A Village with its Own Song: Vesper on the Hemlock Creek

The tiny village of Vesper in Wood County, Wisconsin engendered such good feelings among its early residents that someone penned a tribute song to the village along the Hemlock Creek. The Hemlock Creek runs from just north of Arpin and flows south to the Wood County line. It includes more than 80 miles of streams.

The Treutel family enjoys a picnic lunch on their property along the Hemlock Creek, circa 1924.
The Treutel family enjoys a picnic lunch on their property along the Hemlock Creek at Vesper, Wisconsin, circa 1924. Pictured, L to R, are Elaine Treutel, Walter Treutel and Ruby Treutel. Marvin Treutel is partially hidden.

From the ashes of a massive sawmill fire in 1894, Vesper became a prosperous farming and manufacturing village 10 miles northeast of Wisconsin Rapids. Many of our relatives found work here and raised families. The village had a number of factories, general stores, a meat market, a locally owned bank, blacksmith shops, a community theater, a roller rink and more.

On warm summer days in the early 1900s, folks came from miles around to gather at the bandstand in Cameron Park. They enjoyed a variety of live music by the Vesper Cornet Band and other area musicians. It is not surprising such a place would win the hearts of its 300 residents.

The old Goldsworthy's Store in Vesper, which later became the Treutel Bros. store.
The old Goldsworthy’s Store in Vesper, which later became the Treutel Bros. store.

We don’t know the author of the Vesper song, or even the musical score. But its lyrics tell a story of how the pioneer residents believed in their little community on the winding creek. And if you need confirmation that it is a genuine Wisconsin song, just look at the pronunciation of the word “creek.” Or is that “crick?”


Vesper, Wisconsin on the Hemlock Creek

1) You can rave about your cities with their glitter and their show,

And the interesting places where people like to go

But to come to solid comfort we can show you all a trick,

Where? Vesper, Wisconsin on the Hemlock Creek

Chorus

Vesper for mine, yes it’s Vesper for mine,

She isn’t very big, but she’s the best on the line,

They can travel where they want to

But we’ll try our best to stick,

Where? Vesper, Wisconsin, on the Hemlock Creek.

2) It’s the home of dandy people and their children not a few,

It’s the home of cheese and butter and a big condensery, too,

They make drainage tile and silos, have a band and park that’re slick

Where? Vesper, Wisconsin, on the Hemlock Creek.

3) Now the people are so busy that it keeps them on the go,

So they haven’t got a bit of time to stop and watch her grow,

It’s the town where things are doing and we aim to do them quick,

Where? Vesper, Wisconsin, on the Hemlock Creek.

4) To each stranger who is seeking for a place to build his roost,

We extend an invitation to the town for which we boost,

We’ll be glad to have you with us and we know you’ll want to stick,

Where? Vesper, Wisconsin, on the Hemlock Creek.

The Vesper Cornet Band performed at the Cameron Park band shelter and other locales around Vesper, Wisconsin. Oscar, Charles and Henry Treutel were band members.
The Vesper Cornet Band performed at the Cameron Park band shelter and other locales around Vesper, Wisconsin. Oscar, Charles and Henry Treutel were band members.

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