MORRIS-- From Shawano County Centurawno
The first settlers to homestead land in what today is the Town of Morris,
was a French-speak-Swiss named Maurice Deliglise. He and a son, Laurence,
took up a homestead on the banks of the middle branch of the Embarrass
River. These two men came from Belle Plaine in the eastern part of Shawano
County. Here they built a log house near the river, and it was found years
later when the settlers arrived in 1877. These early settlers were: Mr.
and Mrs. Christian Holm, sons Peter, Charles, Oscar, and a daughter, Anne;
Mr. and Mrs. Jurgen Gjermundson and five sons: William, George Christ,
Oliver and Martin; and an unmarried man, Thomas Markson. They all came
At this time the nearest railroad station was New London, then the terminal
of the old Milwaukee, Lake Shore road. It was three years later when the
railroad purchased right of way through to the City of Antigo. These early
pioneers hired ox teams to haul the most vital necessities as close as
the roads permitted to their abodes, and the balance they carried the rest
of the way on their backs.
In the summer of 1878, Waldemar Hanson and his wife and son, Waldemar,
Hans Hanson and Louis Boldig arrived from Manitowoc. The following year
the Carl Salzman family from Town of Seneca, moved in, followed by persons
from Omro, Winnebago County. These included John and Delbert Curtis, George
Buck, Henry Hull, Chester Rogers, Lester Winslow, George Ross, John Cottrell,
and Joseph Neuman and Joseph Jager, who came from Germany.
Originally the Town of Morris was part of a double township called Seneca.
In 1881, a meeting was held in the Carl Salzman home, where it was decided
to form a separate township, naming it Morris in honor of the first settler,
Maurice Deleglise. Town officers were elected as follows: George Ross,
Chairman; Supervisors Christian Holm and John Cottrell; Clerk Henry Hull;
Treasurer, Lester Winslow; Assessor, Hans Hanson; Justice of the Peace,
The first sawmill was built in 1883 on the middle branch of the Embarrass
River by an Omro man named John Stearns. In 1885 Charles Berg and Nels
Madson put in a dam and erected a mill on the same stream about three miles
southeast of the John Stearns mill.
The first white girl born in the Town of Morris was Sophie Holm, daughter
of the Christ Holms. Fred Boldig, son of the Louis Boldigs, was the first
white boy born in the township.
The East Emmanuel Church was founded in 1881 by Rev. Evan Johnson Homme,
who continued as the pastor until his death early in the present century.
In 1910 a pageant was staged by the Morris Farmers Club, showing the
progress made in the Town of Morris from 1873 to 1914.
To the early settlers of the township goes a tribute of thanks for their
courage, their fortitude, and their fine faith.
Compiled from records and interviews by:
Mrs. Evelyn Hanson and Mrs. Alice Holm.