Washington County, Wisconsin
Source: History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties, Wisconsin; transcribed by Barbara Ziegenmeyer

West Bend—Village or West Bend—Hartford—Village or Harford— Polk—Schlkisingerville —Farmington—Kewaskum—Village or Kewaskum—Barton and Villages— Trenton—Jackson—Wayne—Addison—Erin—Germantown—Richfield.

West Bend, situated immediately north of the center of Washington County, of which it is the county Beat, was organized by an act of the Legislature on the 20th of January, 1846.

The act reads as follows: " All of that part of said county (Washington) comprised in Towns 11 and 12 north, of Ranges 19 and 20 east, is hereby set off into a separate town by the name of West Bend, and the first election shall be held at the house of Isaac Verbeck." At that time, and until February 11, 1847, it comprised all the territory included in the present towns of West Bend, Barton, Trenton, Farmington and Kewaskum.

On the 11th day of February, 1847, that portion of West Bend comprised in Town 12 north, of Range 19, was set off and constituted a new town under the name of North Bend, and, at the same session, that portion of the town situated in Town 12 north, of Range 20 east, was set off and constituted another new town under the name of Clarence.

And, on the 11th of March, 1848, the territory of West Bend was again reduced by the organization of another new town under the name of Trenton, and, at the same time, the name of the town of Clarence was changed to Farmington. Until August 19, 1848, all of the present town of Kewaskum, and the north half of what ii now the town of Barton, was embraced in the town of North Bend; but the Legislature of that year passed an act setting off " two miles from the south of the town of North Bend, and two miles from the north side of West Bend," and constituted a new town by the name of Newark.

This act seems to have been repealed and another passed, which reads as follows: ** So much of Washington County as is embraced in two tiers of sections from the north side of West Bend, and two tiers of sections from the south side of North Bend, shall constitute a separate town, and shall be called by the name of Newark."

The Supervisors, unable to satisfy themselves that the above act had been legally and officially published to avoid difficulty and dispute, " Ordered that sections from 25 to 86 of Township 12, and sections from 1 to 10, and the north half of Sections 11 and 12 north, of Range 19, be, and the same are, hereby set off and constituted, and shall be known and recognized, from and after this 8th day of May, 1849, as the town of Newark ; the next election to be held on the first Tuesday of April at the house of Martin Foster, in the village of Newark.".

The Supervisors, unable to satisfy themselves that the above act had been legally academically published to avoid difficulty and dispute, " Ordered that sections from 25 to 36 of Township 12, and sections from 1 to 10, and the north half of Sections 11 and 12 north, of Range 19, be, and the same are, hereby set off and constituted, and shall be known and recognized, from and after this 8th day of May, 1849, as the town of Newark; the next election to be held on the first Tuesday of April at the house of Martin Foster, in the village of Newark."

And it was also ordered, for the purpose of defining the precise boundary of the present town, "that the south half of Sections 11 and 12 of Range 19 shall be, and are hereby attached to, and made a part of West Bend." The half-sections in the northeast corner of the town were attached to West Bend to preserve, undivided, the village plat, and to avoid any possible misunderstanding or dispute in relation to the mill property.

By referring to the various acts and orders recorded in this work, the precise limits and boundaries of the present town of West Bend will be understood; and it will be seen that, instead of its being a regular township six miles square, it is a town comprising only twenty-four whole and two half sections.

The Milwaukee River, running from north to south through the northeastern sections of the town, making a sharp horseshoe bend at a point spanned by the railroad bridge, and thence through Section 13 to the town of Trenton, is a beautiful, rapid stream, affording a valuable and reliable waterpower.

The town has many natural advantages.   Its hills, valleys, rich bottom and fertile uplands, patches of woodland, remnants of primitive forests, numerous springs, the sources of lakes and, streams sufficient in number and volume to afford an abundant supply of excellent water for all ordinary purposes, with but few remaining morasses requiring *.he adoption of practical sanitary measures, constitute exceptional natural conditions of health and prosperity.

The land is productive and peculiarly adapted to cereals, vegetables and fruit, and, although the soil varies, and is in the central and eastern portions of the town, composed mainly of sand and a light mold, in other parts rich clay and marl abound.

In some portions of the northwestern sections hills and peculiar mounds, with their corresponding depressions, vulgarly called "Potash Kettles," abound, and the soil is in such localities almost worthless for ordinary agricultural purposes.

The range of hills upon which they are found, passing from the north through Kewaskum, Barton, the western portion of West Bend, a part of Hartford and Erin, embracing 44 Hermit Hill," the highest point in the county, constitutes a watershed, all springs and streams rising upon the eastern slope, or east of this range, finding their way to the Milwaukee River, while those rising on the west empty into Rock River, and other streams flowing toward the Mississippi.

For several years after the arrival of the first settlers, the history of agriculture in the town shows that when the soil was first broken it yielded abundant harvests; that, in 1847, the yield of winter wheat from a portion of Mr. Farmer's land, on Section 24, was forty bushels per acre, and that Nelson Rusco, without even replow into a field from which he had taken a crop of corn, had thirty five bushels per acre from a portion of Section 26. Reuben S. Rusco, the present owner, is now, thirty four years later, harvesting wheat from the same ground, and does not expect it to yield more than fifteen bushels per acre.

In recent years the chinchbug has seriously injured spring wheat. After its first appearance it left for a time, but soon returned, and is now troublesome in dry seasons, and in locations where the soil is sandy or of light mold.


The more important lakes of the county are in the southern part of West Bend, although Hartford has Pike Lake, and Barton has Smith Lake, the former being an important one.

Cedar Lake, beginning on the north, in Section 17, covering portions of several sections as far south as Section 5, in the northern part of the town of Polk, is four miles in length and about one mile in width.

It is supplied by many unseen springs, which, at its bottom, are its secret and reliable sources, and help to supply Little Cedar Lake and Cedar Creek.

Little Cedar Lake, situated about one mile east of its more important sister, on Section 83, is little more than one mile in length, and about half a mile in width, and is supplied from the larger lake, and probably from springs at its bottom. Cedar Creek rises in and is supplied from Little Cedar Lake; but the water from both lakes find an outlet in the creek.

Silver Lake, on Section 27, is a smaller but more charming body of remarkably clear water, is fed by springs at its bottom, and has its outlet in Silver Creek, which runs north to Hoppe's millpond, on Section 14, thence east, and empties into the Milwaukee River on Section 11.

Thorough examinations of all records relating to West Bend, frequent conversations with early settlers residing in this and other towns, and a correspondence with such as have removed to other localities, conclusively show that M. A. T. Farmer and Isaac Verbeck, with their families, were the earliest actual settlers.

Amos Verbeck, and Abigail, his wife, parents of Isaac Verbeck, came in soon after their son with the family. The family was numerous, the roster being as follows : Boys—Isaac, Nelson, Amos, Philip, Joseph, William, Anson, Charles and Sidney. Girls—Abigail, Mary and Sarah.   Following are sketches of several of those who came in at this early period.

Joseph and William Verbeck, born and reared in Pennsylvania, came to Wisconsin and settled, for a time, near Menomonee Falls, in Waukesha County, in the spring of 1844.

They found settlers in that vicinity, and in the southern part of Germantown, and, although the people who had been in that county for several years were still living in shanties, they had cleared considerable land.

The Verbeck's worked land on shares for one Sam Cole, completed the clearing of an eight acre lot for James Piatt Vaughn, who kept a primitive tavern just over the line in Germantown, and, in the following winter, they cleared nine acres for themselves.

On the 10th of May, 1845, M. A. T. Farmer, with his wife and four children, accompanied by his brotherinlaw, Isaac Verbeck, his wife and their five children, left Pennsylvania, traveled by land and lakes, and, on the 20th, landed in Milwaukee, from which point they reached Menominee on the 21st and joined their two brothers. They brought with them 2,000 pounds of household goods securely packed in boxes, and when one of these was taken apart each of the four men had a door for his shanty, taken from his Eastern home.

Mr. Farmer has still in his possession ancient pieces of furniture which had a place in the homesteads in New York and Pennsylvania, and a portion of a flail—a swingle—swung by his father a century ago, and a bell borne by a favorite cow from Menomonee to their new home, is still preserved.

Isaac, who did not take kindly to drudgery, becoming restless, started on foot to visit the western portion of Washington County. He had heard, from travelers who now and then tarried at Vann's tavern, of lakes and beautiful lands in the vicinity of the shanty of Timothy Hall, who had settled in the northeastern portion of Hartford, on the old Fond du Lac road. Arriving there, he heard enchanting stories of Indian Prairie, whither he went, spending a night in camp with one hundred and fifty Indians.

The red men who remained in Washington County were peaceable and loyal.

A German settler shot a deer that was pursued by a party of Indians, who, on finding him in possession of the carcass, demanded it; but the German refused to relinquish his claim, whereupon "John," known as "Bad Indian," retreating in the forest and leveling his weapon fired upon him, while he in self defense shot and killed his assailant. The other Indians coming up removed the body, acknowledging that "John," being the aggressor, received his just deserts. This circumstance, occurring in the county, illustrates their honor and love of justice. On the following morning, while Isaac was viewing tho prairie from the wigwam, a chief said : " White man, go on" and we next hear of his examining lands in different localities, particularly those on the section line running north and south, between Sections 23 and 24. Pleased and apparently satisfied, he returned to Menomonee, had a conference with Mr. Farmer and his brothers, in which Mary, Jannett and the older children took an active part, discussed the situation and prospects pro and con, finally deciding to go at once to the land office at Milwaukee and preempt portions on different sections. Three days later they were erecting shanties, one on Section 24 for Mr. Farmer (which was the first structure of any description in what is now the town of West Bend), and the other for Isaac Verbeck on the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 13, on what is now known as "Battle Creek," while Joseph, being unmarried, and having no present use for a house, simply chopped some wood and made a brush heap on the southwest corner of Section 24, now the residence of Mr. Kohlsdorf, to show Walter Demmon that "some one had been there while he was gone."

