by the Students and Teacher of Rodell School, 1949
From wild land and June roses to an up-to-date farming region.
We could not find in the records why the school, [train] station, and surrounding country were called Rosedale. But so the story goes this wild country abounded in June roses. Rosedale was later changed to Rodell. The station agent at Altoona [Wisconsin] sends us the following statement.
"I find that this station was originally named Rosedale and in 1907 was changed to Rodell. This change was made due to the fact that there was another station on the C. N. W. Railroad system by the name of Rosedale and in order to avoid having two stations by the same name, one was changed to Rodell."
So the school, store and vicinity have since been known as Rodell.
When settlers first came to this part of Eau Claire County they found that it was not heavily wooded but was known as 'wild land'.
As early as 1856 Israel and Eliza Herrell, a young married couple
came to Eau Claire County and purchased 320 acres of this wild land. It
was located one mile east of the Rodell Store. Here they grubbed, tilled
and made a good farm of it. Three boys and two girls were born to them.
Here they lived for many years. Each passing year bringing many changes
and improvements. One of the vast improvements made by the state was the
"tote" road built about 1865 from Eau Claire to Sparta which passed
right by their home as it went in as a direct a path as hills and swamps
would permit. It went just sough of the bluff on the B. F. Von Berg
Ernest Herrell, former editor of The Union, was the eldest son of this couple. In 1886 he taught the Rosedale School. After the death of his parents he came into possession of 120 acres of the old homestead.
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Herrell built a lovely home on an eighty which belonged to the original farm. Both were active in the affairs of the school and community. This farm is now owned by Albert Ida (1949).
In 1896 Andrew and Mary Fomberg purchased 120 acres of land from her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Israel Herrell. This is the only part of the original 320 acres now owned by a relative. Mrs. Fomberg was Mary Herrell. She now lives in Eau Claire. After the death of her husband, she rented her farm to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Herrick for one year. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bann and family were there for the next six years and for the past twenty-six years it has been operated by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bann.
Another of the early settlers was John Honadel, Sr., who came to this
country from Germany to make his home on the farm which his son, John,
now owns and which is operated by the latter's son, Elmer. The farm at
that time, which was in 1862, contained 280 acres. Mr. Honadel Sr. was
prominent in the life of the community, having served on the school
board for many years and as "path master" a number of terms. Some of his
children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still live on and near
the old home. Two of his great-grandchildren, Darlene Honadel and Karen
Schacht, are attending the Rodell School in which he was greatly
Christian Swanke and family also came in 1862 to make their home a
short distance west of Rodell. Records show that he was also interested
in the progress of the school. The old home was in the family name until
about five years ago when it was purchased by Edward Schacht.
Christoph Erdman came to American in 1862 and a short time later came
to Rodell to settle on 230 acres of land. Several acres of this land
still belong to his descendants. In 1891 his son Julius took over the
farm. A few years later he saw the need of a mercantile store to supply
the wants of the greatly increased population of Rodell and vicinity. He
erected a large brick building a short distance from the O. A. Williams
skimming station and the McGuire Hay and Grain Company's warehouse. Here
he started business January 21, 1896. The store still stands and is
operated by Julius Erdman's son, T. W. Erdman.
The skimming station became a thing of the past and the McGuire Hay and Grain buildings were torn down when highway 12 was built.
© Transcription copyright 2001 Nance Sampson, used with permission
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