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Antenne, Katharine Leary / A saga of furs, forests and farms : a history of Rice Lake and vicinity from the time of its first inhabitants : the Indian mound builders to the turn of the 20th century
(1955 (1987 reprint))

Chapter IX: the courthouse fight,   pp. 28-30


Page 28

CHAPTER IX
The Courthouse Fight
One case of defiance of Knapp, Stout & Co. was in the
fight over the location of the county seat, one of the liveliest
issues of county politics.
The first county seat was located a little east of what is
now the city of Barron, in 1868 and in 1873 the citizens voted
to move it to Rice Lake Mills, now the city of Rice Lake. There
it first met in a hall rented from Knapp-Stout, which virtually
controlled the county at that time, since the county officers
were chosen by the company and elected by its employees.
As the company owned the land upon which Rice Lake
had been founded, it was naturally anxious to get and keep
for Rice Lake any advantages that being the county seat might
bring.
Some Disagreed
A few independent thinkers in the county had other plans.
John Quaderer owned the camp and much of the land
at Barron, and although he was originally a Knapp-Stout fore-
man and was still contracting for them, he was one of the
leaders against the company domination of county affairs.
Another was Woodbury S. Grover, who had a little farm in
Dallas township. In the election of 1874 it was voted to move
the county seat back to Barron, and Grover was elected county
clerk.
The editor of The Chronotype at that time reported that
there wvere irregularities in publishing notices of election, and
declared that people in the Rice Lake area did not turn out
to vote at all as a result. Only seven votes were cast in Rice
Lake against 114 in Barron on the question.
Subsequently, a hot dispute arose over the legitimacy
of the balloting. The company determined to carry the fight
further. and there was talk of an appeal and an injunction re-
straining the county officers from removing the records to
Barron. Grover had possession not only of his records, but
of those of several other county officials to whom he was
deputy.
"Courthouse" Chair
The dispute dragged on until Dec. 29, 1874, when the
governor proclaimed Barron as the county seat. Word reached
Rice Lake late in the afternoon a few days later.
So Grover, to forestall injunction proceedings, put the records


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