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Peck Town Hall
Corner County Highway C and Ormsby Road
Peck Fire Dept.
Corner County Highway C and Ormsby Road
Peck District No. 1 (Badger)
Badger District was once a part of the town of Ackley, later Vilas and last town of Peck, which was organized in 1891, when Peck was governor.
Some of the oldest settlers were Mr. Stimpson. Nelson Shanks, Mr. Sym, Mr. Fenton and Mrs. Johnson, all of whom had homesteads excepting Mr. Vaughn. None of these are living here at present.
At first the mail was brought from Merrill which at that time was called Jennings. Later they brought their mail from Morley and then from Ormsby. Now we have a daily mail route running from Deebrook, making a circle and returning again to Deerbrook.
A mill was built at Ormsby and that is why so many people moved into this district.
The first school was built in the southern part of the district across the road from the present one only nearer the corner and then one was built in the northern part of the district.
In 1908 the school house was permanently built in section seventeen, township thirty-two, range ten east. The description of our district is sections one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and the north one-half of sections nine, ten, eleven and twelve of township thirty-two, north of range ten east.
The reason for changing the boundaries so often was that more people moved in and therefore the district became smaller.
The supplies in earlier days had to be drawn on an ox cart or toted in from Merrill or Jennings. Later they brought them from Antigo and now from Ormsby, Deerbrook and Antigo.
Before very little clearing was made, but now many farms are springing up and the lumber industry is not as popular as in earlier days. Dairying and a little lumbering are the chief industries now, although they raise some potatoes, sheep and a great deal of hay.
We have tractors taking the place of horses and many people are beginning to think of improvements. Many farmers have cars and the roads are a good deal better.
Alfalfa is grown and silos are being built.
Our school house is most healthfully equipped; single seats, ventilation, drinking fountain and sink.
Our school and district take part in the Town of Peck Fair. We have entered the cow judging contest and received the first and last cup. The first cup we can keep but the second cup we must win two more years in order to keep it.
The present officers are Director, Mrs. J. Walker; clerk , Mrs. Christensen; treasurer, Charles Shanks.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
One month after the first election in Peck township the entire township was divided into four school districts. District No. 1 created May 8, 1891, originally consisted of all of sections 1 to 8 inclusive, and the north half of sections 9, 10, 11 and 12, Township 32, Range 10 East. By redistricting, establishment of joint districts with other township sections the district has been gradually growing smaller, until now it consists of sections 4, 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, the N 1/2 of sections 19, 20 and the W 1/2 of section 16 or eight sections. The Badger district, situated in the northwestern part of the township comprises an area of 5,120 acres. The last territorial change in the district was made in 1914.
Before the arrival of the first white settler in Badger district Indians used the primitive region as a hunting and camping ground. Their trails crossed each other in various parts of the wilderness. Hunting the bear, the fleet deer, monarch of the north forest, the lynx, wildcat, wolf or wild fowl was their chief occupation. The adjacent streams afforded fishing for the impulsive red tribes. But just as the Indian was pushed westward from that moment when the Pilgrims first trod the soil of Massachusetts on that memorable December 21, 1620, so too his unchallenged reign of this county saw its ending when the first settlers arrived in 1876. They came from New London, Wausau, Merrill and other adjacent cities. Z. Space and P. Fryer, prominent in early Peck township activities, were the first settlers. They were followed by Jos. Parfitt, Peter G. Beck and E. Whitney, who came in 1879. Oxen teams were used and the journey to the district, unmarred by the hand of white men, took many days. The roads were poor, swamps were crossed and Indian trails were followed. Tenacity, courage and persistency were typical characteristics of these first settlers and the majority who followed. Like General Grant, they "did not turn back," but faithfully forged ahead.
Cabins were erected in the wilderness. Journeys for provisions were made with the slow oxen to Wausau, the village of Antigo or to Merrill. Most of the longer trips were made in the winter and the supplies for many months were thus brought to the pioneers.
The first school in this district was erected in 1886 on section 20. Here the children of the early home seekers acquired the foundation for their future education. The first school term was six months. As in most districts the salary averaged $25.00. The log school of pioneer days was called the Beck school in honor of P.G. Beck, First Peck township Chairman.
