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

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)

Page 55

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
     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.
 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

Go up to Top of Page