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From The Past - 1896
Oconto County Reporter
Jan. 3, 1896
Miss Haines of Sturgeon Bay; who was drowned one day last week, while skating, was a cousin of Edith and Grant Birmingham.
Will Ladraw, who was shot through both legs some time ago, is gaining rapidly.
Mr. and Mrs. Bert Bovee, who have been living at Green Bay, are spending the holidays with their parents.
Mrs. Gould and daughter Sarah, who have been visiting relatives here have returned to their home, Lowell, Wis.
Mr. and Mrs. Sloan have gone to Coleman to live.
James Elison has completed the new church at Frostville. It is a fine looking building.
As Mrs. James Farrell was crossing the railroad bridge, near the Oconto
Company’s mill, Sunday morning, she fell, breaking her left arm
near the wrist.
L. A. Longrie, who has been farming in Oconto a few years, has moved to
St. Ann, Sheboygan county, for a time, under an arraignment with his
wife’s parents to care for them and their farm at the latter
Myrtle Crimm, aged 9 years, while standing by a fire upon the ice, her
cloak caught fire, and for the presence of mind of a bystander she
would have perished. He caught her up, and running to an open place in
the river, doused her up and down until the flames were extinguished.
William Doherty was badly scalded by boiling soap in a factory in which he was employed.
Howard Macrobie spent New Years with his parents at Milwaukee.
George Runkel is now doing business in his new store, which presents a very attractive appearance.
Oconto County Reporter
Jan. 10, 1896 Historic
My wife, Grace M. Fitzpatrick, having left my bed and board without
just cause or provocation, all persons are hereby cautioned against
trusting her on my account, as I will pay no debts of her contracting
after this date.
Eugene Fitzpatrick, Abrams, Wis., December 17, 1895
Oconto County Reporter
Jan. 17, 1896
There have been reported to the register of deeds, for the year 1895,
127 marriages, 256 births and 72 deaths. The number of marriages are
the same as reported for 1894, but the birth and death list were much
Two divorce cases have been decided by Judge Hastings since the
adjournment of court in November; L. I. Rollins vs. Agnes Rollins, in
favor of plaintiff, and Laura Pahl vs. Charles Pahl – granting
the divorce and giving the child into the custody of it’s mother.
The Balance Sheet
Population and Wealth of Oconto County, 1895
Where the People were Born –
Extent of Our Manufactures –
Proportion of Improved and Unimproved Lands and Value of Equipment and Products.
From advanced sheets of the state census of 1895, received from the
office of the secretary of state, THE REPORTER is enabled to present
interesting statistics of population, manufactures and agriculture in
Oconto county, as follows:
Total, 18,339; male, 9,842; female, 8,497; ex-soldiers and sailors,
227; militia, 3,426. Nativity of population – United States,
white, 12,795; colored, 14; Germany, 1,978; Great Britain, 144;
Ireland, 296; France, 143; British America, 1,109; Scandinavia, 838;
Holland, 131; all other counties, 846.
Defective classes – insane, 2, deaf and dumb, 6; blind, 6; idiotic, 7.
Number of people to the square mile, 16.
Ole Larson, who for shooting John Olson in the leg, was bound over to the circuit court.
Oconto County Reporter
Jan. 24, 1896
researched by - Cathe Ziereis
WAUPEE WIPED OUT
Judge Hastings Has Decided Against The Town.
He holds that the Organization was Illegally
Effected County Board Changed Boundary Lines Taxes of 1894 Cannot be Forcibly Collected
Judge Hastings, in circuit court at Marinette, declared the town of
Waupee, Oconto County, illegally organized, on the grounds that the
people of the territory set off did not vote according to the
requirements of the statues And the county board even changed the
boundary lines when the measure was laid before that body.
The case was bought before the judge at Marinette for the purpose of
obtaining a speedy decision, for should the town be declared illegally
organized it would prevent the forcible collection of taxes.
The result will be that orders on the town of Waupee will lose their
case and all property included in the territory set off escape taxation
Oconto County Reporter
Jan. 31, 1896
WHY IT WAS ILLEGAL
County Board Had No Power or Authority
Defendant Must Pay Costs of Suit
Town Treasurer Johnson Had Collected About Four Hundred Dollars
Didn’t Know What to Do With the Money
The decision of Judge Hastings in declaring the town of Waupee not
organized according to law, stripped of its legal verbiage is that the
ordinance is invalid, and adopted by the county board without power or
authority; and that plaintiff shall receive of defendant the sum of
$23.30 for costs of suit.
Treasurer Johnson’s Dilemma
Nels P. Johnson, treasurer of the defunct town, was in this city this
week and called upon County Treasurer McAllister with about $200.00
which he had collected in taxes in the territory set off, which the
county treasurer would not accept, as the town in which the collection
was made was not now in existence, hence no town to which to credit the
funds. Mr. Johnson was advised to retain the money until directed by
proper authority what disposition he should make of it. The entire
amount collected is about $400.00.
Patrick Curley Insane Taken to the Hospital at Winnebago on Wednesday
Patrick Curley, for many years proprietor of a hotel at Stiles, was on
Tuesday adjudged insane by physicians in the presence of the county
judge and sheriff, and on Wednesday the unfortunate man was taken to
the hospital for the Insane.
Another Big Load
From John Shores’ camp comes the news of a two-horse team
hauling, over a snow road and landing in the Peshtigo brook, a ten-log
load of pine scaling 4,000 feet, where 2,000 feet loads are a scarcity,
Oconto County Reporter
Feb. 14, 1896
Robert Burke and family have moved to Sturgeon Bay.
The two-year-old child of George Rattelle, car repairer of the Lake Shore road, fell from a chair, Tuesday, and broke his arm.
The Oconto Land Company, of which George Beyer is president, sold land
to the amount of $3,000. Last month, which may be said to be a good
beginning for a dull year. The Company has lots of good land left,
which are offered to settlers upon their own terms. Spread the good
news to the thousands who want good farms in the most promising
agricultural county in Wisconsin.
Fred Wilson is dangerously ill at the home of his mother, Mrs. Quinn.
Edwin Ferguson of Suamico has been awarded a pension.
Oconto County Reporter
Feb. 21, 1896
Personal And Social
Walter Elliott and C. F. Yeaton are seriously ill and both confined at the residence of the former.
Wants More Time
Joseph Williams Wants His Brother’s Assistance –
Now in Jail
Wednesday afternoon, Joseph Williams, arrested on suspicion of having
stolen goods from a hotel in Lena, was arraigned before Judge Jones for
examination, but asked for an adjournment that he might write to his
brother in Michigan for funds to use in employing an attorney, which
appeal was granted. Next Wednesday the case will be called up again.
Albert Ruelle and K. J. McIver recently formed a partnership to carry
on a wholesale lumber business at Stiles. Mr. Ruelle recently returned
from a sojourn of a couple of years in the state of Washington, where
he was engaged in the lumber business, and his acquaintance in the
great west opens excellent opportunities to the new firm. They will
handle all kinds of lumber.
Jacob Ullman will leave for Chicago, Sunday night, to purchase another
carload of horses. He has barns in Oconto, Pound and Wausaukee, and two
men traveling the country with horses and is doing a flourishing
Old Mrs. Davis is very low with pneumonia. It is not expected that she will recover.
Al. Baling has sold his saloon to a relative of Mr. Chatell of Abrams.
The new owner expects to put up a large hotel here next summer.
Last Saturday night, the Sturgeon Bay covered stage, with five
passengers, went through a large crack in the ice on Green Bay, and the
passengers narrowly escaped drowning. The ice on the bay has not been
very thick this winter, and many accidents have been reported.
Oconto County Reporter
Feb. 28, 1896
Mr. Colburn has accepted the position of millwright at the F. M. Co.’s pulp mill.
Jos. Curtain, late of Chicago, has again taken up residence here, having assumed charge of the digesters at the sulphite mill.
Jimmie Smith was quite badly injured in the woods, while employed by Fred Butler, loading logs.
Oconto County Reporter
March 6, 1896
Researcher.- Cathe Ziereis
Will North and family have moved to Sheboygan, where he has obtained a situation in a chair factory.
Joseph Williams will be arraigned before Justice Jones next Monday on another phase of the charge for stealing clothing.
A girl baby, without eyes, nose, fingers or toes, was recently born to a woman of the First ward.
A carriage containing five occupants was run over at the railroad
crossing of the Peshtigo road near Marinette last Saturday night. The
horses were killed and the carriage demolished, but only one person was
Stanislaus Dazkowski, who had been in jail several months awaiting
trial on charge of murdering his wife, was discharged from custody on
Monday, on motion of District Attorney Cady. Mrs. Dazkowski disappeared
on the third of January, and all efforts to find her dead or alive,
have been futile. Dazkowski was held for trial on an alleged confession
of the murder, but evidence secured up to the time of the trial was not
deemed sufficient to convict.
Oconto County Reporter
March 13, 1896
Mrs. S. C. May returned home during the week from a three months visit with her parents in Milwaukee.
John McCrae moved the first of the week to Green Bay, where he will conduct a barbershop and restaurant.
Mrs. Caroline Smith of Gladstone came down last week in response to a
summons notifying her of the serious illness of her sister, Mrs. J.
Mrs. Tuttle is visiting her sister, Mrs. Curtis, at Oshkosh.
Joseph Williams, recently released from custody on the charge of having
stolen certain clothing from Buckberger’s hotel at Lena, for want
of sufficient evidence, was soon re-arrested, as the result of a clever
bit of detective work by Sheriff Whitcomb, and is again in the toils of
the law, on another charge of the same character. This time the
evidence was deemed so good that Judge Jones bound him over to circuit
court, and in default of $300 bail he is stopping at the Whitcomb
house. After the judge announced that he should be held for trial,
Williams (whose name is believed to be Mitchell) offered to plead
guilty to petit larceny and take the penalty for that offence. Sheriff
Whitcomb having spent considerable time and money to apprehend Williams
the first time, and believing he had proper subject for Waupun, adopted
a successful ruse to recapture him. Williams wanted to go to Green Bay
and the sheriff was anxious to help him thither, and did so. He then
kept watch of him, had him spotted on arrival of the train on which he
went, traced to his lodgings, where stolen goods that could be
identified were found; and so Williams or Mitchell or whoever he is
will have to answer for some of his supposed crookedness.
Oconto County Reporter
March 20, 1896
The family of Mr. Schultz are out of quarantine, the health authorities concluding danger from diphtheria over.
Casualties in Life
Serious Accidents with Narrow Escapes from Fatal Results
Last Friday as Lots Brandiland and Lots Lindberg were driving to their
home in the town of Little River they were struck by a C & N W
train at the crossing about a mile north of the city and severely
injured. The men were thrown a distance of more then twenty feet from
the track, both being rendered unconscious. Brandiland received several
cuts and bruises that are likely to lay him up for some time. His
companion fared better, though considerably hurt. One horse was killed
and thrown on the other side of the track from the men, while the other
animal escaped injury of any kind. The train came to a halt and taking
the men aboard backed down to the city where medical services were
secured, and later the same evening they were conveyed in a carriage to
His Ribs Broken
John Carr had a serious experience with his team of broncos on
Wednesday afternoon that will confine him to his house for some time.
He had driven out to W. P. Cook and Bros’ farm, and was returning
to the city when the metal loop at one end of the neck yoke broke,
letting the pole fall against the legs of one of the ponies. This
startled the animals and they dashed off at full speed, soon getting
beyond control of the driver. John Herald, who was in the buggy jumped
out safely, and in attempting to do the same Mr. Carr tripped on the
lap robe and fell between the wheels, and his fur overcoat becoming
fastened to the seat of the buggy held him in that position for some
time. He finally succeeded in lifting himself back in the buggy when he
was immediately thrown over the dashboard onto the ground between the
whiffletrees and the heels of the horses. He was unconscious for a
time. Herald soon obtained help and brought the injured man home. The
sum of his injuries is a severe contusion on the right side of his head
and several broken ribs.
Oconto County Reporter
March 27, 1896
Mr. Burgess, living near here, had his house destroyed by fire Tuesday
morning. It probably caught from a stray spark of fire lighting on the
roof. They were able to save most of the household goods. During the
progress of the fire old Mrs. Burgess entered the cellar, to save some
canned fruit, and came very near losing her life. As she opened the
cellar door the smoke poured out in volumes; entering the cellar, she
became lost, as the smoke blinded her, and could not make her way back
again. Charley Betts, knowing that she had entered the cellar, rushed
in and rescued her. The loss is about $1,000; no insurance.