In September, Mr. and Mrs. Farmer, their two boys and Isaac, spent four weeks in their new shanty, improving the premises, and, in company with Ben Thompson, assisted Barton Salisbury, of Mequon, who was preparing to build the first shanty in what is now the village of Barton.

Leaving their effects in their shanty, they returned to Menomonee, remaining six weeks to harvest their crops and prepare for the coming winter, and, on November 7, Isaac and family removed to their new home. On the 9th, Mr. Farmer with his family, and Joseph and William Verbeck removed their goods and chattels, and became permanent settlers.

Walter Deramon visited what is now West Bend, in August, 1845, for the purpose of selecting a desirable location, but omitted to secure any land before visiting his home in New York, where he remained five weeks. Upon his return, in October, the portions of the section upon which he had partially decided to settle, had been taken, and Joseph H. Verbeck's " brush heap " marked the spot.

On the 12th of January, 1846, Mr. Demmon became a permanent settler and erected a superior log cabin, 18x24 feet, on Section 26, where he now resides. He has held many offices of trust in the town, and has served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

Jacob E. Young first visited West Bend in January, 1846. He says: " Traveling on foot from the South, I arrived at Verbeck's shanty in the evening of a cold January day, but, finding it already occupied, I was informed that one Charles Buck had a shanty a mile farther north at which I could stay overnight. Following the section line, I soon arrived at my destination. In the morning upon returning to Verbeck's and finding him absent, Jannett, who commanded a nimble tongue, described the land near the river and gave me any quantity of advice.

"A young man who was present, Edward Helm, said he would show me some of the pieces described. I liked Section 13, and after returning to the shanty for lunch, I started for the land office at Milwaukee, walking the whole distance that afternoon. Next day, I entered and paid for a quarter section, and also purchased of Kilbourn, Wolcott & Co., two lots in the village plat situated on the east side of Section 14. I had $1,000 in gold on my person, but after leaving the Receiver's office, and wishing to purchase some article at a store, the money could not be found. I was absentminded then, as I am now, but remembering where I had been, returned to Helfenstein's office, who, upon seeing me, said, "D—m you, you ought to have a guardian, appointed to look after you.' and, laughing, handed me the bag of money.

" I soon removed my family and effects from Milwaukee, and, boarding at Verbeck's for a time, I built a shanty for present use, and in the spring erected a commodious log house, 12x24 feet. Removing into it, we thought to enjoy private life, but several mechanics desiring accommodations, almost positively refusing to be turned away, we yielded to their demands." Mr. Young was one of the first Justices of the Peace and held the office many years.

Christian Young, with his wife, two children and mother, came in the fall of 1846, and is, like his brother, an encyclopedia of facts and incidents pertaining to the early history of the town. It is stated that he was at first homesick and seriously threatened to go back into civilized life, but on being appointed Deputy Sheriff by Solon Johnson, an office which he held for many years thereafter, he saw encouraging dawns of civilization in his new home, and gradually assumed the air of a contented citizen.

George N. Irish, having lived in a shanty at Cedar Creek, came to West Bend in 1846, and built a log house on the block south of William Wightman's present residence. It was a commodious structure and in it he kept his famous tavern. The mills were then being built. Men from Milwaukee, owning extensive tracts of land and the waterpower, were coming and going; their mechanics must be accommodated, either at the shanty of Verbeck or at the tavern of Irish. It does not appear that he gave his hotel a name in 1846, although it is probable he did, as, at a later day, it was known as the " American House."

Jehiel H. Baker came from Michigan in the summer of 1846, and erected the second frame building, a short distance south of Weil's "sharp corner" store. It was occupied as store and residence early the following autumn.   The front part is now the store of Jonathan Potter, Esq.

Mr. Baker was one of the commissioners appointed by the Legislature of 1848, to lay out. a " Territorial Road M from Waukesha, in Waukesha County, to West Bend.

B. (Schleisinger) Weil owned property, and erected what was at the time considered an elegant residence on Section 31, west of Cedar Lake, about 1847, where he lived for a time. The village of Schleisingerville derives its name from him.

Moses Weil was born in Soultz, in the department of the Lower Rhine, France, in the year 1798. He was one of the few survivors of the last century. He lived in Paris during a large part of the time in which Napoleon the First was making Europe tremble, and saw him, on his arrival at Paris, after Waterloo.

Mr. Weil came to West Bend in November, 1845, accompanied by his two sons. Paul A. and Henry J. purchased a large tract of land near Cedar Lake, and made some improvements there before coming to this part of the town in the summer of 1846. I the month of August of the same year, he built the store known as the u Sharpcorner n"—in the first frame structure in the town. All the lumber used in its construction was brought from Milwaukee by his son Paul A. with his ox teams, and the merchandise to fill it was brought in the same manner by the young man partly from Port Washington, but principally from Milwaukee. The Weil Store was a prominent business center in those early times, a large business being carried on for several years. The first frame dwelling house in the to^n was also built by Mr. Weil, and he early became one of the proprietors of the mill, and continued in the active business management of it until the year 1856. He died at Cedar Lake, at the residence of B. S. Weil, on the 6th of August, 1863. A friend writes of him as follows: " As a business man, he was honest and industrious, prompt in all his engagements, and deservedly possessed the confidence of the whole community. By his enterprise and liberality, he contributed much to the growth and prosperity of this village in its early settlement. A man of temperate, abstemious and scrupulously regular habits, of plain and genial manners, he was kindhearted to all, and charitable to the poor.

" Possessed of a mild and friendly disposition, courteous and honorable to all classes, he went to his final rest, regretted by all who knew him, and sincerely mourned by his family and friends."

William Wightman, of Washtenaw County, Mich., came early in the summer of 1846, and being pleased with the country, authorized James Kneeland, of Milwaukee (a half brother of Mrs. Wightman), to purchase certain property for him. Leaving Michigan the following autumn with his wife and four daughters, in a comfortable covered wagon drawn by horses, the journey was rendered pleasant by visits to relatives and friends along the route. Arriving at a shanty on Section 24, they purchased a loaf of bread of Huldah Farmer and passed on to the store and residence of their old acquaintance, Jehiel H. Baker.

Visions of the old home rising before Mrs. Wightman in contrast to this new life they were to enter upon, caused her to feel that she could not leave the wagon ; but better judgment prevailing, she determined that as this must be her future home, it should be a happy one. This was in October, and before January Mr. Wightman had prepared the frame for his house, but when everything was ready heavy snows delayed the raising, and a shanty was erected instead. To be once more in their own home, however rude, was happiness indeed, although one side of the store must be parlor while the other was kitchen. After the erection of his frame house, it was opened and kept for ten years as a hotel, and will be remembered as the West Bend House. Mr. Wightman has been prominently identified with the town and county, faithfully serving his constituents at all times when they have called him into public life. He is still living in West Bend, carrying sturdily the weight of over eighty years.

The early settlers known to have settled within the limits of the town in 184546, were the Verbecks with their families, M. A. T. Farmer and family, Moses Weil and family, William Wightman and family, Gr. N. Irish (the first tavern keeper), the Rusco brothers, Jehiel H. Baker, Walter Demmon, the Young brothers with their families, Daniel Freer, Edward Helm, Elder Babcock, Lewis Bates, Mrs. Betsey Visgar, James L. Bailey, Mr. Sinn, the blacksmith, and Mr. Bullins.

During the next two years, the lands within the present limits of the town were rapidly taken up by actual settlers, and the clearing up of the beautiful farms that now cover the whole town was begun on nearly every section.

The town was incorporated by act of the Legislature, as has been stated, January 21, 1846, which was soon after the earliest settlers began to come in. The first town meeting was held at the house of Isaac Verbeck, the only precinct designated in the act of incorporation for the town which embraced at that time what is now comprised in the towns of West Bend, Barton, Kewaskum, Farmington and Trenton. It was held April 7, 1846. For several years the records were kept on loose sheets and stored away in a bag. The bag is lost, and the particulars of this first town meeting are gathered from the recollections of old settlers still living who were present at the meeting.   Jacob E. Young's account is substantially as follows:

"We had trouble about that first town meeting. We had to organize from the stump, and how we were to manage was the question. We had no officer, no authority to put the machine in motion. I had been in the same fire in 1838 at Two Rivers. There we elected a Board of Inspectors, Judges of Election and a Clerk. Having no officer to swear the Board and Clerk. I suggested that one of us swear the Clerk, and the Clerk could then swear the Inspectors and others. I therefore administered the oath to Joseph H. Verbeck as Clerk, who, in turn, swore the Inspectors, and then we were in running order. I was elected Justice of the Peace, and there were three others elected (whose names I do not remember), and three Highway Commissioners. They were Joseph H. Verbeck, Nelson Rusco and myself. Verbeck was elected Clerk and Farmer was Treasurer. Barton Salisbury, and, I think, Charles Higgins, ran for Chairman of Board of Supervisors, Salisbury being elected. I think Ben Thompson and some one else ran for Supervisors, and each had the same number of votes.   It is said that Verbeck's coffeepot was the ballot box. I think, however, an old candle box was used for that purpose. I think there could not have been more than forty voters."

