Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Eldorado in 1913

This is one of a continuing series of articles that were published in 1913 in The Reporter.




Came to Wisconsin from east when mere boy

While in Eldorado the reporter representative met Edward Abbs, one of the oldest residents of the township, who has made the village his home for the past two years. Mr. Abbs was born in New York state. When a mere boy his parents came westward choosing Wisconsin as their destination. After reaching the Badger state they decided to locate at Oshkosh.

His father was a machinist and blacksmith by trade and decided to follow his occupation in his new location. He remained in business at Oshkosh for some time and as was the case with many others in the early days, he met with business reverses and decided to retire.

He had resided in the community long enough to see pioneers diligently at work clearing away the great forests and converting them into fields of cultivation. He realized that there was a great future in the agricultural work and decided to adopt it and as a result settled in the town of Eldorado. Like those who preceded him, he toiled with a determination to win. Although there were many difficulties to overcome, his efforts and toiling brought the much sought for results and his reward was the building up of a farm which today is one of the best in the locality.

Brought up on Farm

Edward Abbs was brought up on the farm. As he grew to young manhood he proved of great help to his parents. Farming was his delight. He also saw the future in real agricultural work and upon the retirement of his father he continued the labors. For fifty years he has been a resident of the township and practically all of his time has been devoted to agricultural labors. Like his father he was successful. As time advanced conditions in general improved. He kept abreast with the improvements and when he retired from the farm he felt well compensated for his years of labor. The farm is still owned by Mr. Abbs and is but a short distance from the village. It has been leased by Joseph Kitchen.




Farmers Steadily Devoting More attention to dairying.

Eldorado village is located about ten miles from Fond du lac in Eldorado township. It is unincorporated and is therefore governed by the officials of the township. Although merely a small village there is much activity in evidence. The citizens, both old and young, take pride in their town. Socially and in business enterprises its citizens aim to keep abreast with the times. That they lack many conveniences to be found in cities, they realize, but this only serves to put more vigor in to their efforts to meet the difficulties that confront them. That they are successful to some extent in their various undertakings is best realized after mingling with them.

Mill Was Landmark

Some years ago when the Eldorado flour mill was destroyed by fire the little village lost what may properly be called its old landmark. It was around the mill that a cluster of residences and business houses spring up and formed the village. The mill was built in 1855 and at that time, owing to the scarcity of stores, poor traveling facilities and other things, a mill of this kind was a necessity and proved a great aid to those in the community. As time advanced and the country developed, conditions changed materially and after the destruction of the mill there was considerable speculation as to what would take the place of it. Several business propositions were talking of but did not materialize. Recently a feed mill was erected at the station locality, which is about three-fourths of a mile from the village proper, and steps are now underway for the constructions of a feed mill, upon the site of the old grist mill. Plans for the new mill are given in another column.

That both enterprises will flourish and grow is freely predicted. The country surrounding the village is will settled with progressive and well to do agriculturalists. Large acreages are under cultivation and the land is of the best producing kind. Dairying is also done extensively. Some of the best herds of cattle to be found in the county are owned in this vicinity and are steadily being increased in numbers as the farmers here, as well as in other sections realize that dairying site of the old grist mill. Plans for the new mill are given in another column.

That both enterprise will flourish and grow is freely predicted. The country surrounding the village is well settled with progressive and well to do agriculturalists. Large acreages are under cultivation and the land is of the best producing kind. Dairying is also done extensively. Some of the best herds of cattle to be found in the county are owned in this vicinity and are steadily being increased in numbers as the farmers here, as well as in other sections realize that dairying is an excellent and profitable industry.

That prosperity reigns are best demonstrated by the many improvements that have been made during the past few years. Substantial residences and other farm buildings have been erected and other signs of advancement are also in evidence. The township officers are also aiming to keep in touch with the spirit of progressiveness and road improvements are now receiving their united attention. The officers of this township are: chairmen, Louis Schwertfeger; Supervisors, James Dunn and Frank Westphal; clerk, Louis Heilman; treasure, N. G. white; Assessor, L. Wagner.

The town has a town hall located about five miles northeast from the village of Eldorado. This is their voting quarters and also the place of town meetings and other business transactions pertaining to the township.




Will replace structure which was razed by fire.

The citizens of Eldorado and community are filled with much enthusiasm and joy just now and they have just reason to be in such spirit for a matter that has been of deep concern and interest to them for years had finally been solved and means mush for the future interests of the village. The ruins of the old grist mill will no underway for the erection of a new mill upon the site of the old one.

Oscar Huelsman of Fond du Lac has become the owner of the land formerly known as the Scribner property. At the time of making the purchase Mr. Huelsman planned to reconstruct the dam which was washed way during the heavy rain last spring. With the large pond restored ice harvesting was to be drained and devoted to crops.

Learning of the change of the property and the rebuilding of the dam, the Eldorado people used all possible efforts to induce Mr. Huelsman to rebuild the mill. The matter was finally carefully considered by the new owner and as the outlook is very promising it has been decided to build a new mill upon the ruins of the old one. All kinds of grinding will be done in the new mill is not underway and will be rushed to completion. New machinery and other equipment will be installed as soon as the mill is completed.

