Lisbon politicians Party, August,1901
This is arguably one of the greatest Town of Lisbon photos ever taken. It was taken in early August of 1901 at the Elmer Weaver woods. It was a community picnic with no less than 10 former Town of Lisbon supervisors and chairmen attending. The Elmer Weaver woods was the former Thomas Weaver woods. It was north of the present day Stoney Halquist Park. The identity of those pictured are: (Front row:) Charles Buck Jr. McCartan, former chairman, Jeremiah Smith, Charles Beier, (second row:) August Busse, John Tempero, Jim Weaver, Charles Vick, unknown, Andrew Davidson, former chairman, Albert Brandt, Dave Tempero and Jim Loundsberry. (Third row:) George Howard, John Rogers, former chairman, Will Edwards, former chairman, Frank Grogan, Fred Haass, George Bates, host Elmer Weaver, and John Small, former chairman. (Fourth row:) Henry Howard, Charles Brown, George McKerrow, Robert Leadly, John Slicker, George Brown, August Mindemann, Perdergast, Charles Buck, former chairman, William Hurtgen, John Watson, former chairman, Richard Weaver, former chairman, and Richmond Weaver. (Last row:) George Russell, Charles Walters, Philip Stier, Herman Busse, William D McGill, former chairman and Rod Ainsworth, former chairman. In the background is a pile of tamarack poles that were used for the raising of hops, which at the time was a dying industry because of a bug called the "Hop Louse." According to a newspaper report, 500 people attended the event, including the very first settler of the Town of Lisbon, Thomas S Redford.
This is one of the all-time great Lisbon political photos, and we know it was taken in early August, 1901. The location was where today one finds Stoney Halquist Park near Quarry Road off Highway K on Lisbon Road. The occasion was a Lisbon Township picnic that nearly 500 people attended.
The highlight of the picnic was reportedly a cricket game in which the two teams were the Married Men and the Single Men. A second high point was during the picnic as the first ever new form of transportation came on the scene as it chugged along Lisbon Road, and promptly stopped to be part of the picnic and "show in tell" (The very first auto show in Lisbon.)
In 1901, Lisbon consisted of 36 square miles, six miles by six miles, with the corssroads of Maple and Main in the Village of Sussex, Main Street and Waukesha Avenue in Templeton and in Colgate, Lake Five Road and County Line Road.
The U.S. Census of 1900 was official in 1901, at 1501 people.
Notable as a backdrop in this photo is a stack of tamarack poles, used for a the raising of hops in Lisbon. It had been a big money maker for Lisbon farmers, middlemen and a source of money for community women and children who worked at harvest time hand plucking the hop cones from the hop poles that held up the hop vines.
The vast majority of these men would be dead in the next 25 years. The probably last alive who would live 50 or more years is Frank Grogan (fourth from left, third row) who in 1924 became the first elected president of the emerging Village of Sussex, serving 10 years until 1934. He is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in the front row near Waukesha Avenue.
A special guest at the picnic was the first Lisbon land claimer, Thomas S. Redford, who at age 17 walked from New York state to Wisconsin and Milwaukee, going out with the surveyors and claiming 160 acres on the west corners of Silver Spring and Town Line Road. His cost for 160 acres was $1.25 per acre, a total of $200. Today, he is buried also at Rose Hill Cemetery, near Frank Grogan.
Several of these men fought in the Civil War. Most notable was John Watson, a former Town chairman, who was in the Union trans Mississippi Army that fought at Vicksburg, Helena, Mobile and in the skirmishes in Arkansas.
A fellow soldier from up on North Lisbon Road was Charles McGill (1818-1864) who while serving with Watson at Pine Bluff, Ark., died of typhoid fever and is buried in Arkansas. Charles McGill and his wife Elizabeth of Lisbon had a boy, William McGill, a mega future Lisbon politician who attended this 1901 picnic. The son, William was born in 1857 and died in 1934, and was buried at the Lisbon Central Cemetery.