Wood County, Wisconsin
(Transcribed by Marla
Source: History of Wood County, Wisconsin (1923) compiled
by George O. Jones, pages 177-219
The city of Marshfield, having a population in 1920 of 7,394, is
situated in the northwestern part of Wood County, near the boundary
line of Marathon. It is the trade center of a vast sweep of rich
agricultural territory, and is a noted cheese-shipping point. Here
several railroads form a junction, namely: the Eland Junction to
Merrillan and the Fond du Lac to Marshfield branches of the Chicago
& Northwestern, and the Chicago, St. Paul & Minneapolis division (or
main line) of the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie (or "Soo")
railway system, together with the Greenwood and Nekoosa branches of
the same road.
These railroads give the city substantial commercial advantages,
evidenced by the steadily increasing number of wholesale houses
seeking Marshfield as a distributing point for central and northern
Wisconsin. Within the city limits are many excellent industrial
sites with abundant side-track facilities, besides a number of
important manufacturing industries, some of which were established
many years ago and have justified the most optimistic expectations
of their founders. Among other satisfactory developments are the
public utility plants and city departments, the commercial houses,
theatres, banks, schools, churches, societies and philanthropic
institutions, all of which except some of the stores, and perhaps
one or two of the smaller or more private societies, will be
individually mentioned in the course of this history. In addition to
the railroads mentioned, a daily stage is run to Rozellville in
Marathon County. Marshfield has never experienced a "boom," but has
had a gradual and steady growth. It was named for John J.
Marshfield, of Haverhill, Mass., one of the original proprietors of
the town site, which, in the forties was embraced in a grant of land
to the territory of Wisconsin by the United States Government for
the purpose of improving the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. It was the
purpose of the government to make possible steamboat navigation
between Green Bay and the Mississippi. Soon after the grant was
awarded a company known as the Fox & Wisconsin Improvement Co. was
organized, the moving spirits in the undertaking being Horatio
Seymour, Erastus Corning, John Magee, Samuel Marsh, William Butler
(all of New York), and B. J. Stevens.
These men entered into a contract with the state to complete the
waterways within the purpose of the grant upon condition that lands
amounting to 700,000 acres be awarded them and be exempt from taxes
for ten years. It was stipulated that improvements be completed
within ten years, or by 1866. About the time that the life of the
contract ceased a new company was formed, known as the Green Bay &
Mississippi Improvement Co., and the land was transferred to the new
organization and subsequently divided among the incorporators. In
the transfer this immediate locality became the property of John
Magee and Samuel Marsh. The land was well timbered and fertile and
offered inducements for location.
In 1868 two brothers, Louis and Frank Rivers, the former married and
the latter single, settled here, having come from Necedah, Juneau
County, this state. They purchased from Marsh a tract of land which
included the north half of the northwest quarter of Section 5, Town
25, Range 3, on which in April, 1871, they built a log house which
was used as a dwelling, store and tavern, and a little later as a
post office also. Its location was on Chestnut Street, corner of
North Depot Street, about where the present "Soo" line water tank
now stands, and projected somewhat into the street.
In June, 1871, Peter McGuigan arrived and opened a small store and
saloon. A number of other settlers came the same year. The Wisconsin
Central Railroad (now included in the "Soo" system) was then in
course of construction through this region, which did much to
stimulate settlement, the first train coming through July 4, 1872.
The railroad company bought land along their right of way, and in
Marshfield owned every other lot. Later the Fox River Company bought
the railroad out, and the lots were put on sale for $25 each, but
only a few were sold. A. L. Smith of Appleton, a well known figure
in those days, was agent for the owners of the town site and made
all sales of land; and J. P. Buck, also from Appleton, acted as
field man, estimator of timber, and in similar capacities.
With the advent of the railroad there came more settlers, among them
Jerry Couture, G. Hodgdon and Peter Bell, each of whom built a house
and started in business. The Hodgdon place was located on the site
of the present Marshfield Grocery Store. In the same year (1872)
Samuel Marsh died and his property fell to his heirs, among whom was
J. J. Marsh, his nephew.
The Rivers brothers and David Vaughan in the meanwhile had started
the lumbering industry here. The work was hard for a time, as there
was no saw mill in the town, and the logs had to be hauled to the
railroad and shipped to Stevens Point and De Pere. David Vaughan
logged just east of the Rivers brothers, in the north half of the
northeast quarter of Section 5. The lumber ran one and three-quarter
logs per 1,000 feet and sold for $7 per 1,000.
The embryo village was located in the midst of a tract of hardwood
timber and had to be approached through the woods. A road had been
cut to Manville, three and a half miles northwest of Marshfield,
where there was a shingle mill and a saw mill; also a hotel built by
a man named Chandler. In 1876, when E. E. Winch arrived, no streets
had been laid out except North Depot Street, which had been cut out
for one block. The cut timber was lying all around.
In 1872 the post office was established and Louis Rivers was
appointed postmaster, in which capacity he acted until June, 1877,
when he was succeeded by E. S. Renne, proprietor of the first drug
There is a difference of opinion among several of the surviving
pioneers of Marshfield as to when the first school was started and
who was the first teacher. The "History of Northern Wisconsin,"
published in 1881, says that a school was started in the summer of
1873 with Miss Clara Davis as teacher, and Miss Fanny Baker has also
been mentioned as one of the earliest teachers, probably the second;
while another authority says that Miss Ella Kelly (a sister of the
first Mrs. W. H. Upham) was the first. There is no question,
however, but that all three of these ladies taught school in the
village at a very early date, though for several years there was no
regular school building and the sessions were held at any convenient
place. The firm of Stillman, Brunson & Pettingill, who in the. early
seventies built a stave and spoke factory here, also put up a little
building for a store
and office, and for some time let the village use the front room for
a school, which was taught by Ella Kelly. The same room was also
used occasionally for entertainments. Miss Kelly later kept school
on the site of the present residence of Dr. J. C. Hayward. The next
school was on the site of Dr. Budge's house and in fact the doctor's
house is the same building with some additions and improvements.
The Stillman, Brunson & Pettingill stave and spoke factory,
previously mentioned, was the first manufacturing industry in the
village. It was located where Miller's cold storage warehouse now
is. The concern bought white oak timber, from which they made their
staves, and they also found the best spoke timber in this locality.
Later, embarrassed for want of means, they sold out to Webster &
Lawson, who sent E. E. Winch to Marshfield to look after their
timber interests here. Within three or four years he was shipping
from 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 feet of logs, and some lumber, yearly
from this point to Menasha, where the firm had a sawmill and spoke
In 1874 Jerry Couture built the first frame house in the village, on
South Depot Street, and his example seems to have been largely
followed, as in 1875 Marshfield could boast of 22 frame buildings.
While J. P. Buck, previously mentioned as an agent for the Fox &
Wisconsin Improvement Company, was engaged in locating lands, he met
J. J. Marsh at Neillsville, and together they concerted plans for
the development of Marshfield. Accordingly, the plat was surveyed in
December, 1874, and April, 1875, by N. M Edwards, the record in the
register of deed's office showing that the site was owned by six
persons, namely: John J. Marsh, unmarried, New York; Adeline M.
Merriam, widow, of Topsfield, Mass.; Mary M. Kelly, of Haverhill,
Mass., wife of George W. Kelly; George W. Kelly, her husband;
Elizabeth C. Marsh, unmarried, and Mary F. Ames, of Haverhill, Mass.
The directions to survey dedicate to the public "the streets as
highways, Block No. 0 for public parks, and Lots 13, 14 and 15 of
Block L, and Lots 1, 2 and 3 of Block A for sites of public school
buildings." The plat was described as the northwest quarter of
Section 8, Town 25 north,
Range 3 east, and was recorded Sept. 9, 1875.
For some years Marshfield was a very unattractive looking place. The
houses were small and of cheap construction, and the surrounding
country, where the timber had been cut, was covered with stumps,
presenting a rather desolate appearance. But the work of improvement
was slowly going on, and the establishment of the Upham saw mill in
1879 marked the beginning of a more rapid progress. The community
was rough, and as it, like all frontier towns at that time, was well
supplied with saloons, which were patronized liberally by a large
percentage of the male inhabitants, drunken brawls were not
infrequent, though the statement contained in a former historical
sketch of the city, (written by high school students in 1914), that
before 1880 seven murders had been committed here, is disputed by
several of the pioneer settlers of the town now living. L. Wollesen
says that the only killing in early days that he can remember was
that of a drunken Indian who had threatened a white man. The Indians
owned some land near Marshfield, a part of which they had cleared. A
party of German settlers persuaded them to sell some of the cleared
land to them and paid them cash for it, whereupon the Indians came
to town and proceeded to get drunk. One big Indian, who was already
intoxicated entered a saloon to get more liquor. The proprietor was
out, but a man named John Baer was sitting in the saloon and the
Indian approached him and demanded liquor. Baer told him that he
could not sell him any, and the Indian became angry and abusive.
Baer then put him out of the saloon, but the Indian, drawing a
knife, ran back to force his way in again, when Baer struck him with
a billiard cue, killing him.
The first physician in town was Dr. W. T. Saw, who died in 1880.
Frank Kirkland was the first lawyer to settle here and A. E. Deming
the second. The establishment of law offices, going hand in hand
with the stricter enforcement of the laws, had a quieting effect
upon the rougher inhabitant and Marshfield became a fairly tranquil
and orderly community. The good effect of this was seen in the
promotion of various public interests. A statement formerly made (in
the school history previously alluded to) that in the summer of 1877
there was only one child of school age in the village (Louis Rivers'
daughter being probably referred to) and that she "did not go to
school because there was none,"' seems rather improbable, for, as
already noted, school had been taught as early as 1873, and since
the population had undoubtedly increased in the meanwhile, some
provision must have been made for education. But however that may
be, a summer school of two months was held in 1877 in an old frame
house on South Depot Street, with Madge Mahoney as teacher. It was
soon after that a schoolhouse was built, previously mentioned as
having stood on the site of the present Dr. Hayward
The first Sunday School met in this schoolhouse in November, 1878,
and on November 27 the same year, the Rev. Jacob Patch, familiarly
known as "Father Patch," organized the First Presbyterian Church.
