ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


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O. D. Pease Post

Grand Army of the Republic


After the Civil War, when the Grand Army of the Republic was organized,

Watertown’s G.A.R. post, O. D. Pease Post No. 94, was named in honor of CPT Pease.


The Post was organized on July 7, 1883 and was named after the Watertown boy who died in the war.


There were 13 charter members, and eight of them are still living.  During its existence 133 Comrades were mustered into the post.








               Very fragile document has been properly framed so to protect and preserve


“Dated at the Head Quarters of the Department of the Grand Army of the Republic at Baraboo, Wis, on the 7th day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and Eighty three, and of our Independence the One hundred and seventh.





Commander—Fred Kusel

____________ -- Henry Bassinger

Senior Vice Commander—A. Solliday

Officer of the Day—Jacob Ditschler

Adjutant—Charles J. Wenck.

Surgeon—W. C. Spaulding

Junior Vice Commander—John Muth

____________ -- John Walter

Officer of Guard—L. C. Green

Chaplain -- D. D. Scott

____________ -- M. E. Monrean

Sergeant Major— Amand Gritzner

Quartermaster—John Habhegger




Watertown G.A.R. Post, portion of copyrighted book   





G.A.R. (No. 94) meeting, Supper, Philharmonic Band & Dancing




Charles Haeffner [Hoeffner], who came to Watertown when a mere child in 1847, died Thursday noon last, Jan. 3, 1880, at the age of 50 years, of erysipelas, after a week’s sickness.  Deceased was born in Prussia.  In 1862 he enlisted in Co. E, 20th Wis. Reg., serving three years in the war of the rebellion.  Since returning from the war he has been proprietor of a meat market.  Mr. Haeffner was a member of Washington lodge I. O. O. F. and also of the O. D. Pease post G. A. R.  His funeral Sunday afternoon was largely attended, both of the above named bodies being represented.  A number of the members of the fire department also attended.  He leaves a wife, one daughter and three sons.             Watertown Republican, 09 Jan 1889



05 30       O. D. PEASE POST NO. 94

A group of people in uniform standing in front of a building

Description automatically generated  

Decoration Day  <>  G.A.R. <> O. D. Pease Post No. 94

Meets 2nd and 4th Fridays in Schmutzler’s Hall, N. Fourth and E. Main




The entertainment arranged by the O. D. Pease post and the Woman’s Relief corps for Thanksgiving night at Turner Opera house was in every way a success.  From 5 to 8 o’clock the corps served supper in the lower hall, and large numbers of hungry ones attested with universal accord to the goodness of the edibles provided by the ladies. 


When the post-prandial exercises began, shortly after 8, there was a large-sized audience present, and this grew during the evening until the large hall was completely filled when the hour for dancing arrived. 


Commander John Habhegger, of the local post, presided at the meeting and announced the numbers on the program, which opened and closed with piano selections, skillfully executed, by Miss Tena Kunert.   A very enjoyable feature of the musical portion was the excellent male quartette singing of Messrs. Edw. L. Schempf, William Sproesser, Oscar E. Meyer and Charles Feisst, accompanied on the piano by Miss Nellie Malloy.  Their first number was “Tenting on the Old Campground,” with the solo by Mr. Sproesser, and they gave several other songs during the evening.


The speech-making was done by Assistant Adjutant-General Tallmadge and Commander J. A. Watrous, of the Department of Wisconsin.  The former spoke only briefly, but the latter talked entertainingly for an hour, dwelling upon the objects and work of the Grand Army and the Relief corps.  Colonel Watrous said they were doing a world of good in educating the children and youth of the day in patriotism and duty to the nation. 


The exercises over, the large company engaged in dancing, which was kept up until an early morning hour.  Sergei’s orchestra furnished the music.              The Watertown Republican, 05 Dec 1894



06 05       MEMORIAL DAY 1900

The weather conditions of last Wednesday were all that could be desired for a proper observation of Memorial Day, and the exercises as arranged by the O. D. Pease Post, No. 94, G. A. R., and the Woman’s Relief Corps were generally participated in by our citizens.  The principal ceremonies were held in the afternoon and were of an order to invoke reverence and honors for the noble soldier dead.  At 1:30 o’clock the procession formed at Grand Army hall and marched to Oak Hill cemetery . . . . At the cemetery memorial services according to the Grand Army ritual were held over the grave of Lafayette Damp, a member of the post who died last fall, the customary salute being fired at the conclusion of the services.  Thereupon the line of march was resumed to Turner Opera house, where the exercises were opened with an address of welcome by A. E. Needham, commander of the post . . . .  The Opera house was filled to overflowing and Mr. [Joseph] Davies’ oration was listened to with the greatest interest.  His effort was a masterly one and delivered with the eloquence and feeling that stamped him as a public speaker of rare genius and wonderful resources.  Not in many a day has Watertown had the pleasure of hearing a more able address or a more cultured orator.   WR


08 31       G.A.R. PASSES IN REVIEW

For five hours Tuesday, in ranks twelve deep, the white-haired veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic passed in their last grand parade [in Chicago].  Thirty-five years ago the northern soldiers, after four years of war, swept through the streets of Washington in their last grand review as an army before the Father Abraham at whose call they had gone out to fight.  Tuesday, after thirty-five years of not less honorable endeavor to bind up the nation’s wounds, they were seen again in grand review.  Never again can they meet in such numbers. They are growing gray-haired and aged, and gradually death will muster them out. Tuesday they marched 23,-000 strong through the down-town streets of Chicago between crowds of people that packed the sidewalks from the street curbing to the building walls.  WG





Nearly a year ago the O. D. Pease Post, G.A R., applied for two cannon from the federal government, to be stationed beside the soldiers’ monument in the city park.  Mayor Grube interested himself in the matter and was promised that the gift should be made to the city.  Last week the cannon were received and are now lying in the city park.  No mountings were sent, and it will be necessary for the city to provide these.  The cannon are Parrott guns, thirty pounders, and are known as No. 26 and No. 28 condemned ordnance.  The former weighs 3,513 pounds and the latter 3,510 pounds.  They are from the Brooklyn navy yard.  Ten 8-inch projectiles, weighing 500 pounds, accompanied the guns.  The freight charges amounted to $80, which the city will have to pay.   WR



Memorial Day in Watertown promises to be a very tame affair compared with previous years.  For a number of years past the day has been celebrated in Watertown in every manner, and it was always looked forward to with a great deal of interest by our people.  The expense of those celebrations has always been considerable and it has heretofore been borne by the O. D. Pease Post, G. and A.R. of this city.  This year, however, the Post feels too poor to bear the expense, and has asked for an appropriation of $50 from the council for that purpose, the law allowing money to be appropriated for such a cause.  The council at its last meeting appropriated only $25, the Post has unanimously decided that would not be sufficient to bear the expense of the celebration, hence the Post will only carry out a program according to the ritual of the order.  There will be no public speaker.  In afternoon services will be held at Oak Hill cemetery.  It is hoped the city council at its meeting next Tuesday will appropriate an additional $25 to the Post.   WG



Memorial Day services were held Thursday morning at the Watertown High School.   WG



06 15       MEMORIAL DAY 1902

Conformable to usage the members of the G. A. R. resident here and others attended special Memorial services Sunday evening.  This year the services were held in the M. E. Church, Rev. A. M. Bullock, assisted by Rev. Wm. Fritzmeier, occupying the pulpit.  The church was well filled, a section of the pews being reserved for the “old boys,” some thirty of whom were present, and a sturdy group of old Union savers they were too.  The regular church choir was on duty and the rendition of the old army songs and patriotic odes by the choir and the congregation brought back to memory the times when as wearer of the Union blue these same Grand Army boys would sing like songs way down in Dixie. Every music number was an Army song or national anthem. A song by the choir and congregation; prayer by Rev. Wm. Fritzmeier; music.  Then the address by Rev. A. M. Bullock, a masterpiece of eloquent thought; patriotic and inspiring, a gem in a becoming setting were the evening’s program of exercises, and though lacking perhaps something of usual formality, was most thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by everyone in attendance, and by none more than by the veterans themselves.




Resolutions Adopted.  At the regular meeting of the O. D. Pease Post No. 94 G A.R. held Friday evening, September 8, a committee of three was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the appreciation of the Post to Mrs. Fannie P. Lewis for her generous gift of crayon portraits of her deceased husband and herself to the Post.  At the last regular meeting held last Friday evening, the committee reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:


Whereas, Mrs. Fannie P. Lewis, in loving compliance with a request of this Post for a portrait of her deceased husband and herself, has presented the Post with such portraits.


Therefore be it resolved, that this Post in accepting the gift wish to express to Mrs. Lewis its most earnest appreciation of her generosity, her kind words accompanying the gift and its high esteem of her as a friend and its great regard for the memory of her deceased husband, who like herself, was a “Friend to the Soldiers.”


Resolved, that these resolutions be recorded in full in the minute book of the Post.  Further resolved, that the adjutant of the Post is hereby directed to convey to Mrs. Lewis an engrossed copy of these resolutions.



