ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Koenig and Co.


514 S First


Koenig Mill, center; destroyed by fire c 1922

C M & St P Railroad Bridge, Original, c1898, south of Milwaukee St, looking north     WHS_005_104


c.1900                     click to enlarge


Cross Reference:

11 12 1863: Doering & Heins.  Fire.  The flouring mill in this city belonging to Doering & Heins was completely destroyed by fire about two o’clock last Saturday morning.  The origin of the fire is not known.  The loss is near $4,000, on which there was an insurance of $2,200 in the Aetna of Hartford.  The foundry of Messrs. J. A. & O. Hall was nearby and had a narrow escape.  The efforts of citizens, however, saved it, though materially injured.  Engine Co. No. 1 was on hand and did all in their power to save the exposed property.   WD




      click to enlarge 



Last week an argument was entered into between the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway company on the one side, and R. P. Koenig &Co. and the E. Kunert Manufacturing company on the other side, whereby the privilege is extended to the former and the latter parties to fill out that portion of the east side mill race extending from Milwaukee street bridge north to the old Bennett machine shops plant.  This privilege, we are informed by the railway company’s attorney, Harlow Pease, will not cost the company one cent, the local institutions controlling the water rights in the race agreeing to the conditions specified without any consideration, except that the railway company shall furnish the material for filling up and perform the work.    WG



The Watertown Republican appears to be greatly grieved because the mayor and common council of this city acted wisely in settling the "mill race matter," and, as it says, "this is an old affair and there is not much-needed discussing it further," as it has been fully discussed in the city papers – still it might be well for us to inform the Republican that the Gazette editor has taken a private poll of our citizens on the question and knows whereof he speaks.  "The exact figures," as called for by the Republican of the poll taken by us, are:  Two opposed to the settlement of the mill race matter, and the rest of our citizens in favor of it.    WG



01 31       A burglar entered the Koenig mill office in First Street last Wednesday night, bored a hole in the safe, then blew it open with powder, and secured for his trouble $3.04.  He also entered the steam laundry office in the same street, the safe which was open, but the money drawer therein was broken open and $1 in small change taken.  At about 9 o'clock the same evening the Jahnke Creamery office was also visited evidently by the same party.  Mr. Jahnke goes to the creamery every evening about 9 o'clock to look the plant over, and on the above evening on entering his office at that hour found a well dressed stranger therein, who wheeled on him and flashed a revolver in his face, telling him to open the safe.  Mr. Jahnke flew out the door, began calling for help, and the fellow escaped without trying to molest Mr. Jahnke or seeking further to carry on his work.  Had he not been discovered at that time, he no doubt would have visited other places in the city during the night.  A good description has been given to the police of the fellow, and hopes are entertained about arresting him.   WG



-- --           DISTANT VIEW OF

A picture containing outdoor, sky, ground, old

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The Koenig Mill across Rock river.  Later the location of the Jaeger Mill and then of the Watertown Senior and Community Center.



10 18       Quite extensive improvements are in progress at the flouring mill of the R. P. Koenig & Co., on S. First Street.  A concrete flume, 140 feet in length, is being constructed to replace the old flume which is going to decay.  A box flume is being constructed to convey water to the A. R. Wien's Brush factory.  The improvements indicate that the Koenig Co. and the Brush factory are prospering.



04 02       KOENIG & CO. WIN CASE.  In the county court at Jefferson last Friday R. P. Koenig & Co. won their case against the A. R. Wiens Co. and were awarded damages of $98.16.  Repairs were made in the mill race on the east side and Koenig & Co. claimed the defendants should pay a certain percentage of the costs.  Otto C. Hahn appeared for the plaintiffs and Kading & Kading for defendants.    WG






09 21       R. P. KOENIG and Co. ASK INJUNCTION

Rudolph Koenig and George Koenig, owners of a water power right at Watertown, on Rock River, filed in the supreme court at Madison last week an injunction suit, attacking the Husting-Krumery law for state control of water powers, passed by the last legislature, asking the supreme court to declare it unconstitutional and granting restraining orders against state officials who are preparing to enforce it.


The suit is based on the terms of the ordinance of 1748, by which the state of Virginia ceded the North West Territory to the United States, on condition that it be divided into “sovereign states.”  The theory of riparian control of water power is upheld, it being asserted that the “state of Wisconsin never had any proprietary interest in any of said lands.”


The plaintiffs acquired the right to the use of water power through a grant made by the legislature in 1839, under the provisions of which a dam was erected.  The power thus generated is used to operate a flour mill . . . It is on this theory – the doctrine that all riparian rights go with possession of the land – that the suit is based, and the water power interest will make a hard fight to have this doctrine established as part of the law of the state, as against the theory that the title of all water power resources vests in the people, the theory announced in the Husting-Krumery bill.   WG



08 31       Construction on the $1.3 million expansion at the Watertown Senior and Community Center is temporarily delayed.  After a few days into construction, workers began uncovering old foundations, thought to be a remainder of the Jaeger Mill Co. or the R.P. Koening and Co., a flour mill that used to occupy the site.  A black substance, indefinable, also surfaced.   WDT



Cross References:

Koenig Mill became Jaeger Mill 

Globe Mill, chapter on




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin