Ellsworth History – It happened in Ellsworth during April

Some of you might know that the Pierce County Historical Association is in preparation for Ellsworth’s 150th celebration for next year, 2012. We are putting together a book that will cover all aspects of Ellsworth’s history since its “beginning” when the first white settler Anthony Huddleston first came in 1854. The township was first set off as Perry in 1857. In the fall of 1861, the county seat was moved here. The village was first called Ellsworth after the post office was established here as Ellsworth the same year. The Ellsworth name was given in tribute to the first officer killed in the Civil War in May 1861. The name became preferred in 1862. By the time of 1866, when Ellsworth was first platted officially as a village, the name stuck and the township and village were officially known as Ellsworth from that time forward. Ellsworth became incorporated in 1887, so next year also is the 125th anniversary of village government as well.  In 1900, an Ellsworth village souvenir was published detailing the history of Ellsworth up to that point. Erronously, the village plat date was given as 1862. This date was from that time forward given as Ellsworth’s birth date, even at the 100th celebration in 1962. No one checked for the real date, 1866, and so we have accepted the date since that time. It does fit nicely with the 1887 incorporation date 25 years later.

Anyway, as we are assembling this book, we have taken a LOT of notes about when things have happened throughout Ellsworth history. I though I would share some of them here to get the information out and to get you thinking about Ellsworth’s past. We have asked for help already on this project, but have not gotten a lot of response. If you have anything written or have any memories or photographs of Ellsworth’s past we would LOVE to hear from you. It does not matter when or what the material is about, just that it is about Ellsworth, Wisconsin in some way. We are also doing family profiles of long standing Ellsworth families and would love material in that department as well. The materials have to be in by the end of August 2011 in order to get them ready for the book. Business profiles / histories past and present also are much welcome as are school memories, social group histories and church histories all are needed for the book. We would prefer someone from the organization would write something, since they would know at least part of what has happened first hand. Pierce County’s history should be written by its people! To submit something for this Ellsworth history project contact me or the Pierce County Historical Association office at 715 – 273 – 6611.

This will be a monthly post until next year. I am trying to pick things that are interesting to me and hopefully to you the reader. If you know of something that happened in April that is not mentioned here please mention it as a comment!

