The following paragraphs we clip from the traveling correspondence of the Milwaukee Sentinel.
New London, Waupaca Co., is 20 miles from Appleton, and situated on Wolf River, at the mouth of the Embarrass, and is the head of navigation of the Wolf. The Wolf, at this point, is some 15 rods wide, and from 12 to 14 feet deep, and makes a fine curve as it passes through the town. Both the Wolf and the Embarrass are remarkably crooked streams, and at this point they seem to have been vieing with each other in describing circles and zigzag courses. In a bend of the Embarrass near its junction with the Wolf, was formerly an Indian burial ground and corn field. On the sacred spot, where but a few years since the red man of the forest held undisputed sway, and the camp-fires burned brightly, illuminated the dark thickets that surrounded them and casting their mellow light upon the glassy surface of the Wolf as its deep waters swept so gracefully around the hallowed spot of earth containing the dust of their warriors, and chiefs, and fathers, may now be seen a thriving town just emerging from the wilderness, with its Pearl, South Pearl and State Streets, and so on throughout a long list of appropriately names streets-its Washington Square, Market Square, Lyceums, Schools &c. Although New London is only a two year old, yet it has already attained to quite a manly growth; and posses all the elements necessary to a vigorous manhood.
It contains three hotels, four dry goods, grocery and hardware stores, one tin shop, two blacksmith shops, one steam saw mill, two ware-houses, three carpenter shops, one large tannery, a good boarding house, and a post-office, of which Wm. McMillin, Esq. an intelligent, energetic and worthy Scotchman, is post master, and furnished me on a short notice, with some ten or twelve subscribers for the Sentinel.
Excellent farming lands may be obtained in abundance for a great distance up both the Wolf and Embarrass rivers, at GOVERNMENT prices, presenting a fine opportunity for the enterprising pioneer to grow up with the country, and prosper, as all must with the immense tide of immigration now flowing into our State—Roads are opening in every direction, and but a few years will pass before there will be a railroad built, from Fond du Lac, via Oshkosh, Neenah, Appleton, New London, and up the Valley of the Wolf to Carp river and Lake Superior, connection the whole north-western portion of the State with its commercial emporium and the east.
New London will possess, during the coming season, an uninterrupted communication with Oshkosh, sixty miles below, by a daily Line of Steamboats. Large supplies of merchandise, produce and lumber will seek a transit through navigation of the Wolf and all will conspire to make this point a place of some considerable business at no distant day. Reeder Smith possesses quite a large landed interest here and with his usual energy at pioneering is doing much towards building up the town.
The Pineries, on the little Wolf and its branches, present just now a scene of busy life. There reverberating blows of an axe-man, in felling the tall pines, the continuous buzz of the :cross cuts" in manufacturing them into logs and the cheerful notes of the woodsman as he rolls three or four massive "cuts" upon his "bobs" and starts his team of three or four yoke of oxen for the banks of the river, made fine music these frosty days. The Moore Brothers are manufacturing at their mills at North Royalton, on the Little Wolf about 10,000 feet of lumber daily, and the river is full of logs for some distance above the dam. The Mieklejohns, a few miles farther up, are doing a fine business in the manufacturing of lumber. They have recently erected a Grist Mill at that Point.
Transcribed and submitted to the Waupaca County Website
by Paula Vaughan
Being a page-for-page reprint of the Original Issue 1857
Under the Editorial Direction of Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL. D., Sec. and Superintendent
Madison, Published by the Society 1904
New London and Neighborhood By A. J. Lawson
New London, in Waupaca County, was long the great camping-ground of the Indian Tribes, a locality favorable to hunting and fishing, as well as agriculture, in a very rude way. Abundant evidence is furnished, by the innumerable corn-hills and mounds that, for many generations, this has been planting ground. It was evidently occupied centuries ago, by a race far more skillful, industrious and civilized than the present wandering tribes, and furnishes proof of the superior fertility of the soil here for the product of grains,
About one thousand Menominee Indians were found here when the white settler caused the jealous eye of the Red Man to love his hunting grounds more than ever. The tribe was once large and powerful, and generally lived around the Green Bay country. Their women occasionally married Winnebagoes, but not often. As a tribe of Indians, they were represented as quiet and peaceable, and were friendly to the whites. The acting chief of the nation, Tomah, was highly spoken of by the old traders, as a good man. Small bands of the Menominees occasionally pass through the town. The deep trodden trails of the Indian pony, the marks of Indian graves-some of the emblems remaining -tell a story too true, of the injustice of the white man towards a race who have been most deeply, most irretrievably wronged. But the destiny of the Indian is written. As the white man advances they recede, though lords of the soil. What the Red Man once thought to be the utmost boundary of civilization, is now dotted with cities and villages, leaving no hope to him but that of finding a peaceful grave beneath the rolling billows of the Pacific. Here their trails are yet upon the soil, but their wigwams have long since crumble to earth, and their canoes have disappeared from the placid waters of the Wolf.
The early settlement of Western towns is usually attended with incidents of no small interest. Nowhere in the States have there been enacted more stirring scenes, than in the pioneer settlements of Wisconsin. In every locality-by every lake and crag, and winding river-there exists the warp and woof of events which, if they were all written-the journeyings into the wilderness-the hand-to-hand struggle with hardship and want-the years of toil-the stern and loftly heroism, in strifes where no world looks on to applaud-would produce a history whose pages would outshine the greatest work of fiction that the imagination could possibly produce.
"The West" was not once where it now is. The time was not long ago, when the Indians trail was where the railway now links one city with another. It is within our memory, when the Indian council-fire was seen where princely structures now cast their shadows. As the past few years come back and mingle their shadowy forms with the present, it all seems like a dream. Even the rude pioneer-cabin lives only in memory. Under the mighty march of enterprise, empires have been reared, and bloom upon the woodland mould.
Some four years since, our enterprising fellow-townsman, Lucius Taft, Esq., starting out to seek his fortune, having a keep penetration and foresight, as had those who followed him, located here, having in connection with Ira Millerd & Son, purchased the claim of the half-breeds, Johnson, who made this an Indian trading post. Mr. Ira Brown, now of Northport, in the previous autumn, located on a farm adjoining, making a claim, now the property of Alfred Lyon, Esq., a portion of which is a pleasant, and prosperous portion of the town. These may be considered, the pioneers of New London. They had now doubt employed themselves mostly in seeking out a locality which might be favorable as a permanent settlement, with prospect of advancing to something of real importance. It was evident to their minds, that this point with its natural advantages, at the confluence of two important streams, and as the grand gateway of the pinery above, must, at some future day, become a large town. The prediction which they made at that time, thought then a wilderness, has been more than verified. They truly found the philosopher's stone. And although, when they resolved to here pitch their tents, such a determination involved no inconsiderable zeal and risk, yet their energy and perseverance were equal to the attempt, and a good reward crowned their undertaking.
Perhaps it may not be proper to here refer to some of the first settlers in the vicinity, as their interests are woven with that of those who happened to settle nearer the Wolf. Mr. Runnell, a man of intelligence, wealth and moral worth, located a farm near where Mr. Brown settled, and Mr. Yeoman, at the foot of the Wolf Peak, commonly called Musquito Hill. Mr. J. G. Nordman, formerly a volunteer in the Mexican War, settled on a farm a few miles south. These, with those mentioned in the preceding paragraph, four years ago, were all, or nearly all, the settlers for many miles around, to our knowledge. But, however, the plank-road grade war finished through to this point and people began, three years ago, to come in and look at the place, and a few located,. More would have undoubtedly done so, had it not been for the difficulty of procuring lumber. What solemn spirit doth inhabit here, or what sacred oracle here hath a home, is full of poetic expression, understood only by those men who first made the forest echo with the implements of civilization.
Wisconsin, at that period, contained about three hundred thousand inhabitants. Now is has three-quarter of a million souls. New London has not been without her increase. The first house that was seen to peer up in the humble solitude, still stands as a monument, and as a faithful observer of the march of progress. At the end of 1855, this miniature city numbered about 150 habitants. An impulse was given to affairs, in 1854, by the erection of a steam saw-mill by Doty and Smith, who, however, for a time, failed to make it answer the purpose for which it was designed, until the experienced skill of Capt. Coffin, set it running; and it has done much towards building the town thus far. The neighboring mills have done their share, and they should all look with a friendly eye upon our prosperity, as securing their own. From this date, the attention of eastern men was drawn to the town, by it natural and prospective advantages.
Half a dozen houses had hardly been erected in the town, when a school was formed under the direction of Miss Maria Millerd. She commenced it in a log house. Five scholars made their appearance on the first day. How pleasant and suggestive was the sight, to see this young and spirited lady, here in the woods, her only visitor the Indian, endeavoring to imbue the tender mind with practical truths! This fact alone speaks well for the place. It is significant. It shows that the early settlers had not forgotten the parental impressions of their childhood-the old village church spire, and the familiar weather-beaten school-house which they left behind them. These emblems of peace were fondly cherished.
It was the steamers Badger State and Barlow, that made the first trips on the Wolf to this point, in 1853. Their trips were not very regular. In the following year, the Eureka, Capt. Drummond, commenced her regular trips to Oshkosh. Little did the Red Men, whose canoes had for so many years graced the placid waters of the river, imagine that thus soon would the shrill whistle of the steamboat drive the antlered deer from their hunting grounds. But the early settlers hailed the steamer's coming The mechanic looked upon its graceful curve, as it majestically parted the waters to which it was wedded, as a triumph of skill, as well as a moving evidence of the progress of civilization; and the merchant discovered in it new channels of trade. It was material advance in Wisconsin's onward march. Peace, unity, and prosperity were in every revolution of the paddle-wheel.
A post office was established in 1854, of which William McMillin, Esq. was post master. The mail, at that period, could be carried in a man's hat. It is needless to say, that the mail then was an institution more fully appreciate than those latter days, but perhaps not so much so as in "ye olden times", when Franklin traveled with it, or when the pioneers of Wisconsin were often times months without intelligence of what was passing in other parts of the world.
But the New London of 1857, is not the New London of 1854. Now we have a town containing a dozen mercantile establishments, three hotels, a printing office, churches, schools, professional men, mechanics, and manufacturers, with two hundred buildings, and a population of not less than eight hundred. The citizens are mostly from New England, maintaining their character for thrift, enterprise and intelligence. It is located on a noble river, and the pineries above afford every facility for obtaining lumber in abundance, and at the cheapest rates.
From Wisconsin County Histories, Waupaca County Edited by John M. Ware 1917
New London, a growing and well-built city of about 3,800 people, lies on both sides of the Wolf River at the mouth of the Embarrass. Its eastern area, now one of its five wards, has extended far over into Outagamie County on the east. This section of the city lies on high ground, which gradually rises from the banks of the Wolf and embraces much of the most attractive residence districts of New London. The business and industrial portions are on the more level tracts along and near the' rivers, and represent the pioneer periods of the city's history when their waters were jammed with logs from bank to bank, when the air was filled with the din of numerous sawmills and the river wharves were piled with freight, both going and coming. Of course, the bulk of the city's trade is far more now than then, but is less congested and is not centered in the one industry of getting the timber of the Wolf River pineries to the mills.
