by W. H. C. Folsom
(-As transcribed from Chapter 8, pages 240 - 242)
county was organized in 1883, and embraces townships 37 to 42,
inclusive, and ranges 10 to 13, inclusive, a total of 24
townships. It is drained by St. Croix waters with the exception
of the southeast corner, which is drained by a branch of the Chippewa
river. It has been a rich timbered region and large forest of
pine still remain. The greater part of the county is adapted to
agriculture, and is settling rapidly. Two lines of railway
traverse the county, one from the south to north, and the other from
southwest to northeast, giving the county excellent facilities for
transportation and marketing of products. The county is divided
into two towns, Bashaw in the south and Veasie in the north.
These towns were organized in 1877, while Washburn was a part of
Burnett county. The first supervisors of Bashaw were: L. E.
Thomas, chairman; John Arbuckle and John McMullen. The town of
Bashaw was the first settled. John McMullen settled in township
38, range 13, in 1872, in Bashaw valley. He married a member of the
Hart family, old settlers of the town. He died in 1878. L.
E. Thomas was the second settler in Bashaw and in Washburn county, and
has been officially connected with the town and county
organization. He is a native of Michigan, and has followed
lumbering and farming. L. E. Thomas built the first house.
Nellie Raberge taught the first school in Bashaw, in 1881. Miss
Raberge has since become the wife of Milton Stratton. The first
post office was established in 1880, Mrs. Malcolm Dobie,
postmistress. The first sermon was preached by Rev.
Ellingwood. G. P. Pearly was the first physician; A. L. Bugbee,
the first lawyer. Messrs. Hart, Baker, Gardner and others have
large farms in Bashaw valley. By the act of organizing the county,
made the county seat. It is beautifully located on the shores of
Summit lake. It has a court house, built at a cost of $11,000, in
1885, one of the most tasteful buildings of the kind in the St. Croix
valley. The town is built on railroad lands, purchased by the
Shell Lake Lumber Company, and by them surveyed into lots. The
streets are from sixty-six to eighty feet wide. A restriction in the
deeds to the lots and lands against the sale of alcoholic drinks has
been continuously violated. In 1883 the town board fixed license
at five hundred dollars, a plain violation of the original agreement.
A fine school building with four apartments was
built in 1885, at a cost of $5,000. Prof. Halphyde is principal
of the schools. The Episcopalians and Catholics have church
buildings. The Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians
have church organizations. The Masons, Good Templars and Knights
of Labor have organizations.
Summit lake, on the west bank of which the town is
situated, is about two and a half miles broad by three and a half
long. It has bold, gravelly shores. The water is deep,
clear and pure. The slopes surrounding it are covered with
evergreen, and hardwood timber. One small steamer floats upon its
The first board of county officers was as
follows: Treasurer, Leander E. Thomas; clerk, Frank B. Nelson;
sheriff, James Wynne; attorney, Frank Gudette; register of deeds,
Albert L. Bugbee; judge, L. H. Mead; clerk of court, A. Gibson;
superintendent of schools, Clara Stratton; surveyor, Patrick
Kelly. The first circuit court was held in June, 1883, Hon. S. S.
Clough, presiding. The county has two court terms for the year,
in June and December.
The Shell Lake Lumber Company was organized in 1880,
under Iowa laws. It is composed of C. Lamb and David Joice and
sons, of Clinton, Iowa; Laird, Norton & Co., of Winona; Weyerhauser
& Dinkeman, of Rock Island, Illinois; S. T. McKnight, of Hannibal,
Missouri; D. R. Moore, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Their mills are
located on the northwest side of Summit lake. They have a
capacity of 50,000,000 feet per year. The capital stock amounts
to $500,000. Employment is furnished to 250 men. In 1880
the hour system of labor was adopted. A narrow gauge railroad,
twelve miles long, supplied with two locomotives and fifty cars, is
used for bringing logs to mill. This road has a steel track and
3,000 feet of piling. The refuse burner of the mill is 20 feet in
diameter and 102 in height. There are 63 tenement houses to
accommodate the laborers. A. H. Earle superintends this vast
Sawyer creek obtained its name from Seth M. Sawyer,
of Stillwater. This stream flows into Yellow river, five miles
from Summit lake. It rises from springs three hundred feet from
the lake, and one hundred feet lower down, and may be considered its
subterranean outlet, as visible outlet there is none. The lake,
literally a summit lake, the receding and descending slopes, the
springs uniting to form a larger stream, form a peculiar landscape,
quite park-like in some of its features, and worthy of being converted
into a park.
the township of Veazie, on the north branch of the Yellow river,
township 39, range 12, is a dinner station on the North Wisconsin
railroad. The railroad company have fitted up an elegant eating
house, and a few neat buildings, the nucleus of a much larger village,
cluster around it.
in township 41, range 10, and has a post office. The town of
Veazie, occupying the northern part of the county, was organized in
1877. Millions of feet of pine timber have been gathered and
marketed from this town, and it is estimated that 150,000,600 feet
still remain. Ames and Sinnot station are in the township of