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Source: History of Grant County, Wisconsin (1881); submitted by Mary Saggio:









The only municipal corporation of importance and influence in the town of Hazel Green owes its settlement, building up, progress and wealth to the lead mines, the early source of all advancement and centralization of resources in this portion of the country.

Old men still live in this quiet inland village, which has been the scene of so much of interest and so much of horror, who recall the day when the present site was a trackless plain. Old men, whose thin soft hair is white as snow, and whose cheeks are furrowed with care-written lines, recur to the days long since mingled with thoughts of the dim gone-by, as dreams canopied o’er with the golden gleams and shimmering glows of happy memories. They reflect upon the scenes which came and vanished like a wreath o mist at eve, during the earlier days of their experience, before youth yielded place to manhood, and perchance mourned their departure, for youth is an age that is too precious to last; time will not row back for them, and today they look away to that opposite shore, in the fond belief that these dreams may be once more realized in the beyond. The seeds of success which were sown in those days grew down the aisles of the future, and have shed a beautiful light upon age. Loved faces will greet the transition to the home above, sweet words will welcome their coming, and the fruition of childhood’s dreams and prayers will circle old age with their halos of splendor, when those that are left have run their race, and the world for them is rolled up like a scroll.


The earliest settlements made in present Hazel Green were effected at the lead mines, in the vicinity of the village, and reference to them must be superficially indulged, prefatory to a history of the settlement made in the village itself. As early as 1825, it is thought, miners had begun their explorations in its immediate neighborhood, and discovered evidences of wealth which settled their doubts as to remaining. As a rule, they were of the class of men of unsettled, indecisive character, disposed to roam and romance, rather than to remain at any designated point. To some of them the pseudonym of “sucker” was applied, as indicative of their inclination to come hither in the spring and remain until the frosts of November chilled their energies, when they departed and were heard of no more in this section. Others, after meeting with but measured success, became discouraged, and sought encouragement elsewhere, and others, though meeting with success, yielded to nomadic characteristics, and vanished as silently and mysteriously as they had made their advent.


In those days, the territory surrounding present Hazel Green was known as “Hard Scrabble,” and arose from what is represented to have been a desperate contest for the possession of a mine, not unfrequent at the time of which mention is here made. This took place, it is said, in 1825, at a point on the Branch, some distance beyond the Catholic Church erected in 1846, between James Hardy and Moses Meeker, in which the former was victorious. Those conversant with the melee denominated it the Hardy Scrape, whence it degenerated into “Hard Scrabble,” under which it became famous throughout the lead mines, and was so known officially until 1838, when a post office was located at the present village, and a name appropriate, as also more in harmony with the surroundings, given to the infant settlement. Hard Scrabble, however, is still applied by many who flourished when the township was known as such, and decline to be governed by the changed order of affairs.


During 1825 or 1826, a Mr. Adney came in from the East, and settled upon a claim in Section 13. His daughter, who married Mr. Dixon, of Platteville, in early days, is said to have been the first female to appear in this vicinity. William Billings also came with Mr. Adney. The latter remained some time, and, in 1827, disposed of his claim to a Mr. Floyd, who, in turn, sold to Lewis Curtis. This gentleman brought his family here in 1828. Previous to that year, the Wolcott and Townsend families became residents. In 1826 or 1827, Christian Ebersold settled near the village, and, during 1828 or 1829, erected.


on the site of Hazel Green. The logs were obtained from land now owned by Mrs. Andrews, and hauled to their place of delivery by Mr. Curtis. The house was near the present residence of John Gribble; it was sixteen feet square, and built by Wolcott, Townsend and Billings. The country was prairie, except occasional patches of hazel bush, and the cost of the premises can be imagined when the difficulty of procuring lumber, or rather timber, is measured. However, the house was completed, and stood for many years the mark and model of its time. Between this year and 1830, comparatively few settlers, to be considered under the head of permanent, were identified with the body politic.

In addition to those already mentioned, there were others who came to stay, and did remain until the murder of Lovell and Maxley at Sinsinawa Mound, in 1832, created an epidemic of terror among the large proportion, who fled to Galena. Among those who came in was Gen. G. W. Jones, now a resident of Dubuque; Mr. Gregoire, his brother-in-law; William Bernhouse, Capt. Charles McCoy, Oliver and Heile Rice and some others, who settled at points distant from, as also contiguous to, the village.


In 1831, the price of mineral depreciated to a ruinous extent, and materially diminished the number engaged in mining. As a rule, some interest began to be manifested in agricultural pursuits, and this year the Curtis brothers, whose father, as has been stated, had entered a claim of 160 acres of land in Section 13, began the cultivation of forty acres of the tract. They run, or claim to, the first furrow in Hazel Green Township, and planted wheat, corn and oats. The crop was disposed of – the wheat for seed and the corn and oats at Galena.

From 1830 to 1838, the arrivals included Jefferson Crawford, who became one of the most prominent and prosperous mine operators, W. E. Dudley, John Cottle, Orville Cottle, John Edwards, Robert Young, J. M. Chandler, Hiram Weatherbee, Otis B. Peck, Allen Preston, John Hinch, Kibbe and the thousand and one miners, smelters, traders, adventurers and oi polloi, whose footprints in the sands of the times have been obliterated by the current of weightier matters incident to building up and developing a new country.

The Black Hawk war produced an effect upon Hard Scrabble and its surroundings, similar to that experienced elsewhere in other sections, the prosperity of which was embarrassed by its existence. Large numbers of the inhabitants removed to Galena, and but a minimum proportion of these returned when the brows of the soldiers were bound with victorious wreaths, and their arms were hung up as monuments to their prowess and achievements. A company composed of miners and settlers was enlisted and commanded by Capt. Charles McCoy. A log fort was built around Ebersol mansion, garrisoned by this company, which, after a brief stay there, however, proceeded to Galena, leaving the prospective village without defense. But happily the savages neglected Hazel Green in their route to the Rock River, and beyond the murders at Sinsinawa Mound, above referred to, no levies either upon the lives or property of settlers were undertaken. After the war and return of those who had gone out in pursuit of the enemy or places of safety returned, others came on their first trip to the lead mines, and interests for a time dead were wakened into new life. Hiel and Oliver Rice opened a farm between Hazel Green and the Mound; P. P. Paterson, a farm on Section 14, and P. P. Stone a similar venture north of the State line. Mining was prosecuted with renewed diligence, and many of the leads discovered during this period became sources of infinite profit to subsequent owners. In fact it might be said that the labors employed, enterprise of settlers, and gratifying results which attended the undertakings inaugurated in the years immediately succeeding the victory at Bad Ax are in a very great measure prime factors in all successes which have since been attained hereabouts. At an earlier day, roads had been improvised out of the Indian trails from Hazel Green to Galena and Platteville, and as there were no mills in the vicinity, or depositories for the sale of edibles, those who were prevented from “raising” their own “hog and hominy” obtained these indispensables at one of the settlements mentioned, neither of which, however, were as advanced in the scale of populousness or thrift as they have since become.


Early in the year 1838, the preliminary steps toward the establishing of the present village, by the location of a post office, of which Jefferson Crawford was made Postmaster, and named Hazel Green at the suggestion of Capt. McCoy. Soon after, Samuel C. Wiltse surveyed lands located in the upper part of town belonging to R. R. Young and Allen Preston, and laid it off into village lots. This was followed by the survey of a tract in lower town, owned by John Edwards, which was similarly platted.


