CHAPTERS I. Descriptive 1 II. The Indians 8 III. Early Settlement 16 IV. Growth and Foreign Immigration 32 V. Means of Communication 42 VI. Marine 55 VII. Railroads 85 VIII. Military 112 IX. Politics 133 X. Village and City Government 167 XI. Churches 183 XII. Societies and Organizations 227 XIII. Education 243 XIV. The Press 255 XV. The Professions 278 XVI. Banks and Banking 281 XVII Business and Industry 288 Errata and additions 316 Appendixes 293(A), 294(B), 300(C), 313(D) Index
P 16 - CHAPTER III - EARLY SETTLEMENT The beginnings of actual settlement in Manitowoc County date from 1836, but certain events of the year before are of importance as explaining the character of this settlement. Four villages, Manitowoc, Manitowoc Rapids, Two Rivers and Neshoto sprang into existence almost simultaneously and the early history of each is replete with interest. The speculative and expansive tendencies of the year 1835 first brought the unsettled regions of northeastern Wisconsin into prominence. Gold deposits were rumored near Kewaunee and it was even suggested that a metropolis would grow up in the region. Three surveyors from Green Bay, Daniel Le Roy, M. L. Martin and P. B. Grignon in 1833 made a cursory examination of the locality. Two years later a land office was opened at that place and A. G. Ellis was deputized to make a survey of the region now included in the county. On the sixth of May President Jackson issued a proclamation for land sales to be held in Green Bay, which signified the opening of all this portion of the state to settlement. The first entries in the territory later composing the county were made by William Jones of Chicago and Louis Fizette on August 3rd, at what is the present site of Manitowoc city and by Francis Leframbois and William Jourdain at the Rapids. Fizette sold to C. P. Arndt, also of Green Bay, soon after. Said the Green Bay Intelligencer in its issue of April 8th 1835: "The Yankees, anticipating a day of sale have penetrated as far north as the Manitowoc River, thirty-seven miles south of this place, seizing upon all the choice and commanding mill sites and making claims. Exploring parties have al-
P 17 so been on the Manitowoc River recently, where it is probable that a saw mill and other improvements will be commenced this coming summer." The speculative mania then became rampant, Arndt selling his recent purchases at $100 an acre, and many who had never visited the region invested heavily. It is from this time that the Jamieson heirs, who laid claim to certain lands in the city and county in 1896, based their title, one Lieut. Jamieson having purchased considerable property at the time. The Green Bay Intelligencer in speaking of this speculative tendency remarked on March 2nd, 1836, "The principal points now sought are at the Manitowoc and Rock Rivers. A year ago Milwaukee was suspected of having some pretensions to its own site but we have done speaking of that place now. The speculators are now past that place. It is old. The rush now is down the lake. Sac Creek (Port Washington), Sheboygan and Manitowoc are at this moment all the rage. Within a month the lands at Manitowoc have risen from $10 to $250 an acre and they are talking of a communication with Fort Winnebago." It was in the spring of this year that an actual beginning was made at settlement in three places. And first as to the founding of Manitowoc, at the mouth of the river of the same name. The first entry of land in this locality had been made, as said before, in 1835, including all of the land, south of the mouth of the Little Manitowoc for a distance of three miles and west from the lake to the present line separating the towns of Manitowoc and Rapids. Early in 1836 the firm of Jones, King & Co., otherwise known as the Manitowoc Land Company was formed in Chicago. A town plat was made of the proposed city by one Alexander Martin and high hopes were entertained of its future greatness. The two leading members of this firm were brothers, William and Benjamin Jones, and of these the latter is more properly the founder of Manitowoc, since he later took the Wisconsin property as his share, while his brother remained in Chicago, where his holdings made him immensely wealthy. Benjamin Jones was of Massachusetts stock, having been born on July 24, 1795, and at the age of sixteen fought in the
