The history of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin

In presenting this history to the citizens of Fond du Lac County, the desire is to place upon record 'whatever incidents of importance have transpired in this region since its first settlement, and that, too, in a reliable manner and in permanent form.

As preliminary to the annals of the county, a brief sketch of Wisconsin is given, including its Antiquities, Indian tribes, pre-territorial times, its Territorial history, and an outline of the different Administrations since the State was admitted into the Union. This, it is thought, will prove attractive to the reader. It is followed by articles on Topography and Geology of Wisconsin; on its Climatology, Trees, Shrubs and Vines; its Educational Interests, Agriculture, Mineral Resources and Railroads; on its Lumber Manufacture, Banking, Commerce and Manufactures; the Public Domain, and the Health of the State. All these articles are by able Wisconsin writers. Following these, are Statistics of the State, and an Abstract of its Laws and Constitution, and of the Constitution of the United States.

Facts and figures, incidents and reminiscences, anecdotes and sketches are given in the county history, with a variety and completeness commensurate with their importance. This has necessitated a persevering effort ; but the labor has been lessened by the cordial assistance of many friends to the enterprise, to all of whom our grateful acknowledgments are tendered. They have enabled us to give the present generation, it is believed, a valuable reflex of the times and deeds of pioneer days, and to the pioneer men and women a lasting monument. Many of those still living have kindly extended their aid. To them, as well as to the Press and Pulpit, and also to the officers of the State Historical Society, we desire to express our sincere thanks for numerous favors received at their hands.


Table of Contents


Antiquities 19
Indian Tribes 21
Pre-Territorial Annals 29
Wisconsin Territory 41
Wisconsin as a State 62
First Administration 52
Second Administration 67
Third Administration 59
Fourth Administration 62
Fifth Administration 64
Sixth Administration 66
Seventh Administration 67
War of Secession Commenced 69
Eighth Administration 76
Ninth Administration 85
Statistics of Volunteers 90
Tenth Administration 92
Eleventh Administration 93
Twelfth Administration 94
Thirteenth Administration 97
Fourteenth Administration 99
Fifteenth Administration 104
Sixteenth Administration 109
Topography and Geology 110
The Archaean Age 112
Paleozoic Time Silurian Age 116
Devonian Age 119
Glacial Period 120
Climatology 121
Trees, Shrubs and Vines 128
Fauna 134
Fish and Fish Culture 134
Large Animals Time of their Disappearance 138
Peculiarities of the Bird Fauna 139
Educational 140
Original School Code 140
Agitation for Free Schools 141
School System under State Government 141
School Fund Income 142
State University 143
Agricultural College 144
Normal Schools 144
Teachers' Institutes 146
Graded Schools 146
Township System 146
Free High Schools 147
School Offices 147
State Teachers' Certificates 147
Teachers' Associations 148
Libraries 148
State Superintendents 148
College Sketches 149
Female Colleges 150
Academies and Seminaries 151
Commercial Schools 151
Agriculture 151
Mineral Resources 162
Lead and Zinc 162
Iron 165
Copper 168
Gold and Silver 168
Brick Clays 168
Cement Bock 170
Limestone Glass Sand 171
Peat Building Stones 172
Railroads 173
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 173
Chicago & Northwestern 176
Wisconsin Central 178
Western Union 179
West Wisconsin 180
Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Westera 180
Green Bay & Minnesota 181
Wisconsin Valley 181
Sheboygan & Fond du Lac 181
Mineral Point 182
Madison & Portage 182
North Wisconsin 183
Prairie du Chien & McGregor 183
Chippewa Falls & Western 183
Narrow Gauge 183
Conclusion 184
Lumber 185
Banking l91
Commerce and Manufactures 198
Furs 199
Lead and Zinc Iron 200
Lumber 201
Grain 202
Dairy Products 203
Pork and Beef 203
Hops 204
Tobacco Cranberries 205
Liquors 205
Miscellaneous 206
Water Powers 206
Manufactures 208
Conclusion 208
The Public Domain 210
Health 230
Geographical Position 230
Physical Features 230
Geology 231
Drainage 232
Climatology 232
Rain Character 233
Isotherms 234
Barometrical 234
Winds 235
Climatological Changes from Settling in the State 235
Influence of Nationalities 237
Occupations Food Education, etc 238
History of Disease 238
Ratio of Sickness, Ft. Howard and Winnebago 230
Education of the Blind 241
Institute of Deaf and Dumb 241
Industrial School for Boys 242
SUte Prison 242
State Hospital for the Insane 242
Northern Hospital for the Insane 243
City of Milwaukee 243
Health Resorts 244
Change of Diseases 246
Pulmonary Diseases 248
Statistics 249
Population, 1875, of Townships, Alphabetically Arranged by Counties 249
Population by Counties 258
Nativity by Counties 259
Valuation of Property 260
Acreage of Principal Crops 261, 262
Actions 283
Arrest 283
Attachment 284
Adoption of Children 276
Assignment of Mortgage 274
Assessment and Collection of Taxes 267
Assessment of Taxes 268
Bills of Exchange or Promissory Notes 272
Borrowed Money 267
Capital Punishment 278
Collection of Taxes 270
Commercial Terms 285
Common Schools 266
Damages for Trespass 279
Elections and General Elections 263
Estrays 279
Exemptions 284
Fences 280
Forms of Conveyances 273
Forms of Mortgages 274
Garnishment 284
Highways and Bridges 270
Hours of Labor 273
Interest 277
Intoxicating Liquors 271
Judgments 284
Jurisdiction of Courts 277
Jurors 278
Landlord and Tenant 281
Limitation of Actions 285
Marks and Brands 281
Married Women 283
Stay Law 284
Surveyors and Surveys 282
Support of Poor 282
Suggestions to Persons Purchasing Books by Subscription 285
Title of Real Property by Descent 275
Weights and Measures 278
Wills 276
Wolf Scalps 278
Wisconsin State Constitution 287
U.S. Constitution 297
Vote of Wisconsin for Governor and President 306-307
Population of the State 308

