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Antigo District No. 1, (Pioneer)
School District No. 1, known as the Pioneer district, is one of the first of Langlade County school units. When the early settlers came to Antigo many also took up homesteads in this district as early as 1879. Pioneers in this district were George Bonnell, Peter Doucette, Ezra Galligan, Isreal Wood, August Baxter, J.W. Prosser and Oliver Leslie.
When the district was created it consisted of sections 19, 20, and 21 and the south 1/2 of sections 16, 17 and 18. May 30, 1885, the NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of section 30 was added to the district. August 22, 1885, this same territory was detached and became a part of the city of Antigo. November 17, 1890, the district was reconstructed, also on August 8, 1900, April 21, 1903, October 10, 1906 and June 8, 1912.
The district now comprises all of sections 16 and 17, the north 1/2 of sections 20 and 21, also the north 1/2 of section 19 (with exception of SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of section 19), the south 1/2 of the south 1/2 of section 9 and the south 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of section 8. The area is 2,440 acres.
The modern school in this district was built at a cost of $3,200 by Dallman & Hoffschmidt, Antigo contractors. A frame structure was used previously. Miss Anna Schultz was the teacher in 1921-22.
There are no cheese factories, churches or cemeteries in this district. Near Springbrook a gravel pit that much of the gravel used on Langlade County highways has been secured.
Highways No. 64 and 39 either penetrate the district or are on its border. The district is situated in the north central part of Antigo township, just north of the city of Antigo.
The farms are some of the most up-to-date in the county.
Mrs. M. Jamieson, Mrs. D.J. Murphy, and Mrs. W.C. Krier, were 1921-22 members of the district Board of Education. The school is situated on the SE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of section 17.
Antigo District No. 2 (Mayflower)
This district which consisted of two thousand eight hundred forty acres was laid out in the year 1882. About ten years later 520 acres were added, making a total of 3,360 acres.
Mr. Kavanaugh, the first settler, bought a farm of eighty acres and settled here in 1880. Others who soon followed him were Mrs. T. Leslie, Mrs. O. Leslie, Mr. Holly and Mrs. Shadick.
At first only log buildings were put up. The men cleared land in the summer and in the winter hauled their logs to the siding. Many of the provisions used were carried from Wausau by the men.
The first road was laid out in 1883. It ran east and west and connected . The other roads were later laid out with the Ackley and Neva roads as required by the people.
The first school house was built in 1884. It was a frame building and was built up in the same location that the present building now stands. About twelve pupils attended the first term. Miss Kavanaugh being the teacher. This building was used until five years ago when the new building was constructed.
After the men had enough land cleared to support their families more attention was paid to the roads many of them being in bad condition. They worked yearly many being improved through state aid.
Farmers then improved their buildings. New barns and houses were built. During the summer of 1915, five large barns were constructed. There are still four log houses in use.
The use of telephones in the district was begun eight years ago. Mr. Hale and Mr. Ralph being the first to receive them. Five years ago a farmers line was laid, giving every one a chance to get one. Nearly every one at present has a phone.
Four families have also purchased automobiles, thus making farm life more pleasant. We can also boast of nineteen silos in the district.
To aid in social life and also form an economical standpoint the people of this district have joined with the people of neighboring districts and have formed a grange.
During the last year a cheese factory which will prove beneficial to the farmers has been erected.
Published in the Daily Journal, July 26, 1921
By Madge Johnson
The Mayflower district is located three miles north of Antigo, the name being suggested by Frances Reznichek and adopted in 1913. The Mayflower district now contains 4,240 acres of land, 560 acres from the Pioneer district being added in 1912. The estimated valuation of this district is about $450,000.00. The population at present is 202.
The Leslie Brothers were the first settlers who came here. They settled on eighty acres of land in the northwestern part of the district cleared some land and built small log shanties for the house and other buildings in 1880. Edward Kavanaugh located on 80 acres of land in the western part of the district. Joseph Chadek at the same time located on 80 acres of land on the north side of the Harrison Road next to the railroad track. Theodore Lentz settled on 40 acres of land across the road from the Leslie Brothers. These settlers came in 1891.
The chief attraction was cheap homes as the people were poor. They went to clearing land with a will and hauled their logs to the Coxy and Miller mill at Deerbrook.
They packed their provisions on their backs from Wausau, the nearest city, as there were no other ways to get them.
In this same year the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad was put through in time for use on the Fourth of July.
A road was made at an angle from the northwest to southeast from center of Section 6, to center of Section 8. It was but a mere trail through the woods. It was made with corduroy with no covering of dirt, proving to be very unsatisfactory.
In 1882 M.T. Callahan, Frank Dvorak, John McGinley and Ferdinand Walters came here. M.T. Calahan located on 80 acres of land joining Kavanaugh on the east. Frank Dvorak settled on 160 acres of land east of the Leslie Brothers. John McGinley located on 160 acres of land, what is now known as the Magwritz farm. Ferdinand Walters located on 20 acres of land east of the railroad track on the angling road.
Most of these settlers came from Manitowoc and Kewaunee Counties; and other came from Wausau. The people didn't have any machinery, so the work was done by hand. Most of the farmers now had oxen to use in the work.
Mr. Franks became the first permanent owner of 80 acres of land across the road and south of Chadek's in 1884. He built the first frame barn in or around this vicinity. The same year the log school house burned down, including all of the school records, greatly to the disappointment of the people. The cause of the fire was unknown.
