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Stratford centennial
(1891-1991)

The village,   pp. 47-78


Page 47

The Village
Stratford began as a "Company
Town", as a direct result of the Connor
Mill and a strong dependence on the Con-
nor Company. The Connors built the
Connor Company Store and a boarding
house to meet the early needs. A post
office was established next to the store. As
Connor built homes, the workers' families
were moved to Stratford and the village
grew.
The early area settlers were generally
those who were planning to farm. They
purchased their land, cleared the timber
and then the stumps and rocks. Many of     Coutes: Paul Unteit
the first shelters they built were rough, log
cabins with dirt floors.
Time was usually of the essence.
Their entire survival may depend on get-
ting land cleared and crops planted as
quickly as possible to feed their families.
Most settlers farmed in the summer and
worked in the camps during the winter
months, leaving their families to tend to
the farm while they were gone.
Early settlers in the village proper
were workers in the mill. They moved into
homes which were built by the R. Connor
Company. As early as 1892, other busi-
nesses were being established.
According to Judge Curtin, who came
to Stratford in 1892, at that time there was     On 97 between Elm & Walnut looking north.
a population of approximately 20, with
Connor's store, the sawmill, Sargeant's
Hotel, the depot and two taverns, and five
dwellings. The buildings were set in the
timber, with no streets, only trails. It
wasn't until late in the fall of 1893 that the
stumps were taken out of the street.
In May, 1892, H.L. Klemme came to
Stratford, starting a tavern. He also
thought the streets of Stratford were in
need of improvement as many years later,
Mr. Klemme told the editor of the Strat-
ford Journal that it was necessary to wear
rubber boots to go from his tavern to the
depot.                                                    Scenes of growing Straford


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