Search billions of records on

Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
formatted and posted by RITA
This site is exclusively for the free access of individual researchers.
* No profit may be made by any person, business or organization through publication, reproduction, presentation or links to this site.

Flash From The Past - 1875

January 13, 1875


THE Oconto Company shut down their planing mill and box factory last Saturday, and they will not be started up much before spring. This throws some 65 men out of a situation at a time when they can ill afford to be idle. The majority of the men will go to the woods and return when work is resumed.

THE Sheriff sold 1,000 cords of pine slabs belonging to L. M. Pierce, at public sale the other day for 25 cents per cord.

JACOB Spies is already making preparations to rebuild his meat market lately destroyed by fire. The new building will be both larger and better then the old one.

SINCE the fire Mr. Fisher, has rented the small building on Superior street lately used as a bakery, and again has his harness shop in full blast.  


Jan 23, 1875

** Feminine Notes
Twenty-one girls from Kenosha have RESOLVED that "If the young men won't come to see us, we will go and see them." The young men presented a wild hunted look, and are leaving town.

There is a women in Jefferson County, 90 years old, who has cut and pieced 61 quilts since she was 85 years old.

Feb. 13, 1875

** We note by the Marinette Eagle, that the terrible snow storm that has prevailed during last week, brought one unfortunate man to an unfortunate end. Wednesday night Boardman Russel, in company with another man, set out for a camp two and a half miles up the river. When they arrived within 60 rods of their destination, Russel overcome with fatigue was obliged to surccome to the storm and parished before assistance could be rendered.  He leaves a wife and three children in Maine to mourn his sudden death. 

** It is said that on the second day of February,  bears wake up from their dormant state, and come out and get a breath of fresh air, and if the sun shines so that they can see their shadow, they go back and sleep six weeks longer; but if they cannot see their shadow, they stay out for the reason that there will be an early spring. No bear could have seen his shadow last week Tuesday, nor anything else, on account of the northeast snowstorm. So we prophesies an early spring.

March 13, 1875

** The logging camps are breaking up quite rapidly now. Several came out during the past week, and the boys are "only waiting" for the First of April for their pay. The streets are beginning to assume quite a business aspect, but it is only in appearance.-Business cannot improve to any great extent until money begins to circulate, and that will not be until after the boys are paid off.

** One of the cold blooded murders on records, says the Chippewa Herald, was perpetrated last week in the town of Auburn, Chippewa county. Two Germans were shot and one killed by an Irishman. The dispute arose as to the ownership of some fence posts. The murder took place in the woods, the Irishman going out with a shot gun loaded with buck shot, for the deliberate purpose of settling the matter. After the murder, the Irishman fearing lynching came here and gave himself up. He was taken back on Thursday.

** Delicate Surgical Operation On Wednesday afternoon we in company with a number of other gentleman, had the privilege of witnessing a most dangerous and delicate surgical operation performed by the accomplished Surgeon of this city, Dr. Hamilton Allen.  The operation consisted in the removal, from a ladies neck, of a fibro-cystic tumor, of four years growth. Cloriform having been administered by Mr. Wm. Underhill, the tumor was cut down upon by making an incision about four inches in length and then carefully dissected out. The tumor had deep attachments and when we consider the number and importance of the vessels in this part of the body, the difficulty of the operation will be at once apparent. Dr. Allen is a master in surgery which has attended McGill College, and the success which has attended his various operations in this city, proves him to be a worthy graduate of the most distinguished University in Canada. Our very popular Physician, Dr. Adams, rendered material assistance during the operation.


April 10, 1875

** We noted by the Green bay Advocate that a Mr. Babcock, a man about 23 years old, residing with his parents in Mill Centere, died in his room last Wednesday from the effects of a wound from the discharge of a gun. When his friends reached him he was unable to give an explanation, and it will never be known whether his death was accidental or not.

** A train on the C. & N. W. Railway on Friday evening last ran over and killed, about two miles above DePere, an Indian named Antone James. The Indian was about 30 years old and leaves a wife and one child. He was lying on the track, probably intoxicated, and when seen by the engineer, it was too late to stop in time to save his live. The body was brought to the DePere on the train.

