Inspiring and supporting lifelong learning and the love of reading

Centennial Memory Project

Welcome to the Centennial Memory Project, created by the Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library in celebration of the Centennial of the Village of Kimberly in 2010. Even though the Centennial has passed, we are still adding materials as time allows. If you have memories or family stories about the people and places included here, please add them in the comments!

The Kimberly Public Library received a wonderful donation for our local history collection! The Cops Family Comes to America: The Diary of Johanna Aleida (Cops) Schuh has been added to the library's reference collection and can be viewed in the library. The book contains diary entries, chiefly from 1948, when the author moved with her family from s'Hertogenbosch, Holland, to Kimberly, Wisconsin. 

An excerpt:

"I feel really badly and am crying as the boat leaves Holland. The shore is getting farther away and the people are getting smaller. We can see Pa and Pete moving on the shore, so we are still waving as long as we can see each other. Then a guy came on deck and told everyone to go inside."

Stop by the library and enjoy this firsthand account of one family's move to America.

We are happy to announce the release of the Kimberly Memory Project Video Interviews collection!

Thanks to our awesome volunteer, Mary Lamers, the Kimberly Public Library is now the proud owner of 12 videos including interviews of Kimberly residents and slideshows of family photos. A search for Kimberly Memory Project in InfoSoup will bring up the list of available titles. People interviewed include:

  • Eugene "Maj" Schelfhout
  • Ned Wittmann
  • Jack Wydeven
  • Bob Remmel
  • Bernice Stuyvenberg
  • Marie Schneider Ruys
  • Carl & Rita (Josephs) Lemmers
  • Jo & Chris Verkuilen
  • Henry Cops
  • Elmer Marx
  • Ginny Couillard

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the Memory Project by interviewing or being interviewed. We appreciate Mary's hard work and for our wonderful residents who were so willing to share their stories. A piece of our history has been preserved and is available for us all to check out, learn, and remember.

Library volunteer, Mary Lamers, has been recording video interviews of Kimberly residents who can remember the early days of the Village. During her interviews, she made connections with many local veterans who shared a wealth of history not only related to the Village of Kimberly, but also regarding their experiences in World War II. Come and hear their stories and help us celebrate the lives of our local heroes! 

This program was part of the library's 2015 Summer Reading Program, Every Hero Has a Story.

Part of the Centennial Memory Project has been to collect video interviews of Kimberly residents who can remember the early days of the Village. Thank you to our wonderful volunteer, Mary Lamers, for her care and time spent gathering, creating, and editing the videos! Here are some clips from Mary's interview with Bernice Stuyvenberg. Bernice moved to Kimberly at the age of 9 and was born in 1920. She passed away at the age 91 on January 18, 2012. We are grateful to have been able to preserve her stories.

Bernice talks about coming to Kimberly at the age of 9 and her uncle's tavern.

 

 Here, she talks about The Clubhouse.

Bernice shares her story about meeting her husband, Dickie Stuyvenberg, and the difficulties of religion and love.

 

We hope to make the complete interview available on DVD for checkout at the library soon. Stay tuned!

Thanks to library volunteer Alexis Ludewig, the library is happy to make available an index for Jason Weber's book, Kimberly: A Centennial History 1910-2010. If you purchased a copy of the book, you may want to print the index, as it provides valuable, quick links to specific sections of the book.

Check out the index below.

Thanks, Lex!

Attachment Size
KimberlyACentennialHistoryIndex.pdf 377.89 KB

The following is a post by Mary Ann Gossens Lamers.

Polio quarantine

I was eight years old in 1955 when all children were quarantined to their yard. We made it a game – volleyball, golf all over the yard, basketball, Simon Says, kick the can, and phone tag with the Lamers. We used tin cans and string to send messages across the alley tied to fences in each yard. My dad would always listen to baseball on the radio as we played. My mom chipped golf balls into an old fishing net with golf balls my brothers brought home from raiding creeks. We’d get two popsicles for 5 cents from Kokke’s .

