History: Withee, Clark Co., Wisconsin, U.S. Mail

Contact: Stan
Email: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org


Surnames: Grant, Douphner, Paulsen, Spaulding, Tufts, Brown, Cummer, Moody, Eaton, Cleveland, Funk, Altenburg, Christensen, Thorsen, Mertens, Martin, Rossman, Maden, Westergard, Free, Smith, Christensen, Hansen, Mertens


----Source: Greenwood Public Library, original copy owned by Jean Rolstad


U.S. Mail in Withee, Clark Co., Wisconsin

That mall must (and did) go through" is proven in these early items from "History of Clark and Jackson Counties 1891). John McCarty was appointed postmaster at Longwood by U.S. Grant in 1874.

Geo. Meek, a veteran of the Civil War, was a mail contractor and stage man between Wither and Greenville. Felix Douphner, one of the early French after whom Frenchtown was named, settled on the former Hans Paulsen farm in 1874. He helped cut the pine where Withee now stands for D. S. Spaulding. After the railroads came, he assisted W. S. Tufts in clearing the stumps off the townsite of Withee. Before the railroad, supplies were gotten from Hemlock on Black River. They were toted in on sleds in winter and by boat in summer. After roads were built through the woods, mail was brought in by stage from Greenwood.

About 1874, a post office called Winneoka was started east of what is now Thorp on the farm of B. J. Brown. He kept a small stock of goods which he sold to settlers. They were packed from Greenwood 23 miles away.

Official records of the U.S. Postal Dept. show the Withee Post Office being established on September 2, 1880, with Niram H. Withee as first post master. He served until 1886 when David Cummer was appointed. A Civil War veteran James C. Moody was appointed on November 21, 1888. Old timers tell of the first post office being located in the Hamilton Bros. Hotel, built about 1880, on the site of the present bank.

William Smith Tufts acted as post master from November, 1889, until 1893 in the store he had purchased from N. A. Eaton.

President Cleveland appointed Charles W. Funk as postmaster in April 1893. Chas. Funk had a store and meat market at the site of the present Altenburg Garage. He sold the store to John Christensen and built the brick (Harry Thorsen) meat market in 1904, Later selling the business to Peter Mertens, who in turn, sold to Harry Thorsen, the last owner.

In June of 1897, Wm. Tufts became postmaster again, serving until 1998, when Wm. C. Tufts, his son, took over the position. After fire destroyed the Tufts Store in 1897, the post office was moved to the Klondike 13aildirag located where Hansen Mercantile Store now stands.

The first lady postmaster in Withee was Mildred Smith from 1902 until 1915. In 1909, the post office was located across from the bank. A large plant was used to cross the ditch according to old residents. It was during Mildred Smith's term that the first rural route was started from Withee. Lawrence Hansen was the first carrier on Route 1. He served from 1905 until 1935. when Harold Christensen took over in 1935, and is still with us. In 1935, Route 1 was 50 miles long. Present length is 83 miles, serving 290 boxes.

Rural Route 2 was started in the fall, of 1912, with Fred Westergard, who operated a grocery, as the first carrier. The route was taken over by R. P. (Percy) Free from 1913 until his retirement in 1943.

Before regular routes were started, mail was brought in to outlying areas such as Amber, Maplehurst, and Redville by whoever went for supplies, and by stage.

George Sorensen is the present carrier on Route 2, with his route of 85.3 miles, serving 1,000 patrons at 250 boxes.

The next Post Office was located were Paul Rossman has his barber ship. The present building was leased from Chris Madsen, head of a well-known building and construction company of Withee in the year 1921.

On the site of our new post office, Rasmus Jensen built a blacksmith shop in 1898. It was purchased by A. R. Martin in 1906 and later, a wing was added and equipped for wood working. The blacksmith shop was torn down and the lot remained empty until this summer of 1962, when the building of the new post office began. The new building was dedicated October 21, 1962.



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