"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Part 3 of 3

   Then Hank Ginsler and later J. B. Lacy conducted it, the latter finally selling out in order to establish the present Lacy House. The other hotel now in the village is the Badger House, built in October, 1921, the proprietor of which is Herman J. Puls. When James R. Nelson came here in the early days he used to find snow and ice under the moss in the cedar swamps in the middle of summer, as it never thawed, the sun being unable to reach it. The water was very pure and could be drunk from any part of the swamp without risk. In 1890 the water reserve land came into the market and a lot of people homesteaded then, others having previously done the same. This land with its water frontage had been originally re-served for dams, it not being considered at that time as having much value for agricultural or similar purposes, and it could be bought for a song, but later the price went up. Mr. Nelson, who in those times, bought 80 acres for $300, in 1890 sold the tract for $6,000 and it is now worth much more than the latter figure. In the latter 90's most of the farmers in this vicinity were Polish.

   The Independent Order of Good Templars, in former days a wide-spread tem-perance organization, in 1891 erected a good frame building in which to hold their meetings, and in which, as elsewhere mentioned, the Catholics held some of their early services. The building is still in good condition. Physicians used to come to Three Lakes from Eagle River when called on, and one or two settled here and remained for a while but never stayed long. The first policeman in the village was August Asman, who was serving when George Ball, the present police officer, ar-rived in 1892. In the busy days of the logging industry the policeman's job was no sinecure. The average lumberjack was a thirsty soul, and when he struck town with several weeks wages in his pocket he aimed to have a good time, regardless of the cost. Not infrequently when intoxicated he became quarrelsome, and it is remembered that on one occasion a drinking gang started fighting in a saloon in Three Lakes, and the fight waxed so fierce that the building was literally torn to pieces, while next day all the participants were either in bed or had their arms or heads bandaged up. At the same time better influences were at work and there were those in the village who were not unmindful of their moral and religious obligations. The first religious services in Three Lakes were held on Sunday, July 25, 1886, by a party of ministers who were camping at the lakes, and it was decided to organize a Sunday school. Some years later, or about 1893, a Free Methodist society was organized and continued active for many years subsequently. Their church build-ing was erected in or about the year 1901, Fred S. Campbell donating the lot. Services were held at intervals by ministers of different denominations until five or six years ago, when the Free Methodist element died out and the Rev. W..J. Davies, the present pastor of the Congregational Church at Eagle River, began to preach here. In 1922 the Congregationalists bought the building and in the spring of the present year (1923) it was put into thoroughly good condition. The Rev. Mr. Daniels of Watertown now holds services here from June to September. The Catholic mission of St. Theresa's was established in Three Lakes over 30 years ago, the first priest to serve it being Father July, who conducted services in the schoolhouse. After that the congregation met in Good Templars' Hall and occasionally in the schoolhouse until the church was built, work on which was started in 1892, but progressed slowly on account of insufficient funds. After it was completed the congregation was served by Rev. Prosper Goepfert, who was pastor at Eagle River from 1894 to 1899. After that Father F. J. Toplak succeeded Father Goepfert and served both the parish of Eagle River and St. Theresa's mission at Three Lakes for 20 years. After him there were two or three priests who each served for a month or two, and then the mission came under the juris-diction of Father Walter Kalandyk, pastor of St. Joseph's (Polish) Catholic Church of Rhinelander who has served it until recently. The societies connected more or less closely with the church are the Holy Rosary and the Polish National Alliance. The hopeful and persevering journalist has more than once tried his luck in Three Lakes. About 1888 or 1889 a man named Iver Anderson published a very small weekly sheet here, which he called the Three Lakes Echo; it had but a brief existence. A more ambitious and, for a while, successful attempt was made by W. J. Neu, who is still a resident of the village and one of its active merchants. Mr. Neu had previously published a paper called "Forest Leaves" in Crandon, and about 1892 he moved it to Three Lakes, he and Sam Shaw getting the Forest County printing, with Anderson an unsuccessful rival. When in 1897 Three Lakes became a village of Oneida County, Mr. Neu moved the paper back to Crandon, where he remained for two years. He then returned to Three Lakes, and here in 1909 he started a paper called the Forest Advance, a single sheet which he operated for several years, obtaining lots of ads and homestead notices. Then after being admitted to the mail service, he enlarged the Advance to an eight-page paper, and conducted it for awhile subsequently until he went out of the newspaper business.

