Town History
The village of Hermansville was founded in 1878 when Mr. C.J.L. Meyer of Fond du Lac, Wis., started a saw and shingle mill for the purpose of sawing up the pine and cedar timber on lands purchased by him. Mr. Meyer operated this mill until 1883, sending most of the product to Fond du Lac to stock his sash and door factory. In 1883 Mr. Meyer organized the Wisconsin Land & Lumber Company, which acquired the mill and landholdings, he being the principal stock-holder. In 1886 and 1887 the company began plans and experiments to utilize their hardwood timber. Up to this time there had been little, if any, hardwood cut and practically no maple had been used for flooring. In the early stages of manufacture of maple flooring, it was customary to match the lumber as well as possible with the machines then on the market, and after it was laid to traverse and cross plane it to bring it to a uniform surface. This was not only very tedious, hard work but was too expensive to admit of its general use. The machinery used for the hard rock maple of the Upper Peninsula developed so many defects that flooring shipped in long strips had to be cut into short pieces when laid, and a large percentage thrown away. The idea was conceived of cutting out all the defects and the factory and shipping nothing but clear or serviceable flooring, all of which could be used. As no machinery was then made that would successfully work the hard rock maple, a series of experiments in machine building was undertaken which resulted in the special machinery used to produce the justly celebrated IXL maple flooring. All the difficulties of uneven matching were overcome and these machines produced a flooring whose uniformity of machine work had not been equaled by any other make. In 1887 the company built a second saw-mill and commenced the erection of a large maple flooring factory. In 1889 the company become involved in the failure of C.J.L. Meyer at Fond du Lac and Chicago and for two years was in the hands of an assignee for the benefit of its creditors. But in 1892 a settlement with the creditors was made and the property returned to the Wisconsin Land & Lumber Co., who operated it during the following three or four years under considerable difficulty. In 1896 Up to this time the company was operating under the laws of Wisconsin, but in 1900 the present organization was effected under the laws of Michigan with a capital stock of $1,000,000 fully paid in. Dr. Geo. W. Earle acquired practically all the bonds and stock of the Wisconsin Land & Lumber Co. and its progress grew steadily upward from that point. The Company owned over 60,000 acres of land, which was selected for its hardwood timber, much of which was uncut, besides controlling much additional stumpage. They could readily see a supply for their mills for twenty-five years to come. In addition to the celebrated IXL maple and birch flooring, the company handled all the pine, hemlock, tamarack and cedar timber, cedar posts, poles and pilings, spruce and hemlock pulpwood that grew on the land they cut each year. These amounted to an enormous traffic. Over ten thousand cars were loaded for shipment and received loaded with logs and other forest products each year. The company owned practically all the buildings in the village and took pride in keeping the village clean, and beautifying the grounds. They planted over four hundred shade trees and have endeavored in every way to make the village attractive to their employees and a credit to the county. The company began selling their lands to settlers after the timber had been removed, and had settled two hundred families. These lands were in most instances sold for small payments spread over a long period of time.