History: A Wilbur County Timeline

  • 1845 – After little Germaine Van Bibber becomes ill, the pioneer families leave the Meek wagon train, and settle in the Tamarack Valley near current day Germaine.
  • 1846 – Young Henry Applegate begins construction of the first log cabin to house his printing press, near the current site of The Germaine Truth.
  • 1848 – The Germaine Truth is founded.
  • 1859 – Town charter is drafted and Thomas Bradford is elected the first Mayor of Germaine.
  • 1861 – Luke Charlebois discovers an artesian spring near Charlebois Corners, and begins farming the adjacent area.
  • 1864 – Claiming he wants to help farmers and their emerging farms in Wilbur County, Thomas Bradford turns the position of Mayor over to Peter Hedrick. He goes on to found the Bank of Germaine, the towns first bank.
  • 1866 – Three strangers, said to be veterans of the Confederate army, rob the Bank of Germaine and terrorize the town of Germaine for two days before moving on. Mayor Peter Hedrick appoints Liam McCoy to the position of Sheriff, making him the first law enforcement officer in Wilbur County.
  • 1868 – Isaac Jacob Van Bibber, and his son, Peter, claim 320 acres of prime timberland north of Germaine.
  • 1871 – Van Bibber sawmill is constructed on Tamarack Creek.
  • 1882 – Daughters of Germaine is formed, based on the Masonic model of fraternal organizations.
  • 1894 – Large new Van Bibber sawmill is constructed on Tamarack Creek, adjacent to the original mill.
  • 1912 – John Charlebois, a Socialist, is elected Mayor of Germaine, causing consternation among the towns business elite.
  • 1913 – IWW organizers try to unionize the Van Bibber sawmill, leading to a two month long strike. Ansel Johanssen, a leader of the workers, is found hanged in the woods near Germaine’s Grotto. The vigilantes are never caught.
  • 1917 – Germaine’s first anti-war protest takes place on Main Street, causing an immediate reaction from Spanish-American War veterans. The veterans and business allies demand the recall of Mayor Charlebois, and the jailing of the “seditionists.”
  • 1919 – Spanish flu epidemic strikes Germaine, killing a half-dozen. The Red Scare begins, and Mayor Charlebois is driven from office. Efforts to “drive the reds out of town” fail when Sheriff Patrick Cameron McCoy refuses to co-operate. After speaking with a group of the towns women, McCoy proclaims that most of the offenders are “good, but misguided men, members of old pioneer families.”
  • 1946 – New entry
  • 1966 – Rochelle LaFontaine, current Daughter of Germaine, dies in tragic automobile accident on Hwy 20.
  • 1994 – Harlan McCoy founds McCoy Agricultural Industries in south Wilbur County, giving a crucial boost to the development and production of organic foods in the county.
  • 2006 – Willie Walkingstick becomes the youngest mayor in Germaine History, and the second declared socialist to reside over our town.

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