Township of Colby
Clark County, Wisconsin
"Clark Co. Illustrated" by Saterlee, Tifft & Marsh,
Transcribed by Robert Lipprandt
This building is located across the Clark county line in Marathon county, but the district in which it is located is a joint district, including portions of the towns of Colby and Hull. It is built for two departments, but the large number of pupils attending the school has made it necessary to form another department, which occupies a portion of the high school building on the Clark County side. The teachers for the current year are Fannie Burton, Laura Gotchy and Carrie Vandercook. The school board are Andrew Flaig, Sam Shafer and R. B. Salter.
Colby Township, Wisconsinconsists of one township and is situated in the Northeastern part of the county. The township is described as township number twenty - eight, range one East.
The township which now constitutes the town of Green Grove was, until four years ago, embraced within the limits of the town of Colby. At that time, 1886, they were separated into two towns. Colby was organized in 1873. Its settlement dates from a few years prior to its organization. It grew very little until the railroad was built through the Eastern part of the town, which was in 1875.
It was settled by people from various parts of the country, and there are many Germans included in its population. It is principally an agricultural town, though manufacturing received some attention.
The surface is sufficiently rolling to make the drainage good. The soil, when cleared of timber, is found to be very fertile. Large crops of grain are produced and the farmers throughout the town are in good circumstances, though many of them have been residents of the town but for a short time.
The town is well watered by many small streams, most of which are branches of the Popple river. The soil produces a heavy growth of grass and stock raising and dairying is beginning to receive attention from the farmers in this vicinity. There are two or three cheese factories in the town, all of which are doing a large and profitable business.
There are two of three large mills in the town, and the supply of timber is almost inexhaustible. Probably, almost two - thirds of the timber in the town is hardwood, the balance is pine mixed with hemlock. The Eastern part of the town has quite a heavy growth of hemlock, the bark of which is stripped from the trees and shipped to Eastern tanneries.
The Wisconsin Central railroad, which runs through the Eastern part, and the branch of the same road which runs along the Northern edge, is of inestimable value to the town. The cutting of the timber, sawing it and hauling it to the railroad for shipping, furnishes employment to a large number of men, and furnishes a profitable business to the settler who is clearing up his land for farm purposes. This timber is becoming more and more valuable each year, but there is still large tracts of it in this, and adjoining towns, which can be purchased from non-resident owners at reasonable prices.
The village of Colby, on the Wisconsin Central railroad, in the Eastern part of the town, on the county line, is a progressive and enterprising town. Nearly all the branches of business found in cities are represented here. There are four large general stores, two hardware stores with tin shops connected, two drug stores, two flour and feed stores, one millinery store, three hotels, two harness ships, four blacksmith shops, one fanning mill factory, two boot and shoe stores, a band, three churches, a high school building, a town hall, a saw mill and a planing mill, with many smaller business places. The professions are also well represented. The town has been built since the railroad was constructed, and it has
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had a very good growth. It is surrounded on all sides by rich farming lands and large tracts of valuable timber. All that is needed to make it one of the wealthiest towns in the state is settlers to develop the agricultural resources and manufactories to utilize the large bodies of timber in this section.
The class of citizens who have already settled here are an industrious, enterprising people, who are always ready to welcome new settlers, and among whom it is a pleasure to live.
The Phonograph, a weekly newspaper under the management of the Shafer Brothers,
is published in the village of Colby. Among the fraternal orders which exist in Colby is Colby Lodge Nš 204; F. & A. M.; Colby Lodge Nš 234, I. O. O. F.; and Forest Lodge Nš 234; I. O. G. T.
Colby is well provided with highways extending through the town, which have been constructed at considerable expense. The Town is divided into five of six school districts, all of which are provided with good and well furnished school buildings. The high school in the village of Colby will compare favorably with any school of its size in any part of the country. The officers of the school take special pride in their work, and make it a point to secure the best and most competent instructors that can be found. The graduates of this school stand high among the high school graduates of the state.
There are several church organizations in the town and village, but only three church buildings, a Methodist, a Lutheran and a Catholic church.
The post office at Colby is in the hands of J. D. Wicker, postmaster. A large amount of mail is distributed at this office, as it supplies the territory East and West of the village for some distance. A stage line passed through the town to the Green Grove postoffice, which is West of the town of Colby in the adjoining township.
The population of the town in 1875 was less than one hundred. In 1880 it was 884 and at the present time is estimated at 1200.
The town officers are as follows: Chairman and member of the county board,
M. Kaudy; Clerk, F. J. Salter; Treasurer, Fred Roth; assessor, Fred Stecker.
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