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Our first 100 years, 1857-1957

The early days--1857-1900,   pp. 2-19 PDF (6.7 MB)

Page 8

1875-Telulah Park.
  In 1866 the company was sold to a new
corporation, the Green Bay and Mississippi
Canal company, which today deals largely in
water power. The United States government
purchased the locks and canals for $145,000
in 1872 and assumed control and mainte-
nance of the locks and navigation aids.
  With the coming of the railroad-the first
to reach Outagamie county was the Chicago
and North Western which built from Neenah-
Menasha in 1861-Fox and Wisconsin river
traffic declined after a brief but colorful
steamship era. In the early 70's came more
rail lines-the Green Bay and Lake Pepin,
the Wisconsin Central and the Milwaukee,
Lake Shore and Western. Then there was the
Menasha and Appleton railroad in 1880, sub-
sequently taken over by the Chicago, Mil-
waukee and St. Paul in 1893.
  Appleton was distinguished in the field of
communications, too; in 1877, an Appleton
banker, Alfred Galpin, a student of chemis-
try and electricity, intrigued by tales of
Alexander Graham Bell and his instrument
that talked, put together his own telephone,
connecting his bank and residence. He in-
terested L. N. Benoit, a druggist, in his
project. Benoit immediately saw the possi-
bilities and promptly installed several phones
in his store. Enthusiastically he strung wires
to connect his phones with the offices of sever-
al Appleton physicians, thus helping Apple-
ton become the only Wisconsin city other than
Milwaukee to report telephone development
by that early date. In 1878 Benoit had a
switchboard serving 25 phones; upon his
death, in 1881, a company which a bit later
became the Wisconsin Telephone company
purchased the exchange.

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