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Whitbeck, R. H., 1871-1939 (Ray Hughes) / The geography and economic development of southeastern Wisconsin

Chapter IX. Walworth County,   pp. 212-228 PDF (4.3 MB)

Page 223

WALWORTH COUNTY                  2
summer homes and is one of the select summer resorts of
southern Wisconsin.  Between Delavan and Geneva is Lake
Como, also a favorite summer play ground. These three lakes
are all of glacial origin, caused by the terminal moraines of
the Delavan Lobe. Lakes Geneva and Delavan lie between
two moraines, the Elkhorn moraine and the Darien moraine,
while Lake Como lies behind the Elkhorn moraine.
Elkhorn is built upon a site which was selected and platted
for a village because it was at the exact center of the county.
Unlike most sites selected for early settlements it had no
waterpower. It grew slowly and in 1849 had 539 people. One
of the most travelled roads in the region-the Janesville-Ra-
cine road already referred to-passed through Elkhorn. A
writer in the Racine Advocate (Oct. 17, 1843) says of this
road: "It is the easiest and pleasantest route from the Rock
River to the Lake Michigan and is well provided with good
public houses". At one time this road was planked from Ra-
cine westward as far as Delavan. The Racine and Mississippi
Railroad, previously referred to, passed through EJkhorn in
1856. This road, and the promise of others, gave something of
a boom to the village, and in 1857 it had -a population of about
1500, but afterwards declined. In 1870 a short line of railroad
was built from Elkhorn to the Prairie du Chien division of the
C. M. & St. P. R. R. at Eagle.
Elkhorn has been and still remains a business center of a
rich farming region. It has never acquired important manu-
facturing concerns because it is, like other towns in the county,
an inland city, off the main lines of communication, and hold-
ing out fewer advantages for manufacturing than are afforded
by the cities on Lake Michigan, not far away. In 1920 the city
had one manufacturing establishment of considerable import-
ance, the Frank Holton Company, makers of brass band in-
struments, employing from 100 to 150 persons.
TA&  XLVII. Populdion of Elkhorn
1880 .                 1,122 1900 ..      .... 1,731
1885 .                 1,249 1905 ..       .... 1,818
'890 .                 1,447 1910 ..      .... 1,707
1895 .. 1,728 1920 ......                          1,991

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