April 24, 1875


As the wind blew a hurricane from the north-east, and waves rolling in from Lake Michigan through the "DOOR" broke up the ice into large cakes, and the immense body came crashing in upon the shore at Menominee, ice shoved up the beach impelled by the fearful momentum obtained by the force of the wind that had an unbroken sweep of over one hundred miles, and in ten minutes the damage was done.

The principal destruction of property is from a point on the shore a little north of the Jones's mill to the furnace, a distance of about three-fourths of a mile. Barns and houses, all along the shore were in a few minutes consigned to destruction. The ice crashed through Geo. Horvath's barn, demolishing it; crushed into his wood shed and swashing through the rear of his house, into his pantry and kitchen. Dr. Phillips' barn was destroyed. He had just put his horse and carriage into the barn, and succeeded by great exertion in getting them out safe before the destruction was complete, excepting one horse, which was covered up in the ruins. It was supposed to be killed of course, but efforts were made to get it out, which were successful, and strange as it may appear the horse was taken out with it's having suffered very little injury.

Judge Ingalls' barn, Nick Gewchr's fish shanties and Harter & Egger's brewery are destroyed, or very seriously damaged. The damage to the brewery is estimated at not less then $2,000.

Dr. Bird's barn was destroyed, Mr. Nason's barn also. Mr. Nason is reported to have been in the barn at the time of the catastrophe, and by dint of severe exertion saved his horses and most of the movable property in the barn. Barclay's wood shed is smashed in, and a large two story house near Spie's new dwelling on the bay shore is cut off at the second story>The ice is piled up from twenty to thirty feet high along the shore there for nearly a mile. It lays in dire confusion piled up in great cakes - thick, solid, clear blue ice. The damage is estimated at not less than $5,000. Fortunately no lives were lost, but had the jam continued a few moments longer that damage must have been fearful to contemplate.

The ice up the river. At the same time a terrible flood was raging in the river, and the ice being broken up by the high water was making a fearful jam in the channel above the upper dam, at the foot of Chappee's Rapids. It was crowded ever on the shore, and actually shoved over the old, Kitson chimney, that was left standing after the great fire of the fall of 1871. Some of the ice came down and took off the tops of seven piers belonging to the Boom Company between the Railroad Bridge and the lower dam. The danger was rapidly increasing, the planing mill, the railroad bridge, the new wagon bridge and perhaps the mills would be swept out into the bay; for had the water continued to rise, the immense ice jam which piled up from ten to twenty feet in height for nearly two miles above the upper dam, must have come down in terrible force, clearing away anything in it's path.

**THE LICENSE QUESTION. - One of the acts of the new Council, after organizing was to raise what is known as the "Whiskey License" from $40.00 to $100.00 This was a commendable act and one that was upheld by far the largest portion of our citizens. Since this time those that are deriving a revenue from the traffic of intoxicating liquors are making strenuous efforts to have this license reduced to the old figures, but their efforts have proved unavailing as yet. The Council stands at present, in the majority in favor of the increase. This evening the friends of reduced license will make their own fight at the Council meeting.

Oconto County Reporter
May 1, 1875

L M Pierce is ornamenting his beautiful mansion on Main Street with green blinds.

Mr. James O'Hare of the National Hotel has recently purchased a beautiful three-seated open bus, which he is running to and from the depot for the accommodation of his guests.

The annuity was paid the Menominee Indians during the past month by thge government,, amounting to $4 to each person. There were 1,524 persons on the reservation.

May 8, 1875

**SERIOUS ACCIDENT.- Felix Srehla, while assisting a moving car in the Oconto Company's Yard on the 6h inst. Fell across the track and was badly crushed. He was taken to his boarding house, and being an entire stranger in this city and in indigent circumstances, Mr. Bransfield, alderman for that ward called in Dr. O'Keef to take charge of the case. The Dr. found upon examination that Srehla had received severe injuries on the side and shoulder causing inflammation of the liver.  He is now nearly recovered and will soon be fit for work again.

**There is a straight law against selling liquor on Sunday, and also selling to minors. Several offences of this nature have been reported, and on Tuesday, one individual was fined for this offense. We have been informed by those having authority, that hereafter, these offenders will be similarly dealt with if this practice is continued.

