settled on section 5 in 1849, and James Shuffiebotham located on section 2
In 1850 John Henschel located on section 14; Michael Byrne on section 10; and C. Abbey on section 2.
Those who settled in the town in 1851 were Bernard McCabe on section 2; P. Flynn on section 3; J. L. Sexton, section 12; P. Smith, section 13.
The first religious services were held in the village of St. Anna in the spring of 1851, in a small log building. They were conducted by Rev. Father Ell. The school was taught by John L. Sexton in a log house on section 12. On this same section was located the first post office and Mr. Sexton presided over it. The first marriage was that of Henry Henschel and Mrs. Amelia Wolf in the spring of 1855. Esquire Dean performed the ceremony. The first birth was that of Anton Boll in the spring of 1851. A Mr. Trimbauer was killed by a falling tree in the fall of 1853, and his was the first death in Russell.
St. Anna is located in the northeast corner of section 5 and is partly in Calumet County. The population of the town of Russell as given by the last census is four hundred and forty-four and is the smallest in the county.
J. L. SEXTON'S CABIN IN WHICH HE WAS MURDERED, JUNE 28, 1911, IN TOWN OF RUSSELL
MURDER OF A RECLUSE
J. L. Sexton, the kindly old gentleman who resided alone in a log cabin in the town of Russell, near the Sheboygan marsh, and who for many years was known and respected as "The Old Hermit," was born in Vermont, January 11, 1825, where he was well educated, according to the standard of those times. He removed to Sheboygan County in 1845 and had resided here until his untimely end. The first part of his life here was devoted to teaching; later he was town clerk; and postmaster. He had a family of two sons, Frank, of Woolsey, and Barton, of Heron, South Dakota, and one daughter, Mrs. J. Diehl, of Sheboygan. Mrs. Sexton died many years ago, and the sons and daughter growing to manhood and womanhood, went out into the world, leaving the old gentleman alone with his books and papers, in his humble cottage in the midst of a little grove of forest and fruit trees, most of them planted by himself. In front of the home he had collected many rocks and fossils of curious formation, and Indian relics, some piled on top of each other like totems or totem poles before an Alaskan Indian's residence, having a dark back-ground of foliage from which rare and beautiful flowers looked out upon, and formed an appropriate setting for the lowly thatched cottage that is presented in the picture.
Mr. Sexton was something of a philosopher, a pleasing conversationalist, a great reader and student of scientific questions, and very frequently a contributor of interesting articles to the publications of the county. The room in which he passed most of his time, and in which he was murdered, was in the smaller part of the building, shown in the accompanying view, and was a sort of a curiosity shop; it was literally filled, except for the little passage ways, with books, papers, curios, pamphlets, writings, records, furniture, flower pots, ancient fire arms, etc. Here he passed his time reading, writing, working in his garden, and entertaining many callers, counting all as friends; and indeed it is difficult to believe there were any who were not his friends. Feeling secure in the fact that he had no enemies, and that his means though ample for his simple wants were not large enough to tempt to crime, he was unprepared for the foul assassin's deed that ended his life in tragedy in the eighty-sixth year of his age.
Mitchell is in the second tier of towns from the south and is bordered on the west by Fond du Lac County, on the north by Greenbush, east by Lyndon and south by Scott towns. The topography of the town shows a range of hills, technically known as the "Potash Kettles," which is about a mile wide and runs diagonally through the town from northeast to southwest, dividing it into two portions of nearly equal extent, the southeast triangle being a little the larger, and is generally level with the exception of a valley about a quarter mile wide, which runs parallel with the range of Potash Kettles, and about one mile distant from them. In the eastern part of this valley are a number of springs forming the eastern branch of the Milwaukee River. East of this valley the soil is dry and fertile. The ground was at one time well timbered along the streams, elm, black ash and tamarack on the highlands, white oak, maple, beech, iron wood, hickory, wild cherry, butternut, basswood and poplar. In the early days in some localities large quantities of oak, hickory hoop-poles were prepared for market.