Maude Callan, after having spent the winter at Hickory, has returned to Sheldon, N.D.
The Reporter welcomed Sheldon Cook into its sanctum, the other day, but
was sorry to note that he limped not a little, a thing he didn’t
do when he made the twenty miles between Oconto and Marinette last
summer on his bicycle. Mr. Cook has been quite closely confined to his
farm home four or five weeks on account of a game foot, caused by
having run a rusty nail into it, but he has put in a busy winter just
the same. He has built a new barn, a new chicken house, a series of new
hog pens, and sundry other new things on his farm, besides making some
improvements upon his house. His place is now the best in the country.
Oconto County Reporter
April 10, 1896
Charles Schmidt’s son Louis is at a hospital in Milwaukee, to have an operation performed on his hands.
Mrs. Thomas Ryan and children, and Misses Bert and Lulu Runkel, of Oshkosh, are visiting relatives in the city.
Mrs. Rosa Lemorand of Marinette is visiting her daughter, Mrs. Dell
Foster. Mrs. Lemorand and Miss Gilbo had lived in Oconto till about
thirteen years ago.
Mrs. E. Hunter, of Hickory, accompanied her niece, Miss Maude Callan,
as far as Oconto on the way to her home in North Dakota. She visited
with the family of C. H. Thomas.
Oconto County Reporter
April 17, 1896
In Memoriam – Lehner
In order to show honor and respect to Alice, wife of John Lehner, who
died at her home in the town of Spruce April 5, 1896, after an illness
of short duration, I feel obligated to publish in your valuable paper a
few words of lasting importance to her bereaved husband and friends.
The deceased was born Feb. 6, 1865, at Oconto. She was a daughter of
James A. Glynn who now resides at Hickory. As a girl she was loved by
all. She received her education in the little school house at
Couillardville, which fitted her for the noble occupation of school
teaching, which she so grandly performed. Her voice resounded through
the walls of the school house of Jones Creek, Comstock and Halstead
districts, and many boys and girls, now men and women, will cherish
with fond love and remembrance thoughts of their departed teacher.
Among her scholars was Judge David G. Classon. She was married to John
Lehner in 1887. As a wife and mother she was kind and loving and did
much for the training of her family. Her memory will be cherished by
family and friends and the deeds of kindness she did will remain
through the countless ages of eternity.
The Circuit Court
Lawe vs. Lawe divorce granted.
Caution My wife, Minnie Meyer, has left my bed and board without cause
or provocation. I therefore hereby caution any and all persons not to
trust or harbor her on my account, as I will not pay any debt
contracted by her after this date. W.A. Meyer Dated at Oconto, Wis.,
April 17, 1896 ***** Daniel Hall, who had been elected town clerk,
being ineligible, Ed Cisar was appointed clerk at the first meeting of
the board, last Tuesday. Mr. Hall, a few years ago, leased his farm for
five years, and went to Menominee, Mich. He remained there a couple of
years ago, and becoming a voter, exercised the right of suffrage. He
came back to Little River less than a year ago, and had therefore lost
his right to vote or to hold office. He did not, however, vote at the
town meeting, but was a candidate for town clerk, and was elected.
Sad news was received from Charley Couillard of Sagoia, Mich. last
week. He had his leg broken in two places below the knee while
unloading logs. His mother at once left for Sagoia.
Oconto County Reporter
April 24, 1896
Christina Jacobson, the unfortunate women who was afflicted with leprosy, is dead.
Ed Cardinal received a disagreeable injury last Friday, in Oconto
Company’s sawmill. While feeding a trimmer the saw struck a knot
which precipitated a sliver against his face, knocking out several
teeth and carrying off a bit of his upper lip.
Next day, Saturday, a similar misfortune befell August Mercier, from a
similar cause. One of his eye lids was severed, only temporarily
wounding the eye itself, however, and one side of his face was badly
The wounds of both were successfully dressed by Dr. Atwood, and both
were doing well. Mr. Cardinal recovered so quickly as to be married on
Sunday, according to previous arrangements, to Miss Josephine Lambert,
the Rev. Fr. Vaillant tying the knot.
Circuit Court Calendar Cleaned Up, and Court Adjourned Thursday
Following is the disposition of the cases entered for trail at the spring term of circuit court, which adjourned last evening;
Burdick v. Phillips – Motion for a new trial to be heard at
chambers May 1st. Huebscher v. Weigelt – verdict for the
plaintiff. Saunders v. Ullman- verdict for plaintiff Conniff v. Beyer-
verdict for plaintiff Wilcox v. Hall – change of venue to Shawano
County Flatley v. Phoenix Ins. Co. – testimony taken; to be
argued by brief. Farwell v. Hoeffel – Joannes garnishee
proceedings dismissed. Larson v. Phoenix Ins. Co. – testimony by
deposition; argued by deft. Plaintiff to have fifteen days to file
brief, and defendant to have five days to reply. Holt Lumber Company v.
Washburn- under advisement. Devereaux v. Ingram – judgment
affirmed Vye v. Ingram – judgment affirmed. State v. Jensen
– guilty State v. Larsen – guilty; one year state prison,
first day solitary confinement. State v. Delphone – guilty; one
year state prison, first day solitary confinement. State v. Joyce
– eighteen months state prison; first day solitary confinement.
IT PAYS TO TRADE AT BAZAR OF BARGINS
1¢ buys a paper of pins, a lead pencil or a spool of thread
2¢ 20 pieces of lace and embroideries will be placed on sale
next week, per yard 3¢ Elastic web, 7/8-in. wide, per yard;
150 page tablet; 1 pair ladies hose. 4¢ 30 pieces of light
colored prints suitable for aprons and children’s dresses
5¢ will buy any one of these articles; A straw hat; a pair
of men’s socks; a pair of ladies hose; 1 ladies ribbed vest; 1
pair child’s hose; 1 set corset steels; 1 set dress stays; 1 yard
bleached cotton; 1 pair boys suspenders.
Mayor Sherman is the oldest continuous resident of Marinette. He came
here in 1853, to find it an Indian village. He was Marinette’s
first school teacher, having 10 pupils. Now there are 3,000 pupils and
Oconto County Reporter
May 1, 1896
Mike Rokouski, the young Polock who was charged with a heinous crime,
appeared before Judge Holgate last week and pleaded guilty. He was
given a year in Waupun. He is but nineteen years old but his crime was
a revolting one and merited severe punishment.
George Drown of Oshkosh renewed old acquaintances here last week while
looking after the interests of his late brother’s child, over
whom he was appointed guardian.
Gus. Ahrens, a resident of the West side, jumped from a second-story
window at the Howard House Wednesday night and received injuries to his
back and limbs that will inconvenience him for some time.
Oconto County Reporter
May 8, 1896
Stiles - Mrs. Dan Connell and son
Charles left on Monday for Eau Claire, where they will reside in the
future. Town of Pensaukee The errand of the sheriff, the doctor and the
judge was to inquire into the sanity of Henry Gallaher, aged 27 years,
son of Roger Gallaher, near Abrams, an old and worthy resident of the
town of Pensaukee. Dr. Hanson assisted in the inquiry and the young man
was adjudged insane and by Judge Classon committed to the hospital at
Oshkosh. Sheriff Whitcomb conveyed him thither last evening. He has
been a victim of epilepsy for several years and recently became
violently insane. The afflicted family have the sympathy of all their
Mrs. A. J. Bradley, who has spent the winter here with her mother, has gone to Denver, Colo., where her husband is located.
Miss Minnie Burke, who has spent the winter with her sister, Mrs. Chas. Beck, at Sturgeon Bay, returned to this city Monday.
Wm. Urquhart is welcomed back from his home at Ballard, Wash., for the
summer. Appreciating a good thing, he is again a guest at the Beyer
George Thompson and another brother and Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Weld, the
latter a sister of the late Claude Thompson, all of Marshfield,
attended the funeral of the deceased in Oconto.
A TELL-TALE BUTTON
John Leseck Missing From Town of How
Albert Swanson Suspected of Knowing Much Pertaining to His Disappearance
Body Thought to Have Been Cremated Warrant Issued
On the 23rd of April, John Leseck, of the town of How, hired out, with
his team, to do some plowing for Albert Swanson, a farmer residing two
miles distant, since which time he has not been heard from. Three days
later, he not having returned, the woman with whom he boarded called at
Swanson’s place to make inquiry for the man, when she was told by
Swanson that Leseck had gone to the neighbors to work, but afterward
informed her that he had left the country and would not return until
autumn, Swanson explaining that he had purchased Leseck’s team
and had afterward sold it. Foul play was suggested, resulting in a
warrant being issued for Swanson’s arrest. Investigation
disclosed a hollow stump on Swanson’s farm, which contained
ashes, in the midst of which were found bones, teeth, shoe buckles,
buttons, and a key which fitted the granary door of the missing man.
The woman with whom Leseck had been stopping, since the burning of his
home, told of a button which she had noticed on the man’s shirt,
peculiarly “chipped”, which was discovered and corresponded
with her description.
At the time of going to press the officer has not returned t the city with his prisoner.
Oconto County Reporter
May 15, 1896
CAPTURED HIS MAN
ALBERT SWANSON IN THE TOILS OF THE LAW
Under-sheriff Conners Explains How the Act Was Accomplished –
He chased Through Brush and Brier, and With a Posse, Surrounded Him in a Barn
Albert Swanson, suspected of being able to throw much
light upon the sudden disappearance of Jacob Lesechk, a resident of the
town of How, is now behind bars in this city, Under-Sheriff Conners
arriving with the man on Saturday. Arraigned before Judge Jones, he
pleaded not guilty, and in the absence of witnesses the case was
adjourned until next Monday. Rumors having gained circulation
pertaining to the capture of the prisoner which were not in accordance
with the facts, a representative of this paper called upon Mr. Conners
for an accurate narration of events. He said: “One week ago
Tuesday I was sent by Sheriff Whitcomb to the town of How to
investigate a rumor that Jacob Lesechk had been murdered, or had
mysteriously disappeared. I was instructed to make a thorough
investigation, and if I discovered a murder had been committed, to
notify him (the sheriff) by telephone and he would hurry to my
assistance and assist in ferreting out the criminals. Before my
departure, Mr. Whitcomb informed me there had been no warrant issued,
but that if sufficient evidence was found against any person he would
bring the warrant when he came.
Albert Swanson Suspected
“The man suspected of the murder – circumstances pointing
strongly to the fact that a murder had been committed – was
Albert Swanson, a farmer residing on the South Branch of the Oconto
river, at a point known as the Butler bridge. “I arrived in the
town of How on Wednesday morning and met Swanson on the road. I stopped
him and informed him that he would have to go back to his place with
me, as I had some business which I wished to talk with him about.
Swanson replied, ‘All right, I will go back with you.’
Arriving at Swanson’s, I told him that I was searching for a man
by the name of Jacob Lesechk, who was murdered and that this was the
last place he had been seen, and I asked him if he knew anything
concerning his whereabouts. He began to tremble violently, but managed
to tell me that Lesechk has gone away. Questioned further, he said
Lesechk had gone to Shawano.
Conners Suspected Foul Play
Swanson’s actions convinced me that there had been foul play.
Turning to Mr. Gilmore, who was present, I requested him to go over to
Peter Lundquist’s and to tell him to come over to Swanson’s
and to bring some men with him, if there should happen to be any
nearby. Soon Mr. Lundguist and a Mr. David arrived. He told them to get
a crow car and a shovel, for I believe that Lesechk has been murdered,
and buried in the vicinity. We searched in various places, and finally
came to a large stump which had been burned and hollowed out, in the
middle of which we discovered ashes containing bones, teeth, a shoe
buckle, pants and shirt buttons. The shirt buttons were identified by
Mrs. David as the buttons she had sewn on the front of Lesechk’s
shirt. The missing man had made his home at Mr. David’s and Mrs.
David had done his washing and repaired his clothes.
“Swanson was taken to the home of Mr. Lundguist, and when dinner
was announced the former refused to eat. Close guard was kept upon him,
all the afternoon and evening, but while I was in the act of reaching
for a drink of water, and for an instant had removed my eyes from the
prisoner, he leaped through the doorway and ‘ran for his
life.’ I struck out after him, but he soon distanced me. Calling
two men to follow me, with the aid of a lantern we tracked our man to
Peter Peterson’s place, where Swanson tried to conceal himself in
a loft over a hogs pen. Detecting the light from the lantern he left
his hiding place and struck across the fields and into the swamp.
In His Stocking Feet
“Thinking he would return to his barn to secure a horse and some
shoes- for he was in his stocking feet – I sent two men to guard
the road leading toward Breed post office, while I returned to the barn
where Swanson had his horses. This cut off his retreat. The next
morning I sent men out to notify settlers, railroad men, river men and
Indians to be on the lookout for Swanson, but no one had seen him. I
was then convinced he was in the woods, near by, and arming men with
Winchesters and instructing them to guard all houses in the vicinity, I
knew it was a matter of come out or starve. Coming out of the woods he
re-entered the barn, which was quickly surrounded by armed men. Calling
two men to accompany me, we entered the barn and found Swanson in one
of the stalls, lying under the manger. I covered him with my revolver
and told him to put up his hands. He implored me not to shoot, and when
I told him ‘hands up’ he obeyed, when I slipped the hand
cuffs on and he was again a prisoner.”
Says He Is Innocent
Swanson, interviewed in his cell, told the following story;
“Lesechk came to my place, with his team, and inquired for work.
I did not need help, but told him he might do a few days plowing. He
worked three days, and I bought his team, under the following
circumstances: I paid him $65 in cash, the balance to offset a theft
which he had committed against myself and a neighbor. On the day of the
sale he said he was going to Shawano and that was the last I saw of
him. The fire which burned the stump occurred the day before Lesechk
came to work for me. “Why did I try to escape, if I was innocent
of the charge? Because I didn’t care to be taken to jail without
first making an effort to defend myself, and I wanted to find H.W.
Gilkey, whom I thought would be able to help me in my difficulty.
“I never had any trouble with anybody and no man can truthfully
say that he ever saw me intoxicated. I have worked in Oconto in
Larsen’s livery stable and at Holt’s boarding house, and
now own two forties of land in the town of How, where I have a home and
a wife. Of late years we have both worked in the woods and on the drive
– my wife as cook. She came home the same day I was arrested.
In a cell, in the upper portion of the jail, August Pole was confined,
suspected of being implicated in the supposed murder of Jacob Lesechk.
He protects innocence. Under-Sheriff Conners, while skirmishing about
the country on his chase for Swanson, learned that the latter, the day
after Lesechk’s disappearance, had sent a boy to the Indian
reservation, instructing him to tell Pole that he (Swanson) wished to
see him at once. This, with other information, was telephoned to
Sheriff Whitcomb who procured a warrant for the arrest of Pole, and
left immediately for the reservation. The arrest was made by an Indian
policeman, and when once off the domain of the redskin the sheriff took
possession of the suspect and brought him to Oconto. He will appear in
court next Tuesday.
Run Away Accident
In a runaway at Pensaukee, Monday, Mrs. Meinecke, nearly sixty years of
age, was thrown from a carriage, sustaining injuries which may prove
fatal. One leg was broken in three places, one shoulder severely
bruised and she was injured internally.
An Off Color
A Black fox Makes It’s appearance In A Litter of Red Cubs
Carl Schoenebeck of Lena is possessor of a black fox, a specimen whose
rarity makes it very valuable. The fox was captured a few weeks ago
near Oconto Falls, and with it a full brother of the conventual red
color. The animals are confined in a commodious cage, have become quite
tame, and are apparently as happy as though enjoying the sweets of
freedom. Mr. Schoenebeck was offered $50. For the black fox a few days
after it came into his possession, but he declined the offer. Mr. C. is
an expert taxidermist, and in his saloon has several large cages of
quadrupeds, birds, insects, bugs, etc. which he has himself stuffed and
Oconto County Reporter
May 22, 1896
We are called to mourn the untimely death of our esteemed friend, Henry
Bellingham, which occurred on May 11. He had spent the winter in the
woods, and returned in March not feeling as usual. Calling upon Dr.
Hanson he learned that he was stricken with sugar diabetes. Medical aid
was sought, also in other directions, but the same inevitable answer
fell upon anxious ears and all hope of recovery was abandoned.
Henry Bellingham was born in England, Oct. 27, 1865, and came to this
country when five years of age. He had lived here many years, and was
universally esteemed by all who knew him. He was an honest, hard
working young man and leaves a reputation worthy one one’s
emulation. He died in the belief of future life, as was manifested
during his last conscious moments, when he said he was going home to
see his child and brother. The burial services were conducted by Rev.
J. C. McLean, the funeral being held at the Methodist church, the large
number of people in attendance, and eyes filled with tears during the
service only imperfectly attesting to the high esteem in which he was
in the community. He leaves a father, mother, wife, brother and four
sisters to mourn his early departure, though they can but feel that
their loss is his gain, yet a true husband, son, and brother has been
ushered into immortal life by a just creator. The relatives have the
sympathy of the entire community.
Our cup of sorrow has again been filled to overflowing, as we record
the death of Frederick G. Worthing, who died Tuesday morning, after an
illness of ten weeks. Mr. Worthing was born in Maine, Feb. 23, 1833,
and for the past thirty-three years had been a citizen of Wisconsin,
and nearly all these years a resident of Oconto County. He died with a
brain disease which kept him in a dazed state much of the time. Mr.
Worthing was step-father to Mrs. J. I. Bovee, Mrs. A. L. Dunton, Mrs.
E. H. Brooks and Frank Morrison. He also has two daughters by his first
wife, one of whom is Mrs. Frank Morrison of Abrams. He also leaves four
brothers to mourn his loss. The funeral services were held at the
Methodist church, Wednesday afternoon, and were attended by a vast
concourse of friends and neighbors. He was a loving husband and a true
friend, ready at all times to grant an accommodation or extend a
sympathetic hand to the unfortunate. He leaves a wife, five daughters.
A son and four brothers.
While Miss Ella Flatley, Mrs. John Flatley and Mrs. Hall of Oconto and
two children were returning from visiting with Mrs. James Farrell at
the Oconto Company’s farm, the horse became frightened at an
Indian and his pony, and ran away, upsetting the buggy and throwing
them all out. Injuries not serious.
Mrs. C. A. North visited her husband at Sheboygan over Sunday.
Charles Windross is to erect a store 25 X 50 on a lot purchased of
Jesse Birmingham. The cellar is dug and the foundation walls are being
laid this week.
His Life Insurance
The late Charles B. Alford had life insurance to the amount of $13,000,
most of it obtained not long before his death. It was all payable to
designated beneficiaries, as follows: $1,000 in the Northwestern, to
his wife; $3,000 in the Royal Arcanun and $3,000 in the Northwestern,
to his six children, and $6,000 in the New York Life, to the six others
of his children. Of that in the New York Life, $2,000 was made payable
at his death, $200 each year for ten years, and the remaining $2,000 at
the end of the eleventh year. His policies in the New York Life were
under a new plan, inaugurated by the company little more then a year
ago, and is called its registered bond plan. The deferred payments bear
interest at 3 per cent per annum. The Reporter learns from Mr. Trudell,
attorney for Ernest Funke, guardian of the minor children, that the New
York Life has made its first payment in money and delivered its
obligation. A. J. Caldwell is guardian for the wife, who is a minor.
A.H. Luckenbach has been appointed administrator of the Alford estate
in place F. X. Morrow, who failed to file a new bond, as required by
the county court. The estate apart from life insurance is merely
On The Salty Sea
Oconto People to Visit the Scenes of Their Childhood Days
On the second of June, Mr. and Mrs. Sol. Hirsch and son will leave
Oconto for New York city, and on the 9th proximal take passage on the
ocean steamer Lahn for Bremen – but ten days on the water, should
they meet with favorable weather.
It has been sixteen years since Mr. Hirsch left the old country, where
his father is engaged in the cattle business. While away, Mr. Hirsch
will investigate the feasibility of shipping horses over there as a
Oconto County Reporter
May 29, 1896
Signed For Poison
Swanson Tires of Prison Life and Courts Suicide
He preferred the Route Usually Taken by the Festive Potato Bug –
His Appeal Did Not Touch the Cord of Sympathy –
Fears the Law.
Albert Swanson longs to snap the tie that binds him to things terrestrial and has signified his preference of a route.
Saturday night he asked one of the women confined in the jail if she
would get him some poison, such as they sprinkle on potato vines. Upon
her refusal to comply with his request, he remarked that he would kill
himself in some way – that he would never stand trial.
Everything with which he could do himself injury has been removed from his cell.
This morning, before Judge Jones, Swanson has his preliminary
examination and was committed to jail to await appearance at circuit
court. The charge against Pohl was dismissed, but he was held under
$100 bonds to appear as a witness against Swanson.
Pohl testified that Swanson told him he had killed Leschk with an ax
and burned his body in a hollow stump. And asked him (Pohl) to tell the
people with whom Leschk had boarded that he had seen the missing man
since the day of his reported disappearance, which request he compiled
with, fearing violence from Swanson by a refusal.
Pohl is at liberty and Swanson behind bars.
May Be Zuelke
An inmate of the county jail at Wautoma, arrested for burglary, answers
the description of the murderer of Edward Davids at Markesan on April
Misses Allie and Minerva May took their departure, Tuesday, for their
new home in Milwaukee, accompanied by the regrets of the many friends
with whom they mingled during their residence in Oconto.
James Hall, absent two months in Florida, has returned to Wisconsin and
is now in the city visiting his brother, Robert Hall. His home is in
Mrs. D. E. Whitels has returned to the home of her parents in Spring
Green for another visit, Mr. Whitels accompanying her as far as
Oconto County Reporter
June 5, 1896
Mrs. J. B. Atwood has returned from an extended visit at her former home in Illinois.
Charges Not Sustained Guardian of Minor Heirs Not Guilty of Misconduct
In county court, Tuesday, charges were presented against Hardin Gilkey,
for alleged misconduct in the guardianship affairs of the minor
children of Alberta Weinholdt, of the town of How, but the charges were
Mrs. Minnick, who was seriously injured a few weeks ago, is recovering slowly.
Antonie Jennsen and Frank Haley, strangers in this city, Sundayed in
jail and were ordered to leave town within the hour by Justice
John McDonald has completed his new and large hotel in Brookside and will open it with a grand ball on next Monday evening,
Edward Battin, for a number of years shoemaker for D. O’Keefe,
has leased the building one door east of Links Hardware store –
Robert Burke’s old place – and will conduct a general
shoemaking business and repair shop.
‘Neath The Waters'
Joseph Prickett Drowned At Little Rapids, Saturday.
Became Adventuresome and Did Not Heed Caution –
Body Recovered Six Hours Afterwards –
Another Oconto Man Met Death There Over Twenty Years ago.
Joseph Prickett was drowned at Little Falls, on the north branch of the
Oconto River, at 9 o’clock last Saturday morning and the body
recovered at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, two miles below the spot
where he disappeared from view.
He was engaged in breaking the center jam at an island near the foot of
Simpson rapids, and when the jam started he was standing on a log. In
the excitement he lost his peevy and having nothing to balance himself
with he fell in and went over the falls, logs striking him in the back
and upon the head.
The body was brought to Oconto by team, arriving early Sunday morning,
and the funeral was held on Tuesday, from St. Peter’s church.
He was the eldest son of Paul Prickett, besides whom; there are two
brothers and a sister in the family. His mother died about two months
Wednesday, of the week previous, Mr. Prickett nearly lost his life at
Loon Rapids, near the Eldred’s farm, by being too venturesome,
and going unnecessarily, into dangerous positions. He got in under the
wing and was missing a half-hour, his companions finding him lying in
the water beside a log, exhausted and helpless.
Death of Two Men
Little falls can now be pointed out as the spot where two men, both
residents of this city, have lost their lives – Jeremiah Corboy,
the first victim, away back in the 70’s.
Mrs. Solway, Ralph and Grace, are with relatives in Menominee.
S. S. Banta of Pembine, a former resident of Oconto, was here on Wednesday.
Oconto County Reporter
June 12, 1896
Eliza McNamara of Menominee, aged 18, committed suicide last Saturday
by eating Strychnine from a handkerchief, in the presence of visitors.
Grief over the death of a sister is believed to have been the cause.
Three alleged post office burglars are in Marinette jail, in default of
$2,000 bail, to await trial at circuit court at circuit court. They
pleaded not guilty and gave their names as George Wilson, G. R. Gill,
and Joseph Meyers.
Bert Ogden and wife were arrested this week, more stolen property
having been bound at their resort. Hearing next Tuesday. Bail $100.
Gilbert Morrow is adding a lean-to to his place, into which he will
move his store goods. He expects to rent the front room of the main
building for a saloon.
Mr. and Mrs. K. J. McIver will leave Monday for Walker, Minn., where they will make their future home.
Mrs. James McGuire has received $1,000 in full payment of her claim as
beneficiary named in the certificate held by her late husband in the
Rev. W. W. Soule of Oneida and his mother, of Waupaca, made a short
visit at his brother’s, Rev. A. B. Soule’s, last week.
Zuelke Is At Large
John Cusick Met Him in the Woods Recently A Desperate-Looking Man –
He Still Clings to His Winchester –
Presumably Forages on Railroad Camps and Farm Houses at Night –
Cusick Invited to Move On.
Zuelke, the Green Lake county murderer, is, without doubt, roaming
aimlessly about over sparsely settled portions of Oconto county.
John Cusick, while walking through the woods in the town of Armstrong,
saw a man standing near a tree with a Winchester rifle resting in the
“hollow” of his left arm. The gun was cocked and the
man’s forefinger lay upon the trigger.
He asked Mr. Cusick to procure him food, the latter replying that he
was six miles from home and that it was out of the question for him to
comply with the request, but that if he would accompany him to the
house he should be well fed and given a comfortable night’s
lodging. The invitation however, was refused. When Mr. Cusick told him
of the railroad camp some three miles away, suggesting that nourishment
might be procured there, his kindly offices were rewarded by a
peremptory demand from the stranger to “move on”.
From his description of the man it is believed that he encountered Zuelke.
Lightening Plays Pranks J. E. Nelligan’s House Struck
During the storm of one week ago tonight, the residence of J. E.
Nelligan was struck by lightening, but little damage resulting,
compared to the usual record of this mysterious visitor. The big
chimney was somewhat shattered, a few shingles lifted from the roof,
plastering scattered about in one or two rooms, and the blast went down
the chimney that blew the fire-place out and scattered soot over the
sitting room carpet. Members of the family were sitting in the room and
their fright maybe more readily imagined then expressed.
Relatives of an Oconto Lady
Mrs. Clark, mother of Mrs. Henry Fox, wife of the engineer of the
railroad extension from Gillett, was a sufferer by the St. Louis
tornado. The roof of her residence was blown in upon the contents and
her furniture was almost completely destroyed by the wind and rain. Her
son and his wife and child were in the house at the time, but only the
child was injured, receiving a cut by a broken glass.
Oconto County Reporter
June 19, 1896
Gone To His Reward
Death of a distinguished soldier who once lived in Oconto.
The Reporter is indebted to Mrs. J. R. Underwood of Aurora, Ill.,
(daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. F. Snover of this city), for copies of the
News of that city containing particulars of the death and funeral
obsequies of General Nicholas Greusel, on April 25, aged 79 tears
– a native of Bavaria, but for more then sixty years a loyal
adopted citizen of the United States, a veteran of both the Mexican war
and the later war for the Union. He raised the 36th Illinois infantry
for the later war and rose to the rank of brigadier general, taking
active and conspicuous parts in the battles at Corinth, Pea Ridge and
elsewhere under Gen. Siegel. The News pays just tribute to his memory
and extols him highly for the maximum of many virtues. The following,
from Mrs. Underwood’s letter, will explain the special interest
of Oconto people in the announcement of the General’s death:
“I met the widow a short time ago, and she told me they
once-about forty years ago-lived in Oconto. Her daughter, who is a
friend of mine, had told her that my parents and sister live there. The
widow also told me they kept a store there.
I said, ‘Oh, yes; then you must have known the Harts, the
Joneses, the – etc.’ She answered ‘Oh yes, are the
old people – for they must be aged now – living there
yet.’ And just as I was about to answer my car came along and I
had to leave her.
“I thought then that a notice in your paper might catch the eye
of some one who had known Gen. Greusel, and be of interest.”
J. E. Johnson has succeeded Olaf Lombard as postmaster at McAllister, Marinette county.
Charles Rice, brother of Mrs. L. C. DeLano, and son-in-law of Henry
Russell of the town of Oconto, has purchased the store, with contents,
of Harry Lord at Hickory and will occupy it soon.
Oconto County Reporter
June 19, 1896
Tigerton John Dick of Tigerton has moved his earthly possessions to
this town and proposes to take up his abode in a progressive community.
Underhill John Ludwig, while returning home on Tuesday evening, in a
cart, was kicked in the face by the horse he was driving. His jaw was
broken and his throat badly cut. He is in a serious condition as he can
eat nothing and can not talk.
Oconto County Reporter
June 26, 1896
D. Hickok of Underhill has taken V. John’s place in the depot during the illness of the latter.
Mountain F. Otis Runkel, who intends to erect a store in Mountain, has hired E. George Gale to haul the lumber up there.
Gillett E. H. Greenthal is back in Gillett, where he intends to visit
friends and relatives a short time, and then to return to Milwaukee,
where he has been working the last six months. Mr. Greenthal receives a
warm welcome from his many friends.
M. F. Whitney and wife are visiting relatives in the southern part of the state.
A.C. Frost of Round Lake met with rather a singular misfortune last
week, which his two horse team and its belongings were cremated. It
seems that he, in company of a fishing party from Seymour, started for
a point on the Waupee, where angling was good, and left their team and
outfit at an old logging camp near by, while they proceeded to the
stream on foot. In about an hour they noticed smoke arising in the
direction of the place they left their team. Hurrying back with all
possible speed, they discovered the camp in flames and their whole
equipage destroyed. Having built no fire at the camp, or even lighting
a match, their suspicions were naturally aroused. Upon making diligent
search for the cause of the calamity they discovered that some one had
been at the camp during their absence, on horseback, and either
accidentally or maliciously caused the disaster.
Oconto County Reporter
July 3, 1896
DEATH IN THE WAVES
Pulcifer People Drowned in Shawano Lake
The boat struck by a gale and capsized three miles from shore –
Two men and a child clung to the craft five hours and were rescued.
Last Saturday evening on Shawano Lake, a yacht containing nine
person’s overturned in a gale and six of the party perished
– Mrs. O. A. Risum, Mrs. Herman Druckery, Mr. and Mrs. Louis
Gokey of Pulcifer; Miss Emma Garbrecht of Shawano and Miss Margaret
Crowe of St. Nazianz, Manitowoc County. Mr. Risum, Mr. Druckery and a
little child were saved after being in the water five hours.
They had all started from Cecil for a few days’ outing on the
north shore of the lake and the boat was three miles from the shore it
capsized. As the party was precipitated into the water, Mr. Risum and
Mr. Druckery seized the rail of the boat, the latter holding the child
with one arm. They were rescued by parties from Cecil, who heard their
cries for help. When rescued Mr. Risum was very weak, and for a tie it
was thought he would not recover, but he is now out of danger.
Bodies Are Found
All of the bodies, with the exception of that of Mr. Gokey, have been
recovered, and had drifted east from where the boat capsized.
Mr. Risum is a prosperous merchant at Pulcifer, Louis Gokey was
proprietor of a hotel there, Herman Druckery is engaged in the hardware
business, and Miss Crowe was principle of the school of that village.
Albert C. Kuhnie of Menominee, a brother of Mrs. Risum, passed through
this city, Tuesday, on his way to join in the search for the bodies.
Nearly all of the parties were well known in Oconto.
Personal and Social
F. N. Morrow was a guest of his uncle in Brown County this week.
Mrs. R. P. Smith and little Mabel returned, today, from a visit with relatives at Oshkosh, Watertown and Janesville.
The following Oconto people attended the funeral of Miss Maud Magee at Peshtigo last Sunday; Mrs. Goodrich.
Lemuel Gardiner of Chicago, a former resident of Oconto, is in this
city greeting old time friends. He will manage the lumber business of
Perley Lowe at Peshtigo.
Oconto County Reporter
July 17, 1896
Surprised in A Boat
The Clever Capture of Two Thieves
It was done by the Sheriff of Door county and members of the Life-Saving crew.
Broke into Oconto Business Houses, Spoils Identified
The men who surreptitiously entered Charles Hall’s Hardware Store
and Anderson & Co. meat market on the night of June 4 are in
retirement behind bars in the city of Sturgeon Bay.
Stole A Boat On the 23rd day of May two men stole a two-spar boat from
Benjamin Robinson of Detour, Mich. And at some other point along their
course they secured another craft, which they took in tow. At Escanaba
they robbed a hardware store, at Gladstone a general merchandise store,
at Menominee a millinery establishment, then came to Oconto and
practiced their calling. Crossing over to Ahnapee they blew open a safe
at one place and purloined eight pairs of shoes from another.
Took to the Water The sheriff of Door county, upon being notified by
the authorities at Ahnapee that suspicious characters were out on the
bay and to keep an eye on the rouges, called four of the life saving
crew to his assistance, the quintet jumped into a boat and the suspects
were discovered asleep on their improved man-of-war, and by their sides
were loaded revolvers. Considerable plunder was found and the
Oconto Officer Investigates Sheriff Whitcomb and George James, learning
of the arrest, went to Sturgeon Bay, where the latter identified the
revolver which he had loaned Henry Barlement, and it was one of the
articles taken from Hall’s store on the night of the burglary.
Owners of stolen goods from above mentioned cities have identified
merchandise taken, and the trial of the thieves is set for fall term of
circuit court for Door county.
Thirty-Odd Years Ago
The City of Oconto and the Big World Outside – This Will Interest You
The editor of the Sturgeon Bay Advocate of last week was in reminiscent mood, as follows:
Among Advocate callers on Monday last was our old friend and former
taskmaster, Jos. W. Hall, proprietor of the Oconto Lumberman. It is now
nearly thirty-four years ago that Joe took charge of the mechanical
department of the Advocate, which was then the property of Joseph
Less than two years afterward the writer assisted Joe in launching the
Lumberman on the story sea of journalism, and a desperate struggle it
was to place the paper on a paying basis, as Oconto already had one
public journal, the Pioneer, which had what little business there was
in those early days. The office was located on Section street, in what
was then known as the Newton & Royce building. This was the
principle thoroughfare of the town at the time we speak of, and it
isn’t saying a great deal.
Main street west of Section had only a few buildings. Of these the
hotel owned by Ernest Funke was the principal one. The leading hotel
was the Empire, then the property of Mr. Gilkey, Sr. This was situated
on the southeast corner of Section and Main street. The Empire was a
great, rambling frame building, which was subsequently destroyed by
fire. Between the hotel and the bridge were located a meat
market, a restaurant, a saloon, the residence of Wm. B. Whitcomb, and a
general store owned by the mill company of which Mr. Whitcomb was the
head. On the opposite side of the street was the store owned by Thos.
Millidge, and between the latter and the Newton & Royce there was a
shoe shop and tailor shop. One or both of these were owned by the Davis
Brothers, if we are not mistaken.
The only method of communication with the outside world was by means of
steamer or sail craft during the season of navigation and by stage in
the winter. What was known as the Pony express carried the mail six
times a week between Menominee and Green Bay. The distance was about
sixty miles and a change of teams occurred at Windross’ in the
village of Pensaukee. The fare to Oconto was $2 and double that sum to
Menominee or Green Bay.
It was almost a physical impossibility to make time in the spring and
fall when roads are broken up, and it was nothing unusual for a team to
be on the road two whole days and part of the night in making the trip
going one way. As soon as the boats began to run the mail was carried
in that way, being transferred to the little steamer Miner at the
mouth of the then tortuous Oconto river. The stage proprietor was
Captain John Sanders and the name of the passenger boat was the Queen
City, Capt. John B. Jacobs owner and master. The craft made a round
trip every two days, going down one day and returning the next. The
fare was $3 and meals extra.
Longevity of Life
Health-Producing Climate of Oconto County
Some of the People Who Have Passed Far Beyond the Half Century Mark
Hickory has a number of old people who seem to hold their own quite
well, Squire Glynn and Grandpa Mills are up in the eighties and both
are hale and hearty and able to do considerable work. Harrison Cooley
is considerably past the three-score-and-ten, and thought not rugged or
sure-footed as he used to be, is still well preserved for a man of his
years. Grandpa Moore is able to walk to church nearly every Sunday and
to all appearances has still a long lease of life. James and Pat Kelly
show but little signs of wearing out. They are among the first settlers
of this county and it’s many a tale they can tell of the early
days when wolves and bears and wildcats were the only neighbors they
Oconto County Reporter
July 24, 1896
Elisha Burdick, a pioneer resident of Wisconsin, who died at his home
in Madison last Saturday of cerebral hemorrage, was an uncle of Dr.