**NEW STORE.- Messrs Verhalen & Prell have opened a store in the building owned by Richard Walsh on Main street. They have during the past week got in a large stock of Butter, Eggs, Hams and dried Beef, and expect soon to fill up with grocery's.

**SAD ACCIDENT.- On Tuesday of this week a young man by the name of Bake, employed in the shingle mill at Pensaukee, had his left hand badly mangled by its being accidentally caught by one of the saws. The fingers were all cut nearly off, and the hand split open. Dr. Allen of this city was immediately telegraphed for and attended to the case.

**A MAN SEVERLY HURT BY BEAR.- A few days after Peter Reynolds and Levi Reynold, while working in the woods on the North Branch of the Oconto River, saw a black bear with two small cubs. Mr. Peter Reynolds being desirous to possess himself of one of the cubs, made an attempt to pick it up, when the mother bear in protection of her young struck him a blow in the face near the ear and literally tore the flesh from his cheek, neck, arm and side, lacerating him in a most horrible manner. He was taken to Shawano where he received medical attendance. His recovery is considered quite doubtful. Mr. Reynolds is a resident of Langlade, where he has a wife and three children.

**MINUS AN EAR.- On Monday last, Richard Burke and Pat O'Brien, having partaken too freely of forty rod-whiskey, engaged in a quarrel which ended in a rough and tumble fight, O'Brien coming off second best. A short time after - they renewed the fight, and Burke again would have got the better, but in the scuffle O'Brien bit off a large portion of Burke's ear which seemed to satisfy both combatants, and the fight was brought to a close by mutual consent. The ear was skillfully repaired by Dr. O'Keef, who informs us the wound is doing well and that Burke will not be as much disfigured as might have been expected.  


researched by Richard LaBrosse

George Farnsworth, president of the Oconto Company, was in town this week.

Joseph Noel was slightly injured at his work Tuesday.

Jerry Corboy, in the employ of George Lynes, fell into the water while driving logs, and was drowned.  He is survived by a wife and three children.

The Propeller Trusdell arrived from Chicago Thursday with goods for Leigh, Hall, Waggoner, Millidge, Pahl, Schedler, Wllman, Knapp, Casson & Col., Luby, Zipple, Eldred, Gregor. Verhalen & Prell, and England & Taylor.

June 5, 1875
**Shocking Accident

The Marinette Eagle says that Mr. H. M. Ingallsbee, of Menominee, came to his death last Friday evening in a very sudden and terrible manner. It appears that he was unloading cedar posts from a wagon at Bird's dock. A spirited team was attached to the wagon, which became frightened from some cause and startled suddenly. Mr. Ingallsbee either was thrown from the wagon, or in attempting to get off, he fell under the wheels, which being in rapid movement passed over him. He was struck in the region of the stomach, and the heavy load of cedar posts crushed him. He was picked up immediately, but only groaned once or twice and expired. He leaves two children to mourn their sudden and sad bereavement.

** Found drowned Edgar Spaulding, little son of Mrs. and Mr. Chancy Simons, who fell from Hart's Dock into the Oconto River and was drowned, on the 22nd of April last, was found in a slough near Spies' Steam Mill, on Monday, May 31st.

** "Talkin about cattil," said the farmer from Brookside the other day, "you ought to see a bull down on my farm. Great snaix! When a red headed woman peeks over the fence he just tars around enough to take the roof off'n creation. He goes by gingo."

 ** A Nugget of Solid Gold Worth $2,000. We note by the Ahnapee Record that a nugget of solid gold worth $2,000. Was recently found by Mr. Martin Kroeger, on his farm west of the village. We make this statement on the authority of John Culligan, who says the specimen is pronounced genuine by all who have seen it.

** Modesty is a Jewel. One of our River Drivers gave an attorney his time to collect, amounting to $30. Calling for it, after awhile, he inquired if it had been collected. "Oh, yes" said the lawyer, "I have it all for you." "What is the charge for collecting?" "Oh said the lawyer laughing, I'm not going to charge you much-why I have known you since you were a boy, and your father before you; $20. Will be about right." Handing over $10. "Well," said the driver, as he meditated upon the transaction, "It's a good thing you didn't know my grandfather, or' shouldn't have got anything!"  