Youth Center

Early 60’s the place to be was Youth Center, the gym on Main Street. Teachers supervised. Mr. Rundquist, Mr. Bohne, Mr. Nirschel are some I recall, each with their special trait, a smile, a coach, always helpful, ready to give us a basketball or ping pong paddles. They’d roll out the jute box from the side room, plug in and the girls danced The Twist, Jitter Bug, and Stroll. Basketball, shuffle board, and ping pong were games of choice. We’d run across Main Street to Red’s to buy candy, food, soda and talk. Danny Speering’s dad had a used car lot and Danny would drive different cars all the time. Guys loved to drive past and the girls loved it too. We’d jump in once in awhile and go off to have fun. Ronnie Blaze had a little car and once picked up a bunch of us and we took a ride to High Cliff. I remember the little car floating with us inside laughing. We of course went back to youth center only to walk home with friends. Curfew for me was nine.  Youth Center was open week days in the summer and weekends during school.

Moving

My husband Ralph (Sam) Lamers, Kimberly High School Class of 1965, and I married in 1968. We raised our four children, Kim, Luke, Mike and Joe in Kimberly. I laugh when I tell people I moved five times. First to Walnut Street, then 1st Street, then Paul Drive, then Ann or Anne Street depending what post you’re looking at, and now Thelosen Drive. I love Kimberly. The people are great, our leaders are the best, and I continue worship and thank God for the many blessing, parents, family and friends.

Mary Ann Gossens Lamers

First School in Kimberly

308 North Main Street, Kimberly, WI

First school, grades 1-8. Pat Betters age 23 months. ca. 1926

Photo courtesy of Pat (Dietzler) Betters

Congratulations to Jason Weber and the Village of Kimberly for receiving the Lillian Mackesy Historian of the Year Award for Kimberly: A Centennial History 1910-2010! The award comes from the Outagamie County Historical Society and is presented to an individual or group in recognition of research on some aspect of Outagamie County history. Primary criteria for the award are scholarship of the work, quality of sources consulted, quality of presentation, and contribution to the field of local history. The award will be presented at the Society's annual meeting and luncheon on Monday, February 21st.

KRA 1952 BB Team

Kimberly, WI K.R.A. 1952 Basketball Team

Top row, left to right:
Dick Verbeten, Nig Van Dyke, Roy Vanden Heuvel, Jim Vandehey, Bill Goffard, Coach George Vander Zanden.

Bottom row:
Alan Dietzler, Pete Valentine, Lyle Hark, Wayne Kilsdonk, Butter Vander Wyst.

Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuve

Filling Station

Kimberly DX Station ca. 1937-38

Ted Maas, Harry Valentyn, Mr. Coene

In background: Ray Price

DX Filling Station

Kimberly DX Station ca. 1937-38

Rivals

Kimberly Rivals baseball team
ca. 1908

Kimberly Club

Kimberly Club basketball team
ca. 1934

Left to right:
Honey LeMay, Marie Van Lieshout Gossens, Genrose Cavil Verstegen Staley, Alva Leniville Wildenberg, Monica Van Ryzin Wildenberg, Rose Ann Schwanke Freund, Jerri Van Ryzin Albers

The Catacombs

The Catacombs - old bowling alley and pool hall.

Camel Vander Velden, Ted Lemmers, Jack Hanegraf, Albin J. Anderson, Hank Thien (small boy), Arnold Pocan

ca. 1905

Does anyone have some stories about the Catacombs? Please share them in the comments!

Birthday Party

Birthday party at John Groen residence at 136 N. John Street, Kimberly, WI.

Children of the John Groens', Henry Williams', Fred Van Haelsts', and William Geenen Sr.

(no date given)

Main Street

Intersection of Kimberly Avenue and Main Street looking north, Kimberly, WI.

ca. 1908-10

Mill Construction

Kimberly Clark Mill under construction.

ca. 1904

Kimberly Baseball

Carl Lemmers and Butch Thien
ca. 1925

Sunset Park

Early roadway to Sunset Park. ca. 1925

Kimberly Clark Mill Cave-in

The aftermath of the Kimberly Clark mill cave-in and explosion.

ca. October 7, 1927

Busch Bros. Ice Truck

Matt and Henry Busch's ice truck. Pictured is Ann Flynn, an aunt of Robert Busch.

ca. late 1920s

Matt and Hank Busch
ca. 1920 ca. 1920

Kemps-Wisman Store

Main Street, Kimberly, WI

ca. late 1920s

Kimberly Clark Main Office

Kimberly Clark's office on north Main Street, Kimberly, WI
ca. 1920s

Holy Name Students

Holy Name School, 7th and 8th grade
April 2, 1917

From the collection of Bertha Graen Weyenberg

Feast of Corpus Christi

Holy Name Church ca. 1920s

Kimberly Baseball

ca. early 1950s

Left to right: George Judkins, George Vander Zanden, Frank Van Boekel

Village Basketball Team

Village of Kimberly Basketball Team
ca. 1952

Back row: Jack Courchane,  Red Williams,  Carl Vanden Boom,  Jim ?, Joe Vanden Heuvel

