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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin
(1925)

Chapter V: county government,   pp. 31-37


Page 31

CHAPTER V
COUNTY GOVERNMENT
When Dunn County was created in 1854, the act of the Legislature provided
that a general election should be held in November, 1854, and that the officers thus
elected should take office, Jan. 1, 1855.
A general election was held Nov. 7, 1854. The officers elected for Dunn County
which then included Pepin County, were as follows: William Cady, clerk of the
board of supervisors and register of deeds; Henry Eaton, county treasurer; Thomas
B. Wilson, county surveyor; Alex Hamel, coroner; William Wilson, supervisor;
Willard Holbrook, sheriff; Sheriah Stevens, superintendent of schools and justice
of the peace; and Jacob Rowell, constable. These officers were certified to the
secretary of state by the clerk of the board of supervisors of Chippewa County on
Dec. 5, 1854.
By the provisions of law at that time applicable to a case where a new county was
established having within its territory no organized town, the whole territory of
the county was deemed to constitute a town and its inhabitants were authorized to
elect town superv isors. These supervisors were by positive provision of the statute
empowered to act as supervisors of the county. 'tradition has it that the other two
supervisors beside Mr. Wilson, elected in the fall of 1854, were J. McCain and
William Carson. It is more probable, however, that they were elected town, and
consequently county, supervisors in the spring of 1856.
It would appear that William Cady qualified as clerk of the board of supervisors,
for late in 1855 he signed himself as clerk in filing with the secretary of state a list
of officers elected in November of that year. This list is as follows: Samuel B.
French, register of deeds; William Cady, clerk of the board of supervisors; Thales
Burke, treasurer; L. G. Wood, surveyor; and Seriah Stevens, coroner.
That any county government which existed before 1856 was more or less vague
and informal is indicated by the fact that despite its action of 1854, the Legislature
in the spring of 1856, ordered a general election for November, 1856, and specified
that the county officers elected then should take office or Jan. 1, 1857.
Apparently the three town supervisors, Thomas Wilson, J. McCain and William
Carcon met on Aug. 11, 1856, as the county board of supervisors and created seven
townships; Menomonie, Spring Brook, Eau Galle, Dunn, Rock Creek, Bear Creek
and Pepin. The last two named were in what is now Pepin County.
A general election was held in November, 1856, and officers elected.
A town election was held in each of the seven towns on April 7, 1857. The
seven chairmen elected constituted the the county board. They were: William
Wilson, Menomonie; Carroll Lucas, Spring Brook; William Carson, Eau Galle;
John Gardner, Dunn; Daniel Weston, Rock Creek; L. C. Wood, Bear Creek;
M. M. Davis, Pepin.
All the early records of Dunn County were destroyed in the fire at Dunnville
in 1858. There is considerable doubt as to the exact date of this fire. There is
considerable conflict of testimony.
From a minute book used as a reception book for instruments delivered for
record, now in the office of the register of deeds, it appears that the last mortgage
recorded on page 497, in volume 1 of mortgages, this volume having been burned,
was received for record from September 28 to October 10, 1858, while previous to
this omission of twelve days and immediately afterwards that instruments were
received nearly everyday. Again volume 3 of deeds, saved from the fire, shows on
page 530 an instrument received for record September 22, 1858, while the next
instrument, recorded *on page 531, is marked as received for record October 12, 1858.
In the absence of more precise information it seems safe to place the time of this
court house fire between some date in August and some date in October, 1858.
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