The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
Butterfield, C. W.
V.--Wisconsin as a state, pp. 52-109 PDF (28.8 MB)
WISCONSIN AS A STATE. running order. One was passed providing for the annual meeting of the legislature,, on the second Wednesday of January of each year; another prescribing the duties of State officers; one dividing-the State into three congressional districts. The first district was composed of the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Racine; the second, of the counties of Rock, Green, La Fayette, Grant, Dane, Iowa, Sauk, Richland, Crawford, Adams, Portage, Chippewa, La Pointe, and St. Croix; the third, of the counties of Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Brown, Winnebago, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Marquette, Dodge, Jefferson, and Columbia. Another act provided for the election of judges of the circuit courts, on the first Monday of August, 1848. By the same act, it was provided that the first term of the supreme court should be held in Madison on the second Monday of January, 1849, and thereafter at the same place on the same day, yearly; afterward changed so as to hold a January and June term in each year. An act was also passed providing for the election, and defining the duties of State superintendent of public instruction. That officer was to be elected at the general election to be holden in each year, his term of office to commence on the first Monday of January succeeding his election. Another act established a State university; another exempted a homestead from a forced sale; another provided for a revision of the statutes. The legislature, after a session of eighty-five days, adjourned sine die on the twenty-first of August, 1848. The State, as previously stated, was divided into five judicial circuits: Edward V. Whiton being chosen judge at the election on the- first Monday in August, 1848, of the first circuit, com- posed of the- counties of Racine, Walworth, Rock, and Green, as then constituted; Levi Hubbell of the second, composed of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson, and Dane; Charles H. Larrabee, of the third, composed of Washington, Dodge, Columbia, Marquette, Sauk, and Portage, as then formed; Alexander W. Stow, of the fourth, composed of Brown, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Winnebago, and Calumet; and Mortimer M. Jackson, of the fifth circuit, composed of the counties of Iowa, LaFayette, Grant, Crawford and St. Croix, as then organized; the county of Richland being attached to Iowa county; the county of Chippewa to the county of Craw- ford; and the county of LaPointe to the county of St. Croix, for judicial purposes. In the ensuing Fall there was a presidential election. There were then three organized political parties in the State: whig, democratic, and free-soil-each of which had a ticket in the field. The democrats were in the majority, and their four electors cast their votes for Lewis Cass and William 0. Butler. At this election, Eleazer Root was the successful candidate for State superintendent of public instruction. In his election party politics were not considered. There were also three members for the thirty-first congress chosen: Charles Durkee, tc represent the first district; Orsamus Cole, the second; and James D. Doty, the third district. Durkee was a free-soiler; Cole, a whig; Doty, a democrat - with somewhat decided Doty proclivities. The act of the legislature, exempting a homestead from forced sale of any debt or liability contracted after January -, 1849, approved the twenty-ninth of July previous, and another act for a like e:xemption of certain personal property, approved August io, 1848, were laws the most liberal in their nature passed by any State of the Union previous to those dates. It was prophe- sied that they would work wonderful changes in the business transactions of the new State-for the worse; but time passed, and their utility were soon evident: it was soon very generally acknowledged that proper exemption laws were highly beneficial-a real 7good to the greatest number of the citizens of a State. So much of Wisconsin Territory as lay west of the St. Croix and the State boundary north of it, was, upon the admission of Wisconsin into the Union, left, for the time being, without a government-unless it was still "Wisconsin Territory." Henry Dodge, upon being elected to the United States senate from Wisconsin, vacated, of course, the office of governor of this fraction. John H. Tweedy, delegate in congress at the time Wisconsin became a State, made a formal 55
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