Arndt, John Penn 1780 - 1861 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Arndt, John Penn 1780 - 1861

Arndt, John Penn 1780 - 1861 | Wisconsin Historical Society

(Note: birth date given in original as "Nov. [25?], 1780.") pioneer promoter, merchant, b. Bucks County, Pa. He was engaged in building Durham boats near Wilkes-Barre, Pa., until 1816. After residing at Buffalo, N.Y., and Mackinac Island, Mich., he moved to Green Bay, then part of Michigan Territory, in 1824. In 1825 he built the first Durham boat to be used on the Fox River, and soon these light, efficient boats were widely used on both the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. In the same year Arndt also built and operated a ferry across the Fox River to Ft. Howard. In 1827, with Ebenezer Childs, he built the first sawmill in the area on Menominee land in Oconto County. The first schooner in the Northwest was built by Arndt in 1834. He was among those who attempted to link the Fox and Wisconsin rivers by a canal. In 1835 he organized the Fox River Hydraulic Company to improve navigation by building a dam, completed in 1837, at the site of De Pere. A Whig, Arndt was elected to the territorial council in 1836, serving until 1838. J. S. Arndt, Story of the Arndts (Philadelphia, 1922); J. W. Arndt, Early Hist. of Green Bay . . . (De Pere, Wis., 1894); WPA field notes.

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[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]