Village of Granton
A Little Town that Does Big Things
Long Stretches of Rich Farms in Every Direction
For a small town, Granton is one of the biggest places in the universe. It may be small in size and population, hut there is no limit to Its hopes and its ambitions, and there are huge dimensions to the things it has already accomplished.
On the banks of O’Neill creek, on the main line of the Omaha railroad between Chicago and Minneapolis, nestled in between gentle hills on either side, it is as pretty a little village as one wants to see. it is between Neillsville and Marshfield, the metropolis of an adjoining county, and has two hotels, a bank, three general stores, a drug store, a furniture store, a harness shop, a cheese factory, a heading mill, a Methodist church and two German Lutheran churches close to town, two automobile garages and a repair shop, three hardware stores, two doctors, one dentist, a livery barn, feed mill and elevator, a lumber yard and an opera house.
Postmaster at Granton and firm Believer that it is the "Best Little Town in the Best County in the Whole World!"
And there is the Granton News, the best equipped newspaper office in any town of its size in the world.
Eli Williams was the first settler in around where Granton is now situated. He came from Pennsylvania in 1856 and his descendants are still living where he located. J. D. Wage was the next comer, also from Pennsylvania, and then Levi Marsh, all of whom took up war claims, of 80 or 160 acres each, and in 1857 came Nelson Marsh with his family from the east and the following year Sylvester (Vet) Marsh from heaven, the first white child born in that part of the county. He was the Son of Nelson Marsh, who the year before had come through by way of Sparta with ox team cutting a road through the trackless forest. Gotlieb Garbisch came soon afterwards, the ancestor of several families of that name still prominent in the community.
Nelson Marsh located about a quarter mile east of the present site of Granton and established a farm and tavern and stopping place on the aid stage route from Neillsville to Stevens Point which was established in 1858. There was a post office in his house, Mapleworks by name, although it should have been Maplewoods, the chirography of the early settlers being deciphered wrong by the postal authorities at Washington. The stage route was maintained until the railroad came through in 1891 and on the old maps of the county Mapleworks is one of the two or three places marked in Clark County.
The 60 acre farm which is now the village site of Granton belonged to T. D. Wage and when the railroad wanted a tract for a depot, his terms were such as to make the railroad people think them unreasonable, and plans were made to build the depot half a mile further east. Vet Marsh and some others remonstrated with Wage and finally bought his sixty acres, induced the road to come back and build the depot where it now is, and platted the village which has grown and prospered ever since.
The Home of Sylvester L. "Vet" Marsh.
Charles Cornelius, now one of the leading bankers in the county, came to Mapleworks in 1875 from Sheboygan county and bought the store which had been started by Fred Walker of Plainfield three years before, and ran it until he was elected register of deeds in 1885 and started the successful career which has made him a commanding figure in Clark County history.
Congressman W. T. Price, an old character and one of whom old timers tell many interesting anecdotes, was the principal logger in the early days, although John Paul later was quite widely known as an operator.
D. Barker built the first store in the village proper soon after it was platted, the store now occupied by P. J. Kemmeter. Several buildings were moved from Mapleworks to the new town site. W. H. Butler and H. A. Knorr, the latter still a resident of the village, built the store building now occupied by the Witte Cash store. John Trimberger built the first structure in the village on the site of the Eagle Hotel.
The Business Men’s Association of Granton organized a few months ago has given the world an example of community co-operation and enterprise in buying, maintaining and operating a moving picture show. The opera house was rented for a year and shows put on twice a week to which the farmers are invited, it has been a profitable venture and whenever any surplus results, free shows or high class shows at moderate prices, will be given, the business men disclaiming any idea of running the show for profit. They have installed an electric lighting plant and bought a picture machine and get the best reels twice weekly from the Chicago exchanges.
The officers of the Business Men’s club are P. J. Kemmeter, president; H. C. Witte, vice-president; Albert Jahr, treasurer; G. E. Amidon, secretary. There are about forty members including practically every merchant in the town.
The heading and stave mill is an institution which has continued year after year and promises to continue indefinitely. It has a capacity of about 1000 cords of bolts each season and is a great help to the farmers in the vicinity in providing profitable work during the dull winter months. It runs a day and night shift of ten or twelve men each, it has been run continuously for 22 years, which is probably a record for a plant of that sort.
