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All things about Ellsworth in new PCHA book

Pat Mory and Dan Geister of the Pierce County Historical Association (PCHA) Thursday showed a copy of “Volume 10: Pierce County Heritage—Ellsworth and Ellsworth Township,” which became available in September. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

It took a long time coming, but not as long as it took to make the history comprising its contents.

“Volume 10: Pierce County Heritage—Ellsworth and Ellsworth Township” is ready for sale. The latest volume in a series from the Pierce County Historical Association (PCHA) covers the early history of Ellsworth, early settlers, west end businesses, east end businesses, schools, churches and more, plus features histories of the earliest families in the Ellsworth vicinity.

“We went back a minimum of four generations in these pioneer families,” Dan Geister of the PCHA said Thursday. They had to have settled here by 1880 in order to be included, he added.

Over 200 of the book’s approximately 480 pages are devoted to the families. Pat Mory of the PCHA said a call for related photos was well-received. One lady sent three shipments of materials about her ancestors, among which were a collection of hats plus information on the former Consolidated Lumber Company in east end, with which the family was involved.

There are business histories, too, with efforts to trace them back to their beginnings, Geister said. For example, he found in his research a business which burned in 1907, predating the former Ford garage on the northwest corner of Main and Grant streets in the west end, now the location for State Farm Insurance. He also shared old-time photos of the former Ellsworth Record at Main and Broadway streets in east end (now the site for Matt’s Small Engine Repair) and today’s Herald on S. Chestnut Street, which was previously a hardware store and, earlier, an egg hatchery.

Fires occupy a section of the book, many dating to the 1890s and early 1900s, he said. An old-time photo he referred to focusing on the midway district displays places which wouldn’t currently be associated with that area. Mory said a blaze at a property called the Keith House (where Cal’s Barber Shop presently stands on Main Street in west end) had men running with buckets of water, trying to douse and save an adjacent building.

For more please read the Nov. 6 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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