Lucius TAFT AND His WORK
Lucius Taft died at the home of his son in Columbus, Ohio, on the 21st of July, 1899. He was a Vermonter, moved to New York in his boyhood, went West in the '40s, and made New London his first permanent abiding place. Mr. Taft went to Connecticut for his wife, whom he married in 1855 and who shared with him all the trials and joys of the rugged pioneer times. She survived him until 1915.
In July, 1851, Mr. Taft commenced to build the first frame house in New London, the lumber for it having been floated down the river from Hortonville. During that winter the house was occupied by a Mr. Price and wife, with whom Mr. Taft boarded. When the village site was platted soon afterward, it was found that the house stood in the middle of a street; it was consequently moved to the present site of the Lipke Block.
THE NAMING OF NEW LONDON
The next plat after Mr.. Taft's was made on the south side by Mr. Reeder Smith, of Appleton. No name had been given to the place as yet, and a meeting was appointed for that purpose. Mr. Taft had then taken Mr. Millerd as a partner. So the north side was Millerd & Taft's and the south side, Reeder Smith's.
The time came when a name must be given this little city in embryo. A meeting of the inhabitants, and Mr. Reeder Smith (who was to represent the south side), was called, and the name of New London was suggested by him. It must be named for his honored father, who lived in the Town of New London, Connecticut. Mir. Millerd and Mr. Taft were overpowered by his arguments and silently acquiesced.
"Soon after, or about that time a missionary located here, and not long afterward Mr. Taft brought me here. Mr. Lathrop, the minister, was talking with me one day and strongly protested against the name New London. He understood the injustice of the act, and suggested that it should be changed, if possible; He proposed the name of Taft, and tried very hard to effect the change, but Mr. Taft was too modest to contend, so nothing was done about it. Mr. Lathrop also suggested the name Tafton. Tafton Park sounding a little more euphonious than Taft Park, when I read your article the name recurred to me. I wish it might be called so. It would be a 'better-late-than-never' 'act.
"I write this to you as a friend. I have many reasons for retaining my love for New London. It was the home of my married life, and can never cease to be of interest to me. The few of us that were there then know of the difficulties early settlers have to encounter, though there were a great many things to enjoy. Building up a new community is 'no fool of a job,' if you are at all conscious of your ability and positively certain of your disability. The joys and the sorrows, the expectations and the failures, are only known to those who have had experience.
"Mr. Taft owned the first colt, a two-year old; the first pair of horses; the first carriage, a long-bodied wagon; built the first house, the first warehouse and the first barn. We didn't have the first baby, but did have the first baby buggy-one with two wheels, a red body and a black leather top."
Mrs. Taft's dissatisfaction with the name New London seems to have been generally shared by the early settlers, but when Uncle Sam has once entered a postoffice name in the national directory, and placed it on the map also, it is difficult to replace the name with something more appropriate.
Another old settler refers to the matter in these words: "Frequently people wonder why it was that the early city pioneers selected the name 'New London' when their application for a postoffice was made, this postoffice being established in 1854. The name was the outcome of the smooth manner in which an argument was put forth by Rev. Reeder Smith. All the other names suggested would perhaps have been better than that which was finally agreed upon. Reeder Smith's father was born in New London, Connecticut, and as a sort of honor for his parent he wished the name of New London. Mr. Smith had some plank road and railways laid out on paper for reaching this city and of course was quite prominent here. He had also purchased some land in the then hamlet, and the few who had congregated in McMillen's store for the final making out of the application, agreed to his name. The name of 'Embarrass' at first took the lead. The name of 'Wolf City' was also suggested. Some of the gathering proposed the name 'Tafton,' in honor of the first settler, Lucius Taft. The place was known for over four years as 'Taft's Landing.'
"The Madison Argus in February, 1857, contained this item: 'We advise the people of New London to change the name of their village forthwith, the sooner the better. We have a rooted aversion to such names.'
"The local paper added this: 'We have a rooted aversion to the name of our village, too. The western country is prolific with appropriate names for all villages without seeking names from the east.' "Of the various names proposed in the early day, we favor that of 'Tafton.' New London may not be an ideal name, but it's the best town on the map, all the same."
IRA MILLERD AND SON
MISS MILLERD TEACHES FIRST SCHOOL
"The next thing to be considered was the certificate. Being quite young, still in the period of short dresses, I looked forward to the examination with fear and trembling. In those days teachers were placed under the supervision of town superintendents.
"The superintendent came on Sunday. The much dreaded examination consisted of the questions 'Where are the Straits of Behring?' and 'How far have you been in arithmetic ?' Grammar and all other studies were omitted, I suppose for the sake of brevity. He asked me to give him a sample of my penmanship. I wrote 'Sabath morning,' leaving out one of the b's in the first word, for the same reason, we will premise, that he left out the other studies.
"The school began the next week, it being then the spring of 1853. One of my dresses had, in the meantime, been lengthened, to add dignity to my youthful appearance.
"The other half of the building was still used as a stable and, as the flies were very thick, the oxen were kept there through the day. With their lowing and stamping, the unloading of freight and the occasional visit of an Indian, our school was not a model of order.
"Within an enclosure near the school room was kept an old muley cow, which went crazy at the sight of an Indian. To go and quiet her was one of my duties whenever a noble red man put in an appearance.
"There were seven pupils enrolled, but the average attendance was about two and a half. One of them in particular I was never sure of. He was always there at roll call, but when it came time for him to read he was generally missing. Being extremely hard to catch, he usually went without instruction in that branch.
