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LOCATION – EARLY SETTLEMENT – FIRST MARRIAGE – FIRST ELECTION – FIRST POST OFFICE –
INDIAN TROUBLES – FIRST CHURCH AND SCHOOLHOUSE – AN EARLY TRAGEDY – PATRIOTISM IN
1836 – HARD TIMES – THE CALIFORNIA FEVER – TOWN OFFICERS – THE CITY OF PLATTEVILLE
- MAKING THE VILLAGE – FIRST BRICK BUILDING – SMALL-POX EPIDEMIC – THE BEVANS
LEAD – PLATTEVILLE IN 1850 – DURING WAR TIMES – THE PRESENT CONDITION – OFFICIAL
ROSTER – THE FIRE DEPARTMENT – EDUCATIONAL – THE POST OFFICE – THE PRESS – BANKS –
SECRET SOCIETIES – OTHER SOCIETIES – MANUFACTORIES – ELEVATOR – RELIGIOUS.
Platteville is one of the southeasterly towns of Grant County, as also one of the more highly cultivated and prosperous, with abundant resources, both vegetable and mineral; is bounded on the north by the town of Lima, on the east by La Fayette County, on the south by Smelser, and on the west by Harrison, and contains a total of 23,040 acres of land, fairly divided into prairie and timber. It is well watered by Little Platte River and its branches, Block-House Creek and other streams furnishing superior water-power, which has been successfully employed in operating mills, etc. The Galena & Southwestern and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroads, enter the township from opposite points, and converging at the city of Platteville afford ample facilities for communicating with all points immediate and remote, and are of incalculable value to farmers, merchants and the world at large as mediums of exchange and mutual benefits.
The first settlement made in this township – indeed, in the county – for the settlement of what subsequently became Grant County was commenced on the present site of Platteville City – was begun in the spring of 1827. Fifty and four years ago the foundations of a new empire had been laid in the almost undiscovered lands of the Northwest, which have since blossomed into a more than perfect realization of what was hoped for by its founders. These were composed of men who were the natural architects of success; not men who, like chameleons, only reflect and have no positive coloring of their own; but as Saul among his brethren stood head and shoulders above them, so stood these pioneers as compared with succeeding generations. Many of them are dead, but their works live after them. Rest well, grand old men who have dropped like grains of “good corn” and lie “warm in your earthly beds!”
In November, 1827, John H. Rountree, still a prominent and distinguished resident of the township, accompanied by Maj. J. B. Campbell and two men named William Ruby and John McWilliams, made his advent into future Platteville, attracted thither by the opportunities he had ascertained only awaited the hand of industry and enterprise to pluck without resistance. The previous spring it might be interpolated. Mr. Rountree had satisfied himself of these facts and began negotiating for the purchase of a claim owned by one Emanuel Medcalf, who discovered its value some time before while prospecting for mineral. After several attempts to effect its purchase which had failed to culminate, Messrs. Rountree and Campbell accomplished their object, paying for the title $3,600; contingently upon its equaling moderate expectations, and at the period indicated, came into the territory to test its value and identify themselves with the development of this portion of the “lead mines.” These adventurous comers knew that, with patient watch and untiring diligence they would reap a generous reward, and having erected a sod cabin twelve feet square on the branch about two hundred yards southeast of Mr. Rountree’s present mansion, corner of Pine and Lydia streets, began working the claim as the breath of advancing winter made them to realize that the fall with all its glories had vanished, to be laid in the great storehouse of the past. Through storm and sunshine, when the icy air swept down the valley of the branch chilling all before its way, these four men toiled on from early to late hoping and thinking that, with the dawn of spring, their labors, their enterprise and their patience would be rewarded. So hoped and thought Columbus as he lay at anchor among the drifting seaweed and waited for the dawn of the day. Nor was he disappointed, nor were the toilers in the lead discovered by Emanuel Medcalf, doomed to failure. Before the wandering snow flakes, sweet and silent messengers from a sinless region, had ceased to fall and kiss the earth’s brown breast with their soft white lips, the toilers had laid up a hundred-fold of the treasure gathered with the “pick and gad.” In truth, the results which attended the efforts of this quartette who first came to Platteville Township are said to have been of the most generous character. But there was no furnace nearer than Gratiot’s Grove or Galena in which the raw material could be rendered a marketable commodity, and until one was built the mineral was slacked up awaiting its completion.
During the inhospital winter of 1827-28, there were but few arrivals of men who became settlers. A limited number of huts, of the most primitive description and conveniences, skirted the incline, upon which the Gates House has since been erected, put up by an invoice of careless, quixotic, wandering miners, who tarried but long enough to prospect, yet not sufficiently long to realize, and went hence in search of more inviting if less hospitable scenes. That is, when the ice and snow, in which the hills and vales were wrapped, yielded place to the sunlight and affection of returning spring. With the arrival of that season, Messrs. Rountree and Campbell began the building of a rude log furnace and hurried the same so effectually that is completion was announced before summer. It was located in the Rountree tract, in sight of the habitation of these gentlemen, on a line between Mr. Rountree’s present residence and Virgin’s mill. They also put up what, for those times, was known as a commodious and pretentious domicile, on their tract, now opposite the foot of Oak street. It was a single story double log house, with a long hallway running down the middle, and adapted to the uses of a caravansary, for the accommodation of men employed by the parties operating the mine. Here came that spring Frederick Holman and family, accompanied by James R. Vineyard. Mr. Holman’s family consisted of himself, wife and four children. He became landlord of the boarding-house, and Mrs. Holman was the second lady, it is believed, who came into the township, Mrs. Medcalf and Mrs. Lewis, her daughter, being the first of the opposite sex to locate in these comparatively unknown wilds of the time mentioned. The same spring a Mr. Jones escorted his wife and three young ladies of venturesome temperament into the Territory, and, putting up a log cabin near where Mr. Potter now lives on Water street, were enrolled as among the pioneer residents of the vicinity. Jacob Hoosier settled one mile south of the present city, where he still lives. There were some others came in about this time, though the number was exceedingly limited, and could be expressed without exhaustive numerical faculties. Among these were Joseph H. Dixon, who, with a younger brother, settled on a tract of land about one and a half miles south of the subsequent city, and made the first attempts of farming undertaken in the township, if not in the county. They plowed up ten acres of prairie, sowed it to corn, cultivated the latter until it grew yellow in the sunlight, when it was sold to J. H. Rountree, and sufficient was realized unto the producers to enable them to repeat their experiment with increased profit. The old farm, it is said, on which these early labors were expended, has passed through a varied experience, and is still made to pay tribute to the necessities of mankind. Col. Dixon died a number of years ago, since when his widow become Mrs. Enoch Robinson, and a resident of the southwestern portion of the town, where she still remains.
This year was rather noted in connection with great endeavors besides those mentioned. On March 30, Mr. Rountree established the first store in the town. It was located near where he lived, and contained the usual stock of dry goods, groceries and provisions, obtained in St. Louis and shipped to their final destination via Galena. The business was transacted on a credit basis, and the distinction between meum and tuum in the obligations thus imposed was as defined and sacredly observed as in portions of the country where sustained by the majesty of the law.
In October, 1827, the settlement was called Platte River and continued under that title until April 7, 1828, when the name was changed to Lebanon, by which it was known until May 20, of the same year, when Platteville was substituted and still obtains. From records beyond dispute it appears that the following were resident of the vicinage at that date, in addition to those named: A. and W. Daugherty, Samuel Kirkpatrick, A. L. Orden, Alexander Willard, B. B. Lawless, John Wellmaker, Waller Rowen, William Morrison, Joseph Brammer, M. M. Woodbridge, Jesse Harrison, Benjamin James, Frederick Reamer, Isaac Yoakum, Thomas Densen, Israel Mitchell, Robert Roper, James R. Vineyard and William B. Vineyard.
In September, 1828, occurred the first marriage in the town, the contracting arties being James R. Vineyard and Miss Mary Jones. A minister from Galena officiated, but beyond the ceremony there was nothing to interest or entertain the contracted social world established at that day in this vicinity. Previous to this event, and on August 7, 1828, Maj. Rountree was married, at Galena, to Miss Mary Grace Mitchell.
The same fall an election was held in Platteville, the voters depositing their ballots for State officers of Illinois. During its progress, a squad of men residing at Elk Grove and Benton visited the polls for the purpose of exercising their prerogative as citizens and, what is not an unusual circumstance upon similar occasions to-day, became pugnaciously inebriated. The result was a row, which ended in a drawn battle, with the manor born, as it were, retaining possession of the field.
The improvements this year were limited to those already mentioned, namely, the furnace, Holman’s boarding-house, Rountree’s cabin and store house, Jones’ cabin and one other, inhabited by miners. The Finney patch and Meeker diggings were discovered and worked, and the furnace which began operations in May, smelted mineral for miners working within a radius of twelve miles. Prairie fires in the spring and fall were the only sources of excitement, the Indians having ceased to be the cause of apprehension or amusement. A scattering few belonging to the Winnebago tribe wandered aimlessly and harmlessly about the country and pitched a camp upon the banks of the Little Platte in the vicinity of which they hunted and fished, or enjoyed their dolce far niente, afar from the haunts of semi-civilization. Churches and schools were blessings that had thus far failed to materialize. Possibly some peripatetic Wesleyan or Calvinist, who combined both professions, may have “joined issue” with ignorance and sin, but according to the most authentic, at the same time reliable, reports, the bliss of the former remained undisturbed and the latter’s presence unrebuked.
