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Harney, Richard J. / History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest

City of Menasha,   pp. 215-229 PDF (10.6 MB)

Page 218

destruction. He was the second German
that settled here, Joseph Dudler having pre-
ceded him  by about two weeks.   He has
always been active in politics, though never
seeking honors for himself.
And still another: Melancthon Burroughs,
after officiating in the Winnebago Hotel at
Neenah one year, and getting out the frame
for a warehouse in the meantime, took up his
residence here, in the Decker House, June
15, I850, and with that frame erected the first
warehouse in Menasha. It was burned in the
summer of 1852.
Adler & St. John, erected the house soon
after purchased by Mr. Burroughs, and by
him long occupied as a hotel, and to this
time as a residence.
Water communication was up to this time the
only connection with the outside world during
the summer, with the exception of an occa-
sional fording of the two channels near the
upper end of Doty Island, and even this at
times had a very strong resemblance to water
communication. A skiff was run around the
foot of the Island, serving as a ferry between
Menasha and Neenah.   This was conducted
by Edward Lull, who has since passed through
successive promotions until he is now a cap-
tain in the United States Navy.  This ferry
was continued through the season of 1851.
In 1851, Thomas Price built a cabinet fac-
tory, about three hundred feet west of the
lower bridge, leading to the Island.
An attempt was made in the spring to con-
struct a bridge across the Neenah channel, just
above Governor Doty's residence. Cribs were
placed in position and stringers laid, but the
ice soon demolished the whole fabric.
The same year, Thomas Armstrong and
George Stickles erected a saw mill, long since
passed away. The site is now occupied by a
turning shop.
The steamer Menasha was built here during
the past winter and spring, by Doty, the
Reeds and others, for the express benefit of
this locality, The Peytona, running, the sea-
son previous, to Neenah, with an occasional
trip to Menasha, as suited the captain; but the
building of the Menasha soon brought about a
different state of things, the Peytona run-
ning regularly to both places, and this
again created a competition in the Menasha
trade, in consequence of which, Reed and
James Doty constructed a dock and warehouse
during the fall.
History can never do justice to these old
relics of by-gone days. Where, now, are
O'Connell, Decker, Roby, H. Smith, E. Smith,
and others, of that day?
During this season the mails were trans-
ported between Menasha and Appleton by
sailboat, under the command of Gabe Capron,
and this was the only means of conveyance for
Fromand after about August ist, the steamer
Van Ness Barlow was put in commission, and
run the balance of the season between
Menasha and Grand Chute, in connection with
the steamer Menasha; the distance from Grand
Chute to Kaukauna, eleven miles, was made by
stage, and from thence to Green Bay by
The Fargo flouring mill, on the bank of
Lake Buttes des Morts, was commenced this
year by Lyman Fargo and J. W. Thombs.
This mill was completed in 1853, but was not
supplied with water until 1854, when it was
run until 1865 or 1866, and abandoned.
In 1852, Elisha D. Smith purchased the pail
factory, before mentioned, built around it and
over it, supplied new machinery and added
largely to its capacity.
Captain L. B. McKinnon, of the Royal
English Navy, came here this year, and pur-
chased largely of Menasha property, also, a
farm, near Clifton, at the north end of Lake
Winnebago, and made arrangements for build-
ing a plank-road to Appleton, and furnished
the means with which it was completed this
A bridge was also constructed across the
Menasha channel, from Tayco Street to the
Island, the Neenah people having built across
their channel, on the present site, the year
A road had also been cut through the woods,
across the Island, in 1851.
October, 1852, the United States Land
Office was removed from Green Bay to this
place. Alex. Spaulding was the register, and
Edgar Conklin, the receiver of the office, at
this time.
An act of the Legislature, dated July 5,
1853, incorporated the Village of Menasha,
dividing it into two wards.
The first election for village officers was held
the same month, of which no record is found,
but, on the twenty-fifth of the month, the first
meeting of the trustees was held, at which we
find officiating: Curtis Reed, president; Leon-
ird Williams, Isaac Hough and Urial Clinton,
trustees of the First Ward; Lyman Fargo,Wal-
ter Cranston and Carlton Bachelder, trustees
of the Second Ward. At this meeting J. W,
rhombs was elected clerk.

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