"At the end of the year I received ten dollars, which I invested in real estate that eventually brought me two hundred dollars. I shall
THE FIRST MARRIAGE
It was in the Millerd Building, which stood near the present site of the Hotel Elwood, that the wedding ceremony was performed by Ransom Nickle, of Mukwa, justice of the peace, while the bashful young man and fair maid who faced the squire on that occasion were William McDonald and Catherine A. Nickle, whose homes were about three miles from the Post; witnesses to the compact, Ira Millerd, Sr., and family, Ira Millerd,
Mr. and Mrs. McDonald passed the remainder of their lives in the vicinity of New London, and in March, 1903, celebrated the golden anniversary of their marriage. Among those in attendance were Ira Mil-lerd, Jr., Levi Nickle and Thomas Nickle, who were also their guests fifty years previously.
PIONEER STEAMBOATS TO NEW LONDON
IMPORTANT EVENTS OF 1854
THE OLD GLOBE HALL
"The name was given to it by Mrs. Reeder Smith from two win-dows- one in each end-which had round, globular tops; they were called | globe windows. The building was built by Reeder Smith and John C. Hoxie, a man by the name of Whicher performing the work, and sold to Daugherty, Lindsay & Company. Mr. Smith reserved the hall for public worship for four years, after the expiration of which time the control of the hall passed to that firm.
"Church services were held there, and Sunday schools delighted to gather within its sumptuous walls. Lyceums met there and discussed with great enthusiasm the vital questions of humanity. Political assemblages there listened to the spokesmen of various parties in the days of Abolitionism, of Buchanan and Fremont during their presidential aspirations.
Enthusiastic citizens listened to the red-hot speeches of the rail-road advocates whose benevolent labors were soon to make a great metropolis of New London. About forty-four years ago the very air of the hall was charged with railroad talk, and the surrounding forests resounded with praises of the Appleton & Wolf River Railroad, when they failed to re-echo the superior claims of the Wolf River & New London Railroad. Lectures, shows, traveling concerts and other migratory concerns also made the walls resound. Good Templars and other societies, in turn, hid their secrets from the eyes of the prying world. One of the departments of our city schools was held there for a time. The first local minstrel show ever given in the city was in this pioneer hall. It was given by the kids of the town. The writer appeared in tights and was the chief contortionist of the aggregation-we are more modest and bashful now. Elwood Lutsey was also a member of that famous aggregation. All these and more, in turn, made use of the shelter of the old hall. The last occupant was H. A. Libby, who used it for the storage of furniture. The old building was purchased of H. H. Page by Messrs. Pahl & Pichl, and torn down as stated above."
IN THE LATE '50S
The stable growth of New London in the late '50s is indicated, among other evidences, by the fact that in 1857 its communication with the outside world had so expanded that the postal authorities established a daily mail for its accommodation.
By the year 1857, New London had also so increased in business importance and prospects as to contain nearly 800 inhabitants, with some 200 buildings. Ira Millerd & Son and H. D. Hanks were land agents and surveyors; H. Dean, Lindsey, Daugherty & Company, E. Dedolph, S. L. Tucker and W. T. Ward & Son, dealers in dry goods; E. H. Barber and S. L. Tucker, hardware merchants; Horace Dean, W. T. Ward & Son, Ernest Dedolph, Lindsey, Daugherty & Company, S. E. Leslie and Allen & Pinchen, grocers; William Leach (New London House), Amos Jones (Perry House) and George Lutsey (Angier House), hotel keepers; John Smith, Wadsworth & Company and Coffin & Hale, blacksmiths; Linde & Berry, druggists; David Hopkins, jeweler; Lindsey, Daugherty & Company, and S. L. Tucker, clothiers; G. D. Allen and Mr. Robinson, boots and shoes; Coffin & Hale, and Lindsay, Daugherty & Company, millers; Perry & Law and B. Stimson, warehouseman; Way & Dennis, liverymen; Thomas; Price, furniture store-keeper; Frank Mason, cabinet maker; Drs. J. W. Perry and J. E. Breed, physicians; S. S. Hamilton, counselor-at-law; Rev. A. C. Lathrop (Congregational) and Rev. L. D. Tracy (Methodist), ministers.
CONCLUSION OF PIONEER PERIOD
MERRITT LYONS' RECOLLECTIONS
"During my stay here stated, I assisted the Perry brothers in enlarging the log cabin by adding a frame building, getting the lumber by scow from the mill at Little Wolf. I also worked for Mr. Law in this lumber camp during the first winter of my stay. The mode of crossing the river was by scows, by the whites, and the Indians by swimming their ponies upon whose backs were packed their outfits.
"The name given by the Indians to the river was the Mohosippi (Moho, wolf; sippi, river). It was navigated from Oshkosh by a small steamer called the Peggy, it taking two days to make a trip to that place. Its accommodations for the passengers were rough tables from which the meals were. eaten through the day and serving as bedsteads at night. At the close of my stay here I moved to Pigeon River, now Clintonville,
"The only teams at that time in the town of Mukwa were two yoke of oxen owned by the Hanson brothers. These I secured, to make the journey, hitching them to an old sled, upon which I put my wife and two children and a trunk containing their clothing. We started in the middle of July upon the only road-an Indian trail impassable for any other rig. The time taken was one day and a portion of the night. For my home in Clintonville I settled upon a claim made on the south side of the river. I was the first settler of the place. In January of the following year, Mr. Norman Clinton and family arrived, taking a claim adjoining mine. From him the city took its name.
"Our nearest point for supplies, mail and physician, was New Lon-don, the mail being carried by Mr. Fairbanks on his back from New London to Shawano via Clintonville. The only survivors of the earliest settlers (1912) are Mr. G. W. Law, whose age is ninety-seven years, and myself, now being eighty-eight years of age."
