Attribution: Nancy & Elroy Honadel
Johann George and Margaretha Honadel Farmstead
Location: 8300 -8668 S. 27th Street Franklin and Oak Creek, WI
Johann George and Margaretha Honadel arrived in this country from Alsace-Lorraine in 1830. After a few years in New York State, they traveled to Wisconsin in 1840 to begin a farmstead. The first 80 acres of land purchased in Franklin in 1840 was the northwest corner of 27th Street (then known as the Kilbourn Road) and Puetz Road for $175. The area was known as Painesville.
Family legend has it that the Honadels brought the first span of horses to this part of the country. Farmers in the area worked the land with oxen. They bought “Maud and Barney” in Buffalo and brought the two horses here on a boat. They stayed overnight in Milwaukee at a livery stable. There they were robbed and had no money to continue to Painesville. Julius Kroeger, owner of a dry goods store on Grove Street, Milwaukee, befriended them and loaned them money to continue the journey. They continued the friendship for years to come.
In 1844 Johann George’s son George bought 73 acres across the street in Oak Creek on the northeast corner for $250. This later became the two family homestead occupied by George and Elmer and families at 8666-8668 South 27th Street. The families originally operated the property as a dairy farm. Over the years the families acquired additional farm land along South 27th Street. The farm was passed down from one generation to the next. In the 1920’s, three sons split the farm into sections. One of the sons, Elroy Honadel Sr. began an apple orchard with his section. At one time, the orchard included 20 acres with 2200 trees. For many years the orchard and retail store were a well known attraction in Oak Creek. Elroy Honadel Jr. (Past President of Oak Creek Historical Society and former Mayor of Oak Creek from 1972 to 1974) was the 5th generation to live on the property. He succeeded his father in 1949 and ran the orchard until the 1990’s.
In 1995, the five remaining families sold the farm to developers who built Apple Creek Farms, a residential development of single family homes, multifamily and condominiums.