Richard J Harney.

History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest online

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& Ritch, both editors of some experience. The
name was changed to Winnebago Connty Press ,
and, in 1871, it was again sold to Menasha
parties, and called The Menasha Press, and
edited by Thomas Reid, until 1877.

In 1871 or '72, Verbeck Brothers commenced
the publication of a small sheet, called the jV^^-
nah Times, which they enlarged and conducted
until February 6, 1876, when the materials
were purchased by Bowron & Maxwell, and a
new name. The leetotaller, adopted. This
lasted about eighteen months.

Upon the removal of the Winnebago County
Press to Menasha, in 1871 , a new paper was
started here by Charles H. Boynton, owner
and editor, and called The Neenah Gazette. In
April, 1874, G. A. Cunningham became asso-
ciated with Mr. Boynton, as owner and editor,
and in August, 1875, purchasing the interest
of Boynton, became sole proprietor, and thus
continued until May 25, 1878, when, on
account of failing health, he was compelled to
dispose of the paper and sold to H. L. Webster,
the present editor.

Mr. Cunningham died within a few days (less
than two weeks), after relinquishinghis editor-
ial labors.

After an interim of about five years, Mr.
J. N. Stone, having conducted a paper at
Appleton during that time, returned to Nee-




nah, and October 15, 1875, issued the first
number of a new paper, under the name of
Neenah News, and, upon the sale of the Nee-
nah Times, and change of name February 6,
1876, adopted the title Nccnah City Times,
under which it still continues to make its accus-
tomed rounds, and with the Gazette is all that
remains to this place of the forgoing list.

In the early part of the year 1879, Frank S.
Verbeck removed his printing office from Win-
neconne to Neenah, and started the Neenah
Herald, which he still publishes, making three
newspapers in Neenah.


In the summer of 1878, the Neenah and
Menasha Gas Company, J. D. Fatten, Thomas
and Henry Higgins, proprietors, commenced
the construction of gas works, and on the
twenty-fifth of December of that year the city
was lighted. As this was the anniversary of
the opening of the Schuetzen Hall, the events
were celebrated by a grand illumination of the
hall, and befitting festivities.

In 1879, another flouring mill was erected,
being that of Wolf, Walker & Co., on the site
of the Sherry saw mill.

Another improvement of the present year, is
the enlargement of Patten's paper mill.

The mill-race is also being enlarged and
deepened at a cost of about seven thousand

An event that will resound to the lasting
credit of Neenah is the building of the fine
High School building, now in course of con-
struction — a structure which will rank with
the finest common school edifices in the State.
See view of same in this work.

Neenah is now making a substantial growth
in business and population, while prosperity,
business activity and progress is visible on
every hand.




Description of Neenah — .Scenery, Location aud Historical
Associations — Summer Resort — Water and Railroad Com
munications — Manufactories — Business Houses — Illus-
trations and Personal Notices.

^^^^NE of the most charming localities in
■mK the West is the outlet of Lake Winne-
^^^^ bago, which, in addition to its pic-

fturesque scenery, can claim the most
interesting historic associations, with
the very earliest events in the civilized
occupancy of the continent. At this point,

over two hundred years ago, was made the
first treaty with the Indians of the West, and
that, at so early a date, that the English set-
tlers on the sea coast had not penetrated the
interior beyond the ranges of the Alle-
ghanies. Here Nicollet met the Winnebagoes
and other tribes in council, in the year 1634 —
nearly a hundred and fifty years before the
American Revolution. Through this outlet
Marquette and Joliet paddled their canoe in
their famous voyage in 1673, which resulted
in the discovery of the Upper Mississippi; and
here, on the banks of the Little Buttes des-
Morts, was fought the decisive battle between
the French and the Foxes and Sauks — one
of the most sanguinary encounters in Indian
warfare, and which resulted in the expulsion of
those tribes from the Fo.x valley and the occu-
pancy of this tract by the Menominees.*

The head of the outlet is divided into two
channels by Doty's Island, which is something
over a square mile in extent. This Island
and the shores of the mainland rise in a
gentle elevation, and were originally covered
with a luxuriant growth of native trees, includ-
ing oak, maple, elm, linden and hickory. A
large portion of those have been preserved and
the leafy verdure of grand oaks and elms on
the shores of the lake and river form a charm-
ing contrast with the sparkling waters of Lake
Winnebago. The view of this outlet expand-
ing into the broad open lake, with its hand-
some wooded points, and the distant shores of
Calumet is lovely beyond the power of

On the mainland and Island is situated the
City of Neenah, with a population of about
four thousand.