NEW LONDON'S FIRST HOUSE
This house, which was the first to be erected in the village, was started on the 28th of July, 1851. There was no chimney built, as the nearest place brick could be obtained was at Neenah. During the winter of 1851 Sam Price and wife occupied the house and Mr. Taft boarded with them. During that period a boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Price, who was known later as Rob Price. He was the first white child to be born on the present
SEES "NEW LONDON" IN 1853
"But I wish to tax your patience a little more by saying that a first cousin of mine (supposed name was William Carr) married a lady by the name of Mary Pace, and I heard that they settled in New London and that he died several years ago. I notice the name of W. W. Pace, secretary of local committee, and C. F. Carr, with others, on the committee of reception, which induces me to mention their names. Now, if C. F. Carr should be a son of the said William Carr I would be pleased to have him write to me. In
closing' will say that the boys of '61 and '65 are now old men and we will all of us soon be in eternity. Let us ask ourselves, where will we spend it? There are some old soldiers that faced the cannon's mouth who do not like to face this solemn question, but we may be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ our Lord and in no other way. I am seventy-two years old and may never meet you in this life, but I wish to testify that Jesus Christ has (Power) on earth to forgive sin..
REV. STANLEY E. LATHROP'S RECOLLECTIONS
"Our family landed from a steamer at Sheboygan, rode by stage to Fond du Lac over a fearfully rough road, then took a little steamer across Lake Winnebago to Oshkosh, and up the Fox River to Omro, where my mother's father, Deacon Hough, had settled two years before. My father preached one year at Neenah, where the little Congregational church was much revived, its debt was paid and its sanctuary was completed. By
"But this did not satisfy his desire to preach the gospel in the more destitute regions beyond. He heard through Reeder Smith of Appleton, of a new town called New London (so named from Mr. Smith's birth-place at New London, Conn.) This, he was told, was in the dense forests of Waupaca county, on the Wolf river. Visiting this frontier post in the spring of 1854, he resolved to settle there, being cordially welcomed by the few residents. At first he traveled on foot from Neenah to Hortonville and New London, most of the way through the thick woods. Then he began to bring his few household goods by installments, on a one-horse wagon.
NEW LONDON IN 1854
"But this was nothing uncommon in those days. The town grew steadily, the forest receded before the multiplying pioneer abodes. In those times, the early settlers were hearty and whole-souled in their ways. Dame Fashion had no sway over the rough attire of men or women. The common trials of frontier life welded hearts together, suffering or rejoicing in company with each other. Vicissitudes and privations were the common lot of all. I remember that in the spring of 1856 the ice was very thick, and navigation very late in the spring, as nearly all supplies were brought in little steamers up the Wolf river from Oshkosh. The roads were impassable, first from deep snow and then deep mud, and the breadstuffs ran short.
"Fortunately my father had laid in a good supply of bran to feed his team of Indian ponies, and for three weeks we lived mainly on bran, sharing it also with our neighbors. The ponies very kindly shared their rations with us, and did not interpose any objection, showing their sympathy in the bipeds' misfortune! Wild game abounded in season, and the flesh of deer, bear, pigeon, squirrel, duck, fish, etc., was a large part of the pioneer menu.
EARLY RELIGIOUS SERVICES
"I remember that three of us boys sat up all night to keep the heater going, so as to prevent the fresh plaster from freezing, as it was late in the fall. One Sunday a tall man took his seat on the home-made benches under the sloping part of the roof. When the little congregation rose to sing, this man's head went bump against the low ceiling. This tickled my boyish risibilities so that I laughed until the five or six verses of the hymn
"Finally, as the town grew, the services were held in the 'Globe Hall,' the upper story of a building where Lindsay & Daugherty's store was on the first floor. This building has since been destroyed."
CAPTAIN DRUMMOND'S TURNING POINT
For a number of years the boat was engaged on the river in running between this city and Oshkosh. Her career was a prosperous one until the summer of 1859, when the captain unnecessarily stabbed with a large knife a powerful riverman by the name of Luther Martin, who was making a disturbance on board the boat while on his way down from the boom to Oshkosh. Drummond was arrested but the verdict was self-defense.
This seemed to have been the turning point in the career of Captain Drummond. Before this he seems to have been successful in everything which he undertook, but from the time of that tragedy until his own death he seemed to meet with nothing but trouble. Bad luck seemed to stalk in his wake. In the summer of 1863 his boy, a bright young lad of ten or twelve summers, was drowned in the river at New London, and in
THE LOCAL CEMETERIES
THE CHURCHES OF NEW LONDON
THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
In 1858 our father removed to Wautoma, Wisconsin, and there and elsewhere was a faithful and earnest Home Missionary until his death in 1888. The writer began studying in Beloit College, served through the war as a Union soldier, returned and finished the college course in 1867, and a theological course in Chicago in 1870, married and preached for two years in this state. Then in 1872 he accepted a call to become pastor
There were other things that were trying. Deaths and removals took away many of the dear old friends, and at last, during an epidemic of diphtheria which carried off more than a hundred children in one year, our own two bright and promising boys, both born in New London, died and were buried in one grave. Two little girls were also born there, who are now our oldest children living. The loss of the boys was a sore trial, and we resigned the pastorate and went southward, spending fourteen years of busy and fruitful missionary work in Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. And so New London was endeared to us by many ties both glad and sad. We had not been there for eleven years before this visit, and it was a time of reviving many memories. A few of the old friends of boyhood days still live, gray and feeble, some of them, but sincere friends through all these years.
