Dodge County History
Dodge County History
Source: La Crosse Tribune (28 Mar. 1926) History
of Wisconsin; by Mrs. C. S. Van Auken – submitted by
Diana Heser Morse
NAMED FOR COL. DODGE
Dodge county was organized in 1836. It was named for
Col. Henry Dodge, an early prospector in southwestern
Wisconsin during the lead-mine fever who had previously
made a name for himself in his native state Missouri as
an Indian fighter. He took an active part in the Black
Hawk war and was one of the founders of Wisconsin
territory and was its first territorial governor. Dodge
county is known as one of the best agricultural as well
as stock raising portions of the state. Iron is found in
the northeast part of the county.
Their three features account for the flouring mills,
cheese factories, iron works and the manufacturing of
farming implements being established as far back as
Juneau is the county seat and was named for Solomon
There are five lakes in the county, Fox and Beaver Dam
lakes, Horicon lake, and two smaller ones, Loss and Mud
Beaver Dam, the principal city, favored with
inexhaustible water power, is situated on Beaver dam, an
artificial body of water about twelve miles long and one
and on-half miles at its greatest width. Fox and Loss
lakes flow into it.
In early days there was a co-education school called the
Wayland University Institute and in the village of Fox
Lake, nearby, was a seminary of high order for young
Many young ladies in pioneer days were sent there from
Dodge county has always been a not bed for politicians.
There was great excitement and bitterness when the fight
over the little "Red School House" took place in 1890.
It is said that if the Bennett law had passed and the
required American text books used in all schools and the
American language (formerly called the English language)
not taught as a side issue, the strife for loyalty to
the government would not have taken place in this state.
Few people living in this part of the state realize how
many native born Wisconsin people could not read the
language of their country before the World War and many
cannot read it today. The congressional contest was so
intense that a Mr. Gunther, a republican from Oshkosh,
was picked from out of the district to run against Mr.
A. K. Delany, the democratic candidate not in sympathy
with the "Little Red School House." He was defeated and
under the first administration of Grover Cleveland, the
governorship of Alaska was given to satisfy him.
Another prominent man was Silas Lammeroux of Mayville,
who was county judge of Dodge county, and afterwards was
appointed United States land commissioner.
After serving his term in Washington upon his return to
Wisconsin, he made his home in Beaver Dam.
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