The winter of 1828-29 was mild and open, and work was prosecuted without interruption. A moderate degree of prosperity had accompanied the efforts of those who were employed the previous years, and continued in service during those succeeding, and, as a consequence, there were fewer of the trials incident to hardships indigenous to a new country than in other portions of the lead mines less remote from the humanizing as also tempting influences here wanting. Early in the spring, Pierre Teller, with his family, settled two miles southwest of the present city, and he was followed by others during the same year. Among these, were included William and Daniel Richards, the former with his family, and establishing homes in the vicinity of Teller’s settlement. Thomas Cruson, William Davidson, Thomas Hugill, probably E. M. Orn, Benjamin Good, Benjamin Green, all with domestic dependents, and the usual run of sucker miners came into the township in this year. The former named remained, but the suckers following the habits of their finny namesakes, returned whence they came with the frost. This year, a man named Meredeth became involved in a fracas with miners in the southwestern portion of the township, and received injuries which caused his death, said to be the first death happening in the township. The fact, however, is a mooted question, that distinguished honor being by some awarded to a young man who resided in a miner’s hut near the Teller cabin. He was taken sick, it is said, with one of the malarial diseases peculiar to the times and place, and before another spring’s violets colored the withered grass of the prairies, a mound was raised in the old cemetery near Virgin’s Mill, another soul was beside the still waters. His name was not preserved, and, with his fame, is denied to posterity.
FIRST POST OFFICE.
The most prominent events described as of record in 1829 was the agricultural beginnings made by Scott Kirkpatrick, and the opening of a post office at Rountree’s store. Kirkpatrick came here in 1828, and procuring land east of the village site, plowed up ten acres and planted it in corn. The postal facilities were established at Platteville, so named, as already stated, by Mr. Rountree in 1828, Platte River being the derivation, and that gentleman appointed the Government official. This he did until October, when further honors were buckled upon his back, and he was obliged to divide his duties as Postmaster with those of Justice of the Peace, he being the first who served in either capacity in the township. There were mineral discoveries made this year also, chiefly in the vicinity of those already developed.
The year 1830 was marked by no event worthy of preservation on tablets of stone or memory. Nothing is remembered to have occurred calculated to electrify the world or paralyze the nation, save and except the birth of a daughter to James Vineyard and wife, which cheerful episode is claimed as the first to take place in the town. The young lady was christened Jane, and successfully passing through the ages of childhood, youth and felicitous maidenhood, was married in 1851, and removed to California with her husband, where Iris, of the ancients, clipped the golden lock of life that the spirit thus disencumbered might plume its wings for flight to the beautiful shore. The population in 1830 would not exceed forty, it is said, in the township. There were but two farms – one opened by Dixon, and the other by Kirkpatrick – but purchased that year by Mr. Rountree for consideration of $150. Mining and smelting was carried on with remunerative results, and provisions and other necessaries could be obtained only at St. Louis. As yet mills and other conveniences of life, which succeeding years compelled the development of, were unknown factors in the sum of human experience in the wilderness. As the year advanced, the absence of many features, which subsequently contributed to the prosperity of the mines, was seriously felt, and produced an effect upon the community which, if not entirely cheerless, was not altogether rose-colored. With the winter came comparatively hard times, depreciation in the price of mineral, scarcity of supplies, and few if any accessions to the population. This condition of affairs was continued into 1832, when the number of inhabitants is quoted as at no time having exceeded a hundred, including women and children. In the spring of the latter year, a Methodist minister named Robinson, attached to the Indiana Conference, made a visit to Platteville, and formed a class composed of J. H. Rountree and wife, William B. Vineyard and wife, who settled in the country a few weeks previous, and a very few others, from which sprang the Methodist Church, one of the most flourishing and the oldest religious organizations in either the present city or county. During the war, services were irregular; but in the fall, the Rev. John T. Mitchell succeeded Mr. Robinson, and formed a circuit made up of Platteville, Mineral Point, Galena and Gratiot’s Grove.
Early in April, 1832 news reached Platteville that the Indians had commenced hostilities and were camped on Rock River, near Dixon, preparing for a campaign of extermination against the whites. As all are aware, this was the prelude to the Black Hawk war. Gen. Dodge made requisitions upon all the settlements for troops, in response to which one company was organized at Platteville by J. H. Rountree, who commanded, composed of the following: George Robison and J. P. Cox, Lieutenants; J. H. Dixon, Cleland McMurry, Hiram Wells, Thomas Brooks, William Davidson, Irwin O’Hara, Frederick Holman, John Henderson, Allen Carpenter, James Hopkins, A. Rasdell, William Dean, Charles Lewis, John Van Wagoner, W. H. Farmer, Edward James, Verni Dawson, George Rosamire, Thomas Fitzpatrick, William Carpenter, Missouri Dixon, J. B. Lavine, D. McGaws, B. H. Duncan, John Barns, James Kaney, J. Sturtevant, Thomas Ion, Abram Travis and Daniel McMullen, Privates. This company was mustered into service, and, after brief halts at Blue Mounds and Mineral Point, participated in the battles of Wisconsin Heights and Bad Ax, after which it was disbanded. For the purpose of more effectually furnishing a defense for those remaining behind, a stockade and block-house was erected. The combination was located on the property of Mr. Rountree, diagonally opposite the present site of the Gates House, and abundantly fulfilled its object. The stockade was circular in form, about 100 feet in diameter, and the block-house full twenty feet square. A squad of volunteers under the command of Capt. Irvin O’Hara, manned its defenses, and defied the “wily foe,” which, happily for those who composed it, remained at a distance from the outer walls of the fortress. With the close of hostilities, the people resumed the arts of peace. Swords were turned into plows and picks, and spears into pruning hooks, and through their agency was the attempt once more made to woo and win that fickle dame, called Fortune. The outlook was far from encouraging. When the war opened, as has already been hinted, lead and other products, upon the sale of which the people depended for support, was low, and the necessaries of life correspondingly high. Apprehension of the Indians and bounden fears of the future impelled a number to resign their possessions and citizenship and seek more congenial localities. There was no work of moment begun or concluded this year. The causes of progress and civilization, touched by the hand of an enemy, had shrunk before the advance of war and become the burial places of bright hopes, high ambitions and dead affections, over which bitter disappointments, unyielding griefs and sorrowful memories were erected as monuments. In 1833, but very few, who had left the town, returned, and still fewer came to identify themselves with its success.
FIRST CHURCH AND SCHOOLHOUSE.
In the spring of this or the following year, a building was erected on Section 16, to be used as a school and church. It was of logs, small and without ornament or finish, but the first in the township or county, and second in the State, especially for school purposes, the buildings at Prairie du Chien and Winnebago having preceded it a few months. The year 1834 ushered in better times. With what proved to be the dawn of happier days, the pioneers closed the eyes of the dead past, straightened its rigid limbs, and drawing the white sheet of oblivion over the pale corpse, left it to desolation and forgetfulness. The storm had passed away, the sun of promise shone out with glorious brightness, and the fierce winds of discouragement were hushed, while a rainbow of surpassing beauty sprang from the clouds and arched above the horizon of the future. In October, the land office was opened at Mineral Point, and occasioned no inconsiderable interest to be manifested in all sections of the country affected by its location. Very many hastened to the Point from Platteville, and large purchases were made by those who had anticipated the event, and entered the lands during prior years. In adjoining counties trouble was experienced between settlers and new-comers, the latter largely made up of speculators and adventurers, growing out of disputes involving the questions of title to lands claimed by actual settlers, but purchased as an investment by those who visited the sales on speculative business. In the town of Platteville, there was a commendable absence of this feature of pioneer life. No fierce discussions succeeded the purchase of land within its territory, no “wars or rumors of wars” besieged vendees, and no judicial arbitrament was necessary to define or quiet a title. Notwithstanding the inducements offered for immigration to the town, the arrivals for this and many subsequent years were by no means as large as were anticipated or deserved. Yet many came in, through whose brawn, industry and enterprise, mines were made to pay tribute to the wealth of the country, wild wastes transformed into productive farms, and puny settlements to extend their limits and graduate into towns and cities. When Themistocles was asked to play upon a musical instrument, he replied, “I cannot fiddle, but I can make a wilderness a great city,” and the men of whom mention is made as the architects of civilization in Platteville, were counterparts of Themistocles.
The settlers who came in during 1834 were in part made up of Henry Snowden, Richard Waller, Robert Chapman, Benjamin Farmer, T. R. Hugill, Miles Vineyard, Lorenzo Bevans, Richard Huntington, Robert Bonson, Richard Bonson, Samuel Moore and some others, not to omit mention of the arrival of a delegation of Cornish miners who came also this year, some of whose names are cited in the above list. The year, while not one of boundless prosperity, had, nevertheless, attended the town with a complement of encouragement, and with little to mourn as it paused upon the threshold of departure to contemplate its career, passed silently on the tide of time to the kingdom of obscurity.
What was true in 1835 in regard to the accession of inhabitants, the acquisition of wealth, the improvement of the town and the employment of auxiliaries to the promotion of any of these agencies as means to the development and building-up of the country, applies also to the years that followed in its wake for almost a decade. A saw-mill, begun by Mr. Rountree the year previous, was finished and commenced operations in 1836. It was located on Section 9, and was the first of its kind established in the town. Richard Huntington opened a farm on Section 24, which is now occupied by his son; a man by the name of Carpenter also cultivated property lying in Section 12. Hon. Edward Eastabrook came in this year and located, as also did Robert Myers, J. Chalders, Thomas Lewis, Edward Hugill, D. Crockett, Thomas Rowe, James Bonson, George Snowden, Miss Ann Snowden (now Mrs. Samuel Moore), and probably a few others, nearly all bringing their families with them.
AN EARLY TRAGEDY.
During the summer, a tragedy occurred on the farm of Benjamin Good, located in the northeastern portion of the town, which occasioned more than a passing excitement. It seems that an adopted son of Mr. Good was in the timber searching for cattle which had strayed away, when he was accosted by a lad of his own age and challenged to fight. While the altercation was in progress the former was assaulted and received injuries which resulted fatally within a week. The young murderer, whose name cannot be ascertained, was apprehended and taken to Mineral Point, where he was locked up. While thus in the toils, he succeeded by strategy in eluding the vigilance of the bailiff during the day, and could nowhere be found, although a vigorous search was instituted. It was afterward learned that upon his enlargement he dropped into an abandoned mineral hole near the jail, where he remained until after sundown, and, emerging therefrom in the darkness of the night, made his way through the country to Southern Illinois. No effort was made to procure his return, and, when last heard from, he was a resident of “Egypt.”
PATRIOTISM IN 1836.
Residents of the town celebrated the anniversary of American independence in 1836, with ceremonials both tempting and patriotic, in a grove on the edge of the village. Here a stand was erected, from which either S. O. Paine or Lorenzo Bevans orated; the Declaration was read, and the company feasted on the barbecued carcass of an ox, with the attendant vegetable and inebriating condiments. With the conclusion of the exercises and after the dinner had been discussed, a minor number of the celebrants, bubbling over with their love of the ardent, forgot country, the battle of Lexington and associations suggested by the day, and became vociferously intoxicated. Some of them mounted the festal board, along which they pranced furiously, sending the dishes in one direction, the crowd in another, and creating a commotion that can only be compared to an Indian stampede. After prolonging this token of their appreciation until its variety lost its spice, the chief actors retired behind the scenes to recuperate, and the audience, encouraged at the prospect, resumed their more appropriate enjoyments.
In 1837, as will be remembered, a financial panic swept over the country and left its mark upon the commercial world so pronouncedly that its effects were experienced for years afterward. The residents of Platteville, while only remotely affected by the visitation, were sensibly aware of its presence by the absence of mediums of exchange, and the high price at which commodities were held. There were few provisions, cereals or vegetables then raised in the town or county, and the people dependent upon foreign sources of supply were in nearly every instance compelled to pay cash for their purchases. To do this was not always possible; lead was low, and in little demand, and the consequence was that some hardships and privations, though no suffering, was experienced. There were no improvements to speak of, of a private character, completed or even projected that year. In February, the county was organized, but this advance accomplished no change for the better. There was but one schoolhouse, and the educational opportunities were limited to about three months during the year. Among the cheerful evidences that the citizens still lived was the building and dedication of the first church edifice in this portion of the State. It was of frame, and considered for the times a pattern of architectural perfection and elegant accommodations; occupying a prominent point of observation on Main street, it was the cynosure of admiration for citizens, and inquiry by strangers for many years. After serving its purposes for a continued period, the old church was removed to give place to a brick block, now in part occupied by Sanford & Chase, and the Rev. Wellington Weigley, who preached the dedicatory sermon, long since become a resident of Chicago, where he abandoned the “cloth,” and pleads for the forgiveness of sinners for the more lucrative returns incident to an appearance before temporal courts with pleas in abatement and avoidance.
There was nothing beyond the ordinary rules of life occurring during the ensuing years (until the Mexican war) deserving of special mention. There were occasional arrivals of immigrants, who came into the promised land eloquent with hope and happiness, and laid broad the foundations upon which superstructures of prosperity and felicity have since been erected. There were occasional departures, too. Some wandered off to the more distant frontier; while on some, Death daguerreotyped a smile as he gave life to another angel. Up to 1840, the trust and confidence of man, in these regions remote from business centers, and in the honor and integrity of his neighbor, was as complete and unchangeable as the deductions of a mathematical problem. A man’s word was, in those days, his certificate of character, and honesty a vital element in his composition. There were few cases of felony, and tribunals for the adjudication of criminal presentations were not esteemed as indispensable branches of government. By that year, schools had found abiding-places in the township, and the Gospel was “preached to the multitude.” Postal and traveling facilities had advanced in a wonderful ratio during the thirteen years of the township’s occupation, and communication was enjoyed with friends and the public at intervals remarked for their brevity. Stages then ran from Galena to Madison via Platteville, Mineral Point, etc., conducted by Frink & Walker, and afforded accommodations comfortable if not luxurious. By that year, the lands in the town were all taken up and owned, mostly by occupants. Indeed, the sum of human happiness, as compared with what it had been in the earlier days of the venture, was an aggregation of features that defied discord and affliction. After this period, accessions to the population included representatives of a tyye of civilization found in thickly inhabited districts, where good and bad are commingled indiscriminately. As a result, to express it in the language of one who was prominently identified with the body politic at the time, “there was more hustling than before, and miners, instead of leaving their mineral scattered about indifferently, never dared to leave any out after dark.” Mining remained in the van of occupations until the discovery of gold in California. Agriculture was not so much employed as a means of livelihood even after that date. It required continued labor, and content with small returns, to become a farmer in those days. The improvements in farm machinery, which have since contributed so effectively to the breaking-up of the prairies, the cultivation of the soil and harvesting of the products were unknown quantities at the time of which mention is here made. Since that period, however, as is universally known, the population has become numerous, the absence of the unknown quantities supplied, and the wastes and “barrens” been made to blossom as the rose.
On the breaking-out of the Mexican war, the town had become an important and wealthy constituent of Grant County, in all respects mentioned, as also politically. In that behalf, it was about evenly divided between Whigs and Federalists, with a preponderance in favor of the former. In June, 1846, Gov. Dodge issued his proclamation, directing the enlistment of one regiment of infantry for service in Mexico, to which, however, no response is on record as having been made by Platteville residents. Wirom Knowlton, of the city, raised a company, of which he was appointed Captain, with Joseph Morrill and Charles Brisbois as Lieutenants. It was composed of men hailing from all parts of the county, and was ordered to Fort Crawford to do duty in place of regulars who had been transferred across the Rio Grande; but beyond a few comparatively insignificant skirmishes with impertinent Indians, no brows were bound with victorious wreaths, or bruised arms hung up for monuments to the prowess and patriotism of volunteers from Platteville. With the success of the Americans, Peace followed, and spreading its spotless wings over the scenes of war and desolation, inspired the victorious forces with ambitions appropriate and deserving of education.
THE CALIFORNIA FEVER.
About this time, gold was discovered in California, and there are very many still living, who not only remember and participated in the excitement that greeted the news, but were drafted into the army of Argonauts which marched thither. The miners employed in digging throughout the township with one accord abandoned their “leads,” eager to be piloted over the prairie, across the desert and through the canon, that they might snuff the salt air of the Western Ocean, and drag up the hidden wealth reserved for soldiers of fortune beneath the soil of a land that was kissed by her sparkling water. The miners were not alone in their determination either. Representatives from every profession and occupation joined the column hastening from the Atlantic to the Pacific, leaving the marks of their bivouacs on the way in graves and skeletons, and “blazing” trees on the route, which guided the advance of succeeding years in the contest for supremacy between civilization and barbarism. Yet the community survived the inroads made upon its resources – the township prospered – sleeping quietly under its great trees, and smiling with an air of perfect content upon those who abandoned its advantages in their pursuit of wealth, so few of whom wrested their object from its secret hiding-places. Among those who went out to seek fortune in that far-off region were Curtis Barker, James R. Vineyard, William B. Vineyard, Thomas Cruson, Dr. John Bevans, W. B. Bevans, C. D. Bevans, R. T. Verran, Jackson Basye, William Gross, Joseph Fink, Edmund T. Locke, Octavius Hollman, John Hollman, Fisher Bayley, T. J. Colburn, Adolphus Holliday, D. and M. Comstock, Charles Wright, E. M. Orn, Michael and John Stephens (twins, still living at an advanced age), T. Stephens, Henry Eastman, C. and T. Eastman, Robert Snowden, Milo Jones, Benjamin Green, James Moore and a large number of others, whose identity has been forgotten. Of those who went out, about sixty per cent returned, while a large proportion removed on the Pacific Coasts, and the remainder either died en route or subsequent to their arrival. When the excitement, consequent upon the prevalence of the gold fever was at its height, the township was organized under and by notice of an act of the Legislature, and placed under a form of municipal government adapted thereto. For the past thirty years, the township has made steady progress in all directions that would either mold the intelligence of citizens, or master the development of material resources. Yet in the haste to become prosperous the pioneers and their descendants realized the fact that “man lives not by bread alone,” and subscribed to the support of schools and churches, the base of civilization and democracy, for the education of the soul and mind. Including the city of Platteville, there is a total of twelve churches in the township, enjoying a generous support, and wielding an extended influence. It also sustains six schools, exclusive of three in the city, for which an annual tax of about three mills is assessed, producing an income of nearly $1,100, expended in their support. Up to 1850 say, the mines, as has been already stated, were vigorously and successfully worked. Two blast furnaces were required to prepare the mineral for market, and these were constantly employed. With the departure of gold seekers, mining diminished rapidly, and has never resumed its former prominence. One furnace was abandoned and fell into decay, while that run by Straw & Spensley is only worked about half-time. The mines in the Davidson estate, and those discovered three years ago on the Robbins property, principally furnishing the raw material. Agriculturally, the town made steady advance, though with not that gratifying progress which began in 1861, and continued until 1865, when all the arable land within its limits was taken up and cultivated with profit.
