History: Badger Mills, Chippewa County, Wisconsin
Contact: Stan
Email: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

Surnames: De Marie, DeMarie, Thomas, McCann, Willis, Wells, Willis, Sothmayd, Coleman, Allen, Thompson, Morris, Ganthier, Bradeen, Vincent, Gregg, French

----1881 History of Northern Wisconsin, pg. 226 - 227


This place, on the Chippewa, about six miles down the river from the Falls, was formerly called the Blue Mills. The first mill built here was by Arthur McCann and J. C. Thomas, in 1843.

McCann had married Rosalie De Marie, and kept a public house at Dunnville, down the river. He was shot by a fellow by the name of Sawyer, who had been employed by McCann and Thomas in building the mill. Steve S. McCann took his brother's interest in the mill. Mr. T. E. Randal subsequently owned the mill, or an interest in it, and his logs were all swept away in the freshet of 1847. The mill is now owned by the Badger State Lumber Co. The mill has one gang, one rotary, and a shingle-mill. The capacity is about 10,000,000 feet a year. There is a general merchandise store in the place, carried on by the company ; a school house is also also used for stated Methodist preaching. There are about thirty families, and seventy-five men are employed by the company, making a total population of 175. There is a station on the railroad between Eau Claire and the Falls, near the village.


Z. C. WILLIS, farmer, P.O. Cook's Valley, was born in Bennington, N.V., Dec. 12, 1831, and came with his father to Wisconsin in 1844. settling in Delevan, where he lived five years, when they removed to Marquette County. Mr. Willis, with Mr. Jacob Cook, came into what was subsequently called Cook's Valley, in Chippewa County,-in 1858, and the next year moved into the Valley, entering 160 acres of land where he has since resided—himself and Mr. Cook being the first settlers there. He was married in Bloomer, Oct. 26, 1862, to Miss Sarah 8. Storrs, of that place. Mrs. Willis is a native of Trenton, N.Y., born Oct. 29, 1834, and came to Wisconsin in 1847. Her parents, Calvin and Mary G. (Wells) Storrs, soon following. Mrs. Willis, on the maternal side, is a relative of Hon. Gideon Wells, as seen by the "History of the Wells Family." Mr. Willis' parents, Robert V. and Eliza Willis, at an advanced age, live on a small farm near their son. Mr. Willis has two children—Eugene Wells and Frederick Storrs, both born in Cook's Valley. Mr. Willis has 280 acres of land in his home farm, mostly under a good state of cultivation, and excellent buildings ; also a farm near by, containing 200 acres, all fenced, and half of it improved; and another farm of 160 acres, well improved, besides sixty acres of timber. Mr. and Mrs. Willis are charter members of Auburn Grange, No. 270, and the entire family are charter members of Cook's Valley Good Templar Lodge, No. 339.

A. R. SOUTH MAYD, farmer, town of Wheaton, came to Wisconsin in 1866, and bought present farm, which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. He has been prominent in the government of the town ; was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., 1821 ; married Aurelia H. Wightman, in 1856, in Allegany County, N. Y., of which place she is a native. They have one son, Frank M.


HARVEY P. COLEMAN.—Mr. Coleman came to the Falls in 1855, and died in St. Paul, where he had gone for medical treatment, on Saturday, Nov. 24, 1860. at the age of thirty-five, leaving a wife and one son. He was a man of strict integrity, good ability, enterprising, generous and genial—respected by all who knew him.

MISS LAURA ALLEN, daughter of Mr. H. S. and Mary Allen.— This young woman was twenty-three years of age at the time of her death, which was on the 7th of April," 1866. She was an amiable and capable young lady, beloved by all.

MILLER F. THOMPSON.—Mr. Thompson was a graduate of Ann Arbor, Mich. He came to the Falls in 1866, and went into business with A. K. Gregg, making a good strong law firm. In 1869, he was elected County Judge. He died March 2, 1879.

THOMAS MORRIS.—Mr. Morris was among the comer? of 1857. He was a genial, kind-hearted man, whose manly, open ways won many friends. He held various public offices, always discharging his duties in a faithful manner. At one time, he was City Treasurer. He died Nov. 3. 1872.

CHARLES COLEMAN was an early settler, a master mechanic, and superintended the building of the first bridge in Chippewa Falls. He had built many fine residences near Rochester, N.Y. He was ambitious in his profession, and went to San Francisco in 1874, and died on the 12th of September, the following year.

FRANCIS GANTHIER.—This man came with Jean Burnet, in 1837, and was steadily in his employ until in 188S, when Burnet died. He worked on the construction of the first saw-mill, forty-four years ago ; was always faithful, and secured the respect of all who knew him, for upon the labor of such men depends the prosperity of every community. He died on Sunday, Jan. 24, 1880.

DR. R. W. BRADEEN.—Dr. Bradeen was born in Porter, Me.; received his medical degree at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Me. He came to Chippewa Falls in 1874, and began the practice of his profession, and, as he confined himself to legitimate methods of making himself known, business was rather slow in coming; but as his value as a physician became known, he had plenty to do, and rapidly rose to a high rank in his profession. He was a thorough student and most competent physician and surgeon, a man of good conversational powers, a fluent speaker and possessed of general intelligence. His wife was Miss Mary A. Wood.

LOUIS VINCENT, born in Canada, February, 1833, when eight years of age was taken to Prairie du Chien, remained there twenty years, then came to Chippewa Falls. He was at the head of the firm of Vincent, Mandalert & Co. ; was president of the French Lumber Co. He was an honest and influential citizen, a member of the Assembly in 1877, Mayor in 1879. He left a much loved wife and six children. He died May 22, 1880, of apoplexy, at Manasha while there on business. The whole city turned out at his funeral.



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