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Town of Parrish, Langlade County, Wisconsin
A Ghost Town of its former self.

parrish townhall
Parrish Town Hall
County Highway H, Village of Parrish (Old Parrish School)

parrish school

Parrish Continuation District No. 1 (Parrish)
Published in the Daily Journal June 14, 1921
By True Raess (Mrs. Robert Oldenberg)

The district of Parrish is located on the banks of the Prairie River, which at the time of the first settlement, was heavily wooded with virgin pine and hardwood. The woods wee wild and uninhabited by people. Some of the animals that were found here were bears, wolves, bobcats, badgers, otters, beavers, lynx, panthers, and deer. The roads were very bad. There were roots, logs, stumps, and "soap mines" over which the people had to travel. It is said that in going to and returning from a place the people would often have to push the wagon from one side of the road to the other in order to get by the trees.

Some of the first settlers who came to Parrish were Chris Callsen, Andrew Kuhl, and Willie Hollands.

Chris Callsen was a German who in 1885 came from Milwaukee to Dudley by train and from Dudley to Parrish by stage. He got forty acres of land in the southeast corner of Parrish at the foot of Camp One Hill, through a purchase from the Government. On this land he settled and established a saloon.

Andrew Kuhl was a German who in 1892 came from Grand Rapids, Wisconsin to Parrish by train, which took two days. He bought some land from the Bissel-Winton Lumber Company, on which he settled and used for farming purposes.

Wallie Hollands was an Englishman who in 1903 moved from Merrill to Parrish by team which took two days. He bought three forties of land from the Tomahawk Land Company on which he settled and used for farming purposes and on which he still lives today.

Parrish was named after a man by the name of Mr. Parrish who lived in New York City. He was instrumental in building the railroad which now runs into Parrish and helped to build the town.

First Lumber Company
The first lumber company located here was the Prairie River Lumber Company in which Mr. Brooks and Mr. Ross were the chief stockholders. There were no houses for them to live in so they had to pitch tents until houses were erected. These tents were located not very far from the present Hollands' farm.

A superintendent by the name of Jewell Edmond came here with a crew of men and built up most of the town. The north side was called French Town in which there were about thirty houses, and the south side was called Parrish in which there were about sixty houses, also the school house, the church, the Modern Woodman lodge, the store, and the office. The mill was located in the same place where it is at the present time.

Railroad Built In 1888
The first railroad was built in 1888 by a man by the name of Mr. Pratte and assisted by Mr. Parrish. The train used to run in here twice a day when the people got their mail.

Some of the chief occupations were farming, lumbering, and trapping.

Their method of hauling logs was by flat cars and teams, also by "peggy engines" as they were called.

The nearest neighbors to the settlers were Ponds, who lived about one and a half miles from here. They had no great hardships except that there were a few gypsies, Indians, and transients, who were very peaceable.

The people that lived here were very sociable. Their social gatherings were held in the school house because that was about the only place that they had in which to hold them.

Parrish is not at all like it used to be because there is nothing of the original town left but pine stumps and other small trees. Almost all of the houses are located on the south side.

There was a much larger and nicer school house built in the northeastern part of town in 1917. The old school house which was moved from the south to the north side and which was remodeled into a house burned down in February of the present year.

There was also a planing mill built since the first settlers came here, which is owned by the Hurlbutt-Tillman Lumber Company and in fact all of Parrish is owned by that corporation.

It is being planned that a railroad shall be built from Rhinelander to Parrish which, if it is realized, may make Parrish grow to be quite a prosperous town.

left to right: William Weeks, Raymond Oldenberg, Roy Oldenberg,
James Fox, Edward Shepard, Robert Oldenberg, Jesse Fox
William Weeks and the Oldenberg Family are relatives of the Webmaster.

Parrish Continuation District No. 1, (Parrish)
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..." (Town of Summit)

The village of Parrish is situated in the extreme northwestern part of Langlade County, 32 miles from Antigo, County Seat. It is in the heart of one of the great lumbering regions of pioneer days, and in fact is yet important because of that industry. It received its name in honor of Judge J.K. Parrish of the 10th Wisconsin Judicial Circuit of 1889.

Jule Edwin, first settler, located at the site now used as a hotel by Andrew Kuhl. Mr. Edwin erected the first store in the village for Brooks & Ross Lumber Company. Mr. Edwin was followed by Andrew Kuhl, who because of permanent residence has been termed the first permanent settler.

While the Brooks & Ross Lumber Company had their extensive lumber operations in the region Parrish became a thriving settlement of fifty-eight families. In 1888 it was divided into three districts consisting of French, German and Swedes. These sections were known as Frenchtown, Germantown and Swedetown. Frenchtown was located north of the Prairie river, while the other two groups lived on the south side.

The first school district was created in 1890. The school, a frame building, was erected on the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 19. Miss Ruschlow was the first teacher. Among the pupils were Margaret De Horn and Annie Kuhl.

With the construction of a track from Pratt Junction to Parrish contact with the main route of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad was made possible. Parrish thrived for years during the pine timber conquest. It declined from then, however, until 1904. The Parrish Lumber Company, owned by J.O. Hollis and L. Krueger of Wausau, gave employment to many people. C.O. Robinson once was interested in the concern also. The Hurlbutt-Tillman Lumber Company now operate a mill, general store and a planing mill in the village. Floyd Hurlbutt is in active management.

The Parrish school is one of the best in the county. Three teachers are employed. The 1922-23 teachers were the Misses Ethel Gallop, principal, and Gerda Tiller and Elna Augustead, assistants.

Elm City, Lincoln County, is located near Parrish. An old sawmill site is the only monument left as a memory of that place. The great sawdust pile, reminiscent of an industry that has passed, is covered with wild plants and good sized threes are growing at its top.

The soil adjacent to Parrish consists of Gloucester fine sandy loam and Gloucester sandy loam, rolling phase. This district is hilly and rolling generally.

Parrish district consists of sections 1 to 24 inclusive and the north halves of sections 25 to 30 inclusive, all in North Summit township (Township 34, N., R. 9 E.)

The Prairie River Lumber Company saw, planing and shingle mills were erected in 1888. Barney Daugherty had charge of constructing the mills and George F. Rice supervised the work. The sawmill was 120x67 feet, had two band saws, one of which was a combined band and rotary saw. It also was equipped with a gang edger, a slasher and trimmer. Lumber capacity was approximately 90,000 ft. per day, 125,000 shingles per day and 25,000 lath per day. D. McGillis was the first manager. The mill first opened February 18, 1889.

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