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Wednesday

July 2014

23

Fred H. Keller | Retrospect


Retrospect

History of Lannon Photos from the collection of Sussex Village Historian Fred H. Keller

Lannon is an Incorporated Village (1930), a zip code postal address (53046) and an area than is much bigger than its incorporated area of less than two square miles. There is the Lannon School District, the Lannon Fire District and rounding it out is the "Lannon Area." The Lannon Area includes a lot of land in the Village of Menomonee Falls. Some thought is that the Lannon Area stretches from Menomonee Avenue on the north, with an eastern border of March Road, and the Tamarach Swamp to Maple Road. The southern border of "the area" could be Mill Road and Tower Hill, but others would argue that it should include Silver Spring Country Club and even Wanaki Golf Course and the adjacent Lannon Area Park or former air field.

Then to the west, the Lannon Area goes to Town Line Road (V) and includes Whiskey Corners, St. James Catholic Church and Cemetery and Willow Spring School. None of the Town of Lisbon is included in the so-called "Lannon Area" but corporate Lannon has had some influential people that have lived in the Willow Springs Mobil Home Park and the Wooded Hills subdivision.

What does not belong to the corporate Village of Lannon is Menomonee park (also called Lannon Park), the former Lannon Nike site and the greater part of the subdivision south and west of Lannon's St. John's Lutheran Church and School. This would include Sullivan Road, Fillmore Drive, Himount, Pleasant Street, Plainsview Drive, Orchard Circle and Woodward Court.

Lannon has a road named after it, Lannon Road Y, that terminates at Interstate 41 in the north and Lisbon Road to the south. It was once called Menomonee Avenue. Good Hope Road intersects through the middle of the villager property, and was once called Vail Avenue. Main Street is the diagonal street through the heart of Lannon. It carries the numerical name of Highway 74. Its former name was Milwaukee Avenue, but today is just Main Street.

In 1880, a 1,008 page "History of Waukesha County, Wis." was published and there is a prominent entry in this book on page 756 that tells the story of the founding of Lannon (then called Lannon Springs). The flowing excerpts are from the nine paragraph entry in this now 131-year-old book.

" Lannon Springs - This place was named in honor of William N. Lannon, on whose farm were some beautiful springs.

The first postoffice at the Springs was opened May 10, 1854, by William N. Lannon.

The first school was taught in 1848, and the first church services were held in 1842.

In the spring of 1843, William M. Saunders and William Brown opened the first store. Ashes were legal tender in those days, and any one trading with Saunders could get goods at half-price if he could tell a good story, and pay in ashes at that.

About 1875, Michael Keating built the Lannon Springs Hotel, which is. a model country caravansary. He has allowed no games to be played in it since it was opened.

What is now Lannon Springs was settled in 1842 by W. N. Lannon, Dennis McCarty, Erastus S. Comstock, John Golden, Jeffrey Burke, James Brogan, T. Kinsley - all Irish but - Mr. Comstock.

In 1848, a Scotchman named George Clark was killed near Henry Redford's while driving a load of lumber. The next year, John McDonnell, while bringing a young lady to the Springs, was killed in the same place. For some years thereafter, the people of the vicinity regarded the place with fear and superstition.

Mrs. James Brogan was the first person to die, and James Brogan the first person to be married at the Springs.

Father Kundig, of Milwaukee, held the first Catholic services at the Springs in 1842, at James Brogan's house. In 1848, the Catholics of this place joined with those of Brookfield, and built a church. In 1847, Rev. James Colton, now of Fond du Lac, took charge of the parish, and in 1848, built the stone church at the Springs. In the fall the parsonage was built. James Brogan donated an acre of land for the church and parsonage, and L. Kinsley one acre for the cemetery, called St. James Cemetery. Mrs. Jeffrey Burke, who died in 1848, was the first person buried in it."

More on the history of Lannon next week.

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