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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter XIX: incorporated villages,   pp. 164-201

Page 200

poration was carried into effect in the spring of 1923. A volunteer fire department
was started on Jan. 14, 1924, an Ajax chemical being purchased, with axes and lad-
ders. There are ten men in the department, with F. J. Basner as chief. At the
same time that the question of incorporation of the village came up-or in the spring
of 1922-a waterworks company was formed, which has 12 stockholders. The
system consists of a circular cement tank, 16 feet deep and 16 feet in diameter, into
which water is pumped from a well 286 feet deep by a windmill and from the tank
is piped to the houses of the stockholders. Other residents obtain their domestic
water from private wells.
The first postmaster of Wheeler was H. D. Wheeler. His successor, according to
present recollection, was G. W. Pepper, a preacher, who acted for a while as assist-
ant, and after the Wheeler-Sherburne store burned and Mr. Wheeler left town,
continued to take charge of the mails until the appointment of the next postmaster,
Marshall Granger, using as an office a grain house which is now the property of the
Wisconsin Milling Co. Mr. Granger remained postmaster until 1893, after Grover
Cleveland had been a second time elected president. He appointed Frank J.
Basner to the Wheeler post office and Mr. Basner served four years and three
months. The latter's successor was N. Crosby, who .in 11W0 was .ucceeded by
Robert R. Porter, now serving, and who in 1908 erected the building now occupied
by the post office, which is an office of the third class. Mr. Porter has also estab-
lished three rural routes, one running north, another northeast, and the third north-
west. The northerly route goes as far as Ridgeland and takes care of about one
half of the Ridgeland mail.
The first schoolhouse in the vicinity of Wheeler was a log building across Hay
River to the north, which, after being in use for three years, was burned down on
the last day of the term, some 34 or 35 years ago. A school board was then organ-
ized consisting of Frank J. Basner, F. S. Sherwood and Dan Budd, and built in the
village a frame schoolhouse of one room, the land for the purpose being donated by
Mrs. Mariah L. Welton. That building forms part of the present one, an addition
having been built on to it so as to convert it into a two-room building. It is now
an eight-grade school with two teachers. For the term ending in May, 1924, the
primary room had 46 pupils and the senior room 36.
At quite an early day religious services were held in the country surrounding
Wheeler, one of the means of grace being a Baptist chapel car, which came to the
village occasionally. This was before any church was built here.
A congregation of the Evangelical Church of the Wisconsin Conference was
organized in Wheeler a number of years ago, and is known as EvangelicAl Grace
Church. For a number of years this place was only a preaching point, having no
parsonage and being served by pastors from other places. In 1909 the church
edifice now in use, was erected, a neat frame building of fair seating capacity,
which has been kept in good condition up to the present time. In 1914 the pastor
serving the congregation was the Rev. R. A. Buschweiler, and he was followed in
1915 by the Rev. E. J. Aubach, and the latter by the Rev. John E. Marks. The
Rev. W. G. Schulz came in April, 1916. He built the parsonage and was resident
pastor here for four years, leaving in 1920. For a year after his departure no ap-
pointment was made, but the Rev. A. 0. Boettcher of Prairie Farm looked after
the circuit that year and preached occasionally in Wheeler. The Rev. P. E. Walter
was pastor one year, 1921-22, being succeeded May 2, 1922, by the present pastor,
Rev. William Croft. The church is a mission connected with the Boyceville and
Oak Grove congregations, the former of which has a membership of 27 and a church
located a mile and a half east of Boyceville on County Trunk Road K, and the
latter being a small congregation that meets in a schoolhouse. One or two services
are held in Wheeler ever Sunday and at the other two points every other Sunday,
all being under the charge of the pastor at Wheeler.
The Norwegian Lutherans also have a congregation in Wheeler, which was or-
ganized about the year 1902, and a year later a small church building was erected
one mile southwest of the village, an acre of land, through the solicitation of F. J.
Basner, having been donated as a site by the railroad company. The congregation

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