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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Source: Sheboygan Press April 29, 1927

Cedar Grove - Oostburg Businesses

First Settlement Was Before 1872, Southeast Of Present Location


The present village of Oostburg sprang up since the railroad wad built in 1872.

It was incorporated as a village in 1910 at which time the following officers were elected: President, John H. Nyenhuis; clerk, John W. Eesselink; treasurer, H. Lous; assessor, Isaac Wolfert; supervisor, Walter H. Sprangers; trustees, W. D. Te Ronde, J. P. Brill, Bart Te Grotenhuis, Dr. E. Was, Henry J. Roerdink and Henry Dirkse.

The present officers of the village are: President, Edward Harmeling; clerk, B. B. Hesselink; treasurer, Peter Nyenhuis; assessor, Ben Tenpas; supervisor, Jac. Dekker; trustees, Art Vander Wall, Mat. Lammers, Henry Roerdink, John Faas, and Peter Lemke.

Before the railroad station was established, there was a settlement known as East Oostburg, situated one mile east and one mile south of the present village of Oostburg, but this was abandoned, the churches and business firms moving to the present site of the village.

Peter Daane First Merchant

The late Peter Daane built a grain elevator and grist-mill in 1879, and he also established the first general store in the new village. The mill was later bought and operated by Jacob Fuhrman, but at the present time the buildings are owned and occupied by the Pantzer Lumber company.

Ferdinand & Jankon built the first cheese factory in 1878, which was later purchased by Peter Sandee. After changing hands several times, the original building was finally torn down.

The first postmaster appointed was Peter Daane, who served in this capacity until 1884 when he resigned the position. Mat C. Rademacher was then appointed to fill the vacancy. On April 19, 1897, John Theune who had been assistant under Rademacher, was appointed postmaster and held the office until March 1, 1927, when he was succeeded by Herman Graskamp. On October 2, 1921, the Oostburg post office was changed from a fourth to a third class office.

Peter Daane's original store was located at East Oostburg, which was located on Highway 17. After he retired from business, the store which he established in the present village was conducted by his sons and John Theune.

The first three dwelling houses erected in the present village were for Herbert Le Mahieu, Joseph Tellier and Sam Ernisse. Tellier was a blacksmith.

Henry Marion was the first station agent after the rail service was started at Oostburg. Marion also started what was probably the second general store in the village. He conducted this store for only a brief time when he sold it to E. Ruesink. At the present time the building is occupied as a garage.

Train Demolishes Station

The first railroad station, erected in 1872, was destroyed a few years later when a freight train derailed and crashed into the building. Marion had started on a trip to Europe and a young man was placed in temporary charge of the station during his absence. The new station agent, by mistake, threw open a switch just as the freight train was entering the village, causing the derailment of the locomotive and several cars. After he saw what had happened the new man hurriedly left the village and, as far as is known, was never heard of afterward. Marion was intercepted at Washington, D. C. and immediately returned to Oostburg to resume his duties as agent.

The first blacksmith in the village was J. B. Brill. Later he started a hardware store in connection with the shop. The old building was removed from the lot and the building now occupied as a hardware store by Matthew Daane, son of the late Peter Daane, was erected in its place.

The first physician in the village was Dr. Edward Was, who came from the Netherlands on February (11)? 1884. His father was a physician in Holland. Dr. Was still practices his profession at Oostburg. He always has been an active citizen, taking a keen interest in all matters relating to the welfare of the community.

It was he more than anyone else who was responsible for establishment of a new school district in the village in 1896. Prior to that time the railroad track was the boundary between the first and third school districts, the school houses being located about two miles apart. The distance made it impossible for children to go to school during severe weather or when roads were in bad condition. Realizing the injustice to the children, Dr. Was interested a sufficient number of families in the village to contribute a certain sum of money for each child attending school, which was used to pay for the services of a special teacher who conducted classes in a small building arranged for the purpose, and which was located across the street from Dr. Was' present office and residence. The children were taught in this building for about three years, during which Dr. Was quietly crystallized sentiment in favor of establishing a new school district in the village.