   The State Bank of Three Lakes was established Nov. 6, 1912, with a capital of $10,000, which was increased to $25,000 on July 25, 1918. The bank was or-ganized by Clark Kuney and his relatives and business associates and continued to do business until April 2, 1923, when it was closed by order of the state banking commissioner, who found that it had accumulated too much "frozen paper." It was subsequently reorganized and reopened in September, 1923, as the Peoples State Bank of Three Lakes and as such is now doing business.

   There are two potato warehouses at Three Lakes and another one mile north in the same town. Practically the sole interests of the village and town today are farming and the summer resort business. The normal population is about 800, but in the summer tourist season the village and town together have a population of from 6,000 to 10,000 people. The village is on State Trunk Highway No. 32, .and it is noteworthy that this town was one of the first in the state to go into the construction of state highways, which it did in 1911. There are local lodges of Modern Woodmen of America, Royal Neighbors and Beavers, the two former of which were established in the early 90's about 1892 and have each at the present time a membership of nearly 40. In 1922 the Modern Woodmen erected the building in which they now have their headquarters. Three Lakes is a clean and pleasant looking village, with good roads and some cement sidewalks. The build-ings are mostly frame, but are practically all in good condition and are kept well painted. One of the oldest pioneers now living here is Mrs. Dan Gagen, whose husband, now deceased, came to Eagle River with John Curran, Finn Lawler and other noted pioneers.

   About a year ago a fine new school building was erected in Three Lakes and will open in September, 1923. There were 21 graduates from the common school in May, 1923. There are nine months school per year. The new schoolhouse has four classrooms, an assembly room upstairs, while in the basement is a good gym-nasium in addition to the furnace and lighting rooms. The only kindergarten in the county outside of Rhinelander is at Three Lakes. The old schoolhouse is a large, two-story frame building of good appearance, and there are five schoolhouses in the town of Three Lakes outside of the village. It is said that more teachers have been turned out here than in any small village in the northern part of the state.

   Tomahawk Lake is a small village in the town of the same name (Section 3, Township 39 north of Range 7 east) on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. It is but half a mile from the east end of the lake of the same name, which is one of the largest lakes in the county. In the early 90's there was a sawmill here, owned by Bradley & Kelly, (The Land, Log & Lumber Co.) who employed a man named Lefebre to operate it for them. One of the early settlers here was William H. Lathrop, the present postmaster, who has been conducting a store in the place since 1905, having taken a homestead in the vicinity in 1901. Mrs. Lathrop was postmistress from 1909 to 1916. The village has grown up gradually since lumber-ing days, and there are now two or three stores and an auto livery here. The rail-road has sidetracks and a good station. On the main road, fronting the tracks, there are some seven or eight houses, and scattered through the wood northeast of the station are a number of cottages. About three miles west of the village is a camp for tuberculosis patients under the care of F. A. Reich, and out somewhat in the same direction is the Minne Wawa Boys Camp. The land in the immediate vicinity of the village is flat.

   Tripoli is a busy village of 500 population on the" Soo" Railway, lying partly in Lincoln and partly in Oneida County, the highway which runs east and west through the village (Trunk Line No. 14) here being right on the line dividing the two counties. That part of the village which is on the northern side of this high-way is in the town of Lynne, Oneida County, and that part on the south side of it is in the town of Somo, Lincoln County. County Trunk Line T, starting from Trunk Line 14, runs south from Tripoli, and there is also a county trunk line which runs north from Tripoli toward the lake country. This latter has no number as yet and is only completed for about ten miles, though in all probability it will eventually intersect with Trunk Line No. 70 running from Fifield, Wis., to Woodruff, Wis.

   It has been said that there was a logging camp here as early as 1866 operated by a man named Israel Stone, and it has been erroneously stated that he came from Maine. He was not, however, a white man, but a quarter-breed Indian who had married a very nice white girl, daughter of a respectable homesteader in the Spirit country. He acquired a homestead there himself and it is just possible that he may have done some logging on the site of Tripoli for some of the white pine log-gers from the Wausau territory. A daughter of the family and some of the sons are now living in this vicinity. There was also another camp when the" Soo" railway was built through in the 80's. The landing on the Somo River, where the sawmill is now, was started by loggers who logged the white pine in the earlier days.

