LeVerle Koenig marks 50 Years as Town Clerk
The town hall of Ahnapee was an old wooden structure without any running water when LeVerle Koenig was first elected to the position of town clerk in 1965.
For 50 years she ran unopposed for the position, helping to build a new town hall in 1992 and doing the books, filing state reports, helping with elections and property tax assessments, and attending monthly town meetings.
“I always liked bookkeeping, and I thought it would be interesting to get into town politics,” she said last week after being honored at the Wisconsin Towns Association’s conference in Wisconsin Dells for her five decades of service for the town of Ahnapee.
It has been a big year for Koenig, 78, who also celebrated the 50th anniversary in July of Koenig’s Bar she owns and operates. The bar is located in Kodan at the intersection of County M and Elder Drive.
Koenig and her late husband, Paul, bought the bar and dance hall on July 1, 1965, after selling their farm across the street. The bar is well-known for the fresh, homemade pizzas made by LeVerle and for the dance hall above the bar that has been the scene for many weddings receptions, dances and other celebrations. Koenig closed the dance hall after her husband died in 2011.
She was born LeVerle Zimmerman and attended Algoma High School, graduating in 1955. She married Paul in 1956 and she moved “out into the country.”
They had four children — Paula, Paul, Denise and Stephanie. Stephanie died of cancer many years ago, but her three other children all live in Algoma and often help their mom when the tavern is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. LaVerle still lives in the house in back of the tavern and has four grandchildren.
Koenig said that the best part of her job as town clerk as been “working with the board and the people.” She has served under only three board chairman – Zebina Shaw, Milton Rodrian and Gary Paape – during her 50 years. She also served as a Kewaunee County Board supervisor from District 1 from 2000 to 2014..
“LeVerle’s 50 years of dedication to the office of clerk has been a tremendous asset to all the residents of the town of Ahnapee,” said Paape. “It has been a privilege to serve on the Town Board with someone who has devoted so much of her time to town government.”
Through the decades the town’s population has remained relatively stable at about 900, but Koenig notes that they have lost some of the older farms and have new young people building houses in the town.
In addition to helping the town to construct a new town hall, Koenig is proud of the new fire truck the town recently bought in partnership with the city of Algoma. She said the amount of paperwork required by the state has increased and that most of it must now be filed by computer.
“LeVerle keeps things running smoothly in the town,” said Mary Bohman, who serves as town treasurer. “She files endless reports with the state, oversees the election process, recalls when improvements were made to bridges and roads, and comes up with a yearly budget.”
Besides that she “makes a great pizza at Koenig’s Bar,” Bohman added.
While Koenig acknowledges that she puts in a lot more time that the position pays, she said she has enjoyed working with the people on the board.
“Most are very honest and say it like it is,” she said. “All in all, it has been a good 50 years.”
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: LeVerle Koenig marks 50 Years as Town Clerk