P 19 War of 1812. Marrying in 1825, after some years in the east he determined to bring his family to Chicago, then but just founded. He arrived at his destination via the Great Lakes on the schooner United States in the fall of 1833 and built a house and store on what is now South Water Street, near Dearborn. Chicago then had 3000 inhabitants and the pioneer supported his large family, which consisted of a wife and twelve children, by keeping a small stock of merchandise. Speculating in land he laid up a comfortable sum and the result was the purchase of Manitowoc land in 1835 and 1836, some two thousand acres in extent. The Jones brothers early in the latter year determined to realize on their investment and accordingly sent up from Chicago a large number of men on a vessel, the party arriving on May 5th. The reception accorded them by the dark pine forests and storm-tossed waves seemed to inspire a sentiment not unlike terror in their souls. By night out of the party but five remained. Some walked to Sheboygan settlement by way of the beach and thus in the course of time found their way back to Chicago, while others struck off on the Indian trail to Green Bay. Three of the men, however, E. L. Abbot, Mark Howard and a third by the name of Farnham, remained at the place all winter, occupying themselves with the construction of a rude log cabin at the foot of what is now Seventh Street and in cutting timber for shipment the next spring. Before the winter was over they had cleared away a large tract of land near the mouth of the river and then waited for their employer, who set out overland from Chicago to visit his new acquisitions in February 1837. The latter part of the journey is described by J. A. Noonan in the Wisconsin Historical Collections as follows: "When I started from Milwaukee to Green Bay I went with the mail carrier, and Indian half-breed named Powell and two or three of the firm of Jones, King & Company, who were going to visit their embryo city, where Manitowoc now stands. The mail carrier as well as the Chicago men were on runners. A gentleman from Buffalo and myself were on horseback. At Sheboygan the only house was a hotel, erected by the company owning the village plate. There was no house
P 20 between there and Manitowoc and the only buildings in Manitowoc County were a saw mill and two dwellings at Manitowoc Rapids, owned by Jacob Conroe. The road was a trail cut out the width of a wagon track." Upon their arrival Mr. Jones rewarded his faithful workmen by presenting them with $100 apiece besides their wages and assured them that they would be speedily joined by other settlers. Abbott remained in Manitowoc until 1856, marrying Maria Smith, a sister of P. P. Smith, this being the first ceremony performed in the county, but the other two men left soon after. The new settlers arrived on the schooner Elwellyn on April 17 1837, about forty all told. Among them were Oliver C. Hubbard and D. S. Munger with their families, Moses Hubbard, and others. Included in the party were the four infant sons of O. C. Hubbard, Giles, Harvey, Frank and Erwin. All of the pioneers were hardy persons and soon accustomed themselves to the arduous duties of their new life. They lived at first in the rough log house that the laborers had built the fall before but soon more substantial quarters were secured, the Mungers building a home just south of the present site of the M. E. Church, while the Hubbard family also found permanent quarters. On July 17 the schooner Oregon arrived from Chicago with the family of Benjamin Jones, consisting of his wife, son Alonzo and two daughters, together with Perry P. Smith, a brother-in-law, who had arrived in Chicago from New York State the year before. Mr. Jones soon had a comfortable dwelling ready for his family at the corner of York and Seventh Streets and the little settlement was soon in a prosperous condition. The old boarding house used by the settlers continued to stand as a landmark until 1887, when it was destroyed by fire. By the end of the summer there was a clearing made between Chicago Street and the river and oats had been sown early in the spring, some fifty acres being under cultivation. The first white child born in the county made it appearance at the home of D. S. Munger in September 1837. The infant, who was named Charles, remained in the village until 1846, when with his parents he moved away, being now a resident of Orleans, Indiana. One month
P 22 later a daughter was born to B. Jones, who became the wife of Dr. Blake, a prominent surgeon. Although the Rapids settlement was much larger, the residents at the mouth seemed confident of the future until the effects of the panic of 1837 commenced to be felt. The speculative values immediately disappeared, the mill which B. Jones had built was obliged to suspend and general disaster seemed imminent. One by one the settlers moved away, only the Jones, Hubbard and Munger families remaining. Other places were also affected and Manitowoc gained one inhabitant by the arrival of Peter Johnston, who had lived at Kewaunee, which place was now deserted. In 1838, however lumber shipments were resumed, schooners being loaded and sent to Chicago. The early forties witnessed little if any growth at Manitowoc. In fact Two Rivers until 1850 seemed to have much more of a future. Mr. Jones left his colony for a year and half about this time, during which interval P. P. Smith attended to his interests. Increase A. Lapham in his book "Wisconsin," published in 1844 speaks of Manitowoc as a village of twenty or thirty buildings, and mentions it as a depot for lumber sent down from the mills above. However a pier and a lighthouse had been erected and, as he remarks, "The interests and safety of lake navigation require a permanent harbor at this point, which it is hoped will soon be constructed by the general government." After 1845, however, prospects seemed to brighten. Immigration began to be resumed, sturdy New England lumbermen and English settlers coming first. In 1846 Perry Smith brought the first stock of groceries to the little settlement, building a store where the Smalley Manufacturing Company's plant now stands. By this time the German influx had commenced and a large number of that nationality settled in the little village, making it assume more and more importance as the years passed. Said the Green Bay Advocate on August 4th 1847: "Manitowoc has many claims as a lake port but is far too modest in urging them, or perhaps as we suspect, is shrewdly holding back and mustering energy for a prodigious and successful heave upward. Emigration has begun to
P23 seek that point and with the fine country, climate and other material advantages, its chances are among the first of the towns on the west shore". But it was still some years before the little town at the mouth of the river gained sufficient importance to become the county seat. Of the settlements of the county that at Manitowoc Rapids was the earliest in point of time. Here eastern prospectors in 1835 looked over the grounds and the result was the purchase of many hundreds of acres in that year by Jacob W. Conroe and later by his brother John G. Conroe, both of Middlebury, Vermont. The former reached his new holdings by way of Green Bay in the spring of 1836, taking with him about thirty men to build a mill. The lumber for this structure was purchased at twenty dollars a thousand, plus five dollars for freight from Chicago and landed at the mouth of the river. It happened that at Green Bay during the fall Conroe met Captain J. V. Edwards, who had just arrived from New Jersey and was desirous of going to Chicago. When he heard that there was a schooner about to sail for Manitowoc with supplies for Conroe's mills he shipped on board, thinking to get nearer to his destination and upon reaching Manitowoc in November was induced by Mr. Conroe to remain for a time, at least, in his employ. It was Mr. Edwards who built the scows which enabled lumber to be taken from the Rapids out into the bay and to be loaded into vessels for transportation, thus being the first ship builder in the county. Jacob Conroe's brothers, Horace, John and Levi soon joined him in his enterprises as did also Mrs. Conroe, who was the first white woman in the county. The mill was well started by the spring of 1837 and continued to run through the panic period, although it was the only one to do so. Horace Conroe endeavored to cultivate five or six acres about a mile north of the mill during the summer, but gave up in disgust and returned to Vermont a year later. Chief among the lieutenants of the Conroes was Pat Thebieau, a Frenchman, who had been at the Rapids from the very first and continued to reside there until his death in the eighties. Walter McIntosh, Francis Flinn, William McCrady and Joshua Burns came up from
P 26 Sheboygan in 1837 and joined the little colony. Another mill was soon started, it being the enterprise of one J. L. Thayer. On May 1, 1837 a party consisting of Thayer, Pliny Pierce, H. McAlister, Samuel Martin, Joshua Sequoin, William Holbrook, Joseph Sequoin and wife, Frank Pugh, C. Severin, Amos Robier, Deacon Lyman, John B. Oas, B. Doyle, Jessie Burnell and Mr. Wheat started from Waddington, N. Y. with Manitowoc County as their destination. Reaching Detroit they chartered a boat to carry them and their belongings to Green Bay, from whence they tramped three days along the Indian trail, finally arriving at the Rapids. Pushing up the river they soon after constructed a mill and a log boarding house, calling the settlement Thayersville, the property being owned by the firm of Thayer, Rouse and Thompson. The little settlement numbered about twenty souls. The effects of the panic were very destructive upon the enterprise, however. Thayer became bankrupt and all the settlers gradually disappeared except McAllister and Pierce, who were given lands for their compensation. The former immediately went to farming and became the first actual agriculturist of the county, a fair crop of oats being raised in the fall of 1838. The first wheat ground into flour came from his farm, it being transported to Green Bay for that purpose. Joseph LaCounte, who came to the Rapids in 1837 and worked with Thayer, also did some farming, planting potatoes, which, however, proved to be no larger than nuts. Another early settler was E. Lenaville, who resided near Branch. The winter of 1837-1838 was one of great hardship; the flour in the settlement became moldy and the pioneers were obliged to live largely on salt fish with an occasional haunch of venison. In the fall of 1837 Mr. LaCounte's family joined him, coming up from Milwaukee on the schooner Jessie Smith and in the next summer Pliny Pierce went back east and brought his wife and children, Alonzo and Jerome, both of whom have since resided in the county. He traded the Thayer lands for a mill site above the Rapids and soon built the Pierce mill. In succeeding years he constructed another mill at Cooperstown, which was later sold to W. H. Bruce of Green Bay, finally
P 27 becoming the Aldrich mill. Oliver C. Hubbard removed from Manitowoc to Rapids in 1839, where he built a house and soon after engaged in the business of making sash, doors and blinds, using a part of the Conroe mill. In 1847 he built a mill of his own near the Rapids, which he continued to operate until his death in 1855. The mill at Thayersville was soon reopened, John G. Conroe having a large interest, and by him it was run for four or five years, after which it was owned and operated by H. H. Champlin, still later passing into the hands of Wyman Murphy and being known as Murphy mill. In these early years the Rapids was easily the center of industry and life in the county and consequently it was there that the county government had its seat. The Conroes sold out and left the village in 1845. Levi died of consumption at Racine in 1850, while his brother John continued in business in the same city until 1855, when he too died, at the age of forty-five. Said the Racine Advocate: "To the world at large Mr. Conroe was a rough, stern man, but those who knew him best recognized the kind heart beneath that outward garb and the poor and distressed never appealed to him in vain." From this time, although some new blood was received by immigration, the Rapids continued to decline and by 1850 had been distanced by Manitowoc, which three years later became the county seat. Jacob Conroe, the founder of the settlement, returned to Vermont in later years, where he spent the reclining days of his life. The third settlement to be considered is that at Two Rivers. Here another element, besides lumbering, that of fisheries enters into the story of its foundation. The first entries on the present city site where made by D. Wells, Jr., of Milwaukee, Morgan L. Martin, of Green Bay and S. W. Beal, of Fond du Lac, in September, 1835. In the same year a Frenchman, Oliver Lougrine, who was ordinarily called J. Lonzo, entered 320 acres for settlement. This man, however, did not definitely locate upon the land until late in the next year, when he was employed by Robert M. Eberts, Judge George Lawe and John P. Arndt, of Green Bay, who bought up the site, and erected a mill with which to take advantage of the water
P 28 power afforded by the Mishicott and Neshoto rivers, the structure being completed in the spring of 1837. Lumber was plenty, the hemlock forests near by affording an almost inexhaustible supply and by the end of the year fully forty people had gathered at the hamlet. It was in the same year that Captain Edwards started a fishery at Two Rivers in a small way, walking to Green Bay to get the twine for his seines. Taking with him a man from the Rapids, his son Henry, then thirteen years old and P. P. Smith, he established himself on the shore and dropped his seines about half way between Manitowoc and Two Rivers. The first haul brought him ten barrels of the finny tribe and this success determined him to follow the business for a livelihood. But others were on the field also during the same year. J. P. Clark, a Detroit fisherman, arrived in Wisconsin at about this time and entered fishing sites at several places along the shore, including Two Rivers and Whitefish Bay. Later he sent twenty men to the former place on the schooner Gazelle and a regular business was begun. Captain Edwards was then taken into the partnership, he remaining at the Little Manitowoc while the Clark camp was fitted out two miles north of Two Rivers. Clark's schooner visited the place monthly, loading a cargo and carrying it to Detroit and returning promptly with supplies. Fishing was carried on entirely by seines, varying in length from forty to one hundred and sixty rods, the nets being set from boats and being hauled in by means of windlasses. The business was a profitable one, since the catches were large, one haul bringing in fish sufficient to fill 175 barrels, holding two hundred pounds apiece, the annual catch at all of the Clark camps being about 2,000 barrels a season. The product sold in Detroit at that time for twelve dollars a barrel. J. P. Clark, himself, moved to Whitefish Bay in 1838 but continued to look after his interests at Two Rivers until four years later when his brother, Isaac C. Clark, carried it on, the pursuit being profitably continued until 1853. J. Lonzo ran the Two Rivers mill until the results of the panic of 1837 compelled it to shut down. For some time it was idle but in 1843 Andrew J. Vieau took possession of it under the
