Weavings Newsletter Dec 2013

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Volume 13, Number 4


Thursday, November 22, 2013


The SLAHS December General Meeting will be held

Thursday December 12, 2013, 6:30 PM at the Depot Museum. Our annual Christmas Party will immediately follow the general meeting. (Please see insert below. ) We are looking forward to seeing you there!



Board of Directors Meeting:

Depot Museum,

6:30 PM on: 02/06/14.

Newsletter Committee Meeting:

Steve Haasch Residence, 6:30 PM on: 02/10/14.

Building & Grounds Meeting:

Depot Museum at 6:30 PM. Meetings will be called when needed.

SLAHS General Meeting: 12/12/13

, 6:30 PM, Depot Museum.

Newsletter articles due: 01/31/14


Newsletter Mailed: 02/18/14


Sussex Annual Christmas Tree Lighting:

12/7/2012, 6:00 PM, Sussex Village Hall.


Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc.





I have finally been granted some space in the newsletter for my report, due to the amount of articles, announcements, and the like in previous issues. To make things short and sweet, I would like to invite our members to the December General Meeting. Please bring your favorite cookies to pass, and meet our new neighbors, the Ailleys.

We are in the process of planning our next major exhibit ‘Area Bars, Taverns and Saloons’. This will include the production of hops, the prohibition years and rum runners, and of course the name changes of the taverns through out the years. Please let us know if you have any ideas, stories, pictures, or artifacts that you would like to

include in this exhibit. You may get in touch with Fred Keller at (262) 246-3603 for more information.

We have the current brick order back, but alas, the ground has frozen. I will try to plant the bricks if we get some warm weather, but may have to wait till spring.

As a final note: We ask that when visiting the museum to please park more at the Piggly Wiggly until we get the parking lot straightened out for parking. We want to continue to be good neighbors and not crowd our new neighbors out, or their customers from being able to park on their own property. Thank you .



You Are Invited…

Sussex Lisbon Area

Historical Society’s

Annual Holiday Christmas Party

Thursday, December 12, 2013

6:30 PM

Immediately after the General Meeting

At the Depot Museum

We ask those who are attending to bring along some our your special Christmas Treats for everyone to try and enjoy. Beverages will be provided.

The Weavings

Page 2

Thursday November 22, 2013




Fred H. Keller

The Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society was the recipient of a Rankin family pile of papers, photos and memorabilia recently. I have spent a month putting it into a 3-inch thick 3-ring binder for one set of the collection. Then there is the near 400 page work of John Rankin, son of Wesley Rankin that I have copied and then added papers to that. It will shortly be sent to Nebraska to be bound into a hard covered book.

Now the Rankin family donations came from 3 fifth-generation people; Cheryl Opsahl- Maas, John and Dave Rankin.

In all there were 133 photos. Then in the hard covered book are a series of duplicate photos mixed in the near 400 pages. Following are some thumbnail sketches of the 12 person Rankin pioneering Lisbon family, as put down by the Rankin family chronicler, John Rankin.

The parents were James Rankin and his Irish wife Mary Keyes. James was born in 1804 and died on February 20, 1874. Wife Mary was born June 11, 1811, and was married about 1833. From early 1836 until early 1851 she was pregnant 10 times, during a period of 15 years, and she raised all 10 of her children to adulthood. The family tradition is they were of Scotch-Irish decent.

According to the notes John has, great, great, Grandfather James loved his whiskey, and it got him into problems at times. In one sentence “that when James and family went to the church he had a bible in one pocket and a flask in the other.”

James and Mary were founders of the Lisbon United Presbyterian Church in 1847.

Both James and Mary sailed from Ireland to the port of New York, and then James had a series of jobs building bridges and rail lines in New England. James left Ireland in 1826. Mary left later, and they met about 1832, and were married on July 3, 1833. She was 22 and he was 29. They would be up and down New England states, plus New York when with 5 children they left for Wisconsin, and came from Milwaukee to Lisbon to claim 80 acres of land for $1.25 per acre, $200.00. The land was on present-day Plainview Dr., half way between Hillside Rd. and present-day Highway 164. They added 60 acres some years later to have a homestead of 140 acres. This remained in the Rankin hands until 1990. Today it is a Payne & Dolan Gravel pit.

