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LANNON COULD HAVE BEEN 'STONE CITY'

The Village of Lannon had four different names, although two of them existed only as crossed-out suggestions on a post office application.

RETROSPECT by Fred H. Keller , Sussex Village Historian; Printed Sussex Sun, March 16, 2005

Originally Lannon Springs, the community was known for awhile before 1890 as Hadfield. That was the name that initially appeared on a June 18, 1890, post office application, but crossed out when quarry baron Joe Hadfield went bankrupt. The powers-to-be put in Stone City, but that was crossed out, too. Lannon became the final choice.

Hadfield owned several major quarries in Lannon, most notably the vast quarry that today is Menomonee Park and its swimming-fishing quarry. When he ran this quarry, he built a number of homes on the quarry's south edge.

This collection of homes for his Polish and Italian workers was called Stone City, and that's how Lannon almost ended up with that name. In time many of these homes were jacked up and moved to old Hadfield, now Lannon.

It took until Aug. 2, 1890, for Lannon to be officially OK'd, first as an unin­cor­por­ated village and then in 1930 as an incorporated village. That makes Lannon almost 115 years old.

Lannon got its final name from an Irishman, William N. Lannon. Born Oct. 20, 1814, in County Louth, he arrived in the Town of Meno­mo­nee in 1842 for to claim a parcel of land north and south of Highway 74, with the western edge being Town Line Road. He died April 13, 1897, and is buried at St. James Catholic Church Cemetery.

On this bisected 220-acre parcel, he had two springs that are part of the headwaters of the Fox River. That homestead became known as Lannon Springs.

In short order, Willow Springs School was carved from his land and he gave land to the emerging St. James Catholic Church.

The 1873 "Atlas of Wau­ke­sha County, Wis." by Harrison and Warner shows that William's holdings were still 217 acres and prominently noted the "Lannon Springs P.O." (post office).

According to this map, there was virtually no development in what is now Lannon's Good Hope-Main Street-Lannon Road triangle.

By 1891, however, in the "Plat Book of Waukesha Co. Wis." by C.M. Foote & Co., that triangle of Good Hope (then called Vail Street), Lannon Road (called Menomonee Avenue) and Main Street (called Milwaukee Avenue) had become heavily developed and had its own map on the plat book, under the name of Hadfield.

The community now included the streets of Bay, State, Lake and Vine and the Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls and Western Railroad Line (the Bug Line), on its northern border.

This map was already out of date by then, however, because the Hadfield name had dis­ap­peared with the Aug. 2, 1890, certification of the Lannon Post Office under that name.

William Lannon had started a post office of sorts way back in 1854, and successfully applied for a postal designation June 11, 1864.

Back in the early chaotic settlement days, there was a password for the area, "Take the mail to Lannon," because William Lannon knew everyone in the area. The unofficial, and later official, Lannon-Spring farm post office area persisted until William Lannon gave it up in 1873, with later mails going to Sussex and Duplain­ville to be further distributed to the western Town of Menomonee.

With the development of the triangle area then known as Hadfield by 1890, there was a need for a proper local post office. The postal application was made by Olavius Olsen, who served as the first postmaster, 1890-91.

Here's the officially recog­nized succession of Lannon postmasters for the next 115 years: Abraham Hadfield, 1891-93; John Flanagan Sr., 1893-97; August Hinner, 1897-1905; George Loos, 1905-12; John (Jack) Flanagan Jr. (son of John Sr.), 1912-49; John Walsh, 1949-57; Keith Gissal, 1957-84; William S. Gal­braith (officer in charge), 1984; John P. Eldridge, 1984-90; Susan E. Lier­man (OIC), 1990-91; Susan E. Thiel, 1991-96; Gail Becker (OIC), 1996; Mark S. Kluge, 1996-97; Dale W. Nook, 1997-2003; Linda Balister (OIC), 2003-04; and current post­mas­ter since 2004, Cassandra McGhee.

Jack Flanagan Jr. served the longest, 37 years. Keith Gissal 27-year term was the second longest. Together, they served 64 out of the post office's 115 years.

There have been two notable philatelic events in Lannon. One was a special envelope canceled Jan. 23, 1966, when Lannon established its present post office, and the other was a special 100-year one-day cancellation Aug. 2, 1990.

The 75th anniversary com­mit­tee for Lannon is planning another special one-day can­cel­lation for some appropriate date in 2005.

İSussex Sun 2005

 

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