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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"


History of the Oak Ridge School Area

History tells us that the Chippewa and the Sioux Indians fought a big battle north of the Eau Claire River.  We think that battle might have taken place out here because so many arrow and spear heads have been found.

John Johnson was born in this district 80 years ago.  He went to this school for a while and to the White School for a while.  When he was young there wasn't a bridge over the Eau Claire River.  You forded the river just west of (Highway) 27.  He used to carry hardwood ashes into Augusta.  He got 50¢ a sack for the ashes from Augusta housewives.  They used the ashes to make soap.

Many of the early settlers here made maple syrup and Ludington was called Sugartown seventy-five years ago.

The first bridge across the Eau Claire River was built in 1881.

The town of Ludington once had a post office.  It was located across from the White School.

Carl Stubbe family bought a saw mill on Hay Creek in this district about 70 years ago.  The mill burned down and was rebuilt.  Later someone blew up the dam and as it would cost too much to rebuild, the Stubbe mill bought a steam engine.  Now the mill is much smaller and is run by a gas engine.

About a mile below the Stubbe dam was another dam built by a lumber company to hold water for floating logs.  Near this dam a gold mine was started about 50 years ago.  They mined gold for a while but gave it up because it cost too much to get the gold.

Much white pine was taken out of this territory years ago and both Hay Creek and Muskrat Creek carried much of it down to the Eau Claire River and on into Eau Claire.  That was done about seventy years or more ago.  Remains of the old dams are still on both creeks.  Both creeks are now and always were nature's beauty spots and are fished a lot.

There was a dam on the Eau Claire River above the present dam about where the Club House stands.

The Spring Valley School was built about seventy years ago by the Stubbe and Tarbox family.  School ran in Stubbes house one year before the school house was built.  Later the school was moved from the mill yard south about a quarter of a mile.  In 1942 the school was moved over to the Oak Ridge School and became the lower grade room.  Laura Sutherland taught the Oak Ridge School years ago.

By -- Evangeline Sugars

~~~~~

On August 15, 1877, a meeting was held to plan a school district, to be known as school district #4 of the township of Ludington.  The committee for this meeting consisted of William H. Anderson and George M. Hudson.

A meeting of the district was called on September 24, 1877.  All voters of the district were notified.  The officers elected at this meeting were, Carle Johnson, Clerk; W. H. Rosebrook, Treasurer and August Goose as Director.

A motion was made and carried that the schoolhouse should be located at or near the Richard place in this district.  The ground was purchased for ten dollars.  The schoolhouse was to be built of logs, its size was to be eighteen feet by twenty-four feet.  The logs were to be hewn inside and outside.  The building was to have four windows.

A seven months term of school was voted on, with three months school during the winter and four months of school during the summer.  Two hundred dollars was raised for the teacher's wages.

The log school was sold later for nine dollars and a new frame building was built.  A few years later the school burned and a new building was erected, which was eventually moved to its present location on Highway 27.

In 1942 it consolidated with the Spring Valley School located two miles east in the town of Ludington.

The Stubbe and Tarbox family, feeling the need of a school, built the Spring Valley School about seventy-five years ago.

After the consolidation of the schools, the Spring Valley School was moved, making the Oak Ridge School a two-room school.

By -- Evelyn Holmen

~~~~~

Early Settlers

Mathias Olson settled on the farm now owned by Leo Hagedorn and family from 1899 to 1900.  Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Darrow purchased the Timm place in 1866.  Mr. Rouse and family lived there next.  Mr. and Mrs. William Timm and family settled there in 1898 and Mr. Timm worked hard to clear and break the land.  It is now the George Schalinski place.  Ed Hoyt purchased their farm in 1896.  It is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Leland Ginther.  Hank Green lived on the place Tom Dean now owns, in 1894.

By -- Joyce Tumm, Grade 8

~~~~~

The Old Dam

The dam was first built by a Mr. Holcombe and Gibson.  It was then sold to Waterbury, then Mr. Carl Stubbe bought the water power mill from Mr. Waterbury.  After Mr. Stubbes death Julius Stubbe ran the mill up until the time it was blown out by some unknown person.  The mill was then built up on the bank above the millpond and a steam engine was used until a few years ago when a gas engine was used and is still in use.  The little school house that is now known as Oak Ridge School was first built by the residents of the neighborhood and the teacher was paid by them.  Stubbe's bought the mill in 1876.  The dam was built many years before Stubbes came.  There was about ten acres of water above the dam. Mr. Stubbe was going to rebuild the dam but he thought it cost to much.  He got the logs to run the mill on his own land.  The dam had a very nice view.  Before it was blown up many people came to look at the scenery.  The timber around the dam was very beautiful pine trees.

By -- Evelyn Johnson, Grade 8

~~~~~
 
Pioneer Settlers

Henry Bates was born at Hale, Trempealeau County, Wis. in 1870.  In 1884, he moved to the Town of Ludington in Eau Claire County where he grew to man-hood.

In 1892, he was united in marriage to Lula Ross and soon after moved to Malico, Minnesota, where they lived for 10 years, during which time a son was born who passed away in infancy and Mrs. Bates also passed away.

In 1902 Mr. Bates came back to the old home community and in 1904, he was married to Angeline Rice of Bridge Creek, seven children were born to this union, six of whom are living.  Except a few years in his early manhood, Mr. Bates was active in Civic affairs in behalf of the community, where he was held in high esteem for the unselfish service rendered.  Mr. Bates was a honored member of the IOOF.  For several months Mr. Bates was aware of a complicated illness and medical aid proved of no avail.  He passed away at the Luther Hospital of Eau Claire, October 18, 1940.

By -- DeLoris Anderson, Grade 8

~~~~~

Indian Relics

All these arrow heads are believed to have been used by the Indians.  These arrow heads were all found on our farm.  There must have been a war or an Indian village around here because one of the neighbors was going to dig a root cellar.  When they got down quite deep they found a whole big pail full of arrow heads.  That must have been a place where they were making them because some of them weren't finished.

By -- Zane B. Lowman, Grade 8

~~~~~

The Old Gold Mine

The old gold mine was started 40 to 50 years ago.  It is located on county land about a mile from the mouth of the east bank of Hay Creek.  It was worked by Hoakom and Rick and some other workers from Augusta.  There were two gold mine holes, one was 8 ft. in diameter and 80 ft. deep.  There were several different branches.  One branched off on Mac Johnson's land and the other's are on county land.  They drilled two or three holes on Mac Johnson's land and found some gold but it wasn't good quality so they left them.  They worked the mines about two years and didn't get much out of them for what they put into it so they quit.

By -- Mildred Hagedorn

~~~~~
 
A Pioneer Settler

In 1878 Mr. Julius Stubbes family moved here.  They crossed the river in a ferry boat.  Some of the early settlers were John Randall, George Randall, Bill Tarbox, A. B. Hoakom, Henry Hepburn, and a Gibson family.  A. B. Hoakom built the first mill on Hay Creek.  George Waterberry bought the mill, then Stubbes bought the mill from Waterberry.  That mill burned down and the Stubbes lost about 500,000 feet of lumber.  They built a new mill.  It was run by steam engines.  Two years later it burned down.  In another year he had a new mill.  It is still useable.  After the lumber was sawed Stubbes hauled it down to the Eau Claire River.  Then they floated it down the river below where the Fall Creek bridge now stands and sold it to the farmers.  George Randall had a sawmill at Muskrat Creek.  In 1894 there was a flood and the dam went out and Stubbes lost some logs.

By -- Joan Johnson, Grade 7

~~~~~

Spring Valley History

Once there was an old dam owned by Mr. Stubbe that was used for running a sawmill.  This sawmill was one of the biggest.  Then in 1905 it was blown up while Stubbes were gone.  Who did it nobody found out.

Julius Stubbe made a school house, and pupils around there came for a year.  Then it was taken over by the county.  Julius hired a teacher.  Then it was moved down to the corner about a fourth of a mile south.  Near road (N).  It was named Spring Valley School.

About forty years ago, there was a gold mine on Hay Creek.  Once there may have been a settlement of Indians, because farmers are still finding arrow heads.

