ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin

Miscellaneous set


Farmer Taken for $25

Watertown Gazette, 06 21 1901


A young farmer residing in the vicinity of Watertown had a somewhat queer experience while enroute to Juneau last Saturday.  It appears that he got in with a stranger on the train who induced him to lend him $25 with the understanding that he would pay it back as soon as he reached Juneau.  The stranger also agreed to pay the young man $1 for the use of the money.  When they reached Juneau the stranger was nowhere to be seen.  The young man mourned the loss of his $25.  While walking about the park Sunday afternoon the young man noticed the smooth stranger in company with others, one of whom was operating a “shell game.”  He promptly tackled him for his money, but before he could get him one of the bystanders grabbed him and held him until the fellow got away.  Marshal Peters was summoned but before he arrived the gang had left the grounds and could not be found.


Immanuel Hake

Watertown Gazette, 11 15 1901


Dimmed vision that inevitably follows old age caused Immanuel Hake his life, death following after several hours of intense suffering from kicks received from a vicious horse.


The dead man was a farmer living south of Jefferson, and despite the fact that he knew the animal was dangerous when closely approached, and that his impaired sight might lead him by mistake into too close contact with the brute, he failed to take the precaution that ended in his death.


His head was literally pawed into pieces.


While working with the horse in the field, it suddenly turned upon him, and repeatedly rearing itself upon its hind legs, struck forward with heavily, iron-shod forefeet, hitting Hake in the face each time.  Hake seemed utterly powerless to move before being knocked down, and then unable to get up, he lapsed into unconsciousness from the terrible battering he received.


Life was not extinct when he was found in the field, but death resulted shortly after his removal to his home.  His face was cut and bruised, his jaw fractured and internal injuries sustained.


Northwestern Beagle Club

Watertown Gazette, 11 08 1901


Twenty-six beagle dogs were entered on Tuesday at the inaugural field trials of the Northwestern Beagle Club of America at Camp McKinley, four miles southwest of this city.  Dr. H. A. Gillingham, of Sheboygan, and Louis Steffen, of Brookfield, are the judges.  Each beagle entered was 15 inches high and under, and was accompanied with an extended pedigree, which, with the entrance fee of $5, entitled the owner to have his dog take part in the trials.  A large number of sportsmen witnessed the trials.  One lady entered her pet beagle for the trials.  Prizes will be awarded Thursday afternoon.


Candle-GIo Motel

Watertown Daily Times, 12 23 1964


Watertown’s newest motel, Olp’s Candle-GIo Motel, located at 1200 North Fourth Street and Highways 16 and 109, is now open for business and a grand opening is being planned later, the operators, Vee and Al Olp announced today.  The coffee shop, which is not yet quite completed, will be ready for its opening soon, Mr Olp said.


Mrs. Emma Jaeger

Watertown Daily Times, 12 09 1901


In the absence of Mrs. Emma Jaeger from her rooms in the Buchheit Block in the Third Street yesterday, a thief entered her apartments and took cash in the amount of $23 with him when he left.  The theft was not discovered until Mrs. Jaeger returned home last night and the police were notified.  Entrance to the building was effected from the third floor escape.  Nothing else in the rooms was disturbed, the thief confining his depredations to the cash box.  The money was in a bureau drawer, the key to which was in a pocketbook hidden under the bureau.  The thief found the pocketbook and used the key to open the bureau and then returned the key.  There were several dollars in the pocketbook, but that was not taken.  The police have a clue which may develop into something tangible later on.


Women's Relief Corps

Watertown Republican, 06 22 1898


The members of the Women's Relief Corps and other ladies performed a noble work last evening in giving an ice cream social at the city park, the proceeds of which were donated to Mrs. Mary May, a deserving old lady who is ill and in needing circumstances.  Several pretty booths were arranged and willing hands served the refreshments to the large number of patrons.  The Mandolin orchestra provided music.

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Watertown Republican, 06 29 1898


The next event of importance in the line of entertainment is the war-song concert — an event that is being anticipated with considerable interest, not only for the reason of its expected artistic merit, but for the reason that it is to be given for a most worthy cause, namely, the acquirement of a fund to aid our soldier boys who may be suffering on the fields of battle, and to assist needy families left at home.  The concert is to be given at Turner Opera house, Thursday evening, July 7, under the auspices of the Women's Relief Corps.  A grand mixed chorus of 100 voices is now actively engaged in preparing for the concert, with William Sproesser as director, and from the splendid progress shown at each succeeding rehearsal an entertainment of excellent worth is assured.

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Watertown Republican, 07 06 1898


Tomorrow evening at Turner Opera House the war song under the auspices of the Women's Relief corps will be given.  The effective work done at rehearsals by the large chorus and the well-known ability of the soloists engaged and guarantees that a splendid musical treat may be expected.  However, the merit of the entertainment is only second to the worthy object for which the concert was arranged as an incentive to a liberal patronage.  The seat selling has been thus far most encouraging and we look for a large attendance.

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Watertown Republican, 07 13 1898


A last we can feel that Watertown is on an equal footing with our sister cities in lending noble efforts towards a noble cause, and we can in truth say that last Thursday evening's entertainment, considered minutely or in its entirety, unqualifiedly earned the verdict of well and superbly done.  The good and faithful, loyal and true service to our protecting flag, demonstrated not only their willingness to give time and talent to raise a fund for those who breast a rain of bullets in our stead (who, alas! may soon need a helpful remedy), but attested by their trained voices and enthusiasm that their hearts were attuned to the necessities of the hour and would as readily lend their aid again for a future patriotic feat. . . .  Members of the Women's Relief Corps have reason to be grateful for the abundant assistance offered and the successful termination of the war-song concert.  In closing, a word of commendation should be said for the neat programs and flags souvenirs.


Three times three for dear old Watertown, who comes proudly to the front in our country's crisis with Spain! "Bellum, horridum bellum!"


Fallen from Grace in a Business Way

Watertown Republican, 06 29 1898


Rumors have been current on the streets the past few days concerning a well-known business man of this city, who it is alledged, fallen from grace in a business way. It is claimed he has abused the confidence of others.  No legal steps have so far been taken to apprehend him, but there will be more developments later on.