" The present pastor, Rev. W. B. Millard, was away on the meritorious business of getting married. His mother was a schoolmate of ours twenty-eight years ago at Wautoma, and so we know that he comes from good stock. The church is prospering. We preached in our old pulpit on Sunday, September the 29th, the same pulpit which we occupied six years as pastor. It was a most enjoyable Sunday. There were many who had formerly been children in our Sunday School in those days, whom we had received into the church, and had joined a number of them in marriages. Now they are business men and women with families of their own, leaders in the church and in the community, of whom we are proud. There were a number of our boyhood friends, and there were many vacant seats of those who had 'gone up higher.' There were, of course, many
For about three years after the coming of Rev. Alfred C. Lathrop, meetings were held every alternate Sunday, at first at his house in the loft of the Taft warehouse, afterward in the hall over Dr. J. W. Perry's house and still later in Globe Hall. Being the first minister in these parts he also preached at Hortonville, Greenville, Northport, Phillips' Mills and Moore's Mills (now Royalton), "wading streams and overflowed lands, riding Indian ponies, fighting swarms of mosquitoes, and being occasionally chased by wolves, and dwelling in a log house of his own erection, in the regular pioneer preacher style."
The "church paper" of July, 1876, edited by Rev. Stanley E. Lathrop, continues its resume of the society's history up to that time, and in the following strain: "As the village grew, religious prospects also in-creased, until it was deemed best to organize a church. A council of neighboring churches was called, consisting of Rev. H. H. Benson, Deacon Waite Cross of Appleton, and Rev. Theodore Cooke of Menasha. They met at the house of Mr. L. Taft (with a second session at the house of Mr. A. Daugherty), February 8, 1857, the church being constituted with appropriate public exercises at Globe Hall, at which time a pulpit Bible (still in use) was presented by Rev. A. C. Lathrop.
"The following thirteen persons were at that time associated as the original charter members of the church, of whom the three first named are dead, the three last named having taken letters to other churches, and but three of the remainder are permanent residents of the village: L. C. Nason, L. B. Chittenden, Mrs. Stella D. Lathrop, Fred. P. Hale, Sheldon A. Hale, Mrs. Letitia M. Taft, Dr. J. E. Breed, Mrs. Mary B. Chittenden,
"Rev. O. P. Clinton, now of Menasha, preached from July, 1861, to-September, 1862, when he entered the army as a chaplain. Rev. Levi P. Sabin came in October, 1862, and left in July, 1863, having received ordination while here by a committee of Winnebago convention. Rev. Lester J. Sawyer (also ordained at a regular meeting of the same convention at Menasha) preached from October, 1863, to July, 1864. For about two
"A Sunday School was organized in 1854 and was superintended in turn by Rev. A. C. Lathrop, A. F. Tucker, Charles Lindsay, B. F. Dorr, L. B. Chittenden, S. Brockway, H. S. Lyon, John Taylor, C. W. Packard, D. M. Holdredge, H. A. Libby, H. H. Page and L. C. Patterson." Rev. Stanley E. Lathrop was succeeded by Rev. Milton H. Rowley in February, 1879, and he concluded his term of service as pastor in April, 1881
The successive pastors since the latter year have been: Rev. James H. Chamberlain, 1882-83; Rev. William Blackwell, 1884-88; Rev. John H. Rowland, 1889-95; Rev. William B. Millard, 1896-1900, during whose pastorate the present church and parsonage were erected-the latter largely by a legacy of J. W. McDonnough; Rev. W. R. Gaylord, 1900-02; Rev. Frank L. Moore, 1902-05; Rev. C. A. Boughton, 1905; and since the
THE M. E. CHURCH
In 1859 the annual conference sent Rev. David Lewis to New London, and the work was carried along quite briskly under his pastorate. Then came Rev. William Teal, under whom the society resumed services in the Globe Hall; following whom were Rev. J. D. Cole; Rev. R. P. Lawton (two years), the society holding services, during a portion of his pastor-ate, in the Baptist Church; Rev. Warren Woodruff, under whom the
CHURCH OF THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD
ST. JOHN EVANGELIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
EMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH
In 1893 it was thought best to combine the two Lutheran congregations, and in November of that year Rev. Adoph Spiering, the pastor still in service, was called to take charge of the united society. On the 13th of that month the parochial school was also opened, with Mr. Spiering as its teacher. In 1900 a larger and more convenient schoolhouse was erected. Charles Zeige is the present principal. He has two assistants. About 130 pupils are enrolled in the school, the graduates of which enter the City High School. The membership of the church consists of nearly 260 heads of families, and 76 others who cannot thus be classified.
THE IMPORTANT '70S
FIRST MUNICIPAL OFFICERS
J. C. HOXIE
Having provided for his parents in New York, Mr. Hoxie started for the headquarters of the Wolf River lumber region. Arriving in New London, in the spring of 1855, he at once proceeded to build a house for his waiting family. Floating the lumber from Hortonville, he erected a 14 by 16 shanty, in which his own and two other families passed the greater part of the summer. About the first outside work done by Mr. Hoxie in New London was the building of Henry Ketchum's barn. He is said to have waded barefoot from his home to Mr. Ketchum's place to do the carpenter work, which he had learned almost unaided.
"Although I often went without boots," says Mr. Hoxie, "I was never without a little money, and never neglected what I thought would be a good investment." From the first he not only worked hard, but invested shrewdly in securities and real estate. In 1861 he formed a partnership with W. H. Sibley, opened up what was then a large stock of general merchandise and conducted a thriving business until 1865. Mr. Hoxie then bought out his partner, exchanged his business for pine lands, which netted him a handsome profit, and for years afterward continued a driving business as a lumberman and land speculator. In 1868, with H. Ketchum, he virtually monopolized the Wolf River lumber trade. For several years Mr. Hoxie also owned and operated a tannery at New London, and in 1880 he built on its main street one of the largest and finest hardware stores in the state. His stock corresponded with his building, and the establishment was a great advertisement for the new city itself. He continued to conduct his lumber business, and owned large tracts of pine lands in the Wolf and Menominee valleys. Mr. Hoxie left New London for Florida some time in the early '90s and died in the South. His son, Albert E. Hoxie, is a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida.
MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS, 1877-1916
The city clerks: C. M. Taylor, 1877-1881; E. D. Peasley, 1881-1882; George W. Cline, 1882-1884; E. D. Peasley, 1884-1886; C. E. Dickinson, 1886-1893; A. C. Herrmann, 1893-1898; B. A. Weatherby, 1898-1904; Charles Farlan, 1904-1906; N. R. Demming, 1906-1912; C. J. Thompson, 1912 to present time.
INCREASE IN POPULATION, 1890-1916
THE CITY OF TODAY
THE LOCAL PRESS
The former, which is the elder of the two, has collected and published the following record of "dead city papers: The New London Times, first to appear, was established by A. J. Lawson in October, 1856, suspended in November, 1857, was revived in the following January by Robert Perry, and "died for good" in the spring of 1858. In June, 1868, Vet. Graves, a young man of 20 years, residing in Appleton, moved to New London with a friend, Mr. Sears, and the two started the Era. But Mr. Graves sold to Mr. Sears within the year, and found employment with the old Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railroad, with which he was identified for many years as a passenger conductor running between Antigo and Milwaukee. The New London Era did not long survive his departure.
The New London Times was established by John A. Ogden in November, 1870. Ogden at this time had the notoriety of being the youngest editor in the state. He sold a half interest to A. C. McCrorie. They conducted it until the following April, when Ogden sold to E. E. Gordon, and he and McCrorie were at the helm till March, 1872, when McCrorie sold to Gordon, who conducted it alone until June, 1875, when W. W. Walker purchased an interest. This firm held the helm till January, 1876, when Gordon sold to Walker, who ran the enterprise until July, 1877. Then Gordon again conducted it until August, 1878, when G. A. and Lewis Stinchfield held it down for a year. Then Gordon and Patchin were proprietors until 1880, when M. B. Patchin and his son George purchased Gordon's interest, and at the end of the year sold it to H. S. and H. W. Pickard, who had in the meantime established a paper called the New London Times and Tribune. In October, 1882, a company called the Times Publishing Company, comprised of G. M. Patchin, H. S. Pickard and H. P. Briggs, strove for
glory and dollars. This firm was dissolved in July, 1884, and succeeded by G. M. Patchin for four years, when he sold to a stock company comprised of J. C. Hoxie, F. Cleary and others. Cleary was editor until August, 1889. It was then sold to W. E. Hannaford and conducted by him till October, when he and W. G. LeCount managed the paper until September, 1890. Then E. A. King was the chief until December. After this date Charles D.
In July, 1874, Charles A. Pettibone launched the New London News. For a time M. Mertz was associated with him. This was doubtless the only paper in New London where. too much water had a hand in its death. The plant was in the basement under the Reeder Smith Block (now filled up), and in the fore part of the next summer (1876) the water came up till there was about four feet in the room. The type was moved and the press left in the water; the paper was printed on the Times press. This way of doing business sort of demoralized Pettibone, and the paper turned up its toes in May, 1876,
The next new adventure was a paper called The Tribune, established in December, 1880, by H. S. and H. W. Pickard. This survived upon the stormy waves of hopes and failures until the firm purchased the Times in March, 1881.
D. L. Stinchfield established a paper called the News in June, 1885, which hung out its banner until August, when' it also expired. In 1890 Johnson & Ransom fathered a paper called the New London Enterprise, which existed only a short time.
In 1889 George Patchin and Frank Brady launched the Dual City Tribune, which was printed in Clintonville and intended for both cities. After a time the "Dual City" was dropped, a plant put in, and it became known as the New London Tribune, conducted by Mr. Brady, then by Brady 'Brothers. In November, 1892, Will M. Barnum became the editor and proprietor, and in the spring of 1897 sold it to Clark & Chase. Within the following two years Mr. Clark retired, Mr. Haase bought into the concern, and finally in January, 1900, the Tribune expired. The Inter-County News, after a struggle of twenty-nine-weeks, from May 2, 1908, also rendered up its young, uneasy life.
THE PRESS AND THE REPUBLICAN
WATERWORKS AND LIGHTING PLANT
The first street pavement was laid in 1915, and it now amounts to 21/2 lineal miles.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
THE FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY
The library originated in 1895 through the untiring efforts of Professor J. C. Freehoff, then principal of the high school. Mr. Freehoff was thoroughly impregnated with the library idea. He was by no means a wealthy man, but had the interest of school' pupils at heart, and saw their needs. From his own collection of books he selected something like two hundred, which formed a nucleus for the library. He spent several weeks soliciting subscriptions and donated $200, savings from his salary. His crowning efforts of success were made after his term as principal of our schools had closed and he was about to go to other fields of labor.
The subscriptions were made in small amounts by individuals. After a suitable amount was subscribed, various citizens of the city were requested to hand in lists of books suitable for a public library in their opinion, and by this method the volumes making up the library were finally selected.
The late David Jennings left a bequest of $250 for the library, which was greatly appreciated by the library patrons. The object of Mr. Freehoff was to start the library with four hundred books, but when the cataloguing was completed, quite a number of volumes having been donated, the number of books put upon the shelves was 1,031, classified as follows: Juvenile fiction, 80; junior fiction, 170; American fiction, 120; English fiction, 100; foreign fiction, 50; American history, 40; folk lore, 20; sociology, 60; religion, 20; biography, 40; science, 30; travel, 40; general, 40; ethical culture, 40; belles-letters, 40; essays, 60; drama, 30; miscellaneous, 20.
