Prime Time History: As story concludes, harmony returns to county|
(Editor’s note: The Antigo Daily Journal’s archives are filled with wonderful history, such as a very lengthy account of the forming of “New” county written by P.T. Gillette and published at the close of 1936. It is excellent history and over the past few months Prime Time has been publishing excerpts from his account. This is the final installment.)
Continue Into Nineties
Reverberations of the strife incurred by this county organization had not ceased until into the 1890s. Certain tax levies for school purposes, against the territory formerly the town of Langlade, attached to Polar for state purposes, came up in the Langlade County board proceedings in the year of 1891. A lead pencil audit report found in the Langlade County courthouse in 1936, gives us this information:
“Town of Elton debtor to the town of Polar, being the amount voted at a meeting of the county board in January 1891, to correct an error in the apportionment of school taxes caused by the non-organization of the so called “Lost Nation,’’ constituting the then, Town of Langlade, which included the territory covered by the present Town of Elton. The Town of Langlade refusing to organize (It was then in Shawano County) the state attached the territory to Langlade County and directed that if they then refused to organize, that they be classed as a part of the town of Polar. In accordance with that mandate, the secretary of state levied for school loans the amount above noted to the town of Polar, which amount should have been levied against the territory now covered by the town of Elton, Langlade County; Dr. $------ for error in auditing delinquent rolls of 1881. Acted on by the county board in 1890.
About this time we also find in the Langlade County court records where the town of Langlade sued Langlade County for certain funds amounting to over $3,000 with interest, for delinquent taxes on lands owned by S.A. Taylor. S.A. Taylor’s son, Ulysses G. Taylor, was chairman of the town of Langlade at the time. The records of the case speak for themselves.
Thus the animosities, back-biting and general hard-feeling gradually subsided. “The Lost Nation’’ territory is now peacefully occupied by the towns of Wolf River, Langlade and Evergreen. The subdivisions creating them incited a squabble or tow, but nothing as deep-seated and long drawn out as the original vendetta.
Peace and amity now reign among Langlade County’s family of 16 towns, which, believe it or not, when the county board is in session it is presided over by a chairman who resides on the bank of the Wolf River, in a town of the same name. Nothing of the upheaval of the ‘80s are reflected in the rulings over the county board of Lou E. Bucknam.
Acknowledgment of Sources
This narrative has covered more ground than was anticipated at the start. In compiling it the water has endeavored to bring out the salient facts surrounding the organization turmoil. Many of the reminisces told by the children and of those early chiefs and the first settlers.
Matter for the narrative has been gleaned from several authentic sources. The writer has used his best effort in putting this matter into chronological order, hoping to make it readable enough for general interest.
Reference to Antigo’s first newspaper files were the source of the Springbrook (Antigo) end, almost entirely. Records of Shawano’s County board proceedings, by courtesy of assistant state supervisor of the Historical Records Survey and also the Shawano County Historical Records Survey have furnished much information of the Wolf River and Shawano County ends. Mr. Clifton A. Perry, clerk of court of Shawano County, gave much assistance: as did also the Wisconsin State Historical Society, Mr. Geo Brown of the office of the secretary of state, Madison, furnished certain other records, as did many others by their kind cooperation. A human interest story of considerable length could be made up of those reminiscences with “romance ‘n everything.’’ There are those of the younger generation who could respond. Will they?
There may still be a matter concerning the forgoing official acts we have missed, which may turn up later.
Two trips to the “Lost Nation’’ as it is today, found only children of the earliest settlers and others that have arrived since complete organization has been effected. There are a few of the real old-timers alive, who saw the battle at its highest pitch, but they have moved ahead.
Those who have contributed facts, voluntarily, as well as by written request are thanked sincerely for their assistance in making the story ring with greater truth and interest. Thank you!
To further stress the natural advantages of Antigo we quote Municipal Judge J. E. Martin. A part of his address at the dedication of the Antigo City Hall on Memorial Day 1900, discovered since the foregoing was written:
“To all practical intents the history of this city dates from 1879. At that time the county of New was carved out of Oconto County and attached to and made a part of Shawano County for all county and judicial purposes—there not being within its limits enough residents to hold the various offices and properly conduct its affairs. The possibilities of the future began to develop with F. A. Deleglise and his friends working for the interests of the west side and S. A. Taylor and his friends working for the east side of the county—it was then that the movement for location of the county seat began in earnest.
Without special advantages to attract attention to themselves, with no men of wealth or political influences to call undue attention to such as nature had supplied, the growth of Antigo began.’’
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