The new dam is of concrete and other material. The usual water power will be available for the operation of the mill. The water wheels of the old mill will be used for the new one. The combined power of the two which is 80 horsepower. Grinding will be started immediately after the mill is completed. It will be under the management of A. L. Bernier who was in charge of the old mill.

During the winter months’ ice harvesting was the chief occupation in Eldorado. The pond had an area of about 72 acres. People from the entire neighborhood got their supply of ice from this region. Rosendale and Vicinity were also supplied. When the dam went out last spring and there were no signs of rebuilding, the ice question caused some alarm. Now that the dam has been rebuild, the conditions have altered. Mr. Huelsman will engage in extensive harvesting of ice. All ice orders will receive prompt attention during the season. Mr. Bernier will also be in charge of this work for Mr. Huelsman.

Eldorado has Good Future

Prosperity of all lines of Business is in Evidence

Factory and Feed Mill

Stores, Post Office, Blacksmith Shops, etc. Located There

In writing of the village of Eldorado two localities are to be considered. The Chicago and North Western tracks of the Marshfield division do not pass through the village proper. The station is, as stated, elsewhere, three fourths of a mile from the village. W. E. Hill is the station agent and has been here for the past three years. He also looks after the interests of the American Express company in this vicinity. The village has no Western Union telegraph  connections except those afforded by the conveniences of the telephone.

New Feed Mill

At present the largest institution here is the new feed mill, which was started a year ago this fall by the Eldorado Grain and Fuel company. Owing to general conveniences the mill was erected at the station. J. A. D. Dyer is manager of the business. Grinding is made a specialty. The company buys and ships grain and also deals in lumber, shingles, lath, cement, plaster, brick and fuel. Considerable wool buying is also done. At present the concern is making arrangements with the railroad company for the construction of stock yards at the station and after these are completed buying and shipping stock will be added to the present business activities of the concern.

Cheese Factory

About half way between the railroad quarters and the village is the cheese factory, which is owned and operated by H. F. Isaac, who has been in charge since last spring. He was formerly associated with the H. J. Gruel Butter and Egg company of Johnson Creek. Mr. Isaac has been engaged in his occupation for about fourteen years. The manufacture of cheese is now given his whole attention. The factory is in operation the year around, the average amount of milk received daily being 5,000 pounds. The product of the factory is sold to the Sprague, Warner and Company, wholesale firm of Chicago. Mr. Isaac has shipped to this concern almost continuously since being in the business and their relations have been entirely satisfactory.

The General Store

Entering the village proper, the first business establishment reached is the general store of W. R. Anderson. He has been in the village nearly forty years. For thirty-eight years he has been engaged in the store business. For about fifteen years he clerked in the store conducted by E. Scribner. He then took charge of the business himself and has been the sole proprietor ever since. He conducts a general merchandise business and being in charge of the only store of its kind in the village enjoys a large and flourishing trade. He is assisted in his duties by Edward Kemnitz.

The Postal Department

The Eldorado postoffice is located in the Anderson store and Mr. Anderson is the postmaster, a position he has held continuously for the past twenty-two years with the exception of during the administrations of the late ex-President Cleveland. Mr. Kemnitz is his assistant while J. G. Alt carries the mail from the railroad station to the office. There is one rural route leading out of the village, known as route number 10. The carrier is R. W. Henning.

Hardware Store

Chas. Behrns conducts the hardware store and deals in heavy and shelf hardware, carrying a good stock for a village of this size. He also does an extensive business in farm machinery and other farm implements. Tinsmithing is also given special attention. Mr. Behrns has been in business in the village for the past ten years.

The Blacksmiths

The village has two blacksmith shops. One is under the management of F. C. Henning, who has been in the village for ten years. Horseshoeing, general blacksmithing and wagon repairing are his specialties. Mr. Henning was born in the town of Eldorado.

The other shop is owned by Jno. W. Meyer, who has been in Eldorado twenty-two years, removing to the village from Milwaukee. He has been engaged in his trade for twenty years. For a time he was associated with Mr. Henning and upon dissolving partnership established a business for himself on the opposite side of the street. Blacksmithing and wagon work comprises his main work.

Churches and Schools

The village has a Congregational and Lutheran church. The pastor of the former is Rev. Dexter of Ripon. Rev. George Saxmann is in charge of the Lutheran church and also of the church of the same denomination on the Rich road in Eldorado township. He has been in this locality twenty-six years. Six years ago he added the Eldorado congregation to his field of labor. A school is also conducted in connection with the church.

The public school of the village is now in charge of Miss Kate McGowen of North Fond du Lac. It consists of one department. The memb ers of the school board are: President, Fred Henning Jr.; treasurer, Chas. Behrus; clerk H. Duel.


Dr. F. A. Jackson is the physician and surgeon for the village and community. He enjoys a good practice. He located here nine years ago and is a graduate of Marquette College, Milwaukee.


Eldorado receives its telephone service through the Rosendale Telephone system. They had long distance connections. 

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