Digital Library of Menasha History

  • Videorecordings
    Menasha Centennial Parade - July 4, 1953  
    (Photography by Roland and Rosemary Heideman. All rights to this digital reproduction reserved by Elizabeth and James Birchler.)
     
  • Photographs
    Menasha photographs from the library's pamphlet files depict the people, dwellings, businesses, transportation, and industry in Menasha from 1880 to 1950. (From the Elisah D. Smith Public Library historical photograph collection, held at the University of Wisconsin libraries.)
    More Menasha photographs are held at the digital library of the University of Wisconsin libraries.
     
  • Maps
    Maps of Menasha dating from 1712 through 1950.  (Held at the Wisconsin Historical Society.)
    Atlases and histories of Winnebago County.  (Held in the University of Wisconsin Digital Collection.)
     
  • Property records
    Property records are for some of the oldest homes in Menasha.  (Held at the Wisconsin Historical Society.)
    City directories held by Oshkosh Public Library that include Menasha, 1857-1922.
     
  • Newspaper Articles
    Newspaper articles from the early 1900's.  (Held at the Wisconsin Historical Society.)
     
  • People
    Wisconsin Historical Society Family Histories [Very Important:  read the HOW TO USE THIS SITE notes along the right side of the page.]
     
  • Oral Histories -- These interviews took place in the late 1970s with UW-Fox Valley Professor Michael O’Brien.  These recordings are owned by the Elisha D. Smith Public Library and the Neenah Public Library; they are held at the University of Wisconsin libraries.  They include:
    • Harold Bachman, who moved to Menasha in 1926 after graduating from Lawrence University. Mr. Bachman worked for the George Banta Company for 43 years, retiring as Veteran Services Director. He was a founding member and president of the Menasha Historical Society.
    • Bernice Beck, who was a housewife who tried to maintain her Polish heritage. In the interview, she discusses her Polish grandmother, Eva Gavinsky, and the Polish traditions that she learned from her.
    • Ebbe Berg, who was born in Norway and emigrated to the United States at age 19. He worked for many years at American Can and served as Treasurer for the Town of Menasha for 25 years.
    • Giles Clark, who was a teacher and guidance counselor at St. Mary’s High School and Menasha High School. He was also a local historian and author of several books on the history of the Fox Valley.
    • Mary Corry, a former school teacher, lived in Menasha and was 68 years old at the time of her interview.
    • Edward Fahrbach, who was 85 at the time of the interview and living in Menasha, recalling growing up on a farm at the turn of the century near the current intersection of Airport Road and Highway 47 in the Town of Menasha.
    • William Herziger, who was the Director of Curriculum for the Menasha Joint School District.
    • Henry Jankowski, who was 87 years old at the time of the interview and had lived in Menasha for most of his life. He worked a variety of jobs and recalled working in his father’s Racine Street tavern as a child.
    • Al Kass, who was 80 years old at the time of the interview and living in Menasha. Mr. Kass worked at Menasha Woodenware and was involved in the labor movement. He discusses the Menasha Woodenware strike of 1933 and his relationship with Mowry Smith, the president of the company.
    • William Kellett, who was 80 years old at the time of the interview and living in Menasha. He discussed his time working at Kimberly-Clark Corporation beginning in the 1920s and continuing into the early 1960s when he was president of the company.
    • Harry Kind, who served as Clerk-Comptroller for the City of Menasha from 1960 to 1968. He was a veteran of World War II and worked previously for the State Tax Commission, now the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
    • Lawrence Kraft, who was 82 years old at the time of the interview and living in Menasha. He directed the Menasha High School band for 37 years, beginning in 1927.
    • Richard Laemmerich, who was 54 years old at the time of the interview and owned a funeral home in Menasha.
    • Reverend Walter Lichtsinn, who was 63 years old at the time of the interview and pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Menasha, a position he had held since 1951.
    • Sarah Loescher, who moved to Menasha in 1922 and was 79 years old at the time of the interview. She and her husband, Clarence Loescher, owned the Loescher Hardware Store in downtown Menasha.
    • Gilbert Neff, who describes his experiences as a soldier in France during the First World War and his time as a yachtsman on Lake Winnebago.
    • Amos Page, 75 years old at the time of the interview, and living in the Town of Menasha where he farmed for most of his life.
    • John Pawlowski, who was 64 years old at the time of the interview. He discusses his Polish heritage in the interview in addition to his years working at Gilbert Paper Company and his service on the board of the Menasha Joint School District.
    • Wesley and Ione Saecker, who were both 72 years old at the time of the interview. They owned the Menasha Furniture Store, which was previously owned by Wesley’s father. They discussed how running a business had changed over the course of 40 years.
    • John Scanlon, who was 84 years old at the time of the interview and served as mayor of Menasha from 1946 to 1956. Prior to serving as mayor he had worked in the railroad industry.
    • Genevieve Schierl, who moved to Menasha in the 1930s and lived in the Town of Menasha at the time of the interview. Mrs. Schierl discusses the tension that existed between the Polish people in Menasha and other ethnic groups.
    • Sila Spengler, who was born in 1898 and graduated from Menasha High School. He was an attorney for 50 years serving at various times as the City Attorney for the cities of Menasha and Neenah and Family Court Commissioner for Winnebago County.
    • Florence Wilterding, who lived in Menasha since 1926. Her late husband, John Wilterding, was once president of the George Banta Company. She discusses the tension that historically existed between the communities of Neenah and Menasha.