Barron County Communities

 

BARRON COUNTY COMMUNITY HISTORIES

 

The following is a list of the communities including cities, towns, villages and townships of Barron Co., along with names of some areas that once were post offices, but no longer exist today.


(Click on the highlighted names to read more about that community)

Almena, Angus, Arland, Barron, Barron County Poor Farm, Barronett, Bear, Bear Lake, Bestlerton, Bracklin, Brill, Bundy, Bunker Hill, Cameron, Campia, Canton, Cartwright Mills (aka Morley), Cedar Lake, Chapman, Chetek, Clinton, Comstock, Cosgrove, Crystal Lake, Cumberland, Dallas, Dobie, Dovre, Doyle (aka Strickland), Echo Lake, Eng, Fishers Mill, Forwards Mills, Foster, Granite Lake, Grattan, Haugen, Henry, Hillsdale, Hillsdale Station, Horseman, Howe, Ironwood, Koren, Lakeland, Lehigh, Lighington, Louisville, Loveland, Loveland Corners, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Mikana, Mireau, Mooney's Mills, Moose Ear, Morley, Oak Grove, Perley, Poskin, Prairie Farm, Prairie Lake, Price, Reeve, Rice Lake, Sioska, Sioux Creek, Sprague, Stanfold, Stanley, Strathroy, Summing Station, Sumner, Sylvan Springs, Turtle Lake, Tuscobia, Twin Town, Ulysses, Vance, Vance Creek, Varna, Vermillion, West Dallas, Wickware

 

A little history on the communities and their names,
compiled from various Barron County historical resources,
with location additions contributed by Denise Ervasti:

ALMENA - Albert and Wilhelmena Koehler ran a store here, and in 1887 an application was made for a post office.  The name was coined from Albert and Wilhelmena.  The original name was Lightning City, from Lightning Creek which ran through it.  The post office department didn't like Lightning City.  Click here to read more about the History of the Village of Almena.

ANGUS- Angus is a small but important community center in Section 4, Cedar Lake Township.  It is well located for transportation service, as it is on the Omaha railroad and close to the junction of that road with the "Soo".  The community was started in May, 1906, by M. B. Uren, who, after selecting a site, cut down the timber thereon and built a store.  He was also the first postmaster and suggested the name of the office, which was approved by the government.  Besides a good general store here, the community has a grade school, which is a frame building with cement basement.
 

ARLAND - Arland is a small hamlet on the line between Sections 18 and 19, Arland Township.  It has stores, a creamery and a feed mill.  A mile to the southward are two Norwegian Lutheran Churches, a school and a cemetery.  Two miles to the southwest there is a Lutheran Church and a school, while there are also schools a mile and a half to the west, and a mile and a half to the northeast.

BARRON - In 1869 the name of the county was changed from Dallas to Barron in honor of Henry D. Barron of St. Croix Falls.  Born in New York State, Barron moved to Wisconsin in 1851 and was for a time editor and postmaster in Waukesha.  In 1857, he entered law practice in Pepin, where in 1860 he was appointed judge of the eighth circuit. In the following year he moved to St. Croix Falls.  He was several times member of the assembly and a state senator. In 1876 he was appointed judge of the eleventh circuit, a position he held until his death.  The city of Barron was also named for him after it became the county seat.  The location had previously been known as Quarderer's Camp.  Click here to read more on the history of the City of Barron.  Also see a short history of Barron Township and the community of Barron

BARRON COUNTY POOR FARM - Located in Barron Township at Twp 34 N, R 12 W, sec 27 and 34.

BARRONETT - This town was plotted in 1880 by the Northern Wisconsin Railway Company, who named it Foster City for Jerry Foster who owned interests here at that time.  The next name used was Bourne, for Capt. W. R. Bourne who was a partner and superintendent of the Barronett lumbermill.  The next year Bourne changed the name to its present form -- 'Barron', coming from the name of the county, and 'ett' added to give the name a melodic sound.
 