In 1908, a frame school was erected on the southwest corner of section 17, near the M.E. church. It is a splendid school building, well equipped and a credit to the progressive district. The 1921-22 teacher was Miss Howe. Many of the children in the district attended schools in other districts before the erection of the present school, called "The Badger."
The first silo was erected by O. Anderson in 1920.
The district is actively interested in community fairs and grange leadership. The first Langlade County township fair was held in the fall of 1914 at the Badger school.
Forest Grange No. 615, Patrons of Husbandry, was organized at the Badger school February 18, 1914. Meetings are still held the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the school. The first officers were: Master - J.K. Walker; Overseer - Olaf Anderson; Lecturer - Alex Henry; Steward - Arthur Berg; Assistant Steward - Wm. Walker; Chaplain - Mrs. Alex Henry; Treasurer - John Christenson; Secreatary - J.P. Cleary; Gatekeeper - Lawrence Nelson; Ceres - Eleanora Greenland; Pomona - Mrs. Jenny Greenland; Flora - Amelia Engeles; Lady Assistant Steward - Rose Christenson.
Present officers are: Master - Harvey McKinney; Overseer - Mrs. J.W. Walker; Lecturer - Alex Henry; Steward - Carl Strum; Assistant Steward - Harold Mosherosh; Chaplain - Mrs. Harriet Henry; Treasurer - Mrs. John Christenson; Secretary - John K. Walker; Gatekeeper - Emery McKinney; Ceres - Lina Fischer; Pomona - Gladys Lloyd; Flora - Blanche Holmes; Lady Assistant Steward - Alice Walker;
Highest membership was attained in 1916 when seventy members were on the roll. It is now about sixty strong.
The M.E. Church, a frame building, and an acre cemetery are located in the SW 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of section 17.
District No. 1 has splendid promises for future development in agriculture, roads, community service and general public advancement.
Section No. 1 of Peck Township is a part of Joint District No. 1 of Neva, and is found under Neva township. Sections 5 and 6 are found under the Upham township subdivision, Joint District No. 2 of Upham and Peck.
Peck District No. 3 (Friebel)
The Friebel district No. III, Peck was organized in 1876, or forty-five years ago. The first school officers were as follows: Clerk, Mr. Harder; Director, Mr. Tinney; Treasurer, Mr. Friebel. The first school house was built where August Lensing's field is now, near the river. The first teacher was Miss Jetson, and she had a homestead near Ormsby. She only received twenty-six dollars a month. She received an order from the school clerk, and received the money from the town treasurer.
The school house was just a log shanty. They used a box beater to keep the building warm. They only had benches to set on. The pupils had only a few lessons for there were few books to be had at that time.
The first settlers were as follows: John Tinney, Harder, Jetson, Friebels, and after this came Jane DeMoss and Ficks. Tinney came from Virginia. From Virginia to Wausau they came with oxen. It took them eight weeks to make the trip. From Wausau to this district they came with a boat. Harders came from Hogarty, Friebels came from Green Leaf, Wisconsin. They came in a freight train and it took them two days to make the trip. They also had four children who came with them. There were two girls and two boys. They lived in a village and wanted to go on the farm, that is the reason Friebels came. Harders settled where August Koch is, Tinneys lived where Rassmussens now live. Jane DeMoss lived where Bures live.
When the first people came there were not many roads. There was a road from Merrill to Deerbrook. It was not a very good road for there were logs and stones in the road. They only had a foot bridge across the river and they drove their oxen through the river. The first settlers had a few chickens, small tools, oxe and some had a cow. The first crop which they raised was good but not very much of it. The farms were small and they could not raise very much. They harvested their grains with a cradle. After Friebels had lived here about three years they had scarlet fever, and lost their two boys. This was their first sickness.
Later the people built another school on the opposite side of the river. Other settlers were John Wagner, Pillars, Mike Churney and Messrs. Kauschinger and Helmbrecht. Pillars settled where Goodman's now live. Helmbrechts still live where they first settled. Moss Hawley settled where the cheese factory is and Kauschingers still live where they first settled.
In 1896 Mattek built a small saloon where the cheese factory is. Later it was owned by William Wagner and C. Hawley. They also had a store.