Buffalo Bill comes to Watertown

07 20 1898


Once for all, and all rumors and reports to the contrary notwithstanding, I beg to most positively assure my comrades, friends, patrons and the press, that wherever and whenever my "Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World" is billed to appear, there will I be also.  That I not only personally direct it as a whole at every production connected therewith, but invariably appear at each and every afternoon and evening performance, conscientiously fulfilling every advertised promise made in my name.  My place has always been at the front; I have not been accustomed to loiter at the rear.  – Buffalo Bill

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Watertown Republican, 06 15 1898


A great attraction is promised for our people in the appearance here on Monday, August 1, of Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows, an agent for which was in town Friday arranging the preliminaries.  Satisfactory arrangements for a license were made with the city authorities and the old circus grounds in the Fifth ward were rented as a place for the exhibition.  The bill-posting and advertising outfits will be along soon and perform their work.

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Watertown Republican, 06 22 1898


One of the advance agents of Buffalo Bill's great Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World is now in the city, making preliminary arrangements for the remarkable exhibition, which is to be given in Watertown on Monday, August 1, and we are thus assured of having at least one show that differs from all the rest and one that is essentially up-to-date in every particular, as Colonel Cody (Buffalo Bill) has organized an entertainment peculiar to itself and thoroughly in touch with the sentiment of the hour, it being "a war show" in every sense of the word.  Among the many nations represented in its military features is a squadron of genuine Cuban insurgents, all of whom have seen active service in the field, and are now on furlough because of wounds unhealed.  Every one of these men has faced the enemy and some of them have lost an arm or leg in conflict, while others have deep cuts slashes and scars from the merciless Machete.

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Watertown Republican, 08 03 1898


A number of crooks came to the city Monday in the wake of Buffalo Bill’s show, and as a result there was some daylight thievings done.  During the parade C .E. Heyn's branch bakery on Third Street was entered through the rear door and while the clerks were out viewing the sight the money drawer was robbed of about $5 in change.  The residence of Mrs. Wilhelmine Bernhardt, at 315 North East street, was also entered and a gold watch and $17 in cash stolen.  No arrests were made.


The Steam Road Roller

Watertown Republican, 06 08 1898


The steam road roller ventured from the seclusion of its house Thursday morning and wended its way toward Clyman and Seventh streets, under the guidance of Engineer Neitzel.  Most of the distance was covered without incident, but when in front of H. T. Eberle's home, 513 Clyman Street, it met with a mishap, one of the rear wheels sinking into the ground about two feet.  The accident was caused by the ground being undermined between the sewer and the surface.  After laboring several hours, a gang of men succeeded in extricating the ponderous machine and it was then taken to its destination, where it was to be employed in smoothing down the ridge left over the water main recently put in on Seventh Street, between Clyman and Western Avenue.  Here, again, the weight of the machine was too great for Mother Earth and two of the wheels buried themselves in a soft spot, from which position the roller was not removed until after midnight.


Albert P. Benke, Florist

1870 - 1944

May 31, 1944


Albert P. Benke, a member of the firm of Loeffler and Benke, florists, died Monday night after a long illness.  His home is at 1130 North Second Street, where the concern’s greenhouses also are located.


Mr. Benke was born in Watertown on Nov. 26, 1870, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Peter Benke.  Early in life he was a cigar maker, working for the Miller Cigar Co. and later for Schlueter Bros., before going into the floral business.  He began with Benke Bros. and later formed the partnership of Loeffler and Benke which became widely known for its extensive greenhouses.


He was married twice. His first wife was Ida Loeffler.  They were married in 1910.  She died in 1921.  In 1930 he married Loretta Clemens Rohr.  She survives, as does a stepson, Edward Rohr, this city.  There are five sisters and four brothers, Mrs. Cecelia Elsner and Mrs. Joseph Muehl, Milwaukee; Mrs. Anna Miller, West Allis; Mrs. Mary Berg, Waukesha; Mrs. Rose Martin, this city; and George, Peter and Henry Benke, this city, and Paul Benke, Hale’s Corners.  One brother, John preceded him in death.


Mr. Benke was a member of St. Henry’s Catholic church, of the Plattdeutscher Verein and Branch 120, Catholic Knights of Wisconsin.


The funeral will be held Thursday morning from the Boyle funeral home, with services at St. Henry’s church.  Burial will be in the Lutheran cemetery.


Cleaning Main Street Sewer

Watertown Republican, 08 24 1898


A force of men is engaged in cleaning Main Street sewer, between First and Fifth streets.  It is the first cleansing process the sewer has undergone for years and a large quantity of refuse matter being taken out.


Ride Around Oconomowoc Lake

Watertown Gazette, 07 19 1901


A party of ladies drove over to Oconomowoc from Watertown, Thursday morning.  They were met there by Mrs. Charles Kartak, who chaperoned the party in a launch ride through the canal and around Oconomowoc Lake.  They stopped at Hotel Gifford for dinner, returning on the evening boat.  The following were in the party: Mesdames M.H. Gaebler, J. W. Wiggenhorn Marie Lang, C. N. Moore, J. C. Harrison, E. May and Carl Manz, all of Watertown except Mrs. C. N. Moore, who is from St. Louis.


Nearly Killed

Watertown Gazette, 10 11 1901


About 5 o’clock last Sunday afternoon Julius Schoechert, Rev. John Schoechert, his wife and two children, Marie and Emily, came near being killed while driving to this city from Pipersville.  The accident occurred near the railway crossing four miles east of this city, the road being quite narrow there and a deep ditch is on each side.  The horses and carriage in some way rolled down the embankment, and after turning over twice, landed bottom side up with the occupants underneath, and strange to say all escaped serious injury.  Mrs. Qualmann and Miss Emma Schoechert were riding just ahead of the party and went to their assistance.  A nearby farmer, Mr. Messer, hitched up his team and brought the party to the city, their own carriage being too badly wrecked to be of any use.


Clothes-line Thieves

Watertown Republican, 02 06 1900


Clothes-line thieves are abroad in the city, Ernst Briesemeister on [614] North Fourth Street being visited Friday night and the laundry hanging in the yard stolen.


