News: Worden (History - 13 Feb 1958)
Surnames: Tobola, Samulson, Baumgarten, Banderob, Clark, Meyer, Schultz, Koplien, Boie, Hansen, Banderob, Gorman, Brown, Dueysen, Bork, Henning, Moen, Lucksen, Foley, Kuehl, Bochouse, Schultze, Haas, Blunk, Worden, Verkuilen, Kienholz, Braun, Berg, Gibbs, Slater, Fillman, Baldeschwiler
----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., Wis.) 02/13/1958
(By Mary Tobola, age 11, Grade 6 - apparently written back in the 1920’s)
What is now known as the Town of Worde when Clark County was organized was all included and described as the Town of Thorp. About the years of 1880 - 1885 some settlers commenced to settle on what was then called the Northern Wilderness. The only road that could be called a road was what is now known as the Clark County Trunk Hwy running through town from east to west, commencing between Section 1 - 12, which was then known as Green Bay Trail or Military Road, the rest of the roads were merely blazed trails through the woods, over stumps and roots and windfalls. Among the first ones that were brave enough to face the hardships of a new country were the following: O. Samulson, F. Baumgarten, H. Banderob, J. Clark, Louis Meyer, H. Schultz, J. Koplien, J. Boie, Wm. Hansen, A. Banderob, S. Gorman, Chas. Brown, O. Brown, J. Dueysen, Frank Bork, A. Henning, O.E. Moen, J. Lucksen, G. Lucksen, M. Foley, J. Kuehl, L. Bochouse. At that time there were no churches or creameries in town. In the fall of 1893 some of the most prominent settlers signed a petition to the County Board, with the result of a new town being organized. The new one was named Worden, after an old homesteader and Civil War Veteran, Zeph Worden, who lived on what is now known as section thirty-six., Town of Thorp. He was also active in local and county politics. In the spring of 1894 the town held it first election in the schoolhouse now known and described as Joint District No. 2 or Fisher’s School. The first town officers were elected as follows: O. Samulson, Chairman; John Duepson, Supervisor; Henry Schultze, Clerk; Casper Haas, Treasurer; John Blunk, Assessor. The progress of the town seemed to be faster from then on. The town of Worden is located in the west tier of townships in Clark county and it is described on records as Township 28, Range 4 west. The north fork of the Eau Claire River flows through the town from north to south and forms the draining stream of the district, and the Wolf River cuts in on the west side. There are also a number of small streams and spring creeks which drain in the above named rivers. At present there are seven school districts in the Town of Worden, four of which are joint districts, the number of children of school age is 405 and the population according to the 1920 census is 1,031. To show the increase in population we state that in 1900, or twenty years ago, the population was only 684, and in 1910, 976. Slow but sure on account being nearest to town and railroad, also graded roads, the north and east part were the first to settle. At present it is pretty evenly populated, with the exception of the extreme south tier of sections which, on account of the distance from towns were somewhat neglected, but the settlers are coming in fast. Taking the last census as a basis, the average population per square mile is about 29. The surrounding towns are as follows: Town of Thorp on the north, Town of Butler on the south, Town of Reseburg on the east and Town of Edson, Chippewa Co., on the west. Although all the neighboring towns, with the exception of Butler, have larger populations than Worden, taken as a whole the Town of Worden can point with pride to its fine gravel roads, well built up farms with big red barns and round silos and herds of dairy cattle. The valuation of real and personal property for 1920 was $1,570,300. The main business of the town is dairy farming, the seven cheese factories located in different parts of the town taking care of the milk produced by surrounding farms. Some cheese makers also run stores in connection with the factory. There is no creamery in town at present, but some factories are delivering cram to creameries located outside of the town. There is one pea vinery located in the west central part of town, also one church of Brethren, more commonly known as the Dunkard Church. The Town of Worden has been fortunate indeed to have for its officers men of ability, Mr. O. Samulson, the first chairman of the town is a well-known and respected farmer and served as chairman of the town of Worden for eight years, County Supervisor of Assessor’s, six years, School Clerk of District No. 7, nineteen years. The latter office is held by Mrs. Samulson at present. Mr. Samulson also helped to organize the Stanley Dairy & Warehouse Co., of which he is secretary, also, the Stanley Equity Exchange. Mr. John Verkuilen, who came to Worden after the town was organized, served as Town officer for twenty-two years, three as supervisor, six as assessor and fifteen years as chairman, including the last ten as a chairman of the County Board. He is assemblyman from Clark County.
The late Henry Schultze, elected as town clerk, served twenty four or five years and may have been serving yet if he had not died. The present town board although composed of newly elected men, they are all up to date, wide awake, public spirited citizens, well able to take care of town affairs. They are lined up as follows: D. Kienholz, chairman; H. Brown, supervisor; A. Berg, clerk; F. Gibbs, treasurer; V.N. Slater, assessor, Mr. Fillman, supervisor. Mr. Berg, our present clerk, also for a number of years as treasurer, getting the office of clerk after the late Mr. Schultze’s death. In early days there were a number of sawmills in town. One was in section thirty-two, and one in section twenty, known as the Goshaw and Hammon, also A. Baldeschwiler’s mill, which is still sawing.
As the woods and sawmills moved out the big dairy and cheese factories moved in. As state above, the main products are dairy, such as milk, cream and cheese. In late years there is a great deal of canning peas raised, which is a good cash crop on the farms. The cattle are mostly the diary type, the Holsteins being the most popular and the Guernseys right after. Farmers in general are of the "get up and go" kind. To sum it all up and not wishing to boast, it is hardly a generation ago since the town was nothing but green virgin forest or a tract here and there of big pine stumps. The blazed trails through the woods, slowly turned into a turnpike and now into a broad graded and graveled road, slovenly oxen and cart replaced, first by horses and now the swiftly running automobile. The herds of deer roaming in the woods and other wild game are the thing of the past, and in its place there are herds of fine dairy cattle and horses. The log cabin and the log stable can only be seen here and there as relics of the old time. In their place we see the up to date homes and big red barns and round silos. We of the younger generation can never realize the courage of our first pioneers who with nothing but maybe an old shotgun an axe and maybe an old shotgun, and axe and maybe an old yoke of oxen, which if they have considered themselves fortunate. Let us not forget the women who accompanied their mates and without whom our town would not be what it is today. Looking over our lists of first settlers we will note that during the time our town was progressing, some of them have passed to the great beyond while some have retired to live in town and out of the long list before us we can just pick out three that came and stayed and are still active on their original farms today, O. Samulson, John Boie, and John Kuehl. As stated formerly, Mr. Samulson has served in public life practically all of his lifetime, not for profit but just gave his best to be of service to his fellow men. Mr. Boie also, even though losing his helpmate in his early days has raised a fine family and developed one of the best farms in our town. Mr. Kuehl, although somewhat grouchy, nevertheless was always ready with a helping hand to help his neighbor. It is the men of that caliber, it’s the men with the "stick to it" qualities that pave the way where the paving is hard. Such were the first settlers and though horny handed and yet tender hearted and every ready to lend a helping hand. It is such men that can be called backbone of the nation. The least we can do now is carry the good work on so "Let’s Carry on."
(Editor’s note - And time marches on. The little 11 year old girl who wrote the above history in a contest, is now twice grandmother. Her father, who assisted her is the mayor of Thorp. All settlers mention above have passed away.)
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