   The building up of the village of Tripoli, however, is due to H. H. Stolle, who in 1899 bought 80 acres on the site, on which tract stood a small portable sawmill which had been put up there about a year and a half previously by a man named Myrick from Minnesota, from whom Mr. Stolle bought it. There were three or four log houses with the mill at the time. In this little mill Mr. Stolle began cut-ting the timber which he cleared from his land. There was no village here then, nor were there any real roads; there was just the landing and a winter logging road to it from the north, and a foot path to the place where the sign board bearing the name "Tripoli" stood on the "Soo" Line passing track. When the "Soo" Line built these passing tracks they gave each one a name and among them was the name "Tripoli." A suggestion was later made by some one that the village should be named "Stolle," but as it was not encouraged by Mr. Stolle the idea was dropped and as Tripoli the village has since become well known. In 1900 Mr. Stolle moved his family here and in 1901 entered into partnership with E. T. Rollins of Minneapolis. He built a larger mill and had the railroad company build a long side-track to it from the main "Soo" Line. His next step was to have a telephone put in which connected the mill with Brantwood, where there was a "Soo" Line agent, the wires being strung along the telephone poles; there was no agent at Tripoli, though one was placed there a few years later. The trains at first were run on very irregular time.

   Mr. Rollins not being a practical mill man, soon sold his interest (in 1901) to the W. O. Barndt Lumber Company of Minneapolis, which concern was a partner-ship of W. O. Barndt and L. Lempert, each of these men taking a 25 per cent interest with Mr. Stolle, on which the Stolle-Barndt Lumber Company was organ-ized, which continued for many years in the lumber business. In 1911 Barndt and Lempert sold their interests to F. L. Roenitz of Chicago and the style was changed to the Stolle Lumber Company. In June, 1918, this concern sold out to the Bissell Lumber Company. In 1919 Mr. Stolle opened a general store in Tripoli, and in 1921 the Stolle Mercantile Company was incorporated with a capital of $25,000, and with himself as president, August H. Meyer vice president, and Clarence N. Stolle secretary and treasurer. In 1922 he started again in the lumber business on a somewhat small scale and now operates a sawmill, manufacturing or handling lumber and shingles, veneer and pulp logs, bark, pulp, cedar and general forest products. It was he who in 1903 built the first wagon road in this section to within three miles of Tomahawk, and a wagon also road leading to Rhinelander and Pren-tice. He organized the town of Somo and was the first town chairman, serving 15 years, and built roads in all directions through the heavy timber. Tripoli was re-ferred to in a Rhinelander paper, March 20, 1919, as follows: "Tripoli is a lively town with over 12,000,000 feet of lumber heaped up. The mill is being overhauled and many new houses are being built. It is said that the Bissell Company have a 20-year cut there." Mr. Stolle was the first chairman of the village board and put in the telephone system; he was also active in the establishment of a school and the Congregational church. The lumber interests include two sawmills and a veneer and a planing-mill, while the other places of business are the state bank, a good hotel, a boarding house, two general stores, a garage, two butcher shops, blacksmith and repair shops, a moving-picture theatre, and two pool rooms keep-ing candy and cigars. The first school was started on the Lincoln County side in a small shanty covered with tar paper, and with Mary Fogarty as teacher. In the following year it was moved into a log building. Then a frame building was used for a few years and subsequently an addition was built on to it in the shape of an "L," when it became a two-room graded school. That building was used for some years and is at present the town hall, one wing, however, being occupied by married teachers. In 1912 a large two-story building was erected for a combined high and graded school and was thus used up to the close of the last school term (June, 1923). Since then a new high school building has been completed, 68 by 74 feet in dimensions, with a concrete basement which is used for a gymnasium. This school was opened in September. For the last eight years an annual Commu-nity and School Agricultural Fair has been held and has proved quite a success.

   The post office was established in 1901 by Mr. Stolle, who first placed it on the Lincoln County side, but later on, his place being nearer to the station, which is on the Oneida County side, he moved it into the latter county. After serving as postmaster for 17 years, he resigned the office in favor of William J. Winters, who has served since 1918. It is now an office of the third class.

