Search billions of records on
Antigo, Wisconsin Genealogy Gopher
City of Antigo and Langlade County, Wisconsin Genealogical Research Sources

Home > Civil Towns > Upham

face looking over break line

Town of Upham, Langlade County, Wisconsin

upham townhall
Upham Town Hall
N9575 County Highway B

summit lake school

Upham Consolidated District No. 1 (Summit Lake)
Published in the Daily Journal, May 28, 1921
Published in the Farmers Journal, May 31, 1921
By Irene Kunza

Summit Lake is in ranges ten and eleven township thirty-three, ninth congressional district and in the extreme northern part of Langlade County.

The first settlers came in 1881. They were Frank Schauer, Charles Gehrke, John Blotter, Mr. Cole and Mr. Stone. These people helped to build the railway which went as far as Monico.

The coming winter many lumbermen came here to log. Some of the companies were Lawrence Bros., Paine Lbr. Co., Smith Bros., Hansen Lbr. Co., and Getchell Lbr. Co. They didn't have very good train service so they used to haul their logs on the Hunting River. In the spring when the snow melted they formed drive crews, and drove them to Oshkosh. Their route was from the Hunting River into the Wolf, then into the Fox River and then into Lake Winnebago, where they were taken out and hauled to the sawmills. There was plenty of work around here at that time, but it was not densely settled as the people had to go to Wausau to get their supplies. In those days they only had oxen to haul with as horses were very scarce.

The Milwaukee Lake Shore built the first warehouse and first depot, so that made it more convenient for the settlers for the Chicago & Northwestern was first owned by the Milwaukee Lake Shore line. When they sold to the Northwestern the Northwestern built a new depot which is still the same one which we have, and it was built about twenty-four years ago.

The Smith Bros. Were the first to put up a store. This encouraged more settlers to come. There were about fifteen families here at that time.

First School House
Then they began to think how their children would get educated, so they got busy and built a frame school house, which held about thirty-five pupils, but at that time only twenty attended school. The old school house stood on the same lot where the present one now stands, only that it was built nearer to the road. It was heated by a box heater, and later they installed a heating plant. It was built in 1883. Miss Marie Finucane was the first teacher. She taught two years, then her sister, Carrie taught next.

In 1908 Mr. George Duler was town chairman and when the board met Mr. Duler made a motion that they should raise funds to build a larger school. The motion was carried and they began preparations for the present school. Dr. Kletzsch donated the lot for school grounds. They built a two room school, and two large play rooms in the basement besides a wood room and a room to install a furnace. The school now furnished books, ink, and writing material free. The old school house was purchased by the Lutheran congregation for a church.

Early Town Officers
The first town officers were George Jones, chairman, Gust Nichols and Joe Hufnagel were supervisors, assessor, Charles Shadewald; treasurer J.J. Hansen; clerk, Mike Hufnagel.

The town of Upham used to belong to the town of Summit. The town of Summit used to be composed of three townships. Then about twenty-five or thirty years ago the eastern part of the town of Summit became more thickly settled and it was set off by itself and contained two townships. It was named the town of Upham in honor of William H. Upham of Marshfield, who was a former governor of Wisconsin interested in lumbering operation in Northern Wisconsin. The town of Upham is in the northern part of Langlade County and is nine miles south of the boundary line.

Langlade County was named in honor of Charles Michel Langlade, a French Canadian trader whose parents were Indians. Langlade fought for both the French and English in early days, and in reward for services during the Revolution the English government pensioned him and made him Indian Superintendent with headquarters at Green Bay. He is said to have been an upright and amiable man, and is revered by many as the founder and father of Wisconsin.

Highest Village in State
The village got its name because it is the highest point in Wisconsin, and the lake being in the village limits, it was named Summit Lake. It is one thousand seven hundred and twenty-six feet above seal level.

The village was laid out by Mr. Frank Schauer who was then town chairman.

The town hall was built by Mr. Charles Kannenberg for a private home, and when he moved to Deerbrook it was purchased by the town for a town hall, which is still in existence.

