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Early history of Omro and vicinity (of 1876)

Early history of Omro and vicinity (of 1876),   pp. 169-223

Page 185

Wright history
line between the two.  It was constructed by a company, and opened as a
toll bridge.
From The Omro Herald issue of Jan. 22, 1931.
   In 1857, we find among the new residents of the village, Dr. McCall,
W. Ames, Dr. Gibbs, Benj. Sawdy and W. Larrabee. The first village charter
was granted that year, and the first charter election was held on the 13th
of April. The whole number of votes cast was 105.    W.P. McAllister was
elected President, Chancellor Johnson, A.C. Patterson, J. Gibbs and W.
Larrabee, Trustees.   W.B. Holcomb.was elected Clerk; J.V. Taylor, Treasurer;
Benj. Sawdy, Assessor, and A.J. White, Marshal.
   The village expenses during the year were $234.21.  There were 457 rods
of sidewalk constructed, at an expense of $1108.75.
   The building on the corner, now occupied by Berkley & Cain, was erected
during the summer, by N. Frank, and rented to Joel V. Taylor, who put in
general stock, and continued in business here for several years.
   The project of a railroad to Omro was first brought into definite shape
during this year.   In the Srping and Summer, the stock was all taken,
$90,000 in cash and bonds being the amount which the Town and Village of
Omro pledged or paid. The first Directors of the company were C. Bigelow,
D.P. Mapes, Mr. Bowen, Mr. Lyman, of Ripon, and Mr. McLaren.    Mr. Bigelow
was President of the company nearly all the time until the road was sold.
The first Secretary of the Company was a Mr. French, but the position was
filled the principal part of the time until the sale, by L.G. Bradt. The
company was known as the Ripon & Wolf River Railroad Company.
   In 1858, the float bridge across the Fox was purchased by the town for
$800, on condition that the Bridge Company put it in repair, and that the
village maintain and keep it in repair. The village, at their annual meeting
the same year, empowered the Board of Trustees to take action in the matter,
and the proposition of the town was agreed to. The purchase was made and
bridge declared free to the public. William Devinney was the first regular
bridge tender after the purchase.
   The total disbursements of the village Treasurer during the year were
$330.66.  The number of children reported in the district was 339.    The
number attending school was 280.
   Grading and tieing the railroad was commenced this year and progressed
steadily but not very rapidly.   In the following year the work went on,
the grading was nearly completed thru to Winneconne. The first depot was
built by private subscription, and was located on the bank of the river,
the west side of the track.
   Track laying commenced in 1860, in the early part of the Winter of that
year the iron was laid as far as Waukau, and on Sunday, the 1st day of Jan-
uary, 1861, the last rail was laid at the bank of the river in Omro.    This
was the most important event in the history of the place, up to that time.
Hitherto, there had been no outlet for the lumber manufactured here, except
by water, and all mails and communication with other towns was either by
same means, or by teams. The completion of the railroad was therefore a
very important event for 0mro, and although regular trains were not put on
until June 1863 it was a benefit to the village which but few have estimat-
ed at its true value. Too many have looked only at the cost of the road,

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