from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

So connected is the history of Hofa Park, Pulaski and the Town of Angelica, that I will tell, in the best way that I know how, some of the stories that were told to me of my experiences when I was a little girl growing up in Angelica.

Other facts in this history are from the Methodist Episcopal Church History written by the late Mrs. Richard McGillivray.  Angelica is a little town located on Highway 29, 21 mlies northwest of Green Bay, and 11 miles east of Shawano.

Previous to the days of 1871, Menominee Indians and pioneers around and in Angelica who wished to gather for worship of God and religious education, met in a log cabin schoolhouse.

In 1871 the Pestigo fire destroyed the log school forcing the settlers to flee for their lives.

One may find it hard to believe that the Peshtigo fire came down as far as An gelica, this is a reference to the Peshtigo Fire and Angelica from the Green Bay Advocate, October 5, 1871. 

'Fire in the Woods' p. 3
From the westward, we hear that the fire extends to Keshena and the Wolf River .... Some narrow excapes are related of travellers on the Military Road. The stage driver between here and Shawano reports the fire on the line of the road as having spent itself. One bridge and considerable corduroy are burned. There is yet great danger in traveling on account of constantly falling burning trees. McLaren's new mill at Angelica was safe at last accounts.

Angelica is located in the township which bears it's name. It was formed in the year of 1870 and sprung up in the forest about 1872. That spring about forty families settled in and around Angelica - which was named after the first baby born to the new settlers, a baby girl named Angelica. These families were drawn here primarily by the logging and lumbering business. As a result Angelica at the turn of this century, had a greater number of, and more impressive buildings than meets the eye today.

There were two hotels in the year 1872-73. They were the Angelica House and the Wescott House, which was owned and operated by H. H. Wescott, and was located across the road from the M.E. Church. The Wescott House was later sold to McCaren. At the same time, Robert McCaren built a commodious store. All three of these business establishments were having "A good run of customers" according to a contemporary newspaper. The Angelica House was later sold to Ferdinand and Minnie Muck and is still owned by the Muck family.
The first town officers of Angelica were P.W. Button, Chairman, W.H. Uphman & Talbet Prickett, Supervisors and Robert McCaren, Treasurer.

A prediction was made that a railroad and depot would be in Angelica and "there was no reason why Angelica should not be a town of some importance" -this was quoted in the Green Bay Daily State Gazette, Jan. 16, 1873. E. D. Clinton of the Milwaukee and Northern Railraod visited Angelica and paid up all dues of the road for a right-of-way. This right-of-way ran just a little way north of where the M.E. Church stands today and the depot was to be on the Hans Petersen farm.

Everyone was certain that the railroad would go through Angelica. Again in July 1877 D. H. Pulcifer, former Mayor of Shawano, and R. W. Button, Chairman of Angelica, met with railroad officials. The purpose was to survey a narrow gauge of land for a railroad from Green Bay to Shawano, but with all their efforts they met with no success; the railroad went through Pulaski.

A number of sawmills were built in and around Angelica in 1872. This started the growth of Angelica. Work was provided for the settlers who labored in the mills or cut logs in the woods. In 1872 the following mills operated at or near Angelica. One of the larger mills was owned by Wm. E. Uphman & Bros, and by J. Kaird and Co. Smaller mills grew: Smith & Packett and Olesen and Peters. The Uphman Mill was located on the John L. Johnson farm and the Laird Mill was located'a short distance east of the Jule Martin's Blacksmith Shop. In 1878 the Uphmans closed their sawmill and moved to Marshfield, Wis.

from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

A boiler exploded at the Laird Mill on Dec. 21, 1873 and caused the death of six men and one injured seriously.

Most of the dead of that early date were buried on thier own farms but now a cemetery plot was established, dating back to 1871 (concurrent to the very date of the famous Peshtigo and Chicago fires). When the flames roared through the Laird Shingle Mills and the boiler exploded - that was one of the darkest days in Angelica history.

Some of the dead were transient mill hands with no kin folks and only a few friends. The victims were laid to rest on a knoll beside the Pottowattomi Indian Trail. The site was identified only by a newly planted tree, which could have been an elm tree. (This tree was considered a hazard to the public and recently had to be removed). This was also the burial place of several civil war veterans. They were: George Frazer, James Gordineer, James McQueen, & Jacob Erb. Also buried there are William Stronach & Thaddeus Black (World War I veterans) and Clyde Christensen (World War II).

The town officials shied away from the responsibilities and the upkeep, and in 1885 the Hillside Cemetery Society was formed. There were twenty charter members and their first act was to purchase two acres of land for the sum of $42.50, encompassing the young tree that had been planted as a memorial. Today, shrubs, trees, flowers, a beautiful memorial by the Frazer family and a granite bench by the Elmer Nickols family grace the cemetery. Buried here are other early pioneer families. George Frazer, the first white child to be born in the Town of Lessor, is buried here. It was his parents who founded Frazer Corners.

from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

(Rest Haven Cemetery)

Another cemetery. Rest Haven, as told to me by Mrs. Kenneth Magee, is one of the earliest burial plots in this township. An 1873 date carved on a gravestone there is misleading because this child, Willie Magee, who died of scarlet fever, was first buried in Shawano and later moved to a plot of land set aside jointly by the Prickett and Magee famliies, where their land joined and adjacent to the old Military Road from Shawano to Fort Howard, to be used as a burial ground.

