The following article appeared in the 1913 Fond du Lac Reporter, in a series of articles about the history of the small villages in the county.
South Byron Busy Village
Famous Camp Grounds located short distance from place
NO LIQUOR IS SOLD THERE
South Byron is a busy little village about twelve miles south of Fond du Lac on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway. The little village is well known throughout the state and in neighboring states owing to the Methodist camp grounds which are located a short distance from the village. It is also an important trading center as it has a number of business enterprises needed in a community of that kind.
The Camp Grounds
The annual camp meetings of the Wisconsin conference of the Methodist Episcopal church are held in July of each year at the Byron camp grounds, which are located about a mile north of the village of South Byron. These sessions are largely attended and are of more than ordinary interest. Some of the most noted speakers of the country are secured each year. All of the meetings are held in the large tabernacle which was built a few years ago. There is a large hotel on the grounds for the accommodation of the visitors and a number of cottages have also been built. During the coming year it is planned to erect several more cottages and among the principal improvements will be the erection of a building for children’s headquarters. This will be a five room bungalow and one of the most expensive buildings on the grounds. The Misses Needham of Watertown, who attended the camp meeting sessions last year were so favorably impressed with the meetings and seeing the importance of such a building that they will subscribe the funds necessary for the construction of this building.
A new bath house will be erected north of the hotel and a pneumatic ram will carry water from the spring below the ledge to a tank which will supply the baths.
The camp grounds have impressed all visitors very favorably. The location is one of the most picturesque and historic in the county.
South Byron is in the township of Byron. It is a no license town. The officers of the town are as follows: Chairman, Allen De Voe; supervisors, Chas. Bloohm and August Pelts; clerk, F. E. Howard; treasurer, G. W. Tice and assessor, John H. Simmons. Messrs. Howard and Simmons reside at South Byron and Mr. Tice at Byron, while the other officers live in other parts of the township.
The grain elevator in this village is owned by the Wisconsin Malt and Grain company of Appleton and is under the management of L. C. Coville who has been in charge for the past nine years. All kinds of grains are purchased and the majority of shipments are made to the Appleton headquarters. Flour, feed, salt and western corn are handled by the firm.
The lumber business in the village is in charge of B. E. Sampson, who is well known throughout this county and in neighboring ones. He formerly resided on a farm near the village but for the past six years has been active in the lumber business. He deals in all kinds of lumber and building material. Mr. Sampson also handles all kinds of coal and supplies the trade of the vicinity with seeds and looks after the potato business of this section.
Stores in Village
The L. F. McLean company of this village, dealers in farm implements, is one of the largest of its kind to be found in the county and does an extensive business. Agricultural implements of all kinds are handled while gasoline engines and threshing machines are made a specialty. The company also deals in heavy and shelf hardware and harnesses. It is one of the thriving business enterprises of the county. The company has been doing business here for the past ten years.
This concern recently established a new branch to its business in a building adjoining its hardware store. The new store is in charge of Walter McLean. General merchandise is carried in this store.
The other general store in the village is that of the Stowe Mercantile Co., who have been here for two years succeeding B. Rogers. They carry complete stocks of groceries, dry goods, clothing, rubbers, shoes, confectionery and notions. Recently stocks of hardware, paints and oils were added. In connection with the store there is also a millinery department. Mr. Stowe aims to keep up to date merchandise and thereby has established a thriving business. He is postmaster of South Byron. Mr. Stowe has a private electric lighting system in his store. Last spring this company installed their own cooling plant which was purchased at a cost of $600 from the United Refrigerator & Ice Machine Co., which is a great improvement over the old ice filled refrigerators.
Schultz and Haberkorn are the village blacksmiths and wagon makers. They have a spacious building for their business and enjoy a good patronage. They also do automobile repairing. Farm machinery is also handled and the firm has the agency for the hupmobile autos.
Considerable stock is shipped from this village each week to the Chicago markets. Monday is shipping day. The stock buyer for this territory is George Edwards.
Mound Prairie Farm
S. H. Bird is proprietor of the Mound Prairie Stock farm. Originally Mr. Bird’s farm consisted of one hundred and sixty acres of land but ten acres of it was platted into lots and is now the site of the village of South Byron. Mr. Bird came here from Beaver Dam where he followed the grocery business and was also interested in the poultry business.
Mr. Bird is a breeder of the full blooded Holstein cattle and sells his stock throughout several states, principally Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana. Recently there has been calls for the stock from the western states. The cattle all have official records established by tests under the supervision of the department of agriculture and dairying at the state university.
Poultry is also given special attention on this farm, as Mr. Bird raises and sells the Black Langhans hens, white geese, White Holland turkeys and Indian Runner ducks. The Mound Prairie stock farm is one of the leading stock farms in this section of the state and Mr. Bird gives the breeding of pure bred stock and poultry a great part of his attention.
School and Church
South Byron has a Methodist church. The building was erected about two years ago and is a structure that is a credit to the little village. The building is substantial in every way and has a basement. It is heated by a modern heating plant. The pastor of the church is Rev. E. G. Roberts.
The district school is a one department structure. It has a good basement in which has been installed a modern heating plant. The teacher in charge is Miss O. Martin of Eden. The members of the school board are E. M. Cowles, clerk; Otto Haberkorn, treasurer and S. H. Bird, director.
The agent for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway company is P.P. Klock who has been here for five years. He is also in charge of the business of the Wells-Fargo Express company in the village.
Trade Center For District
Village of Byron is active along numerous line.
HAS BIG GENERAL STORE
Elevator, Potato Warehouses and Cream Shipping Also Conducted.
Byron, a small village about ten miles south of Fond du Lac on the Soo line, is a prominent trading point for the community surrounding it. It has two potato warehouses, an elevator, creamery station, general store, etc.
The general store is owned by G. W. Tice, who carries a good stock of dry goods, groceries, shoes, crockery and other lines suitable to the general merchandise business. He also deals extensively in coal, wood, and salt. Mr. Tice owns one of the village warehouses and handles a large amount of potatoes annually. He came here from St. Lawrence, Washington county, several years ago. He was postmaster at that place for a number of years and is now postmaster at Byron.
The Manitowoc Malting company owns the elevator in this village and their business interests are looked after by G. L. Ties. Considerable grain is bought and shipped from here every year by this company. The majority of the shipments are made direct to the company's headquarters at Manitowoc.
Cream Shipping Station
Kee and Chapin of Chicago are the proprietors of the cream shipping station in the village and it is managed by R. A. Yates who came here about a year ago from Fond du Lac where he was associated with Galloway-West company. After being pasteurized the cream is shipped to Chicago.
The other potato warehouse in the village is owned by Henry Grantman who conducts a large general store in Lomira. Mr. Grantman was formerly in business at Eden and is well known throughout this section of the county.
John Kennedy is the proprietor of the blacksmith shop in the village. General repairing in all lines of blacksmithing and horseshoeing are given special attention. He has been here for about three years
H. Wittman is the village barber. The station agent is M. A. Chapman who also looks after the business of the Western Express company at this place.
Byron has a good district school. Miss Maud Doyle is the teacher in charge.
St. John's Catholic church is located about two miles north of the village in a well settled farming community and has a large congregation. The pastor in charge is Rev. Fr. S. Zohlen.