Walter Demmon says: " A town meeting was held at the house of Isaac Verbeck, as had been ordered by the Legislature, when the town was set off and named in April, 1846. The four townships being represented at this precinct. I knew we had a difficulty to overcome—we had no one to swear in the officers. Jonathan Bailey, a Justice of the Peace from Mequon, was here on business, and I asked him to administer the oath, which he did. I ran for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors against Barton Salisbury. My opponent was elected, he having a majority of two votes. I think Jacob E. Young was elected Justice of the Peace, and Joseph Verbeck, Clerk. W. P. Barnes, Mr. Waite and myself were elected Assessors. I do not remember names of other officers. We were all strangers. I think there were not more than thirty voters."

These statements mu3t be accepted as the record in the absence of a better one, and, although the witnesses differ on some minor and immaterial points, both are, in the main, correct.

Mr. Young evidently refers to swearing Inspectors of Election and then Clerk before voting commenced; Mr. Demmon to administering the oath to the officers elected. Of course, no poll list of this first meeting is now in existence, but the list of votes polled at the ensuing fall election, held in November, 1846, is on file at the County Clerk's office, and is as follows:

John M. Pickle, John A. Avery, Barton Salisbury, William H. Morehouse, Russell Rusco, Joseph H. Verbeck, Charles Higgens, Jared S. Blount, Daniel Freer, Jacob E. Young, Reuben Rusco, George Irish, Peter Buck, John S. Rusco, John S. Vanepes, Stephen Irish, Joshua Bradley, William W. Verbeck, De Lafayette Waite, Peter Buck, Nelson Rusco, Harvey Moore, Isaac verbeck, Joseph Mann, Harman Mann, Sylvester Rowe, James Costello, Patrick Costello. Total number of votes polled, 27.

The above list comprised all who voted at that time within the limits of the four townships then embraced in the town of West Bend.

In the fall of 1846, the first school money was drawn. The parents and number of children reported were as follows : M. A. T. Farmer, four children ; Isaac Verbeck, five ; Charles Higgens, one; Walter Demmon, two; Lewis Bates, two; Russell Rusco, one; Nelson Rusco, three; Moses Young, four. Total, 22. There is no record of any school being kept, although it is quite likely there was one during the previous summer. The earliest schoolteacher who can be traced was Miss Cyntha Sinn, a daughter of Sinn, the blacksmith, afterward Mrs. Everly.   She taught in 1847.

The first marriage was solemnized in 1846 between Anson Verbeck and Hannah McDonald.

The ceremony was performed by Jacob E. Young, who was the first Justice of the Peace.

The first death was that of a child of Dr. Pickett. It was buried near Kohlsdorf s place, south of the village, where it was then contemplated locating the burying ground.

The first religious service was held at the house of Walter Demmon by Rev. Bela Wilcox, or Elder Babcock.   Authorities differ.

The first tavern was kept by George N. Irish in 1846.

The first sawmill was built by E. B. Wolcott in 1846, and the fir3t lumber 9awed by George N. Irish.

The first gristmill was built in 1847 by E. B. Wolcott.

The first millers were the Cotton brothers.

The first frame building was erected in 1846—Weil's "Sharpcorner Store"—built by the Weils, father and sons, and still standing.

The first lawyer was Ira Spencer, who was also the first Postmaster.

The first physician was Dr. Spencer, a brother to Ira.

The first large spinning wheel was brought in by Mrs. M. A. T. Farmer in 1845.

The first wheat was grown by M. A. T. Farmer, who also was the first white settler who owned a dog.

The first village lot was sold to Jacob E. Young.

The first blacksmith was Nelson Verbeck.

The first family jar was at Battle Creek, south of the village, which gave the locality its name.

The first newspaper was the Washington County Organ, published by a Mr. Wentworth, who was the first printer and editor.   He set up in 1854.

The first span of horses owned in the town was a span of grays bought in Indiana by Paul A. Weil and brought to West Bend by him.

The first shanty was built by M. A. T. Farmer, and the second by Isaac Verbeck.

The first male schoolteacher was William H. Ramsey. He taught the village school in the winter of 184748.   He now lives at Grand Rapids, Mich.

The first white woman in West Bend was Mrs. Ben Thompson.

The village is built along the western bank and up the slopes from the Milwaukee River, mostly on the northeast quarter of Section 14, and extending on to the adjoining sections 11, on the north, and 13 on the east.

The river, running in a southerly course, here makes a sharp bend to the southwest and sweeps round to the northeast within a radius of two miles, making a semicircle. The land slopes up from the river banks on either side. The river runs through the valley, having a fall of some fifty feet in a course of four miles.

No more beautiful site for a village can be imagined, and it is no wonder that, with its splendid waterpower, it was early marked as the destined central village of the surrounding region. Almost as soon as the first settlers came in, speculating prospectors had discovered its natural advantages and secured the land on which the village was afterward built.

E. N. Higgins had, prior to September, 1845, preempted the land covering the water over. During that year, Byron Kilbourn, of Milwaukee, an energetic and farseeing man, since known as the prime mover in all the early public improvements of the State, made an exploring trip through Washington County and discovered, as he thought, one of the most valuable powers in the country at West Bend. He and two other Milwaukee men, James Kneeland and Dr. E. B. Wolcott, purchased eight eighty acre lots adjoining Higgins's, and took Higgins in as a partner, to secure the waterpower, as he had already preempted the land about the falls. The purchases from the Government and the formation of the co partnership was consummated in the fall of 1845, and the village plat made before January, 1846. The original owners were Byron Kilbourn, James Kneeland and Erastus B. Wolcott, of Milwaukee, and E. N. Higgins, who lived at West Bend. William Wightman subsequently became interested. Jasper Vliet, then of Milwaukee, was the surveyor and platter.

The village having been laid out, improvements on the waterpower were begun forthwith. E. B. Wolcott entered into a contract with his co partners, whereby he was to own the waterpower on the building of a dam, sawmill and gristmill at his own expense, to be finished at the times specified, in 1846 and 1848, and to be afterward maintained by him in good working condition. Wolcott built .the dam and sawmill in 1846, commenced the gristmill in 1847, and completed it in 1848. The sawmill was leased to George H. Irish, and he began to saw lumber for the building that was now being vigorously pushed by the incoming settlers. The first lumber sawed went into William Wightman's house, which he had already commenced to build. The gristmill, on its completion, was leased to Daniel Cotton and his brother. While these improvements were progressing, many settlers had come into the place and it now put on all the appearances of a thriving spot, as it certainly was.

There was a post office kept by Ira Spencer; Weil Brothers and Ishiel H. Baker were doing a profitable business in dry goods and groceries with the farmers of West Bend and the surrounding towns; Verbeck and Sinn were each running a blacksmith shop ; the three taverns of Irish, Wightman and Zimmerman were filled with travelers nightly, and the streets by day were crowded with those who came with grists to mill and to make their purchases. The trade and traffic of the western part of the county centered here, and rapidly built up the town. During the years from 1850 to I860, the town grew to approximate its present size and put on its present appearance sufficiently to have a family resemblance to the village of today. It had during that time, added to its milling and lumber manufactories, a brewery ; in 1863, a woolen factory was added ; it had two more hotels: the main street (River) was well built up. The village had become the county seat, and the county buildings had been erected. Three churches had also been built. In 1857, the population was 600, and, in 1860, it was not far from eight hundred. It had a newspaper and supported a high school. Thus, at the beginning of the war, it had grown to be one of the most promising villages of the State. For the succeeding ten years, the village remained nearly stationary. Since 1870, the growth has been gradual, the population being, in 1880, 1,283.

November 25, 1853, West Bend lost its identity. At a session of the County Board of Supervisors held on that day, the town of Newark was changed to Barton, and the town of Farmington to Carbon ; whereupon the member from West Bend moved to change the name of West Bend Village to Lamartine City, and it was accordingly done by vote of the board. During the evening the change became known, and was, to put it mild, not graciously accepted by the citizens. On the following morning, a petition, generally signed, was presented to the board, praying that Lamartine City be changed to West Bend. It was accordingly so done. The city had an ephemeral existence of eighteen hours.

Many changes have occurred during the past twenty years, calculated to affect the business interests of the village. The old sawmill has gone altogether, the old gristmill, still standing, seems to have outlived its usefulness and contents itself with grinding now and then a grist in memory of its youth, when it ran night and day.

The woolen mill was long ago burned, and the waterpower lies virtually idle, waiting the hand of enterprise once more to direct it again to profitable and beneficent uses.

The village was incorporated by act of the Legislature in 1868. The first meeting under the act of incorporation was held April 7, 1868, and the following board of village officers was elected : Trustees, John Shelley, President, Simon Hornstein, B. S. Potter and Ernst Lemke; Assessors, William Smith, Louis Reisse; Clerk, H. G. Treveranus; Marshal, Charles T. Haas ; Justices of the Peace, H. J. Weil, F. H. Haase; Constables, August Luckow, Theodore Glantz.

The village tax for 1868, the first year of its corporate existence, amounted to $4,754.38, of which sum $2,591 was raised for schools. The amount of village tax for 1880 was $5,013.26, of which sum $2,217.91 was expended for the support of schools.

