History: Chippewa Falls, WI (1881)
Contact: Janet Schwarze
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---Source: 1881 History of Chippewa County, Wisconsin, pg. 198-204.
CITY OF CHIPPEWA FALLS.
The city form of government was adopted in 1S69. James A. Taylor was the first Mayor. Thomas Morris, Treasurer. John F. Hall, City Clerk. William R. Hoyt was City Attorney. The early records are lost. Post-office —I. B. Taft, Postmaster. The present officers are : L. C. Stanley, Mayor; L. Gaudette, City Clerk; Peter Bergenin, Treasurer; John J. Jenkins, Attorney; Michael Hogan, Assessor; S. S. Riddle, M. D., Physician; Joseph Walker, Street Commissioner; Policemen—J. P. Dipple, William Anglum, Simon Cardinal and John O'Donnell; Board of Health—L. M. Newman, President; B. Gardiner, Vice-President; H. C. McRae, Samuel Hill. Board of Education, George C. Ginty, President; Commissioner, A. McBean, George S. Rogers, John Weinberger, James A. Taylor. The City Clerk officiates as secretary.
The Catholic Church. Saint Mary’s.—the first religious society organized at the Falls was the Catholic. As early as 1855 Bishop Cretin, of St. Paul, and Father Galtier, a missionary of large experience, held meetings here, encouraged by H. S. Allen, whose wife had been reared in that faith. A lot was presented that year by Mr. Allen on a spot adjoining the court-house square, as indicated on the first village plat. The building, the first church in the whole valley, was raised in 1S56, but was unfortunately blown down, and so its occupation as a church was delayed until 1S57, when services were first held therein. In 1S59 the first resident pastor was located here in the person of Father Mignault, who was succeeded by Father Smeddinck, and afterwards, in 1868, Father Abbellon was pastor. In the year 1869 Rev. Dr. C. F. X. Goldsmith took charge as missionary rector of Notre Dame parish. The next year he began the erection of the present stone edifice—in 1870. It is a commodious structure, the nave being 128x50, the transept 80x24 feet, with a seating capacity of 2,000. It cost about $40,000. Services are held in English, French, and German. The Rev. Father Goldsmith being an accomplished master of these languages, and a very genial public spirited gentleman. This is really the mother church of the valley, and while there are five hundred families who directly attend upon its ministrations, there are in the parish seven counties and eight priests. Eighteen churches and chapels have sprung from this one. The old church has recently been demolished—having been previously used as a schoolhouse. H. S. Allen, Dr. McBean, Matthew Cummings, F. Le Boeuf, R. Lego, C. Allen, C. Bergeron, H. Herbert and others assisted in its construction in 1856. Two hundred years ago Jesuit missionaries from Mackinaw or Green Bay celebrated mass on the bluffs of Catholic Hill, before there was any settlement at the Falls. Saint Peters church parish has had quarters at Saint Peters and stations at Vermillion and Biushville. Rev. Albert Mendel is the missionary rector. There are large numbers of French Canadians in the county, and the predominating Christian belief is the Catholic—their membership at the Falls outnumbers all the others.
The Presbyterian Church.—This was the first Protestant church organized in Chippewa Falls. In the Summer of1855 the Rev. William McNair, who was organizing a church in Eau Claire, made arrangements to visit this place on alternate Sundays. He at first preached in a log cabin near Mr. Van Name's residence, which was used on week days as a school-house. Rev. B. Phillips, from Mineral Point, soon came and at once commenced the erection of the present church building, which was completed and dedicated in 1858. Some of the means to erect the church was obtained from the East, but Mr. H. S. Allen and other citizens contributed liberally, and seemed unweary in their labors to rear this place of worship at that early day. After a ministration of ten years Mr. Phillips gave place to Rev. George W. Wainwright, who with slight intermissions preached three years. Rev. A. J. Stead, from New York State, was the next pastor, his connection was dissolved in September, 1874, yielding to Rev. D. W. Evans who broke bread for the church until August 1, 1876, when Rev. Samuel Brown, the present pastor, was installed. The active membership is now twenty-eight.