The Prickett side was Catholic and mainly peopie of Indian heritage while the Magee side was Protestant. Both sides were considered family plots; though when the relationships are checked, it is apparent that many buried here are related by ties of friendship or marriage only.

James Magee and his brothers and sisters owned a lot of land along the Military Road on either side of the Prickett farm and around the little cemetery. There is a log house still standing a short distance east of the cemetery which was built by these early settlers from Canada by way of Two Rivers to Angelica.

There is little doubt that the cemeetry is old and many legends have grown up around it that are impossible to verify or disprove. Many are logical and fitting to the times historically so they could well be true but we have no way of proving them.

Mrs. Magee remembers listening with great interest to stories of early life in this vicinity. Stories telling how members of the family thought nothing of walking to Two Rivers (40 or 50 miles away) to visit relatives. When money was needed, wagons were loaded with grain or freshly dressed meat and driven to Fort Howard to be sold there at whatever price the market set. Often grain sold for 5 or 10 cents a bushel. She was overwhelmed by the fact that the early settlers with families bought many things by the barrel - flour, sugar, and even crackers.

As the years went by, the cemetery grew slowly but it was carefully tended. The Prickett family and relatives moved away and their side began to fall into neglect.

Jay Lutsey, whose mother was a Magee, was instrumental in incorporating this cemetery and in building a little chapel. He gave the cash for the building and members of the cemetery association gave the labor necessary to build it. An additional piece of land was given by Hugh Magee, Jr. to enlarge the cemetery.

Before the incorporation of the cemetery and for many years after, Robert A. Magee, at first alone and later with his wife Olga, devoted a great deal of time and care to the cemetery and since their death others of the family have continued this tradition.

from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska

Several members of the Angelica M.E.Church were laid to rest in the Elm Grove Cemetery in the Town of Maple Grove, formerly called the Laney Cemetery. Among those buried there were the Louis Johnsons, Ed Johnsons, Richard McGillivrays and the Wilfred McGillivrays. Soldiers from World War I and World War II were Harvey Johnson, Charles Olson, Lavern Zittlow. James Olson, Andrew Johnson, Kenneth Hendershot and Arthur Donovan.

Going back to when the Laird Mill was destroyed in 1873 - the loss of the Laird Mill itself amounted to $15,000. It was thought for a time that the mill would not be rebuilt, but the mill owners decided to remain in Angelica. A new mill was built and started to operate in March of the following year. It had a capacity of manufacturing 25,000 feet of lumber and 100,000 feet of shingles per day. It employed 140 men and turned 10 million feet of logs. It was still running at top speed in 1882.

Despite the logging and lumbering boom, Angelica was under good temperance influence. From the very beginning no traffic in intoxicating liquor was allowed. When someone planned to convert the Angelica House into a liquor saloon, it was met with great opposition. The town chairman was described as a temperance man "from his boots up". The Angelica correspondent to the Green Bay Newspaper stated that hardly a greater misfortune could befall the town of Angelica or any other town than the establishment of a "Dram Shoppe".

Very important was the blacksmith to the farm community in the horse and buggy days. The first wagon and blacksmith shop was owned by Christ Rasmussen which was located in the "Y" of Highway 29 and "C". In 1888 Rasmussen left Angelica and went to Spruce, a little town six miles north of Oconto Falls in Oconto County.

In 1890, Andrew Spence owned a general store in Angelica and managed it with the help of Casper Iverson, who was a brother of Mrs. Wm. Ainsworth and Wm. Stanton. In the year of 1891, the Fisher brothers induced mv father, Julius Martin, to come and operate a shop in Angelica. Dad learned the trade from a Mr. Hansen, a blacksmith in Fort Howard. He also worked in the Green Bay Plaining Mill prior to his coming to Angelica. Ernest Martin, Dad's younger brother, assisted him with the blacksmith work.

It was then that Dad came to Angelica and started business. There was a lot of horse and ox shoeing to do, wagons to repair, sleighs to make in the winter, plus a lot of other repairing.

This shop burned in 1893 and he built another shop on the corner of Highway 29 & 160. Dad bought a lot of lumber from farmers which he stored in a lean-to and a covered shed that was built alongside his new shop, so he always had plenty of seasoned lumber when he needed it.

In 1895 he built a log house in back of the shop and covered it with siding. It was the only log house in the Town of Angelica that I know of and it is still standing there. It has been covered with wood siding and remodeled.

