University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Brink, Walter; White, Tim R.; White, Karen L.; Goebler, Jennifer; Sies, Kathy; Bigler, Brian (ed.) / The history of the Town of Mount Vernon : sesquicentennial celebration, 1846-1996
(1996)

Early pioneers,   pp. 9-17 PDF (3.9 MB)


Page 9

EARLY PIONEERS
RESIDENTS OF THE PAST
The year was 1831, when Eldred Hale and
his brother, traveled through what now is the
town of Mt. Vernon, on their way from Wiota to
Fort Winnebago (now Portage), with a load of
goods to make a final payment to the Winnebago
natives for their lands. The route through the Mt.
Vernon area was a mere footpath at the time. The
first pioneer family to settle in the Mt. Vernon
area was the George Patchin family who traveled
here in 1846 by wagon from Ohio. Their cabin
was built near the Big Spring because wood and
water were necessary for existence, and here they
were both plentiful. On December 22, 1846, their
son, David Patchin, was born. It was in 1847 that
Joel Britts came to Primrose and acquired 200
acres of land including the present site of Mt.
Vernon. In 1849, George Britts built a water pow-
ered saw mill. The Britts family had originated in
the state of Virginia, and named their new home
in Wisconsin after Mt. Vernon, Virginia. George
Britts platted the village of Mt. Vernon in the
years 1850 and 1851, and built a home. It was
built on the farm now owned by William & Cindi
Haack. In 1852, Dr. P. Byam obtained possession
of the village site and much of the adjoining land.
Because of dishonest marketing and deceptive
land sale practices, the Byam family was thrown
out of town in 1859. In 1858, the original grist
mill was built by Edward Britts and Charles
Smith. The grist mill was a valuable addition to
the town as it brought farmers from long dis-
tances into town to have their grains milled. They
would then make purchases at the stores and
business in Mt. Vernon, and would stay overnight
in the hotel.
In 1852 there were only 12 families in Mt.
Vernon. By 1880 there were over 100 inhabitants.
Many businesses were operated by the early vil-
lage residents. Hall C. Chandler built the first
general store in 1848. John Jones Sr. kept the
first hotel and later operated the grist mill. His
hotel stood where Harland Erfurth's garage now
stands. The hotel served pioneer teamsters haul-
ing lead oar with ox teams from the mines of
southwestern Wisconsin to Milwaukee. Mr. C. W.
Karn operated the grist mill after Jones, and
Karn then made several improvements to the
mill. In 1852, Mr. Charles. C. Allen built and
operated the Hotel De Allen, with a saloon and a
stable on the west side of the river. Before the
Civil War, William W. Minor had a boot and
leather goods shop where he did his own tanning,
Below: The Mt. Vernon Creamery located on the corner
of Washington and 2nd Streets circa 1890.
Later converted to the Dance. Hall.
-Courtesy of The Mt. Horeb Area Historical
Society, Inc.
_MT. VERNON 1846-1996


Go up to Top of Page