History of Clark County included in the "History of Northern Wisconsin:" An Account of It's Settlement, Growth, Development and Resources; An Extensive Sketch of Its Counties, Cities, Towns and Villages. Publ. 1881
Cities, Towns and Villages, continued
Greenwood, almost equidistant between Black and Rock rivers, in Eaton Township, though of comparatively recent establishment and growth, is already a population of nearly 250, and gives evidence in its improvements and otherwise of the character of the people who have located in that vicinity. It is seventeen miles from Neillsville, four from Hemlock, and eight miles from Longwood Post-office, and is adjacent to valuable water-powers, as also the distributing point for a rich agricultural region.
The earliest settlers about Greenwood included, Elijah Eaton, S.C.Honeywell, Samuel Lambet, C.W.Carpenter, George Hutzicker, Jacob Hutzicker, Jones Tompkins, George Christie, and others, who ventured into this section at various periods from 1847 to 1863, where they engaged in farming, lumbering and other pursuits. Stephen C. Honeywell came in about 1862, and opening a farm on the present site of the village, engaged extensively in agriculture and logging, which he conducted successfully and profitably. About 1867, the question of laying out a village contiguous to lumbering operations began to be first mooted, but no decisive action looking to that object was then inaugurated. This ran along for several years without effors being made, until supplies, which had been previously purchased at Neillsville and Black River Falls, were accesssible in the vicinity of Greenwood, when the long debated subject was decided favorably to enterprise, and the preparations made to begin the founding of the village.
On the 6th of June, 1871, William Welsch surveyed and platted Greenwood, and with the disposition of these preliminaries, lots were pruchased and improvements. The number of domiciles then visable was limited to the log houses and frame structures of settlers who had located before a village was even remotely considered, and it was some time before offers made by owners of lots were availed of by purchasers. In 1872, very few located here, and among these, possible, doubtless, Mrs. B.F. Brown, who opened the first store. The following year, A.S.Eaton removed to Greenwood from Black River Falls and opened a hardware store, at the same time officiating as Postmaster. The same year, Frank Pfeiffer emigrated to Wisconsin from Germany, and settled in Greenwood. A.W. Bailey, who had carried on a business of manufacturing sash, doors, blinds, etc., at Black River Falls, established himself at Greenwood, as did Louis Rossman, a mechanic from Sheboygan, and some others. In about 1874, Dr. G.H. Thomas opened a drug store. Warners, Hunts, Bowermans and a large proportion of the inhabitants who have since remained in the village made their first advent here. August 6th of the following year, North Greewood, composing thirty-two lots, was surveyed and added to the original survey, but as yet is but indifferently built up. Six years before, a religious society had been organized among the residents of the surrounding country, and in 1877, the Methodist Church edifice, one of the largest and most conveniently arranged in the county was built and dedicated. During this period services had been held in the school-house, which is an inference beyond dispute, that the cause of education had not been neglected, and other interests had been conserved and protected with equal care and diligence, the happy effect of which is apparent to the casual visitor of to-day.
Though young, Greenwood is claimed to be most desirably located. In the center of a rich farming country, covered with the fruit of man's labors in arable fields under fence, with more than ordinarily good buildings and is some instances elegant dwellings, erected in view of the passer, the support thus obtained will be invaluable. The same can be said of the logging and lumber interests.
The first birth to occur after the village was laid off, is claimed as that of Maude Brown; the first marriage, John Honeywell and Rachel Hodges, in the Fall of 1871; and the first death, Elijah Eaton, December 4, 1872.
The first school in the vicinity was taught by David Hosely, in a log cabin, the site of which is now occupied by Warner's store. this was during the war and the roster of pupils was limited to children of the Eaton and Honeywell families, with those of Johm Dwyer's family, all told not exceeding a baker's dozen. From this place it was removed to Robert Schofield's log house, still standing, and when the village was surveyed, the building now occupied , adjoining George Slater's residence, was adopted. During the Summer of 1881, a new building of frame, designed for a graded school, was commenced and completed that same Fall, costing, furnished, a total of $7,000.
For the scholasic year ending in June, 1881, the expense incident to the support of the school during the year had been $650. One teacher was employed, and the Board was made up of Elias Peterson, director; W.F.Armstrong secretary; and S.M. Andrews, treasurer.
Hercules Lodge, No. 181, I.O.O.F., was organized in August, 1870, at Staffordville, where it worked until 1876, when its removal to Greenwood was accomplished. At that time the officers were: W.H. Mead, N.G.; Robert Schofield, V.G.; Henry Peck, secretary; and John Hoyt, treasurer. In 1879, the lodge erected a building nearly opposite the Methodist Church, where meetings which are convened regularly every Saturday evening, are held. The present officers are: Elias Peterson, N.G.; George McConnell, V.G.; W.J. Armstrong, secretary; John Stewart, treasurer. The present roster has sixty members, and lodge property is represented at $800.
