Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin

by Mabel Schlender Jonkel

Contributed by Sarah Poertner

transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Michelle Harder.


*Mr. And Mrs. Hill and family lived on the farm in the interim bewteen the Wiggins and Babcock ownership. The four Hill children attended Columbia school. Nora married Robert Moser of Columbia. They lived in Neillsville where Robert was a section foreman.

*Mr. And Mrs. E.B. Starrett and family came in 1904, building a nice home a mile and a half south of Columbia. He had been a banker in Elgin, Illinois, moving to the country for health reasons. His sons, Arthur and Williiam, did the clearing and farm work. Mr. Starrett was a Baptist and active in church work. He was Sunday School Superintendant several years. Of two daughters, Grace was at home and Florence was secretary for David C. Cook publishing Comppany in Elgin, Illinois. William left the farm when he inherited his uncle's large tool manufacturing company in Massachusetts. Soon after the family returned to Elgin.

*Mr. And Mrs. Joe Walport, Sr., and family built up and settled a farm two and a half miles from Columbia. Of their five children, Laura married Harry Langdon of Chicago; Anna married Omar Blencoe of Alma Center where they farmed; Joe Jr., worked out and at home part time; Gertrude was graduated from Columbia school, teaching in rural schools after taking a teacher's course. When the parents passed on she moved to Wyoming to take out a claim, proving up on it. Frederick went with her. Later they returned to Wisconsin.

*Vincent Mashin was born in Czechoslovakia in 1869, coming to Chicago in his youth to work on the railroad. He married in 1894. In 1904 they came to Columbia developing a nice farm five miles west. Of their four children, Anna spent the winters in Chicago where she married Orrin Eastman. They farmed in Pine Valley. George worked at various jobs and part time on the farm. He married a girl from Iowa and they bought the former Bohumel Tykac farm where they now live. He also worked for the county. Edward married and lived in Humbird where he had a welding shop. Albert married Thelma Hake of Neillsville where they live. When Mrs. Mashin passed on in 1932, Mr. Mashin sold the farm to Mike Potucek. He then lived with his daughter, Anna on a farm six miles east of Columbia. He was a resident of Clark county for forty-four years.

*Mr. And Mrs. Robert Lawrence and son, High, came from Elgin, Illinois, in 1904. They had been in the store business. At Columbia they bought acreage one mile south of Columbia. They also bought the Dewhurst school which had been closed when it consolidated with the Columbia school. The building was moved to the main road and it made a very nice home. They also built up a fine dairy farm. The famliy was active in church and Sunday School. Mr. Lawrence was active in town and school offices. Hugh attended Neillsville high school. After selling the farm in 1909 they bougth a dairy farm in Fond du Lac where they had a milk route with deliveried to he city residents. The Columbia farm had tenants for several years until the building was removed and the county made it a tree farm.

*Mr. And Mrs. Adam Rice of Racine bought the Helling place one mile north of Columbia. After farming several years the home burned and they returned to Racine.

*Mr. And Mrs. Bitoff purchased the acreage and built a home. After several years they returned to Racine. Of a number of tenants on the place, *Mr. and Mrs. Frank Christmas lived there two years. Here the *Babcocks lived for eight months after their home burned. They moved to Hixton. Homer Wood and Dan Dormany and famliies lived there for some time. There were others until *Paul Youkor of Sydney bought the house, tearing it down for lumber.




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