1857 – 1st township meeting held at Landgon’s Filkins’ house on April 7, 1st officers are Caleb B. Bruce, chairman
Alexander Campbell and John Hoffman inspectors, Peter M. Simon and Wilson Kinne clerks
1868 – Frank L. Wilson and Henry P. Ames open first law practice in Ellsworth in Penvoke’s Wise’s building
1872 – Spring term of school begins with Ms. Emily Wood in the village
1875 – Morris B. Kimball purchases the Ellsworth Saw Mill and makes many improvements on the property
1879 – 2,250 cords of wood processed at the Ellsworth Stave Factory during this month, a new record
1882 – Work commences on building first Ellsworth Cheese Factory
1883 – Thomas L. Nelson buys the old county building for $42 and tears it down
1885 – Charles Huber opens a livery stable here
Richard Canfield breaks ground for his new house 519 W. Main St.
1886 – A new town hall is built in the Midway district for $500
1888 – Dr. Herbert W. Lane begins his medical practice in Ellsworth
1889 – Frank Saxton builds first East Ellsworth Hardware Store – 442 Wall St.
1891 – 363 W. Church built as a home for John T. Bowers, county treasurer
1896 – Arthur D. Miller builds a new photo studio across from the courthouse (part of Today’s Lawrence Studio building)
1898 – Ground is broken on Henry C. Huber’s new restaurant block – now 325 W. Main St.
J.F. Porter of Red Wing puts in a sorghum refinery in the Ellsworth Manufacturing Co.’s building
Ground was broken for a new Clayfield School building
269 S. Chestnut St. built for new residence of Doctor Deo C. Munger
The Ellsworth baseball team is reorganized with James Mazuire, pitcher, Henry C. Huber manager, Lute Muggah, captain, with Will Krueger, Harry Knowlton, Joe Maynard, Adolph Swahn, Frank Canfield, Tomm Quinn and August Tigewal
1899 – Fred W. Hines builds a meat market building for Richard Luedtke, the first one in East Ellsworth
1900 – Foss Armstrong Co. opens their hardware store in their brand new building – 338 W. Main St.
The McLeod building is utilized along Wall Street for additional classrooms space for East Ellsworth students
1901 – Samuel Travis becomes the new proprietor of the Forest House
Charles P. McAndrew sells his house for the new St. Francis Parsonage for $1800
Ernest and Norman N. Buck move here to take charge of the Vanderwater power plant
1902 – Market Day first held in Ellsworth
1903 – Adolph Swahn builds a 30 x 30 ft. addition to the back of his business block for professional offices 344 W. Main
William Kurchinski builds a new blacksmith shop here
1904 – Yaffe brothers close their general store here and go to Spring Valley
1905 – Ellsworth Improvement League first formed, predesessor of today’s chamber of commerce
1906 – Joseph Wainous building owned by the Schmidt Brewery Co. completely burns to the ground – 310 W. Main
An East Ellsworth fire company is formed with John C. Haberman, cheif, and Raimond Munger assistant
Galvanized Iron is added to the dome of the new courthouse
1909 – Carl Bauer opens the Ellsworth Bottling Works for the first time on Wall Street
1911 – John Shaw becomes Ellsworth Postmaster, Koep and Nelson open their cigar factory
1914 – 170 Couples attened the opening season dance at the East Ellsworth Pavilion
1915 – Tennis Courts open west of the Fireman’s Opera Hall
1916 – August Hageman and sons start construction on their new meat market and grocery building – 339 W. Main
1917 – Ground is broken on the new garage for William L. Oltman by the Frank H. Johnson Cast Stone Co.- 310 W. Main
Ellsworth becomes a dry town, staying that way until 1933
Adolph Swahn has new residence built by the Frank H. Johnson Cast Stone Co. at 125 S. Maple St.
1918 – Ellsworth Foundry building burns to the ground in the Midway district a $10,000 loss
1920 – Henry Oscar Junkman house burns to the ground in the Midway district, a $1700 loss
1923 – Parents Teachers Organization first formed for Ellsworth village schools
1924 – Charles Sather purchases the East Ellsworth School building on Terrace Street
1925 – Arthur Cook establishes the first greenhouse in Ellsworth on Kinne St.
1926 – Fred J. Putzier buys the Hotel Lane from Frank E. Elliott beginning a 51 year run
125 members of the Klu Klux Klan of Ellsworth marched from Odd Fellow’s Hall to the Methodist Chuch in full regalia
on Good Friday
1930 – Dr. Clark W. Brown begins his 23 year long veterinarian practice here
Mail is switched from train to truck delivery, trains cut back to two mixed trains a day
1931 – Walter Gaarden sells his grocery store in East Ellsworth to Don Lubnow
Farmer’s Union Co-op begins petroleum delivery
1932 – Willam H. Bittner moves his jewelery store to the Riley Brothers block
1934 – Charles Haessly becomes the new Ellsworth Postmaster
1936 – Julius Huppert has the Frank H. Johnson Cast Stone Co. build him a John Deer  (known as Midway) Implement
building at 121 E. Main St.
1937 – Railroad water tank removed after 51 year existence
1938 – Hoyer Furniture and Funeral home drop the furniture part of the business after 37 years
1939 – Fire destroys the Ellery Nadeau house 0.25 miles south of the village
1944 – Red Owl Grocery sold from Clarence “Pops” Armstrong to John and James Conery
1945 – last of the wooden parts of the Creamery is torn down to make way for a new addition for new spray type milk drier, showers, locker and lunch rooms on the east side of the complex
1946 – Arnold Lunde opens first Taxi service in Ellsworth out of the Little Grand Cafe
George Sears builds residence at 220 Summit St.
Edward Heitdtke becomes Consolidated Lumber Co.’s new manager
1948 – New building for the Finstad Implement company completed by the Frank H. Johnson Cast Stone Co. 456 W. Main
1949 – Allen Fink opens his implement and Studebaker car dealership at a new building – 121 W. Main St.
Cairns Woods, a 34 acre site is dedicated north of the village for community use
1950 – New baseball team spring lineup is Gerald Holden, Elliott Fosmo, Barry Waller, Robert Young, Howard Deiss,
William Schultz, F.B. Klaas, Glen Tobias, Joe Hove, Don McAleavy, Ken Ness, Junior Hove, Roger Most, Charles
Most, Anthony Connelly, and Jack Ambler
1951 – Bittner’s Jewlery store sold to Gordon Johnson of Clear Lake
Burton Trok purchases Phillips 66 station from Charles Ford
1952 – Wayne Eaton opens his Lennox Heating Business in the Midway district
1956 – 371 S. Maple Street is completed for Dr. F.B. Klaas
1957 – Ellsworth Theater reopens after being closed for the winter with The Fastest Gun Alive starring Glenn Ford
Melvin and Lloyd Steiner buy Bernard Fink’s grocery store
1962 – Guy Kay sells his service Station to Calvin Rice, a 25 year employee
1963 – The oldest house in Ellsworth is removed to make way for a parking lot for Sonny’s restaurant and bar
Rollie Baker moves a tavern into the building that was formerly Don Lubnow’s grocery in East Ellsworth
1964 – Gordon Thayer buys the Ben Franklin store from Fred J. Putzier
New educational wing dedicated at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Greyhound Bus Service is discontinued
1967 – Winberg Furniture is bought out by Tousley Furniture of River Falls
1969 – Calvin Butts buys the Eric Johnson barber shop at 324 W. Main St.
1971 – Ground is broke for a new kingdom hall for the Jehovah’s Witnesses
1977 – Dr. Mark Ritzinger buys the Gerald Laue optometry clinic on Chestnut St.
1978 – A new Tom Thumb Convenience Store is built at the northwest corner of Maple and Main St.
1984 – Thayer’s Ben Franklin moves to the Midway Shopping Center for better parking
Arrow Building Center closes their lumber yard here
1987 – Little Grand Cafe, a staple of Ellsworth since 1940, closes for the last time
1988 – Co. Elmer Ellsworth’s birthday is celebrated officially for the first time
Malt Shop opened in East Ellsworth
1991 – Hink’s Family Food Center opens after major remodeling
Gerald DeWolf becomes Ellsworth Village president for the first time
1994 – A $120,000 renovation begins at the Ellsworth Public Library
1995 – Family Dollar Store opens for the first time in Ellsworth
1998 – High winds tear off part of Lindgren Elementary School’s roof off
2001 – Forum Communications purchase the Rivertowns newspaper group including the Pierce County Herald
2004 – A 100 year old maple tree is removed from the Courthouse grounds
2006 – Dr. Kristen Shaw opens her dental practice in Ellsworth
2007 – Pierce County Historical Association moves their office to basement of the Village Hall

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