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

TOWN of Kaukauna. - The first white occupant of the territory, now Outagamie county, was Dominique Ducharme, who about 1790 or 1798 established himself on the bank of the Fox river, at what is now Kaukauna. Ducharme, though said to have begun clearing and making a farm, had Indian trading for his main purpose, and his settlement was not permanent. He secured Indian title to a large body of land, fronting on the river, extending back nearly three miles northwest. Several years later, probably 1817, Augustin Grignon, purchased of the Indians a similar tract in this locality, a part of which was of the land sold by them to Ducharme. This claim was patented to Grignon who occupied it permanently and engaged in the Indian trade there and at other points until his death. His son, Charles A., continued the business until the removal of the Indians and with his brothers, Paul and Alexander, took a prominent part in the town of Kaukaulan, which at that time. included all of the inhabited portion of what is now Outagamie county.

"While at Kaukauna Charles A. Grignon, who was a passenger on the Bay City, pointed out to us a modest looking to house near the canal, and informed us that fifty two years ago (1809?) he was born there. Half a century! What thoughts crowd the historical chamber of memory! Where are those who then peopled what is now Wisconsin? That little band of emigrants; that band of pioneers! Where are they? Only a few linger on earth."-(Cor. Crescent, August 17, 1861.)

The government had brought the Stockbridge Indians to Wisconsin and they and the Munsees were occupying the south side of the river opposite Kaukauna. In 1823 Rev. Cadle established a mission among them. These Indians carried on farming to the extent of raising large quantities of corn, potatoes and small grain. A Presbyterian missionary succeeded Rev. Mr. Cadle and died in the work. In 1837 Rev. Father Theodore J. Van den Broek established a Catholic mission among the Menominees at Little Chute, finding in the field of his labors a few whites, among whom were the Grignons already mentioned. Paul H. Beaulieu, his wife, his son Bazil H and a daughter. Paul Beaulieu settled on the south side of the river in 1835, where he had purchased from the government the saw and grist mill erected to supply the Stockbridge's with flour and lumber and, lots 5, 6, 7, 8, section 21, town 21, range 18. In this purchase he was associated with James M. Boyd who, the following year. sold his interest to Bazil H. Beaulieu, and returned to Green Bay. Raphael St. Mary, Mons. Rentier. and Roland Garner followed to this settlement.

Joseph Lamure also purchased land south of the river about the same time but not succeeding in getting patents at once, remained in Green Bay until July, 1839, when he; with his family, settled on the south half of lots 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, now in Buchanan. His family consisted of Mary, Josephine, William and Charles Lamure and an adopted son, Amable Asselin. "Roland Garner. a Stockbridge from Canada," says Alex. Grignon, "had a big farm at Combined Locks as early as he could remember." Garner's Landing was in the little bay near the Combined Locks station of the Northwestern Railway. Roman H. Beaulieu, a brother of Paul H., came to Kaukaulan probably with Paul, a single man who married after joining the settlement. James Porlier bought of the government the land now occupied by the roundhouse in South Kaukauna. He was a native of Green Bay educated in Canada, came probably about the same time as Beaulieu. Oliver Lemay was a millwright and worked in the Beaulieu mills. N. B. Desmarteau a Canadian settled in Kaukauna very early."

Ephriam St. Louis came to Green Bay, October 26, 1836, and later decided to move up Fox river. Entrusting his wordly effects, together' with his family, to a canoe he worked his way to Little Chute, arriving in the fall of 1838, after a four days' voyage. He first put up a temporary dwelling and claimed a quarter section at Kaukalin or Kaukauna and found there the following settlers, their chief business was trading with the Indians. Charles A. Grignon, Paul Ducharme, Jaques Paullier and Paul Beaulieu. In Little Chute Rev. T. J. Vanden Broek lived with and taught a large number of Menominee Indians His improvements were a log church, bark covered, built by the Indians. The year 1839 marked the coming of George W. Lawe to Kaukauna, where he owned the Ducharme tract. He found here Charles A. Grignon, Ephriam St. Louis, James Porlier, Joseph Lamure, Paul H. Beaulieu and a few Germans. The mode of transporting merchandise in those days was by Durham boats, manned by workmen who poled them up the river to Grand Chute, portaging the rapids.