The present board of village officers, elected April 6, 1881, is as follows: Supervisor, Henry Krieger; President, John Reisse; Trustees, F. H. Haase, John Thielges, George Leisgang, Mathew Regner; Clerk, Adolph Arzbacher ; Treasurer, Jacob Herdt; Assessor, John Knippel; Justices of the Peace, John Ekstein, L. Neuburg; Constables, John Burkardt, Jacob Heipp; Marshal, John Koester.

In 1873, the Chicago & North Western Railroad was completed through the county, and gave to West Bend railroad and telegraphic communication with the outside world, and a fresh start. The depot grounds are on the east side of the river, which is now spanned by two substantial bridges and several lighter structures for foot passengers.

Thus has been briefly outlined the material growth of the village from its beginning, in 1845, to the present time. The inhabitants have been characterized by honesty, thrift and patriotism. Some of the first to settle in the village still remain, but they see few of their old companions of thirty five years ago. Of the original owners of the village, Messrs. Kilbourn and Wolcott are dead ;. James Kneeland is still living in Milwaukee, and William Wightman alone enjoys a peaceful and contented old age in the beautiful village he helped to build.

Of those who came in at a later date, but sufficiently early to be termed old settlers, and who have been honorably identified with the growth and good name of the village, it is fitting to mention such as have been prominent, or are still active in its affairs.

John Potter, Jr., came in in the spring of 1849, and after an honorable and successful mercantile career of thirty two years, is still engaged in business at the old stand.

Leander F. Frisby, the oldest law practitioner in the county, came in October, 1853, and is still engaged in his profession, in company with Paul A. Weil, with whom he has been associated continuously since 1858.

John E. Mann, now County Judge of Milwaukee County, was one of the early lawyers of West Bend, being associated with L. F. Frisby from 1854 to 1858.

B. Goetter, now the oldest hotel keeper, proprietor of the Washington House, and a wealthy and respected German citizen, came in the spring of 1849, started the first brewery, and in 1852 built and opened a hotel on the site of his present building. It was burned and rebuilt by him in 1864.   He is one of the oldest German settlers now living in the village.

Charles H. Miller, now a lawyer in West Bend, is one of the oldest settlers now living in the county.   He came into Mequon with his parents in 1841, when only fifteen years of age.

He was, at the time of the division of the county, living in Fort Washington. He moved to West Bend in 1853.

John Shelley, who held the office of County Judge for twenty four successive years, came to the village in 1854, and is still a resident.

John Wagner came in 1848. He first followed his trade as a mason, then became a merchant, and finally retired to a farm. He died of consumption July 23, 1870. He was a citizen of sterling worth and unspotted character. His two sons still live in the village. Herman J. Wagner, born May 15,1852, is a blacksmith, of the firm of Wagner & Knippel. Adam M. Wagner, born September 29, 1858, is in the employ of John Potter, Jr.

George F. Hunt, M. D., came into the county and settled in the town of Barton in 1860. In 1861 he removed to West Bend, where he has resided ever since. He is one of the oldest and most skillful practitioners in the county. He has also been active in public affairs, having been Postmaster for eight years. He was elected State Senator in 1880. He has also been connected with the press, and is an able writer and lecturer on anatomy and other kindred subjects. He was President of the village in 187980, and has held other offices of trust and honor.

George H. Kleffler, one of the earliest German residents of West Bend, settled in Barton as a physician as early as 1851, came to West Bend in 1853, when the county seat of the new county was established here, and has since been an honored resident of the village. He has had more offices conferred on him by the suffrages of the people than any other citizen of the county. He also inaugurated the practice of celebrating the Fifth of July, a practice peculiar to West Bend and vicinity.

I. N. Frisby is one of the oldest lawyers in the county, having commenced the practice of law in 1854, the next year following the organization of the county. He is a careful lawyer of ability, far above the rank his own modesty would ascribe.

West Bend was the central rallying point for the eastern part of Washington County during the war period, and its history during those years shows the intense feeling of loyalty and patriotism that pervaded the community. The surface show of discontent that at one time prevailed is insignificant when compared with the deep and abiding current that swept through the county from the beginning to the end. The record below is creditable alike to West Bend and the surrounding towns of Barton, Kewaskum, Farmington and Trenton, whose soldiers helped to swell the ranks of the West Bend companies. The credit to these adjoining towns equally is accorded to them although it is appropriate and convenient to give the history without the mutilation that would occur from an attempt to separate specifically the exact work of the various towns allied with West Bend in her patriotic work.

The first call for a war meeting is published in the Post of April 22, 1861. It reads as follows:

A moss meeting of the citizens of West Bend and vicinity, irrespective of party, will be held at the court house tomorrow evening (Tuesday), at 3 o'clock P. M., to consider the state of the country, and make response to the call of the President for the maintenance of the Government against traitors in arms, and also to hoist our National Flag upon the Court House.

Parker & Brother's Band will be present, and the meeting will be addressed by Hon. L. F. Frisby, F. 0. Thorp and others.   Let all who love their country respond.

In pursuance to the foregoing call, a large and enthusiastic Union mass meeting of the citizens of West Bend, Barton and vicinity, without distinction of party, and in defiance of a pelting rainstorm, was held at the court house. The Stars and Stripes were unfurled, and after three cheers for the old flag, the meeting was called to order, and Col. Daniel McHenry chosen President, and N. S. Gilson, Secretary. Short and patriotic speeches were made by W. P. Barnes, L. F. Frisby, G. H. Kleffler, F. O. Thorp and I. N. Frisby."

The following resolution was offered by the Committee on Resolutions and adopted:

Whereas, Our Government h*s been attacked by rebels and traitors, and the Union thereby endangered ; therefore,

Resolved, That our sentiments are, "The Union Forever," and, if necessary, our blood and treasure to sustain it.

G. H. Klefler B. S. Potter W. P. Horton W. P. Barnes, L. F. Frisby.

After three more cheers for the Star Spangled Banner, and three more for the Union, the meeting adjourned.

George H. Kleffler, Colonel of the Twenty third Regiment Wisconsin State Militia, was at this time in West Bend forming a volunteer company to be called the " Garibaldi Guards," and young men were fast enlisting both in that company and in others that were being formed in larger places. Among those who went thus early, we find the names of Oscar Rusco, William Lowe, Isaiah Culver, W. W. Aiken, W. W. Denison, William Dutcher and Thomas Farmer.

The Union Guards—A company raised in West Bend, and containing in its ranks some of the best blood of that and the adjoining towns, was organized in the latter part of September, 1861. On September 11, forty members enlisted and were sworn in for the war, among whom was Charles D. Waldo, junior editor of the Post The officers were: John Martin Price, Captain ; Thomas Farmer, First Lieutenant; William G. Norton, Second Lieutenant; Harlow Waller, C. D. Waldo, John B. Jones, F. B. Wheeler, William Nungesser, Sergeants; H. G. Newcomb, O. A. Rusco, James Harris, Daniel J. Sullivan, George T. Wescott, G. R. Holt, Christoph Eberhardt, Vinal Norton, Corporals ; W. R. Wescott, Fifer; Erskine Wescott,. Drummer; W. H. Gordon, Color Bearer; J. H. Wright, Wagoner.

Thursday morning, October 31, the company numbering 109 men, after being presented with a splendid silken banner by the ladies, took a solemn oath to support their country under all circumstances, and bring back the banner just presented to them unsullied, or die in its defense. The next morning they took their departure for Madison, and, upon arriving there, went into quarters at Camp Randall. The company was assigned to the Twelfth Wisconsin Infantry as Company D; remained in camp until January, 1862, and was then ordered to Weston, Mo. On the 15th of February, they went into camp at Leavenworth. Here the regiment was assigned to form part of Gen. Lane's Southwest expedition, the troops to concentrate at Fort Scott.

In May, 1862, they were reassigned to Gen. Mitchell's brigade, and ordered to Columbus and thence to Humboldt, Tenn., in which vicinity the regiment remained doing duty in guarding railroads, as scouts, etc., through the summer. In October, the regiment was attached to the Third Brigade at Bolivar, and remained there until Gen. Grant started on his Vicksburg campaign. Through the winter of 1862-63, the regiment was marching and counter marching— guarding railroads and skirmishing, but was in no serious battle. In the spring of 1863, the Twelfth took part in the operations before Vicksburg; remained in that locality until the surrender of the city, and, in August, went into camp at Natchez. They remained at this place the most of the winter of 1863, and, in January, 1864, returned to Vicksburg, where the regiment was reorganized as a veteran regiment, 520 men having enlisted. In February, 1864, they formed a part of Sherman's Meridian expedition. On this trip they marched 416 miles in thirty one days, the Twelfth being highly complimented for its gallantry. On the 13th of March, they left for Wisconsin on veteran furlough. April 30, went to Cairo on order of Gen. Sherman for reassembling of veteran regiment; joined the "Army of the Tennessee M on the 8th of June, and became identified with the Atlanta campaign. At Kennesaw Mountain twenty five men from Company D, with the same number from five other companies of the Twelfth Regiment, under Capt. Maxon, were detached to dislodge a large force of rebels from a strong position which they held.   Their success and bravery won commendation from Gen. McPherson and the Division and Brigade commanders.

On the morning of the 20th of July, 1864, the Twelfth and Sixteenth formed the advance of the charging column in the attack on the enemy's works on Bald Hill. The Twelfth, in fifteen minutes, out of less than 600 men engaged, lost 134 in killed and wounded, and captured more small arms than it had men engaged. Four color bearers were shot, and the two flagstaffs were shot off.