Davis vs. Fitzgerald

Boxing:  a twenty-five round contest

Watertown Republican, 06 15 1898


There was a quiet little ring contest pulled off at an early hour this morning in the. outskirts of the city, the fighters being Jim Davis, of Milwaukee, and Dan Fitzgerald, of Chicago.  A ring was pitched in a large barn and a select number of sports occupied seats in the hay mows on either side.  It was quite a novel gathering.  The agreement called for a twenty-five round contest, but Davis had his opponent bested in the eighteenth round and was awarded the decision.


New Years, 1900

Watertown Republican, 01 02 1900


The new year was ushered in at midnight Sunday by a racket that awakened those who had already retired and postponed the hour of repose for those who were not yet in the land of nod.  Bells rang, whistles blew, firearms rattled for a few moments, this noise was truly deafening, then followed a peaceful calm which we trust may be significant of the conditions to be restored the present year throughout the world.


John Modl

Watertown Republican, 02 13 1900


John Modl, a lad 17 years of age, was arraigned before Justice Henze Wednesday afternoon on a charge of cruelty to animals preferred by Fred Berg.  Modl is suspected of having wantonly used a knife on a steer which was tied in the barn at the rear of Berg & Sell's meat market.


His examination was set for February 17; he meanwhile being confined in the county jail.


W. H. Shulze

Watertown Democrat, 08 05 1865


SURGEON DENTIST. W. H. Shulze has permanently located himself in Watertown and is prepared to perform any operation or execute any artificial work in his profession and hopes that by his particular attention, carefulness and experience, to merit your patronage, which he respectfully solicits.


We can most warmly recommend Mr. Shulze to the confidence and favor of the public.  To a large experience he adds a ready skill which enables him to do his work to the entire satisfaction of all who employ him.  He is thoroughly familiar with all branches of his profession, and makes it his object to do well whatever he undertakes.


Those who need his services may be sure that he will give them the full benefit of his best efforts to meet their wants.  He can furnish sets of as good artificial teeth as can be made, and he fills teeth with a perfection not surpassed by any other dentist. — Watertown Democrat


Resolution to purchase 119 N. Fourth

Watertown Daily Times, 08 03 1966


A resolution to acquire a piece of property failed to get the unanimous approval of the common council.  It is one which authorizes Mayor Robert P. White “to purchase the property of Mrs. Elsie (Elmer) Schmutzler at 119 North Fourth Street for the sum of $18,000.”  The Schmutzler site will be used to widen and complete the improvement of Madison Street, between North Fourth and North Fifth Streets.

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Watertown Daily Times, 08 06 1966


Mayor Robert P. White announced this morning that he has vetoed the common council’s resolution authorizing him to acquire the property at 119 Fourth Street from Mrs. Elsie (Elmer) Schmutzler for $18,000.  The mayor had actually vetoed the measure last Friday but did not announce it.  On Saturday the Daily Times carried a report stating that an alderman had indicated he expected a veto measure to be presented to the common council at its meeting slated for Aug. 16.  Aldermen who voted for the resolution said they had been receiving criticism because the property is assessed at only $6,400.

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Watertown Daily Times, 09 03 1966


The common council last night by a vote of 10 to 4 approved a resolution providing for a payment of $14,500 to Mrs. Elmer Schmutzler for her property at 119 North Fourth Street, a site needed to complete the widening of Madison Street.  Alderman Carl Seeber objected strenuously to a provision in the resolution which specifies that the money be taken from the parking meter fund.  He finally got an amendment approved which directs that the money taken from the fund is to be replaced when the next city budget is approved.  Before the vote was taken last night Mayor Robert P. White reported that two separate appraisers had appraised the property and had come up with an identical figure — $13,500.  He said this is not unusual in making appraisals.


Wisconsin State Gazateer

and Business Directory

Watertown Democrat, 03 30 1865


C. H. Bass, General Agent for G. W. Hawes, has finished canvassing our city for the new Wisconsin State Gazateer and Business Directory.  This new and useful work is a complete directory of the entire state, giving the name, business and location of every firm, with full shipping directions to every city, village and post town, and also the name of the express company by which goods may be sent with safety.


New Era Cooking School

Watertown Republican, 07 18 1899


Mrs. Ethel Lavon Peck, graduate of the New Era Cooking School, Worcester, Mass., will give a course of lectures at Concordia Opera house, July 24, 25 and 26, under the auspices of the Women's Guild.  Mrs. Peck talks dwell on reform in diet.  No charge for admission.


Matthew Smith Grocery Store

Watertown Democrat, 03 30 1865


Last Sunday night Mr. M. Smith’s grocery store on the west side of the river was broken into by means of cutting out the windows and about one hundred dollars worth of goods taken out, such as calicoes, sheeting and stockings.  On Tuesday night a similar attempt was made on another store.  This would seem to indicate that there is a gang of thieves hanging around this city.  It will be well not only for the police but for store keepers to be on their guard.  Let the rascals be caught, if possible, and the robbers be made to pay the penalty of their crime by a little state service at Waupun.


1866-67 Watertown City Directory


Select School to Open


Watertown Democrat, 03 30 1865


Miss Emma Fay would respectfully announce to the citizens of Watertown that she will open her select school on Monday, the 3rd of April next, at the residence of Mrs. S. E. Webb on Second Street.  She extends to all her sincere thanks for their patronage the past term and asks all who desire their children to grasp eagerly the golden book of knowledge and at last drink deep in the crystal fount of education to place them under her instruction.  As she brings to her aid some considerable experience in teaching, she feels herself fully competent to render them any assistance which they may require in developing and cultivating their youthful minds.


Day Thieves

Watertown Democrat, 04 06 1865


There is no doubt that this city is now infested with a gang of thieves who are carrying on their pilfering operations in broad daylight, when people generally are least watchful.  Last Thursday Mr. O. B. Sanford and Mr. M. Owen both had a set of harness stolen from their barns in the middle of the afternoon.  Last Sunday the house of Rev. Mr. Boynton was entered while the family was attending church and a sum of money and several cherished mementoes were stolen.


These facts should place all our citizens on their guard and make them careful how they leave their dwellings when absent.  We hope soon to hear that some of the bandits are brought to justice for the sneaking depredations.


Wisconsin State Gazateer

Watertown Democrat, 03 30 1865


C. H. Bass, General Agent for G. W. Hawes, has finished canvassing our city for the new Wisconsin State Gazateer and Business Directory.  This new and useful work is a complete directory of the entire state, giving the name, business and location of every firm, with full shipping directions to every city, village and post town, and also the name of the express company by which goods may be sent with safety.