In The '30s and again in the '40s the town of "Kaukalan" was organized as a portion of Brown county, and included more than all the inhabited area of Outagamie county, notably that portion of Brown county in which Wrightstown is now located, whose founder, Hoel S. Wright, settling about 1833, identified himself so intimately with the interests and development of the settlement and the organization of Kaukauna that mention of him is due.

The town records of Kaukalan gave procedure of organization as follows: "Grand Cakalin, April 7, 1842. The electors of the town of Kaukaulan met at the house of Paul H. Beaulieux (Beaulien) on Tuesday the fifth day of April, A. D. 1842, in accordance with a notice of the clerk of the Board of County Commissioners of Brown county, Wiskonsin Territory, and the law authorizing the same therein cited. When they organized by appointing Hoel S. Wright, moderator; and Bazile H. Beaulieux, clerk; who were duly sworn to the faithful discharge of their duty. When on motion it was, Resolved, That the different town officers to be elected to serve for the ensuing year in the town, be chosen by taking the ayes and noes, whereupon the undermentioned persons were elected to the several offices designated, viz.: Charles A. Grignon, chairman; Paul H. Beaulieux and Hoel S. Wright, supervisors; Alexander Grignon, town clerk; George W. Lawe, treasurer; Bazile H. Beaulieux, collector; Joseph Lemieux (Lamure?), George W. Lawe and Lewis Crofoot, commissioners of highway; Hoel S. Wright and Alexander Grignon, assessors; Henry B. Kelso, Charles A. Grignon and G. W. Lawe, commissioners of schools; Lewis Crowfoot, sealer of weights and measures; Lewis Gravelle and Lewis Crowfoot, constables; Joseph Lemieux, Charles Maites, Alonzo D. Dick and Alex. Grignon, overseers of highway; Paul H. Beaulieux, Joseph Lemieux and Charles Maites, town viewers; Rowland Gardner (Garner), pound master. On motion resolved that there be a tax of one fourth of one percentum raised for a school fund; on motion; Resolved, That the Board of Supervisors be, and they are hereby authorized to establish the compensation of the several town officers for the ensuing year, where compensation is not established by law; on motion, Resolved; That for the ensuing year the town be governed by the Acts of the revised statutes of Wiskonsin, which' relate to fences, their height, etc., and on motion; Resolved, That the next annual meeting be held at the house of George W. Lawe, and then the meeting adjourned sine die."

The Louis Crofoot mentioned as highway commissioner, lived six or eight years on the Meade's farm in Buchanan. Henry B. Kelso who was elected a school commissioner established a farm in section 7 back of Kaukauna at an early day; his son is still residing there. Lewis Gravelle, the constable elect, lived in section 23, now in the village limits of Little Chute. Charles Maites lived about a mile from Wrightstown and Alonzo D. Dick kept probably the first tavern in Wrightstown; both were highway overseers. These men were all early corners and helped lay the foundation of the county.

At a special town meeting July 23, 1842, $200 was voted for a contingent fund and $24 for support of the poor.

In the fall of 1842 a party of German immigrants consisting of ten families and three unmarried young men came to Garners Landing. The families were those of John J. Dietzler, Peter Dietrick, Jacob Pauly, Michael Klein, John P. Heinz, P. ft Bausch, J. T. Schumaker, Mr. Frevel, John Kloefel, Anton Heuser, and the unmarried men were Mathias Klein, John Snyder and Jacob Snyder.

There was not at this time a road in that portion of the town now in Outagamie county and to these settlers, who were mostly traders and voyageurs, the river was the principal highway and means of intercourse. A military road had been cut out and made passable after the Sauk war about 1833 and the Stockbridges had trails or roads, portions of which were later established as highways are still in use.

The first road survey is recorded July 11, 1844, "beginning at a stake in the west side of the military road, three miles and a half southwest from Hall S. Wright's house and extends southwesterly to the town line of township 21, range 18."