First Village School

When the special meeting to decide whether a new district should be established was called, there was a stormy session as several residents were strongly opposed to the movement. However, after a spirited debate on the question, a sufficient number of votes were mustered to win out, and in that year the first village school was erected on a site a short distance south of the main street of the village.

Eight years later, the first building having been found too small to accommodate the increased number of pupils, the present two-story brick structure was erected. This is a combination grade school and four-year high school, including a commercial department.

The former building was purchased by J. W. Hesselink in 1912 and he had it moved to the present location west of the railroad tracks where he occupies it as a general merchandise store.

At about 4 o'clock on the morning of January 18, 1908, fire starting in a shed at the rear of a saloon, swept the entire west side of the block from the main street north, destroying Peter Weiler's hotel and saloon at the corner, Ver Straate & Te Ronde's general store, George Braun's saloon and meat market, the telephone exchange building, owned by G. J. Huibregste, and the residence of G. H. Roerdink. The flames then leaped across the street, igniting and destroying a shop building owned by Mr. Dekker.

Immediately after this disastrous conflagration, a volunteer fire fighting company was organized. At the present time the village has a combination motor driven chemical and water truck. The water is drawn from cistern and from artesian wells at the various factories. On the roof of the building housing the fire truck is a siren which is blown at 1 o'clock on every week day.

Since the railroad was started several tragedies have occurred at the main crossing in the village. One of the worst happened about 32 years ago when a farmer named John Lohuis was struck by a passenger train and literally ground to pieces.

Oostburg Has Splendid Array Of Business Establishments

The Oostburg State Bank at Oostburg, was organized and opened for the transaction of business on March 2, 1908.

The first officers were: Peter Daane, president; G. Graven, vice-president; John Brethuwer, cashier; and S. E. Huibregtse, assistant cashier. The first board of directors included Peter Daane, J. L. Fuhrmann, S. E. Huibregtse, Henry Wordes, P. J. Brill, John Theune, J. H. Dulmas, Ed. Brasser and John Brasser.

Since the bank was first established, it has annually set aside as a surplus, having now a capital stock of $25,000, a surplus and profits of $40,000 and deposits amounting to over $500,000.

In 1926, a basement was completed under the building and a modern steam heating system and water supply installed, which supplies both heat and water to the banking rooms and also the offices upstairs.

The present officers are:

President - John Brethouwer
Vice-Presidents - G. Graven and B. Brethouwer
Cashier - James De Munck
Clerk - Harvey Brill

Florence Bendler (nee Adriance) was employed at the bank from 1915 to 1925, when she severed her connections with the institution and moved to Milwaukee.

Matthew Daane

Matthew Daane started in the hardware business at Oostburg in 1900, at which time he purchased the business which had been established about fifty years ago by J. P. Brill.

When Mr. Daane took over the business there was a stock of only about $1,600 worth of hardware. He immediately remodeled the old building and increased the stock to about $6,000.

He continued the business in the original building until 1914, when a larger and more modern structure, thirty-two by seventy-two feet was erected on the lot. The new building is of steel construction, two stories in height, with the walls built of hollow tile and veneered with brick. An elevator runs from the basement to the second floor, and the store has a metal ceiling. At the present time, Mr. Daane carries a stock of hardware and implements valued at $12,000.

Three men are constantly employed to give service to customers.

H. P. Brethouwer

H. P. Brethouwer has been engaged in the retail furniture and undertaking business at Oostburg since 1909, having then purchased the business owned by A. W. Te Ronde, but which had been established many years before by Joseph Tellier. Previous to that time Mr. Brethouwer had been a travelling salesman representing a Sheboygan furniture manufacturing company.

