compiled and edited by Michael R. Reilly, May 17, 2003
The earliest Scouting activity in Lannon with documentation is Troop 25’s formation, though a Troop 10 was to have started it all in Lannon. If a Troop 10 existed, it may have been formed prior to the creation of the Potawatomi Area Council (formed on April 23, 1931, servingWaukesha, and parts of Jefferson, Dodge and Walworth counties). Milwaukee’s ScoutCouncil only covered Milwaukee County, and neither Council has any record of a Troop 10 in the Lannon area. (The closest Troop 10 this Editor could find was located for a time in the City of Waukesha. The earliest nearest Troop to Lannon, was Menomonee Fall’s Troop 17 organized on January 1, 1933, by the Menomonee Fall’s Rotary Club which itself had been formed on April 28, 1928.) Note: the January 1, 1933 may have been thetroop’s first recharter, since they were first chartered in March 1932.)
On May 11, 1935, Boy Scout Troop 25‘s application for charter was filled out by a “Group of Citizens” with Louis Gissal as its’ “Group Chairman”. According tothe application, the new troop would have regular meetings at the Village Hallin Lannon on Mondays. The application lists Seth Pollard, age 34,occupation – road contractor: Chicago, as thenew Scoutmaster, with Lester Golner, age 27, occupation – quarry office, and Millard Pollard,age 19, no occupation listed, as the Assistant Scoutmasters. The Troop Committee consisted of LouisGissal, age 40, occupation – quarry superintendent, as Chairman, with A.P. Walter, age38, occupation – real estate and livestock, and Herman Gruetzmacher Jr., age39, occupation – stone cutter, as members. Troop 25 belonged to the Potawatomi Area Council No. 651 Region 7, which was formed in Waukesha on April 23, 1931, serving Waukesha, and parts of Jefferson, Dodge, andWalworth counties. Richard Leland was the Scout Executive at the time of charter which would expire on June 30, 1936, if not renewed. Each adult member or Scouter, and Scout, the boy, had to pay a yearly membership dues of $1.00, of which 50 cents was to cover a year’s subscription to the publication Scouting.
The first boys to join Troop 25 were John J. Butina (age in yrs/mos. – 14/0, Benjamin DeQuardo (age 13/6), Walter E. Fucik (age 12/10), Anthony J. Grgich (age 17/2), David L. Grgich (age 14/10), Keith R. Gissal (age 15/4), Arthur H. Gruetzmacher (age 14/11), Chas. F. Hilger (age 13/0), John J. Miller (age 13/4), William J. Miller (age 15/6), Paul J. McCarty (age 16/11), Joseph Wagner (age 13/5), Joseph A. Walter (age 13/2), and Richard R. Walsh (age 16/2).
The charter application notes the following – “Note: How many of the boys are – Negro (X); Chinese (X); Japanese (X); Mexican (X); Indian (X). Population of Town or City if under 100,000 – 434. Is Troop in open country – Yes. How many farm boys – 1.”
In early June, 1935, William (Bill) J. Miller, along with brother John J., received badges at the Lannon Hall advancing them to the rank of Boy Scout in LannonTroop 25.
The above was from a typed listing, which may have been part of the official charter application; a hand-written version also lists a George R. Baier (15/1), Robert F. Baier (13/1), Earl F. Mathiak (16/1), Elmer A. Mathiak ((13/1). This listing doesn’t have all of the original (?) boys listed, and the ages are older by 7 mos to 1 year; a bit inconsistent. This hand-written list was probably a renewal listing (?) a year later (?) (Editor’s Note – These four boys did join the Troop on April 9, 1936, but again the ages are inconsistent.). The Troop did submit a renewal application on June 29, 1936 along with a “Dropped Scout & Scouter Notice” indicating that John J. Butina and David L. Grgich dropped due to “lost interest” and Keith R. Gissal because “work interfered”. Assistant Scoutmaster Millard Pollard also dropped due to “lack of time”.