The dedication of the library was held July 4, 1895, the services being held in the City Park at a picnic under the auspices of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of this city. The dedicatory address was given by Reverend Millard, then pastor of the Congregational Church. After his address he presented a gold watch to Professor Freehoff, given by the people of New London as a memento for his efforts in behalf of the city.
The Library Association was organized July 2, 1895, when the following officers were elected: President, W. H. Hatten; secretary, Miss Susie Dixon; treasurer, Walter Trayser; librarian, Charles F. Carr; directors, W. B. Millard, Arthur Erlde, Mrs. H. G. Andrae, Mrs. H. Patchin, F'. C. Weed, G. T. Dawley, Miss Bradbury, Mrs. A. A. Furgeson. The first book issued from the library was to G. A. Murray. The books were first kept in the Press office, in the upper rooms of the Pape Building, where they were issued two afternoons in a week. After a time the business of publishing the Press demanded other quarters and a power press, and the librarian resigned the custody of the books, and they were removed to the Strickland jewelry store, in the Meiklejohn Block, where various persons donated their services as librarians, among them being Mrs. Strickland, Miss Dixon, Miss Willett, and Miss Davis, there being no regularly appointed librarian.
In the latter part of 1896, a fund was raised by subscription to pay a regular librarian and Mrs. Edna Jost was the first to fill the position. Mrs. Jost remained librarian until September, 1898, when she resigned and Miss Maud Archibald was her successor. In January, 1899, there were 1,250 volumes in the library. In April, 1900, the library was made over to the city and has since been supported by appropriations, and looked after by a Library Board. Miss Archibald, who succeeded Mrs. Jost as librarian in September, 1898, continued in that position for two years. When she first assumed charge the library was located in the main room of the city hall, on the first floor, but soon afterward the city council moved it to Cline's block.
Then, in succession, the library was shifted to rooms in the Garrett Sullivan Building and the city hall, both in the city clerk's office and the justice's room. The next librarian was Mrs. C. Feathers, who served for eight years, resigning in 1908. Miss Alice Millerd, the present incumbent, then took charge.
In March, 1913, when it became apparent that the accommodations at the city hall were far from adequate, an enthusiastic mass meeting was held in favor of an erection of a library building, and the council voted to devote $600, which had already been offered to obtain additional room, toward the purchase of a site; also to appropriate $1,200 per year for library purposes, provided $12,000 could be secured for the building,
The Grand Opera House of New London was erected by J. C. Hickey and George E. Lutsey in 1892. Two years before, Mr. Lutsey had built the Elwood Hotel, thus continuing the long careers of his parents in that line. The opera house was conducted by Messrs. Hickey and Lutsey until the spring of 1916, when the latter became its sole proprietor.
"Captain" Lutsey, who is a native of New London, was engaged in the steamboat business for many years between New London and Oshkosh before he entered the hotel business.
THE CITY BANKS
The First National Bank of New London has a capital of $50,000, with the following officers: E. H. Ramm, president; M. C. Trayser, vice president; H. S. Ritchie, cashier.
The Farmers State Bank was established in 1912, a building for its accommodation being erected in the same year. There has been no change in the management, i. e.: Silas E. Wright, president; Jacob Werner, vice president; E. C. Jost, cashier. The capital of the bank is $25,000; surplus and undivided profits, about $5,500, and average deposits, $250,000.
NEW LONDON LODGES
MASONIC BODIES AND THEIR TEMPLE
New London Chapter No. 62, Royal Arch Masons, was chartered on February 16, 1887, and was organized with B. A. Weatherby as high priest, James Meiklejohn, king, and Leonard Perrin, scribe. Among the high priests, besides Mr. Weatherby, have been George Strickland, George Wheldon and G. T. Dawley. Membership of the chapter about 100. Fountain City Chapter No. 28, Order of the Eastern Star, was granted its charter January 18, 1892. Its first officers were: Mrs. Augusta Trayser, worthy matron; Mrs. Ella Stimson, associate matron, and Silas E. Wright, worthy patron. The worthy matrons who have presided over the chapter: Mrs. Augusta Trayser, four terms; Mrs. Ella Stimson, four terms; Mrs. George Wheldon, two terms; Mrs. Emma Wright, three terms; Mrs. Susie Dick, two terms; Mrs. Susie Wright, two terms; Mrs.. H. L. Bacon, two terms; Mrs. Flora Chickering, one term; Mrs. Nettie Pfeifer, one term; Mrs. Belle Dawson, two terms, and Mrs. Ruby Jensen, two terms.
Until about three years ago the different Masonic bodies of New London met in the Meiklejohn, Stimson and Lipke blocks, and had no permanent or central home. In the fall of 1913 the order purchased the old Andrew Meiklejohn homestead, and in the summer of 1914 remodeled the residence so as to admirably meet the requirements-social, ritualistic and benevolent-of the various Masonic bodies which were to meet therein. The Masonic Temple is well named.
THE ODD FELLOWS AND THEIR HALL
Sometime after the lodge was instituted its "official language" was changed from English to German, but about 1885 a return was made to English. About 1868 the Odd Fellows built a hall with a store on the first floor. In 1902 this frame building was sold to W. A. Trayser, and the brick structure now occupied was completed in 1903. The property is valued at about $11,000.
THE WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS
Questions, suggestions or additions please email.
1999-2011 Paula Vaughan