On the following day, during the desperate effort of the rebels to retake the captured works, Capt. Price, of Company D, was wounded, and in the list of u killed or died of wounds " are the names of Corporal Emery B. Smith, Privates Edwin E. Frisby, William Hock man, Mathias Lampert, Wellington Stannard, Chris Smith, Nicholas Harris, David M. Waller and Moses Whalan, all of Company D.   The two latter died at Andersonville.

From this time until their arrival at Atlanta on the 13th of October, the deaths of Henry Goldner on August 12, and that of John M. Holt on the 11th of October, are all that are reported from Company D.

In October, Capt. John M. Price was promoted to Major, and on the 19th of December, when near Savannah, his life was very sadly and unfortunately brought to a close by a mistake of a Union soldier.   He was shut as he was walking near the lines between the pickets.

The company with its regiment proceeded from Savanmth to Washington ; was present at the grand review ; mustered out at Louisville, and returned to Wisconsin in July, 1865.

On Tuesday, the 12th of August, 1862, a war meeting was held in West Bend, which was addressed by Hon. Matt H. Carpenter, Hon. Arthur McArthur, Capt. Charles Lehman, Moritz Schoeffler and others, calling upon the citizens to respond to the call of the Governor for more troops. On Wednesday, the 12th, a meeting was held in the court house at 7 o'clock in the evening, F. 0. Thorp, Esq., presiding, and Paul A. Weil acting as Secretary. After addresses from Messrs. L. F. Frisby, Eugene S. Turner, of Ozaukee County, and Judge Mann, $460 was subscribed for the benefit of the Washington County Rifles, a company being raised at the time by Jacob E. Mann, Esq., editor of the West Bend Post. Twenty one persons enlisted at the close of the meeting. The company was organized with the following list of officers: Captain, Jacob E. Mann; First Lieutenant, Jacob Heipp; Second Lieutenant, Charles Ottilie; Sergeants, John Crowley, John Horn, John Remmel, Phillip Illian, Henry Blenker ; Corporals, John Schultz, Jacob Wagner, Carl Karsten, H. Guenther, George Koehler, A. H. Cassell, John Guenther, A. Rusho.

The company was assigned to the Twenty sixth Wisconsin Infantry as Company G, and left West Bend September 4 for Camp Sigel, Milwaukee. The following greeting appeared in the Post of September 13,1862, showing that loyalty and patriotism was not confined to the soldiers of the war:

"My husband, Jacob B. Mann, and my brother, Charles D. Waldo, editors of this paper, having both gone to the war to fight the battles of our country, I have taken the editorial chair for the time being, and propose to run this establishment to the best of my ability. I hope our kind readers, under such circumstances, will make all due allowance while the paper is in our charge. While those who are dear to us are helping to put down this accursed rebellion with the weapons of war far away from home, we here will try and wield the pen for the same purpose. We will willingly give up the editorial chair when the Union is reestablished upon a permanent basis, as we are for the Union as it was, and the Constitution as it is. "Carrie Mann."

The Twenty sixth was ordered to report at Washington, and left the State on the 6th of October, 1862. It was assigned to the army corps commanded by Gen. Sigel, and immediately put on duty. On the 2d of November they marched to Gainesville, remaining in that vicinity until December, when operations for the winter having closed, the regiment went into camp at Stafford Court House. While here the company lost by typhoid fever Orderly Crowley, the second death in the company, the first being Conrad Mack.

At the battle of Chancellorsville, on the 2d day of May, 1863, Company G lost its Captain, Charles Pizzala, who had succeeded Jacob E. Mann, he having been obliged to resign on account of sickness. The list of killed and wounded in this battle shows that the Washington County Rifles never " showed the white feather." Besides Capt. Pizzala, there were killed, or died of wounds, Corporal Henry Guenther, Privates Jacob Lauerman, Jacob Wieman, George W. Rusco, Jacob Dixheimer, Richard Daly, Kilian Schnepf, Joseph Steinmetz, John Schmidt, John C. Vetter and Franz Zieldorf. Company G was in the fight at Gettysburg July 1, entering the field with thirty two men, and coming off with only seven uninjured. Besides these, there were eight men on picket, giving a total of fifteen men in the company fit for duty. Corporals George Keohler, Fritz Zieldorf and John Pitger, and Privates Ferdinand Fritz and Julius Jenslon were killed or mortally wounded.

The regiment was transferred to the army in Tennessee, and was engaged in the brilliant action at Mission Ridge. On the 29th of November, marched to Knoxville, a peculiarly hard march, "the weather being cold, the country rough, the roads muddy, rations short, shoes worn out and clothing scanty."

On the 15th of May, the regiment having been transferred to the Twentieth Army Corps for the Atlanta campaign, took part in the battle of Resaca. Company G lost Privates P. Stoffell and Albert Wolf. In the battles near Dallas, Corporal Robert H. Templeton and Privates Emerson L. Smith and George Dillenbach were killed. The conduct of the Twenty sixth Regiment in the battle of Peach Tree Creek is thus spoken of by Col. Wood, of the Third Brigade, in his official report:

The Twenty sixth was ordered to report at Washington, and left the State on the 6th of October, 1862. It was assigned to the army corps commanded by Gen. Sigel, and immediately put on duty. On the 2d of November they marched to Gainesville, remaining in that vicinity until December, when operations for the winter having closed, the regiment went into camp at Stafford Court House. While here the company lost by typhoid fever Orderly Crowley, the second death in the company, the first being Conrad Mack.

At the battle of Chancellorsville, on the 2d day of May, 1863, Company G lost its Captain, Charles Pizzala, who had succeeded Jacob E. Mann, he having been obliged to resign on account of sickness. The list of killed and wounded in this battle shows that the Washington County Rifles never "showed the white feather." Besides Capt. Pizzala, there were killed, or died of wounds, Corporal Henry Guenther, Privates Jacob Lauerman, Jacob Wieman, George W. Rusco, Jacob Dixheimer, Richard Daly, Kilian Schnepf, Joseph Steinmetz, John Schmidt, John C. Vetter and Franz Zieldorf. Company G was in the fight at Gettysburg July 1, entering the field with thirty two men, and coming off with only seven uninjured. Besides these, there were eight men on picket, giving a total of fifteen men in the company fit for duty. Corporals George Keohler, Fritz Zieldorf and John Pitger, and Privates Ferdinand Fritz and Julius Jenslon were killed or mortally wounded.

The regiment was transferred to the army in Tennessee, and was engaged in the brilliant action at Mission Ridge. On the 29th of November, marched to Knoxville, a peculiarly hard march, "the weather being cold, the country rough, the roads muddy, rations short, shoes worn out and clothing scanty."

On the 15th of May, the regiment having been transferred to the Twentieth Army Corps for the Atlanta campaign, took part in the battle of Resaca. Company G lost Privates P. Stoffell and Albert Wolf. In the battles near Dallas, Corporal Robert H. Templeton and Privates Emerson L. Smith and George Dillenbach were killed. The conduct of the Twenty sixth Regiment in the battle of Peach Tree Creek is thus spoken of by Col. Wood, of the Third Brigade, in his official report:

" Where all behaved well, it may be regarded as invidious to call attention to individuals, yet it seems to me I cannot discharge my duty in this report without pointing out for especial commendation the conduct of the Twenty sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and its brave and able commander. The position of this regiment in the line was such that the brunt of the enemy's attack fell upon it. The brave, skillful and determined manner in which it met this attack, rolled back the onset, pressed forward in a counter charge and drove back the enemy, could not be excelled by the troops in this or any other army, and is worthy of the highest commendation and praise." Nicholas Vollmar, First Lieutenant of Company G, was mortally wounded in this battle.

On the 15th of November, with its regiment, the company moved forward with Gen. Sherman in his march to the sea; was at Washington at the grand review; arrived at Milwaukee on the 17th of June, where it was given a grand reception and banquet; marched to Camp Washburn, and was there discharged and paid off on the 29th of June, 1865.

Carl Karsten, who was the Orderly Sergeant of the company, and was with it during its whole term of service, kindly furnishes the following information concerning the members of the company from the town of West Bend:

Captain—Jacob E. Mann, resigned December 8, 1862.

First Lieutenant—Jacob Heipp, resigned December 4, 1862.

Sergeants—.John Horn, discharged April 10, 1863; John Remmel.

Corporals—Jacob Wagner, discharged February 14, 1863; Carl Karsten, promoted to First Lieutenant.

Wagoner—Joseph Steinmetz. killed at Chancellorsville.

Privates—Henry Banten, discharged June 8, 1863; John Cary, promoted to Corporal; Jacob Dixheimer, killed; Richard Daily, killed; Christian Frenz, wounded ; Charles Frenz, wounded and discharged; John Rilling, discharged February 11, 1863 ; George W. Rusco, killed; Peter Ruplinger, wounded ; Peter Stoffel, killed ; Emerson Smith, taken prisoner; afterward killed; John Schmidt, killed.

Mr. Karsten was promoted to a First Lieutenancy, and commanded his company at the battle of Burnt Hickory. Out of twenty two men, all then left fit for duty, they lost that day : killed, 3; wounded, 4; missing, 1. Other information furnished by him of members of the company from other towns will appear in the several town histories.

