History of Vernon County, Wisconsin

The importance of local history is appreciated today more than ever before. A general de- sire is being manifested by the people to preserve the records made by the pioneers. Old Settlers' Associations and Historical Societies are being organized in almost every city and county throughout the land. The interest in local history is not confined, as some suppose, to men of second and third rate ability, but men like Hon. John Wentworth, Hon. E.B. Washburn, Hon. Isaac N. Arnold, and others of that class, show as much interest in pioneer reminiscences and the various little incidents that go to make up the record of a new country, as could be shown by any who think the world is comprised in that scope of territory in their own immediate neighborhood. Hon. Daniel Durkee, Librarian Wisconsin Slate Historical Society, has delivered a lecture, which has been printed and scattered broadcast throughout the land, urging the people to perpetuate their local history, and every county history that is published is purchased by him for that institution, of which he is Librarian. In that vast library of the Historical Society of Wisconsin, no historical works are more referred to than the local histories of the various counties of the States of the Union.

Believing that the county of Vernon afforded material for a good history, the Union Publishing Company of Springfield, Illinois, sent a corps of experienced historians into the field under the supervision of Prof. C.W. Butterfield with instructions to spare no pains in compiling a complete and reliable work. As preliminary to the work, and in order to insure correctness and a work in which every citizen of the county might feel a just pride, committees were appointed to read and revise the general history of each county, and a like committee in each township to examine and correct the history of their respective townships. With but one or two exceptions, every man thus appointed served to the best of his ability, and the wisdom of the choice of the committees is shown in the work performed. We feel confident that we here present to our patrons a history that is correct as possible for human beings to make it. Special care has been taken in its compilations, hundreds of men and women being interviewed, and every source of information canvassed that facts alone should be incorporated in it. The manuscript was then read to the committees, and time given to make such corrections as they deemed necessary, and each member was urged to exercise care, and not be backward in making such corrections or such suggestions as might be deemed necessary to insure correctness and add to the value of the work. Our thanks are certainly due to these men, a number of whom spent much time, with no thought of reward than that received in the consciousness of a duty well performed. Among others specially entitled to our thanks are: Heury Casson, Jr., Capt. D.W.C. Wilson, Judge W.F. Terhune, Capt. R.S. McMichael, John R. Casson, James E. Newell, N.C. Nichols, Hon. CM. Butt, P.J. Layne, Col. Earl M. Rogers, Hon. H.P. Proctor, Hon. O.B. Wyrnan, Rev. John Whitworth, William Haughton and others. Every county officer, and every deputy employed in the various offices showed a perfect willingness and an earnest desire to aid us in obtaining information.

 

Table of Contents

HISTORY OF WISCONSIN.


CHAPTER I.
PRE-HISTORIC AND SETTLEMENT 17

CHAPTER II.
WISCONSIN AS A TERRITORY 34

CHAPTER III.
WISCONSIN AS A STATE 42

HISTORY OF VERNON COUNTY. WISCONSIN.

CHAPTER I.
AREA, POSITION AND SURFACE FEATURES 69

CHAPTER II.
TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY 73

CHAPTER III.
ANCIENT INHABITANTS 79

CHAPTER IV.
EARLY EXPLORATIONS 86

CHAPTER V.
THE WINNEBAGO WAR 91

CHAPTER VI.
THE BLACK HAWK WAR 95

CHAPTER VII.
UNITED STATES LAND SURVEYS 107

CHAPTER VIII.
FIRST SETTLEMENT OF THE COUNTY 116

CHAPTER IX.
PIONEER LIFE 118

CHAPTER X.
FIRST THINGS 122

CHAPTER XI.
FORMATION AND ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNTY 124

CHAPTER XII.
TERRITORIAL, STATE AND CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATION 136

CHAPTER XIII.
COUNTY GOVERNMENT 138

CHAPTER XIV.
CIVIL SUB-DIVISIONS OF VEENON COUNTY 164

CHAPTER XV.
THE COURTS OF VERNON COUNTY 168

CHAPTER XVI.
THE BAR OF VERNON COUNTY 183

CHAPTER XVII.
THE WAR FOR THE UNION 196

CHAPTER XVIII.
PIONEER REMINISCENCES 227

CHAPTER XIX.
ELECTION RETURNS 240

CHAPTER XX.
COUNTY REPRESENTATION 253

CHAPTER XXI.
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 268

CHAPTER XXII.
AGRICULTURE AND THE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY 274

CHAPTER XXIII.
THE PRESS 279

CHAPTER XXIV.
THE GREAT TORNADO JUNE 28, 1865 292

CHAPTER XXV.
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED HISTORICAL SKETCHES 310

CHAPTER XXVI.
MISCELLANEOUS 325

CHAPTER XXVII.
POETS AND POETRY 389

CHAPTER XXVIII.
SCHOOLS OF VERNON COUNTY 393

CHAPTER XXIX.
VARIOUS THINGS 401

CHAPTER XXX.
TOWN OF BERGEN 477

CHAPTER XXXI.
TOWN OF CHRISTIANA 480

CHAPTER XXXII.
TOWN OF CLINTON 491

CHAPTER XXXIII.
TOWN OF COON 505

CHAPTER XXXIV.
TOWN OF FOREST 508

CHAPTER XXXV.
TOWN OF FRANKLIN 516

CHAPTER XXXVI.
TOWN OF GENOA 527

CHAPTER XXXVII.
TOWN OF GREENWOOD 536

CHAPTER XXXVIII.
TOWN OF HAMBURG 551

CHAPTER XXXIX.
TOWN OF HARMONY 555

CHAPTER XL.
TOWN OF HILLSBOROUGH 562

CHAPTER XLI.
TOWN OF JEFFERSON 580

CHAPTER XLII.
TOWN OF KICKAPOO 600

CHAPTER XLIII.
TOWN OF LIBERTY 621

CHAPTER XLIV.
TOWN OF STARK 628

CHAPTER XLV.
TOWN OF STERLING 644

CHAPTER XLVI.
TOWN OF UNION 664

CHAPTER XLVII.
VILLAGE AND TOWN OF VIROQUA 675

CHAPTER XLVIII.
TOWN OF WEBSTER 720

CHAPTER XLIX.
TOWN OF WHEATLAND 724

CHAPTER L.
TOWN OF WHITESTOWN 744

CHAPTER LI.
HONORABLE MENTION 760
CHAPTER LII.
MISCELLANEOUS 774
APPENDIX 780

BIOGRAPHICAL

PORTRAITS

 

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The history of Wisconsin commences with the recital of the indomitable perseverance and heroic bravery displayed by its first visitant, John Nicolet. An investigation of the career of this Frenchman shows him, at an early age, leaving his home in Normandy for the new world, landing at Quebec in 1618, and at once seeking a residence among the Algonquins of the Ottawa river, in Canada, sent thither by the governor to learn their language. In the midst of many hardships, and surrounded by perils, he applied himself with great zeal to his task. Having become familiar with the Algonquin tongue, he was admitted into the councils of the savages.