George W. Lawe in a letter to the Pioneer Association says: "When I arrived in Kaukauna (1839), I found it a veritable wilderness, there were no roads and no way of traveling except on Indian trails or by water. Green Bay was our source of supplies and I was very desirous of opening wagon communication with that place. I went down to see Mr. Wright, the founder of Wrightstown, five miles down the river, he was a particular friend of mine, and had settled there four or five years before.' I wanted him to run a ferry across the river so that we could reach the military road running from Green Bay to Fond du Lac. This he agreed to do if I would open a road from Kaukauna to his ferry. I pledged my word I would do so at once. Much pleased in making such arrangement, the next day I called on my neighbor and laid the matter before him for approval, expecting him to aid me, but to my surprise I found he was opposed to any such radical change. He said: 'My father lived a good many years in Kaukauna and had no wagon road to Green Bay; he got along very well by traveling on horseback or afoot and I guess I can do' the same.' Not to be overcome by this exhibition of conservatism, I resolved to try the head Menominee chief at Little Chute, Tyometaw, and see if he would not aid me. He summoned his young men to council and addressed them stating that they were all good Catholics and had adopted the customs of the white people and that I considered them citizens of the United States and perhaps they would be entitled to vote in a few years. As we were obliged to obey the laws of our country and spend two days working out our poll tax on roads, I told them I thought they ought to do the same, and I asked them to help me open a road to Wrightstown so that we could travel to Green Bay. The old chief got up and said that they must obey the laws of the country and further that it would be of great benefit to them to have such a road built. The young men answered, 'Yes, we will go.' The next day I had about fifty Indians to help me; in two days we had the road cut out. The next week we all worked together again and cut the road to Appleton. In these days of steam ears one cannot realize what a blessing such roads were to us. Yet they were not worked out highways, but trails wide enough for wagons, from which logs and under brush were cut and removed."

After the town organization was effected a number of other German and French families settled in the vicinity of Little Chute and Kaukauna in the four or five succeeding years, coming singly or in groups of a few families, and it was probably during this interval the French settlement was formed in the vicinity of what is now the northeast corner of the town of Grand Chute Among them were Raphael St. Marie, who lived on the McGuire road, section 12; Joseph St. Marie, Moses Boudouloir. Joseph de Marche, who lived on the French road; Emile, Joseph and Adolph Brouillard, Henry Louis and George Bissonette, Henry, Francis and Lisaret Van de Bogert in section 7, and others in Grand Chute. Benjamin Done, a Frenchman, came from Canada before the Hollanders arrived and built the first hotel in Little Chute. He started a farm near Wrightstown and then kept tavern. John Diederick came before the Hollanders and settled in what is now town Van den Broek; Joseph Hoffman came to the same town about the same time as the Hollanders Matthias Oert came unmarried from Germany about the same time as the Kleins; Peter Renn early settled in Buchanan; Gabriel Brunette lived above Little Chute opposite Kimberly, early as 1840 or before; Francois Palladoux, a native of the "Sob," came about 1840-45; Francois Mellotte came 1846 or before from Canada, married And lived at Little Chute; Paul Thyboux was married when he came 1840-45, lived opposite Kimberly about the same time; Joseph Trudell came from Canada to Little Chute; Joseph Brouillard, settled in Grand Chute; Thomas H. Clark, who settled on what is now Dr. Lord's farm in Van den Broek, was one of the early Irishmen; Oliver Le Court came early and ran Meade's farm in Buchanan; the Poquette lived on e Buchanan side below Combined Locks in the later '40s; Anton Loth came with the first Germans unmarried, settled in Buchanan; Henry Shearer, another early German, a mason by trade, settled before 1848 in Buchanan, later in Kaukauna; M. Crevier was an early corner to Buchanan; Michael P. Caulfield, an early teacher at Little Chute, was there in 1849; Peter La Fond kept the second tavern in Little Chute.