Methodist Episcopal Church.—As early as 1859 Chippewa Falls formed part of a circuit established on the frontier, but the denomination was unfortunate in their first itinerant in this locality; a want of tact or ability to accommodate himself to the rude surroundings resulted in not an encouraging success. The first regular appointments were in the Borland district, two miles east of the town. Rev. Thomas Harwood was the first minister here who succeeded in gathering together the elements of future societies. Rev. E. S. Havens was next stationed here, and he made an effort to establish regular service at the Falls proper. Next came that impetuous English pioneer. Rev. John Hoit, who labored faithfully his appointed time, but left with a feeling that the Falls was a hard field to cultivate. The Rev. Richard Cohan was the next laborer in this vineyard. His earnest, faithful, studious and skillful zeal left its impress on the community. Rev. A. J- Davis was here in 1865 and 1866. The little society under him procured a lot and he built, almost entirely with his own hands, a dwelling for a parsonage. The Rev. Darius Bresee, who afterwards did business in Eau Claire as a real estate agent, was the next minister. In the Fall of 1868 Rev. E. E. Clough was placed in charge. He was a vigorous worker and erected the present place of worship, leaving it clear of debt, and also secured an addition to the parsonage. There was a marked increase in membership and Chippewa Falls was created a regular Methodist station with regular weekly ])reaching. Rev. W. S. Wright, afterwards presiding elder, came to this charge in 1871, adding to the membership, and procuring the church bell. He was succeeded by Rev. H. W. Bushnell in 1873. While he was the pastor additional ground was procured to enlarge the lot, and the membership reached about 100. Rev. Bert E. Wheeler was the next man in charge and he remained until the Fall of 1877, when Rev. J. N. Phillips was appointed to the station. In June, 1880, having been elected Grand Chief Templar of the Temple of Honor, Rev. Mr. Trenor supplied the pulpit until the Fall conference, when Rev. W. Woodruff came to fill the place.
The Episcopal Church.—Zion Church was formally incorporated April 27, 1866, with the Rev. C. H. Hendley minister in charge. Previous to this, however, service had been held under the patronage of L. H. Brooks and his estimable wife, who with others continued their efforts until success rewarded their labors. Mr. Hendley did not remain long, and after a brief vacation in May, 1870, Rev. R. F. G. Page, of Eau Claire, took charge and after an irregular service of about two years the parish was again without a minister, receiving lay service from H. H. Todd, a zealous churchman who conducted the Sunday-school with marked success. On the 1st of June, 1878, Rev. M. L. Kern took charge, inspiring new life and energy into its affairs, and on the l0th of September, the same year, the cornerstone of the church was laid. It is of wood, sixty-two by thirty-seven feet, chancel twenty by twenty, with a tower on the front left corner. Bishop Armitage was present. It was completed and opened for service on Easter, in 1875. It still stands and is a commendable structure. Among other ornaments it has six memorial windows. Rev. S. J. Yundt is the present rector.
Baptist -- In June, 1875, a Baptist church was organized. Mr. O. Knapp was moderator. On account of the few members, and want of means, the society was suffered to lapse.
German Lutheran, Zion Church -- Services at this church are held every third Sunday, alternating afternoons and evenings, at 2 and 7 p. m. There is no resident pastor. Rev. George Plehn officiates.
Scandinavian Lutheran -- Services are held every fourth Sunday at 10:30 .k. m., under the ministrations of Rev. C. J. Helsom.
Fraternal Societies — Masonic--Chippewa Falls Lodge No. 176, charter dated June 10, 1869. De Witt C. Swan, M.; George Cross, S. W.; W. J. Harding, J. W. The State G. M. was Harlow Pease. Present officers: J. J- Jenkins, M.; R. D. Whittemore, S. W.; F. M. Clough, J. W.; Jerry Palmer, secretary; 100 members.
Chippewa Chapter, No. 46.—Charter dated February 17, 1875. J. M. Bingham, H. P.; Ambrose Hoffman, K.; A. R. Barrows, S. Present officers : R. W. Bradeen, H. P.; seat vacated by death; A. S. Stiles, K.; J. W. Squires, S. R. D. Whittemore, secretary; 50 members.
Chippe7va Council, No. 45.— Organized May 1, 1878; charter granted, February 24, 1881. The officers of the Chapter fill the corresponding offices in the Council. It has 22 members. The Order has a fine hall, corner of Bridge and Spring streets, and is in a flourishing condition. OJii Fello7vs—Pinery Lodge, No. 46.—Chartered January 21, 1869. Charter members: O. N. Stetson, Th W. Mathewson, W. W. Crandall, Stephen Brown, N. S. Warn, E. E. N. Martin. It has a large membership. The present officers are: R. D. Whittemore D. D. G. M.; C. ^. Ceasar, N. G.; C. F. Smith, V. G.; J. P. Hurlburt, secretary; C. K. Brown, treasurer.
Knights of Pythias.—Charter dated February 12, 1874. Among the charter members were J. M. Bingham, S. R. Miirrav, J. J. Jenkins. Present officers: W. L. Pierce, C. C.; A. J. McDonald, K. of R. & S.
Sons of Herman—Chippewa Lodge, No. 35, O. D. H. S., meets every Thursday evening at Knights of Pythias Hall.
