Celebrity visitors/residents of the Antigo, Wisconsin Area
Antigo, Wisconsin Genealogy Gopher
City of Antigo and Langlade County, Wisconsin Genealogical Research Sources

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Celebrity Visitors and Residents of the Antigo, Wisconsin Area
Contributions are welcome if they have a reference source.
Date Celebrity Event Source
1880'sLudwig MotzfeldtEarly area pioneer whose family came from European royalty.ADJ, April 5, 1933
1897-1977James R. DurfeePrivate practice, Antigo, Wisconsin, 1926-1951; District attorney, Langlade County, Wisconsin, 1928-1931; Court commissioner, Tenth Judicial Circuit, 1934-1950; Member, Wisconsin State Public Service Commission, 1951-1956; Chairman, Wisconsin State Public Service Commission, 1953-1956; Chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board, 1956-1960.Federal Judicial History website Bio
1890's? BrownNephew of the "John Brown" in Civil War song used to live near Antigo.ADJ, June 8, 1939, page 3
1901Ben W. HeinemanSon of Walter Heineman, famous lumberman, rose to leadership of the Chicago and NorthWestern Railroad.ADJ, June 3, 1996, "PrimeTime"
Feb 1905William Jennings BryanPresidential candidate during 1896 national election. Also known for his support of silver for our monetary system.
On February 13th William Jennings Bryan gave a speech at the Opera House titled "The Value of An Ideal." He stayed over night at the Vivian Hotel.
Antigo Journal, approx. Feb 19, 1905
ADJ, November 1, 2006, page 1
1905-1915?Winninger BrothersCharles, Frank, John, Adolph and Joe Winninger played a one-week stand at the opera house. They went on to become famous on Broadway.ADJ, December 1989
1906-1946Alvin LindenWorld-renown master craftsman of gun stocks.ADJ, November 24, 2007, page 1
Oct 30, 1906Buster Brown's advertising spokespersonOn Oct 30th Buster Brown, a midget, representing Brown Shoe Company of Iowa visited Antigo and advertised "Buster Brown Shoes" in front of Wigderson's store.Daily Journal, November 1, page 7
1912Jan KubelikInternationally known violinist appeared at the opera house.ADJ, Dec 1989
1913Madame Schuman-HeinkConsidered the world's greatest contralto, performed at the opera house.ADJ, Dec 1989
1914-1949JohnW. SmithDeveloped the best potato seed in the nation known as Smith's TriumphsADJ, May 17, 2008, page 1
1918-1936Ullrich VosmekWorld famous master gunsmith who came from a long line of gunsmiths that some say date back to the Middle AgesADJ, December 6, 2008, page 1
1921-1969Robert "Fightin' Bob" LaFolletteThe Buena Vista Lodge on Pickerel Lake. Robert LaFollete paid regular visits during his life. Although the original lodge burned down in 1969 there are still rumors of high-powered visitors to the Pickerel Lake area from corporate, entertainment and political celebrities. The Volm family rebuilt some years later. Property now owned by a different private family that leases it out when they are not staying there.ADJ, December 16, 2006, page 1
1923-1994John BradleyAntigo was the home of John Bradley, one of the six men who raised the flag
over Iwo Jima's Mt. Suribachi in a scene immortalized by Associated Press
photographer Abe Rosenthal.
