Pictorial Souvenir of the Police Department of La Crosse,
Wisconsin / Harry Wilkinson. Des Moines,
Iowa : American Lithographing & Printing Co., 1912Special
JS990.L33 P62 1912
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Police Department of
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Harry Wilkinson, Author
Honorable John Dengler
Born in Koenigswart, Austria, on January First, Eighteen
and forty-nine, Honorable John Dengler, Mayor of La Crosse, at
the age of ten years, was brought to the United States by his
who settled in New York City and for the five years following
mayor of this city attended the public schools of the city and
mastering the English language.
Born of that sturdy German stock which believes that in hard
thrift lies the foundation for future success, young Dengler,
at the age of
fifteen, secured employment in a cigar factory in the
Metropolis, where he
remained until 1879, when he decided to cast his fortunes with
Early in 1879 he moved to St. Paul where he worked for a short
in a cigar factory. Mr. Dengler saw opportunities in the
field of La Crosse, so in 1880 he moved to this city and
of a cigar factory until 1885, when he embarked in business
himself. He developed a large business and now holds a
in the city's many factories.
Mr. Dengler has been affiliated with the Republican party
his majority, and has been prominently identified with the
party in this
city and county for many years. In 1889 he was elected Mayor
Crosse and it was during this administration that the
across the Mississippi river and the new city hall were built.
He has always
advocated public improvements when the condition of the city
would permit, but rarely ever championed the cause of running
For fourteen years he was member of the Police and Fire
resigning from that office when called to the mayor's chair
again in 1911.
As mayor of La Crosse, Mr. Dengler is also head of the Police
Fire Departments, and it has been his constant aim to keep
as well as others under his immediate supervision, up to a
No better evidence of a man's social and business standing in
can be collected than a record of the positions of trust
his hands by his fellow men and Mayor Dengler's record in this
is certainly one to be proud of.
In spite of the fact that Mr. Dengler is one of the busiest
men in the
city, he finds time to take an active interest in anything
which pertains to
a greater and bigger La Crosse, and still has enough time to
his friends. The secret of his success is that he does things
push and vim and never puts off until tomorrow what can be
Mayor Dengler is not what might be termed in the strict sense
word, a politician or a partisan. He is broad in his views on
matters, as well as in other things and is without doubt one
of the most
popular officials ever elected in La Crosse.
The Mayor has a very genial disposition. He is pleasant to
gracious to all and makes friends easily.
In presenting this handsome souvenir to the public, the
author, on behalf of the members of the La Crosse Police
individually and collectively, desires to thank all
who have so liberally contributed through the advertising
pages, his making this publication possible.
No efforts have been spared to make this souvenir a work of
art, special attention being paid to its value as an
medium for the city of La Crosse and its various industrial
Despite repeated accusations from unreliable and prejudiced
sources, the publication is not merely a money making scheme
for the author. It is published for the purpose of
the treasury of the Policemens Pension Fund, and no one will
deny that this is a most worthy institution. It might be well
to add that the best of material and workmanship has been
placed in this book, hence the author received a compensation
so small that few persons would be willing to undertake the
task at twice the price
It should be remembered that a police officer virtually gives
up his entire time to the protection of citizens and their
property, denying themselves the many little social pleasures
usually enjoyed by others and for this reason the relations
between the citizen and the uniformed office who walks the
beat, or the plain clothes man who is sent on investigations,
should be most cordial. Friction destroys the usefulness of a
police department, and none exists in La Crosse or any other
well regulated city.
Harry Wilkinson, Author
List of Subscribers
Ansamch & Cramee
Artic Ice & Fuel Co.
F.M. Bronson & Son
Bright's Livery Stable
Continental Clothing Co.
Charles N. Euhler
Fosten Hardware Co.
Hettinger & Young
La Crosse Stove Co.
Modern Steam Laundry
Charles W. Noble
L. Natenshon & Co.
George B. Rose
Star Knitting Mills
Chafer, Pierce & Co.
