Town History

The information on the history of Cooperstown was gathered from many different sources including newspaper articles, St James Church history, Town records, Manitowoc county clerk and treasurers offices, family trees, book on the Dewane brothers, Manitowoc County Historical Museum, family recollections, abstracts, plat books, pictures and the School History of Manitowoc County. 1848-1948. Mike Albers 2008

Little was known about the earlier travelers through the area on foot. According to Mrs Mark Nachtwey, a native of Cooperstown it is traditionally agreed that Bishop Frederick Baraga, born in "Jugoslavia" in 1797, as a young priest was one of the first to transverse this territory, through the wilderness from the south. From his birthdate this would put the time in the late 1820's or the early 1830's.

The first settler was John Edwards who settled in Section 12 in 1840 or 1841. Emma Edwards was the first recorded birth in 1847. John Edwards built a tavern in Section 12 close to Cooperstown in 1841. He was also a mail carrier from Green Bay to Sheboygan along the Green Bay Road (also known as the Old Military Road). At that time the only stopping places were at Edwards or Joseph Paquin's tavern at French Creek (now Francis Creek). Other early settlers were Joseph Allie and Clifford King (1844), Joseph Kirscher, Henry Nachtwey, and John Arndt (1845).

Cooperstown (hamlet) is one of the oldest settlements in Manitowoc County. The hamlet of Cooperstown is located along County Highway R (2008), (formerly Hwy 141, Green Bay Rd., Old Military Road,) is located in Section 1, just south of the Brown county line. In 1850 after the township became part of Manitowoc County the population was 84. The Township of Cooperstown consists of 36 sections. The land is quite hilly with an underlying strata of Niagra Limestone. An average level of heights is 210 feet above sea level. Geographically Cooperstown is Township 21 North and Range 22 East of Manitowoc County. Devils River flows into the West Twin River just north of the Maribel Caves area. The 1850 census stated that there were 84 people living in Cooperstown township. After 1850 the township became populated with Irish, German and Bohemian immigrants. The main occupation of Cooperstown was farming followed by storeowners, saloons, hotels, grist mills and often dance halls connected with the saloons. Around 1847 several settlers took up residence. John Arndt was a farmer, Joseph Allie opened a tavern and hotel on the Northwest comer of Zander Road and what is now Hwy R., Clifford King opened a hotel, and the sawmill and grist mill were built on the Devil's River just North of the juncture of the Devil's River and West Twin Rivet. The mill still stands today in the Devil's River Campground.

Cooperstown was part of Brown County until 1850, then it became part of the town of Manitowoc Rapids. It was organized as a separate township Nov. 12, 1856 with its first election at the home of V. M. Aldrich. (Located on Green Bay Road (HWY R) near Bruce's Mill) (Cty R -Devil's River Campground Area.) John R. Weber was elected chairman and John Seger, Clerk, supervisors were John Tuchy and Wenzel Koutzky.

Bruce and Pierce built the first sawmill and grist mill in Section 12 near Devil's River. The grist mill still stands on the Devil's River Campgrounds.

The first recorded death was Joe Kirsher. The first teacher was James Evers who taught in Allen Coopers home. A post office was established in the settlement in 1846. Allen Cooper was a mail carrier from Green Bay to Two Rivers, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan and was appointed postmaster in 1846. He served though 1849 when he was succeeded by Rueben Mynherse. Allen Cooper purchased the NE 1/4 of Section 1(160 acres). The hamlet was named Cooperstown after Allen Cooper the postmaster. Later in 1856 when the township was formed the township was named Cooperstown. The village of Cooperstown was a stage and mail route stop between Manitowoc, Two Rivers and Green Bay. Allen Cooper is sometimes referred to as Alen A. Cooper.