Its main business street presents a very
handsome appearance, and is largely built up
with fine substantial brick structures, as the
view of the same in this work exhibits. Its
larger mercantile establishments do a heavy
business and carry large stocks of goods.

The residence streets are very handsome,
and there are a large number of elegant resi-
dences, with tastcfull)-laid-out grounds. One
of the attractive features of the place is the
original forest trees, embowering the houses
and grounds in luxuriant foliage. Shade and
ornamental trees have been largely planted
to give additional adornment, and it is rare
that a place can be found with so large a pro-
portion of palatial residences and which give

*NoTE — See Pages 10 and II of " Early History of the
Northwest, " in this work, for Nicollet's voyage to the Win-
nebago Country. Pages 32, ^:^, etc., for Discovery of the
Mississippi. Page 48, for the Fo.x River Country, and Page
53, for the Battle of Little Buttes des Morts.




evidence of the wealth and taste of their occu-


River Side Park, a view of which will be
found in this work, is one of the loveliest spots
in the West, and affords a delightful retreat in
the summer months. This locality is now
one of the most popular summer resorts, and
attracts many visitors from abroad. The lake
affords the finest yachting facilities and good
fishing. The air is salubrious and exhilirating,
and the adjoining country, and especially the
lake shore, furnish most delightful carriage

John Robert's summer resort on the Island,
the old home of Governor Doty, is famous as
one of the most popular watering-places, and is
well patronized.

The Russell House, a fine commodious
structure, and one of the best kept hotels in
the country, affords comforts and conveniences
to satisfy the most fastidious guests. Views
of both these places will be found in this


The situation of the place on the line of
water communication, so fully described in
these pages, gives it steamboat communication
with Lake Michigan to the East, and with the
tributary waters of Lake Winnebago, in west-
ern and northern directions. Its railroad and
shipping facilities are unexcelled, through the
medium of the Chicago and Northwestern and
Wisconsin Central.


The crowning glory of Neenah is its fine
water power, with Lake Winnebago for an
exhaustless reservoir and feeder. There are
no freshets, the flow of water being gradual
and regular, and its volume so large that no
formation of ice ever interrupts the working of
its machinery.

This city is now one of the chief manufac-
turing centers of the State; its river shore is
one continuous line of mammoth manufactor-
ies, and its manufactures of flour and paper
are industries of immense magnitude, as the
following list of mills and statistics of manu-
factures will show.


There are seven flouring mills. The names
of the firms are as follows:

Krueger & Davis, Smith & Proctor, D. L.
Kimberly, J. A. Kimberly & Co., Clement &
Stevens, C. W. Howard, Wolf, Walker & Co.
These seven mills manufacture on an average
per day, an aggregate of 1,425 barrels of flour.

Their actual yearly manufacture reaches the
immense amount of 427,500 barrels, with an
average value of six dollars per barrel —
amounting to the sum of $2,565,000. At the
present prices, the yearly product of the
Neenah flouring mills would aggregate over
three million of dollars.

These mills are chiefly large, substantial
structures with all the modern improvements
in flouring mill machinery, to which within
the last two years, has been added the new
patent machinery for the manufacture of
patent flour. Patent flour now constitutes
about eighty per cent, of their product.

In connection with the mills, are a number
of large cooper shops, in which are employed
about 150 hands, and with the product of the
barrel factory, turning out about 1,500 barrels
per day — in itself an industry of large propor-
tions. About ninety hands are employed in
the flouring mills, which with the number
engaged in cooperage, make about 240 hands
in connection with that industry.

Another branch of vast importance is the
manufacture of paper. There are four large
paper mills, viz: The Winnebago Paper Mills,
(a stock company); A. W. Patten's mill, the
Globe Mill and the Neenah Mills. These
employ some fifty hands each, making two
hundred in all, and produce in the aggregate,
twenty-two thousand pounds of print and
book paper per day, amounting to 6,600,000
pounds per year, and aggregating a value of
$495,000. The receipts of paper rags per day
are over twenty tons.