Oconto County Reporter
June 19, 1875

Last week one of our fishermen brought to market a sturgeon that weighed 478 pounds and measured nine feet, two inches in length. This is the largest fish we have ever heard of being caught in the waters of Green Bay

Tuesday night Francis Van Boven, a German farmer living in the town of Oconto, lost his barn containing his farming utensils and a calf by fire.

On Monday night the residence of Mr Cury on Superior street was enetered by burglars and $180 was stolen.

George Hanson took the census of Oconto during the past two weeks. The population is 4, 431. In 1870 it was 2,655, showing a gain of 1,776 on the past five years.

July 19, 1875

On Thursday morning of this week, two men were arrested who gave their names as George Williams and Thos. Durnam, at the Waterloo House, on suspicion of passing counterfeit money. It appears that on Wednesday, two strangers made their appearance in this city, about six o'clock in the evening, one of them entered the Hardware store of Mr. Chas. Hall, and purchased a cork-screw the price of which was 25 cents, in payment of which he handed out a five dollar note on the National Bank of Canton Illinois, and received $4.75 in change. Mr. Hall was suspicious that the men were safe robbers, and he, with Mr. Jason Underhill, concluded to watch the movements of the strangers during the night. Soon after the purchase of the cork-screw, Mr. Hall stepped into Felix Johnson's saloon, where he saw the same party call for a glass of beer and cigar, for which he gave Mr. Johnson a five dollar note on the same Bank, and received in change $4.85. Mr. Hall then became suspicious that the money might be counterfeit, and he with officer Don Levy, Levi Urquhart Esq. Mr. J. Underhill, and others visited several places of business, calling up those who had retired for the night, and in nearly every instance found they had been victimized to the amount of five dollars at nearly all the saloons they bought a cigar and a glass of beer, at Mr. Schonfield's they purchased a pair of socks. As far as can be ascertained they have passed in this city about $100. All bills of the same denomination and on the same bank. They were arrested in bed upon searching the bed was found $200. Good money, on the springs under the tick, and $150. of counterfeit on their clothes.

On Thursday morning they were arraigned before Esquire Urquhart, but upon a demand being made for a change of venue, they were taken before R. W. Hubbell, assisted by Esquire Mitchell. We are unable to give the decision of the court, as the examination is still in progress, but it is next to a certainty that they will be bound over to stand trial trail at the next term of the circuit court.


Oconto County Reporter
July 24, 1875

Everybody and his neighbor can be seen early in the morning with pails in their hands making for the primeval forest in pursuit of huckle berries; and at eventide the aforesaid everybody and his neighbor may be seen dragging their weary lengths along with their pails well filled.  These berries sell in the market for 7 cents a quart.

Mr. H. W. Waldron and lady of West Pensaukee made us a pleasant call last Saturday.  Mr. Waldron was the first farmer to bring new potatoes into the market this season.

We were pleased to receive a call this week from our worthy citizen, Mr. William Zipple, who has just returned from Germany after an absence from this country of three months, seven weeks of which time he spent in the country of his nativity.

August 21, 1875 

Last Sunday Mr. And Mrs. James Mathews with their daughter Emma started for Camp Meeting with horse and buggy, and when near the water mill the horse kicked breaking the dash board, the frame of which hit Emma in the face, injuring her so severely that she fainted and fell striking her face upon the wheel of the buggy, causing serious wounds and bruises. She was immediately brought home and placed under the medical care of Dr. Adams. Although severely hurt she is now considered out of danger.

Oconto County Reporter
September 4, 1875.
researched and contributed by Richard La Brosse

The livery stables could scarcely meet the demand for horses last Sunday.

Number of pupils enrolled in our public schools in this city at the beginning of the present term was 417.

The Oconto Company is placing a mammoth sign over their planning mill and extending its entire length which will give this extensive establishment a more business aspect, if possible, than ever.

Oconto County Reporter
September 4, 1875

During the past week as a Mr. Safield, a Sugar Bush Farmer was driving to the village of Peshtigo, his wagon run over one end of a long sharp stick causing it to fly up in such a way as to strike him on the lower part of the abdomen and passing entirely through his body protruded from his back, inflicting a mortal wound, although he was still alive up to last accounts.

