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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Crandon [brief history]

Definition: Crandon is located 84 miles northeast of Green Bay and is the county seat of Forest County.† Crandon is named after the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad tax commissioner, Major Frank P. Crandon, who helped Samuel Shaw lobby the Wisconsin Legislature for the creation of Forest County in 1887.† Shaw was a lumber mill owner who started the first newspaper in town the Forest Republican. He also created the Forest County Colonization Society, which was designed to attract settlers to the area by stressing the riches of its forests.† †

Crandon didnít grow much until 1901, when the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad made Crandon more accessible for laborers and lumber exports. When the lumber industry declined, Crandonís economy became reliant on new businesses, such as a creamery, a potato warehouse, cheese factory, broom handle factory, cabinet shop, sash and planning mills. †

German and Polish immigrants settled in the area.† Crandon also tried to become a farming community, but when the potato farming and dairy industry didnít do so well, residents relied on fishing, poaching and picking berries to survive.

[Source: WHS Library-Archives staff, 2009]

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