July 6, 1884, a meeting was held at the home of M.T. Callahan to discuss plans for a new school house. The meeting was not a failure as in 1885 a new frame school house 25x20 was erected on the same site. It was more modern than the log school. Miss Margaret Kavanaugh, now teaching in Antigo, was appointed teacher. The length of the school term was eight months.
The next settlers wee Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Hale, who came here from the Fernwood district in 1887. They bought the place belonging to Franks.
One time a few men and women started out with a lumber wagon and a yoke of oxen to a dance and on the way one ox got down between the corduroy of the road and could not get out alone. The men tried to get him out but they could not do so. The women got out of the wagon and helped get the ox out. They succeeded leaving their best dresses, which were calico full of mud. But no attention was paid to this and they kept on their way.
Many other people now came, some of whom were just speculating while others came to get a permanent foothold for a new home.
The settlers began to come in quite rapidly and some of those who came now are: Millers, Butterfields, Jones, Cases, Wenzals, Mayots, Matt Elliott, MacDougle, Weeks and Polinski
A spur was laid on the Chadek farm namely, "Kennedy's Siding." This was a great help to the farmers as they could load any of their things here and ship them to any desired place.
The men who operated the mill needed houses for their families to live in, so two houses were erected by Badger and Kruse across the track.
Again some settlers came and among them were Blasczyk, Sweet, Cheslock, Reitz and Holup. Sweets bought the Callahan place and Blasczyk bought the Kavanaugh place.
People began to put up better houses and other buildings and were making other improvements such as more and better machinery. They covered the corduroy in the road with dirt to make it safer and more of the land was being cleared of forests.
John Ralph came in now and bought the Chadek farm. Chadeks moving to Utah.
Badger sold the mill to Spul.
Early in the year of 1903, Johnson, Ralph and Bricco settled on the Federal road, now known as Trunk Line 39.
During the summer of 1903 the mill and lumber yards burned down and the loss was nearly all covered by insurance. The mill was never rebuilt.
About this time an addition 20x20 was made on the old school house which was again too small to accommodate all of the children. It was also covered with brick veneer to make it warmer. Bonner now came and bough Leslie's farm.
In 1908 Reznicheks and other settlers came and other farms were changing hands and being built up. People now began to get larger herds of cattle and were also using a few binders.
Harrison Hale and John Ralph had the first telephones. More settlers made better roads and many other improvements.
In the year 1912 the school house was sold to John Sweet, being not large and modern enough to accommodate the children. It was used for a dance hall on Sweet's place for awhile and is now used as a granary. A new red brick school house was built which was still more modern and was large enough.
Some of the farmers began to enlarge their herds of cattle and some were raising pure bred stock, so in 1917 a cheese factory was erected by Charles Maloney on an acre of land purchased of Mr. Walters, at the five corners. It proved a great benefit to the farmers. Maloney ran the factory for two years and then sold it to D.D. Korth, who still operates it.
Everything is improving. Better land and more comfortable houses are being built.
The farmers are prospering gradually through incessant efforts and twenty people in this district are enjoying automobiles. H. Hale being the first to receive a car in this district.
Some of the houses or homes are equipped with milking machines, electric lights and water works and twenty-four have installed telephones. H. Hale and John Ralph having the first.
Plin and Earl French have the most modern homes which are equipped with water works, electric lights and other modern conveniences in the house and milking machines, tractors, water works and electric lights for barn and field use.
William Blasczyk, Plin and Carl French, Headly Ralph, Joe Jilek and John Duenk have purchased tractors to make the heavy farm work more enjoyable.
There are four milking machines used, making it possible for people to keep a larger number of cattle, as this is a good dairy vicinity. The leading breed of cattle are Guernsey, Holstein and Red Polls.
There are thirteen silos in this district.
The population at present is 203, being a great increase since 1880.
More farmers are moving in each year trying to get a permanent foothold and to make this a better and wealthier district.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
Mayflower District was legally established as District No. 2, in the northwestern part of the township of Antigo. It comprises all of sections 4, 5, 6, 7 and 18 and the west 1/2 of section 8, the NE 1/4 of section 8, the north 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of section 8, and all of section 9, except the south 1/2 of the south 1/2.
Early settlers in this district were Hedly Ralph, T.W. Leslie, Anton Reznichek, Matt Elliott, Lee Elliott, John Sweet, Charles Reidl, Charles Johnson, Joseph Igle, Michael Bartl, Otto Steber, William Vlasczyk, Joseph Casey, and Jos. Wojtasiak.
The only industries in the district with the exception of agricultural pursuits is a cheese factory, the Fairview, located on the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of section 8. It was erected in 1916 by Charles Maloney. D.D. Korth, present proprietor, took possession May 7, 1917.
The Mayflower school is located on the NW 1/4 of section 8 and is a splendid brick structure. Before its erection in 1914 by C.F. Dallman at a cost of $2,200.00 a frame structure was used.
This district was organized at the time district No. 1 was created. Changes in the district boundary were made from June 23, 1885, when the district consisted of sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, and 18, on the following dates: August 5, 1885; May 5, 1887; August 10, 1900; April 21, 1903; October 16, 1906; June 8, 1912.
Highway No. 39 runs through the district.
The 1921-22 school board consisted of D.D. Korth, Clerk; John Sweet, Treasurer and Charles Johnson, Director.
Antigo District No. 3 (Boulder Hill)
About thirty-seven years ago this district was in a huge forest. There were no roads except cow paths and Indian trails. The first settlers came in early summer and they were obliged to live under their wagons until log cabins could be built.