At that time, the improvements in the established village were limited in number, and of the most unpretentious description. Beyond the houses previously erected by Christian Ebersold and John Edwards, and the saloon of Otis B. Peck, in one of the latter’s tenements, there was nothing to indicate the existence even of a settlement. Miners’ cabins occupied the ravine near the village, but were not within its corporate limits. This year, however, some building was commenced and completed, but no very general system of improvements was undertaken. Preston & Chandler erected a frame house on the present site of the Crawford Block, and occupied the premises as a saloon and bowling alley. It was known as the “Light House,” and is said to have been the scene of many an occurrence calculated to excite the mirthful if not the intellectual. Allen Preston, one of the proprietors, also erected a frame residence adjoining. Ezra Dorman came into the village this year from Jamestown, and built a frame store north of the Edwards’ House. R. R. Young erected a story and a half frame on the ground now occupied by the “Empire House.” He opened it as a hotel, the first in the village, and it still does duty as part of the Empire. Thenceforward, but little advance was made, either in the additions to the population or attractions of the surroundings. Mining continued to be the chief occupation, and little was done in any of the channels of business but with special reference to this industry. In 1843, the population is estimated to have been about 200, and the buildings barely sufficient for the accommodation of this number. There was no physician in the vicinity – no churches – and clergymen and schoolmasters were unknown factors of the period. But from this date on, until the discoveries of gold in California, the village built up rapidly. The stores in 1843 were but two in number, maintained by Orville B. Cottle and Ezra Dorman respectively. William Brubaker carried on a blacksmith-shop opposite the Edwards homestead, and there were some other trifling ventures, which totalized the manufacturing and commercial interests of the place.

In 1844, the prominent arrivals included Louis Rood, George Babcock and Alden Adams, the latter being the founder and landlord of the Empire House at a subsequent date. Dr. Bridden, the first physician to settle in the village, came this year, and built a house in the lower town. James A. Jones, now a resident of Lancaster, was enrolled among the citizens of Hazel Green, in 1844. A man named Rand was also enumerated on the census list, and became a resident of lower town, when he built a residence near that of Dr. Bidden. Peter Brown and Robert Frazer (the latter the inventor of Frazer’s axle grease), erected the building on Main street, now occupied by Hon. H. D. York, and opened a store for the sale of miscellanies within its walls. In addition to these, a large number of Cornish miners arrived from England, and settled upon the branch, where they labored until the discovery of gold on the Pacific Coast, when they joined in the tide of emigration which tended in that direction. From 1844 until 1855, the mines are represented to have been more vigorously worked and productive of greater yields than at any time before or since. As a result, money was plenty, times flourishing, and gambling and drinking universal. A schoolhouse was built in 1844, a one-story frame, on East Main street, where it stood until blown down in the tornado of 1876. At the house of John Hinch occasional services were had by the Catholics, and this was the only attempt made to cultivate the religious element up to that period, although the Rev. S. Barnes, who came in 1843, and resided in a house adjoining Gribble’s store, made efforts to obtain a hearing at long intervals. Sometimes an itinerant would pass this way and tarry for a season; but it was not until two years later that an edifice, especially dedicated to the worship of God, was provided. Upon one occasion, a colporteur of the Mormon faith made his appearance in the village, and, being unable to obtain other quarters, took possession of the “Light House” bar-room, and began an exhortation, using one of the tables ordinarily devoted to poker and “old sledge” as a pulpit. There was quite a company present at the time engaged in their favorite amusement, many of whom abandoned their games and became listeners. The congregation, improvised from this crowd in the pursuit of fortune, included among others, Col. Streeter, a huge Mississippi “sport,” probably “Patch Eye John, Bloody Kentuck and Bullet Neck Green,” a trinity of adventurers, who had been thus designated in the mines, all of whom not only paid the most respectful attention themselves, but enforced a proper degree of decorum among the motley crowd, while the Mormon expatiated upon the faith professed by Joseph Smith and his followers. After the benediction had been pronounced, Col. Streeter observed that the laborer was worthy of his hire, and proceeded to take up a collection. Those present generally responded, and the Colonel handed the Mormon the results, with the suggestion that “it was a bigger Jack pot than had been staked during the day.”

An old settler and prominent citizen, who first landed in Hazel Green in these flush times, arrived on Sunday, and was impressed by what he saw that the place was the residence of very many men bad as the emigrant from Bitter Creek, whose exploits have become the subject of a poetic fiction. After procuring a boarding-house, he relates, he sauntered down town, intent on seeing the sights, and brought up opposite the “Light House,” but just as he was decided upon entering, his progress was embargoed by the forcible exit of a “Bloody Kentuck,” minus one sleeve of an overcoat, which garment was, with its wearer, in a condition of almost hopeless destruction. It appears that him of the euphonious nomenclature had been detected while endeavoring to cheat at cards, and ejected from the house without regard for comfort or elegance.

While there was a promiscuous crowd, composed of nearly all nationalities and nearly every feature of character, collected at Hazel Green as elsewhere in the mines, there seems to have been less of a crime than one would suppose. There was considerable trouble among those who lived by their wits, but the pistol was hardly ever resorted to, and bloodshed was limited to that following a knock-down, drag-out affair, such as are indigenous to every newly-settled region where men are often measured by their excesses rather than the absence of them.

In 1845, the Empire House was built. Ezra Dorman put up a store, and John Gribble, who came in 1840, a residence, both in Lower Town. Lewis Rood laid out the north end of the village into lots, and called it “Rood’s Addition.” He also erected two houses in that portion of the town, both of which still stand, owned by John Triganza. About this time, the Richards Brothers erected the stone house in the lower portion of the village, which was blown down during the tornado of 1876, burying an entire family beneath the ruins. School was still carried on in the frame house erected the previous year and occupied on Sundays by the Methodists, the Presbyterians, under the care of a Rev. Mr. Lewis, worshiping in the Empire House, and the Catholics still celebrating mass at the house of Mr. Hinch. The following year, the Catholics and Presbyterians began the building of church edifices, and John Edwards completed the first brick residence in the village or vicinity. It was located on his farm at the edge of the village, and still stands a monument to the enterprise of its founder. Building this year is said to have been quite general, the improvements being made up of stores and residences. Daniel Brewster opened a store opposite the “Light House” and built a residence on the site now occupied with the dwelling of Mrs. Allison; the Rev. Robert Langley built where Roberts’ wagon-shop now is; William Warner, the present residence of Dr. J. L. Jenckes. The Wisconsin House, opposite the Empire, was put up in 1846; it, too, still stands, the private residence for many years of the late Jefferson Crawford, and now in possession of his heirs.

In 1847, the old stone store razeed in the tornado was built by John Edwards, and, until its destruction, was the abiding place of Masonic and other secret orders. Nearly all the residences which were erected in Rood’s Addition, went up about this time, and Lewisburg, a town of great ambition, but slender prospects, was beginning to come into notice. This projected municipality was surveyed and platted in 1846 by Henry C. Wiltse, on the Curtis farm, a mile north of Hazel Green, and named after Lewis Curtis, who will be remembered as an arrival here in 1827. It was thought that the enterprise might, in time, either neutralize the influence and importance of Hazel Green, or become a valuable addition to that place. Lots were laid out, streets designated and named, and other improvements proposed, but they were never realized; nor were the ambitions of its founders; the village that was to be failed to attract visitors; investments were never made; plans in embryo were never born and the undertaking fell through, the land being once more utilized for agricultural rather than speculative purposes.

Notwithstanding the Mexican war excitement influenced many residents of Hazel Green, including, among others, Amon Miller, James Kilgore, John Zenssler, Thomas Sheridan, Thomas Hitchcock, Orville Cottle, and a number whose names have been forgotten, to enlist, the growth of the village was not retarded, and improvements were continued, so that in 1849, when the California fever broke out all over the country, and raged with epidemic violence in the “lead mines,” Hazel Green was decidedly flourishing, pretentious in appearance, and comparatively populous. With the announcement of the existence of wealth across the continent, the bone and sinew of this section lent a willing ear to the reports, and, having realized a confirmation of what they heard, girded up their portables and joined the army of miners which crossed the plains, and became pioneers in the new El Dorado. The force which was recruited in Hazel Green included Joseph Harris, J. S. Williams, James Wells, James Blight, Thomas Edwards, Joseph Johns, James Johns, Peter Skinner, Bennett Andrew, James Gleason and others. All of these mentioned succeeded in their object and returned independent.


