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

Chapter XIII,   pp. 747-795 PDF (25.2 MB)

Page 795

the first store and acted as Deputy Postmaster for nearly three years, when
he sold his place
and removed. John Durant, then keeping a few groceries and notions, was appointed
Postmaster under Clark until January, 1862, when he received the appointment
of Postmaster.
The following year, he removed from the village, Aretas Bailey.then took
the office as Deputy
Postmaster under John Durant until March, 1866, when he received the appointment
as Post-
master, and is still the incumbent.
     The first and only schoolhouse was built in 1853. School was taught
in that house the
winter of 1853-54, by Miss Kate Bell, who received $12 for three months'
     There were eight dwelling-houses when the village plat was made.
     I. P. Cole started the first store, continued in business about' three
years. John Durant
followed for two years with rather a limited stock. Samuel Woodley erected
quite a large store-
room adapted to general merchandise, but occupied it only as a grocery store
for a period of five
or six years.
     Miss C. M. Bailey commenced as a grocer in October, 1874, added dry
goods in 1877, and is
still in business. W. S. Stahl commenced business as a grocer in 1878, and
is still in business.
     The lumber business has been the leading business of Okee. As late as
1856, the saw-
mill had orders for long lumber from places as distant as Sun Prairie. The
place has never
had any saloons. In 1859, J. N. Fellows (in the height of the lumber trade)
established a hotel,
connecting a whisky bar, under a license from the Town Board of Lodi.  A
two years' trial
compelled him to seek something different for a livelihood. A young man by
the name of Ober
shortly after came to the place with a keg of beer and opened to sell lunch
and beer to those
coming for lumber.   Himself and wife drank the beer, and had not money enough
to buy a
second keg, so the business failed.
     The fire record of the place is rather remarkable; one dwelling, that
of J. J. Ross, and an
outhouse of Mrs. C. Scott, are the only losses sustained since the first
settlement of the place.
     The war record of Okee is remarkable. The village and a circuit of two
miles fur-
nished nineteen men for the army; of these, two were killed in battle, two
died from disease con.
tracted in the service, and one, a starved prisoner, died of disease contracted
before he reached
his home after the close of the war.  The remaining number all returned without
serious mis-
haps, although most bear some marks of their devotion to their country.
     The first child born in the village Was H. H. Rogers', son of D. W.

Go up to Top of Page