Wisconsin Pearl Button Co.
Wear-U-Well Shoe Co.
John B. Webber, Chief of Police
Do JUST a little more than you are paid to do" is the motto of
B. Webber, Chief of Police of La Crosse, and to this motto can
be traced the splendid success which has followed him from
the time he left the farm to become a bell boy in a hotel, up
to the present time.
Mr. Webber was born on a farm in La Crosse County. Wisconsin.
March 2, 1867, being the oldest of ten children born to his
1882 he remained on the farm assisting his father to till the
soil that the
large family might be provided for and this, necessarily,
curtailed his common
Deciding to strike out for himself that he might become
the ways of the world, and in search of "book" knowledge,
packed up his belongings and came to La Crosse in the spring
He applied for a position as bell boy at the old Cameron
house, but the
proprietor informed him he was "too small."
"Give me a trial," said young Webber, "and if I don't suit you
discharge me. If the job don't suit me, I will give you
before I quit." He got the job.
After three years work in that position young Webber had saved
little money out of his earnings, so decided to attend school,
but after one
Winter at school his father became ill and the young man was
to leave school to return to the farm and give further
assistance in providing
for the large family.
Returning to La Crosse some time later, young Webber worked at
different trades, his first insight to police work being when
he was appointed
barn watchman for the street railway company.
In 1890, when H. H. Burns was appointed Chief of Police of La
Crosse, Mr. Webber was selected to take his place as special
the Chicago. Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, which
he held until September 1, 1898, when the Board of Police and
Commissioners appointed him a desk sergeant on the police
Merit, safe judgment and good common sense charactered every
move of Sergeant Webber and on October 20, 1907, he was
Chief of Police, succeeding the late H. H. Burns.
Chief Webber has the reputation of doing things and of doing
the right time. Quick to see and to determine, he never
hesitates to do
what he thinks is right. He does not waiver when he thinks it
is time to
act, but does things with a vim and determination that
A brief talk with Chief Webber assures one that he is the
right man in
the right place - a modest man, a beloved superior and a
Chief Webber has made the men in his department feel that he
all about their official acts, and every man must do his duty
or he is replaced
by one who will do so. He is a firm believer of treading the
"straight and narrow path" of truth and honesty, and is always
hear the two sides of every story. One's first impression of
him is that he
is a man who accomplishes things without the blare of a
While a young man struggling for a place in the business life
Crosse, Mr. Webber was united in marriage to Methilda Margaret
Koops, and three children have graced the union. He is a lover
life and is devoted to his family. He delights in the
companionship of his
wife and children to whom he gives his every spare moment.
The severe strain of business caused Chief Webber suffer a
breakdown last fall, but he is on the road to rapid recovery.
a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police,
Chiefs of Police Association, and of several fraternal
Chief of Police
Jno B. Webber
LAWRENCE DUGAN was born in the township of Brownsville,
Houston County. Minnesota, March Ninth, Eighteen Hundred and
Sixty. Although opportunities of his youth were limited, he
public school in his native village where he grew up under the
of his parents.
Being one of a large family, young Dugan began work at an
and contributed his earnings toward the support of that
school only when occasion presented itself.
In 1888, after the death of his father, Captain Dugan moved
mother and other members of the family to La Crosse, securing
with a bridge gang on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
which vocation he followed until appointed a patrolman on the
A modest, level-headed and impassive sort of an official is
Dugan. No excitement disturbs him; tears of penitence seem not
him from his path of duty, whatever it may be. Calm and
goes about his duties as he sees them, and it is due to these
Mr. Dugan was advanced direct from the ranks to the Captaincy.
The first police star was pinned on Mr. Dugan's coat on April
I894. He is a capable officer, discharged his duties so
efficiently and had
made such a clean record for himself that when the position of
was open he was quickly decided upon as the proper man for the
He was appointed to this position, which is the second highest
in the department,
on August 6, 1909.
Captain Dugan is respected and revered by the entire
department and the
writer only speaks the sentiment of the members of the force
when he says:
Long life and prosperity to Captain Dugan.
No home life in La Crosse is more beautiful than that of
On September 6, 1889, he was married to Miss Nellie Conway. of
Crosse, and three children have graced that union.
SERGEANT S. S. POST
THEN. as Shakespeare says, "Good things of day begin to droop
and drowse, it takes a cool-headed and capable man to guide
destinies of the police department of any large city and La
is fortunate in having just such a man in the person of
Sergeant S. S.
Post, who has charge of the police force during the night
season at which
time law breakers and wrong-doers most frequently show their
Sergeant Post was born in Huron County, Ohio, September 2.
and when quite an infant was taken by his parents to Branch
thence to La Crosse County, Wisconsin, in 1855.
His early years were spent on the farm, assisting his father
work, but after the death of both parents in 1879, Mr. Post
came to La
Crosse where he secured work at various times in a saw mill,
and was for a while night watchman for the Chicago, Milwaukee
He was appointed a patrolman on the police force on June 30,
and appointed Sergeant December 18, 1897
Sergeant Post is a faithful official and is revered and
respected by fellow
members of the force and the citizens in general.
Captain Lawrence Dugan
Sergeant Sheldon S. Post
John W. Taylor
ONE OF the oldest and most efficient members of the police
Detective John W. Taylor, the subject of this sketch, has
a record for faithfulness and fair dealings that most men
refrain from envying. Ever alert to the enforcement of the law
the duties laid out for him, Mr. Taylor long ago secured the
confidence of his superiors, and he is regarded as authority
on most everything
pertaining to criminology.
Mr. Taylor was born at Galena, Ill., May 27, 1850, moving to
Crosse September 19, 1881. Prior to that time he had "steamboated"
along the Mississippi as cook on tow and passenger boats,
vocation of mining during the winter months.
For quite a while he was in charge of the Bluff quarry, as he
expert quarryman, and later engaged in the hotel business,
was known as the Mill Street House.
He was appointed a patrolman on the local force on March 12,
walking a beat for ten years, when he was elevated to the rank
which position he now holds. He was married early in life and
children, five of whom are living, graced the union.
NOT ONLY the oldest police officer from point of service, but
age as well, John Coady, retired detective, is also the oldest
resident of La Crosse, having come to this city when it was a
village in 1853. He has resided here continuously since that
Mr. Coady, at the age of 15, with his parents, journeyed
Chicago to La Crosse with an ox team, their first halting
place in this city
Being on the site of the present beautiful Oak Grove cemetery.
only one grave in the cemetery then - that of David Darst, who
in 1852 by William Walts.
Mr. Coady followed different vocations until 1862 when he was
City Marshall. holding this position until 1869, when he
with the C. L. Coleman Lumber Co.
In 1885 Mr. Coady returned to the police force, remaining
When he was retired to the pension list.
He is one of La Crosse's most popular citizens, being well
revered by all who know him. This is attested to by the fact
that, on the
occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his marriage, his good
himself were showered with gold coin and golden emblems by
C. O. Denison
J. P. Wendling
T. J. McDonough
Frank L. Groeshner
August H. Koschnitzke
1. Nathan Bradfield, Fire Chief
2. F. J. Killian, Electrical Inspector
3. A. H. Schubert, City Attorney
4. John H. Forrer, Supt. Of Parks
5. J. M. Furstman, M.D., Commissioner of Health
6. P. J. McCanley, Assessor
7. C. C. Hamilton, Assessor
REPORTERS AND BOARD PUBLIC WORKS
1. Irvine H. Tuteur, Reporter
2. James T. Day
3. Arthur Worth, Reporter
4. Geo. Falk
5. H. B. Robertson, Reporter
6. Fred Schnell
1. Wm. Collins
2. H. J. Roth
3. Martin Rybold
4. George Bedessem
5. Joseph Bartl
6. P. C. Casberg
7. Joseph Houska
8. George B. Marvin, Jr.
9. W. P. Roellig
10. J. Schneeberger, Jr.
11. Paul Mahoney
1. Frank Kohn
2. Otto Granke
3. E. O. Schultz
4. Frank G. Roth
5. Wm. H. Tarbox
6. Wm. Torrence
7. Edw. Newmann
8. J. F. Downs
9. B. C. Smith
10. Adam Kroner
City Hall and Police Headquarters
La Crosse, the City Beautiful of Wisconsin
By Harry Wilkinson
LA CROSSE, the City Beautiful of Wisconsin,
endowed, as it is, with great wealth, energy, progression
and substantial homes, has, through its sturdy
sons of commerce, many opportunities to offer to
the prospective investor in search of a suitable manufacturing
location or a desirable home site. Seen
by the eye of a stranger, this city is a veritable park
in itself and few of the residents scarcely realize what
natural beauty surrounds
Situated on the east bank of the Mississippi river with the
slopes and hills of Minnesota for a western background and the
wooded knolls of Wisconsin to the east, La Crosse city
presents a spectacle
of beauty wondrous to behold, while from all angles can be
the towering smokestacks belching forth the tidings of
industry and thrift,
which sends a message to the outside world that La Crosse is
and is able and capable of doing still greater things.
This city has a just claim to being the greatest beauty spot
Father of Waters, its numerous parks and pleasure grounds
second to none as a summer resort, while no city in the
country is more
healthful, or presents more advantages as an inducement for
to come and make their permanent home here.
Levee Park, the newest addition to the city's beauty, has a
on the river of half a mile, with a width of from 400 to 85
of the features of this park is a magnificent band stand
from which concerts are given during the summer afternoons and
The total cost of creating this park was close to $100,000.
Surrounding the city are numerous fertile farms which gives an
supply of fresh vegetables, barn yard and dairy products at
prices ridiculously low, while the splendid facilities for
supplied by five railroads and several steamboat lines,
enables this city
to reduce the cost of living far below the average cost of
most cities of
Although farm lands in western Wisconsin are ridiculously low,
with land in surrounding states, the crop yield is second to
the entire United States, and the reason given for existing
prices is that
the owners have become rich from tilling the soil and are
selling out their
holdings and moving into La Crosse that they may live in
ease for the remainder of their lives. There is not an acre of
land in this section of the country that is not a rare bargain
are gradually becoming to realize this fact and are buying in
of acres as an investment.
La Crosse city property is not high when compared with
prices in other cities and, as the city is gradually growing
by the numerous
addition of large factories and wholesale houses, real estate
any price within one mile of the present city limits, is
regarded as a good
Going back as far as 1836, meager history, scraped here and
gives first mention of the site of La Crosse, but it was left
Myrick to brave the possibilities of death at the hands of
and became the first white settler of La Crosse in February.
Mr. Myrick was an Indian trader with headquarters at Prairie
Chien and would "pole" a bateau from that point to the site of
(LACROSSE, THE CITY BEAUTIFUL OF WISCONSIN - Continued)
Crosse, trading food, ammunition, blankets and trinkets to the
Winnebago Indians for furs, etc. Mr. Mynick built a log house
at the present corner of Front and State streets, residing
there with his
family until 1848. when he removed to St. Paul. During the
he acquired much land in and about La Crosse, some of which is
retained by his heirs.
When Myrick first saw the site of the present La Crosse he
it as a "point filled with sand and sand burs," but he saw
for a great city because of its peculiar topographical
and well did he prophesy.
Other families followed the Myrick family in quick succession
by 1850 there was quite a settlement in La Crosse. It had
prominent trading post and forged rapidly to the front. Urged
progression, a railroad extended its lines to this city,
having its terminus
on the Minnesota side of the river. Others came to bid for a
of the trade from the lumber industry, because this city had
become a great lumber center. Saw mills jotted the village
there, while the rivers were constantly clogged with logs,
above to feed the numerous saw mills.
It was during this era that many poor men became towers of
through the lumber industry, the fruits of their efforts being
for the great La Crosse of today. They made their fortunes
here and kept their money here through investments.
Years of chopping soon exhausted the supply of logs in this
but no sooner did the huge steel-teethed discs of the saw mill
buzz before other and equally as important industries stepped
supply the vacancy. One by one the industries, attracted by
natural advantages and inviting offers of local capitalists,
began to come
in until today La Crosse has 125 flourishing industries
than 10,000 hands, with an annual output of $20,000,000.
Among the articles manufactured in La Crosse are the
Plows, printographs, drills, flour, chocolates, pearl buttons,
crackers, stoves, ranges, beer, wagons, clipless paper
ink erasers, tin pails, brooms, shingle stain, bridge work,
blinds, office fixtures, altars, church decorations, shoes,
fittings and accessories, tools, dies, knit goods, overalls,
mattresses, springs, cigars, signs, soap, camp stoves, potato
potato diggers, paper boxes, cream separators, boilers,
furniture, steel tanks, ornamental iron and wire work,
gloves, mittens, hosiery, violins, blank books, candies, hats,
leaf tobacco, engravings, meat products, banana crates, rugs,
cooperage, tents, awnings, stamp vending machines, hammocks,
supplies, corrugated ceilings, steel roofing, Leona garments,
brushes, carbonated beverages, fruit extracts, flavors, brick,
foods, ice cream, coke, cornices, engines, castings, rubber
trunks and woolen goods.
Made-in-La Crosse goods find their way to all parts of the
and this city is looked upon as one of the growing
of the United States.
But Progressive La Crosse is not content to stop at this. Her
boosters want more factories or any kind of industries that
will help swell the bank clearings and add to the population,
ready to offer most any kind of an inducement consistent with
business methods in order to get new blood into the local
There is not now, nor has there ever been what might be called
"boom" in La Crosse. The city's growth has been steady, but
and those who are now here do not regret that they came.
No sooner had they landed before they, too, became La Crosse
and so it goes, from day to day, the old and the young,
praises of La Crosse, the city of progression and modern
Facts about the city of La Crosse may be summed up as follows:
(LACROSSE, THE CITY BEAUTIFUL OF WISCONSIN -- Continued)
La Crosse was incorporated as a city in 1856, and now has a
of 31,000 and growing rapidly. The city has an assessed
of $21,664,277, with a tax rate of 20 mills; has nearly 40
of sewers and 70 miles of water mains, with 50 miles of paved
La Crosse has seven parks and two public play grounds,
400 acres; it has a normal school, an agricultural college,
school, eleven graded schools, ten parochial schools, two
a public library and branch with 20.000 volumes, fifty-five
churches, four hospitals, four theatres, five railroads, a
through the Mississippi river to the Gulf of Mexico, a
car system, as finely equipped police and fire department to
in the entire country, has low rates of insurance, three daily
two semi-weekly and five weekly papers and four monthly
and owns and operates its own water works and its artesian
a plentiful supply of excellent drinking water.
Safety, service, satisfaction, are the cardinal principles of
and the six banks of La Crosse furnish all three of these.
to their customers every courtesy consistent with conservative
and this has given them a reputation for reliability that is
envied by banking institutions of other cities. Financial
panics have come and gone, hitting hard many of the banks
the country, but the local institutions have successfully
every storm, by at all times having a sufficient supply of
on hand to supply all needs and demands. The La Crosse banks
fairly bulging with money, having in deposits over ten million
The surplus and undivided profits of these banks amounts to
while the loans and discounts aggregate $6,320,000.
La Crosse has many wholesale houses, but wiseacres of business
there is a splendid opening here for a crockery jobbing house,
glass jobbing house, a notion jobbing house, a dry goods
and all kinds of factories and manufacturing industries, both
small. La Crosse is ever alert to the needs of its thousands
extending for over 100 miles into Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa
Dakotas, and it is to supply the demands of this rich and
that so strong an invitation is extended to prospective
investors to come to
La Crosse and get acquainted. Progression seems to be the
country over, so come to La Crosse and be a Progressive.
To show just how strong the progressive spirit of this city
may be said, and with pardonable pride, too, that this
was published without the aid or consent of the Board of
or any other similar organization, The incentive came from the
of the officers and members of the Policemen's Pension Fund
who, although discouraged in the effort by a few of the less
wide-awake, public spirited men, went ahead with the work,
the encouragement and financial support of the progressive
men who wished to see a bigger and better La Crosse and backed
this desire with substantial contributions for the publication
of this book.
To all those who assisted in this work is tendered the hearty
of the Policemen's Pension Fund Association, and, although no
amount of profit is left over from the sale of advertising
space, it is
expected that its appearance will create an awakening of
in those whose energies have lain dormant and induce them to
these books and send them broadcast as the best advertisement
of La Crosse ever had.
Fourth Street Showing Postoffice and Stoddard Hotel
View of La Crosse's Beautiful Water Front
La Crosse is justly proud of its beautiful water front, which
extends for more than one mile along the east bank of the
Mississippi river. Here is shown many of the larger
manufacturing industries, the steamboat wharves
And the high bridge across the Father of Waters, which
connects Wisconsin with Minnesota.
Just recently completed, and not shown in this view, is a
lovely park along the water front, which adds ten fold to the
beauty of the scene.
1. Christ Church
2. St. Annes Church
3. St. James Church
4. First Methodist Church
John A. Salzer Seed Company
1. German Evangelical Lutheran
2. Bethany Congregational
3. St. Mary's Catholic
4. St. Paul's Norwegian Lutheran
Deceased Members of the Force
Captain John Parks
Captain John Parks was born in Chautauqua
County, New York, November 2, 1843.
Police Force, April 13, 1881 and evaluated to
the captaincy on September 15, 1884. He was
taken suddenly ill on June15, 1909, and died
within twelve hours. He is survived by a
widow Mrs. Mary A. Parks, who resides at 318
North Seventh St. and who is now drawing a
Pension from the Policemen's Pension Fund.
Hugh Henry Byrne
Hugh Henry Byrne, was born at Shullsburg,
Wisconsin, February 29, 1874, and learned
the trade of machinist and engineer and
worked in the capacity until he was appointed
a patrolman March 1, 1879. He was chief of
detectives for the C. M. & St. P. Ry., from 1881 to 1890
and on October 10, 1890, he was appointed Chief of Police
of the city of La Crosse and held this office up to the
time of his death, which occurred October 14, 1907. He
was the sixth chief of police, and held the office seven
years longer than any other chief.
Paul Hefti, was born at Canton glarous.
Switzerland, Junde 25, 1852, and emigrated to
America in 1871, and located on a form in
Vernon County, Wisc., he came to La Crosse
about a year later. He was appointed a patrolman
March 1, 1886, later was promoted for
Night Sergeant which position he held for
some time but, but on account of his health, he
was assigned to day duty as a patrolman. He died
September 6, 1911. He was the oldest officer in service
and had carried Star No. 1 for a number of years.
1. First Baptist
2. St. Paul Universalist
3. First Presbyterian
4. St. Josephs Cathedral
C. and J. Michael Brewery
Franz Bartl Brewery
View of Bryant-Sisson Company Building
Fifth Street Showing Coleman Lumber Co. and La Crosse Club
La Crosse Police Force in 1884
La Crosse Police Force on Taft Day
Listman Mill Company Plant
G. Heilmann Brewery
John Gund Brewery
1. La Crosse Telephone Company Building
2. Elks Club and Law Auto Company
3. Y. M. C. A. Building
1. Public Library
2. County Court House
3. County Jail
4. High School
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