Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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HISTORY OF NORTHERN WISCONSIN
1881

OCONTO COUNTY

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Oconto in 1869; in 1871, was elected County Clerk, and has held the office for ten years successively. Has held the office of City Attorney for three years, and holds that office at the present time.

AUGUST ELLMANN, saloon, Oconto. Born Feb. 19, 1841, in Prussia, came to Canada in 1862, where he remained till 1864, when he came to Ohio, and enlisted at Cincinnatiin the Uth Ohio Cav.; served to the end o( the war, was mustered out at Columbus. In 1866, he came to Oconto, peddled beer about seven years, since then he has kept this saloon, which he owns. Married in 1868, to Mary Riley; she was born in Milwaukee. They have four daughters,

PETER G. ESSON, lumber business, Oconto, Is a native of New Brunswick; came to Oconto, Sept. 10, 1866, worked at Amey, Rice & Fitzgerald's mill, afterward for the Oconto Company. Since then he has been jobbing in logs, and locating limber and farming lands. He owns a farm of eighty acres land, now rented. He and Dr. Coleinan own large interests in pine lands. He is also interested in the mitt ; he has been Superviser of the town, he located the New Stiles road, running west from Oconto, the Maple Valley road and others'. Mr. E. remarks that hemlock bade and hard timber is a prominent feature in this county, and should be developed.

GEORGE FARNSWORTH, president Oconto Company. Is a resident of Chicago, 111.; in 1856, he carne to Oconto, built a mill for R. M. Norton & Co., and ran it two years; in 1858, he bought a half interest in this mill, which was originally built by Morril! & Co., although it has since been rebuilt and has undergone several changes in ownership since then. In 1867, Mears, Bates & Co., of Chicago, bought into this company, and they with Mr. Farnsworth as president, reorganized as the Oconto Company. This company manufacture about 25,000,000 lumber, 15,000,000 shingles, 2,250,000 lath, also ties and cedar posts. They also sell about $175,000 in merchandise. AH their lumber is shipped by rail, they having tracks placed in their yards for this purpose. Mr. Farnsworth is also engaged with Mr. Smith in the banking business. This bank was organized in 1871.

K. FISHER & CO., dealers in dry goods, notions, boots, shoes, etc., Oconto ; established their business in 1878. They have a stock of about $10,000.

S. W. FORD, druggist, Oconto. Is a native of Green Bay, Wis. In 1868, he commenced to learn the druggist business, and in 1872 came to Oconto, bought out the firm of P. McCall & Co. He now carries a very fine stock and is doing the finest trade in this line in Oconto.

HON. E. FUNKE, capitalist, Oconto. Born Jan. 20, 1833, in Prussia, came to Oconto in 1853. Followed lumbering about nine years ; he then built a hotel which he managed about sixteen years, known as the Funke Hotel, this house he still owns. He with Mr. Barlow opened a hardware store, continued in that business about two years. He was one of the first Trustees of the village ; has been County Supervisor several terms ; was Chairman of the Pier Committee, the building of which cost $36,000; was Mayor two terms; represented this district in the Legislature two terms.


H. W. GILKEY, of the firm of Waggoner & Gilkey, retail grocer merchants, Oconto. Was born in Houlton, Me. In the year 1846, he came West with his parents, who located at Hanchardville, Wis. In 1848 the family moved to Green Bay, where they engaged in carrying on farming and dairying, until 1852 when they resolved to try their fortune in the then wild and unexplored lumber regions of Oconto. Mr. Gilkey being at that time, but a lad of thirteen years of age, variously occupied his time in assisting his parents about the hotel, of which his father was proprietor, and at other times about the mill. Educational advantages being very limited in the early history of Oconlo, he decided in the year 1856 to attend school at Lawrence University, Ap|>leton ; his means failing him, he was most reluctantly forced to abandon his long-cherished hope of completing his college course, and in the year 1858 he entered upon the vocation of teaching in the public schools of Oconto; which position he occupied, as principal, for ten years. In the year 1869 he  was elected to the office of County Superintendent of Schools for the term of two years. He was re-elected in 1871, and subsequently was appointed to nil a vacancy in the same office, serving the people in this capacity five years. A vacancy having occurred in the office of City Superintendent of Schools in 1873, he was appointed to fill that position. At the expiration of the unexpired term, he was appointed to the same position, to which he was twice re-appointed, and subsequently, appointed to fill a second vacancy in the same office, having held the office four years in all, thus being prominently identified with public schools of Oconto County for the term of twenty successive years. He also superintended the Sabbath school at Oconto, eighteen years. In 1873, his time not being wholly in the school work, he took charge, as assistant timber clerk of the so-called Sturgeon Bay Canal land grant of 2OO,coo acres, which position he has occupied continuously ever since. Tn the mean time, he had charge of Sands belonging to non-residents, for whom he located pine lands, also explored for himself and did general surveying when not otherwise occupied.

C. GLEASON, proprietor of billiard  hall and saloon, Oconto, is a native of Western Canada.
T. B. GOODRICH, manager of the store for Holt & Balcom. Oconto, is a native of Steuben Co., N. Y.; came to Oconto in 1856, and has had charge of this store ever since it was established. 

E. W. GRAY, proprietor of Gray's Mills, Oconto, is a native of Niagara Co., N.Y. At about the age of thirteen, he came to Kalamazoo Co., Mich.; in 1857, came to Winnebago Co., Wis.; there he followed the lumber business. In 1873, he came to Oconto ; engaged as foreman at Pierce's sash and door factory, in 1877, he built this mill, which he has since run. The capacity of this mill is from 30,000 to 40,000 feet a day. 

B. G. GRUNERT, County Clerk, Oconto, is a native of Saxony; in 1853, he came to Ontagamie Co., Wis., where he assisted his brother farming. The following Winter, he removed to Ft. Howard; came to Oconto, February, 1854; worked in and around the mills; a short time afterward, appointed book-keeper for Norton & Co. and Whitcomb & Ideson ; held this position till 1864. In the Fall of 1865, he was elected County Clerk; held this office five years. In the Fall of  1880, he was re-elected to this position. He has also held the office of City Clerk. 

W. HAGGERSON, dealer in groceries, provisions, flour, feed, etc., Oconto, is a native of New York State; came to Oconto in 18S5 with his parents. Established his present business in 1877. He carries a complete stock in his line. 

ALBERT HALBACH, firm of Halbach & Noonan, foundry and machine shop, Oconto, is a native of Sheboygan, Wis.; learned the machinist trade in Sheboygan Falls; came to Oconto in 1871; worked at his trade till 1874, when he bought out the interest of Charles Godfrey in this shop. He continued vith this firm till the Summer of 1880,when he and Mr. Noonan bought out the business. Has been Chief Engineer of the fire department. 

J. W. HALL, editor and proprietor of the Oconto Lumberman, was born in London, Eng.; came to America with his parents in 1849, and to Oconto in 1855. In the Spring of 1859, he went into the Pioneer printing-office to learn the trade, and in 1864, established his present paper. In 1865, he bought the Pioner office and consolidated it with the Lumberman office.

JOSEPH HALL, of Oconto, born in London, England, 1821, received an academic education; is a currier by trade. Emigrated to the United States in 1848,  and located at De Pere, Brown Co. Remained there to 1852; thence to Green Bay, and removed to Oconto, Wis., in 1855, his present residence. His been justice of the Peace; Clerk of Circuit Court for twenty-two years, was Deputy Assessor for United States, also Deputy Provost Marshal for his county during the war. Was appointed Postmaster by Gen. Grant, thirteen years ago, and still holds that position. 

R. L. HALL, abstract maker. Oconto, is a native of Chemung Co., N. Y.. came to Menomonee River with his father, Dr. J. C. Hall, who carried on an extensive lumber business there, as well as practicing his profession. Mr. Hall came to Oconto in 1857; held the office of County Surveyor; he is also Deputy of the Circuit Court. 

J. A. HANSEN, manufacturer of root beer, Oconto, is a native of Denmark, came to Manistee, Mich., in 1868; carried on a grocery and saloon; in 1873, he came to Oconto, and established this business ; he is a member of the City Council ; is serving on his third term ; is trustee of the Oconto Cemetery; trustee and cashier of the Danish Lutheran Church. 

ALBERT HANSON, manager of the boarding house for Holt & Balcom, Oconto, is a native of Norway, and came to Oconto in August, 1868 ; worked at different places up to April. 1879, when he took charge of this house. He was marricd to Mary E. Hanson, Oct. 24, 1869. They have four children - Cyrus, Harry, Axiom and William. 

C. S. HART, editor and proprietor of the Oconto Reporter, was born at Green Bay; came to Oconto in 1852, with his parents. His first paper was the Oconto Pioneer, in 1864. In 1872, he established his present paper. In politics he is independent. 

EDWIN HART, justice of the Peace and general collecting agent, Oconto, born in the city Norwich, New London Co., Conn., May 5, 1807, came to Huron Co., Ohio, in 1824; there he learned the carpenter and joiner trade. in the Spring of 1830, he emigrated to Green Bay, Wis., worked there at his trade till 1851, when he came to Oconto, was engaged at Oconto Falls in the lumber business two years ; in 1853, he opened a store in Oconto, this being the first store in the place, continued this business about eight years; in 1861, he established a line of steamers between here and Green Bay, this being the first line on this route; he continued it till 1872; he was also a general agent for all boats running here ; in 1833, he was appointed by Gov. Dodge, justice of the Peace; held  that appointment  till  the  Territory  became  a  State.  From  1832 to 1835,  he was  in  the  employ  of  the  U. S. Government,  in rebuilding  the garrison,  and  superintends  the cutting  out the  roads  from  Green  Bay  to  Manitowoc ,  in 1857 he  established  th e bank  of Oconto,  he  being  president;  Mr. Woodruff  was cashier;  he has been  Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Oconto County,
 

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