By -- Kenneth Schultz

~~~~~

An Early Settler

Michael Tumm was one of the pioneer residents of the town of Ludington.  He served in the Army in the Prussian-Austrian War in 1866.  Michael Tumm got married and moved to America in 1871 settling near Princeton, Wisconsin.  Then in 1873 he moved with his family on a homestead in the town of Ludington, taking two weeks to make the trip by ox team.

Mr. Tumm lived on the same farm 61 years being one of the first settlers in that part of Ludington.  He built many of the houses as new settlers came in and helped to build others.  He took his part in all the activities of the community, a good neighbor, a firm friend.  After being here a few years his wife died.  Then he got married again.  In spite of his advanced age he had been able to be around until August 3rd, when he suffered a stroke, gradually growing weaker he passed away, November 26, 1939, having reached the age of 94 years, 9 months and 21 days.

By -- Lorraine Tumm, Grade 6

~~~~~
Mr. Jim Sapp and wife settled first on the Downer place in 1870 and another family lived west of there by the name of Frank Green.  Then in 1900 Mr. and Mrs. John Downer settled there with their family of 1 son and 3 daughters.  It is now the Emil Henning place.  Mr. Oliver Pickett settled on the Tumm place around 1896, and then Mr. and Mrs. Gust Albrecht settled there in 1900, and also his brother William Gust Albrecht who had one son and a daughter.  The Ed. Smith family and the Robert Tumm family also settled there.  Ed. Smith was a sausage maker from Germany, he had two daughters.  Mrs. Fred Pahr was a great syrup maker.  Mr. and Mrs. Bainer also lived there and cleared the place in 1888.  Then Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Hammer lived there later.  Also Mr. and Mrs. Gust Martin and son Emil once put the place in the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Pahr and family when he went west.

By Carol Schultz

~~~~~
In the year 1884 the teacher of the Spring Valley School was Julia Raymond.  It was the spring term starting May 20, 1884 and ending June 21, 1884.  There were six children attending school at that time.  They were:  Henry Johnson, Paul Herrick, Eliza Duncan, Samuel Ward, Mary Brown and Charles Forrest.  There were four boys and two girls.  When school started, there were only three children attending.  At the end of the term Henry Johnson was present 23 days, absent 2 days and had a deportment of 90.  Paul Herrick was present all 25 days and his deportment was 100.  Eliza Duncan was present 21 days, absent 4 days and had a deportment of 80.  Samuel Ward was present 22 days, and he had a deportment of 100.  Mary Brown was present 19 days, absent 1 and had a deportment of 100.  Charles Forrest was present 13 days, absent 4 and had a deportment of 60.  Samuel Ward was 14 years old and studied 8 subjects.

By -- Nancy

~~~~~

Hay Creek Stories

The first two were told to my grandfather, Mark Livermore, by Mr. Carl Johnson, Jennie Johnson's father.  When he and his wife arrived here from Norway, they lived in a small building owned by Herman Berlin, Joe's and Louie's dad.  He soon cut logs for a house.  He cut them in the deep hollow and ravine near the barn and carried them himself up on the side of the ridge where he had his first house.  My grandfather asked him why he choose that land when at that time there was still much free land that was good and less hilly.  He said the hills were like his home in Norway.

He told how they used to save all the maple ashes.  He would put them in a large bag and take them by ox cart as far as the river.  There he would load them into a boat kept there for the benefit of travelers.  Then he would carry a sack of ashes on his shoulders to Augusta.  In the afternoon he would carry in the second sack.  A Mr. Stone paid him 50¢ per sack for them to use in making soap, mostly soft soap.  There was very little maple timber close to Augusta.  He raised a nice hog until it was a year old.  When it was nice and fat he dressed it and hauled it to Augusta where he could not find anyone to buy it.  He brought it home and the next day took it to Cadott where he sold it for 2¢ per pound.  When grandfather worked for Mr. Carl Johnson, Johnnie did not care about regular field work with the horses, but he did like to do nursery work.  He planted black walnuts, and butternuts.  He planted apple trees then grafted good varieties on hardy root stock.  He even grew a peach tree until it had fruit, then a severe winter killed it.  He also started tame blackberries and plums.