The range of hills was covered with red oak timber of little value and the land will not bring very much in the market. The northeast triangle of the town is better fitted for agricultural purposes. It was originally covered with a heavy growth of hard maple, white and swamp oak of great size, but now few if any of them remain, being unable to withstand the havoc of the woodman's ax. The soil of the town is variable, though mainly a calcareous and clay marl, of quite light color when first plowed but grows darker on exposure to the atmosphere and is much more productive than its color would indicate. However, there are good farms in the community and the people are prosperous.
The town of Mitchell was organized with the present town of Lyndon in 1849. 'In 1850 it was separated from Lyndon and organized under the name of Olio, with the following officers: Peter Donahoe, chairman; William E. Akin and William Austin, supervisors; C. W. Humphrey, town clerk and superintendent of schools; Stephen Gray, treasurer; and Peter Preston, assessor. The name of Mitchell was given to the town in 1851 as a token of respect to the great Irish patriot, John Mitchell. The first settlers here were Albert Rounseville, Benjamin and James Trowbridge, John and Daniel Sanborn and James O'Cain, who with their families formed a little colony in the state of New York to immigrate to this country and located near the center of section 12 and adjacent to a number of springs of pure and sparkling water.
This little settlement was increased in September of the same year by John Smith, James Angus, John Horn, Alfred Launsdale and E. L. Adams, with their wives and children, from Sodus, New York. They located in the immediate vicinity of the first colony of settlers and it was their intention to all join their interests in a community with the objects and aims of a society then known as the Fouerierites. With this object in view eleven families united in a petition to the territorial legislature to grant them a charter under the name of the "Spring Farm Phalanx." Harrison C. Hobart who was then the representative in the legislature from Sheboygan County, fathered the bill, but he was defeated in his efforts and as a result the colony was in a measure disintegrated and some of its members left for other localities.
Benjamin F. Trowbridge had gone to the gold diggings in California and on his return in 1852 was lost at sea between Havana and New York City. In August, 1846, R. Fritz settled on section 14 and his brother Edward on section 23. C. W. Humphrey came in February, 1847, and was followed by E. Siekens in March and U. Cous in May of that year. Mr. Humphrey came from Oneida county, New York, and preempted a claim, upon which he built a cabin and "kept batch" until his marriage in 1848, to Marian Elizabeth Van De Mark. He was one of the early commissioners for Sheboygan County, served as sheriff, supervisor, superintendent of schools and member of the Wisconsin assembly.
Laurence Riley, a native of Ireland, located on section 34, in 1847. His father joined him sometime thereafter and made his home with his son, where he died. William Chambers, also a native of Ireland, settled on section 36 in this same year. His petition for the east half of section 36 bears the date of May 13, 1847, and is the earliest known in the town. James Gillen, a native of Ireland, settled in the town in 1848. John M. Saeman, with his wife Elizabeth and two children, Christina and John, left his native place in Germany in 1849 and entered a large tract of land on section 13, a part of which became the site of the village of Batavia. Richard R. Phalen, who was born in Ireland, came to the United States when sixteen years of age and settled on a farm in the town of Mitchell in 1850. Austin Hinkley, a native of Ohio, located on what is known as Spring Farm in 1854 but later removed to the town of Lyndon.
In 1848 immigration into the town increased quite rapidly and consisted principally of natives of the Emerald isle-a frugal, peaceful and industrious people.
Juliette, a daughter of U. Cous, was married to Almon Andrews, of Plymouth, August 18, 1848, Squire Oran Rogers performing the ceremony. This was the first marriage in the town. The birth of George O'Cain, son of Isaac and Cynthia O'Cain, which occurred in May, 1848, was the first of the white race to occur in Mitchell. The death of an infant son of John and Sarah Hurn, September 8, 1846, was the first in the town. Sarah Hum in the fall of 1846 taught the first school.
Mitchell has no incorporated towns. There is a small village - Parnell - near the center on the line of sections 21 and 22, where there are two hotels, general stores, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse and town hall. There are two hamlets - Pius, on section 8, and Rathbun, on section 5. Mitchell had a population in 1910 of 969.
St. Michael's Church
This church is a mission of St. Mary's church at Cascade, being attended from that congregation. It was established in 1860 by Rev. Patrick Petit. The congregation is composed almost entirely of Irish.
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.