The following societies are now (1884) represented in Prairie du Chien:
Good Templars, St. Joseph Benevolent Society, Odd Fellows, Grand Army of the Republic, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Masonic and German Harugari.
Prairie du Chien Lodge No. 16
Prairie du Chien Lodge No. 16 (Independent Order of Good Templars), was instituted by S. E. Farnham, special deputy G. M., Oct. 31, 1875, with a charter membership of sixty-six, of whom only two are, at this writing, members in good standing. The first officers were: Dr. John Conant, W. C. T.,; Mrs. J. Lovewell, W. V. T.; Rev. C. F. Clapp, W. C.; F. J. Bowman, W. R. S.; J. D. Humphrey, W. F. S.; Anna McCulloch, W. T.; C. A. Douglass, W. M.; Annie Oram, W. I. G.; J. Lovewell, W. O. G. Two hundred and thirty-four members have been admitted since the lodge was organized. The number now in good standing is fifty. The present officers are:
William Mauke, W. C. T.; Aggie Herr, W. V. T.; Schwantse, W. C.; L. T. Butterfield, W. R. S.; Charles Lester, W. F. S.; Clara Gerry, W. T.; David McMaster, W. M.; Belle Thompson, W. I. G.; Eddie Poehler, W. O. G.; L. T. Butterfield, lodge deputy. Lodge meets Monday nights, at their hall, in the Dousman Block.
St. Joseph’s Benevolent Society
St. Joseph’s Benevolent Society (a Bohemian benevolent society), was organized Sept. 28, 1879. The object is for mutual aid in sickness and death, sick benefits are paid, and in case of death; the brother’s widow or heirs receive $600, and in case of the death of a wife, the husband receives $300. Albert Vondrak was the first president, John Fuka, vice-president, Anton Prochaska, secretary, Frank Liber, financial secretary, Joseph Lauka, treasurer, Anton Vlaste, collector. The present officers are, Anton Prochaska, president, Charles Kalina, vice-president, Matt. Kobliska, secretary, Matt. Chapek, financial secretary, Wenzel Hanzel, treasurer, Frank Kalina, banner-bearer, Joseph Krejci, marshal, Frank Liber, second marshal. The society numbers seventy-four, and meets once a month.
Pioneer Lodge, No. 37, I. O. O. F.
Pioneer Lodge, No. 37, I. O. O. F., the first Odd Fellows’ lodge of Prairie du Chien, was organized Aug. 3, 1849. The record states that the Grand Master was present, and conferred the fourth degree upon Bro. E. P. Wood, and the full five degrees upon Bros. H. A. Wright, T. L. Wheeler, F. B. Bachelor, and I. S. Curtis. The lodge opened on Friday night, Aug. 3, 1849, E. P. Wood was chosen noble grand, H. A. Wright, vice-grand, and I. S. Curtis, inside guard. The first candidate initiated, was C. P. Fox, whose initiation took place at the first meeting. Bro. Fox was a candidate for a degree at each successive meeting, and was finally voted in the fifth degree, Aug. 31, 1849. Degrees fourth and fifth were conferred upon Bro. Harrison; degrees third, fourth and fifth, upon Bros. T. Robertson, Wm. Robertson and L. Jackson. The lodge seemed to lack vitality, for some cause or other. The records show the last meeting to have been held May 2, 1856. It is supposed that the charter was surrendered about that time.
Crawford Lodge No. 98
Crawford Lodge No. 98 (Independent Order of Odd Fellows), was organized at Prairie du Chien, Feb. 28, 1859, D. D. G. M., E. A. Bottum in the chair. The following named brothers were elected, and installed as the first officers of the lodge: Robert Scott, N. G.; A. Benedict, V. G.; T. Warner, R. S.; S. A. Clark, treasurer. A charter was issued to the lodge dated Jan. 19, 1860. Bros. Sam. A. Clark, Robert Scott, Theodore Warner, Alonzo Benedict and A. Coburn were the charter members. The Charter bears the signature of Stoddard Judd, G. M.; H. Ruda, G. S. The lodge has had an uninterrupted existence, from its organization to this writing, and is now in a prosperous and healthy condition, present membership, sixty-six.