About 1843 the Menominees were removed to Lake Poygan, taking from Little Chute the greater number of Father Van den Broek's pupils and converts. Though the country was being settled with new parishioners, being fully persuaded of the grand opportunities offered in this region, he set about establishing a colony of his countrymen. In 1847 he returned to Holland, remaining until early next spring, extolling the advantages offered to emigrants to Wisconsin, and a number of families came with him, and many more during that year 1848. Among them, according to George W. Lawe, were Jacob Appleman, C. A. Hamer, Martin Gerrits, Herman Johnson, Theodore Johnson, J. C. Van Niel, Fred Speel, and others followed until in 1879 there was no land within reaching distance of the church and they went to Nebraska. Of these Alex Grignon says Appleman lived in Little Chute and was prominent in the affairs of the village, town and county. Martin Gerrets was a teacher and lived in Little Chute until his death. Another Martin Gerrits was a farmer back of Little Chute. C. A. Hamer was at first most of the time a teacher and lived at Little Chute. The first or second spring following his arrival he was elected supervisor, was later a county official, and, was a leader among the Hollanders from the beginning of the colony. Jacob Van Niel, "the Flying Dutchman," lived in Little Chute. The Speels settled section 31, Buchanan.

Mr. Grignon, who was acquainted with most of the early corners, French, German, Irish, Hollanders and Yankees, identifies the following as being of the Hollander colonists who came in 1848 and who settled in what is now Little Chute village or town of Van den Broek:

Theodore Jansen, John Derks, John Van Asten, Hubert Wyenberg, Peter Servass, John Tillman, Cornelius Hendricks, Nickolas' and Martin van Gompel, Martin van den Heyden, Henry Leppens, Martin Gloudemans, Cornelius Geisbers, Henry and John Weyenberg, Matthias Hendricks, Theodore van den Oudenhaven, John and Henry Heitpas, John van Molle, John van Dommelin, Martin Gerrit., William and Peter Ebben, John Everts, Arnold van Handel, Henry Roosen, Joseph Forster, John van Lieshout, Martin Joosten, Walter and William Joosten, John Enright, Henry Bougers, John Geisbers, Henry Verhagen, John van der Wyst, commonly called John West, Peter Leurs, Martin Campon, John Campon and John Verstegen. Gerhard Koenen came 1848 to Buchanan; Steven Sanders came alone not long after the colony; Peter Boots arrived before Sanders and kept store with Van der Heuvel.

Jacob Van den Linden came in 1848, later lived in Appleton, then moved to Oconto. John Bergen came from Canada, married. at Little Chute and later lived in Appleton. Isaac Hurning settled in section 8, Van den Broek, 1849-50; Anthony came about 1850 to Little Chute; Arnold Verstegen came a few years after the colony and also lived in the village. Arnold Hurkmans lived on Freedom road, Vandenbroek; Francis van Camp came after the colony to Little Chute; Robert Mitchell settled back of Kaukauna about 1850; Jacob Fey came early with his parents to Kaukauna. After the father's death the family moved out. John Hunt was early in Kaukauna, where his son kept the first store after the Grignon trading post. Chauncey Knapp was in Kaukauna before 1852, and about the same time McNeill McMeloney, after working for a time on canal improvement, settled on a farm back of Kaukauna. His brother in law, McNowlen, came about the same time A. C. Black was one of the first land speculators in Kaukauna, and had extensive holdings in various towns in the county. Peter Rademaker settled at Combined Locks in Buchanan; Phillips also came about 1848. Martin McCormick settled on a farm about a mile from Kaukauna. Thomas Robinson lived in Kaukauna. Alfred Aspinall settled in Buchanan, later in town Kaukauna, finally removing to Appleton. John Van den Linden went to Appleton All these had come before September, 1852.

At the annual town meeting April 1, 1845, the moderator and clerk proceeded to receive votes for town officers. The act authorizing the voters of Brown county to change the system of their county government, and the act authorizing the supervisors of Brown county to raise money for certain improvements and for other purposes were considered. * * * On the question of county government the ayes were two votes and the noes 21. On the question of road tax the ayes were 22 and noes none. A committee to make nominations of officers for the ensuing year was appointed. They were elected as follows: Charles A. Grignon, Alexander Grignon and David P. Meade, supervisors; Alex Grignon, clerk; George W, Lawe, treasurer; Hoel S. Wright, assessor. Twenty three votes were east at this election, and the following year nineteen voters registered, the majority of, whom were not favorable to state government, in the proportion of 13 against to 6 favorable. The question of road tax was again submitted, and as before was favorably regarded, 18 votes favoring and 1 opposing. The town meeting of 1847 had to consider local affairs only

