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More about our history
The firm was originally started when Clarence C. Coe came from Sterling Illinois in 1881 to “read law” in the office of his cousin C. D. Coe in Barron. He returned to Sterling in 1883 to tend to the family farm on the death of his father. He then attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and graduated in 1888. Following graduation, he returned to Barron and opened his own office. Clarence’s brother, Arthur, graduated from the University of Wisconsin and then joined in Clarence’s office to “read law” and was subsequently admitted to the bar when the firm of Coe Bothers was formed. Clarence became totally blind in about 1932 but continued to practice until his death in 1936. Arthur continued the Barron office until his death in 1941.
Laurence S. Coe, son of Clarence, graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1913 and came to Rice Lake to open a branch office of the firm of Coe Brothers. Clarence purchased the law office of K. E. Rasmussen in July of 1913, which was taken over by Laurence as the Rice Lake branch of Coe Brothers. In 1938 William A. Cameron joined with Laurence to create the firm of Coe and Cameron that continued until 1950 when the firm was dissolved. Laurence continued to practice as a sole practitioner until 1950 when the firm of Coe and Coe was created. Laurence continued to practice in that firm until his death in 1958.
Edward J. Coe, son of Laurence, graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1951 and returned to Rice Lake to practice in the firm of Coe and Coe. Following the death of Laurence, in 1961, Norbert Daley joined the firm which then became known as Coe and Daley. Norbert Daley died of cancer in 1963 and in 1965 John Thiel joined the firm and it was known as Coe and Thiel until about 1966 when he moved to Merrill to open his own office. In 1970 Brooks Heathman came to Rice Lake and entered the practice and firm name became Coe & Heathman, S.C. In 1974, Bruce Dalrymple who had an established practice in Rice Lake, joined the firm and it became Coe, Dalrymple and Heathman, S.C. Bruce continued as a member of the firm until his death in 1998. In 1974 Wayne Arnold graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School and joined the firm, which became Coe, Dalrymple, Heathman & Arnold, S.C. In 1985 Wayne Arnold left the firm to open the office of the Wisconsin Public Defender in Barron County and in 1998 Brooks Heathman left the firm to open his own office in Rice Lake. Edward turned management of the firm over to Mark Coe in 1997 when he partially retired.
Mark E. Coe, son of Edward, graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1979 and joined the firm. Following the departure of Wayne Arnold the firm became Coe, Dalrymple, Heathman and Coe, S.C. In 1988 Susan M. Zabel joined the firm, coming from the office of the Barron County District Attorney, which became Coe, Dalrymple, Heathman, Coe & Zabel, S.C. Following the departure of Brooks Heathman, the firm became Coe, Dalrymple, Coe & Zabel, S.C.
Edward J. Coe died January 27, 2015. Susan M. Zabel retired from the firm December 1, 2015. Mark E. Coe continued the law practice as a sole practitioner until April 1, 2017 at which time Jonathan R. Cuskey joined the firm. Jonathan R. Cuskey graduated from Michigan State University Law School in 2005. In January 2019, Jonathan R Cuskey became a shareholder of the firm and the practice continued under the firm name of Coe & Cuskey, S.C. until December 31, 2021. At that time Brittany E. Stephens, a graduate of Hamline University and the William Mitchell School of Law and former partner in Kohler and Stephens Law Office joined the firm .
Over the past 134 years, the firm has had many other employees who have been essential to the firm’s success, serving as secretaries, bookkeepers and receptionists. Three of those employees are notable for their exceptional service and loyalty. Those three each served the firm for over 30 years. Those three are Marie Alnes, Rosa Hiemenz and Diane (Jackson) Jorgenson. Currently, Debbie Ranney has been employed with the firm for over 15 years.
Over the many years of its existence, members of the firm have been active in community affairs and have held a number of posts in community service. Public offices held by firm members include, Barron County District Attorney, First Municipal Judge (Barron), Wisconsin Assemblyman, Rice Lake City Attorney, Second Municipal Judge (Rice Lake), Rice Lake School Board, Rice Lake Area School District Board, Rice Lake City Councilman, Barron County Supervisor, Director of Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and Director and President of Wisconsin Association of School Boards. In addition, firm members have served as members of the Rotary Club, Kinship of Rice Lake, Inc., Rice Lake Youth Basketball and Softball Leagues, Barron County Domestic Abuse Project, State Bar of Wisconsin General Practice Board of Directors, and Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Juvenile Justice. They have also been active in First United Methodist Church, United Presbyterian Church and St. Joseph’s Congregation.