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The Centennial

Oconto County

Published in 1876
Oconto County Reporter

October 14, 1876

Before leaving Pensaukee it seems proper to give some further account of the business operations of Mr. F.B. GARDNER on that river. Beginning there at an early day he has added to the business and pluck of the north western lumberman, a character for liberality and regard for the interests of Pensaukee.

We have already seen that "Our Great Father the President, had for the benefit of his red children of the Menominee Nation" gone into lumbering, or had given John P. ARNDT permission "to do the same" upon conditions which the said red children highly approved, witness the well attested signatures of the "Big Indians"--great chiefs I mean of the said Menominee nation.

Favored Passankie, or Pine Grove Creek! After such an auspicious beginning, we can not doubt that the said John P. ARNDT had and held the mills and mill seats, seeing his agreements, sawing all the lumber needed for the public service on reasonable terms; committing no unnecessary waste of timber, that he furnished all the lumber which the Indians required for houses, barns, public buildings &c.; that he ground all the grain they raised, and that all this he did gratis.-- And last, not least, that the Menominee Nation annually received from that mill the sum of "fifteen dollars".

Who shall say now that the red man has been imposed upon or his rights usurped?

In may 1841 John P. ARNDT sold to J. B. W. ARNDT describing a tract on south bank of Pensaukee, or Pine Grove Creek, one mile from its mouth, containing 160 acres, with saw mill and improvements.

The Township, viz.--Township 27, Range 21, where in the mouth of Pensaukee River is located was subdivided into sections by the U.S. Deputy Surveyor, in August and September 1840. This and the adjacent Townships were offered for sale at the Land office then located at Green Bay.

Early in 1843 Harry E. EASTMAN made the first entries of land in Pensaukee. His entries covered lots 5 and 6, in section 11, and the e1/2 of se1/4 of Section 10, Township 27, Range 21. The first description covers the western part of the village of Pensaukee, south of the river, embracing the ground thereon the GARDNER House now stands. The tract in Section 10 is supposed to have covered the old water mill site.

Three years later, viz: in April 1846 EASTMAN deeded to John Wallace ARNDT all the lands above describe. We may presume that ARNDT was a party with EASTMAN in the entries although his name was not used.--ARNDT continued the owner until August 1849, when he deeded to Freeland B. GARDNER of Racine for $4000.

In May 1845 George W. LURWICK had entered the lot so long afterward owned and occupied by Moses HARDWICK. In July 1848, Wm. L. HINSDALE secured by entry lot 7 in section 11 whereon was built the steam mill as stated by Mr. DeLANO, in 1850 and 51.

In September 1849 HINSDALE deeded to GARDNER, who completed the mill, building substantially, and introducing most of the valuable improvements then known or used in western mills. In 1848 was made the first entry of pine lands. Henry B. KETCHAM entered a quarter section of land about three miles above the mill, (the same laterly occupied by George BIRMMINGHAM), and deeded it the same year to GARDNER.