BRACKLIN - This community was located in Section 33 of the town of Bear Lake.  It may have been named after Tom Bracklin who had a sawmill near there.  A Postoffice was established in 1893 with Martin Mathison as Postmaster.  Henry Weilip was appointed Postmaster in 1894 and served until 1901 when the office was discontinued and service was provided from Rice Lake.

BRILL - Named after Judge Brill of St. Paul, Minnesota, an attorney for the railroad company.  At the time the officials made their first trip over this line, Judge Brill was with them.  When they came to this first station out of Rice Lake, they asked Judge Brill if he would like it named after him.  It was a stopping place along the river for the Knapp Stout Lumber Company.  Located in the Town of Oak Grove at Twp 36 N, R 11 W, sec 13.  Click here to read more about the history of the Village of Brill.
 

BUNDY - This post office was established on 13 April 1896 with Carl Ernst as Postmaster.  Later that year the order was rescinded so the office was never in operation.  The location of the proposed office is undetermined.
 

CAMERON - Mr. Stanley, the surveyor who platted the original village and the township of Stanley, named this village after his friend State Senator Cameron of LaCrosse.  The village had its beginning in 1879 when a few people settled along the foot of a bluff about one and a half miles south of the present site. To their disappointment, the Omaha Railway tracks were laid north of Old Cameron.  Then the Soo Line Railway built its east-west line to cross the Omaha railway tracks, and the people decided to move their town north to the railway junction.  Stores and houses were loaded on sleds in the winter and wheels in the summer and taken across the fields on both sides of the tracks to the present location which had been called Cameron Junction by the railroad company.  Click here to read more on the history of the Village of Cameron.
 

CAMPIA - Located in the Town of Rice Lake at  Twp 35 N, R 11 W,  sec 12
 

CANTON - Canton is a station on the "Soo" line.  It 1891-92, it had about fifty inhabitants, with one or two stores, a post office, and a saw-mill owned and operated by William Bell.  It was surveyed and platted in September, 1884, by the owner, L. C. Stanley.  Click here to read more on the history of the Village of Canton.
 

CARTWRIGHT'S MILLS - Also known as Morley, this community was located along the line between Barron and Chippewa counties in Section 36 of the town of Dovre.  A postoffice was established in 1879 with Perry Sweet as Postmaster.  Shortly thereafter the office moved to the Chippewa County side of the line and the 'Mills' was dropped from the name and at a later date the name was changed to New Auburn.

CHAPMAN - This postoffice was established in Section 25-26 border of the town of Lakeland in 1900.  Hiram A. Chapman was Postmaster.  The office was discontinued in 1905, service being given from the Cumberland postoffice.  This was on the west side of Silver Lake, and was at one time called Silver Lake.

CHETEK - In 1836 Joe Trepanier operated a trading post on what is now known as Red Club House Point.  Records show that in 1852, when government surveyors arrived, they found Louis Montra buying furs from the Indians.  The Chippewa word for Chetek is Jede-sagaigain, Jede meaning "swan" or "pelican, " and sagaigan meaning "an inland lake."  Surrounding the lake are various Indian burial grounds.  The first dame was built in early 1860 by Knapp Stout & Company, logging pioneers, and many of their employees took squaws for their wives.  Chetek was incorporated as a  city in 1891, the smallest settlement in the United States to have the status of a city, and the first and only one to pass directly from township to a full-fledged city.  Its population at that time was 531.  Previously known as "Shetek."  The city of Chetek is located in Twp 33 N, R 11 W, parts of sec 24 and 25 and Twp 33 N, R 10 W, sec 19, 29, and 30.   Click here to read A History of the City of Chetek and A Description of Chetek Township and the Village of Chetek.

COMSTOCK - Named in honor of H. S. Comstock who lived in Cumberland and became the County Judge.  He was a lawyer, a leader, and a promoter of the new territory.  Comstock was previously named Lakeland.  Click here to read The History of the Village of Comstock.
 

