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

Chapter IV: Jurisdiction and county boundaries,   pp. 27-30

Page 28

river to its first forks, thence to the 'Meadow fork of Red Cedar River, thence up
that river to Long Lake, etc. Thus all that part of the present Dunn County,
north of Wilson Creek and west of the Menomonie River was placed in St. Croix
County, and the rest remained in Crawford County. St. Croix County elected
officers on the first Monday in August and selected what is now Stillwater in the
state of Minnesota as the county seat. The early settlers in what is now Dunn
County, north of Wilson Creek were in St. Croix County, but it is doubtful whether
the jurisdiction was ever more than in name only.
Chippewa County was created in 1845, by an act of the territorial legislature
approved February 3. It embraced all the area west of Portage County, north of
Crawford County, east of the Mississippi and south of St. Croix County. This
county included in its territory that part of the present Dunn County not already
described as being in St. Croix iCounty. An election of officers was set for the fourth
Monday in November, 1845. At this election, commissioners were also to be named
to create a county seat. Until such action was taken the county seat was to be
located at the mouth of the Menomonie River, at or near its junction with the
Chippewa River, at or near the residence of Samuel Lamb. This would place the
county seat at Dunnville. The county was to remain attached to crawford for
judicial purposes. While Chippewa County was thus created, no organization was
perfected until some years later.
By a readjustment of the boundaries between St. Croix and Chippewa Counties
on March 8, 1849, Chapter 77, Laws of 1849, all the present Dunn County was
placed in Chippewa County.
Dunn County was set off from Chippewa County on Feb. 19,1854 by Chapter 7,
General Laws of 1854. It embraced all the present Dunn and Pepin Counties.
The county was attached to Chippewa for judicial purposes. A general election
was ordered to be held in November, 1854, for all proper county officers, not in-
cluding clerk of the circuit court nor county judge. The officers were to take office
on Jan. 1, 1855. The "seat of justice" was to be located at Amos Colburn's at or
near the ferry across the Red Cedar River, near its mouth; in other words, at Dunn-
By an act approved, March 31, 1856, it was ordered that Dunn County be fully
organized on Jan. 1, 1857. It was placed in the eighth judicial district, and court
was to be held in the county on the second Monday in June and the second Monday
in December. A county judge was to be elected on the first Monday of September,
1856, and the county officers, in November, 1856. All were to take office on Jan. 1,
1857. '
Pepin County was set off from Dunn County by Chapter 15, General Laws of
1858, thus leaving Dunn County with its present boundaries.
The county was named from Charles Dunn, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
of Wisconsin Territory, appointed by President Andrew Jackson, in 1835. The
legislative steps which led to the creation and organization of Dunn County are
worthy (if extended study.
The Journal of the Assembly shows that William M. Torbert, then representing
the counties of La Pointe, St. Croix, Pierce and Polk in the assembly, presented to
that body on January 21, 1854, a petition of William B. Newcomb and others for
the organization of a new county; that the petition was immediately referred to the
committee on town and county organization; that W. J. Gibson, member from La
Crosse County was chairman of this committee; and that on January 16, five days
before the petition of Newcomb was presented, Gibson had introduced a bill to
attach a part of Chippewa County to Pierce and Buffalo counties, and that he on
January 18, introduced a bill to attach a part of Chippewa County to Buffalo
County: and, that on January 24, the committee of which Gibson was chairman
acting on the petition of Mr. Newcomb reported a bill for the organization of Dunn
County. This became known as Assembly Bill No. 71. On January 27, this bill
was considered in committee of the whole and reported back without amendment.
On January 28, it was reported as correctly engrossed, and on the same day read a
third time and passed.

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