VILLAGE OF TIGERTON --  Tigerton was incorporated as a village in the year 1894.
The first railroad, The Lake Shore, was built through there between 1870-1880, reaching as far north as Eland in 1880.

It was about that time that Newbold and Livingston built the first sawmill. Livingston started the first grocery store in Tigerton, and Newbold built a hotel which stood until 1921 when it was torn down and the beautiful Swanke home, now a community hospital, was erected on those grounds. Newbold represented New York capital.

One of the first four families to come to Tigerton in 1880 was the Leitzke family. Mr. Leitzke started the first blacksmith shop in the town and it was located right in back of the Livingston Grocery Store.

John McDevitt, another pioneer, bought land and built a hotel and saloon. The first saloon on record was started in a tent in an alley back of the Hoffman Hotel.

The first school in Tigerton was built in 1881 on the lot between the bank and the former Swanke home. Mr. Brotasen was the first teacher in that school.

In the early days of Tigerton, Grundy and Brigham erected a Veneer Mill where the canning factory formerly operated. George Tatterson, the town's first barber, worked in this mill. The sawmill and veneer mill, later purchased by Wall, Spalding and Company, burned down in later years. Murdock and Gjermundson once operated a kindling factory on the Siefeldt corner.

The first Catholic settlers in Tigerton were John McCormick, Michael Brahan, John Maslann, M. Schumacher, John McDevitt, and John Way. Services were held at the Schumacher home by the Rev. Father Richard of Wausau in 1881. Then Father St. Louis came from Phlox and then the Rev. Father Peter Lochman from Clintonville.

From 1882 until 1883 the pastor from Clintonville attended the mission, but in the latter years it was associated with the parish of Aniwa. Father Lochman was succeeded by Rev. Father John Seubert, Father A. Belle, and Father B. Hugenroth. In 1881 the Rev. Father Richard made preparation for the erection of a church 20x40 feet. It was completed in 1884 and stood on the corner where the John Meyer home stood.

On July 2, 1882, the Rev. Purncer of Wittenberg, held the first services for St. John's Lutheran church, and on September 22, 1895, their first resident pastor, the Rev. A.O. Engel, was installed. The congregation outgrew the little church, and in 1903 the beautiful brick structure they now occupy was erected.

Zion celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1942. Their first pastor was the Rev. M. Schneider. When that congregation built its new church in 1903, Herman Swanke donated the lumber for it.

Herman Swanke, who brought the sawmill to Tigerton, a man of whom Tigerton can be justly proud, was the oldest of a family of six children. He was kept away from school more than his brothers and sisters, and at the age of eight years was following a plow. The Swankes had a large farm and at the age of twelve young Swanke received twenty-five cents a day working during harvest time. He remained at home until others could take his place.

At the age of seventeen Mr. Swanke started out for himself. Being desirous of seeing more of the country, he went west and traveled through Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas and Montana. He once served on the police force in Omaha and Council Bluffs. On his return to Wisconsin he started in the threshing business which he continued until 1885 when he came north and located. He had been north previously in connection with railroad business, cutting out right-of-ways and other work. On coming to Tigerton in 1885, he embarked in the lumber business and was one of a company of four who at a cost of $300.00, built a sawmill in Tigerton.

Tigerton was then a wilderness with but a few settlers. Mr. Swanke not only saw the community "grow up", but was instrumental in its development.

When the mill burned down it was rebuilt at a cost of $10,000.00. Mr. Swanke was also interested in a mill at Whitcomb and at the "Old Mill Dam." These mills were disposed of and, in 1910 the mill in Tigerton was remodeled and enlarged.

In 1921 Mr. Swanke built the beautiful and impressive brick residence on the river. However, he only lived a little over a year to enjoy his new home. Mr. Swanke passed away March 13, 1923. Today, that beautiful home has been converted into the Tigerton Community Hospital. The Swanke sons have carried on their father's business.

John Lehman was the first president of the Village of Tigerton. The first Tigerton post office was located on the corner where Fred Kersten lives, and the first postmistress was Mrs. Murdock, grandmother of Rex Murdock.

In 1899, the First National Bank building, that is now the post office, was erected. Chas. Wojahn was cashier and Delia Russell, assistant cashier. The new bank building was erected in 1921.

The Village Hall was erected in 1905, with a hall and library upstairs, and the Fire Department downstairs.

A canning factory was built in 1926, giving employment to women.

The Tigerton High School was completed in 1919 at a cost of $16,400.00.

It is said that Tigerton has never gone thirsty as there has always been from six to nine saloons in the village.

Today, Tigerton is a prosperous and busy village. It has many fine business enterprises, beautiful homes, good schools and churches, and is peopled by civic-minded men and women.

From History Written by:
Mrs. L.C. Buchsieb
Tigerton
 

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UPDATED 22 APR 2001