The Start of Sheboygan*
Exactly as written in 1846 when it became a village.
February 9, 1846
"At an Election held at the Register's Office in the Village of Sheboygan, in the County of Sheboygan, and the territory of Wisconsin, on the ninth day of February, A. D., 1846, the following named persons received the number of votes annexed to their respective names for the following described offices, as officers for the above named Village according to the act of incorporation passed during the session of 1846 to wit:
For President--Henry Conklin received fifty-one votes and William Farnsworth Received thirty. For Trustee, Warren Smith received eighty-one votes, William Farnsworth received forty-nine votes, Joseph L. Moore received eighty-one votes, Rufus P. Harriman received fifty votes, James Rankin received twenty-seven votes, Alonzo Brooks received twenty-nine votes, Alvin Driver received four votes. For Clerk, Donald W. Harrington received fifty-four votes, Amos Adams received thirty-seven votes. For Treasurer, Van Ess Young received forty-six votes, John S. Harvey received thirty-four votes. For Assessor, Stephen Wolvert received eighty-one votes, Albert S. Story received fifty-five votes, Isaac H. Comstock received fifty-two votes, Alvin Driver received twenty-four votes, Joel L. Day received twenty-nine votes. For Constable, Robert Matterson received seventy-nine votes, James Osgood received seventy-nine votes and Amos Osgood received one vote. For Village Corporation Yeas received seventy-one votes and Naye received five votes."
Certified by us JOHN MARVIN, JOHN POWELL, Judges of Election
Attest: Thos. C. Horner
Sheboygan--Wednesday, February 11, 1846
"The Trustees and Clerk Elect of the Village of Sheboygan met, pursuant to Notice and presented their certificates of election respectively and were severally sworn into office by E. N. Howard, a Notary Public in and for the County of Sheboygan, Wis., which said officers of the corporation were as follows, to wit:
William Farnsworth, Joseph L. Moon, Rufus P. Harriman, Henry H. Conklin, and Warren Smith (Henry H. Conklin, having been duly elected as President) as Trustees of said Village and Donald W. Harrington as Clerk thereof.
On Motion of William Farnsworth, it was "Resolved that the Clerk of the village be and he is hereby authorized and directed to purchase the necessary books and stationery for the use of the village." Mr. J. L. Moore then moved that the Bonds of the Village Treasurer should be and were fixed at Fifteen Hundred Dollars, which was adopted, and on motion of Mr. Warren Smith, the Constables bail was fixed at Five Hundred Dollars, which was also adopted.
The Clerk of the Village aforesaid was then, by a vote of the Trustees thereof, authorized and directed to purchase a corporate seal, with a devise of a star in the middle and the words rounded "Village of Sheboygan W. T."
The Board then adjourned to meet on Wednesday Evening, February 18th at 6:30 o'clock."
D. W. HARRINGTON, Clerk
We find this resolution--"That a sufficient sum of money not exceeding four hundred dollars be appropriated from any monies now, or which may be in the Treasury this year to aid in the Construction of a certain bridge authorized by the Legislature of Wisconsin Territory in the year 1845 entitled "The Act of Authorize the Construction of a Free Bridge Across the Sheboygan River."
A tax of 1 percent levied on all taxable property and a special tax of 6 mills be added for the purpose of aiding in the construction of a bridge across the Sheboygan River.
Ordinances and Regulations were established as follows: Width of sidewalks on Center, Pennsylvania, Jefferson, New York, and Wisconsin Avenues and Niagara Street be established at twelve feet from the front of the lots and the same in Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Streets. Fire Wardens were appointed to inspect all buildings for fire hazards. Anyone damaging any shade trees was liable to a fine. A Grocer had to pay a license fee of $20.00. A tavern had to pay a license fee of $20.00.
Grades were established for all streets in the city and the Street Commissioner was authorized to employ teams at the following prices: Two dollars and fifty cents a day for horse teams and one dollar and seventy-five cents a day for ox teams.
In June, 1847
A committee of three was appointed to select a burying ground and ascertain the price of same and report back to the board.
The following were granted licenses for taverns: Wm. Gardner, Joel L. Day, Camp & Eaton, and W. Ruppell; and these for groceries: John B. Price, F. G. Peabody, F. J. Graham, Bela Butler, Seymour & King, James Guykendoll, Groh & Otto, H. Whittand, C. Hoberg, Christmas & Co., Gardner & Kropp, Gen. W. Wollverton.
A Petition was presented by H. Lyman and others praying the Board of Trustees to take some measures to preserve the peace of the village from being disturbed night and day by the Indians.
December 24, 1847
A reward of $50.00 was offered by the village Trustees "for the detection and conviction of person or persons that broke open the Episcopal Church in the village on the night of the 23rd and stole therefrom a lot of carpenters' and joiners' tools and committed other burglaries in said Village."
Town map was recorded.
A petition was presented asking for the formation of a Hook and Ladder Company, the procuring of a fire engine;, buildings, cisterns, and such other implements as are used in a fire department. First members of company: G. P. Farnsworth, V. E. Young, C. T. Morey, C. S. Annable, I. T. Kingsbury, E. S. Goodrich, J. L. Harvey, John Frieman, L. Testewuide, C. Roggenbock, I. N. Merritt, J. B. Price, and W. W. King.
A 1% tax levied on all taxable property, $80.00 was appropriated for the purchase of a lot for an engine house; plans were approved for building a fire station on same and $50.00 was paid as part of the cost. But after the building was built it was not accepted, "It being too small."
In April, H. N. Smith was elected President of the Village and Thomas Horner, Clerk.
A bridge was suggested to be built across the Sheboygan River at the foot of the hill near Mr. Storey's, at Horner Street.
The Clerk was instructed to advertise for bids in the "Sheboygan Mercury" for digging a well at Penn. Ave. and 8th Street.
At the April Elections, Worthy McKellip was elected President of the Village, E. W. Combs, Clerk, and William Seamann, Treasurer; these officers were sworn into office by Edward Elwell, Justice of Peace.
The weekly proceedings of the village officers were ordered printed in the "Sheboygan Mercury" and the "Spirit of the Times" and a fire engine was purchased for $700.00. It was moved to spend $50.00 for a fire bell for the village, but this was turned down as "The state of the Treasury will not admit of such an expenditure."
Start of Harbor
A petition signed by W. R. Woodbury and 73 others praying for an appropriation of $300 to defray the expense of Geo. C. Bates, of Detroit, to aid at Washington, if possible, in procuring and (sic) appropriation for a harbor at the mouth of the Sheboygan River.
The officers this year were W. S. Anable, Pres., Trustees: Louis Testwuide, J. Dean, Wm. Kastner, and Alvin Driver; F. G. Peabody, Clerk and A. H. Edwards, Treas.
Seventy five copies of the Village Charter were received. An Artesian well was ordered to be sunk to a depth of 100 feet and the contract let to a Mr. Curtis at $5.00 a foot. This well was completed in 1851, but was dug much deeper. (Well at Fountain Park).
Election - 1851
Warren Smith, President; E. Gilman, John Drew, Henry Stocks and Nic De Ville, Trustees; Alfred Marschner, Clerk; Kasper Guck, Treasurer.
Two Petitions (one for and one against) an ordinance to prohibit swine from running at large in the village were laid on the table.
A $10,000 bond issue was floated for the harbor.
The cemetery was enclosed with a board fence for the sum of $185.00, as was the public square, which cost $50.00 and was paid to A. L. Weeks.
Ferry across the Sheboygan River.
Mr. Kirkland asked for and was granted the privilege of establishing a ferry across the mouth of the Sheboygan River, as his warehouse was located at the south bank.
Deeds from Daniel Whitney and wife, J. L. Moore and wife, and H. Conklin and wife (for cemetery ground) were received and placed on file. Rules were adopted for the purchase of lots and all records of the cemetery.
Wm. Garsline, Pres., Kasper Guck, Treas., F. I. Mills, Clerk.
A bill of 50 cents presented and allowed to James Berry for removing a dead hog from the street.
One half of the cash collected in taxes was to be paid for interest on the Sheboygan Harbor Bonds. The Village bonded itself with 12 Harbor Bonds of $500 each which was later increased to 20 with 10% interest payable in the City of New York at the Bank of New York on the 13th day of May, 1864.
Thus, the Sheboygan "Village" history highlights close.
HISTORY OF SHEBOYGAN
CHAPTER I -- ITS GROWTH IN SIZE
It is an interesting study to see how Sheboygan has grown from a small section of land in 1836, (comprising approximately three city blocks), bounded on the east by Lake Michigan, on the south by the river, on the west by our present 6th St., and on the north by our present Washington Court, to its present size.
When this land or territory became a village in 1846, the size was increased to the following boundaries: on the north, 200 feet north of the present Superior Avenue; Lake Michigan on the east; on the south, 200 feet south of Georgia Avenue; and on the west where 18th Street now is.
In 1853 the village became the City of Sheboygan, the boundaries stayed the same, but the interior was divided into two wards. The 1st and the 2nd ward, with the river being the dividing line. All the land north of the river being the 1st Ward, and everything south of the river the 2nd Ward.
In 1856 another interior change was made; three wards were created instead of two, and the boundaries were as follows: 1st Ward, starting at a point on the east shore of Lake Michigan westerly, along a line (where Washington Court now is) to a point where 6th Street now is, thence south on 6th Street to the alley between Niagara and Wisconsin Avenues, thence westerly to where it hits the river, thence following the center of the river north, northwesterly, west and southwesterly to a line directly in line with the alley aforementioned, thence westerly to the present 18th Street, thence north to the city line (200 feet north of Superior Avenue), thence east to Lake Michigan; 2nd Ward, bounded on the north by this lien mentioned from the Lake to where it first hits the river, thence following the river south, etc., until it empties into the lake, this formed the western and southern boundary, and Lake Michigan the eastern boundary; 3rd Ward, the Sheboygan River was the North boundary entirely except for the short line in the northwest corner being the southern boundary of the 1st Ward, 18th Street was the western border, and the southern line 200 feet south of Georgia Avenue with Lake Michigan to the River the Eastern Boundary.
In 1860 the next change in the size of the city took place, and the property
annexed was on the north and south only, leaving 18th Street as the western
corporate line and, as always, Lake Michigan on the east. The northern
line now was pushed up to where Geele Avenue is now, and the southern line to
our present Union Avenue. the interior was now changed to comprise 4 wards
with boundaries as follows:
1876 we see the next change in the interior. Another ward was created,
making five instead of four.
For eleven years there was no change, but in 1887 the city having grown so much,
it was found necessary to redivide its interior, and eight wards were formed
there had been five formerly, and the boundaries were as follows:
You will note from this that the 1st Ward remained about the same except for the southern boundary. The 2nd Ward was split by 8th Street making wards 2 and 3. What was formerly the 3rd ward was cut down and made into the 4th ward. the 5th ward was cut off on the north to form part of the 6th ward, and what was formerly the 4th ward was made into the 7th and 8th wards.
1891 the next change takes place, by ordinance, a vast amount of land was added to the city increasing its size at least one third. the boundaries now are as follows: The corporate line on the north being just north of the Catholic Cemetery from 23rd Street Approximately to the lake. 23rd Street was made the western boundary, while a line just north of Mead Avenue from the lake to 23rd Street was the southern boundary, and the lake on the east.
The size of the wards was changed considerably as follows:
The next enlargement of the city is in 1935, when 6 separate plots of land were added to the city. In the 1st ward the present dump and bank on Lake Michigan. The 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 8th wards were unchanged. The Shooting Park was added to the 4th ward. There was a big addition to the Wildwood Cemetery in the 6th ward, and the Poor Farm was added to the 7th ward. Outside the city proper, Evergreen Park, Reservoir Park, and the Pest House site were the additions.
In 1937 the tract south of the city in the Town of Wilson was annexed. (The Wisconsin Power and Light Plant and the Sewage Disposal properties are located on this tract). All this was added to the 4th ward, and made the corporation line about 3/4 mile further south than formerly.
In 1939 Evergreen Park was enlarged, and added about 4 acres to the park and city.
And so we come to the year 1941. A petition for annexing certain territory west of the city was presented to the Common Council and was verified as sufficient and valid by the City Clerk. This was questioned by the Town of Sheboygan officers (from whom this territory was to be taken) and the merits of the case were taken to the Circuit Court. When the case was decided in favor of the city, they (the town officials) again carried it to the Supreme Court. On March 10, 1942, a verdict was given upholding the decision of the Circuit Court, so this territory was legally annexed to the city and became a part of it.
HISTORY OF SHEBOYGAN
There are many stories told of how our city was called "Sheboygan." The general version for many years, was the story of an Indian Chief who had a large family and all were girls. The time came for a new arrival, and the whole Indian Village knew the Chief wanted a baby boy; when the baby arrived, it was a girl, and the Chief remarked, "She boy again?". then it is told the city derived its name from the following: That the name, Sheboygan, is a Chippewa word meaning a "passage or waterway between Lakes", for the reason that the Sheboygan River, which had its source near Lake Winnebago, was a favorite and convenient route of travel of the Indians journeying by canoe between the upper Fox river and Lake Winnebago to points on the middle and southern shores of Lake Michigan.