COSGROVE - Platted in 1887 on land belonging to Peter Cosgrove in Section 22 of the Town of Clinton, presently at the site of Poskin.  Mr. Cosgrove was the first settler on this location and started a store in 1883 and was granted a postoffice in 1887 which became the first postoffice.  Later he moved to Centuria, Polk Co., WI and was also Postmaster there.  The office at Cosgrove was discontinued in May 1887 and mail sent to Poskin which was then located in Section 21 on the lake.  However Cosgrove was re-established in December 1887 and continued in operation until 1889 at which time the name was changed to Poskin.
 

CUMBERLAND - Originally Cumberland encompassed four townships and was organized as Lakeland in 1876 with a post office by that name.  During the winter of 1879, John A. Humbird, President of the Chicago North Western, asked that it be changed to honor his home town of Cumberland, Maryland, and Judge Barron ordered the change.  Cumberland is often called Island City because it is located on an irregularly shaped island at the southern end of Beaver Dam Lake.  Click here to read more on the history of the City of Cumberland.  See also A Description of Cumberland Township and Its Communities
 

DALLAS - Barron County was originally called Dallas County after George Dallas, Vice President of the United States from 1845 to 1849.  In 1869 the name was changed to Barron County.  The village of Dallas (previously known as Sylvan Springs) took the name when it was incorporated on June 26, 1903.  Located in Twp 32 N, R12 W, sec 14.   Click here to read more on the history of the Village of Dallas.  See also A Description of Dallas Township
 

DOBIE - Located in the Town of Oak Grove at Twp 36 N, R 11 W, sec 36
 

ECHO LAKE - This postoffice, located in the southern part of Section 8 in the Town of Almena, was established in 1879.  Levi Richmond was Postmaster.  A large sawmill was erected in 1880 by Andrews and Perley and the name of the community was changed to Perley in honor of John Perley.  Thomas J. Little Jr. became Postmaster at this time.
 

ENG - The postoffice was located in Section 19 in the Town of Dovre and was in existance only from 20 June 1901 through 31 March 1903 when it was discontinued and mail was supplied from Chetek.  Marin Bankerud was the Postmaster.
 

FISHERS MILL - Located in Twp 33 N R11W, sec 20 (Town of Prairie Lake).

FORWARDS MILLS - This postoffice was in existance in 1869 only and the name was then changed to Prairie Farm.  One source of into gives the location as being near the present site of Prairie Farm while another source shows it being further south, near the Dunn County line and possibly being in that county.  Postmasters names were not available.
 

FOSTER - Foster was located in Section 5 of Lakeland Township near the Washburn County line.  It was started around 1878 when the railroad came through and was the site of a large sawmill. The name of the village was changed to Barronett in 1881.
 

GRANITE LAKE - This community was platted on 21 February 1879, on land owned by the North Wisconsin Railroad Co.  The plat was located on the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 17, in what is now Lakeland Township.  For some years a railroad station was maintained there.
 

GRATTAN - A postoffice located in Section 27 of the Town of Oak Grove was established in 1890.  Patrick Haughian was Postmaster until 1900, then Gustav Danielson was appointed and served for one year, after which the office was discontinued and mail was supplied from Haugen.

HAUGEN - Senator Haugen gave the community his name.
 

HENRY - This postoffice was established in 1877 and discontinued in 1881.  James C. Smith served as Postmaster.  This postoffice was listed as being in Barron County but according to the National Archive's record of site locations,  which are also shown on an old map, indicates that it actually was located in Sawyer County, north of Big Chetek Lake.
 

HILLSDALE (aka HILLSDALE STATION) - In 1872 the Mooneys came to this community and started a sawmill.  A post office was established named Mooney's Mill, and mail came on a stage that ran between Barron and Menomonie.  By 1895 the timber supply was exhausted, and the mill closed.  Miss Jeannette Smith, the postmistress, suggested the name be changed to Hillsdale, probably because the land has hills and a dale.  Located in Twp. 33 N, R12 W, sec 28.
   (about 1 mile south of this was Mooneys Mill, on the creek)
 

HORSEMAN - This is an inland hamlet in the eastern part of Doyle Township.  The Horseman post office was located in Section 24
 

HOWE - This postoffice was established in 1893 in Section 17 (or possibly 20) of the Town of Dallas (highway 25).  Wm. H. Hufnail was Postmaster but his appointment was not confirmed.  Eva Salisbury was then appointed and served until 1903 when the office was discontinued and mail service came from Dallas.