There are two foundries, those of Wm.
Aylward and Bergstrom Bros. & Co.'s Stove
Works; the latter an extensive concern, em-
ploying about twenty moulders, and about
fifty hands in all.

Of Theodore Brown, is another large establish-
ment, turning out twenty thousand dressed
staves per day, and employing forty-five
hands. He also employs about twenty hands
in making flour barrels.

E. F. Weickert, J. A. Sanford. The aggre-
gate yearly value of the manufactures of these
two factories, is about $20,000.

Among the miscellaneous branches of
manufacture are the machine shop of John-




son & Jamison, omnibus factory of G. Olds,
. Adam Ergot's Brewery, two brick yards and
the various mechanic shops.


Banks — One bank of issue, the National
bank of Neenah.

Dry Goods — The number of dry goods
' houses is eight. Some of these deal exclusively
in dry goods and others in mixed merchan-
dise, and several of them are spacious, well
stocked establishments, doing a very large

Drugs — There are four drug stores and
some of them are elegantly fitted up.

Hardtvarc — Four hardware stores, large
concerns, and well stocked.

Clothing — There are three clothing stores,
some of them in connection with merchant

Boots and Shoes — Two boot and shoe stores
well stocked.

Groceries — There are fifteen grocery stores,
several of them fine establishments with large
stocks and doing a good business.

Jewelry — Two stores in this branch.

Musical Merchandise — One music store.

Stationery and Books — One stationery

Agricultural Implements — Two houses
doing business in this line.

Furniture — Three furniture warerooms,
carrying fine stocks.

Flour and Feed — Two stores.

Harness and Saddlery Hardivarc — Four in
this line of business.

Wholesale Liquor Store — One establish-

There are in addition to the above, the pro-
portionate number of millinery, confection-
eries, tobacconists, bakers, meat markets, etc.

For agents, professional men and names of
all business and manufacturing firms, see
classified business directory of Neenah in last


On another page will be found a view of
the fine residence of Hon. A. H. F. Kruegcr.
Mr. Krueger emigrated from Crivitz, Mecklen-
burgh-Schwerin, to the State of New York in
1848, and resided there until the fall of 1850,
when he moved to the town of Clayton, in
this county, where he settled on a tract of new
land, which he cleared and converted into a
fine farm, and on which he resided eighteen
years. In the fall of 1868, he moved to Nee-
nah, and in partnership with Mr. Stridde
erected the Island City Flouring Mill, and has
since that time been cngaijed in the millinsj

business. The product of his mill averages
two hundred barrels of flour per day.

Mr. Krueger is regarded as one of the most
prominent and public-spirited citizens of Nee-
nah, and among the foremost in promoting
public enterprises. He has served in several
public capacities; first, as a school commis-
sioner, which position he held for nine years;
next, as one of the village trustees, then as
alderman, under the city organization, during
the years 1874 and 1875. In 1876, he was
elected Mayor of the city, and again elected
Mayor in 1878, and is now the nominee of his
party for Member of Assembly.

He was chiefly instrumental in securing the
erection of the Schuetzen Hall, which gives
Neenah a fine and capacious hall for public
entertainments. He was also one of the most
zealous and persistent of those who advocated
the construction of the New High School build-
ing, which is a credit to the city. Mr. Krue-
ger is also noted for his generous benefactions
to the poor and unfortunate, and for his readi-
ness to aid all who merit assistance.

It is such men who leave enduring monu-
ments of their existence, and who, when they
have passed away from the scenes of their
earthly labors, linger in thememory as a pleas-
ant recollection.

Mention has already been made of the Rus-
sell House, which is illustrated in this work.
Mr. J. B. Russell, the enterprising proprietor,
came from St. Lawrence County, New York,
his native place, to the town of Clayton, in
this county, in the spring of 1851, where he set-
tled on a new farm, which he improved and on
which he lived till 1868, when he moved to the
village of Neenah, where he has since resided.