Another story is that the name "Sheboygan" is derived from the Indian word "Sha bwa wae gun ning", meaning "send through by drum" and that this was done by Indians carrying and beating their drums while marching between Sheboygan Falls and Sheboygan. So you can take your choice of the three, for there seems to be no direct evidence of which, if any, is the origin of the name, "Sheboygan."
FIRST WHITE PERSON
It is recorded that the first white person who passed the site of where Sheboygan now stands was Jean Nicolett, a French explorer, in 1635, and so we will carry on from this date. In 1643, Joliet and Marquette, also French explorers, passed the site. Then for many years there are but few records, until 1699, when Father St. Cosme (a missionary) made the first recorded landing where Sheboygan now stands and found a Pottawatomie Indian Village. There are no further records until 1814, when Wm. Farnsworth, the first white settler, arrived. He stayed only a short time, then went away, but returned again in 1818 and established a fur trading post which he maintained for 14 years. This same year, Governor Cass of the Michigan territory landed here.
In 1822, Wm. Paine and Colonel Oliver Crocker arrived. They built a saw mill and two log cabins, one on approximately the site where the Court House now stands. In 1834, a Mr. Harrison built a shanty on the south bank of the river.
In 1835, Paine and Crocker sold their property to W. Farnsworth. At about this time the Government made a survey of the Sheboygan Area and placed it on sale at Green Bay. Farnsworth immediately bid on it, and became half-owner of the territory, (involved according to the plat made in 1835-1836).
FIRST WHITE WOMAN
Farnsworth needed help to look after his interests, so he hired Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Follett of Chicago and she (Mrs. Follett) was the first white woman to settle in Sheboygan.
FIRST HOTEL AND POST OFFICE
In 1836 the first hotel was built; it was called, "The Sheboygan House." The first post office was established this same year, and Chas. Cole, a local merchant, became the first postmaster.
On December 7, 1836, Sheboygan County was created by an act of the legislature. Up to now it had been a part of Brown County; it took almost a year and a half until the county was actually separated from Brown County.
In 1837 the first school was built on the east side of 8th Street between Niagara Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue. Twelve pupils were enrolled.
The population at this time was 36. In 1840 it had grown to 133; 1844--237; 1855--3630; 1860--4271; 1870--5310; 1875--6828, etc.
In 1838-1839 two roads leading from the settlement were constructed. One from Sheboygan to Sheboygan Falls, and thence to Fond du Lac, and the other from Sheboygan to Madison.
FIRST STORE AND SCHOONER
During the year 1843 the first store building was built. In 1845 the first schooner was built for lake traffic, named, "Pilot; its captain, "Powell".
Then in 1846, on February 9, the village was incorporated and received its charter. H. H. Conklin was elected its first President. The population now was 300, and 81 votes were cast for President. Of these, Conklin received 51 and William Farnsworth, 30. Other officers elected at this first election were Donald Harrington, Clerk; Dan Eps Young, Treasurer; Stephen Walvert, Assessor; Robert Matherson, Constable; Warren Smith, Trustee; William Farnsworth, Justice of the Peace; and Joel Day, Street Commissioner.
The Village board consisted of H. Conklin, W. Farnsworth, Joe Moore, W. Smith, and R. Harrison. One of the first acts of the board was to adopt a resolution appropriating $400.00 to construct a bridge across the Sheboygan river. A tax of one per cent was levied on all taxable property and an additional tax of six mills for the bridge fund. Fire wardens were appointed to examine all buildings for fire hazards. Laying out streets was started, and a plough was purchased for use in so doing.
A tavern was built and a fee of $20.00 for license was imposed.
Elections were held each year and there were almost complete changes of personnel each year. The President in 1847 was J. Kirkland; in 1848, H. Smith; 1849, W. W. McKillip; 1850, W. Anable; 1851, W. Smith; and 1852, W. Gossline.
Sheboygan had its first Public Square in 1847; it was located between 13th and 14th Streets, New Jersey Avenue, and Jefferson Avenue, Part of this square was where Sheridan Park now is.
FIRST MFG. PLANT AND FIRE STATION
In 1847 the Episcopal Church was burglarized. The Globe Foundry was established, and though somewhat changed, is still in its original location at 9th and Penn. Avenue. In 1848, the town map was recorded, $80.00 was appropriated to build a fire station, and plans were made to dig an artesian well. In 1849 the first Hook and Ladder Co. was formed, and $700.00 appropriated for a fire engine. In 1850 the digging of the artesian well was started.
TOLL BRIDGE AND FIRST JAIL
In 1851 a grist mill was built on the south side of the Sheboygan River, near its mouth, and started to function the same year. It was in this year that the famous Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Plank Toll Road Co. was organized, and the road completed the next year. H. H. Conklin, President; Billy Williams, Secretary; and A. L. McCrea, Treasurer. When this road was completed there was a big celebration at the Merchants Hotel, Sheboygan. The first Jail was built of wood in 1851, but was replaced by one of brick in 1853. The first cemetery was laid out, fenced in, and rules made concerning its use. The price of a lot was set at $7.00.
The Calumet Plank Road Co. was chartered in April, 1852, and started building the road to Kiel. This road, of 20 miles, was completed by 1859. This marks the end of the village activities, for in 1853 the village received its city charter, and at the election H. Conklin, the first village president was elected the first Mayor of Sheboygan; F. Mills, the first clerk; and K. Guck, the first treasurer. There were two wards formed in the city, and three aldermen elected from each ward as follows: 1st Ward, J. Heitzel, George Smith, and J. Fagan. 2nd Ward, J. Hogan, J. Schrage, and John Gee. The Court House was its first meeting place. On March 25th the following petition was presented to the Council signed by many names which are still familiar names to many of us. Here is the petition: "The so-called floating bridge connecting the east and west side of Sheboygan River within this city near the steam sawmill is owned by J. F. Kirkland, who subjects every person crossing the same to a certain toll. It is well known that said bridge is frequently used by citizens living on the east side of the river and by those of the other side having business to enact there, consequently it is of great convenience, but the tax is also a great burden to them, We, the undersigned citizens would therefore, respectfully petition and pray your Honorable Body to purchase said bridge of its present owner for the full use of the community. It is understood that the purchase of said bridge can be effected for a moderate compensation. We remain, respectfully yours, Christian Raad, George Groh, Jacob Vollrath, Louis Testwuide, Frank Geele, Alfred Marschner, Theodore Zschetzsche, Herman Roth, T. Scheele, Charles Zaegel, Charles Roenitz, Leopold Gutsch, Fred Gutsch, and R. Gutsch." This caused the purchase of the bridge in 1854, and $75.00 was appropriated for repairs. From all reports, this bridge was located at the foot of New York Avenue, west end. The Council passed two ordinances of great importance in those days. One was to prevent horses from running at large, and one to muzzle all dogs when on the streets.
PENN. AVE. BRIDGE
In 1855, a resolution was passed to construct a bridge across Penn. Avenue, the cost not to exceed $2,000.00 and also one for a bridge across 8th Street, the cost of which was not to exceed $1,200.00. In July of this year, the floating bridge across 7th Street was repaired. This seems to be a busy year for the city, for in October the poor farm was established. In August, $100.00 was appropriated toward the building of the Calumet Plank Road, and in December, William Farnsworth and Julius Kuchmstedt were appointed Fire Wardens.
This year, 1856, shows still further progress for the city, for it was then that ground was broken for the Sheboygan and Mississippi Railroad, and $50.00 was appropriated for a fitting celebration for same. The first load of earth was removed June 4th, William Farnsworth, wielding the pick, Stephen Wolverton, the shovel, and Henry Otten trundled the wheel-barrow. The road was built to Glenbeulah in 1860. Due to financial difficulties, the company went broke, and in 1861 reorganized and became the Sheboygan and Fond du Lac R. R. the line was extended to Fond du Lac in 1869, and as far as Princeton in 1871.
The Milwaukee and Superior R. R. was chartered also, a survey made and grading started but this was abandoned in 1856, then the Milwaukee and Northern R. R. took over this charter, changed the route to go through Plymouth instead of Sheboygan; trains started to run on this route in 1872. In 1874 it became the Wisconsin Central R. R., and now it is the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul R. R.
Prominent business men in this period were A. Mallman, Dr. Bock, Dr. Hahn, Bille Williams, Louis Gutsch, H. Steckhahn, Fred Degenkolbe, H. Scheele, Nick Deville, F. Trilling, F. Geele, and A. Plath. The official newspapers were the Wisconsin Republican and the Sheboygan Lake Journal.
In 1857, a census was taken; it showed the population to be approximately 3700. It seems that trouble was being experienced with dance halls in those days, so all proprietors of dance halls were notified that unless dances were banned on Sunday nights, licenses would be revoked.
February, 1858, a smallpox epidemic threatened the city, but was finally conquered. Vessels plied the Sheboygan River in great numbers, and it is recorded that the slip at the bridge at New Jersey Avenue had to be widened due to a steamer, the Huron, being unable to pass through. On April 17th, an all land mail route was established between Sheboygan and Milwaukee. Fish was one of the big items of food in the city, and the city required a fish inspector to see that fish were fresh and clean.
1859 marks the beginning of railroading in Sheboygan, but it was on June 17th that the first steam railroad ran to Sheboygan Falls. They continued to construct the railroad line, and by February, 1869, the road was completed to Fond du Lac. The name of this road was the Sheboygan and Mississippi Railroad, for which ground had been broken in 1856, later named the Sheboygan and Fond du Lac route of the C. & N. W. Railroad. The National Demokrat was named the official city paper.
1860 shows still more progress. The population of the city now was 4262. On April 14th of this year, a motion was made to have all the proceedings of the Common Council published, including ordinances, etc. This marks the beginning of the printed records of our City. Navigation was getting bigger and more and larger boats were entering our harbor, so that it was necessary to dredge the harbor deeper and build docks. $1,100 was appropriated for this purpose. A 150 barrel reservoir was built for fire protection. Lots 1, 2, and 3, Block 106, were given to the County by the City, for a cite for a Court House.
In 1861 the total indebtedness of the City was $243,900.00. The Sheboygan Journal was the official paper. Volunteers were asked for, to help in putting out fires; $150.00 was appropriated for this purpose. The Civil War Started, and many Sheboygan people were drafted or enlisted.
March, 1861. "Whereas, the United States Government has prepared to establish a Naval Depot at some convenient point on Lake Michigan, and believing this place offers more and better facilities than any other point on the lake, for the construction of vessels and the location of said depot, therefore be it:
Resolved by the Common Council of the City of Sheboygan, that the City will guarantee to the United States Government ample and convenient dock room and grounds for such depot free of cost for the same,
Resolved, that the member of Congress from this district, Hon. A. Scott Sloan, be requested to use his influence and best endeavors to cause the Government to select this point for said Naval Depot.
Resolved, That a Committee of ----- be appointed to lay before the proper authorities, the advantages of this point for the proposed Naval Depot and the said committee are requested to call a meeting of the citizens of this City and County at any time they may think proper, to further the object of these resolutions." Adopted.
The following committee was appointed: F. R. Townsend, C. Crez, J. H. Bentley, R. Puhlmann, H. P. Smith, John Bertschy, A. P. Lyman, Chas. D. Cole, Louis Wolf, Chas. Raab, E. W. Stannard, H. H. Vande Mall, Bille Williams, Julius Nolff, S. W. Hamilton and J. P. Mason.
In 1862 a resolution was adopted that the wives and children of those volunteers fighting in the Civil War be given financial aid during their absence. New names added to the prominent ones already mentioned in former years are Gerhardt Dieckman, P. Mason, A. P. Lyman, Frank Lawrence, and James H., Mead.
INDIAN SCARE -- Sept. 3, 1862.
On this memorial morning at about 10 o'clock, three men came into the city riding horses and reported that Centerville, the village north of Sheboygan, had been attacked by the Indians, that a house and bard had been burned, that the owner, a Mr. Knackworst, had been killed, that many cattle had been driven away, and that the Indians were now headed for Sheboygan.
By eleven o'clock, people began flocking to Sheboygan in all sorts of Conveyances, driving their cattle, carrying their most prized possessions, etc. Before evening several thousand had arrived.
At first not much heed was given to this upset, but as people continued to pour into the City, orders were given by Adj. J. O. Thayer to all companies within reach of these headquarters to be in readiness to quell any disturbance which might arise.
Capt. Marschner was ordered to have his company ready for any emergency. Hundreds of citizens armed themselves with shot guns, rifles, pitch forks, and other utensils awaiting the Indians, who never arrived. After spending the night in the besieged City of Sheboygan, which was never besieged, the people went back to their homes the following morning happy that the scare was over and that there had been no casualties as at first reported.
There were no outstanding events during 1863 in the City, but in 1864 there was much activity. An appropriation of $16,000 was made to pay bounties to the volunteers in the Army. The schools were growing, and the report shows 679 pupils attending schools. Seven women teachers and three men teachers were the entire school staff. The men received $60.00 per month and the women $25.00 per month.