Front row: Bueh Larson, Cliff Van Evenhoeven, ? , Fras Frassetto, Frank Vanden Boekel

Goat Cart

Information on the back of this photo: by the goat: George Busch by the cart: back - John Busch, Chris DeLeeuw, front - Joe DeLeeuw, John DeLeeuw Does anyone know when this photo might have been taken? There was no date included on the photo.

The old Holy Name convent was moved in March of 1959. They couldn't go down Kimberly Avenue, because there were too many big trees to cut down, so they had to move over frozen ground. They cut across the west church parking field (which is now blacktop parking). You enter the lot from the back into lot owned by George Langenhuizen on Maes Avenue. The building now houses 3 apartments. The moving contractor was Berg and Hen Movers.

Moving Old Convent Moving Old Convent Moving Old Convent Moving Old Convent Moving Old Convent

ca. 1959

Photos courtesy of Ila Mae Langenhuizen

Old parsonage for Holy Name was used for fire practice by Fire Department and then later demolished.

Holy Name Parsonage Holy Name Parsonage

ca. 1987

Photos courtesy of Ila Mae Langenhuizen

Mill Workers

Postcard - written on back: "Kimberly-Clark Paper Mill at Kimberly near Little Chute" Kimberly, WI

ca. ?

.Davidsons

Alice and Neil Davidson
Kimberly, WI
ca. 1960

Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuvel

Davidsons

Neil and Alice (Conrad) Davidson
Kimberly, W
I ca. 1950s

Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuve

l Connie's Bar

Kimberly, WI
ca. 1956

Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuvel

Smits Family

Jim, Adelle, and Paul Smits with their mother Laura. ca. 1931

"This picture shows wooden walk around to back of house."

Smits Children

Paul Francis (1st communion), James Vincent, and Adelle Mary Smits. ca. 1930s

"Kimberly's original Village Hall on N. Elm Street is the white building in the background."

Smits Model T

Peter Smits with son Paul, in Model T on Elm Street, Kimberly, WI. ca. 1920s

Photos courtesy of Paul Smits.

Mr. Smits also wrote down some memories to share with us. Read his early memories of life in Kimberly.

"When I was 3 years (1947 or 1948) old my mom & dad, Ray & Ceil Verstegen bought the building on the corner of Main & Maes Ave.  It was the original general store in the first yrs of Kimberly's origination.  They had the first Red Owl Store put downstairs & we lived upstairs.  Later it became The Toy Corner, the hottest corner in Kimberly.  My brothers, Lyle, Randy & I spent many hours at the Kimberly pool just down the street and at the Clubhouse.  In summer we spent alot of time in Sunset Park, which then was just a big woods with a few trails."

Memories of Lynn (Verstegen) Reschke

Van Lith's at the 50th Centennial

Kimberly, WI
ca. 1960

From Hans Van Lith: "This is a picture of my brother and sisters dressed up before heading to the Kimberly's 50th celebration."

Left to Right: Hans, Janie, Harry and Gerty Van Lith

Diamond Jubilee Pose

A costumed pose for the Kimberly Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1985.

Seated: Chuck Rundquist, President

Left to Right: Becker Lenz, ? , Loren and Lori Sendik, Lea Rundquist, ? , Marie Lenz

Photo courtesy of Chuck & Lea Rundquist

Proclamation

A copy of the official Proclamation for the Kimberly Diamond Jubilee Celebration dated February 7, 1985.

