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A Lumber Mill Is Built and a Village Incorporated

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A Historical Timeline
Historical notes of dates and events significant in the development of the Town of McMillan are listed below. Much of the information is drawn from minutes of the township and area publications.

1871- The Peshtigo and Chicago fires occurred.
1872- Marshfield was first settled.
1874- The McMillan Brothers build their saw mill three miles north of Marshfield on the Little Eau Pleine River.
1879- Schooling became compulsory in Wisconsin for children 7 to 12 for a period of 12 weeks a year.
1882- The congregation that is now St. Peter’s Lutheran Church built its first log church.
1883- City of Marshfield was incorporated
1887- The Marshfield fire occurred.
1888- The township of McMillan was chartered.
1889- The first township taxes were levied
1891- School districts were formed.
1893- A town hall was built.
1893- The village of McMillan was incorporated. (Located in sec.17 and 20.)
1894- St. Peter’s Lutheran Church built a new frame building.
1904- An iron bridge was built over the Little Eau Pleine River. (Galvin Avenue) The cost was $995 and a loan was taken at 5%.
1916- The Marshfield Clinic was formed.
1919- The town board went on record against moving the clock ahead one hour ( Daylight Savings Time) as it was felt to be a detriment to all farmers.
1925- The village of McMillan was dissolved.
1927- A motion was made to open town roads at the first snow fall.
1929- The great depression began.
1936- The town built a tractor shed.
1941- Wages were set for the motor patrol grader operator at .35 an hour.
1944- Leonard McGivern was hired at .60 an hour to operate the cat plow and little tractor.
1950- The town board entered into an agreement with Marshfield Rural Fire Department for fire assistance.
1952- The town purchased a 1951 4WD Oshkosh plow truck with wing . (One of the largest pieces of snow removal equipment in the area.)
1954- Channel 7, the Wausau TV station, began broadcasting.
1960- The Town of McMillan adopted village powers.
1962- A new bridge was constructed over the Little Eau Pleine River (Galvin) for $26,290.
1967- The town entered into an agreement with Marshfield for ambulance services.
The first zoning commission members were appointed.
1968- Fire numbers were assigned to all dwellings. The town first used liquid chloride on roads.
1972- The Township of McMillan adopted county zoning.
1974- The annual meeting time was moved to the evening hours.
1975- A new town hall was built for a cost of $22,014.
1976- The new town hall and ball park were dedicated.
1979- A new highway garage was built for a bid of $48,954.
1980- Richard Scheuer was elected town clerk
1982- The McMillan Volunteer Fire Department under the command of David Larson was reorganized. A tanker truck was purchased for the McMillan department.
1984- A movement arose to plan orderly development of the township.
1985- A plan commission was established.
1986- A blacktop committee was established. McMillan’s first Comprehensive Plan was developed.
1987- The town board rejected plans to blacktop town roads.
1988- The Town of McMillan celebrated its centennial.
1989- The Town of McMillan fire department held its first fall festival.
The Town of McMillan residents voted to establish a 5 person board.
1990- Fire department purchases a new Chevy tanker truck
1990- The fire department bought its first pumper fire truck, a 1964 La France.
1993- Computerized records were introduced in McMillan .
1994- McMillan started its blacktopping program with Saint Joseph’s Avenue.
1995- A new fire station was constructed for $350,000.
1995- Louise Greenlaw replaced Richard Scheuer as town clerk.
1997- The McMillan comprehensive plan was updated / revised.
1998- The fire department took delivery on a new Pierce Pumper fire truck.
Residents of McMillan pass a referendum authorizing an appointed clerk / treasurer position.
1998- The McMillan Town Hall was remodeled and town office developed.
1999- Donna Siltala was appointed as the McMillan clerk/treasurer.
Residents were able to get the state law changed authorizing McMillan to withdraw from the Marathon County Library System and join the Marshfield Library.
1999- The Town of McMillan and the City of Marshfield began the process of creating a boundary agreement.
2000- The Town of McMillan Volunteer Fire Department withdrew from the Marshfield Rural Fire Association.
2002- The township was hit with record flooding. On June 22, 10-12 inches of rain fell in the area doing over ½ million dollars in road damage alone.
The township began the comprehensive planning process using consultants hired by Marathon County to meet requirements of 66.1001, State Comprehensive Planning legislation (AKA “ Smart Growth”)
2003- The town exceeded the five year blacktopping plan.
Final approval was given by the Department of Administration for the boundary agreement between the town and the City of Marshfield..
2004- The town board developed a new 10 year plan for the township.
2005- The town of McMillan launched a website. The fire department took delivery of a new state-of-the-art tanker truck.