Reminiscence of Indians
There used to be a tribe of Chippewa Indians here who camped by the lake in the summer time, and down by the Hunting River, which is two and a half miles from here, in the winter time. The white people used to be on friendly terms with the Indians and their children attended school. The Indians only stayed here for about two years. Their reason for leaving was because of their chief, named Indian George. Indian George stole some potatoes from John Blotter, a farmer, and when Indian George found out that Mr. Blotter knew that they had stolen the potatoes he thought he would seek revenge. One night when Indian George was intoxicated, and on his way home, he had to pass by Mr. Blotter's farm. He went to the house and seeing that Mr. Blotter had already retired, he tried the door and finding it was not locked he went in. He jumped on the bed and trampled over Mr. Blotter with his shoes. Another Indian who was with him tried to persuade him to go home, but he would not listen to him. Mr. Blotter had a faithful shepherd dog, and seeing that his master was in trouble, he jumped onto the bed and bit Indian George. This gave his master a chance to get away.

Mr. Blotter went to town the next morning and told the people that Indian George had attacked him the night before. When Indian George came to town some of the boys told him that if anything happened to Mr. Blotter, he would be held responsible. This frightened him, and he and his tribe left and did not return until five years ago. He looked up some of his old acquaintances and learned from them that John Blotter was dead. This is a true story, as Mr. Blotter was my grandfather.

Because of the beautiful lake many people come here to spend their summers. Later on they purchased the Point and built cottages.

Mr. Boucher, who came here lately, purchased one hundred and sixty acres known as the Lawrence farm, which is situated by the lake. He intends to put up about thirty cottages and a dancing pavilion for summer resorts.

The lumber business is now decreasing and people are buying the cut-over land for farms.

Upham Consolidated District No. 1, (Summit Lake)
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."

This is the principal commercial district in Upham township and is also the oldest in point of permanent white habitation. The village received its name from the track laying officials of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western railroad, who found it to possess the highest body of water in Wisconsin.

With the railroad came the first hotel and a number of homeseekers. W.J. Empey came from Elmhurst with the railroad in 1881. He conducted the first hotel in the village. Other pioneer settlers were: Frank Schauer, Charles Gehrke, E.S. Koepenick, George Bremer, Mrs. Elizabeth Kunza, John Miller, Frank Pillar, Henry Ebner, Peter Loos, Art nichols, Joseph Helmbrecht, Spencer Cole and Frank Schabel.

Lumbering was the principal pioneer industry. In 1884, Wm. Pool, associated with Smith Brothers of Oshkosh, erected a sawmill in the district. It operated until 1888 when it was moved to Jeffries, Wisconsin. Edward Baird started a saw mill in 1884, but it never was completed.

In later years the Paine Lumber Company and from 1915 to 1919 the Langlade Lumber Company had extensive lumbering operations in the district. They had many camps and a company supply station at Bass Lake. A post office operated at Bass Lake for a short time also. The camps and store are now located in Pearson, Ainsworth township.

The first store was erected at Summit Lake by Bingham & Perrin of New London, who acted as supply agents for the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western while track was laid in this vicinity. They sold in 1882 to E.S. Koepenick, who came to this village from Oshkosh.

John Gorman was the first Summit Lake postmaster. Others were: George Bremer, Mrs. Mary Sherman, E.S. Koepenick and Mrs. Elizabeth Kunza, present Postmistress. Smith Brothers, and a Mr. Phife were pioneer storekeepers, while Dan Hubbard was an early retail liquor vendor.

The first school was erected in 1882 on Section No. 1 and was used for a number of years. It was moved to its present site one-fourth of a mile from the present school and was purchased by the Lutheran congregation of Summit Lake for church purposes.

The modern Summit Lake school was erected in 1906 by O.S. Sherwood at an approximate cost of $4,000. George Durler, Martin Steinert and Mrs. George Durler were members of the school board when that building was erected. It is located on section 1, east of the main C. & N. W. track. William Pool, -- Nichols and Louis Stern were early school board officials in this district. The 1922-23 school officers were: Peter Rassmusen, Treasurer; Robert Seering, Director and Mrs. Henry Joyce, Clerk. 1922-23 teachers were Miss Susie Daily and Martha Weix, principal and assistant, respectively.

In 1910 the most destructive fire in the history of this district occurred. The J.C. Nelson saloon, the Henry Joyce residence, and the George Bremer hotel were destroyed. A year later another fire occurred in which the old Wyenberg saloon and a hotel were destroyed by fire. The Frank Schauer residence burned then also.

