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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"Historical & Biographical Album of the Chippewa Valley Wisconsin, 1891-2": 

A History of Osseo



-As transcribed from pages 373 - 374

OSSEO is a flourishing, well-kept incorporated village, with one main business street, on the Beef river, in the town of Sumner and county of Trempealeau, with a station on the Mondovi branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railway, which was opened for traffic in 1887.  It is the center of a prosperous agricultural district, and was settled in 1856.  The first pioneers to take up their residence there were E. M. Sexton and W. A. Woodard.  The village was surveyed and mapped in the following year.  The first post-office was in the Beef river station, a mile away, in 1857, and George Silkworth was the postmaster at that time.  He was succeeded by R. C. Field, when the office was removed to this village.  This was in or about 1864.  After the expiration of a year, W. H. Thomas was appointed to the office.  He held it for a brief  period, and was followed by F. N. Thomas, who retained it until 1879.  His successor was George F. Newell, who served until the advent of the Cleveland administration in 1885, when H. E. Hotchkiss received the appointment.  The next change occurred in 1889, under the Harrison administration, Will C. Thomas being the successful candidate for the position.  After running the office a year, he retired, in favor of C. H. Shores, the present postmaster.

W. H. and C. G. Thomas built and operated the first store in 1858, and the first school was opened in that year.  Hattie Field was the first teacher.  The "three R's" were imparted to the pupils in a small log shanty.  The first regular school-house was erected in or about 1860, and as the seekers after knowledge increased in number, a new institution was built in 1881.  It has two departments, and is the handsomest and most conspicuous structure in the village.

The first industry established was the Osseo water-power flour and grist-mill.  It was erected on the bank of the river in 1867, by Messrs. Fuller, Thomas & Hotchkiss.  They operated it until 1870, when Mr. Fuller sold his interest to Elias Gay.  Shortly afterward the property became vested in Messrs. Gay & Thomas, and they ran it, in connection with their farms, until 1873.  At this time they took into partnership with them George S. Graves.  He ultimately sold his interest to E. J. Matchett, and the firm became Gay & Matchett.  They operated it for a year, and then Mr. Gay conducted it alone until 1882, when he sold it to Messrs. Gates & Rouse.  They disposed of it in the spring of 1884 to F. E. Field & Co., and H. A. & H. H. Field became the owners of it in 1886.  They have operated it since that time.  It has a capacity of forty barrels a day.

The Sumner water-power flour and grist-mills were erected in 1872, by Messrs. Hotchkiss & Linderman.  They operated them until 1876, when Mr. Hotchkiss retired from the business.  Mr. Linderman has conducted it since that time.  The capacity of the mills is 100 barrels a day.

The Congregational church was first organized in 1869, with Rev. J. B. Thompson as pastor.  It was abandoned at the expiration of three years, but reorganized in 1878, by Rev. M. M. McPhail.  It was due to his untiring efforts that a handsome frame church structure was erected in 1881, at a cost of $3,000.  He was succeeded in the pastorate in 1887, by Rev. Adam Pinkerton, since which time there has been no change.

The Central house, the principal hotel in the village, was built in 1876, by Ole E. and Ole H. Johnson.  It has been enlarged from time to time, and is now owned and operated by J. H. McKenney.

Of course the village has a newspaper - the Osseo "Blade."  It was started in 1886, by D. A. Camp.  It subsequently passed into the hands of W. C. Thomas, and then into those of Henry E. Browne.  This was in 1890.  He is still the proprietor.  His printing office was burned out in May, 1891, and two months elapsed before the paper was again published.  It is a weekly sheet, well patronized, and independent in principles.

A creamery was established by the Osseo Creamery association in 1883.  Andrew Hyslop became the owner of it in 1889, and has operated it since that time.  A disastrous conflagration occurred in the heart of the village on the night of May 30, 1891, by which fourteen buildings and the bulk of their contents were destroyed.  A loss was sustained of fully $80,000. to meet which there was an insurance of $22,000.  The population is estimated at 250.

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