Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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SURING SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY
1979
Page 25
Page 26


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   FARMERS
Some of the earliest settlers came to the Mountain area as farmers. The best farming area seemed to be located near Silver Hill Road. Others came in search of making money, and that tended to come from working as a lumberjack. Since the wood's work lasted through the winter months, these lumberjacks turned to farming to tide them over the summers. They bought a cow, chickens, pigs and plenty of vegetable seeds and provided their own food. The gardens were planted around the stumpage left by the loggers, making farming all hand labor.
As the years went by, the farmers began to prosper and soon had more milk from their growing herd of cattle than they needed. Mr. W. Blopmberg became the town's first milkman, bottling his milk at home and bringing it into town on horse and buggy. He went door to door and sold his milk forjjtf a quart. A cheese factory went into business in the early 1900's and bought the milk from the farmers. Each farmer brought his milk into town in cans every day. By 1926 the cheese factory was buying milk from 62 customers.
After the loggers moved over the country side, they left behind acres of barren land. The dead limbs and brush left behind dried out and fires began to start up easily, even from lightning. Having no means of fighting these fires, hundreds of acres burned over. If the fire threatened homes or barns, the neighbors quickly gathered to wet the buildings down, but the fire continued across the country side. Although these fires drastically changed the land, leaving a trail of ruin, they also brought rewards to these hard working farmers. Soon the charred land began to yield bushels of wild berries and the burned over stumpage was much easier to remove in clearing farm land. Although the farmers did not need great acreage in growing crops, it was a lot easier to till a square field with horses than to work around the stumps by hand. The
women and children picked the wild berries, bringing 2S them in to town and selling them at the store. In these early days farmers did not raise corn, oats or hay.
Postal service in the early days was very limited. The train delivered the mail and there were no routes so the mail was picked up at Harry Baldwin's store which served as the first post office. A.C. Frost is said to have been one of the first post masters in Mountain. The position was held by Marinus Jensen from 1912 until 1928. In 1929 the   , Mountain Post Office served 59 families and had 53 boxes. At this time Nels V. Jensen was the mail carrier and traveled a 22 mile route by auto. He delivered mail three     • times a week. The expansion of the mail service in the    I area depended on the population growth as the following quote from a postal inspection paper of 1929 indicates: "as soon as the country roads get more population and other roads are laid out and kept up, we'll try to change routes so more of the outlying farmers get route service."
The location of the post office was changed from time to time. Mr. Axel Olsen, who was post master in Mountain for 23 years, had the post office in two different stores during his years of service. The post office is presently located in a separate building built in the late 1950's.
In 1897 a new school was built on the site where the present school building stands today. This was the residential area of that time. In 1905 the school burned down, possibly from an overheated wood furnace. The school was soon rebuilt on the same location. In the meantime, the children attended school in the town hall.
Mrs. Walfred Bloomberg, a Mountain resident who attended the early school tells the following story. "We came walking up the hill to school that morning and could not see that the school had burned until we came over the hill. I was tickled pink because I thought we would not have any school from then on. We all joked about one of the boys that had been in the first grade for four years. We figured for sure that the only way he would ever get out of the first grade was to burn the school down."
First School House in Mountain Teacher Mrs. Herb Baldwin
Front row; I. Name unknown; 2. ? Logan; 3. Unknown; 4. George Baldwin; 5. Walter Anderson; 6. Willard Heins; 7. Andrew Frost; 8. Unknown; 9. Clarence Kalies; 10. ? Kalies; 11. Walter Saffran; 12. Lora Frie (Fry); 13. Emma Nuton; 14. Nora Jensen; 15. Clara Bartz: 16. Annie Olson; 17. ? Engle; 18. Unknown; 19. Dan Cole's daughter; 20. Mary Peterson.
Second row: 1. Harry Heins: 2. Kd Saffran: :i. ? Kngle: 4. Otto Bartz; 5. Henry McAIIan: 6. Benton Kalsic: 7. Maurice Kalsie: 8. Nellie Anrierson: 9. Tillie Olson Rasmussen; 10. Mary Frost Thompson; II. Alice McAIIan Kingston: 12. Mary Bartz Strong.