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Harney, Richard J. / History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest

[History of towns],   pp. 230-296 (n) PDF (57.0 MB)

Page 232

CHAPTER        LX.
Situation, Soil and Face of Cointry - Productions - ()rgani-
zation and First Election of Towvn and County Officers -
Early Settlers -First Roads in the County - Incidents in
the Early Settlement - Changes ill Boundai ies - Northern
Hospital for the insane -County Poor Farm.
THE Town of Oshkosh is bounded north
N Ins by the Town of Vinland, cast by Lake
Winnebago, south by the City of Osh-
kosh and Lake Buttes des Morts, and
west by Lake Buttes des Morts, and
comprises about six sections in the
northern portion of Township i8, north, of
Range t6, east, a fraction of Town i8, Range
17, of about one section, a fraction of Town
19, Range 17, of about three sections, and
some five sections of the southern portion of
Town 19, Range i6, making a total of not far
from twenty sections.
The surface is well elevated above the lakes,
and, in the southern part, quite level, slightly
undulating through the middle, and, more
rolling and broken in the north; but no promi-
nent elevation.
The soil is also varied; in the south-east is a
deep clay, generally covered with a rich vege-
table mold; in the south and west, clay and
loam predominate with small areas of loam
and sand.  Ridges and knolls of gravel are
frequent, as indicated by a thorough system
of hard gravel roads in all parts of the town.
The crops are, wheat, oats, corn, barlev,
some rye, potatoes, and the various grasses, all
of which are successfully raised.
Horses, cattle and sheep are also important
items in the list of productions.
Many large farms are devoted to dairying,
and the cheese factories annually produce
great quantities of cheese of the best quality.
At the time of the early settlement, the tim-
ber was burr-oak, in the form of "openings,"
which had attained an enormous size, and, as
is common with burr-oak "openings," forming
a landscape unrivaled for beauty in the west-
ern world. The shores of Lake Winnebago
were fringed with a narrow strip of forest, of
the usual varieties of hard wood timber. Since
the settlement and the consequent prevention
of annual fires, other varieties of timber have
sprung up and now occupy the place made
vacant by the general destruction of those old
monarchs that had withstood the storms and
the elements for centuries.  Black and white
oak, hickory and many smaller kinds are now
found in small groves or belts.
March 8, 1839, the Territorial Legislature
passed an act as follows: "Townships Eighteen
and Nineteen, Ranges Fifteen and Sixteen,
and fractional Eighteen and Nineteen, in
Range Seventeen, shall be a separate town by
the name of Buttes des Morts, and the election
in said town shall be holden at the house of
Webster Stanley. "
The present Town of Oshkosh is within those
We find no record of any further organiza-
tion, no election or town meeting until the fol-
lowing, viz:
!  First meeting in Town of Buttes des Morts,
April 4, 1842. On motion, Chester Ford was
chosen chairman, and sworn by T. Lee, coro-
ner, and Jason Wikins, clerk, and sworn by the
same. On motion, all candidates shall be
by elected by ballot; there shall be two
assessors, two constables, and three fence-
viewers; the supervisors and commissioners
of highways shall have one dollar per day, for
actual service, and no more. The chairman
adjourned until one o'clock on the fifth of
April. Signed by Jason Wilkins, clerk.
Tuesday, April 5, 1842. Met according to
adjournment, and the clerk, Jason Williams,
declining to serve, Clark Dickinson was
appointed and sworn in. Attested by Clark
Dickinson, clerk, signed by Chester Ford,
The result of the election on the fifth was
declared as follows: Chester Ford, chairman;
Chester Gallup and Wm. C. Isbell, supervis-
ors; John Gallup, town clerk; Thomas Lee
and Louis B. Porlier, assessors; Webster
Stanley, treasurer; Thomas Evans, collector;
Robert Grignon, Ira F. Aiken and Shipley A.
Gallup, commissioners of highways; John P.
Gallup and Clark Dickinson, school commis-
sioners; Henry A. Gallup and Louis B. Por-
lier, constables; Jason Wilkins, sealer of
wrights and measures; Ira F. Aiken, Henry
Moore and Archibald Caldwell. overseers of
highways; Robert Grignon, Chester Ford and
Chester Gallup, fence viewers. David Johnson,
Wm. Powell, James Knaggs, Augustine Grig-
non, William W. Wright and Wm. A. Boyd,
were also candidates, or, at least, received
some votes for these offices.
At this election there were twenty-three
votes polled, or that number of voters
present, who voted; there were twenty-one
offices distributed, and yet six got away with-
out any office; probably they did not adhere
to strict party lines.
Minutes of town meeting of Buttes des
Morts, April 4, 1843:  On motion, W. C.
[ I8 39-43 -

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