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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 221

opening of uninterrupted navigation between
Lake Winnebago and Green Bay, which was
accomplished in June, and, immediately after,
a line of boats was placed upon the route.
In the early part-of this year, the Rock River
Vallev Union Railroad, running south, from
Fond du Lac, was extended to Minnesota
Junction, connecting with the Milwaukee and
La Crosse Railroad, thereby opening another
route, very important to this entire section,
and it at once took the lead in travel and
The Methodist brick church was built this
CHAPTER          LVII.
Doty's Island -Its Lovely Scenery -Chicago & Northwest-
ern Railroad - More Manufactories - The National Hotel
Built - Menasha Bank - Incorporation of the City - List
of City Officers and Aldermen from Date of Incorporation
to the Present Time -The Wisconsin Central Railroad
and Milvaukee Northern Railroad.
0l tOR the four years succeeding, very
little seems to have transpired here, out
of the usual course of events. The vil-
lage had steadily increased in popula-
tion, business and general importance,
no evidence of over-growth, or any
branch of business overdone. Frequent addi-
tions to the original plat had been made, and
October 28, i857, a plat of the "Town of the
Island" was recorded, James D. Doty, L. B.
McKinnon, Charles Doty and D. J. Pulling,
This plat was confined entirely to the Island,
as the name implies, being an addition to both
Neenah and Menasha, and covered a large
amount of territory.
It seems pertinent in this connection to say
that no lovelier place exists, of the same
extent, for city residences, than this Island,
consisting of about seven hundred acres, where
Nature has lavished every favor with unstinted
hand, and whatever may now be wanting, is
justwhat the ruthlesshand of man has destroyed.
The writer can well recollect this landscape as
it appeared over a quarter of a century ago;
its wide-spreading white oaks and lofty maples,
huge beeches and towering elms, a carpet of
Nature's richest patterns, with an occasional
glimpse of lake and river and the far-off cliffs
of Calumet, Clifton and Stockbridge beyond.
Can we, for a moment, wonder that this should
be the favorite haunt of the red man?  Here,
even to this day, may be found marks of his
rude cultivation.  Could he more forcibly
express his feelings than by the free and vol-
untary gift of all this to Governor Doty, as a
tribute of respect, unbounded confidence and
esteem? And yet it has been stated in the
public press, within a few weeks, that the wife
of Governor Doty was taken captive by these
same Indians.
Some one must have possessed more credu-
lity than sense.
In 1859, the Coral Flouring Mill was erected,
at the centre of the dam, by H. A. Burts,
millwright and proprietor, and after passing
through many hands is now owned and oper-
ated by McGinty, Wahle & Koepfel.
In 86o, the old furniture factory of Thomas
Price, having been purchased and carried on
by Charles Doty, was converted into a factory
for the manufacture of flour barrel stock by
Doty, Abel Keyes, and Charles May. In I86t,
the latter sold out to his partners, and the bus-
iness was continued until the fall of 1865,
when the building and power were leased to
Andrews & Underwood, who commenced the
manufacture of children's carriages, sleds, etc.
In 1869, the building was abandoned, though
still standing.
In January, i86i, the old Rock River Val-
ley Union Railroad, now called the Cfiicago &
Northwestern, was extended to Appleton, run-
ning about a mile west from the Neenah
water-power, where a depot was located, which
was about two miles west from the Menasha
The road from Neenah to the depot over a
bed of clay, was, by continued heavy teaming,
almost impassable, and absolutely unsafe for
man or beast.  A side-track was now laid at
the west end of Buttes des Morts bridge, about
one mile from the water-power of Menasha, of
which the bridge formed a large portion of
the distance.
It had been intended to cut Menasha off
from the benefit of the road, but the directors
of the road, making a trip of inspection,
enquired of an officer why the road had been
run around these water powers; he replied
that it had been located by the chief engineer.
The directors then requested the business men
of Menasha to send a delegation to Chicago for
a conference relative to a change of route.
Curtis Reed, Charles Doty, and Reuben Scott
were accordingly chosen, and returned with
the directors to Chicago, where an arrange-
ment was made to change the track to itsnres-
i857-6i. ] .-

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