History: Oak Vale School, Hixon Township
Contact: Helen Vater Blaha
Email: feasantman@pcpros.net

----Sources: Transcribed from a 21-page booklet entitled MEMORY TRAILS, printed and bound by John Isaacs Printing, Withee, WI. Mrs. Vieno (Nieminen) Keskimaki collected and edited the articles, 1962. No copyright indicated. On the contents page thanks are given to the Owen-Withee PTA; Page 5:


Oak Vale -- Lone Oak, by Mrs. Harry Baehr

Harry Baehr’s grandfather, Otto Baehr came from Germany. His father, Carl Baehr was one of the early settlers of the Lone Oak area. Their farm north of 29 is more than 80 years old. Other early settlers were Frank Swenke on the Rogalski farm, August Hoffler on the Anthony Jarocki place and Archie Goodwin on Chris Klays. According to "Biographical History of Clark and Jackson Co., copyright 1891--"Mr. Goodwin was a noted hunter. He settled on the farm in 1878. He has killed not less than 20 deer each fall for the past twelve years and has also killed about fifty or more bear since he settled on his present place".

Four logging camps were located near by in 1901. One half mile west of Lone Oak, another one and a half miles north on the Leon Marek farm, one on Ted Klabons and another on Carl Millers. There was a spur on the railroad north of Lone Oak. It ran south for some 26 miles. On Vernon Baehr’s land, Owen Lumber Co. and Northwestern had a depot where cordwood, bolts and logs were loaded.

The Lone Oak cheese factory was built in 1916, the store in 1918, by Louis Horn. This corner was known as Horn’s Corner for many years.

The school district was originally combines with the Frenchtown district. In 1891 a log school was built one half mile east of Lone Oak on 29. This was known at the Baehr School. Bertha Vancott taught there. A new frame school was built in 1906 to replace the log building. Elsie Brown taught this school. In 1912 this district became independent of the Frenchtown district.

The new Oak Vale school was built in 1923. The old frame building was moved to the N.E. corner of O and 29 and remodeled into living quarters. Chris Backe’s father, Carl, occupied this home when he returned from a ten years stay in Texas in 1928. The building still stands.

Due to very small enrollment Oak Vale closed in 1952 and pupils went to Withee. It was permanently closed in 1954. Part of the district joined Pineland the remainder Owen-Withee. The building is now know as Kingdom Hall owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

(transcriber's note: The 1920 Hixon plat map shows Oak Vale School on Harry Baehr land in Section 31 along what is now Highway X.)



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