   The Bissell Lumber Co.'s plant at Tripoli was originally established 20 years ago or more by H. H. Stolle, whose personal history is elsewhere given in this vol-ume, and Mr. Roenitz, the latter being then vice president of the American Hide & Leather Company. After being conducted for a number of years with Mr. Stolle at its head, though from time to time with different partners, it was bought by the Bissell Lumber Co. in June, 1918, and they have since remained the own-ers. This Company, whose main office is at Wausau, Wis., was incorporated in 1916 and the present officers are: F. K. Bissell, of Marshfie1d, Wis., president; W. H. Bissell, of Wausau, vice president; and Leo Schoenhofen, of Marshfie1d, secretary and treasurer. The local business is managed by B. D. Stone of Tripoli, while Joseph King of Tripoli is invoice clerk, Thaxter Lee, also a local resident. is stenographer and H. B. Basing is bookkeeper. The Tripoli plant is a large and important one and this is one of the few concerns that are still actively logging in this region, employing in their logging camps in winter from 250 to 300 men and in summer from 100 to 150, so the company's railroad is busy hauling the whole year round, their facilities for so doing being increased in winter by the use of three Phoenix caterpillar tractors. The supply of raw material thus produced is turned into manufactured products at the plant in the village, the lumber capacity of the mill, equipped with the modern machinery, being 50,000 feet for every ten hour run, the annual output being 18,000,000 feet. The veneer output is 120 cars annually, or 14,400,000 sheets, while the annual amount of other products is, 20 cars of cedar posts and poles, 50 to 100 carloads of hemlock tan bark and 30 to 50 carloads of pulp wood. The raw material is hauled to the mill over distances of 4 to 11 miles, and 180 men are employed in the plant and yards. Adequate local offices are maintained, being housed in an immense frame block adjoining the yards, and in the same building the company operates a large general mercantile busi-ness, where the employees may procure their supplies. The families of the mill employees are housed in comfortable homes erected by the company and rented to them at reasonable prices, and these dwellings constitute the greater part of the town. A retail yard is also maintained where all kinds of building, material may be obtained.

   The Tripoli State Bank began business June 28, 1920, in a small frame building as an incorporated concern with a capital of $10,000 and surplus of $1,500. The incorporators were C. K. Ellingson of Ladysmith, J. A. Morner of Prentice. H. H. Stolle and H. R. Graeber of Tripoli, A. E. Lindros of Clifford, W. H. Sanderson of Tripoli, A. T. Bader and Hugo Kandutsch of Kennan, Leo Schoenhofen, George T. Parsons and the Bissell Lumber Co. of Marshall, R. Meyer of Tripoli, A. J. Wilson and William Featherstone of Rhinelander, Triff Goodwin of Marshfield and F. J. Kandutsch and B. D. Stone of Tripoli. The officers were B. D. Stone, presi-dent; H. H. Stolle, vice president, and F. J. Kandutsch, cashier. The deposits on opening were $16,600, which had increased by April 14, 1923 to $114,123. The savings deposits are now about $20,000, and the present surplus $3,000, and this result is shown after discharging one half the indebtedness for a new and substan-tial brick building, 24 by 30 feet, with good equipment, which was erected in 1922 and into which the bank was moved in September, 1923.

   Many years ago a Woodmen's lodge was organized in Tripoli by H. H. Stolle and was active for awhile but ubsequently became inactive. More recently the interest was reawakened and the lodge is again very active.

   The Lutheran Mission. In 1912 Mr. J. Fehrmann and Gustav Steffen jour-neyed to Tomahawk and asked Rev. E. Kowalke to serve the few Lutherans at Tripoli, and since then they have been served from Tomahawk. The first members were J. Fehrmann, G. Steffen, August H. and Henry Meyer and Mrs. M. S. Ny-berg. The first services were held in the town hall, and since 1918 have been held in the Congregational church. The Lutheran congregation has decreased and in-creased, but has not yet grown strong enough to build its own church; but though small it is active. In 1920 through the efforts of Aug. Meyer, the people built a garage in Tomahawk so that their present pastor might better serve them. There is an active Ladies' Aid Society, the officers of which are: Mrs. C. Zielke, president; Mrs. 'William 'Winters, treasurer; and Mrs. August H. Meyer, secretary. Miss Lydia Kaufmann is president of the Luther League. The officers of the congre-gation are C. Zielke and J. Fehrmann; the organists, Miss Hilma Salverson and Miss Ellen Allberg.

   Soon after the Stolle family settled at Tripoli Mrs. Stolle started a Sunday school that has since expanded into a Congregational Church society, and about six years ago the society built a church edifice. The leaders in the movement were Mrs. and Mr. Stolle and they were assisted by other people living in the neighbor-hood. They also made arrangements with the Lutheran people for the latter to use the Congregational building, which they are doing today. There are a few Catholic families in Tripoli, who are ministered to about once a month by a visit-ing priest. In addition to its present activity, the village of Tripoli appears to have a bright future. The soil in the neighborhood is the best silt loam for farm-ing purposes and the country around is being settled quite fast. It will doubtless prove a fine dairy locality.

