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Lancaster History

Source: The Milwaukee Journal, 18 Sep 1897; transcribed by MD:

A company has asked Lancaster for a franchise to put up an electric lighting plant. The council has offered a ten-year franchise.

Source: The Milwaukee Journal, 18 Sep 1897; transcribed by MD:

Marinette, Lancaster, and Plainfield were visited by frost Thursday night. The corn was ripe but the stalks which were still green will be damaged.

Source: Platteville Journal Flashback--75 Years Ago--March 15, 1916; transcribed by MCK:

Lancaster citizens will vote on the subject of bonding the city for a municipal building and theater.

Source: History of Grant County, Wisconsin (1881), by the Western Historical Company; Submitted by a Friend of Free Genealogy:


Geographical -- First Settlers -- The County Seat -- Early Buildings -- First Court -- The First Postmaster- First Fire -- The Village Grows -- The War Period -- Town and Village Government -- Official Roster -- Lancaster Press -- Schools -- Religious -- Cemetery -- Fire Company -- Business Interest -- Storms.


Within the confines of Lancaster are embraced Townships 4 and 5 north, of Range 3 west of the Fourth Principal Meridian. It is bounded on the north by the west half of Fennimore town, which, with Lancaster, forms the only double town in the county; on the east by Liberty and Ellenboro; on the south by Potosi, and on the west by Beetown and Little Grant. It includes within its borders some of the best farming land in the county, the wealth of the town being rather on the surface than beneath, as has been the case in many other towns.

The site of the present city of Lancaster was originally, before the advent of the white man, a beautifully-rounded knoll, covered with low brush at intervals, through which forest trees, singly or in groves, spread their sheltering branches. At the foot of this knoll bubbled forth a limpid spring, clear as tlie purest crystal, into whose sandy depths, in all probability, many a dusky face had looked, and upon its glittering surface had reflected back the swarthy countenance, hideous with war paint, or stained with the dust and heat of the chase. Past this spring poured a brawling brook, fed by this and lesser neighboring fountains.

Here, quietly sleeping away the summer day, it witnessed, in the year of our Lord 1828, the commencement of a new era in its life, as the white man settled upon the banks near its golden bed and began the erection of a habitation.


These new-comers were Nahem Dudley, Tom Segar and Ben Stout, who, in thus locating, became unconsciously the first settlers of Lancaster. There is no evidence to show that Segar and Stout remained longer than to assist their comrade in the erection of his cabin, or perhaps a short time thereafter, and then departed for other sections where "mineral," then the "particular vanity" of early settlers, was to be discovered in better quantity than there were any signs of its being found here. Dudley remained a year or two and sold out to Aaron Boice. He then went to mining in different sections, finally settling near Beetown, where he gave his name to a cave, supposedly discovered by him, and thence to the " Dudley Cave Range," a range well known to miners. Dudley died in 1815 at Muscalunge. In this same year, namely, 1828, William L. Morrison moved into the township and located on what afterward became the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 36, where he resided for many years. Henry C. Bushnell and family also came to the hollow now known by his name and located near the upper spring on the site occupied by Mr. Weaver. Here he erected a modest cabin of rough, unhewn logs, chinked and mud plastered, a portion of which remained until a late date. During the Black Hawk troubles, these settlers took refuge in the block-houses at Cassville and Prairie du Chien, but upon the settlement of the difficulty and defeat of Black Hawk, they returned to their deserted homes, and again took up their work of reducing the wilderness to subjection, and placing it under the dominion of man.

Aaron Boice, who gave his name to the fertile prairie stretching away to the southward engaged in working a farm near Cassville. Although classed as a farmer, his domain would hardly be envied by the masters of the soil of the present day. At that time, the richness of Grant County soil still remained an unknown. quantity, and Boice was well contented with a few acres. A portion of his "farm " occupied the spot afterward chosen as a site for a courthouse, and there are those yet living who have seen the different crops, corn, wheat, and even the pungent onion, growing luxuriantly on the very spot where justice is now dispensed and litigants wrangle.

In November, 1834, Boice entered his "claim," which, in surveyor's parlance, was the east half of the southeast quarter of Section 3, Town 4 north, of Range 3 west of the Fourth Principal Meridian. In August, 1836, Maj. G. M. Price entered the west half of the southeast quarter of the same section, which, together, formed the site of the village of Lancaster later on.

In the meantime the country about this central point had been slowly receiving new acquisitions until at the opening of 1836 there were, besides those already mentioned, Henry Hodges and Thomas Shanley, who had come to the country at an early date, finally settling about three miles southwest of what afterward became the village, in 1831. Here Shanley erected a large double cabin, which served for many years as a shelter and place of refuge for many a new emigrant, until he could erect a habitation for the family that accompanied him. No two names are better known in the early history of this section than the two given above. They came originally from Missouri and left their mark upon the early institutions of the county. Mr. Shanley also served as a Representative in the three sessions of the first Territorial Legislature for the western portion of Iowa County, in which the present territory of Grant was then included. In the Hurricane neighborhood were Joseph, Martin, and Harvey Bonham, who came in 1834. Lawson and Ravel Morrell had also settled in this section early in the thirties. North of Boice's Henry Wood had located ; while on what is now familiarly known as " Boice Prairie," a number of settlers had already made their appearance, including Edmund and Elijah Harelson, who came in 1832 or 1833 ; Colter Salmon and James Boice, a Mr. Warfield, and Mr. Joseph McKinney, who came in the spring of 1835. West of the present city, between Lancaster and Little Grant, James Bonham had located. Dr. A. M. Morrow had also, in 1835, entered a quarter-section of land southwest of town. This is the site now known as the " Rhodes place." In the same year, Abram Miller had located on Pigeon Creek, where he erected the second mill in the county, and Edward Coombs located a homestead in the Hurricane.

In the above category is comprised, in all probability, the names of all the settlers at that time in what afterward became Lancaster.


At the first session of the Territorial Legislature, as has been noted elsewhere, the present county of Grant was formed, and Commissioners appointed to locate the county seat.

Anticipatory to such action on the part of the Legislature, Maj. Price had purchased from Aaron Boice the land entered by him, and commenced preparations for laying out a town. In opposition to this move on the part of Maj. Price, Edmund Harelson and Maj. J. H. Rountree, who had entered a goodly amount of land in the south of the township, platted and laid out a town just north of the town line, and near the present stone schoolhouse, rather east of that building, and near a large spring, which has since disappeared. The town was named, several lots were sold, so promising did the prospects appear, but they were taken back afterward and the money refunded. Finding this would not do, another attempt was made to have the county seat located on the claim entered by Thomas Elliott, who had settled east of the present city, in 1836 (his name was omitted in the list of settlers). This was claimed as the geographical center of the county. Long and earnest the battle of towns raged, until finally Maj. Price carried the day and the present site was chosen, to the disgust of disappointed aspirants. Surveyors were set at work, the village platted, and the plat recorded in May, 1837. In this plat, recorded in the old volume of deeds, the present public square is laid out, with the following acknowledgment

I, Orris McCartney, Justice of the Peace, of Grant County, do hereby certify that G. M. Price has acknowledged the above plat, and all the public ground set forth in the above plat, shall and still remain as such, and I want the same recorded as such. Orbis McCabinet, This May 1st, 1837. Justice of the Peace, Lancaster, W. T.

The only building at that time in the newly baptized seat of justice was the cabin of Aaron Boice. He soon after left for Texas, where, it was rumored, he met his death at the hands of the Indians in that section. The name Lancaster was chosen for the new town by a relative of Maj. Price, who had emigrated from Lancaster, Penn., and wishing to retain a remembrance of the Eastern land far away, induced his relative to adopt this name.


Immediately after the selection of this as the county seat, work was commenced upon the court house, which was finished the succeeding year A log store was erected during the year 1837 and occupied by Mr. Ira Brunson, with a stock of goods such as is usually kept in a frontier establishment. A log building with a frame annex was put up by Maj. Price about eight rods northwest of the "big spring," and into this he moved a stock of goods similar to that included in the store owned by Mr. Brunson, and put the same in charge of George Cox and John S. Fletcher. As mortals must eat to live, Mr. Richards had opened a boarding house except in the all-covering language of the day " Tavern ;" and here the hungry gathered for a time until boarders and landlord fell out, and an opposition house was started by the former. A lachrymose Frenchman by the name of James Jetty, was engaged to do the cooking, his kitchen being located under the lee of a log lying where the Phelps House now stands, the dining-room being a frame building lately erected by George Cox, and afterward used as a court house. Under this regime they remained for some time, the greatest objection being that Jetty would occasionally "weep into the soup-kettle." The spell was broken by the arrival of Capt. Robert Reed and his wife, who took the Boice cabin, vacated by Richards, and in the language of a later writer "initiated the emigrants into the mysteries of pudding and blackberry pies." Reed was a character in his way, " Old Human Nature " was the sobriquet bestowed on him by his intimates and accepted by the subject of it. He was social and hospitable, with a true English face, brown and ruddy, with ample room for a large mouth, which made sad ravages over the moon-like countenance. He was afterward made Sheriff, and then moved to Clayton County, Iowa, where he died some years ago.

Among, other new-comers this year, were J. Allen Barber and Richard Ranes and wife, who afterward became Mrs. Berks. The latter couple occupied a log dwelling where Nathan's store now stands.


In the fall of this year the first term of court ever held in Lancaster was held in the frame structure erected by George H. Cox, and which stood nearly on the site now occupied by the bank building. Here Judge Dunn dispensed justice and gave the law to the assembled multitudes.