1937/June 30 – Troop 25 is dropped from the active troop listby the Potawatomi Area Council. Reasons for drop were due to lack of leadership,without a Scoutmaster for at least 6 months and an Assistant Scoutmaster forover one year.
1937/Feb. – James Kenneth Duncan, age 40, applied for Scoutmaster position, succeeding Seth Pollard, on February 18, 1937. The application shows that James’ present occupation was “WPA Recreational Leader”, address Box 76, Lannon, Wis., and that he had prior Scouting experience – was an Assistant Scoutmaster for 2 1/2 years (1923-24) in Adams, Wis. He also was Catholic, of English & Scotch descent, and completed three years of high school. His application was approved by Troop Chairman of Committee, A. P. Walter (Editor’s Note – there are two documents that show conflicting information as to who was actually Chairman of Committee, Gissal or Walter.)
– Also around this time an application for Scoutmaster was filled out by Theodore Golner Jr. but he never registered (?). The application shows he was 24 years old, was never involved in Scouting but was president of the Hi-Y at high school for one year, occupation as laborer at local quarry. He is listed as being Lutheran but not a church member, and living on Vail Ave. in Lannon.
In December, 1937, a “Dropped Scout & Scouter Notice” was filed with the Potawatomi Council listing ALL of the above boys as dropping out of Scouting with the reason for leaving being that the Council was dropping the Troop. The original boys listed show they spent two years and 7 months in Troop 25; the other four boys, one year and eight months. The Scouters’ or adult Troop 25 members are listed as James Duncan, Scoutmaster, Louis Gissal (Troop Committee Chairman), Herman Gruetzmacher and A. P. Walter as Troop Committee members. The Notice as mentions that James Duncan is not to be recommended if a position was available due being “unreliable”. The other three were recommended, and list as being “out of town” (for Gissal) and a “lack of time” for Gruetzmacher and Walter) as their reasons for not continuing. Another page shows that Seth Pollard, the original Scoutmaster and Lester Golner, Assistant Scoutmaster, dropped because they “moved out of town”. They were recommended for future open positions.
1938/Dec. – Boy Scout Troop 25 isreorganized with Lannon State Graded School PTA as the sponsor.Principal Philip Pejza submits the registration form to the Potawatomi AreaCouncil No. 651 Region No. 7. The Troop will meet in the Club Room at the oldschool on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. Two Patrols were initially formed: EaglePatrol consisting of Patrol Leader Gerald DeLany, Assistant PL Syd Gissal,scouters Myron DeLany, Francis Boyle, Melvin Golner, and James Duncan (Editor’s Question – Same person as above who was Scoutmaster?); and the WolfPatrol consisting of Patrol Leader Jerry Walter, Assistant PL William Guis,scouters Donald Cawly, John Walsh, Vernon Lemke, Carmon Cirrillo, Louis Fischer, Frederich Richard Fischer, Joseph Walsh, and Norman Wildt. Melvin Mathiak becamea scout in troop in March 1940 but dropped in February 1941 due to “Lack of Interest “. Troop 25 was rechartered by the School PTA at least through 1942.
Cub Scout Pack 62 – was originallychartered by the Butina-Zimdar VFW Post 7989 circa August, 1956; the Pack (andprobably the Troop) originally met every 4th Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the VFWHall; later sponsored by LannonLions, meetings held at Lannon Elementary School. According to the Potawatomi Area Council Chartered Organization Listing c. early 1996, Pack 62 had 381 months of tenure; this translates into approx. 32 years or about 1965 which may indicate that the Pac was inactive for around 8-9 years.
Boy Scout Troop 62 – was originally chartered by the Butina-Zimdar VFW Post 7989 circa April,1957. It was disbanded circa May, 1984. It was at this time that Webelos fromCub Scout Pack 62 who “bridged” over as Boy Scouts probably beganjoining Troop 175 sponsored by St. James Catholic Church or went on to a Sussextroop.
