Town of Alban

Alban was part of New Hope when this town was established in 1856. It is situated in an area covered by the last phase of the Wisconsin glaciations. It was then largely wooded with some stands of white pines; it had swamps, several small lakes and few creeks, the largest being Flume Creek crossing the whole town, coming from Marathon County and going to Waupaca County. The first white settler was a Swiss, Gottlieb Staubly, who had been discharged from the American Army and as a veteran could claim a piece of land, and he came in 1858 having bought one forty (a quarter of a quarter section) near a creek at the present site of Rosholt. He brought with him a span of oxen, an ax and provisions and built a log cabin. He was not married. When the Civil War broke out, he sold his land to Theodore Staubli (his brother or nephew, one does not know), joined the army and never came back, probably killed in action. Other pioneers came and settled in the town, Danes, Swiss, Norwegians, coming from Waupaca County where some of their compatriots had settled in the towns of Scandinavia, lola and Helvetia. They cleared the land that they had acquired and started farming. In 1878 the Town of Alban was organized. It was named after James S. Alban who had been state senator for Portage County. In the Civil War he was made a colonel but he was wounded in a battle and died.

In 1880 the town and 210 inhabitants. In addition to Norwegians, Danes and Swiss, it had already a few Poles. In 1878 the Scandinavians had organized a Lutheran congregation and they named it the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Al ban and the same year they laid the cornerstone of a church. Already in 1887 a split occurred among the parishioners: one group decided to leave the Norwegian Church to join the Missouri synod. A second Lutheran church was built not far from the other and was named Concordia Church.

The pines started to interest lumbermen and logging began. Sawmills were built. J. G. Rosholt, born in Waupaca County of Norwegian parents, had a sawmill in that county and brought it to Alban and it was erected using the water of the Flume Creek for power, and soon some houses were built near it forming a village. As Alban was far from cities and transportation of the log was difficult and slow, Rosholt obtained that the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad built a branch line to connect at Eland with a main line. When this was known, the village attracted people and became a boom-town. In 1903 the first train arrived. The village was platted and it was given the name of Rosholt to honor its main promoter. Concordia Church in Alban was demolished and a new Concordia Church in Rosholt replaced it. In 1913 the village was incorporated. Alban Church and Concordia Church merged and the new congregation dedicated in 1972, its new church in Rosholt, Faith Lutheran Church. Alban church was razed. Concordia Church is still standing but no longer used for religious services. Although the railroad line was abandoned, the village has not suffered any hardship but has some industry and offers services, including a store, bank and post office. According to the 1980 census it had 520 inhabitants.

The largest lake in Alban is Helen Lake. Lions Lake is the property of the Lions Club Foundation, which established a summer camp for visually handicapped children.

     

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