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Dousman History

main streetDousman known as the time of its beginning almost a century ago a "Bullfrog Station" is well aware of the fact that had it not been for Talbot C. Dousman and Abraham Hardell, this thriving community might never come into existence.

It was through the efforts of both Dousman and Hardell that the original plans to locate the important railway station at Waterville were changed to its present location (depot was closed in 1965 and Ellis Altwise was its last agent).

Consequently, when the Chicago and North Western railroad was completed through the area in 1881, the Village and station of Dousman were established and named after Dousman. Dousman was incorporated as a Village in 1917 with Nick Mundschau as the first Village President. Mr. Dousman owned a large area of land which eventually was occupied by the Gus Wonoski family. In 1840 Dousman built the first frame house in Waukesha County.

train stationAfter the coming of the railroad, public buildings were erected. Among the first was a hotel built by a man named Steinica, and which burned within two years. Following this, a saloon was built on the site of the Joe Farber residence and was run by John Cassody. At this time the first store building was erected by Griffith Thomas and then served as a home for the Paul Mundschau family and the North-west Telephone Co. office. Thomas was Dousman's first postmaster.

In the winter of 1882, over the bogs and marsh from Utica, loaded on sleighs, O.H.Neff and G.S.Gropp brought their blacksmith and wagon shops. Both of these men made sport of the new town and called it "Bullfrog Station" after the spring thaws brought the frogs to life in the marshes that surrounded the little village. Because of Dousman's low land and problems with septic systems, Dousman became the first small village to have both sewer and water service. It's first zoning ordinance was adopted in 1958.

hotelDuring the period A.H.Gifford built the large frame building on Main Street which became Powell and Waite's grocery and eventually Schaeffer's Main Street Foods. The second floor served as a meeting hall for a long time.

In 1882 the Music Hall, later known as the Community Hall was erected and the first concert band was organized with 12 members. It burned and was replaced with the current Community Center building.

Since the village was growing and attracting many, John Gaul saw the need for a hotel and built the Dousman House now operated by Richard Lyshek. Then came the Commer­cial Hotel built by William Morris now known as Bark River Yacht Club.

Dousman's main event in the summer, Derby Days, began in 1955 and every year since has brought many people near and far to participate in the parade, baseball games, kiddie rides and frog jumping contest.

Waukesha Co. Dairy Show (eventually Waukesha Expo Center) had its origin in Dousman. In 1920 the lumber shed, Bischel's barn, and the hall were used for exhibits. Gov. Phillip was invited for this big event.

 

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