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Fifth hour english and social studies class, Barneveld High School, Barneveld, WI / Barneveld community profile
(June, 1977)

History of Barneveld,   pp. [3]-5 ff.


Page 5

 
     The Brigham area was first settled in the early 1800's. At this time
it 
was still part of the Michigan Territory. The first inhavitants lived in
a 
little settlement located close to where the Cave of the Mounds was later
discovered. Mining was the chief interest and the main attraction for people
to sebtle here. 
     Agriculture took the place of mining around 1860, with wheat raising
fol- 
lowed by other small grains and livestock in the next fifteen years. By 1881
the Barneveld-Ridgeway area had extablished itself as the leader in dairying
in the entire county. 
     Barneveld was first settled by the Welsh with the Norwegians and Germans
arriving shortly thereafter. Several English and Scotish families later in-
habited the Middlebury area. Still later, some new settlers arrived from
Switzerland. 
     The first school was located on the T.B. Watkins farm house, which was
then 
occupied by the Richard Williams family. In the early 1900's a three-year
high school course was added. The fall of 1922 brought a 4-year course to
Barneveld. The first class was graduated in 1923, with Stewart Watson as
principal. The school moved to its present location in 1947, with the extab-
lishment of Union Free High School, V.C. O'Nell as principal. 
     Barneveld's population through the years has increased steadily while
its 
business district has slowly diminished. Barneveld's peak of business was
in 
1935, when we had everything from 3 grocery stores to a chick hatchery. 
     In 1885, the Town of Brigham and the Town of Ridgeway were formed from
the 
 Towm of Ridgeway. The Town was named after Ebenezer Brigham who was one
of 
 this areas first inhabitknts and a very prominant citizen. 
     The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad installed a line in 1881, thus
giving 
Barneveld businessmen and residents the ability to transport and obtain goods
from other areas quickly and easily. 
     This area was first known as Simpsonville, and was later renamed Barneveld
by Mr. Arbison, the surveyor who laid out the railroad right of way. 
     Since that time, Barneveld has endured a very serious bout with Scarlet
Fever in the fall of 1936 and 3 serious fires, the worst of which destroyed
the 
Dan DAvis ':;tor-e, with a loss of about $15,00.00. 
     Since 1907, when the village was incorporated, Barneveld has grown steadily
and now has reached a population of about 528.             1In . . 


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