The first bridge was built of logs. The people had to go by water to Wausau to get their food. It usually took them about a week to make the trip. Some more settlers who came later were Himiler Peterson, Wilfangs, Leidheisl and Gust and John Strandberg. Himiler still lives where he first settled. Leidheisl settled near Kauschinger's. John and Gust Strandberg live where they first settled.
Some of the later roads are the one past the school house, the one leading north and south and the other leading east and west.
They also built another school house and it is still in use. Later the school house was not large enough, and so another piece was built onto the south end. Some of the things they bought for the school were a large bell, an organ, seats, books, cupboard, book case, and a few chairs. After a while they made many improvements in the school.
Later some people built a lath mill where Kums now own land. It was in use only a few years when a large forest fire, which was common in those days caught the lath mill afire. In a very short time it was burned to the ground.
A new bridge was built where the log one was. It is still in use. Some of the older settlers who moved away were Handers, Mike Churney, Jane DeMoss, Jetson, Pillars, Wildfangs, and John Strandberg.
At this time a band was organized. It was called the "Maple Leaf Band." Mr. S.Leidheisl was the leader of the band. The members were: Peter and Michael Helmbrecht, Charles and Frank Leidheisl, Ed Friebel, Ed Fick, and Evan Strandberg. Some of the members went to the war and then the band was broke up.
Rogers, another new settler, soon lived where Rassmussens live. They stayed there only a few years, then they moved to a different place. Some other settlers were Peter Loos, Rasmussen and Rogatski. Peter Loos lived near Leidheisl and then later they moved to Oregon. Rogatski lives just across from the schoolhouse. Rasmussens live where they first settled.
Edward Thomae bought the Wegner and Hawley Saloon which was not in use for many years. He then repaired it and used it for a cheese factory. It was a great help to the people.
More improvements were made in school. There were new maps, a globe, pictures and many other useful things. Later they had a patrolman who patrolled the roads. He was Mr. J. Wilson. His family moved near Kauschlinger's. They stayed that year and then moved to Antigo. After a while Mr. B. Goodman and family moved into this district. They came from one of the neighboring districts. The latest settlers at the present are Fredrich, Joe Minor and Wirtz.
Our present teacher is Miss Weix and this is her fifth term. There are thirty-four pupils going to school at present. Some new equipment received for school is maps, drinking fountain and some other things needed. For the school room there are seats, bookcase, recitation seats, teacher's desk, a table, maps, globe, drinking fountain, a large ball (?), pictures, cupboard, organ, and a stove. In the school yard there is a large tree and some flowers. There is also sidewalk leading from the gate to the school house and to the pump. The school officers at present are as follows: Clerk, Mrs. John Wegner; Treasurer, Mr. William Wegner; Director, Mr. A. Koch.
The cheese factory which was owned for about four years by Mr. E. Thomae was sold to Mr. H. Ehman.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
This is one of the oldest districts in Langlade County, being organized when this territory was a part of Lincoln County, long before it was organized as Ackley township, in 1876. The first settlers in this district trekked from Wausau, Green Leaf, Merrill, the state of Virginia and elsewhere.
Roads were a few in this territory before the '80's and for a long time after. A tote road ran from Merrill to Neva township territory near the Eau Claire river. This old road, barely passable, was used by some of the first settlers who homesteaded in this district. Pioneer settlers were: Herman Harder, J. Tinney, Moritz Friebel, after whom the school was named, the Jetsoms, Jane De Moss, Wm. Fick, Later settlers were: Martin Helmbrecht, M. Churney, the Pillar family, H. Ivan and Mose Hawley.
Following still later came John Wegner, Will H. Wegner, the Leidheisl family, the Kauschinger's, Petersons, and Strandbergs.
The first school, log cabin of the back woods type of frontier days, was erected on the banks of the Eau Claire river, section 27. It was used for a number of years when another school was erected just a short distance away on section 22. The present school, located on the east banks of the Eau Claire river, section 27, is a frame structure, erected in 1894. It is well equipped and cared for. An addition was placed on the school to accommodate the recent increased enrollment. Miss Jetson of Ormsby taught the first school. The 1922-23 teacher was Clara Wagner.