ADJ, February 3, 1965, page 1
ADJ, February 22, 1947, page 1
ADJ April 11, 1945, page 1
1924-1944J.L. KraftAntigo was the second cheese plant in the Kraft Cheese Company enterprise Kraft's family started Kraftwood Gardens on Enterprise Lake. The gardens are closed to the public now but the property is still owned by the Kraft familyADJ May 2, 2005 PrimeTime
ADJ, may 21, 2005, page 1
ADJ, January 23, 2010, "Bits & Pieces," page 3
Jun 17, 1925Billy MitchellCol. Billy Mitchel visits Antigo.ADJ, Jun 17, 1925 p.5
1930'sThomas Edison Thomas Edison came to Antigo. He came to visit Charles Ferguson. Ferguson had learned electrical science working for Edison and came to central Wisconsin to install a hydroelectric dame for General Electric in Merrill. He married in Merrill, had 13 children and settled in Antigo, living in a home and maintaining a shop roughly at the site of the Bradley Funeral Home today. Edison was traveling through Antigo on Highway 45 from one of his frequent outings with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone at Ford's residence in upper Michigan. When Edison learned Ferguson was at a checkers tournment at Semetana's Hall in Neva he went to Neva to see his friend. ADJ, February 6, 2010, "Bits & Pieces," page 3
ADJ, March 2, 1998, "PrimeTime"
ADJ, April 6, 1998, "PrimeTime"
ADJ, January 3, 1948, page 3
ADJ, July 2, 1941, page 5
1930's?Clarence DarrowLawyer (Scopes Monkey Trial). Scheduled to visit Antigo but backed out at the last minute.ADJ, January 23, 2010, "Bits & Pieces," page 3
1930'sJohn Dillinger & Evelyn "Billy" FrechetteGangster. Memory by resident of Voras Resort at Pickerel Lake of gassing up his car at her father's gas station.ADJ, May 1, 2000 PrimeTimes
ADJ, July 6, 2009 PrimeTime
ADJ, July 23, 2009, page 1
ADJ, June 30, 2007, page 1
1930'sAl CaponeGangster. An Antigo businessman/prohibition figure said he loaned Scarface a boat for fishing.ADJ, June 30, 2007, page 8
Oct 26, 1934J.C. PenneyFounder of J.C. Penney retail store chain visited his store and greeted customers. Store manager was C.W. Melgaard.ADJ, Oct 26, 2009, page 1
Feb 15, 1935Hugh O'ConnellWell-known actor of stage and Hollywood visited with friends and relatives. From Kaukauna he spent much time in Antigo as a youth visiting his grandmother.ADJ, February 15, 1935
Feb 26, 1935R.J. DioneA resident of the Town of Norwood, R.J. Dione is the first cousin of the father of the famous Dionne quintuplets. R.J. Dione Americanized the spelling of his surname by dropping one letter.ADJ, February 26, 1935
Feb 28, 1935Cliff ThompsonThe largest man in the world, Cliff Thompson, will visit Antigo and the M. Krom and sons Store on Thursday. Standing 8 feet, six inches tall, he weighs 344 1/2 pounds and is still growing.ADJ, February 23, 1935
Jun 7, 1935Charles NashCharles Nash was a visitor in Antigo over the weekend, stopping at the Fischer-Jicha Nash Co. He was traveling to his summer home at Mercer. He was the co-founder of the Buick Motor Company; General Manger of General Motors; and bought the Jeffery Motor Co., renaming it Nash Motors. Nash Motors produced automobiles in its Kenosha, Wisconsin plant from 1916 to 1938.ADJ, June 7, 1935
Aug 1935Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packer trained at Elcho for 10 days in August of 1935. Thirty-five players and Coach Curly Lambeau worked out on the Elcho High School's football and baseball fields. They stayed at the Ye Ole Muskie Inn in downtown Elcho while showering and changing into their football duds in the locker room at the high school.ADJ Jun, 1935
1935-D. Wayne LukasFamous horse trainer born in Antigo, Wisconsin. Elected to National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1999. His horses have won the Kentucky Derby four times.Book "Cats to Kings" by Lisa Haefs & Jeff Winter
1936Charles WinningerFrom vaudeville family, befriended by Father Saile of St. John Catholic Church, who became quite a figure in dramatics and musicals across the U.S. for many years. Appeared in 1927 "Show Boat" and 1945 "State Fair." Also appeared as Barney Kurtz in episode of "I Love Lucy" as a vaudevillian partner of Fred Mertz.ADJ, May 24, 2011, Peeps at our Past, page 3
Nov, 1936Ernistine Schumann-HeinkShe was considered one of the greates vocal talents in the opera world. She paid a visit to Antigo for a performance and Elcho for the wedding of her granddaughter.ADJ, November 16, 2011, Peeps at our Past.