The first barns the people built contained four log walls and the roofs were made of brush. In order to save their gardens the settlers had to build high fences around them to keep the deer out. The walls of the stables were made high to prevent bear, wolves and wildcats from getting over and attacking stock.
They cleared the land by chopping down the trees and burning them. Often they would invite one another to a logging bee and in the evening they would have a dance and a lunch.
The first school house was a log building about fourteen by twenty feet. The school room contained four windows, two on the east side and two on the west side. The door and seats were home made. The black board was made of boards painted black. The first teacher was Miss Maloney whose pupils numbered about half a dozen. The present school house was built about seven years later.
Published in the Daily Journal, September 15, 1921
Published in the Farmers Journal, September 20, 1921
By Lillian Dodge
About forty-two years ago the first white people came to this section of the county to make their homes. When they came here they found dense woods, having nothing to guide them but deer trails. One family of Indians is known to have lived for a time on the place now owned by John Olson.
The first thing the settlers did was to clear land and build their homes. At first buildings were rude Shacks but later they built houses and barns of logs. Some of the first houses were on the farms now owned by Joe Koszarek, William Schroeder and Tom Ford.
Some of the pioneers were: Fred Boetcke, John Richards, John Monette, Peter Tibbetts, John Ford, Albert Boettcher, Ferdinand Boettcher, Frank Compton and Bob Cherf.
The hardships these people had to endure were many. The roads were few and so poor that they would rather walk then take oxen.
On election day the men would walk to Langlade, a distance of about thirty some miles to vote. They would go one day and come back the next.
The principal trading posts in those days were Wausau and Clintonville, Antigo just being started. When the people were out of clothing they would walk to either place and carry the groceries and clothing they needed home on their backs. Ox teams were used later when the roads were made through the woods.
When they had lived here a while, more settlers came in here so they decided a school to be a necessary addition to the district. It was a one room building built of logs, being only six feet high. There were few books. The tables, chairs, benches and seats were home-made. A box heater was used. ...was built on the same site the present one is.
The first school board was Fred Boettcher and C.A. Baker. The first teacher was Kate Ford, a daughter of Mike Ford, now Mrs. Jim Maloney of the town of Ackley.
A church was built on the farm now owned by Floyd E. Schroeder. It was later destroyed by fire.
The population of this district has increased considerably and at present it numbers one hundred and thirty-six.
The area of this district is two thousand seven hundred sixty acres. Of the thirty-two families living here twenty-six own their farms.
About eighteen years ago the Rural Free Delivery was first begun in district No. Three. Nine years later in 1912 a telephone line under the name of Antigo Telephone Corporation was organized.
Following are the list of teachers that taught here: Kate Ford, Clara Alton, Clara Beals, Maggie Gilroy, Cora Sackett, Nettie Burdick, Addie Hill, Maggie Kavanaugh, Maggie McGinley, Minnie Morris, Florence McGuire, Bessie Chamberlain, Marie Driscoll, H.C. Logan, Joseph Flynn, Anna Shinners, Josie Edwards, Maude Burns, Bertha Moss, Maude Lillie, Mattie Morson, Elizabeth Young, Pearl Williams, Myrtle Merrill, Margaret Healy, Clara Brockhaus, Ida Kitt, Mary Moss, Lula Ford, Edna Brakeneyer, Pauline Waterman, Mattie Morson, Mildred Blood, Ethel Gilmore and Gladys Hoover.
At present there are enrolled thirty-two pupils. Miss Gladys Hoover, who has been teaching here for the last three years is the teacher. Two of the pupils, Caroline Klamarus and Lillian Dodge took diploma examinations this year.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
District No. 3, which is known as Boulder Hill district because of the typography of the vicinity in which the district school is located, was organized about 1882. Langlade County was not subdivided into school districts, however, until later when the school district system was adopted by the electorate.
June 23, 1885, this district consisted of the south 1/2 of section 22, the south 1/2 of section 23, the south 1/2 of section 24 and all of sections 25, 26, 27, 34, 35 and 36. August 22, 1885, sections 25, 26, 27, 34, 35 and 36 constituted the district. The south 1/2 of sections 22, 23 and 24 were detached then and added to district No. 4. (District No. 6 was created at that time.)
On August 10, 1900, section 27 and the NW 1/4 of section 26 were detached from District No. 3 and added to District No. 7. August 22, 1910, the NW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of section 26 was taken from District No. 3 and attached to District No. 7 and the SE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of section 27 was attached to District No. 3.
The area of the district at present is 2,720 acres or 4 and 1/4 sections of land. The district is situated in the southeast corner of Antigo township.
Early settlers were: Michael Ford, John Ford, Mike Carney, James C. Maloney, R. Richards, Charles Frill, Frank Compton, John Monnette, Elias Tibbetts, John Clarke, Albert Boettcher, Fred Boettcher, John Now, Richard Healy, Sr., Robert Sheriff of run-away election fame, Joseph De Brauer, Lewilyn Richards and others. The first settlers cleared their cabin home spaces in 1879.
The first school was erected in the south central part of the district on section 36, the land for same being donated by John Ford. It was a quaint log building typical of the pioneer temples of education. Miss Kate Ford, now Mrs. James Maloney, was the first teacher. Fred Boettcher and G.A. Baker were members of the first school board, after the district system was adopted.
