The following is a history of the Lone Rock community written in 1948.
THE STORY OF LONE ROCK
Would you like to know a little about the prosperous community that is
called Lone Rock, which is now largely of Danish decent and located in
the Town of Orange?
The town of Orange was organized by order of the Juneau County Board to
take effect Apr. 1, 1857. Somewhere around 185O a grist or flour mill was
started up in the place that is now known as Orange Mills. In all
probability, the town got its name from the Orange Mills.
The country was a wilderness. Men and families had migrated west, some
of them putting up saw mills along the rivers. Such a mill was established
near where the Buckley Bridge now is. One of these pioneers was C. B.
Skinner, who originally came from New York state, and worked in the mill
at Buckley. Lured by the abundance of white pine, game and fish, Mr. Skinner
took up a homestead in 1861, his deed, or patent, as it was called
then, was signed by the President of the U. S. There were no roads, of
course then, only Indian trails. The pine was so thick and large, that
trees were felled and rolled back before the erection of the cabin
could take place.
Another of the first settler in this community was Albert A. Wilcox,
who lived on the little hill between Lone Rock and John Mortensen’s farm.
He bought his farm from the State Treasurer for $140.00 in 1857. In 1858
Henry Bundle, a bachelor who engaged in lumbering and cranberrying,
bought the place where the Lone Rock Store now stands. He later sold to
Other first settlers were J. P. Hubbill, who lived where Ben Scott now
lives, W. H. Cleveland who lived where John Geddes now lives, Wm. Martin
who lived where Wm. Brandt now lives, also a Allen Ball, John Georgeson
Wm. Bennett, R. Rhodes, T. Young, and John Bullgreen. Mr. Bullgreen,
owned the now Frank Nieman place.
The country was sparsely settled at first. What few settlers there were
did very little farming and made their living mostly by cutting ties and
wood in the winter, hauling it to Orange Mills to the railroad there
which used it for ties and their wood burning engines. The small farms
or clearings were not fenced in as a rule, their cattle roaming at will
among the woods & marshes. Often, the farmers would have to go for miles
to find their cattle and sort them out from other cattle they were
grazing with. Some men helped run the logs in the spring down the Lemonweir
river, and the Wis. river to some sawmill.
There was a large cranberry marsh of about 40 acres on the farm now
owned by Harry Jensen by Lone Rock that extended south. There were also
many smaller wild cranberry bogs.
Many of the old—timers will remember hearing how the Indians used the place
in front of the farm now owned by Hanse Jensen for their over—night
camping site in their migration.
The earliest record of any election held in the town, according to the
books now in the possession of the present town clerk, was held on Apr. 1,
1873. Seventy three votes were cast at this election, Henry Rule, elected
Chairman, the side Supervisors consisted of Robert Whereatt, J, O. Pierce
and A. Anderson, Town clerk was U. H. Dunn, Treas. Wm. C. Johnson, Assessor
J. H. Audley Justice of the Peace. I.B Hutton. Constable Robert Gardner.
At this meeting, $150.00 was raised for incidental expenses, $50.00
for the support of the poor, and $75.00 raised for the school fund. Balance
of money on hand at that time was $338.36.
There were three school districts in the town. On Sept. 1, 1873 there
were 190 children in the town of Orange over 4 years of age, 128 of these
attending one of the 3 schools in the town, which had a school term of
5 or more months. The cash value of these school houses and their
equipment was valued at $650.00, according to the record.
The town was divied into districts each districts electing its own
Pathmasters, the man who was overseer of a section of town mark road.
Each voter had a chance to work off his poll tax, which amounted to
one days work or $1.50 on the roads. The Pathmasters were overseers
of this work.
Around 1874, many Danish people settled in this locality. Wm. Mortensen
now lives on the farm originally owned by his father, Chris Mortensen,
which was 74 years ago. Fred Olle owned the property now owned by L.
Rydberg, and C. C. Jensen lived on the farm now run by Robert Dvorak.
Robert Peterson owned tha place now owned by John Ring. This was formerly
the old Lund place, also Jim Peterson owned the now Paul Pitner place,
and Michael Parker owned the farms now owned by James Christensens
and Ed Hancock, and lived on the place now occupied by Art Malmwuist.
Adolph Anderson owned the land that is now farmed by Albert Katuin and
Albert Kish. Dimon Butterfield owned the land now owned by Maurice Warriner,
Hans Chritensen owned the farm now run by Chet Chritensen, Peter
Petersen lived on a farm back of S. T. Peterson, the building now torn
down. Ole Johnson bought the farm where John Mortensen, now lives from
Mr. Wilcox in 1872. Hans Jorgenson owned the farm now owned by Herbert
Sampson. Nels Sorenson once owned the form now owned by S. T.