Small Change

click to enlarge

Watertown Gazette, 07 28 1899


Clem Stoll has been exhibiting a penny the past few days that he found on West Main Street last Saturday.  On one side of it are the words "Patrick Duffy, Grocer, Watertown, Wis."  On the reverse side the cut of an eagle and the date 1863.  In those days small change was scarce, and the merchants provided their own small change.  Mr. Duffy was one of Watertown’s earliest merchants and conducted a very successful business on the corner where Chas. C. Schiffler is now engaged in business.



Nearly Drowned

Watertown Gazette, 07 14 1899


Last Tuesday while bathing in Rock river near the dam Paul Benzel came near drowning.  He drifted into deep water and being not able to swim called for help.  A boy who could swim was standing on shore, jumped in to the river and kept him afloat until W. F. Lehmann arrived on the scene and rescued him.  Boys should be careful as to how far they venture in the river where the water is deep – boys who can swim as well as those cannot – for many good swimmers are drowned by getting cramps.


West Milwaukee St Vacate

Horse Drinking-Water Fountains

Watertown Republican, 07 11 1899


The regular meeting of the city council, which was to have been held on Tuesday evening, was adjourned because of the Fourth of July.  The adjourned meeting was held on the succeeding night.


A petition from the people of the Third ward was presented, asking to have that part of West Milwaukee Street lying west of Montgomery Street vacated, there being no public utility. . .  The committee on streets and bridges, to whom was referred the matter of having sidewalks when built new on Western Avenue built three feet from lot lines, reported in favor of granting the petition of the property owners. . . The report of the board of water commissioners was in favor of purchasing four horse drinking-water fountains, to be placed at the dead end of the water mains.  The report was adopted and the resolution to that effect was passed.  The location of the fountains will be as follows:  West Main Street near the college, North Church Street near the Chicago & Northwestern railway, North Fourth Street near Humboldt's blacksmith shop, and at the foot of River street in the Seventh ward.


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Watertown Gazette, 08 04 1899


The new horse-drinking fountains recently ordered by the city are being placed in position this week at the dead ends of water mains.


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Watertown Republican, 08 08 1899


At the regular meeting last Tuesday evening (the Common Council) by a vote of 11 to 2 was decided to adopt the joint report of the judiciary and streets and bridges committees favoring the location of a drinking fountain at the east lot line of the Fifth ward hall instead of at the present termination of the waterworks main in North Church Street.  The committee recommended that the necessary extension to the main bemade with a three-quarter inch wrought iron pipe, and the water commissioners were instructed to act accordingly.


Patent on New Device

Watertown Republican, 02 13 1900


W. R. Thomas and Henry Lange, of this city, have been granted a patent on a new device called the "Combination gauge lamp and railroad meeting point recorder."  It is a very practical contrivance and if brought into general use would be a certain preventative against head-end collisions on railroads.  So far as shown it has met with universal approval by railroad men.  It is designed as a reminder to engineers and firemen of all train orders they have received.  Messrs. Thomas and Lange, after it has been generally introduced, expect it will be in great demand.


Miss Lou Breakenridge

Watertown Republican, 08 08 1899


While on the way home Monday morning a horse driven by Miss Lou Breakenridge ran away near the Breakenridge crossing of the Milwaukee Road, smashing the rig and throwing the occupant out, but luckily not injuring her.  Miss Breakenridge had been shopping in the city and her parcels and purse were "scattered to the four winds."  The purse was found later and returned to her.


Eye Removed

Watertown Republican, 08 08 1899


Last week Dr. J. M. Sleicher assisted Dr. Davies, of Waterloo, in removing the left eye of Carl Meske, Jr., of the town of Waterloo.  The eye was injured last fall by an explosion of powder and operation had to be performed in order to save the other eye.


Cement used in Street Paving

Watertown Republican, 08 08 1899


The criticism is offered by some of our citizens who are closely watching the street paving that the stone used in the concrete bed is not crushed sufficiently fine, that not enough cement is used and that the mixing process is not as thorough as it should be.


Watertown Poultry and Pet Stock Association

Watertown Gazette, 03 18 1915


The Watertown Poultry and Pet Stock Association has decided to hold the next show in December.  The association is in a fine financial condition, being $150 to the good after all their expenses were paid at the close of their last show.  The new officers elected are:


President — W. F. Gruetzmacher.

Vice President — Henry Sonnemann.

Secretary — T. J. Berto.

Treasurer — E. F. Moldenhauer.

Show Secretary — Fred F. Wittenwyler.

Directors — A. R. Meyers, John Carey, Charles Dolasse.


Fined for Fishing with Net

Watertown Gazette, 03 18 1915


It cost Henry Pagenkoff $25 and costs for fishing with a net of less than three-inch mesh in Rock river within 200 feet of the dam south of Main Street bridge on Monday last.  Game Warden E. W. Tuttle came here on Tuesday and made the arrest.  Pagenkoff plead guilty before Justice Rohr and paid the minimum fine of $25 and costs.


August Schwartz

Watertown Gazette, 03 25 1915


August Schwartz, a former barber of this city, attempted to commit suicide at the Globe Hotel in Milwaukee last week by swallowing bicloride of mercury tablets.


T. S. Clark's Book Store

Watertown Gazette, 08 25 1899


Some sneak thief stole a fine $1.50 thermometer from in front of T. S. Clark's book store last Tuesday night.  He will probably need it when he goes on to the next world.


Mrs. W. E. Jones

Watertown Republican, 08 15 1899


A very elegant sight was witnessed by a number of people last Wednesday evening at the residence of Mrs. W. E. Jones on Market Street, in the blossoming of a night-blooming cereus.  Two blossoms were in full bloom.


Jossi Cheese Factory at Ixonia

Watertown Republican, 01 15 1890


A meeting of farmers residing south of Ixonia Centre was held recently, and it was decided to erect a new Brick Cheese factory for next spring opening to be carried on by Mr. Jossi.  The building will be put up on the John Lindemann land, just a little south of the church.  At this rate Ixonia will not have to take a back seat for any town.  This will make about ten factories in which Ixonia farmers are interested.


