THE HISTORY OF THE

VILLAGE OF POSKIN

From the "History of Barron Co., Wisconsin, H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co.,1922,"
pages 1136-1137.

Donated by Vic Gulickson
 

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Poskin Village, an unincorporated village with a population of about 250 people, is located on the "Soo" line in Clinton Township, five miles west of Barron, the county seat. Poskin Lake, about a mile to the north, is a favorite summer resort for tourists, sportsmen and others, there being a number of cottages on the shores. The surrounding country is excellent for dairying and general farming and here and there presents picturesque features.

Poskin was originally platted about a mile or more to the northwest, on the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 21, Town 34, Range 13. The owner was Fronia L. H. Fay, and D. A. Russell was the county surveyor.

The present village of Poskin is on the village plat of Cosgrove, which was platted Aug. 23, 1887, on land of Peter Cosgrove, by David A. Russell, surveyor.

There has been some confusion with respect to the name of the village, which occasionally appears on maps as Paskin, spelled with an "a". This came about in the following way. The original settlement, that to the northwest of the present site was named Poskin, as was also the lake, the latter being thus named in honor of Mary Poskin, the Indian or half-breed wife of Capt. Andrew Taintor, of the Knapp Stout & Co., the lumber men, who had a camp at the lake. But Charles Larson, who had a store and sawmill there and was postmaster, being an indifferent English scholar, called the place Paskin, and his example was followed by others until few people knew the correct spelling.

The first settler on the site of the present village was Peter Cosgrove, who built a log store here in 1883, and was postmaster in President Cleveland's administration. He later moved to Centuria, Polk County, Wisconsin, where he was postmaster until his death one year ago.

In 1885, two years after Peter Cosgrove laid the foundation of the village, C. H. Strand built a sawmill here and opened a store. The mill, however, burned down four years later, in 1889.

Some years after Mr. Strand had left, or probably about 1897, Harry Jacobs, who had been operating a sawmill at the original Poskin, moved it to the newer village, added to it a planing mill, and did a large business, using from 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 feet of logs a year. He also conducted a general store. Mr. Jacobs was connected in a business way with Dr. F. S. Wade of New Richmond, who, it is thought, furnished the capital for his Poskin enterprises. Finally Dr. Wade persuaded Mr. Jacobs to go to Idaho to start operations there.

During the first four or five years of its existence the village was known as Cosgrove, though the railway company named the station Poskin Lake. At the suggestion of the local agent, M. S. Deuel, the name of the station was shortened to Poskin two years ago.

A town hall was erected in 1900.

Poskin is pleasantly situated, the land sloping down from the business part of town to Vermillion river. The business enterprises include two general stores, two garages, a confectionery and lunch room, a lumber yard, blacksmith's shop, grain elevator and feed mill, and three potato warehouses. There is also a cheese factory, though it is not at present in operation. It was started by C. M. Rabbit, who manufactured skimmed-milk cheese until May, 1921, when he ceased operations.

About ten or eleven years ago an elevator was erected in Poskin by "Dick" Williams, of New Richmond, who called it the "Farmers' Elevator," though it was not a co-operative concern but merely a private enterprise. After conducting it for two years he sold it to the Osceola Mill & Elevator Co., under which name it was conducted as one of a chain of elevators owned by C. C. Ladd, of Minneapolis. Owing to the failure of certain New York dealers to take a large consignment of flour for which they had contracted, Mr. Ladd sustained large losses, with the result that the elevator at Poskin ceased operations as one of his plants a year ago. In the spring of 1921 it was taken over by the Hewitt Grain & Provision Co., who are now conducting it as a feed mill.

The North Wisconsin Farmers Mutual Cyclone Insurance Co., with offices in Poskin, was organized in Poskin in 1907 by F. E. Hill, and now has 4,250 members. Up to the present time the company has written about six million dollars worth of insurance on farm property in territory extending over the northern part of the state. The officers of the concern are as follows: A. Moen, president, James Peterson, vice president; F. E. Hill, secretary, and J. A. Cornwell, treasurer.

The Farmers State Bank of Poskin was organized by F. E. Hill and E. F. Birch in the fall of 1917. The capital stock was $10,000, at which it still remains. The first officers of the institution were: F. E. Hill, President; E. F. Birch, vice president; and G. G. B. Dennewith, cashier. In the fall of 1918 C. J. Tengbom became president and has since continued as such. In July, 1918, T. A. Birch became vice president, Mr. Dennewith being re-elected cashier. On April 1, 1921, Mr. Dennewith resigned and was succeeded as cashier by A. P. Mattson; and in July the same year E. B. Johnson was elected vice president, succeeding Mr. Birch. The bank occupies a rented building.

The Poskin school building was erected about 1906 at a cost of two thousand dollars. It employs one teacher and is attended by about forty pupils. Instruction is given in eight grades.

There is one church in the village, which is known as the Community M. E. Church. The edifice was built in 1906-07, a mile and a quarter north, near Poskin Lake, and was moved to the village in the summer of 1920. The society was organized just shortly before the church was built, among the first members being Lars Fahlgren, N. Bjurman, Frank Chronquist, Charles Orn, Louis Hedblom, with their families, besides several others. After the building had been moved to its present site a basement was put under it and a furnace installed, the building with improvements representing a total cost of about $1,100. The lot was donated by G. G. B. Dennewith and is large enough to furnish a site also for a parsonage, the building now being used for that purpose being rented. Electric lights have been installed in the church by Delebard and Hawkinson, garage men, who are now making arrangements to furnish lights for the village. The church was first served by Rev. A. G. Beek, the circuit pastor from Cumberland, who preached here for about three years. The Rev. S. W. Mattson, who is now serving the church, came here in October, 1920, and is the first resident pastor. The auxiliary societies, in addition to the Sunday School, are the Ladies' Aid, the Epworth League, and the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society.

Poskin Camp, No. 687, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized in Poskin in September, 1899, with about 34 charter members. The camp holds meetings in a rented hall known as Woodmen's Hall.

Hillside Camp, No. 3623, Royal Neighbors, was organized in 1904, and now has 35 members. Meetings are held in Woodmen's Hall.

The Poskin Shipping Association, with Charles J. Tengbom as president, is an integral factor in the prosperity of the village and the surrounding country. It was organized in March, 1917, and now has 300 members.
 

 

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