Early in the spring of 1838, Harvey Pepper and wife moved into the village from the Pigeon, and in the fall put up an addition to the frame structure used the year before for a court house and opened a boarding house. This, for the time being was the Palais Royal of Lancaster. Dr. Hill, who had married a daughter of Capt. Reed, moved from Beetown to Lancaster and built a small frame house on the corner, where Jetty had wept and served the delicacies of the season, beside the now historical log. Among other arrivals this year were Nelson Dewey, who arrived from Cassville in the spring, and T. M. Barber.

The other buildings erected during 1838 were a two-story frame on the southwest corner of Maple and Monroe streets, the site being now occupied by the store of W. P. Green ; a two-story log house was also built opposite the present Mansion House stables, and in this building was held the examination of the murderers of "Jim Crow" that year. Caused quite a furor in the little town, which was filled with people from the surrounding country. So dense was the crowd in attendance that Squire Dewey, before whom the examination took place, thought best to move down stairs, as a precautionary measure. Justice Bunham was associated with Justice Dewey, and the building was guarded with armed men under command of Ira Brunson.

The following year, 1839, was marked by no incidents of note ; but few new arrivals were noticed. John P. Tower, or " Dick " Tower, as he was then known, came and erected a building on the northeast corner of Maple and Monroe streets, on the site now occupied by the residence of Gen. J. B. Callis. This building was opened as an inn, Mr. Scott being the first landlord. Ellison McGee also put up a small log house, where the frame dwelling occupied by Mrs. Reed now stands. Upon their retirement from the excitements of hotel life, Capt. Reed and wife had taken up their residence with Dr. Hill. One morning, as the family were breakfasting, a bolt of lightning struck the house at one end, and passing down through the room, where they were sitting, demolished the clock standing on the mantle-piece, throwing the glass in every direction, cutting the inmates, but doing no other damage. Capt. Reed was, at the time of the shock, holding out his cup for more coffee, when the concussion of the air took both cup and coffee-pot from the hands of the holders, and swept them out through the open door, landing them in the garden, in a bed of peas. The Captain, not to be discomfited in such a manner, secured the coffee-pot, and had the satisfaction of enjoying a second cup of the brown nectar. This was the first accident that happened to the inhabitants of the little town.

In 1840, Harvey Pepper erected a brick building, in which he kept a hotel. Daniel Banfill was the builder, he having returned to Lancaster early in the year from the Bast. Daniel McAuley also had a log house in which he resided, and which stood on the spot now occupied by Webber's shoe store. Among the new arrivals were Martin Teal and Samuel Tompkins. Price's store had been discontinued, owing to a lack of customers, and the stock owned by Ira Brunson was sold to Harvey Pepper, who thus combined the trades of landlord and storekeeper. To this he added that of Sheriff, having been elected some time previously.


Of the new town had been George H. Cox, who was appointed in 1838. The office was handed over to John S. Fletcher the following year, who held the office until some time during 1840. He carried the mail in his hat, the post office being the point where John Fletcher happened for the moment to be resting. This movable office might have proved somewhat of an inconvenience to the citizens, had it not been for Fletcher's well-known indolence, which prevented him from moving oftener than circumstances actually compelled him. As for making any returns to the authorities at Washington, that was not to be thought of for a moment. The manual labor was too great. This dereliction was duly noticed by the postal authorities, and warnings repeatedly sent that a new leaf must be turned over in the way of' running the office. Fletcher stood this indirect attack for some time, and then gathering up all the way bills that had been accumulating for the time he had held the office, sent them to Postmaster General Kendall, with the request that as he had plenty of time he might "make out his bill," and send it to Fletcher, " and he would pay it." The latter was not troubled with any more mail matter.

In 1841, the only thing in the way of improvements was the erection of a two-story frame building on the present site of the Phelps House. This was built by Daniel Banfill, and opened by him as a hotel as soon as it was finished, his family having arrived during the year. The memory of "Old Ban " was long held in grateful remembrance by the hungry multitudes who were wont to crowd the portals of the old hotel. He moved afterward to Potosi, where he build another hotel, that still retains his name, and in which he died some years later. He was a model landlord and a worthy representative of the advancing civilization.

In 1842, James M. Otis, who had arrived in the young town, opened a store in the Morrell building, on the corner of Maple and Monroe streets. During this year genial Harvey Pepper paid the debt of nature, being cut off in his prime. He was, as we have seen, one of the first settlers in Lancaster, and filled a large place in the earlier vistas of the new town. " He was " in the language of the writer already quoted, " a man obliging, talkative and active, but one who took the world easy," and who, in the hurly-burly of his busy life, " hardly knew when he was called upon to hang a man,- whether he was acting in the capacity of Sheriff or landlord, and when he called a witness to come into Court, to the third repetition of the name, would add, "come into your dinner," instead of " come into Court." He will be long remembered by the older settlers for his kindness and unselfish interest in the welfare of guests and neighbors. He left a wife and several children, Mrs. Pepper afterward marrying Mr. L. 0. Shrader, and has ever since resided in Lancaster. The hotel was continued for some time under other proprietors, but was soon sold to James M. Otis, who converted it into a store.

