Past Students Uncover Local History


Hello Forest County Residents!

Recently I was flipping through the Forest Republican Newspaper from 1957 and I came across articles written by Crandon High School students for their social studies class. They were directed by their teacher, C.A. Krohn, to complete the project of combing through local historical data for information about Forest County history from 1850-1930. So for the next few weeks I will be writing my blog from interesting information provided by the high school students. This week’s blog information was taken from the article entitled “The History of Argonne” by Mickey Worthington.  

Around 1890 Argonne was a bustling city due to all of the people that came north to work in the lumber camps. The town amenities included: two large hotels, two grocery stores, a clothing store, a meat market, a post office, a printing shop, two newspapers, a livery barn, a bank, seven saloons, and two doctors. The bank at the time was one of the finest in Wisconsin.

At one point it was proposed that the county courthouse be located in Argonne rather than Crandon. Its suggested location was behind the service station owned by Harry Hansen. The reason listed for the failure of this plan was the persuasion of a well educated man in Argonne who was against the idea. He found a way for Three Lakes to break away from Forest County and by doing this he got rid of many of the people that would have voted for the courthouse be placed in Argonne. He also put ads in several newspapers including the Chicago Tribune encouraging people to come to North Crandon and settle. Apparently this had some negative consequences because one person from Chicago that moved up north brought the small pox with them. The article states that 85 percent of the community ended up with the disease and the doctor would charge five dollars to treat each patient.

To read the entire article on the “History of Argonne” please visit the Crandon Public Library’s Local History Room located on the lower level.

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