05 01       At the last regular meeting of O. D. Pease Post, Grand Army of the Republic, the members present, in an informal way talked over as to what should be done in the way of the observance of Memorial Day.  Heretofore, the Post has taken the responsibility and labors incident to a proper and patriotic recognition and observation of the day, but the members realize that now, advanced age and infirmities accompanying old age render it impossible for them to take an active part in the memorial services as they have in the past and must delegate the labor and responsibilities required to others, who inspired by patriotic impulses will see that the day is duly observed with the usual ceremonies.  After the question had been discussed at some length it was the almost universal opinion of the members . . . that should not the municipality or some civic society take hold of the matter, the best and only thing the Post could do, would be to meet at the post hall on Memorial Day and march in solemn silence to the cemetery in which the last veteran was laid to rest and around his grave go through memorial ritual and then return to their hall, disband and retire to their respective homes to question the patriotism and gratitude of the people.   WL


05 07       Every indication now points to a most fitting observance of Memorial Day in Watertown.  Brief mention was made in The Leader of the action taken by the city council on Tuesday evening, but not as extensive as the matter warranted.  Mention was made of the appropriation of $100 by the council to help in defraying the expenses connected with the observance of the day . . . The committee lost no time in taking action and held a meeting immediately after the session of the city council.  The move on the part of the city council is a most commendable one indeed.  The diminishment in the “Boys in Blue” and the fact that age is telling upon them, makes it imperative that the duties attending the observance of the sacred day, fall to younger blood.  There is no body more representative of the city than the common council and the fact that the members of the same are to take the initiative is an act of patriotism that reflects the greatest of credit upon the mayor and councilmen and their acts are being shown many evidences of appreciation . . . by citizens in general.   WL



The joint committee of the O. D. Pease Post, G. A. R. city council met last evening at the council room in the city building to arrange further details for the observance of Memorial Day . . . The program as yet is not fully complete.  As has previously been announced in The Leader, it is planned to hold the literary and musical exercises on Friday evening, the 29th, at the Turner opera house.  The exercises will open with music by the orchestra.  There will be addresses appropriate to the occasion by representatives of the Northwestern University, the Sacred Heart College and the public schools, also recitations and songs by the school children.  The exercises open with the singing of “Old Glory” by the audience. The hall will be beautifully decorated for the occasion and every child present from the public and parochial schools will be presented with a badge, a ribbon of red, white and blue as a background, over which is a small ribbon with the words:  In Memoriam, May 30, 1908.”   WL


10 30       25th ANNIVERSARY of O. D. Pease Post No. 94, G.A.R.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of O. D. Pease Post No. 94, G. A. R. of this city, the members celebrated the occasion at the post hall in Main Street last Friday evening.  Commander Fred. Kusel gave a history of the organization, and Comrades W. D. Sproesser and David Schweiger related a number of interesting reminiscences of their personal experiences during the war of the rebellion, which was of great interest to all present.  A fine luncheon was served by the Woman's Relief Corps, and cards, music and speeches helped to make the evening a memorable one in the history of the Post.  The committee in charge, Jacob Ditschler, D. Schweiger and H. L. Volkmann arranged a most creditable program.  The Post was organized on July 7, 1883, and was named after a Watertown boy who died in the war.  There were 13 charter members, and eight of them are still living.  During its existence 133 Comrades were mustered into the post.


The officers of the charter membership were as follows:

Commander—Fred Kusel.

Senior Vice Commander—A. Solliday.

Junior Vice Commander—John Muth.

Chaplain—D. D. Scott.

Officer of the Day—Jacob Ditschler.

Officer of Guard—L. C. Green.

Surgeon—W. C. Spaulding [William]

Quartermaster—John Habhegger.

Adjutant—Charles J. Wenck.

Sergeant Major—A. Gritzner.


The charter members were Fred Kusel, Charles J. Wenck, John Muth, John Walter, L. Green, M. E. Monrean, A. Solliday, Henry Bassinger, Jacob Ditschler, W. C. Spaulding, D. D. Scott, Amand Gritzner and John Habhegger.    WG



05 28       Memorial Day observance    WG     


12 17       At the annual meeting of O. D. Pease Post No. 94, G.A.R., the following officers were elected:

Commander—John Habhegger.

Senior Vice Commander—John Robinson.

Junior Vice Commander — Henry Bassinger.  

Quartermaster—A. C. Deimel.

Surgeon—Conrad Dippel.

Chaplain—D. Schwieger.

Officer of the Day—G. Keimig.

Patriotic Instructor—G. P. Traeumer.

Officer of Guard—Christ. Bergmann.

Delegates to department encampment—A. C. Deimel, John Muth.

Alternates—D. Schwieger, W. D. Sproesser.

