Mystery Place: Farm bought on Oster Company's success
The 1948 plat book shows John Oster Jr. as owner of this farm, located just east of the intersection of Wisconsin Highway 120 and County Highway D in Section 5 of the town of Spring Prairie.
His father founded the John Oster Manufacturing Co., which started in Oster's garage in Racine, where they made hair clippers for women.
Oster bought the Stevens Electric Co., which made drink mixers. Eventually research and development produced the Osterizer blender. The company moved to Milwaukee, and John Jr. was named president of the firm.
The Oster Company's success enabled it to purchase the land in Walworth County. The Sunbeam Corp. bought the company in 1960.
Oster continued ownership of the farm through the 1975 plat book. His farm manager was Goodwin (Goodie) Jacobson. I remember that they raised Brown Swiss cattle. It was great seeing them in the cattle parades at the Walworth County Fair, complete with their bells.
Before Oster bought the farm, the land was owned by John Grunewald, who arrived from Germany in 1855 at age 13. He built a “fine residence” on it. His son, Albert, took over the farm, calling it Carnation Stock Farm.
In 2017, the owner is listed as Carey Radtke.
Ginny Hall, a Delavan historian, is author of the “Walking around ...” and “Meandering ... ” books, which highlight the history of Walworth County communities.