The place where Schalinskes live used to be the Timm place.  A man by the name of Rouse lived there before Mr. Timm.  Mr. Timm was down on the eastern part of his land where he was brushing out a marsh or swamp.  When he came upon a skeleton of a man.  It had been there so long that the stock of his gun had rotted away.  Then old-timers remembered about a man who lived on the place before Rouse who had not heard of him in years.  People were quite sure this was the skeleton of that man.  This was at the time a Mr. Welber was town chairman of Ludington.  Grandfather believes the remains were moved and buried.

~~~~~

Teachers from 1900 to 1906

On September 27, 1900, Harry Smith taught school and got $26.00.  November 8th, he got $26.00 for teaching school one month.  February 8th, 1901 he was paid for teaching two months, $52.00.  May 3rd, 1901, Lila Allen was paid $26.00 for one month.  On June 1, she was paid $26.00 for a month.  On June 28, for one month she was paid $26.00.  On November 10th, 1905 Clara Olson was paid for teaching two months of school, $65.00 On November 22nd she was paid $65.00 for two months.  February 23rd, 1906, Eugene Homberg got for teaching two months, $35.00.  March 15, he got paid $35.00 for one month.  June 22nd, for one month, $35.00.

By -- Beverly Hagedorn, Grade 6

~~~~~

The School

July 6th, 1902, 7 p.m.  It was the night of the annual school meeting.  The meeting was called to order by the clerk.  A motion was made and seconded that a new school be built and finished by November 1902.  The new school was to be built on Wordlemons corner or where the old school house site.

At the meeting they decided to sell the old school and three sides of the fence for $9.00 to Leslie Eaton.

By -- Lawrence Ginther

~~~~~

The Demerak family came here 80 years ago and settled on the place known as Gus Selek farm, and now the Henry Tumm place back of the Briske farm.  The John Briske Sr. family came here 70 years ago and lived on the farm now owned by De Bustman.  The Bushes family consisted of 3 sons and 3 daughters.  They now run a hotel in Augusta.  The John Towner family live on the farm now owned by the Kunkerfaman family and their son-in-law and daughter live with the Towners.  Bill and Ed Yeakes settled on the old De Bustman place and also an old settler by the name of Robert Yenakes.  Later Robert McKariby family lived there also.  Mrs. Yenakes was a daughter of Mrs. Demorak.  The Yenskes place was also owned by the family G. Hagedorn.  August, Gust, Bill and Robert lived there 70 years.  The Roscoe Oak family lived 70 years ago on the Ernest Jumberberg place and also August Woeller lived there 60 years ago.  Then Ed Matthews family lived there 48 years ago and then the Rodd Sr. family lived there and also the Raebeck family.  Storm Bate's family lived on the farm now owned by Angdinic and Claude Bales.  Storm Bate's family consisted of 4 sons and 5 girls.  Fifty years ago Arthur and Lydia Wils settled on a farm now owned by Lloyd Falor Wils.  They had a family of 4 boys and 2 girls.  Fred Hons family lived on the place owned by Lange.  They had 2 sons and 3 girls.  About 60 years ago the family of Od Butts settled on the farm now owned by Robert Statts.  They had a family of 2 sons and 2 daughters.  The Beckwidth family settled on a farm once owned by Fred Albrecht.  They had a family of 2 girls and 1 boy.  Donars are living on the farm now.  The farm now owned by Ray Alldrich settled on it 50 years ago.

Dave Elmer and wife, Miss Ross, owned the place called Elmers Corners on St. H. 27.  He once had a little grocery store and he was a strong believe in the Mormon faith.  Bruce Rowe settled 50 some years ago near the school house and boarded mostly teachers, Miss Laura Sutherland, Nellie Hagedorn, Edna Torgers.  Glen Wilson's family also lived there and then Alvin Hagness family.  He was a veteran in World War I.  His oldest son Laverne was killed in action in World War II.  The August Guse family settled over 75 years ago on the farm now owned by Mrs. Chas. Guse and son Everett and family.  August Guse was Chas. Guse's father.

Carl Johnson moved on his farm 80 years ago this March.  A son John will be 80 years old May 23 and a daughter Anne will be 68 June 16.  Mrs. Chas. Johnson died 31 years ago and Mr. died 29 years ago.  The son John and wife now own the farm.  John has 6 children and 7 grandchildren.  The daughter Anne lives in Augusta.

By -- Lillian Luedtke

~~~~~

Tales of Hay Creek

After my great grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kelly, came here 58 years ago, they lived in a house right near the lilac bushes where the school forest is now.