After its founding many socials, waxworks, and other entertainments
were held. Father Patch, who was from Stevens Point, was a man of
strong individuality, a hard worker, and in his way quite a
"character." W. G. Hinman remembers him on one occasion getting into
his buggy and trying to drive away without untying his horse. His
favorite expression, uttered in slow, measured tones, was: "Apples
of gold in pictures of silver." (See Prov. 25:11).
In those days total prohibition of the liquor traffic had not been
thought of, save perhaps by a few of the most imaginative
enthusiasts, but temperance societies, the members of which pledged
themselves to personal abstinence, were not uncommon throughout the
country, and one was organized in Marshfield in the winter of 1878.
It began holding meetings in the schoolhouse, but was soon forbidden
the use of that building by the school board, the three members of
which - it was the first school board in the village -were all
saloon-keepers. The society maintained its organization, however,
and helped to lay the foundation of two or more protestant churches.
Previous to 1878 Catholic meetings had been held in the Rivers
House; later they were held in the schoolhouse until the building of
the Catholic Church in 1880. The Methodist Church was built in 1883.
But the individual history of the churches in Marshfield may be
found elsewhere in this chapter, except that of the Catholic, which
is contained in the separate chapter on The Catholic Church in Wood
County, by Rev. William Reding. In 1880 Louis Rivers built a
two-story frame hotel on the west side of Central Avenue and on the
north side of North Depot Street, and which burned down on Jan. 23,
1883, catching fire from a defective chimney. While it was in
existence its second story was used as a hall for social gatherings,
including dances, the music being furnished by the Campbell
Settlement (now Rozellville) Band.
About 1880, or 1881, E. S. Renne, Marshfield's first druggist and
second postmaster, built a hotel where the Blodgett Hotel is now
located. He later sold it to John Gill, and it was burned in 1887,
while he was the proprietor. Mr. Gill rebuilt it and later sold out
to Foster Bros.
A serious accident occurred on May 20, 1880. About 9:15 in the
morning there was a tremendous boom, then a trembling of buildings.
Crowds rushed into the streets and with pale faces made their way
toward the stave factory. It was found that the boiler had blown up,
the cause for which was unknown. J. Renne, a fireman, was blown
across the engine-room through the window. He was fatally scalded
and died at midnight. Three other men were badly hurt. For some
length of time until repairs could be made 60 men were out of work.
Within 15 years of the settlement here of the Rivers brothers and
eight years from the laying out of the plat, the village had grown
so in size, population and material wealth that its citizens felt
the time had come for it to assume municipal rights and privileges.
The necessary steps were accordingly taken, and by Chapter 280 of
the Laws of 1883 the legislature of Wisconsin organized and created
the city of Marshfield, comprising the present territory with what
now constitutes the town of Cameron added. The first city election
was held the third Thursday in April, L. A. Arnold being elected
mayor, J. R. Reily clerk, A. Thomas treasurer, and C. A. Coon police
justice. The first meeting of the common council was held at John
Girk's residence in the Third Ward. The members were: Mayor Arnold,
president; aldermen Ingalls, W. H. Upham, Fornance, Bein, Couture,
Cliver, Steinmetz, Girk and Strong.
On Nov. 18, 1903, Cameron was detached and established as a separate
township, leaving Marshfield with its present boundaries (see
Marshfield in chapter on County and Town Organization).
To give an idea of the business life of the place at this time, the
following list is presented as containing mention of the principal
business places established here before the close of the year 1882.
Dorschel & Co., dealers in dry goods and groceries, came in 1880 and
their business was managed by Fred Vollmar, Shaurer & Law were
conducting a general store and tailor's shop, having come to the
village in its infancy. Jos. Rumenoff, a dealer in hardware, located
corner of Second Street and Central Avenue, where E. M. Deming's
brick building is now had come in 1877, and P. Held, who was in the
same business, in 1880. John Gill was conducting the hotel he had
bought from E. S. Renne; the Central Hotel was conducted by H. J.
Pankow, the Travelers House by Mike Steinmetz, and the Eagle Hotel
by John Luis. There were 15 saloons, two meat markets, two furniture
stores and a drug store with a line of books kept by Dr. F. L.
Hinman (from Rhinelander) and A. E. Miner. The building occupied by
this drug store was owned by W. G. Hinman and T. E. Vannedon and is
the present location of the Laemle clothing store and Sexton's drug
store. To supplement the above it may be said that W. A. Sexton and
his brother bought out Miner, who had previously (about 1881) bought
Renne's drug store and had moved it into the building just south of
the present Blodgett Hotel. When the Hinman block was built, in the
fall of 1882, Miner moved into that, paying $16 1-3 per month rent
to Hinman & Vannedon. Dr. F. L. Hinman then went into partnership
with him. Sexton was first located where the Winterburn drug store
W. G. Hinman and W. H. Upham conducted a furniture store located on
the site of the present Adler block. What is now the First National
Bank was then known as the Marshfield Bank, or sometimes
colloquially as "Arnold's" Bank, and was conducted by L. A. and C.
B. Arnold, their father, G. M. Arnold, also having an interest in
the concern. The Marshfield Times was then conducted by C. A. Coon,
who in the same year (1883) bought out the Gazette. Within the three
previous years, from 1880 to 1883, two German papers had been
started, it is said - the Herald and the Wochenblatt - but had
failed, and it was not until the following year, 1884, that H. J.
Pankow established a successful German paper, the Demokrat, which is
the present Wochenblatt.
The advertisements in the Times in 1883 show that there were quite a
number of other business and professional men, besides several
women, established in Marshfield at this time, and as these
advertisers were probably the most energetic and successful
representatives of their class, their names and respective lines of
business, in spite of some repetitions, are here given. They were as
W. A. Sexton, druggist; Ludolph Wallesen, bricklayer; T. F. Vannedon,
contractor; John Luis, proprietor of Eagle Hotel; Marshfield Bank,
conducted by Arnold Bros.; Mrs. M. J. Platt, pianos; P. H. Held &
Co., hardware; A. Hoerl, meat market; Syme Bros. & Maurer, stave and
heading factory; W. H. Budge, drugs and chemicals; Miner & Hinman,
druggists; C. M. Upham & Bros., lumber; B. Elvis, jeweler; W. G.
Hinman & Co., furniture; J. R. Reilly, insurance; Merkel Bros., meat
market; Miss E. M. Rowan, milliner; S. G. McMillin, law office; C.
Bulmall, boarding-house; Peter Bogrand, photographer; C. B. Warfield
& Bros., grocers; J. H. Morel, liquor dealer; Weber & McGraw, house
movers; G. W. Keyes, restaurant; J. R. Lawsha, proprietor of the New
Cash Store; Carpenter & Felter, carpenters and builders; Dr.
Lathrop, physician and surgeon.
Marshfield in 1882 paid one-fifth of the state and county taxes
raised in Wood County. It cast one-sixth of the total votes. A tax
of $3523 was paid for school houses and the support of schools. The
furniture factory turned out fifty bedsteads a day. During one week
of that year there were six buildings erected. The Upham Company
turned out 15,000 shingles per day and the stave factory made 25,000
staves each day. The following item from the Times in 1882 shows the
pride the town took in its booming conditions: "The Spencer House at
Spencer stands vacant. Nothing like it can be found here."
After the city was incorporated the first public action taken was to
secure fire protection. The carts, hose and pump were procured. The
waterworks system was very limited at that time. It was also at a
disadvantage, for there was no way of telling the ward when an alarm
was given. But, notwithstanding, this new fire department was the
talk of the town for a time. An advertisement for the Fourth of
July,- 1883, is somewhat amusing to us now: "To outsiders the
exhibition of the waterworks will be attractive and interesting." To
quote further from the Times:
"On April 30, 1883, Frenchtown, a portion of the city extending
along South Depot Street, burned. The fire broke out in Jos. Morel's
saloon and spread from house to house very rapidly. All of the
buildings on that street, and also three on Main were destroyed. The
entire damage was estimated to be $6050, while the insurance was
$2600. "In the following year there was another great fire, which
destroyed one of our industries. April 9 the Upham saw mill caught
fire from the smoke stack and burned so rapidly that all efforts to
quench it were in vain. But by fierce fighting and favorable winds
the yards about were saved. The mill had a capacity of 70,000 feet
per day. Its value was $22,000 and it carried an insurance of
$13,000. At this time 150 men were out of employment. But before the
roof fell in Mr. Upham had made arrangements to get out timbers for
a new mill.
Even in 1884, when Marshfield had reached the age of ten years we
find that there did not seem to exist the peaceful, quiet condition
that now marks the daily life. We draw this conclusion from an
article in the Times of that year: "Sunday evening our city enjoyed
its regular drunken row. These things are an established portion of
the regular routine of business of our city, and some point on
Central Avenue is always selected as the place of show. If an
admittance could be charged quite a sum should be realized." But
after a struggle of many additional years these occurrences have
been overcome and the city has long enjoyed the reign of law and
"With the breaking of dawn of the year 1885 over the town of
Marshfield came also its 'eve of prosperity.' For many years prior
to this the inhabitants had worked side by side in the chafing
harness of labor and at last they had their town through the
critical stage of its life and were just about to settle down and
enjoy the fruit of their labors. The Upham furniture factory had
been rebuilt as was the Presbyterian Church, which had been burned.
The voluntary fire department was well organized and the hose-house
and city lock-up were situated where the Demokrat printing office
now stands. Business in every line was prosperous and at the close
of each week it was nothing unusual to have a dance or some other
public amusement in which almost all of the people took part.. There
was no distinct social line, and every one worked for the interest
of the town in general. They had their amusement and so the town
prospered. Old settlers said "Such good times can never last," and
finally the fatal day came.
"June 27 is the anniversary of the big fire of 1887 - that most
eventful of all days in our local history, when Marshfield was
nearly wiped off the map, 250 buildings being destroyed, causing a
loss to property owners of over a million. The terrible and exciting
scenes of the conflagration are as vividly pictured on the minds of
those who lived here then as if it had occurred the present year.
The fire seems to stand out so strongly in the minds of the people
that the several years immediately preceding it are blank to them
and everything is dated from the fire. Every citizen was more or
less affected, some losing everything and others the means of
livelihood. "The following account of the disaster is given mainly
as printed in the Marshfield Times on the following day.
