Diana's father, Raymond Locke GARDNER (1895-1961) was born in Mosinee, Marathon County, WI. His father was Charles A. GARDNER, son Henry B. GARDNER and Ellen R. PRIEST d/o Orin PRIEST 

After coming to Marathon County Henry B. GARDNER worked in the pineries and at lumbering and logging, was for some years engaged in shingle manufacturing, and for several years conducted a hotel called the "Prairie House," about four miles north of Mosinee on the Wausau and Stevens Point Road.

"Early and Late Mosinee" by Edgar E. Ladu page 22 "the splendid palace now owned and controlled by C. A. Gardner stands, and was known as the Whitelaw house."

Charles A. GARDNER married Effie Pauline LOCKE, daughter of Alfred Jay LOCKE and Sarah Pauline MANNING.

Charles A. GARDNER, a prominent merchant of Mosinee, Marathon Co., and senior member of the firm of C. GARDNER & Co. was born in Mosinee in November, 1857, a son of Henry B. and Ellen R. (PRIEST) GARDNER, who were both born in New York State

....their lumber mill (of Charles and his two brothers) was situated about six miles from Mosinee.

Charles A. GARDNER was educated in the public schools of Mosinee, Marathon Co., WI then engaged in lumbering and agricultural pursuits until July 1887. In May 1887, Mr. GARDNER, in conjunction with his brothers George F. (or Fernando George) and Henry A. (or Alonzo Henry) embarked in mercantile pursuits. In 1890 George F. and Henry A. retired from the business and our subject formed a co-partnership with Louis DESSERT and Frank McREYNOLDS, under the present firm name of C. GARDNER & Co.

Politically Mr. GARDNER is a stanch Republican and he served as President of the village of Mosinee one term; socially he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a live, progressive business man, enjoys the esteem not only of the residents of Mosinee, but of all who are acquainted with him, and his high character and genial qualities have made him generally popular.

end of information from: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties, 1895, page 57.


History of River Park

When Joseph DESSERT first started his logging and sawmill operation in Mosinee, this low lying area north of the village was a natural site for recovery of logs coming down the Wisconsin River. Use of the area by the sawmill operation was discontinued in the 1940's.

NOTE: It would be interesting to learn of a connection between "Joseph DESSERT" above and "Louis DESSERT" whom was a business partner with Diana's grandfather, Charles A. GARDNER. 

http://www.nationalrrmuseum.org/ wisconsin - cool trains .gifs


The City of Mosinee was first called Little Bull Falls. The surrounding area was a dense forest inhabited by an abundance of wild animals. The untamed Wisconsin River, with its large rocks and boulders, went roaring and swirling past. The banks were barely able to hold back the raging water.
  Little Bull Falls became Mosinee on July 22, 1857, when the post office was officially designated. Soon more people came bringing new ideas. Openings appeared in the dense forest. Farms were started, buildings grew, and churches were built. Law and order were upheld when the first constable was elected in 1889. The first high school began in 1902. A bank was built in 1905. A volunteer fire department was formed, also.   


Ms. Marie Smerda
Mosinee's First School Teacher

   Walking was the most common mode of travel. Alternatives would be to hire a man, a team of horses, and a lumber wagon at the speed of 5 to 10 miles per hour or you could catch a ride on the mail wagon. Finally a platform spring wagon was put into service until the Concord (stage) Coach, drawn by four horses came into the scene.
  In 1875, the railroad was put past Mosinee to Wausau and train service began. The Iron Horse, as it was called, came roaring and snorting into town, bringing the outside world and new ways of prosperity. Three steamboat enterprises were started between Mosinee and Stevens Point. All failed to make a profit and shut down operations.


A Brief History


Main Street Mosinee, 1923. Photographer J. W. Coley


   A sawmill was the first business, started in 1836. Soon after, businesses such as a boarding house grocery store, a shoe shop, a saloon, a tannery, a grist mill, and a blacksmith shop were opened. Lumber was an important business at that time. Large rafts called cribs were floated down the wild Wisconsin River. Sometimes as many as ten men a year lost their lives working the rafts.
   In 1898 a public library was built by Mr. Joseph Dessert. The original building is still standing. Although remodeling has been done over the years, it is still a beautiful building to see. In 1906, Mr. Dessert gave the library as a gift to the Village of Mosinee.
  The first bridge that crossed the river was made entirely of wood with the exception of some iron bolts. It was boarded up on both sides but did not have a roof. It was thought to be haunted and, for many years, people hesitated to cross it at night. At the west end of the bridge, a roadbed stretched to reach the second wooded bridge which brought you into Mosinee.

 The City of Mosinee is proud of its history and the people who worked hard to develop the city we now call home. Fact and information for this brief history of Mosinee were taken from the book Early and Late Mosinee by Edgar E. Ladu and the 1857-1957 Centennial Booklet.


Main Street Circa 1960


History and Photos Courtesy of the
Mosinee Area Chamber of Commerce