|Antigo, Wisconsin Genealogy Gopher|
|City of Antigo and Langlade County, Wisconsin Genealogical Research Sources|
|Home > Antigo History|
(Newspaper Editors Note - Herewith is published an authentic history of the city of Antigo containing information heretofor not generally known. Mrs. Anna Morrissey, the author, is the daughter of the late Frank Deleglise, founder of Antigo. Herald readers are indebted to her for this valuable contribution.)
"The early history of Antigo is not enveloped in mystery. She did not just happen or "jes grow" as Topsy did, and as did so many of our cities along our Rivers and Great Lakes, the result of the necessities of trade or commerce without either forethought or plan.
The site of Antigo lying in Township 31, of Range 11 East in Oconto County was planned before its settlement and there are still living in our midst too many of its very earliest pioneers ready to give facts connected with its planning, settlement and development, as well as records and original data relating thereto in the office of the Deleglise Estate, as well as County records, to need myths and fairy tales to supply any deficiency. George Eckart, who was one of the first young men to take up homesteads in this vicinity is still living on his claim now inside the limits of the City of Antigo, who as Anna Sherriff, was the first teacher, and other members of the Sherriff family; Frank Byrne with his wife and family who settled on their land in the first year, 1878, and still reside on the old place some two miles out on the Neva road. Also many others and some of the members of Mr. Deleglise's family, all have distinct remembrances of that time not much more than 35 years ago when they first came here as the first settlers.
In the early 70's, this whole northern part of our state was one vast wilderness of magnificent forest stretching up to the state line and on up to Lake Superior, traversed by but the Indian.
In Wisconsin it was comprised principally of the counties of Lincoln and Oconto, which adjoined and they stretched north to the state line with their county seats respectively at Jenny, now Merrill, and Oconto on the Bay. Shawano and Marathon counties adjoined these on the south with their county seats at Shawano and Wausau respectively. These towns were in the midst of sparsely settled districts and were so to say, the outposts of civilization on the boarders of the vast tract of wilderness where the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers had their sources in the Eau Claire and Wolf Rivers.
The Wolf River, which drains the Eastern part of our county, was the means used by the Fox River Lumber Barons to transport the pine timber from that section of the county by "driving" the logs down the river to principally, Oshkosh, while the Eau Claire River, which drains the western part of the county was the means of transportation used by the Wisconsin River Lumberman when depleting the adjacent forest of its wealth of beautiful white pine, by driving the logs down to Wausau or to some further destination on the Wisconsin, even to the Mississippi: while even in Iowa mills were manufacturing the product of these "pineries."
After the rebellion, the government felt a necessity for means of communication and transportation between Green Bay and Lake Superior, and at great expense constructed a Military road through that stretch of primitive country. The road ran from Green Bay to the Wolf River following up the course of that river through Keshena Indian Reservation up through what is now the Eastern part of Langlade County, on up thru Crandon across the state line and up to it seems, Ontanagon on the Lake.
Lumbermen were quick to take advantage of the opening into the timber, as a means of conveying supplies to their men in the "Pineries" and trading posts sprung up along the road, the principal one being perhaps Shawano.
The conditions along the Eau Claire were similar, only here the road a wagon trail, was built and kept up by the lumbermen, principally the Wausau men and the Wasburn logging interests.
Along this route lived the following named Indian traders; some ten miles out from Wausau: Mr. Knowels with his family at what is now Knowelton, the last white family on the route; Holbrock, known as "Bill Dad," and then "Curly Joe," a curley-headed Frenchman; John Hogarty at what is now known as Hogarty P.O.; and then finally W.L. Ackley, who as far back as '65 had established his trading post at the forks of the Eau Claire where its east and west branches unite about four miles west of what is now Antigo. At the present time Antigo people call it Heineman's mill. A fine mill was built there perhaps 15 years ago, but was recently destroyed by fire. These traders were all married to dusky natives who proved admirable women and their doors were ever open to the weary traveler into and from these, then wilds. There, on the brow of the hill, overlooking the river, where now resides James Aird, one of Ackley's prominent farmers, stood trader Ackley's house and barn in the midst of a small clearing. Here he and his kind hospitable wife lived comfortable with their three children, when in the early 70's Antigo's founder, Francis A. Deleglise was prospecting and planning the colonizing and settlement of the beautiful country lying to the east of the river with a soil of unbounded possibilities for agriculture and a store house of wealth in its timber. He had, accompanied by one assistant and sometimes alone traversed the whole section of the country along the Military road and the Eau Claire River, being a surveyor, civil engineer and cruiser of Appleton, Wisconsin, who did much prospecting for the lumbermen interested along these routes as well as in his own interests.
He was a man of the people, of benevolent and kindly disposition always looking for the greatest good to the greatest number, a thinking man of character and integrity, possessing a great love of nature.
The point on the bank of Spring Brook where Superior street intersects Fifth Ave. of our city, suggested in self to his mind as the central point of the town he would plan as the center of trade for the surrounding agricultural districts, a veritable poor man's agricultural paradise.
His enthusiastic plans were laughed and scoffed at by his friends and business associates and dubbed by them "Deleglise's Dream." But he know his country and had faith in it and continued on with his "dreams" and plans, contracting and buying State and Government lands for himself and for others who had faith in him and entrusted him with funds for such investment.
He had contracted or bought up most of the land which is in and adjoins our present city when in 1876 he persuaded his son-in-law, John Doersch, and George Eckart, a distant relative of Mrs. Deleglise, to take kup two fine homesteads of 160 acres each lying west of and adjoining this site and facing on what is now west Fifth Avenue and within the city limits. These two young men set right out to work to make for themselves homes. With the assistance of Mr. Deleglise and his assistant, Mr. Soloman Favinger, a passable wagon road was cleared from the "Tote" road at Ackley's to their claims and by winter they had made sufficient headway with their camp to enable Mr. Doersch to bring up his young wife, a girl of barely 20 years; she was the eldest child of Mr. Deleglise and with them he made his headquarters until the arrival of his family a year and a half later.
When Mr. Doersch returned with his wife, it was still some four weeks time before the camp could be made sufficiently comfortable for her. She remained at Ackley's during this time where Mrs. Ackley, a neat housekeeper initiated her into the housewifely arts of pioneer life and of the wigwam.
Mr. Deleglise spent as much of the years of '76 and '77 up here as he possibly could, platting, planning, opening up roads, locating homsteads and lands for prospective settlers and by the fall of '77 H.E. Baker and a Mr. Slevens, both of Appleton were settled with their little families on the lands now known as the "Baxter" place. Alex McMillan, a single man had settled on his land, now on McMillan Avenue, Frank Byrne with his family and Domonic Golden with his mother and sister were settle on lands near Bakers'.
Mr. Deleglise had great respect and admiration for the industry and thrift of the German farmers and his hobby was to bring up here a German colony. In the fall of '77 he started out from Appleton with a party of thirty colonists, mostly Germans, with two horse teams, provisions etc. Mr. Deleglise with some of them came by railroad to Wausau, bringing with him his little daughter, Anna Virginia, to be company for Mrs. Doersch through the winter.
It was rather late in the fall, already November; the weather was unpleasant and the roads very bad. The first day out from Wausau they took dinner at Knowles, spent the night at "Curley Joe's," camping out one night when it snowed, covering the sleepers with its white blanket; then one night was passed at Hogarty's, another camping out near one of Wasburn's camps; and finally reaching Doersch's after a five-day's journey from Wausau over those trails.
Mike Weix, Sr., and his two sons Lawrence and Joseph, Robert Sherriff and son Joseph, the McGahn boys and Thos. Hafner of the party had already homesteaded and came serenely on but of all the belligerent followers of a leader, that bunch of sturdy Germans could win the prize for profanity and abusive censure, luckily confined to the most part to their language with which Mr. Deleglise was not familiar.
