Land Acquisition - People

Who were those families that lost their farms/homes/cottages to the Badger Ordnance Works?

Where did they go?

Were they paid for their land?

What was the procedure of the Army acquiring this land?      Why Here?

That is four of the many questions we have been asked by visitors to our traveling exhibits that will be answered in this exhibit.

Tract 104 - 198 acres - Edward F. and Freida A. Shimniok

Edward F. & Freida Shimniok houseEdward F. & Freida ShimniokEdward F. & Freida Shimniok farm


Edward F. and Frieda A. Shimniok (upper right) photographed in their home shown in the government appraiser's photo at upper left. The lower photo is a government appraiser's photo of the farmstead. Their farm was 198 acres for which they were paid $15,100.00 ($76.26 per acre). The house on their farm was built in 1840 by pioneer Prescott Brigham who operated a stage line between Baraboo and Madison on this road known then as the East Sauk Road. Edward purchased this farm from William Jennewein about 1926. Edward and Frieda were married June 11, 1930. After the farm was purchased by the U. S. Government Edward and Frieda purchased a farm near Arlington, WI where they lived out their lives.



Tract 83 - 120 acres - Julius P. and Agnes M. (Veit)  Steidtmann    "Steidtmann Homestead Farm"

The farm was the joint operation of Julius and his son Lewis. The Julius P. and  Agnes (Veit) Steidtmann farm was homesteaded by Julius' father John August Steidtmann. They raised their four children in their brick home built in 1901-1903 and in 1942 when it was acquired for the B. O. W. were sharing it with their son Lewis and his wife Jesse. The Steidtmanns received $16,500.00 ($137.50 per acre) and purchased a farm near Columbus, WI





The family photo above, from "Forever in Sumpter" by Erhart Mueller, is the Julius and Agnes Steidtmann family. Seated on the ground in front are their grandsons Rollin and Roscoe Premo. Seated in the chairs are Lena (Mrs. Fred W. Kurtz), Agnes and Julius, Nora (Mrs. Garth Premo). Sanding in back are Fred W. Kurtz, Jesse and Lewis Steidtmann, Enola and Herbert Steidtmann, and Garth Premo.


Tract 84 - 80 acres - Fred W. and Lena (Steidtmann) Kurtz


Fred and Lena where married June 15 1910 and after a short honeymoon moved to this farm purchased for $13,000. After 32 years operating this farm and making the kinds of improvements necessary to have a successful farm operation they were paid $13,000 when it was taken for B. O. W.    

Tract 59 - 158.97 acres and Tract 25f - 0.10 acre - Garth and Nora (Steidtmann) Premo



Charles Steven Premo III (Steve) and Minnie Grace Kellogg (Grace) were married on September 14, 1885. They lived on a farm west of the William (Uncle Billy) and Mahalia Johnson farm, now Valley of Our Lady Monastery,  until 1891 when they purchased this farm north of the Methodist Church. Garth and his older brother Kenneth were born on the first farm, and their sister Irma was born on this farm. This house was built in 1912, and in 1916 when Garth and Nora Steidtmann were married a bungalow style house was built north of this one for the newlyweds. In 1933 Irma married Joy Prothero of Baraboo leaving just Steve and Grace in this large house so they traded houses with Garth and Nora whose family was growing and needed more space. After Steve's death in 1938 (Grace died in 1935) the bungalow was sold to Ralph Kindschi and moved to his farm (B. O. W. Tract 106) about 3 miles northeast of the Premo farm. The small house in the lower right photo is the Premo family cottage at Weigand's Bay, B. O. W. Tract 25f. They were paid $26,942.00 ($169.40 per acre) for their farm and cottage.