J.B. and District attorney Atwood. Mr. Burdick was born in Brookfield,
N.Y. in 1822. In 1842 he came to Wisconsin, and two years later went to
Madison as clerk of territorial court. In 1854 he engaged in the real
estate business with the late Geo. P. Delaplaine, and then partnership
continued till Mr. Delaplaine’s death. For a quarter of a century
he was a member and officer of the Madison school board, and was
devoted to the interests of the public schools. His wife and four sons
and two daughters survive him.
The home of Will Regal was destroyed Tuesday by fire, between 11 and 12 a.m. No insurance.
Wednesday E. McKenzie and family and E. Gale and family attended the
wedding at Keshena of Bert Cox, brother of the ladies. The bride, Miss
Mamie Colvin, is of Couillardville, and the groom of Keshena.
Mr. and Mrs. Neils Jorgensen have returned from their wedding trip.
Mrs. Regina Newald swallowed some poison. We are glad to hear she is in no danger.
Miss Clara Scholm of Waupaca, a sister to Mrs. Walter Jersild, will
return home tomorrow. She has been in the city about 6 weeks.
Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Spencer and two daughters from Wichita, Kansas, are guests of the Campbell’s and Germonds.
Patrick Pidgeon, a soldier of the 4th Wisconsin cavalry, who was born
and raised in Oconto, now a resident of Wausau, visited Oconto
relatives and friends this week.
James E. Glynn and wife drove down from Hickory on Tuesday and returned
Wednesday. The Reporter correspondent at Hickory last week placed Mr.
Glynn among the octogenarians, by mistake, of course. He will not be
eighty for some years yet, but is sure to pass that point if the wishes
of his friends can prevail.
Oconto County Reporter
July 31, 1896
The Sad Returning James K. Crooks killed by the cars The Resident of
this county for over thirty years – Oconto city his home for a
time – Funeral held at Brookside and largely attended.
James K. Crooks, a resident of Oconto county since 1865, was instantly
killed at Sagbridge, Ill., one week ago Wednesday, by being struck by a
locomotive while crossing the track to enter the depot for the purpose
of procuring a ticket for Lemont. On the 10th of last February he left
Brookside, where his family reside, and assumed charge of canal work
for a company about twenty-eight miles south of Chicago. The job had
been completed, and he, with four or five others, were on their way to
the railway station to take the train for their respective
destinations. His companion crossed the track in safety. At the inquest
the railroad company – the Chicago & Alton was exonerated
from all the blame. The body reached home Saturday night and the
funeral was held the following day, interment in the Brookside cemetery.
Well known in Oconto
Mr. Crooks, before coming to this county, resided in Restigouche, N. B.
Upon arrival here he entered the employ of Holt & Balcom in
superintending logging operations, in whose service he continued
several years, and afterwards he put in logs by the thousand for other
parties. He next became foreman for an iron mining company, which
vocation he followed three or four years. Sixteen years ago he removed
to a farm at Brookside – his sons working the farm – his
own employment, however, keeping him away a greater part of the time.
He had expected to return home in early part of July, and his family
earnestly watched for his coming, but business had delayed him. It was
certainly a sad home-returning. He was 55 years of age Feb. 12, last,
and leaves a wife, three sons, and one daughter, all living at home,
besides one brother –George- in Oconto, another brother and two
sisters in the east. He belonged to the Maccabees.
Card of Thanks
The wife and sons and daughter and other surviving relatives of the
late James K. Crooks, the particulars of whose sad death are recounted
above, wish to make public acknowledgement of the service and
sympathies of their friends and neighbors, in their sudden bereavement.
Mrs. Augusta Crooks and Children. Brookside, July 28.
Ullman will soon ship horses to Europe.
August Suketerhunt met with a painful accident, Monday, by which he
lost the end of one finger by getting it caught in a pulley. The
injured member was amputated and dressed by Dr. Grant.
Oconto County Reporter
Aug. 7, 1896
A funeral procession consisting of over fifty carriages laden with
citizens of Little River, Oconto and other points and led by Pastor D.
T. Bordeau of Marinette, passed through our town the 5th inst., paying
their tribute of respect to the remains of Mr. Joseph Vaes, that were
deposited in the Oconto cemetery. The deceased was an enterprising
young man, aged 29 years, 8 months and 17 days, whose quiet, modest and
peaceable disposition, enterprise, honesty and habits of industry and
economy had won him the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He was
the son of Mr. Christopher Vaes of Little River, a man of sterling
integrity who had reared a respectable family of children and made life
a success. He was brought up to fear the Lord, cherished the hope of
Salvation through Christ, retained his consciousness to the last; and
his last week were: “Christ has a place for me, There is a crown
of gold for me.” The funeral service was preformed in French and
in English in the commodious house in which he was born and died, which
was more than filled with sympathizing and respectful bearers.
Words of Appreciation
We would hereby express to our neighbors and friends our heartfelt
appreciation of their sympathy and assistance in our late affliction
caused by the sickness and death of our beloved son, Joseph Vaes; in
all of which our surviving children do heartily concur.
Christopher Vaes Angeline Vaes Little River, Wis., August 5, 1896
Rev. and Mrs. McLain arrived home from Florence Friday, whence they
were called to attend the funeral of an old friend, Mr. King, who was
killed in the mines at that place.
C. W. Halstead was called to Chilton, Monday, by the death of his father-in-law, Mr. Granger.
Stiles Miss May Kinney, while driving through the village, a Sunday,
was thrown from the carriage – the horse taking flight –
sustaining a broken collar bone.
Eugene Wescott broke his leg, Tuesday after the raising of James Lince’s barn, while playing with a rope.
Oconto County Reporter
Aug. 14, 1896 Death
Mrs. Darrow, whose death occurred in Marinette last week, was the wife
of W. A. Darrow, formerly of Oconto. They were married in 1883 and had
resided in Marinette ever since, where Mr. Darrow held the position of
cashier in C & N W depot. The death of the latter occurred in 1887.
Oconto County Reporter
Aug. 21, 1896
Mrs. Marcia of Sturgeon Bay was called here by the serious illness of
her sister, Mrs. Frank Ruelle, and is anxiously waiting a change for
the better of her conditions.
The four year old son of E. J. Johnson, who was badly scalded on
the 6th instant, that for a number of days death seemed imminent, is
slowly recovering and in fair condition for ultimate recovery.
Oconto County Reporter
Aug. 28, 1896 Death
Mr. and Mrs. Edward G. Pike have been called to mourn the loss of three
daughters within a year. First was the death of little Jennie, August
24, 1895, at the age of eight months. Then followed Mary (commonly
called Minnie), October 7, in her twentieth year. She was the oldest
daughter. She died of consumption, after a lingering illness of nearly
two years. And now, the second daughter, Emily (usually known as Amie)
has fallen asleep in the Lord, August 25, 1896. Like her sister, she
experienced great spiritual benefit from her long and often painful
illness – consumption.
Until thirteen months ago, she was the picture of health, and even
after she had been for some months confined to the house she retained a
robust appearance. On her eighteenth birthday – (July 22)
she was apparently near death, but she lingered to suffer intensely
most of the time for more then a month longer.
She was an earnest Christian, a faithful communicant, a regular
attendant and teacher in the Sunday School, and was possessed of
remarkable ability to maintain a cheerful countenance while suffering
great pain, which she bore many weeks past she had been hoping and
praying for death, and she made all the arraignments for her funeral,
even to many details. The numerous measures she left for those whose
souls were dear were very touching. She was especially anxious to see
every member of her fathers family numbered with the regular and devout
communicants of the church she loved so well, and her attachment to the
young lady friend who so faithfully nursed her for months past was very
Her father and mother are to be condoled and congratulated at the same
time. Their friends grieve at the loneliness made intense by a third
vacant place in the family, but they rejoice that Emilie has left such
a bright example behind her. May God comfort her family and friends who
desire to express their sincere thanks to all who have showed them
kindness in their great affliction.
The funeral took place at the Episcopal church, yesterday morning, at
10 o’clock, when the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist was offered
by the priest in charge, for the benefit of the departed, at her
oft-repeated request. “May her soul rest in peace and light
perpetual shine upon her.”
News & Notes
Mrs. A. H. Griffith has returned from a protracted visit with friends and relatives in Waupun, Milwaukee and Sauk County.
Edward Menge, brother of Louis, who spent several weeks in Oconto,
returned to his home in Missouri, Thursday evening, where he will
resume the barber business.
Miss Mary Graham of the town of Spruce has been taken to the hospital for the insane at Winnebago.
KADLEC BOYS FOUND CROWDS SEARCH THE RIVER FOR THE BODIES
Rumors of Drowning Fill All Hearts With Dread and Searching Parties Work Diligently,
While the Boys Enjoyed the Hospitality of Relatives at Brookside
Sunday evening, report gained rapid circulation, that the two youngest
sons of Adam Kadlec – Luke, aged 14, and Eddie, 12 years old
–were missing, and as they had been seen a short time previous on
the boom, both above and below Superior street bridge, fears were
entertained that they dropped in among the logs and had drowned.
Diligent search was made and the river dragged up to Tuesday night,
when the little fellows turned up well and hearty, having spent their
“vacation” with the family of Joseph Highland at
Brookside. Feared Arrest
It appears that they had been fishing among the logs in the vicinity of
Superior Street bridge during the early part of Sunday, and at about 2
o’clock went home to lunch, afterward attending a ball game, and
on their way home stopped at the Delaney mill. While there the younger
lad imagined that he saw an officer peering around a building, and
fearing arrest, he skipped across the river on the logs. Still thinking
that, should he return, he would be put in jail, he induced his elder
brother to accompany him to Brookside. This was about 6 o’clock.
Taking the railroad track they arrived at their destination about 9
p.m. informing their relatives that their visit was sanctioned by their
sister, Mrs. John Highland, with whom they were living in Oconto
– their mother being dead – and it was not until Mrs.
Highland’s arrival, Tuesday afternoon, in her search for the
boys, that the Brookside relatives were aware that they had been
entertaining runaways. As the river had “given up” no signs
of the boys’ disappearance, in floating caps or drifting fishing
rods, the thought accrued that the little fellows might have started
out to visit their uncle, Joseph Kadlec, in the town of Spruce, but a
messenger latter announced that they had not been there. Thus procuring
a conveyance, Mr. Kadlec sent his daughter to Brookside, and joy again
permeates the hearts of relatives over the safe return of the
THE ONTONAGON FIRE AN ENTIRE CITY SWEPT FROM THE EARTH
Forest fires, Fanned by Winds, Invaded the Town and left Scarcely a Dozen People Resided There
Fifteen hundred people are homeless and destitute, as a result of the
fire, on Tuesday, which swept from the face of the earth the bustling
little city of Ontonagon. Scarcely a dozen buildings are left to mark
the site of the thriving town.
Origin of the Fire
A farmer residing about two miles southwest of the city had been
burning brush, and the flames had fanned them until the blaze had
obtained great headway sweeping onward with restless fury until the
city was reached and the work of destruction began. People were panic
stricken and sought safety in every direction. Extra trains carried
them beyond the danger point and to where ever they wished to go, and
when the news became generally known to the outside world, provisions,
and tents for shelter, were sent to the unfortunate people.
Some of the Losers
The Diamond Match Company’s property was valued at $1,000,000,
upon which it had an insurance of $447,500. This company was the
mainstay of the town. Sargent, Jennings & Gilkey’s stock of
lumber, about 2,200,000 feet, was insured for $17,500. The superb coin
collection of John Combstock of the Diamond Match Company, formerly of
Oconto, was valued at nearly $30,000 and insured for $20,000. It was
regarded as one of the finest in the country.
Ex-Residents of Oconto
Nearly 100 people who suffered loss at the fire were one time residents
of this city, among whom are Alfred and Frank Hazen, William Gothard,
Thomas Millen, C. Hollopeter, Amos Conrad, George Perkey, James Daly,
Mrs. D. Hall, August and Albert Johnson.
