Lincoln County, Wis.

From “Lincoln County Centennial 1874 - 1974”

Transcribed by: Ken Wood

The city of Tomahawk was principally established because of the ambitions of William R. Bradley, a stock holder in the Land, Log and Lumber Company, a large corporation, which owned great quantities of timberland north of Jenny (Merrill). Bradley wanted a site to log, manufacture and market timber in the north and to accomplish this end he built a dam below Tomahawk and got the railroad to extend its line to the city. The City Plat was surveyed under the direction of the Tomahawk Land and Boom Company and was filed on June 2, 1887. In 1891, it was incorporated into a city.

The Tomahawk Post Office was established in September 1887. The first building was erected by Angus Buie in October 1887. Buie, a foreman for the Tomahawk Land and Boom Company, was also the parent of the first white child born in Tomahawk, Tomahawk Buie, born in April 1887. Buie also had the honor of being the first mayor following the city incorporation in 1891. The first school was erected in the spring of 1888 and the first public library was established in 1909. The first store was erected by John Oelhafen, Sr., and the first hotel was the Somo House.

Five or more sawmills operated in the late 1880’s and at the hey day the annual cut at Tomahawk ran from 60,000,000 to 75,000,000 feet of lumber with about 25,000,000 shingles. The pulp and paper industry also played a large part in the city’s history as it continues to do at the present time.

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