History: Spencer Harness Shops
Surnames: Davel, Langton, Prehn, Utter, Habeck, Sersch
----Source: Spencer Centennial Book, 1874 – 1974 (Spencer, Marathon County, Wis.) page 75
An essential item in the early years was the harness for the horse. They were needed to hitch them up to pull the plow, wagon and other necessary rig for transportation purposes. Therefore, there was a great need for harness shops not only to purchase new harnesses, but to also have them repaired.
John Davel who was listed as the first Spencer “Boss Harness Maker” advertised December 23, 1881. “Stock of double or single harnesses or can make one to suit.”
In years prior to 1900 C. E. Langton had a harness shop and in 1903 George Prehn also had a shop.
E. C. Utter advertised quite a variety of items in 1914: “harnesses, harness repair, bale ties, wagons, Scotch Slipper Steel Plows, pumps, wind mills, tinner furnished in connection.”
“Work harnesses – prices right and guaranteed to give satisfaction.” This was in the Spencer Record in 1917 for the Spencer Harness and Shoe Shop, owned and operated by Oscar Habeck. Because this also was a shoe shop, he advertised “Particular Shoes to Particular People.”
According to information from Paul Sersch, who still specializes in horse pulling events, you now have to travel to Athens or Medford to get new harnesses and supplies. At Route 3, Medford, the “Shrock Harness Supply,” makes all types of things, including dog collars, and he still uses gas engine powered equipment for making his production.
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