Its present officers are George Wright, N. G.; H. C. Parshler, V. G.; E. W. Van Vickle, R. S.; E. Blanchard, P. S.; A. Denio, T. Past Grands, are Sylvester Ault, J. C. E. Bear, S. A. Clark, Dr. John Conant, A. Denio, S. E. Farnham, M. Friederich, C. S. Fuller, T. M. Fullerton, J. M. Gillis, Frank Jallish, John Koch, Thomas Kemp, E. O. Lacy, David McIntyre, Henry Otto, Jacob Pugh, J. H. Priest, D. B. Richardson, James Stackpole, G. C. Smith, Joel C. Smith, J. G. Schweizer, (deceased), C. M. Lully, I. M. Stern, Edwin Treffry, L. F. S. Viele, A. C. Wallin, and T. G. Brunson.
Peter V. Plummer, Post No. 37; G. A. R.
Peter V. Plummer, Post No. 37; G. A. R. was instituted July 18, 1882. Daniel Webster, commander, Dr. E. J. Eddy, adjutant. The membership numbers fifty. Meets every first and third Friday of each month. The organization is growing rapidly, and is in a prosperous condition.
Star Lodge No. 15, Ancient Order United Workmen
Star Lodge No. 15, Ancient Order United Workmen, was instituted by district deputy grand master, W. H. Burford, at Prairie du Chien, Oct. 19, 1877. The meeting was held at the hall of the I. O. G. T., in Dousman Block. The charter members were H. R. Farr, William Manke, F. W. Herr, D. Webster, C. W. Plummer, J. A. Newton, J. D. Humphrey, Dr. E. Steiger, L. O. King, John B. Davis, L. Case.
The first officers were William Manke, F.; L. Cherrier, O.; D. Webster, R.; Phil Helwig, G. L. R. and F.; H. C. Poehler, R.; G. W. Foster, Dis. Dep. G. M. The lodge meets every alternate Tuesday in the Odd Fellows’ Hall.
The aggregate losses paid to Aug. 1, 1883-4, amount to $8,000. The association is growing and prosperous.
Trustees were: Short term, L. Case; middle term, J. A. Newton; long term, J. D. Humphrey; guide, C. W. Plummer; I. W., F. Herr; O. W., William Manke. The lodge numbers forty-five members. The present officers are: L. T. Butterfield, P. M. W.; Henry Otto, M. W.
Prairie du Chien lodge No. 106
Prairie du Chien lodge No. 106, A. F. and A. M., was instituted with charter bearing date June 11, 1858. The following were the appointed officers: John Kennaly, W. M.; I. Perrit Gentil, S. W.; John J. Chase, J. W. First meeting was held Jan. 6, 1858, acting under dispensation of the grand lodge. The first officers elected: Henry Patch, W. M.; I. Perrit Gentil, S. W.; John Kennaly, J. W.; O. P. Martin, T.; John J. Chase, S.; J. S. Curtis, S. D.; H. Weidmfeld, J. D.; A. C. Dudley, T. The first brother initiated and raised was Ira F. Manuel, Feb. 24, 1858, was made a master mason. The lodge was worked successfully continuously from its inception to date (1884). The lodge bought an old store building near the old fort grounds, about the close of the war, which they sold to Mr. Herdenberger, who moved it to Bluff street, opposite the Central House, where it is now used as a meat market. Their present commodious hall was built by the lodge; size 28×80 feet. The post office is below, offices back, built in 1872, at a cost of $6,000, of mill brick, two stories, situated on north side of Bluff street near Church street.