When the war between the sections became an established fact, when the unity of the Federal compact was assailed, and dissolution, anarchy and ruin impended, the town sent among the first of Wisconsin soldiers into the field to repel the enemy and maintain the laws. Through the contest her citizens responded to each levy made upon them for men and money, until before justice was satisfied, before mercy was content, 500 soldiers and $25,000 were contributed and subscribed, that the star-lit folds of the National ensign should float aloft for the “Bonnie Blue Flag.” After the war, the soldier died, the citizen was born again, and the heart that throbbed with the hot fever of battle, beat as gently as when in boyhood’s happy day; the child gazed into the near heaven of eyes, that were long since palsied by death.
The half-century, through the good and evil of which the town has lived, is filled with reminiscences to the manor born that rush upon the soul as a mighty torrent, over which a cloud has burst. They see the country a trackless wilderness, filled with danger, disease and death. They see the savage foe that once inhabited the wooded fastnesses, rioting in the ruin of settlers’ homes with barbaric joy. They see him put to flight, dispersed, wiped out, and in his stead appears the videttes of civilization, the advance of that grand army of pioneers that joined issue with the prairies and the forests, and prevailed against them. They see the relics of another race and another age dissolve from view as bubbles upon the water. Huts and cabins give place to commodious mansions, forests to smiling fields. The prairies have become farms whereon the waving grain grows yellow in the sunlight, and the voice of the reapers is heard as they harvest the crop, before the noiseless snow wanders downward from the veiled heavens and wraps in folds of white the autumn leaves and stocks. But few remain of those who came in the flush of youth and health and hope to battle with the foes of life and happiness in a new country. Some, long before the morning of life had reached its meridian, fell by the wayside and were heard of no more; some had almost reached the haven of their hopes, but, like a ship dashed against an unknown breaker, went down to death and left no record of their departure. Many of them died poor, none of them died rich, but all have left behind them a legacy of noble lives. Lessons of patience in suffering, hopes in adversity and confidence and trust, where no sunbeams lighted up their pathway. All of them failed to win, with charming endeavors, the fickle goddess, Fortune, but all of them conquered in the battle of life, and stepped forth from the ranks of men, Christians and heroes.
1849 – Benjamin C. Eastman, Chairman; George W. Lakin and J. N. Jones, Supervisors.
1850 – John H. Rountree, Chairman; Stephen O. Paine and John H. Durley, Supervisors.
1851 – Charles W. Wright, Chairman; Joel Potter and James Durley, Supervisors.
1852 – Charles W. Wright, Chairman; Titus Hayes and N. W. Bass, Supervisors.
1853 – H. Hurlbut, Chairman; H. Hutchins and Edward Eastabrook, Supervisors.
1854 – John H. Rountree, Chairman; H. Hutchins and Thomas Chapman, Supervisors.
1855 – J. H. Rountree, Chairman; N. H. Virgin and Joseph Robinson, Supervisors.
1856 – John H. Rountree, Chairman; J. F. Kirkpatrick and George J. Coates, Supervisors.
1857 – N. H. Virgin, Chairman; J. F. Kirkpatrick and John Stephens, Supervisors.
1858 – Samuel Moore, Chairman; S. O. Paine and John Stephens, Supervisors.
1859 – Julius Augustine, Chairman; J. F. Kirkpatrick and John Stephens, Supervisors.
1860 – Allen R. Bushnell, Chairman; George R. Laughton and Calvin Russell, Supervisors.
1861 – Edward M. Hoyt, Chairman; John Huntington and Henry C. Lane, Supervisors.
1862 – John H. Rountree, Chairman; Thomas Chapman and Isaac Hodges, Supervisors.
1863 – John F. Kirkpatrick, Chairman; Thomas Robinson and Henry C. Miller, Supervisors.
1864 – Isaac Hodges, Chairman; Calvin Russell and Thomas Chapman, Supervisors.
1865 – Isaac Hodges, Chairman; Joseph Robinson and Carston Hinners, Supervisors.
1866 – Isaac Hodges, Chairman; Peter Pitts and Carston Hinners, Supervisors.
1867-68 – Isaac Hodges, Chairman; J. F. Kirkpatrick and Peter Pitts, Supervisors.
1869 – Isaac Hodges, Chairman; Peter Pitts and Carston Hinners, Supervisors.
1870-71 – N. W. Bass, Chairman; Robert Neely and Christian Grusse, Supervisors.
1872 – N. W. Bass, Chairman; Robert Neely and H. S. Rountree, Supervisors.
1873 – N. W. Bass, Chairman; Christian Grusse and Francis Rowe, Sr., Supervisors.
1874 to 1879, inclusive – N. W. Bass, Chairman; Peter Pitts and Thomas Chapman, Supervisors.
1880 – John McArthur, Chairman; George C. Huntington and William Pruessing, Supervisors.
1881 – John McArthur, Chairman; Frank E. Huntington and William Pruessing, Supervisors.
Clerks. – R. Hodgson, 1849; Thomas Eastman, 1850-51; B. F. Wyne, 1852-57; A. R. Bushnell, 1858; B. F. Wyne, 1859-64; Milton Graham, 1865-66; Charles W. Hill, 1867-68; W. H. Beebe, 1869; Joel C. Squires, 1870; E. A. Andrews, 1871; J. C. Squires, 1872-73; R. J. Huntington, 1874; C. W. Hill, 1875-79; W. R. Laughton, 1880-81.
Superintendent of Schools. – J. L. Pickard, 1849; Samuel F. Cleveland, 1850; J. J. Pelatour, 1851; Titus Hayes, 1852; Hanmer Robbins, 1853; Thomas Perry, 1854-55; Hanmer Robbins, 1856-61. No return for 1862 or subsequently.
Assesors. – S. F. Cleveland, 1849; Robert Neely, 1850; Thomas Hugill, 1851; Thomas Chapman, 1852; George R. Laughton, 1853; H. Hurlbut, 1854; H. G. Stiles, 1855; J. B. Penn, 1856-58; Thomas Reuder, 1859; J. W. Rewey, 1860; J. B. Penn, 1861-62; Henry G. Stiles, 1863-64-65; J. H. Evans, 1866-67; A. J. McCarn declining to serve, C. T. Overton appointed in his stead; James Durley, 1869-70; Thomas Jenkins, 1871-72-73-74-75; E. Vanderbie, 1876-77-78-79; Thomas Jenkins, Jr., 1880-81.
Treasurer and Collector. – William H. Zenor, 1849; A. C. Inman, 1850-51; Jonathan B. Moore, 1852; William Butler, 1853; J. Miner, 1854; Leonard Coates, 1855; Thomas Chapman, 1856-57; F. E. Palmer, 1858; Frederick Hollman, 1859; E. T. Mears, 1860; Judson H. Holcomb, 1861; L. M. Devendorf, 1862; Engel Vanderbie, 1863-64; J. H. Holcomb, 1865; John Grindell, 1866; Joseph Meinhart, 1867; Henry Rewey, 1868; Herman Buchner, 1869-70; R. Longhenry, 1871-72-73; J. H. Holcomb, 1874-75-76; C. G. Doels, 1877-88; H. C. Lane, 1879; J. N. McGranahan, 1880; J. H. Holcomb, 1881.
Justices of the Peace. – Bennett Atwood, A. C. Inman, S. O. Paine and Harrison Bell, 1849; S. O. Paine and A. C. Inman, 1850; W. H. Chapman and J. W. Vanorman, 1851; S. O. Paine and C. C. Clinton, 1852; W. H. Chapman and B. F. Wyne, 1853; F. Hollman and J. W. Vanorman, 1854; B. F. Wyne and I. S. Clark, 1855; no return for 1856; B. F. Wyne, H. G. Stiles and W. H. Chapman, 1857; A. R. Bushnell and N. Goodrich, 1858; B. F. Wyne and W. H. Chapman, 1859; Allen R. Bushnell and N. Goodrich, 1860; B. F. Wyne, E. A. Andrews and Frederick Hollman, 1861; F. Hollman, J. H. Evans and W. H. Chapman, 1862; B. F. Wyne and John D. Wood, 1863; F. Hollman and W. H. Chapin, 1864; Milton Graham and B. F. Wyne, 1865; Frederick Hollman and John Bender, 186; B. F. Wyne and C. W. Hill, 1867; E. A. Andrews and A. W. Bell, 1868; B. F. Wyne and S. O. Payne, 1869; Joel C. Squires and E. A. Andrews, 1870; B. F. Wyne and Augustus Michaeles, 1871; C. Hiners and J. C. Squires, E. Vanderbie to fill vacancy, 1872; B. F. Wyne and W. H. Beebe, 1873; R. J. Huntington and C. W. Hill, 1874; B. F. Wyne and W. H. Beebe, 1875; C. W. Hill and R. J. Huntington, 1876; B. F. Wyne and Charles Weitenhiller, 1877; C. G. Marshall and C. W. Hill, 1878; B. F. Wyne and C. Weitenhiller, 1879; W. R. Laughton and Thomas Jenkins, Jr., 1880; Dennis J. Gardner and Charles Weitenhiller, 1881.
