FAIRBANKS -- From Shawano County
The Town of Fairbanks was a rough and rugged country back in 1885
when some of the settlers journeyed there to make a new home in that section
of Shawano County.
Only tote roads connected the township with Shawano and Clintonville.
The settlers were not even fortunate enough to have wagons, but used what
were called jumpers". One early settler stated "after riding in one of
them you deemed it a proper name for the contraption."
The activity of the settlement centered around the Aschinger sawmill.
The mill was located on the Otto Krueger farm, and the place was referred
to as Aschingerville. Besides a sawmill there was a shingle mill, planing
mill, and two blacksmith shops. There were also several houses for the
hired help, and a beer house where anyone could get a stein of beer for
five cents. J.C. Luebke later operated a large hotel which was considered
very modern for that time. Mr. Luebke served as town clerk for many years
and was also a Notary Public.
Aschingerville, later known as Split Rock, was once a busy place.
On Sunday, during the summer months, a picnic or celebration of some kind
was always held which lasted well into Monday. People came from Marion,
Caroline and Tigerton to join in the fun.
There were a lot of Indian summer camps in the vicinity. One of these
camps was located on the F.H. Sabrowski farm. Split Rock got to be a thriving
village. About a dozen coalkins were operated there by the Wisconsin Coal
Company to burn their engines. These engines also burned wood and the settlers
would cut the wood and pile it along the railway tracks and the train crews
would pick it up whenever they needed fuel. Split Rock also had a stave
and hub mill which was owned by Aderman and Gayhart.
The first store at Split Rock was operated by Mr. Fuller. He sold
out to Worden and Wright of Menasha. They operated a large store for the
Menasha Woodenware Company, and Charles Worden managed the timber interests
for the company in that vicinity.
This store, in later years, came to be known as a leading general
store of the county. It was supposed to be the second largest complete
department store in Shawano County at that time. Later, it was known as
the C.L. Brownell Company and that company did a tremendous amount of business
in merchandizing and buying and shipping of timber products.
The Turner Brothers also operated a sawmill about one and one-half
miles down the railroad track from Split Rock. This was known as Siding
170. Several coalkins were located there where Ernie Nero's farm buildings
are now located.
The first settlers west of Split Rock were the Aschinger Brothers
and their families, Henry Warringer and family, the three Sabrowskys and
their families, Mike Schoenfell and his family, John Starr and his family,
Wm. Grenz and family, Chas. Pringuitz and family, and Wm. Blum and family.
There were also quite a number of Indians living near the settlement.
Many of the old timers will remember the Brass Band made up
mostly of members of the Aschinger families. They were all good musicians
and would play weekday evenings during the summer months. The people of
the settlement looked forward to this entertainment each evening, and would
set outside their homes and listen to the music to help break the monotony
of those long summer nights.
Information furnished by:
Tigerton, Wis., Route 1