Outside Aid Necessary
W. L. Porter, billing clerk for the Holt Lumber Company, put in the
telephone system at Ontonagon and later was in the employ of the
Electric Light Company. He said; “I was familiar with almost
every inch of the city and can scarcely conceive of the present
devastation. The rebuilding of the city, in my opinion is doubtful,
unless the Diamond Match Company should decide to erect mills to cut
out its remaining timber; or, perchance some other manufactories might
locate there and utilities and water shipping facilities. “Two
miles back from the city, and extending fifteen miles or more, is a
good hardwood forest, covering excellent farming land.” “I
think everyone should give such aid as they can to those deprived of
home and everything they possessed. I have telegraphed for two families
– whom I know well, and comprising eight persons – to come
to Oconto. I shall endeavor to find something for the heads of families
to do. If anyone can give them a job I would be pleased if they would
communicate with me.”
No Quorum Present
The mayor (of city of Oconto) issued a call for a special meeting
of the council for Wednesday night, to see what could be done, locally,
for the destitute people of Ontonagon, but a quorum failed to respond
to the summons.
Like Banquo’s Ghost Rumors of Finding Zuelke Will Not Down
Evidence of his Whereabouts Plainly Shown in the Search for the Much-Wanted Missing Man –
Missing Finger Not Mentioned in Published Description
When Under-Sheriff Connors was roaming over the wilds of Oconto County
in a vain search for Zuelke, the man who murdered Farmer Davis of Green
Lake county, he communicated a description of the criminal to a
bookkeeper in a railroader’s camp, and instructed him relative to
the rewards offered for his capture. Monday morning Mr. Connors
received the following communication;
On July 8, I went to Boot Lake, finding unmistakable proofs of
habitation in a shanty, also that a kind of root house in the rear of
the shanty bore signs of having a recent occupant. I remained there
three days waiting the man’s return, having fixed things so that
if he entered, he would have to “give in”. No one came
however, and as my food was running out, I went back to camp.
On the 15th of July, I met two cruiser’s who declared they had
seen, four miles north of Boot Lake, a man answering the description I
gave them. I asked if they could bring him to me, which they agreed to
do, and knowing them well, I placed confidence in their story. They
returned in one week, without having seen him.
Has Traveled a Thousand Miles
On the 23rd of June a man named John Robertson was held up five miles
north of McCauslin brook, and the description he gave of the man was
precisely the same as that given by the cruisers. I then thought I had,
without doubt, established the fact that Julius Zuelke was up in this
country, and with caution I might get him. I have visited, besides Boot
Lake, Birch Lake, Maiden Lake, Long Lake and Wheeler Lake, but without
success, after a fruitless search of a month and riding nearly 1,000
miles. I am under the impression, now, that he has got away in the
distant woods by the way of Cavour.
Mr. Connors recently conversed with a resident of Beaver Dam who at one
time knew Zuelke, who informed him that the forefinger on
Zuelke’s left hand was missing at the second joint, But as the
sheriff of Green Lake county did not mention that very important point
of identity in his letter of description Mr. Connors is in doubt about
that mark as a “spotter” in assisting in the capture of the
Oconto County Reporter
Sept. 4, 1896
Rendered Homeless August Schroeder, Town of Morgan, Burned out The
Accumulations of a Lifetime Swept Away, Including Grain and Live Stock,
and Not a Penny of Insurance
August Schroeder of Morgan, one of our oldest citizens, met with a
streak of bad luck last Sunday morning – losing all his property
by fire, and has not a cent in the world. He had just built a new house
and had fine buildings around his farm all of which were destroyed, and
no insurance. All of his grain and 10 nice hogs were burned. Lets all
in and help him, so that he can keep his family through the winter. He
has worked thirty years for his home and has lost all. Don’t
forget to help August Schroeder, and vote for McKinley.
Dan McDermid is building a new house and will move his family here soon from Wausaukee.
Misses Bessie and Mabel Campbell of Two Rivers are visiting relatives here.
R. Gould has moved his family to Clintonville.
Frank Smith has moved his restaurant to Mountain, where he has gone into partnership with Charles Watts.
Hazel Delano left for her home at Manitowoc, Monday, after a long visit with relatives here.
Mrs. Pluner, who has been visiting her daughter, returned to Cooperstown, Saturday.
Thomas Leigh and sons Harry and Charley have returned home from
Ontonagon where they were employed by the Diamond Match Company. All
lost everything except the clothes they had on in the great fire.
Oconto County Reporter
Sept. 11, 1896
Died of Whooping cough, Wednesday, Sept. 2, Annie May, infant daughter
of Fred and Mina Terwillegar, aged three months. The funeral was held
from the M. E. Church at Flintville by Rev. McMullen. Very appropriate
music was rendered by Miss Emma Ames, with singing by the choir. The
bereaved parents have the sympathy of the entire community in their
Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Whittaker, aged four months and
twenty-two days, at Marinette, Sunday, of cholera infantum. Funeral
from St. Joseph’s church, this city, Monday. Mr. and Mrs.
Whittaker resided in Oconto up to June last, Mr. W. being employee of
the Holt Lumber Company.
In the town of Freedom, Brown County, Monday, infant daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Simon Schuh, aged five months. Mr. Schuh is a brother of Mrs.
John Young, this city.
Mrs. Boutot died suddenly at her home in the West ward, Wednesday. The funeral was held today.
Oakey Sutherland, aged nine years, was accidentally killed by his
playmate, Walter Hall, thirteen years of age, at Peshtigo, by the
discharge of a gun.
Oconto County Reporter
Sept. 18, 1896
Grip of the Law
Henry Bolt, for selling liquor in the town of Armstrong, in which town
no licenses are issued, was arrested and brought before Judge Jones,
fined and liberated. The complaint was made by John McAllen.
spring Marshall Colburn was the recipient of a pair of alligators by a
Florida friend. About a month ago one of them escaped and no trace of
him could be found until the other day, when John O’Neil ran
across the escaped retile on the bank of the river about a mile west of
town. It was feeding on the carcass of a mink which it eventually had
just killed. On Mr. O’Neil’s appearance it became alarmed
and disappeared under the water.
Oconto County Reporter
Mr. and Mrs. A. C. John mourn the loss of their little daughter
Alfreda, aged 8 years, who died Sunday evening, Sept. 13, of
diphtheria, after an illness of about two weeks. The sorrowing parents
have the sympathy of many friends in their sad bereavement.
Oconto County Reporter
Oct. 3, 1896
An eight year old lad, George Smith, is in critical condition from burns received while lighting a fire with kerosene.
Mr. and Mrs. C. McKenzie returned home last week from Michigan, where that had been visiting friends and relatives.
Circuit court will convene next Monday and will open with forty-two
cases, thirteen of which are criminal. The cases against the famous
Coulters and McCaun murder case are among the latter.
Our Mail in the Old Days
They Moved Slowly and the Letter Postage Was Very High
“In Washington’s first term an effort was made to speed the
mail’s – to move them at the rate of one hundred miles in
twenty-four hours, or about four and a half miles an hour.” Write
Ex-President Harrison in his “This country of ours” article
in September Ladies Home Journal. “This would have been a notable
advance, for the carriers were then taking nearly thirty hours between
Philadelphia and New York. The roads were bad and there were many slow
In 1776 there were only twenty-eight post-offices in the Colonies; in
1795 there were four hundred and fifty-three, and in 1895 there were
70,064. The rates of postage when the department was organized
under the constitution were high; for thirty miles, six cents for one
letter sheet; for sixty miles, eight cents, for one hundred miles, ten
cents, and so increasing with the increased distance to the maximum,
twenty-five cents for distance of over four hundred and fifty miles.
Stamps were not in use in those days, nor was the sender of the letter
required to pay the postage in advance. The postage, six cents or
wenty-five cents, as the case might be, was written by the postmaster
on the letter, and if the sender paid the postage the word
‘paid’ was added; if he did not the postage was collected
of the person to whom the letter was addressed.
Oconto County Reporter
Oct. 9, 1896
Geo. B. Maurer spent Sunday in Appleton, having accompanied his
mother-in-law thus far on her journey to her home in Massachusetts.
In the case of Chief of Police Sellevold against Watchman Mahoney, for
saying that the Chief had stolen apples from the orchard of Fred Carney
sr., the jury, in circuit court, has awarded Sellevold six cents damage.
Charles Armstrong, an employee of the Stephenson company, was assaulted
on Sixth street, Monday night, and would have been robbed of $200 to
$300, if not killed, but for the opportune assistance of George Walker.
Armstrong is a frugal workingman and always carries a considerable sum
of money on his person, being afraid that he will lose it if he leaves
it anywhere. "Hold-up" in the city are rather more frequent than they
ought to be.
James Ramsey, captain of the tug Balcom, had one of his hands seriously crushed between the dock and scow at Peshtigo.
J. G. Anderson of the town of Gillett is building a public house on
McCaslin brook, near Mountain, and will soon have it ready for business.
Pounded a Swede
P. C. Murphy of Lake Mills is behind bars in the county jail, this
city. It is claimed that he enticed a Swede named Swan Larson into the
woods, near Three Lakes, for the purpose of robbery, and pounded him
nearly to death with a club. Under-Sheriff Connors found Murphy at
Stevens Point. Murphy is also charged with having shipped twenty tubs
of butter from the Maple Valley creamery, where he was employed as
butter maker, and appropriating the money - $150.53.
DIED FROM INJURIES
Assailant Must Suffer For the Crime
Sad Termination of an Unprovoked Assault of a Ruffian upon a Peaceable Homesteader –
Skull Cracked and Brains Visible
Grenion in Jail Awaiting Trial
Hormidas Baribeau died at the home of his sister, in the West ward,
last Friday night, from injuries inflicted by David Grenion on the
night of September 17.
A farmer by the name of Meron resides about four miles northeast of
Oconto Falls, and near him Baribeau lived upon a claim. On the evening
mentioned, Meron gave a dance, which Baribeau attended. Also
among those present were Grenion and a man named McLean. The two
engaged in a fight and Grenion was ejected from the building.
In his abrupt flight he stumbled over an axe, which he seized and
started for the door. At that moment Baribeau and another man came out
of the building.
In the darkness Grenion mistook Baribeau for McLean and dealt him
a terrible blow just back of the right temple with the blunt bit of the
axe, making an incision in the skull two inches in length and deep
enough to admit of the brain being readily seen. Baribeau first dropped
to his knees and then fell over on his back, when Grenion again
sought to attack him, but was frustrated in his murderous intention by
those who by this time had been attracted to the spot, Baribeau being
taken into the house and given the best care possible. Grenion,
when his passion had subsided, offered to send for a physician but was
informed by Baribeau that if he did not leave the locality in five
hours that he would cause his arrest. The next day Grenion was
conveyed to Oconto Falls by the Merons, where he took the train for
Oconto, and later for Menominee, as it afterwards developed.
Baribeau remained at the Meron house one week, when he was moved to the
home of his sister in this city. As his condition became alarming an
effort was made to locate Baribeau’s assailant, and he was found
in Menominee, brought to this city and place in the county jail to
await the outcome of the assault.
The Merons came to this state from Canada. As they were about to embark
upon their journey they were joined by Grenion, who was also
coming westward, and he became their companion.
Oconto County Reporter
Oct. 16, 1896
David Grenion, before Judge Haines, was bound over to the circuit
court to await trial on the charge of causing the death of Hormidas
Baribeau. The four principal witnesses for the state were required to
give bail in the sum of $100 each for their appearance at the trial.
George C. Sheldon, who was recently shot by his coachman at Houghton,
Mich., was known in Oconto. He was born in Walworth county, Wisconsin,
in 1843. He was educated at Ann Arbor and served in a Michigan regiment
during the war. Sheldon was one of the principal characters on the
range. He had $34,000 life insurance and $25,000 accident insurance and
leaves a widow and two daughters, Mrs. S. J. Bowling of Detroit and
Mrs. B. T. Barry of Houghton.
Stole a Ride and May Lose a Foot
Yesterday afternoon, as the Northwestern freight was pulling out from
Menominee, John Taylor, a tramp boarded it. He was put off at
Marinette, and again at Peshtigo; but on the arrival of the train in
Oconto, as the engine was being detached to run out for water, a
man’s cry was heard. Investigation showed that the cry had
proceeded from Taylor, who had suffered severe injury to one foot.
Sheriff Whitcomb took charge of him and procured the aid of a surgeon.
Taylor May lose the foot.
P. C. Murphy, charged with embezzling $150. From the Maple Valley
Creamery Company, will have his hearing before Justice Jones on October
17, at 9 o’clock.