Temple of Honor.—Forest Teni))le, No. 146, instituted December 11, 1876. John A. McRae, W^ C. T.; B. F. Millard, W. V. T.
Good Templars.—Enterprise Lodge, No. 100, instituted February 14, 1873. C. L. Webster, W. C. T.; Mrs. W. S. Wright, W, V. T.; Dr. F. A. Burnett, secretary. This has a membership of 6:; in good standing.
Harugari.—Longobarden Lodge, No. 431. Regular meetings second and fourth Monday of each month at Knights of Pythias Hall.
St. Jean Baptiste meets second Sunday of each month at the Catholic school-house. This is a popular benevolent society, with a large membership.
Soldiers' and Sailors' Association.—Organized in 1878. William R. Hoyt, president; J. P. Hurlburt, secretary; Frank Coleman, treasurer.
Various Societies—The Agricultural Society.—Organized December 11, 1877. L. C. Stanley was the first president; Wilson Hopkins, vice-president; W. B. Bartlet, treasurer H. C. McRae, secretary. The present officers are: E. D. Stanley, president; W. Hopkins, vice-president; H. H. Todd, secretary; W. B. Bartlet, treasurer. The transactions for 1880 were $1,810.62.
A fair has been held every year since the organization, and they are well patronized, as no pains are spared to make the exhibitions attractive.
Chippewa Falls Driving Association.—This association has a half mile track on the Glen Mills road, near the city. The officers are : F. C. Webb, president; E. P. Hastings, vice-president; A. S. Stiles, second vice-president; R. D. Whittemore, secretary.
Chippewa Falls Cemetery Association.—Organized in 1866. L. F. Martin, president; D. E. Seymour, treasurer; H. H. Todd, secretary. The cemetery is within the city limits, on the northeast corner. The original plot was five acres, which are nearly occupied, and ten acres have just been added. Half lots 12x24 sell for $12.
The Mutual Protective Association.—Office at the First National Bank; meets Tuesday evenings. A. K. Fletcher, president; D. E. Seymour, vice-president; L. M. Newman, secretary and treasurer.
Mechanics' Protection Association.—Organized August 27, 1879. A. R. McDonald, president; A. H. Cowles, treasurer; George Shuman, secretary. Hook and Ladder Company.—Foreman, R. D. Whittemore; Assistant, P. W. Jacobus; Secretary, J. E. Dempsy; Treasurer, L. Zimmerman.
Parnell Land League.—P. Morris, president; S. Brown, secretary; W. P. Dodds, treasurer.
Pioneer Cornet Band.—This band was first organized in 1878, by Fred. Bonell. The present leader is Otto Kleinheintz; Manager and Treasurer, Dr. B. Gardiner; Drum Major, William Clifton. This band was employed at Gen. Bragg's head-quarters during the great re-union in Milwaukee.
The Chippewa Falls Union and Times was started in 1863, the result of the consolidation of two papers. W^ J. Whipple was proprietor. He soon sold to J. M. Brackett, who managed it until December 7, 1S69, when he sold to The Democratic Printing Association.
The Chippewa Herald.—This live paper was started by Col. George C. Ginty, on January 1, 1870, and has been conducted by him with great ability ever since. It is Republican in politics, and is noted for its fairness in discussing political issues. The paper appears weekly, and is run off by steam power. Edward Outhwait is associate editor. Chippewa County Independent.—This is a weekly paper, started on March 31, iS8r,and is a six-column quarto. J. N. Phillips, editor and business manager; Judge Gough and A. J. Hayward, associate editors. It is published by the^ Chippewa F'alls Publishing Company; A. J. Hayward, president; A. K. Fletcher, vice-president; I. C. Kibbe, secretary; D. E. Seymour, treasurer.
The Chippewa Times.—This paper was first issued October 5, 1875, by Cunningham & Luce. Afcer one year, Mr. Luce sold his interest to Mr. Hoffinan, and the firm became Hoffinan & Co., with Mr. T. J. Cunningham as the active editor and publisher. It is a nine-column folio, at $2 a year; is democratic in its politics.
The Chippewa Falls 6^ Western Railroad, the first to enter Chippewa Falls, was completed in June, 1S75, and the; event was duly celebrated, as elsewhere recorded. It connects Eau Claire with the Falls, and opened direct com- 1 munication with St. Paul and Chicago, and, of course, with the rest of the world. This road is now in the hands of the Wisconsin Central.
The Wisconsin Central.—This road, which has been so instrumental in building up Northern Wisconsin, on November 22, i88o, completed a branch from its trunk line between Abbotsford and Chippewa Falls, so that trains began running from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Milwaukee, via Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. The station is on the opposite side of the river from the city. T. Farnsworth is station agent.
The Chippewa Falls & Northern Railway Company is organized, and the contract given out for forty miles of its construction to Rice Lake, and surveying parties are in the field running a line to Superior. It is proposed, also, to extend the line from Chippewa Falls to Fall Creek, on the C, St. P., M. & O. road, so as to have an air line from Chicago to the terminus of the Northern Pacific. E. W. Winter is the president of the company, and C. W. Porter, secretary. The intention of the management is to run the road via Shetek and Rice Lake. It will largely develop a pine and hard wood region.
Big Bend— Stiles & Co., proprietors. This stage goes up one day and back the next. In the Spring, a daily line is put on. The stopping places on the road are as follows: Nine- Mile House, Twelve-Mile House; ten miles beyond is Campbell's, three miles is the Larrabee House, one to the Lake House, nine to Big Bend, one beyond is Allen's, three more to Oak Grove, twelve to Johnson's, four to Pinkham's, four to Murray's, twelve to the Hermon House, six to the Hall House, three to M. Sarrow's, four to West Bend, and four to the Trading Post. There is a post-office at Nine-Mile House, at Big Bend and Oak Grove.
Bloomer Stage—P. T. Hackett. Daily each way. Carries the mail.
Rice Lake Stage—Fred. Fox. Runs to Rice Lake, sixty miles. A tri-weekly service. Carries the mail. It runs via Cook's Valley, Sand Creek, Shetac, Sumner, Rice Lake.
Flambeau Stage—Stiles & Co. Mail; thirty-two miles. Runs up Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, via Eagleton, nine miles; Greenwood, eighteen miles, to Flambeau Farm.
Rumsey Omnibus Line.— Runs to and from the passenger trains. John Rumsey, proprietor.
Banking.—Chippewa Falls, which was just attracting the attention of eastern people, especially from the depleting lumber regions, did not escape the infliction of what was called the " Wild-cat " and "Red dog" currency. These names were given on account of the designs on the vignette of the " bills," as the notes issued by the banks were called. A bank was established somewhere on the river, which issued currency, purporting to be from the "Lumberman's Bank of Court Oreilles." Not a very large amount of these bills were floated.
Then there was the "Bank of Illiside." The name only has been preserved. Its local habitation is as yet undiscovered, although all the land-lookers, and any itinerant adventurers who happened to be going up the river, were enjoined to find, if possible, the place of redemption for the Illiside promises to pay.
Andrew Gregg was the first legitimate banker here. His bank began operations in 1864 and continued till 1870, when its affairs were wound up, and Mr. Gregg went to California.
On December 1, 1870, D. E. Seymour began a banking business in the east room of his residence on Central street, very soon moving into his bank building next door, where the business has been continued since. E. De Forest Barnett is cashier, a position he has filled for the past nine years. The New York deposits are with the Chemical Bank; in Chicago, the Commercial National; in Milwaukee, Houghton Bros. & Co. The business of the bank amounts to several millions each year.
The First National Bank.—This bank was organized August 20, 1873, with a capital of $75,000, which has since beeu reduced to $50,000. The following is a list of the stockholders at that time, not one of whom is now connected with it; Thaddeus C. Pound, A. E. Pound, Th. L. Halbert, William Van Name, H. S. Allen, Coliche Allen D. M. Peck, A. S. Stiles, F. B. Le Boeuf, John P. Mitchell and Joseph Crowley. The original officers were Th. L. Halbert, president; H. S. Allen, vice-president; V. W. Bayless, cashier. The present directors are: A. K. Fletcher, president; John B. Kehl, vice-president; L. Schricker, L. M. Newman, R. D. Marshall, F. Weyerhauser, L. D. Brewster, E. Poznanski and C. F. Smith. L. M. Newman is cashier, having been appointed in June, 1876, when the average deposits were $30,000, and which have risen to $250,000. The actual disbursements of the bank for the six months ending July i, 1S81, were $3,156,567.53. There is in bank a surplus of undivided profits of $17,183.92, accumulated within two years, besides a dividend of 8 per cent., paid during that time. It will thus be seen that the banking facilities at the Falls are good.
Hotels.—There are quite a number of public houses, some of them in the special interest of the different nationalities, which assist in making up the permanent and floating population. The two principal hotels are the Central and the Waterman.
The Waterman House is owned and managed by Leslie E. and Luzerne H. Waterman. The night clerk is Charles Burk; Mrs. Waterman, matron. There are 49 sleeping rooms.
The Central House.— James H. Taylor, proprietor; clerk, Frank Taylor, assisted by his brothers; night clerk, John Cornwell; matron, Mrs. J. H. Taylor. Fifty-six sleeping rooms.
