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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"


History of Maple Drive School Area
The Chippewa and Sioux Indians lived in the community.  The Chippewas lived near the white man's sawmill for protection against their enemy.  There are Indian mounds on Ottilie (Delia) Spehle's and Westley Vicek's farms.

The steamboats "Minnie Herman", "Ida Campbell", "Stella Whipple", and the "Monitor Jay" landed at the steamboat landing near Delia Spehle's farm.  (One steamboat was owned by Dr. R. F. Werner's father.)  There was a blacksmith and boarding house near the landing.  (Delia Spehle's stove came by steamboat.)  There was a sawmill near there.  The highway went to the mill.

Later the landing was upriver to what is now the Floyd Holmes' farm. Grain and apples were shipped on the steamboats.  A Grange Hall was built near the landing.  Highway 85 was started about 60 years before (*) the Civil War.  It was used to run between the Holmen's barn and the river.  (* -- Many of these school histories were written by students.  Keeping this in mind, I believe this statement about Highway 85 is in error, as that would mean the highway was started around 1800, which is before the white man came to the area, and many years before any settlements were started here.)

A Negro once worked at McCrae's sawmill (near the first river landing).  When he died, he was buried in the Brunswick cemetery.

There have been three school buildings on the same site.  The first one is now part of Jarosch's kitchen.  The second one burned.  The present Maple Drive School was built 59 years ago for $400.00 by John Kopp and Nels Nelson.

Delia Spehle has lived all her 84 years on the same farm.  John Kopp is the oldest person in the district.  He is 87 years old (1949).

The part of the house that Mrs. Henry Spehle lives in is the oldest house in the district.  It is about 100 years old, and was built by a man named Louis Spehle.

Some other old houses are John Kopps, George Sprague's and John Jene's.

A stage coach  went from Eau Claire to Durand.  It used to stop at a two-story house, where Joe Spehle now has a rye field.

The river would often be full of logs in the spring.  The loggers would take the logs to Wabasha.  The men would come back on the stage, carrying their big cars with them.  Later they came back on the train.

The train came through about 1880.  The flood of 1884 washed the tracks and bridge out.

Nelson Cooley owned the land in the eastern part of the district.  John Heintz and Mrs. Carrie Jacquish live on that land now.  Mr. Cooley raised many horses and cows.  A dance hall was also built on the land that had been owned by Cooley.  The hall was built by Stetzer.  It was destroyed by fire.

Mr. West was one of the first settlers.  (The creek now bears his name.)  He was a logger and brought his oxen to his farm every spring.

The following men fought in the Civil War -- Andrew Kopp, Louis Spehle, Joe Spehle, George Cobble and George Betz.

Mr. Snow had a post office on the farm now owned by Charles Giles.

A creamery was built on part of the Jacquish farm.  Butter and cheese were made.  It was run for about two years and was destroyed by fire.

Clinton Moses was raised on the Henry Kopp farm.  He bought the John Powell farm.  He and his son, Willard, have an excellent dairy farm.

John Kopp helped to build the Brunswick Church, about 54 years ago.  When Bert Hoddeman's home was destroyed by fire, the church was remodeled for a dwelling house.

Henry Kopp bought his farm from his uncle, Ed Powell.  The farm has been in the family for 80 years.  Their house, pump house, milkhouse, granary, woodshed, buggyshed, pig-pen, and corncrib were all joined together.  They were built this way for wind protection.  These buildings were all destroyed by fire 34 years ago.

The Andrew Kopp farm buildings were built off the highway, so they could get water from the creek.  This farm has been known as the Kopp farm for 94 years.  The marshland was covered with willows and the higher land with hazelnuts.  Andrew Kopp broke the land with ox teams.

Ormel Walker was an early settler.  Washington Churchill lived on that farm.  It changed several times.  Forest Pierce lived there several years.  Floyd Holmes now lives there.  It is known as Riverside Riding Stable.

Oliver Quall built the place where Wesley Vicek now resides.  Their bar was moved from the Churchill farm.

Gifford owned the farm west of the schoolhouse.  Later Peter Melrose bought it and sold it to Lufkin.  The latter was a truck gardener.  He built a warehouse.  A switch was built by the railroad company, so he could ship in car-load lots.  He shipped sugar beets, onions, potatoes, strawberries, etc.  Workers lived in shacks, John Kopp's house, and in Willard Moses' home.  Many berry pickers came back and forth from Eau Claire on the train.  Other families who have lived on this farm are:  Frye, Helwig, Moelanpah, and Giles.

Lentz built his house near the creek for water.  Edington moved the buildings up to the highway.  Kleist moved on the farm.  It is now owned by Lyman Felton.

Alex McCloud owned the Sprague farm.  Clarence Sprague lived on this farm all his life.  His father, George Sprague, built the first ferry across the Chippewa River.  Clarence Sprague's son, George, now runs the farm.

George Converse lived where Harry Johnson does now.

Ben Churchill lived on the Max Jarosch place.

Tom Melrose lived on the Herman Wilson farm.  Pat Hoddenman resides there now.

Merton Badman lived north of Harry Johnsons.  Joe Spehle has one of the buildings for a machine-shed now.

John Jene has a threshing machine made in 1862.  It has been operated by horses, steam engine, gasoline engine, and by tractor.

Bert Haddeman had the largest family -- 14 children!

Clinton Moses had the first car and the first milking machine in the district.

Max Jarosch had the first silo.  Lufkin had the first tractor.  John Jene had the first motorcycle.

Margaret Moses was the first lady in the district to learn to drive a car. 



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