Cuba City Memories by Charles H. Bartlett

Charles Harrison Bartlett first set eyes on Cuba City when he stepped off the train as an ambitious twenty-one-year-old. It was Christmas Eve, 1908, and he had arrived in town as the personal secretary of Cuba City's new priest, the Rev. Lawrence J. Vaughan. As Bartlett surveyed his surroundings, noting the dirt roads and spotty wooden sidewalks, he may have felt grateful that he only planned to stay in this small village for a short time.

  Photo credit: Richard H. Bartlett

Over sixty years later, however, when he sat down to compose his autobiography, Charles Bartlett wrote: "There may be other communities where life is as good as in Cuba City, but none better." That brief stay turned into almost fifty years.

 Photo credit: Rachel Idel Smith/Linda Lambert

Charles Bartlett remained in Cuba City and was involved in numerous enterprises, including real estate and undertaking (he started the town's first funeral home). He also owned a bank briefly, as well as the telephone company. It is appropriate that Cuba City left an impression on Charles Bartlett, for he no doubt left his mark on his adopted community.

Bartlett Funeral Home. Photo credit: Richard H. Bartlett

It is a pleasure to present Charles Harrison Bartlett's memories of his 48 years (1908-1956) in Cuba City, as well as his autobiography, both of which were graciously shared by his grandson, Richard H. Bartlett. In the works below, both written in 1970, the successful businessman describes his own ventures, of course, but also touches on many aspects of life in Cuba City that unfolded during his time there.

 Photo credit: Richard H. Bartlett

By Charles H. Bartlett

When I got off the train from the north the evening of December 24, 1908, at the Village of Cuba City I was quite sure that my stay would be for no longer than six months. This calculation completely missed the mark for what I thought would be a brief visit to this small Wisconsin village of about seven hundred population turned out to be my home for the following forty-eight years. Many changes took place during this period.

At the time of my arrival there were no paved streets whatever and the sidewalks, what few there were, even on the main street, were made of boards. Crushed rock or mine tailings were used for pedestrian street crossings on Main Street. In the spring of the year this street was a quagmire. Hitching posts lined the street to accommodate the farm trade.

The automobile had not yet come to town altho' their coming was just around the corner. By 1910 three or four were in use. One of the first to have an auto was Sherman E. Smalley, the town's only lawyer. It was one of these high-seated Fords with no protection from the weather whatsoever. When it rained it remained in the garage, and when it was dry the dust was unbearable. Never-the-less when everything was just right Sherm would sally forth for a little spin around town. It was a sight to behold. Such speed, about twenty miles an hour, was enough to make one gasp in wonderment. However, it was generally agreed that the automobile would never replace the horse.

What first appeared to be a flash-in-the-pan persisted and by 1912 there were several autos in town but no place to service them in case of breakdowns, which were often. About this time a fellow we called Mac came to me with the idea of starting a garage. I owned an old frame building that stood on part of the land now occupied by the Melvin Brown garage. His proposition was that if I would cut a door in the building large enough for a car to pass through he would agree to rent it for a garage for a period of one year at $25.00 a month. My father-in-law advised against it, saying a garage could never make it in Cuba City. However, there was little to lose so I cut the door and Mac was in business. He soon had trouble paying the rent and before the year had expired he gave up. He hightailed out of town and I never heard of him again.

By 1913 many autos were being sold and it was obvious that repair shops had to be provided to keep them running. In the fall of this year three men from Dickeyville came to see me about buying the so-called garage which Mac had vacated. They were anxious to buy and I was just as anxious to sell, and in short order Charlie Loeffelholz, his brother George, and Charlie Richards were in the automobile repair business. From the day they opened Cuba City has never been without a place to repair automobiles. At this time there were four large garages in town.

