Crandon, Wis. – A whole village is going on the auction block Tuesday, lock, stock and barrel.  The village of Blackwell, in this county, owned by the Flanner Lumber Company, is to be sold by the receiver, John D. Mylrea of Rhinelander.

Blackwell is no abandoned village.  It is very much alive and quite a neat little town.  Only two of the 50 company owned houses are unoccupied.  The population is about 250.  The residents, of course, are largely mill workers and woodsmen.  None is disturbed over the prospect of having the town sold out from underfoot or the roof from overhead.  The Flanner mill has not been running for the last year and the townspeople hope that it may be a good buyer who will start operations again. 

Schools Owned by District

All the company’s property will be offered in a block.  None of the tenants will be given an opportunity to buy his home.  Blackwell will continue to be a company town.  The receiver will put up at auction one village complete, to wit:

One saw, flooring and planning mill.
One office building.
One boarding house.
One stable.
Fifty frame dwellings.
One fine, large home formerly occupied by Frank Flanner,
president of the company.  

The village has two schools which are owned by the school district and are not to be sold.  Phillip D. Flanner, brother of Frank, and also an officer of the company, has a fine home which does not belong to the company.  He intends to remain here and will continue to occupy it.  There is also a scattering of other buildings not company owned, which will not be sold.

Mill Finally Closed

Blackwell has been in existence 28years.  The village was built,starting in 1904, by the late George C. Flanner, Chicago, father of Frank and Phillip.  The company then was known as the Flanner & Steger Lumber Company.  Years later it became the Flanner Lumber Company.  Some years before the elder Flanner died, the company floated a large bond issue.  After his death it got into financial difficulties and in June 1930, Mr. Mylrea, president of the Thunder Lake Lumber Company, was named receiver by Circuit Judge  Arnold Murphy on the application of Baker, Fentress & Company, Chicago; the American National Bank, Wausau; the City bank, Milwaukee; and the Kellogg-Citizens National bank, Green Bay.

The company had large assets and it was hoped that it could be put back on its feet.  The receiver operated the mill for a time but finally closed it down.  The depression made recovery impossible and the property was ordered sold at auction.

The auction was to have been held June 16, but was postponed 10 days.

View of Blackwell, Wisconsin circa 1915.                                                                                                                                                     Photo from Mike Monte Collection
    Entire Village Up at Auction
Lumber Company Owning Blackwell Fails; Hamlet Under Hammer.
Milwaukee Journal – July 24, 1932