May, 1937Life MagazineLife Magazine did a three page pictorial on the Antigo High School Class of 1938 Junior Prom. The magazine also covered the class's reunion on July 29, 1957.ADJ, June 29, 1957
Feb, 11, 1938Aunt JemimaAunt Jemima visited the Antigo Flour and Feed Store making her famous pancakes. Her real name was Anna Short Harrington and she died in 1955. Another appearance was Mar 6, 1960 by her replacement.ADJ, February 11, 1938, Peeps at our Past
May 11, 1939Jack McBride
Clarence Darrow
The Town of Norwood dedicated a marker honoring Jack McBride a durable vistor for 35 years and avid trout fisherman. During this time he brought alone guests, including the legendary attorney Clarence Darrow, famous authors, and important businessmen.ADJ, May 10, 2014, page 1
1940'sJohn TreverSon of J.H. Trever, Antigo district attorney in the 1880's. He played a leading role in revealing the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He took the first photographs of the scrolls that remain the best documentation of their original physical condition.ADJ, January 23, 2010, page 1
1940Kathleen McCareyA newsreel filmographer who produced a film called "Life in Antigo." The ADJ is trying to locate a copy of this film.ADJ, June 28, 1940
ADJ, April 14, 2007, page 1
1940's?Former Langlade County Man was Kin of Pike's Peak Discoverer.ADJ, May 6, 1948, page 9
1940'sJohn Clark AdamsJohn Clark Adams, Son of One of Wisconsin's Earliest Protestant Missionaries Lived Here.ADJ, December 8, 1948, page 1
1940'sFrank SuickFrank Suick developed a musky bait called the Suick and prized by many anglers.ADJ, March 17, 1949, page 1
1940'sBob HopeBob Kommers, Antigo hardwareman had a link in '40s with Bob Hope.ADJ, September 2, 2003 PrimeTime
1940's & 1950'sJoe McCarthyCircuit Judge and U.S. Senator. Antigo part of his court circuit.ADJ, January 23, 2010, "Bits & Pieces," page 3
July 11, 1947Japanese submarineA small Japanese suicide submarine was exhibited at 5th avenue and Clermont Street.ADJ, July 11, 1947, page 3
Aug 19, 1949Philip Morris' JohnnyPhilip Morris cigarette advertising "little person" spokesperson Johnny visited Antigo.ADJ, August 19, 1949, page 3
1950-60'sJohn KolbJohn Kolb, ex-Chicago 1920's gang member & owner of Nomad Trading Post, was intriguing northwoods character.ADJ, Aug 7, 2006 PrimeTime
Feb 24, 1960Jack & Jackie KennedyPresidential campaign visit. Webmaster remembers sitting in high school gym during visit.ADJ, March 3, 2008, "PrimeTimes"
Mar 6, 1960Aunt JemimaThe women advertising spokesperson Aunt Jemima made appearances around Antigo to promote her pancake products. She visited at Wesley Hall and several grocery stores and was interviewed by Walter John Chilsen on WSAU television.ADJ, Mar 5, 1960
March 31, 1960Robert KennedyPresident Jack Kennedy's brother and Attorney General of the United States.ADJ, February 17, 2008, "Bit & Pieces," page 3
ADJ, February 31, 1960
April 5, 1960Mrs. Hubert HumphreyMrs Humphrey and St.Paul Mayor Joseph Dillion visited Antigo just before an election between Hubert Humphrey and Jack Kennedy for the Democratic presidential election in November. Hubert Humphrey, Jack Kennedy, his wife Jackie, Robert Kennedy and now Humphrey's wife all have visited Antigo.ADJ, April 5, 2010, Peep at our past, page 4
about Nov 15, 1960Vladimir HorowitzOne of the greatest ppianists of the 20th century appeared at the Antigo High School gym as part of the Civic Music series.ADJ November 13, 2010 "Bits & Pieces," page 14
1960's?Antigo Man's Father Inventor of Flight Recorder on Planes.ADJ, March 9, 1963, page 3
1960'sBart StarrQuarterback of the Green Bay Packers. Owned cottage on Bass Lake. Several "Glory Years" teammates also.ADJ, January 23, 2010, "Bits & Pieces," page 3
Feb 11, 1963Harlem StarsThe Harlem Stars clowned their way to an easy win over the local all-stars Saturday night.ADJ, February 11, 1963, Peeps at our Past, page 3
1964?History of Japanese Rifles written by Antigo Native.ADJ, November 10, 1964, page 6
Feb 1965CBSCBS Films Report on Antigo's Fluoridated Water Experience.ADJ, February 4, 1965, page 1
& February 20, 1965
May 18, 1965Adin ReynoldsAniwa resident, Adin Reynolds appears on "To Tell the Truth" television show.ADJ, May 18, 1965, page 3
July 21, 1965
also 1948 & 1967
Former President Eisenhower and wife.Ike & Mamie Vacation at Minocqua Lake. Webmaster Note: Returning from this vacation by railroad they stopped at the Antigo Depot and both came out on the rear platform of their private car and waved to the people. I remember while they were waving seeing my father, who was a railroad car inspector, checking the wheels of Ike's private car for "hot boxes."ADJ, July 21, 1965, page 3
Dec 27, 1965Cornelia MohrRefugee (Cornelia Mohr) from Russian Czar once lived in Antigo.ADJ, December 27, 1965, page 3
October 12, 1967Charles FergusonOne of Antigo's exteemed citizens, Charles Ferguson, celebrated his 95th birthday at his residence on Neva Road Oct 5. A recognized electrician, he worked with Thomas Edison and Steinmetz, two of the greatest in the field. Also see 1930's.ADJ, October 12, 1967
Aprl 1, 1968Paul NewmanPaul Newman appearance at Antigo Airport in support of Senator Eugene McCarthny Presidental Bid cancelled due to bad weather.ADJ, Apr 1, 1968, page 3
May 17, 1969Eugene CernanAstronaut, who walked on moon, Eugene Cernan Recalls His Antigo Summer Visits on his grandfather's farm. His grandfather, Stephen Cernan, lived on Thompson Lake Road south of Hwy AA in the Town of Norwood.May 17, 1969, page 1
Mar 1970Fuzzy ThurstonA cottage on Clear Lake owned by Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston of the Green Bay Packers was broken into.ADJ, March 24, 1970, page 3
March 29, 1972Pierre SalingerPierre Sallinger, press secretary of the late John F. Kennedy, came to Antigo on behalf of Sen. George McGovern's presidental campaign.ADJ, March 29, 1972
April 19, 1979Rudolph NagyRudolph Nagy was an Antigo native and one of the Westinghouse scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project.ADJ, Apr 20, 1979, Obituary, page 3
February 7, 1981Heywood Hale BrounThe colorful CBS sports commentator was the speaker at the Antigo Area Chamber of Commerce banquet.ADJ, December 26, 1980, page 1
1990's?Jimmie JohnsonRace Car Driver. 2009 Associated Press sports figure of the year. Race here in his early career. Story about how he was not happy staying at the Cutlass Motel.ADJ, January 23, 2010, "Bits & Pieces," page 3
October 12-19, 2006CBSA CBS news crew spends week in White Lake, entire area, doing story for news show about bottle a 10 year old Josh Baker threw into lake. Segment tells story of Baker, his bottle and its recovery nearly a year after his death after returning from tour of duty in Iraq.ADJ, October 19, 2006, page 1
Mar 1985Kevin HermeningKevin Hermening, a Wisconsin native, and one of the hostages held at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981 was a special guest at the Langlade County Republican Party's Lincoln Day dinner.ADJ, Feb 19, 1985
Mar 8, 2000Rosemarie TrappRosemarie Trapp, the eight member of the Austrian Von Trapp family of which "The Sound of Music"" was based visited in Antigo. She gave several talks and visited area school children.ADJ, March 9, 2000
Feb 14, 2010Prof. Mike Leckrone & UW varsity bandThe famous Univ. of Wis. band thrives on both a fun atmosphere, musical excellence and audience participation. Special local guests at the event were Mayor Bill Brandt, former UW football player and Dr. Ted Fox, former Bucky Badger mascot.ADJ, February 12, 2010
ADJ, February 15, 2010
Summer 2010Larry Gatlin Brothers BandLarry Gatlin told story Dec 19, 2011 on FNN Fox & Friends Show about being in Antigo during the 2010 FuddFest and eating at the Heartbreakers Bar & Grill.ADJ, December 24, 2011, Bits & Pieces, page 3
Mar 20, 2013Pauly ShorePauly Shore is an actor, comedian, director, writer and producer. The first time he was in Antigo, he also was filming his documentary "Pauly Stands Alone." It contains footage of him having dinner with the Welnetz family at the Refuge and a few other shots of Antigo.Twitter
Jul 2, 2014Lukas Nelson/P.O.T.R.Lukas Nelson (Willie Nelson's son) and P.O.T.R. appeared at the Edison Club.eventful.com
Jun 3, 1015Pauly ShorePauly Shore's second visit to Antigo was for an appearance at the Edison Club.PaulyShore.com
Feb 2014Al BergerAl Berger of Antigo, who operates Bergerwerke Bicycle, specializing in WW II vintage bicycles supplied the 1940's era Army bicycle used in a key scene in the motion picture "The Monuments Men."ADJ February 20, 2014, page 1
Jul 19, 2016Tim AllenActor, Tim Allen, flew into the Langlade County Airport on a shopping trip. He was checking out a motorhome that he and his wife were interesing in buying.ADJ July 22, 2016 page 1
Celebrities that traveled on the highway through Antigo on the way to other destinations or in someway have a connection to the Antigo/Langlade County area.
Charlie DayActor Charlie Day from the TV show "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia" wore an Antigo Wrestling t-shirt on one of the episodes. It's thought that he got it from CARR.email and picture from Jesse Maher

Tom BrokawDr. Robert Cromer wrote a letter that was published in Brokaw's book, "An Album of Memories: Personal Histories From The Greatest Generation." about his WW II experiences.

Elizabeth TaylorActress. She may have travel through Antigo as a teenager on her way to her uncle's place near Eagle River.

Melvin LairdWisconsin Congressman & U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Tommy ThompsonWisconsin Governor & U.S. Secretary of Health
I remember seeing him ride a motorcycle through Antigo.

1990's?Willie NelsonWillie Nelson's tour bus was seen heading north on Superior Street with a fishing boat in tow.ADJ, January 23, 2010, Bits & Pieces
June 26, 2012Robert Hays
Steve Zucker
Hollywood actor Robert Hays "Airplane" and director David Zucker stopped off for a meal at the Dixie Lunch on their way to Eagle River to film a tourism commercial.ADJ, June 26, 2012, page 1
February 15, 2014ABBABand ABBA's connection with "Not Bob's" Bar. Also see above Larry Gatlin Band summer 2010. ADJ, February 15, 2014, Bits & Pieces, page 3
April 18, 2015"The Yearling"
"Gentle Ben"
Langlade County animals have been used in Hollywood Movies and Television shows. Two examples are the deer in the 1946 movie "The Yearling" starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman and the bear in the 1967-1969 television show "Gentle Ben" starring Dennis Weaver and Clint Howard.ADJ, April 18, 2015, Bits & Pieces, page 3
ADJ=Antigo Daily Journal

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