The Loeffelholz boys had operated a blacksmith shop in Dickeyville, and George had considerable experience repairing farm gas engines. It looked like a natural: from gas engines and blacksmithing to automobile repairing. George soon learned it wasn't all that easy; however, he learned fast via the trial and error route and the future of the business appeared rosy: George, the mechanic; Charlie, he could read and write, the front office man, and Charlie Richards, the public relations expert. He was a talker from way back, so much so that Doc. Brady referred to him as the orator from Dickeyville. The business was profitable from the start and a Ford Agency was soon acquired which made it more so.

Automobiles continued to proliferate, and everyone seemed to want one. They were here to stay and by this time everybody knew it. The future of the business in general appeared to be unusually bright.

In December, 1914, John and his brother Ed. Heim had just turned twenty-one, had received an inheritance of $6,000.00 each, wanted to go into business and intended to do so pronto. They were farm boys with no business experience whatever. They came to town tense, all heated up, and ready to go. They got hold of Rich Conlon, the town's only construction man, and when they started back to the farm that afternoon they had bought a lot on Main Street and signed a contract with Rich for a fine new garage. Next morning Rich was excavating at the premises. He said he thought he better get started quickly before the boys changed their minds. By spring the building was up with a nice new sign out front: "Heim Bros. Automobile Garage." Having had no business experience the venture was doomed to failure from the start; hence, by 1916 there was nothing to do but sell out.

In the meantime things were going great-guns with the Loeffelholz Brothers. They had dumped Charlie Richards because they had more business than they could handle and therefore didn't need him. When the Heim place was offered for sale they quickly made a deal and moved in. By now, 1916, things were really popping in the automobile and road building businesses. The Loeffelholzs did extremely well until 1923 when Charlie died following a fire he attended as a firefighter. The business soon passed into other hands, but as of this date 1970, the building still houses the Ford Agency, now owned by Douglas and Burr Hilvers.

By 1916 hard roads were becoming a necessity and there was much activity in that area. The first pavement was laid in Cuba City that year, one block south of the railroad tracks and two blocks north. Rich Conlon did the work and the street is still in good shape at this writing. Hard roads was the favorite subject for argument, pro and con, during this period. Some business and professional men thought hard roads to Dubuque would just about button-up Cuba City, others felt they simply had to come, and the sooner the better. Dick and Walter Brewers' Clothing Store, where our sessions were held, saw some heated arguments. In spite of their being in business the Brewers were always on the side of hard roads.

Agitation for paved roads became general enough throughout the County to suggest a bond issue to cover the cost thereof. Hence, in December of 1919 a bond issue for $4,000,000 was put to a vote. This amount was considered ample to connect every city and village in the County with a hard all-weather pavement. Two leading citizens opposed the bond issue. They made speeches all over the area warning farmers that the road bonds might cost them their farms in added tax. The bonds were decisively defeated. It was not until 1928 that a bond issue was voted for good roads in Grant County. The active opponents of the 1919 issue were Will Doyle, cashier of the Platteville State Bank, and Hugh Harper, a farmer of the Lancaster area, a local politician.

A water system of sorts had been laid in town at a rather early date, and in 1919 I recall that people were getting their water in their homes, but not many. There was no sewer system and the little privy on the back end of every lot was a familiar part of the landscape. Esthetically they were an eye-sore, but practically they were of singular importance to the well-being of the populace. However, by 1916 people were beginning to want bathrooms in their homes and no new homes were being built without them. Naturally, there had to be a means of disposal, hence, the rise in the use of cesspools. Some were shallow well-like affairs about 12 to 15 feet deep by 5 feet in diameter; others were holes about 8 inches across drilled down to an opening sufficient to take care of the sewage, usually about 125 to 150 feet deep. This was satisfactory until there were so many cesspools around town that the city's water supply became affected. The city well was centrally located and a thousand feet deep. It had to be changed to a well 1800 feet deep drilled out at the north end of town. This corrected the situation.

