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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Sheboygan Press April 29, 1927

Sheboygan Falls Miscellaneous


City Of Sheboygan Falls, 77 Years Ago

(Original Daguerreotype through courtesy of George A. Robbins, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.)

Here is the write-up under the picture

For historical purposes in connection with Sheboygan Falls, the above picture has no equal. It shows the main portion of the village as it appeared about the year 1850.

The original daguerreotype was taken in the early 50's by William Henry Paine, a near relative of Nathan Sargent, a pioneer settler of Sheboygan county. During his boyhood, Mr. Paine resided at Sheboygan Falls. Later he became a civil engineer and was employed by John A. Roebling on the construction of the first Brooklyn bridge.

His infallible judgement regarding steel construction was generally recognized, and when other engineers condemned the suspension bridge at Niagara Falls, Mr. Paine was engaged to make a thorough examination of the structure , and to give his opinion relative to its condition. After having made a close inspection of the bridge, he reported that the structure was safe for all traffic and upon his report the bridge was not rebuilt. The fact that it has remained intact and safe up to the present time is proof of Mr. Paine's unusual ability as a construction engineer.

The daguerreotype from which the above picture was made, was given to Mr. Robbins by his uncle, Nathan Sargent.

The view of the village, as shown in the picture above, is from the elevation on the east side of the Sheboygan river looking southwestward. The roof appearing just below the crest of the hill at the right in picture covers the building now occupied by the Sheboygan County News printing plant.

The two-story building in the foreground now forms the main part of the Brickner Woolen Mills warehouse No. 1. On the opposite side of the river is seen the Littlefield & Leighton saw-mill, on which site now stands the main building of the Brickner Woolen Mills. The last use made of the old sawmill was by Mose Guyett who installed some machinery in the building and, for a short time, manufactured clothes pins.

At the extreme right in the picture is the dim outline of the First Baptist church. After the railroad was built through Sheboygan Falls, the edifice was moved from its original site to its present location.

Practically all the other buildings appearing in this picture have since been replaced by more modern structures. The one now occupied by the Fessler store still remains, as do a few others on Pine street.

After Mr. Bond retired from business, he donated his store property to the trustees of the Lawrence College at Appleton, from whom it was purchased, in 1883, by James J. Robbins for the sum of $850. George A. Robbins later bought the property from his father, and for a few years occupied the building as a grocery and feed store. The building was originally built about 1847 or 1848 by A. P. and R. N. Lyman. Fessler's Stores, Inc., has occupied the building during the past few years.

The two-story building seen in the center of the picture was destroyed by fire in 1879. Many years ago, Mr. Giddings and his wife occupied this building as a residence.

The Methodist Episcopal church appears at the left in picture. The same building is still used as the house of worship by that congregation.

The rear portion of the Congregational church building can be seen near the left bottom of the picture. The St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church now stands upon this site.

The small building seen at the right of the Congregational church was occupied for a few years by the father of William Kutzback, the tailor, and also by the father of Never, the tailor.

The long roof seen near the center of the picture is the top of the old frame building now standing on the west side of Buffalo street, north of the railroad tracks and occupied by Kroeger's wagon shop.

Another Picture

Historic Clock At Falls

An interesting character associated with the early business life of the village was D. J. Gale, who was formerly employed as a shoemaker in the W. O. Eastwood boot and shoe store.

Mr. Gale was a mechanical genius, and among his accomplishments was a clock which stands conspicuously as a unique piece of mechanism.

One of these clock now hangs on the wall of the Brickner Woolen Mills office. The dial has a diameter of about two feet. On the outer rim of this dial are indicated the days of the month. Near the top are the figures denoting the time of day. Directly below this portion of the dial on one side is a diagram indicating the changing quarters of the moon, and on the other side is a similar diagram indicating the days of the week. At the bottom of the main dial is another intricate diagram denoting the twelve months of the year, with a series of inside figures indicating the days of the month at the end of every seven days commencing January 2 of each year. This eight-day clock, which has hung on the wall of this office for almost half a century, has never required repairing.

Mr. Gale was the originator of this type of clock, and while many have been manufactured and sold throughout the country since he first patented the unique piece of mechanism, Gale never was enabled to reap any benefit from the results of his mechanical genius.

Wildgrube Had Leading Band

Wildgrube's Band, composed of Mr. Wildgrube and his six sons, William, Gottlieb, Fred, Adolph, Robert and Gustave came to Howards Grove in the early 70's and gained fame as being the leading band, and was known to every resident within a radius of 40 miles of the village in which the family lived. The band furnished music for all occasions for more than thirty years.

The only survivors of the Wildgrube family are two sons, Adolph, who still resides in Howards Grove, and Robert who lives in Manitowoc. Fred, another son, died about two months ago in Sheboygan.

Robert later went to Europe to study music and played in Berlin, Germany, and other musical centers for five years before returning to the United States. He is now a clarinetist with the Aluminum, Goods Marine band at Manitowoc.

Contributed by: Kay Reitberger

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