"At 11:49 a. m., Monday, fire was discovered in the lumber yards of
the Upham Manufacturing Co. The fire started about the center of the
yard and when the fire department arrived the flames had covered
three large piles of lumber. Soon the Banner mills and elevator, the
furniture factory, planing-mill, veneer works, dry houses,
warehouses and paint shops, westward to the saw mill, and the whole
Upham Co.'s immense plant were in ashes. Eastward the flames swept
to the Cramner & Sons' livery barn and the Travelers' Home, with
barn, having in the meanwhile crept northward to the Wisconsin
Central water tank and depot, the beer warehouses and lumber piles
of Adam Haffer, S. L. Nason and M. J. Powers, and to the First Ward,
sweeping everything before them. Efforts were made to keep the
flames from crossing the street, which was the key to the main
business portion of the city. This, too, proved unavailing, the
engineer being driven from the pump, several hundred feet of city
hose and the hook and ladder cart being burned and several of the
yard hydrants opened. Quickly the flames leapt across the street to
the Central House and barn of G. I. Follett, crept down South Depot
Street, taking J. Kohl's blacksmith and wagon shop, Henry
Moldenhauer's saloon, the Demokrat office, Lizzie Kreb's millinery
store and dwelling, A. Hoerl's meat market, J. Cannivet's saloon and
Schmidt's store on the corner of Central Avenue and South Depot
Street. Thence south the flames backed against the wind, sweeping
Fassbender's tailor shop, Thomas Mersen's saloon and residence, F.
Gotch's barber shop, Sim Courniou's saloon, Berg's blacksmith's
shop, N. Lahr's saloon, Kohl's market and bakery, Pflum's harness
shop, Merton's Hotel and saloon. Here another attempt was made to
stay the backward marching element by covering the Upham store. For
a time the prospects were flattering, several buildings having been
blown up with dynamite. But fate was against every effort and soon
the building was in flames, which spread from there to Hartl's Hotel
and saloon, and city hall and the Tremont House. The Clark House, E.
Lindsley's building, Miss Powers' millinery store and the Ingalls
building fell in their turn. In the meanwhile the Thomas House, two
blocks off, took fire and down Central Avenue came the all-devouring
element. Doll's residence and furniture store, Noll Sons hardware
store, A. Thomas shoe shop, N. Berg's residence, B. Elvis jewelry
store, F. Thiessen's harness shop, E. Derby's store, the Stilp
building, Bogrand's photograph gallery and residence, Froelich's
cigar factory and residence P. Beaver's pop factory, with three
residences on Maple Street. Simultaneously the flames had jumped to
the Vannedom block, wiping out Vedder & Co., Kautsky's and Sexton's,
the Masonic hall, Farrow & Company's restaurant, Headstream &
Headstream, notions and jewelry, Budge's drug store, Mrs. Smith's
millinery and residence, J. Morel's saloon and residence, W. L.
Briggs' clothing store and residence, the Marshfield House, Thorps
residence, Springborn's residence, Norton's residence and two
tenement buildings belonging to Anton Hersch, the post office
building, Lathrop's office, Cole & Pors office, J. Seimetz hotel and
saloon, Mess Union Market, the American House and barn, Hubl's
furniture shop, Gerwing's store, Seubert saloon and residence, J.
Meidl's meat market, Schmerler's shoe shop, M. Rapp's residence,
Erion's residence and barn, Marzahl & Hoelz cigar factory and P.
Weber's residence. Here the progress of the flames was stayed.
On the North Side in the First Ward, besides the beer houses and
lumber, burned the warehouses of the- Upham Co., J. Couture's and C.
Guckenberger's saloons. The residences of Dr. H. A. Lathrop, O. W.
Saunders, James Johnson, S. Evans, E. S. Renne, F. A. Cady, James
Tallant and some thirty others were in ashes. "At 12:00 o'clock
assistance was asked from Stevens Point, which was sent at 1:30),
too late to be of much service with the engine but in time to do
good service in saving property." Aid was also rendered by the fire
department of Chippewa Falls. The people of Nasonville, Spencer,
Colby, Auburndale and Hewett were also out in force and rendered
valuable service in saving goods. The total loss amounted to about
$1,000,000, the loss of the Upham Manufacturing Co. being about
$300,000 alone, a large part of the lumber burned belonging to
Sanger, Rockwell & Co. of Milwaukee. The insurance in general was
light and in many instances there was none at all."
As soon as the news of the disaster was received by the neighboring
cities they vied with other in sending assistance, and supplies of
all kinds were soon pouring in. With a resolute spirit the people of
Marshfield set to work at once to repair the disaster, Maj. William
H. Upham setting the example. The city was cleaned of the thieves
who had flocked in intent on loot, and building operations were
begun as soon as the debris of the fire could be removed. The work
of reconstruction progressed rapidly and in a few months a new city
of substantial brick blocks had risen phoenix-like from the ashes of
the old. These new and solid brick blocks numbered about sixty, and
are practically standing today. Real estate in business localities
commanded from $40 to $80 per front foot. A newspaper review of the
situation in December, 1887, six months after the fire, showed
that the city practically recovered from the disaster and was
enjoying a high degree of prosperity. There were eight religious
organizations, with as many church edifices, and three schools, one
public and two private. There were two fine hotels, the Tremont and
Thomas Houses, each a three-story brick building. Two newspapers
were published - the Times, edited by Thomas S. Norton, and the
Demokrat, a German paper, whose proprietor was H. J. Pankow. The
largest manufacturing plant was that of the Upham Manufacturing Co.,
and in addition there were a number of others, including stave
mills, hub and spoke factories chemical works, foundry and machine
shops, artificial stone work, etc. There were also many handsome and
costly residences. The population of the city was about 3,500.
William H. Upham was then mayor.
During the next two or three years the city was steadily growing and
every thing was booming. At the banquets of the societies and clubs
those giving toasts and speeches always mentioned the thriving
condition of Marshfield, the center of a great farming community.
"The electric light and waterworks were established in June, 1889.
The Marshfield Light Infantry was organized and mustered into
service with C. W. Allen as captain and E. E. Ames as first
lieutenant. During this year the First Ward School was completed and
the Central Avenue frame school was also in course of construction.
A movement for a fair was started at a meeting of the council and
business men. A soap factory came here and it was rumored that a box
factory would come if enough capital could be raised. The city was
putting itself to the front in hopes of getting the state's prison
located here. The Omaha road began the line which connects
Marshfield with Neillsville and this virtually started the
Marshfield railroad boom. The Marshfield News was established by
Adam Paulus and John P. Hume in 1889. The Korth Opera House was
built in. 1890 and was destroyed by fire in 1894. It was a very
large building situated on the lots where the Episcopal Church and
post office are now. The material used in the construction was all
of the very best, and in consequence of the fact the building
surpassed the present opera house, and indeed it would have been the
pride of any city twice the size of this."
Having thus given an outline sketch of Marshfield's life and growth
up to comparatively recent years, with an account of the great
catastrophe which gave it a temporary setback, but from which it
soon fully recovered, it is now necessary to fill in the outline by
a more circumstantial mention of those things which have been the
largest factors in that growth, or have been developed out of it, as
the business enterprises, public utilities, schools, churches and
societies. Between them all there has been more or less reciprocal
action, as in the human body, where every organ in performing its
proper functions helps to perfect and preserve the vitality of the
whole. As the general advancement of a community depends chiefly
upon its material resources, the more important business enterprises
will be first glanced at, excepting only those mercantile
enterprises an account of which is contained in the biographical
part of this volume, and perhaps a few others for which data was not
available. As already mentioned, the stave and spoke factory of
Stillman, Brunson & Pettingill was the first manufacturing industry
in the village and a sketch of its fortunes may be found in the
biography of E. E. Winch.
Among the important industries of Marshfield which have been
developed from very modest beginnings, and enjoyed a long and
healthy growth is the Upham Manufacturing Company, which has been
with us for more than forty years, and is as vigorous today as at
any previous period of its existence. Moreover: its stability under
varying conditions, due to the guiding hand of its founder, William
H. Upham, who acts as its pilot, has had a beneficial effect upon
the business life of the community generally. To eliminate the Upham
Manufacturing Company in a review of Marshfield history would be
equivalent to cutting out a large part of that history; for in many
of the larger things pertaining thereto the history of the company
has been an inseparable portion of the history of the city. The
business was started in 1879 by Major William H. Upham in
with his brother, C. M. Upham, the former being the resident
partner. A saw mill with a capacity of 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 feet
per year, in conjunction with a small supply store, represented the
industry in its initial stage. In 1881 a furniture factory and
veneer works were added and operated under two distinct company
names - the Marshfield Furniture Co. and the Marshfield Veneer
Works. In 1883 the present corporation was formed, and in course of
time, as the business throve, new departments were added and
additional buildings erected. In 1884 the saw mill was destroyed by
fire, and in 1887 the entire plant was burned to the ground. It was
immediately rebuilt on a larger and more expensive scale, and its
prosperity continued to increase. In 1890, ten years after its
founding, this business included the following departments: (1), the
lumber interests, the saw mill having a capacity of 22,000,000 feet
per annum, both hardwood and pine lumber being manufactured; (2),
the furniture department, the shipments amounting to 30 cars a
month; (3), the flour mill, with a capacity of 225 barrels a day;
(4), the grain elevator, with a capacity of 40,000 bushels; (5), the
general store, occupying one of the finest and most expensive
buildings in the city; (6), the Marshfield and Southern Railway, ten
miles long, built by the company for the purpose of reaching their
timber land; (7), the land and timber interests, the company owning
40,000 acres of timber land tributary to Marshfield, supplying
various sorts of timber; (8), the water works; and (9), the electric
light plant. The two latter are now owned and operated by the city,
and some other changes have been made, but in most respects the
plant is conducted along the same lines today as it was a number of
years ago, with H. Upham still at its head. (See biographies of
William H. and Frank R. Upham).
The Marshfield Stave Company was started about 1879 by Alexander
Syme and brother, of Menasha, who had a factory at Clear Lake, Wis.
