History: 1923 Milladore, Wood Co., Wisconsin

Poster: History Buffs


----Source: History of Wood County, Wisconsin compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and others : illustrated. H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co., 1923, CHAPTER XXVIII

----1923 History of Milladore, Wood Co., Wisconsin




The unincorporated village of Milladore is situated in Milladore Township on the "Soo" railway, and is 18 miles north of Wisconsin Rapids. It has Catholic and Methodist churches, a bank, telegraph, express and telephone communications, three hotels, two general stores, two blacksmith's shops, a shoe and harness shop, garage, and other business houses dealing respectively in lumber,, implements meat, and other commodities. The village is surrounded by a fine dairy country in which cheese making is an important industry. Its population is about 340. The history of Milladore covers half a century. When George Hooper, who is still a local resident, came here in October, 1872, and homesteaded a piece of land, he found here a building by the railroad track which was divided into several rooms, of which two were living rooms, the others being used for passenger and freight offices. No permanent settlers on the site of the village, aside from himself, had yet arrived, but a man named James Brennan, who worked on the section, had located about a mile and a half west.

Mr. Hooper settled on his place in the following spring (1873), but soon after he first arrived another settler, Martin Bretel, a Bohemian, made his appearance and put up a blacksmith shop, the section boss Peterson, donating an acre of land for the purpose. Mr. Bretel, like Mr. Hooper, is still residing in the village. Probably the next settler in Milladore was Barber Smith, who arrived by or before the spring of 1873 and located 20 rods south of the depot. Other early settlers here were the Hutton and Hazeltine families. A store was started two or three years later by Deloss R. Coon (now a resident of Auburndale), and the agent Peterson put up the building, which was also used for a dwelling. In February, 1877, the site of the village was surveyed by Charles H. Pratt, under the direction of the Phillips & Colby Construction Co., the plat being recorded March 16, 1877. It was described as "in the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter and the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 36, Town 25 north, Range 5 east." Two or three years after the survey was made the second general store in the village was opened by Dan Rice. The building, which has since been remodeled, is now occupied by the general store of Frank Malik. George Hooper built the first hotel in the early eighties. Most of the first settlers in the village were Bohemians, and that race is still strongly represented here.

The first schoolhouse, a log building, was put up near the railroad track, about a mile west of the Hooper place, and Barber Smith and D. R. Coon constituted the first school board. For some time, however, there were but few scholars, though the original district included both Milladore and Sherry. After the population had sufficiently increased the district was divided and a frame schoolhouse put up in Milladore. A few years later it was enlarged by an addition and in the spring of 1907 the present schoolhouse-a two-story, brick building, of four rooms was erected. It is attended by somewhat more than 100 pupils. A Catholic church was started in Milladore at an early date, more detailed mention of which may be found in the chapter on the Catholic Church in Wood County elsewhere contained in this volume. There is also a Methodist church, served by the Rev. H. E. Cotton of Marshfield.

About 1880 George Hooper built a sawmill here for Phil Heinrich of Watertown, Wis. Then Mr. Sutton from Neenah put up a stave mill. Both of these industries were operated until the nearby timber had all been cut. Among the manufacturing industries of the place, if they may be so called, were one or two little feed or grist mills. One feed mill, started by William Clark in 1914, is still operated by him.

The first postmaster in Milladore was Orlow Everetts, who was also depot agent and had a store in partnership with D. R. Coon. Previous to the establishment of the office all the mail for what is now Milladore was addressed to Mill Creek, that being the original name of the village. It happened, however, that there was another Mill Creek in the state, and so, when the citizens made application for a post office they were asked to choose another name bearing some resemblance to the old one, and Orlow Everetts and the section foreman thereupon made up the name of Milladore, which was accepted by the postal authorities. In the lumbering days, when there was still much timber in the immediate vicinity of the village, there was always danger from fire, and on one or two occasions, when such fires broke out, the danger was so threatening that the women were sent to Stevens Point for safety while the men remained to fight the fire, in which they were helped by having a good well of water in the mill. On one occasion, if not more, the heat from the blazing woods was so intense that the sawdust in the village street took fire.

The Milladore post office is of the fourth class and has one rural route. The postmasters in the order of their succession, have been as follows: Orlow Everetts, C. L. Peterson, Sr. (served 20 years), John Greisenger, H (?) Heinrichs, Rudolph Kuhn, C. L. Peterson, Sr. (second time), Jacob Verhulst, Charles L. Peterson, Jr., George Schmidt, and Frank A. Malik, the last mentioned of whom took the office in September, 1920, and is still serving.

The Milladore State Bank was organized in July, 1914, and opened for business in January, 1915. Its first officers were: president, Jacob Verhulst; vice president, George Hooper; cashier, William O. Dyer. It was capitalized at $10,000, and the present stock and surplus is $17,000. Its officers now are: president, Jacob Verhulst; vice president, W. G. Berdan. The institution is located in a one story brick building 24 x 36 feet fronting on Main Street.

The local telephone company was organized in 1912 by Messrs. Silkworth and Stewart, who came to the village for that purpose and formed a stock company which was formally organized Aug, 12. 1912, the first exchange being located in the residence of William Welk. The exchange was later moved to the James Konopa residence, and from there to its present location on the second floor of the building owned by Peter Anderson. Frank Dichtel is the present manager; the company serves the village and surrounding community and furnishes free service to Arpin, Vesper, Auburndale, Rudolph, and Sherry.  

The fraternal societies are well represented in the village. Camp No. 4122 of the Modern Woodmen of America was organized about 1895 and now has 37 members. Snowflake Camp No. 3501 of the Royal Neighbors of America was formed with charter dated Nov. 27, 1903, and its meetings are well attended; there are 25 names on its charter. Holy Trinity Court No. 1702 of the Catholic Order of Foresters was granted a charter May 9, 1911, and is still in active existence; it had 12 charter members. Mill Creek Lodge No. 909 of the Mystic Workers of the World was organized with charter dated Feb. 4, 1914, and has met with good success. The Bohemian Society Zapadni Cesko Bratrske Jednoty started Branch No. 145 in Milladore in 1904, and this also has a good membership.

Dr. A. J. Gerend, who practices the profession of physician and surgeon in Milladore, is also a well-known archeologist, and a member of the Wisconsin State Archeological Society. He has made a close study of Indian life and customs and his collection of Indian pottery, weapons, photographs of chiefs and other aborigines, is one of the attractions at the rooms of the State Historical Society at Madison. He has some specimens also at his home at Milladore. It is to him that the publishers of this volume are indebted for the data relating to the Indians of Wood County.


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