In Neenah he first engaged in the mercan-
tile business, which he followed for si.x years.
At the end of that time he purchased the Dol-
sen House, a brick hotel on the present site of
the Russell House, which he had taken down
brick by brick, and in 1875, built the present
elegant hotel, the Russell House. Mr. Russell
is one of Neenah 's most enterprising citizens,
and a very popular landlord. He has fre-
quently served in capacities of public trust,
and is now City Superintendent of Schools,
and the nominee of his partj- for Member of

Among the illustrations in this work is that
of John Roberts' Summer Resort. This delight-
ful place has been mentioned in the general
description of Neenah. It is the Governor
Doty place, which Mr. Roberts purchased, and
on which he erected, in 1877, the present fine
hotel. It is now one of tJie most popular
resorts in the country. The facilities for boat-

'7 ■







ing and fishing are unexcelled, and the delight-
ful surroundings afford the greatest attraction
for the summer tourist.

Mr. Roberts has represented his Ward in
the County Board of Supervisors to the full-
est satisfaction of his constituents, and is now
serving his third term as alderman.

Among the early settlers of this county is
Doctor I. H. Wright, now of the City of Nee-
nah. Doctor Wright moved from Ohio to
Oshkosh, in August, 1847. There was at the
time no passable road from Fond du Lac to
Oshkosh, and he came from the former to the
latter place in a row-boat. Shortly after his
arrival in Oshkosh, he commenced the prac-
tice of his profession, which he followed for
over twenty-five years in that place, and then
went on a tour through the southwest, passing
about two years in traveling and sojourning
in that section, and during which time he
opened up a farm near Salina, Kansas. He
traveled extensively in Texas, Arkansas,
Missouri, Kansas, and otherscctions, but found
no locality so attractive and desirable as a
place of residence, as his much-loved Wiscon-
sin, and he returned to his old home with an
enlarged appreciation of its delightful and
healthful climate, its picturesque scenery and
material advantages.

His family having resided in Oshkosh dur-
ing his travels, he remained in that place about
a year after his return, and in 1875 removed
to Neenah, where he he has since resided, fol-
lowing the practice of his profession. There
are few men more widely known in this county
than Doctor Wright, who is highly esteemed
by a host of friends who have known him for
jnore than a quarter of a century.


[compiled for this work by WM. WEBSTER.]


Early History — Physical Description — Organization — Early
Settlers — First Births, Marriages, Etc.

HE Town of Neenah, organized Febru-
ary II, 1847, by an act of the territor-
ial legislature, embraced Township
Twenty (20), Ranges Sixteen and Sev-
enteen (i6 and 17), and the north
half ofTownship Nineteen (19), Ranges
Sixteen and Seventeen (16 and 17). In 1849,
it was reduced by the setting off and organiza-

tion of the towns of Vinland and Clayton; and
in 1855, the Town of Menasha was taken from
her limits; so, that at the present time, the
Town of Neenah comprises about seventeen
sections and a half, of which eleven sections
are in Township Twenty (20), north, Range
Seventeen (17), east, and nearly six and a half
sections in Township Nineteen (19), Range
Seventeen (17).

It is bounded on the north by Menasha,
east by Lake Winnebago, south by Vinland,
and west by Clayton. Originally covered by
a heavy growth of hardwood timber, along the
easternand southern portion, consisting of oak,
hard maple, ironwood, hickory, elm, bass-
wood, ash and butternut, with oak openings
in the northwest.

It is now largely under a good state of cul-
tivation, with a rich vegetable soil, overlying
a deep subsoil of clay, producing fine crops of
wheat, rye, oats, barley and hops; is well
adapted to grazing and most kinds of fruit are
successfully raised.

Watered 0^ the lake and river on the north
and east, a good supply of water is obtained
at a depth often to twenty feet below the sur-

Limestone is readily obtained along the lake
shore in the eastern portion of the town, and a
good quality of clay for brick-making on the
shore of Lake Buttes des Morts, which is being
utilized to a considerable e.xtent.

The surface, well elevated above the water
courses, is sufficiently rolling to afford good
and inexpensive drainage and a pleasing variety
to the eye.

The land lying south of the south channel of
Fox River was first obtained from the Menom-
onee Indians, by treaty at Cedar Rapids, Sep-
tember, 1836, ratified by Congress and pro-
claimed February 15, 1837, and surveyed by
Gerret Vliet, under the directionof A. G. Ellis,
Surveyor-General, in 1839. October 2, 1843,
it was offered for sale at the United States Land
Office, Green Bay (except the reservation at
Winnebago Rapids), the offer remaining open
until October 14, when it was withdrawn (such
as was not sold).

