by RICHARD HALL
Published in 1876
Oconto County Reporter
Messrs. CONN & GARDNER had built a substantial store, boarding house and dwelling house a large and valuable tank and apparatus for extinguishing fires, a tram-road to the Bay, docks for loading lumber and other valuable structures. Mr. CONN afterwards built a large mill in Florida and has removed there and Mr. GARDNER died early in 1975.
CONN & GARDNER desired to obtain exclusive control of the stream as lumbermen. They wee not able to do so. The excellent quality of the timber soon induced others to seek and gain a foothold.
Messrs. FRENCH & ELDRED entered a large and very valuable portion of the pine. Shingle Mills were erected and other owners also secured pine. The following will give some idea of the progress of the different mills built. PETERS & Co., built in 1862 Shingle mill, daily cut 130 M. of Shingles. GROSSE & Son, built in 1863 a Shingle mill daily cut 30 M. Shingles. CHASE & DICKEY, built in 1866 a Shingle mill daily cut 60 M. Shingles. Anson ELDRED built in 1874 a Shingle and Lumber mill daily cut 150 M. Shingles.
ELDRED became the owner of the FRENCH & ELDRED timber and is now cutting it into lumber.
But Lumbering is not the only business that has proved profitable here.
In 1851 Mr. GROSSE commenced fishing about two miles north of the mouth of Little Suamico River, with a seine, taking about 80 barrels of mostly white fish.
This business has been steadily carried on with pound nets in the fall and seines in the spring, and now about twelve hundred barrels of fish are annually exported from Little Suamico.
In 1857 W.C. SEARLE and Joseph LUCIA commenced clearing, and with a view to farming. This interest did not increase rapidly however until 1862 when the town began to fill up with bona fide settlers. There are now about 50 improved farms located in Towns 26, Range 19 & 20 and fractional 21. Their farm buildings are generally good. Two principal roads traverse the Town, north and south viz: the lower state road in the Eastern part of the Town and the Stiles State Road near the center of the town. Another important road, called the up river road, runs from the lower mills westerly through much of the farming district, and is much used by both lumbermen and farmers. Many other roads traverse the farmers districts.
The principal, and most of minor roads are kept in good repair when the means are considered and the extent of road to be kept up.
There are three schools at present in the town one in the Eastern part of the town, Dist. No. 1: District No. 2. Three miles west in section 22 Township 26 Range 20 and district No. 3 in Section 24 Township 26 Range 19. I mention these localities as they convey some idea where principal farming centers are.