Kinney, Thomas P. / Irish settlers of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, 1840-1860
Fox settlement, pp. 42-47 PDF (6.3 MB)
McWilliams' Oakwood Stock Farm and R. J. McWatty's Lake View Stock Farm. Additional Irish farms were established north of the Fox Settlement on County MM. Matthew Fox, brother of George and Dr. William Fox, started a farm in 1845 a half-mile north of the Lake View village. The farm north of Matthew Fox's belonged to the Irish Cathcart family, who sold their place in 1868 to Edward and Ellen Glennan. The Glennans are an example of a family that first lived in a large East Coast city before buying a frontier farm. During the Famine, the Glennan family left County Roscommon and moved to Philadelphia. They traveled west in 1858 and lived in the Dane County towns of Blooming Grove and Westport before settling in Fitchburg. Their Irish-American hired man, Frank White, married their daughter, Bridget, and assumed management of the farm. 104 In the years 1843 to 1860, the Irish families of the Fox Settlement established a large number of households on the woodlands south of the Milton Moraine and along County MM. The settlement was founded primarily by well-to-do Irish and was expanded by Famine-era immigrants, forming a diverse but interdependent community. The Fox Settlement became known for welcoming Irish immigrants and offering employment on the established farms until newcomers could buy their own places. Two of the Fox Settlement's greatest con- tributions to the Fitchburg community were the first doctor south of Madison, and political leaders on the town, county, and state levels. The economic and political life of Fitchburg and the surrounding region was greatly enhanced by the efforts of the Fox Settlement pioneers. In 1851, John Keenan was the first Irish person to be elected town board chairman. John and Flora Keenan lived on a Caine Road farm that had a stone quarry from which the limestone foundation blocks were gath- ered for most cabins and barns in southeast Fitchburg.
Copyright 1993, 1998 Thomas P. Kinney