The Farmers State Bank probably does the biggest business of any bank in the state with a capital stock of $10,000. The deposits range from $175,000 to $200,000 and the business done for the wealthy farmers in the vicinity would put to shame many an institution which is more pretentious in the larger cities.
Farm of H. O. Huckstead, Town of Grant.
Some of Louis Emil Reinhold Moh's Pure Breds.
Residence on the Winfield Scott Davis Farm, Granton.
Amidon's Drug Store, Granton.
THE GRANTON NEWS
By G. F. Grassie, Neillsville
With diffidence to his profession, the editor of the Granton News and the publisher of this special Clark County edition, demurred at having any publicity in regard to himself or his paper in this issue, but his associate, his better half and close friends insisted that he come in for a share of the glory. For a decade or more he has been slowly but surely plugging for Clark County and is just now getting his stride. During the next few years, you are likely to hear from Publisher Baer as an enthusiast when it comes to promoting and developing and exploiting Clark County, the heart of Wisconsin. The zenith alone is the limit to his ambitions.
As evidence that he is even now known as a progressive and pushing printer, a man who has done things which no other man in the country has done, bought and operated a linotype machine in a print shop in a town of less than 500 people, read the following write-up from The Publishers Auxiliary, the “most thoroughly read paper in America” Gentle reader, meet Mr. Baer:
The accompanying illustrations show the home of the Granton (Wis.) News, a portion of the up-to- date printing plant and F. J. Baer, owner and publisher, who has made an unusual record in conducting a newspaper in a town of less than 500 population.
About ten years ago Mr. Baer started in business at Granton, having at that time, as he puts it, “no money, but a lot of ambition.” He borrowed enough money to purchase an old newspaper outfit, which was installed in a small dark basement room, and began publishing the News. The facts that he was in a small town and that there were ten other healthy newspapers being published in Clark County did not dampen the ardor of Editor Baer, He applied sound business principles in all dealings and mapped out a campaign of bard work for himself.
Today Mr. Baer owns the two-story concrete building occupied by the News, a fine residence, a modern printing plant and an automobile, all of which is clear of debt. It has always been a hobby of Editor Bear to have a model equipment for the News, particularly as he does all of the work himself, with only the assistance of his wife in gathering local news. This ambition has been realized and the plant of the News, including linotype, Walter Scott news paper press, 10x15 jobber, newspaper folder, perforator, stapling machine, automatic punch, paper cutter and two gasoline engines, is equal to equipment found in towns many times the size ot Granton. A short time ago an official of the United States census bureau called on Mr. Baer and told him that he had been in thousands of country newspaper offices but had never found so complete and modern a plant as that of the News in a town of less than 500.
The News is a model weekly newspaper, neat typographically, with a substantial paid-up subscription list. It is liberally patronized by local business men and makes a strong feature of country correspondence. In size it is a six-column eight-page paper, using Printed Newspaper Service supplied by the Milwaukee off ice of the Western Newspaper Union.
Mr. Baer’s success with the Granton News is a striking example of what grit, perseverance and an ambition to “get there” will do when properly applied, and his achievements should be an inspiration to every small town ‘newspaper publisher.”
Amidon, C. B.. Drugs. [Advertisement]
Baer, F. J., Publisher.
Beaver, George, Saloon.
Bergeman, Gust. H., Hotel.
Badl, J. H., Harness.
Connor, R. Co., Lumber Yard.
Davis H. F., Hardware.
Farmers State Bank. [Advertisement]
Finnigan, .James, Blacksmith.
Finnigan, Chester, Garage.
Grassman Henry, Blacksmith.
Hammler Bros.., Furniture.
Jahr Bros., General Store.
Kemmeter P. J., General Store & Heading Mill.
Knorr & Rausch, Garage.
Knickle E. H., Garage. [Advertisement]
Lautenbach, August, Hardware.
Peterson, O. A., Cheese Factory
Rahm Bros. & Winn, Feed Store.
Reichert, Alvin, Photographer.
Reichert, F. W., Jeweler.
Rath, H. H., Physician.
Ross, P. M., Physician.
Rose, H. L., Dentist.
Rose, George J., Livery
Storm, William, Saloon.
Hart, Fred, Meats.
Thayer, . J.. Hardware.
Wagner, Herman, Saloon.
Witte, H. C., General Store.