Constables. – J. B. More, 1849 to 1852 inclusive; T. R. Hugill, 1853 to 1856 inclusive; William Butler, 1857; E. W. Covell and Hudson Thomas, 1858; Hudson Thomas and T. R. Hugill, 1859; A. K. Young and J. H. Holcomb, 1860; J. H. Holcomb and T. R. Hugill, 1861; A. K. Young and C. W. Hill, 1862; C. W. Hill and J. W. Rewey, 1863; J. W. Rewey and E. G. Beckwith, 1864; E. Stephens and W. P. Durley, 1865; W. P. Durley and John Williams, 1866; A. K. Young and T. W. Smelker, 1867; T. W. Smelker, Henry Neihls and P. D. Hendershott, 1868; H. Neils, P. D. Hendershott and G. D. Streeter, 1869; H. Nehls, Thomas Gardner and S. J. Hutchins, 1870; T. R. Hugill, P. D. Hendershott and J. Alford, 1871; T. R. Hugill and Thomas Gardner, 1872; T. R. Hugill and J. H. Holcomb, 1873; James Dodge, Joseph Meinhardt and N. Bradbury, 1874; N. Bradbury and S. B. Spencer, 1875; John Cavanaugh, John T. Davidson and James Hammond, 1876; John Cavanaugh, J. L. Rewey and John P. Sampson, 1877; John Cavanaugh, J. L. Rewey and S. C. Stephens, 1878-79; J. L. Rewey, W. H. Bishop and E. J. Bentley, 1880; John Fawcett, E. J. Bentley and W. H. Bishop, 1881.
Sealer of Weights and Measures. – John N. Jones, 1850; Samuel Moore, 1855; Edwin McHoyt, 1860; A. J. McCarn, 1861-62; James Dodge, 1863; H. M. Gribble, 1864; F. R. Chase, 1865; A. J. McCarn, 1866-67; Samuel Stern, 1868; N. Messersmith, 1869; Thomas White, 1870; A. J. McCarn, 1871-72; J. H. Evans, 1873; no returns for 1874; E. H. Doscher, 1875; F. R. Chase, 1876, 1877 and 1878; E. H. Doscher, 1879.
Town Agent. – N. W. Bass, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877 and 1878.
CITY OF PLATTEVILLE.
The city of Platteville is situated in the heart of the lead mining region, surrounded by a beautiful and fertile agricultural country. The city is irregularly laid out, yet with considerable taste, though it bears the appearance, as is claimed by some writers on the subject, of having sprung up of its own accord. Its irregular character is accounted for in part by the fact that in early days it was a mining settlement, and in surveying the streets it was necessary to respect the rights of miners who owned mineral shafts on its present site, which were subsequently filled up.
MAKING THE VILLAGE.
In 1835, Maj. J. H. Rountree, to whom the present generation is indebted for the growth and prosperity that for a half a century has attended Grant County, Platteville Township and city, caused the survey of the southeastern portion of the present city. Thomas Hugill ran the lines and laid off nineteen lots. At the conclusion of his work, operations were suspended, to be resumed when the entire city was surveyed and platted, and lots became accessible to purchase.
At that day there were no improvements of any kind on the present site. The little cabin of Miles M. Vineyard occupied a limited portion on the slope south by east of where the Gates House now is, and the improvements made by Mr. Rountree on his farm. Richard Waller owned a cabin near Hawley’s factory of to-day; the Rountree furnace on Mineral street; the schoolhouse and church on Section 16; and miners’ cabin located at large in the direction of the mill subsequently erected by N. H. Virgin and others, embraced the improvements made within sight of the prospective village. Upon the completion of the survey, Maj. Rountree put up a frame store at the corner where the post office now is, the lumber for which was obtained at McKee’s mill in the southeast corner of Harrison Township. That fall a grocery was established on Grocery street by William Miller, whose stock in trade was made up of bibulous compounds. Robert Chapman erected a blacksmith-shop on the corner of Main and Oak streets, and one or two small cabins sprang up near the Branch. These were all the improvements completed before winter. Among the citizens who were then or afterward became prominent, were Maj. Rountree, J. R. Vineyard, W. Vineyard, M. M. Vineyard, Samuel Moore, Henry Snowden, Richard Waller, Joseph Chalders, J. W. Woodcock, W. W. Barstow, Robert Chapman, Irving O’Hara, William Martin, Thomas Lewis and John Wiley.
In this year occurred the first marriage celebrated in the future city, being that of George Rosemeyer and Fanny Jones, Maj. Rountree, in his capacity of Justice of the Peace, officiating. There was no merry-making, the usual incident to modern weddings; the happy couple took no note of such formalities, but subsided into practical life, without the attendance concomitants of wine, cake, etc.
The spring of 1836 was without features of importance; if there was any of more than passing consequence, they have escaped without having been placed on record. Early in the spring, Maj. Rountree built a hotel, the first in the town, on the corner opposite the post office, where it was known for many years as the “Blundell House,” of which William Blundell was the landlord. It afterward became the Adams House, and, during the small-pox epidemic of 1843, was the scene of a number of fatal cases. The same season, James W. Woodcock opened a grocery on Grocery street; one or two log residences were located on Mineral street; James Eastabrook made him a home on Market street; Samuel Mitchell came into the settlement and put up a frame house on Main street, where O. C. Griswold now lives; the Rev. James Mitchell erected a residence on Main street, where John Grendell now resides; and these constituted the buildings which found an abiding-place during this year.
John Barstow was the village carpenter; Samuel Moore and Robert Chapman, the village blacksmiths; Drs. Locey and John Bevans diagnosed diseases and prescribed remedies; the Rev. James Mitchell divided his time between commercial pursuits and preaching the Gospel, and is said to have been not only eloquent and persuasive, but capable of sustaining his position in arguments, to which the exciting times occasionally gave birth, when he was almost overwhelmingly convincing. On one occasion, the threat of a citizen to shoot him on sight was brought to his notice a short time before it was necessary for him to enter the pulpit. Thereupon he procured a pair of dueling pistols, and, placing them along side the cushion on the reading desk, promulgated his knowledge of the fate reserved for his acceptance, and that he was prepared to join issue without unnecessary delay. There was a notable absence of lawyers up to this time, and for some years after. The inhabitants usually settled their disputes by arbitration or according to more effective modes of action. In the first place, they were, as a rule, composed of men who rarely failed to requite their promises and discharge their obligations. Theft was almost unknown, and refusals to abide by the terms of a contract were of exceptional infrequency. As illustrative of this, the following is related: During the forties, a citizen of the town, who was working a lead in the vicinity, failed to realize his hopes before his exchequer became exhausted, and, in a condition of mind pardonably discouraging, he visited the store of Samuel Moore, and related his grievances to the proprietor. The lead was there; he knew it, and if he could obtain the means to enable him to prosecute his search to a finality, he would be richly rewarded.
“Well, what do you want?” interrogated Mr. Moore.
“I want powder, fuse; my tools are worn out, and my family is in want of necessaries,” he replied.
“You can have them,” responded Mr. Moore, and availing himself of the accommodation, resumed work. In about thirty days he “struck it big,” and the first thing he did after making a sale was to liquidate the liability he had been permitted by Mr. Moore to undertake.
Nor was this all. Some months after, his benefactor was on the eve of visiting St. Louis to lay in his stock, when the successful miner called, and after inquiring as to his financial needs, insisted upon Mr. Moore’s acceptance of a large sum of money, to be taken out in trade. Of such material was the early citizens of Platteville composed.
The supplies of groceries and edibles were then obtained at St. Louis; those of dry goods and notions at New York. The former came by boat to Galena, thence overland to Platteville. The latter, however, were shipped to their destination via New Orleans, thence to St. Louis and home.
The amusements were of the most primitive and limited character, being made up of dances, sociable and card-playing; and although the games of poker, seven-up and whist were never without patrons, gambling was as a rule rarely indulged. Occasionally a “sport” would put in an appearance, and hiring a saloon for a certain period, set up his game and gather in what he was able to bet on faro, roulette and other ventures. But as stated, gambling was not of so universal a character as in the mining regions elsewhere.
In the spring of 1837, the population of the future city was estimated at about 200, including women and children. The Methodist Church, on Main street, the first exclusively church edifice erected in the city, was commenced this season. Benjamin and Sanford Farmer built and opened a saloon this year on the corner of Main and Third streets; Sylvester Gridley put up a store and residence on the present site of I. Hodges’ bank, and these, with a few cabins and tents scattered about the city at long intervals, comprehended the list of improvements. During 1838-39, the village seems to have progressed but indifferently. The hard times, failure of banks in Illinois, scarcity of money and other causes, combined to delay either emigration or the expression of enterprise. But some came in and identified themselves with the town, and though the outlook was far from cheerful they remained, and, taking the tide of affairs at its ebb, rolled on to glory and fortune.
While material interest may have lagged, the same cannot be said of those relating to religious and educational affairs. Schools had been established, the academy had been incorporated, and a subscription made for the erection of a building, and in these and some other respects a steady advance is said to have been witnessed. The early pioneers, though as a rule uneducated, evidenced a commendable interest in the cause of learning, and a determination to supply their descendants with that to which themselves had been comparative strangers. To the influences exerted at this early day was the superior reputation of Platteville as an educational center to be attributed, for twenty-five years ago, it was known all over the State, and so pronounced was the reputation it had acquired in that behalf in 1866, that the city was made the point for the location of a State Normal School, which is now one of the most prominent and highly prized of the Normal Schools in the country.
