"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.


Grenier, Louis E. who established Arbor Vitae Inn, an attractive summer resort on the southwest shore of Arbor Vitae Lake in Vilas County, but whose active and useful career was cut short by death on March 28, 1922, was born at Pine River, Wis., May 18, 1880. He was educated in public schools at Pine River, Merrill and Fond du Lac, Wis., after which he engaged in farm work in Fond du Lac County and later was employed in the large mills at Merrill. In 1899 he came to Vilas County and bought land in the vicinity of Arbor Vitae village, clearing it in the evenings and working during the day in the sawmill. The land he first cleared he devoted to garden truck, and he kept on buying wild land and improving it, at one time owning 600 acres and having two farms which he had mostly cleared, one of 120 acres and the other of 230 acres. He also raised so many potatoes that at one time he was called the "Potato King" of his community. He sold some of his wild land and at the time of his death had 350 acres in farms. In addition to the various interests mentioned, which entailed upon him a vast amount of work, Mr. GRENIER in 1917 bought the Yawkey-Bissell Company's buildings, converting them into a summer resort and establishing the present Arbor Vitae Inn, consisting of a main lodge and six cottages. This is the only resort on Big Arbor Vitae Lake and is one of the most popular in this region. Mr. GRENIER was a man well thought of throughout the county; he was everywhere respected for his industry, honesty and acumen. For six years he served as town treasurer and at times held other offices. He was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Equitable Fraternal Union and his loss was deeply regretted by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. GRENIER was twice married: first to Philomena PAQUETTE, who died March 30, 1919. They had four children, Clara, Leon, Mildred and Louis, of whom Mildred died April 13, 1919, and Louis March 27, the same year, little more than two weeks before his sister and three days before his mother, this triple bereavement being caused by the influenza. On Oct. 11, 1920, Mr. GRENIER was married secondly to Zefrina WYSOCKI, who was born at Ellis, Wis., Aug. 24, 1891. She was a graduate of the Stevens Point Normal School and for some time a proficient teacher, following that vocation until her marriage and for the last two years before that event in the school at Woodruff. One child was the result of this union, namely, Marcella M., who was born July 16, 1921. Since the death of her husband Mrs. GRENIER has continued to conduct the Arbor Vitae Inn, in which she has made some considerable improvements. As a hostess she has met with fine success. She also conducts two farms, one of which is a mile and a half south of the resort and the other (of 230 acres) adjoining it. She is a thorough business woman, a member of the Catholic Church and, socially, of the order of Beavers. Her hotel and cottages will accommodate 40 people.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 420-421 (with picture), 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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