LaFarge, Wisconsin History

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The word Kickapoo, in the Native American language, means to go here and there, or crooked, and no other name would be more appropriate for the river which bears that name.

This brief history of La Farge, Wisconsin is dedicated to those first men and women who came into the pinery territory nearly a century and a half ago. By their foresight, hard work, unselfishness, and love of their fellow men, they carved this village out of the wilderness. Our friendly valley of peaceful living and a slow paced life style, take pride and are thankful to those that handed down a heritage of being a Kickapoogian.

A brief history of La Farge

On June 9, 1863, the post office La Farge was first located about one and one-half miles south of the present site of La Farge. Before naming the office, Mr. S.W. Green, the first postmaster, hunted through the whole list of post offices of the United States and found no office by that name. The name is French and he had accidentally come across it in some reading and was peculiarly struck with its strangeness. Mr. Green held the position of postmaster for thirty years, operating it out of his home.

LaFarge Post Office

In 1893 the La Farge post office was moved to the small hamlet called DeJean's corners, and the village began its growth.

On February 1, 1895 the "La Farge House" was opened as the first hotel. T.L. Belcher was its proprietor.

Like all other villages in which one business follows another, La Farge was soon to become a bustle of activity. C.S. Brown was to open a photography studio, A.W. DeJean & Son a general hardware store, Hammer Bros. built a stave and heading factory.

La Farge, though prospering, was in need of a better delivery system so D.H. Bean worked and was instrumental in having the railroad extend their services upriver to
La Farge. On October 11, 1897 the first train, aptly named the Stump Dodger, entered the quiet little village.

In the year of 1897 this small village was to grow in leaps and bounds. A physician and surgeon, a drug store, jeweler, the Griffin Hotel, Miner Bros. Lumber, a livery and feed barn were all added along with a blacksmith, bakery, meat market, millinery, bakery and dressmaking shop.LaFarge Centennial

In 1899 the village of La Farge was officially incorporated.

The following is a brief statement that was published in the La Farge Enterprise dated January 7, 1898.

One of the most needful departments at the present time is an organization to promote the business interests of La Farge. It is immaterial as to what name it shall bear, but it should have for its object the building up of La Farge on good, sound moral and business principles. The name and reputation of a place has much to do with its growth and the class of people that seek its borders for a home or business purpose. La Farge is spoken of in terms of the highest praise whenever the name is known and our reputation is above reproach at home and abroad. Because it is so is all the more reason that we should take steps in the proper direction to not only hold our own, but to enable us to advance. "The tide either ebbs or flows." Let us take that as a lesson and keep the tide of prosperity flowing.

It has now been a century since the village became incorporated, and we now invite our many friends to come to La Farge to help us celebrate our 100th. birthday. There are many activities that are being planned through out the year. Make your plans to attend and enjoy the festivities. The calendar of events will follow:


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Village of La Farge
P.O. Box 37
La Farge, Wisconsin 54639

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