Bio: Spry, Lloyd L. (1957)


Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Spry, Garbisch, Kintzele, Tischer, Prange, Trindal, Winn, Wallek, Jahr, Hemp, Amidon, Davis, Lombard, Williams, Schoengarth 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) November 14, 1957 

Spry, Lloyd L. (1957) 

Did you know that Lloyd L. Spry moved to the Granton area in 1899 traveling by train via Babcock, Pittsville and Romadka, lived in a log cabin for many years, took an active part in hunting and baseball as a young man, and has had a lifetime desire to travel in Europe.  

He was born on Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1899, in Richland County.  In the fall of that year he came to Clark County with his parents, W. J. Spry and Ida, locating north of Granton in the Romadka area.  At that time Granton was a community only three years of age, and there was no road from Romadka to Granton, the only highway into Romadka being a trail from Loyal. 

There was, however, a spur of the Milwaukee railroad running as far north as Romadka, and it was over this railway that the Sprys made their entry into Clark County. 

"The railroad," said Mr. Spry, "ran as far north as what is now the Ben Garbisch farm and what is now County Trunk ‘H’."  There was no depot at Romadka, but the spur of the Milwaukee road was extended that far north in order to bring out timber that was then being cut by large lumber outfits. 

Mr. Spry’s father made arrangements for the purchase of timber land in Romadka through John Kintzele, who was then representing the Nast Lumber Company, and the Milwaukee Railroad. This land was maiden timber, and logs were cut for construction of a log cabin and a log barn, into which the W. J. Spry family moved.  On December 31, 1900, a brother, Phelps, was born to the pioneer Spry family. 

"There was a school house in Romadka," Mr. Spry recalled, "located about 80 rods east of the present school. Boys only went to school in the winter months, so it took them additional years to complete an eighth grade course.  Many of them were mature young men before graduating." 

The Spry family resided in the original log cabin until 1912, when they moved south to a farm purchased from Carl Tischer, a farm which also included a log house and log barn; but upon which more farm improvements had been made. A frame house was erected on this farm in 1915, and in 1916 County Trunk "H" was constructed near this property. 

In 1918 the Spry family moved to Granton, where three children, a boy and two girls, were born.  In 1917 Mr. Spry took an automobile course at Detroit, Mich., and in 1918 he entered into a partnership with Harold Garbisch in a garage which they operated for two years.  In 1921 he married Hildegarde Prange, to which union four children were born. 

In 1921, Mr. Spry, in partnership with his brother, Phelps, and his father, purchased a bankrupt feed mill and elevator from American Co-operative. This mill was powered by a gasoline engine that ground grist two days each week.  It was sold to O. W. Trindal of Loyal in 1928; and in 1929, Lloyd, Phelps and their father purchased the farmers Co-operative Feed Mill in Chili, which since 1931 has been under the management of Phelps Spry. 

The Byrl F. Winn elevator was purchased in Granton in 1931 by the firm of W. J. Spry & Son, and has been managed since that time by Lloyd.  After World War II, Lloyd’s son, Robert, was added to the firm.  

Mr. Spry’s first wife died in 1931 and in 1936 he married Violet Wallek. One child was born to them.  

In 1921, Lloyd was called to community service, serving for 15 years as village treasurer; eight years (from 1936-1944) as director of the school board; president of the village from 1945 to 1957; and as trustee of the village in 1944 and 1945.   

A disastrous fire in Granton in 1924 destroyed the Al Jahr-Bill Hemp General Store, the George Amidon drug store, the Hale and Lew Davis Hardware store, and Lombard brothers barber shop. The fire started from a blowtorch.  The entire business block was destroyed. 

In 1926, Mr. Spry was selected fire chief, and during this 10-year period Granton employed the old cart system, "bucket-brigade," and three pressure tanks which generated pressure by use of acid and soda.  No bad fire was experienced during this period; but in 1936 a modern, fire-fighting truck was purchased by the village. 

During his term as president of Granton, Mr. Spry saw a sewage system established, curb and gutter added to the downtown area, the old worn-out sidewalks replaced with concrete, and the streets blacktopped.  
In 1938 he and Henry Williams were appointed as a committee to represent the village of Granton in an interview with Clark County Judge O. W. Schoengarth to work out a program of perpetual care of the Windfall Cemetery at Granton.  Authority was granted to include, on all deeds drawn after that date, a guarantee of perpetual care for cemetery lots. 

A member of Granton’s first businessmen’s organization, Mr. Spry was a charter member of the Rotary club, a member of the Moose Lodge at Neillsville, and an active worker in the Granton Community Church, which more recently has been operated as a Methodist Church. 

"I should have established a finance agency in Granton in 1928," says Mr. Spry.  "I should have spent more time hunting and fishing, and I should have been more active in sports.  Yes, I should have made that European trip long before this; but I’ve been busy and happy, and hope to remain that way for many years to come." 



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