In 1865, the Civil War was over and great celebrations were in order. Many more names familiar to Sheboygan people are found, such as J. Weiskopf, H. Bessinger, H. Fredricks, J. Balzer, W. Gilman, and J. Schrage. A new hose cart was ordered and John Balzer got the order to construct one at a cost of $65.00. Arrangements were made to finance the Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Railroad. A telegraph line was built from Green Bay to Milwaukee going through Sheboygan. It was called the United States Telegraph Co., which became the Western Union in 1866. The M. Winter Lumber Co. was started.
In 1866, $2,000 was made available for building a new school house in the 4th ward.
Up to this time, horses, dogs, cows, swine, chickens, etc., were all running at large around the city, so ordinances were passes to keep horses and cows confined in yards; dogs were ordered muzzled when running at large; chickens had to be kept inside fences; and last but not least, swine were ordered kept on one's own premises so that they could not be rooting up other yards.
FIRST TRAFFIC REGULATION
In 1867, due to the many offences regarding letting animals run at large, a public pound was erected in the block where the Lincoln School, 2nd Ward, now is, wherein any horses, mules, jackasses, or swine running at large within the city might be impounded. In this year, we have the first regulation regarding traffic, a resolution was adopted regulating the driving of hackneys, coaches, cabs, drays, and omnibuses in the city.
$1500 was appropriated for the purchase of a clock and bell for the Court House tower. Plans were drawn and accepted for a Court House in 1866 -- A. L. Weeks was the architect. The ground was donated by the City, and was the same location as now. Up to this time the offices of the County were located wherever convenient:
1845 - 49 In the Exchange Block--8th and Penn. Ave.
1849 - 51 Bank of Sheboygan Block--8th St. where Bank now is.
1851 - 54 New York Block--8th and New York Ave.
1854 - 58 In rear of Mallman Block (?).
1858 - 59 Zaegel's Block (Beekman House) 8th and New York Ave.
1859 - 60 Otten Block (Fire destroyed this block in 1860 and most all county records were destroyed).
1860 - 66 At Penn. Ave. and 7th St.
This building was begun in 1866 and was completed in 1868, it being one of the finest Court Houses in the state, and with the alterations made in 1895, until it was razed in 1934, was still a good building. The purpose of putting the bell in the tower was to have it sounded as a fire alarm. The first light on the pier was taken care of by Matt Carr, for which service he received $10.00 a year. A new bridge was built over the river at Wisconsin Avenue for $2,719.00, and the Penn. Avenue bridge was torn down as it was deemed unfit and unsound. $10,000.00 was appropriated for dredging the harbor, and $15,000.00 toward the Sheboygan-Fond du Lac Railroad.
1868 marks the era of much building in woodworking factories, for it was then that the Sheboygan Mfg. Co. (Sheboygan Chair Co.) was organized, and the Bemis Bros. and Crocker factories were started. The water supply for the fire department was obtained from cisterns, and in this year three public cisterns were built--one at Penn. and 8th, another at 8th and New York, and a third at 8th and Center. The fittings and castings for these wells were supplied by the firm of Plath, Vollrath and Blocki (now the Kohler Co.)
In 1869, the Phoenix Chair Co. started business with Tom Blackstock as its president. In later years, he was one of Sheboygan's leading citizens. Our city fathers were F. Geele, P. Pfeiler, J. Bell, T. Guenther, J. Kroeff, W. DeMand, and others. In December, the 8th Street bridge was torn down and the wood distributed to the poor. A new bridge was built at a cost of $1,057.00. The city was bonded this year for $30,000.00 and George End and James Mead were authorized to negotiate the selling of these bonds.
In 1870, Railroading continues, for during March a request by the Milwaukee, Manitowoc, and Green Bay Railroad to construct a line through Sheboygan asking the city to buy 500 shares of stock was considered and accepted. The R. R. was called the Milwaukee, Manitowoc, and Green Bay, later it became the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western, and finally the Chicago & North Western Line. An election was held to give the populace a voice whether to buy the stock or not. 760 votes were cast; 745 to buy, and 15 not to buy. A resolution granting each volunteer fireman $8.00 for his services during the year of 1869 was passed. The license fee for a tavern was $30.00. The bonded indebtedness of our city was now $105,000.00. A new lattice bridge was built across Penn. Ave. at a cost of $7,944.00 and was completed in July, 1871. The election polls for this year were located as follows: 1st Ward, J. Pfeiler's Store; 2nd Ward, H. Friedricks place; 3rd Ward, C. Reif's saloon; and 4th Ward, G. Lieble's saloon. Familiar names were S. Crocker, J. Thayer, W. Elwell, T. Guenther, G. Schneider, Adam Trester, H. Telenger, H. Hensel, J. Hoberg, F. Pape, Chas. Liebermann, H. Trester, R. Guessenhainer, F. Krumdick, K. Schreier, A. Trilling, A. Leverman (my Dad), and A. Ecke.
1871. As the years pass, progress continues. In the early months of this year, a lighthouse was erected on the north pier. It was painted and sanded, and a sign hung upon it warning that anyone apprehended defacing or cutting on the lighthouse would be fined.
J. Acker was made official clock tender at the Court House and held this job until he died. His pay was set at $30.00 a year.
During September the first steps were taken for street lighting. In October the action taken by the city in 1870 subscribing for 500 shares of stock in the Milwaukee, Manitowoc, Green Bay Railroad was nullified due to circumstances concerning the construction of the road, but later a new proposition was made, and by a vote at a special election, 644 votes were cast: 629 for buying $50,000.00 worth of stock, and 15 voting against it.
FIRST TRAIN -- MILWAUKEE
In 1872, November 21st, the first train ran into the city from Milwaukee; before this transportation was by boat, state wagon, and horseback. Gas lamps furnished the street lighting, and the Common Council decided that each Alderman should take care of the gas lamps in his ward. This meant, lighting then at night and turning them off in the morning. Some of the firms doing business in the City were H. Goldschmidt, harnesses, etc.; Frank Lawrence, hardware; C. Riedel, furniture; H. Much, hardware and stoves; J. Balzer, wagon works; G. Dieckman, jewelry; R. Otten, dry goods; J. Froidel, shoes; and F. Oetkin, coal. The Sheboygan Times was the leading paper.
1873. Two papers were contracted to do the city printing, one in English, and one in German. Carl Zillier, publisher of the National Demokrat, received the German contract, and H. Ross, that of the English paper, The Sheboygan Times. Ole Groh was made Harbor Master. A fire engine was purchased for $1,200.00.
The Goodrich Transportation Co. had as its agent, E. P. Ewer.
1874. The first rules governing the Common Council were enacted, with meetings the first Monday of each month for regular business, a special meeting could be called, but only the business for which the meeting was called, could be transacted. The rules were practically the same as they are today, except, in those days a fine of 50 cents was imposed on any of the Councilmen who were absent at the hour fixed for each meeting, without a reasonable excuse.
The Cemetery was laid out and graded, and lots sold, but had to be paid for before any burial could be made on same. More business firms made their appearance on the streets of Sheboygan. Among them were the following: Krause and Darling, Plumbing; Fairweather and Schrage, Livery; End and Kent, Dry Goods; H. and C. Imig, Clothing; C. Schultheiss, Foundry.
FIRST PAID FIRE DEPARTMENT
1875. In February of this year, steps were taken to organize a regular paid fire department. The City was growing so rapidly that it felt the former volunteer department was inadequate, and a permanent department was necessary. In this same month an artesian well was drilled, or I should say, was started and finished in July, reaching a depth of 240 feet. The driller was J. Dobyn; and its cost $5,000.34. All persons were allowed to take water from this well to their homes between the hours of 6 to 8 a.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. There were certain other restrictions. John Bertschi was given the contract for the exclusive right to sell this water and use the well, except during the hours above mentioned. The water was called "Sheboygan Mineral Water". We had three newspapers in the city; Sheboygan Times, Sheboygan Herald, and Demokrat. Gas lamps were extinguished every evening at 11 p.m.; the cost of gas per year for each lamp was $1.90.
1876. In March, the 3rd Ward was divided and one part of it was called the 5th Ward. The division was due to the fact that the population had increased to such an extent as to make it necessary. In this same month, the Sheboygan Chair Co. was granted a permit to build an overhead bridge connecting their buildings on the east and west side of Chestnut Street, now 7th Street. This bridge or transway is still there.
On May 10th all the bells in the city were rung at 6 a.m., 12 noon, and again at 6 p.m., for 15 minutes each time, in celebration of the opening of the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia.
$200.00 was appropriated for the Fourth of July celebration for music, and $200 for decorations, and a resolution was passed closing all saloons and forbidding the sale of beer and liquor on that day.
On May 15th, the grade of 8th Street from Michigan Avenue to the Sheboygan River was established.
THIRD WARD SCHOOL
In June, land was purchased for $800.00 for the site of a school house in the 3rd Ward, and the plans of H. L. Weeks for the building were accepted.
In October, Chas. Adolphi, City Clerk for over 20 years, died, and at a special meeting of the Common Council, Wenzel Kunz was elected to fill the unexpired term.
1877. At the April election, the officers elected were known to many of our older inhabitants and to the writer, and were as follows: Mayor, F. Geele; City Clerk, W. Kunz; treasurer, August Trilling; Aldermen 1st Ward, John Pfeiler and Joseph Schneider; 2nd Ward, Jacob Imig and Christ Eckhardt; 3rd Ward, Joseph Freimuth and Frank Boehme; 4th Ward, Christ Neumeister and Adolph Feuerstache; and 5th Ward, H. Harsch and Chas. Lutz. The pay of the Alderman was $2.50 per day, provided they lost time in doing Aldermen's business; this was the first pay they ever received.
Saloons flourished in those days, for the records reveal that during the month of June, 49 licenses had been granted.
In the fall of this year, an extensive campaign was undertaken to lay out and establish grades of all streets and sidewalks not already provided for.
Relief problems were encountered in those years, for, 60 cords of wood, at $3.75 per cord, were purchased for the poor.
Quite a lot of difficulty had been encountered concerning burials and ownership of lots in the cemetery, so a complete checkup was made, and all persons had to appear before the board and show their titles for lots. In this way a new start was made, and a new set of records established.
1878. The total number attending school in the City was 1459 divided as follows: High School 13 boys and 25 girls, Grade Schools 472 boys and 451 girls, Lutheran School 145 boys and 140 girls, Catholic School 165 in all, Reformed School 28 boys and 30 girls. The teachers had to take care of an average of 50 pupils.
An appropriation was made of $3,000.00 for the building of an insane asylum near the city. The artesian well sprung a leak and had to be repaired with new "galvanized pipe at a cost of 36 cents per foot."
The fire engine which up to now had been drawn by a horse, was changed so that a team could pull same as the City could not procure a horse "big enough" to move the engine alone. The debt of the City was $235,000.00. The entire country was in a depression and the Mayor asked the strictest economy "or else our children will have to pay high taxes forever".
1879. The familiar names appearing about this time were Dr. St. Sure, Wilbur M. Root, Konrad Krez, M. Wilgus, H. Rabe, F. Bast, Henry Boyle, C. B. Henschel, George Bessinger, George Liebl, August Look, Joseph Schrage, Dr. H. D. Squire, Christian Raab, H. J. Mueller, C. Quasius, L. Hockstra, Hugo Trilling, and J. Weiskopf. The German Bank and Bank of Sheboygan were the City depositories.
The City was constantly growing, and from year to year portrays a pioneering people building for the future. Many of their problems to us seem silly, but at that time were very serious. Eighth Street at that time had a wooden bridge spanning the river. Twice during this year the Common Council took action to replace this with an iron one, and both times the Mayor vetoed the Council action for the reason that "taxes were already too high", and secondly, because "there was no money in the treasury". So the building of this bridge was postponed.
1880. Sanitation was a big problem, and so we read "To the Honourable, the Mayor, and Common Council:" (the petition of Fred Twick and others follows) "We, the undersigned committee, having taken the facts into consideration found that the manure pile right in the center of the City, spreads diverse, noisome, and unwholesome smells, which may cause sickness and disease, recommend that the Park Commissioner be instructed to remove same at once". Signed--C. B. Henschell, T. Kroeff, and A. Look.
The chief Engineer of the Fire Department was Henry Boyle; he was presented by the Common Council with a gilded eagle as an acknowledgement of his "zeal in the performance of his important duties".
Mayor Geele in his inaugural address commented on the bad conditions of 8th Street, and recommended cedar blocks for paving, "as this style of paving was being used to a great extent by other cities".
Again the 8th Street Bridge question arose and the construction of an iron one was favored, it was to be a 170 foot swing bridge, which when opened would have a 65 foot clearance on either side, the cost to be $18,500.00. The 10th of November plans were submitted, and when voted on, it was a tie--7 to 7. The Mayor vetoed the proposal, and again the iron bridge went down to defeat. After this action the people were still not satisfied, and, on November 18th, a special meeting was called to discuss the bridge problem. A motion was made to accept the plans and bid for the iron bridge. When it came to a vote, the same seven who voted against the bridge previously, left the room, and so again, no decision could be made. On November 26th, the Mayor again vetoed the proposition. A notion to overrule the veto was lost 7 to 7. On December 6th, a petition signed by over 400 citizens asking for a bridge to be built at a cost of not over $10,000.00 was submitted to the Council. They in tern referred it to the Board of Public Works, who returned it to the Council ruling that it was irregular. The City Attorney then submitted his opinion that it was not irregular, but still nothing was done. Finally in January, 1881, another proposal for a wooden bridge on 8th Street was submitted. The proposal passed, and the contract awarded to A. L. Weeks at a cost of $12,480.00. The bridge was completed in November, 1881, and thus ended the bridge feud, if such it was.
In August, plans were made for house numbering, and the following rules for same established: starting point for numbers running east and west was to be Lake Michigan; north and south the Sheboygan River. The amount of frontage allotted for a number was 20 feet, even numbers to be on the north and west sides of streets, and odd numbers on the south and east sides. The first street signs, 280 in all, were ordered placed. This system was adopted 60 years ago, and was in force until this year, May, 1945, when a new system was passed by the Common Council, which makes Penn. Avenue the dividing line for the north and south instead of the River.
1881. More Progress. The first work on a telephone system was started in June, when permission was granted to C. H. Haskins and Co. to erect piles and string wires.
Bicycles were used very extensively, and were such a nuisance on sidewalks that a resolution was adopted prohibiting the riding of bicycles on the sidewalks of North 8th Street and Michigan Avenue.
NEW PENN. AVE. BRIDGE
As stated before, the 8th Street Bridge was completed in November, and no sooner had that been finished when the Penn. Ave. bridge had to be rebuilt at a cost of $20,000.00, but in this instance where was no wrangling or fighting among the Aldermen, and the proposition passed unanimously.
1882. In January, the City had a smallpox scare; everyone was ordered vaccinated.
The Mineral Water Company was doing such an excellent business, that they asked an extension of their lease with the City, at $200.00 a year, for a period of five years.
In this year, we find the beginning of our Police System. Up to now our police force consisted of a Marshal and Night Watchman, and one officer for each Ward. A petition by F. J. Lintz and others, for the City to establish a policy force and a resolution whereby the Mayor was to appoint six men including the City Marshal, was "laid on the table".
1883. Owing to the steady increase in manufacturing in our City, and also in the number and size of boats entering the harbor with cargoes, special appropriations for dredging the harbor and river were made. In those days practically all the materials used in our city were brought by boat, and it was nothing unusual to see 20 to 30 vessels tied up at our docks, unloading lumber, and other materials.
In July, the following complaint was acted on, as explained in the resolution which stated "The Milwaukee Lake Shore and Western Railroad has four tracks laying on and across Virginia Street, three of which are constantly covered by cars. As about 200 people have to cross said tracks daily, some of whom are women and children carrying dinner to the factories and then have to crawl through under those cars, by which occasional accidents or loss of life may easily occur," therefore--
Be it resolved, "that the City Attorney be and is hereby instructed to notify said Railway Co. to keep a passage open across their tracks on Virginia Avenue."
Later a transway was built over the tracks.
FIRST ATTEMPT FOR WATER WORKS
The first move to establish running water in the City came during the month of July. An ordinance was submitted which would establish a permanent water works system; it was laid over to a special meeting in December. The Mayor, Michael Winter, opposed it because of "the tremendous cost involved", and because he stated, "that the City had the finest and purest water of any city in the United States", and he went on to state. "Further, we would respectfully remind you, that, you being the servants of the taxpayers, are duty bound to respect the wishes and will of those who elected you to office".
Alderman Muth submitted the following resolution:
"Whereas, the greater part of the resident taxpayers of the City protest against the Introduction of water works in the City, as shown by the petition just presented and read,
Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Committee on Water Works appointed by the Common Council be and the same is hereby discharged."
Thus the first attempt for a municipal water works system was turned down.
1884. More familiar names and faces: Hugo Trilling, Jacob Jung, F. Ecke, Peter Martin, Frank Gottsacker, L. Otte, J. Bauman, Hub Bessinger.
A census on children was taken; it was found that there were 3538.
WATER WORKS PLANT AND SEWAGE PLANT
During September a special meeting was called regarding the water works. The Committee asked for a longer period to investigate the need of a water system, and also a sewage disposal plant. The building of both was started soon after this, 1886. Previous to this, private cisterns were built in almost all houses, and large reservoirs were used in different parts of the city for the use of the fire department. Drinking tanks for horses were placed in different parts of the city; it took six horses drawing water daily to keep these tanks filled.
1885. Saloons did a thriving business in those days. There were 45 licenses to do business in June; the license paid was $200.00 each. How may remember some of the following: Adam Pfeiler, George Schoerger, Henry Speck, William Schlict, Jake Schlicht, Konrad Schreier, Christ Kampmann, August Knocke, Fred Rosenthal, Peter Martin, Henry Gutsch, Theodore Diestelhorst, August Goldschmidt, Dick Krumdick, Henry Wiegand, August Leonhardt, and F. Margenau?
FIRST HOOK AND LADDER CO.
The first Hook and Ladder Co. was formed in July of this year, composed of 6 able bodied men. Prior to this time, only two steam engine companies had been maintained. From these six men, a captain was to be chosen; the salary for each was fixed at $42.00 per year.
During these early years every property was fenced, with some sort of ornamental wooden slabs, etc.; these were considered quite an ornament, but this year, 1885, many were being removed, by order of the Council, because they encroached on streets or other properties.
FIRST STREET CARS
In September, a franchise was requested by H. G. Northrup, of Chicago, to build a horse car street railway in Sheboygan. The franchise was granted in November; this marked the beginning of the street car system. The cars were drawn by mules.
START OF REGULAR POLICE FORCE
In June, final steps were taken, and an ordinance passed, creating a regular Police Force. It consisted of the City Marshal, Harbor Master, Bridge Tenders, Sexton of the Cemetery, and two patrolmen; it provided that the Council might increase the number of patrolmen to five. "The City Marshal shall be Chief of Police." The salary of a patrolman was set at $45.00 per month.
1886. In May, four horses were purchased to pull the fire fighting apparatus. Prior to this, the hose carts were either pulled by hand, or drawn by horses borrowed from the livery stable.
The fourth patrolman added to the police force was Sam Spencer, who many people living in Sheboygan still remember.
In August, the question of the Water Works was again brought before the Council. On November 12th, the question of granting a franchise to the American Waterworks and Guarantee Co. was voted 8 to 8, so the question was laid over until the next meeting when, Dec. 6th, the franchise was granted. It guaranteed to supply enough pressure to throw 10 streams of water 100 feet high through a two and one-half inch hose with a one inch muzzle. This pressure was to be maintained in the business district. Throughout the City there were to be, at different locations, six hydrants, through which the water could be shot 80 feet into the air, through a similar size hose, all at one time.
AGITATION FOR AN ELECTRIC LIGHT PLANT
1887. A petition was circulated signed by citizens asking for the erection of an electric light plant. A committee of the Council was immediately appointed to visit nearby cities where electricity was used to ascertain its advantages and benefits. This Committee was composed of C. A. Born and Adolph Bandman who visited Fond du Lac and Oshkosh, and then filed the following report:
(1) "After thoroughly investigating Fond du Lac and Oshkosh regarding electric lighting systems, we find it too expensive for our City and not sufficient to light such streets where shade trees are standing alongside the sidewalk."
(2) "That the over ground system of running wires, as represented by the Oshkosh Fire Dept. has become a nuisance and greatly endangers the life of the members of the department in fulfilling their duties during a conflagration."
(3) "We therefore recommend that no change or alteration be made in the franchise of the Gas Co. and furthermore recommend that the Gas Co. be requested to hand in bids for an incandescent light which will be more suitable in lighting our City."
This was the year that the Mattoon Factory caught fire and burned for 16 hours. The Manitowoc Fire Co. helped the Sheboygan Dept. fight this fire for nine hours. The fire companies were composed of the following: Hose Co. No. 1, W. Schroeder, S. Warnecke, G. Schultz, H. Goetz, H. Gruebner, S. Spring, F. Stephani, C. Braun, Captain, and Louis Fields, Assistant. Mr. Gruebner and Mr. Fields were still living in 1937, but have since passed away. Company No. 2, F. Steager, Captain; T. Burkhardt, Assistant; Nic Muenster, H. Wolf, J. Schieble, G. Weinkauf, H. Buechl and L. Neff. Hook and Ladder Co., H. Feurstache, Captain; M. Mueller, C. Kraatz, P. Maas, N. Schieble, H. Ladis, C. Maas, and J. Liebl, Assistant Captain.
The Central Station at that time was located approximately where the entrance to the Bowler Building is on North 8th Street, and the Hook and Ladder Station, on 7th Street at the north end of the present Press Building.
The City began looking for a site for a City Hall. One offer was made the city by Dr. W. H. Guenther at the corner of 8th Street and Ontario Avenue (where the Clinic now is) for $10,000.00. No action on this was taken by the Council.
Up to this time chickens had been allowed to run at large, but in September an ordinance was passed prohibiting this practice.
ESTABLISHING EIGHT WARDS IN CITY
This year eight wards were formed, with two Aldermen from each ward, to serve two years each; this is still so today. The Board of Public Works was created; also a Municipal Court. A revision of the charter was made and sent to W. M. Root, Sheboygan member of the Assembly, urging him to do his utmost to have it passed.
James Bell was again elected Mayor, and in his message pointed out the following:
"That the bonded indebtedness has been greatly reduced."
"That Sheboygan had a wonderful water system with 239 hydrants for fire protection, the Gas works, the street railway, the wonderful and nationally known artesian well, noted for its medical value (our Fountain Park well still running) and our wonderful harbor."
At the close of his speech he told of the plans to build a sewage disposal plant, and asked the cooperation of the aldermen so that the city might be well served.
The old Union School (second ward), the brick building still standing, and in daily use on the west end of the school grounds, next to the Lincoln School was considered unsafe. It was repaired according to plans made by A. L. Weeks, and at this time is still in fair condition.
The bonded debt of the City was $221,000.00.
1888. February, the following offers had been made the City for the site of the City Hall.
Mrs. Descombs $ 6,000.00 Southeast corner of 6th and New York Avenue.
W. Gilman $12,000.00
Dr. Guenther $10,000.00
Capt. Folger $10,000.00
Lyman Heirs $ 8,000.00
James Mallory $ 5,000.00
Val Detling $ 2,600.00
M. Hanenstein, $ 5,500.00, this property was eventually chosen and is the present City Hall site.
The Electric light system came up for discussion again and again, different companies wanted a franchise, but the Council recommended that under no circumstances should a franchise for lighting be given to any outside company, for the City wished to reap the benefits from this service itself.
In May, the Water Co. extended its line to the Cemetery, thereby doing away with the carrying of water from wells to all parts of the Cemetery.
The Riebolt Co., shipbuilders, asked to rent the island north of Penn. Avenue for a shipyard, and it was finally granted, but never used.
Chas. U. Boley was engaged as part-time engineer for the City at $3.00 per day, when working. he was the father of our present City Engineer, Arthur L. Boley.
A contract was given the Illinois Street Gas Co. to light the fourth, fifth, and sixth wards.
Sheridan Park, sixth ward, was named and dedicated on September 29th, 1888. Upon the suggestion of Gustavus Wintermeyer Post, G. A. R., the park was named "Sheridan" and the following letter was sent to Mrs. P. H. Sheridan:
It is with pleasure that the undersigned committee of the Common Council and the Gustavus Wintermeyer Post, G. A. R., of this City inform you of the action taken by the Common Council in naming one of the public parks after your honored and illustrious and lamented husband, and which was publicly dedicated "Sheridan Park" by a large concourse of citizens under the auspices of the Grand Army Post and the Evergreen City Guards on Sunday, September 29th, 1888. The address was delivered by the Honorable W. H. Sacman of this city and our only regret is that we are unable to furnish you with a copy of the same, Suffice to say that the tribute paid to General Sheridan was well received and heartily applauded, and was in every way worthy of the occasion.
"Sheridan park is located in the most elevated part of the City, and its peculiar situation overlooks Lake Michigan, the Sheboygan River and the City generally. It also includes a birds-eye view of nearly all of our industries, for which Sheboygan is celebrated, and across the river with view, directly northeast at a distance of about a half mile lies Fountain Park.
Sheridan park comprises a full block of land, is admirably located and is destined to be one of the most beautiful and favorite resorts of the City.
In behalf of our City and the Post, we should say in naming the park, we have selected a name endeared to the whole nation and which only in a measure shows the estimation with which General Sheridan was held in the community, both as a citizen and a soldier, and this park will ever commemorate one of the nation's true generals and will perpetuate his name for generations to come."
Very respectfully yours,
W. D. Crocker, Sec'y
James Bell, Chairman
The following is Mrs. Sheridan's reply:
Washington, D. C., Nov. 3, 1888
"It is with extreme gratitude that I acknowledge receipt of your letter of Oct. 29, which informs me that the Common Council of the City of Sheboygan has named one of its public places after my husband, General Sheridan, and that this park was lately dedicated under the auspices of the Grand Army Post and the Evergreen Guards. I cannot find words to say to the citizens of Sheboygan how deeply I appreciate their method of honoring my husband's memory, how to express my gratitude to those who took part in the ceremonies of dedication. I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Mrs. Philip H. Sheridan
During November, 1888, the Cemetery Commission asked for an addition to the cemetery, since the present one was nearly all filled. A. P. Lyman offered to sell ten or twelve acres directly north of the cemetery for $200.00 an acre; this tract was bought.
The city was growing rapidly and the city crews were constantly laying out, building and grading streets and sidewalks in all sections of the city. In December, the Postal Telegraph was granted permission to enter the city, and to erect poles and string wires. George Leberman (my brother and present Supervisor of the 2nd ward) was the local agent for the Company at that time.
SOLDIER MONUMENT--FOUNTAIN PARK
1889. In February, the "Soldier Monument" Committee recommended that the monument be erected at the southeast corner of Fountain park. Henry Scheele was given the contract. It is this same monument erected over 50 years ago which you see at the same location.
On March 4, 1889, the Sheboygan Electric Co. asked for a franchise to string wires and furnish light for the City. The manager of this company was Alfred Leberman, an older brother of Louis and George Leberman and myself.
The building of a sewage system was again discussed. The cost was set at $352,714.30, but nothing definite was done until March, when the first unit was authorized to be constructed.
The Sheboygan Electric Light Co. was granted a franchise and started construction on March 23. The company was composed of the following: Watson D. Crocker, Douglas Gibbs, M. Wilgus, and Alfred Leberman.
In June, two petitions were received by the Council, one to pave 8th Street with 8" cedar blocks, and another against it; both were referred to the Committee on Streets.
C. A. Born was Chief of Police, and in the quarterly report made the following statements which seem amusing to most of us today. Speaking of the Police force, he said, "They are efficient in all things except in apprehending the professional burglar, whom they are unable to apprehend. It is simply because we have been no more fortunate than many other officers have been who are our superiors both in ability and experience." Speaking of repair in the police station which was located on the corner of 9th Street and Center Avenue, where the City Hall now is, he said, "The sanitary improvements of ventilating, painting and increasing the size of the cells have been a long required necessity, and their completion has proved to be a blessing to those who have been so unfortunate as to be obliged to make acquaintance with the inside appurtenances."
In September, 1889, although a new bridge had been built across 8th Street a few years previously, the need for a larger one began to make itself apparent, and financial arrangements were being considered for this need.
The tax levy was $85,357.88 or 5.4 cents on the dollar. The schools needed $34,100.00 of this amount. J. E. Riorden was principal of the High School and H. B. Fowler, his Assistant. One of the teachers still living today is Mattie Pape (Mrs. Peter Reiss) living at Michigan Avenue and 7th Street.
The city was being prepared for arc lighting. The gas lamps were being torn down.
Traffic was becoming congested, so a resolution was passed prohibiting trains from going faster than six miles per hour through the city.
1890. A contract was made for lighting the city for five years. Lights were to be located at various intersections throughout the city, and were to burn from one-half hour after sundown to one-half hour before sunrise. Previous to this, no lights were lighted on moonlight nights, and on dark nights, all lights were extinguished after 11 o'clock.
In March, the Council decided to pave 8th Street with 8" cedar blocks.
Since considerable trouble was being experienced with sail boats or schooners pulling through the draw bridge unaided, thereby causing damage to the bridge, an ordinance was passed which made it a misdemeanor to take a boat through the draw, without the assistance of a tug.
More police protection being needed, the force was increased from the four former men to six men. The officers of our first police force were August Scheck (father of our present plumbing inspector, Jacob Scheck), Peter Jacobs, Sam Spencer, and Harmon Smith.
During May, the island north of Penn. Avenue Bridge, known then as "Melon Island", was the object of inspection by the Common Council. A petition signed by Henry Scheele and others, asked that the island be dredged out of the river since it was a menace to navigation. But the Council decided that the removal of the island would be unwise.
In May, the first City Street Commissioner was appointed at a salary of $1,500.00 per year. he was to furnish a horse at his own expense, so as to be able to reach any part of the city quickly; among other qualifications, he had to be a civil engineer.
The two police officers added to the force a few months before were not sufficient, so two more men were added, making eight in all.
SPRINKLING STREETS AND DRINKING FOUNTAINS
The heat of July must have worked on the sympathies of the Aldermen, because during that month they authorized installing drinking fountains for "man and beast" in each ward. An ordinance was also passed to sprinkle all the streets of the city, but at the abutting property owners' expense.
PAVING EIGHTH STREET
In September, an inspection of the paving being done on 8th Street, found that the work was not satisfactory. Many of the cedar blocks were defective, and were not being spaced properly.
A report by Thos. McNeil of the school board, showed 2405 pupils attending school, with 46 teachers, at a cost of $22,072.50. A new school was asked for, for the first ward.
Navigation was an important subject this year; boats were being built considerably larger and so required deeper water, and steps were taken to dredge the entire river to a depth of 13 to 15 feet way up to the Railroad Bridge, so that vessels could unload lumber at the American and Dillingham Docks.
The start of garbage collection for the city was made in September, 1890, when Alderman Halsted brought in a resolution for the city to buy a few acres of land outside the city to be used for dumping grounds, and also to decide the best way to collect and dispose of same.
In December, the land where the 1st ward school now stands was purchased for the sum of $5,500.00 from Geo. C. Cole.
1891. James Bell was re-elected Mayor, and in his inaugural address pictured a city of 20,000 growing more prosperous year by year. The bonded indebtedness was $200,250.00 and there were 4,000 voters.
NEW JERSEY AVENUE BRIDGE
In July, a bridge was built across the Sheboygan River at New Jersey Avenue, by the Sheboygan Land Co., to provide easy access to the cemetery from the south side. The city donated $1,000.00 to this bridge, and the balance of the cost was paid by the Sheboygan Land Co.
PAVING MICHIGAN AVENUE
The fall of 1891 was a busy one and the following improvements were voted by the Council: Paving Michigan Avenue with cedar blocks, laying sewers in many sections of the city, the extension of water mains, and permanent grading of many streets.
1892. Up to now the City had two fire companies, and with its continued growth, it was deemed advisable to organize another one for the south side, but no definite action was taken.
In February, plans and specifications for a new school in the first ward were presented, and in May, Christ Ackerman's bid for $20,963.00 was accepted.
NEW 8TH STREET AND 14TH STREET BRIDGES
The 8th street bridge debate was up again; finally it was decided to build not only one bridge, but two--one at 8th Street, and one at 14th Street, for a cost of $34,977.00 for both. On September 24th, construction was actually started.
The Mattoon Mfg. Co. received the contract for paving Michigan Avenue with 8" cedar blocks.
One of the surest signs that the city was growing, was shown by the large increase in school registrations. In 1890--2,400 were registered while, in 1892--7,387 were enrolled. Of these, 3,803 were boys and 3,584 girls. The budget was $60,000.00 and the following are some of the teachers employed who are still here in Sheboygan: W. H. Knilans, assistant principal of the 2nd Ward School; Theo. Winkler, German and music instructor of 4th Ward School; and Ella Crocker (Mrs. Knilans), Kindergarten teacher in the 6th Ward School.
Since electricity was comparatively new at this time, it was handled with caution. All electric poles had to be painted a bright red, or such color as the Council determined. Each pole had to have the owner's name on it eight feet above the ground, and no wire dared be nearer than seven feet from a roof where it crossed the same. Since wires were considered dangerous, many were put under ground.
GREAT LAKES -- ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY
1893. During January, the first talk of the Great Lakes--St. Lawrence Waterway was officially brought to the attention of our citizens. The waterway, to connect the Middle West with the Atlantic Ocean and the rest of the world, is still a project for which many interests are both fighting--for and against.
A discussion concerning the rights granted the Wisconsin Telephone Co., in accordance with the franchise granted them in 1881, was entered into. The records were such that the Common Council was undecided just how far the phone company could go in constructing their lines and placing their poles. Following much discussion and many opinions of courts in the state, the conclusion was "that the Bell and Wisconsin Telephone Companies had the right to extend their lines into the city, but subject to reasonable and fair regulations by the Council."
The sewage system was being installed continuously, one unit after another, being completed; and, another one, number 14, being advertised for bids.
A petition signed by the Reiss Coal Co., Crocker Chair Co., Frost's Veneer and Seating Co., and others, concerning the time being taken to complete the 8th Street Bridge, and the inconveniences caused them, asked that steps be taken to complete the bridge at once, as the contract for completion was six months behind. In order to get action, the contractor to be fined $50.00 a day, for each day he is behind in his contract. This hurried the project, and the bridge was completed.
Preparing for future schools seemed to be the vogue this year, for after buying a half block of property in Block 279, 5th Ward, six lots were selected for a seventh ward school site, and were purchased for $5,000.00 (where the Jefferson School now is).
There was some difference in deaths those days, in the accidental class especially, for during that entire year no accidental death was reported--how about today?
POLICE AND FIREMEN EXAMINATIONS
The first real rules for the appointment of police and firemen were made in March of this year. A thorough examination was given each applicant. They were made to recall to memory things they were given to read; they were given tests in arithmetic, penmanship, city government, location of streets, and so forth. A thorough physical examination was also made a part of the examination. The Police Force at that time consisted of August Scheck, Chief; Pete Jacobs, Lieutenant; Clemens Kolb, Henry Dehne, Jacob Deihle, William Backhausen, Michael Halverson, William Heyer and Lyman Byrum.
We had 102 taverns; the population was 23,000.
On March 24, Wenzel Kunz, City Clerk for over 18 years, passed away, and Oscar Huhn was elected in his stead.
Some of the businesses listed were Charles Hanf, Shoes; Adolph Bock, Drugs; Neumeister and Froidl, Groceries; Schubert and Mueller, Groceries; J. P. Jensen, Groceries; H. C. Prange, Groceries; F. L. Bessinger, Bus and Hearse; H. Goldsmith, Harness; Henry Schilder, Flour and Feed; J. DeSchmidt, Flour and Feed; Anton Fessler, Groceries; Kroos and Heerman, General; F. Geele, Hardware; George M. Groh, Photographs; and H. Schuelke, Tobacco.
January, 1894. Sheboygan had one of its largest fires to date; that was the complete destruction of the Halstead Plant on South 8th Street.
It was noted in May that the pine trees in Fountain Park, the pride of Sheboygan's trees, were dying, so immediate attention was given them, and six to eight inches of black dirt was dumped around each tree in an effort to save them.
In May, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad was attempting to run a line through the city. Stock was sold, and ground broken, and the right of way obtained as far as Waldo; here the project died.
During October, plans and specifications for a 12 room school house in the seventh ward, at a cost not to exceed $16,000, was presented.
Early in this year the city sold one of its steam fire engines, due to the fact that the supply of water was adequate, and the water system so efficient.
the contract for lighting the city was expiring. Up to this time $80.00 per light per year had been paid. The new contract called for $90.00 per light per year for 5 years, and the council turned it down. Whereupon the Light Company through G. B. Mattoon, its president, raised their contract price to $100.00 per light for a 5 year contract, $95.00 for 10 years, $92.00 for 15 years, and $90.00 for 20 years. The Council passed the new schedule over the Mayor's veto, at $100.00 per light; there being 70 arc lights throughout the city, they paid $700.00 more than they would have, had they signed the first contract.
The High School, then part of the Lincoln School in the 2nd ward, was overcrowded, so additional rooms were built on the 3rd floor and attic. Some of the teachers at that time who are still teaching, or living in the city, are Mary Heronymus, Clara Fricke, Rhae Kribbs (Mrs. John Lyke), and Dr. Fiedler.
In December, Jesse Winter resigned as alderman of the second ward, and George Leberman (present Supervisor of the 2nd ward) was appointed to fill Winter's unexpired term.
ELECTRIC STREET CARS
This year marked the beginning of Electric street cars in Sheboygan, as the Sheboygan Light, Power and Railway Co. was granted the right to operate electric street cars in the city.
EIGHTH STREET FIRE STATION
In January, 1896, plans were being formulated to centralize the fire department. This meant the moving of the hose station on 8th Street, and the Hook and Ladder from 7th Street to one location. Later in this month the committee recommended a two-story Fire House, at a cost of $7,000, or a three-story one for $9,000, with the third floor to be used for offices of the city.
Joseph End, Arthur Winter, and William Johann received permission to construct and operate a telephone and electric service exchange. The Wisconsin Telephone Co. was already operating at the time; the records do not disclose whether this new company ever operated.
June of 1896 was the first year in which the council proceedings were not printed in the German language. State legislation allowed the city to publish these only in the English language.
The Council still was meeting in the German Bank Building, but plans were being formed to build a city hall, so only a one year contract was made with Fred Karste, of the German Bank, with the hope that by 1897 a new city hall could be built.
In those years, venetian blinds were all the "rage". They were even recommended for use in the fourth ward school. For forty years these were a dead issue, but today they are again very much in demand.
During all these years, 1846 to 1896 (50), a half century, the village, then the city, in 1853, continued to grow, prosper and build.
A nine o'clock curfew law was passed by the Council in 1896, which made it mandatory for all children under 16 years of age to be in their homes by 9:00 o'clock, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian; a $5.00 file was imposed for violating this ordinance. This ordinance is still in effect.
In March, 1897, the city's first library board was appointed. Its members were George C. Cole, M. R. Zaegel, Paul Reuther, Otto B. Joerns, Dr. William Guenther, Francis Williams, Henry Schilder, Emil Sonneman, and Ernst Aldag; its first library was established in August, at 412 N. 8th Street.
Up to now squirrels were quite numerous throughout the city, and many had been killed daily, but in March a stop was put to this by the following ordinance: "It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to injure or kill any kind of squirrels within the City of Sheboygan. Any person found throwing stones or shooting or using any implements with the indention of killing or injuring any squirrel within the said city shall be punished by a fine of not less than $5.00 and not more than $25.00 for each and every offense."
Mayor Born in his message stated, among other things, that the fifth ward was sadly in need of school facilities and urged that a school be built immediately. He also recommended doing away with the two toll roads leading into the city, as they were a big detriment to trade. The Council acting on the Mayor's suggestion, planned to build the school and let the contract for the same for $22,698.00, but did nothing about the toll roads.
In June, an ordinance was passed which compelled bicycle riders to stay under an 8-mile speed limit in the city, not to ride more than two abreast, and that bells and lamps were necessary equipment.
The Board of Education asked for a new High School to be built in the 3rd ward. Up to now no school was located in that ward.
In 1898, the Central Fire Department consisted of the following: Gus Wilke, Ed. Bedford, Nic Muenster, John Ireland, John Burkhardt, Frank Zum Buttel, and Joseph Stenger. The Hook and Ladder Co., Herman Gruebner, Henry Traute, Fred Stephen, Ed. Gerger, Emil Birr, and George Lamb. Of the above, Gus Wilke and Ed. Gerber are still with us.
In April, Alderman Dieckman was elected president of the council. A few years later he became Mayor.
In 1897 an ordinance was passed protecting squirrels in the city, and in 1898, 48 squirrels were purchased and released in Fountain and Sheridan Parks.
the entire receipts of the city in this year were $211,828.61, with expenditures of $195,079.00, leaving a balance of $16,748.61. The bonded indebtedness was $272,366.19. The school enrollment was High School--82 boys and 113 girls; entire city--2,038 boys and 2,137 girls.
In December when fire destroyed the J. Radke theatre, a spark was kindled which led to considering the purchase of the water works.
In 1899, in February, Alderman Dieckman started his fight to purchase the water works.
The Electric Company began hauling freight cars down 8th Street in April, 1899, at the same time a petition to operate interurbans on the streets of Sheboygan was granted.
LAND FOR HIGH SCHOOL -- 3RD WARD
This year marked the time when ground was purchased for $9,000, and a new School built (which is now the Vocational School).
In August, the Board of Public Works was set up as it now is. Three commissioners were appointed, one to hold office for one year; one, for two years; and one, for three years; these three to choose their own chairman, and the city clerk to be secretary of the board, ex officio.
During August, the committee appointed to investigate the feasibility of purchasing the water works, reported progress, and in October, they reported that the Water Works Plant could be purchased for $300,000.00. Nothing was done about this, so that when in 1900 the city seemed anxious to purchase the plant, the price was withdrawn; thus the city had it appraised to determine a fair value for same.
The City was visited by a small cyclone or tornado in August, and considerable damage was wrought throughout the city, especially on the south side, where one house was taken off its foundation, church steeples demolished, trees uprooted, and buildings damaged. Many people were homeless, and the city had to aid them.
Our growing city required an ambulance, and so one was acquired; the police department added a man to the force to operate same.
Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge began to show the strain of heavy traffic, so it was given a thorough examination, after which certain restrictions were enforced. Horses had to walk across, no more than one electric car was allowed on the bridge at one time, and large crowds were banned from crossing in a body.
A petition was brought to the council in December, signed by C. H. Pape and others, requesting that at certain hours, two days a week, North 6th Street from Penn. Avenue to Superior Avenue be barricaded, i.e., the cross streets be closed entering 6th Street, so that racing horses might be trained on that street. Sheboygan at this time was a great horse-racing town.
December 16, 1900, marked the date of the burning of the Zschetsche Tannery (now Armour Leather Co.). Damage was estimated at $120,000.00. Up to this time it was the largest fire Sheboygan had experienced. In this same month the C. Reiss Coal Co., dock No. 1, was completely destroyed; damage estimated at $81,500. The heat was so intense that the fire department had to keep several streams of water plying on the Frost Veneer Plant to keep it from burning.
1901. A survey made of the manufacturing establishments in the city showed that the following number were employed by the following establishments: American Mfg. Co., 275; Gutsch Brewing Co., 30; Sheboygan Chair Co., 520; Crocker Chair Co. (B), 450; Crocker Chair Co. (A), 400; Excelsior Wrapper, 38; American Hide & Leather Co., 350; Frost Veneer, 250; Phoenix Chair Co., 550; Schreier Brewery, 57; Winter Mfg. Co., 120; H. G. Mueller, 7; Garton Toy Co., 225; Spratt, 80; Mattoon Mfg. Co., 700; Freyberg Mfg. Co., 80; and Dillingham Mfg. Co., 150; or a total of 4, 282 employed in our manufacturing plants.
The start of our present public library was in March, when a letter from Andrew J. Carnegie announced a gift for such a purpose of $25,000, provided the city would furnish a site, and agree to provide $2,500 a year for upkeep. The letter was received by Fred A. Dennett, and turned over to the Council, which took favorable action, and purchased the site where the present library is located.
It was during 1901 that the Hayssen Mfg. Co., at Riverside, now Kohler, was completely destroyed.
During May the Council granted a franchise to run interurban cars through the city. The tracks were laid; these connected Sheboygan Falls, Plymouth, Crystal Lake, and Elkhart Lake with Sheboygan.
At this time, Chief of Police, August Scheck, thanked the Council for the team of horses for the patrol wagon to take the place of the single horse which had been used to pull "Black Maria". He then asked for the installation of a police alarm system, and two more patrolmen.
NEW HIGH SCHOOL
In September, the new High School in the 3rd ward (now the Vocational School) was completed, and for the first time in years all children in the city were comfortably taken care of.
A smallpox epidemic swept the city in November, and so a house was purchased, set aside for an isolation hospital, and an 8-foot fence was erected around it.
END OF TOLL ROAD
January, 1902, marks the end of the Upper Falls Toll Gate, which for years had been operated by Fred Goerlitz. (This is the tavern with the park, located just east of the village of Kohler, on the north side of the road). The Council paid $500.00 to Mr. Goerlitz at the time this toll road was made a public road.
At the April election we find the names of the following men: William C. Roenitz, Otis Clark, Edward Groh, Herman Heinecke, Ernst Lutze, August Mohr, Louis Meyer, Rudolph Feistel, W. J. Rietow, Edward Ochler, Robert Whitehill, and others.
During April numerous citizens contributed articles suitable for museum pieces; that was the start of the museum in the public library.
The police force at this time was composed of 11 men, the Chief, a lieutenant, 8 patrolmen, and a patrol driver.
FIRE STATION AT 9th AND LINCOLN
Firemen's Pension Fund
In June, due to the much larger territory the city occupied, it was deemed necessary to add another fire squad to the two already organized. So it was recommended that a station be erected near the intersection of N. 9th Street and Lincoln Avenue, and a new fire company was formed. This was just about 40 years ago, and the station still is there and used. The firemen's pension fund was launched at this time.
In July the R. Nomensen Co. was awarded the contract to pave Center Avenue, between 8th and 9th Streets, with metropolitan red brick; that pavement is still very good.
The teachers teaching in our public schools this year, of whom many are still living and still teaching, were as follows: Marie Kohler, W. C. Howe, Aurelia Gutsch (Mrs. Hase), Clara Imig, Zula Zufelt, Ida Muntinga, Etta Dieckman (Mrs. Oscar Wolters), Clara Fricke, Julia Meyer, Nettie Langmas, Lydia Hoehle (Mrs. F. W. Zierath), Margaret Long (Mrs. Jos. Schilder), Alma Neumeister, Clara Thomas, Alice Squire, Tillie Lethe, Lillie Guessenhainer, Mary Heronymus, Gertrude Lohman, Clara Pomeroy, Theo. Winkler, Adelia Speck, Minnie Goerlitz, Hildegarde Weigand, Bertha Maurer (Mrs. Fred Voigt), Edna Bishop (Mrs. Frank Blocki), Bertha Fricke, Josephine Reiss (Mrs. Ed. Knauf), and Hattie Heller.
During September, John Sandrok, for many years chief of the fire department, was honorably discharged and pensioned, and Ed. Bedford was appointed Chief in his stead.
Alderman E. Groh presented a resolution to the Council for a park in the 1st and 2nd wards, along the lake from St. Clair Avenue to Penn. Avenue. This was the start of our present De Land Park.
"Dangers of Autos" told to the Common Council--
When Fred Dennett was Mayor of Sheboygan in 1902, the following resolution was adopted by the Council:
"Whereas, it appears that some time ago one of our citizens constructed an automobile and
Whereas, he paraded it up and town the beautiful lake front of our city to make the more unfortunate citizens envious, and
Whereas, it appears he has succeeded in doing so, and
Whereas, some years ago the craze of bicycling had attacked everyone, old or young, male or female, married or single, bachelors or old maids, and
Whereas, ordinances had to be passed limiting the speed and the carrying of bells by said wheels to give fair warning of their arrival so as not to commit the slaughtering of innocent citizens, and
Whereas, we are in the same situation when danger arrives that plenty of automobiles will be used up here this summer through the careless handling of the gasoline and the bucking of the motor, and
Whereas, it appears that autos in the hands of such careful drivers as young Vanderbilt, the disciple of the faro-wheel and such splendid handlers as young Rockefeller, the Sunday School teachers have reduced the population of our glorious country since the last census, and
Whereas, it appears that we have none such experienced drivers in our midst, and to prevent the disastrous crippling and mangling of bodies and wholesale butchering of beloved fellow citizens,
Be it therefore resolved, that each automobile be compelled to wear one or more cow bells of the largest patterns and a fog horn a la Sheboygan and that the speed of the auto be limited to two miles per hour and especially that of Mr. Fred Dennett, mayor of the City of Sheboygan and in case his honor violates this resolution, to instruct the sexton of Wildwood to notify the Board of Public Works to have his honor arrested and have him brought before the highest tribunal of the Buffalos, which will be in session hereafter in Sheboygan, and if found guilty, to fine his honor the admission fee of the whole council and all other appointed and elected officers of the City of Sheboygan, his honor included, a trip to Buffalo, which will be given from August 14th to 17th, 1902, inclusive."
This was just a quick and simple way of telling the Mayor that the city was granting him an inspection trip to Buffalo.
MORE ABOUT HORSE RACING
Horse racing on snow was a popular sport during the early years of this century. A petition addressed to the Common Council requested that North 7th Street, from Superior Avenue to Bluff Avenue, be closed between the hours of 2 to 4 o'clock daily, for use as a snow race track. The resolution was presented by Aldermen R. L. Whitehill and Otis H. Clark and was passed by a 12 to 3 vote. So during January and February, this section was blocked off for the two hours each day for "snow race track".
Since many accidents were occurring on our streets due to people being knocked down by our street cars, an ordinance was passed in February making it compulsory for the street car company to equip all its cars with fenders both front and rear.
MUNICIPAL WATER WORKS
In April, at the election, the city voted to purchase, or own, its own Water Works System.
Since the city was to have a park on the lake front in the 1st and 2nd wards, condemnation proceedings were started against property owners along this section of the lake.
POLE REMOVAL FROM 8TH STREET
The following ordinance was passed in April, which ordered all poles and wires removed from North 8th Street, from Indiana Avenue to Michigan Avenue. It read as follows:
"It shall be the duty of all corporations or persons having wires strung upon poles on North 8th Street, from Indiana Avenue to Michigan Avenue, to have said wires placed in conduits built for that purpose between the points above mentioned after the paving of North 8th Street, and it shall be unlawful for any corporation or person to string wires on said North 8th Street after the repaving of same."
In May an ordinance was passed limiting the speed of automobiles to 8 miles per hour. Brakes had to be adjusted, so that the vehicle could be stopped within 10 feet. Bells and gongs were required on the vehicles to sound warnings.
In June, the purchase of voting machines was discussed, but no action taken.
On July 25th George C. Cole and Anna M., his wife, donated the property (that later was converted into Cole Park) to the city. The gift from Mr. and Mrs. Cole was accepted; it was voted to call the park "Children's Park".
The school budget was 84,450.00.
Horses were expensive in those days. $234.00 was paid for one purchased for the fire department. A sinking fund of $5,000 for the purpose of building a Central Fire Station was passed. A chemical hose cart for the fire department was purchased. In December the "Fair Store" at 919-23 N. 8th Street burned to the ground, and Ed. Gerber, a fireman, was burned under a pile of debris, when a brick wall collapsed and fell on him. He was rescued and taken to the hospital where he recovered. The fire loss was $70,000. At present Ed lives at 620 Zimbal Avenue.