The poll list for 1848 contains 19 names, none of which were connected with the settlement at Appleton therefore the separation of township 21, range 17, and townships 21 and 22, ranges 16 and 15, which were organized into the town of Grand Chute, April, 1849, did not materially affect the voters or official lists of Kaukaulan. A few officers had been elected from the territory now known as Freedom, which with what is now embraced in Center, was set off from Kaukaulan into the old town of Lansing, and organized September 12, 1849,

The elections and town meetings of Kaukaulan had been generally held at Grignon's store at "Grand Kaukaulan," but in 1850 Michael P. Caulfield, a resident of Little Chute, was elected clerk, and the town meeting of April, 1851, was held "at the town clerk's office, Nepomuc, Little Chute, town of Kaukauna, Outagamie county," Nepomuc is said to have been the name selected by Rev, Van den Broek for the village he platted at Little Chute, but after his death, fall of 1851, it fell into disuse, The county had just been created, and on the question of locating the county seat, Little Chute received 90 votes, Grand Chute six, "southeast quarter, section 6, 21, 19" received one vote, and the geographical center two, indicating a voting population of 99.

The town of Kaukauna comprised township 21 north, range 18 east, and the west half of township 21 north, range 19 ast. Fox river ran through the town and much of the river improvements were upon its borders. Rapide Croche, Kaukauna, Little Chute and Cedar Rapids were the points where dams and locks were constructed and where an immense water power was secured. By 1857 there were three villages in the town, Springville, Kaukauna and Little Chute. This town was noted already for its Sulphur Springs, which had become popular, The Green Bay, Appleton and Madison Railway was projected through this town.

At the January session of the county board in 1858 two new townships were projected, Kaukauna was divided and a strip of territory a section and a half wide north of Fox river in town 18 was attached, to Grand Chute and all south of the river was formed into a new town to be called Buchanan. The first town meeting was ordered held April 1, at the school house in District No. 6 of the existing town of Kaukauna,

The little village of Synderville, situated near Kaukauna, was the center of a new and excellent agricultural district in 1863, It came rapidly to the front by its thrift and increased population. Stores and shops were already there, and the village seemed destined for a large and substantial growth, In the fall of 1868 the town of Kaukauna was divided into two polling districts, the new one being at the schoolhouse at Little Chute. This arrangement was quite an accommodation to voters living in the western part of the town, In August, 1868, Daniel Trerice shot and killed a large deer in the town of Kaukauna, only a short distance from Appelton. He shot and badly wounded a. smaller one, but did not succeed in catching it,

In 1868, according to John Jansen, there were living in the present town of Kaukauna Charles McCartey, Mr. Aspinall, John McGregor, Martin and Michael McCormick, Owen Daly, Dennis McCarty, Peter Rademaker, William Limay and John Limay (or Lambie), Mike Meloney, Peter Diederick, Mike Derks, Joe Duce and Mr. Kelso, Some of them had good farms, well improved. Several of the MeDaniels came about this time.

In 1902, at the April session of the county board of supervisors, an ordinance was passed dividing the town of Kaukauna and creating the town of Vandenbroek, the line of partition was the range line between ranges 18 and 19, the eastern subdivision to continue as Kaukauna, the western to be organized as Vandenbroek,

The village of Little Chute, on the left bank of the Fox river, about five miles below Appleton and two miles above Kaukauna, dates its existence as a village settlement from the coming of the Hollander colonists, many of whom settled near the church. The village plat was made about that time for M. L, Martin, T. J, Vandenbroek and Ephriam St. Louis, and is described as "situated partly on section 21 and partly on section 22, township 21 north, range 18 east, The first settlement was made by Rev, Father Theodore J. Van den Broek, who after being some years at Green Bay, went twenty four miles up the Fox river into the woods, to the Indians at Little Chute, then called La Petite Chute, where he designed missionary work among the natives. There were no habitations of whites, and to shelter the missionary Indian women built him a hut, or wigwam, of bark. It was about fifteen feet long and six feet high and was finished in half a day. In this he lived and began his teaching, using his wigwam for both house and church from Pentecost until the following October, 1837. His efforts were immediately successful and he soon had a congregation of fifty. who heard mass in the open air, and not long after the number had increased to 200. That summer with the help of his converts he built a log church, twenty two feet wide, thirty feet long, roofed with bark. Joists were laid to receive a floor. The church was built without money and there were no boards for floor or seats, so the joists were made to serve as benches. The following year the floor was covered with boards, and a board roof took the place of the bark,

The first school house was built about 1844, near the new church grounds in Little Chute, The building was put up by the settlers, and teachers' wages and board paid by the missionary, The settlers, few in number, could not meet the expenses; the school was attended by five or six. scholars.

"My congregation this year," writes Father Van den Broek, 1843, "numbers six hundred souls and the church is finished. . . .

Last year Rt. Rev. Bishop Lefevre honored me with a visit; with cross and banner my Indians went in procession to meet him, and we sang on his arrival Ecce Sacerdos Magnus,' and other hymns in their language till we reached the church, Next day seventy received the sacrament of confirmation. At high mass all sang in their own language the Kyrie Eleison, Gloria, and in the afternoon, Vespers, likewise in the Indian language You never, heard finer harmony than the Indians sang in Gregorian chant, The Indians come to school to me every day to learn to read and write, as well as the different trades, * * * The land on which I live, La Petite Chute, is a very pleasant place, where on my arrival all was woods, I can now sow one hundred bushels of grain,"

Rev, Mr. Yocum, in February, 1854, held two days' of religious services at Kaukauna, there being a large attendance for that time, Little Chute 'was made a postoffice March 1854, and Peter Maas was appointed postmaster. In March, 1854, the Catholic Church at Little Chute, which for some time had been without a pastor, was supplied by an appointment of Very Rev. Bishop Henn.

"Little Chute. - This village, six miles east of Appleton, is the focus of a large settlement of Hollanders who are improving the country and acquiring a competency. Some twenty five families have been added to the population of Little Chute and vicinity within the past month and we are informed that they expect at least fifty families to join them during the summer." - (Crescent, June 10, 1854,)

The improvement of the river at Little Chute by June, 1854, was nearly completed. A large number of men had been at work there for some time. Little Chute was one of the first settlements above Green Bay, It was the location of the Catholic Mission and had a large population of Hollanders in 1854. During the early part of the year large accessions to the settlement there were made, It was one of the busiest villages on the lower Fox river and occupied a beautiful location, and the adjacent towns were selling rapidly,

"A party of forty three Hollanders passed through our village on Thursday afternoon, bound for the neighboring township of Kaukauna, We suppose they have located near the village of Little Chute," - (Crescent, August, 1854,)

In May, 1856, four Germans were drowned at Little Chute. A party of seven attempted to cross the river just above the dam. The boat capsized and they were carried over the dam and only three of the seven were saved, Those drowned, as remembered by Mr. Coenen, were Jacob Snyder, Philip Palm, Andrew Hartsom and his son, Michael, In February, 1861, the Catholic church at Little Chute was supplied temporarily by Rev. Mr, Speahrings, who hitherto had been stationed in Brown county, The Catholics of Little Chute in February, 1861, 'tendered him a donation visit and left substantial evidences of their regard for his services, A procession of horsemen bearing banners and wearing scarfs passed through Appleton escorting Rev, Mr, Speahrings to his new home. The streets at Little Chute were spanned with evergreen arches inscribed with appropriate mottoes. The church was tastily trimmed and many of the buildings were decorated, Early in May, 1861, the farmers of Little Chute invited their brethren in other parts of the county to meet with them the same month for the purpose of holding a series ' of stock fairs during the coming summer, Every one interested in good stock was asked to be present,

Early in 1862 a new, flouring mill was' planned to be built at Little Chute by John Verstegen; it was 36x50 feet and four stories high with two run of stone, The Zeeland Mills are still running, in 1911,

Early in 1863 large numbers of Hollanders settled in the vicinity of Little Chute, They were welcomed by the citizens and soon were in comfortable circumstances, Early in 1863 they began the erection of a new church. The structure was designed to be built of wood, but to have a stone foundation, In April, 1864, a mob at Little Chute destroyed the saloon and liquor kept by Mary Enright, a widow. They chopped the building to pieces with axes and then destroyed the house and contents by fire. The property burned was worth about $1,000. Later the county was compelled in a suit to make good the damage thus done, The Catholics of Little Chute, through the efforts of Father Spearling, began the erection of a new church edifice during the summer of 1864. The building was designed to be 44x110 feet, In September, 1864, the bridge across the river at Little Chute was finished and the people of Little Chute in general and John Verstegen in particular were given praise for the completion of this needed work, It added much to the manufacturing and milling facilities at Little Chute and was a great convenience to people there and at Appleton,

In the fall of 1865 the Catholics of Little Chute circulated a subscription to raise money with which to purchase an organ for their church, A. goodly and sufficient amount was subscribed, The Catholic church in process of erection in Little Chute in 1867, under the superintendency of Thomas O'Keefe of Appleton, promised to be the largest religious edifice in northeastern Wisconsin. It was suggested that it would be transformed into a cathedral for the new bishop of Green Bay. Late in April, 1868, the store and dwelling house of Peter Boots at Little Chute was destroyed by fire, The loss was about $3,000, a portion of which was insured.

The cornerstone of the Catholic church at Little Chute was laid early in August, 1868, by Right Reverend Joseph Melcher, Bishop of Green Bay, At 9 o'clock the procession moved to the new church building. It consisted of the children, followed by the Bishop, the clergy, members of different societies and the mass of the people, all carrying banners and badges; the Appleton Cornet Band headed the procession, The Bishop performed the ceremonies in the usual imposing manner. The exercises consisted principally in blessing the place where the high altar was to be, where the corner stone was, and lastly the foundation of the church In the cornerstone was placed a box of zinc, containing numerous relics, At this time Rev, A. J. Verberek was pastor of the Catholic church at that place, There were present Rev. F. E, Deems, B. DeGoey, Rev. H. Hoeffen, Rev. W. A. Verboort, The latter preached an eloquent sermon during the day.

The village of Little Chute was incorporated in 1899, with John A, Kilsdonk president, H. J, Mollen, H. J, Verstegen, Henry Wyenberg, George Van den Berg, James Gerrits and John Molitor, trustees; John De Bruin, clerk; John Lamers, treasurer. The Officers at once set about public improvements and as a result can probably show more miles of good sidewalks and good roads than any other village in the county, The village has a good engine house and council rooms, an outfit of fire fighting appliances, and a good school building, in which both the grade and a. high school course are taught.

Though located on an interurban railway having hourly service, and but a few minutes' ride from either Appleton or Kaukauna, Little Chute has as many prosperous business houses as commonly found in a village of its size, some of the stocks being exceptionally comjlete, December 4, 1906, the Bank of Little Chute was organized as &state bank, with a capital of $15,000, The officers were H. J. Verstegen, president; William Geenen, vice president; P, A. Gloudemans, cashier, who with H, J. Mollen and Dr, Doyle constitute the directorate since the beginning. H. J, Stark is assistant cashier. The bank has prospered throughout its history, has a surplus in 1911 of $3,750, and is recognized as one of the most substantial institutions in this section. In the rear room is the postoffice,

The Valley Advocate of Little Chute made its initial appearance July 22, 1910, an eight page, six column newspaper, published by F, G. Shirley; who has recently been appointed postmaster.

The present village 'officers are P, A, Gloudemans, president; Walter Wildenberg, John Williamsen, John Loin, George Heessackers and Barney Hietpas, trustees; Anton Jansen, clerk; Martin De Bruin, treasurer.

In 1902 the town of Kaukauna was divided, by action of the county board of supervisors, on the line between ranges 18 and 19, that portion lying in range 18 becoming a new town called Vandenbroek, At the first election, held May 13, 1902, the officers selected were Martin Weyenberg, chairman; Wenzel Heindl and Anton J. Vandenberg, supervisors; Anton A, Heitpas, clerk; John A. Gloudemans, assessor; John Hendricks, treasurer. Sixty eight voters registered at this election. At the first town meeting, $1,000 was voted for general purpose fund; $500 for a bridge on Freedom road, In 1904 a thousand dollars was appropriated for Bungers bridge over the creek and an equal amount for general purposes.

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