Henry N. Maurer was engaged by them to come to Marshfield and take
charge of the plant, they giving him an interest in the business,
and after awhile the concern was known as Syme Bros. & Maurer. They
had a good-sized factory, with one set of stave machinery and one
set of heading machinery, the plant covering about two blocks in
Ward six, near the "Soo" depot. Later the Syme interests were
purchased by Mr. Maurer, and about June, 1894, E. E. Winch bought a
half interest in the business. When suitable stave and heading
timber was beginning to get scarce, Mr. Winch in 1898 built an
excelsior factory, thus turning the original plant into a
combination mill. In 1899 he bought out Mr. Maurer and for the next
14 years was the sole owner of the plant. He then took in E. A.
Upham and Frank Martle as partners, and they both remained in the
firm for four years, when Mr. Winch bought Mr. Upham's stock, Mr.
Martle continuing to hold his. The hard times following the World
War caused the plant to be closed down and at present it is not
operating. It consists of a number of buildings and its water supply
is derived from a well 180 feet deep that was drilled into the solid
rock many years ago. The water in this deep well of the factory
raises to a level of 40 feet from the surface, at which it always
The Roddis Lumber & Veneer Company, one of the largest and most
important concerns in the city, was established by William Henry
Roddis, who in 1894 came to Marshfield and bought out the Hatteberg
veneer factory located in the east end of town. Within the next 25
years he developed the business into one of the largest industries
of its kind in the country. It is now included in the Roddis Lumber
& Veneer Company, of which he was president, and addition to the
plant in Marshfield the company has a large saw mill at Park Falls,
Felker Bros.' Manufacturing Co. was organized at Kendall, Wis., in
1903. In 1906 the concern moved to Sparta and in December, 1908, to
Marshfield. The first building erected here was a wooden structure,
steel sheeted, and was finished for occupancy March 30, 1909. It
measured 60 by 88 feet and stood on the site of the present
building. Later on, in the fall of 1911, more factory space was
added, including two floors 36 by 72 feet, and a second story for
the original building. On the night of December 4, 1915, the plant
was destroyed by fire, being totally wiped out in two and a half
hours. By good fortune, however, or rather by good judgment, it had
been insured, and by Dec. 10, 1916, a new building of of brick and
steel mill construction arose on the same site, and this was the
first unit of the present plant to be erected. Further units were
added in 1920, maintaining the total plant area all on one floor,
the building being strictly fire-proof, with modern heating,
lighting and plumbing, making it one of the finest daylight plants
in the state. The lines of business include the well known
Perfection galvanized steel stock and storage tanks, welded steel
hauling tanks, gasoline and oil storage tanks, pneumatic pressure
tanks, stock tank heaters, feed cookers, Perfection Keystone
galvanized steel well casing and other related lines. An adequate
force of salesmen is regularly maintained on the road, besides which
a rapidly growing business with jobbers is conducted, the
distribution covering practically the entire Mississippi Valley. The
present officers are: A. G. Felker, president; D. L. Miller, vice
president; L. H. Felker, secretary, and R. T. Finucane, treasurer.
Blum Brothers Box Co. was incorporated Jan. 10, 1921, with Paul L.
Blum as president and treasurer, Peter Blum vice president, and John
A. Blum secretary. The business had been started by Paul L. and John
A. Blum in 1911 and conducted up to 1921 as a partnership concern.
The factory turns out annually about 1,500,000 cheese boxes (in
seven sizes) and about 400,000 butter tubs, which are handled direct
from the factory to the consumer, a large part being delivered by
auto truck and by team, and the balance by rail. The business done
amounts annually to about $550,000. The company employs about 100
people and to secure its material does its own logging. The plant is
equipped with the most modern machinery and is electrically lighted.
It consists of a boiler, engine, and machine shop, 30 by 60 feet;
filing-room, 15 by 28; fuel room, 16 by 22; manufacturing room and
dry kiln (two stories), 62 by 176; vat room, 16 by 18; office and
warehouse, 50 by 100; garage 20 by 40; stable 24 by 40; and cut-off
saw shed, 12 by 30. The location is on West Ninth Street.
The Sparr Cereal Co., now one of the leading industries of
Marshfield, was built by the W. H. Upham Co. in 1884, as a part of
their manufacturing interests. Its plant and buildings were
completely destroyed in the great fire which visited Marshfield in
May, 1887, but the Upham people immediately rebuilt these, and
operated it until November 1909, when it was sold to the C. J. Sparr
Co. It continued under the management of Mr. Sparr until February,
1921, when he retired and a re-organization was effected, the new
company being incorporated under the same name, but with Louis A.
Salter as general manager. In the spring of 1922 Mr. Salter traded
his interests in the company to H. C. Koenig, who is now at the head
of the concern, Mr. Salter having subsequently removed to Fond du
Lac, Wis. The equipment consists of the milling plant, elevators,
storehouses; it has a daily capacity of 200 bbls. wheat flour, 100
bbls. rye flour, 100 bbls. corn products, and 75 tons of feed.
Grains, all Western grown, are milled into wheat flour, sold mostly
in Chicago; rye flour, the bulk of which moves to New York for
export; and hominy and dairy rations, which find their chief market
in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They manufacture a total of 48
different items, chief of which is "Gold Bond" wheat flour, a
product of high quality and widely known.
The Lang & Scharmann Machine Works originated in 1891. George J;
Lang in 1886 started to learn the trade of machinist in the shop of
R. H. Howarth, and remained there three and a half years, when the
shop burned down. Mr. Howarth rebuilt it on a small scale and soon
after Mr. Lang with Louis Christenson bought the business. A year
later Mr. Christenson's interest was purchased by Otto Scharmann of
Marshfield, and the present firm of Lang & Scharmann was formed. The
original plant, on South Cedar Street, was operated for about four
years, at the end of which time the firm bought lots on West South
Depot Street and erected a brick shop 30 by 90 feet in dimensions,
and later added foundry equipment, erecting an addition to the plant
40 by 50 feet to accommodate that department; a brick garage 60 by
90 feet was also built, and these with the ground and equipment,
comprise the present plant. They do a very large and successful
The Johnson Manufacturing Co. had its origin in 1910, when Alexander
Johnson, then a postal employee at Marshfield, began making gloves
as an experiment, using a barn to house these activities. The
experiment was a success, and from this humble beginning an industry
of no small proportions has arisen. In 1911 a plant was erected at
809 South Central Avenue, machinery representing an investment of
$3,000 was installed, and the manufacture of gloves, cheese
bandages, cloth circles, and butter cloths was begun. Two stories
have been added to the original one story plant, which measures 42
by 70 feet, and the machinery investment has been increased to
$18,000; as many as sixty people are employed at one time, and the
distribution of the product extends from the Carolinas to Portland,
Ore. Alexander Johnson is president of the company; the other
officers are Grant and Wayne Johnson, his sons, and Marcus A.
The Stewart Storage Battery Co. was founded at Chicago in February
of 1921 and was moved to Marshfield in July of the same year; here
they moved into the building formerly occupied by the Franklin
Automobile Company on Central Avenue. E. J. Stewart was the founder
of the company, which is a stock corporation; its officers, all of
whom reside in Marshfield, are E. J. Stewart, president; E. V.
Galvin, vice president; and R. A. Sleeper, secretary and treasurer.
It is one of the largest of Marshfield's manufacturing industries;
it manufactures approximately 150 storage batteries per day, and has
a distribution covering Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois,
Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and
Kentucky, and reaching as far east as Massachusetts; it has a branch
distributing house located in Kansas City.
The New Marshfield Bedding Co. was incorporated Jan. 17, 1915, and
built its plant the same year; E. H. Furstenburg is president and
William A. Martin secretary and treasurer. Mattresses, springs, and
porch swing hammocks are manufactured and distributed over about
two-thirds of the state, and the product is becoming widely known.
Additions to the plant were made in 1919 and in 1920.
The Marshfield Manufacturing Company, on North Depot Street, has
been operated by Henry Kalsched and Adam Hafer since 1896. A large
mail-order business in bee keepers' supplies, covering the entire
United States and parts of Canada, is carried on; in the manufacture
of these goods all the wood work is done at the plant here, the
necessary metal parts being bought from manufacturers in the East.
The active operation of the plant is now carried on by Mr. Kalsched,
though Mr. Hafer, now living in Milwaukee, still retains an interest
in the concern.
The Marshfield Brick Co. was organized by Louis A. Hartl in 1917.
The plant, having a capacity of 36,000 per day, is located one mile
north of the city limits of Marshfield. The company has specialized
in the production of a high-grade face brick which has come to have
a wide distribution. The Libby, McNeil & Libby pickling station was
acquired by its present owners about 1912, having previously been
owned by the F. H. Witters Co. of Marshfield, who built it about
1905. It is one of the eighteen plants of this nature owned by the
Libby Company in this state and under the supervision of John Ballam,
state manager for the company.
The Reichert Chemical Manufacturing Co. was incorporated in May,
1919, with Carl C. Reichert as president and manager; F. G. Lundy,
vice president; H. G. Hambright, treasurer; and F. W. Fornefelt,
secretary. The company's factory and plant are located at 1306 South
Central Avenue, and the concern is doing a large and increasing
business in the manufacturing of polishes, oil cleaners and similar
compounds, their goods being known as the "Everite Products." It is
likely that the plant will be enlarged in the near future.
The Elgentone Manufacturing Co., producing phonographs, all kinds of
cabinets, bakers' baskets, bath tubs, kitchen cabinets,
refrigerators, etc., was established about 1918 by Adolph Paulsten,
now removed from Marshfield. The plant was purchased in 1920 by
William Hoffman, who is now operating it with Fred Mitsch as
manager. The product has a wide distribution; at the present time
the company is specializing in the manufacture of refrigerators, and
plans to make this its most important line.
Brickheimer & Thorn, operating a feed mill at 210 East Sixth Street,
bought their plant from Dodge Hooker of Wausau, and it was opened
for business under their ownership May 1, 1921. Previously they were
dealing in coal, hay, and potatoes in an adjoining building. The
present plant was built by Dodge Hooker about 1916, but he had been
operating a similar plant in Marshfield for some years previously.
The present owners do wholesale grinding and in addition carry on a
business in coal, flour, feed, grain, hay, potatoes, and live
The S. Miller Fruit Co., operating a cold storage plant and doing a
large wholesale fruit business, had its beginning in 1901 when S.
