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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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The Pioneer, a monthly supplement to the Sheboygan Press

Sheboygan Press - March 18, 1924

Sheboygan Pioneer Monthly Supplement

Our Income Tax Payers In 1868

According to a list of leading tax payers, compiled and issued by William Elwell, U.S. assessor for this district in 1868, the most "substantial" citizens of Sheboygan county at that time were the following, the amount opposite each name being that of the income individually subject to income tax:

W. W. Andrews..$375

John Bertschy..450

Lewis Curtis..445

Geo. C. Cole..2,242

Rufus Clark..82

Jas. R. Cole..694

Geo. T. Cole..600

Hiram Conover..535

Jas. T. Dillingham..1,474

Enos Eastman..200

Christ Eckhardt..586

Geo. End..2,622

Frank Geele..409

H. Horniman..401

G. W. Hersy..840

R. H. Hotchkiss..2,300

J. H. Jones..3,455

Fred Karste..308

Carl Krumrey..245

Conrad Krez..440

Frank Lawrence..1,042

Ernst Lohmann..979

A. P. Lyman..1,617

S. B. Lyman..305

D. Leavens..134

Jas. Lampman..76

A. Mahlendorf..300

H. H. Meyer..668

Otto Coleman..695

W. J. Pierce..110

Clark Payne..126

William Reichel..190

H. N. Ross..187

Christian Raab..520

William Roenitz..106

Chas. Roenitz..106

Joseph Swift..69

Hiram Smith..109

Truman Strong..375

A. D. Smith..888

P. H. Smith..747

J. O. Thayer..1,230

David Taylor..1,210

F. R. Townsend..853

J. E. Thomas..90

Julius Wolf..826

A. L. Weeks..837

G. W. Weeden..624

Fred Zimmermann..282

J. A. Bentley..650

B. L. Nutt..200

Wm. Schwartz..762

Ara Wilson..241

Perusal of the above list contains much food for reflection for those readers of The Pioneer whose memory goes back to and beyond 1868. All the men whose names appear on this list are now where income taxes probably do not bother them any more save perhaps in the form of twinges of conscience such as are probably experienced by some income tax payers of today. The publication of the above list in the year 1868 also proves that there was then no secrecy observed as to who paid an income tax and as to its amount. Few of the names comprising the list are borne by our present-day income tax payers. The names of the leaders among the latter do not appear in the above list. Indeed, fifty-six years can and do bring many changes in the affairs of men!

The Civil war, like all wars, burdened the people heavily with the national debt, and at the same time the many "regular" taxes continued to be imposed and steadily increased, until today the people in many instances pay more taxes of various kinds annually then the entire incomes of even very prosperous taxpayers in 1868 totaled. But, of course, money is more easily earned today than it was then, although it buying power was greatly decreased. The good whiskey our pioneers could buy at 50 cents or even less per quart is a luxury far beyond the ability of the average man today to pay. And even those who can afford to pay the present price are forbidden by law to buy it or drink it! Some of our old-timers would seem justified in thinking that they were happier in the early days than they can be now.

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