Other teachers were: Clara Alton, Clara Beals, Maggie Gilroy, Clara Sackett, Nettie Burdick, Addie Hill, Maggie Kavanaugh, Maggie McGinley, Minnie Morris, Florence McGuire, Bessie Chamberlain, Marie Driscoll, H.C. Logan, Jos. Flynn, Anna Shinners, Josie Edwards, Maude Burns, Bertha Moss, Maud Lillie, Mattie Morson, Elizabeth Young, Pearl Williams, Myrtle Merrill, Margaret Healy, Clara Brockhaus, Ida Kitt, Mary Moss, Lula Ford, Edna Brakenyer, Pauline Waterman, Mattie Morson, Mildred Blood, and Ethel Gilmore. Average attendance at the school is thirty.
1921-22 school officers were: William Schroeder, Treasurer; Thomas Ford, Director and Frank Neigenfind, Clerk. The original log school was replaced years ago with a splendid frame school house, which has been improved frequently.
Instead of the old tote road, Indian trail, and oxen carts, the settlers of the district now have splendid highways and excellent transportation facilities. Many of the prosperous settlers own automobiles making communication with Antigo, the county seat, very convenient. The proposed route of the Soo Line (Wisconsin Northern) runs through section 34 in this district.
Antigo District No. 4 (Selenske)
Our school district is in the Town of Antigo. It is one of the oldest districts in this town. It was organized in the year 1885. Before that time it was combined with District Number Six (Neff Switch) of the Town of Antigo. At that time the school house was located on the farm now owned by T.W. Joyce. Soon after this more settlers came into the district and it was necessary to divide the district.
In the fall of 1885 the old school house was moved to the corner of William Wall's farm. At that time the school building was only a small frame building. There were not many farmers living near the school then. Some of the settlers who were here at that time were John Byrne, Matt Selenske, Andrew Selenske, David Lucht and Pat Byrne. Almost all the land in the district was then a woodland as very little of it had been cleared. The school year was divided into two terms. School was in session for about seven months, three of which were taught in the fall and the remainder in spring.
After a few years more farmers came into this district and it was necessary to make the school house larger. The old building was then repaired and enlarged. The school later was also changed to eight months and later to nine months.
In the summer of 1912 the new school house was built. The old building was sold and moved to Mr. Wall's farm and the new one built on the old location. The work on the building was completed about the first of December. It is a large brick building and is one of the best school houses in Langlade County.
Published in the Daily Journal, June 4, 1921
Published in the Farmers Journal, June 7, 1921
By John Wachal
In the year ending 1876 the people were immigrating into this section.
Among the people that came here were Pat Brynes, Jim Brintenen, Alex McMartin, Mrs. Okinmor, Robert Webster, Eugene Taplin and George Taplin.
When these people moved here this land was nothing but a wilderness. But they soon worked it and cleared it and soon had land to cultivate. Most of them were seeking homesteads.
When these people came here they had little clothing and a few tools. They had to carry their products for miles and cut their own trails through the thick forests. The only old trail that can be seen today is the trail over the John Raymark hill, just west of the Selenske hill, but before the road was traveled very much they set out the new road as it stands today. They had to carry all their belongings and spade their fields by hand. They nearly all came from Wausau, Wis., and they had to go back and forth to Wausau to do their shopping, as Antigo was not a village at that time.
The first teacher was Miss Florence Olton and the first school board was John Brynes, clerk; Guy Madison, treasurer; D. Olton, director.
The boundary lines at that time were sections 13-14-15-22-23-24.
The south half of section 22 was taken off and 63 acres off from the northern side of section 15 since that time. The land now taken in sections 22-23-24. The size in acres that time was 3,840. The size in acres now is 3,457.
The first marriage was Rosie Galleger and George Bonnel, both of Antigo, who were married in Wausau.
These people were all pioneers and none of them reside here except Mr. A. Selenske. Mr. T. Joyce and Mr. Louis Winter. They are the only ones that can tell the stories of the hardships the pioneers had.
The first crops were potatoes, which they brought with them from Wausau. This was their largest product and was quite easy to raise. The next crop was rutabagas which they used for food for the livestock.
They improved the land and put up dwellings and made this land one of the best lands in Wisconsin.
The citizens all had success. They improved their farms, put up large barns, silos and different sheds.
There are no landmarks in this district, only in the state there is an old Indian trail running from Phlox to Elton, up to Kent and to Lake Superior.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
District No. 4, better known as the Selenske district, consists of sections 13 and 14, all of section 15, except 120 acres in the northern part, all of section 23 and 24 and the north 1/2 of section 22. The district is situated in the east central part of Antigo township.
June 23, 1885, it was described as follows by the Town Board of Supervisors: All of sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and the N 1/2 of sections 22, 23 and 24. On September 22, 1885, sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, and 12, were taken from District No. 4, and formed into District No. 6. (Neff Switch District.) District No. 4 then became all that territory in Antigo township included in sections 13, 14, 15, 22, 23 and 24. August 8, 1900, the S 1/2 of section 22 was detached from the district and added to Fairview District No. 7, October 6, 1906, and again November 20, 1911, changes were made in the district boundary.
Early settlers were Matt and Andrew Selenske, John Byrnes, Patrick Byrnes, D.W. Olan, and David Lucht.
In 1885 (two terms of school were held - spring and fall) the original school house was erected. It was a small frame structure, capable of caring for the education of the pioneer school children. Clarence E. Alton taught the fall term when the new school opened. The first school was located on the NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of section 14, now farmed by Ben Joyce. The school was moved to the present school site, the SE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of section 14 (W.H. Wall farm) in the fall of 1885. The first school board consisted of A.O.D. Kelly, Clerk; John Byrne, Treasurer; Dyer W. Olen, Director. In 1914 a new school was erected of brick. Miss Katherine Byrne was the first teacher in the new school. School officers then were: A. Wildman, P. Schramke, and Steve Wildman, Treasurer, Director and Clerk respectively.