IRONWOOD - This postoffice was located in Section 33 of the Town of Cedar Lake.  Joseph Loveland was the first Postmaster from 1877 to 1894.  Peter Null was then appointed Postmaster in 1894.  The name of the postoffice was changed to Loveland in 1895.
 

LAKELAND - is located in Section 34 in the Town of Crystal Lake.  Andrew P. Swanby became the first Postmaster in 1878 until 1880 and was followed by Robert Corbett.  The name was changed to Comstock in 1881.

LEHIGH - This is a railroad station on the "Soo" line in the northeastern part of Sumner Township in Section 12.

LIGHINGTON - Albert W. Koehler was appointed Postmaster at this place in 1888 but the postoffice was never in operation according to government records.  It is believed that this may have been a proposed name for Almena as Mr. Koehler opened the postoffice at Almena a few months later.

LOUISVILLE - Located near section 19, twp 34 range 11 (Town of Stanley).
 

LOVELAND - Formerly called Ironwood, this postoffice was discontinued in 1902 with Rice Lake providing the service.  Possibly also known as Loveland Corners.
 

MIKANA - Located in the Town of Cedar Lake at Twp 36 N, R 10 W, sec 21

MIREAU - Also spelled Mero, this postoffice started in 1895 with Aristide Mireau as Postmaster.  The postoffice was in his home in Section 13 of the Town of Rice Lake.  Mailw as brought about two times weekley from Rice Lake and served from 12 to 15 families.  The postoffice was discontinued in 1902 when the Rural Route from Rice Lake began.

MOONEY'S MILLS - Located in Section 33 of the Town of Maple Grove where Wm. Mooney built a large sawmill and settlement.  The postoffice was authorized in 1877 with Wm. Mooney as Postmaster, who served until 1881.  Wm. Smith was the next Postmaster and served until 1884 when the name was changed to Hillsdale.  Later the village was moved about one mile north to its present site.  The new settlemen was known as New Hillsdale while the older settlement was called Old Hillsdale. The old one soon became a memory and the prefix was dropped.
 

MOOSE EAR - This postoffice was located in Section 28 of the Town of Chetek.  It started in 1875 and ran until 1882.  Wm. W. Flinn was the only Postmaster.

MORLEY - This postoffice was located in Section 35 of the Town of Dovre in 1876.  Daniel M. Morley was the Postmaster. The name was changed to Cartwright's Mills in 1879 and Perry Sweet was the Postmaster.  Later this became what is now known as New Auburn, which actually is in Chippewa County.

PERLEY (aka PERLEY STATION) - A deserted village named for John Perley, a lumberman.  This community was at one time known as Echo Lake.  Located in the Town of Almena at  Twp 34 N, R 14 W, sec 8.

POSKIN - Originally the settlement was named Cosgrove after the founder.  It 1895 it was renamed Poskin Lake, in memory of a well-known Indian who drowned in the lake, or, according to another source, in honor of Mary Poskin, the Indian or half-breed wife of Captain Andrew Taintor of Knapp Stout and Company, who had a lumber camp at the lake.  When the railroad came in 1917, Lake was dropped from the name.  Located in the Town of Clinton, Twp 34 N, R 13 W, sec 21, the postoffice was located in Section 22.  For a more detailed history of the Village of Poskin, click on this link - A History of the Village of Poskin

PRAIRIE FARM - Named by a group of men who came up the Hay River from Menomonie to look for farm lands for the Knapp Stout Lumber Company.  They climbed the 200-foot bluff rising from Hay River, and saw the prairie area beyond the trees.  The Knapp Stout Company established farms here to raise grain and hay for their horses, and cattle and farm produce for their lumber camps.  A school was organized for children of company employees, and the village began to grow.  Click here to read more about the history of Prairie Farm Township and the Village of Prairie Farm.

