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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
(1880)

Chapter XIV,   pp. 796-832 PDF (18.9 MB)


Page 810


HISTORY OF COLUMBIA COUNTY.
in value from $50 to $1,450 each, ten of which brought upward of $1,000 each,
and many
others ranging from $500 to $1,000.
     Just after the sale was closed, and as night drew on, a party were standing
in front of the
Mirror office, when, an Irishman came running up and hastily inquired: "And
is this Kil-
bourn ?,"  When answered in the affirmative, he replied, "1And
glad I am, for I could not see
it all, for trees, till I was just here, and I was afraid it was a great
ways off in the woods, and
it would be dark, and the bears would catch me ! so I have been running down
the strate, with
all me might, and just see how wet it is that I am !" and with that
he drew out his shirt'bosom
dripping with sweat. The crowd laughed, and reasoned, though their might
be some sense in
running from bears in Wall Street, New York, the idea of being caught by
them on Broadway,
Kilbourn City, was ridiculous.
     The second public sale of lots occurred on the 14th, 15th and 16th days
of October, 1856,
and&, was conducted by Caleb Wall, of Milwaukee. Mr. Wall was very enthusiastic
in his
views of Kilbourn, and in an advertisement of a sale thatý was to
take place at his rooms in
Milwaukee he says: " There is no new city which holds out such great
inducements for all
classes of mechanics as Kilbourn City; and I would call upon all mechanics
who have families,
and who want to better their condition, and secure themselves home and property,
not to let
this opportunity slip. Many who are now rolling in wealth in Milwaukee, and
other cities of
our State, owe it to the rise of property ; and the chances in Kilbourn City
are as great as in any
city that has been started in the last ten years. I have no doubt in my own
mind, taking the
central position of Kilbourn City, that the seat of 'Government of our State
will be located there/
A more beautiful site is not to be found for a city." At this second
sale, lots were disposed of
amounting to $34,447. As at the first sale, many were in attendance from
abroad and a
large number of lots were sold for speculative purposes.
     The first year's growth of Kilbourn City cannot be said to have been
very rapid, notwith-
standing a large number of lots were sold.  Still quite a number of houses
were built, and its
population gradually increased. Many who doubtless desired to locate here
were deterred from
the fear that its future might be similar to that of the village of.Newport.
Still the fact of its being
backed by the President of the railroad company, and that the owners of the
land here were
identified with the railroad was much in its favor.  According to the Mirror
of this place, consil-
erable jealousy was entertained against it by citizens of neighboring cities
and villages. Sn vs
the Mirror, under date of December 9; 1856: " Of all the bumpers that
ever were invent 1,
we will give some of the people of Newport, Baraboo and Portage City, the
'credit of cappin-g
the climax.   Not a man can get through either place, headed toward Kilbourn
City, without
hearing some of the greatest yarns ever spun.  At first, these wiseacres
of oar neighboring
towns pretend to be ignorant that any such place as Kilbourn City exists
; afterward they do
recollect that there is a place of some such name up there in the woods,
but it will never amount
to anything; and finally they come fully to their recollection, and declare
that though there
is such a place, the railroad is not located and will never be built there
; the grading is all for
sham ; the bridge is not let; and the dam will never be put in, and a string
of similar falsehoods
too lengthy to report. Well, it is and always will be true, that the best
fruit trees may be
known by the number of clubs about them ! There are other towns starting
about here, but our
neighbors of the towns named seem to have no clubs for them.   They are all
hurled against Kil-
bourn City.   Really, we hope the poor souls, who hurl them will keep on.
It gives the world
ocular demonstration that ours is the most important town in this part of
the State, and the
only one to be feared by them as an overshadowing rival. Besides, while Kilbourn
City is
constantly going ahead, and making sure the foundation of her future greatness,
these revilers
have nothing else to do but to roll their spite like a sweet morsel under
their tongues. Surely
we would not deprive them ,of that pleasure."
     The first citizens of Kilbourn City appreciated the advantages of the
public school, and
about the 1st of February, 1856, appointed a building committee, who at once
selected a site
and gave orders for the necessary material for the house, which was to be
" 26x36 feet in size.
810


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