Monday, January 30, 2017

Appleton Revisited

The point has been made previously that William Waters was quick to find work in places other than Oshkosh.  As early as 1871 Mr. Waters had commissions for buildings in Appleton.  The city was the county seat, located on the Fox River which provided power for mills and transportation to move goods, it soon became a center for population, manufacturing, commerce as well as education.  The young architect found work designing churches, homes and business blocks.  A list of his early works in Appleton was published in the Winnebago County Press of July 7, 1871 and included the following structures.  New Bank (First National), Moore and Galpin Store, C. D. Smith Stores, Dr. Sutherland store, J. H. Whorton residence and St. Joseph Church.  A list from The Oshkosh Weekly Northwestern of July 17 1873 reports architect Waters as planning structure for: A. L. Smith, a store, Warner and Whorton store, Bertschy block, four stores, The Manufactures Bank, Mr. Tischer store, H. A. Foster Drug Store and the residence of E. G. Goff.  On March 21,1879 the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern noted that William Water s was drawing plans for the residence of L. H. Kuderling.
Researching Appleton building online has been greatly aided by the Appleton Public Library’s “Fox Valley Memory” page, which has a wealth of photograph and texts.  Perhaps the only short coming is the lack of old city directories, there are but five in the collection which starts with 1887 – 88, six more directories can be found on the library’s Appleton Memory Project page.  The Appleton directories from that time don't list houses or buildings by number but rather by location.  A listing would be as follows (sic) Frisch Henry, tailor, res. e. s. Jackson, 2 e. of Harrison.  One may discern that Mr. Frisch lived on the east side of Jackson Street two houses from the corner with Harrison.  Appleton was a fast growing community and it may not have been long before Mr. Frisch’s home was the third or fourth from the corner.  The next few post will deal with Mr. Waters’, Appleton commercial buildings.


  1. Appleton was much smaller than Oshkosh back then, and did not have its first city directory until 1874. But there are online Sanborn maps for Appleton from 1883, 1886, 1891, 1895 and 1911 on the Wisconsin Historical Society website.

  2. The Sanborn maps are a great help that I've come to rely on.