A brief History of the Village of Bevent.

Bevent - this is a very brief history of Bevent which I wrote at the request of an inhabitant of the village.  Unfortunately, there is very little information about it, but I did the best I could.  The History is reproduced here.


A small history of the village of Bevent

The original township in which Bevent is located was the town of Pike Lake. It was created December 30, 1886, township 26, range 10 and the extreme southeast portion of Marathon County. In 1913, its territory consisted on townships 26 and 27, range 9 east. This township of Pike Lake was divided into the town of Bevent and the town of Reid, and the village of Bevent is located in both townships.

Residents of Stevens Point settled the town of Pike Lake, and the population was nearly all Polish, with a small number of Bohemians and Germans. J. Milanowski and Gustave Baranowski were the first settlers of the township, in which was located the small village of Bevent.

The post office was established April 27, 1891 with Martin Cychosz as postmaster. It was discontinued December 15, 1910 when mail service came from Hatley. At this time it was in SE1/4 of Section34, T27N R9E in the Township of Reid.

For a long time there was no road to Wausau, the county seat. Travelers had to come by way of Stevens Point. After two good highways were built, Bevent was connected by way of the so-called Waupaca road, and the also by way of the village of Hatley. The village even elephone lines from the Elderon Telephone Company.

The soil was excellently adapted for growing potatoes and corn. The railroad took the produce to market. The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad tracks ran through the townships from Eland Junction to Rosholt in Portage County.

The township's first representative on the Marathon County board was August Marks. He was the board chairman.

Bevent had a Catholic church, St. Ladislaus Church, which served as a meeting place for the inhabitants. The original church and the parsonage were built about 1883, and a new building was erected in 1896 at a cost of $15,000. In 1913, the rector was Rev. Ignatius Latorski. Membership was about 200 families at this time.

Bevent also had two stores selling general merchandise. One store was run by Roman Woijtaski, and the other by Peter Knippel. There was also a creamery, which was operated by farmers as a cooperative. Joseph Cherek owned a blacksmith shop and J. Wanta operated a portable sawmill. There were seven school districts in the town of Pike Lake, with "many modern up-to-date schoolhouses". This again was in 1913.

Currently, Bevent boasts Bob's Catering, operated by Bob, Country Fresh Meats, operated by Lenny Beyer, Carmen's Hair Salon, John's Custom Concrete, Jim's Trucking Company, Wanta Bros. Construction, The Bevent Store, operated by Diane Ziolkowski, two taverns and about five farms. People who live here like the small town living away from large cities, the friendly and caring people, the good land, lakes and the recreation. Population at this time was about 130.

In 1978, the original home of St. Ladislaus Catholic Church was razed. The frame structure had been moved to Bevent's main street around 1896 when the new church was built. It was used as a parochial school until 1914 and later housed Cherek Brothers Grocery. Andy Beine then operated the grocery business since 1968. He recently built a new store to the right of the old building and it was torn down.

Written by Shelley Green, December 1999.


Marathon County Post Offices by William Grosnick, member Wisconsin Postal History Society

The History of Marathon County and Representative Citizens by Judge Louis Marchetti published 1913. Pages 146, 567, 570

2-page pamphlet about Bevent, not dated.

Wausau Daily Herald article, dated Thursday, May 4, 1978.


I received an e-mail from Betty who sent me more information about Bevent.  

First I will reproduce her e-mail.

Subj: marathon county archives

Date: 2/16/01 2:03:09 PM Central Standard Time

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected] ('[email protected]')

Hi Shelley,

Read the article about Bevent for the first time this week. It's very well

put together. There was another article about Bevent written by the

Milanowski's in 1954, believe it was in the Wausau Daily Record Herald, I

had gotten it from my Aunt Clara for my genology, I'm sure as long as it was

in the newspaper it would be all right to quote and add to the Bevent


This is about the Town of Bevent, Marathon County, Wisconsin and the grocery


My mother and father had bought the Grocery store from the Cherek's in 1957

and in 1968 sold it to Andy Beine.

Their name is Charles and Elsie Falkowski. Charles died in 1993 and Elsie is

living with her daughter, Carol in Mosinee. The store was the old building

before it was torn down. It was remarkable build with the old timbers in one

part of the store basement. The store was a general merchandise store for

the area. My father made gondola's for the store, as when we bought the

store, you had to go to the counter to purchase items. I know as I was one

of the clerks running back and forth having to satisfy the customer. After

the gondola's were built you could take a basket (4-wheel) and put your

purchases in it, then come up to the register and pay for it. The living

quarters were in back of the store. At the time the store was purchased by

my father, they had the outdoor toilets, he build a a regular bathroom

between the store and the living quarters.

Once lived in Bevent, Wisconsin

Betty Bilicki from Georgia

This is some [history of Clara (nee Milanowski) (who married Clarence Kleman in 1942 he died 1962 and Clara Married Ray Zillman)1966) Clara lives in Pike Lake, Wisconsin. ] from the early days taken from an article in a newspaper, which I will type word for word . It starts off by a picture and names of Mr. and Mrs. Anton Milanowski.