The ladies of West Bend were not behind their sisters all over the country in their exertions and sacrifices for the benefit of the soldiers.   Fairs and festivals were held, aid societies organized, hospitals supplied with nurses, and every means that woman's sympathy could devise, and skill and ingenuity or self sacrifice carry out, was resorted to before the weary, waiting days were over, and in all this work, the women of this little village bore their part.

March 7, 1863, the Post says:

The net proceeds of the Ladies' Festival amounts to $80.50. Soldiers' families who are in need of aid can apply to the undersigned committee: Mrs. Paul A. Weil, Mrs. Jacob E. Mann, Mrs. C. H. Miller, Mrs. Charles Mayer, Mr. James Vollmar, Mr. R. R. Price. Mrs. J. Potter, Treasurer.

On February 11, 1864, a Ladies' Aid Society was organized, and the following officers elected: Mrs. John Potter, Jr., President; Mrs. Charles Mayer, Mrs. Jacob E. Mann, Vice Presidents; Miss Ella McHenry, Secretary; Mrs. Albert Semler, Treasurer; Mrs. Charles H. Miller, Mrs. Beckel, Mrs. I. N. Frisby, Mrs. F. 0. Thorp, Mrs. Paul A. Weil, committee on cutting; Mrs. Barney Potter, Mrs. F. Everly, Mrs. L. F. Frisby, Mrs. Hurlburt, Miss D. Irish, committee on packing.

The society, through its Secretary, made its appeal to the farmers for vegetables, particularly potatoes, those being, at the time, especially needed. It also solicited aid in money and clothing from the citizens of West Bend and the adjacent villages, and soon was able to send a well filled box to the "boys in blue."

The last meeting of the society was held on Saturday June 28, 184?, nearly two years after its formation. It contributed its full share toward relieving the wants of soldiers' families, and its later efforts were directed toward raising funds for the Soldiers' Home, since erected in Milwaukee. At the Fair held in Milwaukee for the benefit of this undertaking, West Bend was worthily represented by Mrs. Miller, Miss Ella McHenry and Miss Hattie Wightman. An agricultural wreath which Mrs. Miller contributed was said to be the most beautiful specimen of the kind on exhibition. The total amount paid into the Soldiers' Home Fair treasury from Washington County was $339.77. Of this, $85 was donated in cash by the West Bend Ladies' Aid Society, and the remainder received from the sale of goods by the West Bend and Hartford Societies at the Washington County table in the Fair building.

The village has a population of about one thousand three hundred. It is three fourths German, the remaining quarter being largely American. Of the German population, over half are of American birth or came to the county in early childhood. It has seven churches, two school edifices, a court house and at Schlitz Grove a large assembly hall capable of seating 800 people; it has five general stores, two drug stores, a book store, two printing offices, two weekly newspapers, a bank, five hotels, three furniture shops, one jeweler's shop, several dealers in clothing, boots and shoes, hardware, millinery, agricultural implements, and other special branches of trade are well represented. There are two elevators for the shipping of grain, one gristmill, a foundry and machine shop, a stave factory, two breweries, a lumberyard and other industries that will be more specially mentioned.

The older buildings, which are of wood, are being rapidly displaced by brick structures. The brick are of the cream color peculiar to Milwaukee, and have come into such general use for buildings as to already give to the village the cream colored complexion of that city. There are two weekly newspapers now published in the village, the West Bend Democrat and the West Bend Times, both of which have more special mention in the history of the county at large.

The Deutscher Beobachter published in Fond du Lac, in the German language, has a good circulation in West Bend and other parts of Washington County, among the German population. Mr. Carl A. Bruederle is the business manager and local editor at West Bend, where he has an office.

The schools of the village will equal to those of any village of its size in the State. They are graded into five departments—first and second primary, first and second intermediate and high school. The high school is under the charge of a male teacher, the four lower grades being taught by females. The total amount expended for school purposes for 1880, was $1,927,03. The total amount raised for 1881 is $2,217.91. By the school census for 1880, the whole number of scholars reported was 394. The common school attendance is but a little more than half that number, as many are being educated in the flourishing Catholic school in the village. The latest report will show the condition of the schools at the close of the spring terra of 1881, it being for the month of May.  
It is as follows :


High School First Intermediate Second Intermediate First Primary Second Primary Total
Number of pupils registered 27 34 30 41 41 198
Number of cases of tardiness 30
13 41 63 147
Time lost by tardiness (hours) 7
3 5 13 25
Number of pupils paying tuition 4



Average daily attendance 22 25 23 28 33 131
Whole number of days' attendance 442 571 462 557 1/2 654 2.386 1/2
Whole number of days' absence 77 109 108 162 1/2 119 575 1/2
Per cent of attendance 91 80 76 80 81 81
Number of visitors 1
2 7


There are six churches in the village. Many of the members reside in the farming country outside the village, and in the adjacent towns. The Baptist and Methodist membership is largely made up from the rural population. The records are not accessible, and the reports are necessarily incomplete.

Six churches are of the following denominations : One Catholic, one Lutheran, one German Methodist, one Baptist, one Methodist, one Episcopalian.   Such special information as was attainable is given below :

The Catholic Church.—Catholics began to come in in 184748, and had services occasionally at private houses, performed by missionary priests, with an occasional service by such ministers as were sent to them by Bishop Henni, of Milwaukee. In 1849, there were some twelve to fifteen families in the towns, and the permanent establishment of the church was effected through the commencement of a church edifice. It was quite modest in its pretensions as to size and expense, being but 24x34 feet in size, and calculated to cost when finished $1,000. It was begun in 1849, but not finished till 1853. It was located on Lots 11 and 12, in Block 11, on the village plat. The congregation worshipped in this church till 1867, increasing in strength and numbers.

The new church was begun in 1866, and finished for occupancy in 1867. It is a large brick structure, and when the spire (not yet completed) is added, will be the most conspicuous and ornamental edifice in the village. Its cost will be not far from $14,000. It was consecrated October 20, 1867. On that day Cecilia Kirchner was christened—the first baptism solemnized in the new church.

The old church was appropriated to further use as a parish school, for which it was occupied till 1879, when it was removed from its site to give place to the fine brick school building, which was completed in 1880. It is still in existence, owned by John Knippel, and is used as a storehouse and granary.

The new school building is a two story brick structure, 36x50 feet in size, with a side addition for the dwelling of the Sisters of Notre Dame having charge of the school, 28x30 feet in size.

The congregation now embraces 100 families, and the pupils of the school number eighty to one hundred. The officiating priest, prior to 1869, was Rev. John Rundle; since then, Rev. M. Renchengruber.

The German Evangelical Lutheran Society was started by a few of the earliest German settlers of West Bend and Trenton. Among the first members were Carl D. Wilke, Carl, Fritz and Wilhelm Schroeder, the Schroeder family, Ludwig Ottmarand H. Treviranus. Subsequently newcomers were added to the society, among whom were Carl Karsten, F. Kahl, W. Schmidt, Job Premlia, W. Hildebrand, Fried Braumann, Joachim Nieman, John Althaus, Hen Voss, Fr. W. Mueller, F. Kesting and others. Rev. Heis was the first Pastor, and remained in charge of the society till 1853. At that time the society divided, and the members from the town of Trenton built themselves a block church on Ottinar's farm, where they still continue to worship. The West Bend portion of the society continued to worship in the schoolhouse of District No. 2, till the church was built in 1864. November 16, 1858, the church was incorporated as the "German Evangelical Lutheran St. Johannes' Society, of the unaltered Augsburg Confession," Rev. H. Roell, President; Wilhelm Schmidt, Secretary. In 1859, the society joined the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Wisconsin and other States.

The Pastors have been: Rev. Heis, till 1853; Rev. Oswald, of West Bend, till the fall of 1855; Rev. Koshler, of Addison, till spring of 1858 ; Rev. H. Roell, who took up his residence in West Bend, where he remained till December, 1863. He was succeeded by Rev. G. Vorberg, who, on December 15, 1864, dedicated the new brick church, in which the society have ever since worshiped.

The charge of Rev. Vorberg embraced in addition to the West Bend society, the Emanuel's Church, at Trenton; St. Johannes', at Newberg, and a church in Farmington. He was succeeded by Rev. Earl Gauze witz, in December, 1865, who remained in charge till March, 1872, when he was dismissed at his own request. June 31, 1872, Rev. Ernst Mayerhoff, the present minister, was called to the pastorate of the societies of West Bend, Newberg and Trenton. He was installed August 11, 1872.

A parochial school was established in August, 1872, and the schoolhouse was built in September, 1872. H. Deniringer is the present teacher, and the scholars number about one hundred.

The church bell was dedicated September 1, 1872. The present membership of the West; Bend society is 126, and the three societies above named, under the charge of the present pastor, embraces 572 souls, admissible to the Holy Supper of our Lord.

Episcopal Church (St James*).—The church is a mission church connected with the Milwaukee Diocese. The chapel was built in 1870. The first officiating clergyman was Rev. Wilkinson. He was succeeded by Rev. E. R. Ward, who held occasional services till 1880. Services are now held at irregular intervals by Rev. Dr. Ashley, of Milwaukee. The church is small, embracing not over a dozen families.

St. Matthias Church (Catholic) is outside the village, but in the town of West Bend. It is on Section 18 It was built of logs in 1849. The first Pastor was Rev. Father Baeter. A new church was built on the site in 1867, in which the first services were held by Father Rehrl, who died September 3, 1881. The first members of the church were Nicholas Holrith, Matthias Weber, John Fox, Valentine Gonring, Nicholas Miller, Michael Deutsch, John Boden, Nicholas Paelne, Nic Brown, John Wilkomm and Schemenhauer.

