The Model Farm – Joseph Feldmeir

The Feldmeir Farmstead House Photo Richard Wszalek family-1

The Feldmeir Farmstead House
Photo: Richard Wszalek Family

The Feldmeir Farmstead Barn Photo Richard Wszalek family-2

The Feldmeir Farmstead Barn
Photo: Richard Wszalek Family

Joseph Feldmeir’s Model Farm 

Bayfield County Press – Friday, December 28, 1906         

In this edition reported it was that “Mr.  Joseph Feldmeir, the Green County, Wisconsin farmer, purchased something over 600 acres of land near Bayfield a year ago”. In a conversation with the Press man he expressed himself “to the mildness of the climate and fertility of the soils in that section of the Town of Bayfield” [1].

Further stated the Press man “the improvements made by him are of sufficient evidence in his faith in this section from an agricultural standpoint. Mr. Feldmeir’s improvements in the way of buildings, etc. will be an eye opener to those who are of the opinion that the borders of Lake Superior are lined with icebergs and the interior inhabitant by bears and other fur covered animals.

Few people in Bayfield are cognizant of the improvements that are being made in the country round about them, and to become acquainted with them it is quite necessary to visit and see them.

Among the foremost of the farmers that have chosen the Bayfield Peninsula for their future home is Joseph Feldmeir, formally of Monroe County, this state. He admits his confidence in this section by purchasing at once 440 acres of cut overland about 5 miles from town, upon the line of the Bayfield Transfer railway, and has been getting the remaining timber to market preparatory to opening his farm and thus far succeeded in shipping 14 carloads of cedar poles and 7000 railroad ties, which has yielded him a substantial income and enabled him to build the finest country residence in the town if not in the country.

Feldmeir has also built a commodious barn with modern appliances and conveniences, and all necessary outbuildings, consisting of chicken house, carriage house and two-story sleeping house for his hired help- all frame structures and painted, making his ranch take on the appearance of a well-to-do country residence. The house has a cement block basement the whole size of it with spring under the kitchen, a pump in the kitchen furnishing water from the spring with which to work and clean.

A fine spring brook courses through his barnyard giving water to his stock, and still another through his chicken yard. He has a fine stock of horses and cattle and hogs, and comfort and convenience seem to be written upon everything about the Feldmeir home, and the day is not far distant when it will be looked upon as a model farm. Mr. Feldmeir will during the next year, give attention to cleaning and enlarging his acres for cultivation, from the area that has been divesting of the merchantable timber before placing upon the market more timber of which he has much left. We are glad to welcome such men and hope that their success will induce others of the same energy to appropriate the resources of this country to their personal comfort and estate. A visit to this home is inspiring and conclusive beyond argument that the palmy days of the Bayfield Peninsula are just dawning to the public, and only a few years will elapse when it will be one of the favorite sections of the West.

[1]Steps were taken to form a Russell Township, so in 1912 and April 13, 1913, the land comprising the town of Russell including Red Cliff Indian reservation was voted to be set off from the present city of Bayfield and town of Bayfield, which was one unit at that time, with our own town government and school district. After some deliberation the name “Russell” was chosen, although other names had been under consideration”. History of the Town of Russell, lifetime Russell Township citizen Elsie (Moeller/Miller) Peterson at a meeting of the Town of Russell 1976 in celebration of the 200th birthday of the United States.

This history brief was written by Robert J. Nelson. Generously sharing our local history through his research and writing.