HISTORY OF MANITOWOC COUNTY - Ralph Plumb, 1904I. 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
CHAPTER XIII. EDUCATION.The interest shown in education in a community is, perhaps, the best test of the character of that community. There is no place where the future can be so shaped as in the schoolroom. Manitowoc county has good reason to feel proud of her past in respect to her educational history, for it is a matter of common knowledge that she has stood among the foremost counties of the state and that her efforts have gained wide recognition. As regards her public, private and parochial institutions of learning there has always been a spirit of enterprise prevailing. The self- sacrifice of the pioneer in giving his child an education in the face of almost insurmountable difficulties, is worthy of emulation and forms a peculiarly American characteristic. The first school established in the county succeeded the first settlement by a year. It was in the winter of 1837-1838 that a few pioneers at the mouth of the Manitowoc decided to light the torch of knowledge. This was done by the raising of a private subscription and the hiring of one S. M Peake to instruct the children of the community, twelve in number, P. P. Smith being the oldest. The primitive school held its sessions in the Jones warehouse at the corner of Sixth and Commercial Streets and instruction continued only through
P 244 the winter months. In the spring Mrs. L. M. Potter, who had formerly been a teacher in the government school at Green Bay, opened a school at the Rapids, which continued in existence for some time, among the pupils being P. P. Smith and others from Manitowoc. Two years later a public school was established at the Rapids, the town hall being utilized for the purpose. A gentleman by the name of Beardsley was the first teacher and among his pupils were D. La Counte, P. P. Smith, D. Sackett, Giles and Erwin Hubbard and Joseph La Counte. In 1844 the county board chose E. L. Abbot, O. C. Hubbard and Oliver Clawson school commissioners and divided the county into three districts:--Two Rivers, Rapids and Manitowoc, schools being established at each and elections for district officers were held on October 10th. During the next five years the population remained almost stationary and as late as 1849 there were only seven school districts in the county. The Manitowoc school district, known later as No. 1, by that time had grown to such proportions that a commodious building was necessary and in 1848 the legislature authorized it to levy a tax of $350 for a new school. The money was accordingly raised and the next year a two story frame structure erected on North Seventh Street. This building for many years was the usual public gathering place for the villagers as well. In the same year a private German school was established in the town of Kossuth and George Peterson started a similar institution in the village of Mishicot, both being supplanted by public schools a few months later. At that time the average school year in the county was seven months and only a little over one half of the children attended regularly, owing to long distances and poor roads. The first gathering of the county teachers and those interested in education occurred at the courthouse at the village of Rapids in May 1849. Albert Wheeler acted as chairman and K. K. Jones as secretary. State Superintendent Root was present and addressed the pedagogues, recommending new plans and particularly the system of teachers' institutes. The meeting adopted resolutions favoring the formation of a county organization and the following
P 245 were chosen officers:--president, James Bennett; Vice Presidents, P. Pierce, of Rapids and B. F. Sias of Two Rivers; Treasurer, William Ham, of Manitowoc; Secretary, E. H. Ellis of Rapids; directors, H. H. Smith, of Two Rivers, W. F. Adams, of Meeme, Alden Clark and K. K. Jones, of Manitowoc. Some attempts were also made at the introduction of the graded system of schools soon after. The extensive Irish and German immigration of the early fifties had an important influence on the county in an educational way since the favor, with which both nationalities view the school, is too well known to need remark. These sturdy pioneers rapidly settled both the rural and village communities and the log schoolhouse was a necessary attendant upon their advent. By the end of the year 1850 the first schools in the present limits of the townships of Centerville, Cato, Newton, Rockland, Meeme, Mishicot and Liberty had been established and within a few years the starting of schools in the other townships followed. The reports of the state superintendent of public instruction show a remarkable growth in one year alone. In 1850 90 out of 169 children in the county attended school, in 1851 633 out of 769; in 1850 there was received from the state funds $118; in 1851 the amount was $560. Much of the state school lands were situated in the county, there being 22,321 acres as late as 1852. The wages paid teachers in the county at this time averaged $23.50, which was higher than that maintained anywhere in the state. Among the pioneer country school teachers were Mrs. G. W. Burnett, Misses Theresa Mott, Harriet Higgins and Jane Jackson and Asa Holbrook, James Evers, John Stuart and J. Cohen. An atmosphere was created favorable to education in the Irish settlements in Meeme, particularly under the tutelage of Henry Mulholland, Sr., and Patrick O'Shea, resulting in the production of a coterie of bright minds, whose names became well known in educational circles of a later period. In the village of Manitowoc progress was also rapid. The growing needs resulted in the formation of several private schools, among them one taught by A. Wittmann in 1854, another in connection with the German Luth-