The Rankins added to their children, 5 more, after they got to Lisbon. James would die on February 20, 1874 while Mary died on May 7, 1880. Both would be buried at Lisbon Central Cemetery.

The first born was Margaret Rankin born April 15, 1835 in Massachusetts.

She ended up married to Abraham Calkins, on December 20, 1860, a Lisbon neighbor. He was born in New York August 14, 1819. Both would move to Lisbon and then to Friend, Nebraska. In 1897 Mr. Abraham Calkins died, while Margaret would die in 1907. A side note: Calkins had been married earlier to one Cornella Pret.

The second born was William Rankin, arriving October 28, 1836 in Homer, New York. He came to Lisbon when he was 7 years old. In August 1863 he volunteered for the Union Army, in the Wisconsin 28

th Volunteer Infantry regiment which fought in the Battle for Vicksburg, Helena, and Mobile, and then served garrison duty in Texas until August 1865. He married Catherine Gourlie on April 5, 1869. William died June 11, 1908 in Whitewater where the couple had moved. His wife was born on August 24, 1845 and died November 6, 1910 in Chicago. They had 2 children, one of which died. There is a note that he was wounded while in service in 1865.

The third born was Joseph Rankin, coming October 20, 1838 in Massachusetts. He married Amanda Graves November 10, 1863 while he was training in Milwaukee for the Civil War. She was born March 23, 1847 in New York, and died on November 9, 1918 in Mellingham, Washington. Meanwhile, Joseph died June 9, 1930 in San Jose, California.

Humphrey Rankin was the 4

th born, coming June 28, 1840 in Massachusetts. He would acquire a 40 acre piece of farm land on the north side of Good Hope Rd., as it stretched west beyond Hillside Rd. over Hwy 164. He married the widowed wife of his brother James Rankin, Charlotte Greengo on May 15, 1875. He died April 11, 1901 of Bright’s disease. His wife Charlotte, born March 23, 1849 in Lisbon would die of a tragic runaway horse accident on Hillside Rd. on August 26, 1912. Humphrey went to college and was a teacher for 14 years before he took up farming. He was a member of the Lisbon Town Board at one time. They had a daughter.

The 5

th born was Mary Jane Rankin who was the last to be born out east. She was born on March 4, 1843, just as(Continued on page 3)

(Rankin Family Papers-Continued from page 2)

the family was packing up to leave for Wisconsin Territory. She arrived as a 2-month-old child in Lisbon. She married a neighbor, Henry Howard, born in England Jun 21, 1840. He would serve in the Union Army in Company L of the 30

thWisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He gained the rank of Corporeal as he spent 3 years in service, August 14, 1862 to September 13, 1865. He was married to Mary Jane on March 4, 1868. Henry Howard died July 28, 1924 in Waukesha. Meanwhile, Mary Jane preceded him as she died in Racine on February 16, 1918.

Now the 6

th through 10thchildren of the James-Mary Rankin family were all born on the Lisbon family farm hence forth.

The 6

th born was James Rankin on April 24, 1844. He would be the shortest lived as he died at age 29 on October 14, 1873. He had been married to Charlotte Greengo in 1873. James died of Typhoid fever. At the funeral his wife Charlotte Greengo made the statement, “And now who will take care of me?” and brother Humphrey stepped forward, saying “I will take care of you,” marrying her 19 months later May 15, 1873. Charlotte would die August 26, 1912 in Lisbon, as she would live all her life in the township.

The 7

th born was John Rankin on March 14, 1847. He married twice. First to Beatrice Tempero of Lisbon who then died on April 24, 1887 and then John would remarry to Sarah Rodgers of Lisbon. Sarah was born October 29, 1860 and married John on December 25, 1889, and died February 22, 1942. John was a farmer of 75 acres of Lisbon. He left farming and become a businessman with Hoag & Rankin Grain and Feed Co. in Waukesha. John and his second wife had an adopted daughter, Myrtle. John died on March 24, 1902 in Waukesha, and is buried at Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha.