The fall of 1838 is represented to have been unprecedentedly dry. In consequence of this steamboats found it extremely difficult to pass the rapids on the Mississippi River, and the inhabitants of Platteville could only obtain their supplies of coffee, whisky, sugar and tobacco at great cost. In the year, 1839, the Northern Badger, the first paper in the city, was established. The paper was a stock concern, and owed its origin to Maj. Rountree, who procured the press and type in St. Louis. In the following year the Academy was organized; in 1842, A. M. Dixon was employed as principal at an annual compensation of $500, and he, it is said, gave the cause of education its first enthusiastic impulse. The first lawyer to settle professionally in Platteville came also in 1839. He was Wirom Knowlton, who was converted during the small-pox epidemic of 1843, and expecting to die caused his coffin to be made by one of the carpenters, and handsomely trimmed and stuffed, so that no delay might prevent the immediate interment of his remains. But he survived an attack of the disease, commanded a company during the Mexican war, and lived for many years, notwithstanding the premonitory admonitions which, as he supposed, enveloped him with pustules. Of the remaining counselors, advocates and lawyers who flourished here in early days, B. C. Eastman, Lorenzo Bevans and George W. Lakin came in 1840; James M. Goodhue, afterward publisher of the Herald and St. Paul Pioneer, delayed his arrival until 1842, while S. O. Paine and C. K. Lord came still later. The early physicians, it may here be observed, were Drs. Bevans, Russell and Basye, of the regular school, and J. C. Campbell, who killed or cured with lobelia and steam.
Thus, practically, was the condition of affairs with the dawn of 1840. For the reasons cited, the growth of the city had been backward, and the improvements, both in point of numbers and quality, were of the most limited and inexpensive character. Main street, as compared with its present prosperity, bore the appearance of desertion. True, buildings, or rather cabins, lined that thoroughfare, but no more equaled the number or graceful attractions of those at present enrolled than an oleaginous Numidian is to be compared to the Phryne of Praxiteles.
Among the merchants who were present, prominent and prosperous at the beginning of this decade were O’Hara & Hopper, on Grocery street, the third door from the corner of Main; J. S. and S. Bass, on Mineral street, opposite the City Park, Sylvester Gridley, where Hodges bank now is; L. W. Link, French & Baker, and D. & N. Kendall, all on Grocery street. The Platteville Hotel was built this year by William Martin, and Dr. Deffenbacher’s present residence, corner of Mineral and Bonson street, materialized. But as already hinted, building was confined to very few undertakings. This rule prevailed also during the year 1841. Nothwithstanding that the village was duly incorporated that year, and enjoyed the services of such distinguished ministers as the Revs. James and Samuel Mitchell, B. T. Kavanagh, Rufus Spaulding and Elder Weed; the lawyers, doctors and merchants have already been mentioned, but it should not be omitted that Ezra Adams, John Bevans and French & Mitton kept hotels; Messrs. C. K. Lord, Durley and Colter officiated as Justices of the Peace, while O’Hara & Hopper, Carson & Morrison, the Vineyards and David Seeley were smelters.
Among the residents of that day who have since become famous, was Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth, the authoress, who resided with her husband on Second street in the city. The couple had come into the country some months previous, but failing to secure a living, had been furnished with means by his relatives to return whence he came; but he was indisposed to do this, and with the fund subscribed to procure his departure, together with some further assistance from other sources, he established himself as a tinner in the old log schoolhouse. Success attended his efforts, when he moved on to Second street, invented a patent lamp, made considerable money, with which he removed to New York, where he deserted his wife, who had recourse to the “pen,” and wrote “The Deserted Wife” and other tales, while he wandered amid the vine-clad hills and sunny vales of California. In time he returned to learn that she was “famous,” wealthy, and a resident of Boston, which rejoiced his soul exceedingly (as he was impecunious) and hastening to her domicile he made overtures for a reconciliation, but this accomplished no results, and he went back to California where he died.
In 1842, James and Samuel Moore, Isaac Hodges, E. Bayley and John Kemler were added to the commercial responsibilities of the town.
On the night of January 29, 1843, occurred the first fire which visited the village. Late in 1842, John H. Nichols, a resident of Southport, on Lake Michigan, consigned a stock of goods to Platteville, and opened a store in the frame house of Maj. Rountree, where the post office now is. George Laughton, still a resident of the city, was placed in charge and slept in the store. Between 1 and 2 o’clock on the morning in question, Mr. Laughton was aroused by the cry of fire, and narrowly escaped destruction with the premises. An examination into the causes of the conflagration, induced the belief that it was the work of an incendiary, and the indignation consequent upon this supposition created the most intense excitement. On the following day a public meeting was convened in the village, at which resolutions condemnatory of the alleged act were adopted, and threats of lynching the supposedly guilty party indulged. This calamity was presented, however, and the circumstance was, in time, lost sight of in the whirl of events.
This was a year of notable events. On February 4, James Paul, accompanied by a half-breed, made a trip to Ontonagon, a distance of 300 miles, over a comparatively trackless wilderness for the purpose of claiming what has since become celebrated in the history of the copper regions, as “Copper Rock,” located in Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior. James R. Vineyard, James Hammonds and Grosevenor proceeded thither also, by the lake route, and the little company collected from Platteville held the fort until dispossessed of their possession by the United States forces, and for a valuable consideration.
The winter was remarkably prolonged and severe, succeeded by a spring both unprecedented and alarming. It was changeable and complex as the variations of a kaleidoscope. On the 22d of February, the mercury in the thermometer was frozen, and blizzard blasts ranged over the prairies, down this street and then down that, tweaking noses and pulling ears, and completely paralyzing the business and other interests of the community. In April, the snow disappeared, and was succeeded by falls of rain and peals of thunder, the like of which had never been previously experienced. During one of these storms, a wedding party was overtaken on the ridge, near the present residence of Hanmer Robbins. Thinking to secure protection, the prospective bride and groom, with their guests, took refuge beneath the wagon, and narrowly escaped drowning. They succeeded in reaching the Platteville Hotel, however, where the services of a Justice were procured, the twain consolidated, and the storm was forgotten in the festivities which followed.
In those days “charivaris” were vouchsafed newly married men and women, which were provocative of emphatic profanity in some cases, and often taxed the patience of performers. The last of these happened about 1843 or 1844, when a Mr. Shinn was married to the sister of Dr. Clark. The bridal couple went to Dubuque on their wedding trip, and while absent arrangements were completed for greeting their return with a vociferous welcome. They managed to avoid the preliminaries concluded upon, and gain the bride’s home by a back way, before the minstrels were aware of their presence in the village. When this fact was brought to the knowledge of the artists engaged, they became furious, and proceeding to the residence of those immediately interested, where they set up such an orchestra of discordant arrangements that the entire town was attracted to the scene. But Shinn and the madame refused to be admonished by these hints, and laughed at the efforts of their persecutors. The latter determined to conquer, redoubled their efforts, and prolonged the contest until, at the expiration of a fortnight, the bride and groom admitted defeat, and paid for the price of their capitulation a generous supper.
FIRST BRICK BUILDING.
In the summer of 1843, Maj. Rountree erected the first brick building in the village. The brick were molded and burned on the west side of the Lancaster road, a short distance from the town. The lime was manufactured in the vicinity, and the sand procured at Platte River. The building still stands, being now occupied in part by Mr. Wyne as a bookstore, and in part by the post office.
The Fourth of July was celebrated this year with impressive ceremonials, at the old academy. George R. Laughton read the Declaration, and Jonathan M. Goodhue orated. The crowd was large, and the exercises rapturously applauded by all present except a lank, lean and hungry looking farmer named Fillebrown, who protested against the reader of the “Charter of American Liberties,” because he was a Briton. But the protest was suppressed, and not allowed to diminish from the pleasures of the day, which were concluded with a picnic at Platte Mound.
SMALL POX EPIDEMIC.
In December following, the small-pox broke out in the village, and, before the physicians were able to agree as to the exact nature of the malady, an epidemic succeeded. It was believed to have been imported hither from Milwaukee by a merchant of Platteville, whose clothing had become impregnated with the seeds of disease while in the former city. A son of James McKernan, who resided with his parents at the corner of Second and Mineral streets, was the first case, and died before remedies could be prescribed for his convalescence. Miles M. Vineyard was among the next cases, and he, too, died. He resided at the Platteville Hotel, and, after his death, the coffin was brought down stairs into the hall of that house, when Mrs. Vineyard, the widow, insisted it should be opened. This was done, notwithstanding the protests of those present, and the virulence of the disease dates from this point, it is claimed.
During this period, the doctors in the village were debating the facts in the cases daily occurring, and being divided in opinion, but little progress was made toward its treatment. Dexter Castle insisted that it was the unmistakable confluent small-pox; Dr. Basye, that it was varioloid; Dr. Clark, that it was a new type of eruption, while Drs. Bevans and Campbell remained undecided in the premises. While they were discussing the facts, however, the disease spread with discouraging rapidity and remediless violence. The city became panic-stricken, and to add to the gloom and distress which hung like palls above its prospects, was quarantined against by surrounding municipalities. At this point, the citizens convened, and, determining to take charge of affairs themselves, directed that all within the town limits should be vaccinated, and inaugurated other measures for the public welfare, including the appointment of a committee composed of A. S. Bennett, “Doc” Simmons, George R. Laughton, James McKernay and two others, whose names are forgotten. Their duties were to visit and care for the sick, bury the dead, etc., and were fortunate in discharging the same without becoming subjects for the physician or undertaker. The population of the village at that time was about five hundred, of whom two hundred and twenty-six were attacked, and of these eleven per cent, at least, fell victims; whole families were swept off, and the survivors of the terrible experience recall its scenes with feelings of horror. The epidemic prevailed during December, 1843, and January and February, 1844.
