A BIT OF PRENTICE HISTORY 1895                                                                                                                                                      Its Early History and That of the Village Identical

   Something More About the Early Days of Prentice and Its Industrious Founders           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                              
             

                       Price County Map Plat 1895                                                                                                               Price County Plat Map of 1895 showing the railroad intersection at Prentice

     
In the summer of 1882 the Jump River Lumber company was incorporated at Portage, Wis., and consisted of the following gentlemen:  A. Prentice, M. T. Alverson, O. D. Van Dusen, C. R. Gallett, L. L. Breese and F. H. Lewis.  Early in the fall Messrs. Prentice and Van Dusen came up from Dorchester on the morning passenger with orders from the railroad company to let them off in the morning at the Jump river bridge and stop for them on the way down in the afternoon.  They skirmished around all day in the brush and picked out a location for the dam and mill.  They brought lunch with them and ate it on the bridge.  Later in the fall, Messrs. Gallett, Lewis and Prentice came up on a freight, with a carload of lumber from Dorchester.  The freight stopped while they threw off the lumber, there being no sidetracks here in those days.  They had tools, provisions, carpenters and workmen, and erected on the side of the track a cook shanty, which is the building now used by the Jump River lumber company as a warehouse.  They went to work clearing the site for the mill and built the “boarding house,” which has since been enlarged and improved and is now so ably conducted by Landlord Myers under the name of THE JUMP RIVER HOUSE and which is spoken of by the traveling public as one of the best hotels on the line.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Jump River Lumber Company Hotel                                                                                                                     The Jump River House located between Bridge and Park St. on Railroad Ave                                                                                                                                                   
About the same time they built the store.  Being the first store, it controlled the bulk of the trade, and its business increased to such an extent that in 1891 it was enlarged to more than twice its former size.  It is today a model store in every respect and incandescent lamps and the stock comprises absolutely everything in the line of general merchandise.  The next buildings to be erected were seven or eight dwelling houses that are now occupied by Emerson Brothers.  Before snow flew the dam had been completed and when winter set in logging operations were vigorously prosecuted under the direction of Mr. Lewis.  Mr. Prentice took charge of the clearing and building, while Mr. Gallett looked after the business interests of the company.  As soon as the ice in the pond broke the following spring, the mill, which in the meantime had been completed, was started, with George Morrow as foreman and Grant VanDusen as timekeeper.  Joe Rabdeau was in charge of the shingle mill and Dick Burritt of the lath mill; Mel Robbins presided at the boarding house; Charles Alverson kept the books and John Turner conducted the store.  The Wisconsin Central Railroad company was represented by Joseph Wilbur and the SOO HAD NOT BEEN HEARD OF.
                                                                                                                    
Of the next four years there is little to be said.  The mill ran steadily night and day, turning out in the neighborhood of 100,000 feet of lumber every twenty-four hours, except from the time when the pond froze up in the fall until the roads were suitable for hauling.  The mill employed a force of about 150 men and in the winter the company operated from four to six camps of from thirty to fifty men each.  Wages were good and everybody was prosperous and happy.                                                                                                                                                                               
Early in the summer of 1886, there began to be rumors afloat of a new railroad which was coming from the west, and when in the fall G. W. Carrington with a corps of civil engineers came here and started through the woods in search of a location for the right-of-way, the rumors became a certainty, the seeds were sown which were soon to take root, bud and blossom into an ear of prosperity hitherto undreamed of in Prentice.  Corner lots were now at a premium and before spring Prentice real estate was selling by the front foot.  The population now began to double every week—some weeks—hotels grew up like mushrooms, and when the road struck Prentice in the spring of 1887 she enjoyed the distinction of being the liveliest and wickedest town in all Northern Wisconsin.  Up to this time the history of Prentice and of the Jump River Lumber company had been identical, but now the town, which had hitherto grown up under the wise policy and fostering care of the company, broke loose from all restraint and assumed, as it were, among the powers of earth a separate and equal station.

Wisconsin Central Railroad Depot                                                                                                                                                                                     
THE HISTORY OF PRENTICE will be taken up at another time. In 1889 the company, having cut all the nearest timber, built six miles of logging railroad, through a newly acquired tract of pine, which they operated for about five years.  It was on this road that Mark Haley received the injuries from which he died some months later.                                                                                                                                                                   
All who are in touch with the financial questions of the day know how disastrous the past two years have been. Never before in the history of     our country have so many failures occurred in all branches of business, and in August, 1894, the Jump River Lumber Company were compelled to allow their business to go into the hands of a receiver, in the person of Mr. W. J. Hartzell. The causes that led to this result are varied and the writer is unable to state them clearly in an article of this length.  Suffice it to say that Messrs. Van Dusen and Gallet did all that could have been done to avert the crash. 

Within the coming year we LOOK FOR BETTER TIMES and hope here many moons have passed over our heads to see the smoke issuing once more from the tall smoke stack and to hear the merry hum of the saws which brings prosperity and happiness alike to the workman and company.
                                                                                                                                                          

            THE HISTORY OF PRENTICE will be taken up at another time.  In 1889 the company, having cut all the nearest timber, built six miles of logging                       railroad, through a newly acquired tract of pine, which they operated for about five years.  It was on this road that Mark Haley received the                         injuries from which he died some months later.

            All who are in touch with the financial questions of the day know how disastrous the past two years have been.  Never before in the history of                     our country have so many failures occurred in all branches of business, and in August, 1894, the Jump River Lumber Company were compelled to                 allow their business to go into the hands of a receiver, in the person of Mr. W. J. Hartzell.  The causes that led to this result are varied and the                     writer is unable to state them clearly in an article of this length.  Suffice it to say that Messrs. Van Dusen and Gallet did all that could have been                     done to avert the crash. 

            Within the coming year we LOOK FOR BETTER TIMES and hope here many moons have passed over our heads to see the smoke issuing once                         more from the tall smoke stack and to hear the merry hum of the saws which brings prosperity and happiness alike to the workman and company.