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Oconto County


The land on which Suring now stands was originally homesteaded by George Vert in 1875. Later there was homesteader William Guns in 1881. Suring is situated exactly half way between the North Pole and the Equator. In 1880 Mr. Suring (also spelled Suering) helped build the road, then called the "Highway" due to all the low wetland in the undrained area, that is now Main Street. He built a sawmill on an island in the Oconto River at one end of what is now the town. Joe Suring built a home in 1882 where he was joined by his wife and six children. He had also purchased the land on which the village of Suring now stands for $215, from William Walker Phelps, who in tern had puchased it from the Chicago & North Western Railroad aquisition of 1876. Joe Suring had suggested the name "Three Rivers", but state officials chose "Suring" instead. 

The coming of the Northwestern Railroad in 1896 encouraged rapid growth in the tiny settlement that previously boasted only three shanties, a lumber shed, a vacant store and two houses. Saloons, stores, schools, a hotel called The Wisconsin, a bank, and churches soon followed. In 1908 a fire destroyed almost half the village businesses. Later that year, St. Michael Catholic Church was built using local materials and membership labor. Famous early Hollywood Star, Smiley Burnett, once called Suring home. Henry Johnson was an early settler who became a prominent politician and was appointed State Treasure for Wisconsin from 1912 through 1922. 

In 1914 the residents of Suring applied for and order to incorporate into a village. Circuit Court judge W.B. Quinlan granted their petition in December of that year and the village elected the first officers. The initial rapid growth gave way to more modest gains over the next half century. 

Other surnames of Suring history are Thielke, Wagner, Schuster, Dieck, Gisch, Zinger, Oestreich, Von Haden, Zahn, Yakel, Schuettpelz,  Averson, McDermid, Fredenberg, Giese,Cato, Wandel, Johnson, Rollman, Groninger,  Hann, Nelson, Meles, Serier, Whiting,  Cooley, Scott, Ehlinger, Stackpole, Allen, Raisler, Gerndt, Jorgenson, Zuehlke, Sorenson, Smith,  Abrams, Dougherty,  Buss, Stengel. 


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