That journey and the prospect of living in such a wilderness was too much for those well-fed Germans. They went back the next day, all but the Weix's. Weix and Sherriff had their teams and they set right to work with their sons clearing sites to build log dwellings on the lands of their choice. Mr. Weix had bargained for and contracted the forty which is now Weix Addition of our city, while Mr. Sherriff located on the place straight east of Fifth Ave. at the foot of the first hill on the left of the road, later purchased by Mr. Von De Schoeppe.
As each cabin of logs with "scoop" roof was being built the settlers would lend a helping hand at that in which he was most skillful. By spring Mr. Deleglise also had the temporary shanty for his family almost ready.
The family arrived in early March with the necessary household effects having made the journey with teams. Soon after came also the families of Mr. Weix and then of Mr. Sherriff. There are many interesting incidents connected with these journeys and one of real concern to Deleglises' was the breaking beyond hop of repair at the very journey's end, of the cook stove which had been safely brought all those difficult miles. But the Weixs' had brought up two stoves and consented to part with one. Those stoves were all of the ??? with ? ovens. ??? Goodwin farm, and brought up his numerous family; one of his younger children now Mrs. Case, still reside here.
The Deleglise family was the only family within the limits of the original projected plat, for but only a limited space of time; even during that first summer came Neils Anderson, with his teamster, Chris. Hanson and his wife. Mrs. Hanson a proficient housekeeper kept house for Mr. Anderson, where travelers were hereafter entertained and Mr. Anderson started a store. Mr. Hanson made regular trips to Wausau for supplies and brought the mail for the settlers.
Mr. Deleglise did not expect the town to grow at once but planned to make a farm on the site with only a few blocks platted into lots ready for sale should opportunity offer. The first shanty he built was 18x24 feet, of logs, principally maple with scoop roof of basswood resting on a center pole of balsam and a floor of balsam poles rudely hewed down slightly with an axe. Between the logs wood chinking of any suitable strip, limb or chip, and all crevices were filled in with an abundance of moss gathered from off the trees. This moss, the smokers among the men, frequently found conveniently handy to supplement their failing tobacco supply. There was one small window on the east side and a door near the south end of the west side. The stove stood near the south end of the east side of the room and the north end of the room was the bedroom with a real bedstead and was partitioned off by the use of carpets as curtains to give the family a little privacy; the table stood near the window.
This is an outline of the requirements of our pioneer's early days. Sometimes a little more care was exercised in the construction; the poles were more carefully and smoothly hewn, and the doors and windows put in with greater neatness and more care used in the selection of the logs. When the bark of the logs was first peeled off, and then sometimes the logs also hewn, the dwelling became almost mansion-like in the eyes of these early pioneers. The first ones were not so prepared and constructed, but immediately after many of them were. One of the first of these ??? Novotny, the ??? trade and started up the first shoe shop making the shoes himself. This building was about on the site of the present Vivian Hotel and about the beginning of the year 1881 became the printing office of Mark Waite and George Radcliffer who were our first printers having started their printing office in the log addition which had been just added to the north side of the Deleglise dwelling, being intended for Mr. Deleglise's business office. Mr. Deleglise's first shanty was intended as a very temporary shelter only, it having been put up on what he intended for his barn site to be used as a cow barn, no attempt was made to build it with particular care.
The site where he planned to build his home in time, was on the corner where now stands Hessel's Hardware Store, but this first summer he erected with greater care and nicety the other part of the barn, which he planned for the horse stable and which he would make comfortable for a dwelling until he could erect the commodious dwelling he planned. But it resulted in being this family's permanent home for nearly 10 years.
Antigo grew all too rapidly to allow Mr. Deleglise's time for personal matters. There was surveying, platting, organizing, locating and buying and selling for him to do as well as much lobbying, during the sessions of the Legislature at Madison in the interests of the growing community. The Government land office was at Menasha, whither he had to make frequent journeys as well as to consult with his business associates.
