History: Unity (History – 1921)

Poster: Stan Schwarze


----Source: Wausau Herald 5 Nov 1921


Surnames for 1921 Unity History: Edgar Ayer, Wanda Bahl, Mary A. Brady, George Burgess, Charles Creed, Edmund Creed, Alfred Cook, L. H. Cook, E. L. Messer, George Cook, Walter E. Cook, Henry Darling, S. J. Falck, M. L. Fansher, Rev. R. J. Fleming, Herman Francer, J. E. Fuller, F. C. Gillett, Adolph Groeele, Viola Gustin, Martin Hallestad, President Harding, W. R. Hudson, Carl G. Johnson, Charles Johnson, J. P. Johnson, Rev. Johnson, Sigma Johnson, Phillip H. Klein, Charles A. Lain, Peter Lydickson, Wakelin McNeel, Etta Mason, W. E. Morgan, Matt Orth, Antonia Oson, Chester Perschke, Oscar C. Perschke, Dora Peters, Ruth Peters, Joseph Amos Pettet, W. J Rogan, Godfrey Safemaster, Earl Salter, John W. Salter, Ruby Salter, L. J. Scott, Dudley Spaulding, President Taft, L. P. Taplin, John M. Vaughn, E. C. Vogt, F. C. Weidman, L. H. Weyers, Malon Wilson, President Wilson.


----Village of Unity, Marathon and Clark Co., Wisconsin's Distinctions


Village of Unity, Wisconsin has Distinctions



Unity, Nov. 4, 1921 – The village of Unity, located half in the county of Marathon and half in Clark County, on the Eau Pleine River, is different from other villages of this and other counties of the state in several ways, some of them of special significance and importance; there is no marshal of the village nor any Justice of the peace, and its jail is only used by spiders and as a gentle reminder, for the village has not sent a criminal case to be tried at the county seat in twenty years, and no one seems to want the police jobs, fearing perhaps to doe of inertia.


Other Features


There are between 500 and 600 people within the village limits and there are two churches, both English, and no German and no Catholic Church. It is also a town of “Jiners” for there are lodges of half a dozen fraternal orders, women’s as well as men’s, and there are Masons who go to Colby for their affiliation.


It was the home of Alfred Cook for many years, and he was the village president from its incorporation until his death a year ago, and to him is given much of the credit for the orderly processes of life, the freedom from litigation and other legal troubles.


The Cook family has farms here yet, and the boys are prominent factors in the village, town and county. Walter and George and L. (Louis) H. Cook, the latter being the county’s representative at the state legislature.


Editor Cook


It was in Unity where L. H. Cook was an editor and publisher of a newspaper for eight years, and there he says gained more knowledge of human nature than in all the other years of his life, for newspaper work was not always smooth, even in the early days of the twentieth century. Mr. Cook bout a small printing plant in 1902 and started a paper which he kept going for eight years, selling to E. L. Messer, who has conducted the Marathon County Register for twelve years, with the help of his duties of postmaster, and as he was appointed by President Taft and kept on all during President Wilson’s administration. It is possible he may remain to see President Harding go out.


Assemblyman Louis H. Cook.

Mr. Cook Started the Marathon County Register in 1903 and was the editor for eight years.



Best there is


Mr. Messer says “Unity is located in the best dairying section of this or any state. Its soil is Colby silt, a rich heavy clay loam, which hold moisture, and the farms and dairy herds which have developed, make it the best farming community to be found anywhere.”


And other citizens of Unity modestly admit that as a place to live, Unity cannot be beat.


Early History


Edmund Creed, who had had a store in Nelsonville, Waupaca County, secured sixty acres of land in the unbroken forest here in 1871 and he built a commodious log house, his wife and two children coming the following year. They were, the first and for a time the only settlers in this section, and Mrs. Creed, who survives, recalls vividly the life of fifty years ago, when transportation was on very poor roads and communication infrequent; and also of the good times enjoyed when travelers stopped over for the night.


Henry Darling took up a tract adjoining them the next years, and on these two tracts, the present village of Unity is located; the name being selected by the government from a list furnished by Mr. Creed, who for many years was postmaster at this station on the Central Wisconsin railroad; now the Soo line.


First Saw Mill


The first sawmill here was built and operated by Dudley Spaulding who moved it to Owen in 1891. Other Sawmills were built and were operated in the passing years, but these have all disappeared but the settlement which grew up around them remained and grew, until about fifteen years ago the village was incorporated.


Previously it had two sets of township officials, on for the town of Brighton in Marathon County, and one set for the part of Clark County, in Unity Township.


Mrs. Creed is the only survivor of the very early settlers, but Joseph Amos Pettet, a Civil War veteran, came in 1869, remaining until death called him last Wednesday, Oct. 19; the last of the union veterans of the village.


Phillip H. Klein, a merchant, and Mr. and Mrs. John W. Salter are among those who came in the early 80’s, and many more have been here for more than a score of years, the village almost merging into the country, as farmers increased their herds and prospered.



Village Offices


F. C. Gillett is village president, J. E. Fuller, Clerk, Edgar Ayer, treasurer, and J. P. Johnson is assessor, and the trustees are Walter E. Cook, L. P. Taplin, George Burgess, Charles Creed, W. E. Morgan and Oscar C. Perschke.



