Poznan (also known as Posen), is truly the city that never was built. In the late 1880s, logging operations were drawing to a close in the township of Withee. The vast stands of hemlock, pine, and other hardwoods had been harvested, leaving a land of stumps and brush. The Polish land agents Piotrowicz and Slupecki from Milwaukee began selling 40-acre plots of "farmland" to Polish and Lithuanian immigrants. In order to entice the immigrants to come to the town of Withee, they also planned the town of Poznan, to be located near the site of the Sterling Company lumber mill, about 4 miles east of the fledgling village of Thorp.
The village of Poznan was surveyed and laid out in 1895, but never materialized. The reason for this is not known. Since catholicism was important to the immigrant Poles, having a catholic church was also important. About 1891, St. Hedwig's church was built. Originally intended for the site of Poznan, a site two miles west was eventually chosen as being more centrally located. The original St. Hedwig's wooden structure was replaced with the brick church that exists on that site to this day.
Not much is known about Poznan, but two documents exist that prove it existed, at least on paper (or, more accurately, oilcloth). The documents currently reside at the Clark County Register of Deeds in Neillsville, and are posted here.
Original Plot of the Village of Poznan
Surveyor's Certificate (legal stuff, 1895-style)
Anyone having any more information about Poznan (or the town of Withee), please contact the webmaster for these pages, Leon Konieczny.
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