Three men, named Harrington, Grady and Boldt, were arrested on
complaint of Chairman Anderson of the town of Armstrong, on October 13,
and brought before Justice Jones, this city, for selling liquor without
a license. Harrington and Boldt were fined $10 and costs, each.
Mrs. H. C. Reynolds is visiting her parents at Shiocton.
Louis Bratz, accused of assaulting Annie Loucks, near Peshtigo, with a
knife and following her with a revolver, has been bound over to circuit
court in a bond of $250. He denies both allegations. Mr. Reinhart of
Oconto is his attorney.
Is our Neighbor Jealous?
Green Bay Advocate: Oconto county does not propose to be lost in the
shuffle when it comes to committing murders. Two men are now in the
county jail awaiting trial for having killed their fellow men. The
murderers of Baumgartner of Pensaukee have not yet been arrested, and
it is possible that this horrible crime will never be avenged (note: it
never has been solved).
Mrs. Lusk of Wyoming is visiting her son, who has made Gillett his home the past summer.
Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Watts have gone to Kewaunee to visit his mother, who is in critical condition.
Oconto County Reporter
Oct. 30, 1896
Killed by Lightening
Thunder and Lightening and Heavy Rains Late in October
Thunder and lightning regaled the inhabitants of this section of the
country about three o’clock on Wednesday morning, D. Dexter,
postmaster and owner of a saw mill at Deer Brook, in Langlade county,
was killed by the lightening, and others were seriously shocked. A
heavy rainfall followed and Wednesday was warm and bright. An all day
rain was out portion yesterday.
In Oconto, lightening struck the O’Keef house, but did little
damage. Two horses belonging to Samuel McDowell, in Little River, were
killed by the lightening on Wednesday morning. Four horses were
standing in separate stalls, side by side. The first and third were
Oconto County Reporter
Nov. 6, 1896
They Seek Justice
Robert J. Moore vs. Leah J. Moore
State vs. Frank Prickett. Assault with intent to do great bodily harm
State vs. Anton Radzweicz
State vs. Albert Swanson. Murder.
State vs. John Leson
State vs. Samuel Dodge. Rape.
State vs. C. D. McArthur. Appeal .
State vs. David Grenion. Murder
Oconto County Reporter
Nov. 13, 1896
A would be fire bug bored holes through the walls of the dwelling house
of J. J. Dekeuster, in Amberg, last Saturday night, then poured
kerosene and turpentine between the lath and set fire. Mrs. Dekeuster
was awakened by the smoke and but for the timely discovery the family
would have been cremated and fire extended all over the little village.
No clue yet to the perpetrator.
Mrs. Taylor of Oconto and Mrs. Smith of Gillett has opened a millinery and dress making store in the Kelly building.
Mrs. Hoar is recovering slowly from her severe illness.
Fire at Brookside
Tripp’s Large Store Building and Contents Entirely Consumed
Mrs. David Tripp was awakened from sleep a little before midnight, on
Thursday night of last week, by the smell of smoke and the crackling of
fire. Arousing her husband and other members of the household, the fire
was soon located in their store, close to the house, by the wild flames
that enveloped it. The building was of wood and some of its contents
like tinder, so that the destruction was soon complete. The origin of
the fire cannot be traced to any particular thing, but of course was
Mr. Tripp estimates the loss at about $1,000 more than the insurance,
which was $600 on building and $1,000 on stock, with the Phelps agency,
this city. This does not take into account the loss of time and of the
best part of the year’s business, as sequences of the fire.
The store will be rebuilt as soon as practicable.
Of Green Lake County Farmer in Jail
In this city, arrested by policeman Roddy on Tuesday –
Cold and Hunger drove him from cover and his peculiar actions betrayed him.
Monday afternoon, out in the town of Oconto, a seedy-appearing
individual called at a farm house and wanted to borrow a tin pan, in
which to cook potatoes out in the woods. Instead of complying with his
request the farmer invited him to dine with him, but he refused, and
accepted a luncheon which he ate in the shed.
He told his benefactor that he had been wondering about through the
woods all summer and the cold weather had driven him from his haunts,
but he would not divulge his identity. His eccentric deportment and
dilapidated wardrobe suddenly gave rise to a suspicion that the
wayfarer might be the missing Julius Zuelke, wanted in Green Lake
county for the murder of a farmer in whose services Zuelke had been
employed, so when the stranger had departed, the man who had fed him
came to Oconto and notified Sheriff Whitcomb, who sent Constable
Cummings into the country to hunt the fellow down, but he could find no
trace of him. Returning to the city, he left word at the Richard
House to keep an eye out for the man, and he informed policeman Roddy
that he might have headed for Oconto. Tuesday morning Mr. Roddy
arrested the man and took him to jail.
The man is non-commutative, except to give brief evasive answers. When
arrested he was clad in a slouch hat, pea jacket, overalls, one rubber
and one shoe – all much worn. A photograph of the suspect has
been sent to the sheriff of Green Lake county for identification. There
is a large reward offered for Zuelke’s capture.
POHL HUNG HIMSELF
Found with a rope around his neck
Feared to be confronted by Swanson, who is supposed to possess a
secret, the revelation of which would made it unpleasant for Pohl
August Pohl, wanted as a witness in the case of State vs. Albert
Swanson, charged with murder of Lescheck in the town of How last April,
on Tuesday was found dead at the home of Ole Johnson, with whom he was
living. He was hanging by the neck and lifeless when discovered by
Johnson. It is reported that Pohl and a companion hired Swanson to make
way with Lescheck and the former feared that Swanson might betray him
should he appear as a witness against the letter.
State vs. Samuel Dodge. Rape. Jury still out as we go to press.
Oconto County Reporter
Nov. 20, 1896
The engagement of Miss Mamie Bedore to Eugene VanLaanen has been announced.
The man arrested and jailed last week was not Julius Zuelke, the
murderer of David Edwards of Green Lake county, as supposed, but John
Burke, a homeless wanderer, who was adjudged insane and taken to the
hospital for the insane at Oshkosh.
Fred Ellis and Paul Scofield went down to Madison today to enter the university law-school.
Tossed By a Bull
Frank Fisher and Matt Kerwin Roughly treated by the Brute
This morning Matt Kerwin, while endeavoring to lead Fisher’s bull
from Ullman’s stable to Fisher’s barn, was knocked down and
attached by the vicious animal. Frank Fisher, coming to Kerwin’s
assistance, was tossed into the air several times and would have been
gored had the bull been in possession of a pair of horns. Frank was
“butted” about the head and received and ugly gash over the
right eye, besides being badly shaken up. The bull was finally secured
and Frank Deimer sent a bullet crashing into it’s brain.
IN FOURTH DEGREE
Verdict of Jury in Grenion Murder Case About as much time consumed in
securing a jury as was necessary to try the case – Swanson case
now in progress – Samuel Dodge is guilty.
The usual delay in securing a jury in murder trials was experienced at
the present term of court, and in the case of the state against Grenion
the trial consumed two days and the jury brought in a verdict of
manslaughter in the fourth degree. David Grenion and Hormidas Baribeau
attended a dance at a farm house in the town of Stiles on the night of
September 16. They were friends, and Grenion had even “taken his
part” when Baribeau had been assailed by a guest. Boisterous
conduct, induced by drink, caused Grenion’s abrupt removal from
the building. In his drunken fury he seized an axe and struck the first
man who approached, which chanced to be his friend. On the 2nd of
October, Baribeau died, and Grenion was held to the circuit court to
answer to the charge of murder.
The penalty for manslaughter in the fourth degree is not more then two
years nor less then one in the penitentiary; or by imprisonment in the
county jail more then one year, or by fine not exceeding $1,000, or
After the exhaustion of the regular panel, two special venires had been
issued and two days’ valuable time devoted to the securing a jury
in the Swanson murder case; the trial began yesterday afternoon.
Physicians testified that the bones found in the hollow stump were the
bones of a human being, and Mrs. David, with who Lescheck boarded,
identified a button that she had sewn upon his shirt, the button being
peculiarly marked. The case will consume the week.
Case of State vs. Samuel Dodge for rape, defendant found guilty.
Sentences in cases of Grenion and Dodge to be announced at close of term.
One John Lantz has been arrested on the charge of forging checks on the local banks. The prisoner has also worked Oshkosh Banks.
Oconto County Reporter
Nov. 27, 1896
At Waupun For Life
Swanson’s reward for the Murder of Leseck
first day in solitary confinement- Enters his cell with a smile
much affected over his two-year sentence
The last week of court
The criminal calendar of Oconto county for the present term of circuit
court was an extensive one and tedious in the selection of juries
– the case of Albert Swanson, on trial for the murder of Leseck,
consuming two days in securing twelve men whose opinions had not been
crystallized, and two days and a half longer had elapsed when the case
was given to the jury. This was Saturday night, and the verdict was
rendered at 9:30 – guilty of murder in the first degree –
and on Tuesday at 1:30, sentence was pronounced; Imprisonment for life,
with solitary confinement the first day. Following is the substance of
At the trial Mrs. David testified that Leseck had boarded with her and
he had left her place April 21 to go to work for Swanson with his team,
and that he remained there until the 23rd. She saw him on the afternoon
of that day and spoke to him. He said he would be back in a day or two
and seed his farm. She noticed that the shirt he wore contained
the button she had sewed on the week before, and she also observed that
he had on a pair of rubbers which buckled. These relics were shown her
on the stand, which she identified.
On Monday, April 27, she learned that Leseck’s team was at Peter
Peterson’s but Leseck had not been there. She then called upon
Swanson and inquired for Leseck. He told her that he was at
Peterson’s. She replied that he was not there. Then he told her
that Leseck was on the reservation, next he located him at Shawano and
finally he remarked that he was a queer fellow and had probably
“skipped the country.” Swanson’s agitation arousing
suspicion of fowl play. He said that he had bought Leseck’s team
for $65.00 that Leseck might be back in the fall and that he might
His Wife Was Not at Home
When the murder was committed Mrs. Swanson was not at home. She was
cooking in a lumber camp – Mrs. Messersmith, a neighbor,
preparing meals for Swanson, her son Frank assisting Swanson with his
plowing the ground being stumpy and rough.
On the afternoon of Thursday, April 23, Swanson told Mrs. Messersmith
and the boy that it was too wet to plow and that they could go home. As
they were about to depart, Leseck came out of the house and asked the
boy where he was going. He replied that Swanson did not need him any
longer and that they were going home. Leseck requested him to remain
with him that night, but instead he accompanied his mother home.
The next day – Friday – Jonas Hamburg was at
Swanson’s to dinner. (Hamburg, so far as it is ascertained, saw
Leseck last.) Leseck was also there. Hamburg wanted to borrow
Swanson’s horse and buggy, but the latter declined the
accommodation, as he said he was going to take Leseck to Shawano, but
he immediately cautioned Hamburg not to say anything to Leseck about
the proposed trip.
Witness Saw the Fire
Frank Witzke testified that on Thursday afternoon his attention was
attracted to a fire in Swanson’s field, and he wondered why he
should have kindled a fire at such a time, for it had been raining all
week and each day afterward, up to Sunday, he noticed the fire brightly
(The Linquist family, nearest neighbors, were away fishing on the day
of Leseck’s disappearance, and it is thought that their absence
decided Swanson to commit the deed on that day.)
Mrs. Linquist testified that she did not notice the fire until the next
week, as there were woods intervening between the field and her house.
She saw Swanson go up to the fire and shortly afterward it burned up
still brighter, as though he had rekindled it.
Friday evening, the 24th, Swanson went to Peterson’s place. The
latter was not at home. To the chore-boy Swanson said the Peterson was
going to buy his team and he told the boy to come down that night and
get it. At about 10:00 the boy arrived, Swanson had the team harnessed
and the boy drove it to Peterson’s. According to Peterson’s
testimony, Swanson had previously spoken to him about selling
Leseck’s team, and upon one occasion remarked that he was going
to put Leseck out of the way. Peterson did not remember whether Swanson
said that he had bought the team, or was going to purchase it. Peterson
agreed to pay Swanson $50. for the horses. He was not at home when they
were there, and they were taken away before he returned, but he
admitted that they had been at his place.
Finding the Bones
Under Sheriff Conners told of appearing upon the scene, and accompanied
by Peter Linquist, Louis Buckman and Joseph David, went into the field
where the fire had been seen and saw ashes in the stump. Swanson was
with the party, and it was noticed that he tried to turn their
attention toward another part of the field where he said he had had
another fire, and wanted them to go there, his anxiety being so
noticeable that Linquist examined the ashes more closely and detected a
small piece of bone. Calling the others to him he took up a double
handful of small bones and fragments; also finding pants button and
tooth. Then the officer arrested Swanson, placed handcuffs upon him,
and they took the prisoner and the relics with them to Linguist’s
house. This was on the morning of May 7.
Swanson did not touch food at dinnertime, but he ate a little supper,
his handcuffs having been removed. While Conners was in the act of
taking a drink of water Swanson bolted through the open doorway and
succeeded in eluding capture until two days afterward, when he was
discovered in his own barn, at about 8:30 p.m.
Conners asked Swanson how he came in possession of Leseck’s team
and he said he bought it off of Leseck for $165. - $50. To be applied
on an old debt, $65. Cash and $20. Which Swanson should give to
Peterson in payment for a steer which Leseck had shot.
Upbraided Her Husband
It devolved that after Swanson’s capture in the barn, and they
were all in the house, and Mrs. Swanson saw her husband under arrest
that she asked him why he had hired Leseck to come and do that small
amount of plowing, when he had a team of his own, and she was working
out to get money.
James Armstrong testified that Leseck was much attached to his horses
and that they he gave $225 and another horse for the team, which was
the best in the country. Leseck had a farm of 120 acres, worth between
$700 and $1,000, clear of debt, but there was a mortgage upon the team.
Four or five years previous, Leseck hand come to him (Armstrong) and
told him that when he (Leseck) died he wanted Armstrong to have his
property, and he insisted upon giving him a deed of it, but he was told
he had better keep the deed, which he did, and it was burned when
Leseck lost his house by fire last spring, and Armstrong never made any
claim for the property.
Armstrong, in alluding to the fire said the ashes were of hard wood,
and the latter must have been brought from the house, as there was no
hard wood out in the field, and Lindquist saw small pieces of hard wood
near the fire.
In condition with the stories afloat about Swanson telling of Leseck
going to Shawano and the reservation, Thomas LaBelle and John Tucker,
who reside upon the reservation, testified that he had not been seen
there. Armstrong, to show that Leseck had made no preparation for
leaving home, told of clothes, which he would naturally take with him,
being found in the barn; also a fresh plug of tobacco.
Frank Messersmith testified that on the 25th of April, Swanson came to
their place and wanted him to go to LaBelle’s place on the
reservation and get August Pohl to come down from his house the next
day – Sunday. Pohl was working for LaBelle, and according to the
story of the latter had been at his place all the week. Pohl went to
Messersmith’s that Sunday, but not to Swanson’s, but the
Sunday following he went to Swanson’s. The latter said he was in
trouble and wanted Pohl to help him out”. He said that he had
killed Leseck with an ax and burned the body in a stump. He wanted Pohl
to tell the people that he had seen Leseck on the reservation, going
toward Shawano, and he gave out that information to one person –
Mrs. David – but afterward admitted that it was a lie.
Pohl was arrested and placed under bonds to testify in circuit court.
He told a number of people that he would never appear as a witness,
threatened to take his own life and tried to induce the Messersmith boy
to shoot him, promising him his farm in payment for committing the
crime. The finding of the body, cold and in death, at Johnson’s,
before the trial of Swanson came off, showed that he has executed his
Annie Told What She Knew
When Swanson and Pohl were behind the bars, Annie Anderson was also an
inmate of the county bastile and she had often conversed with Swanson
in the Swedish language. One day Swanson asked why Pohl was
there, to which she replied, “For the same reason that you
are.” Swanson then said that Pohl had nothing to do with it, that
he had killed Leseck with an ax, placed brush and kerosene upon the
body and burned it, and said he was a fool that he had not gathered up
all the bones when he picked up the larger ones, and buried them all
She referred to Swanson’s attempt at self-destruction while in
jail, by soaking matches in his coffee, and of his threats to end his
life in other ways should the dose of brimstone fail of its desired
effect, and she communicated her knowledge to Sheriff Whitcomb.
The latter, on the stand, testified that there were 135 matches soaking
in the cup; that Swanson asserted that he would never go to trial and
that he would save the nicotine from his pipe and poison himself.
Drs. Atwood and Stoelting, of this city, Dr. O’Keef of Menominee
and Dr. Jones of Marinette testified positively that the bones which
they examined in court were a part of human skeleton. Dentists D. E.
Wilcox of Oconto and Clapp of Marinette pronounced the crown and root
of the tooth examined to have belonged to a human being.
He Denied Everything
The defendant, placed upon the stand, made a flat denial of everything,
except a few minor points which had no particular importance in the
Grenion Gets Two Years
For inflicting injuries upon Hormidas Baribeau on the 16th of
September last, at a dance in the town of Stiles, which resulted in his
death, David Grenion received a sentence of two years at hard labor
– the first day to be spent in the dark cell.
The Sheriff and His Charges
Sheriff Whitcomb took his prisoners - Swanson and Grenion –
to Waupun, Monday afternoon. Grenion seemed much broken down, and was
told that his sentence might be somewhat lessened by good behavior, but
“Swanson,” said the sheriff, “marched into the
penitentiary with a smile upon his face and seemingly as light-hearted
as though he were going to a dance. He wanted to know if he would not
be let out in ten years, to which I replied that he might be liberated
sooner should Leseck turn up alright, to which he answered with a shrug
of the shoulders and a significant grunt.”
Oconto County Reporter
Dec. 4, 1896
A Fatal Runaway
Untimely Death of George Teche of Spruce
His crop of peas had been marketed and he was homeward bound with the proceeds when the awful accident occurred
The tragic death of George Teche, a Bohemian residing in the town of
Spruce, Tuesday afternoon, has cast a gloom over the community in which
he resided. He had been at Lena with a load of peas – the last of
his ’96 crop – had received his money for the product and
had reached within three miles of his home, when, in turning out to
pass a team his horses became unmanageable and ran away, the wagon box
overturning upon him, and in this way he was dragged a long distance,
sustaining injuries from which he died fifteen minutes later.
DODGE IN PRISON
He has entered upon his long term at Waupun
Samuel Dodge, convicted of criminal conduct toward a young girl which
covered a period of several years’ duration, and sentenced by
Judge Hastings to eighteen years in the penitentiary, was taken to
Waupun by Sheriff Whitcomb last Sunday night. Between his pathetic
appeals for “Maggie,” his wife, from whom he had, by his
own volition, become separated possibly for life, and his abusive
conduct, the sheriff was obliged to slip on the bracelets.
After Dodge had been consigned to his new home, Mr. Whitcomb, while
passing through the shoe department, saw two men in conversation
– one a new arrival from Washington county, and the other man who
had accompanied him from Oconto – the latter, with his closely
trimmed beard and new suit of gray, scarcely recognizable. Dodge will
learn to make shoes.
At the time of finding the body of Pohl, the Swanson case witness who
hung himself, a letter was discovered in his pocket, written in German,
from which these expressions are copied – the names of persons
being omitted: “I have got to die, on account of the bloodhounds.
* * If I had been in company with - - - - I could do everything that I
pleased. * * You all will get your payment when I die, as a German
soldier on the field, for those who have condemned me will get their
payment. * * I am tired of life. * * I have got to close; my time is
short. Farewell all my friends.”
Oconto County Reporter
Dec. 11, 1896
HIS HEAD AFFECTED
Oconto County Furnishes Another Inmate for the Asylum
Ellis Gonyou, 21 years of age, who has resided with his parents in the
town of Oconto, was taken to the asylum Sunday night by Sheriff
Whitcomb and Under Sheriff Connors.
Lon Magray, whose ninety-days’ sentence for assault has expired,
is another boarder less at the “Whitcomb House.”
WORK OF THE REAPER
The Summons of Death Close Lives of Activity
Sketch of the life of James Don Levy, Who passed away at St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay, on Dec 3
James Don Levy, sr. who died in St. Vincent hospital last week, was a
member of a family of soldiers. His father was an English soldier, two
brothers fought for the same cause and still another brother was
engaged in the Mexican and Crimean wars, and during the struggle in
this country, between the north and south, in the 60’s he helped
recruit five companies that went out from Oconto to do battle for a
just cause. To one so imbued with patriotism and love of country it is
a disappointment not easily over come to be obliged to remain at home
and comparatively in active, when the call of men was urgent and
companions all about were rushing to the from, but an injury to one of
his ankles, when he was but a youth, precluded his being accepted as a
He was born in Swineford, county of Mayo, Ireland, May 12, 1819 and
came to America in 1839. By trade he was a shoemaker, and in New York
City he found employment at the bench. From there he went to Rochester,
where, in 1840, he married Miss Elizabeth Morton, and in the early
‘50’s he began business for himself in Geneva, N.Y. In 1856
he came to Oconto, upon representations advanced by a friend who had
preceded him, and this had been his home up to the time of his death.
His first business venture in Oconto was in conducting a shoe shop on
the bank of the river, near the slide of the Holt Lumber
Company’s mill – then Norton’s where he reined until
1865. He then moved t Main Street and occupied the corner building in
the “flat-iron” block, which afterward burned, and which he
replaced with a new building extending from Rasmussen’s store
west to the corner, and resumed business in his former location, from
which he retired about ten years ago.
He was almost constantly identified with public affairs. He had been a
member of the village board, of county board, an alderman, member of
the school board, and held various other offices.
The cause of his illness dates back to the World’s Fair, when he
contracted a severe cold which developed onto consumption, and it was
thought he would receive better care in the hospital, in which he died.
Oconto County Reporter
Dec. 18, 1896
The Water Tainted
School children made ill by its use.
A physician sent a quantity of water to a Madison Chemist, who pronounced it to foul for domestic purposes - Two children dead.
The recent diphtheria epidemic in the town of Little River, which
claimed two children as its victims, is thought to have originated from
water used from the school house well in District 3, located six miles
About a pint of this water was recently sent by a local
physician to Prof. Daniels of the state university, for analysis, and
in his report, received on Monday, he said the sample contained soil
water and scrapage from sewage from a barn yard, or other filthy
surroundings; also excess of ammonia and nitrates, and saturated with
undisorganized vegetable matter, and that it was unfit to drink or to
be used for domestic purposes. The authorities of the town are to be
notified and the well closed.
Pure water is an essential to good health, and it would be well
for school officers throughout the county to examine into sanitary
condition of all school property.
Mrs. G. E. Bond and children have returned from an extended visit with relatives in Buffalo, N.Y.
J. B. Atwood spent a few days this week at his former home in Dane County.
Oconto County Reporter
Dec 25, 1896
Wm. Kensler, who is charged with adultery with Mrs. McDougal, the
alleged murderess of her husband has been bound over to circuit court
in $200 bail.
DEAD IN SWAMP
John Johnson found hanging by the neck
A resident of Maple Valley for over a quarter of a century and a
well-to-do farmer –
Mental aberration resulted in
self-destruction Funeral last Sunday
Residents of the town of Maple Valley were shocked, on Thursday of last
week, to learn of the death, by suicide, of John Johnson, a well-to-do
farmer and one of the oldest inhabitants of the town.
It seems that Mr. Johnson had been in Oconto on the day previous,
settling with an employee who had worked for him for three years, with
the understanding that his board should be his only compensation, but
conceiving the idea that he might receive money consideration for his
long term of service the man brought suit against Johnson, for $14 per
month for three years’ work, which resulted in the latter giving
his note for $100, as compromise.
Returning to his home, Mr. Johnson worked around the premises during
the afternoon, but it was noticed that he did not accompany the others
to supper, although nothing unusual was thought of the occurrence at
the time. When the “coast was clear,” it seems that Johnson
took two pieces of rope which had been used on a hay press, and in a
swamp about half a mile from his residence, hung himself to a tree, the
body being discovered the next day about 10 o’clock in the
forenoon by two men who were assisting in the search for the missing
That Johnson was mentally deranged was well known among his relatives,
his affliction dating back several years, and complications of
settlement with his employee, and subsequent annoyance, when he
supposed that the debt, according to agreement, had been paid, no doubt
preyed upon his mind and led up to the suicide.
He came to Oconto county from Denmark in 1869, owned a farm of 160
acres worth in the neighborhood of $4,000, and $200 would have paid all
the debts that he owed.
The funeral was held last Sunday and internment made in Maple Valley church yard
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