Pioneer teachers were: Elizabeth Young, Mattie Beedle, R. Baxter, Mary McGuire, Clara Mire. The school is located on highway No. 64.
The district has made a remarkable growth during less than a half century. It has changed from a dense wild region to one of the most productive sections of Upper Wisconsin. New settlers continue to come into the district and improvements are many.
Antigo township hall, where all of the historic gatherings of many years have been held, is located in this district on the NW 1/4, NW 1/4 of section 22. The town hall was erected in June, 1889. The town board advertised for bids to furnish material and build the hall and they were opened May 27, 1889. The successful bid was that of Frank Borth, early settler. Other bidders were: J.L. Case, gray & Ings, B.J. Daugherty, J.A. Sanders, Louis Krueger and Thos. Bradbough.
The first meeting was held in the tawn hall, June 22, 1889. Those present were: Chairman E. Winch, Richard Healy, Sr. And Jos. Shipold. The same hall is still used. It has a stone foundation.
Antigo District No. 5 (Chamberlain)
When settlers first came to what is now known as District Number Five, Antigo, Wisconsin, they found it covered with a forest of mostly pine trees.
The first thing they did was to build log houses and clear land. Their nearest city was Wausau. There were no railroads leading there and instead of the many nice roads there are now, there were only a few paths or logging roads, so the people who went to Wausau either walked, rode horseback or took oxen.
The city of Antigo had not been started, but the people were so eager to start business, that soon a mill and store were built. This was very helpful to the farmers and they soon started doing their trading in Antigo and hauling their lumber to the mill.
Some of the first settlers were, Mr. J. Prastil, J. Cherf, Mrs. Knox and Mr. Chamberlain.
The first school house was built about three-quarters of a mile from the present location. It was then called the "Gowan School."
Later a frame school house was built near the same place as it now stands. In 1908 a beautiful up-to-date brick building was erected and called the "Chamberlain School" after the man who gave the land for it.
Mr. Chamberlain was the first school teacher in the new building.
The people are industrious and progressive and at the present time there are many nice buildings erected, and good farms.
There are eight silos in the district. Mr. Frish and Mr. Strong own concrete silos, while Mrs. M.F. Zolas, M. Saszama, C. Anderson. Schilman, Knox and Dailey have stave ones.
Mr. C.W. Anderson owns a line of pure bred cattle, while a few others own grades.
Mr. E. Frish, F. Schoblasky and D. Knox own automobiles.
Mr. J. Cherf has ninety-three hives of bees and is one of the head men in the Langlade County Bee Association.
Most of the land is under cultivation, being level and well drained. A few families do not carry on farming but are employed elsewhere.
The district is located close to Antigo, and it is very convenient for the farmers to take their produce to market.
The district which was once a forest is now a busy and prosperous neighborhood.
Published in the Daily Journal, August 12, 1921
Published in the Farmers Journal, August 16, 1921
By Harry Schoblasky
Before the year 1878 the land that now makes up this district was a dense forest. During that year several came and bought land and began a settlement. The reason they came was to get cheap land and make homes.
A tribe of Menominee Indians were living here at that time. They did not stay very long after the settlers came.
Some of the first settlers were Neal Anderson, James Quinn, John Cherf and Mr. Chamberlain. John Cherf bought a few lots from Mr. Deleglise, the first man who lived in Antigo. He owned at that time most of the land where the city is now located. Mr. Cherf lived there two years, then sold his lots and bought 57 acres of land in this district on which he still lives.
The City of Antigo was just being surveyed at that time and as there were no stores here the settlers had to go to Wausau for their supplies. It took them from two to four days to make the trip, but it was not long before stores and saw mills were built and the city grew rapidly. Weed's saw mill was the first one built. It was located near where Elmer Stone now lives.
In 1880 the population had grown so rapidly that the people organized a school district and built a school. The school was built of logs and had a scoop roof. It was called the Gowan school and was located on Section 31 east of Springbrook.
The first school officers were Mr. Hubbard, director; Mr. Gowan, clerk, and Mr. McCloud, treasurer. At present the school board is Paul Thompson, director; Joseph Fisher, clerk, and F. Strong, treasurer.
Some years later the log school house burned and they then erected a frame school building on an acre of ground given by Mr. Chamberlain. This building and furnishings was a great improvement over the log one. Double desks in which two pupils could sit, took the place of the old box-stove.
W. Chamberlain was the first teacher to teach in the new frame school, some of the later ones were: Nettie Palmer in 1895, Vaughn McMullen from 1897 to 1899, Lottie Nixon in 1900, Ezra Towler in 1901, Mae E. Raymond 1902, JESSIE WEEKS 1903, (The webmaster's great-aunt) Mabel Palmiter 1904, Grace Stewart 1905. Anna Kevan from 1906 to 1908. In that year the people decided to erect a new school.
The contract was taken by George Schoblasky. The building erected is 37 feet in length and 27 feet wide. It is an up-to-date modern brick building. It has a furnace and ventilation system. In the past year many improvements have been made, a new phonograph, new maps, lamp and a drinking fountain have been purchased. A few years ago Mr. A.M. Arveson suggested that all schools should be given a name. We named ours the Chamberlain School.
