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From The Past - 1923
red foxes and one wolf were issued
Wednesday at the county clerks office. George Huntley of
in one wolf; Edward Thomsen, Pulcifer, two red foxes; Berlin Kaufman,
one red fox; Robert Rodenhorst, Breed, one fox and Emil Firgens of
a regulation fire truck will be
added to the equipment of the Oconto City Fire Department.
when the bass
were biting best, according to the
report in the Crandon newspaper, Henry Mineau, W.B. Classon and N.W.
while fishing through the ice, saw two huge gray timber wolves come out
of the woods and head directly across the ice toward them.
the men in the party were armed and so they all made for the shore and
climbed the highest trees to be found.
Richard La Brosse
five men and fifteen
teams are being employed in the work of harvesting ice for 1923.
Richard La Brosse
Anna Pevonka, aged
86, suffered the fracture of her right hip and arm when she fell on
icy steps at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Edward Herald, Thursday
resident of Oconto for more than half a century passed away at 2:45
Saturday morning at Portland, Oregon.
nose broken in
three places were the injuries that
resulted to Mrs. Guy Couillard of Couillardville when the bob sleigh
was riding in tipped over in front of the Couillardville school Monday
morning at ten.
of flame licked up around the end
of the roof, snapped and crackled and leaped into the night air as
of the congregation of St. Mark’s Episcopal church after
years to get out of debt saw their church in which they have taken such
a justified pride, rapidly melt away in the glaring flames Sunday night.
elected queen of the high school carnival
held at Gillett Feb. 9 by an overwhelming majority.
Oconto resident is secretary-treasurer
of the Westminister Paper Mills Ltd. Of New Westminister, B.C., a new
manufacturing concern that has just been put in operation.
Richard La Brosse
Gwendolyn Cyr is entertaining all of
the children about her age at her home on March 6th, the occasion being
her birthday anniversary.
Richard La Brosse
clerk of the town of Brazeau, is suffering
from painful injuries sustained when Millard Ste. Marie accidentally
a Ford truck loaded with potatoes over his toes.
May 3, 1923
USED INGENIOUS DAMS
OLD DAYS TO
FISH IN OCONTO RIVER
WHITE CHILD BORN lN OCONTO COUNTY.
Wis.—In the year 1634 the prow of a big war canoe
parted the blue waters of Green Bay. Muscular brown skined Indians,
naked except for a scant leather girdle, leaned on their canoe
paddles and the light birch craft, propelled by sinewy arms, leaped
like a frightened doe over the blue waters.
Joseph Leigh, first white child born in Oconto.
the flrst canoe came scores or others, all of a similar
capacity. All along the shores were wooded and deep black
forests, broken here and there by the broad mouth of a river. Flocks
of wild ducks and geese, fed by the acres of wild rlce and ready
to begin their flight to
the south, arose at the approach of the
disturbers. Low marshy flats indicated that tho canoeing
party was approaching the mouth of a river.
Suddenly a tail brawny figure, clad In soft
buckskin. Jumped from the
leading canoe. His
face was tanned, but his features regular and
seemed of a different race from his companions. He uttered a
sharp command and the canoo headed to the mouth of the river now
visible through the reeds and rushes.
About the edge of the woods on both fides of the mouth were clustered
bands of Indians very similar to those in the canoes. At last the
canoes one by one grounded on the sandy shore.
white man. at the head of the leading canoe stepped out followed by the
braves. The braves on the shore assumed a warlike attitude and
presented a threatening resistance to the strangers, but after a few
gutteral remarks, spoken in their own language by the white
leader soon gave the visitors a friendly reception.
The Indians on the shore were none other than the Menominees,
a remnant of which still remain in the western section of Oconto
county. The white man was no other than Jean Nicolet, the flrst white
man to set foot on the land that later became the part of
Oconto county, now the east part of the city of Oconto.
He had landed at the mouth of the "River of Many Fish," or as the
Indians then called it Oconto. Nicolet explored part of the Oconto and
Fox rivers and carried an account of his discoveries back with him to
his French companions at Quebec.
followed by Jesuits who preached Christianity.
These in turn were followed by fur traders
who exchanged cheap trinkets for furs, which for several
decades was the chief Industry and the attraction of the white men.
civilization spread further and further the need of
substantial arose and fur trading was in time replaced by the lumbering
industry. Mounds, burial places and trenches along the Oconto and
Menominee rivers indicated that the savage tribes bad offered some
resistance to the march of civilization In Oconto county.
The Oconto river, well named by the Indians as
a "River of Fish." gave rise to the
fishing industry, as the dams built on the river indicate.
These dams allowed the schools of fish to swim up stream, only to to
caught on their return. The fish were then washed over one end of the
dam, especially constructed, and landed on large flat stones.
Thousands of pounds of fish were caught annually in this way, and as a
consequence led to many quarrels among those In the fishing industry.
Sawmill In 1827.
The first sawmill erected in Oconto county was put up at Pensaukee
several miles south of the city of Oconto In 1827-29. It was at this
time that the lumbering industry was begun, having had the
sanction of both Indians and the government. The real estate records,
dated April 19, 1827, show the contract signed by B. Brevoot, Indian
agent, and the marks of several Indian chiefs, properly witnessed.
GENERATIONS OF COLSON FAMILY
The building of this mill started the lumber industry in Oconto
county. The mill cut about 2000 feet of lumber per day. In
1849 H. R. Hinsdale put up another mill and in 1830 this was purchased
by F. B. Gardner.
Soon settlers began pouring into Pensaukee, which
had prospects of becoming the metropolis
of Oconto county, when fate willed it otherwise. On the afternoon of
July 7, 1877, In the twinkling of an
eye. Pensaukee was visited by a
cyclone, and the thriving city scattered over the
surrounding countryside and the city wrecked
from end to end. Gardner, the prime factor of the
city, tried in vain to resurrect the place, but after several attempts,
left for the east and never returned.
Only a Village Today.
today is but a shadow of its former self. This trick of
Fate made Oconto the leading city in the county. With death
and destruction all about her, and with men of ideals, ready to
shoulder the responsibilities of a growing city, Oconto has gradually
forged to the front. The first mill to be built in Oconto was
erected in 1835-1836 by George Lerwick, George Landgen and George Ehrie.
This mill came into possession of Colonel Jones ln 1836. The first road
was built from Oconto to Stiles in 1854.
The first bridge was thrown across the Oconto river on July 25,
White Child Born.
On July 25, 1851, Effle Couillard, now Mrs. Joseph
Leigh, was born, the first white child in Oconto
county. In 1851 Lorenzo Colson, who is reckoned the oldest settler in
Oconto county, landed in Oconto. At that time he and the family of
Thomas Lindsay were the only white inhabitants of Oconto county.
The South Branch Indians were then occupying this dlstrict.
Colson took up his residence with the Lindsay's (family are dead and.
buried In the Lindsay field on the east end of Jefferson street) in a
little log cabin at the mouth of the Oconto river and in J857 he
married one of the Lindsay girls, Elisa. During these years, Colson ran
a supply boat to sawmills up the Oconto river. The Holt and Oconto
company sawmills had not been erected. A small sawmill run by a
waterwheel about a mlle up the river from where the Holt Hardwood plant
now stands and known as the "Old Watermill."
Died in March.
Colson died March 10, 1923, at the age of 92 years, leaving five sons,
two daughters, 11 great great grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren and
At the outbreak of the Cllvll war, Company F was organized in the city,
marched away and returned with an enviable record.
On March 11, I860, Oconto was incorporated as a city and the following
officer elected: Mayor George Smith (father of the local chief of
police); clerk, Joseph W. Hall; treasurer, Henry M. Royce; marshal,
William Adams; assessors. E. Hart, Paul McDonald, James A. Donlovy;
aldermen, P. M. Kerry, A. U. Wheelock, S. Butler, N. Magray, Frank
Kuelle, W. Shane; Justices, H. P. Palmer, C. J. Folsom, W. B. Mitchell;
constables, P. Guck, W. Shurtloff and Charles Bentz.
In 1867 the Oconto company built a sawmill and Holt &
Balcom one in 1856. The "Old Spies mill" was erected in I860. Oconto
has been on the road to wealth and prosperity ever since, and is fast
taking her place as one of the leading metropoli of northeastern
Richard La Brosse
County - These
people were among those applying for naturalization from Oconto County:
Falls, Russia, Poland
Oconto Falls, Norway
Stewart, Suring, England
Oconto Falls, Russia.
the eight year old son of August Lade, sustained
a fractured collar bone on Thursday of last week when he fell from a
which he was trying to hitch onto.
Monday evening, Jerome, son of Mr.
and Mrs. Mitchell Parisey, fell in such a manner as to break a leg.
who left recently for Chicago, went
to New York City during the week where he is holding a responsible
for the firm he is employed by in Chicago, having been sent to the
city as a representative of the firm.
following received the highest
averages in the county spelling , arithmetic and writing contest held
Oconto Falls, Wednesday. June 6th. Miss Ellen Race of Little
received the highest average and will therefore represent Oconto county
in the contest to be held at the State Fair in August: Miss
Shallow ranked second, Miss Eleanor Schlosser third, and Miss Viola
Watterich, Gwenn Perry, Frieda Klass, Elizabeth
Follett, Mable Urquhart, Isabel Ghilain, Katherine Cook, Leila Flynn,
Watkins, Leona Bovee and Lenore Ramsay enjoyed a picnic at the city
Crossing—A family reunion was held at the home
of John Ragen Sunday.
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