"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.


Kesler, Gerald A. better known as "Jerry", who some two years ago took his place among the popular hosts of the northern Wisconsin lake region by establishing the Moc Kes Air Resort, located on the north shore of Moccasin Lake and in the northern part of Vilas County, was born in Decatur, Ill., March 13, 1895. He acquired his education in the grammar and high schools of Chicago and at the University of Michigan, from which he was graduated with the class of 1917. While in college he took a prominent part in athletics, in particular as a member of the varsity track team. He also became a member of the Delta-Upsilon fraternity, to which he still belongs. After his graduation from the university Mr. KESLER engaged in advertising work in Chicago and was thus occupied for some three or four years. Then in May, 1921, he came to Vilas County and engaged in his present business, buying 40 acres of land in Section 11, town of State Line and erecting the Moc Kes Air Rustic Lodge. The main building of 30 by 40 feet in ground plan, is provided with a screened porch of 12 by 30 feet facing toward the lake. It contains the recreation-room, dining-room and office, all set out with rustic furniture made by Mr. KESLER himself. An attractive feature of the dining-room is a large stone firepalce with a five-foot opening. The kitchen measure 18 by 20 feet, and underneath is the full basement is the store-room for vegetables, while above are sleeping-rooms for the help. The log cottages are artistically built and have from two to four rooms each; all are provided with screened windows and porches. Mr. KESLER'S lake fleet consists of 12 row boats, three canoes and one outboard motor boat and they may be seen on various lakes, including the Wisconsin-Michigan chain. With a new palce to go every day - a new lake, a different canoe route - the interest never flags. Here the hunter, trapper and fisherman have their happy playgrounds. An abundance of deer, fox, wolf, porcupine, an occasional bear, all at home in their carefree state. And bass, trout, pike, pickerel and muskellunge in hundreds of accessible lakes and streams, present attractions not to be resisted by any man fond of sport. In quieter mood there are wild raspberries, blueberries and cranberries to pick; and with air of the finest, every breath a tonic, up in the great out-of-doors, among sincere, jovial, khaki-clad companions. No dress suits, no stiff collars, everybody in their rough-and-ready togs ready for a jolly time together. Drinking water comes from away down in a deep, cool well and has a snap and sparkle that adds to the zest of life; and when you want to hang around the big stone fire-place some day when its cold or rainy, you'll find there an old deacon bench and some lounging-chairs; but later while you're meditating there and, moved by certain inward feelings, being vaguely to speculate on what you're going to get for dinnner, Bang! Bang! does a Chinese gong and you get up and hasten to the big tables in the cozy dining-room, where with a keen and healthly appetite you fall to on a bounteious spread of satisfying food, home-cooked and as you like it. Moc Kes Air caters only to the best class of patronage - families, young men and women with a sence of refinement. The aim of its proprietor is to get together a congenial group of satisfied people who will like the place so well they will look forward each year to their summer outing here. Mr. KESLER is interested in the manufacture of rustic furniture, in which he is himself engaged during the winter months, and which is used extensively on porches of summer homes and resorts. In 1922 he served as treasurer of the town of State Line. In 1917 he enlisted at Washington, D. C., in the army of the United States for war service in the Air Department and was commissioned second lieutenant. He trained at Wilbur Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, and was later transferred to Dorr Field at Arcadia, Florida. Just before the signing of the armistice he was assigned to duty as instructor of flying. He was discharged at Dorr Field, Florida, with the rank of second lieutenant in December, 1918.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 636-637; 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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