Courtesy of Chuck & Lea Rundquist

Baseball 1930

1930 Kimberly Baseball Team

Front row: J. Feldhausen, W. Ladrow, L. Dopry, Arn. Pocan, Charlie Schell

Center row: Butch Thien, Ed Lynch, Geo. C. Lemmers

Back row: Nig. Verbeten, Whitey Berhrent, Dago Lamers

Photo courtesy of Carl Lemmers

Additional information gathered by local historian, Mary Lamers:

  • Geo C. Lemmers center row is Carl Lemmers/Sandy Huiting's father/grandfather - George C. Lemmers ran the bowling alley in Kimberly.
  • Whitey Berhrent owned "Whitey's Bar" on Main Street across/down from the bowling alley. It's an apartment building now (2013).
  • Charlie Schell center row, far right, owned the bowling alley in Kaukauna.
  • Dago Lamers, back row right owned the Hardware store in Little Chute.
  • Another interesting tidbit - [Mary] asked Carl the real names of Nig Verbeten, Whitey Berhrent and Dago Lamers. He didn't know - every one in town and their family called them by their nickname. The history behind this - So many Catholic families had big families and kept naming next generation after past generation. So, many times nicknames became the "real" name". [Mary] had a brother Tom, Tooty. He got his nickname because [Mary's] Uncle Tom also lived with them. Tom was 8, Tooty, a newborn when [Mary's] parents took in her mother's younger brothers and sister because both parents had died. Tom was "Tooty" until he went off to college.

Parade

Parade, Kimberly, WI

There was no information included with this photograph in our collection. Anyone know what the date might have been? 

1940 Champs

Kimberly, WI, ca. 1940

Top row: Ray Hamann, "Duke" Van Himbergen, Tom Busch, Paul Smits, Francis Vander Velden, "Dewey" Dufrane, Frank Van Cuyk, Carl Lemmers, Dean Barrand (manager)

Middle row: "Mouse" Mauthe, Vincent Vanden Boogaard, Joe Van Nuland, James Smits, Darrell Larson, ? Frassetto, John Gaffney

Bottom row: Francis Verbeten, Clarence Van Hammond, Cletus "Fish" Gaffney, Don Verkuilen, Bob "Brother" Willis, Francis "Pete" Pieters

Photo courtesy of Carl Lemmers

 Baseball

Kimberly, WI, ca. 1947

On back of photo: "First year of new remodeled baseball field south of Repap Mill which is now soccer field"

Left to Right: Dago Lamers, Butch Thien, Sonny Tornow, Baldy Eggert, Joe Gossens, Shorty Wenzel, Geo Vander Loop, Cocky Hammen

Photo courtesy of Carl Lemmers

Connie's Bar Fast Pitch Softball Team

Connie's Bar Fast Pitch Softball Team 1953
Kimberly, WI

Top row: Niel Davidson (sponsor), Morry Quick, Jack Niesz, Les Dietzen, Jack Grafmier, Geo. Reichel,

Bottom row: "Mouse" Mauthe, Mark Recker, Carl Lemmers, Bob Diener, Bill Brinkman, Bud Deleest, Larry Shebilski

Photo courtesy of Carl Lemmers

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I recently heard that there is a tradition in Kimberly of giving people nicknames, though perhaps it was a more prevalent practice in earlier days. I've come across "Shorty" Wenzel, "Cocky" Hammen, "Baldy" Eggert, just to name a few. So I'm wondering... what are the best, most unique nicknames Kimberly residents have been given? Add yours or ones you know of in the comments by clicking on the blue "Leave a comment" link above. Beth Carpenter, Library Director

Conrad's Bar Bowling Team

"by Wilma (Conrad) Weyenberg"

Ruth Johnson
?
Marie Vander Zanden
Anna Van Thull
Alice (Conrad) Davidson
Ann Van Himbergen
Rose Ann Freund
Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuvel

School Girls in Costume

Girls dressed in attire from the countries they came from. November 24, 1942 Back Row, Left to Right: Dottie Browers, (tall girl?), Gail Barand, Nancy Verhagen, Nancy Hartjes, Lorie Johnson (Nancy Hartjes and Lorie Johnson are twin cousins, born on the same day.) Girls dressed in attire from the countries they came from. November 24, 1942 Back Row, Left to Right: Dottie Browers, (tall girl?), Gail Barand, Nancy Verhagen, Nancy Hartjes, Lorie Johnson (Nancy Hartjes and Lorie Johnson are twin cousins, born on the same day.) Front Row, Left to Right: Bonnie Krueger, Rose Marie Courchane, Theresa Conrad, Janet Dix Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuvel

Funeral Parlor

Postcard of Funeral Parlor, Kimberly, WI

ca. 1942?

Courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuvel

lCoenraad's Tavern

Postcard of Coenraad's Tavern, 121 Kimberly Ave., Kimberly, WI

ca. 1942?

