Township History - 1880
Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin

(From the "History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin" published by the Western Historical Company, Chicago, IL. - 1880)

MARSHFIELD 1880 Marshfield Township

Township 16 north, of Range 19 east, is now Marshfield. It belonged to more towns, before being separately erected into its present shape, than any other town in the county. In 1852, by an act approved April 17 of that year, it was detached from Calumet and Forest and named Kossuth, the first town election to be held at George Harkness house. This name, three years later, was changed to Marshfield, which was suggested on account of the unusually large marsh tracts covering the town. May 10, 1835, Deputy United States Surveyor C. T. V. King gave the town a hard name in his report to the Government, saying: "This is a poor township, and needs no general remarks; too great a portion of it is marsh and swamp." This, in the light of more recent advancement in population and wealth, is seen to have been an unjust judgment. Notwithstanding the marshes, it is not wholly a "poor town," containing, as it now does, a population of forehanded and thrifty Germans.

 Index to Biographies

The first settler was Stephen Goeser; the next earliest, Anton Kramer, John Loehr and John Fuchs, all of whom made locations in 1841.

The first child born was Joseph Fuchs in 1842.

The first marriage was Anton Kramer to Mary Ann Brost, December 13, 1843.

The first death was that of Joseph Stump in 1843.

In 1847, Rev. Caspar Rehrl taught the first school at Mount Calvary, on Section 29. The same year, the Catholics built a church on the same section. The town now contains three Catholic Churches. The Pastors are Revs. P. Dominicus, P. Andrew and P. Mathew. It also contains six good schoolhouses.

In 1851, John Blonigen established a post office called Moria. J. H. Coolidge is now Postmaster of St. Cloud, on Section 25, and P. Rothgary, of Mount Calvary.

In 1859, John Preuss built the first mill in the town, on the Sheboygan River.

In 1850, the first store was opened at Mount Calvary by M. Bourgeous. The first Chairman of Marshfield was Joseph Wagner, who held the office several years. F. Konz is the present Chairman.

The first cheese factory was built in 1878 at Mount Calvary. There is another at St. Cloud, belonging to J. H. Coolidge.

Marshfield Mutual Insurance Company was organized February 2, 1874. Over one hundred persons were present at the first meeting, at which Calumet, Marshfield, Forest and Taycheedah were represented. In 1875, Osceola and Empire were added to the organization, and, in 1880, Russell and Greenbush, of Sheboygan County; Brothertown, of Calumet County, and Auburn, Ashford, Byron, Eden, Friendship and Fond du Lac, of Fond du Lac County, were added. The first officers were: John Holchnecht and A. Millenbach, of Calumet ; Nicholas Steffes and Michael Wirtz, of Taycheedah; Joseph Feldner and Jacob Walderschmid, of Forest; Fred Konz, N. Kramer and M. J. Miesen, of Marshfield. The first President was N. Kramer. In 1876, Fred Konz was chosen President and still holds that office, M. J. Miesen was the first Secretary and still holds the position. The present Directors are: F. Konz and M. J. Miesen, Marshfield; M. Wirtz and N. Steffes, Taycheedah; August Pitzen, Calumet; P. Beuese, Forest; H. Seibel, Empire; N. Stack, Osceola. There are now out 1,036 policies, aggregating $1,004,992 of insurance. In 1879, $40 losses were paid; losses to January, 1880, $906.56. The Company has a fund of $5,508.65 now on hand, and is one of the most prosperous in the county.

St. Francis Monastery. - This is the head of the Capuchin Church in America. It is a strong and prosperous institution, equal to any similar ones of other denominations in Wisconsin. It is thus described: "It is located at Mount Calvary, twelve miles east from Fond du Lac, and two miles south of the Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railroad, and comprises the church, convent and college of the Capuchin Order of St. Francis. On the 15th of October, 1856, the place was selected by two secular priests, P. Francis Haas and P. Bonaventura, with the advice of Rt. Rev. John Martin Henry, Bishop of Milwaukee, for the foundation of the Order. In March, 1858, possession was taken of the first eastern wing of the building, the dimensions of which were 27x111 feet. Three years subsequent to this time, the two priests, assisted by three lay brothers and others, under the direction of P. Francis, as Guardian, commenced to enlarge the building on the south side, and to lay the foundation of the church with the choir, on the north side, which was completed the following year, 1862. Meanwhile, others having joined the Order, it became desirable to build college, which was done in the summer of 1864; this formed the southern wing; it was opened, under the patronage of St. Lawrence, of Bordeaux, in November of the same year. The western wing, together with the Chapel of St. Francis on the north, was commenced in 1857, and completed in the fall of 1868. It was hardly occupied when the whole edifice was destroyed by fire on the 26th of December, the same year, except the aisle of the church and St. Francis Chapel. The church and convent were again rebuilt, and completed in 1870. The following year, it was enlarged by St. Josephs Family Hall and Monument, which was opened on the 4th of July, 1872. It was again enlarged in 1873, by the addition of a new study hall and dormitory for the accommodation of students. Other additions were made in 1874 and since, and money continues to be expended in enlarging, beautifying and furnishing the institution."

The different Chairmen of Marshfield have been Joseph Wagner, H. C. Giltner, William Wolf, Richard Schrage and Fred Konz. The Clerks have been Otto Rollmann, F. J. Isaak, M. J. Miesen, John Konz and John Hennen.

Thanks to Ron Friedel for preparing these pages in html format.

last modified:
27 Dec 2003
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** Ruth Shaw Worthing, The History of Fond du Lac County, as told by its Place-Names, 1976.
** The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880.

** Portrait and Biographical Album of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1889.
** A. T. Glaze, Incidents and Anecdotes of Early Days and History of Business in the City and County of Fond du Lac from Early Times to the Present, Fond du Lac: P. B. Haber Printing Company, 1905.
** Maurice McKenna, ed., History of Fond du Lac County, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. 
** Wisconsin Volunteers: War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 
** Plat Book of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, C. M. Foote & Co.  1893