The Willard, Wisconsin Community 



Above picture was taken about 1913 and shows a group of men the afternoon when a lost boy was found. You can note the bloodhound and the car which belonged to Dr. F. A. Beckman, a former Greenwood doctor.


By Jess Scott


Although some religious services were held in Willard starting in 1908, the first church, a Catholic Church known as "The Holy Family Catholic Congregation of the Town of Eaton, Clark County, Wisconsin". Was organized in 1910. The congregation was of Slovenian background and it is remarkable that more than 80 percent of the members of this church, today, are Slovenians. And, all pastors of the church, with exception of the present one, Father William Nikolai, were Slovenians.


It was on Oct. 21, 1910 Holy Family Church was incorporated. The meeting was held in the public school, which had been erected a few years earlier. At the organizational meeting Ignac Cesnik was elected temporary chairman, Joseph Kavsnik was elected secretary: Frank Lesar, treasurer. In the voting to select a name for the congregations. "Holy Family" was chosen from a group of three suggested names.


During the period 1909-1912 Sunday Mass was celebrated in the school building. On Oct. 24, 1910. Bishop James Schwebach of La Crosse approved the request of Father Henry Boeckman to form a new congregation at Willard and on Nov. 10, 1910, Holy Family church was registered as a corporation of Clark County and the State of Wisconsin.


From 1909 up to 1914, many Slovenian families acquired wooded areas in the Willard area. All were young married men and women 25 to 30 years of age, strong, full of life and with will to work. (Continued next week.)


Contributed by Mary Urban; prepared by Crystal Wendt & Pat Phillips



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel