Gary Entz

Board of Directors / Commentator

In addition to being a historian and educator, Gary R. Entz serves on WXPR's Board of Directors and writes WXPR's A Northwoods Moment in History which is heard Wednesdays on WXPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

After serving six years in the US Navy, he returned to college and earned a B.A. in history from Bethel College, Kansas.  He earned an M.A. in history from James Madison University, Virginia, and a Ph.D. ftom the University of Utah.   He is the author of "Llewellyn Castle: A Worker's Cooperative on the Great Plains," University of Nebraska Press, 2013. He and his wife Ocie Kilgus have made the Rhinelander area their home since 2009.

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The name Frederick S. Robbins might ring a bell for those in the Rhinelander area.

As part of our continued series A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz has the story of his life.

Frederick S. Robbins is a fairly well-known name in Rhinelander history.  He came to the city in 1886, built a sawmill in 1887, and ran the Robbins Lumber Company for many years.  Robbins lived an active and adventurous life, but what is less well-known is how tough and vigorous he really was.

Ted Kiar / Tomahawk Area Historical Society

In 1926, four Chicago gangsters fled to the Northwoods.

Just ahead, Gary Entz tells us exactly what transpired as part of our continued series, A Northwoods Moment in History.

On August 6, 1926, John “Mittens” Foley was gunned down on the corner of Richmond and Sixty-fifth Street in Chicago in a syndicate fight over beer trafficking.  The four assailants escaped in a large touring car with enlarged cylinders.  In other words, a car geared to racing speed.  That car was soon spotted driving around the town of Tomahawk.

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This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us about a land dispute on Partridge Lake in the 1950s.

Wisconsin First Nations have a rich history in the state, and this is particularly true in the Northwoods.  There are many ways of looking at history, and understanding our past through the perspective of Native Americans is not only useful, it is necessary in order to have a complete record of the Northwoods story.

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This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us the story of William Gilson.

When we study history in school, we are often taught about great events and larger-than-life people who shaped the past.  Yet it is the sacrifices made by ordinary people that make events possible, and that merits our respect.  Let’s consider the life of William Gilson.

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This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us about a football game between Rhinelander and Green Bay in 1896.

St. Germain Chamber of Commerce

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us how the town of St. Germain got its name.

The town of St. Germain in Vilas County today is a popular tourist destination, and many people go there to see the statue of Chief St. Germaine.  St. Germain, however, is French.  So where did the name come from?

Be Seated by Bemis: A 100-Year History of Bemis Manufacturing, 2001 / Crandon Public Library (crandonpl.org)

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, we're talking about National Prohibition in 1920. It was a time that some Forest County residents weren't a huge fan of.

Local historian Gary Entz explains how it all went down.

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This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz takes us back to a rather bizarre incident that took place in downtown Rhinelander in 1925.

Photograph HU 41808, Imperial War Museums / Wikimedia Commons

In 1945, a young man from Three Lakes was among the soldiers serving in the 14th Armored Division, and earned himself a unique place in the history books.

Local historian Gary Entz has the story in this week's episode of A Northwoods Moment in History.

WXPR Public Radio

WXPR is celebrating 35 years on the radio this year.

In this week's episode of A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us exactly what went into that first broadcast back in 1983.

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We've all heard about the fatal plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly and many other pioneers of Rock and Roll in 1959. Did you know they had just recently passed through the Northwoods before the crash, though? This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz tells us the whole story.

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On days when the weather in northern Wisconsin is particularly bleak, we've all felt sympathy for our mail carriers. This week on A Northwoods Moment in History though, local historian Gary Entz tells us that it used to be a lot worse.

United States Bureau of American Ethnology - Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784 to 1894 / Wikimedia Commons

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz explains the Treaty of St. Peters and how it affects us in the Northwoods today.

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This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz takes us back to a rather curious bank robbery that took place in Antigo in 1888.

When we hear stories of bank robberies many people automatically think about tales of the Old West or perhaps the gangsters of the 1930s.  However, bank robberies happened in other times and other places as well, and one curious Northwoods bank robbery took place in Antigo during the year 1888.

Dorothy Ferguson / Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

This week on A Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz takes us back to 1905 and tells us the story of a bindlestiff named Frank Lamperer, who benefitted from the kindness of the people in Rhinelander.

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