Frontier Lodge, No. 372, I.O.G.T., was organized in the Winter of 1879 with thirteen members and the following officers: W.J.Armstrong, W.C.T.; Miss Elizabeth Andrews, W.V.T.; H.W.Hunt, W.R.S.; Charles Barber, chaplain; Mrs. M.A. Hunt, W.T.; Joseph Hodges, marshal; and L.M.Stevens, P.W.C.T. Within the next two years, the order grew in numbers and strength, and in the Summer of 1881, enjoyed the support of seventy-three members, who renewed their resolutions to avoid liquor dringking, on Friday evenings, and owned property valued at $100. At that period, the officers were: L.R.Warner, W.C.T.; Thomas Miller, Jr., A.F.McMahon and Mrs. J.F.Bailey, secretaries; Mrs. Hannah Bowman, chaplain; Miss Hattie Miller, treasurer; and John Miller, marshal.
Greenwood Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the Winter of 1869, with a small membership, under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Bushnell, and held services at long intervals in the school-house until 1877. In that year, the present church edifice was completed and dedicated. The cost of the structure was $3,600. the congregation at present numbers seventy-five members, under the pasorate of the Rev. C.C. Swartz.
*Neillsville Cemetery* was laid out, in about 1867 or 1868, on two acres of half a mile west of the village and near Black River. It is used as a burial place for the dead of Eaton and Warren townships, and is under the control of the town officers.
Post-office was first opened in 1873, with B.F. Brown as Postmaster, who remained in charge until 1880, when he was relieved by A.S.Eaton. The latter is still in the service.
[*A question has been raised about the accuracy of this cemetery name. The original source definitely says 'Niellsville' but perhaps it should be 'Greenwood'.}
Hemlock is located twenty miles north of Neillsville, in Warner Township, and is the location of the dam of the Black River Logging Company's dam, also of a grist and saw-mill, the latter owned by N.H.Withee. The dam was completed in 1879, at a cost of $21,000, and is one of the most complete works of improvement in the county. Of the other improvements, the grist-mill was finished in 1879, and is supplied with three run of stone. It is of frame, four stories high, and does a large local business. The saw-mill is also of frame, two stories high, and is furnished with a rotary and upright saw. The total investment is between $10,000 and $15,000. The settlement is connected with neillsville by telephone, erected in 1879, at a cost of $800.
Longwood Post-office is located eight miles north of Greenwood, and consists of a store and Post-office, kept by Edward A. Eaton.
This thriving village is situated in the southwest portion of the county, on the line of the West Wisconsin Railroad, and took its name from Jacob Humbird, a well known railroad contractor.
The earliest settlers in this part of the county were, Orvin Wilson, a Mr. Alderman, who owned the land on which the village was laid out, Elisha, Isaac and Elijah Hurl, Ashael Webster, E.Webster, Horace Stiles, G.W. King and Charles Miller.
In 1869, Mr. Alderman laid off forty acres for a village site, caused the same to be surveyed and platted, and the place now known as Humbird, occupied by graded streets, bordered by fine buildings, was then covered with heavy timber, where deer and wild animals wandered at will. At that time the railroad had not been completed; still a spirit of enterprise was manifested by those already on the ground and of adventure, by the comparatively frequent arrivals of settlers, many of whom became permanent. The first building erected after the survey was the Rocky Mound House, which was erected by G.W.King, and used as a hotel. E.D.Carter and F.W.Whitcomb were among the early arrivals. They built residences and opened the first store in Humbird. A man named Bump came about this time from Black River Falls and opened a store, also. The arrivals between 1870-73 were quite numerous, and the village assumed an appearance of age, while it was yet young, with its mill, brewery, hotels, stores, shops, all commodious and neatly painted. among these was William Schmidt, who built the flouring mill; Michael Andrews, who erected the brewery; Edward Freeman, Isaac Cross, Robert McElhose, Biswell Alderman, Mr. Whipple, the first carpenter; E. Edwards, the first wagonmaker; George Cole, Josua Gore, David Hoyner, E.D. Travis and Lawrence Sloan, all whom engaged in business, and have contributed to the welfare and prosperity of their adopted home.
In the Fall of 1873, the village was overtaken by a visitation of the small-pox, which created a havoc among the inhabitants and retarded its growth for several years. In the previous year the railroad had been completed, and Humbird had become a prominent point for the shipment of grain and lumber from the surrounding country. In a brief period this was summarily checked, and for the ensuing two years the shipments were comparatively light. About twenty-five residents died during the continuance of the scourge, the corpses being buried at night; business was suspended, and trains rushed by the station as if fleeing from wrath in pursuit. All the winter of 1873-74 was one of desolation, indescribable; nor did the Spring bring encouragement to the afflicted residents. As the year advanced, business, however, began to revive, an occasional traveler would come in and decide to remain, and with the dawn of the Centennial year of American Independnce, Humbird had fully recovered from the effects of this temporary paralysis. The new arrivals of that period, an since, include, among others, Henry Clark, O.G.Tripp, A.E. Holbrook, J.Q.A. Bull, Mr. Hickox, Frederick Robinson, Henry Clark, Alfred Stevens, D.B. Travis, Mr. Colfax, C. Fowler, Peter Frances, Christopher Rector, R.D.Shaw, D.A.Tracy, L.D.Halstead, Peter Wilson, and others.
