The first school was
held in what is the wood shed of the White School. This was a term of three
months in the smmner of 1901 or 1902. The teacher was Lynn Joseph. The following
year the present school was built. The lumber was sawed and furnished by Robert
Vater who lived one-half mile west of the school. This lumber had to be hauled a
distance of 8 miles because the road west of the school was made impassable by a
creek. The lumber was hauled south along a logging road to the Murray (Andrew
Miller farm) farm then on through Frenchtown to Withee and north four miles to
the building site. The cost of the school was $1,000.00.
Arno Vater and John Hemminger were pupils in the new White School and are
residents of the district at the present time.
The school consolidated with the Owen—Withee district in 1960. The lower grades
are still taught there.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Vater are 92 years of age and celebrated their 68th wedding
anniversary on November 11, 1961.
The Chas. Andersons, whose home was directly across from the White School, moved
there as newlyweds in 190S. He had come at the age of 18 (in 1893) with his
parents from Racine. Mrs. Anderson came from Iowa. Mr. Anderson helped build 3
miles of County Trunk T south of the Taylor Co. line. Mr. Anderson is 87 and his
wife 81. They presently make their home in Withee.
Some early White School teachers were Alice Fisher, Mayme Hemminger, Edward
Jerry and Ida Funk.
AS I REMEMBER OWEN
Mrs. Wilbert Hansen (Eva Robinson)
We came to Owen in November 1906 by train from Eau Claire. The track passed
through Withee where it does now, then swung south of Sam Anderson’s buildings
and came into Owen north of the Western plant. It continued east to Curtiss and
Abbotsford which was the main line prior to the opening of the cut—off through
Atwood and Riplinger. In 1912 during the high water in the spring, freight train
#23 went into Black River because of the weakened condition of the bridge,
caused by the high water and the huge ice jam. (The forgoing incident was
recalled by R. J. Martin of Chippewa Falls, a retired fireman who worked the
railroads in this area for 50 years. He was engineer on No. 2 on its last trip
through Owen. He re-calls Jimmie Hansen, another railroad man who lived at
Withee (father of Emil Hansen of the Mercantile Store). A lot of stock used to
be shipped out of Withee and Owen before trucks took the business from the
At one time the train didn’t stop at Owen unless flagged. People had to get off
at Withee, so we were lucky that day. We stayed at a small rooming house run by
Mr. and Mrs. Roberts in the building that is now the Clover Farm Store. The
Woodland Hotel was under construction and my father had been here before we came
painting and varnishing it.
The two school houses were located just west of the County garage. Mrs. Grant
was my first teacher, I think. The buildings were moved east of the tracks on 29
and one is just east of Gummerson’s Implement Shop now.
A creamery was behind the County Garage for a few years, but it burned down.
The Owen Gospel Tabernacle was formerly a Blacksmith Shop, then remodeled for a
Roller-Rink. The ball diamond was about where Kralms live now, before it was
moved down town. I can’t recall any bleachers. Mrs. Hail lived where Bert
Cattanach does now and gave piano lessons.
The lumber yard stretched from Mauel’s Ice Cream plant to the mill pond. The saw
mill, planing mill and light plant were west of the mill pond which was full of
logs. At one time a rail road went out of Owen from Cranes into the north woods.
Another log railroad ran between Owen and Jump River via Polley.
The Fairchild and Northeastern R.R. made a round trip to Owen in the morning.
The tracks came in from the south between the Opera House to the Pickle Station
and crossed Highway 29 then ran along the alley behind Main Street. Griebenow’s
furnace shop used to be the depot. There was a turntable behind the Pickle
Station for turning the engine around. We kids played on it a gave each other
Louis Bulgrin’s building housed the Post Office, butcher shop, groceries, and
dry goods. It was called the “Company Store). The men got their checks at the
company office, if there was any-thing left after they paid house rent, food and
the wood bill.
The Company Boarding House was south of the Company Store for the men who worked