Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages 18 - 19

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The home of A. C. Frost Town Chairman, vas broken Into, his files and private papers totally ransacked. The people of this tcvn laid this cringe at the door of the Taxpayers Association- In returnr threats were made against Chairman Frost, that unless he dropped this suitr he would never hold office in the Tovn of Armstrong again! TTlQugh having no proof of the break-in at Mr. Frost's home, the Town officials continued with the suit and vere not to te intimidated. The ca$e vas brought before the court and the Town of Armstrong versus the Wisconsin Taxpayers Association came to a settlement in May of 1B95- Holt Lumber Company settled with a payment to the Town of J3950*1G and the Oconto Co. settled for $19Q&,G5* Tiie pride of the people of the Town of j^nnstrong vas thus maintained with Mr* A,C, Frost continuing to serve as an official in the Town of Armstrong for many years , The years of LB94 and 1895 were a tim of and depression for these forested areae of Wisconsin* A local concern it found in the Town Record Books regarding the rapid and wasteful harvest of this area's most valuable asset, the white pine. The minutes of thaw maatinga r«v«Bl to lib a very troubled time foe the Town officials for they vere ainwst helpless to atop this deliberate rape of the Land in the profligate destruction of a virgin forest- Who is to blame? Surely not the timber cruiser whose every msve was to ensure the wealth of the company by which he was hired to put a value on ths standing timber they purchased. Nor vas the blame to te put upon the lanterjack who came to these lands  gain employment, working in every hind of ueather for poverty wages, but proud of hla abilities to fell these giants* Nor could one blame the river hog, the Jnen who drove the logs down the waterways, a risky and scmetimes deadly endeavor- It seemed everyone, fron the pioneer farmer to the lumber baron, was seeking wealth* Tlie lumber companies -were supplying a rapidly growing nation with the demand for building materials and vere operating in Pierce ccmpetilion- 1B Were the people of the state and their government to blame for the total destruction of these primeval forests? The settlement reached with the State of Wisconsin Taxpayers Association In May of 1395 helped to bring revenue into this area and vas used to provide uorft foe those destitute and unable to find employment, Tt was decided that these men should work for the Town on what was to becone known as the L^nglade Road. A road which would connect the town of Mountain to a settlement growing up in the western rarKje of the Township. Men worked a ten hour day for $1-50; thft Town provided thetn with food and shelter In a camp enabling them to irove west as the road worK continued-Today thle roadway is known as County W vest, at one time it wag the main route of Highway W to west^ TTiis roadway is a lovely meandering driv the travelers who drive it today and leads to the scenic wolf River and Highway 55. The n^™? of this settlement is more locally taown as The WayBldej but was first callrt Statler when the Stephen Statler family vere the first to aettle th*r# «roui>d l&BQ. Today a newly built 'Ye Old Wayside Inn1 still carrL« on the tradition of a stopping place in which to rolax and converse before traveling on. and the old Sheep Ranch Road fceara witrtees to the aarly enterprises of nen cconing to make a living for themselves here iti northern Oconto County. When leaving Mountain to travel west on County W, one crosses the North Branch of the Oconto River-bridge ib known to ug as the McAllen bridge it was built just south of the home o£ Thomas McAllen, our first settler. Hie river flows quietly novr some may stop to fieh there* . . it's a peaceful place in 1989- The nighty river drives with a winter's vorth of harvested pine passing downstream are but a long lost memory for this area, but one does potvier the thought of what it must have been lifce over 100 years ago*"