|TOWN OF GREEN VALLEY -- From
Shawano County Centurawno 1853-1953:
It is believed that the first settlers began
to arrive in the territory, now the Town of Green Valley, in the early
William Donaldson, who was the first town chairman,
named the township "Green Valley" because there were so many evergreen
trees and especially a lot of pine and hemlock.
Hans Halla, Sr. was the first town clerk, and
Thomas Savage the first assessor.
O.A. Risum built and operated the first general
store in Pulcifer, the little community that became the trading center
of the area. The village was named after D.H. Pulcifer, who later became
the first mayor of Shawano. Mr. Pulcifer was also instrumental in getting
a post office at Pulcifer. The first post office for the township, established
at Pulcifer, was placed in the Risum store, for Mr. Risum was the first
post master, too. Later the post office was moved to the William Plier
home, near Advance, when Mr. Plier became post master. Abe Lee carried
the mail three times a week from Pulcifer to the Plier post office by horseback.
Mail for some time was also carried by Ferdinand Boortz on foot.
The construction of what is believed to be
the first stone flour mill in Shawano County was begun at Pulcifer by Louis
Bergner and Otto Schwartz in 1883. The mill was completed in 1884, and
was run by water power furnished by the Oconto river. Mr. Schwartz and
Mr. Bergner also built and operated the first sawmill in the township at
Pulcifer. This was completed before they built the grist mill.
People came from far and near to have their
corn and wheat ground at Pulcifer, since the nearest places where flour
could be purchased was at Oconto and Seymour.
It was difficult for the settlers to get to
these places, as most of them owned only ox teams. The roads were mere
trails cut through the woods with stumps cut off as close to the ground
as possible. The roads through the swamps were called corduroy roads, in
which logs, of which these roads were constructed, floated loosely during
the spring thaws.
The Bethel Lutheran Church was the first church
to be organized in Green Valley. The Rev. E.J. Homme was the first pastor,
and conducted the first service on August 25, 1873. Three children were
baptized at that service: Ottelia Rockman, Amelia Winquest, and Johanna
Smith. The first Board of Trustees was Fred Pipgrass, Sr., Nels Berner
and Ole Isaacson. Mr. Isaacson also led the singing in the church and was
the first Deacon.
The first time the settlers gathered to vote,
they assembled in the Pipgrass schoolhouse. This school and the Pulcifer
school were the two oldest schoolhouses in the township. In 1875 a log
schoolhouse was built at Advance. It was erected on the site of the present
Methodist church. The teacher was Ed. Dropp.
The little community known as Advance was begun
in 1892 when Andrew Wagner built the first general store there. It was
he who named the settlement "Advance".
Julius Wickesberg built the first store in
the southern half of the township, one mile south of Advance, in 1878.
After a year he sold the business to Frederick Reschke.
In 1905 W.H. Bocher started a hardware store
in Advance, which he has since remodeled and expanded until today it is
equal to any hardware store found in the larger cities.
Richard Dickson built and operated the first
cheese factory at Advance, after which Martin Larsen took over the business.
To John Heiser goes the distinction of owning
the first automobile in the Town of Green Valley - a Buick, considered
a real luxury in those days.
The line for the first railroad through the
town was surveyed in 1907, and the first trains passed through in the spring
of 1908. After the coming of the railroad the community began to build
The first big industry was the sawmill operated
by George Meyer.
These were exciting days for the people living
along the river when the big log drives took place in the spring. The Holt
Lumber Company and the Oconto Company sent their logs down the river. The
pulpwood went to Oconto Falls, and the logs for lumber to Oconto.
The historic stage coach holdup, and adventure
that kept the community in high tension for some days, took place about
three-fourths of a mile north of Pulcifer. A man named Reimondt Holtze,
who had come from Germany to help his uncle, staged the daring holdup when
the mail coach was on its way to Pulcifer, having first shot the horse
in order to stop the vehicle. He then grabbed the mail pouch and ran into
the woods. The next day he helped the posse look for the robber. Henry
Bergner was a passenger on the mail coach at the time it was held up.
Some of the old settlers in the Town of Green
Valley were: James Dickson, who homesteaded 12 forties of land; Fred Pipgrass,
Sr.; Peter Jensen, Peter Anderson, A. Winquest, O.A. Risum, Hans Henning,
Andrew Johnson, Claus Mealson, Ole Hansen, Theodore and Halver Anderson,
Andrew Vang, Charles and Emil Lorenz, Christ Rasmussen, Sevron Olson, Martin
Christiansen, Halver Isaacson, D.H. Pulcifer, August Wickesberg, John Maas,
Sr., J. Horsens, Bert and Halver Anderson, Louis Bergner, Oscar Schwartz,
Albert Zenk, Peter Rockman, P. White, L.S. Lindsay, Peter Wagner, Sr.,
Torkal Engelbretson, Bernard Lorenz, Ellef Olson, Sr., Lars Olsen, Lars
Schumann, Elmore Lee, J. Home, John Knoener, Bert Hansen, John Barkey,
Martin Anderson, John Wendling, John Smith, Elmore Lee, Nils Bergner, Lars,
Mads, Ed and Simon Isaacson, Theo. Anderson, Hans Paulson, Andrew Nelson,
Fred Berg, Carl Franz, Chris Knoener. All of these families settled in
Green Valley before 1874.
In 1875 and before 1878 came Wm. Plier, John
Reinheimer, George Kurtz, August Kobs, Wilson Herning, Henry Miller, Reinhold
Miller, Dexter Porter and Henry Stark.
Information furnished by:
Mrs. J.P. Herning,
Cecil, Route 1.