Property: York Twp., Heintown Store & Post Office
Contact: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

 

Surnames: Benedict, Gotz, Hein, Meyer, Schmidt, Sclaecklman, Seidelman
 

----Source: Tribune-Record-Gleaner-17-Jul-1975, Heintown Store & Residence photos contributed by Iris Keller, Wisconsin History Dictionary, Wikipedia, Family Records

 

As early as 1829 the subject of building a canal and improving the Fox and Wisconsin rivers to make navigable waters from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi river was agitated. In 1839 Congress made a survey; in 1846 it made a grant of land. When the state was admitted in 1848 the grant was accepted and a board of public works was appointed. Work begun, contracts being let for different sections of it. Dredges were in operation on the Upper Fox river; a canal with locks was constructed between the rivers at Portage.

Then the work languished as the sales of the lands granted fell off. In 1851, Morgan L. Martin of Green Bay made a proposition to continue the work, and accept the receipts for the sales of land as made, and take certificates of indebtedness for the balances due with interest at 12 per cent. When L. J. Farwell became governor he refused to issue certificates for the work. In 1853 Governor Farwell advised that, as the enterprise was in a hopeless state financially, it be incorporated as the Fox and Wisconsin River Improvement Company. This was done. In 1854 Congress made an additional land grant to aid the work. In 1856 the company had to reconstruct a portion of the work already done, but capital was scarce; and a little later eastern capitalists bought the enterprise and re-organized it as the Green Bay & Mississippi River Canal company. The next move was to sell out the entire enterprise, which had begun as a state venture, to the Federal government. In all 680,000 acres of land and two million dollars in money had been put into the enterprise with little to show for it except the few miles of canal at Portage and the improvements on the Lower Fox. The Federal government has latterly confined all its work to the Lower Fox river, and the trans-state waterway scheme has been abandoned.

 

The Fox–Wisconsin Waterway is a waterway formed by the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. First used by European settlers in 1673 during the expedition of Marquette & Joliet, it was one of the principal routes used by travelers between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River until the completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848 and the arrival of railroads. The western terminus of the Fox–Wisconsin Waterway was at the Mississippi at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. It continued up the Wisconsin River about 116 miles (187 km) until reaching Portage, Wisconsin. There travelers would portage to the Upper Fox River, or eventually, use the Portage Canal. It continued about 160 miles (257 km) down the Fox River, following it through Lake Winnebago and continuing on the Lower Fox over 170 feet (50 m) of falls to the eastern terminus of Green Bay.

In the mid-19th century, the waterway was improved with numerous locks, dams and canals, including the 2-mile (3 km) Portage Canal between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. All the locks were not completed until 1876, well after the Illinois and Michigan Canal and at the point where the move from canals to railroads was in full swing. Later development on the waterway introduced barriers to navigation, such as the dam at Prairie du Sac. Use of the waterway was never substantial and it slowly died out. The Portage Canal was closed in 1951 and most of the Upper Fox River locks and dams fell into disuse. The lock system on the Lower Fox River, from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay, was closed in 1983 to prevent the upstream spread of invasive species such as the lamprey.

The Fox-Wisconsin is no longer used as a transportation route between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. However, the various reaches of the waterway enjoy significant recreational use. Plans are well advanced for reopening the Lower Fox locks and dams.  Wikipedia

 

PICTURES FROM THE PAST--LIFE'S GALLERY

 

 Photo contributed by Iris Keller

      Heintown Store and Post Office

 

The Heintown Store and Post Office was located where the Robert Schmidt home now stands (written in 1975), about 6 miles south of Loyal, off K on the Heintown Road.

This store was built by John and Tony Hein, near their Stave and Heading Mill which was built in 1885. A boarding house was built just east of the Mill, and this was also run by them. About seven or eight houses were also in Heintown at that time.

                                The Heintown Mill [enlargement]

                                       Photo contributed by Iris Keller

Mail was brought from Granton and delivered to the Heintown Post Office, three time a week.

Eggs at the store were selling for three to six cents a dozen and butter cost eight to ten cents a pound. A spool of thread sold for two cents.

Boys from South York brought cider up once in a while, it was said, and then the young folks would have quite a time. The cider cost nine cents a gallon.

Most of the labor was brought up from Jefferson County. Labor was cheap in those days. John Gotz, one of the men who worked there recalled working 11 hours a day for thirty-five cents. Some others who worked there were William Seidelman, and Joe Schmidt. Some of the wives were also brought up from Jefferson County.

When the Mill was closed down in 1898, John Hein went to Neillsville where he built the North Side Store. (It is now vacant.) Tony Hein and the boys, Pete and Tony, went north to Rusk County, where they built another mill east of Ladysmith. The small town there was then named "Tony", after Tony Hein.

Some of the men followed to work there in the mill. One of them was John Goetz, who worked there for nine years for $1.50 a day. He was also married there.

Heintown Community & Residents

 

Logging Camp

 

Maud & Frances (contributed from Iris Keller from her Hein & Stafford family album)

After the Mill and Store closed in Heintown, Charles Meyer became the Postmaster for about two years. He also bought the Old Boarding House for $50 and moved it father east onto land he had purchased. The house was later moved to Loyal and is still standing.

William Seidelman bought the Store building, which he later cut in half and moved around to make an upright and eell (attic). The Seidelman lived there for years.

This house has more recently been torn down by Eddie Schmidt, and a new house was built on the site where his son and family now live.

Heintown has been recast, as has most of the other mill and lumber camps, into a dairy farming community. All that is left of those days, when this country was just getting settled, are the memories of the elderly, and the stories they have handed down. They are precious memories because we will never know those times again. (This picture is used by courtesy from Alfred Meyer, John Goetz, and Rollie Benedict).

                            1906, Sections 6-9, Map of Heintown, York Twp., Clark County, Wisconsin

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History: Heintown, York Twp., Clark Co., Wisconsin

 

----Source: Greenwood Public Library, original copy owned by Jean Rolstad

 

Surnames: Hein, Seitz, Schecklman, Meyer

 

Heintown was in an era of days gone by, but is still remembered by those who once lived near or in this village. Much has been heard of Heintown, but none was ever recorded in the history books.


Heintown was located 5 miles south of Loyal and to the west, or in Sections 5 and 8 in the township of York. It was once a bustling and thriving community with chief industry being a stave, heading, and sawmill owned and operated by John Hein and his son, Tony. This village was thriving from about 1885 until the turn of the century. While Heintown was thriving, there were many business enterprises located there, including, of course, the sawmill employing about 30 people, a general store owned also by John Hein, a boarding house operated by John Hein, a post office, blacksmith, the Crystal creamery, a cheese factory operated by the Seitz Brothers, a brick yard run by Norbert and George Sclaecklman, Charles Meyer, and George Meyer. Most of the people residing in the community lived in small tarpaper shantys along main street of Heintown, which had some wooden sidewalks. The residents had telephone service beginning in 1907, which was run from a switchboard in Wilcox, now known as York Center. Only a church and the Town hall remain of the town of Wilcox. Mail supplies were brought from Neillsville twice a week by stagecoach or supply wagon.


In about 1897, John Hein and family left Heintown for Deer Tail, a small town in Gates county now known as Rusk county, where they continued to operate a stave, heading, and saw mill. Very few of the original buildings of Heintown remain.

 

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Responses

Re: Property: York Twp., Heintown Store & Post Off

Does anyone know where the original of the store photo shown here might be? I'd like to get a real photo reprint for the Wisconsin Postal History Society......thanks. Christopher Barney

 

 


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