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Watertown Republican, 08 15 1899


It will be remembered that during the night of April 28, 1899, a cheese factory in the town of Ixonia belonging to Jacob Jossi, the extensive cheese manufacturer of this city, was totally destroyed by fire.  The circumstances pointed to a case of incendiarism, but no clue to the culprit was obtained until last week, when Chief of Police Block received a communication from a farmer near Janesville stating that a man working in that vicinity had told his employer that he had set fire to a cheese factory near this city not long ago.  The Jossi factory seemed to be the one in question, so Chief Block had Mr. Jossi swear out a warrant and on Wednesday last he went after his man, secured him and brought him to this city. The prisoner gave his name as Julius Neuman.  He was taken before Justice Stacy and his examination was set for August 19.  He strenuously denied ever having made any such statement as had been credited to him and repeatedly declared his innocence of the charge.  It is said that Neumann was employed in another cheese factory not far from the Jossi factory at the time the latter was burned.


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Watertown Republican, 08 22 1899


Julius Neuman, the man arrested near Janesville on a charge of being implicated in the burning of Jacob Jossi's cheese factory, at Ixonia last April, had his preliminary examination before Justice Stacy Saturday.  On motion of District Attorney Rodgers the prisoner was discharged, there being no evidence on which to hold him.  It transpired at the hearing that Neuman was considerably given to prevaricating about himself and others, and that his story concerning the burning of the cheese factory was only an instance of his braggadocio and could not be substantiated.  He was dismissed with a severe reprimand from the justice.


Clara and Ida Saum

Watertown Republican, 08 29 1899


Chief of Police Block yesterday took into custody Clara and Ida Saum, aged respectively 16 and 14 years, for having stolen some merchandise last Wednesday night from C. Becker's store.  A search warrant was issued and the stolen property found at their home in the Fifth ward.  The theft occurred about 10 o'clock, an entrance being effected in the rear of the store.


Farmer, Horse and Wagon

End up in River

Watertown Republican, 10 25 1905


Yesterday forenoon a farmer, whose home is about a mile north of Richwood, came to the city to transact business and during the day became intoxicated to such an extent that he was placed in the city lock-up until he become sober.  Toward evening he was released, and it is supposed that he at once proceeded to fill up again and in the night hitched up his single horse which was attached to a light wagon upon which he had some lumber, stove and family supplies, and in his muddled condition instead of starting for home drove off the embankment at the west end of Market Street into the river.  The horse which was a young and valuable animal was drowned, and both the horse and the wagon floated down to the dam where they could be seen this morning.  As the unfortunate man has not been seen since the accident, it is thought that he is also in the river and efforts are being made to recover the body.  WR


Albert Schletel Ends up in River

Watertown Republican, 08 02 1905


Albert Schletel took an involuntary bath at the race near the Koening flouring mill Sunday afternoon, dressed in his go-to-meeting clothes.  He attempted to remove a board from the water and, leaning backward holding on to a board nailed to the side of the race, the board gave away and he was all in quicker than one could spit, which he did when he came to the surface of the water.


Gov. LaFollette

Watertown Republican, 12 13 1905


The writer is pleased that Gov. LaFollette is going to Washington to take his seat in the United States senate.  The governor is an exceedingly bright man, an eloquent, magnific speaker, and has a bright future before him in the political arena.  He is a moral man of high and exalted ideals of the duties and claims of citizenship, and the writer hopes he will always be found the friend and supporter of every measure that makes for civic improvements.  He has become a member of the highest law making body in the country, if not in the world, and can now rise above local politics and give the attention to the affairs of a national character and thus resume a prominent factor in shaping legislation that shall be in the interest and for the welfare of the nation.  The writer, who while not endorceing all of his political methods and ideas, entertains the high regard for Governor La Follett as a man and citizen, wishes him well and hopes, that he will succeed in every laudable and legitimate effort and reflect honor and credit upon the state, which has so signally honored him.


Railroads Free List Items

Watertown Republican, 08 23 1905


Heretofore during the open season for hunting, the railroads have carried free of charge boats, camping equipment etc., free of charge, but now it is cut off the free list and all baggage over 150 ponds must be paid for at regular rates.  The anti-pass law has proven to be a mighty good thing for the railroads and of no benefit to the people.


Butter and Eggs

Watertown Republican, 08 23 1905


Johnson Creek – The “Articles” from Jefferson came up last Sunday and thought they could teach the home boys how to play baseball; they learned quite a little from the boys named Butter and Eggs, as the score was 17 to 4 in favor of Johnson Creek.


Vacation Near an End

Watertown Gazette, 09 01 1899


As vacation draws near an end, and the prospect of re-entering school comes nearer, "The Bunch" feel they must make the most of the remaining days, and these glorious moonlight evenings, so there is something planned for every day and nearly every evening.  Saturday evening Miss Lulah Shasky entertained them at her home on Dewey Ave., Monday evening. It was a wheel ride out to the home of A. M. Mullen.  Wednesday they enjoyed a picnic to Lake Mills; the ride home by moonlight was something of a disappointment on account of the rain, but as they were well protected what mattered it, 'twill be a pleasant memory in the years to come all the same.  When there is nothing else planned, there is the tennis court at Paul Brown's home, which offers endless amusement, or if too warm for tennis, the clan meets at "Toddy's" home to talk over things and plan for something else.  Each day as it passes seems to be a "red letter day" on their calendar.


Ruth L. Linger


MOUNT MORRIS, Ill. — Ruth L. Linger, 107, formerly of Watertown and Jefferson, Wisconsin, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, in Mount Morris.


Ruth was born Jan. 15, 1909, to the Rev. Fred J. and Clara L. (Sette) Hoffman in Lane, South Dakota.  She married Walter Brooks in 1929 and he preceded her in death in 1938.  Ruth and Walter worked on a ranch in Alliance, Nebraska, until Walter’s death.  She and her children then moved back to Wisconsin to be near family, working various jobs until she met and married Bruno Linger in 1948.


