Frederic "The Village Named After A Boy"

© Photographed September 11, 2016
Frederic, Polk County, Wisconsin
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"The Village Named After A Boy"
William J. Starr of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was a man of many visions. He had purchased 12,000 acres of land from the Cushing Land Agency in the latter part of the 19th century. In 1846, the Cushing Land Agency had purchased approximately 30,000 acres in Polk County from the U.S. Government for $1.25 per acre. Mr. Starr was delighted in his purchase. He intended to harvest the many acres of standing virgin timber and make a fortune on his newly acquired acreage. Construction of a sawmill was his first priority.

E.S. Hammond provided room and board facilities for the loggers and sawyers that worked at the newly constructed sawmill on the south short of Coon Lake. Nearly two hundred men made up the crews of this first logging endeavor.

Although the pine logs could be floated on the lakes and down the rivers, the hardwoods required a much more efficient means of delivering the finished products to market. A railroad was the answer. William Starr negotiated with representatives of the Soo Line railroad to extend the rail line from Dresser Junction to Frederic. The extension of the rail line and the construction of the depot was the nucleus of the birth of the Village of Frederic, named after the young son of William J. Starr. This all happened on November 21, 1901. The new village was incorporated on April 3, 1903.

The new village had a newspaper, The Frederic Star, a bank, a post office, an attorney, a physician, two hotels, a two-story schoolhouse and 18 retail businesses.

The sawmill and the railroad have since bid farewell to the village. The Frederic Historical Society has found a home for the Frederic Area Historical Museum in the restored railroad depot. The Frederic Village Board, the Frederic Historical Society and numerous local organizations are working hand-in-hand to preserve our past while building a brighter future for our community. "The past should always remain a part of our future."
Leona Cummins, Frederic Area Historian
The marker is located adjacent to the Frederic Wisconsin Soo Line Railroad Depot / Frederic Area Museum, and is accessible from westbound Oak Street / Wisconsin Route 48 / County Highway W, just west of its intersection with Peake Avenue, at 210 West Oak Street, Frederic, Wisconsin 54837.

This collection of papers centers about the business activities of William J. Starr and the management of his estate after his death in December 1921. There are items in the collection ranging from 1902 to 1938. The bulk of the papers, however, are for the years from 1919 to 1927. The Davis and Starr Lumber Company of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is the central business organization involved, but there are also numerous records relating to Starr's personal life, mortgage and real estate interests, California timber lands, the Florence-Louisiana Company, the Weston Heights Stock Farm, and the Weston Orchard Company.

With the referenced depot visible to the left.

The marker is located in Frederic, Wisconsin

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