This was Hudson, Wisconsin

“This Was Hudson” by Willis H. Miller is a compact yet rich compilation of historical narratives focusing on Hudson, Wisconsin, originally published in 1955 by the Star-Observer Publishing Co. This book emerged from a special centennial edition of the Hudson Star-Observer, the town’s weekly newspaper, which marked its 100th anniversary in 1954. The edition featured a collection of articles that captured the essence and history of Hudson and its surrounding areas.

Recognizing the importance of these writings, Miller curated twenty-four of these pieces into a more permanent and accessible format. This 78-page book not only reprints these articles but also enhances them with necessary corrections and the inclusion of several historic photographs to enrich the reader’s experience. Additionally, a “person” index has been added to aid in navigation and reference, further enhancing its utility as a historical resource.

The contents of the book cover a broad spectrum of Hudson’s history, from its early business centers and local banks to its religious and social institutions. Notable entries include detailed accounts of the first national bank, the history of Masonry, and significant local landmarks like the Willow River Cemetery and the iconic Octagon House. Biographical sketches and personal recollections add a personal dimension to the town’s narrative, providing insights into the lives of notable residents and community efforts.

Table of Contents

Walnut Street Was Early’ Business Center, p. 1
First National; Bank’s History Traced, p. 2
History of Masonry in Hudson, p. 3
Legend of Catfish Bar, p. 4
Willow River Cemetery Founded in 1850, p. 5
Early Residents of Hudson Petitioned for Land Appraisal, p. 9
Early History of Hudson Newspapers, p. 10
Oliver Wendell Holmes Hospital, p. 11
The Jefferson-Day House, p. 13
History of Hudson Park System, p. 15
History of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, p. 17
Recollections of Elizabeth MacKay, p. 21
Historical Sketch of Hudson Woman’s Club, p. 23
Hudson’s Octagon House Built in 1855, p. 26
Buckeye Street Was Center of Early Day Activity, p. 30
Early Settlement of Hudson Told by John O, Henning, p. 35
John Comstock, Pioneer Hudson Banker, p. 38
History of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, p. 44
Norwegian Immigrants Founded Bethel Lutheran Church, p. 48
Omaha Car Shops Founded in North Hudson in 1872, p. 53
History of Hudson Star-Observer, p. 64
History of Mercy Rebekah Lodge, p. 68
Dr. Otis Hoyt, Pioneer St. Croix Valley Physician, p. 70
History of the Hudson Memorial Hospital, p. 75


Miller, Willis H., This was Hudson : a compilation of historical articles pertaining to Hudson, Wisconsin, Hudson, Wisconsin : Star-Observer Publishing Co., 1955.

Comstock, Henning, Hoyt, Mackay,

Biography, History,


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