ANGELICA -- From Shawano County
Previous to the days of 1871, Menominee Indians and pioneers around
Angelica, who wished to gather for the worship of God and religious education,
met in a log cabin schoolhouse.
In 1871, the Peshtigo fire destroyed the log school, forcing the settlers
to flee for their lives.
The history of Angelica is bound closely with the history of the Angelica
Methodist Episcopal Church.
Because many of the early records of the Township have been lost or
burned, the historical incidents recorded for the Centennial were taken
from the Angelica Methodist Church history.
After the Peshtigo fire, the lumber mills moved in to manufacture the
burned over timber into lumber.
The first known minister to preach to the mill hands and owners, as
they sat in the eight seats of the new school building, was Rev. Dulap,
"a howling Wesleyan Methodist," who rode on horseback from Waupaca. In
1872 he performed the wedding ceremony which united Robert Black and Emma
McMillian as they took their vows over a teacher's desk.
In 1875 a group of ladies, Mrs. Kellogg, Mrs. McClaren and Mrs. Button,
led by a mill-owner's wife, Mrs. William Upham, organized the First Congregational
Church of Angelica. Mrs. Upham held an M.D. degree and was an invaluable
help in tending to the congregation's physical, as well as spiritual needs,
especially after the explosion of the Laird sawmill. Later, the Uphams
moved to Marshfield. Mrs. Upham's husband had returned to Racine from the
Civil War, after his funeral service had been performed when it was believed
he had been killed. He was elected Governor of Wisconsin in 1894, and Mrs.
Upham was for years the first lady of the State.
The Upham mill was located in the region of the John L. Johnson farm.
Mr. Upham furnished the lumber for the erection of a church building.
In the winter of 1876 the first wedding was performed in the newly erected
church between Merrill Wheeler and Cora Kelly of Racine. Robert Upham of
Shawano, nephew of the church founder, attended that ceremony. The pulpit
Bible, used for the Golden Jubilee celebration in 1937, was presented to
the Congregational church by Mrs. A.C. Sanford.
When the burned timber was used up, the mills moved to Marshfield, taking
with them many church leaders.
The cut-over land was sold to farmers, and such enterprising concerns
as J.J. Hoff & Company brought Polish settlers from Milwaukee, Chicago
and Detroit. As yet, Pulaski was little more than a swamp hole and a store
built by V. Peplinski. Angelica and Laney had post offices.
Among some of the early settlers were: Perry Miller, McChesney, Tibbits,
D. Williams, Richard Evans, C.A. Briggs, John Courtice, H. Miracle, M.E.
Mills, C.W. Iverson, J.S. McKenna, William Marsh, Anna Marsh, Mr. and Mrs.
Clark Ames, T. Colsvir, Mrs. Nettie Boyden, T.D. Smith, A. Richmond, Wm.
McMillian, James Magee, John Black, Louis Johnson, Charles Wilson, George
Frazer, F. Thompson, Le Schay, H. Wescott, Delos Krake, Hans Peterson,
Blake Hurley, Alex McKenna, Jacob Erb, Tom Lutsey, Alex Stronach, Julius
Martins, William Ainsworth, Fischer Brothers, Christian Arneman, Mrs. E.
In 1888 the Rev. O.C. Christian married Melvin Robbins and Hanna J.
There were no church funerals in those days as people were buried in
cemeteries on their own farms. Vehicles were scarce and whenever possible,
one large wagon or sled would pick up all the folks along the way and bring
them to church or to such sociables as "hot maple sugar" pound parties,
peach and ice cream socials, or Fourth of July picnics, to which the ladies
brought their own variety of home made ice cream. On Christmas Eve all
families gave out Christmas presents around the Church tree.
In 1890 there was but one saloon in the whole of Angelica and that was
McMillian's saloon, located across from the church. However, under the
leadership of men like Delos Krake and Albert Fischer, the saloon was voted
out. In former years, Mrs. Upham, who was a prominent temperance leader,
had started a Temperence Lodge. Her husband built a dance hall for the
Community in which alcoholic liquors were forbidden to be sold.
In 1895 the Church sent Anna Frazer to Milwaukee as a Deaconess, who
later attained renown in Howard City, Michigan, by founding a school for
In 1897 the active lodge worker, E.D. Upson, familiarly known as the
"horse jockey", came to serve the Church. On his bicycle he covered the
charge until O.W. Smith, former angling editor of "Outdoor Life," disciple
of Izaak Walton, and famous naturalist writer, took over the parish and
stayed until 1903. The present church parsonage was built by him.
Edison Allen came in 1917 and he was the last of the ministers to be
moved by members of the congregation with horse and wagon.
The removal of the stage brought many changes in the community, such
as the installing of telephone and light lines.
Mrs. Wm. Upham, Mrs. Etta Ball, Harriet Hutchinson, Mrs. Nettie Boyden,
Rev. O.C. Christian were the first Methodist Sunday School leaders.
A Ladies Aid was organized at the home of Mrs. Jane Spence in 1889.
The Aid became famous for its excellent lunches held at noon. The men paid
ten cents and the women paid five cents. The meals became real banquets,
and grew to such proportions that a heavy fine had to be placed by anyone
exceeding the menu set by the bylaws.
When the Military Road was completed to Shawano, Angelica became a stopping-off
place for travelers going on to Fort Howard.
Information taken from:
Angelica Methodist Church Golden Jubilee Booklet, as submitted by
Mrs. Fred Johnson,
Pulaski, Route 1.