Modern Marathon County and the Town of McMillan

Facts About Marathon County
Marathon County is in the exact center of the northern ½ of the western hemisphere.
Marathon County was established in 1850. Wisconsin had become the 30th state in the union in 1848. At the time it was mostly forested and most of its 500 inhabitants made a living from the rich timber resources. It is the largest of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, covering 1,584 square miles with a population of 128,823 on the 2000 census .There are 42 townships in Marathon County. The county seat is in the city of Wausau. (The name Wausau is from the Chippewa meaning “Far away”)

If you call the Marathon County courthouse switchboard at 715-261-1000, they are capable of connecting you to any county department or agency. Office hours are 8:00 A.M. to 5 P.M. (closed weekends). Visit the Marathon County web site at www.co.marathon.wi.us.

Marathon County is one of the top ranked dairy producing counties in the state. Wisconsin is traditionally first in milk and cheese production in the nation. Over 1/3 of the land mass in Marathon County is still forest land. Most woodland is in 30 to 40 acre tracts attached to individual farms. Approximately 20,000 acres in the county has been permanently set aside in county forest land for forestry, wildlife habitat, and recreation purposes.

Recreational opportunities include16 county parks with many picnic and recreational areas. The closest parks to McMillan are Big Rapids Park north of Stratford off Highway 97 and Cherokee ark east of the intersection of County Highways F and N (west of Colby.) The largest county park is Big Eau Pleine Park east of Stratford on Highway 153 (Just east of the intersection with County Highway 107, then south). There are 48 miles of county funded cross country ski trails, the best known are at the 9 Mile County Recreational Area which has 17 miles of trails with a warming house. There are nearly 800 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in Marathon County funded and maintained (without tax dollars) from snowmobile registration fees and through the efforts of snowmobile club volunteers.

Marathon County has a total of 3,189 miles of highways of which 275 miles are state trunks, 616 miles are county highways and 2,298 miles are town roads .

Facts About the Township of McMillan
The town of McMillan is in District 27 for the Marathon County Board of Supervisors. The township’s location designation is T 26 N - R3 E. McMillan is almost six miles square, stretching north from the city limits of Marshfield and McMillan Street to within one mile of the village of Stratford at Eau Pleine Road. McMillan extends east from Lincoln Avenue to Day Road in the southern half of McMillan and to Highway 97 north of Rendezvous Corners. ( ½ mile south of eastbound Highway C toward Rozellville.)

Townships were established with 36 sections ( 640 acres per section.) or 23,040 acres. We have lost 140 acres to the City of Marshfield by annexation. Sections are numbered starting from the northeast corner of McMillan at the intersection of Highway 97 and Eau Pleine Road, one mile south of Stratford. The numbers progress to the west and then back to the east. Sections 31,32,33, are the sections next to the city of Marshfield. These section identifications are used when describing the locations of property.

The McMillan Wildlife Area is made up of 2,224.8 acres, covering parts of sections 7, 18, 19 and 30. There are hiking and biking trails located throughout the marsh. The public may access the area at parking lots off of Mann Road and Marsh Road. (See more information under Frequently Asked Questions.)

The Town of McMillan has a playground and park adjacent to the town hall. A ball diamond and recreational facilities are available. This area is open daylight to dark. Residents may reserve the pavilion for private functions by contacting the town clerk.

Population of McMillan:
1970
1980
1990
2000
2004
 
1255
1433
1694
1860
1889

Since 1970 the population of the town has grown rapidly. We are the second largest community in Marathon County, west of the metropolitan area of Wausau. (We are second only to the Village of Spencer.)

The Town of McMillan had an assessed valuation in 2004 of $126,208,500. The township has one full time and one part time highway department employee. It also has a full time clerk/treasure. The town board, comprised of a chairman and four supervisors, is elected by the voters and serves two year terms. The town is served by a volunteer fire department.

McMillan has over 53 miles of town roads of which about 13 miles have been blacktopped. In addition chip sealing has been used on other roads mostly in subdivisions. (Chip seal is a mixture of crushed blacktop, small stones, and a sealer.) State Highway 97 traverses the town progressing northeast from Marshfield and then north through the town to Stratford. County Highways T and E run north and south through the town and County Highway C crosses east and west through the northern part of McMillan.