PRAIRIE LAKE - The name of a township located in Barron Co.  The name is derived from the Ojibwe words "mockode iawsibi" which means 'prairie river.'  To read more about the history of Prairie Lake Township and it's people and to see a map of the area, click on this link - A History of Prairie Lake Township.
 

PRICE - This postoffice was located in Section 12 of the Town of Clinton from 24 August 1883 to 8 December 1885.  Orison A. Warren Jr. was Postmaster for the first 15 months and Bolivar S. Toothman was Postmaster for the remainder of the time.
 

REEVE - Reeve is a flourishing little hamlet in the southern part of Section 20, in Vance Creek Township.  It has a United Brethren Church, a Modern Woodmen lodge, two general stores, a blacksmith shop, a creamery, a pea vinery, and a number of pretty residences.  At one time there was a postoffice there, now discontinued.  The village was started some twenty years ago (about 1902).  The creamery which was started by the farmers is now owned by the Clear Lake Creamery Association of Clear Lake, Polk County.
 

RICE LAKE - In 1868 the Knapp Stout and Company lumber firm established a logging camp south of the Red Cedar River.  Along the river's edge were wild rice pools and rush swamps.  There were Indians living in a village here, and other Indians also came to gather wild rice and to capture the wild fowl that fed on it.  There were many battles between the Chippewas and the Sioux over possession of these rice beds.  After building their logging camps, Knapp Stout and Company built a dam which transformed the rice pools and swamps into Rice Lake.  In the 1870s the Knapp Stout and Company was said to be the largest lumber company in the world.  Click here to read a Description of Stanfold Township and the City of Rice Lake.
 

SIOSKA - Formerly known as Sumner, this postoffice was located in Section 31 of the Town of Sumner, about three miles south of Canton.  It is often called "Old Canton."  The postoffice established in 1892 and discontinued in 1903.  Cameron then served the area.  Morris Wittwer was Postmaster.
 

SIOUX CREEK - A postoffice called Sioux Creek was established in Section 10 of the Town of Sioux Creek.  Satterly C. Williams was the Postmaster and served from its beginning in 1879 until it was discontinued in 1884, thereafter being served by Chetek.

SPRAGUE - Sprague was started in 1880 on the "Omaha" line three miles south of Cumberland.  Sprague Brothers owned and operated a steam sawmill.  A postoffice was established and  a church and district school organized.  When the logging industry diminished, the village disappeared.
 

STANFOLD - This postoffice was established in 1872.  It was located in Section 1 of the Town of Rice Lake.  Postmasters serving this office were:  Francis D. Demers 1872-1873; Henry Demers 1873-1878; Oliver Demers 1878-1881; Norbert Roberge 1881.  The office was discontinued in 1881.  It is said that the first Postmaster brought the mail from Prairie Farm once a week, going down one day and back the next.  Later John LeBrie became the mail carrier.  After discontinuance the community received mail service from Rice Lake and in 1893 a postoffice was established at Dobie, a short distance away.
 

STANLEY - A Mr. Stanley surveyed the township.  Click here to read An Early Description of Stanley Township.

STRATHROY - This postoffice existed from 11 September 1888 until 18 January 1890.  The Postmaster was Donald B. Campbell.  It was located in Rusk County according to National Archives records although it is listed with Barron County postoffices.  When it was discontinued, service then came from Canton.

