Duck Creek is a creek originating in the Burma Swamp located in Outagamie County and flows through
Hobart and Howard townships. Early trappers settled the area and named it Duck Creek because of the number of ducks along
the bank in spring. The town of Howard was established in 1835. The site of Duck Creek is now part of the Village of
Howard. It had been a Menominee Indian Village and the French were the first Europeans to settle there. With intermarriage
between the French and Indians, a new group called the French Creoles developed. In 1840, more than thirty families were in
Duck Creek. This number doubled by 1850 with a high percentage of French ancestry. This percentage decreased as other European
families settled there. Early settlers included Marston, Brunette, Athey, Rioux, Hussin, Rodaer, Delaney, and Ryan.
Inhabitants were drawn by the access to the Duck Creek River
and ample food supply. Transportation was by water and the old Indian trail. Fur trading, quarrying, lumbering and brick making
were early occupations. Early products shipped from Duck Creek included quarried stone, lumber, Durham boats, bricks, shingles
and charcoal. The construction of Fort Howard Military Post brought the need for more products from Duck Creek such as lumber
Brown County, formally established as part of the MIchigan territory in 1818, comprised the entire eastern
half of the State of Wisconsin. It was named for Major General Jacob Brown, one of the successful military leaders of the
War of 1812 and subsequently General-In-Chief of the United States Army. Fort Howard was named for Brig. General Benjamin
Howard, an otherwise undistinguished soldier, who died while in command in the West during the war. With the establishment
of a town system, the Town of Howard was very large but by the Civil War, it was reduced down to it's current size when
other cities, towns and counties were created from sections.
The village of Howard was established
in 1959. The population in 2010 was 17,399.
Majority of this information came from Early Duck Creek History by
Jeanne and Lester Rentmeester.
THE EARLY ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCHES
Sixty acres of land lying
to the south of Glendle Avenue and west of the Duck Creek River was bought by Antoine Languedoc (Londo)
when the land was put up for sale by the government in 1845. The Londos settled at the foot of the hill west of the Duck Creek
River. Father Brennelle, and other missionaries would say Mass in the area on an infrequent basis and in 1849, a log church
was built there in anticipation of having a permanent pastor installed. The church was built by volunteers with logs and timber
from the Arndt sawmill, at the urging of Bonduel, who preached the first sermon in the new chapel.
The wooden chapel burned
down right after the Civil war at about the same time that the Arndt sawmill across the road also was destroyed by fire. Until
the new church was built, mass was celebrated in the Oryall house (which was the priest’s rectory) just to the south
of the church property.
Reverend Charles Beyerle was pastor when the brick church was completed in 1877 at a site one and
one-half miles west of the first location. This brick church was located slightly to the south of the church on the corner
of Glendale Avenue and Cardinal Lane and had a west-side entrance.
The stone church which was built around 1913
and served the community for so many years (on the corner of Glendale Avenue and Cardinal Lane) with almost all
of the stone and labor donated by the parishioners. The stone was donated by Agathe Rioux Perrault, and the stone-cutters
from her quarry donated their time and skill. From: Jeanne and Lester Rentmeester. Memoirs of old Duck Creek. Howard, Wisconsin: n.p.,
1984. pp. 167-169.
OLD DUCK CREEK CEMETERY
It appears the first burial was of Julia Robichaud (Robichaw);
the stone marking the grave says she died July 10 1826. Because French traders and settlers had been living there among the
Menominees since the Revolutionary War days, many of them could be buried on the site with only wooden markers for identification.
Those wooden plaques or crosses generally disappeared after fifty years of Wisconsin winters and summers. Use of wood for
grave identification was the rule rather than the exception.
The last burial in the cemetery occurred around 1891 and a new
cemetery was started several miles of the new church. The grass grew wild in the old burial place, tombstones fell over in
broken disarray and trash littered the area. This condition of neglect was finally corrected by a committee of citizens who
instituted a clean-up of the area and the building of a memorial on the site. The group found that 1936 WPA project during
the Great Depression had located and identified the graves of twelve Civil War veterans.
A committee headed by Ray Rodaer provided
the supervision for locating 102 graves, placing 80 stones in the memorial topped by a 7-foot crucifix, cleaning the one and
one-half acre plot, reseeding it, and arranging for perpetual care. Jeanne and Lester Rentmeester. Memoirs of old Duck Creek. Howard,
Wisconsin: n.p. , 1984. pp. 169-170.
|Birdseye Dairy Farm Truck. About 1926/28
|Mills Center Baseball Team of 1910
2006 Howard-Suamico Historical Society