Bio: Plumer, Hon. Bradbury Greenleaf (? - 1886)





Surnames: Plumer, Clarke, Kickbusch


---Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.


Plumer, Hon. Bradbury Greenleaf (? - 22 July 1886)


Hon. Bradbury Greenleaf Plumer was another of the pioneers who came with the intention to remain and grow up with the country. He came from his native state New Hampshire in 1854, engaged in lumbering after his arrival, and after a few years acquired the Barnes mill and later the Lyman saw mill, which was situated on Plumer's Island between the Plumer and Clarke mill, a little south of both, receiving the water by means of a conductor from the mill pond.  


He was of sturdy New Hampshire stock, self-reliant, far-seeing, a man of big brain, self-willed, true as steel, yet tender hearted and sympathetic. He served with distinction in the Legislature in 1866, but later he was averse to office holding. As a mill owner he gave encouragement to men of small means to embark in the lumber business, and his saw mill did most of the custom sawing for smaller operators, partly because the mill was best adapted for that purpose, and partly because of the accommodations held out to them. Until the railroad came to Wausau and lumber had to be rafted and floated down the river, it was unprofitable to raft what was then termed "cull lumber,'' and as a rule, cull lumber was left to the mill owner, who took it instead of charging for the sawing of the same. It is safe to say that the cull lumber in those days was superior to the common stock today, and most of the buildings in Wausau were sheeted with cull lumber, the rotten part being sawed out by the carpenter's hand saw, and the rest was fine lumber. Farmers would come to Plumer's mill and buy a pile of culls in bulk, and take it home for houses and barns. With the German population he was immensely popular. He seemed to understand their native traits better than most Americans, and at their festivals he was always an honored guest.  


He looked forward to better booming facilities, and with that end in view created the Baetz Island boom, which was the most valuable part of the Wausau boom in after years. He also had confidence in the agricultural productiveness of Marathon County, and encouraged farming by helping them in many ways, and as one instance of his interest it may be said that he together with August Kickbusch gave the eighty acres of land as a gift to the Agricultural Society for the purpose of holding annual fairs thereon.  


This fair ground is the best and finest in the state, and steps should be taken to secure the same for all times to come. That was the intention of the donors, and now that they are dead and the society is incorporated, this important step should not be overlooked. Nobody can foretell what may happen in the far future, and it would be well if steps were taken to make another use of the fair grounds except for such purposes and impossibilities, guarding against any contingency which may in the future arise. B. G. Plumer interested himself in stock raising, and to further encourage farmers, imported a registered full blood "Durham," an animal which had taken first prize at state fairs, at great expense to give farmers an opportunity to improve their stock, of which many availed themselves.


In all public enterprises he was always in the front ranks. He was the most popular chief of the voluntary fire department, although or rather because he insisted on discipline and promptness. He was the principal stockholder in the Wausau gas works, which were erected in the year 1884, which shows that he was looking forward to the greater Wausau of today. His sudden death on July 22, 1886, cast a gloom over city and county, especially over the older German farmers who regarded him as their best friend. He died unmarried and a biography of others of his family appears in the sketch of his brother, D. L. Plumer.



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