Some time after the disease had abated, Mr. I. Hodges and G. R. Laughton engaged Dexter Palmer to drive them to Galena. They arrived at their destination late in the afternoon, when they put up at the American Hotel, of which A. Rossette was proprietor. During the evening, David Seeley and J. Allen Barber began to joke them at the danger that was entailed to the town by their presence, and created the most wide-spread and indignant excitement. When the Plattevillians retired, the ladies in the hotel attended upon Mr. Rossette in a body and demanded their expulsion. This summary process was postponed until morning, when Mr. Hodges, upon descending to the first floor, was confronted by the Boniface with a request to “March on, Mr. Hodges; you don’t owe me anything, but please vacate at once.” The gentleman addressed appreciated the situation of affairs, and rousing Mr. Laughton from his morning nap, both procured breakfast at a cellar restaurant, which was hurriedly eaten, after which the team and driver were placed in readiness, and the party slid out of town in time to avoid the vengeance of a mob, which had gathered in the meantime and threatened dire results.
With the opening of spring, emigrants and “suckers” came in together and prepared to remain as long as the climate continued genial. The canvass held for appointment to office this year was quite exciting, and many a hand-to-hand contest resulted as the outgrowth of differences of opinion. William B. Vineyard was recommended for Sheriff against E. S. Baker, and their friends were not only ardent and aggressive, but inclined to be pugnacious, in which latter particular the candidates themselves were not averse to taking a hand. After a heated struggle, during which James R. Vineyard and Wilson engaged in a struggle for physical supremacy, neither prevailing, however, Baker secured the prize, and his friends proceeded to Platte Mound, under the leadership of Hanmer Robbins, and announced the result to the residents of Lancaster by an immense bonfire.
THE BEVANS LEAD.
In July of this year, Lorenzo Bevans discovered a lead in Maj. Rountree’s land south of the present site of the stone schoolhouse, which not only enriched himself, but profited the general public. The history of Mr. Bevans’ labors, in what proved to be a lucky find, is tinged with a color of romance rarely experienced without the pages of fiction. It seems that he had been working the lead for some months, meeting with returns the reverse of encouraging, but still confidence of the existence of large quantities of mineral. He finally became absolutely impoverished, without means to procure the necessaries of life for his family, or material indispensable to the prosecution of his labors. These latter were supplied by a generous-minded merchant, as also the means to hire an assistant for a limited period. On the day he tapped his “bonanza,” he had paid the hired man until noon, which exhausted his exchequer, but suggested that he remain until evening and receive his pay out of the proceeds of the day’s labor.
The “hand” consented, and after their noon lunch the twain re-commenced work in the shaft with redoubled energy – the one in the desperate hope of realizing his cherished object; the other by the knowledge that his rewards would be measured by the quantity of mineral his industry would aid him in bringing to the surface. While pegging away, along about 2 o’clock on the afternoon of a sultry day in July, Mr. Bevans suddenly thrust his pick into the clay bank which lined the avenue wherein he was at work, which being withdrawn, developed such positive evidence of the existence of wealth as to cause him to labor with increased diligence, conscious that he had at last reached the acme of his ambitions. A few strokes of the pick and shovels of clay, encrusted with ore, cast one side, at length displayed a vein of mineral, in comparison with which all previously discovered in the vicinity had been insignificant rather than inferior. Furthur labors served to dissolve all doubts regarding the enormous value of the lead. His patience, perseverance and abding faith in his judgment had been more than requited.
Within one hour after the first discovery of lead was made, many tons of mineral were raised, and the embryo city was alive with excitement. Nearly every one became cognizant of the facts, and nearly every one hurried to the scene, bent on ascertaining for himself and herself, for the multitude was made up of men, women and children, the truth concerning the things whereof they had been informed. Before an hour had elapsed, Mr. Bevans was offered $50 for an interest in his mine, which was soon increased to treble that amount, but both offers were refused. During the afternoon, Hanmer Robbins sought to purchase a share in the venture for $500, which was declined, and when the men ceased operations at evening, that gentleman was intent on buying a moiety for the consideration of $1,000, without results. Upward of two million pounds of ore were taken from the lead which was discharged in 1845, not before the fortunate discoverer had become rich, as also his friends and the merchants in the village from its profits.
This discovery gave an impetus to mining, and many were the attempts made to duplicate Bevans’ experience. The population of the town, which was quoted at 800 in 1844, visibly appreciated in 1845, by the influx of miners, attracted thither by news of his luck. But no other discoveries of importance succeeded their coming, and the number of inhabitants dwindled proportionately, leaving as a residuum only the best classes, whose efforts aided in the substantial growth of the vicinity, and the development of its resources.
In 1845, the brick block of E. Bayley on Main street was erected, the two brick schoolhouses in North and South Platteville commenced, and the brick Methodist Church decided upon. It was begun late in that year or early in 1846, and completed before the spring of 1847. Morally and educationally, the village surpassed expectations or comparison with surrounding towns. The academy built four years previous was conducted in a manner that attracted a generous patronage, and schools for the education of youth of more callow experience than those for whose improvement the academy was designed were springing up in various localities. Commercially, too, the village evidenced a spirit of progress, both permanent and gratifying, and through succeeding years has maintained a prominence special and deserved. Considerable of the uncertain classes, here to-day and there to-morrow, had given place to a class of people who are invaluable to progressive communities. Farming in the surrounding country was revived and carried forward with increased vigor. This condition of affairs continued until flattering reports from the Lake Superior copper mines, combined with the Mexican war, served to drain the village of many of its more enterprising citizens. July 4, 1847, was observed by a dinner in the public square, to which the patriotic, as also the liberally disposed toward the Presbyterian Church, then in progress of building, were invited and came in large numbers. On October 30, of the same year, a concert was given in the church edifice to defray the cost of pews and the purchase of an æolian for the same religious society. As an item of interest to those who attended, the programme is submitted as follows: Voluntary; Hymn, tune, “Josiah,” from the “Sacred Harmony;” Overture, from the French Boreldieu; Anthem, “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house;” song, “The Irish Emigrant’s Lament,” Mr. Laughton; quartet, “The Wild Rose,” Miss E. Wiley, Miss M. Durley, J. W. Stewart and J. Durley; song, “There’s a good time coming, boys,” Ben C. Eastman, Esq.; Quartet, “Sweet the hour when free from labor,” Misses M. and H. Durley, and Messrs. Colburn and Eastman; son, “And they lifted up their voice and wept again,” E. W. Prentiss, of Hazel Green; glee, “He who trusts in ladies fair,” Messrs. Prentice, Stewart, Colburn and J. C. Eastman; Hymn tune, “Palestine;” duet, “Now at moonlight’s fairy hour.” Miss M. Durley and Mr. Prentiss; Anthem, “Jerusalem, my glorious home.”
Part second was made up of solos by J. C. Eastman, E. W. Prentiss and Mr. Stewart; duet by Miss Wiley and Mr. Prentiss; quartets by Mrs. Bancroft, Misses Durley and Wiley, and Messrs. T. Eastman, Covell, Stewart and Durley, in addition to hymnals and instrumental music on the æolian. The concert netted $120, and provided means for the purposes mentioned.
The Mexican war came on about this period, but few residents of Platteville or vicinity being persuaded to enlist. It is estimated that from twelve to fifteen recruits were obtained in this township, in no comparison with the number who went to California two years later, which is said to have been upward of 200, and whose departure unquestionable retarded the growth of the city, diminished the volume of business for many years, and worked an injury to material prospects scarcely short of permanent.
PLATTEVILLE IN 1850.
In 1850, the population of the city is stated as nearly 1,500, an increase of nearly 100 per cent in about four years. There were three churches, the Methodist, Primitive Methodist and Congregational, and quite a number of merchants, prominent among whom were I. Hodges, Moore & Lane, E. Bayley, John Kemler, Mrs. Gridley and Dennis Clark. This year, the Hon. Benjamin C. Eastman was elected to Congress, the first and only Congressman Platteville ever furnished. The ensuing five years were dull, without any enlivening features to ripple the current of daily events. Along in 1855, however, business began to revive, a great many people came in from the East and large amounts of money were invested in public lands. Buildings, too, were erected, and the Clinton House, erected at the corner of Main and Oak streets in 1846, ceased to be among the more prominent structures of that thoroughfare. Prior to the panic of 1857, farming began to revive and attracted the attention of husbandmen at the East and in Europe; as a consequent, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York furnished a large number of settlers, while Germany sent hither representatives of Teutonic thrift and industry, who have aided in the building up of the city, for most of them settled in the city and have become among its most substantial residents. The panic above referred to produced an effect in Platteville similar to that experienced all over the country. Times were hard and money scarce, notwithstanding which there were but few failures among the commercial circles. The campaign preceding the war was characterized by the absence of that rancor and fierce partisanship to be observed in some parts of the country, and previous to the commencement of actual hostilities, though there may have existed a difference of opinion as to where blame for the trouble rested, when firing upon Fort Sumter inaugurated the trouble, there was no one who held back his tribute and support from the cause.
DURING WAR TIMES.
Meetings were held all through the war for the purpose of encouraging enlistments and raising funds, and from the first meeting convened opposite the Tyler House, in April, 1861, which was addressed by Maj. Rountree, N. H. Virgin, Hanmer Robbins and W. E. Carter, and when the first recruit, Billy Britton, enlisted, to the day when Lee surrendered, there was no holding back nor absence of patriotism on the part of citizens to promote success.
After the war, the village grew gradually, and improvements succeeded the rude structures improvised in the early days of the settlement for business and residence purposes. In 1849, the precinct of Platteville was changed into the town of Platteville, with Benjamin C. Eastman Chairman; railroad enterprises were projected upon numerous occasions, having Platteville for their base of operations or objective point, but all proved failures, and nothing more than speculation was indulged by enterprising citizens until 1867. In that year, individuals subscribed stock to the amount of $50,000, which was supplemented by subscriptions to the extent of $60,000 additional stock, for which bonds were issued, payable in twenty annual installments, with interest at the rate of 7 per cent per annum. The following year, the road was completed, and has since been in operation.
THE PRESENT CONDITION.
In 1872, Platteville subscribed $32,000 to aid in building the narrow-gauge railroad, which has also been an outlet for the city and adjacent country since, and with these facilities the means of communication with distant points have been reliable and uninterrupted.
The city has been visited by two destructive conflagrations, one on the night of June 10, 1870, in which the Tyler House, Hodges’ bank burned, involving a loss of $12,000; the other two years later, when the balance of the property contiguous to the site of the fire in 1872, was burned, entailing damages estimated at $12,000. Both blocks, however, have been rebuilt, and a reliable fire organization has been substituted for the “bucket brigade,” providing security against a repetition of these calamities.
On March 4, 1880, an act providing for the chartering of the city of Platteville was approved, and to-day the city, with a population of 2,685, distances her rivals throughout the county in her religious, educational, social and commercial interests and enterprises.
By act of the Legislature approved February 19, 1871, all that part of Section 15, in Township No. 3, of Range No. 1 west of the Fourth Principal Meridian, in the county of Grant, was appropriated to and thereafter known and distinguished as the town of Platteville.
The roster is incomplete, owing to the absence of records. March 4, 1880, the city was duly incorporated, and the following officers elected, who are still in service.
Mayor, H. J. Traber, 1880-81; Aldermen, R. W. Laughton, G. W. Eastman, T. Jenkins, Jr., W. Meyer, Sr., N. Bevers and F. Libert, 1880-81; Clerk and Police Justice, W. R. Laughton, 1880-81; Treasurer, W. S. Northrop, 1880-81; Supervisor, Hanmer Robbins, 1880-81; Surveyer, J. C. Squires, 1880-81; Weigher, O. A. Boynton, 1880-81; Street Commissioner, Curtis Barker, 1880-81; Marshal, J. L. Rewey, 1880-81.
The officers under village organization and previous were as follows:
1845 – Samuel Moore, President.
1846 – Samuel Moore, President; Henry Snowden, J. H. Watts, William G. Spencer, S. N. Jones and Robert Chapman, Trustees.
1847 – The board of the prvious year held over.
1848 – G. W. Lakin, President; S. Hawley, P. Stone, Thomas Stephens, N. Hutchins, H. C. Lane and Joel Potter, Trustees.
1849 – S. O. Paine, President; N. Hutchins, N. Messersmith, T. Stephens, G. Hawley, H. C. Lane and H. Bell, Trustees.
1850 – S. O. Paine, President; J. M. Alford, N. Messersmith, James Durley, E. J. Madison, P. B. McEntire and D. W. Clark, Trustees.
1851 – A. C. Inman, President; H. Hurlbut, P. B. McEntire, Noah Hutchins, James Durley, Nicholas Messersmith and D. W. Clark, Trustees. Leonard Coates elected Presient, September 22, 1851, vice A. C. Inman, deceased.
1852 – Leonard Coates, President; Isaac Hodges, J. Pickard, William Grindell, John Kemler, H. C. Lane and N. Goodrich, Trustees.
1853 – John Bevans, President; Joel Potter, William Grindell, H. Hurlbut, R. Snowden, Isaac Hodges and John Kemler, Trustees.
1854 – John Bevans, President; H. C. Lane, E. Vanderbie, H. Bell, G. Hawley, J. T. Kirkpatrick and J. S. Marsh, Trustees.
1855 – Samuel Moore, President; J. M. Alford, J. T. Hancock, Calvin Russell, Elijah Bayley, Daniel Richards and William Butler, Trustees.
1856 – Noah Hutchins, President; Frederick Hollman, George Hammons, Bennet Atwood, E. H. Stowell, Daniel Richards and Nehemiah Goodrich, Trustees.
1857 – N. H. Virgin, President; O. A. Boynton, William Grindell, F. Frederick, Thomas Bender, John Kemler and Noah Hutchins, Trustees.
1858 – Samuel Mitchell, President; Leonard Coates, J. Potter, Jacob Cramer, B. F. Chase, W. V. Murphy and James Kelly, Trustees.
1859 – O. A. Boynton, President; Samuel Block, William Grindell, James C. Wright, Jacob Cramer, John Smelker and Samuel Nasmith, Trustees.
1860 – Nelson Dewey, President; Samuel Block, Samuel Nasmith, George S. Hammond, Henry Spink, Joel Potter and Henry A. Miller, Trustees.
1861 – Nelson Dewey, President; Samuel Nasmith, Joel Potter, John H. Rountree, W. G. Babcock, Jacob Cramer and F. Frederick, Trustees.
1862 – John H. Rountree, President; Joel Potter, W. G. Babcock, E. Vanderbie, S Block, N. Stork and L. Coates, Trustees.
1863 – Noah Hutchins, President; J. F. Kirkpatrick, Henry C. Miller, Leonard Coates, Engel Vanderbie, William Grindell and L. L. Goodell, Trustees.
1864 – John H. Rountree, President; Lonard Coates, Charles G. Marshal, William Grindell, E. Vanderbie, Joel Potter and Nicholas Stark, Trustees.
1865 – S. O. Paine, President; N. Hutchins, E. Vanderbie, R. Straw, N. Stark, W. Parmell and S. M. Devendorf, Trustees.
1866 – S. O. Paine, President; N. Hutchins, E. Vanderbie, Joel Potter, James V. Hollman, Richard Straw and Henry Hoyt, Trustees.
1867 – J. H. Rountree, President; J. V. Hollman, Conrad Ketler, J. B. Penn, J. W. Smelker, Alexander Butler and H. Spink, Trustees.
1868 – E. Vanderbie, President; N. Hutchins, Joseph Minehardt, John Kemler, Richard Straw, Michael Stephens and Samuel Block, Trustees.
1869 – E. Vanderbie, President; S. M. Devendorf, Joel Potter, F. R. Chase, Richard Straw, A. Ketler, J. Minehardt, Trustees.
1870 – J. H. Evans, President; F. R. Chase, Curtis Barker, John Huntington, Joseph Minehardt, Conrad Ketler and J. B. Penn, Trustees.
1871 – J. B. Penn, President; A. W. Bell, J. Huntington, C. Witenheller, Thomas Jenkins, Samuel Block and John Kemler, Trustees.
1872 – N. H. Virgin, President; C. Ketler, J. Kemler, L. J. Washburn, T. Jenkins, E. Bayley and R. Shaw, Trustees.
1873 – N. H. Virgin, President; J. Kemler, C. Ketler, T. Jenkins, L. J. Washburn, J. B. Penn and R. Straw, Trustees.
1874 – N. H. Virgin, President; Thomas Jenkins, N. Hutchins, Conrad Ketler, C. Henners, J. B. Penn and R. Straw, Trustees.
1875 – N. H. Virgin, President; Thomas Jenkins, J. B. Penn, C. Henners, C. Ketler, R. Straw and N. Hutchins, Trustees.
Treasurers. – Robert Chapman, 1845, 1846, 1847; Isaac Hodges, 1848, 1849, 1850, 1851; Samuel Moore, 1852; Leonard Coates, 1853; R. W. Stevenson, 1854; Manville Comstock, 1855; H. A. Chase, 1856; William Butler, 1857; E. W. Covill, 1858; J. F. Kirkpatrick, 1859; Samuel Block, 1860.
Clerks. – J. L. Marsh, 1845, 1846, 1847; J. C. Eastman, 1848; William Zenor, 1849; R. Hodgson, 1850; Thomas Eastman, 1851; J. W. Van Orman, 1852, 1853; B. F. Wyne, 1854; James Durley, 1855; B. F. Wyne, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862.
Collectors. - A.C. Inman, 1848; R. Hodgson, 1849; A. C. Inman, 1850; no returns for 1851 or 1852; T. R. Chesebro, 1853; R. W. Stevenson, 1854; H. Bell, 1855; H. A. Chase, 1856-57; E. W. Covill, 1858; J. F. Kirkpatrick, 1859; Samuel Block, 1860.
Assessors. – A. M. Holliday, 1848-49; A. C. Inman, 1850; J. C. Campbell, William V. Murphy and Abel Conner, 1851; S. F. Cleveland, John Bayley and Isaac Richards, 1852; J. S. Clark, O. A. Boynton and W. D. Mitchell, 1853; C. T. Overton, 1854; H. Bell, 1855; George W. Henry, 1856-57; William H. Howard, 1858; B. F. Wyne, 1859; B. F. Wyne, 1860.
Constables. – A. C. Inman, 1848; William Zenor, 1849; J. B. Moore, 1850; Richard Hodgson, 1851; Thomas Chesebro, 1852; T. R. Hugill, 1853; R. W. Stevenson, 1854; no returns for 1855; H. A. Chase, 1856; William Butler, 1857; E. W. Covill, 1858; P. D. Hendershot, 1859; A. R. Young, 1860.
Marshals. – A. C. Inman, 1846-47; J. Grumley, 1848; no returns for 1849, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853 or 1854; Manville Comstock, 1855; H. A. Chase, 1856; William Butler, 1857; E. W. Covill, 1858; P. D. Hendershot, 1859; A. R. Young, 1860.
Supervisors. – J. H. Evans, 1870-71; J. H. Rountree, 1872; E. Bayley, 1873, 1874 and 1875.
Weighmaster. – J. H. Parnell, 1874.
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