P 29 direction of Judge Lawe of Green Bay, who now owned the property. At that time Two Rivers was but a small fishing village of eight or ten houses and about twenty-five inhabitants. Says Mr. Vieau in an article on the subject: "A part of the time I ran the mill myself but leased it for the most part, to Bascom and Wail, in 1844, to Daniel Smith, in 1845, to H. H. Smith of Milwaukee, who finally (1847) bought the plant. I also did some trading with the Indians while at Two Rivers." This H. H. Smith was in reality the founder of Two Rivers and it is from his arrival in 1845 that progress begins. He had been a lumberman on a large scale in western New York, but meeting with reverses he had come to Wisconsin to retrieve his fortunes. For six years he engaged in the lumbering business, at the end of which time he turned towards manufacturing, forming the company of Aldrich, Smith & Co., the predecessors of the present Two Rivers Manufacturing Company. The fourth settlement in the county was that at Neshoto, eight miles from the mouth of the West Twin river, where there was good water power. An interesting story is connected with its foundation. In April 1837, a Mr. Burnham of Detroit settled on the land without entering it or paying for it at the government office. Lumber was ordered to be shipped on a schooner from Chicago for his mill and in due time arrived. Some of the young men at Manitowoc, desiring to do the pioneer a good turn, trudged to Two Rivers on the beach and from thence up the river to Neshoto to inform Burnham of the schooner's arrival. He received the news stolidly and without a word of thanks, - an ingratitude which prompted the youths to revenge. Knowing him to be a squatter, one of them, Howard, hurried to Green Bay with $350 and had entered in his own name three eighty acre tracts on which the mill site was located. On his way back he met Burnham and obliged the latter to pay $2,000, half in cash and half by a note. Before he would part with his rights. The firm of Stringham & Burnham was formed and before winter set in the mill was completed. J. G. Conroe also bought up considerable property in that section of the county.
P 30 The Neshoto mill continued to be run by the first owners until 1841, when it was sold to Frederick Borcherdt, the first German settler in the county. He ran the mill for seven years, being in the wilderness with no white neighbors until later in the forties, when he induced some Germans to settle in that portion of the county. Removing to Two Rivers in 1848 he sold the mill to Taylor & Pendleton, who in turn soon transferred their interests to Jones & Cooper. The village of Neshoto was laid out in 1858, at which time great hopes were entertained for its future. The population of the whole county in 1840 was 240, in 1842 263, in 1845 about 600. By the census of 1840 it was shown that there were but eleven horses and eighty neat cattle in the county and the aggregate of all crops raised was but a few hundred bushels. In fact it was not until 1847 that there were sufficient food stuffs raised in the county to do away with the necessity of sending south or to Green Bay for the winter supply of flour and dairy products. Said the Milwaukee Sentinel in December, 1848, speaking of Manitowoc: "The inhabitants of that region are neither very extensive tillers of the soil or producers of beef and pork. The staple and principal products of that section are pine and hemlock the former of which, when manufactured into boards, constitutes the most important part of lake commerce and city and county enterprise - the lumber trade." The immigration to the county was practically nil up to 1845, when a large number of new England lumbermen arrived, among them Lyman Emerson, H. H. Smith, Daniel Smith and others. Before this little advancement in settlement was made beyond the four places described in the preceding pages. True, in the early forties several taverns were built along the line of the Green Bay road, notably that of Joseph Edwards, built in 1841 near the present site of Cooperstown and that of Joseph Poquin in the present town of Kossuth, established two years later, he being the first settler in that township. In 1844 Daniel Smith founded a settlement at Mishicot, building a lumber mill at that place, where there was then good water power. The mill was operated for some time by Ira P. Smith,
P 31 who two years later built another. In 1847 the first settlement within the limits of the town of Cato was made by a man by the name of Burns, who was later arrested and convicted on a charge of counterfeiting. R. M. Brown settled in the same place about the same time but did not remain permanently. In the spring of the next year the first settlement was made in the present town of Gibson by Edward Brown, who died two years later. By this time Cooperstown had also received several settlers, including Joseph Allen, John Arndt and C. King, while Pierce and Bruce built a sawmill there in 1847. The first settlement in the present town of Two Creeks was also made at about this time, P. Rowley establishing himself there in 1842.