Oconto County Reporter
Sept 18, 1875
contributed by Richard La Brosse

Mr. Isaac Elliott, residing near Well's mill, eight miles north from this city, in the town of Peshtigo, while out hunting on Monday last shot five lynx and one deer.

Mr. James A. Glynn, one of the Town of Oconto farmers, brought in four potatoes that weighed four and one half pounds.

The St. Joseph's T.A. B. society have formed a debating club which meets at their reading room on the first and third Wednesday evenings in each month. The following are the officers elected for the ensuing six months; President, Wm. J. Pope; vice president, Chas. F. Sharp; treasurer, George Davis; Rec secretary, Jos. Cox, Jr.,; financial secretary Dan. O'Keef.

The steamer North West came up to her dock at the foot of Section street, this city, on Tuesday last, from Green Bay. Since the close of the spring fishing, she has been in summer quarters; as the fall fishing is now opening she comes out from her long seclusion looking familiarly as bright and business like as ever.

Oconto County Reporter
October 9, 1875
contributed by Richard La Brosse

The C.T.A. and B. society distributed their band instruments amongst their members who will form the band on Friday evening.  On next Thursday evening the society will hold their Sociable at the residence of Mr. Geroge Davis in the East Ward.

The Reform convention met at the court house, this city, on Friday Oct. 8 with the largest delegation that the county has ever seen.  The following ticket was unanimously nominated; Member of Assembly, Louis Pahl; Sheriff, Richard Raleigh; District Attorney, O.F. Trudell; Clerk of the court, Mike Cunningham; School superintendent, Mary A. Jones; coroner, John Merline.

Oconto Falls Herald
October 16, 1875
contributed by Richard La Brosse

On Monday morning last about 1 am, our city was visited with another destructive fire by which the National Hotel on Main street was totally consumed together with most of its contents.

Oconto County Reporter
October 30 1875

We are pleased to learn that John Doran has made and amicable settlement of his business difficulties and has resumed operation in the manufactoure of cigars at his old stand.

Nov. 6, 1875

The stabbing Affray that occurred near Stiles as noticed in our last issue is not likely to terminate in a loss of life as was feared. It appears that the two parties Bob Johnson and George Clair, were playing at cards in the bar room of the Hotel and at the conclusion of the game there was some altercation about who was to pay for the drinks. It seems that this was apparently settled and they took a drink. Johnson went out of doors, and was soon followed by Clair. Soon a noise was heard, and on going out other parties found Johnson attacking Clair with a knife. Clair was stabbed nine times on all sides of his person. It seems that he was struck or thrown down, and as he rolled over to evade the knife, the cuts were given with a pocketknife. Johnson was immediately secured by parties stopping at the hotel, tied up and kept until officers arrived from this city who took him into custody and brought him to this city where he's confined in the county jail. Dr. Allen attended the wounded man and now reports him doing well and likely to recover.

Nov. 13, 1875

A party of four men from the town of Little Suamico, went up north on a hunting tour two or three weeks ago. And as far as we can learn one of the party known as Bill Oakum, a man of no family and about 50 years of age, started out on a fresh bear track. The other three men stay in the vicinity two or three days without hearing or seeing anything of him, when they returned. It appears that he has not been heard from since, and it is feared that he over took the bear who proved to much for him. We have not been able to learn whether his companions made any attempt to find him or not. If they did not it does not speak well for their humanity or bravery.


Our jobbers have commended making arraignments for their winter campaigne among the pines. Mr. Edward Sargent on Monday last started with two teams and a crew of six or eight men, for his last winter's camping ground some 45 miles up the South Branch, in the vicinity of the reservation. He intends on cutting new roads and getting a good ready for the first snow fall. Mr. George Lynes left this city with two teams and a crew of men for his last winter's camp some 60 miles up on the North Brach. He has a seven miles haul, and last winter labored under the disadvantage of keeping two extra teams to assist in hauling the loads up two hills of no mean dimention. It is his intention to remove these hills, and otherwise improve his road, thus doing away with these two extra teams, which will lesson the expense of his logging operation the coming winter quite materially.

