John Drager arrived in Eagle River in 1892 to join his brother, Charlie, who had already emigrated from Russia and was working at the Gerry Lumber Company. Before John left Russia, he married Pauline Rentz who joined John in November of 1892. The couple lived in a small house near the corner of Highway 70/17 and West Sundstein Road. In the following years John and Pauline homesteaded a tract of land between the Eagle River and the Wisconsin River. When John was ready to build the family home, he purchased a building in Eagle River and tore it down for the lumber. He hauled the lumber out to the homestead and then crossed the river below the damn where the water was shallow. This was the only way to get the lumber to the building site homestead. John and his young son, Ed, heard the horses running; they turned to see the horses, pulling the wagon load of lumber go into the river. They came up once, and then went down for good. It was a huge loss for the young family and set back the building of the house for several years. When the house was finished in 1898 the family moved into it and John and Pauline raised their family. Ed was born in the little house in 1894 and soon other children arrived at the Drager’s new home: Helen in 1903, Clarence in 1904, Robert in 1905, John in 1907, Ruth in 1914, Don in 1915 and Jim in 1918. Though they had a large family, they never went hungry. Pauline had a large garden, which supplied the family with vegetables year around. She sold the surplus to the guest at Ting-A-Ling Village across the river. She continued to do this until they sold the farm in 1946 and moved closer to town. They built a small house on Illinois Street about one mile from Highway 45. John continued to cut and split firewood until he was hospitalized. John Drager was involved in local politics becoming the Town of Lincoln Treasurer, after the town was formed. He later served as town supervisor. He passed away in Madison at the University Hospital in November 1953 at the age of 87. Pauline Drager lived until May 1955, having made her home with her son Ed and Kay Drager her last two years. Ed Drager graduated from high school in 1912 and went on to teach in a one-room school where the Cloverland Town Hall is now. He taught there until 1917 when he enlisted in the Army. When he finished military service, Ed attended and graduated from the University Wisconsin Law School and practiced law in River from 1927-1988. He married Kay Keskinen of Eagle River and they raised their daughter JoAnn, and son Edmund, here. The children attended Eagle River schools and both graduated from the University of Wisconsin. Ed and Kay very involved in Eagle River activities. Ed was a Mason, and a member of Rotary, the American Legion and the 40 & 8. He was President of the Wisconsin Bowling Association, and was District Attorney of Vilas Country from 1930 to 1940 and again from 1942 to 1952. Helen married Joe Trinka and they lived in Eagle River. Ruth married Carroll Wivel and they lived downstate. John, Don and Jim moved to the West Coast in the late 1930s where all married and remained.
PARADISE POINT ESTATE HOUSE
EAGLE RIVER, WISCONSIN
THE HISTORY OF PARADISE POINT ESTATE HOUSE