|VILLAGE OF TIGERTON --
Tigerton was incorporated as a village in the year 1894. The first railroad, The Lake Shore, was built
through there between 1870-1880, reaching as far north as Eland in 1880.
It was about that time that Newbold and Livingston
built the first sawmill. Livingston started the first grocery store in
Tigerton, and Newbold built a hotel which stood until 1921 when it was
torn down and the beautiful Swanke home, now a community hospital, was
erected on those grounds. Newbold represented New York capital.
One of the first four families to come to Tigerton
in 1880 was the Leitzke family. Mr. Leitzke started the first blacksmith
shop in the town and it was located right in back of the Livingston Grocery
John McDevitt, another pioneer, bought land
and built a hotel and saloon. The first saloon on record was started in
a tent in an alley back of the Hoffman Hotel.
The first school in Tigerton was built in 1881
on the lot between the bank and the former Swanke home. Mr. Brotasen was
the first teacher in that school.
In the early days of Tigerton, Grundy and Brigham
erected a Veneer Mill where the canning factory formerly operated. George
Tatterson, the town's first barber, worked in this mill. The sawmill and
veneer mill, later purchased by Wall, Spalding and Company, burned down
in later years. Murdock and Gjermundson once operated a kindling factory
on the Siefeldt corner.
The first Catholic settlers in Tigerton were
John McCormick, Michael Brahan, John Maslann, M. Schumacher, John McDevitt,
and John Way. Services were held at the Schumacher home by the Rev. Father
Richard of Wausau in 1881. Then Father St. Louis came from Phlox and then
the Rev. Father Peter Lochman from Clintonville.
From 1882 until 1883 the pastor from Clintonville
attended the mission, but in the latter years it was associated with the
parish of Aniwa. Father Lochman was succeeded by Rev. Father John Seubert,
Father A. Belle, and Father B. Hugenroth. In 1881 the Rev. Father Richard
made preparation for the erection of a church 20x40 feet. It was completed
in 1884 and stood on the corner where the John Meyer home stood.
On July 2, 1882, the Rev. Purzner of Wittenberg,
held the first services for St. John's Lutheran church, and on September
22, 1895, their first resident pastor, the Rev. A.O. Engel, was installed.
The congregation outgrew the little church, and in 1903 the beautiful brick
structure they now occupy was erected.
Zion celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in
1942. Their first pastor was the Rev. M. Schneider. When that congregation
built its new church in 1903, Herman Swanke donated the lumber for it.
Herman Swanke, who brought the sawmill to Tigerton,
a man of whom Tigerton can be justly proud, was the oldest of a family
of six children. He was kept away from school more than his brothers and
sisters, and at the age of eight years was following a plow. The Swankes
had a large farm and at the age of twelve young Swanke received twenty-five
cents a day working during harvest time. He remained at home until others
could take his place.
At the age of seventeen Mr. Swanke started
out for himself. Being desirous of seeing more of the country, he went
west and traveled through Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas and Montana. He
once served on the police force in Omaha and Council Bluffs. On his return
to Wisconsin he started in the threshing business which he continued until
1885 when he came north and located. He had been north previously in connection
with railroad business, cutting out right-of-ways and other work. On coming
to Tigerton in 1885, he embarked in the lumber business and was one of
a company of four who at a cost of $300.00, built a sawmill in Tigerton.
Tigerton was then a wilderness with but a few
settlers. Mr. Swanke not only saw the community "grow up", but was instrumental
in its development.
When the mill burned down it was rebuilt at
a cost of $10,000.00. Mr. Swanke was also interested in a mill at Whitcomb
and at the "Old Mill Dam." These mills were disposed of and, in 1910 the
mill in Tigerton was remodeled and enlarged.
In 1921 Mr. Swanke built the beautiful and
impressive brick residence on the river. However, he only lived a little
over a year to enjoy his new home. Mr. Swanke passed away March 13, 1923.
Today, that beautiful home has been converted into the Tigerton Community
Hospital. The Swanke sons have carried on their father's business.
John Lehman was the first president of the
Village of Tigerton. The first Tigerton post office was located on the
corner where Fred Kersten lives, and the first postmistress was Mrs. Murdock,
grandmother of Rex Murdock.
In 1899, the First National Bank building,
that is now the post office, was erected. Chas. Wojahn was cashier and
Delia Russell, assistant cashier. The new bank building was erected in
The Village Hall was erected in 1905, with
a hall and library upstairs, and the Fire Department downstairs.
A canning factory was built in 1926, giving
employment to women.
The Tigerton High School was completed in 1919
at a cost of $16,400.00.
It is said that Tigerton has never gone thirsty
as there has always been from six to nine saloons in the village.
Today, Tigerton is a prosperous and busy village.
It has many fine business enterprises, beautiful homes, good schools and
churches, and is peopled by civic-minded men and women.
From History Written by:
Mrs. L.C. Buchsieb