Peterson. Han Larsen owned the now Clifford Hansen place. Ben Haakstade
owned where Nels Rassmussen now lives. H. C. Hansen was the original owned
of the place owned by L. C. Brown.
All these latter farms were settled approximately seventy years ago. John
Mortensen & Hans Luns, who recently moved into New Lisbon, have probably
lived in this community as long as anyone, which is about 70 years
Seventy five years ago, or on July 15, 1873 St. Stephens Lutheran
church was organized and the church dedicated on Oct. 18, 1874. The
charter members of St Stephens church were Mr. & Mrs. Hans Jorgenson,
and 9 children, Mr. & Mrs. Martin Jorgenson and 3 children, Mr. & Mrs.
Hans Larson and 3 children, Mr. & Mrs. Jens Olsen and 3 children Mr.
& Mrs. Soren Johanson and 1 child, Mr. & Mrs. Neil Olsen and
1 child, Mr. & Mrs. Christine Nielson and 2 children, Mr. & Mrs. Hans
Peter Nielsen. The land on which the church is built was obtained from
P. L. Hansen.
Minnie Martha Hansen was the first one baptized in the congregation,
which took place Jan. 28, 1874. The first three to be baptized in the
church Aug. 2, 1874 were Karl Martin Nielsen, Maren Madsen, and Andreas
Madsen. Kristian Mortensen and Maria Wagenson were the first couple to be
married in the church Nov. 5, 1875, but another couple shares the same
honor, namely Kristian Peterian and one Katrine Nielsen. Kristian
Mortensen and Maria Wagenson were the parents of John and Wm. Mortensen,
still resident of Lone Rock.
The church and cemetery was dedicated by Pastor Adam Dan. Pastor Brede
Johanson seems to be the first regular pastor. The church services were
conducted entirely in the Danish language until about the time of the
first World War.
In March, 1871, plans for forming a school district were started in the
home of C. B. Skinner. The Lone Rock school was organized in March 1871.
The supervisors of the town of Orange at that time were C. B. Skinner,
and R. Whereatt. The first school meeting was organized and held at the
home of Wm. Cleveland, The first school board elected as follows; W. H.
Cleveland, clerk, Allen Ball, Treas. C. B. Skinner, director. The voters
proceeded to select a school site, which is where the present school
stands, and was to contain one acre clear from the highways. They voted
to build a block school house to be hewed inside and outside, to be
10 feet high and 16X20 feet in the clear, to have 4 windows, 2 on each
side, 9×12 glass, 12 lights in each window, to have shingle roof and
one ‘Pannell’ door. $5.00 was paid the owner of the land when it was
taken for the schoolhouse site.
It was voted to have 5 month school for the first term. $30.00 was
raised for school books, $15.00 for school-house seats, these were long
seats, holding 5 or more children. The first teacher was Georgia Hubble,
who contracted to teach 5 months for the sum of $3.50 per week, commencing
on the 3rd day of Apr. 1871.
The first textbooks adopted by the district were Sanders Spellers and
Readers, Spenciarin Penmanship, Rays Arithmetic, Mitchells Georgraphys
and S. G. Goodriches Histories. There were 24 children enrolled this
At the Sept. 25th meeting of that same year, it was voted to have a 6
month school, 3 months in winter, and 3 in summer, winter term to begin
Nov. 15, and summer, middle of Apr. It was voted at this meeting to finish
the schoolhouse and raised $50.00 for that expense. Steven Burk took the
job at $3.00 to board the ceiling and to lay a matched floor and a
threshold for the door for $2.25, and casing the windows on the inside
for $1.50. That part to be finished by Nov. 7, 1871.
At the Sept. 1872 meeting, it was voted to have 4 month school winter
term and 2 months summer. Voted to hire a male teacher for winter and
female for summer. On Jan. 12, 1874 $7.00 was paid to Mr. Young for painting
the school house.
At the Sept. 28, 1874 school meeting, it was voted to have 6 months school
4 winter and 2 summer, all taught by a female. A H. Wilcox was paid $6.11
for putting edging in the cracks and to point the outside and nail the edgings
in and to furnish all materials. L. Morehouse to receive $1.89
for putting good logs around the house and banking in good shape.
On Sept. 27, 1875, it was voted to have 7 months school, 5 winter and 2
summer. The cash value of school house at this time was $200.00 and the
value of the site was $25.00.