When my great grandfather settled on this land there was a small frame house about where he built his.  Mrs. Boyea, Wm. and Ike's mother, lived there but had no claim on the land.

My great grandparents and the Eklors moved to this country from near Arkansaw in Pepin County.  When they arrived here they spent the first night with Seymour Kelleys who lived in a house on the back of the land of Robin Rodds.

At that time the Indians use to camp and pick blueberries in between what is now the school forest and Livermores.  Great grandfather asked them how they kept the berries as they had no fruit jars.  They told him they put them in barrels and poured hot bear grease over them.

In October of 1919 a very big fire went through this same part of the country.  The flames traveled right through the top of the trees and moss burned so a great many of the White pines fell over while still burning.  After the fire my grandfather, Mark Livermore, was looking around south of their house between the old and new roads and located the site of an old logging camp.  There were bits of iron and other signs to show where the blacksmith shop had been.  He could also see where the other buildings had been banked up.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kelley and children, Amson, Lottie, Jennie, Florence and John.  Later three more children were born to the Kelley family.  Peter was killed by the train in Augusta when he was 17 years old.  There were twin boys Lloyd and Floyd, but Floyd died when he was 11 months old.

Jennie Kelley married Chas. Le Barron and they lived in a small house on the west side of the old road just south of Livermore's creek.  John Kelley lived a short time in a small house just east of the old road.  Great Aunt Lottie's small boy drowned in that creek on the east side of the bridge.  He fell over and landed on his head.  The bridge was on the old road.

At one time, east of these houses and Hay Creek a house built by Elias Parr.  Wes White lived there 44 years ago as she was with my grandmother, Mrs. Mark Livermore, when my mother was born, Mrs. Royal Rodd.

The south half of grandfathers old house was built of logs which is still standing.  Hiram Fish built it.

What is or was the old Wallace house was built by Ed. Hoyt.  Then farther south known as the Carpenter place was Great Uncle Ansmi Kelley's homestead.  They moved to Minnesota 44 or 45 years ago.  His first wife was Sadie Elmore, she died a year later and later he married her twin sister.  Their father was Dave.  Elmore lived on the first place north of corners 27 and N.  He was a Mormon and late in his life went to Salt Lake City.

Tarbox, John and Henry's father,was the first to settle the place which Alfred Scott owns now.  Tarbox settled there because of the good spring water, the same spring that Mrs. Sugars gets water from now.

Hibbards lived across the old road from where the little school house use to be.  Shambaughs later owned the land but built their house farther south, on land owned now by Dewey Johnson.  Hokum lived near there and had a shingle mill.

Stubbes and Tarboxes started the school.  It was built northwest of Stubbes house and people in the district paid the teacher for a year.  Forty years ago this summer it was moved south to the Shambaughs land where it stood until six years ago.  I believe the hall was built on the school house thirty years ago.  I believe it is around 70 years old.

The first house on Stubbes place was built much closer to the creek.  There was a big flood that washed away part of the house.  The big room on the east side of Stubbes house is the part that was left.  Stubbes dam and old water mill was dynamited 37 or 38 years ago.  They never found out or could never prove who did it.

Roger lived in a log house and had started a frame house on the Dewey Johnson's place.  I believe the log house was near the barn and lilac bushes.  Later Mr. and Mrs. Carl Stubbe, Jules father and mother, took over Rogers homestead claim and went there a part of each year, leaving the grown up family down on the old place.  The east part of Dewey Johnson's house use to be known as the old Boyd house, and stood west of the old road on the land my Dad owns now.

The first owners of the land where my Dad's buildings are now were Mr. and Mrs. Patten.  They got it from the railroad company.  The government had given all odd sections on each side of the railroad away.  That was to get a railroad through, and even number of sections went to homesteaders to get settlers.  Pattons had their log buildings on the north side of the forty near the three large pines, which I imagine Aunt Polly Patten, as my grandmother knew her, planted. They also owned a peacock.

Several years ago Dad or Royal Rodd found a quarter in a field by Patton's house, dated 1876.  He also found a half dime dated 1854 in a field near the east end of the creek on my Dad's land.  He says there are signs of buildings on the east side of our creek.  My grandfather thinks that it may have been an old logging camp.  He had heard of one being some where near here.  It may have been a trappers house.

After living down near the river, Seymour Kelley built the first house where dog kennels are now.  That later burnt.  Mrs. Kelley was an Ecklor girl, sister of John, who lived there, which is occupied by Lon Lowman now.  He is Mrs. Lawrence Hagedorn's grandfather and now lives near Stanley.  There use to be a log house in the corner in the next 40, west of dog kennels.  It was known as the Place house, Mrs. Wm. Bates was Vina Place.  Mrs. Place's first husband was an Ecklor.

The first old road turned east through the woods nearly where the lake drive does in front of Ronners and angled there to the Place house.  Some laces where it was sandy there would be 2 or 3 trails.  Some places new trails were made around water holes.  When they made any changes it was so the road would pass by peoples houses.  The first old road was a tote road for hauling supplies to logging camps.  I know that on Livermore's Creek the old ford was west of where the bridge was.

When John Johnson's father, Carl, first settled on that farm, he had to ford the river to get to Augusta for supplies.  The Ludington town line use to run straight east and west but finally Bridge Creek gave Ludington a section or so of land so their boundary would reach the river, and then each town paid for half of the bridge and upkeep.  My mother can remember when Ludington use to buy planks for half the river bridge.

My grandmother says that the old log barn on Elmores place was first used as a house.  He even had a store of sorts in the west end.  He was a great hand to use cement for that time.  At the east end of the barn was a place cemented to flail out the grain.  When that was used as a house one new born baby was buried on the north side near what was then a bedroom.  Later 2 babes were buried on top of the hill north of the house.  For years there was a fence around those graves.  I believe Bob Staats was first to plow over that place and now the hill has all been mowed.

The new road as it is now was put in about 20 years ago.  The south end to Dewey Johnson's drive was made a year or two before the north end.

Hay Creek got the name because of so many good hay marshes on the upper part of the creek.  In the old days many people depended upon marsh hay to help winter their horses and cattle.  Great grandfather used water from Hay Creek for sometime, until they dug a well.  There use to be wonderful trout in Hay Creek.  He caught some beauties in a half hours time before breakfast.

I am pretty sure those old mines on Lower Hay Creek were being worked 36 years ago this spring.  The last anyone worked them was 32 years ago.

My great grandfather Kelley's brother Joe, took up a homestead east of Hay Creek and not far from great grandfather's place.  He did not live on it long enough to prove his claim.  Later Chas. Ecklor lived there, his bride was Julia Butts, whose folks lived on the place where Robert Staats lives.  Ecklors house was near the old logging road that used to run near Hay Creek on the east side.

Her mother and my great grandmother were with her when her first baby girl was born.  She only lived a day or so.  My great grandmother helped to prepare the body for burial.  She was buried in a coffin made from a box, near their house.  My grandfather says he could see where the grave was years later.  This child died about 50 years ago.

This story belongs in the White School, but I am going to put it down as I've heard my mother tell it.  She heard it from Aunt Alice Bechwith.  It was when her first husband Mr. Monson was living.  They lived on the place now known as the Amerling farm.  While working the land north of the house their dog found an old grave and dug out bones.  After that they found the bones of what they figured to be a woman and child.  They thought they were white people because they found a few scraps of cloths and a child's tin cup.  There was an old log cabin right east of their house in a small clearing just east of where the road is now.  Their explanation was that some trapper or trader lived there and when his wife and child died he buried them in a common grave on the side of the hill.

By -- Mary Rodd, Grade 6



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