History of Greenville, Wisconsin
From: History of Outagamie County, Wilsonsin
Thomas H. Ryan - Editor in Chief
Goodspeed Historical Allociates, Publishers
Chicago 1911

Town of Greenville. - The first land entry in Greenville was made by Francis Perry, April 17, 1847, but it is doubtful if he became a settler, the first entry for settlement being made by Seth J. Perry, December 22, of the same year. The following April Alexander McKenzie, John Culbertson, Sr., and his son, Matthew, came in. The elder Culbertson, who had settled in Indiana in 1822, and had reared a pioneer family, now came to Wisconsin to, procure farms for his children. They entered several tracts at Green Bay, April 14. Matthew's selection was the southeast quarter of section 19, upon which, four days later, he began building the first shanty The Culbertson were soon followed by Edmund Hafner, in June, 1848. He stopped a week at Neenah, while he and his sons cut a way into Greenville where he had bought entire section 13. There were six sons and two daughters in his family, but his house offered shelter and was a home for new settlers coming into town.

Alva McCrary and family came that year, 1848, by ox team from Ohio, and in November, James and Isaac Wickware and two sisters, and James Hardacker and family came to section 5, where they had built a cabin in the summer. Mrs. Hardacker also was a sister of the Wickwares and until the following spring lived with them, where Louis Hardacker, the first white boy in Greenville, was born, January 6, 1849. That year Seth J. Perry brought his family from Walworth county to the farm he bought two year before in section 27, while Miles R. Perry and wife settled on section 26. They came from Otsego county, New York, by canal and lake, bringing ox team and wagon. They built a shanty 18x24 feet and to borrow a broadaxe to dress the timbers, Mr. Perry walked six miles; returning it at night., he was chased by drunken Indians. Mrs. Perry's first callers were fourteen Indians and squaws, who appeared at her cabin one Sunday morning, walked in and seated themselves on the floor. Once an Indian asked for a knife, which was loaned him. In a short time he returned it, bringing also a quarter of nice venison. Mrs. Perry's eldest daughter, now Sylvina Culbertson, born October 12, 1850, was the first white girl born in Greenville.

James Webley entered land in section 22 in 1848 and arrived with his family the following April. He started the first tannery to tan deer skins. His four and a half year old boy, in the spring of 1853, strayed in the woods and was lost, and though $300 reward was offered for him and several hundred persons hunted, he was not found, but three months later a child's body was found in a sink hole by Mr. Norton and identified as that of the lost boy and given burial, Elder Keval preaching the funeral sermon. Julius Perrot and wife came from Milwaukee in May, 1849, by ox team. Mrs. Perrot brought a cow. They sowed an acre and a quarter to wheat and reaped 700 bundles, which threshed with flails and winnowed with hand fans yielded 50 bushels. Mrs. Perrot herself underbrushed twelve acres of timber, and at nights packed many thousand shingles. Much of their timber was maple and in the spring of 1854 they made 2,800 pounds of sugar. John Jacquot came with the Perrots, bringing his bride; entered land in section 7, afterward living in section 18. Their eldest son died of scalding, 1854.

Simeon and Lorenzo E. Darling came to Greenville, 1849, living together the first winter Charles Breiterick (Karl Breitruck), the first German in town, settled in section 2, remaining until 1855, when he removed to the adjoining section in Ellington. Of him a pioneer says: "I met Charles Breitrich in the woods; he could speak no English, but when he understood I wished to go to Appleton, he went with me a mile or more out of his way to put me on the right path." James Thompkins, in 1849, also located on section 23, cleared his land and established a home, Clark and Roswell G. Wood came in 1849 or early in 1850. Seymour Howe entered land in 1848 and probably settled the same year for he was entertaining travelers early in 1849. His tavern was first in Greenville and the first this side of the "openings." Avery C. Grant and A. Calkins came together in the fall of 1850, and experienced the usual privations. "Grant came with a yoke of three year old steers and an old wagon; when he arrived had six cents in cash, was ten days on the road from Milwaukee; built a log house on section 8. They lived a number of weeks on corn bread for breakfast, mush for dinner and cold corn bread for supper, with molasses. They had one pan of flour and loaned half and did not know where the next was coming from."

Wilder Patch came in the spring of 1850, chopped and burned the brush off three acres and planted corn among the logs; began a house but needed more money; took a job of John R. Renders, July 4; finished September 10, meantime living on what $5 would buy. Julius F. Mory came the same year, his family following tom Germany three years later. John Culbertson followed his brothers into the wilds of Wisconsin in 1850, though in the two years of Matthews' residence many settlers had arrived. An election was held at which nineteen votes were polled, and the town was organized. About half the area of the town had been sold, mostly to settlers. Others who were in the settlement early in 1850 were James Wilson, Joseph Randall, William Bucholz, Patrick Liepke, William Prinderelles, Henry Glass, J. Nye, Hume Lathrop, Francis and Luther B. Mills and Solomon Glass.

John and Ludwig Bleick, with their parents, came about 1851, making the trip from Milwaukee with a yoke of oxen and a wagon in which they carried their household goods and a few supplies. Not a tree had been cut on their land when the family reached it. They built a small log shanty, roofed with spit basswood. That winter supplies were hard to obtain, the settlers had to go with ox teams to Green Bay to get flour and pork, though once John succeeded in getting fifty pounds of flour at Little Chute, which he, a boy of sixteen, carried home on his back, more than twelve miles.

George W. Boon and family, together with his parents, came to section 3 in 1851. The land was "all in the woods," a clearing had to be made and a house built, so it was not until 1853 that they resided in it. This house, a frame structure, stood on the road from the southern counties to the pine woods and was large enough to afford accommodation to travelers. Among others who were in Greenville early in 1851 were Leonard Dunkle, John Jordan John Smith, Thomas and Michael Powers, Joshua Howe, John Roberts, Griffith Jones, William Roberts, John H. Seger, John Quinn, Dennis McGraw, James Redmond and Washington Pooler. Jerome Lewis came that year and though his later residence was in section 12 of the town of Dale, he was identified with the early history of Greenville. New residents the following year were: M. J. Colby, Frederick Schebler. Frederick Keeler, Frederick Thomas, Michael Schinners, T. Wait and Thomas Marsdon. The Sweetser family came in 1852, the McLeods about the same time. E. S. Palmer came in 1853, soon followed by John Dey, who since 1849 has been living in the town of Grand Chute. A. P. Lewis and his sister, who later became Mrs. E. S. Palmer, Hiram and Joseph Jack and their families, came in 1854. John Schefe and family, Frederick Becker and the Angelroths, Scotts, Barclays and McGregors were here in 1853. Palmer settled on section 6, where he still resides. Of those here when he arrived, he alone is living in the town. His wife, who died October 27, 1909, was probably the last surviving daughter of the American Revolution.

Among those who came in 1852 or early in 1853 are Peter Smith, F. Tharnagel, T. Mullaine, Dennis Long, E. H. Stone, Wakefield and John G. Jewett.

"The town of Greenville is receiving a large and valuable accession to its population from the central and eastern states. Greenville contains some of the finest lands and some of the best improvements in the county. In June, 1854, considerable excitement was caused by the announcement that gold had been discovered along the river. An examination proved that the alleged gold was a large mass of copper which contained a small percentage of silver. This was the second discovery of large masses of native copper in this locality."-(Crescent, July, 1854.)

"Greenville. - Since last spring (1854) about 3,900 acres have been sold in this town to actual settlers. It is a most beautiful section of country."- (Crescent.)

Philo Root came to the county in the fall of 1854, but did not settle in Greenville until he had taught school two winters in Medina. Hiram' Jack built his cabin in section 6, broadside to the Appleton road. The door and window were on the sunny side, therefore not visible from the road. Settlers passing by would yell, "This is the house that Jack built; how does he get in?" The Jacks were among the first settlers to keep sheep, a difficult thing to do, because the predatory animals had a particular fondness for mutton and lamb. The wool was needed for clothing and stockings, the women (there were nine daughters and one son in this family), spinning the wool for clothing as well as for mittens and hose. John Dey lived four years in Grand Chute before coming to Greenville. He had a wife and two babies, ten cents in money, a cooper's kit and a little black. cow when he reached Grand Chute in 1849. At 86 years of age he still resides on the same farm in section 7, Greenville, as ready to teach a Sunday school or attend a picnic as sixty years ago. Daniel and Martin Schulze settled sections 3 and 9 respectively. Scott on section 29, the Barclays and McGregors on the Appleton road. In October, 1855, a squirrel hunt on a large scale was held in the town of Greenville. The party dined at Bennett's Hotel in Hortonville. A large number assembled and killed approximately 500 squirrels.

