In 1846 James Preston and the Rev. Huntington Lyman located on the east branch of the Milwaukee river and platted the village which they named Cascade. They rolled up the first log house near the site of the mill located directly south of the bridge. The same year a man named Fisher put up a crude saw-mill. Poles were placed in the ground and the cross-pieces were held in place by crotches purposely left at the top of poles. The floor of the mill was made of rough slabs. Later McIntosh & Norman replaced the sawmill with a gristmill in 1848. In 1850 William J. Timm took over the mill which he operated for several years. The property is now owned and the mill is being operated by John Schlenter.
The date for the history of the village of Cascade, the town of Lima and also the town of Mitchell was supplied principally by Adam Gates, one of the oldest living settlers in that section of the county. Mr. Gates was born on July 2, 1842, in Tiffin, Ohio, and came with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Christoph Gates to the town of Mitchell in 1848. He lived with his parents on the farm for twenty-seven years, twenty years in the village of Cascade. Despite his advanced years, Mr. Gates is still robust and possesses a keen intellect and a remarkably retentive memory. His wife is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Alcox, who came to the town of Lyndon in 1855. She was born in 1849 at Akron, Ohio. For many years the Alcox family lived on a farm located one mile northwest of the village of Cascade.
Mr. Gates says that when the family arrived in Cascade the only buildings in the settlement were the Fisher sawmill, Gregory Kaiser's blacksmith shop, a grocery store owned by Fisher the mill man and the log house occupied by James Preston. A log school house stood on the present site of the K( ??) hotel in which the Gates family stored their household furnishings in the first night after they arrived in Cascade.
Before the railroad was constructed through that section of the county, Cascade was an important center for travel and western trade. In 1846, a number of men in New Cassel and an equal number in Cascade agreed to start in August of that year to cut the trees and clear the way for what later became the Madison road. This was the first public highway through the western part of the county.
About the year 1850, Shadbolt & Co., built a steam sawmill, which was later moved to the William Tribency farm, on the Madison road, where it was remodeled into a barn. This mill was located near the north end of the village.
About the same time, Jacob Baer built a grist-mill near the Shadbolt mill. The Baer mill property was later purchased by a man named Lammers and soon after he acquired the mill it was destroyed by fire; but was soon rebuilt. During the recent years the second mill has only been used for the making of cider. A few years ago John Schlenter bought the mill and surrounding property in order to obtain water-power to operate the grist-mill which he now owns.
Prior to this time, a millpond was created south of the Baer mill in order to obtain power to run the machinery of the mill south of the bridge. To provide a space for the mill pond, the ground, which for many years had been the village commons and utilized as a baseball ground and a place for the circus companies to pitch their tents, was scraped to the depth of several feet, after which a dam was constructed near the grist-mill. After Schlenter acquired both mills, he opened the dam and released the water from the pond. Since that time the water which furnishes the power to the grist mill flows through an iron pipe, this reclaiming all the land which had been inundated by the mill pond.
In 1852, Jacob Baer, erected a building and engaged in the mercantile business. After Baer retired, the store was conducted for a few years by William Akins and his son, Joseph. After Akins and his son quit the business, William Cook took over the store, which he conducted for a number of years when Percy & Sons became proprietors of the establishment. Louis A. Moll now occupies the building as a general store.
One of the oldest and the last survivor of the pioneer merchants of Cascade was David Harrigan, who passed away about two years ago at the age of about 95. The building in which he had the grocery store still stands on the south side of the main street in the village.
The first frame school house was built on Clark street near the north end of the village and was first taught by Miss Betsy L. Roberts. This building has since been enlarged and is now the grade school in the village.
The first hotel to be built in the village was the Central House, erected in 1852, by a man named Lynch. Thomas Kelly now owns the hostelry and he conducts under the name of the Kelly Hotel.
The second hotel was the Union House, for the past several years known as the Kilcoin Hotel.
The third hotel was built by J. M. O'Hearn in 1873. For a number of years John Gallagher has been the owner and since his ownership has added an opera house at the rear of the original building.
Edward O'Hearn put up the next hotel which is now occupied as a general store by H. M. Wals.
Directly west of the latter hotel, David Soule built a cooperage which he operated for a number of years. Soule's cooper shop is now occupied by Eggebeen Bros., dealers in general hardware.
About the year 1866, a destructive fire practically wiped out the business district of the village, inflicting a blow to the merchants which required many years to overcome.
In 1859, Edward Hulee conducted a general store in the village. Later he took his two sons, William and Edward Jr., into partnership, and a lumber yard was added to the business. Herman Radtke's grocery store is now located in the Rulee building.