Harry Kilkelly became mayor in the late 1940s and in early 1950s he persuaded the Town Council to approve the building of a sewer system and a new water system as well as other improvements that brought the town up to first-class status, comparable to the best in the County. Harry did more to bring the village up-to-date than had been done for the fifty preceding years.

The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad station was a busy place during the first third of the 20th century. There were four passenger trains a day serving the village, two from the south and two from the north. Some people kept tab on their neighbors by meeting all trains noting who left town and those arriving.

Sam Stephens was the station agent and Henry Lippolt was the telegrapher. Prior to 1925 there was no radio service, hence on election night we would gather in the garage auditorium to get the returns as they became available. Henry would stay on duty at his telegraph instrument, and as the returns came in send them to the hall by messenger where they would be read to the crowd. Very exciting. Messages were received about every thirty minutes.

Prior to 1930 all livestock from the surrounding territory was shipped by railroad to Chicago. There were always three or four local stock buyers and the competition was keen. The buyer called at the farmer's home, appraised the stock, made an offer; if accepted the farmer delivered the stock to the yards at railroad station where they were weighed and settled for. Stock buying was a hazardous business, and buyers came and went, except one, Johnny Johns. He was to stay in the business until old age retired him. A shrewd buyer.

In the early days there was considerable religious bigotry in the area. I recall a meeting in Platteville in 1912 or 1913: A protestant group rented the municipal auditorium and billed a speech by one Father Sequin, ex-priest. I was curious to know what might be said to an audience at such a meeting. I think I was the only catholic there. The auditorium was packed with paid admissions. Special policemen were lined up around the hall and on the platform as tho' an attack by catholics was expected. This of course was mere window-dressing to add a little excitement to the meeting.

The ill feeling stirred up by Father Sequin's speech lasted for several months. Catholic and protestant neighbors of long standing quit speaking to one another. A local lawyer, J. W. Murphy, a catholic, had replied to Sequin's speech. He spent most of his time lambasting Sequin and his cornstalk policement but said nothing about the responsibility of catholics for creating an atmosphere in which a speech such as Father Sequin's could attract an audience. For myself, I placed the responsibility at the doors of both protestant and catholic churches and their clergy. I cannot recall that there ever was a real attempt to bring the people together in harmony and respect for one another, and their religious beliefs.

Cuba City had a very good band for many years, and Herman Goldthorpe and Henry Meloy took great pride in keeping it that way. Every Saturday evening in the summertime there was a band concert. For a time these concerts were held in the city park. Later a platform was built in front of a place of business for the concerts. This platform alternated from business to business.

Everybody came to town on Saturdays, and many remained until stores closed up about midnight. The streets were crowded, the band was playing, and the stores were busy. Oh, it was a great era for small-town America.

Excitement ran high the morning of Nov. 7, 1918, in old Cuba City. The 5 o'clock freight train from the north came into town with whistle wide open. Everybody knew something unusual had happened and were soon out of bed to find out. The First World War had come to an end. The band boys were soon on the main street with their instruments. There just had to be a parade, but where to march was the problem. The only industry in the area, Vinegar Hill Zinc Company, had a plant one and a half miles southeast of town so why not march to the site. Away they went down the country road with a following four blocks long. When they got back to town it was learned that it was a false alarm. The war didn't really end until the 11th and by that time all the exuberance was out of our systems.

Immediately following the war grain and livestock prices went sky-high. Land prices kept pace so that in 1919 prices had attained the highest level on record. Farms with average improvements were bringing three to four hundred dollars per acre. It didn't last long for by the fall of 1920 livestock and grain prices had begun to drop, and by 1921 it was apparent to everyone that the farmers and rural America was in trouble, deep trouble. For the next twenty years farms were hard to sell. Some that had sold for $300 per acre went as low as $75. There were many foreclosures. Things got so bad that in 1932 Grant County went democratic for the first time in many years. By the early 1940s land prices began to recover and since that time have gone nowhere but up to the point where good farms are bringing as much as $500.00 per acre.

