Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

714 GRIGNON ST

Architecture and History Inventory
714 GRIGNON ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Norman Brokaw House
Other Name:
Contributing:
Reference Number:16756
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):714 GRIGNON ST
County:Outagamie
City:Kaukauna
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1884
Additions: 1900
Survey Date:1993
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Queen Anne
Structural System:
Wall Material:Clapboard
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Brokaw, Norman, House
National Register Listing Date:3/29/1984 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:Multiple Resources of Kaukauna
NOTES
Additional Information:A 'site file' (Kaukauna Historic Properties) exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation-Public History.

House has been divided into two apartments. The two-story frame house with cross gable roofs is situated on a ahill that sweeps down to the Fox River. It retains many of its original features including its exterior siding, doors and windows, interior plan, corbelled chimney, and large front veranda with lattice work that encircles the southern portion of the house. Although it is in need of repair, the current owners are in the process of restoring the house.

This was the home of Norman Brokaw from the time he built it in 1885 until his death in 1900. Brokaw was a pioneer papermaker of regional importance, a founder of the Methodist Church in north Kaukauna, and a trustee and patron of Lawrence University in Appleton. Norman Brokaw (1857-1900) was born in Michigan where he received a B.S. and law degree. During vacations from college he worked in a straw pulp mill in Three Rivers, Michigan and became superintendent of the mill after graduation. In 1881 he became manager of the Marinette and Menominee Paper Company and superintended the erection of two paper mills. After working in Marinette for three years he organized the Falls Manufacturing Company at Oconto Falls, building a ground wood pulp mill, a sulphite plant, and a paper mill employing 120 men.

In 1885 Brokaw bought an interest in Bradner, Smith & Company pulp mill, better known as Little Badger, and moved to Kaukauna. He operated the mill for four years until it was sold to Badger Paper Company. He then organized the Kaukauna Fibre Company, becoming its Secretary-Treasurer, and building its mill in the summer of 1889. When the mill burned in 1893, Brokaw supervised the construction of a new mill. Brokaw's Kaukauna Fibre Mill was the first exclusively sulphite mill in the Fox Valley. Brokaw was noted in his own lifetime for havign designed and supervised construction of all the paper and pulp mills built by his companies.

Norman Brokaw was also a founder and trustee of the Methodist Church in Kaukauna, and from the time of its organization in 1885 until his death he served as superintendent of the Sunday School. Brokaw built the Epworth Home for $3,800 and presented it to the church in 1891. After his death in 1900, the Church was renamed Brokaw Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in his memory.

Brokaw was also a trustee and patron of Lawrence University of Appleton, where Brokaw Hall was named in his memory.

The Brokaw house in Kaukauna is the surviving hub of the many buildings associated with the varied activities of this creative person.
Bibliographic References:(A) Kaukauna Tax Assessment Rolls 1886-1982. (B) Lion of the Fox Valley, 1891, p. 99. (C) Commemorative Biographical Record of the Fox River Valley, p. 560. (D) History of Outagamie County, p. 1008. (E) Kaukauna 175th Jubilee Album, p. 15.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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