West Bend Lodge, A., F. & A. M., No. 138.—The first preliminary meeting was held July 4, 1862, of which Joseph Fischbein was Chairman, and Chauncy Gray, Secretary. The petitioners for the establishment of a lodge at West Bend were Fred O. Thorpe, 0. D. Norton, Chauncy Gray, David Bullen, S. H. Bois, Jason Swett, T. E. Vandercook, A. W. Coe, Joseph Fischbein, and George Elliott, L. F. Frisby and John C. Mann also signed the petition after the meeting had adjourned.   The following were recommended as the first officer? :   Albert W. Coe, W. M.; Joseph Fischbein, S. W.j Chauncy Gray, J. W. Dispensation was granted August 21, 1862, and the lodge instituted September 12, 1862, by Grand Lecturer M. L. Young. The charter bears date June 10,1863, and the first officers were: A. W. Coe, W. M.; Joseph Fischbein, S. W.; Chauncy Gray, J. W.; F. 0. Thorp, Treasurer; G. Elliott, Secretary; L. F. Frisby, S. D.; D. Bullen, J. D.; N. Reynolds, Tiler.

Present officers (1881) are: R. S. Rusco, W. M.; Charles Silberzahn, S. W.; Morgan M. Gage, J. W.; Fred Wolfrum, Treasurer; G. A. Kuechenmeister, Secretary; W. M. Johnson, S. D.;___  ____, J. D.; Jacob E. Young, Tiler.

West Bend Tumverein.—The first meeting for organization was held in West Bend; May 27, 1858. The meeting organized with Joseph Hernitz, President; Robert George, Secretary. The organization was perfected June 6, 1858.

The first officers were: First Speaker, Adolph Horstman ; First Turnwart, John Schmidt; Secretary,"H. Senft; Treasurer, 0. George; Steward, W. Peters. It was known as the Tumverein of West Bend and Barton.

The present officers (1881) are: First Speaker, Ernst Franckenberg; Second Speaker, John Eckstein; First Secretary, William Ehrhardt; Second Secretary, Arthur Franckenberg; Treasurer, John Schlitz; Stewart, Bernhardt Sturm ; First Turnwart, Adolph Harms ; 'Second Turnwart, Charles Keller. The present membership, active and honorary, numbers forty one. The meetings are held in Schlitz's Hall.

Germania Lodge, No. 426 D. 0. Harugari.—Organized July 17, 1880. First officers were: William Franckenberg, 0. B.; Jacob Young, U. B.; Jacob Heipp, Secretary; Joe Zettel, Treasurer; John Eckstein, J. W.: August Bastian, A. W. Present officers are: S. Keller, 0. B.; Gustav Trescher, U. B.; John Eckstein, Secretary; Joe Zettel, Treasurer; August Bastian, J. W.; Ch. Hoppe, A. W.

The I. O. of O. F. have a lodge, but the records were not accessible for an extended sketch.

There are two music bands in the village, both well drilled and in constant practice as outdoor brass bands and orchestral for dances and indoor assemblies.

Luckow's Band is the oldest in the county, and was organized in 1861 by August Luckow, who is still the leader. The band is now organized as follows. August Luckow, Leader, E flat clarinet and first violin; Oscar Seliger, E flat alto posthorn and second violin; Ferdinand Kadiz, trombone; Emil Seliger, first E flat alto; Emil Lummer, first B flat cornet; John Hirschboeck, A clarinet and snare drum; Frank Brown, tuber bass; Wenzel Brown, drum, cymbals and double bass.

Geier's Band.—This excellent band has been organized some seven years. It is made up of Mr. Geier, Sr., two sons, and the best talent that can be procured to render it a first class band. The Geier family are all thoroughly educated musicians, having had long practice and tuition under Christ Bach, of Milwaukee, and other eminent musicians.

The West Bend Brewery, S. F. Mayer & Co., proprietors, was built in 1848 by B. Goetter, who conducted the business about two years and then leased it to Christopher Eckstein, and soon after sold to Stephen and Charles Mayer, who carried on the business, enlarging and extending it during the remainder of their lives? Stephen Mayer died in 1867. Under Charles Mayer's management, the brewery was rebuilt and enlarged in 1868, and managed by him till the time of his death, which occurred in August, 1871. In the next four years, the business was conducted in the interest of the heirs, and, in 1875, an arrangement was maxle by which business was reorganized under the present management of S. F. Mayer & Co. At this writing, the brewery is 200x40 feet in size, having a year capacity of 3,500 barrels of beer.   A 24horsepower engine is used, and employment given to seven men; a new double kiln, 30x22 feet, with new growing floors and storing rooms, 28x52 feet, have been added.

The Eagle Brewery.—Adam Kuehlthau, proprietor, was erected by Christopher Eckstein about 1856. The business was conducted by him till 1860, when he sold to Adolph Arzbacher, who ran it till 1875, when he leased it to Kuehlthau & Jahnsen. This firm carried on the business till 1880, when the property was bought by its present proprietor. The building covers an area of 120x60 feet, partly two and a half stories high, and part one story. In 1880, a new engine of ten horsepower was put in operation, the boiler capacity being equal to double that of the engine. Six men are employed, and 2,000 barrels of beer are manufactured per year.

The foundry business was first started by Louis Lucas in 1859. He had previously, from 1852 to 1859, been engaged in business at West Bend as a tinplate worker and copper smith. At that time he built the West Bend Foundry, on River street, near the lower bridge, where he carried on the business till 1873, when he sold to Jacob Young, who conducted the business in company with John Kunz and other partners till 1878, At that time, Charles Silberzahn became his partner. The present firm is Silberzahn & Young. The scope of business has been enlarged, and embraces all departments of iron, lathe and machine work required in the repair of agricultural machinery.

The West Bend Stave Factory was first started by Michael Ruplinger June 1,1878. During the first year it cut 800,000 staves. The next year, up to August 31, it had cut 1.200,000 staves. At this time it was consumed by fire, entailing a loss to Mr. Ruplinger of $5,500. He commenced rebuilding in October, 1879, and finished the new structure in December of that year. The new factory was 30x50 feet in size, fitted with a fifteen horsepower engine, and gives employment to seven workmen. Its production for the year ending January 1, 1881, was 1,500.000 staves.   Mr. Ruplinger still remains the sole proprietor.

The Bank of West Bend is the only banking institution in the county. It wag first started in the fall of 1867, with a capital of $25,000. Its principal stockholders were James Vollmar, Christopher Eckstein, R. R. Price, C. H. Miller, Albert Semler, Charles Broich, B. Goetter and James Garbade. Until 1869. it was managed by Charles H. Miller, who was Cashier, Christopher Eckstein being the President. In 1869, Maxon Hirsch became the sole proprietor of the bank by purchase. He sold to the present proprietor, Ernst von Franckenberg, in 1875.

West Bend Marble Works are owned and carried on by P. W. Harnes. He commenced the business in 1875. It now extends through the States of Wisconsin. Michigan and Iowa. It embraces all kinds of marble and other stone ornamental work for cemeteries and building purposes.

The Grain Elevators.—The first elevator was built in 1874 by Franckenberg & Karsten, who shipped the first grain by railroad from West Bend. The annual amount of their shipments is 100,000 to 125,000 bushels. The second was built by B. Goetter the same year, who handles annually from 150,000 to 200,000 bushels of grain.

Cigar Manufactories.—V. J. Kohout established his business in 1872. He manufactures annually 200,000 cigars ; Seliger & Luckow established in 1875. They employ four hands, and produce 150,000 cigars annually.

The old grist mill now owned by Mann Brothers, of Milwaukee, still does a custom business.   John Eckstein is the present lessee.

The lumber business is represented by Alexander McDonald, who has an extensive lumber yard under the direction of Mr. J. Vetch.

West Bend Schuetzen Park was established by the West Bend Schuetzenverein in June, 1868.   It is situated west of the central part of the village. It embraces five acres, and is shaded by a beautiful grove.   It remained the property of the " verein " till October 28, 1876, when Mr. C. F. Hoppe, and his sister, Mrs. Sophia Richter, purchased the property and fitted it up as a summer garden in the spring of 1877. There is a dancing hall 60x72 feet in size ; also a bowling alley, dining hall and band stands. It is a popular summer resort, as is shown by the receipts for July 4 and 5, 1881, which amounted to $900.

Schlitz Grove is the popular resort of the town and county, and is a favorite point for excursionists from Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, and other large places along the line of the Chicago & North Western Railway. It is situated on the east bank of Milwaukee River, just where the sharp bend occurs, the south boundary being on the banks of the river.   It consists of a magnificent grove of sixty five acres of forest trees of the natural growth.   The building covers an area of 100x200 feet, and embraces under one roof a large hall, 58x75 feet, with twenty five feet stage, dressing rooms, stage scenery, turners' apparatus, and all other conveniences for popular assemblies, dancing, and theatrical representations.   It has also a dining room, billiard room, barroom, and all else required by the guests of a first class restaurant.   In the grove are band stands, tables, seats, swings, turners' bars, and the best facilities for outdoor summer enjoyment.   The cost of the building, furniture and fixtures was $20,000.   Mr. Schlitz offers land within the boundaries of the Park at moderate rates to sojourners who desire to erect summer cottages.