CHAPTER I. Topography, Elevations of Different Points, Artesian Wells, Water Powers. Geological Formations, Physical Features 309
CHAPTER II. Ancient Earth Works, Indian Occupancy, Early French Traders, United States Land Surreys, United States Land Districts, Fond du Lac Company, Origin of the Name Fond du Lac, An Early Trip to the Head of Winnebago Lake, First Settlement in Fond du Lac County 324
CHAPTER III. "The Old Military Road" and Other Early Highways, Pioneer Life, Fond du Lac County Boundaries Established, Early Political History, Fond du Lac County on Early Maps, Organization of the County, Pioneer Reminiscences 339
CHAPTER IV. Territorial District Court and State Circuit Court, Municipal Court of the City and Town of Ripon, County Court, County Officers from 1839 to 1880, County Board of Supervisors, Territorial, State and National Representation, Navigation of Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin Phalanx 384
CHAPTER V. Fond du Lac County Bible Society, County Court House and Jail, County Poor Farm and Buildings, Agriculture in Fond du Lac County, The Dairying Interests of Fond du Lac County, County Agricultural and Mechanical Society, Ripon Agricultural Association, Plank Roads, Railroads, Fond du Lac County a Quarter of a Century Ago, A Terrible Disaster 409
CHAPTER VI. The Press of Fond du Lac County, Some of Fond du Lac County's Illustrious Dead, "Indian Scare," First Things, County Statistics, Prosperity of the County, Political Parties, Ripon College 439
CHAPTER VII. A Divorce Refused, Origin of the Republican Party, Old Settlers Club of Fond du Lac County, Common Schools, Literature and the Fine Arts, Fond du Lac County's War Record, A Retrospect 513
CHAPTER VIII. City of Fond du Lac. Past and Present, Aborigines, Early Settlement, Village of Fond du Lac, City of Fond du Lac Incorporated, City Officers, 1852-1879, City of Fond du Lac a Quarter of a Century Ago, Fond du Lac Post Office, Fire Department, City Lock-Up. Artesian Wells, Gas Works, Schools, Bonded Indebted- ness, Public Halls, Hotels, Benevolent Institutions and Societies, Literary and other Societies, Public Library, Secret Societies, , Churches, Banks. Manufacturing Interests, Yacht Clubs, Conflagrations, Rienzi Cemetery, - Floods and Freshets, Incidents and First Things, Early Times in Fond du Lac 5155
CHAPTER IX. City of Ripon. First Owners of Ripon, Early Settlement, Ripon's Early Progress, City Incorporated. City Officers 1858 to 1880, Post Office, Public Schools, Ripon Water-Power, Fire Department, Gas- works, Hotels of Ripon, Public Halls, Churches of Ripon, Banks, Secret Societies, Benevolent, Literary and other Societies, Manufacturing Interests, Ripon Cemeteries, Conflagrations, Ripon's, Fighting Career, "The Booth War," First Things, Growth of the City, Ripon of To-Day 663
CHAPTER X. City of Waupun. First Settlement, Meaning of the word Waupun, First Events, Growth of Waupun, Village and City Officers 1857-1879, A Reminiscence, Churches, Waupun a Quarter of a Century Ago, Secret Societies, Waupun Pioneers, Manufactories, Banks. Old Settlers' Club, Waupun Library Association, Wisconsin State Prison, Waupun a Dozen Years Ago, Waupun Fire Company No, 1, Dodge County Mutual Insurance Company, A Contrast, Waupun Schools, The Post Office, Waupun Agricultural and Mechanical Association, Cemeteries, Public Halls, Hotels, Fun in Ye Olden Time 696
CHAPTER XI. Towns and Villages 733


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The first explorers of the valleys of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi and its tributaries, seem not to have noticed, to any considerable extent, the existence within these vast areas of monuments of an extinct race. Gradually, however, as the tide of emigration broke through the barriers of the Alleghanies and spread in a widely extended flow over what are now the States of the Northwest, these prehistoric vestiges attracted more and more the attention of the curious and the learned, until, at the present time, almost every person is presumed to have some general knowledge, not only of their existence, but of some of their striking peculiarities. Unfortunately, these signs of a long since departed people are fast disappearing by the never ceasing operations of the elements, and the constant encroachments of civilization. The earliest notices of the animal and vegetable kingdom of this region are to be found in its rocks; but Wisconsin's earliest records of men can only be traced in here and there a crumbling earth-work, in the fragment of a skeleton, or in a few stone and copper implements dim and shadowy relics of their handicraft.