Back to the Roots
Previous to the formation of the township of Kronenwetter, the area was composed of several small settlements. Around 1855, a native-American by the name of Keeler dug a canal re-routing the Bull Jr. Creek over a drop to power a small sawmill he built. Other buildings were built in the area and the area became known as Keelerville. In 1857, a German immigrant named Sebastian Kronenwetter came to the area and purchased the sawmill making it quite successful. In the years to follow Sebastian Kronenwetter continued his success; owning a hotel and building a saw-mill in the now City of Mosinee. In 1885, he was elected to the State Assembly. On November 11, 1886, the eastern section of the township of Mosinee formed a new township known as Kronenwetter. In 1902, Sebastian Kronenwetter passed away and was buried in the Mosinee cemetery.
Kronenwetter saw expansion in the township around 1910 when the Worzella brothers purchased 26,000 acres of land and built the Polish community of Peplin near the intersection of County Highway X and East State Highway 153. The brothers constructed a sawmill, store, office, blacksmith shop and living quarters for the workers. To advertise their new community, the brothers printed brochures in Polish describing the area to all major cities in the United States. They also put ads in all the Polish language newspapers in those cities. The brochures included pictures of beautiful farms, including buildings and livestock to entice the Polish people to come; and come they did. Among the first were Vince Ruzga, Albert Wonsil and Alex Dyda. The Worzella brothers built homes for the settlers starting from $350.00 for a three room house and $450.00 for a five room house. The sawmill eventually was shut down, but others were built in the area and were supported by the community as the lumber was needed for homes. The sawmills ceased operation in 1930. During those years, schools were built throughout the township and residency expanded.
Fast Forward to Today
About 100 years later, much has changed in Kronenwetter. The southwest section of the township was annexed into the growing city of Mosinee and began to grow. The Central Wisconsin Airport, several restaurants, hotels, businesses and residences were built into the former Kronenwetter. The northwest section of Kronenwetter also saw annexation into the village of Rothschild.
Since incorporation, much has changed in the community. Water and sewer services were brought to the main residential sections of the village. With those services in place, residential building projects blossomed across the community creating several new neighborhoods. With the influx of population, the community saw a need to form new public safety services.
On November 5, 2002, the community chose by referendum vote to incorporate the west portion of Kronenwetter as a village, which became effective on November 20, 2002. On February 24, 2003, the remaining sections were annexed into the Village of Kronenwetter and the township dissolved as a legal entity. The population of Kronenwetter has grown from 5,369 in 2000 to 7,536 in 2016, and is approximately 53 square miles in size...making it the largest village by size in the State of Wisconsin.
In 2004, the Kronenwetter Police Department was formed and has since become a full-time service agency. The village operations grew along with the services provided and, in 2007, Kronenwetter completed a major expansion of the Municipal Center. It is now ADA compliant and includes the Police Department, an expanded Fire Department, a court room and remodeled office and reception areas.