Saukville History


The following is taken from "Histories of Washington and Ozaukee Counties", Western Publishing, 1881. It is copied exactly from the book except that I have capitalized surnames.

The town of Saukville was set off, and made an independent organization April 4, 1848. Prior to that time, it formed a part of old Port Washington. It now comprises Town 11 in Range 21. Settlements were made as early as 1845, and improvements began in 1846. The first traces of civilization on the present site of the village appeared in the latter year. The Indians had made several attempts at clearings at various points along the Milwaukee River, where they had in a small way cultivated the maize. They lingered in and around the vicinity of Saukville for a number of years. After the whites began to take up lands they finally withdrew from the scene, leaving the pioneers in full possession of their hunting-grounds.

During their sojourn they furnished the settlers with fish and game common to the forests, but as inroads were made into the dense timber, they gradually receded, migrating to the north and west until the last had disappeared. Among the first to settle in this section were George C. DANIELS, Lott BLANCHARD, Joseph FISCHBEIN, William FOSTER, E. WADSWORTH, William PAYNE, Lemuel SEZER, Stephen McINTOSH, Jonathan TIBBETTS and Joseph FOWLER. In 1848, William PAYNE and Jabez H. FOSTER built a dam across the Milwaukee River, three-quarters of a mile north of the village, where they obtain a fall of fifteen feet. The first building erected was a saw-mill. A year later, they built a frame grist-mill. PAYNE & FOSTER had entered some 1,200 acres of land which was designated "The Mill Property." They continued to do a profitable business until 18551, when their grist-mill was destroyed by fire, after which disaster a dispute arose between them as to the sharing of the property. A lawsuit ensued which resulted in the court deciding that the property should be divided into equal shares, each one taking half. PAYNE then sold out his interest including water-power to William H. KITTRIDGE for $17,500. The site upon which these buildings were erected was given the name Mechanicsville, but subsequently became a part of the village of Saukville. In 1849, a turning-shop was added to the saw-mill, where the manufacture of bedsteads and chairs was carried on until 1858, at which time the business was abandoned. Alexander M. ALLEN, Joseph FOWLER and John BARNUM, were the last to engage in the enterprise. W.H. KITTRIDGE had conveyed the property to his mother, Cinderella KITTRIDGE, who sold it to Maxon HIRSCH and Charles H. MILLER in 1863. A year later, they sold to Adam NAUTH, who rebuilt the saw-mill and dam. NAUTH retained possession until December 31, 1870, when he sold out to THIEN & GUETTLER, who rebuilt the grist-mill, a four-story stone building. They also repaired the dam, and made other necessary improvements. The business had but fairly got under headway when the grist-mill was again destroyed by fire. The property was sold in 1879 to August KOENIG by a foreclosure of mortgage During the same year KOENIG was joined by Charles SCHLEGEL, when they rebuilt the mill. They now run five set of stones, and have a capacity of 100 barrels of flour per day. Relics of the old saw-mill are still standing. The dam was considerably damaged by the spring flood of 1881, when the Milwaukee River rose to the highest point ever known, overflowing the country for several miles on each side of its banks. The village of Saukville was inundated two to four feet, and a great many families were forced to abandon their houses and find shelter with their neighbors who were more fortunately located on the higher grounds. In 1860, Ernst SCHMIDT built a dam and erected a saw-mill in the town of Saukville, four miles north of the village in Section 3, Range 21, on the Milwaukee River, where he continued to do a profitable business until the year 1875, when V. VOELKER became a partner and added a frame grist-mill to the saw-mill. The flouring-mill is now run by VOELKER & JONAS. The saw-mill was swept away by the flood of 1881, as was also the dam. The later was immediately rebuilt. This place is designated "VOELKER's Mills." George KENDALL kept a store and saloon at the mills for quite a number of year.

The organization and first election of the town of Saukville took place April 4, 1848, at the house of Lott BLANCHARD, when the following town officers were elected: Lemuel S. SIZER, Moderator; Elisha WADSWORTH and Charles O. SENDERBURG, Judges of Election; William FOSTER and Joseph FISCHBEIN, Clerks of Election. There were 43 votes cast, with the following result: For Town Supervisors and Commissioners of Highways, William PAYNE, Lemuel S. SIZER and James HURLEY; School Commissioners, Lott BLANCHARD, Jonathan TIBBETTS and Joseph FOWLER; Justices of the Peace, William PAYNE and Joseph FISCHBEIN; Constables, William FORSYTHE; Assessors, Stephen McINTOSH, Michael HARRINGTON and Anton BOESEWETTER; Town Clerk and Treasurer, Joseph FISCHBEIN.