Unity High School


The "New" Unity High School in 1921


Unity has an accredited high school with fifty pupils and a good graded school with eight-five pupils.


The high school faculty consists of F. C. Weidman, principal, and Miss Wanda Dohl and Miss Viola Gustin. The grade teachers are Misses Dora Peters, Ruth Peters and Antonia Oson.


The school board is composed of: Martin Hellestad, president; Walter E. Cook, treasurer and S. J. Talck, clerk.


There is an active Parent-Teachers association, with Mrs. John W. Salter, president, Mrs. Malon Wilson, secretary and treasurer, and Mrs. George Cook, vice-president.


The association met last Monday evening, over sixty attending, and many subjects were discussed. An effort is to be made to make this association into more of a Community club and to take up matters not confined to the school. The officers plan for a meeting this month when Miss Mary A. Brady, home demonstrator, can attend and offer advice and assistance. There is no Women’s club in the village and a Community club is believed to be what is needed.


Boy Scouts


There is a live Boy Scout troupe, of which the Rev. R. J. Fleming is scout master and Chester Perschke is assistant. There are twenty-six members and interest is maintained by weekly meetings.

There have been Camp Fire Girls and a girls sewing club, but these have not been reorganized this fall.


Last year there was a strong Boy’s and Gril’s agricultural club, under the direction of Wakelin McNeel of Wausau, but his awaits his coming for winter reorganization.


The public school is conducting a lyceum course of three numbers, the first, “The Hoosier Male Tril,” to appear on November 17, in the village hall, and the others come a month apart.


There are also several basketball teams connected with the school and also an Agricultural club which has good programs.


Unity State Bank


The Unity State Bank


The Unity State bank with a capital and surplus of $12,000 was incorporated in 1909, a neat, attractive building is being erected. The present officers are: ? , president; Edgar Ayers, vice-president, S. J. Falck, cashier, and these with Phillip H. Klein and L. H. Weyers constitute the board of directors.


Interior of the Unity, Wis. State Bank




The Methodist Episcopal Church has an attractive building and a large congregation. The Rev. R. J. Fleming came in the early summer as a student supply, but pleased so well that he was accepted as permanent pastor, the church now for the first time supporting itself.


The Ladies Aid Society assists materially in church work, its officers being: Mrs. Walter Cook, president; Miss Edith Cook, secretary and Miss Martha Clark, treasurer.


The Lutheran Church was first organized as a Scandinavian Church, but was changed last year into the Trinity English Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Mr. Johnson as pastor. The congregation is large and the Ladies Aid Society, under the presidency of Mrs. Martin Hallestad, is doing much for the welfare of the church and community.


Good Hotel


The Forest Hotel had been conducted the past fourteen months by M. L. Fanscher, but he retired last week on account of other duties, and W. R. Hudson, the former landlord, assumed charge.

The village is supplied with books kept at the hotel, and sent out from the Wausau Public Library as they are wanted, and this service is appreciated by Unity, young and old people, who are thus able to have almost any book they desire for reading.


Two Parks


The village has a very pretty boulevarded park extending down the center of the main street which affords fresh air and opportunities for flowers and shrubs in the summer, and just outside the village is the county park of eighteen acres, which is being fixed up by the Marathon County Park Commissioner. A log cabin for a comfort station is to be erected there and a well drilled to give a supply of good water. This will make a splendid tourist park and is sure to draw many auto parties.


Many Lodges


For a moderately small village, Unity is well supplied with lodges. The Odd Fellows have a subordinate lodge and an Encampment. The subordinate lodge officers are: Noble grand, Earl Salter; vice-grand, Carl G. Johnson, secretary, John M. Vaughn, treasurer, Phillip Klein. The officers of the Rebekahs are: Noble grand, Etta Mason, vice-grand, Ruby Salter, secretary, Signe Johnson, and treasurer, Mrs. Earl Salter.


There is also a lodge of Modern Woodmen, Woodmen of the World, of Beavers, E.F.H., and of the Royal Neighbors, and it is said that wives know where their husbands are every night in the week, for they are at some lodge meeting.


Great Dairy County


This is a great dairy county, home of the best herds is in Taylor and Marathon Counties, being in a vicinity of Unity and Colby.


There is the big herd of seventy registered Red Polls, belonging to John W. Salter, who has won prizes year after year on his exhibits and tests at the National Red Poll contests, and farm and dairy editors are constantly “writing him up.”

Mr. Salter came to Unity early in the eighties and taught school several years, graduating the first high school class of seven. He and his sons devote much attention to their farm and herd., but Mr. Salter has many other interests also and he is a busy man.


There are splendid herds of toehr breeds of cattle in this vicinity, Among these are the Guernsey herd of E. G. Vogt, who has a group of pure breds imported direct fro the Isle of Guernsey, and many of American birth.


Other Guernsey breeders are Herman Francer and Charles Johnson. Among the Holstein breeders are Walter Cook, George Cook and Peter Lydickson, and many others. Brown Swiss breeders include Godfrey Safemaster and Charles A. Lain, and Adolph Groeele and Matt Orth have fine herds of Ayrshire cattle. W. J. Hogan, county agent, last week assisting in the organization here of a County Ayrshire breeders association.


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