In 1850, the village contained a population estimated at 600; there were eight stores within its corporate limits, four hotels, four churches, one school, and other evidences of enlightenment and enterprise. From the beginning of this decade until 1853, the town is represented as being “dead.” The levies made upon its population had affected that class of citizens who contribute to the cultivation of systems and education of classes as agencies for the development and promotion of latent wealth. These departures limited the town’s prosperity, retarded its growth, and unquestionably resolving it into a comparatively quiescent corporation. The first era in the life of the town, it may be said, was closed in 1850, and, for three years, the prospects of a revival were far from enticing, but at the expiration of that period, combinations and circumstances conspired to give a new lease of life, and the last stage of prosperity, it is said, was decidedly more gratifying than the first. Those who had gone to California returned with substantial results of their labors, and became ambitious to excel in agricultural pursuits, as they had succeeded in mining. As a consequence, investments were made in lands in the vicinity of the village, and some of the most productive farms of to-day were first opened at that time. In addition to this, discoveries made of new mines, and prospective enterprises contemplated by corporations at the East, gave an impetus to that industry. Among these was the American Mining Company, which had been largely engaged in operating in the vicinity of Sinsinawa Mound. Early in 1853, the company commissioned its Western representative, William Warner, to investigate the mineral resources of Hazel Green Township, and if the same were found to be as it was believed they were, the company designed entering upon a lease of about 1,500 acres belonging to Jefferson Crawford and Abigail Curtis, erect two engines, each of 250 horse-power, and thoroughly drain the lands, preparatory to mining to an extent not previously thought of. Mr. Warner, accordingly, visited Hazel Green, accompanied by James G. Percival, the poet, author and geologist, and began the discharge of his duties, Mr. Percival being employed to demonstrate certain theories upon mining. After several months’ devotion to the subject, Dr. Percival closed his labors with an able and elaborate report, favorable to deep mining, and to the use of machinery to be operated in the drainage of mineral lands in this locality. This paper is said to have been a most valuable contribution to science, and of great practical utility to the mining interests of the State.


The occasion is here taken to relate briefly of Dr. Percival’s residence in Hazel Green, whose death in the hospitable home of Dr. Jenckes, with whom he resided, elicited very general and extended notices from the press of this country and Europe. At the bar, in the pulpit and amid the walks of philosophy and science, tributes were paid to his genius, his virtues and his literary fame.

Previous to the labors of Mr. Percival for the American Mining Company, the Legislature of Wisconsin adopted a law providing for the geological and mineralogical survey of the State, at an annual expense of not more than $2,500, and to commence in the lead mining district. Under this law Edward Daniels was appointed State Geologist by Gov. Farwell, and began the discharge of the trust while Mr. Percival was investigating for the mining company. Upon the completion of his labors, many of those interested in mining felt anxious that the State geological survey should be conducted by that gentleman, believing that if made by one so competent and so eminent in his profession it would be of great practical benefit to the public. A request to this effect was therefore preferred to Gov. Barstow by the prominent citizens and land-owners of the State, and Dr. Percival was appointed, and entered upon the discharge of his duties August 12, 1854.

An acquaintance, admirer and friend of the dead poet, speaking of his life and habits at this period, says: “He entered upon his new field of labor in the mines with much zeal and pleasure, which seemed to increase with the prosecution of his researches, whether viewing the rocky bluff of a stream or examining the debris from some mineral range, with the view of deducing some facts connected with industrial science for the benefit of mining. His ardor and earnestness in the discharge of his duties were intense, and hardly ever until the fading hours admonished him the day for toil was ended would he turn his steps homeward. This unflagging devotion to the love of work and the consequent exposure therefrom probably was the leading cause of his last illness. However eccentric or forbidding Dr. Percival appeared to outside observers, in the private social circle he was full of cheer and mirth, his utterances often sparkling with wit and wisdom.

“There were occasional intervals of a few days that an unpleasant restraint seemed to rest upon him – probably produced by ill-health – at other times his intellectual powers would, apparently, exercise free scope in the domain of thought, then (if he felt communicative) to sit in his presence and ‘drink at the fountain’ was an inspiring pleasure that few men have every been able to impart. The true and beautiful were real existences with him. Nothing short of a clear and correct knowledge of everything worthy of investigation would satisfy him.

“Whether botanizing a flower or placing a piece of rock in its proper geological order, the utmost care and accuracy was exercised. Neither was his intellectual greatness and power confined to geology and poetry, but embraced a variety of subjects. We relate the following incident as an illustration: During the earlier years of Thomas H. Benton’s Senatorial career, while addressing the Senate upon a measure of importance, he eloquently portrayed the future of his country, predicting that at no very remote time a railroad would span the Continent, built as a necessity for the wants of the millions yet to people the vast area west of the Mississippi. Upon reading that speech, Percival (at his home in New Haven) opened a drawer and took therefrom a previously written article upon the feasibility of a highway across the Rocky Mountains, and the duty of the Government to construct it, expressing the strongest conviction that the topography of the country was feasible for a railroad that would erelong be needed to facilitate the commerce of the country. He at once forwarded the document to the Missouri Senator, who, after reading it, arose in the Senate and paid Percival a handsome compliment, at the same time asking permission to have it read to the Senate, which was granted; but in those days even Senators deemed such projects Utopian, visionary.

“Percival’s knowledge of the geography and topography of the country was characterized by the same thoroughness that entered into other fields of study and research.

“It is a matter of fact, recorded in his biography, we think, that he wrote no poetry for a number of years previous to coming West. But the Muse had not departed – was only held in reserve – as the following incident will testify. While surveying the mining land near Sinsinawa Mound for the American Mining Company, in the year 1853, Percival was lodging for the time at one of the early-built hotels in Fairplay in which the sleeping apartments were partitioned with boards with a narrow hall extending the entire length of the building. In those days the boarders, mostly miners, were not governed by any rules of custom for time of repose; but were in the habit of wending their way up the stair-case and along the dark hall at all hours of night. The noise was quite annoying to the Doctor. Wishing in some way to enter his protest against such disorder and confusion, he took a pencil and slip of paper from his pocket, and, while waiting for breakfast, wrote a caustic poem in Greek, which, during the day he read to two or three of his friends, also its translation in English. While not very severe on the landlord, the house and boarders were neatly ‘done up.’ Another anecdote illustrating his character: After writing a preliminary report of his survey of the Hazel Green Lead Mines to the President of the American Mining Company, he submitted it through the general agent of said company, William Warner, Esq. Mr. W., who was a highly educated gentleman, suggested a change of a single word, substituting another that he deemed the better. Percival insisted upon the correctness of the word as he had used it. Remonstrance proved unavailing. The definitions of words and their proper use in sentences were to him positive things, and, after writing an important document, he could not admit it contained mistakes.

“While prosecuting his researches he was taken ill, and what was at first thought to be a mild attack of intermittent, resulted, after many days, in defiance of medical skill, in his death. He died on the 2d of May, 1856, in the second story front room of Dr. Jenckes’ residence, Hazel Green, surrounded by kind friends, who tenderly and affectionately ministered to his temporal wants, and closed his eyes forever at the dawn of the day, as the sun was just rising and threw a flood of golden light over the scene. He was buried on the following Sabbath in the village churchyard, where his grave can be seen to-day without ‘storied urn’ to detail the virtues of him who sleeps beneath the sod, the sleep of sanctified rest. But the memory of his worth, like moonbeams on the stormy sea, has doubtless lighted up many a darkened heart, and lent to the gloom surrounding a checkered life a beauty so sad, so sweet, that one would not, if he could, dispel the darkness which enshrouds it.”


The effect of these undertakings was such that improvements in the village were frequent and of an expensive character. Faherty’s Block, Crawford’s Block, Dr. McBreen’s and other commodious and handsome residences which dot the village landscape to-day were put up during this era of prosperity and promise. Suddenly, it might be said, the mining company abandoned operations. Investments by that corporation elsewhere failing to realize compelled their suspension, and permanently prevented the consummation of their projects at Hazel Green. The result was that the promise held out to the village through their efforts was only in part fulfilled. The hope of becoming a city gradually began to fade, and until the panic of 1857 was resolved into complete disappointment. During the war, Hazel Green furnished her full quota, and until 1876 nothing occurred to disturb the serenity of this quiet hamlet, or inspire the residents with feelings of other than content that the lines of their lives had been case in so pleasant a place.