Some of the teachers who have taught in this district since 198 are: Martha Johnson in 1909, Sophie B. Hovey from 1910 to 1912, Edna L. Beattie from 1913 to 1915, Evelyn Ackerman from 1915 to 1917, Rena Apker, Ethel Gilmore, Helen Hittle, and this year Daisy Shanks is teaching.
Some of the last few years improvements have been in this district as follows: Electric lights have been installed in many of the homes, a few silos have been built, four new houses have been built and two new barns. The following people own cars in this district: Knox, Anderson, Thompson, Margraff, Kado, Cherf, Kasson, Jicha, Frisch, Antonavitz, Stone, Guenthner and Schoblasky.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
The Chamberlain District, legally established as District No. 5 was created when Antigo township was unknown and when Springbrook township was a part of Shawano County. This was forty-two years ago in 1880. March 28, 1885, sections 28, 29 and 30 were taken from District No. 1 (Pioneer District) and attached to District No. 5. This change made the district one of the largest, consisting of six sections, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33. It did not remain long in that status however. On May 30, 1885, all of section 29 and the NW 1/4 of section 30 were taken from District No. 5 and attached to District No. 1. Section 29 and the east half of section 30 were then the city of Antigo (established by act of the State Legislature.) This left the district comprising sections 28, 31, 32, 33 and the SW 1/4 of section 30.
On August 15, 1885, section No. 28 and the west 1/2 of section No. 30 were detached from the district and added to the school district of the city of Antigo. This cut the district down to its original area, three sections, 31, 32 and 33. On May 5, 1887, the W 1/2 of section 30, and all of section 28, were detached from the city of Antigo and placed in District No. 5. This action was because of illegal attachment of the same territory to the city of Antigo in 1885. S.W. Chamberlain and Charles Gowan were then Treasurer and Clerk of District No. 5
November 17, 1890, District No. 5 consisted of sections 28, 33, the south 1/2 of section 32, the south 1/2 of section 31 and the SE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of section 31 (Weed's mill site.) November 10, 1900, section 28 was taken from this district and attached to District No. 7, known as Fairview District. The last boundary change in District No. 5 was made in 1912.
This district now comprises sections 33, the south 1/2 of 32, the south 1/2 of section 31 and the SE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of section 31.
Energetic and thrifty settlers came in this district in 1878 and 1879 from Waupaca, Brown, Marathon and Outagamie Counties. John Cherf, J. Prastil, James Quinn, Charles Gowan, S.W. Chamberlain, F. Heller, John Knox, Alex McCloud and E. Hubbard were early settlers in the original district. John Cherf, first settled in Antigo on lot 26, block 45 of the city of Antigo, SE corner of Fifth avenue and Superior Street. He erected a log cabin there and after a short while moved to his present home in this district.
The country about was then a pine area, roads were not to be found, only the Indian trail abounding. The earlier settlers found it necessary to come into this wilderness by oxen from Hogarty (a place between Wausau and Eland), then but a small trading post for transients and Indians. The journey was tedious and long. It was necessary for the new immigrants to load the rear of the rough wagon with their household utensils, what little they brought with them.
These hardy pioneers were ever mindful of the value of proper education of the rising generation. Great precaution was taken that the rudiment of education should be accorded the children. Accordingly a one-room log school was erected on section 31, (south 1/2) on the banks of Springbrook. Here the children ranging from tiny tots to growing ladies and men, labored studiously. The school was small, the teacher, while intelligent, had much to cope with. The facilities of the modern school were not then dreamed of. Books, and maps were few. Nevertheless the three R's were well absorbed by the children, many of whom are today prominent in Langlade County affairs. First school officers were: Charles Gowan, E. Hubbard and Alex McCloud, Clerk, Director and Treasurer respectively. The old log structure, ever a faithful servant, was used for years. In 1908 an acre of ground was donated to the district by S.W. Chamberlain, a fine brick school was erected. The school is located on the north central part of the S 1/2 of section 32. This school replaced a frame structure used for years. The contract was let to George Schoblasky. The present school is ideally situated and is a credit to the residents. It is well equipped and modern.
Lumbering was an industry in the district in pioneer life. The great tracts of pine succumbed to the attack of the army of lumbermen and settlers. The first were desirous of the pine for profit and the latter wished space in the forest on which to erect their little homes.
The J.H. Weed saw mill, shingle mill and planing mill were located in this district. The reader can find a full account of this industry in the chapter on "Industries 1873-1923."
The principal occupation of the residents is agriculture. The soil of the district is adapted to oats, potatoes, corn, hay, clover, rye, barley and wheat and other products. The Merrimac silt loam found in this district is a part of a vast tract of this soil found in southwestern Langlade County. Stratified sand and gravel below the surface in this vicinity are known to extend to a depth of 58 feet.
When the first log cabin was rolled up by John Cherf a band of Indians, presumably Chippewas, had temporary camping headquarters in the district. They moved northward later.
Dairying and pure bred cattle raising are important factors in the district. A cheese factory owned by A.A. Miller, operated in the district for a number of years until 1921, when it burned.
Elmwood Cemetery owned by the city of Antigo since 1906 is situated in the southwest part of section 33.
W.K. Kasson has a fine park, dance hall and cabaret in this district. He purchased the property, which is located in the SW 1/4 of section 32 from George Ottoman in 1916.
Highway No. 39, running north and south, passes through the district. The county trunk line roads are in excellent condition.
the 1922-23 officers were: Paul Thompson, Director; F. Strong, Treasurer; Joseph Fischer, Clerk. Early teachers were: Nettie Palmiter, W. Chamberlain, Lottie Nixon, V. McMullen, Mae Raymond, Zura Fowler. Miss Shanks was teacher in the district school in 1921-22. The first teacher received $25 per month for a six months' term of school.
