History: Centralia, Wood Co., Wis., 1881

Poster: History Buffs

----Source: 1881 History of Northern Wisconsin, pg. 1207-1208.

Surnames: Baker, Batrick, Bremnier, Cocoran, Coleman, Garrison, Haertel, Greenbacker, Griffith, Jackson, Johnson, Laniadeleine, Lyon, Mackinnon, Mahoney, Mascott, Moore, Nash, Noiseux, Houston, Rabling, Robb, Rossier, Wharton, Whittlesey, Williams, Worthington




This city was organized after the .April election in 1874. The first Mayor was R. C. Moore. He was followed by S. B. Coleman and Reuben C. Lyon. The first City Clerk was J. T. Houston, followed by R. C. Worthington, J. W. Cocoran, E. B. Rossier, G. L. Williams, L. O. Garrison and E. B. Rossier, the present Clerk.

The census of 1880 gave Centralia 800 and over; now there is probably 1,000.

It is located on the Wisconsin River, on the right bank. Previous to its incorporation as a city, it was a part of the town now called Port Edwards.

Grand Rapids, across the river, was one of the earliest settled points on the river, and while most of the business and all of the manufacturing was on that side, the whole thing is reversed, so far as manufacturing is concerned. The exhaustion of the pine logs in the neighborhood, and the distance to run them down the river, has closed the mills there, while new ones have sprung up in Centralia, and there seems to be no reason why the city will not have a steady growth and continued prosperity.


Machine Shops.—Batrick & Mahoney. The concern was started on the Grand Rapids side of the river, in 1869, and ran there for ten years, by A. J. Robb. It was constructed by John Rabling. It was removed here in 1870. A specialty is made of turbine wheels, gang-edgers, trimmers, sawmills and steam engines, with repairing.

Hard Wood Manufacturers.—Mackinnon & Griffith, F. Mackinnon and C. L. Griffith. Manufacture spokes, hubs and wagon stock in great variety, to the extent of $75,000 a year. Started in 1879. It is an extensive establishment * Wharton Bros., manufacturers of pine lumber. W. G. and J. H. Wharton constitute the firm. The planing mill is near the railroad station, the lumber mills are at Seneca, or what is now called Vesper, about twelve miles west. They have a capacity of 35,000 per day.

Chair Factory.—F. Haertel, proprietor. Has been in operation several years. It was formerly a shingle mill, and is a valuable industry.

Machine Shop and Foundry.—F. W. Bremnier. Repairing machinery a specialty, models, brass castings, etc.

Flouring Mill.—Centralia has one of the best flouring mills anywhere, the flour having a wide reputation and being sold as fast as it can be delivered, which is at the rate of 150 to 200 barrels a day. It has stones and rollers. The firm name is Coleman, Jackson & Co. The mill is on a splendid mill privilege, on a part of the Wisconsin as it goes around an island in the upper part of the city.

Physicians.—George De Marr, C. W. Whitney, P. Hurley.

Attorney.—E. B. Rossier.

Hotels.—Landry House, John Landry, proprietor; New Star House, Alf. Noiseux, proprietor; Kcllner's restaurant.

Meat Market.— McCarthey & Daily.

Grocery and Drug S/o/f. — R. O. Worthington ; also flour and feed.

Wagon Works.—Wagons, buggies, sleighs, with repairing and horse-shoeing, J. F. Moore, proprietor.

Lyon Brothers —Manufacturers of and dealers in Wisconsin River pine shingles, also wood turning.

Trade. —Joe Laniadeleine, fancy groceries, tobacco, shelf goods, etc. Garrison & Whittlesey, general merchandise; large stock in great variety. G. A. Corriveau, dry goods, groceries, clothing, hardware, etc.

Railroads.—What was formerly the Valley road, now a division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, runs through Centralia, with a depot on Cranberry street. The Green Bay, Winona & St. Paul runs through the northeastern part of the town, but the station is on the Grand Rapids side of the river. T. K. Nash is the station agent of the C, M. & St. P. Co. The through freight carried from here fills 1,500 cars each year, while the way freight will fill 500 cars, and for passenger fares, $1,200 a month is received. Judge Henry Hayden, of Centralia, was shot dead, October 9, 1879, at the door of his office, by W. H. Cochran, cashier of the First National Bank, of Grand Rapids; was at the time the head of the law firm of Hayden, Rossier & Baker. He was a prominent Greenbacker. Cochran was subsequently tried for murder, at Neillsville, Clark Co., and adjudged not guilty, by the jury.

St. John's Episcopal Church.—This society has a good church edifice, and is the only one on this side of the river. There is at present, service on the first and third Sunday of each month by Rev. J. W. Armstrong. Ancient Order of United Workmen, Centralia Lodge, No. 75, instituted, December, 1879. This is a flourishing institution, and meets every Thursday evening at Garrison's Hall. S. N. Whittlesey, M. W.; E. B. Rossier, recorder ; has thirty members.

A. IV. W. G., Centralia Encampment, No. 1 meets every Saturday eve in Garrison's Hall. C. O. Baker, G. C. City 0fficers.—Mayor, R. C. Lyon; Clerk, E. B Rossier; Treasurer, F. H. Jackson; Marshal, A. C. Green; Physician, Patrick Hurley.

Post Office.—N. Johnson, Postmaster; sales of stamps, etc., about $100 per month. Pigeon-hole boxes rent for 25 cents a year, lock boxes at $1.

The oldest inhabitant, John Mascott, who is still hale and hearty, and lives in the original log house, with its other log buildings, put up by him as one of the first settlers, claims to be 105 years old. lie is a Frenchman and speaks very little English, and he must have been past middle age when he settled here, or he would have picked up the language. Perhaps one-quarter of the citizens of Centralia are Canadian French. They are industrious, intelligent, and a valuable acquisition.

Schools.— There is a remarkably fine brick school-house, with graded schools and good teachers. The educational interests of the town are always cared for.



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