   Wicklow is a locality north of Cassian, where formerly there may have been a lumber camp not now remembered. There is no village there.
**{see transcribers note at bottom of page}

   Woodboro, a village of 110 inhabitants or more, is situated in the town of the same name, or in the west part of Section 24, Town 36 north of Range 7 east. The village was started in 1890 by Geo. E. Wood, of Chicago, operating under the name of the Geo. E. Wood Lumber Co. In that year he bought a tract of timber from Coon & Wilcox and began his logging operations here. In 1891 he began the erection of a sawmill, which he completed in the following year. As when he had got under full swing he employed about 150 men a village was started, the com-pany building some 50 houses, also a large boarding-house and store and establish-ing a post office. As a lumbering headquarters Woodboro enjoyed prosperity for about 14 years, or until May, 1904, when the company lost their planing-mill and lumber by fire, several hundred thousand feet of lumber being burned. During the time they operated they cut about 200,000,000 feet of pine timber, owning and operating their own log railroad of standard gauge, which they built. S. D. Sut-liff, now of Rhinelander, was their bookkeeper. There was a boarding-house in the village, which also burned down. At present there are two stores and hotel accommodations, but the once lively and populous community is no longer there. The Geo. E. Wood Lumber Co. retained possession of their land some 7,000 acres until four years ago, when they sold it to a Chicago real estate company, who are disposing of it to settlers for farming purposes. The site of the village is a beautiful one near the west bank of Squash Lake.

   Woodruff:  : The village of Woodruff lies in Section 2, Township 39 north of Range 6 east, or in the political town of Woodruff, Oneida County. It is on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, which crosses the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul at Woodruff Junction, about half a mile or so to the southeast. From Wood-ruff stages run to Minocqua, an attractive summer resort three miles to the south and slightly west. The village is also on the banks of Mud Lake, sometimes called Snake Lake, and in every direction, at no great distance from the village, are scores of other beautiful lakes, glistening attractions in the great summer resort region of northern Wisconsin. Many pleasure seekers visit this locality in the summer time, remaining for a longer or shorter time, according to their inclination, and while they are in the vicinity the general business of the village is greatly increased.

   The site of Woodruff was originally the homestead of Antoine Toussaint. James A. McLean, still a resident of the village, came here about 1893 and found but a few buildings, the first of which had been put up about 1888. There was a small general store, owned by Ole Swanson and Frank Markee, which was managed by Mr. Swanson, who was postmaster, while Mr. Markee ran a hotel in which there was a bar. At that time John B. Mann was conducting a resort at Trout Lake, 12 miles to the north of the village. Mr. Weyerhauser of Chippewa Falls, in com-pany with certain Eau Claire parties forming the Eau Claire Logging Co., had headquarters at Woodruff, as also had the Dells Lumber Co. The two companies were logging mostly in the vicinity of Boulder, about 15 miles to the north. The Ross Lumber Co. logged to the southeast of Woodruff, but had their mill at Arbor Vitae. Mr. Weyerhauser owned the timber around Boulder, but later sold it to the Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Co., who finished the cutting. The Ross Lumber Co. also sold to them. C. C. Yawkey logged to the west and south of Woodruff within a distance of eight miles, having his mill and yards at Hazelhurst. There were no big timber tracts near Woodruff, but only scattered "forties," which were logged by various parties. A Mr. Glendenning had the first sawmill in Woodruff, which he conducted for two years, from 1891 to 1893. There were other sawmills within a few miles of Woodruff, one at Tomahawk Lake and one at McNaughton. The first postmaster of Woodruff was Ole Swanson of the firm of Swanson & Markee, and he continued to handle ubsequently became inactive. More recently the interest was reawakened and the lodge is again very active.

Transcribed Sept 2004 by a volunteer
**{Transcribers note on 'Wicklow'} Wicklow was a post office at Prairie Rapids Rd and Lee Rd, which would be southwest of Cassian. In 1909 rural delivery was started out of Bradley and the Wicklow and Cassian post offices were closed. This pretty much confirms my suspicions that Wicklow cemetery and Prairie Rapids cemetery are the same place. This information was gleaned from the Nokomis 40th anniversary book.

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