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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"


History of Fairoaks School District
Fairoaks School District owes here present prosperous state to the people who came here and to the work they did to make it so.  The Indians (Sioux and Chippewa's) were the first, but little trace is now to be found of them, except a few arrowheads that are found in the area testifying to the fact that they once lived here.

English, Scotch, Austrians, Irish, Germans, French, Norwegians, Swedes and Yankees all contributed to its settlement.  The reason for most of their coming was to secure better lives for themselves and their families.  Here they secured freedom of religion, education and politics as well as economic opportunity.

So far as can be learned, the first white settlers came here in the early 1850s.  The first farm being settled by W. H. Bailey in 1853 -- the land being purchased from the U. S. government.  The present owner is Victor Johnson who came here from Iowa originally from Sweden.  The original house still stands.  The present barn was built by John Kopp, who owned it at one time, directly in the old stage road that had run between the house and first barn, directly across the N. W. corner of the schoolyard.  It then ran across the west side of the McCray farm, where it was joined by the Durand stage road.  A short distance farther on, on Spehle's farm, stood a two-story stopping house.

Another, perhaps the next settler, was Thomas Moses (grandfather of Clinton Moses who resides on a farm on Highway 85, not far from here.)  A great, great granddaughter, Kathryn Donaldson, taught the school from 1940 - 1942.

Mr. Moses came here, from Portage, in 1854 or 1856 and filed claim to the farm now owned by Arthur Vogler.  He then went back to Portage and sent a son, George, and a daughter then seven years old, who later became Mrs. Chamberlain, mother of Mrs. John Kopp who also resides on Highway 85.  These two held the land and started building of a home.  The next year, the rest of the family came bringing their possessions by covered wagon.  The timbers, (the main part of which was built by the Moses) is held together by wooden pins instead of nails.  The house has long since been remodeled.

At  about the same time Isaac Read came directly from Margaret, England, purchasing the farm now owned by George Alley, from Nick Needlekorn, the original owner.  The read family lived on the farm thirty-three years to a day, then sold the farm and retired to Eau Claire.

Alex McCray, a Scotchman came from Montreal, Canada, and settled on the farm owned by Leonard Hayden, later selling it to Patrick Neary, an Irishman.  At that time the building stood about a mile directly north of where the buildings now stand, on a flat.  A flood came washing away some of the buildings, filling the cellar and burying things with sand.  As a result, the buildings were erected on the present site.

The farm owned by Harold Wheeler was purchased from the government, by the original owner, Alexander Smith in 1857, and has changed hands many times since.  The original house still is in use.

The original twenty-five acre farm owned by Frank Dahl, was originally part of a farm owned by Steven Williams and later sold to Leonard Hatch.  John Edington, a scotchman, purchased it and erected the original buildings, of which only a part of the house remains.  (Mr. Dahl is, at present, erecting a new one.)

The farm now owned by Charles Hatch was originally owned by his father, Leonard Hatch.  He purchased 65 acres from Steven Williams, the original owner.  A small house stood in a field some distance north of the present dwelling.  Mr. Hatch lived there summers clearing and cropping the land, and working in the lumber camps in winter.  He purchased the 40 acres on which the schoohouse stands from the N. W. Lumber Co. cutting and burning the virgin timber in order to clear the land for crops.  Next he purchased the Eben Perry farm joining the original farm on the south.  Later he purchase 80 acres joining on the north, all of which comprises the present farm.  The house now used was moved from Porter's Mills when the Northwestern Lumber Company moved its mills from there to Stanley where more lumber was to be had.

The farm now owned by Luis Schuh was originally settled by Joe Tomashek, an Austrian, about 1870. He later sold it to a brother-in-law, Joseph Shermock, who was succeeded by his son, Joseph.  In 1919 he sold it to two Jewish brothers, Alec and Mike Boskowitz, railway mail clerks.  Alec, the older brother, farmed it until recently when he sold it to Schuh and went to California to live.

The farm owned by Leslie Broberg was originally settled by George Neff in 1870.  An epidemic of diphtheria took all of his nine children.  He then sold it to George Hintermeyer in 1886.  Mr. Hintermeyer sold it to his son Jake, who with his family lived there fifty-seven years when they sold to Broberg and retired to Eau Claire.

The farm owned by Charles Kent was originally owned by Peter Wollfang, having sold it to Gottlieb Kent whose sons Charles and Albert continued to run it.  Later they divided the property and Charles remained on the home farm.

The Kent Brothers were the first in the district to own a car - a white Buick roadster.  They were also first to own a tractor.

A few years ago Charles found an ancient bear trap beside a lake on his farm, stamped M. Standish.  A man, named Standish, from Mondovi heard of it and asked Mr. Kent to give it to him, claiming that he was a descendent of Miles Standish, and that the trap had belonged to him.

The Louis Tomashek farm was originally owned and settled by his father, Frank Tomashek, who came from Austria.  Previous to settling here he was a miller at Lowe's Creek Mill for three years.  When the family came here, in 1870, they placed boards around a big elm tree on the present building site, and lived there until a house could be built.  Mr. and Mrs. Tomashek are the oldest couple in the Town of Brunswick who have lived longest on their farm.  A son, Louis Jr., now operates the farm.

The Otto Schultz farm was homesteaded by his father, Carl Schultz, a German, in 1883.  It was operated until a few years ago by three sons.  Then Otto continued alone until three years ago when his son-in-law, Simon Tweet, took over.  This farm was originally in the Caryville District until the Coon Creek School was built nearby.  Recently that school was abandoned and the district was divided.  The Schultz farm was set into this district again where it had been previous to Coon Creek.

The farm owned by Delbert Walker was purchased from Frank Cater, the original owner, by John Walker who came from Iowa.  No buildings were on the place at the time as Cater had moved them to a farm just north of him.  The house now on the farm was moved from Ed. Winters farm in the Candy Corner District, and the other buildings were built by Walkers.

The farm owned by Hans Olson was originally owned by a man named Newberry.  He sold it to John Kent, brother of Charles Kent and erected the present buildings.  Mr. Olson purchased it in 1936.

The farm owned by Oscar Waginald was originally owned by a man named Barnhart who sold it to Leonard Hatch.  He traded it to Oscar Wagnild for a house in Eau Claire.

The present school district was originally a part of Caryville District and it was with difficulty that they drew away and formed what was known for years as Oak Grove.  Due to the great distance to Caryville School the little children and girls were not able to attend school in winter, and the big boys usually attended only in winter months as their help was needed on the farm.  Due to the small attendance and valuation required in new school legislation, in 1942, the district was attached to the Maple Drive School District, and became Jt. District #2, Town of Brunswick.  The acre of land on which the school was built, by the people of the district, was leased from Leonard Hatch, as near as can be determined, in 1885.

In 1920, the name of the school was changed from Oak Grove to Fairoaks as it became necessary to register the name and another in the county had registered under that name.

The question has arisen about changing names as a Fair Oak School exists in the same township and much confusion has resulted in mail as well as orders.

R. F. D. mail service began in the district in 1902.  Adolph Erickson, who formerly worked in the N. W. Lumber Co. Store in Porter's Mills, was the first mail carrier.  He retired from service in November, 1934. He claims the distinction of carrying mail by nearly every means of transportation possible, namely, bicycle, motorcycle, foot, horseback, horse and buggy -- cutter in winter, skis, car, on skis in winter, and he flew around the route once by plane.  prior to this, the farmers got their mail from the post office at Porter's Mills, a distance of several miles.

Harry Larson, a veteran of World War I, became the next carrier.  He, too, is now retired from service and substitutes have carried the mail since.

A Farmer's Telephone Company was erected shortly after, but was abandoned several years ago and the area is now serviced by the Rock Falls Telephone Co.

Practically every farmer in the district now owns a car, radio, tractor, or truck, an interest in such machinery as a threshing machine, shredder, corn picker or silo filler.

Electric service was started by the R. E. A. in the district in 1941.  At that time, only five farms were hooked up, but today nearly every farm is equipped with electricity, and many homes have such conveniences as a pressure water system, bathroom, refrigerators, etc. that only electricity makes possible.

All these things have contributed toward the making of a prosperous farming community.

Farm Bureau, 4-H Club and Home Makers' Clubs have also played an important part in the work.



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