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Written by Marie Darrow
Compositor - Ben Penkivich, for the Gillett Public Library
Scanned and contributed by Jennifer Bumann
Family Site  Researching Oconto County surnames

(Page 39)


    Nick Stomer is another real old timer in Gillett who has watched the community grow and develop and who has contributed much toward its development. He was born in Sweden in 1885 and came to Gillett in 1893. Always an expert at anything mechanical, he read most everything printed about Henry Ford's invention, the motor car. In 1905 he decided that he could build one for himself. He went to work in the old planing mill located back of his father's house and built the frame and body and a two-cylinder steam engine.

    He bought the boiler in Green Bay. The car had a chain drive and kerosene was used as the fuel to generate the steam. It worked, perhaps better than the first commercially built cars, and needed only more and better roads on which to tra-vel. His was the only automobile in Glllett until Dr. Baldwin bought a one-cylinder Oldsmobile in 1909. Dr. Baldwin's car was steered with a lever outside of the body. Evidently driving it was quite a feat. The following paragraph, taken from the front page of the June 26, 1909 issue of the Gillett Times is interesting.

    "During a pleasure ride about town Tuesday evening Mrs. L. H. Baldwin and her son Lyman, were thrown from their automobile in which they were riding on the corner near Wm. Warmer's saloon by a collision between the automobile and the cement walk, the machine driven by Lyman became unmanageable and the accident resulted. Mrs. Baldwin was bruised about the back and hands. Lyman escaped without injury."

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