St. Mary's Catholic
Colby, Mayville and Hixon were
all authorized by orders of the county board on the
same day - Nov. 12, 1873. They all were organized and
held their first town meetings on the first Tuesday
of April, 1874.
of Colby took its name from the railway station on the
Wisconsin Central Railway, which had been built through
that country a short time before, and the station was
named for Gardner L. Colby, father of Charles L. Colby,
who was so long identified with the railway.
McBride's History of Clark County, WI.
Birthplace of the World Famous Colby
At his father's
cheese factory about one mile south and one mile west
of here, Joseph F. Steinwand in 1885 developed a new
and unique type of cheese. He named it for the township
in which his father, Ambrose Steinwand, Sr., had built
northern Clark County's first cheese factory three years
before. The town had taken its name from Gardner Colby,
whose company built the Wisconsin Central railroad through
here. Colby is a mild, soft, moist cheese. Its taste
became known in the neighboring areas and an 1898 issue
of the "Colby Phonograph" noted that "A merchant in
Phillips gives as one of the 13 reasons why people should
trade with him, that he sells the genuine Steinwand
Colby Cheese." After the turn of the century this area
became one of the great cheese producing centers in
the nation and Colby cheese a favorite in countries
the world around.
in Colby, WI.
Steinwand passed on his cheese making
art to his son, Joseph F. Steinwand, who
perfected a washed-curd process which produced
Colby's characteristically mild, pleasant
flavor. His process replaces whey with water
and reduces acidity. It takes slightly
more than a gallon of milk to produce just
1 pound (454g) of cheese.
and City which Wrested the Honors From Herkimer
County, New York
Colby is one
of the thriving towns on the line between
Clark and Marathon Counties, dividing a glance between
them. It has a. population of about 1,000. Formerly
the Marathon county half was called Hull and there
was a lack of harmony which prevented the best development
but a village organization overcame this defect
and now Colby presents a united front in the line
of progress. It Is near the Big Eau Plaine River
one of the Tributaries of the Wisconsin river and
was a station On the old Wisconsin Central, now
the Soo Line— in the early logging days of 1873
and so was a prominent place before some of the
rest of the county was known.
Colby is the Cheese Champion of the world. It was
Battling Nelson who gave that title to one of his
rivals In the field of fisticuffs but that was in
derision, while the championship which ii defended
by the city of Colby is an honor and a profit
worthy of the best localities In the world. From
Herkimer county, New York. was wrested not only
the quality of output of flue cheese but the quantity
too, and now Colby Cheese Is demanded by the
Colby was named after Gardner Colby of Boston
of the Colby-Philips Construction. Company who built
the railroad for the Wisconsin Central company,
of which his son, Charles L. Colby, was president.
R now has an electric light and water plant representing
an investment of $3,000 and which has been In operation
since 1903. There is a good city library.
The present officers are James E. Lyone,
mayor; John Pribnow, treasurer; R. G. Salter, clerk;
Joseph Frane, assessor; H. Reeves, H. A. Krepsky,
E. D. Loos, and Ben Riplinger, aldermen;
H. L. Blanchard, postmaster.
One of the main features
of the town Is Uncle Joel Shafer, who came from
Beaver Dam to the then Colby In 1878, or 1888 no
one can rightly tell which, and with his brother
started a paper and tried to organize a new county
embracing part of Clark, Marathon and Taylor
counties. The movement after a sharp clash of Interests
subsided and left the Shafers stranded in
Colby where they have run their paper, The
Phonograph, ever since,— until the death of
Sam Shafer a number of years ago,
and now run by’ Joel Shafer.— well known
and highly re spouted throughout the state,
the patriarch of newspaper men in Central
Wisconsin and the preceptor of many bright young
journalists who have made their name famous throughout
The Home of Colby
It was at this cheese factory that the
father of the present proprietor, A.
M. Steinwand, first made the product
which today is known thru out the world.
Mr. Steinwand himself has been in the
cheese business 16 years. He is
a director of the Lynn Mutual Fire Insurance
Company and of the Abbotsford Bank and
a member of the firm of Young & Steinwand,
agents for Overland Cars at Abbotsford
Source: Granton News,
"Clark County the Heart of Wisconsin"