When he should have the first settlement started he had expected to be able to settle down to farming and to let go his assistant, who wanted to settle in Nebraska. Instead he found himself hard pressed with business matters which left him time for nothing else. Instead of having to seek settlers they pushed in so rapidly that he could not take care of them. Likewise he had to contend with many petty interferences with his plans as well as to overcome obstacles which he considered vital to the success of his enterprise. As an instance of the first was the naming of the Post Office address. He had set his heart on calling his plat Antigo, but many of the settlers persisted in having their mail addressed to Springbrook (via Wausau) always which name he considered weak and disproved of. Indeed there grew up a considerable feud over the matter when finally it was decided by all consenting to abide by the decision of a ballot. Antigo proved to be the choice and really means very much - the same being the Chippewa Indian name for this stream and meaning Balsam or Evergreen River, from the quantity which grew along its mossy banks.
A much more serious matter was the attitude of the settlements which were springing up from the Wolf River region - now Langlade and Bryant, whose interests were antagonistic to those of the Springbrook settlement; both factions were residents of Oconto County with the polling place at Langlade. The story of the plotting and scheming necessary, particularly at election time when the vote of the lumberjacks on the Wolf River could be counted on to supplement the vote of the settlers there would be an interesting one. Mr. Lazelere could tell us much about the doings out at Langlade.
When the new county was being organized Antigo wanted to be the county seat so did Langlade, and it was war. But finally be a stratagem Antigo had its day at the polls. This settlement circulated the story, making sure of its reaching the ears of the Langlade people, that they had become discouraged and would not appear at the polls. The Langlade men were glad to hear it as they would not have to muster out their floating population of lumberjacks. Election day passed serenely enough until just before closing time when our men en masse appeared at the polling place demanding the right to deposit their ballots. They had taken provisions and traveled all night to reach a point in the woods near the polls where they quietly lay low all day and only appeared just before the hour of closing. But the Langlade people would not be outwitted quickly took advantage of the late of the hour to maneuver a delay by declaring they would exercise their right and challenge each and every vote. This would have prevented our men having a chance to cast their vote until after the ballot box would be closed. But the clerk, Mr. Motzfeldt would not tolerate such an interference, they know most of our men and Mr. Motzfeldt declared that if Mr. Deleglise said his men were all right, meaning eligible, he would take his word for it any time. They cast their ballots and Antigo was elected to the County Seat of the County of "New." Langlade would not work with Antigo, and in the scrimmage before the Legislature in the apportionment of the Counties, that body was in such doubt as to what they did want, what they were left out entirely and for a long time belonged to no county at all, but were known as "The Lost Nation."
In Mr. Deleglise's crowded one and two room house which was at the first store, stopping place and post office, as well as office, his notes, data and papers had to be kept as best he could. His business headquarters he made at Wausau where his second daughter Sophia E. often assisted him.
It was during that first summer of 1878 that Neils Anderson from the vicinity of Green Bay came kup to look over the settlement of which he had heard, and as he had had experience in storekeeping and an intelligent, energetic business man Mr.. Deleglise was glad to offer him inducements to locate and start a store here. Mr. Deleglise offered then and there to enter into an agreement to give Mr. Anderson the corner where now stands the Langlade National Bank and Rezek's store, if he would at once prepare to locate and start a general merchandise store and give lodging to travelers. As they stood out under the trees talking the matter over Mr. Deleglise picked up a large trim looking pine chip and making on it in pencil a short memoranda of the agreement, it was accepted and delivered, and Mr. Anderson made good the agreement by within a short time after bringing his effects and starting to build in good earnest. He became the first postmaster and until the advent of the railroad, in the summer or fall of 1881, his teamster, Chris. Hanson, made regular trips to and from Wausau with mail and surplus carrying travelers back and forth.
In December 1878 Louis and Joseph Novotny, mill-rights, from Manitowoc County, came up to look over the prospects here and agreed to erect and operate a saw mill and grist mill.
Mr. Deleglise agreed to let them have all of blocks 25 and 26 at five dollars a lot, and to reserve Arctic street between the two blocks for their private use and give them credit for the amount of the consideration if they would within a certain given time, locate here and carry out the agreement.
Joseph Novotny removed here with his family during the following summer and the two brothers set right to work to carry out the terms of their agreement. So well did they apply themselves to their task that by February of 1880 Louis had erected for himself the first frame building Antigo and brought his family here. The Novotny brothers were workers and the building and operating of the mill was a great stride forward for the advancement of the settlement. It gave the settlers a market for their timber and drew labor here furnishing employment to many who became permanent residents.
In 1882 Mr. Deleglise made a memoranda to the effect that the Novotny brothers had fulfilled all the terms of their agreement and were entitled to receive credit for the full amount of the consideration stipulated, and get their deed. He also gave them the right to build a dam with a seven-foot head and overflow any of his lands necessary for a pond to float their logs.
During the year of '79 or '80 our townsman Ed. Neff with his family located here and his blacksmith shop, located here and his blacksmith shop, later sold to Laughlin and Kelly, was the first one here and also the first building erected east of the brook. It was about this time that the Kennedys and Hafners brought up their families having located out in what is now the Town of Ackley and that the large family of Souman just emigrated from Germany came here and settled on lands in now the Town of Antigo. Also the Kaplaneks bought and settled on what is now Kaplanek's addition, and Henry Beemer with his big family of boys on the forty just beyond the fair grounds where the Neva road turns. Then too, the families of our James Quinn and a George Gowan after whom the diagonal stretch of road in the southwest end of our city is still called. Our County Clerk Anton Nowotny came here about this time with is mother, sister and brother.
The Milwaukee Lake Shore and Western Railroad was extending its line north through from New London to the iron and copper regions prospectively for Ontagongon and Mr. Deleglise strained his every energy and resource to induce them to take the course through the village. Could they not be persuaded to do so they must pass by near enough to divide the interests of the community and Antigo would always remain a village only. But they took the route thru Antigo and Mr. Deleglise gave them the right of way through the plat as well as through all lands in which he was interested using his influence to induce others to do the same. He also modified the plat to suit the new conditions and gave to the Railroad company every block along the right of way.
The railroad build through Antigo late in the year of 1881 and from that time on the village flourished until in the spring of 1884 it numbered 2000 inhabitants and was incorporated as a city the next years.
Our present townsman F.C. Fuller, as Clerk and B.F. Dorr as Surveyor, were of great assistance to Mr. Deleglise in these early times while the daughter, now Mrs. Sophie E. Leslie, was his reliable assistant in the very exacting work of drafting the original plat of the village of Antigo and its copy.
In the year of 1879 the town was far enough advanced and organized to hire a teacher and start a school. A very small log cabin had been erected by a young man named Jos. Krause who changed his mind and located on a homestead near what is now Kempster. This cabin stood on the site where now stands the French Sales Stable, and was rented and equipped for a school house. The equipment which sufficed for some sixteen pupils was simple enough. A teacher's desk, a few rude benches, each of which could accommodate perhaps six pupils: and some reversible blackboards having some fine maps on the reverse side, which were procured and donated by Mr. Deleglise.
Miss Anna Sheriff, now Mrs. Peter O'Connor, the first school teacher, proved efficient and capable and taught the school for several terms. Mr. Deleglise's daughter Sophia also taught there one term, but found it too trying to enforce discipline with so many of her own family among the pupils and would not undertake it a second time.
Miss Carrie Hermann, later Mrs. Charles Jaekel, who for a number of years was one of our leading teachers, taught when the attendance had outgrown the original school's capacity and school was being conducted in the building which afterwards was the busy F.A. Deleglise's real estate office and was located until recently on Superior street near the corner just north of Hessel's Hardware store. The lumber used in its construction was some of the very first lumber manufactured in Antigo by the Novotny's.
Before the new school, which was under construction could be finished the school attendance had again become larger than the temporary quarters could accommodate. The Spencer house, later the Hoo Hoo Hotel or the site of the present Hill building had just been finished and contained a large hall on the second floor. This hall was rented for temporary purposes and a Mr. Oakley hired to take charge. He was the first man to teach here and Miss Nellie Williams, now Mrs. Charles Leykom, was induced to assist him temporarily.
Mr. Oakley was in charge of the school building built on the corner which is now the site of the public Library. Miss Carrie Hermann and Mrs. Magie Hughs, a member of the pioneer Golden family, assisted Mrs. Oakley, and when on account of failing health he resigned, Mrs. Hughs was appointed to take his place and continued at the head of that school until in 1885 when Frank J. Finucane, our late Attorney Finucane, was put in charge with Elizabeth McGill of Appleton, Virginia Pierson of Oshkosh and Lizzie Borgman of Kewaunee as assistants, Mr. C.O. Marsh organized the High school in 1884 or 1885 and it was conducted in the building erected for that purpose on the site of the present second ward school.
Rev. Phillip St. Louis, a Catholic priest of Menasha, Wis., now a resident of Green Bay, was the first clergyman to visit the settlement and conduct divine services. It was Easter time the spring of 1880 and the services were conducted in the Deleglise house where Father St. Louis conducted them for the following two years on his bi-monthly visits. He also attended the mission at Phlox walking often at first from Clintonville and then from Aniwa he experienced many hardships during those 2 years in these difficult journeys. Later the Catholics conducted their services in the before mentioned office building of Mr. Deleglise and when they finally built their first little church it was consumed by fire before finished and then was erected on the same sight the present church building of St. John's congregation. In the meantime services had been conducted even in the court room of the old court house. Mr. E.P. Bridgman who had settled at Polar conducted services some times for those of the Protestant faith and later became an active worker in organizing the Congregational church while J.J. Simpon and our fellow townsman, N.S. Loche were active workers in organizing a Methodist congregation whose first pastor was Rev. Perry Miller, under whose supervision was built their first church which they later sold to St. Hyacinth's congregation.
Neils Anderson was the first to provide accommodations for travelers by arranging for sleeping apartments on the second floor of the second log building which he built for his store as early as he could arrange it in 1879. It was the first shingled building and the shingles were all hand made. In 1880 the father of Mark Waite of the "New County Republican," our weekly paper, located here and built the first hotel on the corner where is now the Krom store. It was built of lumber from the Novotny mill and was a very large building in the eyes of the townspeople. There in the holidays of 1880-1881 was given a dance, the first social affair of any pretension, with Thomas Hafner whose violin was always ready at any of the social gathering of the early pioneers, and the McLean boys of Norwood as its musicians. By this time the railroad was building at "Bear Lake," what is now Aniwa, and a crew from there swooped down on the Arcadian gathering pioneers and turned it into a Bedial. This hotel burned within a few months later, ignited by an accident with the lamps.
The first building of the Springbrook House, now the Market Square Hotel, still standing, was also erected about this time.
About the time the railroad came into Antigo Louis Mendlek and family of Manitowoc located here and started up a book and stationery store on the site of the late Citizen's Brewing Co., and L.D. Moses located here bringing with him a corps of clerks among whom were F.A. Millard and Irving Gray, both residing here at the present time and built a large general store on the corner of Superior street and Fifth avenue, which was the first business building built to face on Fifth Avenue, the street which would lead to the depot site. This store continued to be Antigo's leading store up until two years ago under the different managements of L.D. Moses; Moses & Gray; Irving Gray; L. Strasser; W.C. Weisel; and finally enlarged as the M. Krom Department Store, which burned one week before Christmas 10 yrs. ago. This corner being at the intersection of our two broad main avenues, Superior street and Fifth Avenue, the very heart of our city as well as of the surrounding country whose roads for miles but all converge at this point through these two main veins of trade. It was most unfortunate for our city that the structure was destroyed and for some most unaccountable reason never rebuilt. It is greatly missed by the older inhabitants.
