The Story of Glenmore
by David Koenig - written in 1976
The earliest mention of Glenmore history I could find was written in 1830 by a man named Stambaugh, who gave this official history of Glenmore.
At that time, the Waupekum Indians lived there. Their favorite camping place being along the stream and at the foot of the Kokaline Mountains, as they called the lime stone ledge which extends through Brown County and rises to a height of seventy-five feet in some places. Stambaugh also described the area as being a large body of delightful land with numerous streams rising at the foot of the mountain (the ledge). Near this place, the water became very rapid and the margins of these streams are the finest groves of Sugar Maples. These streams unite a few miles below this place and form considerable water called Devils River.
From other sources, we have learned that the first white settler was Samuel Harrison who settled in this area in 1846. Harrison's son Samuel led Co. H of the 14th Infantry. Michael Patton and Tim Murphy were the first Irish settlers; Patton settling here in 1846 and Murphy in 1800. Other early settlers included James Heifferman, B.P. Brannan, Thomas Lawton, Michael Moran, Patrick Bailey, John Healy, and Cornelius Doherty. The heavy influx of Irish settlers caused some to nickname Glenmore "Little Ireland". The name Glenmore is of Irish decent which I believe to be a one word description of the area, generally meaning a place of valleys of woodland and rich rolling farmland. However, as Glenmore aged, the Irish were joined by many German families and today many nationalities are represented here.
Glenmore was set off from the Town of DePere in 1806 and its first election was held at the home of Michael Patton on the first Tuesday in April, 1857. The first minutes of a town meeting were written by Cornelius Doherty, Town Clerk, in 1858. At that meeting, three road districts were established and a supervisor appointed to each. It also mentioned Mr. Doherty would be paid twenty dollars for his annual salary.
In these early years, the Town of Glenmore was a heavily wooded area and lumber camps were set up and lumbermen helped the farmers clear the land. These camps, the first of which was built about 1866 by Bersie & Bros. and two others, one in 1870 by J.S. Stetson located on the present site of the Wilbur Leiterman farm on Highway 96, and in 1871 another by B.F. Smith of DePere were Glenmore's early industry. As land was cleared Glenmore and its surrounding area was described as a veritable garden spot and most highly cultivated farmland to be found anywhere.
Among the initial concerns of Glenmore's early settlers were religion and education. Since there were no churches in Glenmore, the people were served by visiting clergymen who held services at the homes of towns people. It is believed that the first service was held at the home of Mr. O'Leary in 1800 with Father Anderledy as Celebrant. In 1874 St. Marys of Glenmore was built. In 1886, it was torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. Then in 1939, the second churoh was struck by lightning and one year later, in 1940, the present church was built to serve the needs of the Catholics in Glenmore. In 1882 a group of Norwegian farm families built Zion Lutheran Church. It was kept in good repair and was a beautiful old landmark until it was destroyed on December 19, 1946, by fire and has not been replaced to date. The Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized and constructed in 1902. Then in 1965, the old church was torn down and a new one was built on the same location in Shirley. Cemeteries are located at each church including the former site of Zion Lutheran Church. What is believed to be the oldest grave in the township was discovered by accident this bicentennial year on the William Detke farm in section 31, near Highway 32. According to the marker, it is the grave of Lorenzo Howard who died on Feb. 18, 1859.
Among the first schools to educate the children of Glenmore was Fair View School located on the northwest corner of Section 36. School opened there on November 29, 1875 with 16 pupils enrolled and Miss Murphy as teacher. The first year was a five month term and the second year extended to six months. After two years of operation it was reported that the building and maintenance of Fair View School cost $463.32. The lumber and shingles cost $64.79, and these logs came from Stetson Saw Mill in Glenmore. In 1914 the original school was sold to Peter Fiel for $50.00 and the school board borrowed $3,000 to build a new school. Some of the teachers at the second school included Miss Doherty, Miss Niece, Edna Herald, Lauretta Kane, Genevieve Kane, Christine Andrezak, Amelia Ronk, and Aurelia Ronk.
The Shirley School was also built during this period but I was unable to find the exact date. It was moved in 1904 from the corner now occupied by Whipp's Casino to approximately a block west on Shirley Road. Then in 1915 it was sold to Immanuel Lutheran Church and moved across the road, repaired and used as a church hall until about 1965 when the new church was built. Norbert Beimborn purchased the old school and moved it back nearer its original location and converted it to a garage and welding shop in 1966 and is still being used today. After the school was sold to Immanuel Lutheran Church, a new brick school was built in its place. It operated until the late 1950's or early 1960's before it was sold and converted into a home which is now occupied by Mrs. Fels.
The Shaughnessy School was built in 1880 and located 3/4 of a mile west of the present Conrad School building. In 1915 the Conrad School, which still stands, was built to replace the Shaughnessy School and received a new name because the land it stands on was purchased from the Conrads. The Conrad School has also been closed and converted to a home now occupied by the Burdick family. Another of Glenmores early industries was located one mile east of the present school building, which was a kiln where they burned wood and sold it as charcoal. This was the only means of getting ash in those early years for this neighborhood.
The Kiley School was built on a pieoe of land purchased from Barbara Baumgart on Feb. 12, 1897, for $10. The first school was a frame structure, later replaced by a brick one which was used until about 1960 when the school was closed and the children were sent to the City of DePere by bus. The old schoolhouse was later purchased by Frank Koltz, who started a pallet factory in it, which has grown considerably and the original school is now surrounded by additional buildings where pallets are made and shipped all over the country.
Maple View School, which is located at the intersection of Glenmore Road and Langes Corner Road, was operated for many years but I couldn't find any written history about it. It too was closed about 1960 and the children were transported to the Denmark Schools. The building still remains and is being used by Walter Krause as a warehouse and manufacturing for his bee and honey operations.
The only school left in operation in Glenmore is operated by Immanuel Lutheran Church in Shirley, where area Lutherans send their children for primary school.
Glenmore's downtown area is generally considered to be Shirley.
Though I searched for a more glamorous reason for its name, the only solution I could find was that a group of local men who had congregated in Zellners Store years back pondered the situation and decided to call her Shirley, a name some say came off a paint can, a brand being sold at that time by the General Store. The intersection of two highways seemed an ideal place for a general store, so on one corner a store was erected by William Falck. Later he sold it to Joseph Zellner, who operated it until his death, when his son Kenneth took over the business and operates it today. Across the street, on another corner in 1906, a combination tavern, dance hall, and store was built and operated by Henry Beimborn. After his death, his wife operated the place. The store portion being removed during that time. In 1959, the dancehall and tavern and living quarters were sold to Frank Wypiszynski, better known as Duke Whipp, who has operated it as one of Glenmore's most sociable spots. I'd say when you stop, you'll either meet a friend there or make one, or both.
The hall isn't as active now as in the past, but every now and then when a special occasion happens, days of yore are revived here. In 1908, farmers felt the need for a place to dispose of their milk, since farming was increasing rapidly so William Falck built a cheese factory a small distance from the corner. The factory was later owned by the farmers and operated by a hired cheesemaker. Then in recent years, the factory was closed and the building was sold to Carl Collins, who uses it as a headquarters for his bulk milk trucks and living quarters. Farmers also needed a blacksmith, so in 1900 Henry Reinke erected a shop on another corner. Later Edward Beimborn bought it. He and his son added a garage and grist mill and later a beer garden. His son Norbert sold the business to Herbert Piela. In later years the Piels sold out, the feed mill being operated as the Shirley Feed Mill by David Van Gheem, and the rest of the building converted into a supper club by Richard Faan and James Gamble, now operated by Fagan alone. Called "The Barn", Fagan serves the finest food of all the supper clubs in Glenmore along with a fine selection of drinks too. The most reoent member of Shirley's business group is the Brown County Farmoo: Feed Mill which located here in 1969.
Other businesses in the Town include the Glenrock Cheese Factory operated by Carl Maurer, on the intersection of Cty X and Morrison Road; Scray's Stone Quarry, operated by Leo Scray on Scrays Hill Road; Koltz Pallet Factory, operated by Frank Koltz, on the intersection of Cty. X and Creek View Road; Hillside Cheese Factory, operated as a farmers co-op, near the intersection of Glenmore Road and Langes Corner Road; Hebels Corner Cheese Factory, operated by William Novak, on Cty. NN near Cty. X; Wauter's General store, one of Glenmore's first buildings, the land was purchased in 1805 with the store being built shortly after. The store also housed a post office during those early years. The store was sold to the Wauters family in 1940 and their son Roger and his family operate the store and its additions today at its original location on the corner of Cty. X and Cty. NN. The Glenmore Opera House is Glenmore's oldest tavern and dance hall. Over its many years, it has compiled memories of every concoction from dancing, romancing, fights, to prohibition, and moonshine. The old place seemed to be dying a slow death as the proprietor became older and the building was in need of many repairs. Then in 1972, Fred and Marie Tiede purchased the place and began the revival of an old traditional fun spot with modern plumbing and an antique ballroon. Immediately, it attracted thousands from far and near, and began leaving its impressions on the memory of young and old; certainly one of Glenmore's most colorful attractions located on Glenmore Road at Langes Corner Road, now operated by Francia Johanski.
Far and away Glenmore' s largest business is farming and more specifically dairy farming, as Glenmore offers fine land and high production to support a kind of farming which has made Wisoonsin world famous. Starting with hundreds of small farms of eighty acres more or less, the day of the small farm has left Glenmore as more and more are consolidated into large farms of 200 or more acres. Glenmore has what is probably Wisconsin's largest dairy barn located on one of the original pieces of property settled in the 1850's by Cornelius Donahue and now owned by Alvin Allen and Sons. Construction of the large barn was completed during this bicentennial year, and is located on Little Apple Road. Glenmore has several farms which have been owned and operated by the same family for more than one hundred years, which proves its a good place to farm.
Glenmore's population has been declining since it reached a peak in 1890 of 1441 people, according to a census, to a population of 1110 in 1970. We are governed this Bicentennial Year by local government made up of a town chairman, two supervisors, town clerk, town treasurer, town assessor, town constable, health officer, and weed commissioner, all of which are elected positions. Their tasks are carried out in the Glenmore Town House, as it was known when it was built in 1874 at a cost of $439.48. It stood at the intersection of Cty. G and Cty. X until 1973, when it was moved because of road widening on Cty. G, south to its present location near Schmidt Road on Cty. G. The flag pole was constructed this Bicentennial Year by Arnold Ronk and his sons John and Tom. A time capsule will be buried near it containing memorabelia of our day for the generations to come. A Red Oak is also planted in front of the Town Hall in memory of our country's 200th birthday.