Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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CLAYWOOD

Town of Maple Valley
Oconto County, Wisconsin

The little settlement was located in the vicinity along Claywood Road with the public buildings, such as the graded school, built on that road between present day Highways "V" to the east and "M" to the west. It was also called "Claywood Corners". 

A number of Norwegian born immigrants came to farm that area starting in early 1873 with brothers Lars and Martin Slang,. They were originally from Fredrikshald, Norway and had first lived in Negaunee, Michigan. They then resettled the densely wooded and unworked homesteads in town of Maple Valley. Sending word back to Norway, about the opportunities for employment and farming in this new area, they were joined later that year by Martin and Torger Hansen who came directly from Fredrikshald.

Initially the new settlers participated in logging their land, which was then sold to mills for the money needed to purchase supplies and farming equipment. Mr. Chase established a sawmill that provided money for harvested logs and jobs for local men. Log homes and barns were their first buildings. Potatoes and hay were the first crops to be sold first at the marketplace in city of Oconto that was 30 miles away. Oxen hauled the produce by wagon on dirt roads and trails. 

By 1898 the railroad came through Claywood and made shipping farm produce and lumber far easier. In 1899 Anette Phelan was teaching at Claywood. A log school was first built for children of the settlement and was replaced in 1903 by the brick Claywood Graded School standing at Claywood Road and Irrigation Lane.  The Post Office was established with the name "Strand P. O.", after one of the early Norwegian settlers. Other early families to settle had the surnames of Johnson/Johnsen, Arveson, Mikkelson, Thomson/Thomsen, Roit, Slang, Madsen and Jansen.

Many of Claywood settlement's earliest residents are buried at the Frostville Cemetery, just to the north. The Norwegian settlers belonged to three church denominations by the late 1800's; the United Church, the Evangelical Free Church and the Methodist Church.

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