Trustee Three years—W. D. Sproesser.   WG



06 03       Memorial Day observance    WG




Last Friday evening Fred Kusel installed the newly-elected officers of the O. D. Pease Post No. 91, G.A.R., at their hall in the Bank of Watertown building.  Mr. Kusel complimented those comrades present in a neat little address delivered by him and spoke of the good standing of the Post in the department.  Out of a former membership of 103, he said there were now only 37 left and urged them to stand together till the last roll call is sounded. Following were the officers elected:


Commander — John Habhegger.

Senior Vice Commander — John Robinson.

Junior Vice Commander — Henry Bassinger.

Adjutant — Charles J. Wenck.

Quartermaster — A. C. Deimel.

Surgeon — John Muth.

Chaplain — George P. Traeumer.

Officer of the Day — Gabriel Keimig.

Patriotic Instructor — Fred Kusel.

Officers of the Guard — Christian Bergmann.

Sergeant Major — Albert Cebell.

Quartermaster Sergeant — Henry L. Volkmann.




Last Friday evening in their hall in the Wegemann block the following officers of O. D. Pease Post, No. 94, G. A. R. were installed:


Commander — John Habhegger.

Senior Vice Commander — John Robinson.

Junior Vice Commander — Henry Bassinger.

Adjutant — C. J. Wenck.

Quartermaster — A. C. Deimel.

Surgeon — Albert Cebel.

Chaplain — John Muth.

Officer of Day — Gabriel Keimig.

Patriotic Instructor — A. Holcomb.

Officer of Guard — Christian Bergmann.

Sergeant Major — Charles Borchardt.

Quartermaster Sergeant — William Schumacher.

Delegate Department Encampment — A. C. Deimel.

Alternate — William Schumacher.

Trustee 3 years — John Muth.


At the conclusion of the installation, the members of the Post repaired to the Eagles hall, where they, with a number of invited guests, witnessed the installation of the following newly elected officers of the Woman’s Relief Corps by Post Commander John Habhegger.


President — Mrs. John Glaser.

Senior Vice — Mrs. George Nellins.

Junior Vice — Mrs. John Bailey.

Chaplain — Mrs. Ernst Hoeffner.

Secretary — Mrs. William Wurtzler.

Treasurer — Mrs. Harry Holcomb.

Conductor — Mrs. J. C. Peterson.

Assistant Conductor — Mrs. Helen Hoeffner.

Guard — Mrs. Margaret Martch.

Assistant Guard — Mrs. C. J. Wenck.

Musicians — Mrs. Lena Martinke.

Delegate — Mrs. J. C. Peterson.

Alternate – Mrs. Ernst Hoeffner,


At the conclusion of the installation ceremonies refreshments were served by the ladies of the corps and a short entertainment followed, including an address of welcome by Mrs. John Glaser, and an address by Mrs. Harry Holcomb, readings by Mrs. William Wurtzler and Mrs. John Bailey.    WG



Other Officers Named at Well Attended Meeting of O.D. Pease Post No. 94, GAR.  Sixteen members of O. D. Pease Post No. 94, G.A.R., a very large percentage of the roster, attended the meeting of the Post last Friday evening when the officers for the ensuing year were elected, John Habhegger being retained as post commander and practically all other officers being re-elected.  There will be no meeting of the Post on December 24, the next regular meeting night.  The next meeting will be Friday, January 14, 1916. 


Officers elected at the meeting were:

      Commander - John Habhegger

      Junior Vice Commander - John Robinson

      Senior Vice Commander - Henry Bassinger

      Quartermaster - A. S. Deimel

      Surgeon - Albert Cebell

      Captain - John Muth

      Officer of Day - Gabriel Keimig

      Patriotic Instructor - Albert Cebell

      Officer of the Guard - Christ Bergmann

      Sergeant Major - Charles Borchart

      Quartermaster Sergeant - William Schumacher

      Adjutant - Charles J. Wenck

      Encampment Representative - A. C. Deimel, William Schumacher

      Trustee 3 Years - John Muth

      Post Inspector - Fred Kusel     WDT




Simple exercises marked the raising of the new flag at the public library this afternoon. 


The flagstaff had been set in place several weeks ago on the grounds nearest the street intersection.


After a short address by Hon. W. F. Voss, vice president of the library board, the flag was presented to Miss Maud Macpherson, the first librarian, who hoisted Old Glory to the top of the staff. 


A concourse of citizens, including Mayor Mulberger, members of the library board, city officials and members of the G. A. R. were present.




First Sergeant August C. Deimel was tenderly laid to rest in Oak Hill cemetery.



03 08       Benjamin Zoelle, 1840-1923.  One of Watertown's best known Civil War Veterans   WG  


1934       August F. Kusel, 1843-1934.  One of few remaining members of G.A.R.   


Cross References: 

Chapter on Civil War

GAR Personal War Sketches 

Jones, Edward Hughs     




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin