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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

Chapter XI,   pp. 665-697 PDF (18.3 MB)

Page 671

,quite thoroughly canvassed among the leading citizens and heavy tax-payers
of the city, and
,the general opinion seemed to prevail that the better plan would be to organize
anew under a
city government, and' accordingly, on the 6th of January, it was unanimously
resolved, by a
full board, " that a charter be drafted to incorporate the city of Columbus,
and that it be made
the special order of the next regular meeting."
     A petition Was drawn by the Clerk, circulated and generally signed by
the prominent men
and tax-payers within the proposed corporate limits. On the 20th of January,
1874, it being
the next regular meeting of the Village Board, "1the special order "
was taken up. A city
charter, in the mean time, in the main, had been agreed upon. The boundaries,
however, had
not been fully determined. For a number of reasons, it was thought best to
extend the limits
to embrace the south half of Sections 11 and 12, the west half of Sections
13 and 14, and the
north half of the north half of Sections 23 and 24, provided that the persons
living on the same
were willing, and the board adjourned till the 21st. The parties were seen
and nearly all
acquiesced in the proposed change. At the meeting of the board, January 21,
several of the
prominent citizens were present. Amendments were proposed and considered.
were made, and the board adjourned till the 22d. The petition, in the mean
time, was publicly
circulated and generally signed, not by people outside the proposed city
limits, but by actual
residents, by those most interested.
     The charter was finished on the 23d. A memorial of the Village Board
to the Legislature
was also prepared. Mr. Huggins, President of the Village Board, and E. E.
Chapin were
authorized to repair to Madison with the memorial and bill, and procure the
necessary legisla-
tion thereon. February 3d, the memorial was introduced into the Senate, when
that order of
business was reached; likewise the "bill to incorporate the city of
Columbus." The bill was
read the first and second times and referred to the Committee on Incorporations.
The bill, being
very lengthy, was not printed till Thursday afternoon, February 5, and was
laid on the desks of
members on the morning of the 6th, at which time all the extra.copies of
the printed bill were
obtained for the purpose of distribution. These copies, some seventeen of
them, were distributed
among the residents as soon as possible, that errors might be-corrected,
amendments proposed,
and the charter perfected as near as possible while the same Was before the
committee, who had
agreed not to report it back till the next-week.
     On the 9th, the board met, at which time nearly every gentleman with
whom the printed
bill had been left appeared and suggested amendments, corrected errors, and
aided in perfecting
the bill for its passage. At this meeting, Messrs. Huggins, Chadbourn and
Chapin were
appointed a committee to appear before the Senate Committee on Incorporations,
on the 12th,
with the proposed amendments. At the morning session of the Senate, "a
remonstrance of the
citizens of Columbia County against a bill to incorporate the city of Columbus
" was presented,
and on the afternoon of that day the committee appointed by the Village Board
appeared before
the Senate Committee on Incorporations, and presented the several proposed
amendments, also
urging a favorable report from the committee. The Chairman of Town Board
of Supervisors
also appeared before the Senate committee, and was decidedly opposed to the
whole thing.
     On Tuesday, the 17th, the Senate committee reported the bill back, unanimously
 mending its passage, whereupon it was ordered engrossed for a third reading,
and on the 18th it
 passed the Senate unanimously, and was messaged to the Assembly and passed
without a dis-
 senting vote. On the 23d, it was reported correctly enrolled, and on the
24th was signed by
 Lieut. Gov. Parker, messaged to the Assembly, signed by Speaker Bouck, returned
to the Senate,
 then sent to the Governor, who, after a careful, critical reading, approved
the bill on the
 26th, when it became a law, and thus Columbus became a city, a municipal
corporation by the
 name of "the city, of Columbus."
     In accordance with the provisions of the charter, the boundaries of
the city were set off as
follows: The south half of Section 11. the south half of Section 12, all
of Section 13, all of
Section 14, the north half of the north half of Section 23, and the north
half of the north half
of Section 24, all being in Towni 10, R~aige 12., The above-described territory
was divided itaa

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