The school term was lowered to 6 months in 1876. at this time $10.00 was
raised to start a school library.
Seventy-two years ago or on March 7, 1876 the Lone Rock Baptist Church
was organized; the charter members being Mr. & Mrs. H. C. Christensen,
Lars Peterson, Lars Sorenson, Mrs. Stine Christensen, and Anna Marie
Peterson. Three years later they had their steady minister, this being
H. C. Christensen in 1879, the father of our well known auctioneer in this
locality, C. E. Christensen. This church also conducted its services
entirely in the Danish language until the fall of 1923.
By Sept, 1877, the cash value of the schoolhouse had dropped to $100
and the charts were valued at fifty dollars.
A new floor was laid in the schoolhouse in 1879. The job was let to
Hans Larsen for $4.5O, it was to be done in a good and workmanlike
manner. By March 29, 1883, the board met and agreed to buy a chair
for the teacher and a bell to cost no more than 75 cents. also a
handle and catch for schoolhouse door.
By 1887, there were 7 children enrolled in the Lone Rock school.
These children being Ina Wilcox; A. Wilcox; Ernst Martin; George Lena;
Edna, Fred, Goldie, Willie Skinner; Alfred and Lena Scott; Christina
Hansen; James, Hans, Christian, Johannes Jensen; Hans Lund; John
Peterson; Wm., Johnny, Dina Jepperson; William, Jonn,Ida Christenson;
Mary Jepperson; Maggie, Dora, Dina Johnson; Mamhilda, Caroline Peterson;
Christina, Bert, Godfred Sorenson; Christian Jensen; Peter, Hans and
Johnny Mortensen; Martin, Charlie, Hans and Minnie Hanson; Dora Wilcox;
Anna, Caroline, James, Mary and Henry Christensen.
By 1890, there were 171 children of school age in the whole town of
This same year, in 1890, a cooperative cheese factory was started at
Lone Rock directly across from the schoolhouse, with sixteen stockholders.
A Mr. Post was the first cheesemaker. This factory continued to function
as a cheese factory for sixteen years, when in 1906 it was changed to
a creamery. The first buttermaker was Charley Von Haden, followed by
John Mortensen, Will Hansen, and Walter Miller. After serving fourteen
years as a creamery, in 1920, the creamery was discontinued, the building
sold and torn down.
The tax roll in 1892 was $1,612.19, compared to over $19,000 this past
Twenty years after the first school was built, the log building was
torn down and the present school building started, the building to be
20 x 34. On September 18, 1891, the old schoolhouse and seats and stove
were auctioned off, the house and seats going to P. T. Peterson for
$6.85, and the stove to Ed Robinson for fifty cents.
In 1893, the village of Camp Douglas was incorporated, thus removing
part of the district and voters that were originally in the town of
In the year of 1899, 26 years after St. Stephen’s Church was built, the
spacious parsonage was erected across the road from the church. This
parsonage was torn down and sold about three years ago. The steeple of
the church and also the altar was added in the year of 1899.
By 1905, they were still having 5 months winter school term and 2 months
spring term. The well was dug in 1906.
On July 1, 1907, it was voted to have an 8 month school term. In that
same year, a heating and ventilating system was installed, and another
room added to the building. ‘
39 years ago, in the year 1909, the school was changed to a State Graded
school of two rooms. The school board at that time consisted of clerk,
John Davies; treasurer, A; S. Hanson; director, Chas. Robinson. The
first teachers in the State Graded school were Inez Skeede, who received
$4O a month salary; and Miss Jennings, who received $30 a-month.
By September, 1914, the board voted to begin the teaching of Agriculture,
Manual Training, Cooking and Sewing. Five years later, in 1919, the
schoolhouse was raised and a full basement put in, also the furnace.
A new wing was added to the Baptist church in the year of 1919.
In 1940, Raymond Davies bought the eleven acres of land across from.the
schoolhouse and started up a filling station. Late in the year of 1942,
he sold to his brother, Charley of Racine the property, who started a
small general store on the site where the cheese factory and creamery
once stood, across from the schoolhouse, which has grown to its present
By 1946, the members of the Lone Rock Baptist Church decided to erect
a new church. The members spent one year getting out logs to be cured
and sawed into lumber for the new church, and the construction of said
church began in the fall of 1947. The building is still under construction.
The residents of Lone Rock should be proud of their progressive farming
community, where over 99% of the farm owners have both electricity and
telephones, where there is a good State Graded School, two active and
growing churches, a general store, an active Homemakers Club, 4—H Club
for boys and girls; a ball team, pretty scenery and good recreation