Exclusive of Elmwood Cemetery, 80 acres, there are 1,200 acres of taxable land within the district.
Second frame school building that was bricked.
Antigo District No. 6 (Neff Switch)
The name of our district is "The Neff Switch District." The district was organized about 1885.
There were people living here as early as 1880. Some of the early settlers were Messrs. Joe Kramar, Dan O'Brien, A.O. Kelly, Petska, Scott, Skinner, Cejka, young, Roberts, Brandy, John Evans and Quimby and families. Most came from Wausau. Joe Kramar came from Manitowoc to Wausau on train, and from Wausau to Antigo by wagon. This was slow traveling, and it took three days. The family came here in May 1880, because the land was cheaper here than anywhere else. It was $1.25 an acre. They built their home in the spring. It consisted of a little house made of logs and did not have any windows, floor or doors. In the night they had to put boards against the doorway so that the porcupines could not come into the house. They lived like this for one year.
In those days farming was very different. Roads were not laid out and the settlers had to follow a path through the woods made by the cows. Antigo was then a little village and they had to get most of their provisions from Wausau. They had to walk and carry their provisions. Several went at a time and helped one another to ease their journey.
The land was mostly covered with thick woods. Before it could be cultivated it had to be cleared. This was hard work, and took a great deal of time. The settlers had a great deal of patience and were very industrious in a few years the district has been changed into a good farming district.
When the district was first settled, there was a mill in the northwestern part, which was owned by Ed Neff. The school district was named after him. A railroad was built here at this time and it still exists, but the mill burnt down a few years after it was built. There was a store there also.
The first school house of this district was a frame building, located on the place now occupied by George O'Brien's farm. This district and the Selenski district were one district. The school then was not furnished well. Mr. Chamberlain taught here for two years.
Some of the first school officers were A.O.D. Kelly, Joe Kramar and Thos. Roberts. A.O.D. Kelly was the first clerk. The teachrs from about 1897 are Bessie Chamberlain, John McHale, Ida Tolifson, Mary Riley, Miss Doolittle, Mary O'Connor, John Crandall, Mary Stengle, Mattie Morson, Winnie Donohue, Alvina Shipek, Jennie Gibson, Ella Palm, Ella Randall, Hazel Cummingham, Anna Weix and Clara Lukas. Some of the first pupils were Joe Kramar, Joe Petska, Anton Petska, Mary Wilson, Ida Skinner, Allie Kelly, Victoria Young, George Scott, and Lillian Puttrow.
Later the district was divided, and the school building was moved to the Selenski District, which was then organized into a district by itself. A new frame school house was built on a piece of land situated near the railroad track. It stood near the gate, about where the pump now stands.
In 1908 the school was moved farther back and the building was bricked. It was heated by a stove standing in the corner of the room. This did not heat the room well on cold winter days, so it was not comfortable.
In 1909 three rows of single desks were purchased and put in. There are still two rows of double desks that were in use years ago.
In 1914 a basement was made and an addition was built on the back part of the building, and a passageway leading to the basement. Then a new furnace and ventilating system was installed. This furnace heats to building well and is comfortable in cold weather.
The school building is well lighted. There are four windows on one side and three on the other. No shades are necessary on the north side. Three tan colored shades were put in, January 1917. Also a new water fountain and flag pole were purchased in 1918.
The pupils who hae attended this chool and have achieved distinction are: John Schwartz, Lee Theisen, John Muraski, Charles Iris, Joe O'Brien and Frank Muraski. They were soldiers in the World War. John Schwartz died on the ship going to France. Walter Kramar and Irma Theisen are cashiers in banks.
The school is not well equipped and many more improvements could be made. The school yard is very bare, not a tree stands on it, but still we enjoy coming to school and try to make good use of what we have, and hope that is a few years conditions will be much improved.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
August 22, 1885, the Board of Supervisors of Antigo township met pursuant to a notice issued previously at the town hall for the purpose of altering districts and making specific changes in school district boundaries. It was at this meeting that District No. 6 was organized.
The supervisors detached sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11 and 12 from District No. 4, "Selenske District," and organized District No. 6, known since as the Neff Switch District. November 20, 1911, 35.47 acres wee detached from District No. 4 and added to District No. 6.
In 1884, Edgar Neff, late of Antigo, with Matt Miller of Green Bay erected a saw mill on section 2. Because of this industry there, the only saw mill that has ever been in the district, the school was named to commemorate the event. The mill burned on June 28, 1886. It was started by Matt Miller and J. Wright. Mr. Neff purchased their interests.
There have been on important changes in the district boundary since its organization. Before its organization the territory of the district was a part of District No. 4, of which it was a part when the district was formed. The area of the district is 216 square miles or 3,840 acres of land, with approximately 39 farms.
Early settlers into this district were: A.O.D. Kelley, who was prominent in early Antigo township affairs, Dan O'Brien, Jos. Kramer, Chas. Roberts, Joel Quimsby, George young, W. Skinner, Joseph Jecka, John Evans, and Charles Theisen.
The first cheese factory in the district was erected twenty-two years ago (1900) by Edward Hruska. He operated it for five years and sold to Edward Buchen, who sold to Fred Buss. Mr. Buss retained the factory until 1921, when he sold to Herman Genskow. District farmers are patrons of this institution. Anton Peroutka purchased the James Mundl hall situated in the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of section 11, August 11, 1917. He uses a section of his building for a meat market, which he operates during the summer months.