Summit Lake district has an area of water in section 2 that has attained distinction as a summer resort. Hundreds of people from all over the nation come here in the summer months. Many beautiful summer homes border the lake, which has some of the finest bathing facilities known. Its natural beach is one of the best in northern Wisconsin.

The town hall is situated in the village of Summit Lake. Present business places are: The Charles Snowden grocery; Howard Payne restaurant, Warren Boucher, modern dance pavilion, The C. & N. W. Railroad station, John Kunza store, Post Office, George Bremer hotel, Stedner Snowden's hotel, pool room and grocery.

Agriculture is the chief occupation of the settlers.

Summit Lake cemetery is situated in the NE 1/4 of section 2, Township 33, range 10 East. The cemetery was recorded September 8, 1908, when George Durler was Chairman and L.W. Filyes, Clerk of Upham township.

Congregational and Lutheran church services are held in the village, by non-resident pastors.

A school was held at Bass Lake, section 12, when the Paine Lumber Company had headquarters there. Teachers were Margaret Healy, Irene Day, Mrs. M. Smith and Yarda Parson. The building was sold when the township was redistricted to Truman Rice. Koepenick and Bass Lake schools were closed in 1913 when pupils from that territory were assigned to Summit Lake school. A buss hauled the children to and fro.

face looking over break line

brownbear school

Upham Joint District No. 2, (Brown Bear/Shanks)
No written history article found.

Location was just north of the intersection of highways H and J.

face looking over break line

koepenick school 1
First school building
koepenick school 2
Second school building

Upham District No. 6, (Koepenick)
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."

This district is situated in the central part of Upham township and consists of sections in both east and west Upham. It was one of the principal lumbering sections of the county in early days.

When the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western pushed north this district was one vast wilderness. Summit Lake was a hamlet with one or two prospectors within its present limits. Not until 1889 did Koepenick become a community as it now exists. In that year Andrew Bruette started a saw mill on section 18, Township 33, Range 11 East. Three years later he sold to Henry Sherry of Neenah, who moved it to High Lake, Upham township. For eight years the industry operated by Mr. Sherry. A.M. Millard of Antigo then took over the mill. He was succeeded by Henry Wunderlich, who, after successfully operating, sold to Fleet & Thompson of Wausau, Wis. The mill was then dismantled and moved to Michigan.

Early settlers were Orvis Vaughn, Peter Person, E.S. Koepenick, J.J. Hanson and others.

E.S. Koepenick moved to section 18, Township 33, Range 11 East, where he opened a store in 1890. He purchased his land from Thomas Spalding of Oshkosh. He was the first Postmaster of the village of Koepenick and continued as such until his death in 1914. He was then succeeded by Mrs. E.S. Koepenick, who is present Postmistress.

The first Koepenick school was erected in 1892 on section 19 and was built by Frank Krall and Joseph Hoshek. The first school board consisted of J.J. Hansen, Peter Person and E.S. Koepenick. The pupils grew numerous and in 1903 a new structure was erected on section 18 at a cost of $2,000. Knute Anderson was the contractor.

Early teachers were Ethel Cardin, Nettie Hanson, Anna Beard, Pearl Williams, Josephine Donohue, Mattie and Maud Morson, Harry Hopkins, Clara Willard, Lizzie Daily and Laura Spencer. Doris Sisel was the teacher in 1921-22 and Miss Margaret Gillis in 1922-23.

Settlers in this district are Harold Mattmiller, R.W. Beattie, J.J. Hanson, Peter Person, Emil Person, Julius Mai, Frank Dempsey, Paul Tappia, John Bale, Orvis Vaughn, Harry Beach, Joseph Ruffie, Mrs. Henry Albright, Mrs. E.S. Koepenick and R. Harvey.

This district was originally a part of District No. 2 created August 10, 1895. The 1922-23 school officials were Mrs. E.S. Koepenick, Clerk; Emil Person, Director and Harold Mattmiller, Treasurer.

face looking over break line

forest school 1
First school building
forest school 2
Second school building

Upham District No. 7, (Forest)
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."

This school district was organized June 22, 1917, by detaching parts of District No. 1, consisting of sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 34 and 35, all in Township 33 North of Range 10 East, from District No. 1.

