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Janet Schwarze


Mrs. John Awe

The Town of Longwood was a part of Hixon as late as 1890. The exact date of its becoming a township is not Imown since the early records were lost in a fire that destroyed the home of A. H. McCarty—the son of John McCarty, the first Postmaster at Longwood. He had been appointed to this position by U. S. Grant in 18714. He was also the first Town Clerk of Hixon and held the office from l87S to 1886. Longwood was named after the tall timber that grew here.

The early settlers came from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and some from eastern United States. Early names include Ole Mathison, William and Byron Mead, John and Ed Sanders, Louis Jorgenson, Hans Jorstad, Ed. Smith, Joe Gibson and Louis Miller. W. H. Smith came to Longwood in 1881 and worked with his father in the hotel and in the pineries. He established a store in Withee in the late 1880’s. James Moody, a veteran of the Civil War, ran a logging mill for six years and served as Justice of Peace and Postmaster at Withee.

The first post office was south of Longwood on the present Bonczyk farm. The Postmaster at the time was a Mr. Sheldon. Later the post office was moved to the grocery store operated by Ben Andrews. Mail was hauled by stage between Withee and Greenwood. Geo. Meek, a Civil War veteran, came to the county in 1887 and served as a mail contractor and stageman on this line.

A hotel started by Harry Mead was across the road from the Town Hall. Besides Ed. Smith, Gilbert Mink also ran this business.

There were no roads so the people followed the Black River from Neillsville carrying their groceries. The Town Hall (still in use) was the meeting place for all social activities. The Ladies Aid held basket socials, oyster suppers, and auctioned off fancy work like quilts and aprons. Harold Jorgenson was the favorite auctioneer. During the winter they had masquerades and neighborhood dancing parties. Music was furnished by Tobias and Alvin Thorson, and Percy and Roy Clifton.

In 1886 the Black Smith Shop was owned by Anthony Barr. This was a popular, busy place in the logging and horse and buggy days. There was a creamery where the cheese factory is now. It was built by Ross Paulson and later operated by- Mr. Merrifield. Later the factory was operated by the farmers who hired Art Schulte and later Ben Doel for cheese makers.

In this -vicinity were three Withee families. William lived on the place now owned by Henry Luraas. The Stanley- Gresci-mer place was also a part of the Withee farm. A very popular race track was built on this farm in Long-wood by John Laneville, Ben Andrews and a Mr. Conrad. A part of this track may still be seen on the left as you leave Longwood and go east on Co. Trunk N. Theodore Withee lived on the Anthony Suda place in the Town of Warner. N. Haskell Withee lived at the site of the Clark Co. Hospital in 1896.

Mike Carlson’s saw mill was on the creek west of Longwood. Local men were employed there. There was also a boarding house. One of the ladies cooking there was Grandma LeGault whose grandson is Dr. A.

H. LeGault. There was a barrel stave mill on Highway- 73 on the creek north of Greschner’s farm.

There were two schools, one on the John McCarty farm, which was called the McCarty School. The other one was on the corner of Louis Miller’s land. The state graded school was built in 1904. This was combined with the Owen-Withee district in 1961.

The store burned in l9l5 or 16. The business was taken over by Melvin Erickson and Alvin Thorson and moved across the road into a former saloon building until the new and present store building was built.

There was a Methodist church east of the town hall. This too has been torn down.

The first threshing machine was run by horse power. Repairs had to be obtained in Colby. As there were only tote roads at the time this was a long journey-. People stopped at a place called “Half—way House” and spent the night there, continuing on the next morning.

The Lutheran Church was built in 1911 and was composed mostly of Norwegians. Now the services are in English and serve many nationalities.

Other families coming to Longwood in the late 1800’s were the three Ammentorp families, three Sorensons--Julius, Martin and Nels, Gunder Eide and John Awe.

Longwood on the old maps occupied a position equal with Owen, Withee and Thorp. It was a Post Office and important trading station in the early days. It is still a busy little center with a store, cheese factory, feed mill, town hall, church and school.

Taxes have changed. An old tax receipt for 1876 shows a tax of $12.73 was paid on 160 acres.


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