P 246 eran Church started in the same year and a third taught by Rev. Melancthon Hoyt of St. James Church, established two years later. School District No. 1 was ably served in the early fifties by Jos. Vilas, who had just arrived in Wisconsin and in 1856 O. R. Bacon, one of the chief figures in the educational history of the county assumed charge. He was thirty-five years of age at the time and was a man of considerable ability. After six years at the head of the school he resigned, serving as a paymaster during the war and later went into business at Manitowoc, dying June 18, 1882. By 1856 the village had become so large that a new district became necessary and Dr. A. C. Gibson was hired by the residents on the south side of the river to open a school, which was done in the Esslinger building on Franklin Street in May. Later a frame building was erected for its occupancy at the corner of South Seventh and Washington Streets. Dr. Gibson remained in charge until the fall of 1858, when he accepted a position in the Two Rivers school and was succeeded by Jared Thompson, who was a man of high scholarly attainments. The interest shown in education is evidenced by the large attendance at a teachers' gathering held at Sheboygan in 1859, the following from Manitowoc County participating, Misses A. Birchard, S. E. Butler, C. M. Cooper, E. Tucker and Messrs. O. R. Bacon, C. S. Canright and Jared Thompson, all of Manitowoc; Henry Mulholland of Meeme, Joseph Stevenson, of Buchanan and Misses C. Honey and C. Williams and Messrs. J. B. Lord and J. W. Peck of Two Rivers. In the fall of the next year the teachers of the county held a convention in the Presbyterian Tabernacle at Manitowoc. By 1860 according to the state report there were 86 districts in the county, the average school year was six months, 3971 out of 7887 children of school age attended and $4972 was received from the state. The value of school buildings was at that time $15,769, while the average teacher's wages were $22.24 for males and $15.42 for females. By way of comparison the report of 1870 is taken, showing the result of ten years growth. At the later date 7810 out of the 14254
P 247 children of school age were in attendance, the state aid had increased to $5647, the value of school property to $35,760 and the average teachers' wages to $40.36 for males and $26.85 for females, there being 183 teachers in the county. In the First Ward School professor Thompson was succeeded in 1860 by W. F. Eldredge, C. S. Canright acting as assistant. The former served until October 1861, when he entered the army. He was a young man of great popularity and after years of honorable service for his country he moved to Yankton, Dakota where he died in 1895. During the war the first district school was taught for some time by O. F. De Land but later was under the joint charge of four ladies, Misses Warbuss, Burritt, Squires and Bennett. The office of county superintendent of schools was created by legislative act in 1861 and in that year Manitowoc county elected the first incumbent of that position, B. J. Van Valkenburgh being the Democratic and Fred Borcherdt the Republican candidate. The former won by a majority of 280 votes but resigned to go to the war in October of the next year, C. S. Canright being chosen to fill the vacancy temporarily until the fall election, at which J. W. Thombs, the Democratic candidate defeated Henry Sibree. Superintendent Thombs was succeeded by Jere Crowley, who was elected in 1863 over W. F. Eldredge by 608 majority. Crowley served in this office until his death five years later, being elected over Joseph Smith in 1865 and over A. M. Richter in 1867. Under his supervision education was systematized and regular examinations introduced, the county being divided into five districts for that purpose. Seventy-four teachers' certificates were granted in the county in the first year of his incumbency, which number had increased to 93 in 1870, to 152 in 1880 and decreased to 114 in 1890. The close of the war marked a great increase in educational facilities. In Manitowoc a Lutheran school was erected in 1866 and a year later a Roman Catholic school started. Private schools were maintained by Mesdames S. Hill and Barnes and by Miss Maria Martin. In February 1865 J. F. Silsbee became the teacher in the south side district. It was
P 248 during his incumbency that an order from the state superintendent closing the German department in all schools that maintained such instruction created so much adverse comment. After some months he was succeeded by Prof. McMullin, who in turn gave way to Prof. Scudder, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. At Two Rivers $5000 was voted for a new school in 1866 and a year later the new building was dedicated, J. F. Silsbee having charge. On October 29, 1866 the Third Ward School in Manitowoc was started in a brick building 35 by 50 feet on South Tenth street with Miss Minnie McGinley as principal. The condition of the other schools also became so crowded that the small buildings were totally incapable of holding the pupils, so that on the north side the primary department was divided and taught by C. M. Barnes and Miss Mary Shove in two private houses on North Sixth street and on the south side the intermediate and primary departments were removed to the corner of South Seventh and Jay streets. A sub- primary or kindergarten was also established under Miss Anna Metz at about this time. Michael Kirwan was elected county superintendent in 1869 over C. S. Canright by over seven hundred majority and two years later defeated O. R. Bacon, being elected a third time to the office in 1873 by a unanimous vote. During his six years of office the condition of the schools was much improved and the esprit du corps among the teachers maintained at a high level. Large teachers' institutes were held annually, that in 1870 being the first, in which great interest was manifested, over one hundred pedagogues being in attendance. During this time O. H. Martin, D. F. Brainerd, J. F. A. Greene, L. J. Nash and later J. N. Stewart had charge of the North Side High School, while on the south side B. R. Anderson and C. A. Viebahn were successful teachers in the First Ward and W. A. Walker and J. Luce in the Third Ward. At Two Rivers among the teachers during this period, that is down to 1875, were J. S. Anderson, G. A. Williams, W. N. Ames, Charles Knapp and John Nagle, the latter acting as principal until 1877, in which year also Two
P 249 Rivers voted in favor of the establishment of a free high school. In Manitowoc an effort was made to consolidate the schools and to establish a central high school in 1869 but it signally failed when put to a vote. The early seventies were also an era of schoolhouse building. In 1871 the First Ward School was constructed on South Eighth and Hamilton streets, the structure being dedicated on January 29th of the succeeding year. In 1868 the state legislature passed an act enabling the first or north side district to levy a tax not to exceed $25,000 in order to provide for the erection of a new school, which was then found a necessity. It was, however, four years before the residents of the district saw their way clear to build the structure, the cornerstone being laid with great ceremony on July 25, 1872, orations being delivered upon the occasion by Judge Anderson, Hubert Falge and others. Principal Stewart, who was then at the head of the school later became the president of the State Teachers' Association, was the author of several educational works and taught for many years at Janesville. His successor was Hosea Barns, who had charge of the school from 1874 to 1877, later entering the Baptist ministry and finally retiring to his home in Kenosha County after a life of usefulness. By the last year of his incumbency at Manitowoc the new brick building below Union Park was ready for occupancy and the high school was duly instituted. Two Rivers also erected a school in the seventies, the value of the two structures then possessed by her being $12,000. Many parochial schools were started by the Catholics and Lutherans throughout the county, including the Roman Catholic School at Two Rivers in 1877, which has always been particularly well attended, St. Ambrosius Academy at St. Nazianz and the girl's school at Alverno. In 1875 W. A. Walker, who had been a teacher in the Third Ward, was elected county superintendent over A. M. Richter and served two terms, being reelected without opposition. By the end of his incumbency there were 108 schoolhouses in the county, valued at $104,366, besides nineteen private schools. The funds received from the state in 1880 were
P250 $6528, the average teachers' wages being $44.13 for males and $30.15 for females, while out of 15,919 children of school age, 8428 attended the public schools. Efforts were made in September 1872 to form a county teachers' association, but although officers were elected,--C. A. Viebahn being selected president, W. A. Walker vice president and Miss Emma C. Guyles secretary,--the organization did not prove successful. Reorganization took place in 1875, however, Hosea Barns being chosen president, John Nagle secretary and Miss Alice P. Canright treasurer, since which time annual meetings have been held and the association has played an important part in educational affairs. The instructional forces of the city schools underwent many and frequent changes during the late seventies and early eighties. In the Third Ward School Prof. Luce was succeeded by J. A. Hussey in 1876 who in turn gave way to O. S. Brown. In 1879 Principal Hussey ran for county superintendent on the Democratic ticket but was defeated by Prof. Viebahn of the First Ward School by 561 majority. Two years later Mr. Brown was the Republican candidate but met defeat at the hands of John Nagle, the Democratic nominee by a narrow majority, the latter having already filled out the term of Prof. Viebahn, since the latter had in 1881 accepted a position in the faculty of the Whitewater