The story of Town 25 north
Town 25 North was the name given to the township in central Wisconsin when the state was surveyed in its earliest years. Now known as the Town of Alban, the area is officially listed as Town 25 North, Range 10 east of the 4th principal meridian by the United States Department of Interior. Town 25 North is located in the northeast corner of Portage County where it meets three other counties - Waupaca, Shawano and MarathonTown 25 North was habitated by native indians when the first white man, Gottlieb Standbly, decided to set down roots in the then undeveloped corner of the county. Standbly, a U.S. Army veteran, was granted a homestead property of four forty acre pieces of land in a location that was 75 miles from the closest train service and 45 miles from the nearest river boat. The local stage coach came no closer than Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 19 miles southeast of his land claim, so he either proceeded to the area on his own or was guided by the local land office surveyor, or "locator".
Standbly's property was inside the current Village of RosohltStandbly arrived in Town 25 North in 1858. He sold his forties to Theodor Standbly, and though his foray into pioneering a piece of land did not go well, those who came after him stuck with the task and the township slowly began to develop. Settlers of Polish decent came from the southwest and Norwegian settlers came from the east and southeast and came together to establish a local community.
Town 25 North was heavily forested when the first settlers so much of the activity was focused on logging to clear the land to create farm land. Logging and farming reamained the mainstay occupations of local men for decades and a feed mill was constructed on the Flume Creek. For any years, the center of commercial activity centered was centered just east of the current Village of Rosholt at what is now the intersection of State Highway 66 and County Highway A. By 1878, Town 25 North had enough residents to request and receive authority to form a town board - which they named the Town of Alban, in honor of a James S. Alban, a former state senator from Portage County.
In the 1880's, an owner of a traveling threshing business, J.G. Rosholt, from neighboring village of Iola, began to notice their was money to be made on timber in the Town of Alban. Around 1884, he dismantled a saw mill on Graham Lake north of Iola and rebuilt it on Flume Creek, the southern branch of the Little Wolf River, adjacent to the feed mill owned by Jens Rasmussen. Rosholt had made arrangements with Rasmussen to share the water rights so he could operate the saw mill. J.G. Rosholt was instumental in the rapid development of the village when in 1903 he sold the timber rights on the expanse of land he owned in and north of the current village. The sale was contingent upon the Brooks and Ross Lumber Company assuring that a railroad spur would be built into Rosholt. With this turn of events, the village was quickly developed as businesses and houses sprung up almost overnight. By 1907, the village was officially incorporated and in 1908 the first village board was elected - J.G. Rosholt served as the first president.
The commercial center shifted from Alban Corner to the village itself. The village grew steadily into the 1950's, supported by the logging and farming industries. At one time, Rosholt had a pharmacy, two hardware stores, two car dealerships, a grocery store, a hotel, and much more. As was the case with many small towns in the midwest, Rosholt began to lose services as more people worked and shopped in the larger nearby city of Stevens Point.
The village is currently seeing some economic and civic development. Old buildings are being restored and given new life as new businesses and public services, once again.