Ruth and Bruno owned and operated a neighborhood grocery store, Linger’s Grocery, in Watertown near the old high school until Bruno’s death in 1959.  Starting in 1959, she worked on an assembly line in the electrical division of a transformer factory, then in 1965 assisted her cousin in operating a Ben Franklin store.  In 1966, Ruth worked until her retirement as a nurses’ aide at the Dane County Hospital.  This job was a great challenge yet very rewarding for Ruth.  She enjoyed traveling to the western states, crossword puzzles, playing cards, bingo and spending time with her family. . . . 


Window Peekers Caught

Watertown Republican, 01 15 1863


Nicely Caught at it.  For some time our city has been infested with two or three sneaking, contemptible creatures who have been in the habit of prowling around different dwellings and peeking into windows.  Last week one of these night-prowling vermin, while engaged in his disgraceful business, was discovered by one of our citizens in the midst of his observations.  He attempted to run, but was overtaken and had such a sound punishment administered to him as will make him remember the low adventure a while.  He begged like the ill-mannered dog he was, but every cry was answered by a blow in the face, and the first thing he knew was that his eyes wore a colorful color and his nose was weeping a stream.  He finally scrambled over the fence at the expense of a huge lock of hair – by whom taken, we cannot say.  He got a little of what he richly deserved, and if he received enough to change him into some semblance of a decent fellow, it will do him good.  He will be careful how he comes around that neighborhood again, on a similar errand.


Debating Society Formed

Watertown Democrat, 01 08 1863


We understand that a number of young men in this city propose to hold a meeting in a room in Schempf’s Block this evening for the purpose of taking preliminary steps towards forming a Debating Society, the exercises of which will consist in the discussion of various questions, reading of essays, and perhaps lectures.  We would urge all who place any value on mental improvement and self-culture to join in this movement and engage in it with the purpose that the attempt shall succeed.  They should remember that they live in a country and under institutions where public sentiment rules.  Nowhere in the world is the ready, impressive and eloquent speaker more generally appreciated, or the gifted, polished and brilliant writer to find more numerous or admiring readers.  These accomplishments, in any business or calling, are of the greatest importance and frequently open the way for their possessor to obtain the most desirable prizes of professional pursuits and political aspirations.


Mule Team from Borax Mine

Watertown Republican, 09 27 1905


Wednesday afternoon the people on Main Street were surprised to see ten span of large, slick black mules attached to two immense wagons and a water tank, all with six-inch tire wheels, come down the street from the east – a driver on a mule directing the caravan with a single line. (Sic) The outfit belongs to a borax mine in California and is being driven through the country as an advertisement — and is a costly one, considering the keeping of the mules and the pay of the six men in charge of the outfit.


Petition for Sidewalks

Watertown Democrat, 04 06 1865


Common Council Proceedings.  Petition of A. Fuermann and others for sidewalk on Jones Street in the second ward of this city.  Petition of F. A. and C. W. Hilke for sidewalk on Sixth Street.


Alderman Moak reported in favor of petition of A. Kramp and others for building sidewalks and gutters and recommended the passage of an ordinance providing for grading Main Street and building sidewalks and gutters thereon, which was read first and second time.  On motion the rules were suspended, the ordinance read a third time, and passed by unanimous vote of the council.


Grempel’s at New Location

Watertown Daily Times, 08 31 1966


Grempel’s Shoe Store, an old established business in Watertown, will hold its grand opening in its new location at 112 South Second Street this week Thursday, Friday and Saturday and invites the public to drop in.  There will be souvenirs for all.  The store is now located in a completely remodeled building in what was formerly Block’s Market.  A new and modern front is part of the transformation. Mr. and Mrs. Carl F. Grempel have been in business here for 16 years and recently acquired the South Second Street building for their shoe store, moving from their former location in Main Street.


R. J. Water’s Pub

Watertown Daily Times, 04 16 2002


R. J. Water’s Pub, owned by Dick and Susan Reinert, is the first Watertown business to request the assistance of the Department of Commerce Design Specialist in renovating the 110 S. Third St. storefront.  This is a free service offered through the Main Street Program.  Kevin Pomeroy, who held the specialist position at the time, visited Watertown, took pictures of the building and submitted a proposal that changed the look of the building.  The project included new windows, paint, awnings and lighting.  The Reinerts were also the first to request a Main Street Facade Grant.  Dick Reinert was pleased with the simple one page form and the cooperative efforts of the Design Committee which worked closely with him to approve the project.


Horse Science

Watertown Democrat, 01 15 1863


We know of no better term to express what we mean, which is the study of the nature, capacity and characteristics of that intelligent and noble animal – the horse.  Dr. J. H. Caldwell has been giving in this city a series of lectures on the art of breaking, training and educating the horse, accompanied with actual experiments.  He gives an address to his class, and then, by way of illustrating his theory, takes a young wild colt that has never been handled or used, and in a very short time makes him entirely subject to his will, so that he can harness and drive him in a buggy, or saddle and ride him, without any opposition on the part of the animal, or any attempt to break loose, run away, kick or make those efforts to resist which are usually seen on such occasions.  To those who have anything to do with horses, his system of subduing them is an acquisition of great value and importance.  His next exhibition will take place next Saturday afternoon, and we do all interested a service when we advise them to be present and witness the Professor’s feats in this respect.  He promises nothing that he does not perform and those who are acquainted with his admirable method of management pronounce it the best that has yet been practiced.


Jefferson Fair

Watertown Republican, 10 05 1905


The fair held at Jefferson last week was a success as to exhibits and financial returns.  On Wednesday it was estimated that at least 20,000 were in attendance and on Thursday there was in the neighborhood of 35,000, all the fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters and cousins from miles around being on hand to swell the crowd — Watertown sending a large contingent which the Jefferson people should not forget and reciprocate when they have opportunity.


The exhibits in the art building were very good and attracted much attention. . . .  There was large selection of preserved fruits which the good housewives had brought for comparison. . . .  There were a large number of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, poultry and doves on exhibition . . . . some of the finest the writer ever saw. . . .  The grain and vegetable display was not as large as in some of the counties in the state for the reason that this county is largely given to dairying which has proven more remunerative than grain raising.


Ixonia Tidbits

Watertown Republican, 10 05 1905


IXONIA – There was an exciting happening at the village Monday afternoon, at half past three, when it was discovered that the warehouse belonging to H. E. Humphrey was afire.  The fire is supposed to have caught from a passing train.  The warehouse was entirely destroyed but luckily the fire was kept from spreading, through the aid of men, women and children pumping water and carrying it on the roofs.  The fire department from Watertown came, but the fire was under control before they arrived.