Miller entered the produce business in Marshfield on a small scale.
In 1915 the fruit company was incorporated for $20,000, and the cold
storage company in 1919 for $200,000. Mr. Miller is president and
manager. A large modern plant, four stories high and 44 by 230 feet
in dimensions, was erected at 101 North Central Avenue in 1920.
The Ripon Produce Co., H. A. Bumby president, and A. E. Wells,
secretary and treasurer, operate two manufacturing plants - one in
Ripon and the other in Marshfield - their products being butter and
cheese. The original business was established in 1870 and the
concern incorporated in 1900; thus it has an existence of more than
half a century. They have sales houses at Negaunee, Mich., Milwaukee
and Racine, Wis., and at Chicago and Rockford, Ill. The Marshfield
branch handles about 13,000,000 pounds of milk annually and have an
output of 1,000,000 pounds of butter, and this, with about a similar
quantity from the Ripon plant, is shipped to the sales houses above
mentioned. The Marshfield plant draws its milk supply from a radius
of about 60 miles.
The Tiffault-Kamps Mercantile Company, operating a modern department
store in Marshfield, had its beginning in a small board shack
erected just after the fire of 1887 had wiped out the business
district of Marshfield. This building, located on the site now
occupied by the Marshfield State Bank, was put up by P. J. Kraus and
I. P. Tiffault to temporarily house their newly formed mercantile
business, the firm then being known as Tiffault & Kraus. This
building was occupied until October of the same year, when the
business was moved into a brick building that had been erected on
the site of the present Penney Store. In 1891 Mr. W. H. Kamps bought
out Mr. Kraus, and the firm was known as Tiffault & Kamps until
1897, when it was incorporated as the Tiffault-Kamps Mercantile
Company, with I. P. Tiffault as president and W. H. Kamps as
treasurer, and under this arrangement it still continues. At the
time of incorporation a building was purchased at 211-213 South
Central Avenue, and this building, with the addition of a second
story and other enlargements and improvements, is the store now
occupied. It is a typical metropolitan department store, of which
the city can well be proud, its white Glazed Tile front and
beautiful display windows beautify the down-town section of the
city, and the variety and quality of goods handled places at the
doors of the citizens, shopping facilities to be equaled only in the
large centers of population.
The Farmers Co-operative Produce Co. was founded in 1912 by a group
of farmers who subscribed for its stock. A mill was purchased at
that time from Peter Rasmussen, and an elevator to be operated in
conjunction was built later. The mill does wholesale grinding,
running about 35 carloads per year in this department.
Other manufacturing industries, adding importance to Marshfield's
industrial life, include the Whitehouse Cigar Co., owned by the firm
of Kohl & Hermann; the Marshfield Candy Co.; the John G. Hoelz cigar
factory; the Hub Bottling Works; the ice cream manufacturing plant
of Ralph J. Baker; the Marshfield Bottling Works, and a number of
creameries, cheese factories and dairies.
The C. E. Blodgett and the R. Connor interests are also among the
most important in Marshfield, as contributing to the modern business
developments of the city, but the editors were unable to obtain
detailed information in regard to them.
The First National Bank of Marshfield came into existence in
December, 1880, as a branch of the Clark County Bank of Neillsville
and was under the supervision of Llewellyn A. Arnold. A few months
later, early in 1881, connections were severed with the Neillsville
bank and thereafter it was known as the Marshfield Bank and was
conducted by C. M. and L. A. Arnold. In 1882 C. B. Arnold became a
member of the concern and took part in the management. G. M. Arnold,
father of L. A. and C. B. Arnold, was president of the bank, but
took no part in the management. The bank was located on the 26-foot
frontage one door south of the Blodgett Hotel, then named the
Tremont Hotel. It was a frame building erected by C. H. Clark as the
first home of the Marshfield Times, the first paper printed in
Marshfield. In order to make room for the bank the printing-office
was moved into a woodshed in the rear of the building. In 1887, when
fire destroyed the greater portion of the city, the building in
which the bank was located was destroyed. The safe and the greater
part of the bank's records and books were taken from the building
before it burned and moved to the center of Central Avenue and
covered with carpets taken from the Tremont Hotel. These were
saturated with water and after the fire was subsided the safe and
records were found in good condition. The remains of the bank, as it
were, were then moved into the front ro6m of the L. A. Arnold home,
now the F. R. Upham residence, where the banking business was
conducted during the rebuilding period. In 1888 the bank completed
and moved into a new building, located where Mechler & Sons jewelry
store is now, and which they occupied until 1921. After becoming
domiciled in its new quarters its resources increased very rapidly,
due largely to deposits made by those receiving payment from
insurance companies for fire losses, until they nearly reached the
two million mark. In April, 1891, the bank was sold by the Arnold
Company to a company of Marshfield citizens and reorganized as the
First National Bank, with a capital of $50,000, which has since been
increased to $150,000. The first officers of the new First National
were: W. H. Upham, president; Adam Hafer, vice president; W. D.
Harshaw, cashier; E. L. Reese, assistant cashier. Mr. Harshaw
resigned as cashier April 2, 1894, and Mr. Upham as director Jan. 8,
1895. The following named were elected officers, Jan. 14, 1895: Adam
Hafer, president; William Uthmeier, vice president; E. L. Reese
cashier; E. S. Schmidt, assistant cashier. E. S. Schmidt resigned
Sept. 6, 1897, and was succeeded by John Seubert, who was elected
the following January and continued in office four years. E. L.
Reese resigned as cashier May 22, 1906, and was succeeded by H. C.
Hambright the following July, who still occupies the position. Adam
Hafer resigned as president May 4, 1907, and was succeeded by B. F.
McMillan. Mr. McMillan died Nov. 12, 1918, and J. C. Marsh was
elected in his place. William Uthmeier died May 27, 1917, and was
succeeded as vice president by P. J. Schaefer. The present officers
are: J. C. Marsh, president; P. J. Schaefer, vice president; H. G.
Hambright, vice president and cashier; Adolph Kleinheniz, assistant
cashier, and A. J. Rasmussen, assistant cashier. The directors are:
J. C. Marsh, P. J. Schaefer, F. A. Noll, W. G. Sexton, William Hipke
and H. C. Koenig. On April 1, 1922, a consolidation was effected
with the Marshfield State Bank. The construction of the magnificent
building now occupied by the institution was started in April, 1920
and the bank moved into it and opened business November 21, 1921.
This building, the exterior dimensions of which are 52 by 105 feet,
was designed and its construction superintended by Arthur Guilbert,
architect, of Racine, Wis, It is said to be the finest bank building
in the state, and its luxurious magnificence must be seen to be
rightly appreciated. Neither pains nor expense were spared to make
it unique as a model home of finance, and the result more than met
the highest expectations. Its substantial and modern construction,
combined with Grecian elegance of design; its artistic interior
decorations and luxurious fittings, in which not a single thing has
been omitted that could contribute to the convenience and comfort of
officers, employees and patrons alike leaving nothing unthought of
or to be desired even by the most fastidious, taken altogether form
a work of art both complete and perfect which would of itself be
sufficient to put Marshfield on the map if there were nothing else
in the town.
The Marshfield State Bank, now consolidated with the First National,
was organized in November, 1907, and was chartered Feb. 2, 1908, by
C. E. Blodgett, of Marshfield, Richard Roll, Sr., of Hustisford, and
Amos Roll of Hustisford. It was capitalized for $50,000, and began
business at the corner of Central Avenue and Third Street West, in a
humble building 18 by 35 feet in ground dimensions. This building
continued to be the home of the institution until 1918, when a
modern two-story brick building, 37 by 84 feet, was erected on the
old site. The bank was on the ground floor and the upper story
consisted of offices for rental. The interior of the bank was
beautifully finished and had a complete modern equipment. The
capitalization of the bank remained at $50,000, and its statement
dated Dec. 31, 1921, showed the surplus and undivided profits to be
$23,649.51, with deposits of $738,206.83. The banking house,
furniture and fixtures were valued at $35,438.04. The surplus and
assets were placed at $1,100,000. The board of directors consisted
of William Hipke, H. C. Koenig, Amos Roll, J. W. Salter, Hugo
Wegener, William Welter and C. J. Sparr. The officers were: William
Hipke, president; H. C. Koenig and Richard Roll, Jr., vice
presidents, Amos Roll, cashier, and J. C. Cundy, assistant cashier.
On Jan. 24, 1922, the bank suffered a heavy loss by fire which
ruined practically the entire interior of the building upstairs and
down, and on April 1, 1922, it surrendered its charter and was
consolidated with the First National Bank of Marshfield.
The American National Bank, Marshfield, was incorporated Dec. 28,
1891, as the German American Bank, with a capital of $25,700.00, the
original stockholders being R. Dewhurst, H. W. Mauer, R. L. Kraus,
John Brinkman, M. Steinmetz,. Frank Cramer, W. D. Connor, P. N.
Christensen, F. A. Noll, E. M. Deming, C. S. Vedder, John Rausch and
B. F. McMillan. R. Dewhurst was president, R. L. Kraus vice
president, and O. G. Lindeman cashier. Business was begun in June,
1892, on the present site at 205 South Central Avenue. On June 18,
1900, the institution was re-organized and became a national bank
under the name of the American National Bank, of Marshfield, with a
capital of $50,000.00, a surplus of $10,000.00 and assets of
$150,000.00. In 1912 the building was remodeled and is now
fireproof, with a brown sandstone front and a full modern equipment
inside. In October, 1919, the capital of the bank was increased to
$150,000.00, surplus $35,000.00, and the assets at the present
writing, Sept. 1, 1922, total over $1,600,000.00. The bank is one of
the strong financial institutions of the county and an important
factor in its business life. The present officers are: W. D. Connor,
president; P. N. Christensen, vice president; T. D. Spalding, vice
president and cashier; J. Leinwander, assistant cashier; and J. L.
Stauber, assistant cashier. The board of directors consists of W. D.
Connor, P. N. Christensen, E. M. Deming, Ben Lang, Louis Hartl, L.
E. Gilson, R. Connor, Frank Cramer and Henry Kalsched.
The latest addition to Marshfield's financial institutions is the
Cloverland State Bank, which was incorporated Oct. 16, 1922, with a
capital of $50,000.00, for the purpose of doing a general banking
business. The old State Bank building, injured by fire in January,
1922, has been taken over, repaired and remodeled. The officers and
directors - all Marshfield men are: Officers - L. E. Gilson,
president; Otto Peterson, vice president; J. H. Cundy, cashier.
Directors - L. E. Gilson, Otto Peterson, J. H. Cundy, Louis Heil,
Joseph Whittington, W. W. McCulloch and Wayne Deming.
The Marshfield Chamber of Commerce was organized March 1, 1918,
under the auspices of the American City Bureau, and has about 175
members. Its building, at 105 West Third Street, was originally
occupied by Dr. K. W. Doege, but was then located on the site where
the present W. J. Purdy Junior High and Vocational school now
stands. After being taken over by the Chamber of Commerce in 1919 it
was moved to its present site on ground leased by the Marshfield
State Bank interests; the necessary office space was set aside and
the balance was turned into a public rest room, with all facilities
for the accommodation of the general public, which was opened in
October of 1919, and at which the registrations have amounted to
about 1,000 per month. Previous to the acquisition of these quarters
the Chamber was located in the City Hall building. It was very
active in all war work, being headquarters for all liberty bond
drives and philanthropic organizations; through its efforts the
People's Gas Co. and the Marshfield Building and Loan Association
were brought into being; and it has assisted in enlarging the
industrial life of the city. During recent months it has specialized
in protecting the general public from the activities of business and
other enterprises which were not bona fide.
The Marshfield Rotary Club, No. 522, was granted a charter Aug. 1,
1919, and now includes most of the leading business and professional
men of the city. Among the more notable of its accomplishments was
its work in connection with the establishment of the soldiers'
memorial at Marshfield, a work which was started by the president of
the club and in the raising of funds for which a committee of the
club rendered valuable assistance.
The first newspaper in Marshfield was the Marshfield Times, a
Republican weekly, which was started in the latter part of the year,
1879 by Charles H. Clark, who about that time came to this city from
Centralia (now a part of Wisconsin Rapids), where he had started and
conducted for a few months the Centralia Enterprise. It is also said
that Clark, in 1880, started a German paper, which he called the
Wood County Herald, but which he discontinued after a year.
According to another account, he printed one side of the Times in
German. The paper, as printed in English had a long existence and
passed through a number of hands. In 1882 Clark sold it to Charles
A. Coon, who in June, 1883, bought out the Gazette and united the
two papers under the title of the Times and Gazette. The Gazette had
been started on June 17, 1882, by A. E. Deming and Dr. Isaac W.
Hanna in opposition to the candidacy for Congress of Isaac
Stephenson of Marinette, as it was generally believed at the time
that Mr. Stephenson was making a too free and unfair use of money in
his political campaign. As Messrs. Deming and Hanna were not
practical newspaper men, they employed Charles Herr as managing
editor. In May, 1885, Charles A. Coon sold the Times and Gazette to
Thomas S. Norton of Spencer, who dropped the "Gazette" part of the
title and conducted the paper for a number of years as the
Marshfield Times, as he was still its proprietor in 1890 or 1891.
The Times then passed into the hands of John De Groff, who conducted
it for five or six years. Williams & White had it in 1897, or
perhaps in the previous year. In 1903 it was published by Williams &
Bailey, who remained its owners for a number of years thereafter. In
1911, or perhaps 1910, the Marshfield Times Company was organized,
consisting of P. A. and R. R. Williams, the latter being its editor
until 1915 or 1916, when he leased the business to Michael and Leo
Berg, he and his son, however, remaining its owners. After the entry
of the United States into the World War, Leo Berg entered military
service and the paper went back to Williams & Son, who engaged M. C.
Hoerl to manage it. On Mr. Berg's return from the war he resumed his
former position as editor and the Williamses remained proprietors of
the Times until January, 1920, when they sold out to G. V. Kraus,
who changed the name of the paper to the Wisconsin Hub, continuing
it for one year as a weekly. In the spring of 1921, the Hub was
consolidated with the Marshfield News, previously owned and
conducted by E. S. Bailey. In March of the same year Kraus & Bailey
started a daily known as the Marshfield Daily News, which is now
published by them in connection with a weekly known as the
Marshfield Weekly News and Wisconsin Hub, the daily being an
eight-page, six-column paper, and the weekly being made up of six
pages of eight columns each. Both papers are well patronized.
The Marshfield News was founded Sept. 12, 1887, and was owned and
edited as a Democratic weekly by J. P. Hume and Adam Paulus under
the firm name of Hume & Paulus. In 1897 the publisher was Adam
Paulus, and he remained so until 1906, when the control passed to
the Marshfield News Co., a corporation who made the News a
Republican sheet. They later leased the paper to Thomas Lyons and J.
H. White. In 1909 the corporation was sold to E. S. Bailey, who
published the News alone until the spring of 1921. Then Mr. Bailey
merged the Times (then called the Wisconsin Hub) with the News and a
new corporation, named the Marshfield Publishing Co., was organized,
which on March 7, 1921, began the publication of the Daily News, the
first daily paper in Marshfield. They also continue to publish the
weekly under the name of the Marshfield News and Wisconsin Hub. The
Marshfield Herald, a progressive Republican weekly, was established
by the White Printing Co., which was formed for the purpose May 6,
1911, and was composed of John H., W. G. and Dan White. In 1914 Dan
White retired from the firm, since which time the paper has been
published by John H. and W. C. White. The Herald has the largest
circulation ever enjoyed by a weekly paper in Wood County.
The Wochenblatt.- In 1884 H. J. Pankow established in Marshfield a
German weekly paper called the Demokrat. In 1885 the publishers were
Pankow & Kohl. Then H. J. Pankow had it alone until 1892 or 1893,
when the firm of A. G. and H. J. Pankow was formed, by whom the
Demokrat was published for some 19 or 20 years. About 1912-13 the
Demokrat Publishing Co. was organized, the members of which were A.
G. Pankow and wife Ida, and John Witt and wife Ella, and this
company continued the publication of the paper until 1915. After
that for several years John Witt was the publisher and the Demokrat,
previously Democratic, had become independent in politics. In 1919
Mr. Witt became associated in partnership with Jacob J. Rebsteck,
and in February, 1920, the name of the paper was changed to the
Wochenblatt, which name it still retains. In April, 1922, Mr.
Rebsteck bought out Mr. Witt and is now the sole owner.
Marshfield Schools -
History of Marshfield Churches (1923) pages 199-204
The Marshfield City Library had its beginning in the early eighties
in 500 volumes donated to the city by John J. Marsh, then of New
York, through Mrs. W. H. Upham. They were standard works selected in
Boston by a careful librarian. For quite a number of years the
ladies of the city took turns in caring for the little library,
which in 1885 occupied a part of Dr. Budge's drug store. It was
subsequently moved several times, however. At the time of the great
fire in the summer of 1887 it escaped destruction owing to the fact
that it was then located at the home of Mrs. U. P. Upham. In the
rebuilding period that followed after that disaster, Mr. Upham
erected a building known as the Rose Block, into the upper part of
which B. Elvis, the jeweler, moved his store, and the library was
placed there, being under the care of the Woman's Christian
Temperance Union, the members of which took turns in acting as
librarian. Books were given out every Saturday afternoon. The next
year Mr, Elvis moved to the building subsequently occupied by the
Marshfield State Bank, and the library was also moved there,
remaining at that location until the fall of 1891. During the first
winter it was under the charge of Mrs. E. M. Deming. After that it
was moved to the "Boy's Hall," a little building on the corner of
Third Street, across from the Upham residence, where the Band of
Hope, a boys' temperance society, organized by Mrs. W. H. Upham,
held their meetings. It was still under the nominal care of the
Woman's Christian Union, but in reality was governed by a library
committee composed of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Upham, Mrs. M. B. Cracraft
and B. Elvis. About 1899 the books were transferred to the book
store and bazaar of Mrs. I. P. Tiffault, the city paying her a small
sum for acting as librarian. From time to time the city council was
petitioned for a library building and regular financial support, but
the council was then unable, or was not yet ready to extend any
material aid. It was also proposed to make application to the
Carnegie Library Fund, but as the necessary percentage for the
yearly income could not be guaranteed, that plan had to be
abandoned. In 1900, when the present city hall was built, the matter
was again taken up in the council, and it was then decided to build
one wing for the use of the city library, which was accordingly
done, and on Oct. 21, 1901, the institution was opened to the public
in new and commodious quarters, which are still occupied. A library
board had been appointed May 29, that year, by Mayor Vollmar,
composed of nine prominent citizens Mr. W. D. Connor being appointed
president. Mr. Connor proved a great benefactor of the library,
contributing liberally to its support. The city council also now
acted liberally, paying for the furniture and fixtures, as well as
levying a tax to assist in the maintenance of the library and
reading-room. Miss H. Della Ellinwood was appointed librarian and
did splendid work in building up the popularity of the institution.
On March 15, 1909, she resigned to accept an eastern position, and
Miss Esther Johnston, of Indiana, was appointed to succeed her.
Through Miss Johnston's influence a men's reading and smoking room
was opened in the basement, the Woman's Club assisting to furnish
the room, and gifts were presented to embellish it by interested
board members, sums of money being received also from time to time
from Marshfield residents. After serving for about a year, Miss
Johnston left in May, 1910, and was succeeded as librarian by Miss
Rose Schavet, who had been assistant, and who acted as librarian for
about two months, when Miss Blanche Unterkircher became librarian.
Miss Unterkircher left in the spring of 1913 and was succeeded by
Miss Mary Egan, who served one year. Her successor was Miss Louise
Grace, who also served a year, after which, in August, 1915, Miss
Carol Shaw took charge. Miss Shaw remained librarian until November,
1919, at which time she was succeeded by the present librarian, Miss
Alice J. Millerd, who has two assistants, Miss Selma Bartman and
Miss Dorothy Drollinger. Until quite recently there was a library
board of nine members, elected every three years on the rotation
plan, but owing to a notification received by the board from the
secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission to the effect
that a city of the fourth class is only entitled to six elective
members, with the superintendent of schools as an ex-officio member,
the necessary change has been made and the library board is now
composed of seven members, including the superintendent of schools,
(Chester Newlun). E. M. Deming is president, Mrs. F. A. Noll
secretary, and R. P. Kraus treasurer, the other members being W. D.
Connor, W. H. Kamps and Mrs. W. D. Wheeler. The number of books now
in the library (Sept. 28, 1922) is 10,262 and it is constantly
increasing. About 2,000 of the books now in the library are works of
adult fiction. The reference books number 1538; other non-fiction
3614; children's books (total number) 3113, of which 1261 are
fiction and 1852 non-fiction. The circulation for the year ending
June 30, 1922, was 65,750. The library is an institution of which
Marshfield citizens may well be proud, the more so as it was built
up without outside assistance, except in the original donation from
Mr. Marsh. Though its early supporters at times had hard work to
maintain it, they never allowed it to suspend its functions, and its
growth has been based on the solid ground of personal service and
public spirit. As the policy of the library has ever been to reach
as many people as possible, in October 1917, a station was started
on the south side in the grocery store owned by L. J. Smith, for the
convenience of those living in that part of the city. Another
station, a small collection of books was placed in St. Joseph's
Hospital for the accommodation of the patients there. The library is
open daily except on Sunday, and all residents of the city and the
surrounding country are entitled to draw books. Transients are
allowed the same privileges as residents on furnishing satisfactory
references or guarantees.
The Fire Department.- No local organization has a more interesting
history than the Marshfield Fire Department, which has enjoyed an
uninterrupted growth of 40 years. It is only a few of the oldest
residents who can appreciate the difference between the crude
fire-fighting apparatus of early days and the up-to-date equipment
to which the city can now point with pride. Among the original
organizers of the department were T. F. Vennedom, E. C. Derby and C.
B. Wharfield, the two latter drafting the original by-laws. Mr.
Vennedom was chosen to preside at the first meeting which was held
on the evening of May 2, 1883, in what was called the Hinman Hall,
over Vennedom's general store, now Laemle's corner. R. H. Howarth
was elected captain, T. F. Vennedom, assistant, and E. C. Derby,
secretary and treasurer, of what was then termed the Pioneer Hose
Company. The others who attended the meeting that night, according
to the secretary's minutes, were: John McGivern, James Beattie, Ed.
Payne, F. L. Hinman, A. Goetschius, Ed. Maurer, W. Morse, S. Reily,
Frank Payne, Z. A. Canfield, J. Phillips and W. Mallaley. Charles B.
Wharfield and Frank Lueckenbach joined the company April 17, 1884,
and were included among the charter members. Frank Lueckenbach
resigned in 1904 after serving 20 years, but Mr. Wharfield is still
an active member, the only one of the original company, with the
exception of Ed. Payne, who is still responding to fires. The
organization will be 40 years old in May, 1923, and up to the time
of this writing (Oct. 1, 1922) it has had six secretaries; E. C.
Derby served from 1883 to 1886; C. B. Wharfield from 1886 to 1899;
Mr. Wharfield's successor was Lacy Gwin, and after him have served
O. Dorschel, Louis Carl, W. H. Kemps and the present secretary, T.
S. Spaulding. The fire chiefs have been, in the order given, R. H.
Howarth, L. A. Arnold, J. H. Matthes, E. E. Ames, E. A. Upham, J. A.
Hoffman and E. B. Finney, the last mentioned now serving. W. A.
Sexton joined the department in March, 1886, aid in 1892 became
treasurer, succeeding James Beattie. He was succeeded by the present
treasurer, L. Hartt. In the early days the hose-cart was kept in a
small frame building on Chestnut Street, where Dr. Hayward's
residence now stands. It was later moved to a building on the corner
of Third and Maple, opposite the Methodist Church. The next move was
to the old city hall, and the third to the present commodious
quarters in the new hall, which stands on the same site. The great
fire of 1887 was thus mentioned in the minutes of the company: "June
27, 1887 - A general alarm sounded at 11:45 a. m., the company
responding, fire having been discovered in the lumber yard of the
Upham Manufacturing Company. After a gallant fight of seven hours
the fire was gotten under control, leaving a large tract (extending
over nine blocks and the mill yard) a mass of smouldering ruins."
This was not the company's first experience with large fires, as one
had occurred in 1883, when a row of buildings on South Depot Street
(the subsequent site of the Marshfield Iron Works) went up in smoke.
The next important fire was the Rivers House. In the year following
the great fire, on March 23, 1888, the handsome residence owned by
Fred Vollmar was burned. The company's minutes state that "owing to
delay in alarm the company arrived too late to save anything more
than adjacent buildings." The Marshfield Fire Department is unique
in the fact that its members during the greater part of its
existence, or indeed for the entire period, have been composed of
some of the foremost citizens of the town, all of whom took a pride
in belonging to the organization. Among them may be mentioned the
following: Fred Vollmar, J. F. Cole, Geo. W. Upham, P. J. Kraus, E.
C. Pors, F. R. Upham, Michael Griffin, M. J. Kraus, C. B. Arnold, J.
J. Williams, Henry Horn, A. Goetschius, John L. Voelker, H. C.
Headstream, Rudolph Wolleson, H. E. Hinman, John McGivern, F. L.
Hinman, J. D. Lindsley, Frank A. Cady, John Penning, Frank Strong,
D. F. Clarke, M. G. Fleckenstein, Chas. E. Smith, Louis LaBelle,
John H. Felter, A. C. Sutor, Thos. S. Norton, J. E. Payne, Harry
Heywood, Will Barnum, F. H. Ward, Henry Giese, A. S. Ledger, Philip
Jacobus, Anton Wright, Anton Lueckenbach, Frank Goekey, William
Springborn, Fred Wendt, William Erion, John Schneeweis, Peter
Hanson, George Seubert, William Hirth, A. C. Miner, Andrew Weber,
John Girk, Henry Kreisch, Aug. Furstenberg, John Clapper, J. H.
Morel. Each fireman is allowed 25 cents for attending meetings and
is fined 25 cents for failure to attend, the only excuses accepted
being sickness of himself or some member of his family, or absence
from the city. For attending fires each member receives $1.50 from
the company's treasury and 50 cents from the city. A fine of 50
cents is imposed for being absent from a fire without a good excuse,
Any fireman receiving injuries while on duty is allowed $10.00 a
week for a period not to exceed three months; but in all the years
of its existence no member of the company has received a serious
injury, and only two firemen - E. C. Derby and W. A. Sexton - have
died while members. The fire department receives from the insurance
companies doing business in Marshfield two per cent of the gross
premiums, which amounts to about $1,000 a year. Each year for the
last ten years the Marshfield Fire Department has given a dance on
Easter Monday, which is universally recognized as "the dance of the
season," being largely attended by a high class of patrons.
The old city hall was originally a frame school building which stood
on the school site on Central Avenue near the Northwestern depot,
and was sold by the school district in 1889 to the city, which moved
it to a location on the west side of Maple Street between Second and
Third. It was then used for some ten years or more as a city hall
and fire department headquarters, a tower being built in which to
dry the hose pertaining to the department, which occupied the ground
floor. The upper room was used for a council chamber. The building
was in poor condition and was torn down to make room for the present
city hall building constructed in the year 1900.
Marshfield's police force consists of four police officers,
including the chief, and one motor officer employed during the
summer months. The force was placed on its present basis July 1,
1910, being governed under the commissioner system similar to that
in Wisconsin Rapids, wherein a commission of five persons appointed
by the mayor appoints members of the two departments and acts as a
trial board under the state civil service law. The present police
chief, Michael Griffin, went on the force in 1892 as a marshal, when
there were but two men employed, one for day and the other for night
duties. He succeeded A. F. Gerwing as chief about six years ago.
The original light and power plant in Marshfield was established by
William H. Upham, the plant being operated for some time under the
name of the Marshfield Electric Co., the organization of which was
effected in November, 1887. In 1890 the power was furnished by two
dynamos, and there were 12 arc lights in use on the streets and
about 200 incandescent lights in the stores and residences. The
Upham Manufacturing Co. in 1893, also furnished the water supply,
three pumps being used to supply the 20 hydrants then installed. The
Upham control of the light and power service lasted until 1900, when
the system, as it then stood, was purchased by the city. In the
meanwhile the community had grown and improvements were needed, but
it was still some years before a practical method of control was
established, several plans being tried without satisfactory results.
At last a plan of control previously in use but abandoned, was
resumed under better
auspices. The governing body was to consist of a committee of three
citizens, the mayor and one alderman, the citizens being elected by
the council. One was elected for one year, another for two years,
and the third for three, so that their terms would overlap. With
this plan under way some much needed improvements were at once
started. The three 150-horse-power boilers previously in use, but
which had deteriorated to a considerable extent, were taken out and
replaced with two 300-horse-power boilers, the power house being
enlarged for the purpose. This work was completed by 1921, and by
Sept. 1, 1922, another boiler, of 557 horse-power, was put in. The
principal improvements made two years ago consisted of the
enlargement and remodeling of the plant, the building of a high
draught chimney, elevated tracks and coal bunkers, all the coal
being handled by machinery. The water is drawn from surface wells,
in the near vicinity, there being 21 now in operation, besides a
large well 78 feet deep, the pumping system being identical with
that used in pumping oil wells. As this system, however, is open to
the objection that fine sand is occasionally drawn into the pumps
and injures the suction buckets, a more economical method of pumping
is being considered and will probably be installed in the near
future. As it is the plant is now established on a good basis the
water works having a capacity of 550,000 gallons per day if needed,
the usual average being about 500 000 gallons. This is an increase
in a little more than three years from 200,000 gallons, but the
demand is still growing. The electric light system now has a
capacity of 650 kilowatts, which will be increased before long, as a
new generator has been proposed. That the system is economical is
proved by the fact that Marshfield has a ten and one half cent rate
per kilowatt for light, which is a lower rate than can be found in
any other city of Marshfield's size in the state. This rate,
however, applies to a sliding scale, the price depending upon the
amount used, and the power company has a minimum charge for both
light and water, every service in both departments being now metred.
