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Histories > Eau Claire Co. Historical Accounts

"History of Northern Wisconsin, 1881"

General Items

(-as transcribed from pages 310 - 311)


During the year 1880, there were 210 buildings erected by private individuals, at a cost of $215,400. The public improvements for the year aggregated $77,000. Total, $302,000.

In 1881, the number of buildings erected will approximate 400. Many of them large and substantial business blocks.

To show the growth of the city, the improvements by the corporation and by individuals from 1870 to 1875 is here presented: 1870, $538,732; 1871, $250,000; 1872, $366,000; 1873, $593,000; 1874, $527,000; 1875, $314,421.

The valuation of the city in 1880 was as follows: real estate, $2,432,165; personal property, $1,025,843 - total, $3,458,008.

The bonded debt is $103,000; all other debts, $1,442; school district debts, $5,906 - total, $110,348.

In 1873, the business of Eau Claire had reached over $6,000,000.

The lumber sawed in the city was 146,259,000 feet, which, at an average price of $13 per thousand, would give, in round numbers, $1,901,367. Lath manufactured, 33,000,000; shingles, 27,590,000 - which, at the average prices at that time, would foot up a total of $2,037,162.

Of railway freight, 13,627 tons were received, and 3,000 forwarded.

In general business the aggregate was $5,7I9,202, aside from railroad, express, post-office and real estate.

In 1875, the real and personal property of Eau Claire was valued at $4,044,070.25.

Many people at that time became impatient of the delay in obtaining authority to build the dam, and, hopeless as to the future, left the city, and in 1876, the total valuation was reduced to $3,945,413.25

In 1881, a Philadelphia firm numbered the buildings of the city, bringing order out of confusion. Before this time several streets of the same name existed in different divisions of the city. This was also remedied.

The streets of the city were first sprinkled in the Summer of 1871, the last year of its village life.

Stephen Marston brought the first stock of furniture into the valley, and the first piano.

The commercial drummers report that Eau Claire is a good town for trade. The merchants buy well and pay promptly.

There is a single forty acre lot of government land, within a few miles of the city, not yet entered.

There is a month's difference in the time that the boats are able to come up the river in different years. In 1860, the first boat got up on the 13th of March, while in 1866 it did not come up until April 13.

The mean temperature of Eau Claire is the same as at Manitowoc, on Lake Michigan, forty miles further south.

The epizootic, which swept over the country at that time, afflicting so many horses, was in Eau Claire during the first weeks in December, 1872.

So late as September, 1878, a large black bear was killed in the Fourth Ward. This was the second one that season, and was perhaps cruising about in quest of its mate.

So late as 1861, deer-hunts in the vicinity of the city were not uncommon.

Ole Bull, the celebrated violinist, married a daughter of one of the leading citizens of Eau Claire.

The first couple married in church in Eau Claire were H. C. Putnam and wife, in the Presbyterian Church.

The Register reports that there were 225 marriages in the city in 1880.

Music Hall was built in 1870, by Mr. P. Truax. M. G. Nichols was the architect.


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