West Bend being the seat of justice of the county, has had a larger representation of lawyers than any other village in the county, and mention of them embraces all the leading members of the Washington County bar outside the town of Hartford. The following sketch is drawn from the memory of one of the oldest members:

Ira Spencer practiced in West Bend in 1849.   He left in 1850, before the county was divided.

L. F. Frisby came in 1850 and is still in practice, and is the oldest member of the Washington County bar.

B. 0. Thorp and John Shelley came in 185354, and opened a law office under the name of Thorp & Shelley. Mr. Shelley is still a resident, having served as County Judge for twenty four years.

John E. Mann came in 1853 and entered into partnership with L. F. Frisby. The firm continued till 1859, at which time Mr. Mann was elected as Circuit Judge. He is now a resident of Milwaukee, where he is serving his second term as Judge of Milwaukee County.

I. N. Frisby was admitted to practice in 1853, and is still an honored member of the Washington County bar and a resident of West Bend.

N. W. Tupper a promising young lawyer, came from Sheboygan in 1855. He was associated with I. N. Frisby till 1859, when he moved to Illinois. He entered the army during the earlier years of the rebellion and was killed in the service.

Ansel Tupper, brother of the above, was admitted to the bar in 185960. He left the State with his brother, and was also killed in the service.

G. Neff came in 1857 or 1858.   He remained a few years.

C. H. Miller came to West Bend from Fort Washington in 1853. He was in business several years as Cashier of the bank of West Bend.   He was subsequently admitted to the bar, and has since been in legal practice in West Bend.

Patrick O'Meara' came in 187071, and for ten years was associated with Mr. Miller in the law business.   He has been District Attorney since 1875.

Paul A. Weil studied law and was admitted in 185960.   He has been a law partner of L. F. Frisby since that time.

Col N. & Gilson entered the office of L. F. Frisby as a law student in April, 1860, where he remained till the fall of 1861, at which time he enlisted as a private and entered the service. He served as Judge Advocate, was promoted to a First Adjutancy; then appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifteenth United States Colored Infantry; was breveted Colonel; and finally left the service in 1866.   He finished his law studies at the Albany Law School.   He commenced practice, after graduating, at Fond du Lac. He is now County Judge, and served in the State Legislature of 188081.

Henry J. Weil and H. H. Blanchard practiced from 1867 to 1871.

George H. Kleffler was admitted to practice in 1865.   He is still a resident of the village.

S. S. Barney studied with Frisby & Weil, and was admitted in 1872. He became a member of that firm, where he remained several years. He is now the senior member of the firm of Barney & Kuechenmeister, West Bend.

Frank Gilson, another student in the office of Frisby & Weil, was admitted in 1872.

Richard D. Salter, now a practicing attorney at Colby, Marathon Co., Wis., studied law with Frisby & Weil, and was admitted to the bar in 1879.

Paul M. Weil, now of the law firm of Van Wyke & Weil, was also a student with Frisby & Weil, and was admitted in the spring of 1879.

G. A. Kuechenmeister was admitted in the fall of 1879, and is now associated with S. S. Barney.

James Kenealy was admitted in 1879, and now practices in the town of Erin.

P. C. Schmidt, Jr., is at present the youngest member of the bar.   He completed his studies in the office of Frisby & Weil, and was admitted to the bar in May,


The village was the scene of the closing act in the De Bar tragedy, in August, 1855, an account of which appears in the history of Washington County. No other startling crime is found in the annals of the village.

The most destructive fires have been : The burning of the Washington House, which occurred January 1, 1864. It was rebuilt the same year by Mr. Goetter, and was reopened with a ball and other festivities on the 15th of October.

The burning of the woolen mill occurred December 10, 1869. Mr. Charles Heberlein was drowned the following day in the millrace of the factory just burned.

The most serious conflagration that ever visited the village occurred on Saturday, August 16,1879. It was first discovered at 1 o'clock in the morning, breaking out of both the front and rear of Peter Detuncq's furniture shop. It had at the time of its discovery made such headway that it could not be subdued before the block was consumed. The buildings burned, including those in the rear of the street front, were eleven in number. Very little of their contents was saved. The principal losers were: Peter Detuncq's store and stock, valued at $3,000 ; G. S. Foster, building, $2,000; John Findorf, building and saloon fixtures, $2,000; Nic Iinmell, buildings and stock of furniture, $2,800 ; John Jungbluth, building, $3,000; John Althaus, building, $2,500; John Goetz, building, $300; and A. C. Fuge, barn and contents, $100. The block burned, on the west side of River street, has since been nearly rebuilt, the last structure erected, on the site being the new brick store of Franckenberg & Karsten. The origin of the fire was never satisfactorily ascertained.

The great freshet of 1881, caused by the sudden melting of the unprecedented accumulation of snow, was the most devastating that has ever occurred. The river became suddenly swollen, and swept out every dam on the river between Young America and Grafton, as well as the upper bridge at West Bend and the bridge at Barton. It is here recorded as the most serious freshet since the settlement of the country.

Exclusive of the village, the population of the town, according to the census of 1880, was 855. The town is dotted with farmhouses and covered with farms in a high state of cultivation. Nearly every farm has a reservation of growing timber upon it. The total area of woodland in the township is 2,900 acres. The principal agricultural products for 1880, were in amount and variety as follows : Wheat, 28,000 bushels; corn, 22,000 ; oats, 26,000; barley, 13,000 ; rye, 3,600;  potatoes, 7,500; apples, 10,000; butter, 21,000 pounds; cheese, 7,000.   In grain, 4,600 acres were sown. There are 135 acres of apple orchards containing 4,260 trees in bearing. The farmers are enlarging the dairy and stock business from year to year. In 1880, 452 milch cows were reported. Excellent roads run through every section, and peace and plenty abound. The town officers for 1881, were: Supervisors, Francis Ganzel, Chairman, Joseph Bauer Peter Holrith; Town Clerk, Stephen Lang; Treasurer, Michael Deutch; Assessor, John Witteman. The Lucas Mineral Springs are located on the northwest quarter of Section 22. The curative properties of these springs have been known from the earliest settlement of the town. The springs have been recently opened for the convenience of visitors. There are six in all, within an area of thirty feet. Four are inclosed in a single coping. The other two are separately inclosed. The volume of water discharged is 2,000 gallons per hour, and the flow is unvarying. The pressure is sufficient to raise the water fifteen feet above the ground level. The spring is located in the most picturesque portion of the town, being three fourths of a mile north from Silver Lake, and one and one half miles east from Cedar Lake. The analysis made by Prof. Gustav Bode, of Milwaukee, shows the mineral constituents of the waters to be identical with the far famed medicinal waters of Waukesha.

Jacob's Well is owned by Jacob Engmann. It lies one mile west of the court house on Section 15. It is a mineral spring—one of a group numbering a dozen or more within an area of four acres. It has been resorted to by inhabitants of the town, for its curative qualities, since 1849.   The analysis made February 26, 1878, by Prof. Bode, of Milwaukee, shows:
Chloride of sodium..............0.1597
Sulphate of soda..................0.7618
Bicarbonate of soda.............1.3679
Bicarbonate of lime.............9.6399
Bicarbonate of magnesia....6.0025
Bicarbonate of iron..............0.0245
The water is entirely pure and free from organic matter. The quantity of salts it contains as well as the kind, and the manner in which they are combined, is precisely the same as the well known Waukesha water, and the same favorable results may be expected from its use as a medical agent. Signed, Gustavus Bodk.

One gallon United States measure contains the above. There are two large bathhouses fitted up at considerable expense, and a full knowledge of the various springs, varying in their quality, will eventuate in making it one of the most popular invalid resorts in the State.

There is a brickyard in the town, owned and run by P. W. Schmidt, on Section 26. He established the business in 1874. He manufactures building brick, well brick, tiles and scouring brick—300,000 per year.

Hoppe's sawmill, on Silver Creek, Section 15, was built by Frederick Hoppe in 1850. It was rebuilt, in 1867, by his son Charles, who still owns and runs it. It is now furnished with modern circular saws, and has a capacity of 5,000 feet per day. The flowage of his pond is about fifty acres.

Kohlsdorf's Mills.—In 1873, J. R. Kohlsdorf purchased the mill privilege known as "Young's Sawmill;" a year after commenced work, and in the spring of 1876, completed his large flouring mill. A new dam was built to replace the one carried away by the spring freshet of 1873, and also a fine bridge. The foundation of the mill—of stone, laid on piling covered with planks—cost about $2,000. The building, without the basement, is three stories and a loft; the machinery is the best that could be procured from the establishment of E. P. Aliis & Co., Milwaukee. It has four run of stones, and cost, with machinery, $25,000 It is located one mile east of the village.

An attempt was made in the spring of 1880 to. establish the culture of cranberries by Louis Lucas, who, at that time, prepared the ground and started the first vines. He has at present two acres of vigorous vines, and the enterprise promises to add another valuable source of agricultural income to those already existing in the town.

Much of the farm property of the town is insured in the West Bend. Polk and Richfield Farmers' Mutual Town Insurance Company. It comprises the farm risks in the towns of Richfield, Polk, Hartford, Trenton and West Bend. It was organized January 6, 1880. The officers were: John Kessel, President; Henry T. Thoma, Secretary; John George Lofey, Treasurer, and C. F. Leins and Charles Thoma, who completed the Board of Directors. The officers at present (1881), remain unchanged. Amount of property insured January 1, 1881, was $860,133.   Losses during the year 1880, $79.

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