Oconto County Reporter
November 20, 1875

We learn that more of our old settlers have been taken suddenly with the western fever and are making arrangements to emifrate in the early Spring. The party will consist of Messrs. Roscoe and Thomas Gilkey and Mrs. Antone Links. Thei destination will be the Goilden Shores of the Pacific.

Oconto County Reporter
November 27, 1875

For Sale  -  My residence on Collins Street, south side, and a good farm consisting of 40 acres, one and a half miles north of Albert Richards Hotel. For sale cheap for cash - T P Gilkey

On Monday last, our attention was attracted by the distant sound of a band of music appraoching and as it passed our astonishment was not a little. The band was followed by a truck laden with a handsome square box of large dimensions, fashionably decorated with silver mountings and drawn by four horses. Then followed some 20 teams, laden with about 100 persons. It was nothing more nor less than a horse funeral and the subject, W W Phillip's old grey "rob" who depated this life on that morning. The was mr. Phillip's favorite horse,  one he had owned for 20 years, and animal who endeared himself to his master for long and faithful work. It was buried in it's coffin at the rear of the Phillip's barn. A funeral oration was pronounced over the remains.

Oconto County Reporter
December 18, 1875

We learn that a two-year-old child of Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Hart of this city on Wednesday of this week, had the second finger of the left hand badly crushed by introducing it between the cogged wheels of a wringer while it was in motion.

The Orr mill at the foot of Section street bridge, south side, was sold at auction on Saturday of last week for the sum of $ 3,700.  Lenz and Brauns were the fortunate purchasers.

DEC 22, 1875

A regular meeting of the common council was held this evening, Mayor Trudell presiding. Present weree Ald Youngm Lynes, Porter, McGee, Tibbitts, Branfield, DonLevy, Washburne, Richards, Gravel and Pecor.

The second Grand Ball will held at the Turner Hall on the evening of Dec 31.

Oconto County Reporter
December 25, 1875

Mr. O.A. Ellis informs us that the Oconto company are running a camp this winter several miles nearer the head waters of the river than ever a camp was located before.  The company expects to occupy the same camp while cutting some 16,000,000 feet of logs.  The present crew is under charge of Mr. J. Sheridan and is and has been for some time barking 40,000 feet of lumber per day.


The evening of Tuesday the 21st inst. The 50th anniversary of the marriage of William and Miranda Ellis was celebrated at their residence in the village of Peshtigo, and was made the occasion of a joyous, and joyful meeting of friends and re-union of relatives. At about 7 p.m. the guests began to assemble, and at 9 there has come together nearly one hundred of the relatives and friends of the venerable couple. After the interchange of hearty greetings and pleasant congratulations, the Rev. Mr. Winslow, in an eloquent and happy manner reviewed, for the benefit of the assembly, the family history for three generations past, touching beautiful on that portion where in was described that scene that was enacted just fifty years ago, when this aged couple voluntarily assumed those obligations of love and constancy which they have so faithfully observed for the half century. The Rev. Gentleman, in a touching manner, pointed some valuable lessons from this half century union, for the benefit of their children and assembled friends. Mr. Ellis is 74 and his wife is 78 years of age. They are the parents of seven sons, two of whom are dead, and one living in St. Johns N.B.; the other four are residents of Oconto County. Two are residents of this city. Robert, County Clerk and Attorney at Law, and Oak A. who is general superintendent of the Oconto Company's affairs, and W. A. who is a resident of Peshtigo, and C. J. a resident of Marinette. These last four with their family's were present. At 10 o'clock the company was seated to an elegant collation and, what with the delicacies before them, and the social atmosphere around them, with wit and jest, an hour sped quickly by, and with many hearty congratulations, and many earnestly uttered prayer that time might deal as gently in the future, as it had in the past, with the aged couple in whose honor the company has assembled, the guests took their departure. At the request of the couple the usual ceremonies and presents were omitted. The guests of the city of Oconto feel that much of the pleasure that they experienced on the occasion is due the forethought an courtesy of Mr. W.A. Ellis of Peshtigo, and they hereby tender their acknowledgements for the same.