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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
(1880)

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


Page 673


HISTORY OF COLUMBIA COUNTY.
                                  PLATS AND ADDITIONS.
     From the records at the Recorder's office, in Portage, it appears that
the first plat of Col-
umbus, called   Ludington's Plat, and containing Blocks 1 to 9, was recorded
in Brown
County, on the 11th of November, 1844. The next plat made was of Ludington's
Addition,
Blocks 10 to 132 recorded in Columbia County August 6, 1849. On the 3d of
October, 1850,
Mr. Ludington made a second addition to the original plat, covering Blocks
14 to 19.  In
1869, all that portion of this addition lying between Blocks 17 and 18, and
as much as had
been purchased by the railroad company for depot purposes, was vacated. Other
additions
have been made, as follows: Birdsey's Addition, Blocks 1 to 9, January 3,
1854; Birdsey's
Addition, Blocks 10 to 27, June 4, 1855-Blocks 20 and 21, vacated December
1, 1868 ; In-
galsbe's Addition, April 9, 1856; Farnham & Co.'s Addition, June 25,
1856; Mills' Addition,
July 3, 1856-vacated March, 1861 ; Manning's Addition, in August, 1856; Warner's
Addi-
tion, September 29, 1856-vacated December 1, 1868, all except Blocks 1 and
5; Williams'
Addition, March 4, 1857--all but Blocks 1, 15 and 29, vacated, in March,
1861; Warner &
Fuller's Addition, May 12, 1857--vacated in 1868, except Block 6 ; Whitney's
Addition,
April 28, 1857 ; Thyng's Addition, August 8, 1857; Laura Gibbon's Addition,
October 28,
1858; Butterfield's Addition, 1878.
     The plat (J. T. Lewis) of the village of West Columbus was recorded
June 10, 1854, in
Vol. 10 of Deeds, on pages 107 and 208, in Register's office of Columbia
County. The plat
of Lewis' First Addition to the town of West Columbus, recorded August 8.
1856, in Vol. 17
of Deeds, on page 324.
                                THE COLUMBUS POST OFFICE.
     Reference to this subject takes the pioneer back to the period when
the only communica-
tion between Columbus and Beaver Dam was a mere Indian trail and the only
means of trans-
portation the backs of Indian ponies. Before the establishment of the postal
route from Green
Bay to Madison there existed a primitive line from Aztalan to the portage.
Leiters were dropped
at Columbus by the carrier, who made the distance on horseback, and when
any of the residents
went to the "village of the mounds" they brought back letters to
such of the neighbors as
were fortunate enough to have any addressed to them. Late in 1845, a post
office was estab-
lished at Columbus with a weekly mail. There was an animated contest as to
who should be
the first Postmaster. The friends of Col. Drake and those of I1. A. Whitney
were equally
active and made every exertion in their behalf. The latter, however, received
the appointment.
He shortly after went to the pineries on business, and in his absence the
duties of the office
were performed by Sylvester Corbin, more familiarly known in after years
as "' old Hyson."
Corbin carried the mail about the place in his hat, except vhen out with
his gun hunting prai-
rie chickens. On such occasions, he would leave the contents of the "office"
with Gov. Lewis.
The first post office was kept in a low, flat-roofed building which stood
nearly opposite the pres-
ent site of Schaeffer's brick block, and Which subsequently became one of
the out-buildings of
the Whitney House. F. F. Farnham, who came to Columbus about this time, thus
describes
it: "' The apartment was partitioned by the aid of blankets, and in
the room lay 'Iold Hyson '
prone upon a bed, shivering with the ague. In one corner stood a barrel of
whisky, a grocery
much in vogue in those days, and in another was a 7x9 glass-box, the contents
of which consti-
tuted the post office, which the inquirer after mail rummaged at his leisure."
     Josiah Arnold next became Postmaster, in the spring of 1847, and kept
the office in a
building which stood where the store of Bassett & Davies now stands.
Arnold was familiarly
known as "1 Captain Spraker" by reason of his connection with the
famous "Old Guard," an
organization more un-matrimonial than military. James E. Eaton is the next
on the list. He
was appointed in Fillmore's time, and is said to have been a cousin of that
President, who wrote
asking him what appointment he desired. He chose the incumbency of the Columbus
Post Office.
He was Justice of the Peace and kept the two offices together in a building
which stood on the
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