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Cartwright, Carol Lohry; Shaffer, Scott; Waller, Randal / City on the Rock River : chapters in Janesville's history

2. Immigration and settlement,   pp. 43-51

Page 44

The Plat of Janesville made by Henry Janes in 1836 included a portion of what is now downtown Janesville.
This 1891 map shows the original plat and subsequent additions.
wife, Henry Janes, John P. Dickson and his wife, W. H. H. Bailey and his wife, Levi Harness,
Curtis Davis, and Levi St. John and his family. In 1837 Volney Atwood, Charles Stevens,
Daniel Richardson, and A. Hyatt Smith also arrived. A few of these settlers remained only
briefly, while others became influential members of the community. (Gregory 1932:612;
Guernsey & Willard 1856:157-158; Brown 1908:548)
Henry Janes, a Virginian, planned the settlement that would ultimately evolve into the city of
Janesville. In the spring of 1836, he made a claim to a half-section of land located on the east
side of the Rock River, upstream from the original settlement opposite the Big Rock. He built a
cabin in the heart of what is now downtown Janesville, then surveyed and made the Original
Plat of Janesville. (Gregory 1932:613-614)
Others established rival settlements to Janes's plat. Thomas Holmes of Milwaukee platted
the city of Rockport in what is now known as the Old Fourth Ward; Fourth Ward Park was the
original commons for the Rockport plat. Across the river, approximately one mile from
Rockport, John Inman and his partners platted Wisconsin City in 1836. This plat contained 209
blocks, with reservations for six churches, a college, and four schools. Neither Rockport nor
Wisconsin City ever developed into separate communities; as Janesville expanded, their plats
Immigration and Settlement

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