The 8

th born was Stephenson Rankin on February 14, 1849. He married Martha Bates on December 25, 1877. She was born in Lisbon on March 3, 1857 and was 19 when she married. He would acquire a farm just north of the Lisbon Central Cemetery, that is today mostly still in the Rankin name (Mahala). Stephenson would die March 6, 1925, while his wife Martha died May 19, 1929.

The 9

th born was David Rankin, born on April 4, 1851. He married Angeline Bates on December 12, 1882. She had been born March 3, 1860 and would die March 19, 1951. David, despite being born 9th took over the family claim-farm, and had a prominent son Walter who in turn would take over the original Rankin estate farm. David would die October 18, 1922. Wes and Edgar Rankin would be his grandsons.

The last and 10

th child was Martha Rankin born February 1, 1854. She was the only child of the ten that would not marry. She died on November 15, 1939 in Hampton, Iowa. She was the third daughter, while there were 7 sons in all.

Today this huge extended Rankin family covers the United States but only remnants of it remain in the Sussex-Lisbon area. There are only 3 Rankins by name that remain in the local telephone book in 2013.

Thursday November 22, 2013

The Weavings

Page 3


Boy scout tours of Depot Museum

During the winter months there is a crescendo of scouting units that schedule historical badge outings for their troops at the Sussex-Lisbon Museum. Curator Fred Keller tailors a slide program for their age group and their community, and also throws in some dramatic fire and weather history scenes.

The first group that came thru was Pack 175 on Thursday, November 21st. It was a Tiger Scout group. Ten scouts and about 10 adults were on hand, who were first shown a narrated slide program and then a walk through the museum. Since the scouts were younger, old toys were featured. The special meeting lasted approximately 45 minutes to an hour based on interactions of the boys and the adults.

Then a second session is now scheduled for Saturday at 1:00 PM on January 18, 2014 when a different group of young boys from Tiger Scout Pack 175 will spend a similar time frame at the museum with adult chaperones for a repeat program, but each can be varying as different groups will have their own special interests.

The programs are scheduled, and scouts are asked to bring 25 cents each for donations…just to teach youngsters that they should be accustomed to donate when they go to a museum. However, it is our experience that the 25 cents a head is always exceeded as the scouts do deposit their money, but adults also drop in a donation…sometimes a check from the scout treasury.

Members of the society can also attend these events and watch the interaction of the custodian and the scouts.

The Weavings

Page 4

Thursday November 22, 2013


James Rankin born 1804 Ireland died in 1874 Lisbon and Mary Keyes Rankin born 1811 Ireland died 1880 Lisbon.

Margaret Rankin 1835-1907 & Abram Calkins 1819-1897. They were married Dec. 20, 1860 in Lisbon.

William Rankin 1836-1908. Married to Catherine Gourlie on April 15, 1869 who is not pictured. She died in 1910 in Chicago.

Joseph Rankin born in Massachusetts in 1838 and died in 1930 & wife Amanda Graves Rankin was born in New York in 1847 and died in 1918. They married on November 10, 1863 .

Humphrey Rankin born 1840 in Massachusetts and Charlotte Greengo Rankin Born 1849 in Lisbon. Both were married on May 15, 1875.

Mary Jane Rankin born in 1843, Lisbon and died 1918 in Racine, Wis. & Henry W. Howard born in 1840, Orany, England and died 1924 in Waukesha, Wis. Both were married on March 4, 1868 in Lisbon.

At right, Margaret Calkins, Abram Calkins 2nd wife.

Thursday November 22, 2013

The Weavings

Page 5

James Rankin Jr. born 1844 in Lisbon, died 1873. Married Charlotte Greengo Sept. 1873 in Lisbon.

John Rankin born 1847 in Lisbon, died 1902 in Waukesha, Wis. and Wife #1 Beatrice Tempero Rankin born in 1852 in Lisbon, died 1887 in Lisbon. They married on December 20, 1872. John married wife #2 (right) Sarah Anna Rodgers Dec. 25, 1889.

Stephenson Rankin was born in 1849, Lisbon, died 1925 in Lisbon & wife Martha Bates Rankin born 1857, Lisbon and died 1929 in Lisbon. They were married on December 25, 1877 in Lisbon.

David Rankin, born 1851 in Lisbon and died 1922 in Lisbon. Wife Angeline Fisher Rankin born 1860, Lisbon and died in 1951 in Lisbon. They were married December 12, 1882 in Lisbon.

Martha Rankin was born in 1854 in Lisbon and died in 1939 in Hampton Iowa. She never married.

The Weavings

Page 6

Thursday November 22, 2013


ON THE WEB By Mike Reilly

Check out our latest articles on the web:

This Day In Wisconsin History

●836, Governor Dodge signs first law.

●863, (Civil War) The 33rd Wisconsin Infantry leaves for the South.


Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.)

James Weaver and Hops-the rise of an industry.

The Lisbon Plank Road Came from Early Indian Trails and Oxen Wagon Roads-History of the FIRST planked road in the Territory of Wisconsin. Updated 11/8/13.

Reference Material Index-page updated with available family histories/genealogies in 3-ring binders.

Hop Growing History in Lisbon, Waukesha Co., and Wisconsin. Updated May 26, 2013.

From Miltenberg to Milwaukee-Beer magnates from the Lower Main area, in the United States of the 19th Century.

The next four articles are works in progress:

Sussex (Lisbon Township) Brewery History.

The Taverns and Stages of Early Waukesha County, Wisconsin-with particular emphasis on those in the Town of Lisbon.

Index to Blatz Brewing Company-British Brewery Syndicate letters.

Waukesha Spring Brewing Company.

Lisbon Incorporation Efforts-chronological history of events; Updated 3/20/12 Continued on Lisbon Incorporation Efforts-Page 2, Page 3,-Town of Lisbon Consolidation/Merging Discussions.

Sussex’ Incorporation as a Village.

Indians: Local-Arrowheads and Artifacts-“Indians were here first!”

Our website contains articles, local history, genealogy and other information with our organization. We are always looking for more historical information. If anyone can help please give Mike a call at (262) 246– 3121. You can find us on the web at



If you are interested in contributing to our website’s content, cemetery and newspaper transcriptions, individual/family history, early stories of the area/people/businesses, etc., please contact Mike Reilly. Note:To make your contributions easier to add, please consider submitting them by email, email attachment, or CD, audio DVD, or SD.

(Continued on page 7)

Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc.

SLAHS September 2013 General Meeting

Date: September 12, 2013 Time: 6:35 pm. to 7:22 pm.

Place: Waukesha State Bank Community Room


The Opening


President: Steve Haasch, Vice-President: Roger Johnson Secretary: Sue Haasch (absent) and Treasurer: Donna Zimmerman.

Board of Directors:

Joanne Smith, Henry Ray, Sonny Mehringer, Mona Day, Bob Schlei and Peter Sparrow. Absent: Peter Sparrow, Fred Keller and Joanne Smith.

Special Presentation:


Members Present: 12 Total Memberships: 101

I, Steve Haasch, call this annual meeting to order at 6:35 pm. A quor-um is present.

The Pledge of Allegiance. A moment of silence.

The Business

Approval of the minutes: The minutes were handed out from the June 2013 General Meeting was approved as written.

Reports of Officers:


: None.


: None.




: Donna Zimmerman gave her report. Two ladders were purchased for the museum and three light fixtures needed to be re-placed. We have had a significant amount of savings converting over to gas heat from oil. Roger Johnson made a motion to accept the report and Bob Schlei 2nd.. The motion was approved.

Reports of Boards and Standing Committees:


There was a discussion on collecting some scrap metal. Henry Ray and Sonny Mehringer will volunteer.

We now accept monetary donations online using PayPal, see the link on the left side of the main web page called “Monetary Donations”.


T-Shirts for Sale

$7.00 ea.

To Order call

Mike Reilly at

1-414-530-3121 or www.slahs.org

Thursday November 22, 2013

The Weavings

Page 7


Betty Mindemann will be doing appraisals during the museum hours on Sept. 14th. Plans were discussed. We may be hold-ing a tea on October 20th.

Building & Grounds:

Outdoor cleanup needs to be scheduled. There was mention of planting hops next spring preferably along the fence. A total of $270 was spent on snow removal last year. Snow shoveling the walks near the museum will need to be scheduled. There was a brief discussion on the condition of the main front door of the museum. Roger Johnson made a motion to make the necessary repairs to the door and the motion passed.


