"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.


Richards, Verne, present owner and publisher of the Eagle River Review, was born in the town of Scott, Columbia County, Wis., on Feb. 9, 1872, son of Charles and Cornelia (TRIPP) RICHARDS. As a boy he attended district and graded schools in Marquette County and at the age of 15 began a business life that has known no interuption up to the present time. From the time of leaving school until becoming one of the owners of the Review, he was engaged in the calling of his father's family, that of merchant and custom milling, at Packwaukee. From 1882 to 1900 the "Richards Mill" had the reputation of manufacturing and shipping more buckwheat flour to Chicago than any other mill in Wisconsin, and later for some years supplied dealeers direct and sent its product as far west as Washington and Oregon. Part of the mill property consisted of 160 acres of land covered with a heavy growth of oak timber. As the subject of this sketch grew to manhood, he prevailed upon his father to clear and convert a large portion of land into a crop producing farm to be operated in connection with their mill. Together they did this, removing the timber by the simple process of giving it to people in town who would cut it and pile the brush. The first twenty acres was then broken with the early pioneer method of a breaking plow pulled by six pairs of oxen. The remainder was cleared in the same manner, but pastured for a few years and then broken with an Oliver steel plow, using three horses. At the time of disposing of the place, the son who then had been in charge of it for some years, left it a farm of 140 acres upon which every kind of farm machinery could be safely used. Mr. RICHARDS when not occupied in his mill, worked with his men at whatever they might be doing and there was no part of the daily farm routine that he was not familar with and non that he has not done in great deal of, so that when practical farm matters are under discussion he has no difficulty in selcting the practical farmer from the theoretical one. In January, 1912, he and his father became the owners of the Review, having purchased it from O. E. BOWEN. The paper was then located on Division Street, in the building orginally built for it. The death of his father in 1917, made him sole owner and manager. In 1919, he replaced the old newspaper press which had done service for many years with one of the latest two cylinder newspaper and job presses, and enlarged his home print section from two to four pages. The following year he purchased the corner lot and building on Division and Railroad streets, and after moving into it installed the first linotype typesetting machine ever seen or used in Vilas County. In 1921 he sold that property to C. C. KNOX and bought the corner lot at Division and Main streets where he built a concrete block office building of a design that meets with much approval from every newspaper main who sees it. His business enterprise has been supported by a liberal patronage by his town and for which he freely expresses his appreciation. In 1922 he enlarged his paper fro the former eight-page size with four pages printed at home, to a twelve-page paper with six pages of home print and frequently finds that it is necessary to print extra pages to properly accomodate his customers. Having a large share of public spirit, he is always ready to lend his aid in promoting any practical project for the benefit of the community in which he lives, and his county, state and nation. To successfully conduct a newspaper in either a large or small town requires an ability not possessed by every man, even among those capable of success in other fields, but he has demonstrated in the success of the Review and the respect in which it is held by his town and county, that he is one of those possessing that ability. Politically, Mr. RICHARDS is what may properly be called an Independent Republican and believes that ultra-radicalism is just as harmful to the majority as ultra-conservatism and a compromise between the two extremes is the best solution for many of the political problems of the day. He is a bachelor and his nearest relatives are his sisters who spend their vacations with him in Eagle River.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 499 (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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