Chippewa Lumber & Broom Co.—One of the largest lumbering establishments in the world is the Chippewa Lumber and Boom Company. Its history, so intimately connected with the city and county, has already been described. Early in April, 1881, this property was sold to its present proprietors, Weyerhauser & Denkman, Demick, Gould & Co., of Rock Island; W. J. Young, C. Lamb & Sons, and S. Joyce of Clinton, Iowa; Hersey, Senn & Co., and Peter Musser of Muscatine, Iowa; Laird, Morton & Co., Yeomans Bros. & Hodgins of Winona.
This company was organized December 20, 1879, with a capital of $1,275,000. The present officers are: F. Weyerhauser, president and treasurer; William Irvine, vice-president ; E. W. Culver, general manager. The mill contains 5 gangs of 100 saws, 3 rotaries, 1 double-block shingle mill, 3 lath mills, and 2 picket mills, besides machine shops, etc. From May 1 to October 15, the mill cuts from 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 feet. During this period they employ about 550 men, and run a night and day crew, the mill being in operation 22 hours a day. and now cut 400,000 feet of lumber a day, with 100,000 shingles, 120,000 lath, and 5,000 pickets.
The company now owns 110,000 acres of pine lands on the Chippewa and Yellow rivers and their tributaries. The lumber is rafted and sold principally in the Mississippi River markets. Lumber now commands a good price, and as the company owning the mill and other property is very heavy, it is hoped that, as there is no extravagance or mismanagement, no vicissitudes will necessitate a change of ownership.
The French Lumbering Company.—Incorporated November 29, 1873. First officers : Louis Vincent, president; Peter Lego, vice-president; Charles Mandelert, secretary and treasurer. J. Mandelert and Charles Langevin were also on the board of directors. Capital, $53,000.
The company at once commenced the manufacture of lumber, the mills being located on Grand Island, two miles below the Falls. The capacity of the mills per day is 65,000 feet of lumber, 12,000 lath, 3,000 pickets. Average number of men employed, 40 in the mill and 20 in other departments of work. In the Winter, about 90 men are sent into the woods. Directors and stockholders: J. Mandelert, president; W. F. Bailey, vice-president; Charles Mandelert, secretary and treasurer; Charles Langevin and Mrs. Louis Vincent.
Breiueries. — Leinenkugel & Miller. — This brewery is located on Duncan Creek, just outside the present city. It has been in operation since 1867, when it started in a small way, brewing about 1,200 barrels the first year. Now 7,000 or 8,000 barrels are annually produced. The company has forty acres of land with the numerous buildings connected with the establishment. The property is worth from §75,000 to $100,000. The bottling department puts up 100 barrels a month, making 16,000 bottles.
The Glen Mills. — These mills are now owned and operated by J. B. Kehl. There are six run of stones and five sets of patent rolls. 150 barrels of new-process flour are turned out daily, the barrels being made right there. This mill was operated by A. E. Pound & Co., from 1876 to 1878, since then by its present owner.
Star Flouring Mill, erected in 1879 on, Duncan Creek, by Barnett Brothers & McRae Brothers. In the Spring of 1880, Hector McRae became sole proprietor. The capacity of the mill is 100 barrels every twenty-four hours. It has two flour and one feed run of stones and one set of rolls. H. C. McRae also runs a door, sash and blind mill, with planing, etc. Ch. M. Prentice operates the mill as a partner; employs thirty men.
The Anchor Consolidated Gold and Silver Mining: Company, incorporated May 18, 1881. Directors and officers—L. C. Stanley, president; S. B. Strong, vice-president; V. W. Bayless, treasurer; L. W. Waterman; L. M. Newman, secretary. The company has a mine in Tombstone, Ara., which is being actively worked in paying rock.
SUMMARY OF EVENTS.
The following compilation of important events is made from newspaper files, record books and other sources, and is intended for reference.
During the Fall of 1863, a new wagon road, to the Flambeau, was completed.
Some time that year, William Jay Whipple let go of the Chippewa Union and Times, and J. M. Brackett took hold of the concern.
In August, a plan was agitated, of so improving the falls that rafts could pass down. Adin Randall was interested in the project.
Gen. Warren and a corps of assistants, during the Summer of 1865, made a survey of the Mississippi, taking in the Chippewa. $60,000 was expended in the enterprise. During the Winter of 1866-7, there was considerable suffering among the Chippewas, on account of the excessive rain having spoiled their crops.
April 1, 1866, Mr. Waterman sold his hotel on the corner of Bay and Central streets, to Frank Pitman.
A Lodge of Good Templars was instituted on the first Saturday in May, 1866. First officers —O. H. Stilson, W. C. T.; William Sapp, P. W. C. T.; E. Wood, W. Sec. Small-pox prevailed to the extent of twenty-three cases and three deaths, in 1866.
Base ball struck the Falls in 1867, so that a club was organized— Theodore Coleman, Pres.; A. Taylor, V. Pres.; Th. McBean, Sec; E. P. Hastings, T.; O. H. Stilson, Cor. Sec. In 1868, a band was organized, with George Spencer leader. June, 1868, a new bridge was placed across the creek, near Mr. Allen's residence. The lumber trade at the Falls, in 1868, was—lumber, 30,448,627; shingles, 13,422,000; lath, 5,398,000. A great fire occurred on Wednesday, February 24, 1869, having caught in a building owned by Thomas Phillips and occupied by B. F. Carpenter. The total destruction of property was $75,000; among the losers were Mr. Marriner, Th. Phillips, Mrs. Bell, T. L. Halbert, T. W. Martin, Martin & Swan, E. E. Wood, Th. Hutchinson, Pound, Halbert & Co., Stiles & Collins, and several others.
In May, 1869, there was a big jam of logs, up the river, estimated at 100,000,000 feet, representing 100 acres of sawed timber, piled twenty feet high. It finally gave way and came down without loss.
Late in the Summer of 1869, a new road to the woods was laid out.
On the 1st of January, 1870, Col. George C. Ginty began the publication of the Chippewa Herald, a paper which has since been noted for its fairness in all respects. A stage route was started to Augusta, to connect with the railroad completed to that point.
The first charter election was held in January, 1870. James A. Taylor was elected Mayor; Thomas Morris, Treasurer; John Hall, City Clerk; Police Justice, P. H. Foster; Attorney, William R. Hoyt; Assessor, J. E. Pierce; Chief of Police, Frederick Hoenig; Street Commissioner, Louis Nado; Justice, C. L. Dennison; Surveyor, R. Palmer; Constables, Louis Vincent, H. Stanley, N. King. In January, 1870, a new bridge, across the Chippewa, was completed, twenty-five feet above the water, twenty-three feet wide, and 860 long, at a cost of $43,500. C. B. Coleman was the contractor.
Col. G. A. Henry was appointed agent by the Interior Department, to look after the trespassers on the pine lands. August 25 and 26, 1870, there was a heavy rain and a great flood, entailing heavy losses. The boom of Mitchel & Clement, Hodgins & Robertsons, Gilbert & Brothers, on Yellow River, went out. A large amount of damage was done.
The Methodist Church was dedicated on September 18, 1870. Gen. S. Fallows was present.
In September, 1870, steps were taken to organize a a National bank.
October, 1870, a steam fire engine was procured for the city. J. A. Taylor, chief engineer.
The Union Lumber Company, for the season of 1870, took rafts down the Mississippi River, containing 2,300,000 feet of lumber, 100,000 lath, and 40,000 pickets. Such a raft would cover four acres, and was worth $40,000. In January, 1871, telegraph communication was opened with the rest of the world.
November 22, 1871, there was a grand opening of the Tremont House, a large and elegant well-furnished hotel, since burned. A pleasant party assembled, with distinguished guests, supper, toasts and speeches.
Old Settlers' Re-union. On the 19th of December, 1871, an old settlers' re-union was held at the Falls, embracing the pioneers of the Chippewa and St. Croix valleys. The company was welcomed by H. S. Allen and J. M. Bingham. The response was made by Hod. Taylor.
At the election in April, 1872, the county decided that the bridge over the Chippewa should be free.
August 23, 1872, the Catholic Church was dedicated with imposing ceremonies. Bishop Heiss and other distinguished priests were present, and participated in the event.
October, 1872, there was a fearful tornado up the river, levelling every thing in a tract a mile or two wide. The court-house was built in 1872, at a cost, all told, of $70,000.
The Chippewa Falls & Western Railroad Company was organized in July, 1873. Thad. C. Pound, president; J. B. C. Roberts, vice-president; L. C.Stanley, secretary; D. E. Seymour, treasurer.
In September, 1873, the county voted on the question of issuing bonds to assist the Chippewa Falls & Western Railroad. It was decided in the negative, the Falls and town of Anson only voting for it.
January 26, 1874, the Tremont House was burned. The building cost, with the furnishing, $150,000; was insured for $55,000.
On the 2d of February, 1874, a meeting of citizens was held in the interest of building a bridge across the Chippewa, just below the Falls. Thomas F. Leavitt was chairman, and A. R. Barrows, secretary. This movement finally resulted in the construction of abridge at a cost of $27,000, the city furnishing $8,000.
During the Summer of 1874, a fine iron bridge was laid across Duncan Creek, on Central street.
In September 1874, a medical society was formed. Dr. A. McBean, president; Dr. Joseph Fortier, vice-president, who was also made secretary and treasurer.
A county medical society was organized in June, 1875. John A. McDonald, M.D., president; W.W. Bradeen, M.D., vice-president; George Riddell, treasurer; S. S. Riddell, secretary.
In June, 1875, the railroad to Eau Claire was completed, and the event was duly celebrated on the twenty-ninth. The committee of arrangements were George C. Ginty, A. E. Pound, H. C. McRae, T. F. Hollister and H. J, Goddard, and a committee of ladies. Hon. Thad. C. Pound was president of the day; A. S. Stiles, chief marshal. Gov. Pound was the orator for the occasion. He made an eloquent address, giving a cordial welcome to all who had come to this beautiful valley. Gov. Taylor was present; Mayor Ludington, of Milwaukee; John Nazro and Dr. O. W Wight; Gen. Atwood, of Madison; Judge Humphrey, Alexander Meggett and J. G. Thorpe, of Eau Claire; Charles R. Gill, Win field Smith, Lyle Mead, Sat. Clark and a large number of other distinguished guests, who very happily responded to the appropriate toasts offered on the occasion, among them a delegation of Chippewa Indians, who were in the procession, and excited much interest. They came down with their interpreters, expecting to have all their grievances attended to. It was estimated that 12,000 people were in the city, who were all cared for in a most hospitable manner. The procession was long and imposing, and the whole celebration was one worthy of the Falls, and reflecting credit upon the committee.
The corner-stone of a new jail was laid July 25, 1875, and the following September the Central House was enlarged. In the town of Bloomer a mill was completed in 1875 by Smith, Brooks & McCauly. It was 32x50, four stories high, it had three Dayton wheels, and was first-class in every respect.
The advent of Leap Year, 1876, was duly celebrated by the ladies, with a supper and ball at Hook's Hall. It was a recherche affair. The floor managers were Mrs. B. E. Reid and Mrs. Thomas L. Halbert.
An ordinance was adopted in March, 1876, authorizing A. E. Swift and brother to construct gas-works in the city, to be completed by the 15th of October. In March, 1876, the new post-office was completed on Bridge street, and was occupied. It was provided with 848 common boxes and 116 lock boxes. The cost of the improvement was $1,500. C. M. Prentice superintended the work. H. S. Allen is entitled to great credit for his public spirit in thus providing; for the postal needs of the city. A soap factory was started in May, 1876, by E. W. Capron & Co.
July 22, 1876, the corner-stone of the school-house on the hill was laid. Rev. Dr. Goldsmith delivered an address. The contract for building it was in the hands of Mr. Cummings for $3,300.
In July, 1876, the Chippewa Herald procured steam machinery.
During the Summer of 1876, the St. Joseph's Mutual Benefit Association was organized; Dr. Alex. McBean, president.
In the month of October, 1876, 2,500 barrels of flour were shipped from the city. The taxes for 1876 were $35,- 995.I7.
In the Winter of 1877, the Wisconsin Legislature discontinued the State Road, laid out in 1864, between Chippewa Falls and Augusta.
A Wisconsin law in 1876 created a municipal judge for Chippewa County, and Henry Coleman was elected to fill that position.
A Juvenile Temple was instituted May 3, 1877, by Miss L. J. Robinson. Eddie Seymour was the first C. T.; Efifie Morse, V. T., and Mollie Buckwalter, R. S.
Up to 1877, as many as thirty different steamers had run on the river to the Falls.
The grist-mill belonging to H. S. Allen was burned in May, 1877, entailing a loss of $25,000.
A party of explorers from Madison, J. D. Butler and others, found a number of copper implements, tomahawks, spears, arrow-heads, etc., with fifty copper beads.
The O'Toole farm was purchased by the Supervisors in June, 1877, for $2,000, as a poor-farm.
The West Wisconsin Railroad was placed in the hands of a receiver, June 11, 1877. W. H. Ferry was the receiver. In the Spring of 1877, great excitement prevailed at the Falls and on the river in relation to the operations of the Beef Slough Company. Public meetings were held and steps taken to protect the lumbering interest.
The Chippewa Boom and Rafting Company was organized in October, 1877.
The first meeting held to organize an Agricultural Society was on the 14th of November, 1877. Col. G. C.
Ginty called the meeting to order. Capt. Wilson Hopkins, of Eagle Prairie, was chosen chairman, and T. J. Cunningham, secretary. A committee headed by Col. Ginty was appointed on organization, to report at a subsequent meeting. The organization was completed on December 11.
L. C. Stanley was elected president; Wilson Hopkins, vice-president; W. B. Bartlett, treasurer; and H. C. McRae, secretary, with a board of trustees.
A Temple of Honor was instituted December 11, 1877.
John A. McRae was W. C. T. There were thirty-seven charter members.
During the month of June, 1878, there was quite an Indian scare in the valley. A wild rumor that the Chippewas and Sioux had united to exterminate the white settlers of the valley was caused by the frequent meetings in war-paint and feathers to enjoy a new dance which had been introduced by a Cheyenne squaw on a visit.
The firemen went on an excursion to a tournament in Chicago, taking along the Chippewa Band, which had seventeen pieces, under the leadership of Fred Bonnell. This was early in December, 1878.
There came very near being a lynching in December, 1878. Frank Goodhue, an inoffensive young man, was foully murdered for $100, which he had in his pocket. Charles W. Chase was arrested coming to the Falls. A crowd gathered, took him from the jail, put a rope around his neck, but in the darkness he escaped, was recaptured and jailed in Eau Claire; and finally tried, found guilty, and sentenced to Waupun for life, narrowly escaping death from a mob the second time.
The Mechanics' Protective Association was formed August 27, 1879. A. R. McDonald, president; George Shannon, secretary; A. H. Cowles, treasurer.
A public meeting was held on the i6th of February, 1S80, to confer with a delegation from Eau Claire in the lumber interest. The leading citizens took part, and a general feeling was manifested that the two cities particularly should act in harmony in the management and development of the lumber business, and that no projects inimical to the prosperity of any location should be permitted.
There was a great flood on Duncan Creek, March 27, 1880. This was a local affair, but it carried down several bridges and two dams. Among these were the Glen Flour Mill Bridge. Bender's Bridge, McRae & Co.'s dam, and the one at the mouth of the creek that carried the machine shop. The loss to the city was $1,500, to individuals much more.
On the 8th of May, 1880, the bridge at the mouth of the Yellow River was carried away by a jam of logs. It was. built in 1873, by the towns of Anson and Sigel, at a cost of §29,000.
Another freshet on Duncan Creek occurred on the 4th and 5th of June, 1880. Mills were damaged, new channels cut, notably one near Mr. Allen's house, which left an unsightly cut with bare and jagged rocks. Dams, and even houses, were carried down stream, sweeping away the iron bridge on Central street, and leaving huge islands of gravel in mid-stream at several points. The damage was estimated at $20,000.
May 13, 1880, Gate City Council of Templars was formed. C. of C. J. A. Hamilton; Recorder, Andreas Sherry.
On the 11th of June, 1880, the Chippewa got on its periodical and resistless rise. Following an unusual amount of rain, the volume of water increased, and on the 12th, a jam of logs which had accumulated four miles above the falls, gave way and came thundering down, the river was a surging, tumbling, struggling mass of logs. Some time in the forenoon the logs all got by. About noon another rush came from a jam on the Yellow River. The river rose to sixteen feet above low water; at dark the river had risen two feet more. The rushing, maddened torrent was awful in its terrifying grandeur. About 10 o'clock at night the upper bridge could stand the pressure no longer and gave way. The collision against the lower bridge reverberated through the town, above the turmoil and roar of the surging waters. A few moments of awful suspense, and the center spans began to sway and surge and groan, and soon gave way, leaving the two western spans standing. These started to join their companions at 8 o'clock on Sunday morning. The other span stood fast until Monday, when that too joined the procession in its aqueous march to the Sea. That day a re-enforcement of logs from Little Falls Dam came down. The Chippewa Lumbering and Boom Company's logs and works accepted the inevitable and were swept down with the current. The buildings near the river south of Bridge street were in great danger of being washed away.
A large force of men were set to work with brush, sandbags, and all available appliances, and it was not until after forty hours' labor that the danger was passed. By Monday afternoon, the waters began to subside, having been up twenty-four feet. The Chippewa L. & B. Co. had 40,000,- 000 and lost 25,000,000. It cost $10,000 to put the mill running again. The loss on bridges was $60,000. Fortunately, no lives were lost. July 15, 1880, P. M. Purtell, of Milwaukee, received the contract for rebuilding the lower Chippewa bridge, for $10,848.
J. W. Howieson was awarded the contract for replacing the Spring street bridge across Duncan Creek.
After the flood, a free ferry was started, but it was made a toll ferry on the 15th of July.
A new free ferry was put on higher up the river on August 6th.
A connection was made with the Wisconsin Central at Abbotsford, November 22, 1880, and regular trains began running between St. Paul and Milwaukee via Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls.
Decoration Day, May 30, 1881, was observed with more than usual preparation. Gen. Sheridan was present. Gen. W. D. Whipple, and other distinguished guests. Hollon Richardson was chief marshal; Lt. Gov. Bingham, orator; Rev. Dr. Goldsmith, chaplain.
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