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

Chapter XIV: Further history of Menomonie,   pp. 91-116 ff.

Page 93

Paul built its branch up the Red Cedar to Menomonie as a spur of the Chippewa
Valley division in 1882 without sepcial financial inducement. Both roads oper-
ated short lines to the mill at Cedar Falls. J. H. Hvland, who later rose to an
eminent position in the railroad world, was the first station agent here of the
present Omaha company.
The proximity of Menomonie to the great railway gateways of St. Paul and
Minneapolis and'to the rail and water terminals at Superior and Duluth, together
with the local rail connections, afford ready facilities to the inhabitants of the
citv and surrounding territory for getting products to market. The earnings at
the stations of the two roads here- the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha
(comprising part of the Northwestern sustem) and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.
Paul-are indicative of the vast volume of trade which centers at this point. In
recent years the total amount of freight received has approximated 200,000,000
pounds annually, on which was paid about 8290,595.69. The total amount of
freight forwarded is annually about 148,000,000 pounds, on which is paid $178,-
929.13. The ticket sales of the two roads approximates 879,705.87. The com-
bined earnings of these lines at Menomonie is therefore in round figures over
8549,000 a year.
Included in the transportation facilities of the city and county must be men-
tioned the improved highway system that is now being developed. Four federal
aid trunk lines pass through the city; one known as No. 12 and one, as No. 116
running east and west; and the others, No. 25 and No. 70, running north and
south. No. 12 is the state's most direct and best highway connecting Chicago and
the Twin Cities. No. 25 forms part of the shortest route between southwestern
Wisconsin and the cities at the head of Lake Superior. Another federal trunk
line, No. 64, cuts across the northern part of Dunn County east and west. Besides
these arteries of interurban traffic, the county is developing a system of good roads
with Menomonie as the center.
During the 36 years following the purchase by Wilson & Knapp of the Wilson
Creek mill (1846) there was no village organization, and in fact there has never
been any. Until 1882 the local government was conducted under town organiza-
tion, though a village plat had been made. In 1882 Menomonie was incorporated
as a city, the charter being prepared by Rock J, Flint, then a member of the state
senate. A. J. Turner of Portage assisted in the work. Subsequently some amend-
ments were made, but now all such are abrogated by the General Charter Act,
changes now being confined to adoption of portions of the general charter. Since
1902 elections have been held biennially. In 1912 Menomonie adopted the com-
mission form of government-bv a mayor and two councilmen-which has proved
more satisfactory to a majority of the citizens than the former aldermanic system.
The commission keeps taxes down to as low a point as is consistent with good serv-
ice, the rate being among the lowest known for cities of the same class in Wisconsin.
The first mayor elected by the city was Capt. William Wilson, and the first
city clerk, J. R. Mathews. Succeeding mayors have been, in the years given, as
follows: 1883, William Schutte; 1884, G. H. -Seeley; 1885, E. Marks; 1886, William
Schutte; 1887, T. S. Heller; 1888, Peter E. Wilson; 1889, E. Marks; 1890 E. Marks;
1891 and 1892, John Hopwood; 1893, E. A. Barker; 1894 and 1895, Ro-t J. Flint;
1896, George Gallaway; 1898 and 1899, John J. Carter; 1900, A. H. John-(.n,1902,
Edward Haag;1904, J. R. Mathews; 1906, A. H. Johnson: 1908-1910, J R Math-
ews; 1911-1915, Carl . Peterson. The councilmen now serving are A. L. Johnson
and F. W. Rowe, the latter being also city clerk and comptroller. A. L. Johnson
is treasurer.
The Menomonie Improvement Association.-Durng the years of their opera-
tion here the Knapp, Stout & Co. Company (known previous to the year 1878 as
Knapp, Stout & Co.) owned the water power which included the pond and pond
bank-a fact not generally known to the public, as by many people it was sup-
posed to be public property and was used as such without interference by the big

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