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

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

Chapter V: County government,   pp. 31-37

Page 35

from the town of Grant on Nov. 16, 1876.
The town of Otter Creek was set off from the town of Grant on Nov. 16, 1877,
as now constituted.
The town of Hay River was set off from the town of Sherman on June 28, 1879,
with' its present territory.
The town of Wilson was set off from Grant in 1886, though at what particular
session of the county board does not appear. It was the last town organized in the
county, making up the full total of 22.
As elsewhere stated, Dunn County orginally included the county of Pepin,
which was set off as a separate county in 1858. An act of the legislature, approved
April 2, 1860. sanctionedthe submission of the question ot the removal Of int count-
seat trom Dunnville to Menomonie at the next general election. The najorit,
having votect amrrnativelv. the seat of eoverne.nt was accordingv changed, the
officers and county business moving to Menomonie on Jan. 1, 186.1. Un their
arrival Liiey occiupiCkLiled pnvate residence of G. M. rowter on Main Street, (where
the post-office now stands) which, in accordance with previous arrangement, was
vacated for that purpose. They remained there three years, after which the county
rented any suitable building that could be secured. Several of the county officials
at times for a few years occupied other buildings, as happened to be most convenient
to them. The terms of court were held in a hall at the rear of the Menomonie
House, also in what was known as Grob's Hall now Smith's Hall.
In 1867 the county hired and fitted up what was known as the "Charley Waller
building," on the comer of Main Street and Broadway. The offices were on the
first floor and the court room upstairs. On the night of Oct. 14, 1868, burglars
broke into the former and stole one hundred dollars. In 1870 the court house
business was moved to the building that was later used as the "Times" office,
loc- ted on the site of the present Arcade building. That building was used but a
sho t time as the court house, however, as in 1871-72 the present structure was
erected by Canute Thompson, at a cost of $36,000. The inside fittings brought
the total cost up to S45,000. It was occupied in the fall of the latter year. It is
a good-sized and substantial brick building and is situated in the center of a park
occupying a whole square, the land having been donated to the county by W iam
Wilson. A. J. Kinney was the architect of the court house and the supervisors at
the time of its construction were T. W., Macauley, J. W. Granger and A. Sherburn.
It is interesting to note that the brick used in the building was made on the court
house ground and in Wilson Park, a tract also donated to the city by Captain
Wilson soon after the plat of the city was made. The clay was hauled to the spot
from beds lying on the outskirts of the city. An addition was made in 1915.
The first jail possessed by the county was a small building at Dunnville, which
in October, 1858 burned down. A block building was  li erect od, and in 1869
after the county seat had been removed to Menomonie, the jail was taken to pieces
and moved also, being erected at the southeast corner of the courthouse park. It
was destroyed by fire, and the present jail was erected in 1874, at the corner of
Chestnut and Fourth Streets, (now Ninth Avenue and Tenth Street) at a cost of
$7,500. It was subsequently improved at a cost of $2,000.
When Dunn County was organized it was made a part of the Eighth Judicial
District, which was presided over by Judge S. S. N. Fuller, who served until 1860.
His successor was Henry D. Barron, whose service, however, was short, as in that
same year. 1860, Judge L. P. Wetherby of Hudson became circuit judge.
In 1862 the Eighth District was composed of Eau Claire, Chippewa, Dunn,
Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix, Polk, La Pointe, Douglas and Burnett counties, and it so
remained until 1865, when several counties having been dropped, or tran-ferred to
other circuits, it was made to include only the counties of Chippewa, Dunn, Eau
Claire, Pepin, Pierce and St. Croix.
In 1866 Dallas (now Barron) was added, and in 1867 Judge H. L. Humphrey,
of Hudson, became the circuit judge as successor to Judge Wetherby. The judicial
records for 1873 mention Barron County, omitting its former name of Dallas.
A change was made in the circuit in 1878, Barron and Chippewa counties being

Go up to Top of Page