Many years ago a man named Bennett started in the hardware business, in a building, part of which was occupied by Jacob Baer as a dry goods store. Later George Brickner took over the business which he carried on until he moved to Sheboygan Falls and engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods. After Brinkner moved out, William Noll took over the business which he continued for many years. Rupenthal's hardware store is now located in the building. During Noll's occupancy he had the building enlarged and remodeled.
August Wolf built a sawmill on Lake street, which he operated for a number of years, finally disposing of the property to Charles Breitaman and moving to Milwaukee, where he passed away several years ago. This mill was destroyed by fire about the year 1898. While operating the mill, Wolf formed a partnership with John Lau and together they conducted a general store in the building now occupied by Paul Grabs as a harness shop.
The first harness-maker to locate in Cascade was Fred Ballhorn, who started his shop during the Civil war in the building now occupied as the post office. Ballhorn sold his business to John Lau, who then became the partner of August Wolf. The first Lutheran religious service was conducted on the second floor above Ballhorn's harness shop. Ballhorn passed away about seven years ago.
The first blacksmith in the village was William M. Ogle, who started a shop about 70 years ago. The building he erected still stands at the west end of the village limits.
The second blacksmith to locate in Cascade was John Schultz, who built a shop directly opposite Ogle. Leo, son of Jon Schultz, now owns and operates the shop established by the parent.
In 1872, John Meyer started in the boot and shoe business in the building now occupied by Leo Lisowe.
One of the first, if not the very first, physicians to locate in the village was Dr. A. C. Rogers, who came in 1876.
In 1879, L. C. Bartlett, a Civil war veteran, established a drug store in Cascade, later transferring his business to Waldo. After he retired from active business life, Mr. Bartlett came to Sheboygan where he made his home with his daughter up to the time of his death, which occurred about two years ago.
Probably the first carriage and wagon shop to be established in Cascade was started by John Dell. Later Dell moved to Milwaukee where he resided up to the time of his death.
The village was incorporated in 1914, and the first meeting of the board of trustees of the village was held on December 5, of that year. The following officers were elected:
President - J. E. Hoffman
Clerk - L. C. Bartlett
Treasurer - August Radtke
Assessor - John Lau
Supervisor - A. P. Croghan
Constable - Albert Wolters
Trustees - L. A. Moll, John Meilahn, Frank Miskee, James Flanagan, James Cooney, and Paul Grabs
The Cascade Telephone company was organized in 1912, with eighty-four stockholders. A. P. Croghan was elected president and continued in this official capacity until his death, which occurred in 1922, when his son, George A., took over the management of the system until it was sold to John Doherty.
The postmasters of the village of Cascade in their regular order of succession were as follows: John Payne, Mrs. Payne (mother of John), William Noll, Edward O'Hearn, L. C. Bartlett, Etta O'Hearn, L. C. Bartlett, Mrs. Etta Croghan, A. P. Croghan, and Imogene Croghan, the present postmistress.
C. P. Brossel, of Waldo, maintains agencies in that village and vicinity for the American Insurance company, the Massachusetts Life, and also the Milwaukee Auto Mutual Insurance company, for which he has established a rapidly growing clientele.
Mr. Brossel is well known and is popular among residents of that section of the county. For the past nine years he has been station agent for the C. M. & St. Paul railroad, at Waldo.
Eggebeen Bros. have been engaged in the retail hardware business in Cascade since 1921, at which time they purchased the business formerly owned and conducted by Friebertshauser Bros.
The building which they occupy was originally built by David Soule and for a number of years he operated a cooperage in the building. After he gave up the business, a furniture store was opened in the building, the firm manufacturing much of the furniture which they sold. A grocery department was added to the furniture business, but after a short time the line was abandoned and replaced by a stock of hardware.
Eggebeen Bros. are well and favorably known throughout that section of the county, and since taking over the business, have enjoyed a liberal patronage.
The Suemnicht Motor company was started by Oscar A. Suemnicht in 1913, at which time he opened a comparatively small garage in the village of Cascade. In 1918 he took the agency for the sale of the Hudson and Essex automobiles, being the first dealer in this line of autos in Sheboygan county. His territory embraced a radius of four miles of Cascade.
Mr. Suemnicht is a progressive business man and from the start has rapidly increased his sales of the automobiles for which he holds the agency in that district. The business increased to such an extent that, in 1917, he was forced to build a large addition to his garage, which is now one of the largest and most modern in that locality.