When the Selenske District or District No. 4 was severed from the territory of this district the school building was moved to a location south of Neff Switch District. A new school for the settlers was therefore necessary. Accordingly a frame building was erected on the same location where the present splendid school is located. It was moved from the original location to a position back somewhat from the highway. Extensive improvements were made in 1903, 1909, 1914, and since various improvements have been made at this school. The year 1903 it was brick veneered.
Early teachers were: Miss Bess Chamberlain, Ida Tollefson, Miss Doolitte, John Crondill and Mary O'Connor. Later teachers were: Alvina Shipek, Jennie Gibson, Ella Palm, Ella Randall, Anna Weix, Hazel Cunningham and Clara Lukas.
Neff Switch District has some of the oldest Langlade County farms within its borders.
Officers of the first school were: A.O.D. Kelly, Jos. Kramer and T.J. Roberts.
The district is equipped with fine highway facilities. Most of the progressive farmers own automobiles making it very convenient to ship in Antigo. The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad branch line to Bryant and Elton and White Lake, passes through section 11 of this district.
The office of the town clerk, Charles Theisen, is on section 12 of this district.
Antigo District No. 7 (Fairview)
The oldest settlers of District No. VII are the three Brennecke brothers, who settled here about thirty-seven years ago. They are Christopher, Henry, and William; the latter, who still lives here, is the treasurer of the school board of our district. Henry now lives in Antigo, but still owns his farm in Oklahoma. Christopher sold his farm in the fall of 1913 and went back to the old world, but is now planning on coming back to Antigo. The farms formerly occupied by these brothers are now owned by William Duernberger, Emil Rasch, Joe Spychalla, Julius Olson, and Dr. Flatley.
Another old settler was William Oldenburg, who moved to this district about 29 years ago, and lived on his farm until the time of his death in the fall of 1914. His wife still owns the farm. H.W. Green took up his home in this district about twenty-three years ago and now owns one of the largest and best diary farms in Langlade County. The large farm that is owned by William Lucht is not a dairy farm. At one time Mr. Deleglise owned most of the land here; at that time it was covered with valuable timber of maple and pine, and furnished valuable lumbering for many years.
Most of the people of the district are farmers, the leading industry of this district is dairying. Farmers in this district raise potatoes, oats, wheat, corn, peas, and garden truck.
There is a cheese factory and creamery combined, in this district, which was formerly owned by J.H. Howe, but has changed hands in the last month and is now owned by Mr. E. Klessig. There are about twenty head of pure bred cattle in this district.
Our district has thirteen silos which are owned by the following: Concret silos are owned by Messrs. Kellogg, Brown, Ings, Krier, Green, Brennecke, and Mrs. Oldenburg; frame silos are owned by Messers. Lemke, Holup, Duernberger, Gilman, and Spychalla. There are many big barns in this district.
Our district has good roads and some of them are kept up with state aid. There are four tractors in this district which are owned by Emil Rasch, William Lucht, Horace Kellogg and Peter Krier. There are thirty cars in the district.
The school in our district was built as a result of the efforts of William Brennecke, Henry Ings, and Henry Green in the year of 1899. The first school house that was built was used for sixteen years. In the year 1915 it was made larger because the old one didn't accommodate all the pupils. The teachers that taught here since the beginning of the district are Miss Bessie Janes, Miss Anna Quinlan, Miss Marie Locks, Miss Amelia Mathias, Miss Mattie Morison, Miss Ella M. Randall, Miss Veda Marsh, Miss Martha Kaske, Miss Irmgard Beerner, Miss Louise Kohl, and Mrs. R. Hudson.
There were many improvements made to the school in the last five years. The building was enlarged and a furnace put in, a basement was made and a pump put in the basement. The school was painted, a library built, a piano was bought, blackboards put in, a new flag pole and flag were bought, and an oil stove was bought and hot lunches are served at school every day. The officers of the school board are Mr. William Brennecke, treasurer; Mr. Henry P. Ings, director; and Mr. Carl Boerner, clerk.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
Fairview District is situated in the south central section of Antigo township. It was organized at a meeting of the Antigo township board, August 8, 1900. Officers of districts No. 1, 3, 4 and 5 were present.
District No. 7 consists of the south 1/2 of section 21, the south 1/2 of section 22 (these two 1/2 sections were detached from Districts 1 and 4 respectively), all of section 27, 28 and the NW 1/4 of section 26. Section 27 previously was a part of District No. 3 and section 28 was detached from District No. 5.
The territory embracing the 7th district to be organized in Antigo township consists of 2,080 acres.
Pioneer settlers in this district were: William Brennecke, Henry Brennecke and Christopher Brennecke. A glance over the officers of Antigo township since 1880 will show that these three men have been honored with various offices of public confidence and trust during their residence in the district. They were not alone in settling this district, soon to be one of the finest agricultural regions in Wisconsin. William Oldenberg and H.P. Ings wee also early settlers.
In 1900, Edward Buchen came to Langlade County from Sheboygan County. The following year he erected a cheese factory in this district on the NE 1/4 of section 27. Here he operated his factory until 1905 when he sold to Albert Eserloth of Glen Beulah, Wis. The latter conducted the factory until 1907 when it was purchased by P.G. Schaefer of Marshfield. In the fall of 1908, J.H. Howe purchased the institution from P.G. Schaefer and conducted it until April, 1921, when he sold to Otto Klessig. Earl Klessig manages the factory, which has been named the Klessig Dairy.
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