John Tinney, Herman Harder and Mortiz Friebel were the first school officials (long before present district was organized). The first officers of the district under Peck township were: C.H. Harder, Clerk; Moritz Friebel, Treasurer; H. Ivan, Director, elected in 1891. The 1922-23 school officers were: Herman Fredrick, Clerk; Bert Goodman, Director; and W.H. Wegner, Treasurer.
The first frame house was erected on section 22, and is now owned by William H. Wegner, present Township Chairman. This frame dwelling was followed by others and now most of the settlers have supplanted the log cabin with the modern farm home.
In 1895 W.J. Mattek erected a store on section 22. It was later owned by Edward Hawley who was associated with William H. Wegner. Improvements were made and the business flourished. It was later replaced by a cheese factory (1917) operated first by Edward Thomae. The latter was purchased by H. Ehlman of Birnamwood, who sold to Emil Bartz in May, 1922.
Among other industries of pioneer days was a lath mill erected on section 22 by H.C. Humphrey. It operated only a short time when a destructive forest fire ignited and burned it down.
The Eau Claire river (west branch) runs through sections 22, 27 and 28 in District No. 3.
Most of the roads are well maintained, the settlers are engaged in scientific farming, telephones are becoming more numerous, pure bred stock, better dairying methods, community social gatherings, and constant touch with Antigo, county seat, makes this a district of high standing.
It is now a marked contrast to that time in 1880 when boats were used to go down the Eau Claire river to Wausau and then oared upstream with a load of supplies; or to that period when the oxen waited outside of the log cabin while the early settler took orders from his distant neighbors for flour and foodstuffs which he planned to return to them from Wausau or Merrill. Little trading was done at Antigo then.
This district consisted of sections 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 36, when organized May 8, 1891. It has experienced changes many times since. Its territory now includes sections 12, 13, 14, 22, 23, 24, and the east 1/2 of section 28, the west 1/2 of section 27, the SE 1/4 of section 21, the NE 1/4 of section 27 and the north halves of sections 25 and 26. Its area comprises 5,440 acres.
Langlade County leads in grange activities. Important in the granges is the Riverside Grange No. 620 organized at the Friebel school with 44 charter members by John Wilde, State Organizer, February 22, 1914. The first officers were: Master, William H. Wegner; Overseer, Joseph Helmbrecht, Sr.; Steward, Louis Lensing; Assistant Steward, Charles Leidheisl; Secretary, August Lensing; Treasurer, Sebastian Leidheisl; Lecturer, Helen Friebel; Chaplain, Sara Lensing; Gatekeeper, Fred Fick; Ceres, Mrs. William H. Wegner; Pomona, Mrs. Jos. Kauschinger; Flora, Katherine Helmbrecht; Lady Assistant Steward, Esther Wegner.
One meeting each month is conducted during the winter, while sessions are conducted every second and fourth Saturday during the summer and fall. 1922 officers were: Master, August Lensing; Overseer, Joseph Miner; Steward, Amos Wagner; Secretary, William H. Wegner; Treasurer, Sebastian Leidheisl; Chaplain, Mrs. Joseph Kauschinger; Lecturer, Leona Kauschinger; Ceres, Marie Kauschinger; Pomona, Leona Helmbrecht; Flora, Verna Wegner; Gatekeeper, Louis Heimler; Assistant Steward, Joseph Kauschinger; Lady Assistant Steward, Gertrude Helmbrecht.
This organization is a potential force in community leadership.
Peck District No. 4 (Blue Bell)
The first settlers of this district were the Hotchkiss family, the Henry family from Canada, the Johnston family from Merrill, and the Fryer family. These families came to settle homesteads and have been here for forty years. Most of them are living here at present.
Some of the hardships endured by these people are almost unbelievable. Some people who had a few chickens for their use had some of them stolen and killed by chicken hawks, foxes and skunks. The mail came irregularly and sometimes not at all. These settlers had to live in rude log houses which usually consisted of one room which was a kitchen, bedroom and everything else.
A part of Langlade County used to belong to Lincoln County and the town of Peck was once the town of Vilas. The eastern part of Vilas had poor roads and the people of eastern Vilas complained of them and made a town by themselves. They called this town of Peck because Peck was governor at that time. The town of Peck in township thirty-two and range ten. It is composed of thirty-six sections. It was organized in 1892.