Mr. Suemnicht was born in Cascade and has resided all his life in that village. He is well-known throughout that section of the county and enjoys the confidence of the people residing in that village.
While a new arrival in Cascade, Henry G. Koch, has proved himself to be an aggressive and progressive business man. Previous to his coming to Cascade, in January of this year, Mr. Koch was part owner and general manager of Aultman, Inc. Out-Door Advertising, of Milwaukee.
Last February he purchased the meat market, grocery and confectionery business, of which he is now owner, of his father-in-law, Henry Vanderkin. His wife, whose maiden name was Edith Vanderkin, was born and reared in Cascade.
Mr. Koch conducts this business under the name of the "White Store." It is one of the neatest, most up-to-date and sanitary meat markets and grocery stores in Cascade. He deals in all kinds of fresh, salt and smoked meats, and sausages, a complete line of staple groceries, and also conducts what is called the "Sandwich Shop," a department of the business, where lunches are served and where sparkling beverages are dispensed from a modern soda fountain.
Louis A. Moll has been identified with the mercantile business in Cascade since 1894, at that time having purchased an interest in the general store owned for a number of years by John Lau. This partnership continued for four years, the business being carried on in the building now occupied by a harness shop, when Mr. Moll bought Lau's interest and became sole owner. At about the same time, he also purchased the business owned by Percy & Sons, located in the corner building originally built and occupied as a general store by August Wolf.
The increase in the volume of trade and to keep pace with changing conditions, Mr. Moll replaced the old store building with the larger and more modern structure in which he is now located. He carries an unusually large and well selected stock of dry goods, notions, groceries, flour, salt and a general line of seeds.
Leo Lisowe, who owns and conducts a shoe store and shoe repairing shop, at Cascade, started in this business about 16 years ago, at that time opening a shoe and harness shop in the village of Waldo until two years ago, when he took charge of the Star Route motor bus, delivering mail between Waldo and Cascade. Soon after taking charge of the mail delivery and bus service, Mr. Lisowe established another shoe store in Cascade.
John H. Schlenter is sole owner of the grist mill and planing mill at Cascade. The gristmill which he owns and operates stands upon the site of the first mill put up in that section of the county, back in 1846. Twenty-one years ago, Mr. Schlenter and his brother Otto purchased the mill property from William J. Timm, carrying on the business together until 1920, when John H. Schlenter bought his brother's share in the business.
Mr. Schlenter is one of Cascade's most prominent business men, and is a member of the board of directors of the local bank.
The business at the mill is confined to custom grinding, while at the planing mill is manufactured flooring, window casings and finished lumber for all purposes.
The church of the United Brethren in Christ, at Cascade, was organized in 1872, the first sermon being preached by Bishop Weaver. The first pastor was the Rev. W. C. Bacon. The house of worship stands practically as when originally built. The parsonage was added in 1915, during the pastorate of the Rev. F. E. Warren.
When the edifice was built, it was one of a circuit and belonged to the Fox River conference. At present it is the only remaining church in the circuit and now is connected with the Wisconsin conference, with the Rev. G. W. Bechtolt, district superintendent.
Among the Cascade residents who were members of the congregation were: William E. Aiken; M. R. Aiken; Ezek Brown; E. Howe; C. Peck; Robert Kennedy; Libbie Payne; and S. M. Baer.
Mrs. Isabelle Swan, now a resident of Waldo, is the oldest living member. She was affiliated with the church from its organization, her husband having been among those who assisted in hauling the stone used in the construction of the edifice.
The Rev. Mr. Nichols, who often conducted the services during the early days, was the grandfather of Edgar Nichols, of Waldo, an esteemed member of the church.
The United Brethren is said to be the oldest native-born denomination in the United States, and, at present, has a total of 398,150 active members. Besides home mission work, the church carries on work in China, Africa, Japan, the Philippines and Porto (sic) Rico. Rilla Aiken served in Africa for three years, Angie Aiken, who is still in Africa, has served for 23 years and Miss Anne Taylor is completing her fourth year at Esquela, Arizona Indian school.
The following pastors have served the congregation since it was organized: Revs. W. C. Bacon; C. M. Clark; N. G. Whitney; H. Deal; William Irvin; F. Spain; J. W. DeLong; J. H. Richards; Ida Richards Marquardt; L. W. Chapman; F. E. Warren; H. O. Stevens; O. F. Fogo; W. Sutton; N. C. Nice; and M. Lulu Hindes. The latter served from 1916 until 1920, and again from 1924 to the present time. She is also an ordained elder of the church.
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