Cub Scout Pack 107 – sponsored by Lannon Fire Department, meetings held at Lannon ElementarySchool. 1st chartered ?
Boy Scout Troop 107 – sponsored by Lannon Fire Department, meetings held at Lannon Elementary School. 1993/12/28 – Lannon Boy Scout Troop 107, chartered by the Fire Department, wasformed in Spring of 1993 as an extension of Cub Scout Pack 107. Keith Klein wasthe first Scoutmaster and backer from 1993 until 1998 when Bill McCarley IIItook over. Virgil Dawson,president of Lannon Stone Products paid for a troop equipment truck.
Cub Scout Pack 175 – sponsored by ?,meetings held at St. James School and sponsored by St. James Parish. Chartered c. 1978. Cub Pack 175 begins its 3rd year. Source: Sussex Sun., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1980, page 8.
Boy Scout Troop 175 – sponsored by Lannon Lions Club at one time, now sponsored, as of early 1996 (?) by St. James Parish. 1st chartered c. 1971
Junior Boy Scout Troop 343 of Lannon school; still in existence? Sussex Sun, October 15, 1985, page 9.
Early Boy Scout General History
1910 – The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8 under the laws of the District of Columbia by W. D. Boyce. On June 21, a group of 34 national representatives of boys’ work agencies met, developed organization plans, and opened a temporary national headquarters in a YMCA office in New York. In September, Robert S.S. Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, visited America and interpreted the program. President William Howard Taft accepted the office of honorary president; Theodore Roosevelt became honorary vice-president and chief Scout citizen; Colin H. Livingstone was elected president; Mortimer L. Schiff, Milton A. McRae, and Benjamin L. Dulaney, vice-presidents; George D. Pratt, treasurer; Daniel Carter Beard, National Scout Commissioner; Ernest Thompson Seton, Chief Scout; and John Sherman Hoyt, Jeremiah W. Jenks, William D. Murray, and Frank Presbrey, members of the Executive Board. James E. West was appointed executive officer.
1911 – The National Council office was established at 200 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., on January 2, 1911, with seven employees. The first annual meeting was held at the White House, Washington, D.C., and was addressed by President Taft. The Scout Oath, Law, badges, and fundamental policies were adopted. The first awards for heroism were presented by the National Court of Honor. Membership to date, Scouts and Scouters, 61,495.
1912 – By now Scouts were enrolled in every state. Scouts mobilized for the first of a series of national civic Good Turns, including the promotion of a safe and sane Fourth of July. Other community Good Turns began. Sea Scouting for older Scouts was started. Boys’ Life was purchased to become an official BSA magazine. Membership during the year, Scouts and Scouters, 97,495. Total members to date, 126,860.
1913 – The first local council charters were issued to first-class and second-class councils. Local supervision was facilitated by dividing the United States into eight districts-the forerunner of *12 regions. Scouting, the official magazine for Scouters, was started. Boy Scout Week was observed. A registration plan for Scouts was adopted. Scouts demonstrated the motto ”Be Prepared” in first aid during spring floods in Ohio and Indiana. Scouts rendered service at the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg reunion of veterans. The first Children’s Book Week was observed. Membership during the year, 115,364. Total members to date, 188,964.
* Since then, there exists the National Council,then 300+ American local Councils, with many larger ones further divided intoDistricts with Boy Scout Troops, Cub Scout Packs, Arrow of Light Lodges,Explorer Posts, etc. under them.
Reference Sources: “Lannon History: Villageof Lannon – Golden Jubilee 1930-1980” edited by Fred Keller; “Yesteryearin Sussex”, by Fred Keller; “Yesteryear in Sussex:Revisited”, by Fred Keller; “The First 150 Years:Lisbon-Sussex, Waukesha, County, Wisconsin”, compiled and editedprimarily by Fred Keller; “Sussex Lions Club, 27-A2, Sussex, WIS.,U.S.A., 50 Years: 1939-1989”, compiled and edited by Fred Keller;”Sussex Fire Department 60th Anniversary Book”;