The reservation comprised so much of the
following sections as was lying west and south
of Lake Buttes des Morts and the south chan-
nel, to-wit: sections 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 21, 22,
26, 27, 34 and 35.

The lands offered for sale October 2, 1843,
as already mentioned, were again offered, sub-
ject to private entry, on the twelfth day of
January, 1846.

In the meantime a portion of the reserva-
tion had been sold to Harrison Reed, which




sale was fully consummated in July, 1846, (see
City of Neenah.)

This sale included all south of the lake in
Sections 21 and 22, north half of Section 16,
the north fraction of Section 26, and all of
Section 27, except the south half of the south-
west quarter, and the south half of the south-
east quarter.

The remainder of the reservation was subject
to private entry, on or after December 28,

As already stated the town was organized
by the Legislature in 1847, and the first elec-
tion was held at the mill house of L. H . Jones,
April 6, 1847.

Cornelius Northrup was chosen chairman
and Harrison Reed, secretary. After some
preliminary business, the proceedings were
certified to by Northrup, chairman, and D. M.
Montgomery, town clerk.

The polls were then opened for the election
of town officers, and sixty-five votes were cast,
resulting in the election of James D. Doty,
chairman; James Ladd andSalemHT. Holbrook,
supervisors; D. M. Montgomery, town clerk;
Ferine Yale, treasurer; Henry M. Filley, Cor-
nelius Northrup and L. H Jones, Assessors;
L. B. Brian, collector; Milton Huxley, Eras-
tus Seymour and John T. Sanborn, school
commissioners, Lucius A. Donaldson, Samuel
Mitchell and Alfred Hubbard, Justices of the

At a special election held at the house of
James Ladd, in the Town of Neenah, Septem-
ber 18, 1847, the following town officers were
elected, Cornelius Northrup, chairman, and
H. C. Finch, supervisor.

Although no record seems to exist showing
cause for this election, it is probable that
James D. Doty and Salem T. Holbrook neg-
lected to qualify; and Northrup and Finch
were elected to fill the vacancies.

At a meeting of the supervisors September
30, 1847, it appearing that there is a vacancy
in the office of town clerk, by the removal of
Montgomery from the town, Herbert Reed
was appointed to fill the vacancy.

At this meeting the town was divided into
five school districts. The same number of road
districts having been established at the organic

October 6, 1847, Herbert Reed resigned the
office of town clerk.

November 29, 1847, Lucius A. Donaldson
seems to have acted in the capacity of town
clerk, and continued to do so, although no
record is found to show by what authority.

The first white family making a permanent
settlement within the present limits of the

town was that of George H. Mansur, in June,
1844. (For a complete history of his advent see
City of Neenah.)

Mr. Mansur's family seems to have been the
only population within the present limits, until
1846, when G. P. Vining, George Harlow
(both without families), Ira Baird, Stephen
Hartwell and Salem T. Holbrook, selected
farms and moved on to them. From this time
the growth of population was rapid and very
largely composed of young, industrious and
energetic men from the Eastern States.

Many of these early settlers we have noticed
in the early days of the city, and unable to
ascertain the date of their settlement in the
surrounding country, can only say, that, while
numbers eventually moved out, others remained
until they suddenly found themselves within
the limits of a city.

In 1847, a building was erected for a store,
on the south east quarter of Section 20, near
the present residence of Mr. William Tipler;
but after a year's experience the enterprise
was abandoned, and, in 1848, a school was
opened in the same building — the first public
school within the limits of the town, and was
taught by Miss Caroline Boynton, that year
and 1849.

Miss Boynton soon after became the wife of
Deacon Samuel Mitchell, of whom mention is
made in the sketch of the city, as a pioneer,
in 1846.

The first birth in the town was that of
Greenville K., son of George H. and Mary
Mansur, August 3, 1845. The first female
child born here was Helen, daughter of Asahel
Jenkins, in June, 1848. The first death
occurred in December, 1849, that of Mrs. H.

The first post-ofl[ice was established March
14, 1844, being long prior to any town or vil-
village organization. Harrison Reed was
appointed postmaster, and Simon Quatermass,
now residing in Vinland, was the first mail car-

Mr. Reed held the office until April i, 1847,
when he was succeeded by John F. Johnston,

Online LibraryRichard J HarneyHistory of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest → online text (page 44 of 71)