The metre system, while long in use, has only been made universal
within a comparatively recent date in the light department about a
year ago and in the water department within the last two months, or
about the latter part of July, 1922. Previously many persons and
business firms were using much more light and water than they paid
for. The city now has 94 arc lights; 84 ornamental lights in the
business district, and seven red traffic lights for the purpose of
directing car drivers, the last mentioned having been added quite
Gas is also used by the citizens of Marshfield for cooking,
lighting, and heating. It is supplied by the People's Gas. Co.,which
was organized in 1920, with substantial encouragement from the
Marshfield Chamber of Commerce, and started service Dec. 23, of that
year, having built the plant during the summer. The company is a
local corporation of which A. G. Felker is president, and Henry
Kalsched vice president. J. H. Vierig is superintendent and manager.
The most modern machinery is in use and the plant supplies 500
consumers through 11 miles of main.
The Marshfield telephone system was started by Theodore Springborn;
a few years later A. Goetschius bought a half interest in the
concern, and subsequently purchased the remainder of Mr.
Springborn's interest and operated the system as sole proprietor
until 1898, when a local stock company of professional and business
men was formed to buy the plant and equipment. This company, known
as the Marshfield Telephone Co., was dissolved in 1901 when J. C.
Marsh of Marshfield bought all the stock. Mr. Marsh operated the
system as individual owner until Feb. 1, 1912, when a new company
was formed, which company, known as the Marshfield Telephone
Exchange, has since been in control, with J. C. Marsh as president
and principal stockholder. Amy E. Marsh is vice president and H. E.
Hoerl secretary. The Marshfield Telephone Exchange serves the city
and surrounding territory; it has 52 miles of pole line with 262
miles of aerial wires, and
1112 miles of cable carrying 1,254 miles of wire. Jan. 1, 1922,
there were 797 miles of working lines and 1,404 telephones. The
average number of exchange messages handled per month is 166,740,
and of toll messages 5,400.
The Marshfield post office is of the first class and has seven rural
routes serving approximately 1,100 families. There are six city
letter carriers and seven clerks. The city, being a junction of
several roads, is a very important transfer point for mail and the
office has for years enjoyed a steady increase in its receipts. On
Jan. 1, 1923, it will occupy new quarters, now being prepared, which
will be almost twice as large as those occupied at present. Among
the postmasters of Marshfield, in addition to Louis Rivers and E. S.
Renne, elsewhere mentioned, have been A. G. Pankow, now of
Milwaukee, E. A. Upham, now with the Marshfield Lumber Co., and John
F. Cole, attorney, of Marshfield. On July 1, 1920, Fred B. Rhyner
was appointed acting postmaster and on Nov. 9, 1922, was
commissioned postmaster for a term of four years.
On the north side of the city there is a wooded piece of land called
Columbia Park and which is used as an occasional pleasure ground,
though its scenic advantages are somewhat marred by the large
standpipe erected here. Away out on the south side is another strip
of woods, also used for park purposes, and where some bears are
kept. It was formerly known as White City Park, though the name
seems to have fallen somewhat out of general use. Near it is a small
pond and close by are the waterworks, beyond which is another fine
strip of woods wherein one may walk on the brightest summer day in a
subdued and softened light, as through cathedral aisles, the
numerous trunks, branches and dense foliage cutting off the direct
rays of the sun, There is yet another piece of property owned by the
city, on Park Avenue, which is eventually to be developed into a
St. Joseph's Hospital, one of the most important institutions in
Wood County, was established in 1890 and was incorporated in the
year 1891, under the laws of Wisconsin, by the Sisters of the
Sorrowful Mother. The original building was erected during the year
1891, located on the northwest city limits and overlooking a
beautiful section of Wisconsin. The hospital was formerly opened as
a hydro-therapy sanitarium in 1892. At that time there were four
sisters in charge and during the first year four patients were
admitted. In 1895 the institution was changed from a sanitarium to a
general hospital and in 1896 the number of sisters was increased to
16, and 69 patients were cared for. During the year 1901 the chapel
and six rooms were added and 163 patients were admitted to the
hospital. St. Mary's Convent was erected in 1907. Three hundred and
twenty-six patients were admitted to the hospital during the year
1909 and it was during that year that the northwest wing was added.
This addition increased the number of rooms available for patients
and added a new operating-room, two surgical dressing-rooms, and
recovery-rooms. Nearly all the of private rooms in this addition
were furnished by friends of the sisters. During the year 1913 the
hospital admitted 795 patients. That year the third story was added
to the original building, which provided a good-sized class room and
a large outdoor sleeping porch and a number of private rooms. The
new Nurses' Home, which was built in 1922, situated on St. Joseph's
Street, is the best and, it is said, the most beautiful in the state
of Wisconsin. It is a plain but stately three-story brick building,
42 by 132 feet in ground dimensions, and is so located that the sun
has free access to all rooms. In the year 1917 1,281 patients were
cared for in this institution. It was during that year that the last
and beautiful addition to the hospital was started, it being
completed in 1918. This addition is the main building at present and
is modern in every detail. It added to the hospital many comfortable
rooms, sun parlors, and up to date maternity department, X-ray,
chemical, pathological, bacteriological, electro-cardiographic and
metobolic laboratories, photographic, hydro-therapeutic and
electrotherapeutic rooms, a laundry and power house. An isolation
department was also erected in which, during the year 1920, 136
patients afflicted with communicable, or so-called contagious
diseases, were cared for.
At present the institution has a capacity of 130 beds. During the
past year, 1921, the hospital cared for 2,520 patients, classified
as follows: Surgical cases, 1,231; medical cases, 881; obstetrical
cases, 122; babies, 115; communicable diseases, 51; out-patients,
The growth of the institution may be seen from the number of
patients admitted since it was established in 1891; In 1892-4;
1893-122; 1894-159; 1895-98; 1896-69; 1897-67; 1898-84; 1899-53;
1900-122; 1901-163; 1902-169; 1903-178; 1904-179; 1905-226;
1906-276; 1907-335; 1908-353; 1909-326; 1910-368; 1911-479;
1912-672; 1913-795; 1914-766; 1915-905; 1916-1,050; 1917-1,281;
1918-1,633; 1919-1,777; 1920-2,128; 1921-2,520.
The following figures apply to the year 1921. In those pertaining to
the ages of patients, those from 60 to 70 have not been ascertained.
Those concerning the religion and nationality of patients do not
Ages of patients - Under ten years, 405; 10 to 20, 395; 20 to 30,
607; 30 to 40, 367; 40 to 50, 244; 50 to 60, 176; 60 to 70, 139;
over 80, 11.
Nationality of patients - American, 2,265; Austrian, 2; Bohemian, 7;
Danish, 1; English, 1; French, 1; German, 78; Dutch (Holland), 2;
Hungarian, 2; Indian, 2; Irish, 1; Norwegian, 7; Polish, 7; Russian,
10; Swedish, 10; Swiss, 2.
Religion of patients - Baptist, 48; Catholic, 875; Congregational,
30; Christian Science, 2; Church of Christ, 9; Episcopalian, 33;
Evangelican, 26; Hebrew, 5; Lutheran, 589; Methodist, 199; Moravian,
3; None, 354; Presbyterian, 203; Reformed, 14; Salvation Army, 1;
Seventh Day Adventists, 6; United Brethren, 3.
Out of a total of 2,403 of the patients admitted, 2,373 were from
Wisconsin, the others coming from 12 different states ranging from
Pennsylvania to New Mexico.
The number of deaths was 110; autopsies, 33. Of the in-patients
1,136 were male and 1,264 female.
Another important institution of Marshfield is the Marshfield
Clinic, which was organized in October, 1916, with Drs. K. W. Doege,
H. H. Milbee, V. A. Mason, R. P. Potter, William Hipke and W. G.
Sexton as members. It was incorporated under the laws of the state
of Wisconsin and started business on Jan. 1, 1917. Since the date of
organization Drs. K. H. Doege, H. A. Vedder and J. B. Vedder have
become members of the corporation. Drs. F. E. Turgasen and Lyman A.
Copps have been with the Clinic for three years but are not members
of the corporation. The general plan of organization was to furnish
a means of accurate diagnosis and by having the doctors in one group
allowing each man to specialize in separate fields, thus becoming
more efficient in his special line, and all, occupying the same
offices, being able to have frequent consultations on any case that
demanded it. The arrangement is as follows: Drs. K. W. Doege, V. A.
Mason and H. A. Vedder, doing general surgery; Dr. K. W. Doege doing
mainly stomach and goitre work, Dr. V. A. Mason mainly brain and
bone surgery, and Dr. H. A. Vedder mainly gynecological work; Dr.
Wm. Hipke and Dr. Lyman A. Copps doing eye, ear, nose and throat
work; Drs. H. H. Milbee and F. E. Turgasen specializing in internal
medicine and Dr. J. B. Vedder in pediatrics and obstetrics; Dr. R.
P. Potter in X-Ray and Dr. K. H. Doege in internal medicine and
radium, and Dr. W. G. Sexton in urology. The office is equipped with
an operating room for minor surgical operations and accident work,
no patients being treated therein for any but minor ailments, none
in fact who cannot return immediately to their homes.
The office of the Clinic comprises the second floor of two
buildings, one being 150 by 44 feet and the other 60 by 22 feet, the
two buildings being connected by a corridor. There are 35 rooms in
all, divided into individual offices and examining rooms, X-Ray
laboratory, dressing room, chemical laboratory, electro-theropeutic
room, library, general offices, and reception room. The space was
rented and entirely remodeled at the expense of the Clinic to suit
its needs. During the year 1921, 20,566 patients were examined and
treated in the office. There are a manager and five girls employed
to handle the general office work, three graduate nurses are in
constant attendance, one laboratory technician and one X-Ray
technician. The Clinic is equipped with every sort of apparatus and
appliance for making an accurate diagnosis so that any type of case
may be handled
expeditiously. The bookkeeping is handled with a Burroughs posting
machine. The Marshfield Clinic was the first organization of its
type to be formed in this section, but since its organization
clinics have been formed all over the United States. Through the
close co-operation of the doctors, and with the extensive equipment,
patients are able to receive accurate diagnosis and practically
never have to go out of the city for medical advice. The present
officers of the institution are: Dr. K. W. Doege, F. A. C. S.,
president; Dr. H. H. Milbee, vice president; Dr. V. A. Mason,
secretary, and Dr. J. B. Vedder, treasurer.
History - War Work, Veteran's, Fraternal & Social Organizations
(1923) pages 211-219