Town of Fremont celebrates 150 years
Sesquicentennial Remembrance set for June 13
The town of Fremont Sesquicentennial Remembrance will be held on Saturday, June 13 and will include guided cemetery walks, a snapshot of the town’s history and an open house.
The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. with the presentation of the U.S. flag at Pioneer Cemetery by the Fremont Legion Color Guard, followed by the laying of flowers.
The cemetery is next to the Fremont Area Museum.
The museum is located in the 1884 Beaver Dam School, which is also a former location of the town hall.
The 10 a.m. presentation will be followed by a 10:30 a.m. guided cemetery walk.
At 12:30 p.m., a snapshot of the town’s 150 years of history will be presented and will include recognition of the town’s oldest citizens.
There will be another guided cemetery walk at 1:15 p.m.
In addition, there will be an open house at the museum, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The open house will feature lost art demonstrations.
The afternoon program will also include honoring Newton Kester as the oldest person who was born in the town of Fremont and still lives there today. He is 91.
His ancestors arrived in the area in 1857, but his family’s beginnings in the United States date back to 1856, when they arrived in New York, on a ship from Germany.
From New York, Carl and Johanne (Romberg) Kester, his great-grandparents, went to Milwaukee and lived there a year before moving to this area.
In 1857, they settled in the town of Calendonia after buying 40 acres of land for $195 from Gotlieb Steiger.
The couple’s son Heinrick was 6 years old when he joined his parents on the trip from Germany to the United States.
In 1878, he married Alvina Patzlaff. They had five children: Linda, Henry, Wihelmina, Alma and William.
William and his wife Elsie had four children: Nina, Wilbert, Arlin and Newton.
Newton and his wife Joyce had four children: Debbie, Roy, Ronald and Patricia. Newton has eight grandchildren and nine grandchildren.
“I’ve been farming all my life,” said Newton, who was born and raised on a farm down the road from where he lives.
He began with a horse and walking plow.
“Everything has changed so much. It’s really awesome,” he said. “It seems you’re your own boss. It was a lot of hard work, but I just enjoyed every bit of it.”
Carl and Johanne Kester came over as farmers, and some members of the Kester family continue to farm today on Kester Road, west of Fremont, including three of Newton’s children.
The Kesters settled here before the town of Fremont was organized.
The town of Fremont was organized in April 1865, at the time the Civil War came to an end.
Sections of land from the town of Calendonia and the town of Weyauwega created the town of Fremont.
The first town meeting was held in April of that year in the home of A.J. Mayo, in the village of Fremont.
Ira Sumner was elected chairman, and A.T. Mongomery and John Brickley were elected supervisors.
M.B. Patchin was elected town clerk, and Henry G. Schroeder was elected treasurer.
In addition to Sumner, J.S. Bartlett and C.C. Kinsman were elected justices of the peace.
Fremont was one of the first settled towns in the county, with its first settlement in the spring of 1849.
The first shanty within the town’s present limits was built in the spring of that year by D. Gorden.
Initial town meetings took place in homes.
In 1922, the town’s first hall was built on the east shore of the Wolf River, next to the bridge.
It served as the hall until 1960 and was within the village limits, because earlier, the town and village maintained the bridge together at that location.
In 1960, the town hall moved into the former Beaver Dam School, which served as its hall until the new one was completed in 2013.