Michael Woods in 1855 brought his bride to land he had previously purchased in section 12. Alexander Culbertson the same year came to the farm his father had procured for him seven years before, upon which no improvements had been made. He was followed by his sisters, Margaret and Nancy, and their father in 1858.

In November, 1855, the average price of, improved land in the town of Greenville was $12 per acre. The farm land from the Kling schoolhouse westward through Greenville and Dale was one of the most beautiful tracts in the county. A good road was necessary to open that community to Appleton, and the towns were earnestly working to make it.

Probably the coming of no other settler was so far reaching in its influence or so beneficial to the county's agricultural resources, as was the advent of Louis Perrot, who with his father, Ferdinand; came in 1855 and secured the Howe property. Louis Perrot was the father of the cheesemaking industry in Outagamie county, making cheese at first from the milk of his own dairy, then operating a private factory. receiving milk from his neighbors. He demonstrated to the farmers of Greenville, and later to the county, that by dropping wheat growing and taking up cheesemaking, they could free their farms of mortgages.

The town of Greenville in 1857 contained many of the best farms in the county. There were several arge hay marshes on the south. which in time became famous for stock raising purposes. The land was rolling and the soil generally was of the best quality. Even as early as 1857 this town boasted of its rapid settlement, good schools, churches, excellent wheat crops, enterprising population and sleek cattle. Already there were many Germans in the town and many farmers were in position to give employment to German immigrants, who began coming at about this period, remained a few years. saved their earnings and bought tracts in newer towns of the county, in some of which it is asserted that practically all the German settlers worked awhile in Greenville before settling, thus indicating the point to which the town had advanced in a few years. That the wilds were not entirely conquered is shown by the following from an Appleton paper: "In September, 1858, Mr. McGinnis of Greenville was instantly killed in that town by a tree falling on him." That accidents of this nature did not occur oftener is by the old settlers themselves now considered remarkable. Another phase is here indicated: About the first of October, 1858, a huge bear weighing 400 pounds was killed with axes by Matt Long and his party of men on the Greenville road near Appleton. The bear was exceedingly fat and supplied the whole neighborhood with fresh steak. Another large bear was shot by. Thomas Dunn soon after about two miles north of Appleton early in October. The Crescent said: "Bears are more abundant in this county than when it was a wilderness," due no doubt to the juicy young pork the settlers were raising.

The settlement was now two years old; religious influences had prevailed from the start, but as yet no attempt had been made to bring together the adherents of the various religious organizations in the county until commencing the first of September, 1859, a large camp meeting was held in the town of Greenville and continued several weeks. It was held on the land of Mr. Wickware, near the Dye school house, and near the plank road from Appleton to Hortonville, three miles east of the latter place. At this time John Dye was postmaster at the Greenville post office. During the camp meeting a large number of Oneida Mission Indians encamped on the grounds. The leading ministers in charge were Revs. James T. Suffron and William Colburn. These Oneidas were not casual visitors, but took a prominent part in the services, particularly in singing.

In 1863 the farmers throughout the county organized farmers' clubs, or societies, for the purpose of improving agricultural methods and live stock, and acted in conjunction with the County Agricultural Society. One of the strongest was in the town of Greenville; A. P. Lewis was its president and Louis Perrot its organizer. At one of their meetings they thanked Dr. Douglas, secretary of the county society, for the skillful and successful manner in which he had conducted the county fair in October. The enormous acreage put under cultivation in the ten years preceding in Wisconsin and other states was affecting the market. Farmers must by scientific methods lessen the cost of production, and, as usual, Greenville was in the forefront of progress.

In the fall of 1863 another large and successful camp meeting was held in the town of Greenville under the auspices of the Get man Reformed Church.

In May, 1864, a terrible fire raged through the greater part of the town of Greenville. It seemed at first as if all property would be swept away, but by great exertions buildings were saved and the fire was checked and turned in a direction where it could do little harm. Thousands of rails were burned and men, women and children were burned out of work and out of homes. This fire worked double havoc and imposed greater hardship owing to a large percentage of the men being at the time far from home in their country's service.

