History of Nicolet National Forest, 1928-1976


Most pamphlets or books have a biography of the writer in the front part of the writing. I purposely put this in the back because if it were put in the front, and the reader saw this first, he probably would not want to read the rest when he knew it was put together by a scrub forester. What I mean by a scrub forester, like myself, is that I do not have a college degree in Forestry, but have professional status as a Forester, and am a member of the Society of American Foresters. I received this professional status the hard way — by reading, studying, learning from other people, and then finally taking and passing an examination. This is not recommended, and, in fact, cannot be accepted for professional status today.

I learned early in my employment with the U.S. Forest Service that there was more than trees to Forestry, and that foresters had to deal with people. I think I learned something from every person I ever worked for or with, as well as those who worked for me, and I'm still learning every day.

My parents came from Elliott and Carter Counties, Kentucky, and settled on a farm near Bryant, Wisconsin, in Langlade County. I was born there on August 1, 1908. My three sisters and one brother were older than me, and two brothers were younger. My father would take the farm horses to the logging camps in the winter. Later, he became a logger so I grew up in the woods and learned how to use the logging equipment and tools, use of compass, as well as estimating standing timber, and the scaling and measurement of wood volumes.

I married Alvilda A. Johnson of Hiles, Wisconsin, in Forest County. We were blessed with two sons, Marvin K. and J. Dale.

My three brothers, Carl, Arvel, and Oscar were later loggers, or worked in the transportation or manufacturing of wood products.

I was employed by the U.S. Forest Service for over 37 years, and worked on the National Forests in the Lake States most of the time. I retired November 1, 1969.

Elliott Road on the Nicolet National Forest was named after us. My brother Carl purchased a timber sale in Sections 10, 15, 16, T40N, R13E, in 1937 from Walter Nicewander, District Ranger at Eagle River. He had so much trouble locating roads because of all the swamp in the area that he asked me to help him locate them. By using aerial photos, we laid out his main logging road. We found good access to the springs of Johnson Creek (now named Alvin Creek) and good brook trout fishing. Also, the area was good deer habitat, and my brothers and I hunted there a lot with good success. The road was later improved and extended through Section 21 to the south and out to Forest Road #2174. The Elliott Road is now Forest Road #2175, and only about two and one-half miles in length.

The U.S. Forest Service treated me well, and I am pleased with my success and career as a forester.


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Last Updated: 08-Dec-2009