The History of The Langlade Court House

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The First Court House

Until the county provided suitable buildings it was necessary to hold court, board meetings and house officials in the tiny hall and dingy rooms over the old Niels Anderson store. The hall was plainly furnished with “three tables, four common chairs and two rocking chairs.” These quarters cost $250 annually. But the progress of Langlade County was the inspiring motive of its pioneer builders and immediate plans were made for a courthouse. The county seat was at once officially established ordinance on the west ½ of the NW ¼ of Section 29, Township 31 N, Range 11 E. A. Van Zile and James Quinn, Supervisors, and three citizens at large-Charles Herman, architect, Henry St. Louis and George Ratcliffe, were selected to draft specifications and ascertain feasible plans for securing funds to erect a court house. The committee reported in June, 1881, proposing a $5000 building. The board delayed the matter until August, 1881, when they adopted the committee’s report to erect a court house at $3000. Immediate steps were taken to prepare for the contractor, E. A. Stickney. The courthouse square was cleared of dead trees, decayed windfalls and brush.

The court house is on the right and the very cool old prison is on the left .

Three county bonds of $1000 denominations bearing 8 percent interest annually were issued and $500 was at once levied as a direct tax to pay interest charges. The building committee, James Quinn, G. W. Latta, Eli Waste, V. Simmons and G. D. Ratcliffe, was appointed August 4, 1881. The first courthouse was competed in May, 1882.

P. 14 History of Langlade County Wisconsin Dessureau. Berner Bros. Publishing Co. 1922


The Present Court House

Langlade County, making wonderful development each decade, since 1879, needed a modern courthouse to keep in accord with its growth otherwise. The first courthouse served continuously for over a quarter of a century. The present commodious courthouse was erected by the Prince Construction Co., Minneapolis, Minn., and accepted March 30, 1905, on recommendation of L. E. Frederickson, County Superintendent of Construction. The first proposal to build came in November 1903. On January 19, 1904, a remonstrance signed by many citizens urged the erection of a building not to exceed $60000 in costs.

George W. Hill, John Byrne, M. D. Besse, Chris Wunderich and H. C. Stewart, building committee, succeeded in having the architect lower the cost $28000. Three separate bids were called for February 16, 1904. District Attorney Max Hoffman, John Byrne, Geo. W. Hill, T. W. Hogan, Edward Cleary, committeemen, selected to approve plans and specifications, recommended a courthouse not cost more than $75000. The third committee was then appointed consisting of Leonard Frieburger, Sr., Chris Wunderlich, George W. Hill and H. C. Stewart. New plans were secured and a contract was virtually entered into with Schmidt Bros. Of Superior, when the entire project was thrown back to the place of beginning.

The Prince Construction Company was paid $71,080 for the courthouse. The building committee in charge of the work was composed of the following: L. D. Hartford, John Byrne, W. J. Knott and L. F. Culver. Kinney and Detweiler of Minneapolis were the architects. V. P. Rath, County Clerk, and R. J. Morgan, Chairman of the County Board, for the county and C. E. Prince, president of the Prince Construction Company signed the contract. District Attorney Hoffman and A. J. Nowotny were signatory witnesses.

Port Wing Brown stone was used in body construction. The two base courses are made of raindrop stone. The courthouse contains the office of Municipal Judge, Circuit Judge, courtroom, offices of Clerk of court, Court Reporter, Register of Deeds, County Judge, Superintendent of Schools, County Treasurer, Highway Commissioner, County Clerk and law library. It is situated in block 13, City of Antigo. It is surrounded by the most beautiful park in Langlade County.

P. 14 History of Langlade County Wisconsin Dessureau. Berner Bros. Publishing Co. 1922

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