The children of these settlers of the town of Peck went to school in Vilas but in 1891 the town boards of Ackley and Peck called a meeting of voters in this district to elect a school board. The town board of Ackley was: Charles Nelson, W. Ackley and Joe Siota. Those on the town board of Peck were: H. Beck, G.F. Walch and Sidney Reodah. At this meeting George Hotchkiss was elected treasurer, Jonathan Reader was elected clerk, and G.F. Walch director. This meeting was held on May 22, 1891.
It was decided that they buy the school house in Vilas and move it into Peck and form a joint district between Ackley and Peck. The assets of the treasurer at that time were $403.27, of this $234.57 was spent for moving the school, $13.13 was spent for insurance and wood, and the wages of the teacher which was $120 a year or $10 a month. This left a balance of $35.07 in the school treasury. School was held six months.
Among the first teachers was Mrs. Johnson (formerly Miss Prosser) who lives with her brother, R. Prosser. Mrs. Johnson is now eighty years of age and Fred L. Berner was a teacher also.
The present school was built in 1907. To build this school one thousand dollars was loaned from Wisconsin. The contract for the school was given to John Cleary.
When the school was built the school district was changed, it no longer being partly in Ackley but all in Peck. The first teacher in this school was Miss Singer. Many things were done to the teacher by the big boys. One day they locked her in a cupboard. Another time they tied her to a chair and once they put snakes in the drawers of her desk.
Now the roads are kept in as good a condition as possible by scraping and filling up the holes where it is necessary. Many new settlers have settled and improved the district. The school is modern and the south side of the school is all windows to admit enough light into the room.
The farmers have automobiles and some have telephones and many other conveniences which they did not have before. The attendance of the school has grown from eleven pupils to forty-three.
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."
In the southwestern part of Peck township is an area of land consisting of six and one-half sections or 4,160 acres of land known as district No. 4 or the Blue Bell school district. It was first settled in 1877 by homesteaders. Among these early settlers were George Hotchkiss, Riley Mason, Mary Maltby, the Curtiss family, Wm. James, C.F. Balch, Mrs. Henry, Fadalis McCumber, the Johnston family, and the Fryer family. Then this was a vast territory, stretching north to the Michigan-Wisconsin boundary line and was a part of Lincoln County. All of the northern Wisconsin counties were very large in that period following the close of the Civil War.
The pioneer settlers were constantly facing crisis', almost unbearable burdens and hardships. Their homes were roughly constructed cabins. Two rooms in a farm home was considered very progressive for the period.
The first school was erected on section 31 on the old Maltby homestead location. It was used until 1883 when another building for school purposes was erected on the Yopes farm property, section 31. This school was used until 1891 when it was moved to section 32 where it now is used as the farm home of one of the settlers.
In 1909 a modern school was erected by J.P. Cleary on the northwest quarter of section 32. It cost $1,000.
On the McCumber old homestead, a general store and post office were operated for a number of years as Morley Post office. It was then moved to the present site of Morley. W.J. Morley, Oshkosh lumberman, was the proprietor of the store. The old building still stands.
Average attendance at the Blue Bell school is forty-three pupils. Mrs. Johnson (formerly a Miss Prosser) was an early teacher. Miss R. Singer was the first teacher in the new school. The 1921-22 teacher was Bessie Augustyn.
Members of the 1922-23 school board were: J.P. Cleary, Director; Mrs. John Zirkel, Treasurer, and Ludwig Strum, Clerk.
District No. 4 was organized as a joint district May 8, 1891. It consisted of sections 1 and 2 of Township 31, Range 9 East, sections 4, 5, and 6, Township 31, Range 10 East, and the south one-half of the north west quarter of section 30 and all of section 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, Township 32, Range 10 East (Peck).
Peter G. Beck, G.F. Walch, and Sidna Boda were the township supervisors of Peck and Charles Nelson, W.L. Ackley and James Siota were the Ackley township supervisors who sanctioned the organization of this district.
New settlers are still coming into this district. The chief occupation is agriculture. Antigo is the principal trading center.
The first district school officers elected were: Jonathan Reader, Clerk; Carl Yopes, Treasurer, and G.F. Walch, Director. They were elected in 1891.
