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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This article was contributed by Kay Reitberger

Milwaukee Sentinel - February 21, 1910

Sheboygan Falls

Sheboygan Falls has the distinction that no other city in the northwest has. Its Methodist church has for a pastor the Rev. Robert S. INGRAHAM, who enjoys every minute of his life in the service, is liked by his people, and is a millionaire. Nothing, not even his million or more dollars, is allowed to interfere in the slightest with his service to his church, the people, and his master.

On a side hill, by the electric line, is an old wooden building that has a history. It was the first schoolhouse built in Sheboygan county, except a small one at Sheboygan It was built sixty-nine years ago. I remember two of the teachers. The first was Miss PRENTICE, a large handsome woman who could wield a ferule on a small boy's hands and thighs to perfection. She was a good teacher in other respects.

Another was a white haired, awkward young man of 18. He taught two terms and then swarmed to Madison where he served as a legislative reporter and became a partner of Gen. David ATWOOD, of the Senate Journal. That was Horace RUBLEE, President GRANT's choice for minister to Switzerland, many years editor of The Milwaukee Sentinel and for a long time chairman of the republican state senatorial committee. It was Chairman RUBLEE who pulled the republican party out of the greenback mad house in 1878. The state produced no greater editor, no finer scholar; and his public career began in that old school building at Sheboygan Falls.

The village has contributed two Congressmen, Charles H. WEISSE, the sitting member, and the late George H. BRICKNER, who served two terms. Mr. WEISSE is serving his fourth term. The republican party has gone to the village on two or three occasions for its candidate. It named George W. SPRATT in 1908. Mr. SPRATT went to Sheboygan county in 1854, when a lad of 17 years. He began his service as a day laborer, that year by picking up potatoes, twenty-five bushels a day for five days, at five cents a day. He invested the quarter in the first reader and began the work of his self-acquired education. Though a mere boy he was a soldier in the civil war, has been a leading manufacturer in his own town, and for twenty-five years has had a large interest in a chair factory in Sheboygan, and has served in the assembly.

John E. THOMAS came here sixty years ago, a young lawyer. He was a state senator in 1863 and 1864, was several times offered the nomination of his party for governor and other positions, but declined. Mr. THOMAS was one of the first Normal school regents, had a leading part in locating the Whitewater school, and with his own hands planted some of the beautiful trees on the grounds. Probably there is not another man living who knows more about the inner circles of Wisconsin democrats, covering the last half century, that this long time citizen of Sheboygan Falls.

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