"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.


Coon, Fred T. who is now living retired in Rhinelander after a successful career in the hotel business, was born at Milan, Ohio, March 25, 1853, son of Ira P. and Catherine Ann (PARKS) COON. The father was a native of New York and the mother of Ohio, and it was in Milan, in the latter state, that they were married. In early days Ira P. COON drove a canal boat drawn by mules. In 1858 he moved with his family to Wisconsin, locating at Berlin, which was then called Strong's Landing, and where the family resided for three years. Their next move was to Wautoma, Waushara County, where the father engaged in the hotel business, and he continued in it in that town until his death on March 22, 1871. The mother died at Plainfield, in the same county, in the year 1900. Fred T. COON after attending the public schools of Wautoma learned the milling business there in a mill owned by his father, and followed it for five years--four years at Wautoma and one year at Berlin. After that he spent five years in Chicago working in a grocery store for a cousin of his. He then returned to Berlin, where he was in business three years, at the end of which time to sold out and in 1897 came to Rhinelander. Here he engaged in the hotel business with Charles CHAFFE, who with Mr. COON'S brother owned the hotel. After the year's lease had expired the brother wished to continue the business and did so with Mr. CHAFFE as partner for nine months more. Then Fred T. bought his brother's interest, which amounted to one-half and he and Mr. CHAFFE conducted the hotel--known as the Rapids House--for seven years. At the end of that time, selling his interest to his partner, Mr. COON went across the street and bought the Fuller House, a first-class hostelry, which he conducted subsequently for 17 years finally disposing of it to a Mr. TOWNSEND of Minneapolis. After that until 1920 he spent his time looking after the farm which he owns in the town of Pelican, and then retired from active business. He is, however, a director of the First National Bank, vice president of the Rhinelander Telephone Co. and a stockholder in the Rhinelander Refrigerator Co. His fraternal society affiliations are with the local lodge of Elks. Formerly Mr. COON served for three years as a members of the Oneida County Board of Supervisors, thus becoming well acquainted with the affairs of the county, as he helped to direct the, and he is a man who has a wide acquaintance both in the city and country. He was married Dec. 31, 1879, at Berlin, Wis., to Lottie F. LAUNSBURY of that place, where she was born Jan. 13, 1861. She passed away May 12, 1920, leaving no children, her death being a sad blow to Mr. COON and her many friends. She was a true wife and helpmate, a woman of noble character and a devout member of the Episcopal Church.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 265; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others; 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.

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