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Langlade District No. 1, (Pickerel)
Joseph M. Jackson, bringing with him his worldly possessions, came to Langlade County from Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin, in 1873 and settled on section 7, township 33, range 13 east. He cleared a little space out of the forests and before long a comfortable home was erected. Following him Thomas Simons, a native of Mary-Machee, New Brunswick, Canada, settled on section 7 in the year 1878. Three years before, in 1875, James McCloud, a native of the state of Maine, came into this country famous for its pine forests and settled on section 6. Len Clark, another "Maine stater," settled on section 5, on land purchased from the government at $1.25 per acre, in 1880. John Attredge, Canadian, settled on section 7 in 1880. Henry Chase came the year later from Maine, settling on section 7. The same year Timothy Connell, another Maine native, settled in section 7. In 1882 George Gilmore settled on section 7. James Campbell came to the district in 1883 and settled on section 5. He came from Canada.
The first school was erected in the pine wilderness on section 7 in 1873. It was built by J.M. Jackson at a cost of $100. The lumber for its roof was hauled from Shawano, over the military road. Miss Ida Norton was the first teacher. Others were Parker Ross, Hattie Kittell, Henry Strauss, later a prominent Democrat in Langlade County politics, and Mae Beaudette. The 1921-22 teacher was Berdetta Lutterman. The 1922-23 teacher was Ione Preston. The average enrollment at this school is 25 pupils.
The members of the first school board were Timothy Connell, George Gilmore and Henry Strauss. The old log school was used until 1893, when a frame building was erected on section 7 at a cost of $1,000. Michael Hafner was the first teacher in the frame school. The old log cabin stood for many years, "an idle beggar sunning." In 1915 the frame school was replaced by a modern structure erected by C.F. Dallman.
Present industries in the district are: Charles Jackson store, W.K. Harper store, pickerel Cheese & Butter Company cheese factory.
The 1921-22 school officials were Robert Brown, Clerk; William Buckman, Director, and Charles Jackson, Treasurer.
Agriculture and lumbering are the principal industries of the district. Large areas of timber are located in this region. The land is rolling and in some places hilly.
Langlade District No. 2 (Lily)
Some of the first settlers in District No. 2 were as follows: S.A. Taylor settled in 1881, David Edick settled in 1881, Louis Pendleton settled in 1882, and left hotel where Lily Post office now stands. Ed. Schultz settled in 1883, Charles Walsh settled in 1888, and kept store for sometime, Stephen Austin settled in 1881, Thomas Kellogg settled in 1879. A. Smith settled in 1885, William Priem settled in 1895, Allen Taylor settled in 1884, Robert Gilray settled in 1899 on the Allen Taylor farm, William MacGee came in 1885.
Louis Pendleton, Robert Gilray and William Priem are still residing in this district.
The country at that time was very densely wooded, and had but few clearings. Logging was the chief occupation.
The farm implements at that time consisted chiefly of axes and grub hoes.
Most of the buildings were log houses or square rade unpainted frame houses. The old Smith house is still standing and is owned by Harvey Larzelere.
The early settlers went to Shawano to market which was fifty miles away. They went there once every month for supplies. There were no exports at that time. Everything raised was consumed on the farm. Horses were used to convey the goods. The road was called "The Military Road," and was built in 1867.
The road to Antigo was not built until 1888. The bridge across the Wolf River was built in 1882. An iron bridge replaced this one in 1912. The iron bridge across the Lily River was built in 1912. The first dam keeper was Mr. Willet.
The first piano in this country was owned by S.A. Taylor, the first organ by Robert Gilray.
There were no churches and are none now, but services are held in the District School once a month.
The town was called "New" at first but later was changed to Lily by S.A. Taylor.
The onld school house was log and is still in existence, standing on the bank of the Lily River near the bridge. The first teacher was Miss Lily Dempster. She had but seven pupils. The second was Miss Helen Gelispa.
Before the school house was built the people hired a teacher by the name of Miss Penworden to teach their children. She had school in the hotel and had but four pupils. The salary paid the teacher at that time was between $35 and $49 a month. At present it is $50 a month.
The second school house was a pretty little frame building built about one-half mile from Lily post office. This building is still standing at one side of the school ground.
The last school house is a large brick structure built in 1913, at a cost amounting to about $5,500. It consists of a teachers room a long hall, two large school rooms, and a large cement floored basement. This school has a brick furnace. It was built for a two roomed graded school, but as yet there are not enough pupils to hire two teachers.
