The county was organized December 29, 1854. George P. Warren was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors; Stephen S. McCann was the other supervisor; Samuel H. Allison, Clerk. The first business transacted was the appointment of E. A. Galloway, J. M. Baxter and John C. Flannegan to locate a road to the capitol of Dunn County. Th. R. Randall was appointed superintendent of its construction.
It was voted to lay out the road to the mouth of Clear Water River. William Wiley, Piere Riess and Jesse S. Gage, were chosen as commissioners, and J. E. Randall ,Superintendent. A petition for a road via Duncun's Mill to Bloomer was deemed improper and rejected. The road authorized to Eau Claire (Clear Water) via French town and the Blue Mill was after mature deliberation, declared "highly injudicious and unnecessary."
James Ermatinger, Henry O'Neil, and Daniel McCann were appointed to lay out the road to Vermilion Falls. Ermatinger was made superintendent. The next meeting was February 1, 1855. James Reed, who had been elected Supervisor, having refused to serve Elias W. Galloway was appointed to fill the place. Moses Reevis, who, it seems has been elected constable, declined the honor, as also did William Riley, as Justice of the Peace. William J. Young was authorized to procure copies of the United States Survey field notes in relation to the county. The resolve in relation to the Duncun's Creek road was subsequently reconsiderated. At a meeting on February 16, the Board provided a court-room in the second story of H. S. Allen's carpenter shop. On motion of S.S. McCann, James Reed was fined $10 for refusing at act as supervisor.
The outline of every town is irregular, and some of them fifty miles in the longest extent. They contain much more territory then the township of Government survey
The names of several towns are: Anson, Auburn, Bloomer, Big Bend, Flambeau, Eagle Point, Edson, LaFayette, Sigel and Wheaton. the county has for neighbors-on the north, Ashland; on the east, Price Taylor and Clark; on the south Eau Claire; on the west Dunn Barron And Burnett.
The growth of the county has been as follows: 1850, population 615; 1855, 838; 1860, 1,895; 1865, 8,278; Sigel, 849; Wheaton, 1,287. Total 15,987.
History of the Settlement
This busy and thriving city is located on the right bank of the river and falls which furnish its name. The business part of the town is situated in the valley of Duncan Creek, a stream which supplies valuable water power and enters the Chippewa below the falls, at nearly right angles, coming from a northerly direction. On either side of this stream, there are bluffs rising to table-lands, upon which residents are found and which must become more and more fashionable as the city fills with business and manufacturing establishments.
The soil is sandy, and facilities for draining could not be better. As there is none of the magnesian limestone so abundant in some other parts of the state, the water is soft.
There are many substantial buildings of brick and stone in the city, but on account of the cheapness of lumber, most of them are wood. The city is most admirably laid out diagonally with four cardinal points of the compass. There is no north side to the buildings. The sun shines on two sides in the forenoon, and the other two in the afternoon.
When we remember that less than thirty years ago the blood-curdling war-whoop of the terrible Sioux and the sagacious "Ojibwa" was heard at this place when these ever hostile tribes were engaged on the banks of this turbulent river, in mortal combat, and remembering, also, the trials and tribulations, the discouragements, disasters and devastating destruction that by fire and flood so often assailed the heroic pioneers, we are indeed struck with astonishment at the results of the pluck, perseverance and power with which the obstacles have been over come, and a city planted where the restless river had been rolling for ages and ages, and the trees growing for a thousand years, awaiting the westward march of the Caucasian star empire.
The broad hunting grounds of the Indian have been narrowed into constricted reservations, but supplemented by the ration of food and stipend of clothing, his wants more fully met than when roaming to find his own subsistence.
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