Bio: Bissell, Walter Henry (1858 - 19??)

Contact: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

 

Surnames: Bissell, Bradley, Ross, Yawkey, Alexander, Boardman, Gamble

 

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

 

Bissell, Walter Henry (28 July 1858 - 19??)

 

WALTER HENRY BISSELL, of Wausau, one of the best known citizens of Marathon county, and one whose name is closely identified with the great lumber industry both of this and other states, was born at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, July 28, 1858, a son of Leonard C. and Cornelia (Bradley) Bissell.

  

Leonard C. Bissell was descended from a line of New England lumbermen. He came to Fond du Lac from Connecticut in the forties and built the first steam saw mill ever operated there. In 1861 he returned to Connecticut and enlisted in the Union army, serving until he was discharged on account of total disability, being practically disabled for life. In 1868 the family returned to Wisconsin and it was in the saw mills of that state mainly in Fond du Lac that Walter Henry Bissell and his three brothers were trained to their life work.

  

Mr. Bissell's boyhood was not one of leisure, his duties beginning early even while attending the district school, and by the time he was thirteen years of age he was considered old enough to provide for his own support.  He began in the mill as errand boy and by 1872 was bookkeeper. In 1877 he entered the employ of the Ford River Lumber Company, at Ford River, Mich., where he remained until 1883, when he returned to Wisconsin as manager of the Brooks Ross Lumber Company, then operating at Schofield. Five years later he became manager and secretary of the Wisconsin Valley Lumber Company, and in 1893, in association with John D. Ross, he organized the Ross Lumber Company and established a large plant at Arbor Vitae, which is still operating, cutting Wisconsin pine.

 

In 1905 Mr. Bissell in association with C. C. Yawkey and Walter Alexander, organized the Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Company, which acquired a tract of pine timber in Vilas County with mills at Arbor Vitae and at Hazelhurst. It is undoubtedly true that the limits of pine timber are receding: it could not be otherwise when enterprises of so extensive a character as those mentioned are yearly expanding. With the foresight that his thirty years of experience in the industry have given him, Mr. Bissell has to a large degree provided for the day when white pine can no longer be cut in Wisconsin and he and his business associates for the past ten years have interested themselves in the almost inexhaustible pine timbered lands of other sections, particularly Mississippi. In recent years the Wausau Southern Lumber Company has established a plant, with modern equipment, near Laurel, Miss., which promises to open up an almost unsettled region, bring prosperity to that section and for many years provide one of the necessities of commerce, a fine quality of pine lumber. Of this company Walter Henry Bissell is president, and his brother, S. B. Bissell, is treasurer. His financial and official interests are numerous and among these may be mentioned: the Wausau Lumber Company, of Rib Falls, Wis.; the Bissell-Wheeler Lumber Company of Marshfield, Wis. being president of both concerns; is secretary of the Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Company, of Arbor Vitae, Wis.; is a director of the Marathon Paper Mills Company, of Rothschild, Wis.; a director of the National German-American Bank of Wausau, and a director of the Great Northern Life Insurance Company, of Wausau.

 

In 1880 Mr. Bissell married Elizabeth M. Boardman, of Ford River, Michigan, who died in 1897, and by whom he has two sons and three daughters: May, who is the wife of W. W. Gamble; F. K., who is connected with the business of the Bissell-Wheeler Lumber Company at Marshfield: J. M., who is superintendent of the Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Company, of Arbor Vitae: Katherine and Margaret who still grace the Wausau home. In April, 1898, he married Miss Grace Gamble at Wausau, in which city he continues to reside. One son has been born to them, Walter Henry, Jr., now attending school at Wausau. Mr. Bissell and family attend the First Presbyterian Church at Wausau. He is a Mason of high degree, a Knight Templar and Shriner. His social relations are with the Wausau Club and the Wausau Country Club.  

 

----Source: Marshfield Herald  4 Aug 1927  Section 1  P. 1 C 5

ANNUL MARRIAGE OF WALTER H. BISSELL

An order annulling the marriage of Walter H. Bissell, Jr., son of a wealthy Wausau lumberman, to Elizabeth Bissell, formerly Miss Elizabeth Kennedy of Hinsdale , Ill. , was entered in the upper branch of municipal court of Marathon county last week Thursday by Judge Louis Marchetti.

The annulment was granted on the basis that Bisselll was intoxicated at the time the marriage was contracted and did not know what he was doing.

A few days after the wedding ceremony was performed in Rockford , Ill. , on May 15, Mr. Bissell went to his home in Wausau and Mrs. Bissell went home to her parents.  They have been separated since.

Mr. Bissell and Miss Kennedy were widely known at the University of Wisconsin , where the latter was a student last year.  Mr. Bissell did not enroll for the 1926 term.

 

 


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