The head line reads "Pike Lake Lonely 44 years Ago; Two Lads Toddle Away"

Mr. and Mrs. Anton Milanowski, Oldest Residents, Tell of Indian Days. Early Home Remains

First Farmer to Travel With a Team From Polonia; Others Made Trip Afoot

It was too lonesome and there were too many Indians at Pike Lake forty-four years ago for Joe Milanowski and his son, Thomas. As a result they traded locations with their son and brother, Anton, who had lived at Polonia since 1864. When Mr. and Mrs. Anton Milanowski came to Pike Lake, Gustav Barnowski, Michael Zillman and Simon Rogalla, all of whom are now deceased, lived there, and there was no school and no church. In fact, it was so lonesome at Pike Lake, that their two young sons, John and Theodore, decided to go back to Polonia or Poland Corners as they had known it. They started afoot down the trail which has since become the Stevens Point Road. Their tracks were followed by their parents and the latter overtook them a mile south of their new home.

Indians were numerous but the Indians seldom became trouble-some. They were camped on the east side of Pike Lake where they caught fish and muskrats and held their tribal dances, which lasted for three day intervals.

Mr. and Mrs. Milanowski were born in eastern Germany and Mr. Milanowski came to Wisconsin in 1861. He worked on a farm near Eureka and Berlin for three years, and then came to Polonia. He ran the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers two or three seasons, starting from Steven's Point and Plover and going as far as New Orleans on several trips. Vividly, he recollects how he maneuvered with a paddle on these trips over the various rapids. At Polonia, where the second Polish Catholic congregation in the United States was organized, he was married in the church to Miss Mary Lackowlcz. This was sixty-five years ago.

His father purchased an eighty acre tract of land for him near Polonia, and he and his wife cleared nearly fifteen acres, when he conceded to his brother's wish that he should locate at Pike Lake, where his father and brother had negotiated for a 160-acre farm with the late J.C. Smith of Wausau. The price was $100 per forty and Mr. Milanowski completed the negotiations. His father and brother has cleared approximately twenty acres, and he and Mrs. Milanowski gradually increased the clearing which now extends over 120 acres. The land was covered with maple, oak, and pine. There was a market for the pine but the oak and maple were burned.

There was no Village of Hatley, St. Ladislaus congregation at Bevent did not then exist, and they were obliged to travel by logging trail to Polonia to attend church. Mr. Milanowski had been the first farmer to trail with a team from Polonia. Other residents of the Pike Lake region had made the trips afoot.

One of the early Indians was John Soldier. The Indians made frequent visits to the farm houses for milk and meat. There were many deer, also a great many wild geese and ducks. Pike Lake was full of fish and the residents of Plainfield frequently came to Pike Lake for pickerel.

Mr. Milanowski served Pike Lake as postmaster, the post-office being located in his home. Mail was brought from Hatley. The old home is still partly intact, but has been considerably enlarged. He also served his school district as treasurer. He was eight-five years of age on January 10, and is the oldest resident in the Bevent area. Mrs. Milanowski is seventy-seven years of age. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Lackowicz, came to Wisconsin from Germany approximately the same as did Mr. Milanowski's parents.

Nine of their ten children are living,

Mrs. Dora Koskey, town of Reid,

John Milanowski of the town of Elderon,

Theodore of the town of Reid

Mrs. Frank Easker if the town of Norrie,

Mrs. Roman Budnik of the town of Reid,

Michael Milanowski, 706 Lincoln Avenue, Wausau,

Sylvan and Phillip of the town of Reid,

and Mrs. John Lapinski of Bowler.

There are forty-two grand-children and nineteen great grand-children. Mr. and Mrs. Milanowski are in comparatively excellent health but they have retired from farming since the World War. Their sons, Phillip and Sylvan, own the home farm which has been divided between them.

(Shown in a newspaper is the picture of Mary with the heading),

Pioneer Dies- Mrs. Mary Milanowski, town of Reid, who has 104 living descendants, died this morning at her home near Pike Lake. She and her late husband Anthony located there about 57 years ago.

Mrs. Mary Milanowski, 90, who is survived by 104 descendants and who was one of the earliest residents of the town of Reid, died at her home here this morning at 12:45 o'clock. Her husband Anthony, died nearly 10 years ago. Funeral services will be held Monday morning at 9 o'clock at St. Florian's Catholic church in Hatley. The Rev. S.S. Krakceziecki will officiate and burial will be in the church cemetery. (1954)

She was married at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Polonia, where she lived on a farm about eight years, after which she located on a farm near Pike Lake where Mrs. Milanowski has lived about 57 years. For many years she was a member of the Polonia Church, journeying by foot and by team over the primitive trails and roads to attend services.

Later when St. Ladislaus church was organized at Bevent, she affiliated with that congregation, but during recent years has been a member of St. Florian's church at Hatley, where funeral services will be held, with burial following at the parish cemetery.

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