The creamery at Ixonia has been and at its present time is doing a fine successful business.  A large amount of milk is received daily and the output in butter is equally as large in proportion.  The product of the creamery finds a ready sale because of the excellent quality and commands the highest price in the market.


Pipersville Tidbit

Watertown Republican, 10 05 1905


PIPERSVILLE – Mr. Auto passed through this way Sunday on its way to Oconomowoc.  It seems funny that they should have horses to pull them.  What are they good for if they have to have horses to pull them?


Panama Canal

Watertown Republican, 10 11 1905


The Isthumian canal commission is anxious to secure the services of quite a number of journeyman house carpenters for service on the Isthmus of Panama in the construction of quarters for the use of a large number of officers and employes engaged in connection with work relating to the construction of the canal.  The wages will be fixed at 56 cents per hour and free transportation will be furnished from New York to Colan.  For further and fuller information, apply to Postmaster Gruetzmacher at the post-office during business hours.


Who are the Heathens?

Watertown Republican, 11 08 1905


The following is taken from the Whitewater Register and we are surprised that the editor did not put Half-breeds in the little boy’s mouth instead Democrats:


It was up in the state in an educational town, and the little lad whose parents were dead was being reared by his grand parents.  He was seven years of age and attended Sunday School.  The lesson had been read and was being explained by the teacher when she asked, “Who are the heathens?”  Bertie’s eyes brightened as he raised his hand, and when the teacher said, “Bertie may tell us who the heathens are,” he promptly responded: “The Democrats.”  His grandfather’s politics are not in doubt.


Thanksgiving 1905

Watertown Republican, 11 08 1905


President Roosevelt has issued a proclamation designating Thursday, Nov. 30th. as Thanksgiving Day. The day should be observed by letting the spirit of thankfulness find expression in kindly and generous acts; thankfulness with gladness and not with a hot austerity that makes the day the least to be wished for of all holidays of the year. The Infinite made His children to be happy not said, joyous not despondent and rational, not irrational in our enjoyment.

_____________ more on Thanksgiving 1905 _____________

Watertown Republican, 11 29 1905


Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving Day, specially designated by the President of the United States and the Governor of Wisconsin, for returning thanks to God, for manifold blessings enjoyed individually and collectively during the past year. It is a beautiful custom, hallowed by ages and observed by all who realize and appreciate the beneficent blessings of the Infinite and enjoy the liberties safeguarded to each citizen in our country, the best in the world, for which we should be extremely thankful and prove it.


Special Session of the Legislature

Watertown Republican, 11 22 1905


The Governor has issued a call for a special session of the legislature to convene at the state capitol December 4, 1905, to consider the governorship and the United States senatorship.


It has been rumored that it was the intention of Gov. LaFollette to resign the senatorship and secure the election of a friend to that position and retain the governorship until the end of his term and possibly become a candidate for a fourth term and later on succeed Hon. John C. Spooner, when he would become the senior senator and dispose of the federal patronage in the state and not be over-shadowed.


The Heck Brothers

Watertown Republican, 11 08 1905


Sunday, George Heck of Chicago, who is in this city visiting relatives, was arrested by Officer Bruegger on the warrant issued by Justice Henze, charging that the said Heck with an assault to commit murder, the complainant being his brother, Louis, who objected to playing Abel to his brother’s Cain.  Being brought into court and the county attorney being absent, the examination was set for the 15th, inst., and bail to the amount of $500 required for his appearance on the day of examination which was furnished and the prisoner discharged.  The Republican hopes it will prove a mistake and the brothers be brothers again.


Fire at Jefferson

Watertown Republican, 10 25 1905


JOHNSON CREEK – Mr. and Mrs. Deibel wish to express through these columns their thanks to the Fire Department for the good work done in their behalf as well as for their aid in carrying out furniture and replacing it after the fire without any damage. 


Fire broke out early Monday morning at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. E. Deibel on the Jefferson road.  Mr. Deibel woke up at 4 o’clock and smelled the smoke which penetrated the house.  He quickly aroused his family sleeping on the first floor and sent his boy to the hose house to ring the bell.  The department quickly responded and succeeded in confining the fire to the basement.  The damage, however, is considerable but covered by insurance.  The boys were greatly handicapped as the hose did not reach from the last hydrant and the fire had to be extinguished with pails and extinguishers.


Blue Jays

Watertown Republican, 10 25 1905


Mrs. H. Fulkerson has a colony of blue jays which s he has been feeding at her home for a year or more.  There are six in the colony and they come regularly each day for their food which is put into a tray beside the house.


118 N. Third St

Watertown Daily Times, 09 23 2006


The Watertown Plan Commission Monday recommended approval of the sale of the former bus stop at the corner of East Madison and North Third streets to Mark and Autumn Carew.  The land will be sold to the Carews for $21,250.  The city received one other bid for the property at 118 N. Third St., which was from Richard Petarius Jr. for $1,000.  City Engineer Joe Radocay said the purchase includes the lot on the corner of East Madison and North Third streets and the building, but not the city parking lot to the west.  The purchase has also been approved by the Watertown Finance Committee.  Mayor John David said he does not know what the building will now be used for.


Bessie Lynch

Bessie Lynch's Body Recovered from Rock River

Watertown Gazette, 01 29 1914


Shortly before 12 o' clock today Jack Kinzie and Elmer Schimmel, printers in The Daily Times office, saw a body floating in Rock River just west of The Times office at the north end of the east pier of Main Street bridge and on investigation it proved to be the body of Bessie Lynch, who disappeared here mysteriously several weeks ago.  The Gazette believes it is a clear case of murder and that someone pushed her into the river on the night she disappeared.


It is a case for the authorities to ferret out.

_____________ more on Bessie Lynch _____________

Give Verdict That Bessie Lynch Was Murdered

Watertown Gazette, 02 05 1914


The verdict of the coroner's jury before Justice Stacy last Saturday on the drowning of Bessie Lynch on December 1 was that she came to her death “by drowning by being thrust violently into Rock River by some person or persons unknown."