The present membership, 1884, is 100 master masons. Present officers: A. C. Wallin, W. M.; E. Morrison, S. W.; S. E. Farnham, J. W.; Aaron Denio, T.; George D. Cottrell, S.; John Koch, S. D.; M. Frederick, J. D.; A. Tilmont, S.; R. M. Halsey, T.
Jerusalem Chapter No. 25
Jerusalem Chapter No. 25, (Prairie du Chien) was operated under dispensation of the grand chapter July 11, 1865, and instituted Feb. 20, 1865. The first officers were: U. F. Case, H. P.; J. J. Chase, K.; G. M. Rising, Scribe; A. Coburn, treasurer; E. Johnson, secretary; R. C. Dimock, C. of H.
The first officers after the lodge was instituted were U. F. Case, H. P.; J. J. Chase, K.; G. M. Rising, scribe; A. Coburn, treasurer; R. C. Dimock, C. of H.
The present officers are R. C. Dimock, H. P.; J. D. Jones, K.; L. F. S. Viele, S.; Aaron Denio, treasurer; A. C. Wallin secretary; L. Canillard, C. of H. The chapter meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
Mississippi Lodge No. 423
Mississippi Lodge No. 423, (Deutcher Order Harugari of Prairie du Chien), was instituted under the jurisdiction of the grand lodge, which organized in New York city March 9, 1847, and reorganized in Wisconsin, Jan. 25, 1869. The Mississippi lodge No. 423 was chartered May 8, 1880. The charter members were Charles Reinhold, H. Willers, Charles Bracher, Herman Doshe, William Ziel and Christian Griesbach. The lodge has a membership of twenty-two, and is composed exclusively of Germans.
The first officers were: Theodore Willers, Ex. B.; Carl Reinhold, O. B.; Christian Greisbach, U. B.; Charles F. Bracher, S.; Thio Willer, T. The present officers are: William Ziel, O. B.; Ferdinand Pflaun, U. B.; Henry Netz, S.; Charles Reinhold, T.; M. Menges, D. D. Ex. B.
The association is exclusively German, and originated in New York City, March 9, 1847. Twelve Germans founded it for the purpose of preserving the German language in America, and for preserving the German National characteristics. Subsequently it was made a benevolent order, and by its laws pays endowments or insurance to the heirs of deceased brothers to the amount of $500, and a sick benefit to sick brothers as fixed by the bylaws. This lodge meets every Thursday evening at their hall in Brunson’s block.
Driving Park Association
The Prairie du Chien Mechanical, Agricultural and Driving Park Association was organized Aug. 22, 1883. H. L. Dousman was elected president; O. B. Thomas, vice president; Wm. Newton, secretary; A. M. Beach, treasurer, and M. Menges, superintendent. The capital stock was limited to $10,000, about $6,000 of which has been subscribed at this writing. The association has bargained with Mr. B. F. Fay for fifty-seven acres in the northeastern part of the city, for the site, being a part of farm lot No. 35; the price to be $3,000. It is the intention on the part of the managers to proceed at once to improve the ground, and construct a first-class racecourse thereon.
The Bohemian band
The Bohemian band, of Prairie du Chien, originally organized in 1870, comprised eight pieces, with Matt Chapek as leader. The band was composed of Bohemians, and was very popular. About 1877 it suspended for a while, and re-organized in 1881, with ten pieces. The following named parties compose the band: Matt Chapek, leader; M. Tehle, W. Tesar, Joseph Zeman, C. Zeman, Joseph Tehle, Matt Hanzlicek, Fred Bachelder, Charles Pion and Winzel Strauski. This band have a good outfit of instruments; are well drilled, and are widely and favorably known.
History of Crawford and Richland Counties, Wisconsin: Together with Sketches of Their Towns and Villages, Educational, Civil, Military, and Political History, Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Representative Citizens ; History of Wisconsin : Embracing Accounts of the Pre-historic Races, and a Brief Account of Its Territorial and State Governments, Part 1. Crawford County (WI): Union Publishing Company, 1884.