1869 – J. M. Chandler, President; Joseph Clementson, R. D. Robert, Charles Schabacker, J. L. Crawford, B. Cornelison and William Allen, Trustees.

1870 – Joseph Clementson, President; Conrad Genz, Henry Magor, W. R. Jackson, Josiah Thomas, James Johns and Jacob Steppee, Trustees.

1871 – George Brodrick, President; Solomon Hotteral, Matthew Thompson, J. H. Gribble, J. F. Walsh, John Kohl and Philip Sullivan, Trustees.

1872 – George Brodrick, President; Washington Nolond, William Allen, James Johns, J. F. Walsh, T. W. Summersides and Edward O’Neil, Trustees.

1873 – George Brodrick, President; T. W. Summersides, Edward O’Neil, Joseph Clementson, J. F. Walsh, Arthur Gribble and Horace Curtis, Trustees.

1874 George Brodrick, President; Edward Thompson, Edward O’Neil, J. F. Walsh, Charles Schabacker, B. Cornelison and W. R. Jackson, Trustees.

1875 – Joseph Clementson, President; Edward Thompson, Edward O’Neil, Henry Magor, Conrad Genz, Charles Schabacker and J. R. Fisk, Trustees.

1876 – Joseph Clementson, President; John Looney, Edward Thompson, J. F. Eastman, Josiah Thomas and J. R. Fisk, Trustees.

1877 –Mathew Thompson, President; Ellis Wynne, James McBrien, Henry Magor, William R. Jackson, Christian Andrew and George Brodrick, Trustees.

1878 – Mathew Thompson, President; Ellis Wynne, W. R. Jackson, John Gribble, James McBrien, Thomas Andrew and Philip Sullivan, Trustees.

1879 – George Brodrick, President; John Cox, W. R. Jackson, J. Johns, William Chandler, Richard Williams and C. Andrew, Trustees.

1880 – George Brodrick, President; Richard Williams, Jefferson Crawford, John Cox, William Harvey, James Gribble and Edward Thompson, Trustee.

1881 – Re-organized under the statutes of 1880 – Josiah Thomas, Police Justice; Edward O’Neil, Justice of the Peace.

Clerks. – John Chandler, 1869-80.

Marshals. – William Chandler, 1869; T. W. Seals, 1870; William Chandler, 1871-74; Thomas Anthony, 1875; John Treganza, 1876; John Treganza, Jr., 1877-78; F. M. Chandler, 1879-80.

Treasurers. – Henry Magor, 1869; J. L. Crawford, 1870; Solomon Hatheral, 1871; T. W. Summersides, 1872-73; Edward O’Neil, 1874-75; Josiah Thomas, 1876; William R. Jackson, 1877-79; John Birkett, 1880.

Justices of the Peace. – J. F. Eastman, 1877; Josiah Thomas, 1881.


On the 10th of March, 1876, the village was visited by a tornado, one of the most terrific and destructive, both as to life and property, the annals of calamity record. It at least worked the most terrible havoc ever enacted by the elements in Grant County. Fire and water here have have never caused such fearful devastation. There is no place in Grant County where fire or water could so suddenly destroy life and property as the winds did on that Friday in the village of Hazel Green. It is rare indeed that an earthquake or the eruption of a volcano so swiftly and so completely obliterates collective habitations of men. Great earthquakes usually give warning, and people can get out of their houses and away where they may not be crushed by falling rocks or timbers. One may flee from the flowing lava of a volcano, but before such a tornado one is ready to exclaim like the Psalmist concerning Deity, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or flee from thy presence?” There is no place of escape and safety. We are accustomed to think of our homes and lives as safer than those of people who inhabit districts where earthquakes and volcanic fires are of frequent occurrence, but the visitor to such scenes as Hazel Green once presented, if he has to run the gantlet of some one of these destructive causes, will choose any of them in preference to the tornado. This much we have said by way of attempt to prepare the mind of the reader to realize the power of the wind to destroy. Every one knows that the wind can blow down fences or upset houses, but it is difficult for one to believe, who has never seen, that it can lift heavy timbers, large animals, and even large rocks, and carry them about as it does feathers. On a gusty day, when the streets are dry, we see the wind filling the air with dust, leaves and dry dirt, but one who has never seen cannot easily imagine that it will plow up a pasture until every foot of the ground is turned up and black as field fresh plowed, and spatters of soft mud from the size of a drop of rain up to the size of your hat are taken from all over its surface and dashed down in other places like rain and hail. This was done by the Hazel Green tornado before it reached the village. How it does is something of a mystery. Such storms are whirls. They are the same as little whirlwinds we frequently see in summer, making traveling spirals of the road dust, and which have strength, perhaps, to carry your hat; but the tornado compared with these is as the elephant to the ant. It performs marvelous little feats as well as great ones. It will take brittle sticks that with your hands you could not push through a card board without breaking, and drive them eight or ten inches into the hard earth. It will drive sticks and boards three to four feet into the ground where with an ax or mall you could not drive them a foot without battering them to chips. This, it does on the principle that will carry a tallow candle through a thick board when shot from a gun. But we must more particularly describe the Hazel Green tornado and its path.

[The above diagram will serve a purpose, though inaccurate. The up and down streets should point a little to northwest and southeast. The cross street is the one named Sixth street on the county map.]

On Friday, March 10, between 4 and 5 o’clock in the afternoon, many persons in the village saw the storm coming. A dark and threatening cloud was seen due west, over Sinsinawa Mound. At first it appeared to course toward the southeast. About three miles southwest of Hazel Green this cloud met with another, which had been approaching toward the northeast. The two combined soon appeared to reach from earth to heaven, and the thick black clouds were seen to roll in and out of each other like the black smoke from a smoke-stack, supposing that to be as large as a mountain. The roar of the storm could be distinctly heard. Mr. J. S. Crawford described the sound as of a mighty grinding of timbers. To Mr. Magor the sound was like a heavy storm on the sea-shore. If one can imagine an instrument that works something like a syringe, as large as the circle of the tornado, and which, as it travels, sucks up trees, houses and patches of earth, whirling them around with the velocity of a discharged cannon ball, he may imagine the noise made by the tornado. As it advanced it cut down everything in its way. Ponderous bodies were sucked up hundreds of feet into the air. If you fill a funnel with water and let the water run out of it while in a circular motion, a hole will be formed down through the middle of the water, through which the air passes upward. The whirling motion of a tornado acts in the same way. It tends to create a vacuum in its center and at that point could lift very heavy bodies. This tornado cut a path about 150 years wide, its path being as curtly marked along its edges as the track of a reaper in a field of grain. Many who saw it coming fled to their cellars, and some were saved in that way. Near the village it twisted a grove of small timber into withes. It took a northeasterly curse through the south half of the town. A line drawn from James Edwards’ house to Chris. Andrews’ will define the northwest edge of the track, and a line from just south of the Masonic Hall to Mrs. Berryman’s house will define its southeast edge to those acquainted in the village. Within these limits everything was destroyed. John Fink’s house was the first in the track. It was uprooted and its occupants not injured. The Masonic and Odd Fellows’ Hall, a large building with stone walls two feet thick, was pulled down to heaps of stones. No vestige of its north wall remained, and the heap of stones left no appearance of ever having had any arrangement of man. Parts of the other walls were left standing. The inside of the building was utterly wrecked; much of it, including the lodge furniture, was carried away. Next north of this building was Mrs. Farley’s. It was carried away bodily, with all its contents, from over the heads of two occupants. They had retreated to the cellar and were not hurt. The next house north was owned by Mr. Schabacker, and occupied by Fred. Plude. The house was torn entirely away, and a child of Mrs. Plude’s had an arm broken. Next north of this was Mr. Joseph Clementson’s residence. Its room was carried away and the frame pulled to pieces, though left partly standing. Mrs. Clementson and daughter were in it and escaped uninjured. Mr. William Fiddick’s house next north was carried away entirely, hurting only a child, whose head was severely cut.

Going back to the south side of the swath of destruction, and on the east side of West street, the large smith shop which stood within the junction of the two streets was razed to the ground. Next north of it was the stone residence of Mrs. Richards. It was a very heavy and strong structure, the walls nearly two feet thick. The roof was lifted off, the partitions torn to pieces, and the heavy rock gables fell inside. The walls up to the gables were left standing, but warped out of shape. Eight persons were in a room in the north end of the building. Four of them were instantly killed, namely: Mrs. Elizabeth Richards, her daughter Lizzie, aged about about 15, Mrs. T. H. Edwards, daughter-in-law of Mrs. Richards, and a child of Mrs. Edwards. They were killed by the heavy gable falling upon them. They were on the side of the room away from the wall, but the floor gave way on that side, and its joists resting against the end wall, allowed the rocks to fall upon the bodies, crushing some of them to shapeless masses. Mrs. Thomas Magor and child, and two others, were in the room, and, protected by the slanting floor, were unhurt. Some of them crouched under a piano which also afforded some protection. Johnson Richards, aged 18, was in a hay loft back of the house, and was killed. Thomas Magor was in the same stable below, and had his face badly cut. The stable was shattered to pieces, and a trotting horse owned by Thomas Magor killed. Across an alley north of the Richards House was that of L. S. Eastman. It was a frame house, and most of it was blown off the floors, the rest shaken to destruction. The family were all in it and received no injury. The next house north was James Edwards’. It was entirely demolished and its inmates not seriously hurt. On the west side of the next street east – Main street – John Looney’s house is first in the order we follow. It was lifted entire, and dashed down in a direction the reverse of that of the storm. Mrs. Looney was found lying on the wrecked floor of Mr. Eastman’s house, which was thirty or forty yards west of Mr. Looney’s. She died within two hours. Charles Schabacker’s smith shop, a large, new and very strong building, next north, was dashed to fragments. The men at work in it escaped. The Primitive Methodist Church was the next building north. It was pulled into sections and dashed to the ground.

Returning south to the east side of this street, Mrs. Berryman’s house was the first nearly destroyed; its roof was blown off. North of it was Matthew Thompson’s large two-story house. It was lifted off its foundation and turned nearly quartering around, where it lodged against trees. The roof was carried away and the house was otherwise badly damaged. Of the four persons in it, one was hurt – not badly. Edward Thompson’s furniture store stood just north. It was a large building, well filled with furniture. The building and contents were all blown away as chaff – some fragments being found miles distant. The work-shop back of it was totally destroyed. Edward Thompson’s house, the next north, a large, new building, was lifted from its foundation, not even a floor left, and scattered to the winds in splinters. A son and daughter, Edward and Emma, were carried a square’s distance and injured, but not dangerously. Next north of this was Joseph Clementson’s carriage-shop; it was formerly the Congregational Church, and was large and strong. There were new buggies and carriages in it that had never been on the road. The building and contents, down to the floor, were all swept away. Mr. Clementson was in it. He was found lying with a heavy timber resting on his body, and his right leg broken below the knee. Mr. Mason was in the shop and was injured some on the head. Mrs. Hobbie’s house comes next; it was a good two-story house. The east wing was torn away and destroyed, and the main building was banged up nearly a wreck, by other timbers driven against it. The next north was Joseph Jackson’s house. It was blown entirely off the floor and dashed to pieces against Mrs. Hobbie’s house. Seven persons were in it. Among them, none were reported injured except Mrs. Jackson, who was seriously hurt. One son, Alfred, aged 14, was in Mrs. Hobbie’s barn milking her cow, which he had engaged to do while she was in Lancaster attending court. The unfortunate boy there found instant death. Northeast from Mr. Jackson’s house, on the cross street, Christian Andrew’s house was unroofed. East of the last-named row of dwellings, there were no others until we come to Dr. Kittoe’s, some 200 yards distant. It stood there for awhile a picture of ruin. The falling and whirling timbers from other buildings are driven into it from every direction. It was unroofed and shivered and had the appearance of being ready to fall to fragments. It was partially protected by trees, and served the good purpose of saving his family from injury. A hundred feet east of his house stood his barn, in which he had two horses and a couple of tons of hay. The whole establishment was lifted sixty or seventy feet up and carried northwest about 150 feet, where the building came down in fragments. The horses were thrown about 100 feet further in the same direction, and found dead. Thence on, the storm had an open field until it reached the cemetery. Mr. R. G. Magor’s fine brick residence was barely out of its range. He looked upon the black and mountainous besom of destruction as it approached, and must have thought what an infinitely little creature man is with all his boasted inventions and power to destroy. A mile further in Scrabble Hollow, Mr. Brewer’s house was in the track of the whirlwind. He saw it coming, and thoughtfully took his family into a root-house, made in the side of a hill. In a few minutes, his house was among the other splinters and timbers whirling in through the air. Another mile further and the residence of Thomas Allen was in its path. The house was carried backward 100 yards and dashed to pieces. Mr. Allen was fatally injured. He lived barely long enough to inquire concerning his family, of those who found him. A son, William, was killed. Mrs. Allen was dangerously hurt. James Allen had an arm broken and was otherwise injured. Hannah Allen was badly bruised. Here ends the most heart-rending part of this horror. We worry and work our lives away over property, and when it comes in comparison with life, it is nothing. Some will even laugh that they have escaped with their lives. So in Hazel Green may be seen people whose all of worldly goods were in an instant picked up and made like kindling-wood, even their papers, their money and clothing lost in the wanton winds, yet these same people were happy as any you will ever meet; but those who lost near and dear relatives were sad indeed. Some seemed to feel that even the good God had signified a determination to tear from them all upon which the heart places affection.

Besides the buildings named as totally destroyed, there were many other barns, stables and outbuildings blown away. With the houses went also the furniture and clothing. Along the track of the destroyer for miles the fields were covered with splinters, boards, scantlings, shingles, carpets, bedding, clothing, lace curtains, window blinds and shutters, bottoms of chairs and other pieces of furniture, rims, spokes and other pieces of buggy wheels, pieces of coffins, tin gutters and everything conceivable as material or contents of a house. The houses were so effectually torn to pieces that it cannot be told to what house pieces found belonged. Trees that were not themselves injured were full of the evidences of destruction. Up in their branches were many articles of apparel, and beds and carpets. Among the debris in and near the village, were dead horses, cattle, hogs, cats and chickens. It is estimated that over fifty head of horses and cattle were killed. There were also many other houses damaged. Scantlings and boards were driven into the roofs and sides of houses out of the whirlwind’s path with such force that they would go through like an arrow through paper. The houses standing were smeared with mud until they looked like the ground. Many fences were down; windows were broken. With the storm was very little rain. The black cloud was composed of mud and dirt. Great trees, some of which were solid oaks eighteen inches in diameter, were twisted off and went sailing through the air. In this account we have aimed to exaggerate nothing. Distances are guessed at, and some may be too great, others too small. As to the havoc, if any reader saw it, after reading this account he will say we have not half done it justice. No one can fully believe in such stories without seeing for himself.

The scene at the residence of T. H. Edwards, where lay the remains of five persons, two, the wife and infant child of Mr. Edwards; his mother, Mrs. Richards, and his half-brother and half-sister, Johnson Richards and Lizzie Richards, is described as having been most horrible. Mrs. R. and daughter lay side by side, covered with a sheet red with their life’s blood. On the opposite side of the room were the mother, Mrs. Edwards, and her child, both still in the embrace of death. To the left of the door, and upon a couch, reposed the lifeless body of Johnson Richards, whose face scarcely bore the imprint of death. The scene was the most heart-rending ever witnessed. The agonized husband, father, son and brother was the picture of despair, and while looking upon the faces of those near and dear, whose lips were sealed to him forever, the trembling frame, falling tears and deep-drawn signs spoke in tones that could not be misunderstood, of the agony which filled his heart. In another house near by, lay the remains of young Jackson, and still farther away, Allen and boy, the prop and idol of the family. Providence never visited a village with a worse affliction, and strong, indeed, must he be in the faith who could fold his hands resignedly, and exclaim, “He doeth all things well.”

A public meeting of the citizens was held at Crawford’s Hall about 9 o’clock in the evening of the same day, to take into consideration the overwhelming disaster which had overtaken the village, and to devise ways and means of relieving the distressed. Mr. John L. Crawford was called to the chair, and Mr. Robert Hayes elected Secretary.

On motion, a police committee was appointed, and the following-named gentlemen selected to draw up a detailed statement of the losses occasioned by the whirlwind: Rev. Lawson, John L. Crawford, John Muffeet, Robert Hayes and Thomas Anthony.

On motion, the following aid committee was selected by the chair: John Muffeet, John Cox, William Jeffrey, William Allen and Edward O’Neill.

The following is a correct list of the dead and wounded:

Killed – Mrs. E. Richards, Johnson Richards, aged eighteen years: Lizzie Richards, aged sixteen; Mrs. T. H. Edwards and child, Alfred Jackson, aged fourteen; Thomas Allen and son, and Mrs. John Loony.

Injured – Joseph Clementson, leg broken; Edward Thompson, hip injured; child of Frederick Plude, arm broken; Amanda Morcom, head cut; Thomas Magor, badly cut about the face; Mrs. Tregoning, arm injured; Joseph Mason, slight injury on the head; child of William Fiddick, head cut; Dora Thompson, arm injured; Mrs. Joseph Jackson, injured badly; Mrs. Fairly, leg injured; Mrs. James Edward, face hurt; James Treganza, injured slightly; Frank Thompson, head and arm bruised; Miss Eliza Rodda, badly injured.

The total losses are as follows:

J. F. Eastman, barn $400

Chris. Nolte, barn 200

Dr. Kittoe, house and barn 2,000

Mrs. E. Richards, house and barn 2,500

Richards estate, stone building 2,000

Total $7,100

The partial losses:

J. Treganza, house and barn $150

Richard Tregonning, house and barn 250

Primitive Church parsonage 100

James Austin, dwelling 100

Charles Schabacker, dwelling 100

Joseph Johns, dwelling 200

Mrs. Necollins, dwelling 100

Dr. Egloff, dwelling 100

M. Chandler, dwelling . . . .

Arthur Gribble, Dwelling . . .

W. Allen, dwelling 100

Mrs. Fairley, dwelling 1,000

Fred Plude, dwelling 600

Joseph Clementson, dwelling and shop 4,000

William Fiddick, dwelling 600

George Wasley, dwelling 600

Levi Eastman, dwelling 1,500

James Mason, picture gallery 250

Mrs. Oats, dwelling 750

Mattie Thompson, dwelling 2,500

M. & E. Thompson, furniture-shop 4,000

Edward Thompson, dwelling 2,000

John Looney, dwelling 1,000

Charles Schabacks, blacksmith-shop 2,000

Primitive Church 2,000

Joseph Jackson, dwelling 1,500

Kit Andrews, dwelling 700

Mrs. Hobbie, dwelling 1,200

Mrs. McClay, dwelling 100

Henry Drink, dwelling 100

Total $27,000

Making a total loss of $36,000

Incidents. – Only two of Mr. Edward Thompson’s family were in the house, a son and daughter. The family was in the central part of the dwelling, into which they repaired at the approach of the storm. As the house commenced swaying, the crockery was sliding from the shelves, and the young man, while preventing its falling, was, with the young lady, in an instant whirled through the north window, and both carried over an orchard in a circuit of 200 yards in a southeasterly direction, landing against the fragments of Dr. Kittoe’s dwelling. Both were severely bruised, but recovered. Mr. Thompson left his furniture room and clung to a tree; soon apprehending great danger, he abandoned the tree for another. Upon this attempt, he was dashed forcibly against the tree, breaking the upper part of his hip-bone, and otherwise receiving internal injuries. He was confined to his bed, but was able in a few days to be around.

A little son of Thomas Magor, three years old, had hold of his grandmother’s hand (Mrs. Richards, who was killed). In an instant he was thrown under the piano, where it afterward appeared the large family dog had secreted himself for safety. In a moment’s time the space was completely filled with mortar and rubbish. The dog soon dug his way out, the little fellow crawling through the same aperture in a decidedly cool manner, although nearly suffocated.

Willie Fiddick, about ten years old, was thrown from the rear room of the house (where the entire family were) into the street. Upon recovery, and seeing no home to go to, inquired lustily of every passer by, “Where are my folks?” He was so begrimed and blackened no one recognized him. Soon his father came along, and Willie made the same inquiry. His father asked him his name, neither recognizing the other. The faces of all the victims of the tornado were smeared with a material akin to stove blacking, and about as difficult to remove.

Mrs. Tregoning was in a small barn milking. The barn and cow were lifted and carried out of sight, leaving the lady and her pail all safe.

Mr. Brewer, whose family occupied the old Furnace House across the Scrabble Branch, had just reached home from the Diggings. Seeing the danger, he rapidly crowded his children and wife into an outer root-house. As he reached the doorway of the root-house, his dwelling entirely disappeared in the whirlwind, breaking it into ten thousand fragments. Mr. B. had been using nitro-glycerine four or five years, and, as he remarked to the writer of this some months before, lived almost constantly with thoughts of danger. To this probably may be attributed the safety of his large family.

Scores of incident might be related in connection with this calamity.

Many families that lived outside the path of the cyclone feared its approach, and, in fright and amazement, performed ludicrous things. The shattered fragments and rubbish were soon cleared away and the village has somewhat regained its former appearance.

Could the solemn pageant of the Sabbath morning following the disaster, whose line of coffins and weeping mourners, be obliterated from memory, cheerfulness and hope would brighten all.


The head must bow.

A spirit fleet, with accent sweet,

Whispered to me (I know not how),

In mildest strain, but language plain,

The head must bow.

The wisest sage, hoary with age,

The king in power, at the appointed hour,

Is not set free from heaven’s decree,

The head must bow.

Parental years of life appear

To those above in strongest love,

With sorrowing pain we yield their gain;

They hold the prize beyond the skies.

The head must bow.

The youth amazed and trembling gazed;

The affrighted maid the scene surveyed,

The loving wife with feeble strife,

The babe caressed upon the breast,

Yield the last breath in the storm of death.

The head must bow.

What hopes and fears – what joys and tears –

What scenes of life in doubtful strife

In the dark shade are forever laid.

The head must bow.

But in quick time another clime.

Another shore with no tempest roar,

All shall behold – the young and old.

The head must bow.

Oh! Glorious day, no sunset ray

Shall fall upon thy horizon;

But in bright spheres, bereft of tears,

Those gone before to the shining shore

Shall greet above, with hearts of love,

The happy throng in gleeful song,

After the head shall bow.


The funeral of the victims took place on the Sunday following, and for many months thereafter the entire community was in mourning.


The cause of education found an early and it may be added, substantial support in the village of Hazel Green. Not only have public places of learning been liberally sustained, but private enterprises extended a gratifying support. In the fall of 1843, John Smith, at present engaged as mail contractor between Hazel Green and Cuba City, opened a school in a frame house on Lower Main street, built and furnished by public subscription. His roster of pupils was made up of scholars from all parts of the present township, and the course of study such as found favor from its simplicity forty years ago.

Mr. Smith remained in charge during the winter, but as soon as spring warned miners and farmers of the necessity for them to be up and doing, a vacation followed, and no summer school was taught. The following fall, a Mr. Bingham wielded the ferrule, and impressed “students” with the important relations borne by reading, writing and arithmetic to their civilization, remaining in charge until after the holiday, when he resigned, the vacancy thus created being filled by the appointment of H. D. York, still a resident of the village. Mrs. Jane Clark taught the summer school, and was succeeded by James A. Jones, now of Lancaster, who officiated two years in the capacity of pedagogue, when he gave place to Leroy Lockwood.

In 1849, the county was divided into townships, and school districts organized. At that time, there were two schools in operation in the village; one on Lower Main street, already mentioned, and one in the frame building immediately north of the Crawford residence. H. D. York was appointed Town Superintendent, and every means that would promote the plans agreed upon were adopted. As a result, success has been one of the important features of the system in Hazel Green, which to-day is unsurpassed by that utilized in any other portion of the county.

These buildings supplied all demands until 1853, when enlarged facilities became necessary, and the present brick structure was erected. It is two stories high, 40x70, containing four departments, and cost $6,000.

In March, 1856, the Hazel Green Collegiate Institute was established by the Rev. J. Loughron, A. M., and for several years it occupied an enviable reputation among the educational interests of the Northwest. The design of the institute was to secure the advantages of a thorough training, and to give ladies and gentlemen desiring to teach an opportunity of special improvement. The institute was graded, and included primary, academic (two grades), collegiate and seminary, requiring seven years to complete. Dr. Loughron opened his institute in the Crawford Block, in the fall of 1856, assisted by I. H. Miller, Professor of Mathematics; Mrs. Mary L. Culver, engaged in the academic department; Miss Almira A. Culver, in the preparatory school; and Miss Delia C. Sanford, Teacher of Music; and that year 129 students of both sexes matriculated. The succeeding year opened auspiciously, but the panic and sequent evils prevented a full enjoyment of the hopes ventured in behalf of the institute, which was continued until the war broke out, when it was suspended, and has never been revived.

The present school employs four teachers, and is under the direction of Board of Directors, consisting of George Broderick, Richard Pearce and John Cox. The course ranges from primary to high, requiring six years to complete, and requires an annual expenditure of $2,000 to carry on.


The post office at Hazel Green is among the oldest in the county, having been established when there was no mail service, and when letters were received at the office as the convenience of carriers consented.

It was first opened in 1838, with Jefferson Chandler, as Postmaster, “holding court,” and conducting his official duties at Cottle’s store in the lower town. Mr. Crawford, it is thought, remained in charge for nearly eight years, when Allen Preston was appointed his successor, and a tri-weekly mail was run from Galena to Mineral Point, via Hazel Green, Platteville, etc. The office was, during this and the administration of Dr. Mills, maintained in the Wisconsin House. James Jones was the next Postmaster, followed by J. M. Chandler, who was appointed in 1852, and retired in 1861; until 1855, the office was in a building near Johnson Stephen’s store; in that year it was removed to Crawford’s Block, where it has since remained. Jefferson Crawford succeeded Mr. Chandler, serving until his death, when his place was filled by J. L. Crawford, decedent’s son, who remained in charge until 1866. Josiah Thomas was appointed to the trust in that year, and is still in charge.


St. Francis’ Catholic Church. – In about 1845, the Rev. Father Samuel Mozzuchelli, identified with the cause of religion and morality throughout the lead mines for years previous, as also subsequent to that date, held the first Catholic services in the immediate vicinity of Hazel Green, at Hinch’s house, below the village site, where a mission had been established. The congregation was composed of the families of M. Heffron, Sylvester Bryon, Patrick Murphy, Michael Flynn, John Fraerty, J. V. Donohoo, Charles and Timothy Breen, Patrick Bryan, Thomas Nean and some others, chiefly composed of miners. For over a year the society worshiped thus, meanwhile making arrangements for the erection of a church edifice, which culminated in 1846, when the brick church still standing and occupied at the north end of Main street was commenced. For one year labor was employed without any cessation, and, in 1847, its completion was reached and dedication celebrated under the auspices of Bishop Henni, of Milwaukee.

The building, as stated, is of brick, 30x50, one story high, with a capacity of seating a congregation of 250, and cost a total of about $1,500, the principal portion of which was raised by subscription among residents of Hazel Green Township and vicinity. The Rev. Samuel Mozzuchelli remained as Pastor until his removal to Beetown, assisted by the Rev. Francis Mozzuchelli, a nephew, and succeded in building up a congregation estimated at not less than 300 communicants. In 1851, St. Rose Church was built in Smelser Township, which had the effect, it is thought, of diminishing the number of attendants, and in some degree weakening the influence exerted by St. Francis. Be this as it may, however, when Father Mazzuchelli retired, the church became a mission belonging to the Mound, and services were conducted by prelates resident at Sinsinawa. This was continued until about 1866, when the Dominicans ceased their labors here and the Rev. Father Prendergast was assigned to the charge. From that date up to June, 1880, the parish remained several, presided over at intervals by the Rev. Fathers Berkhauser, James Staley, Ambrun, Cleary, Cliber, Allbright, Zara and J. F. O’Neill, the latter dissolving his connection with the church at the time above indicated, since when it has been again a mission.

At present, the church property – which includes a parsonage built in 1869, and cemetery grounds purchased in 1874 – is valued at $3,000; the congregation numbers thirty families.

Christ Church. – An Episcopal Mission formally located in 1875, though services had been held in Hazel Green as early as 1856, when the Rev. T. N. Benedict, Rector of Grace Church, Galena, visited the village and conducted.

In the fall of 1875, Dr. Kirby Kiltoe, a pioneer resident of the town, appealed to Bishop E. R. Welles, D. D., to organize a society in Hazel Green. In response to this application, the Rev. C. H. Canfield, the minister in charge of the parish of Platteville, visited Hazel Green on alternate Tuesdays, and preached, Dr. Keltoe officiating in a diaconate capacity on Sundays. The 5th of March, 1876, witnessed the final meeting of the congregation, for on the succeeding Friday came that terrible visitation, the tornado, which created such havoc and destruction throughout one portion, at least, of this quiet village. Dr. Kiltoe removed to Darlington, the members, so to speak, of the society separated, and, from the date last mentioned, until 1878, no services of the Episcopal faith were held in Hazel Green. In June of that year, the Rev. George H. Drewe, a graduate of the University of Oxford, England, was sent to the village and resumed work in the cause, Crawford Hall and the German Presbyterian Church furnishing accommodations for the purposes of an auditorium. In October of the same year, a building, which had previously been occupied as a bowling alley, was rented and adapted to church uses at a cost of $500, wherein regular services were held by Dr. Drewe, and where, a year later, Bishop Welles administered the rite of confirmation to twelve candidates.

During 1879, the Pastor and congregation made strenuous efforts to procure the subscription of a fund for building the present edifice, and before the close of that annual had completed arrangements for doing so.

The church was finished early in 1880, and dedicated on St. Matthew’s Day, Right Rev. Bishop Welles officiating. It is of frame, 40x24, handsomely arranged and finished in pine, elaborately furnished, and possesses capacity for seating one hundred and fifty worshipers. Its cost was estimated at $800. The Rev. George H. Drewe is Pastor, and the congregation numbers fourteen communicants.

The Primitive Methodist Church. – Previous to 1861, the congregation which that year became attached to the Rocky Ford Circuit of the Primitive Methodist sect was identified with and a portion of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Hazel Green. Ruling in the general work of the church, however, caused dissatisfaction therein, and culminated in separation, which found expression in the establishment of the society under consideration. The members who withdrew were Thomas Andrews, Samuel Andrews, Robert Andrews, Christopher Andrews, John Cox, John Martin, George Broderick, William Berryman, Peter Trenartha, Andrew Pierce, Joseph Johns, James Johns, James T. Taylor, Thomas Stillman, Richard Tregonning, and some others.

Upon completion of their organization, the society purchased the edifice which had been erected by the Christian denomination some years previous, and called the Rev. Henry Lees as Pastor. Here they worshiped until the tornado of 1876, which put a period to their local habitation, and for a season they were without an edifice. The premises were rebuilt, however, without delay, and have since furnished ample accommodations. The church is 30x45, occupying the old site. Will seat three hundred and fifty, and cost $1,500.

The Pastors who have officiated have been the Revs. Charles Dawson, Joseph Hewitt, James Alderson, Jasper P. Sparrow, John Hernden, John Johns, W. J. C. Bond, J. Harrington and Thomas Jarvis, the present incumbent.

The congregation numbers eighty, and church property is valued at $2,000.

Methodist Episcopal Church. – This society was organized in 1845, by people of various denominations in the vicinity who were without a regular place of worship, but their names, together with that of the Pastor, are lost to posterity, the records of the church having been lost in the tornado of 1876. The first place of worship was in the old schoolhouse below the present residence of Edward Williams, which was retained until 1849. In that year, through the labors and contributions of the Rev. John Williams, Robert Langley and others, the present church edifice was built at a cost variously estimated at from $1,300 to $2,000. Here the Rev. Frank Smith labored zealously for the promotion and elevation of the church, the first of a line of servants of God who have shed a luster upon the course and worked the salvation of the multitude.