We had two barber shops in Cuba City: Burt Nankival and George Richardson. A shave was ten cents, and haircut was twenty-five cents. By 1917 the price had risen to twenty cents and forty cents, respectively. A barber's experience might be related at this point: Joe and Pete Dunlavey, brother bachelors, lived on a small farm about five miles from town. Joe died and the undertaker was called. When he looked Joe over he found a six months' growth of beard, told Pete he would have to call a barber. Richardson was called, got out to the house about 10:30, shaved Pete and left for home about midnight. The time was at least two and one-half hours from the time he left town until his return. About three weeks later the undertaker was in Richardson's chair for a shave: "Say, Charlie, do you remember the night I shaved old Joe Dunlavey and the job getting that growth of spinach off his face, to say nothing about the time of night? Well, old Pete came in today to pay me. He asked what he owed me, and when I told him $5.00 he said 'I've a notion to give you a punch in the snout. I though your price was 20 cents for a shave'". How do I know this? I was the undertaker.

When I arrived in town there was a public high school and grade school. In the fall of 1916 or 1917 a catholic grade school was opened. The high school graduating classes from 1905 to 1910 consisted of six to 14 graduates. Herman Goldthorpe was one of the first principals of the public schools but he resigned to go into the newspaper business. Frank Ralph succeeded Goldy and he held the position for many years. The old school buildings are out of use or have been torn down. New public and parochial schools were built many years ago.

Cuba City had two banks, the Cuba City State Bank and First National Bank; both were organized and opened along about 1905 to 1907. Ervin Scott was the cashier of the State Bank and Matt Hendricks of the First National. Matt died in 1922 and Ervin was succeeded by Henry Meloy in about 1914 or 1915. He died in 1926. W. G. Wimmer, who had been a teller with the Bank for several years, succeeded Meloy and he remained with the Bank for the rest of his life. He served as president for many years up to the time of his death in 1970 at the age of 76, at which time he was the majority stockholder of the Bank. In the early years total deposits in both banks ranged from $500,000 to $700,000.

In 1927 I purchased all the stock in the First National Bank and within a short time sold the Bank to the Cuba City State. From that time Cuba City has had no other bank. The deposits now are over $9,000,000 and operated under the capable management of Phil Grimm and W. G. Wimmer, Jr.

Telephones were introduced to the area around 1900. The first instrument was placed in Florine's Drug Store in Cuba City and another in a store in Hazel Green. It was a one-line operation. Within a few years the farmers began to string lines along the roadsides for neighborhood communications. From this beginning, the next step was the formulation of a stock company with capitalization of $2,000.00 to build a central office in Cuba City. Now they were really moving; no longer was rural service confined to a few farms in a given area, but rather to all the farms connected to the twenty neighborhood lines plus all the phones being connected to town. By 1908 things were going great and everybody seemed to be happy with the service. However, it soon became evident that good over-all service would be difficult to maintain with ownership divided: the roadside companies on the one hand, and the city company on the other. Each farm line was responsible for its own repairs, and the Cuba City Telephone Exchange furnished nothing beyond the city limits. The Exchange Company employed a regular repair man and the service was pretty good. The rural service went from bad to worse. 

I took over the company in 1927 and it wasn't until the mid-1930s that I was able to persuade the roadside companies to turn over their lines to us. We began a repair program and the service was gradually improved. With my son-in-law's help, Bernie Kinsock, we cut-over to common battery service in 1948, and by 1956 we had completely rebuilt the system and switched over to dial operation on January 1st. We sold out to Universal Telephones, Inc., of Milwaukee, in September of 1965. It should be mentioned that Emily MacDonald was the first operator. She continued in that capacity until the mid-1940s when she suffered a heart stroke and died at the switchboard. Vayda Brewer is another old-timer with the company. She went to work in 1924 as an operator, and now after 46 years is still on the job. She has been office manager for many years. Until 1948 calls were placed by name, hence, the above two women knew everybody by name in the entire area.

In the fall of 1909 I bought a half-interest in the furniture and undertaking business of my father-in-law, John E. Kenney. In 1911 the net profit of the furniture end of the business amounted to a meager $200.00. It took the most time and was the least profitable, so in 1912 that part of the business was sold.

There were no funeral homes in those days; the deceased remained in their homes until the day of the funerals when they were taken to the church, thence to the cemetery. The preparation of the body was done in the home. This brings to mind the following incident: We got a call from the country: Will Cullen drove me out, and came in the house to help me. It was a warm sultry evening and the window was up; the lace curtains hung limp. We were doing the embalming in one of the bedrooms, and, of course, were alone. The work finished we had dressed the body, placed it on our collapsible couch, replaced the stand at the head, and re-lighted the candle that had been burning when we arrived; a silk robe had been spread over the corpse. Now we were ready to call the relatives in for a look and their approval. However, at that moment a stiff breeze came up which blew the lace curtains over the candle. Instantly there was a flash fire on our hands. Cullen grabbed the curtains which only scattered the burning particles, some falling on the robe that covered the corpse. For a moment it was terrifying, but it was all over as quickly as it had started. Except for the loss of the curtains the damage was minimal, a few very small holes in the robe that covered the body. Fortunately we had sounded no alarm and the people in the other rooms knew nothing of what had happened.

Prior to about 1917 our power for first-calls and funerals was horse-power. Much of our business was out in the farm areas ten to twelve miles from town. First calls and funerals behind a team of horses in 10 to 20 degrees below zero on roads covered with snow were all-day trips. The one nice thing about them was the getting home and thawing out in the glow of the old base-burner that so many people had in those days.

In the beginning of my experience in the funeral business we sold nothing but black caskets. At that time no one would think of being so disrespectful as to bury a loved one in a fancy colored coffin. Nothing but black cloth being acceptable made it simple to make a choice. Therefore, the stocks of caskets consisted of three models which sold for $60, $100 and $135, complete funerals, except an extra charge of $10 for embalming. What a way to get rich.

It seems that when the auto hearse came into use around 1916 or 1917 people began to get fancy ideas. A complete change came over the funeral business. They wanted color and what became known as the half couch, above all they wanted the deceased to look exactly as he or she did in life ensconced on a bed of silk. The cost was given scant consideration; beauty was the thing. Many times I've seen relatives gasp with elation upon viewing the handiwork of the embalmer if his effort turned out well, and turn sour with disappointment if the lifelike touch wasn't perfect. I've seen relatives forget they were mourners upon viewing the expertise of body preparation. I've thought that the nearest thing to paganism in today's world is our attitude toward death of the human person.

When funeral homes first came on the scene many people had doubts about using them. Removing the deceased out of the home to a funeral home just didn't seem the right and respectful thing to do. However, this attitude did not persist for long. I opened a quasi-funeral home in 1929 in a residence back of Florine's Drug Store in 1929. It was used principally for body preparation. It wasn't until 1939 that I purchased the L. W. Porter residence on Main Street and transformed it into a funeral home. In early 1940 Cuba City was given its first real funeral home. Doctor J. E. Donnell was the first to be buried from the establishment a few months prior to its formal opening. It was sold to Sidney Haudenshield in 1943 and at this date is still in use.

The first open-air movie theatre in Cuba City was something to get excited about. There was nothing on the lot on Main Street where the Marshall building now stands. It is 25 feet wide with buildings on both sides. We put up a canvass eight feet high about fifty feet back from the sidewalk, and another at the sidewalk with a circus entrance; built a small platform at the back, and a booth for the projector. We used a removal curtain for the pictures, hired a piano player and we were in business. Our seats were boards placed on boxes. Admission was 10 cents for adults and five cents for children. It was simple to assess our financial position: The picture film cost $2, the machine operator got 50 cents, the piano player 50 cents, and electric bill. Anything over $4.50 could be considered as profit. Bob Peacock was the projector operator.

Summing up forty-eight years in Cuba City: It was a happy and satisfying experience. All our children attended the local schools, and we were an intimate segment of the community, a fair example of middle-America where the people were for the most part good, honest, church-going neighbors. One could not ask for better.

However, times change and we change; the end of the road was coming in focus, and it was time to do what I had always envisioned, the living in a climate free of snow and ice. So on Sept. 30, 1956, with a tug at our hearts, we got in our car and headed south for Phoenix, Arizona, leaving the operation of the telephone company in the hands of Vayda Brewer, Francis Kemps and Larry Ware. Nine years later it was sold.

Finally, there may be other communities where life is as good as in Cuba City, but none better.

Nov. 9, 1970
Charles Harrison Bartlett, Sr.
Phoenix, Arizona

POSTSCRIPT: By Richard H. Bartlett, grandson, 2020

Charles H. Bartlett, Sr. was born in Hancock County, Illinois on December 7, 1887. He came to Cuba City with Father Vaughan on December 24, 1908. He married Mary Calista Kenney on August 10, 1909 at St. Rose Catholic Church, Cuba City. After her untimely death of influenza on February 15, 1919, he married Rose Mary Pleier (of Wausau, Wisconsin) on April 20, 1921 in Los Angeles, CA.

Mary Calista Kenney Bartlett and infant son, Alexander Bartlett who was born and died on February 13, 1919 are buried in St. Rose Cemetery, Cuba City, Wisconsin.

Charles H. Bartlett, Sr. died in Phoenix, AZ on June 13, 1982 at the age of 94. Rose Bartlett died December 9, 1983. They are buried in Holy Hope Cemetery, Tucson, Arizona.

In February, 1991, Charles H. Bartlett, Jr. gave this manuscript to his nephew, Richard H. Bartlett.


When I was about three years old my folks moved from a small farm near Colusa, Illinois to Ft. Madison, Iowa. In 1902 they moved to St. Louis, Missouri. When they moved back to Ft. Madison a year later I went to Chicago. In 1904 I hopped bells in the old Grand Pacific Hotel which was a very plushy spot in those days. In 1905 I took a job as order clerk for Richardson Ball Bearing Skate Company out on North Wells Street. I was always looking for something better and was soon the press representative for the old Bush Temple Theatre out on North Clarke & Chicago Avenue. While there Father L. J. Vaughan's play "A WOMAN OF THE WEST" opened its premier performance. Of course, Father Vaughan was there, and as press representative, I saw considerable of him. He was just starting on writing books of his lectures. I told him I had learned shorthand and typewriting at night school. I was just what he needed and was offered a job. I went to Altoona, Wisconsin, where he was pastor, and went to work taking dictation. Was a little timid at first, but was soon somewhat of an expert. Enough such at least for him to ask me to teach a small class shorthand and typewriting in a school he had started in Altoona called the Altoona Institute. In 1907 he asked the Bishop for leave of absence in order to complete his writing. It was granted and we moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, to be near his old friend of seminary days, Father Goebel. In December, 1908 the Bishop ordered him back to parish work due to pressure put on him by a small group of jealous priests who were making it tough as possible for him to proceed with his public speaking and writing program.

The order was to go to Cuba City, Wisconsin, and establish a new parish. I went out to Cuba City from Janesville, December 24, 1908. We were still working on manuscripts when Father Vaughan took sick in May of 1909. He was operated on for gallstones and died May 10, 1909. I remained in Cuba City. On August 10, 1909, I was married to Calista Kenney, daughter of John Edward Kenney and Mary (Walsh) Kenney. He died in 1928 at age 76, and she died in 1925, at age 74. Both are buried at St. Rose Cemetery near Cuba City. Other than Calista they had twin boys who died in their first year. 

I owned the manuscripts of Father Vaughan and sold half interest in them to Leland White and we proceeded as a partnership to publish them. This required that we move to Chicago. However, Calista did not like city life. I sold my interest in the publishing business and we moved back to Cuba City in late October, 1909. With part of the money I bought a half-interest in my father-in-law's funeral and furniture business. It was a small-time operation, and business was slow; so slow, in fact, and profitless, that I prevailed upon my father-in-law to sell off the furniture which was taking most of our time and showing little profit. 

Now I started looking around in earnest, and the first thing that came up was an agency for Apperson Jackrabbit Automobiles covering Grant County. Apperson Brothers operation was in Kokomo, Indiana. This was a high-priced car in those days, and sales were few. I dropped the deal, and the experience was profitless. In 1913 Jack Williams, of Darlington, asked me to search for buyers for farms he had for sale in Lafayette County. This did it. I did take some buyers to him on a commission basis, and I was surprised how easily good money could be made in real estate. My own office was soon opened and I wasn't splitting commissions with anybody. In the summer of 1914 I opened a branch office in the Ames Hotel in Pittsville, Wood County, Wisconsin. I commuted back and forth between Cuba City and Pittsville that summer and made considerable money.  It was a one season operation at Pittsville. 

Business at Cuba City became progressively better. In 1915 I bought a subdivision in northwest corner of the city which had been platted years before. I developed it, and about twenty-five houses were built. Later I bought adjoining property and expanded the area. The boom was coming on fast and the farm end of the business was getting real exciting.

Calista fell sick with influenza which was raging throughout the area at that time, and she died on February 15, 1919. Alexander was stillborn. She was buried at St. Rose at age of 29.

It might be of interest to intersperse this narrative with some of my personal activities over the years: I continued to operate the funeral business until July of 1943 at which time I sold out. During this time I opened Cuba City's first funeral home. In 1922 Albert Eustice and I bought the Ford Automobile Agency. The next year I sold my half and bought the Chevrolet Agency. This I sold out within the year. In 1927 I bought the First National Bank of Cuba City, and within the year sold it to the Cuba City State Bank with which it has merged. Also in 1927 I bought controlling interest in The Cuba City Telephone Exchange Company. Later I was able to buy all the stock. In 1955 I gave Cuba City its first Direct Distance Dial System. During all these years I continued in the real estate business. During the 1930's I picked up some good farms cheap and managed them on a share-rent basis to tenant farmers. It was a very profitable operation.

In 1936 we bought a cottage at Devil's Lake State Park which is about 90 miles from Cuba City. For many years the family spent the summers there. They all later declared "it was the best investment Dad ever made." 

During the last twenty-five years Rose and I have travelled extensively throughout the States, Canada and abroad.

By 1948, over 60 years of age, I thought it was time to start pulling back. Hence, by 1951 I had disposed of all farm lands, and in 1958, sold the Cuba City business properties. Now all I had left in Wisconsin was the telephone company, and this was sold in September of 1965 to University Telephones, Inc. of Milwaukee. 

In 1956 our residence was sold and we moved to Phoenix. I continued to manage the telephone company by proxy until it was sold, prior to which we spent our summers in Cuba City.

We bought a home in Phoenix in January of 1957, sold it in 1963, and moved into an apartment. Hence, at this writing we have no property of any kind whatsoever except stocks, bonds and insurance policies, all of which, with exception of some insurance, have been assigned to an inter-vivos trust with the Valley National Bank of Arizona. We have burial lots in Holy Hope Cemetery in Tucson, and for myself there is a signed funeral agreement with Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home in Phoenix.

That just about winds it up, and we'll just coast along with nothing to do for the rest of the journey. I'll be 83 in December and I think it is about time, don't you?

Charles H. Bartlett, Sr.
September, 1970


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