Vesper Photograph Collection
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The bank grew slowly and in 1913, G. H. Horn became the president with A. P. Bean as vice-president, and F. W. Ellsworth as cashier and active manager. They experienced slow but steady growth. In August 1919, deposits totaled $55,000 with a capital of $10,000, and a surplus of $2,500.
In 1919, Ellsworth retired and sold controlling interest to F. J. Wood, president of Wood County National Bank of Wisconsin Rapids, Guy O. Babcock, cashier of Wood County National Bank, and E. M. Witzig, assistant cashier of Citizen's National Bank of Wisconsin Rapids. Officers were: G. H. Horn - president, A. P. Bean - vice-president, E. M. Witzig - cashier. Directors were the three named above plus F. J. Wood, William H. Peters, and Watson Turner. Deposits increased to $140,000 with resources to over $200,000. Capital stock was $10,000 with a surplus of $8,600.
George Baxter signed up to grow pickles for a well-known pickle company in 1913. They offered $.90/bushel of 1 – 3 1/2 inch pickles They would furnish the seed and show the farmers how to grow them profitably. They signed up about 150 acres near Vesper. Baxter planted one half acre (exactly 73 square rods). The soil was a sandy loam. He applied manure a few days before plowing and made rows 7 feet apart. The seed was put in by hand. When the plants were 4” – 5” high, they were thinned to one plant every 18-24 inches. The plot was cultivated three times during the growing season with a 1 horse cultivator. Picking began at the end of August and ran for six weeks. As no hired labor was available, Baxter, his wife, and 9 year old daughter picked nearly five bushels/day. One day when they could not pick, it cost them $10. They sold 196 bushels weighing 9,787 pounds or nearly 5 tons. He received $126.57 for a rate of over $250/acre.
On 7/9/1948, the voters approved the incorporation of the village by a vote of 147-6. Only 45 of the qualified voters failed to vote. On 8/11/1948, a special election was held. Martin Hoeneveld, a resident since 1896, was elected village president by a 95-17 margin. Other officers were:
Lewis Johnson and Benjamin Gardalen constructed a sawmill in March 1910.
Business ran until the 1920’s and was later dismantled.
In June 1910, Albert Adams came to Vesper from New York City. He established a button factory with the knowledge he had gotten from being in New York. The factory employed 4 people.
Harry N. Cole started the first ice cream parlor and confectionary store on 7/3/1910. He also ran a roller skating rink. He later moved to Nekoosa, Wisconsin.