Additions to the exhibit need to be set up. Donna Zimmer-man donated an antique store scale to the museum collection.


We lost 4 members but gained 2 new lifetime mem-bers. Total membership comes to 101. Steve Haasch suggested hav-ing a special membership plaque made for display in the museum.


Mona Day will be making posters for the up-coming appraisal event.


: None.


Mike Reilly received some information from Oneida Co. on the subject of hops.

New Business:

Discussion of having an annual Christmas Party at the museum along with the general meeting. A motion was made to con-tinue holding this event and the motion was passed. Plans were dis-cussed. Donna Zimmerman also suggested looking into the floodplain issue for future reference.

Old Business:

There was a further discussion on making a plaque for charter members to be hung in the museum. Prices and styles will be further reviewed.

Good of the Order:

We extend a warm welcome our new neighbors who are located to the north of the museum. They are now settled and moved in.


Our recent field tour of the hops garden at the Rob Howard residence was very fun and enjoyable. A big thank you to all who came out and participated in this event.

The Closing


Called by Roger Johnson at Time: 7:22 pm.


Susan Haasch



(By Mary Haasch)

The 2014 membership renewal notices will be mailed out soon. Please don’t forget to renew. Your membership is greatly appreciated and is important to us.

Newsletter Contributors

Fred Keller Tom Schuldt

Mona Day Sue Haasch

June Keller Steve Haasch

Betty Mindemann Joanne Smith

Mike Reilly Mary Haasch

Services & Support

Arenz, Molter, Macy & Riffle Attorneys at Law



N63 W23791 Main Street

P.O. Box 32

Sussex, WI 53089-0032

Phone: 262-246-3603

The Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc. is a non-profit & tax exempted corporation dedicated to the collection and preservation of historically significant artifacts, pictures, stories, & similar materials from the local Sussex & Lisbon area. The society held organizational meetings in mid 2001 and formally announced intentions for official formation as a non-profit corporation in November 2001. SLAHS became tax exempted retroactive Feb. 6, 2002. SLAHS is affiliated with the Wisconsin State Historical Association as a local society. The society has an open membership policy welcoming all interested parties to join for a nominal fee. Annual memberships are for the calendar year beginning January 1st of each year. Lifetime memberships are also available.

President Steven Haasch

Vice-President Roger Johnson

Secretary Susan Haasch

Treasurer Donna Zimmerman

Board of Directors:

Peter Sparrow Joanne Smith Sonny Mehringer

Mona Day Henry Ray Bob Schlei


Fred Keller

Assistant Curator:

Mike Reilly

Committee Coordinator:

June Keller (262) 246-3603


Turn your old Junker cars into a cash donation for the Depot Museum. They need not be in running condition.

For more details please call Donna Zimmerman at: (262) 246-8331.

Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc.

N63 W23791 Main Street

P.O. Box 32

Sussex WI 53089-0032

Mail To:

Join Us and Help Preserve History

NEW MEMBERSHIP Application Form

Name ____________________________________________

Address __________________________________________


Phone Number ______________________

E-Mail _____________________________________________________

Please Mail my newsletter  E-Mail my newsletter

Types of Membership:

Individual $ 15.00 Annual ____

Senior $ 10.00 Annual ____

Family $ 25.00 Annual ____

Business $ 50.00 Annual ____

Contributing $ 30.00 Annual ____

Lifetime $1,000.00 ____

Total Membership paid: $ _______________


Donation amount: $________________ thank you!

Membership is open to all persons, institutions, or organizations. Member-ship is able to vote, with only one vote per member regardless of class of membership.

Make Check Payable to


Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc. (SLAHS)

Mail Completed form and Check to


Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc.

Attention: Treasurer

PO Box 32

Sussex, WI 53089-0032



The Depot Museum will be open every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 1 to 4 pm.


January thru March by appointment only.



Children 10 and under free.

The museum will also be available for group visits by contacting the museum’s curator, Fred Keller, at (262) 246-3603 for more information.

Next General Meeting :

Dec. 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM

At the Depot Museum.