These also projected and completed improvements, and have identified themselves with the growth and advancement of the village. humbird cannot help being a permanet and thriving town, situated, as it is, with large pineries on one side and on the other a rich faming country leading even into Minnesota, from which large amounts of produce are hauled by farmers to this place and exchanged for manufacturec lumber. In addition to the lumber trade, there are extensive growths of pine timber north and east, where saw and shingle mills are operated. All material manufactured at these points are either shipped to Humbird or pass through, en route to Minnesota. The village, like many other thriving villages of the West, enjoys the residence of enterprising citizens, whose courage, ambition and attention to business are a valuable guarantee of the future prosperity of the place.
The population is quoted at between 300 and 350.
The first school opened in the vicinity of the village was taught in a small frame which stood opposite the Webster House, and was continued in that locality until 1870. In the latter year, the number of pupils was so in excess of the accomodations that it was decided to establish a graded school, and the present edifice was erected at a cost of $2,500.
At present two teachers are employed, the average daily attendance is 100 pupils, and the expense incident to maintaining the school is $1,300 per annum.
John Stallard, Isaac Cross and Orvin Wilson constitute the School Board at present.
Humbird as yet is without a church edifice, though there are three church societies, though each is limited in mumbers. The Free Methodists meet in the Town Hall weekly, when they are addressed by Mrs. Dutton; the Methodist Episcopal society are addressed semi-monthly by the Rev. Mr. Robinson, services being held in Carter & Whitcomb's Hall, and the Seven-Day Advents, at the residence of Warren McClafflen, Saturdays.
Humbird Lodge, No. 191, A.F.& A.M., was organized in April 1874, with thirteen members, and worked under a dispensation until June following, when it was regularly chartered, and the following officers elected: F.W.Whicomb, W.M.; H.C.Holbrook, S.W.; E.P.Houghton, J.W.; A.B.Holbrook, secretary; Warren Page, treasurer, and Oliver Houghton, tyler. The present officers are: E.P.Houghton, W.M.; E.J.Mckinley, S.W.; S.A.Wise, J.W.; F.W.Whitcomb, secretary; Oliver Houghton, treasurer; W.H.Clark, S.D.; Albert Alderman, J.D.; W.H.Colfax, tyler. The present membership is thirty-five; meetings are held on the first and third Saturday nights of each month, and lodge property is valued at $500.
Humbird Lodge No. 252, I.O.O.R., was organized February 10, 1876, with a complement of members, and the following officers: C.B.Hackney, N.G.; J.Q.A.Bull, V.G.; G.A.Tracy, secretary, and L.Wilder, treasurer. the present officers are: R.D.McElhose, N.G.; A.D.Stiles, V.G.; Allen Young, secretary, and E.D.Benson, treasurer. The present members number forty; meetings are held every Saturday night, and lodge property is valued at $1000.
Rocky Mound Lodge, No. 190, I.O.G.T., was organized April 10, 1875, with twenty members. The officers were: Calvin Allen, W.C.T., Mrs. Sarah Toff, W.V.T.; W.H. Clark, and R.D.McElhose, secretaries; Mrs. Emma Clark, treasurer; W.L.Stanton, chaplain; F.J.Simons, marshal; G.A.Tracy P.W.C.T. Meetings are held weekly, on Wednesday evenings; the present membership is forty-two, and the officers are: C.Fowler, W.C.T.; Miss Lou Cross, W.V.T.;Miss Inez Holbrook and Mrs. F.L.Stevens, secretaries; David Fitzmorris, treasurer; Frank Bockus, chaplain, and William Sloan, marshal.
The manufacturing interests of the village consist of a planing-mill, flouring-mill and brewery. the former was put up by E.D.Carter, in 1877, at a cost of $2,500 and is supplied with machinery affording capacity for 25,000 feet of lumber per diem.
The flouring-mill was erected by William Schmidt, in 1873, and is three stories high. It is supplied with two run of stone, with capacity of fifty barrels of flour in twenty four hours, and is operated by water power from Hale's Creek. The cost of the mill is estimated to have been &5,000.
Eilert's Brewery, on Hale's Creek branch, was erected in 1870, by Andrews & Gunderson. the following year the same was purchased by Enos Eilert, who has since completed improvements and operated the business. He employs four hands, turns out 1,000 barrels of beer, and does a business of $10,000 per year.
The Post-office was established in Humbird about 1871, whence it was removed from Garden Valley, and D.B.Travis appointed Postmaster. He is still in the service, and mails are received twice daily from east and west.
The cemetery is situated a mile and a half from the village, in a northwesterly direction, where it was laid out, in 1871, on land formerly woned by Orvin Wilson. The grounds are prettily platted, securely fenced and kept in good order.
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Transcribed and Contributed to this site by Judy Groh