Mr. Moses was also our first banker and he then organized the Bank which grew to be our present Langlade National Bank. Otto Walch, its present cashier, began working in the bank in the little old building next to the Moses store, where he appeared such a mite of a boy, sitting high up on a stool. Henry Smith long since deceased built and managed the first drug store on the corner where the Langlade national Bank now stands., and his building was long used as the post office. H.A. Kohl and Chas. Leykom were our pioneer Hardware men and built the structure still standing on the northeast corner of Superior street and Fifth avenue, now the Hessel Hardware Co., Louis Wahl and a friend were the pioneers in the meat business under the firm name of Weickert & Wahl. The Hermann brothers, Julius and Fred, Antigo's pioneer furniture men, purchased the site of the former Waite Hotel and built there the three story building in which they conducted their fine furniture store. In 1894, this building, the second on the corner was also burned. The present Krom store being the third large building erected on the site. The Hermann brothers also started and operated a furniture factory and saw mill on the site of the present Crocker Chair Company's plant.
The "Professions" did not flourish here in the early days before the advent of the railroad. The only one of which such a community might be in great need, the physician, fortunately was not much needed. Mrs. Deleglise was always ready and in demand whenever a physician's services were needed. No matter from how far might be the call or from whom each and all felt at liberty to summon her, she would have been hurt had they not done so, and it mattered nothing what time of day or night or what the condition of the weather or her state of health, she was always prompt to obey any summons to the sick or ailing and her tender, kind administrations greatly endeared her to our pioneer women and are not yet forgotten. As for nurses - all were that to one another. Material remuneration was never even thought of, it would have been an insult to offer such a thing.
Dr. Dawley, now of Forest, was the earliest practicing physician and Dr. Beckel or Calton, the first coroner; then came doctors I.D. Steffen and James F. Doyle, but not until 1885. Dr. H.V. Mills was our first dentist locating here very early, about 1880 or 1881.
Attorney Geo. W. Latta came to our town in the spring of 1881, later bringing his family and locating here, he was the first practicing lawyer as well as the county's first district attorney. About the same time Eli Waste, our firs County Judge located here and also M.M. Ross who was the first Register of Deeds. Then somewhat later, about 1883, Thomas Lynch, an attorney from Chilton built the beautiful residence on corner of Lincoln street and Fifth Avenue now the Flannagan residence, brought his family here and began the practice of law. He became a power in our community - was elected the city's first Mayor several terms, and in the Country's Democratic Landslide of 1892 was elected to Congress, representing our district there for two terms, as Antigo's first resident Congressman. At this same election, Mr. Deleglise though running on the Republican ticket was elected Assemblyman of our district and was the first Antigo resident to hold that position. He had likewise been the town and county's first chairman.
The founder of Antigo was a man of strong patriotic and temperance principles, and did all in his power to restrain the liquor traffic and keep it out of the community, believing such traffic as only a source for lawlessness and moral degration. With only a few exceptions omitted by oversight, and deeply regretted, he sold all lots subject to a liquor clause from which he did not exempt even the lots donated for church sites and purposes. And in his efforts to promote the moral welfare of Antigo he was upheld by the citizens of the community which did not tolerate or license any liquor traffic until later after its incorporation as a city when it had proper legal restraint. Antigo from its first inception and on was always a law-abiding community and a story circulated of late to the contrary is an outrage which should be righted.
Neither was Antigo ever inhabited by Indians. They visited here only occasionally as they passed through on their hunting trails, and some times they encamped near while hunting. They were always good and friendly and were welcome to visit here as they also permitted the "whites" from here to visit them and allow them to inspect the wigwams.
Antigo is now a thriving enterprising community of 10,000 inhabitants with manufactories and prospects of a still brighter future before it."
Web Site TOC
E-mail the Webmaster
All Rights Reserved.