This shop was torn down in 1911 and the Angelica Garage and Blacksmith Shop was built in it's place. The garage was operated by Emil Berndt and Adoloh Martin and the blacksmith shop by Dad and Raymond Martin. In 1927 Emil dissolved partnership and started farming. The Martins continued in the garage business until after Dad passed away in 1937. Adolph and Ray operated the business for awhile and then sold the business to Ervin Knope and it was later sold to the VanLannen Roofing Co., Inc.

from Memories of Old Angelica
by Mrs. Richard McGillivray & Mrs. Emil (Matie) Berndt
Contributed by Carol Paska
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In the year of 1895 the stage and mail coach ran from Green Bay to Shawano. It took a day for the stage to come from Green Bay to Angelica and a day from Angelica to Shawano. (This route was via the old Military Road which is now Highway 29). At Angelica they exchanged horses for rested ones. Dick McCarty owned the stage and he kept eight speedy horses in his horse stable which was behind his saloon where Ed Sager's Tavern now stands. Saegers sold their business in the spring of 1975 to Mr. and Mrs. James Glenzer who are the proprietors of "Della's and Jim's Mid-Way Bar." Frank Luecker was the driver of the stage.

I can remember riding on the stage with my mother. I was quite small but it really was quite an ocassion to ride on the stage. We usually went to Green Bay to shop and visit mother's sisters and dad's relatives.

The stage had a canvas top and side curtains that could be rolled up or down according to weather conditions. In the winter passengers were supplied with buffalo robes and foot warmers. Post offices were at Mill Center, Pittsfield, Laney, Angelica, Bonduel, Lime Kiln Hill and then on to Shawano. Angelica had the largest post office, on account of the lumber business and there were more families living near it.

A guide post on the road before you came to Angelica indicated that Green Bay was 21 miles, Shawano was 11 miles and Seymour was 11 miles from Angelica.

Oh, yes there were holdups, horses ran away, tipovers in the pitch holes in the winter and mail robbing. It was exciting to travel by stage. The roads weren't the smoothest to ride on. Logs were laid across the road in wet places, sometimes for miles, and that was rather bumpy. These were called corduroy roads.

Henry Luecker also built a blacksmith shop for his son-in-law, Jim Hodkiewicz, which was later turned into a saloon and was operated by Dick McCarty. Later on Stanley Surama also started a shop behind Rudzinski's Tavern. Frank Kolb bought it and remodeled it into a house. The front room in the farm home of Henry Luecker was used as a waiting room for the "Stage Guests" while the horses were being changed, the guests usually brought their lunch along with them or else Mrs. Luecker would serve them some food and coffee or tea.

Later his son-in-law John Katch built the saloon hotel and livery stable. The saloon and hotel are now being run by the John Rudzinski's. There was a large horse stable for horses to rest and eat while their owners had a place to get a good meal, a room and bed for the night. He later sold the business to Frank Phillips, after Frank died, Mrs. Phillips sold the business to the Jeffery Van Dermoss family. The business had several owners, George J. Van Dermoss, Henry Schultz, Joseph Osiecki, John Stein, John Koscuik, Clarence Delmarcelle, Anton Karcz. Mrs. Anton Karcz sold it to the present owners, the Rudzinski's.

Along side this horse stable was a corral where cattle buyers in turn brought them to this corral on special days. When all the cattle were gathered a group of men drove them to Seymour, some were on foot and some on horseback to the Robert Kuehne Sr. stockyards. There was a large wooden scale in front of the Fisher Store where cattle, hay and whatever large articles were wanted weighed and a fee charged for the weighing.

The Angelica House was built by J.P. Laird and was used by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen for their lodge hall which was above the saloon. This hall was used for parties and dancing. It had a large canvas padded square mat which was used for wrestling matches as wrestling was a very popular sport in those days.

The Angelica House was built by J.P. Laird and was used by the Independent. Muck was born in Berlin, Germany and came to America at an early age. His wife Minnie Muck's parents were from Germany and she was born on ship while enroute to thier new home in America. The Mucks were blessed with nine children: Louisa, Rona, Frank, Hulda, Bertha, Alvina, Walter, Mable and Gertrude. Fred as he was called had trouble in dealing the with Indians so Mrs. Muck became the head of the family.

I liked both Mr. and Mrs. Muck and could always go to them with my childish problems. To me they were big problems and my parents didn't always see my way and the Mucks didn't either, so I used my own judgment. Either I was right or wrong and of course I was prejudiced -I was always right. I was pretty much on my own and a sweet little nuisance. As long as I got permission from mother and told her where I was going it was okay, but I didn't always tell her of all my detours which were many. It was then that I found out Mrs. Muck was going to have a birthday. Now, who could have a birthday without a party so I invited all the children in the neighborhood to come and have a surprise party for her. We sure did suprise her, but she got a thrill out of it and sent us up in the hall above the saloon to play. In the meantime she baked pancakes for the whole bunch of us, I must say I never forgot how good those pancakes were and what large heaped up platter of them were on the table served with butter and corn syrup.