In 1856, so generous had become the congregation in point of numbers, that it was found necessary to enlarge the auditorium of the church, which was accomplished the same year by the addition of a twenty-foot building to the original premises, at a cost of $800, making the edifice 30x66, sufficiently commodious to comfortably seat a congregation of three hundred and sixty. Since that date, the church has answered the purposes for which it was built, to the fullest extent.

The present congregation numbers 200. The church property is valued at $1,700, and the following ministers have served since 1860: The Revs. J. I. Williams, P. S. Mathers, M. Dinsdale, John Knibbs, A. W. Cummings, William Sturgis, P. E. Knox, W. Hall, J. Lawson, A. J. Davis and S. S. Benedict.

The German Presbyterian Church. – This society was organized about 1852, when a meeting of German Calvinists was held in the schoolhouse at the lower end of town. Here the congregation worshiped until 1854, when the present church edifice east of the Episcopal Church was built and dedicated, the sermon being preached by the Rev. John Bently. The church is 24x36, of frame, with a capacity of about two hundred, and cost $500.

From its organization the society has prospered, and is, to-day, attended by a large congregation exclusive of members. The present communicants include forty persons; the church property is valued at $500, and the following Pastors have served since its foundation: The Revs. John Bently, James Renskers, Jacob J. Schwartz, John Van Derloss, Bernard Van Derlos, Gottfried Moer, John Levier, Jacob Stark, Joseph Steinhardt, Mitchell Biddle and Joseph Weittenberger, the present incumbent.


was laid out in the early days of the village, on lands donated by Preston & Young about the year 1844. The first adult buried there is reported to have been Lewis Curtis, one of the oldest settlers in the township. His funeral took place May 31, 1845, the Rev. Avatus Kent, of Galena, officiating, and the pall-bearers being John Edwards, Hiram Weatherbee, Jefferson Crawford, P. P. Patterson, Capt. De Selhorst, of Elk Grove, and James Gilman, of Jamestown, since which solemn event many of those who attended have, too, been laid beneath the daisies. Plague, pestilence and the tornado have each swept through the ranks of life since that day, and stricken down the loved of earth.

The grounds, while by no means demonstrative, are calculated to attract by the simplicity of the surroundings, the quiet ornamentation of the grounds, and the severe style of the entablature, realizing to its fullest extent the immortal picture traced by Thomas Gray.

Many indeed, since the sod of that pioneer was first turned in this sacred spot, have been touched by the Master of mortality and laid within its reverent precincts, who, with the forefathers of the hamlet, sleep and await alike the hour when time, uniting with eternity, shall summon them to plead before that bar whence there is no appeal.

Among the distinguished dead who lie buried there is James Gates Percival. He is sleeping in the lot of his friend and patron, Dr. Jenckes, and visitors to Hazel Green are pointed out the grave of the author, the scholar, the poet and the Christian. He went the way of all flesh at an age when men of his mold could not be easily spared, and created a vacancy that has never been filled. But he left behind him the memory of generous deeds, and a goodness of heart that can never be forgotten by acquaintances and friends who recognized his possession of those qualities which render mankind more charitable, more considerate and more sympathetic to those who fall by the wayside in the checkered aisles of life. He needs no other monument.

In 1852, a re-survey of the cemetery was had, and an addition of three acres made, which was divided into 165 lots, nearly all of which are owned in the village. The grounds were formerly in charge of a committee, but this has been abandoned, and now a sexton only is considered indispensable in their management.

“Can storied urn or animated bust,

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?

Can honor’s voice provoke the silent dust?

Or flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death?’


Sinsinawa Lodge No. 16, I. O. O. F. – Was first chartered May 4, 1847, with the following membership: N. Hennip, William Brunt, E. W. Prentiss, G. E. Skinner, Charles G. Goff, Sylvanus Jessup and W. H. Suttle. The meetings were held in lodge room in what was known as the “old Rock Store,” which was occupied by the craft conjointly with the Masonic fraternity until its destruction by the tornado in 1876. By this calamity the society lost everything, including its charter, records, regalia, etc., and was assisted in its efforts to re-organize by sister lodges throughout the State. This was finally accomplished, including the issue of a new charter, and in conjunction with the Masons, they purchased the Crosby store of George Broderick for $2,500, where they have since met.

The present officers are: George Birkett, N. G.; James H. Mills, V. G.; J. H. Gribble and J. H. Cox, Secretaries; and John Birkett, Treasurer.

The present membership is fifty-five; meetings are held weekly on Saturday nights, and the lodge property is valued at $3,000.

Hazel Green Lodge, No. 43, A., F. & A. M. – This lodge was organized under a dispensation granted December 1, 1852. On June 14 of the following year, a charter was granted with P. H. Sain, W. M.; L D. Phillis, S. W.; James Ormiston, J. W.; T. W. Nash, Treasurer; John O’Connor, Secretary; B. Wilcox, William Dinwiddie and D. Styles, charter members.

The lodge met in the old stone store until its destruction by the tornado in 1876, when they became part occupants of the Crosby store purchased of George Broderick, in company with the Odd Fellows, where they have since convened.

The present officers are: John Birkett, W. M.; Edward Thompson, S. W.; John William, J W.; James Edwards, S. D.; W. T. Andrews, J. D.; Thomas Nash, Secretary; R. D. Roberts, Treasurer; and John Kohl, Tiler.

The present membership is 56, and meetings are held on Friday evenings, on or before the full moon.

Rechabite Lodge, No. 53, I. O. G. T. – Was first organized October 10, 1860, and is to-day one of the most prosperous and successful temperance societies in the Northwest. The organization was effected under and by virtue of the provisions of a charter granted to Miss Lizzie Shyham, Mrs. Frances Shabacker, Charles Shabacker, D. G. Purman, F. A. Thompson, M. J. Skinner, John R. Ralph, F. C. Frebil, Chester Cole and Robert Dobson. Of these D. G. Purman was W. C. T.; Miss Lizzie Shelham, W. C. T.; Mrs. Frances Shabacker, Treasurer; M. J. Skinner and F. A. Thompson, Secretaries; F. C. Frebil, Chaplain; and John R. Ralph, Marshal.

Meetings were held in the old stone store, and so continued until 1876, when the destruction of that rendezvous of Templars, Masons and Odd Fellows compelled the securement of other quarters, the stone’s store was procured, which has since been occupied.

The present membership is stated at 100. The present officers are: William Fern, W. C. T.; Miss Jennie Cox, W. V. T.; John Fern, Treasurer; Edward Thompson, Miss Ruba York and Miss Minnie Thomas, Secretaries; the Rev. T. S. Benedict, Chaplain; Frank Fern, Marshal; and Josiah Thomas, Representative of the Grand Lodge.

Meetings are convened weekly, and the value of the lodge property is estimated at $300.


was organized August 25, 1880, and has attained a degree of prominence and favor rarely accorded associations of similar objects and experience. The officers then, as now, as also the members, were J. J. Crawford, President and Leader; George Mills, Treasurer, and E. D. F. Morcom, Secretary. J. J. Crawford, F. G. Thompson, William Andrews, Thomas Williams, Jefferson Crawford, Roy Williams, John H. Thomas, Thomas Simmons, Christian Andrews, E. D. F. Morcom and Frank Fern.

Frank Thompson, Jefferson Crawford and Edward O’Neill, Band Committee.

The property of the organization is valued at $250, and meetings are held semi-weekly for practice.


located about two miles west of Hazel Green, is one of the most extensive establishments of the kind in Grant County. The mill is of stone, the main building 32x54, and four stories high, with an addition of 40x18, one story high. The undertaking was commenced in May, 1847, when the digging of the race was begun and completed in March, 1848, at a cost of $11,000.

The mill proper contains three run of buhrs, with a capacity for grinding forty barrels of flour per day, and is valued, with the land immediately contiguous, at $30,000.

Hazel Green History