August 17, 1892, the school term was designated at six months. The old blue school house of district No. 4 of Vilas was moved to Peck township, having been purchased by the people of this district. Their children heretofore had attended that school, but it was too far for them to walk every day.
On September 17, 1906, this district ceased to be a joint unit with Ackley and became a complete Peck district. July, 1908, it was decided to erect a new school on the northwest corner of section 32.
Peck Joint District No. 5, (Rosedale)
On July 30, 1906, this district was organized as a distinct school unit, including territory of both Ackley and Peck townships. That part of Peck included in this district consisted of the south half of sections 25, 26, the southeast quarter of section 27, the southeast quarter of section 33, sections 34, 35, and 36. East Ackley territory in the district included the north 1/2 of section 1, all of sections 2, 3, 4, and 5. Nelson Shanks, p. Greenland and William Fick were then supervisors of peck township and Charles Nelson, F.G. Kennedy and R. Yonkee were representing Ackley township.
No changes have been made in the district with the exception of the southeast quarter of section 25 and the northeast quarter of section 36 of Township 32, Range 10. This territory was added to Joint District No. 3, Neva and Peck townships, August 24, 1914.
This territory was originally a part of districts 3 and 4 as created May 8, 1891. When district No. 5, Joint, was organized the territory was taken from District No. 3 of Ackley and District No. 4. Of Peck. Michael Kennedy and John Hafner represented the Ackley school and Willard Lloyd and H.W. James represented the Peck school at the negotiations.
Before the district was organized the children attended the Friebel and Longfellow schools.
The first school board in this district consisted of James Shopbell, H.J. Richey and W.J. Diamond, Director, Treasurer and Clerk respectively. James A. Barker, A.L. Hayner and T. Johnson were Clerk, Treasurer and Director in 1921-22.
The first school in this district was an old store building which was used until 1906 when a modern school was erected at a cost of approximately $1,600. In 1906 $375 was set aside as "teacher's yearly salary" for the ensuing year. Early teachers were: Nellie Kevan, Josephine Cook, Agnes Singer and Nannie Maloney. The 1921-22 teacher was Miss Sylvia Chadek.
The land used for school purposes is one acre leased from H. Fosterling.
Early settlers in this district were H.J. Richey, Vohun Yonkee, R. Yonkee, H. Fosterling, Goettlib Walch, William Klaves, W.J. Diamond, James Shopbell, and others.
In this district was once an extensive prairie where a Chippewa Indian settlement was located. This is within the memory of white settlers who established in the township in pioneer days. The Indians hunted and fished nearby. They left proof of their existence by burial mounds, utensils and arrow heads which are frequently found.
Ray Walch and A.L. Hayner, settlers in this district, were selected as members of the original Langlade County Board of Education in 1915.
The district has annual exhibits at the school. They are educational and instructive.
A M.E. church is established in Rosedale.
The Eau Claire river (east branch) runs through the district.
The district is principally an agricultural one. All farmers are progressive, have excellent farm buildings and excellent soil, all of which speaks well for the future.
Peck District No. 6, (Ormsby)
This district comprises a small area of land situated in the north central part of Peck township. The first settlers were Orvis Vaughn, Barney Brennan, Wm. Ormsby and R.C. Brown. Mr. Ormsby, after whom the post office was named, came to this district from Milwaukee. Associated in his work with him was R.C. Brown of Oshkosh. They formed the Northern Woodland Company and in 1900 erected a sawmill on section 16. The mill was used until it burned in 1912. This original company, by reorganization, became the Union Lime Company and then the Ormsby Land & Timber Company. E.P. Hoeft, Ormsby, is the resident manager of the concern. H.R. Swanke of Tigerton, Wis., is his associate.
The first school was erected in 1906 and G. Deirlein was the first teacher. Other early teachers were Martha Petrofsky and Blanche Nelson. The last teacher was Stella Jacobus, school having been discontinued since 1920. The frame school, section 16, was built in 1906.
Present industries at Ormsby are the general store, hotel and blacksmith shop of the Ormsby Land & Timber Company. The first postmaster was Henry C. Eickert, also the first store manager for Mr. Ormsby. E.P. Hoeft was the last postmaster.
The Ormsby Land & Timber Company has four hundred acres of good land under cultivation in this district.
The track from Kempster was laid to Ormsby in 1900.
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