January of this year marks the start of using voting machines in the city, as 10 were purchased at a cost of $500.00 each.
In April C. O. Fairweather petitioned the Council for the exclusive use of the water from the artesian well, (know to the present citizens as the "Mineral Springs" in our Fountain Park) as he wanted to use the water in a modern sanitarium for bathing purposes. The investigating committee of the common council reported back as follows, "A modern sanitarium, erected in our city and conducted upon up to date methods will bring more desirable strangers to our city and will add more to the material welfare of the community than anything else we might inaugurate.
This artesian well, sunk to a depth of 1475 feet is impregnated with various salts of known medicinal value, that, under proper management, its virtues already favorable known, would attract to our shores people from every state in the Union.
The success of Mt. Clements, Mich., and West Baden, Ind., and Hot Springs, Ark., can be duplicated here and your committee hopes that not only will the council grant the request, but that the citizens at large will recognize the value to them of such an institution, and by giving it their moral support add to the success of this contemplated enterprise."
The Council granted Mr. Fairweather's request provided his sanitarium be built by July, 1906. Owing to certain circumstances the water was never used for this purpose, nor was the sanitarium built.
In September we find William Urban as assistant Principal of our High School; at present he is Principal of our North High School.
The inventory of our Fire Department, in December, showed the following equipment: 2 two-horse hose carts, 1 two-horse hose carriage, 1 two-horse hook and ladder truck with 2 six-gallon fire extinguishers, two steam fire engines, 10 horses, and 6,900 feet of 2 1/2 inch cotton fire hose, all in good shape.
PAVING 7TH STREET
Seventh Street was our first paved macadam street. In December favorable action was taken to pave same from Penn. Avenue to Superior Avenue.
In 1905, at the April Election, the voters of the city decided to purchase the water plant. In May, an offer to sell to the city was made by the Water Co. In August a letter was received from the Water Co. stating that Roy J. Miller, its superintendent, and Daniel Mead had been chosen by the Company as representatives in considering the sale of their property to the city. E. H. Sonneman and W. W. Wolf were appointed to act for the city.
CENTRAL FIRE STATION
Plans and specifications for our present fire station, at 9th and New York Avenue, were presented in May. These were accepted later in the year. The money for this building was available, having been provided for by former legislation.
The clock in our old court house tower was lighted, so that the time could be read at night, as well as during the day.
CHICAGO AND NORTHWESTERN DEPOT
The plans for the present C. & N. W. Ry. station were accepted by the city in October, and work was started soon after.
1906. The start of "De Land Lake Front Park".
A communication from the City Improvement Society, regarding same, reads as follows:
"Whereas the City Improvement Society by the undersigned officers and executive committee has investigated the advisability of acquiring property on the lake front in the City of Sheboygan for the purpose of locating thereon a lake front park, and
Whereas in making such investigation the City Improvement Society has found that public sentiment throughout the city is in favor of establishing a lake front park, and
Whereas, improvements on the lake front property are constantly being made by the owners thereof, and the undersigned believe that it is an opportune time for city to take appropriate action to acquire the necessary lake front property for park purposes.
Now, therefore, we request that appropriate action be taken to acquire such land."
Signed: F. A. Dennet, Charles Born, F. Broer, A. D. Deland, W. E. Tallmadge, L. E. Reed, and H. F. Leverenz.
In the Fire Chief's annual report in May, he recommended a small hook and ladder truck to be used when fires occurred in residential districts where the big truck (which was called a "horse killer") was not necessary. The Council committee to whom this was referred, recommended that a truck be purchased "but that the ladders be made by the firemen, thereby saving much expense to the city, and at the same time give the firemen exercise." The contract to build the truck was let to John Balzer for the sum of $675.00.
In August an ordinance was passed creating a Board of Park Commissioners.
Andrew Mohr was appointed Sexton of Wildwood Cemetery in December of this year, and has been on the job until just recently when he resigned, having held the job for almost 36 years.
In 1907 the city continued to prosper and grow, and many chages were continually taking place.
The Police Force consisted of Chief August Scheck, Lieut. Peter Jacobs, patrolmen Henry Dehne, William Bachausen, Charles Riess, William Hoyer, Albert Puls, Martin Hansen, Charles Kolb, August Holtz, Joseph Bentz, and A. Hoberg. Of these Charles Kolb and A. Hoberg are still living.
NEW FIRE STATION
The present Central Fire Station was completed and opened for inspection, February 27, 1907.
The following ordinance was passed in April, and is still in effect:
"No person shall spit, expectorate, or deposit any spittle, saliva, phlegm, mucous, tobacco juice or quids of tobacco upon the floor or any part of any railroad car, street car, or any other public conveyance operating in the City of Sheboygan or upon any sidewalk or any public street, alley, or lane in the City of Sheboygan or public hall or building of said city. And it is hereby made the duty of the owner, manager, or agent of every theatre, public hall, or building, railroad station in the City of Sheboygan to equip and apply such theatre, public hall, or building with a sufficient number of cuspidors or spittoons." The penalty was a file of $5.00 or 5 days in prison.
ST. PETER CLAVER CHURCH
In June the cornerstone of St. Peter Claver Church was laid, and the Lake View Park Theatre burned to the ground at a loss of $12,000.
when school opened in September, there was an enrollment of 2, 033 boys and 1,978 girls; of these 126 boys and 171 girls were in high school.
In September preparations to purchase the water works were made, a bond issue of $300,000.00 was arranged, and plans made to purchase the plant on January 1, 1908 for $350,000.00. The four local banks agreed to take up this bond issue, but when the time came to purchase the plant, the Water Co. refused to sell; so a law suit resulted.
1908. In February action was taken by the city to force the Water Co. to sell as per their agreement. this law suit continued until October when the Water Co. offered a new proposition to the city, the price this time was $425,000 or $75,000 more than the original price. Following much dickering, the price to sell was agreed at $385,000 and a favorable report to accept this price was sent to the council. So two resolutions were presented to the council, one to purchase the plant for $385,000.00 plus $30,000 extra for extensions, and the other to reject the company's offer. Neither resolution passed and the council decided to refer the entire matter to the voters for their decision.
During May a typhoid fever epidemic struck our city, and an investigation resulted; and the water was blamed and found to be polluted. Immediate steps were taken to remedy same.
BOND ISSUE TO PURCHASE WATER WORKS
An ordinance was passed finally to issue $360,000 water works bonds; the long fight to purchase the plant was ended.
Nowadays the police have a continual headache regarding automobile parking; in those days it was the horses, and in April, 1908, a petition signed by W. A. Pfister (still doing business as a Jeweler on North 8th Street) and others, asking for an ordinance prohibiting the tying and hitching of horses or teams on North 8th Street, between Penn. and Ontario Avenues, for a longer period than 20 minutes at any time, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily.
The police and Firemen's Pension Fund was created on February 3, 1908.
Geo. W. Leberman was elected Supervisor of the 2nd ward in April, and is still serving in that capacity (38 years without a break).
1909. Michigan Avenue was paved with bricks replacing the cedar blocks.
In April, a resolution was presented by Jos. M. Thiesen, requesting an appropriation for the erection of a City Hall.
NEW PENN. AVENUE BRIDGE
In May a contract was let for a bridge across the river at Pennsylvania Avenue, at a cost of $83,240.
The board of Water Commissioners was born in April, and consisted of 3 members--one to serve 10 years, one seven, and one five years; its members were Theodore Dieckman, Fred Dennett, and O. B. Joerns.
One of our city's biggest events was the homecoming which was held in August. It was a big success, and $1,451.36 was realized by it, and turned over to the Library to purchase books.
During August, the cannon was removed from Born's Park, and placed in Fountain Park. Its history is as follows. the Sheboygan Rifle Club purchased it in 1850 for $100.00; in 1862 the club disbanded, but before disbanding they presented the cannon to the city. In 1941 it was given to the government for scrap.
A request was received from the Fire Committee to buy longer ladders, as the buildings being built were being built higher and higher.
1910. In March, after one year of public ownership of the Water Works Plant, a report was made showing everything in first class shape. The buying of the Water Works Plant is recognized as being the result of the aggressiveness of Mayor Dieckman, who waged an untiring fight to purchase same.
The alarm bell in the tower of the Central Fire Station cracked in March, and was sent away to be repaired.
Reckless driving was causing lots of trouble in those days; so the city bought a motorcycle for the police (with speed to exceed 45 miles an hour).
A "blackout" occurred the first five days of September due to a difference between the city and the electric company. It was settled on September 5th satisfactorily, and the city again became lighted.
The fire chief asked for automobile fire fighting equipment which he ways "is much quicker then the horse-drawn vehicles." He also stated that "it is a well known fact that seconds gained at the start of a fire are worth more than minutes later and that it is only a matter of time when all fire apparatus will be motorized."
1910. At the April election William H. Sprenger was elected Alderman of the 2nd ward, and today, after 35 years of continuous service, is still going strong.
In April Mayor Dieckman was re-elected for a fourth term; the highlights of his message follow: The City financially is in excellent shape. The entire bonded indebtedness, outside of the Water Works Bonds of $36,000 which are self-liquidating, is $226,000." Two and one half miles of brick paving had been laid during that year. The new bridge over the river at Penn. Ave. was completed and paid for. He recommended that a city hall be built soon, that more parks be arranged for, and rules laid down concerning automobiles.
In June bids were received for a school in the 8th ward, the contract was awarded to Rudolph Jahn, cost $44,160; this is now called the "Washington School."
The High School built in 1899 was by now too small, so a building nearby was rented as an addition.
The real start of the present city hall came in August, when the following resolution was presented to the council:
"Whereas, it is a well known fact that the quarters now occupied by the Common Council and city officials are wholly inadequate to properly and systematically carry on the official business of the City of Sheboygan, a part of which is only conducted in the present quarters, and,
Whereas, it would be to the advantage of the city to have all its business transacted in one building, including the city officers, the Common Council, the police department, and court room, and the water department.
Therefore, be it resolved by the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Sheboygan, that the next tax levy shall provide for a levy of a tax amounting to $15,000 to be set aside for the construction of a new city hall, and be it further resolved that the Mayor, who has on different occasions recommended the construction of a city hall, appoint a committee of three, consisting of himself and 2 aldermen, and that such committee be and is hereby authorized to cause plans and specifications to be made for the erection of a city hall and thereafter submit the same to the common council for approval."
During October an option was obtained from Albert Blanke to purchase property for the erection of a city hall. Plans and specifications were drawn up for the building, and it was recommended that steps be taken immediately for its erection.
It was during the same month that the first vital steps were taken toward acquiring and improving "De Land" Lake Front Park. H. D. DeLand offered certain property along the lake front to the city, providing the city would expend $1,000 a year, for five years, for its improvement. The offer was accepted.
In March a special election was called to vote on a $75,000 bond issue, for the erection of a city hall. The election was held, and the city hall assured. 1,705 voted for the issue, and 402 against it.
In May a communication was received offering Lake View Park to the city for use as a park for $6,000. This communication was referred to the Committee on Parks.
The city continued to grow, and during the year just passed, and this year 1912, many streets were being improved. Brick paving on 8th Street and Michigan Avenue, Indiana Avenue, and Center Avenue, Macadam on many of the side streets. Sewers and water mains were being laid, especially in the outskirts of the city, as there was much building activity there.
It was found that the High School completed in 1901 had become so crowded that more room was needed, and it was advocated to build a school "big enough for the needs for many years to come", and this started the long drawn out fight as to where to build the new school. The picking of this location was left to three members of the school board, and three aldermen, namely Morris, Zehms, and Krueger, who in April, 1913, decided on a site. In 1914 the council passed a resolution for a new High School, and in August the school Committee made the following recommendations for same.
1. That the school site be ample
2. That the building be large enough for future expansion.
3. The necessity of both manual and industrial buildings.
4. Adequate athletic grounds for the physical development of pupils.
5. A quiet location.
All of these were practically disregarded in the final action taken.
Thirteen sites were submitted; of this number two were recommended--five blocks in the west central part of the city, and a lake front cite east of Fourth Street from Center to Wisconsin Avenues. This recommendation was signed by Fred Morris, Herman Schuelke and Fred Haack.
Nothing further was done until April, 1915, when the educational committee of the Association of Commerce recommended the present location. Nothing again transpired. Since nothing but discussion was resulting, and no action taken, a resolution was presented to hold a special election to decide on the site for the High School.
The following petition was then received, signed by 2,824 persons, and read as follows:
"The selection of a site for the proposed High School is of great importance to the taxpayers and of vital interest to every man, woman, and child of the city. We, the undersigned, all residents of Sheboygan, believe:
1. That an area consisting of not less than 10 acres of land, reasonably accessible, which allows for buildings and ample athletic fields should be purchases for the proposed new high school.
2. That the present high school building should be utilized for a grade school, which is very much needed, and for which the building with its present arrangement is exceptionally well adapted. This building cost $34,000 about 15 years ago. If built today it would cost $50,000. It is not particularly adapted for an industrial school and would require rebuilding at considerable expense before it could be used.
3. that a new building especially adapted for industrial school purposes should be erected on the high school grounds. This can be done at a much lower cost than the value of the old high school building.
4. That a new high school building should not be built on the present site because of the exceedingly high cost of the land and the small area which is available, which is about 3 acres.
We therefore respectfully petition your honorable body to purchase a site for the proposed high school an area of land containing not less than 10 acres, or submit the matter to a vote of the people."
Throughout the year 1916, the fight to select a high school site continued, with the result that the Edelblute site was finally agreed upon; but this was not final as it turned out, and more trouble was in store for the aldermen.
Then in January, 1917, Alderman Sprenger (still Alderman) brought in a resolution to appraise and condemn all property east of 4th Street, and between Wisconsin and Center Avenues, for school property.
During 1918 more discussion about the high school; but nothing definite. At the regular election in 1919 the question of a site was left to the people. Three sites were presented. The present site, base park site (Edelblute), and lakefront site; the vote was as follows: (Edelblute) 672--lakefront 2214--present site 2272. And so ends many years of bitter struggle for a high school site, and its final selection. A high school was then built, which in only a year after its building, proved to have been a grave mistake.
At the council's first meeting, ballots were cast for the office of President of the Council. It took 45 ballots to finally elect a President of the Council.
Mayor Dieckman, in his message to the Council, stated that if the financial policies of his administration were carried out, the city would be completely out of debt in 15 years.
After four years of municipal operation the city water plant had expended $100,000 from earnings for improvements, had accrued $125,000 surplus, had paid off $48,000 in outstanding bonds, and had reduced the water rates twice, once 15%, and then 10%.
In December the city received $500.00 from Mrs. Anna M. Cole for improvement of "Children's Park" (Cole Park to us).
The name of South 6th Street, from High Avenue south, to the city limits, was changed to Lake Shore Drive.
The installation of water meters for homes was advocated in August, and was bitterly opposed. A communication from the Woman's Club read in part as follows: "Our city has the best kept lawns in the state and since the water department is making a reasonable profit the change is entirely uncalled for." This was signed by Mrs. Francis Tallmadge, Mrs. Arthur Genter, Mrs. E. J. Barrett, Mrs. Arthur Knilans, and Miss Maud Hawkins.
The dog population was large in 1914, as 1,722 were registered. Today it's about 2,100.
First steps for an incinerator were taken in November, when it was asked that $9,000 be included in next year's tax levy for this purpose. In April of the next year, 1915, land was purchased, and in May, a contract was let for the erection of a garbage plant, at a cost of $8,785; in September rules and regulations for the collection of garbage were drawn up. These are still in force.
MOTORIZING POLICE DEPARTMENT
More motorization, the combination ambulance and patrol was received, and the horses and equipment formerly used in this connection were sold.
In July, 1915, the city hall plans were finally accepted. The old police station and barn located on the property were sold, and temporary quarters for the police were rented in the Zetschezsche building (now Sellinger Glove Co.) Jefferson and 8th Street. The building was to cost $74,584 without any of the following: painting, plumbing, electric fixtures, vault doors, furniture, and so forth. Another $75,000 was used in finally completing it.
Early in 1915 Adolph Bandman died, after serving the city as Treasurer for 6 years; on March 1st Ervin Mohr was appointed by the Council to fill the unexpired term.
In January, Chief William Trotter of the Fire Department recommended to the Council that the office of Building Inspector be created.
POLICE ALARM SYSTEM
Up to now all calls to the police station had been taken by telephone; now a police alarm system was advocated, and installed, at a cost of $4,200.
In March, land was purchased for $750.00 as a site for the city tool house.
A horse drawn street flusher was purchased by the council in March.
For a few years ornamental lighting had been advocated for the city's main street, and on Thursday, May 18, 1916, the inauguration of this system took place, with appropriate services.
Due to the continual growth of the city, our schools were getting more and more crowded. A new high school was in the making--8 rooms had been added to the 7th ward school the year before as well as 4 rooms to the 4th ward school; and now an 8 room addition was asked for, for the 1st ward or Grant School, this was granted.
DE LAND PARK
In June, the Deland lake front property was donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. A. D. DeLand.
During this year almost all the city departments were, or were being, motorized, so horses, wagons, fire engines, hose reels, etc., were sold, and Capt. Brand was made 1st assistant to the Chief.
In February a hook and ladder motor truck with a 65 foot aerial ladder was added to the fire equipment at a cost of $9,775. Walter Wagner was appointed a patrolman on February 16th.
During March, Vollrath Park was deeded to the city. The following communication was received by the Common Council.
As a memorial to the late Jacob J. and Elizabeth Vollrath, certain of the heirs are presenting to the City of Sheboygan, under certain conditions, that part of the old Vollrath homestead bounded by Vollrath Boulevard on the north, Third Street on the west, park Avenue on the south, and Lake Michigan on the east, comprising a total of 15.46 acres of land.
While a part of the property can be used for a site for the new High School this is purely suggestive, but the deed specified that if the High School is placed on this property, the buildings be confined to the level tract on the southwest corner, comprising 3.43 acres, marked No. 2 on the map.
Such part of the property as will be utilized for park and recreational purposes is to be known as Vollrath Park.
Very Truly yours,
JACOB J. VOLLRATH HEIRS
Walter J. Kohler."
This gift was gladly accepted, and today we have one of the finest of parks, and the finest bowl of any park in the State.
In June, a communication from the Board of Park Commissioners was received, stating that an option on the so called "Cole Woods" had been given. This option was given to the Committee of the Whole for action, with the result that the tract was purchased on July 1st, for $14,000. An ordinance by Alderman Larson on December 2nd, naming Cole Woods "Evergreen Park" was passed.
In August, 40 acres of land was purchased from John Liebl for $15,000, for the Poor Farm.
The entire block where Born's Park was located was offered to the city for $40,000 for park purposes. At a council meeting in February, it was decided to let the people decide at the April election, whether or not to purchase Born's Park. This was turned down.
In February, the Freyberg Lumber Co., offered the city their property north of Penn. Avenue and east of 4th Street for park purposes, for $30,000. This contained 5 to 7 acres. Not purchased.
14TH STREET VIADUCT
A bond issue of $45,000 for 14th Street Viaduct passed on February 4, 1918, to be voted on at the April election. This bond issue was turned down.
An addition to Longfellow School was passed by the Council and a contract let amounting to $59,109.00.
The Common Council established the employment bureau at a cost of $1,500 per year.
14TH STREET BRIDGE
In December a resolution was passed appropriating $62,700 for a bridge at 14th Street.
In 1919, January, John Klujeske, a present member of the police force, became a patrolman.
Eighth Street Bridge, built in 1892 was becoming too small for the present day traffic, so a recommendation to build a new bridge in place of same was proposed.
The breakwater to be built at Vollrath Park over which there had been considerable controversy, was finally decided and the contract let at $14,455.00.
Former Mayor Dieckman died in October, after many years of public service. He had been Mayor for 5 terms (10 years), had been an alderman, and was really personally responsible for the city's purchasing the water works.
At the April election, L. E. Larson, Alderman (who later became Mayor), Atty. Herbert S. Humke (Alderman), George Goodell (Justice of the Peace), and H. F. Hinze (Alderman), were elected to office.
In June, Alderman Larson introduced a resolution for plans and specifications for a jack-knife lift bridge across the river on 8th Street, and in July a $200,000 bond issue was asked for this purpose.
FIRE DEPARTMENT MOTORIZED
In November, all the fire departments having been completely motorized, the three horses and harnesses and other equipment still in the department were ordered sold.
At the April election, Herman Schuelke was elected Mayor, and other city officials were as follows: J. Steimle, Clerk; Fred Telenger, Treasurer; J. Kummer, Comptroller; Ed. Ochler, Assessor; and Dennis Phalen, City Attorney.
During May, an ordinance asking for a bond issue of $200,000.00 was introduced to finance the cost of a bridge on 8th Street.
Our schools were growing in attendance and the school enrollment in September showed 4,730 pupils; of this number 721 were in high school.
Sheboygan had a homecoming this year and the city received $1,258.57 from the Rotary Club, as the proceeds of that celebration.
In April, Alderman Larson was elected president of the council. A report by the Comptroller showed the city to be in very good financial condition. Money available in the various funds amounted to $1,272,301. The bonded indebtedness was $921,000 and the assessed valuation $34,453,790. Two city officials died in this month, namely, Dennis Phalen, City Attorney in his 3rd term, and Dr. H. C. Reich, who had been Health Commissioner for 19 consecutive years.
How many of you remember the old Post Office, located in the Groh Building at 8th Street and Penn. Avenue, northwest corner? Well, petitions were started and circulated by everyone stressing the need of a Post Office; results were obtained and our present Outdoor Relief Building was the Post Office built at that time.
At the Spring election, the Mayor, Clerk, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Assessor were all re-elected with A. Matt Werner becoming the City Attorney.
John Gottsacker, at present Captain of the Police Force, was promoted to Lieutenant on January 22, 1823, in place of August Lutze, resigned. Joe Piekert was appointed Sealer of Weights and Measures.
On February 28th John Hansen, President of the Kiwanis Club, donated as a gift from his club, the property along the Sheboygan River now known as Kiwanis Park.
NORTH SIDE SEWAGE DISPOSAL PLANT
In July a $60,000 bond issue was floated for a Sewage Disposal Plant on the north east side. That plant, since the erecting of the new south side one, has been dismantled and is now obsolete.
School attendance still continues to grow, which indicates a growing city. While only a few years back additions were made to schools to take care of the ever increasing number of pupils, it was found that more additions were necessary, so $100,000 was appropriated for the purpose of enlarging Washington School in the 8th ward. School enrollment--5519; cost of schools--$458,898.12.
At the election in April, L. E. Larson became Mayor, while all other officials retained their offices, as in 1923. Alderman Sprenger became president of the council, and today, 1945, is also President of the Council.
In October, John Steimle, City Clerk for over 19 years, passed away, and Erwin Mohr, deputy city clerk, was appointed by Mayor Larson to fill the unexpired term.
WALTER WAGNER BECOMES CHIEF OF POLICE
Walter H. Wagner, our present Chief of Police, was sworn into office on February 1, 1926.
There was much controversy regarding water meters and their installation in private homes, so at the Spring Election a referendum was called; the vote for and against was a follows: 1,676 for and 3,186 against.
SOUTH SIDE FIRE STATION
Plans and specifications were made for the erection of a bungalow type of fire station on the south side, to replace station known as Company No. 2.
In December, many lots were purchased by the City, adjoining Kiwanis Park, for $8,000. This gave the city access to the park from New Jersey Avenue, and made the park considerably larger.
This same month a petition was presented asking for a viaduct over the main line of the C. & N. W. Ry. Co. at Broadway.
City officials elected at this spring election with the exception of Mayor Schuelke and City Clerk Erwin Mohr, were the same as years past: J. Kummer, Comptroller; F. Telenger, Treasurer; Ed. Oehler, Assessor; A. Matt Werner, City Attorney, Alderman Sprenger again elected President of the Council.
Bids on the Broadway viaduct were $183,000.00
The removal of the gas plant from East Water and 10th Street was started.
In May, 1927, a resolution was passed for ornamental lighting on Center Avenue, between 7th and 8th Streets; also on Penn. Avenue, from 8th Street to C. & N. W. Ry. Co. Dedication of the Eagles Hall was held May 21, 1927.
The school enrollment was 5,964 with 1,152 in the High School.
Permanent registration for voters residing in Wisconsin was passed by the legislature, and our city immediately started to investigate the best possible way to do this, with the result that in 1928, a plan was accepted, and is the system used at present.
In January, the plans and specifications for No. 2 fire station were accepted; the cost was $30,000. This is our present "Bungalow" station on the south side.
George Goodell, present Justice of the Peace took office in June, 1928, and has served continually since.
In June, C. U. Boley, City Engineer was praised for his faithful and efficient service as city engineer over a period of 40 years.
During September agitation was again started for a Sewage Disposal Plant, and so a resolution was presented to the council, asking that a competent firm of engineers be selected to cooperate with the city engineering department in making complete plans, the result of this is our present $1,000,000 plant. The Engineering Department suggested that the firm of Pierce, Greely and Hanson be engaged to study and make preliminary reports concerning a Sewage Disposal Plant, their cost not to exceed $4,000.
In October, a resolution passed the council ordering all hitching posts to be removed on N. 8th Street between Jefferson and Michigan Avenues, so step by step, with the advent of automobiles, and the passing of the horse, the city discarded relics of olden days.
In December, a resolution was presented to the council stating "that Miss Eliza Prange had bequeathed $150,000 as a nucleus for building a hospital in the city"; Alderman H. F. Hinze asked that the Mayor appoint a committee of five Aldermen to confer with administrators and executors of the estate, with the view of making the City of Sheboygan a party to the building and maintenance of this hospital.
* From the book: "One Hundred Years of Sheboygan, 1846 - 1946" by J. E. Leberman
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