Lambert and Christina Coenraad behind the bar.

Right to left: Arnie Thyssen, Burt Fird, Huntington, ?, Brown, ?, John Miller Courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuvel

Dorothy and Ron Thyssen

Dorothy ("Dutch") and Ron Thyssen

Kimberly, WI

ca. 1960

Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden

Vacationing Kimberly Families

Kimberly families who would vacation together.
ca. 1918

Father Francis X. Van Nistleroy
William Lammel family
Joseph Sandhofer family
Ted Wydeven family
John Ritten family
Joseph Doerfler family
Al Goske family

Min Hanegraf Busch

Min Hanegraf Busch
ca. 1917-18

Min & Matt Busch

Min and Matt Busch ca. 1917

Halloween Party at the Mill

1917 mill Halloween party taken in the mill dining room.

Demolition of Old Kimberly Bridge

Demolition of the old Kimberly bridge built in 1908 and replaced in 1954.

View of Kimberly from Bridge

Kimberly taken from the top of the bridge (as seen from Little Chute) ca. 1912

Geenen Greenhouse

Taking down some of the Geenen Greenhouses Kimberly, WI

1916

Holy Name School Class of 1913

Holy Name School Class

Kimberly, WI 1913, , , , 

Geenen home

The Geenen house

Kimberly, WI

1921

Bridge at the end of Sidney Street

Bridge over the Fox River on the end of Sidney Street

Kimberly, WI

ca. 1916-17

Boy Scout Camporee Boy Scout Camporee

Boy Scout Camporee

Summer 1948

Kimberly, Wisconsin

from Joe Frye, Kimberly, WI

Kimberly Pulp and Paper Mill

Postcard

circa 1914?

Baseball Champs

1911 Kimberly Baseball Champs

Village Band

The Village Band
Taken at 126 S. John Street, Kimberly, WI
ca. 1915

Aug., Ray, Wm. Mauthe & Otto
Frank & Charles Kobs
Ed Krueger
Frank Schiltz
Howard Lynch
Fred & John Scheppler
John Groan

John Street

John Street, Kimberly, WI.

ca. 1910

Geenen Greenhouse

Geenen Greenhouse, Kimberly, WI.

ca. 1910

Main Street

Main Street, Kimberly, WI.

ca. 1910

Catherine Busch

Catherine Jansen Busch Old Van Rooy Farm, Kimberly, WI ca. 1910

Busch

John and Catherine (Jansen) Busch Kimberly, WI ca. 1910

Stutzman and Ertl

Josephine Gunchevich Cavil Stutzman and Rose Gunchevich Ertl
ca. 1903

Wm. Geenen

Wm. J. Geenen
ca. 1903

Geenens

Susanna Mary & Wm. Geenen
Kimberly, WI.
ca. 1887

Geenen Home

First Geenen home, 1880's, located behind brick homestead.
Kimberly, WI.

Busch Family

Grandma & Grandpa Busch and Aunt El
Van Rooy Farm
Kimberly, WI
ca. 1910

Busch Homestead

Busch Homestead on W. Kimberly Avenue, Kimberly, WI.
ca. 1910

Lamers

Jacob Lamers and Nellie Lamers, wedding picture.

Jacob: b. August 14, 1872, d. May 9, 1958
Nellie: b. November 12, 1876, d. February 5, 1949

Holy Name Church and School

Holy Name Church and School, Kimberly, WI.

ca. 1908

Holy Name Church

Holy Name Church, Kimberly, WI.

ca. 1900

Kimberly Hotel

Kimberly Hotel after the fire. March 6, 1913.

Geenen Florist

Wm. Geenen, Kimberly Florist, delivery truck

Kimberly, WI

ca. 1910

This site has been created by the Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library as part of the Centennial celebration of the Village of Kimberly, Wisconsin during the year 2010.

The photographs included on the site are a part of the Library's history collection. We have very little information about the photos, who took them, and what is pictured in them, so our hope is that people familiar with the subjects of the photos will post comments to help fill out the stories of our past.

We would also like to post oral histories of Kimberly community members. If you would like to participate in the project by sharing your favorite memory of life in the village, please contact Library Director, Beth Carpenter, at 920-788-7515 or bcarpent [at] mail.owls.lib.wi.us.

Join us in celebrating the Centennial of the Village of Kimberly by sharing your stories, memories, and recollections!