This school building is a model school building and is considered one of the finest district schools in the state.
The two school rooms are connected by rolling partitions. The floors are maple and the wood work is of the finest grade of solid oak. The blackboards are slate set in frames which may be moved if desirable. The windows are made of fancy glass, consisting of three different parts. The top part consists of glass cut in triangular shapes, the middle of glass cut in squares and the bottom of glass cut in rectangles running lengthwise of the window. This makes the school room look nicer and more inviting. The whole school is plastered and painted. The ceiling is of a cream color, the walls from the ceiling half way down are a pale green and from the middle of the walls to the floor are painted an orange brown.
The school room now being used has a large eight octave organ, a teacher's desk, a small book case, and a number of maps and charts.
Leading up to the school house is a wide cement side-walk. In front of the school are small shade trees while in the back are forest trees. The contractor of the school was C.F. Dallman of Antigo.
The village of the district is called Lily. It consists of a store, hotel and post office combined, and run by William Priem, a saloon, a barbershop, a blacksmithshop, a town hall and four dwelling houses. It is situated at the joint of two rivers, the Lily and the Wolf.
The exports today are cream, butter, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, hogs, cattle and sheep.
The Wisconsin Northern Railroad Company has a line through here which was completed about August 1916.
A number of years ago Ed. Schultz ran a mill about two miles above Lily, but it burned down recently and was never rebuilt.
About thirty years ago a cyclone passed through this country spoiling a great deal of timber (mostly pine.) Since then maple, basswood and elm have been leading woods.
The school district and surrounding country are very beautiful. The village Lily is in a valley completely surrounded by very high hills which in the winter are snow capped and in summer are very green and beautiful, and look like heavy forests.
The wild animals found in this country are deer, wolves, fox, bears, rabbits and squirrels. The fowls found are wild ducks, geese and partridge.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
This district is situated in the North Langlade township. The principal village is Lily, thriving little hamlet at the junction of the Lily and Wolf rivers, section 27. It was settled by the first pioneers to come into Langlade township. Ammesey (Amasa) Smith came to the district from New York state in 1876, settling first at Lac Vieux Desert and then at Lily. S.A. Taylor came from New York into this then unsettled territory. Steven Austin, T.D. Kellogg, Henry Tourtillotte, David B. Edick, Ed Schultze, Napoleon Moran, John Moran, Wren Taylor, Duke Dalton, Israel Stinson, Allen Taylor, Robert Gilray, Nicholas and Jerome Winton, George Truesdell, Louis Pendleton and Henry Mason were all pioneers not only in this district but in the settlement of Langlade County as a whole.
The great pinery of the Wolf river country was the attraction that brought these hardy folks into the dense wilderness that stretched for miles on both sides of the roaring, foaming and picturesque Wolf river.
The first sawmill in the Lily district was erected by Thomas M. Dobbs, in 1882. Mr. Dobbs, pioneer sawmill owner in Langlade County, moved his mill to Lily from Dobbston (Markton) where he had established it in 1873. In that year 1892 it was moved to the south arm of Post Lake. Dobbs moving to Antigo to engage in a business. (He later moved to Price township).
J.E. Schultze and Allen Taylor moved the old John Evans sawmill, erected years before on the Evergreen river banks, to Lily in the winter of 1895 and located it on section 27. It operated until 1915.
William and Herman Haenke moved a mill into the district from Polar in 1916 and after operating it for two years sold to Chris Wunderlich of Antigo. The mill closed in May, 1922, following the death of its owner.
Lily district is located on the famous Military Road and the old stopping place erected by Ammesey Smith in 1876 was the scene of many pioneer activities. The long herds of cattle, often driven from Shawano to the copper regions of Michigan, slowly trod this important highway. Their herders, stopping on the way, fraternalized with the dam tenders, timbermen, Indian traders, prospectors and river drivers. This was a country close to the throne of the Almighty. Man in his mad quest for wealth and power, had not begun to despoil it.
On section 15 of North Langlade township, David B. Edick kept a stopping place for Timothy Craine, lumberman, who was active in timber operations in the Wolf river country for many years.
Henry Ball and sons came to Lily from Shiocton in 1881 and erected a general store on section 27. They had their supplies and merchandise in the Amessey Smith place in September, 1881, when the historic cyclone of that year went through eastern Langlade County. They operated their store until 1888, when Charles and Jesse Walsh came from Black Creek, Outagamie County, and took over the business. They moved to Antigo after seven years and June 5, 1895, the store was taken over by William Priem, who has a general store at Lily now. At the time William Priem came to Lily, Israel Stinson had a little store there.
The first school in the district was a one room log cabin erected on section 27. Miss Dempster was an early teacher. This school was used for a short time until a frame structure was erected on section 34. The frame school was used until 1895, when a second frame school was erected. The second frame school was used until 1914, when C.F. Dallman, Antigo contractor, erected a brick structure on section 34 at a cost of $4,600.
The old frame school was purchased for $100 by William Priem, July 6, 1914.
The Lily school is a state graded school of high rank. The 1921-22 officials were: Director, George Getchell; Treasurer, Roy Larzelere; Clerk, W.W. Clark. Mrs. Robert Dewey was Principal and Miss Nellie McDougal, assistant instructor, in 1921-22. The average enrollment is 55 pupils.
Lily has had a number of postmasters, as follows: George Taylor, Sim Ball, Wren Taylor, Israel Stinson, Charles Walsh, William Priem and Osca Tourtillotte.
Turtle Lake is located on section 28.
Before the spur track was laid from Bryant to Kent it was difficult for Lily settlers to get to Shawano or Antigo. This was also before the universal use of the automobile. The year 1914 brought the Wisconsin & Northern Railroad into the district, opening up to the outside world the resources of the country. In 1921 this road was purchased by the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad. Extensive improvements are contemplated and before many years the main Soo line will pierce eastern Langlade County. Lily has a depot erected in 1919 on section 34.
From the day when the red man using his bateaux on the Wolf or portaging about its rapids, on through the years of pine timber conquest to the present day of the prosperous farmer, the modern automobile and speeding locomotive, the Lily or the village of New, as S.A. Taylor once named it, has lived on. Its years in the unknown tomorrow may be for bigger and better things.
Langlade District No. 7 (Elm Grove)
Although a few settlers were living here before this time it was in the year 1908 that this district was formed. As there were several children of school age during this year the settlers found it necessary to establish a school which lead to the formation of the district. It was called Elm Grove after the beautiful park which is located to the right of the school house.
The land formerly belonged to the Pickerel, Kent and Lily districts. It was settled by Germans, French and Kentuckians.
Mr. Strauss, who migrated to this country from New York, was the first settler. In a little log hut many miles away from any other person he made his new home some sixty years ago. Here he traded with the Indians for their furs, giving them in exchange a few trinkets. Later he served on the County Board.
The next settler was Dave Getchell, coming from Canada. Mrs. Christ Priem was next. Since then the population has increased considerably, its present population being forty-eight. Most of the other settlers came from Kentucky. There are nineteen and a half square miles in the district although only a small portion is under cultivation.
The boundaries of Langlade County are Oneida and Forest Counties on the north, Oconto County on the East, Marathon and Shawano Counties on the South, and Lincoln County on the West.
Sheep and cattle raising are profitable also and carried on to some extent as the district abounds in good wild pasture land.
In the winter months lumbering is the most important industry on account of the valuable timber which still covers great tracts of land. The river is in a very convenient locality and the logs are driven down the river to the sawmill where they are converted into lumber.
The total valuation of the land at the time the district was formed was about $250,000. Since that time much of the timber has been taken off, lowering the valuation in some places while other lands have risen in value on account of their improved condition. There are as yet no corporations formed.
The railroad does not pass through the district, the nearest railroad station being about a mile and a half distant. Good connections can now be made to Antigo, Shawano or Crandon, the shopping places of the settlers.
The old Military Road passes through the district and is kept in excellent repair by the county. This road was laid out by the government during the time of the war. It was then little more than a trail and was used by the soldiers in making their weary marches. The road now, and especially in the summer months, is very good and the heavy timber along the road makes the drive through the district a pleasant one.
The post office is located at Lily, which is about a mile and a half away. The mail is not delivered but must be called for.
The Military Road Telephone Co., which is operated by Morse and Tradewell of Antigo, has its lines through the district so that the farmers along the road have this convenience, of which they are all taken advantage of.
The railroads had preceded the settlers to this country so that no hardships were suffered by them in coming. Of course homes were not waiting for them when they got here, but nothing daunted and they made themselves rude houses of logs in which they spent the early years.
After their homes were built the settlers began clearing the land for their crops of the coming year. This consisted of a few vegetables and grains. Most of the work was done by hand and only the rudest of implements were used in farming.
Life looked nothing too bright in these years and many were the hardships suffered before the farms looked as they do today.
