updated 14 Jun 2011
See: HISTORY OF DOOR COUNTY for more History of Door County including early settlers.
Otumba, Graham and Tehema were also names of the area.
Second Organized Town of Door County. Winter of 1857: Town of Otumba formed. February 13, 1860: County Board officially changed Town name to Sturgeon Bay - at request of petitioners.
Peter ROWLEY, (1835-1840) 1st white settler-located on the banks of Sturgeon Bay, on the point on the west side of the bay (water) - moved to Two Creeks, Kewaunee County in 1840.
Peter S. SHERWOOD settled near Mr. ROWLEY on the point- 2nd white settler (1836-1862).
New Englanders, Norwegian, German, French, and English.
Fishing, Farming, Lumbering, Trapping.
(1) CHARNLEY BROS. & CO.-Proprietor: Augustine W. LAWRENCE (1856) - Merchantile and lumber.
(2) BRADLEY/CRANDALL MILL ( or LOWER MILL) (later SPEAR’S MILL), Proprietors: Lyman BRADLEY and David S. CRANDALL (1853) from Lockport, New York- Sawmill.
(3) LAND AGENT: Joseph HARRIS, Sr., (1855)- First Register of Deeds, First County Clerk, 2nd County Treasurer.
BACON, Samuel N.-born in New York- eventually landlord of Exchange Hotel;
GARLAND, John-helped Sturgeon Bay become the county seat;
GRAHAM, Robert- Sawmill “Upper Mill”, laid claim to tract of pine land which is now in downtown Sturgeon Bay(city), built first house there-1850, postmaster October 22, 1855
GRAHAM, Oliver P.-brother of Robert;
HARRIS, Joseph Sr .born London, England - see (3) in Early Businesses- also established the Door County Advocate [newspaper] also led efforts to establish a canal at Sturgeon Bay, State Senator-1864;
HASKELL, Chauncey- hunting and trapping then farming;
JACOBS, Philip-born Germany-farmer;
LAVASSOR, Joseph born in Canada, came from Lockport, New York;
LAWRENCE, William B. born in New Hampshire-farmer
LAWRENCE, Augustus W. from Maine-fishing, lumber, and merchantile, cherry growing;
LONG (LANGE) (LANG), John from Germany-Shoemaker
MARSHALL, William married Mary J. CLAFLIN- livery stable;
MCMULLEN, Neil-first white settler on east bank of Sturgeon Bay-1837;
REED, D. A.- born in Ohio.-attorney at law
SAWYER, Frank-hunting, trapping, first crop of wheat in Door County;
SHERWOOD, Peter S.;
THOMPSON, Antone born in Norway-farmer;
TORSTENSON, Nels born in Norway- carpenter and joiner;
WARREN, A.G.-born New London, Connecticut, came with brother- farmer, bookkeeper, Town Clerk.
MORE TOWN OF STURGEON BAY PEOPLE-Biographies found in: History of Northern Wisconsin-1881
ALLEN, G.W. (firm of Allen & McNally, attorneys-at-law)
BLIESNER, August (boots & shoes)
BOTTELSEN, A. (boot & shoemaker)
CHARLSEN, Andrew (farmer)
COCHEMS, M. (dealer in general merchandise)
DANIELS, E. C. (farmer)
DEHOS, Jacob (manufacturer of boots & shoes)
DONOVAN, William (foreman of George O. Spear’s saw mill)
DREUTZER, G. A. (postmaster & general merchandise)
DREUTZER, Hon. O.E. (attorney-at-law)
FELDMANN, C. (general merchandise)
FULLER, Henry Harlow (farmer, PO Sawyer)
GRAASS, John P. (saloon)
GRAHAM, H.C. (Clerk Circuit Court)
HAHN, Henry (proprietor Northwestern House)
HALSTEAD, William M.(manufacturer and dealer in harness, saddles, etc)
HAMILTON, Judge F.J. (County Judge)
HANSEN, Hans (farmer, PO Sturgeon Bay)
HASKELL, Chauncey (farmer)
HENDRICKS, J. G., A.M., M.D (also drugstore)
HJORTAAS, C. (farmer & painter, PO Sturgeon Bay)
IVES, W.A. (of firm of W.A. Ives & Son foundry & machine shop)
KEOGH, James, Jr. (Register of Deeds)
LAWRENCE, A. W. (firm of A. W. Lawrence & Co, dealers in general merchandise)
LAWRENCE, M.E. (meat market)
LAWRENCE, William B.(farmer, PO Sturgeon Bay)
LEATHEM, John (firm of Scofield & Co, general merchandise & manufacturers of lumber)
LEIDIGER, Louis (firm of Leidiger Bros., Sturgeon Bay Brewery)
LEONHARDT, Chris. (County Treasurer)
LONG, Frank (Door County Advocate, purchased from Henry Harris)
LORING, W. M. (firm of Loring Bros., livery)
MACEACHAM, A. Mac Eacham, M.D. (druggist)
MCDONALD, M. McDonald (general salesman, Scofield & Co)
MCLACKNER, L. R. McLackner (farmer, PO Sturgeon Bay)
MCNALLY, Henry M. McNally firm of Allen & McNally, attorneys at law)
MARTIN, Charles I. (editor, proprietor of Weekly Expositor)
MASSE, C.A. (real estate)
NELSON, Fred (farmer)
NELSON, George (County Clerk)
NELSON, Capt. N. P. (farmer)
PALMER, James F. (barber)
REED, Hon. D. A. (attorney at law, court commissioner)
REED, H. N. (salesman for Scofield & Co)
REHR, William (farmer & dealer in lime)
SAILER, F.X. (furniture dealer & undertaker)
SCHUYLER, Henry (County Surveyor, Chairman County Board, Justice of Peace; wife millinery store)
SHAW, Amasa (filer with Sturgeon Bay Lumber Co)
SMITH, Thomas H. (firm of Scofield & Co)
SOPER, Dr. J. H. (physician & surgeon)
SORENSON, C. L. (farmer & ship carpenter)
SORENSON, Knud (farmer)
SPEAR, George O. (lumber manufacturer)
THOMPSON, Anthone (farmer)
THOMPSON, Herbert J. (lumber)
THORP, A.D. (book-keeper for Sturgeon Bay Lumber Co)
THORP, George H. (boarding house for G.O. Spears, lumber manufacturing)
THORP, H.A. (manager of A.W. Lawrence & Co at Bay View))
WAGENER, Arnold (Sheriff & firm of Wagener Bros, brewers)
WALKER, George (shoemaker for August BLIESNER)
WARREN, A. G. (Town Clerk, Deputy County Clerk)
WASHBURN, N. S. (yard foreman of Sturgeon Bay Lumber Co)
WELTER, Michael (firm of Masse & Welter, dealers in agricultural implements, sale stable, etc.)
WHITESIDE, Charles M. (miller for A.W. Lawrence & Co)
HEILMAN, Adam (farmer, PO Sawyer)
BAYVIEW (SAWYER-WEST SIDE OF STURGEON BAY CITY)
ANDERSON, E. N. (general merchandise, PO Sawyer)
BARTZ, William F. (boots & shoes, Sawyer)
COCAGNE, C. A. (farmer, PO Sawyer)
GOETTELMANN, John (proprietor Bay View House, postmaster-Sawyer)
HARRIS, Hon. Joseph Sr. (land agent, Sawyer)
HEILMANN, Henry (saloon & tavern, Sawyer)
JOHNSON, John & Robert NOBLE (ferry, agricultural implements & saloon, Bay View)
NELSON, Olof A. (with A.W. Lawrence & Co, Sawyer)
NOBLE, Robert & John Johnson (ferry, agricultural implements & saloon, Bay View)
SCHULTZ, A. W. (blacksmith, Sawyer)
First school term at Sturgeon Bay in 1856 above Oliver P. GRAHAM’s store in Sturgeon Bay taught by Mrs. James MC INTOSH. Sturgeon Bay and the community of Sevastopol shared a school district in 1862.
1866 Four schoolhouses existed in the Town of Sturgeon Bay, only one was in the village proper. That school located on the site of the 1878 high school between Michigan and Nebraska, east of Third Avenue, burned in 1869. Classes were then held above A.W. LAWRENCE’s Store.
The 1878 High School served the needs of the entire county until 1919, when Towns of Gibraltar and Liberty Grove voted to establish one of their own. The 1878 building was replaced in 1902 after a disasterous fire.
In 1908, a new schoolhouse built across the street. The school was demolished recently and as of this date, construction is taking place at that location for a new Door County Municipal Building.
The current high school exists on Michigan Avenue in Sturgeon Bay along with a Middle School adjacent to that building.
Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church: Several members of Reverend IVERSON’s Norwegian Moravian goup that disagreed settled in the Sturgeon Bay area during the early 1850's with the intention of building a church. 1857-H.P. HANSON directed work on the UNION CHURCH to be built of logs. Interfaith disputes held up completion until 1864 when the MORAVIANS obtained title to the grounds and dedicated the church. Additional German Moravians came in the 1870's. In 1880, a new church was completed. Two more Moravian religious buildings were built- a church in 1931, and a Sunday School addition in 1962 with the original log church and the 1880 church incorporated into the newer church at 323 S. Fifth Avenue, Sturgeon Bay.
Shiloh Moravian Church - Church building and Shiloh Moravian Cemetery.
LOCATION: 2.5 Miles South of the junction of Hwy 42-57 and County Truck C on C, then 1.2 miles East on Mount Olive Road, then 0.4 miles North on Shiloh Road to the cemetery, which is on the East side of the road. Fire # 2468 - NW Corner NE 1/4 NW 1/4 Section 29. see * below:
*Corrected LOCATION-11 Jun 2011 by trustee of the Shiloh Church Lot and Cemetery Association: 2.5 Miles South of the junction of Hwy 42-57, and County Trunk S, turn right on Mount Olive Road, and go 1 mile East on Mount Olive Road, continuing straight East for 0.3 mile on Shiloh Road, then turn left, and go 0.4 mile North on Shiloh Road to the cemetery, which is on the East side of the road. Fire marker is 2468 not 2568.
or: 2.5 miles South from the junction of Hwy 42-57 on Shiloh Road to the cemetery.
HISTORY: From plaque located on the front exterior of the Church that was created by the Door County Historical Society-2000"
"SHILOH MORAVIAN CHURCH"
This edifice on sacred grounds stands today as a firm testimony of the indomitable human spirit. The Church and its constituency have weathered the gamut of nature's fury and hard economic times.
A tiny band of people of Norwegian descent met at the home of John JOHNSON for an organizational meeting on 13 Oct 1881. Present at that historic meeting were Pastor C. S. MADSEN, John CHRISTIANSEN, T. Ole OLSON, Ole ANDERSON, John JOHNSON and Tobias and Mikal RASMUSSEN. Dedication services were held 24 Sep 1882.
On Sep 17, 1895-a tornado swept through the community and the wood frame church was completely destroyed on Oct 11, 1896. The present sanctuary, made of brick, was dedicated. For various reasons the congregation decided to disband on 1 Jan 1975 but continues to use the building for special services. The Shiloh Lot and Cemetery Association owns and maintains the Church building and the cemetery. - Door County Historical Society-2000.
CLICK ON PICTURES TO SEE THEM ENLARGED!
BELOW: Picture of the Original SHILOH Moravian Frame Church Building built and dedicated in 24 Sep 1882. Devastated Church building pictured below that - 17 Sep 1895-Destroyed by a tornado.
Below: The SHILOH MORAVIAN CHURCH as it appears today - 16 Jun 2009
Above Left: SHILOH MORAVIAN CHURCH and Sec. 2 of SHILOH Cemetery - MIDDLE: History of SHILOH Church taken from the SHILOH Church Records.
(1) Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church: LOCATION: Sturgeon Bay, Town of Sturgeon Bay, Door Co. WI. Records microfilmed and available for interloan at Family History Centers: FHL Film #1421896 items 5-7, & 9.
In the 1850's Methodist meetings took place in the school room above Robert GRAHAM’s store-now on what is Second Avenue, Sturgeon Bay. Reverend B. M. FULLMER was a circuit riding minister in Door County and helped organize a congregation in 1863. A frame church building was completed in 1868 for the congregation under the leadership of George PINNEY, lay pastor and also editor of the newspaper, Expositor, on the northwest corner of Cottage Street (now Louisiana Street) and Court Street (now Fourth Avenue). This church was demolished early in the 20th Century after the congregation built a second church in 1899 at 200 N. Fifth Avenue -converted to apartments after a new church was built in 1967 at 836 Michigan Street.
(2) Sawyer Methodist Church (German) - Location: Sturgeon Bay, Door, WI (was on the west side of Sturgeon Bay known as Sawyer in the past). Records microfilmed and available for interloan at Family History Centers: FHL Film #1421896 item 3. Item 4 on the same microfilm (FHL Film #1421896) has the minutes of the "German Methodist Church of Sturgeon Bay".
(1) St. Joseph Catholic Church: Location: Sturgeon Bay, Town of Sturgeon Bay- was organized in 1865. By 1866, a frame church had been erected at what is now Louisiana Street and Fifth Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. During the 1880's the Catholic population grew with the arrival of Germans and Belgians, who joined the English-Irish and French-Canadian settlers. Construction of a brick church structure began in 1888 with an adjacent rectory housing a school. This was completed in 1891 and enlarged in 1900. A new rectory was added in 1904 which became a convent on 120 N. Fifth Avenue. In 1909 the church was demolished and a larger ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH was completed in 1910 on the site of the original church.
Records start dates: Baptisms-1869, Marriages-1872, Funerals-1872. For more records information see Green Bay Catholic Diocese Archives.
(2) Corpus Christi Catholic Church: Location: Sturgeon Bay, Town of Sturgeon Bay-Records start date: Baptisms-1904, Marriages-1904, Funerals-1904. For more records information see Green Bay Catholic Diocese Archives.
BAPTIST to CONGREGATIONAL:
Reverend George W. PRESCOTT arrived in 1881 to form a Baptist Congregation, and advised those requesting his presence from the Baptist Home Mission Society at Chicago, including Mrs. M A. SCHUYLER, that a CONGREGATIONAL Church would be best to unite various denominations in the area.
HOPE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH:
Begun in 1886 at its site on Louisiana and Fourth Avenue in the City of Sturgeon Bay. It was completed in 1888 with a new addition added in 1909. This church was demolished and site redeveloped in the 1960's. The CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH/Hope United Church of Christ is now located at 141 S. Twelfth (12th) Ave, Sturgeon Bay. Hope Memorial Garden is located South of the church building proper. Nov 2008: Website is found at: http://ww.hopechurchdc.org.
Meeting in private homes, and unable to build a church although having a minister during the 1870's, the congregation built a church during the 1950's at 502 N. Fifth Avenue.
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST:
Met in private homes in the 1870's with a minister and in 1881 erected their church at 240 N. Sixth Avenue -no longer a church. More recent church building constructed at 6121 Gordon Road.
GERMAN METHODIST-EPISCOPAL (see Methodist):
Reverend George LINSENMEYER began building a church in Sawyer (now on the West Side of Sturgeon Bay-city) in 1868 and completed in 1874. Parsonage was built in 1902. Fire destroyed the church in 1911 and a new church arose on the same site.
Bayview Evangelical Lutheran Church - early church records: 1876-1901 were included with the Tanum Forest Lutheran Church Records and were microfilmed-available for interloan at Family History Centers: FHL #1769859.
History: A congregation was organized in Sawyer in 1883. Reverend C.F. MAGELSON dedicated the BAY VIEW NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN CHURCH in 1885. In 1903 a church building was completed at 340 W. Maple Street. This was demolished in 1977 and a new church was constructed on the site.
Mount Olive Lutheran Church - Church building and Mount Olive Cemetery
LOCATION: 2.5 Miles South of the junction of Hwy. 42-57 and Door County Trunk C on C, then 1.0 mile East on Mount Olive Road, then 0.3 Miles South on Shiloh Road to the cemetery, which is on the East side of the road. Fire Marker #2264. NW corner SW1/4 SW1/4 Section 29.
The cemetery was the parish cemetery for Mount Olive Lutheran Church until it merged with Bay View Lutheran Church. The property was then turned over to the Mount Olive Cemetery Association, which in 1972 finished renovation of the church building for use as a chapel.
Above: LEFT: Mount Olive Church and Cemetery - Middle: Open Door to Mount Olive Church - RIGHT: Mount Olive Church and Cemetery
BELOW: Interior views of Mount Olive Church taken by Sue HAVEL in September 2009
German Lutherans used the Bay View Norwegian Lutheran church and their own homes until they could establish an independent house of worship. After a doctrinal split, the ST. PETER’S LUTHERAN congregation re-united in 1893. Their original Maple Street Church was struck by lightning in 1896, and rebuilt that same year. Demolished in 1917, a new church was rebuilt on the same site with remodeling in 1931 and 1939. This building was also demolished and the present church was built in 1950 on the same site, 116 W. Maple Street, Sturgeon Bay.
In 1883, Miss Mary ADELL, noted Quaker evangelist, came to preach at Sawyer (now the West side of Sturgeon Bay). Ole JOHNSON and Nels TORSTENSON, two local businessmen, helped build the FRIENDS CHURCH in 1885 at 204 W. Maple Street. . The Sturgeon Bay Stone Quarry donated materials in 1902 to veneer the frame church to make it an “imposing church of dressed stone”.
In 1913 at this church, the Reverend George BENNARD of Albion, Michigan, first introduced his famous hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross”.
One school house, houses, furniture, timber and logs, furniture and wearing apparel, clothing and bedding. (Door County Advocate, Thurs, October 16, 1871.)
SAWYER 1874- ,
The Door County Library in the City of Sturgeon Bay is the Main Library for the county and has many records accumulated for researchers in genealogy (family history) located in their Laurie Room. Click here to go to the Door County Library Page.