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Colby, Wisconsin centennial
(1873-1973)

Sketches of pioneers,   pp. 18-127


Page 26

FRANK FIRNSTAHL
was born in Australia in 1857 com-
ing to the U. S. with his parents at the age of 18. He moved to
Colby in 1878. Frank was one of Colby's leading merchants,
a man of great push and energy. He started a shoe shop in
1881. In 1886 his place was destroyed by a fire. He then erec-
ted the building which-was located on Front St., now the site
of Vrana's TV shop. In 1935 this building was destroyed by
fire. He also had stock in the Colby Cheese Box Silo. Co. In
1896 he was elected Justice of Peace and maintained this posi-
tion for 35 years. From 1895 to 1912 he was treasurer of the
city. He also was the director of the Colby Cornet Band for
many years. Mr. Firnstahl was married to Rose Adrians from
Funeral procession in front of Wm Will's Livery Stable.
(Becherer's house left of stable)
MR. AND MRS. FRANK FIRNSTAHL
1881 to 1885 when she died leaving him two children, Lucelia
and Rose. He married his second wife Augusta Hertz in 1896
and had six children named Francis, Richard, Alphonse, Leo,
Helen and Lawrence.
Frank purchased and remodeled the old Catholic church in
1910, and installed necessary stage settings, electric lights, and
a furnace and called it the "Colby Opera House."
Wm. WILL SR.
retired from the Colby House in 1901, er-
ected barn and sheds for livery purposes, next to the alley, on
Mrs. Becherer's lots, corner of 2nd and Clark Strs. Mr. Will, la-
ter moved to the farm, and his son, Will Jr. operated the livery
business. He also had a neat hearse, and made a specialty of fu-
nueral work.
COLBY HOUSE owned by Wrn Will Sr. Prior to M. A. Steines, located
where Stan Hesgard has the Town & Country Tavern. Man on the left is
Wm Will Jr.
Wm WILL JR.
Wm. Will Jr. born 1880, was also the first agent of the Stan-
dard Oil Co., which marked its beginning in the city of Colby
in the early 1900's. He served the community as agent for 15
years. Later Wm. Waldhart was agent. It was then decided to
combine the Abbotsford bulk plant and Colby plant and Frank
A. Hunt of Dorchester was selected agent for both plants. El-
mer Dehne was driver-salesman.
1878-
Joel Shafer lived in the house now occupied by I. M. Firn-
stahl. Sam Shafer lived in the Melvin Kunich residence.
Miss Katie Engledinger had a birthday party and they trip-
ped the light fantastic toe.
The girls have given up the gate business and swing on the
stumps instead; they are more numerous than gates.
Dr. Freeman's house was on the site of the present Jack
Abney house.
There were more than 50 bear reported seen within a short
distance of the village. Women were coming into the village
carrying butcher knives in their produce baskets to ward off
the bears.
-26-


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