The amusements were few and far between. The pleasantest times were usually had when the people congregated in some house, the evening to be spent in dancing and talking. These gatherings were the life of the community and were enjoyed by all.
Harvesting was also made a merry time and many were the husking bees held. Now with all modern conveniences at hand the question of miles is not considered and movies and other entertainments can be enjoyed by all who care to participate.
For a period before and while the school house was being built classes were held in the home of Christ Priem. One room was used as the school house, the teacher at the time being Myra Wheeler. As only members of the family were at that time of school age, no inconvenience was suffered. In 1908 the school was completed and equipped with all necessary things. Articles were added from time to time. The latest purchase was a piano.
Last year one of the settlers suffered a severe loss when his home unexpectedly caught fire, burning to the ground. Few articles were saved. Insurance covered part of the damages which helped the settler to get a new start.
Bad storms are frequent and usually someone is left a little the worse by them. Last March a terrific windstorm which lasted only a few minutes, blew hundreds of trees down destroying much valuable timber.
Hard times have been suffered by all and are too numerous to mention. One year it was the frost that killed the crops, another a blight, the third year something else and so it continues, each suffering at his turn.
On the whole the district is very prosperous, its industries are thriving and it is a peaceful, healthy community.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
The pioneer settler of this district was "Old Dutch Frank," whose identity has been shrouded in darkness. He was in the district in 1863 and operated a mail headquarters on section 17 at the place since known as the Strauss Crossing. He was followed by Henry Strauss, who came from Menominee where he had operated a sawmill. Strauss, with William Johnston as a partner, settled in 1867 in the district. He traded with the Chippewa Indians passing through the country over the Wolf river trails and became known for miles around as a friend of the Indian and a shrewd trader, fur buyer, trapper and scholar. Henry Strauss purchased the "Old Dutch Frank" place.
Henry Stauss and "Old Dutch Frank" both secured their merchandise and supplies from Henry Andrews, who was in charge of the government store at Keshena in 1863-68. The old crossing known as Strauss' Crossing can still be located on section 17. Trees, wild vegetation and grasses have long since erased from the view of the passerby for all time most of this historic and picturesque site of a romantic and stirring chapter in Langlade County's pioneer history.
The old Lake Superior trail, mail route from Green Bay, Shawano and thence to the state line, wound its solitary way through the district. In 1886 the sturdy mail carrier, who often rode many miles, fording steams and climbing treacherous hills, was discontinued.
David Getchell, pioneer, came from Waterville, Maine, in September, 1872, and settled on the historic section 17. Here he has lived since on the north bank of the rumbling Wolf river, that defies man and time as the settler of today becomes the pioneer in passing years.
The settlers in Elm Grove district are few. The school was erected in 1908 by F.F. Arndt at a cost of $1,089. The first school officials were Mrs. David Getchell, Clerk; Christopher Priem, Director, and Herman Seidler, Treasurer. School was held before the erection of the school house at the residence of Christopher Priem for a year and two months of the second term.
Settlers in this district are: David Getchell, who has since 1900 operated a sawmill on the banks of the Wolf, section 17, Mrs. H. Armstrong, Earl Dalton, Sam Elliott, Charles Hoffman, Chauncey Ennis, Ed Schultz, John Taylor.
Agriculture is the principal industry.
Rev. C.D. Griese, Lutheran Pastor of Polar, visits at Lily every month and settlers of the Lutheran faith from this district attend his services.
There are no churches, cemeteries, cheese factories or stores in the district.
The 1921-22 school officers were: Mrs. C. Priem, Clerk; Charles Hoffman, Treasurer, and Sam Elliott, Director. Teachers in the district have been: Myra Dempster (first), Clara Johnson, Clara Monette, Madge Cecil, Harriet Kohl, Maud Smith, Alfreida Bruss, Flossie Robinson, Elizabeth Folk, Irma Vorass and Audrey Schoepke. The school is located on section 16.
Langlade District No. ?, (Freeman)
According to a book written by Lisa Haefs and Jeff Winter it was located near the Lily School and was operating in 1932. And that there was discussion then when the Lily school burned in 1932 about consolidating Lily, Freeman and Elm Grove schools. A different source said Freeman consolidated with the Pickerel District. No other written history article about this district has been found. Further research is needed to clear up this confusion. A populated place named Freeman can be found on topographic maps at the intersection of State Highway 52 and County Highway "A". 45.350° N and 88.829° W.
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