At the time he took over the business the second floor of the store building was occupied as living quarters; but in April 1911, Mr. Brethouwer enlarged the building tearing out the partitions and converting the second floor into a stock room. At the same time, he greatly increased the stock of furniture and added floor coverings and sewing machines to the regular line of furniture.

While the business was very small at the start, the sales have steadily increased until at the present time the building is found inadequate to carry the stock required to properly meet the demands of the growing trade.

Ebbers Hardware

G. H. Ebbers first started in business at Gibbsville by opening a general merchandise store at that place in 1893. The following year he sold the business to Harvey F. Ebbers and, in 1920, moved with his family to Oostburg, where he established the business of dealing in farm implements in a building then known as the Braun meat market.

In 1923 the place was remodeled and a general line of hardware was added to the line of farm implements. At this time Mr. Ebber's son Paul returned home to assist his father in carrying on this business. The business increased to such and extent that in 1925 it was found necessary to build an addition of 20 feet to the store.

Wykhuis Company

An enterprise which has shown remarkable growth within a comparatively few number of years, is the Wykhuis company of Oostburg.

This company was organized on May 27, 1911, starting with only four hands employed. The business was general merchandise with a side line of feed and coal, but at the present time seven employees are required to handle the increasing business transacted by the company.

In 1922, a twenty-foot addition was built on the original store and a modern elevator was installed to facilitate the handling of the bulky and heavy merchandise.

In 1926 a new coal shed, a feed store and hatchery were built which make it possible to give customers better service, for the reason that a complete stock of dairy and poultry feeds are always available. The modern hatchery enables the company to supply customers with twelve different varieties of chicks.

Oostburg Lumber & Grain Company

The Oostburg Lumber & Grain company is owned and operated by the Pantzer Lumber company of Sheboygan, which also owns and operates a branch yard in Cedar Grove.

The mill and grain elevator was originally started in 1879 by Peter Daane and subsequently passed into other hands before being purchased by the Pantzer Lumber company. The mill formerly ground "Holland Queen" flour, but due to the advanced method and sales of flour by larger companies, flouring was abandoned at Oostburg and the milling department now is confined to custom grinding of grist. About a year ago a new modern, electrically operated Monarch mill was installed.

At present the elevator is utilized for storing and handling bulk feed.

The Oostburg Lumber & Gain company deals in lumber, building material, flour and feed under the slogan "Everything to Build Anything," and has the entire stock of the parent company at Sheboygan available at all times to supply the requirements of the trade.

Oostburg Canning Co.

One of the most important industries in Oostburg is the Oostburg Canning company, which started in March 1902. The first season there were only about 100 acres of peas raised for canning at this factory, but the acreage has steadily increased each year until last season there were about 1,000 acres of peas and also about 400 acres of corn planted for the company. This acreage yields from 80 to 100 carloads of canned peas and about twenty-five carloads of canned corm which is distributes to all parts of the United States. Twenty hands are employed regularly and about 150 during the canning season.

The officers of the company include the following:

President and General Manager - Ed. Faas
Vice-president - H. Wordes
Secretary - J. B. Faas
Treasurer - John Brethouwer

Huibregtse Garage

The Huibregtse Garage at Oostburg was established in 1912 by Garret Huibregtse, in a comparatively small building which still forms the north half of the garage. In 1914 he purchased the property and erected a fire-proof construction building, which was attached to the original garage.

When he first started in this business, Mr. Huibregtse handled Ford autos, but during the recent years he has been the local distributor for the Willys-Knight, Whippet and Reo automobiles and Speed Wagons.

Since Mr. Huibregtse's death which occurred in September, 1923, the business has been continued by his widow and son, Edward.

A service station is maintained with competent repair men in charge. A complete line of original and replacement parts are kept in stock, as well as radio sets and equipment.

H. H. Dirkse

H. H. Dirkse, prominent blacksmith, wagon-maker, and repair man at Oostburg, is successor to the business established about forty-five years ago by his father, Henry Dirkse, and Bart Grotenhuis.

