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Village of Phlox,
Town of Norwood, Langlade County, Wisconsin

all right hotel
Main Street in early Phlox showing the All Right Hotel

History of Phlox, Wis.
Published June 17, 1921 in
The Antigo Herold Newspaper

Although the year 1876 may properly be classed as pertaining to more modern times in the history of Wisconsin the population of southeastern Langlade County, in which is now situated the historic village of Phlox, covered to very little extent the vast stretch of forest lands lying at the head of those rivers which converge toward Lake Superior and the Mississippi River. At that time in order to open up this vast territory, however, the government made liberal concessions, donating free homesteads to those hardy spirits who were willing to put up with the almost countless difficulties, it was necessary to overcome in establishing a satisfactory home on the frontier. Notably among the early pioneers of this section, who were the means of locating and establishing several new counties in this undeveloped portion of the state, were Messrs. F. Deleglise and Joseph St. Louis. The former penetrating that region from Wausau, where he had been previously established, made his way to a point northeast, where is at present the city of Antigo. The year following, Mr. St. Louis established a colony at Phlox. Once started, improvement followed upon improvement, the hardy settlers associated with the undertaking of clearing and settling the land for miles around. They also cut a roadway through the timber to a point called seven mile wood, making the matter of ingress and egress for those who came to inspect the property much easier and at the same time practical for the conveyance of large loads. In 1877 matters progressed so favorably that the little village had 12 families. In 1878 Rev. Father St. Louis came from Little Chute to the Phlox settlement and repeated his visit in 1879. Phlox thence became a mission of Father St. Louis' from his parish at Menasha. In 1880 five acres of land were donated by the citizens of Phlox to the Catholic church of the village. The first church was built of logs, 34 x 50 feet. In 1882 Father St. Louis, the pioneer settler, became the resident priest and Antigo was his mission.

In 1885 many immigrants from Bohemia and Steyermark, Austria, began to settle in the community. Today there are French, Hollandish and people of German descent in the community.

Forty-five years have passed since the trail was blazed by these hardy pioneers. Today Phlox is a bustling village, with a modern creamery, cheese factory, a Farmers' State bank, a large planing and saw mill operated by the Red River Mfg. Co., the All Right Hotel, owned and managed by John Matteson, the Phlox Hardware Company, the A.F. Schultz Creamery Company, the George Schleinz & John Van Ooyen soft drink parlors, N.M. Racine's popular place, W.J. Menting and Company's modern up-to-date garage and auto livery, the Geo. W. Geurtz Mercantile Co., Denkel & Moss, merchants, among others.

Highway No. 47 of the State Trunk Highway system runs through Phlox which is twelve miles from Neopit, four miles from Mattoon, approximately 32 mils from Shawano, the County seat of Shawano County, 24 miles from the Keshena (Indian) village and government reservation and 12 miles from Antigo, county seat of Langlade County.

Among the early settlers are: W.B. Dresser, retired citizen who has been prominently identified with the rapid growth of this section of Langlade County; John Matteson, Frank Bissonette, William Vahasselt, Joseph Marx, A.P. Menting, B. Berrendsen, Henry Harrison, John De Broux, the Geurtz family, Jake Hecker, J. Gessen and Charles Waldvogel. Still older residents are: Moses St. Louis, Frank St. Louis, John Bergeon, Albert Menting, Paschal Longlois, Louis Mongeon and Henry St. Louis, all of whom came from Little Chute.

Phlox has two schools, a parochal and public. Ninety children attend the former and about thirty the later. It has one church, St. Joseph's Catholic of which Rev. I.G. Schmitt is pastor. He is also pastor of the Mattoon Catholic church. Rev. Schmitt has been in the community for fourteen years and aided much in its development since. The Red River Mfg. Co. of which Charles Elsholtz is general manager, has an annual cut of two million feet of lumber. It employs thirty-five men. The mill has burned down three times. The first one was erected forty years ago. Lumber shipments are made via Mattoon or on the Wisconsin Northern, recently purchased by the Soo road. Rumors are to the effect that the road will run into Antigo and this if true, will be a big thing to that part of the county in its important relation to Antigo. (Webmaster's Note: Rails were laid in 1908 to within 1 1/2 miles of the village but then taken up in 1927.)

The present town chairman is Steven Palmer. Miss Marjorie Rief has charge of the public school during the past year. The Francisan Sisters in charge of the parochial school this year are: Sisters Electa, Ernesta and Cajatan. Eleven graduated from the 8th grade of the parochial school. The exercises will be held next Sunday.

George Geurtz in the present Phlox postmaster.

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