Normal School, which he has since held. Prof. Viebahn did much for education in Manitowoc County and was once honored with the presidency of the State Teachers' Association. Prof. C. E. Patzer soon became the principal of the Third Ward School and under his guidance it advanced rapidly. On the north side Prof Barns was succeeded for two years by J. P. Briggs, who in 1880 gave way to Prof. McMahon. The latter resigned to go abroad for study a year after he had accepted the position and J. M. Rait, who had been a teacher at Two Rivers, then assumed charge of the school for two years. In the first ward the vacancy caused by the resignation of C. A. Viebahn was filled by the selection of F. G. Young in 1880. After serving the district only three years he resigned, took a post graduate course at John Hopkins University and later became a pro-
P 251 fessor in the University of Oregon. His successor was John Miller, who later resigned and the vacancy filled by the appointment of P. H. Hewitt. The latter for eight years conducted the school, placing it among the foremost by his incessant endeavors. Ill health compelled him to resign in 1894 and a year or so later he died of consumption. At two Rivers J. M. Rait acted as principal of the high school from 1877 to 1881, being succeeded by A. Thomas for three years, he later giving way to Arthur Burch, who in turn was succeeded by C. O. Marsh in 1887. Mr. Burch was another county teacher who attained the presidency of the State Teachers' Association. A new high school was built in the village of Kiel in 1884and among the principals, who have been in charge of the institution are P. H. Hewitt, J. C. Kamp, A. W. Dassler, G. M. Morrisey and A. O. Heyer. About fifty pupils are in regular attendance. All during the eighties John Nagle was county superintendent of schools, being selected unanimously in 1884 and 1886 and defeating A. Guttmann in 1888 by 1354 majority. His administration was a strong one and he became known throughout the state as a leading educator, being chosen president of the state association at one time. By 1890, the end of his administration, the state aid had increased to $17,543,7430 of the 14,891 children of school age were in attendance at school and the value of the buildings was $141,869, while the average of teachers' wages had reached the highest point attained before or since, being $49 for males and $32 for females, there being 155 teachers in the county at the time. The history of education in the county during the last ten or fifteen years of the nineteenth century was one of rapid development. In the first district Prof. Rait resigned at the end of the school year in 1883 and moved to Minneapolis and as his successor E. R. Smith of Burlington was chosen. A man of wide experience and great intellectual power for seven years he continued to exercise a beneficial influence on the school and when he resigned to embark in business great regret was felt. His successor, C. Fredel, remained but two years and gave way to H. J. Evans, an energetic instructor,
P 252 who introduced many reforms in the school and soon had it on the accredited list of the state university. The district had grown so large that at the annual school meeting held in 1891 it was decided to build another structure, which was accordingly done. The building committee consisted of L. J. Nash, G. G. Sedgwick and A. J. Schmitz and a site was chosen at the corner of North Main and Huron streets, the school being named after Chas. Luling. An addition to this school was built in 1899 at a cost of $12,000. In 1901 the average attendance in the high school was 180, in the Park School as a whole 569 and in the Luling School 360. In the fall of 1902 Prof. P. G. W. Kellar the present principal assumed charge. The First Ward School by the resignation of Principal Hewitt found it necessary to cast about for another man and Prof. C. E. Patzer was accordingly chose, continuing at the head of the institution for three years. Mr. Patzer had served four years as county superintendent, defeating A. Guttmann the Republican candidate in 1890 and being chosen unanimously at the next election. He was a man of much administrative ability and secured a position for his school on the accredited list. Resigning in 1897 to accept a position as professor in the Milwaukee Normal School, he was succeeded by W. Luehr, who proved to be a very able instructor. In the third ward Albert Guttmann became principal in the fall of 1886 and during seventeen years of able service he has done much for the school. The old facilities proving inadequate in 1891 a new schoolhouse was begun on South Twelfth street, being completed in the course of a year at a cost of $25,000. In 1900 still another building was erected, this time in the Fifth ward on Twenty- First street at a cost of $20,000. In the fourth district, a small division in the southern part of the city set off in the seventies, a new school was also erected at about the same time. All the schools of the city are maintained under the old district and school meeting system, although much talk of consolidation, particularly in regard to the high school, has taken place. Among the principals of the Two Rivers High School in the nineties were A. W. Dassler, E. R. Smith, E. B. Carr, O.
P 253 B. O'Neil and C. W. Van de Walker. For the county superintendency A. Dassler was successful in 1894 but after one term was defeated by E. R. Smith, who was a Republican. After an able administration he was in turn defeated in 1898 by F. C. Christianson who was reelected twice without a partisan contest. According to his report of that year the receipts from the state were $15,674, 8733 children attended school out of 15,783 of school age and there were 171 teachers in the county, the average wages being $44 for males and $31 for females. A county training school for teachers, the third in the state, was opened in September 1901 under charge of Prof. F. S. Hyer and Miss Rose Cheney in the Fifth Ward School and much interest has been taken in the innovation. Parochial schools have also kept in the van of progress. A new building for the Roman Catholic School in Manitowoc was constructed in the later eighties and the German Lutherans completed a similar structure in 1891. In nearly every village and hamlet there are church schools, the Lutherans maintaining ten in the county and the Roman Catholics an even larger number. A private school entitled the Lake Shore Business College was established by Prof. C. D. Fahrney in Manitowoc in 1891 but suspended after five years of existence. Some years later the Wisconsin Business College was established and led a successful career under the able instruction of Principal C. F. Moore. A school for the deaf and dumb was instituted by the city with state aid in 1893 but it ceased to exist after seven years. Libraries always play an important part in education. On January 23 1868 in a letter to C. H. Walker, Col. K. K. Jones, of Quincy, Ill. offered to give Manitowoc a library, provided an association was formed and the maintenance of the institution assured. The offer was accepted with eagerness and a public meeting held on February 1st, of which Joseph Vilas acted as chairman and Henry Sibree as secretary. A committee was appointed, consisting of O. B. Smith, H. Sibree, D. J. Easton and A. D. Jones, to make final arrangements and an association was formed on February 29th with C. H. Walker president, J. F. Guyles vice president,
P 254 Peter Johnston treasurer and O. B. Smith secretary. The association was duly incorporated by the legislature, the charter providing for a board of nine directors, to be elected annually, any subscriber to the amount of four dollars being given the privilege to vote at the meetings. The library was installed in a building on York street and was well supported and patronized for many years, many social and literary functions being given for its benefit. It was maintained until 1888, when the several hundred books it then possessed passed into the temporary care of the Y. M. C. A., being later transferred to the rooms of the Calumet Club and then to the north side school until added to the new city library. Although attempts were made to revive the enterprise from time to time Manitowoc was without a library until 1899, when as the result of the work of Miss Stearns of the State Library Commission, assisted by many of the local ladies, interested in education a favorable sentiment was created and sufficient funds accumulated for the opening of the institution. The following were, in November, appointed the first city library board:--L. J. Nash, E. Schuette, N. Torrison, Dr. John Meany, John Nagle, Dr. A. C. Fraser, F. C. Canright, Mesdames J. S. Anderson and Max Rahr. Rooms were secured in the Postoffice Building and the library proved a most successful enterprise. Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 for a city library in 1902 and the work of erection was soon decided upon. In January 1891 Joseph Mann of Milwaukee donated $1000 to the city of Two Rivers for a public library and about $2100 was raised by others in support of the institution. It was opened soon after and has been well patronized, receiving at various times considerable municipal support. District school libraries have been quite generally established throughout the county also, forming a valuable adjunct to the regular facilities.