In 1865 Louis Perrot of Greenville exhibited in Appleton a load of splendid tobacco which he had raised on his farm. It was of the Havana variety, and was fully grown and perfectly cured - a practical demonstration of the adaptability of Greenville soil to diversified farming. It was along the line of stock improvement and diverting the farmers from wheat to dairy farming that Perrot and his associates expended their energies. That the methods advocated were practicable is shown by the following: "Louis Perrot of Greenville has made more money out of cheese manufacture than from double the amount of capital and labor invested in other farming operations."- (Crescent, December 11, 1869.)

The change to dairying has long since been effected, practically the entire area being now devoted to that industry. The building of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railway afforded better shipping facilities. The principal highways' are among the best in the county. The farm buildings, large and substantial, the soil rich, generally well drained, make the town rate among the best in the county.

On March 12, 1850, the territory comprised in township 21 north, range 16 east, was created a separate town of Brown county. and April 2 of that year an election was held and the town organized with officers as follows: Isaac Wickware, chairman; Hume. Lathrop and James M. Wickware, supervisors; Simeon Darling, Matthew Culbertson, Seymour Howe and Isaac Wickware, justices of the peace; Lorenzo E. Darling, town clerk; Simeon Darling, assessor; Matthew Culbertson, treasurer; Lorenzo E Darling, superintendent of schools; Lorenzo E. Darling, James M. Wickware and James Wilson, constables; James Webley, sealer of weights and measures. Nineteen votes were polled. At this town meeting a town tax of one half of one per cent. was levied. Road tax was fixed at two days' labor on the highway for each quarter section of land, with road wages $1.00 per day. At a special meeting of the town board, April 30, it was voted to raise $500 to repair roads and bridges. They levied three mills on the dollar for school purposes May 10 the town was divided into six road districts.

The religious history is similar to that of Hortonia, Ellington and Dale. The same priests and preachers who had labored there held services in homes and schoolhouses here. Probably the first religious organization was a Sunday school held in the schoolhouse in District No. 1, organized not long after the schoolhouse was built. It was non denominational in character. John Jewett was the superintendent. This school was maintained until the organization of the church and a Methodist Sunday school at Medina. Another early Sunday school was held in schoolhouse No. 4, with John Dey superintendent. After the organization of the Baptist and Congregational churches at Hortonville and the Methodist Church at Medina, most of the English speaking Protestant families found church homes there. An Evangelical Lutheran (German) and a Catholic congregation were organized, both having resident pastors, while a German Evangelical Church is served by a minister of Appleton.

The first cemetery was a neighborhood burying ground, near the southwest corner of section 17. It was never deeded nor dedicated to the purpose and interments discontinued after the land changed ownership. A square acre was secured by the town board, a little north of the old ground, platted and lots sold September 1, 1860, and most of the bodies were removed from the old to the new cemetery. After the lots in this cemetery were all sold a new site was purchased and platted a little south of the town center.

Settlers of American birth, of English and Scotch ancestry, and settlers of German and Irish nativity followed closely one another into Greenville. Haphner, the first to bring his family. was Irish. The Wickwares, Culbertson, Scotts, McCrarys, McGregors, Barclays and McClouds were Scotch. The Schulze, Loudon and Kaphingst families, Christ Zachow, Henry and Hubert Wolf, Joseph and George Moder, Adam Frederick and Fritz Miller were early Germans. Among the Irish families were Gartlin, McGarvey, Monahan, Farrell, Long, Nolan, McGinnis, McGrath, MnInerny, McGahan and others, jolly, warm hearted and hospitable. "I never entered an Irish home that I was not pressed to stay for whatever meal might be next," says an old time town assessor, "and though the fare might be scanty the hospitality was freely tendered. I sat at one table whereon was only dried fish, and felt I was welcome. I called at another house to make assessment. You must be tired and hungry,' the woman said, and started to get me food. She opened her cupboard, threw up her hands in dismay and exclaimed: 'Divil a bit of bread have I in the house. Davy has eaten it all up. But never mind, sit ye down an' I'll make ye some'; which she immediately proceeded to do.


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