VILLAGE OF SAUKVILLE

This picturesque little hamlet is situated on the west bank of the Milwaukee River, twenty-eight miles north of the State metropolis, and is touched by the Milwaukee & Wisconsin Central Railroad, two express trains passing each way daily. The business portion of the town is laid out in the shape of a triangle, and contains four stores, three hotels, two wagon and blacksmith shops, and a number of dwelling-houses. There are two churches, a Catholic and a German Lutheran, and two schoolhouses, one public and one private. The first house in the village was built by George C. DANIELS, in 1846. In 1848, a foot bridge was built across the river at this point at a cost of $500, the county furnishing one-half of this sum. In 1873, the town voted to build a new bridge. The contract was given to William RETTLERG, of Cedarburg, for $3,735. The bridge is a substantial wood structure, and is well protected by breakwaters. The first storekeeper was Joseph FISCHBEIN, who was also made the first Postmaster, in 1847. In 1848, William PAYNE erected a building for a hotel, of which William RICHARDS took possession, christening it the "Pulaski Hotel." This pioneer inn is still standing in a well-preserved state, but is now used as a private residence. The Eagle Hotel, the principal one now in the village, was opened to the public by Anthony AHLHAUSER, in 1861. Mr. AHLHAUSER came to Saukville in 1856, and started a mercantile business, which he afterward exchanged for that of "mine host."

There are eight public schoolhouses in the town of Saukville, four stone and four frame structures. These buildings are in grounds of three-quarters of an acre each, and are furnished throughout with all modern school apparatus. The first officers elected were, in 1848, for School District No. 1, Director, Stephen McINTOSH; Clerk, Henry HEDGES; Treasurer, John FITZPATRICK. A little frame schoolhouse was built the same year, and Miss E. TUCKER was employed by Mr. McINTOSH to take charge of the school, it being the first taught in the town of Saukville. The highest number of children enrolled during this term was twenty-one. Mr. S. WHITCHURCH succeeded Miss TUCKER as teacher, taking charge of the school the following year. The school tax for 1848 was $76.71. The cash value of school property in the town for the same year was $475.55. Number of children attending private schools, 132; whole number of children in town 1,095. Cash value of school property, public and private, in 1881, $9,727.75. Total receipts for school purposes for the year ending August 31, 1880, for District No. 1, $3,273.58; expenditures $2,491.73; amount on hand $781.85.

The town officers for 1881 were: Supervisors, Anthony AHLHAUSER, William BROMBACH, Edward LUTZEN; Clerk, Charles STOPPER; Assessor, M. LOUTERBACH; Treasurer, Peter HAAN; Poundmaster, B. JOHNSON; Justices of the Peace, Charles SCHLEGEL, A. AHLHAUSER, J. W. LULPRING; Constables, B. JOHNSON, Claude AUGUSTINE, Joachim HORN.

"Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through nature up to nature's God."

Such was the religion of the pioneers of Saukville; they knew no creeds, but were governed by the grand universal law of nature. They were linked together by one common interest, and sought to establish the principles of morality on a broad foundation. The forests served them as a place of worship during the summer months, and in the winter they would repair to the public schoolhouse to offer up their humble devotions. As the country began to fill with people from foreign lands, sectarian lines were drawn and organizations formed under the prescribed rules and formulas of their respective dogmas.

The Methodists were the first to organize, and held their services in the public schoolhouse for a period of twelve years, when the church was disbanded. There are five church edifices in the town, of which the two principal are in the village. The German Evangelical Lutheran Church, in the village of Saukville, was organized June 16, 1876. This congregation is visited by Rev. FRANK of Port Washington.

Catholic Church.--This denomination held its first services in the house of John FITZPATRICK, Father BRADLEY officiating. The church was regularly organized February 20, 1856. Alois STOPPER, John SENG and Paul SUENNEN, Trustees. The business was transacted at the house of Alois STOPPER. A little stone meeting-house was erected in 1858. There were present, at the laying of the corner-stone, Bishop Martin HENNI, of Milwaukee; Father X. SAILER and Father DOUGHTERTY. The church has been presided over by the following priests: First, after Father BRADLEY, Father X. SAILER, from 1858 to 1860; from 1860 to 1865, the priests to visit the church were J.B. WICKMANN, Father FUSSEDER, Father FABIAN, Father STOHR and Father George STRICKNER. The resident priests were Father J. VOISSEM, Joseph M. ALBERS and the present Father, John FRIEDEL. In 1875, a new church edifice, 55 x 125 feet, was erected. The building is a handsome stone structure, and is the largest in the county. The half-acre lot, on which it stands, was donated to the church by Alois STOPPER. The center altar, an elegant piece of architecture, was donated by the members of the church. The two side altars were a gift from Father J.M. ALHERS. The young men of St. Joseph's Society presented the church with a pulpit. The windows are of stained glass, and were contributed by individual members. The names of the donators are engraved upon the panes. A parsonage and schoolhouse were erected in 1865. The school is in charge of three Sisters from Notre Dame, of Milwaukee, and has an average attendance of 100 scholars. Seven acres of land were purchased by the church, upon which to erect these buildings. The church and school buildings, including the land, cost $21,000. The church, in 1850, numbered ten families; at the present, 120 families.


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