County seat of Taylor Co.
The town was nearly destroyed by fire in 1893.
This was in
the "25 years ago" section of the Star News. The date of the issue is
unknown. The item follows:
Probably nobody in Taylor county
has known just how
Medford got the name. F.C. Chase of Weyauwega was in the city yesterday
with his son of the firm Wells & Chase of Dorchester. While
over the early days with Frank Perkins he remarked that he was one of
the contractors who cut out the Wisconsin Central right of way through
Taylor county. That he and an eastern man sat on a hemlock stump one
day. The other man presumably from Medford, Mass., peeled the bark from
the stump and whittled the word 'Medford' into its surface, saying that
he was going to call this place Medford. And Medford it has been ever
since. Mr Chase says that they made their headquarters at that time on
"Prink's Hill," now occupied by Mr. Walther. One day they came south on
the right of way and built the first house in Medford, a log house at
the south end of what is now called Front street. A.J. Perkins and
family occupied the house in the early days.
Medford Star-News, May
A Little History of Medford
Reminiscences and Anecdotes of early Taylor County,
author: Arthur J. Latton
A.E. Harder was the first
settler, he built a log cabin on his homestead, near where the old
library building is.
The first train went through
Medford in July 1873; Abe Gilbert was the engineer.
The first frame building, the
depot, was built on Broadway, in September of that year.
The first child born was the
daughter of Mr. & Mrs. W.B. Jeffers, but only lived a few weeks.
Hers was also the first death in
The first school opened in the
new settlement was a private one taught by W.E Lockerby.
Maurice Murphy opened the first
W.W. Fry built a small sawmill
near Browns Spring on Whalen Avenue, and operated it a few years.
King & McIntyre opened
the first store.
The first post office was
established, with A.E. Harder as postmaster.
Dr. S.B. Hubbell was the first
Hubbell and Harvey Wheelock
opened the first bank.
Ogden and Adams the first law
The first newspaper was the
Taylor County News, edited and published by John A, Ogden. The first
issue appeared March 31, 1875.
The first fire company was
Miss Mary E. Carr became the
first bride, on April 3, 1875, when Judge Prink united her in marriage
to George E. Mattson.
The first town election was held
April 6, 1875 in the Roberts and Whalen store.
Joseph Norton cast the first
vote, was on the first
jury, made the first deposit at the bank, and was said to be the
heaviest man in town.
Nick Schafer was the first
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