About fourteen years ago H. H. Dirkse bought the Grotenhuis interest in the shop and became a partner with his father in the business. The father passed away about three and a-half years later and William Ten Pas took over his interest. Three years ago the present modern brick building was erected and equipped with modern machinery designed for all kinds of wood working.

About two years ago, Mr. Dirkse purchased the interest Mr. Ten Pas had in the shop and since that time has carried on the business alone. When he acquired full control of the business Mr. Dirkse added a full line of pumps and also began installing all kinds of plumbing.

Beside Mr. Dirkse, three men are constantly employed in the shop.

Daane & Lemke

On August 1, 1916, Ed. Daane and Peter Lemke formed a partnership and established a garage in Oostburg under the firm name of Daane & Lemke. The same year they had the present fire-proof construction garage, thirty-four by sixty-eight feet, erected.

During the earlier years of their business association, Daane & Lemke acted as local agents for the Buick company; but later entered into a direct contract with the Ford company and since that time have been local representatives, dealing exclusively in Ford and Fordson autos, trucks and tractors.

In addition to the salesroom and spacious garage, the firm maintains a large repair department where prompt and efficient service in rendered by competent mechanics. As a service station, the firm carries a complete line of replacement parts and accessories. It also deals in radio sets and radio equipment. Four men are constantly employed.

Starting in a small way Messrs. Daane & Lemke have built up a lucrative business, which is steadily increasing in volume.

John Te Ronde

John Te Ronde, progressive merchant at Oostburg entered the mercantile business in that village in 1919, when he formed a partnership with B. Ver Straate and erected the store building which he now owns and occupies as a general store.

The business originally was started by M. Sprangers in a small frame building which formerly stood upon the same site. Later Jacob Fuhrman took over the business and erected a new and larger building. This was destroyed in 1908 when a fire swept that entire block of buildings out of existence.

In 1919 Mr. Te Ronde bought his partner's interest and since that time has carried on the business alone.

In 1921 the business having increased beyond the capacity of the store, a large warehouse was built at the rear, in which products brought in by farmers and surplus stock are stored.

The present buildings are of modern brick construction, and the basement, main floor and second floor of the store building, as well as the warehouse, are used exclusively by Mr. Te Ronde in carrying on the extensive business with farmers and others in that vicinity.

Harvey Teronde

One of the latest additions to the business personnel of Oostburg is Harvey Teronde who, a year and a half ago, opened a shop for general machine repairing.

Prior to going into this business, Harvey had been a field-man for the Danish Pride Milk company, a position which brought him in contact with all the farmers residing in that locality.

In addition to machinery repairing he is the local agent to the Oakland, Pontiac and Chevrolet automobiles.

USOW Rubber & Mfg. Co.

The plant known as the USOW Rubber & Mfg. Co., at Oostburg, is a branch of the main plant which is located at Port Washington.

The company is the manufacturer of rubberized fabric, including raincoats and rubber cement. Since it was first organized. the company has enjoyed a steady and constantly increasing trade.

Central Hotel

The Central Hotel, which was erected soon after the disastrous fire in 1908, is located in the heart of the business district of the village, directly opposite the Northwestern depot. At the present time, the hostelry is being conducted by H. W. La Mahieu.

In addition to the well kept rooms and regular meals, short orders are served at all hours during the day and evening, at popular prices. A soda fountain supplies cooling beverages, and a stock of confectionery is kept for the convenience of patrons. A pool table is also run in connection with the lunch room.

Pet Milk Company

The Pet Milk company, at Oostburg, is a branch condensory, the headquarters of which is located is St. Louis, Missouri.

The business was started in 1912 (?) by local people, and later taken over by the Danish Pride Milk company in 1914. On March 1, 1925 the Pet Milk company, of St. Louis, purchased the entire plant. Since the condensory was first established, large new and modern brick buildings have replaced the original frame structures which were operated for the Oostburg Condensed Milk company.


Transcribed by Kay R.

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