The first district school meeting was held at the old Turner school house on the evening of July 2, 1917. C.H. Turner in accordance with a request from the town board notified Robert Quick, Frank Long, Minnie Tucker, John Tucker, Mrs. John Tucker, Helene Kasper, Louis Learman, M. Quick, George Quick, Bertha Quick, S.U. Tucker, Warren McDonald and Mr. and Mrs. John Simmons of the proposed meeting. Accordingly Mrs. Robert Quick, Louis Learman and George Quick were elected Clerk, Treasurer and Director of the school district. The 1922-23 school officials were: August Klever, Clerk; Louis Learman, Treasurer; and C.H. Turner, Director. Miss Mabel Schultz was the 1922-23 teacher. Early teachers were Yarda Bronson, Mabel Earlinson, Roselia Armstrong, Irene Hoyt and Miss Hoffman.

White this district is situated a number of miles west of Highway No. 39 and a distance from Kempster it has a good population, many of whom were early homesteaders. The early settlers who first came into this rolling country were: C.H. Turner, S.U. Tucker, Warren McDonald, Jesse Hess, Andrew Bovee, Feight Loomis, Robert Quick, Louis Learman, John Turner, George Quick and the Tinney family.

Settlers now in this territory are H.A. Tromblie, Glenn Wolf, Wm. Adkins, Homer Shelley, John Tucker, August Klever, R.E. Tucker, Roy Tucker, Ted Patterson, James Tucker, Alving Klever, C.H. Turner, S.U. Tucker, Warren McDonald, Jesse Hess, John Turner, Louis Learman and George and Robert Quick.

The first log school, still standing on section 28, just a short distance from the modern school, was used until the present splendid school was erected by August Klever.

There are more lakes within this region than any other like area in Langlade County. Among them are Horseshoe, Black Oak, Bass, Moses, Government Pond (a government lake), Sucker, Cranberry, Fish, Saddleback, Snag, Partridge, Long (there are two Long Lakes, only one of which is in this district), Green Bass, Squaw, and Indian lake, all small bodies of water. The west end of the district is swampy.

The soil consists principally of Gloucester sandy loam, Spencer silt loam, level phase, Merrimac silt loam and some peat. While vast stretches of the country is hilly and must yet be cleared, that which has been cleared and cultivated produces an abundant yield of crops. This is an ideal region for plums and apples and C.H. Turner, Louis Learman. Robert Quick and Warren McDonald have taken advantage of the fact and have some fine orchards. They should give the region a reputation in future years. A strip of level land runs five to six miles north and south of the Kempster road and many log farm homes have been erected near it. Principal occupation is agriculture. In the winter wood cutting, logging and trapping the wolf, fox and other animals, are the chief occupations.

face looking over break line

whittier school

Upham District No. 8, (Whittier)
Published in Dessureau's 1922 "History of Langlade County..."

This district was organized in 1921 and consists of sections 23, 24, 25, 35, and 36 of Township 33, Range 11 East. The territory was detached from district No. 6. It was necessary to undergo many hardships and inconveniences before the creation of district No. 8. Roads were few and the children were unable to get to the Koepenick school except with great difficulty. Accordingly a hearing was held and the township authorities established the new district.

School was at once opened. The first officers, Mr. and Mrs. George Linsdau, Director and Clerk respectively, and Fred Moss, Treasurer, lost no time in arranging suitable quarters for a temporary structure. An old frame camp (No. 6) of the Langlade Lumber Company was rented and was in use the 1921-22 session. The property is owned by the Rev. Fr. J.J. Kaster, New London, Wisconsin. A new school, modern and complete, will be erected . The 1922-23 school officers are Mr. and Mrs. George Linsdau, Director and Clerk, and Mrs. Fred Moss, Treasurer.

There are now eight settlers in the district, Matt Schja, Herbert Lutey, Steven Lacib, James McDougal, Fred Moss, George Linsdau, Carl Firch and Louis Larglois.

This territory was originally a part of the old district No. 2, organized August 10, 1895. Mrs. Emil Kramer was the first teacher in this district, 1921-22.

face looking over break line

face looking over break line

table of contents
Web Site TOC
send email
E-mail the Webmaster
Last Updated:

All Rights Reserved.