SUMMING STATION - Located in the Town of Rice Lake at Twp 35 N, R 11 W, sec 2

SUMNER - This community was located about three miles south of the present day Canton in Section 31 of the Town of Sumner.  It as settled about 1872.  The postoffice was established in 1876 with Aldin O'Connor as Postmaster.  Mr. O'Connor only served a few months and then Andrew D. Stacy was appointed to the position.  Mr. Stacy served until 1882 and was followed by Silas J. Packard, 1882-1884 and Emaline Malone, 1884-1886, when the office was discontinued and mail came from Canton.  About this time it was discovered that there was another postoffice in the state called Sumner so the name was changed to Sioska but no postoffice was opened at Sioska until 1892.  In the meantime the railroad which had been expected to go through the village changed the plans and was built three miles further north so many of the buildings and businesses moved to the new location (Canton) leaving very little remaining of Sumner.  Click here to read An Early Description of Sumner Township.
 

SYLVAN SPRINGS - Located about a mile south of the present village of Dallas, in Section 20 of the Town of Dallas, the postoffice for this community started in 1872 on the farm of Mr. William Hufnail and was run by him until 1874 when Hiram Pelton took over and served until 1877.  Then Wm. S. Foster opened a store in Section 22 of the Town of Dallas and was appointed the Postmaster.  He moved the postoffice to his store and the name was changed to Dallas.  A couple years later the store and postoffice were moved near to the present site of Dallas.

TURTLE LAKE - Joel Richardson, one of the first settlers, named the town Skowhagen after his home town in Maine.  However the lake had been named Turtle Lake in 1862 by government surveyors who noticed many turtles laying eggs on the bank.  Later the Knapp Stout Lumber Company operated several logging camps on both sides of both Upper and Lower Turtle lakes.  Logs were hauled onto the ice in winter and driven down stream to the mills at Menomonie.  After the Chicago and North Western Railroad was built past the lakes, the Lumber Company began to use it for shipping their supplies, designating that they be unloaded at Turtle Lake instead of at the town.  When the post office was established, it was also designated Turtle Lake, so the other name for the town was dropped.  Click here to read more of the history of the Village of Turtle Lake.  See also A Description of Turtle Lake Township and the Village of Turtle Lake.
 

TUSCOBIA - This name was adapted from the Indian word tuscola which meant "a level place."  It had a postoffice from 13 September 1902 until 8 November 1905, being located in Section 19 of the Town of Oak Grove.  Mike J. Wagner was the Postmaster.  After the office closed, mail service was provided by Haugen.

ULYSSES - A postoffice called Ulysses, located in Section 9, Town of Doyle was authorized in 1889 with LeRoy S. Merritt serving as Postmaster until 1891.  Then David Seeley was Postmaster until 16 January 1892 when the office was discontinued.  It was re-established on 22 December 1894 with LeRoy S. Merritt again as Postmaster.  He continued in the position until 11 January 1902 when the office was again closed and mail service was provided from Rice Lake.

VANCE - This postoffice existed from 1888 to 1895 with Walter C. Hale as Postmaster.  Its location has not been established, but it is presumed to have been in the Vance Creek area southwest of Prairie Farm.

VARNA - Varna was located in Section 1 of the Town of Clinton.  It was in existence from 1897 until 1901 and John W. Foster was the Postmaster.  Upon discontinuance mail was supplied from Barron.

VERMILLION - A postoffice by the name of Vermillion was located on the west side of Vermillion Lake in Section 16 of the Town of Cumberland.  It existed only from 5 February 1879 to 9 September 1879, with Andrew F. Wright as the Postmaster.
 

WEST DALLAS - Located in Twp 32 N, R 12 W, sec 14.
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WICKWARE - The name of Lewisville was first suggested for this postoffice but upon learning that there was another place by that name in Wisconsin, the name of Wickware was selected.  The first postoffice was in a home on the south side of Section 18 of the Town of Prairie Lake.  Later it was moved a mile north.  The mail was brought out from Barron twice weekly, first on foot and later with a horse.  Gilbert Louis was the first Postmaster serving from 1894 to 1895; James F. Burton from 1895 to 1898, Charl Christenson for a very short period in 1899 and Tollef Amundson from 1899 until the office was discontinued in 1902 and service from Chetek by rural route replaced it.

 

 

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