This issue of the Tribune Press Reporter is our annual Christmas edition, which is the largest issue that we publish during the year. We are carrying stories from local people about their Christmases Past, related Christmas stories, recipes and Christmas photos, plus our regular news and features.
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I have been in contact through e-mails with James and Charlie Lofgren. Their father, Cornelius, published the Glenwood City Tribune back in the 1940s, and as you might have read Charlie’s letter in last week’s Tribune Press Reporter, he moved away from Glenwood City when he was ten. If you are as old or older than I am and been a Glenwood City resident for the last 70 years, you might remember the Lofgrens.
Well, James informed me that the family has several documents in their possession that related to Glenwood City. He asked if I wanted them and of course I did.
A package arrived and I opened it and found items that I can relate to. First, was an original copy of “The Glenwood Tribune” published by their grandfather, C. J. Augustin, in August of 1900. It is a thirty-eight page, seven by ten inch booklet about the early history of Glenwood and makes very good reading for those interested in how and why there is a Glenwood City.
There are a few original copies around this area, I only know of two or three besides the one that I have. This one will find its way to the Glenwood Area Historical Society.
If you wonder about who were the first white people to visit the area? This booklet has the answer. I would quote a passage from the first page, “How many years ago the first white man visited the region about Glenwood is merely a matter of conjecture, and a very hazy conjecture at that. Certain it is that far back of any known Caucasian visitation or settlement—centuries, perhaps—representatives of the all-conquering race looked upon the same hills, breathed the same air, and, perchance, drank from the very creeks which lend charm and put joy into the lives of Glenwooders of the present day. This is no mere figment of fancy, but is supported by evidence, strong as proofs of Holy Writ. Only a year or two since, under a great ledge of rock on the farm of Henry Van Ryn, just beyond of the city limits, was found embedded in the softer rock near the bottom of the ledge, which rises some fifteen feet above the banks of Sand Creek, a bronze Roman coin bearing the name and profile of the Emperor Trajan, who reigned about 100 A.D.”
Now, don’t everybody go out to Sand Creek and start looking for more Roman artifacts. In a week or two I will tell you why. But, back to other items in that package.
James had informed me that he had some copies of my father’s tax record. He sent what today we call the federal tax form W-9. Back in the late 1930s it was Form 1099 that employers had to file for each worker. Working for the Tribune in 1939, my father’s income for the entire year of 1939 as $1,375.00. My father told the story of how he came to Glenwood City in 1935. He was working at the newspaper at Hortonville, Wisconsin for $12.00 a week and Augustin needed a printer here and offered Dad a pay increase to $15.00 a week. And, as we say, the rest is history.
Another item was a history of the Glenwood Tribune written by James H. Payne in 1941. Payne was the son of Lyman and Helen Payne. James Payne was a senior journalism student at UW at the time. Also there was a sewing kit of a thimble, needle, thread and marker in as a travel kit with the advertising name of Glenwood Beauty Shop, Dorothy Martinson and a phone book from the 1940s.
Also included was a button dated July 4th, 1901 from the store of Syme, Baldwin & Co., Glenwood, Wisconsin. David Syme and H. J. Baldwin were both involved with the Glenwood Manufacturing Company, which founded the city and had the many saw mills in the community. They had upwards of 1,000 workers at the mills and in the woods cutting timber. Syme’s father, Alexander, was one of the founders of the company and David was an early mayor of the city and Syme Avenue is named for the family.
Baldwin was a civil engineer and was engaged in the location and construction of the West Wisconsin railway until its completion to St. Paul. He came to Glenwood and was the person that laid out the map of the new town.
The store they operated was originally the company store and was located at the corner of First and Oak Street where the Glenwood Professional Building is now located. The building was destroyed by fire in 1907 and the present brick building was constructed following the fire. The store had 20 departments and carried everything that early settlers would need to survive. From food stocks to clothing and hardware, furniture, jewelry, lumbermen’s supplies, cordwood and farming lands.
I went to the Tribune’s library and dug out the bound file of the Glenwood Tribune from 1901 to find what the firm of Syme and Baldwin were advertising.
The front-page ad read like this. “The last rocket has gone up, the last fire cracker has gone off. It is surprising how our summer goods went off before the fourth! But there are plenty left, and more coming every day. Men’s seasonable wool suits were advertised at $4.98; ladies oxfords, 98c; boys Suits at $1.00 and AAAA Coffee at ten cents a pound. These items will also find a home at the History Center. Thanks very much, James and Charlie.