There was no positive evidence to this effect, but the circumstances surrounding her death bringing out a verdict of this kind was warranted.


Will this end the case, or will the authorities hunt down and punish those guilty of this horrible crime?  No expense should be spared to bring to justice her murderers, if murder was really committed.  We do not think the case should end with the coroner's verdict.  The public demands that more should be done in this matter.


City Officers Salaries

Watertown Gazette, 02 05 1914


The city council at its meeting Tues­day evening fixed the salaries of city officers as follows:


City clerk receives $1,320, an increase of $120 a year; the treasurer receives a raise of $60, making his salary $660; the engineer receives $1380, a raise of $60; the street commissioner receives a raise of $100, making his salary $900; the engineer of the fire engine is to receive $700 instead of $660; the city hall janitor will get a raise of $60, making a salary of $760; the fire chief will receive $100 per year instead of $60.


The following officers receive no increases:  Mayor $300, each alderman $100, city attorney $800, health commissioner $150, police chief $1000, sealer $720, city assessor $800.


Police officers' salaries hereafter will be regulated upon the class in which they are placed.  In accordance with a governing statute, four classes of policemen were established by the ordinance as follows:  Class A $900, Class B $720, Class C $660, Class D $540.  At present all patrolmen are receiving $720 per year.


It will be noted that the city sealer's salary, that of Edward Gnatzig, has been left at $720, one of the poorest paid active officers in the city.  Mr. Gnatzig is one of the most competent officials in his line in Wisconsin and during the past year has saved our citizens thousands of dollars.  Instead of one of the poorest paid offices in the city, it should be the highest paid.


J. L. Davis & Co.

Watertown Democrat, 03 23 1865


The subscriber begs to announce to the public that they have disposed of their entire retail stock of dry goods and carpets to the wealthy and responsible house of Klauber & Co. of Madison.


We confidently ask for our successors a liberal patronage and assure the public of Watertown that they will advance their own interests by according it to them. 


We return our sincere thanks to the public for the very flattering retail trade they have given us over the past eight years.


J. L. Davis & Co.


Castello & Van Vleck’s Mammoth Show

Watertown Democrat, 06 18 1863


Castello & Van Vleck’s celebrated Mammoth Show will be in this city next Wednesday and exhibit in the afternoon and evening.  This is the best company now traveling in the West, comprising more talent and skill in daring and difficult feats of horsemanship than any other before the public.  All who admire splendid and dashing riding and love wit and fun should go and see the great display.


Cross Reference:  


New Santa House Fundraising Reaches Goal

Watertown Daily Times, 10 05 2016


After several months and 90 donations from a mix of individuals, groups and businesses, the campaign to build a new Watertown Santa House has successfully come to a close.  The campaign, headed by the Watertown Main Street foundation and its director Melissa Lampe, raised $27,200 to complete the house, which also includes the purchase of a new trailer. Excess funds raised during the campaign will be used for the future care of the house. Several local businesses held promotions and contests to raise the necessary funds.


The current house has been used as a place for children to visit Santa for over 50 years and is in desperate need of replacement.


In addition to the monetary donations, many local businesses pledged donations of time, materials and talent including Charles David’s Sons for paint, Y’s Way for flooring, United Electric for lighting, Baker-Rullman for custom retractable steps, and Keck Furniture for an electric fireplace heater and mantle.  RJ Construction of Watertown is building the new Santa House.


Death of Charles Billinghurst

Watertown Democrat, 08 24 1865


With feelings of sincere regret we announce the death of Hon. Charles Billinghurst, which took place at his residence in Juneau, Dodge County, Wis., on Friday morning, August 18th, 1865, in the 48th year of his age.  Though his last illness was brief, declining health had for some time warned his near relatives and many friends that they might soon be called to mourn his departure.


Mr. Billinghurst was born on the 27th of July, 1818, in the town of Brighton, Monroe county, N.Y., and in his youth attended the academy at Henrietta.  Choosing the law as a profession, he pursued his preparatory legal studies in the city of Rochester, was admitted to the bar, and began his practice in his native state.  About twenty years ago, he removed to Wisconsin, then a territory, and became a resident of Juneau.  With fine and winning social qualities, active and intelligent, exhibiting a lively interest in private and public enterprises, having a tendency to promote the prosperity of his place of residence, and taking a zealous part in political affairs, he became a prominent and influential citizen.  Elected to the Assembly in 1847, he was a member of the first State Legislature that assembled at Madison, in 1848, after Wisconsin was admitted into the Union.


He soon became a leading member of the bar of his county and state and rapidly secured a large business by his industry and talents.  In 1852, he was a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket.  Differing from his party as to the policy of the repeal Missouri compromise, he boldly opposed that measure in a series of able articles which he wrote for the Burr Oak, a paper then published at Juneau, of which he was editor for a short period.  He joined in organizing the Republican party, and in 1854 was nominated and elected to the House of Representatives, from the 3rd congressional district of this state, was promptly reelected in 1856, serving as a member of the 35th and 37th Congresses.  Since his withdrawal from that body, he has held no official position, but as a private citizen, taken every occasion to display a warm and patriotic attachment to the Union during the great struggle for its preservation, which has recently closed so fortunately.  All efforts to sustain the Government had his ready and cheerful aid.  He personally engaged in the work, of raising volunteers and was offered the command of a regiment of the “Hundred Day Men,” with the rank of Colonel, which he largely helped to enlist, but was compelled to decline the appointment on account of his failing health.


Few men possess so eminently as he did the faculty of conciliating the kindly regards and good will of all who knew him.  He threw over his intercourse with all the charms of an unfailing and genial courtesy, yet no one was more open in the expression of his views, or more firm in maintaining the principles he had adopted and believed to be right.  Beneath the surface of a uniform gentleness of manner he cherished a resolute and fearless spirit, which was sure to make itself felt on every occasion which called for courage and decision. 


Happy in his domestic relations — enjoying the respect and confidence of all — the kind father, true friend and good neighbor has passed away and been followed to the grave amidst the tears and sorrow of a whole community.  He was buried last Sunday with Masonic honors.  His remains were borne to their final resting place in the presence of over five hundred of his brethren who, with a large concourse of others from far and near, had come to unite in paying the last tribute of respect to the memory of one so worthy and estimable in all the varied relations of life.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin