Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County
Wisconsin

LITTLE RIVER and TOWN of LITTLE RIVER

For many centuries the land that is now town of Little River was known for it's abundant hunting and fishing of wild game. It was a seasonal home to Native Americans in the area and a prime source of trade goods in the extensive Indian network that extended from the northeastern American coast to the Great Plains. Dried fruits, berries, corn, squash and beans, maple sugar, wild rice and all kinds of dried fish and meats as well as clothing,  woven and birch containers, art, musical instruments, hunting equipment and weapons were among what was produced and traded.

Potential settlers to the area could read the following description
from the " Handbook of Wisconsin" by S. Silas, 1855 which describes the Little River area well.
pg. 90-91

This (Oconto) is another of those large Counties partly surveyed, extending along Green Bay and Michigan, and occupying a certain unknown and almost unexplored, extent. It is well watered, and possesses extensive water powers and several navigable streams, at present but little used except for floating down pine lumber, now nearly the only riches of the County. It is sparsely settled, most of it yet unsurveyed, and the land for agricultural purposes is said to be very poor; yet there are undoubtedly good farming lands to be found, and its facilities for reaching market will soon induce a heavy population. A steamer runs from Green Bay up the Oconto, and from Oshkosh up the Wolf, nearly to the southern line of the County. Nearly the whole of Oconto is in the Menasha land district, one range being in the Stevens Point.


A new Post Office has been established at Pensaukie, a prosperous lumber station on the Oconto, about 20 miles from Green Bay, and is on the route of the Green Bay, Menomonee and Lake Superior mail.

Among the early settlers in Little River township were William Krueger and mother Margaret Sube/Zuebe who married there in 1869 and raised 7 children there.  Sister Barbara Zuebe married another early resident, Fances Malchow/Melchow/Melcher.

Oconto County Reporter January 28, 1882 

It was 1868 when James Lucas came to the town of Little River, it then being an unbroken wilderness.  Since that time, he has cleared one hundred and thirty acres which he has under a high state of cultivation.  At the time he located there was neither roads nor schools in the township, but now there are good roads and five school houses between the Little River bridge and Kelley Brook, and the township is well settled with a hardy, enterprising and thrifty class of people. There is considerable good land still remaining in the township that can be bought at reasonable figures, which will certainly appreciate in value, as soon as the new railroad is constructed and now is the time to purchase not only in Little river, but throughout the county."


. The August Zimmerman Family who originally came from Germany, moved to their Little River homestead in 1886. The continued natural abundance of the area was a great help in the sucess of early families as it was used extensively to suppliment farming production on the family table and in winter stores.

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