Upon Mr. Pepper's death, Mr. Scott, who had been keeping the house on the corner of Maple and Monroe streets, took charge of Mr. Pepper's house, and Mr. Benjamin Forbes, who had lately arrived from Cassville, took the house vacated by Mr. Scott.


The year 1843 saw numerous changes and improvements. James M. Otis opened an extensive stock of merchandise in his new store, the first general and complete stock that had been opened. In these early times the bulk of the goods were brought across the country from Milwaukee by teams. Heavy goods, such as hardware and the like, was generally purchased in St. Louis, and brought up the river as far as Potosi, from which point it was hauled by teams to Lancaster. Groceries were also sometimes purchased at the same place, but all dry goods and fancy articles came from Milwaukee.

The country, in the meantime, had been settling up round about Lancaster, but owing to the superior attractions offered at Potosi and , Platteville, these points for many years had absorbed all the trade ; but the entering wedge was drove this year, which soon opened the channel, and this trade began gradually to return to its legitimate center. T. M. Barber, together with James Ward, opened a second store during the year, in the building formerly occupied by Mr. Otis.

Early in the spring the Herald was started in the Boice cabin, and began its task of opening the road for advancing civilization.

Quite a wave of excitement was created by the removal of Mr. James Otis from the Post-mastership this year. Otis had proved a most efficient Postmaster, but, unlike those at the present day, when such affairs are managed much better, he was not in accord with the Administration. Notice had been sent by the Territorial Delegate to the citizens to recommend some one for the place, and a petition asking for the re-appointment of Otis was returned ; but, in spite of all efforts, Ben Forbes was commissioned and took charge of the office late in the year.

Messrs. J. Allen Barber and Nelson Dewey had opened a law office and commenced a partnership at this date, which, in after times, became historical.

As an evidence of the rapidity with which news traveled in those days, an early issue of the Herald states that, " Our express papers from New York, Philadelphia and Boston frequently reach us in nine days."

The name of L. O. Shrader appears this year appended to legal notices as Clerk of the Court, he having arrived somewhat earlier.

In the " Hurricane " neighborhood, C. M. Hewitt and Darius Banbridge had assumed charge of the health of that section, and hoisted their shingle as duly qualified physicians. In September of this year, however. Dr. Hewitt removed to Potosi. The Herald also notices this year an excellent crop of wheat raised on the farm of Judge Dunn, at Elk Grove. The variety was "red chaff," and the yield over forty bushels to the acre.

During the year, a tri-weekly stage line was started between Lancaster and Platteville by H. Messmore.

In December, Barber & Ward removed their stock of goods into a new frame building month, Mr. A. Crosby opened a tailor-shop in a building standing a few rods north of the present Mansion House.

Among other arrivals this year was that of J. T. Mills, the well known Judge, whose fame is as wide-spread as the State. As he himself says, the accommodations were not palatial, his lodgings being in " the south wing of John Fletcher's house, which room was located over a pond of water." This year appears to have been a starting-point for Lancaster in the race for prominence.

The succeeding one of 1844 was marked with but few incidents of note. Dr. M. Wainright came in May and located his office opposite the Lancaster House ; here he also kept a small stock of drugs. Another line of stages, making weekly trips, and plying between Platteville and Cassville, gave Lancaster additional connective facilities, east and west. The card of James M. Goodhue, afterward widely known as editor of the Herald and other papers, appears in the columns of the former paper in May.

The year 1845 shows something of the march of improvement. In August, Barber & Ward moved into their new store, near the corner of Maple and Monroe streets. George H. Cox also erected the building, at present known as the Mansion House, during the season. In November, William Hodge opened a tailor-shop in the rear of Otis' store. Early in the year. Dr. Cowles had located in the new town, having his office at Banfield's Hotel.


During the month of December, the first fire known to the young town occurred. Just before the holidays, the hotel run by Mr. Ben Forbes, standing on the corner now occupied by Gen. Callis' residence, caught fire and burned to the ground. So swift was its destruction, that many of the boarders were obliged to leap from the second-story windows upon beds previously thrown out upon the ground. The colored woman, who served as cook and general assistant, had been doing " an ironing " during the forepart of the night, and it was supposed that a defect in the flue allowed some sparks to escape in the attic of the building, where were stored a winter's supply of provisions and sundries, lately brought from Galena ; among these supplies were several bundles of brooms, and it is supposed that these furnished the material which started the destructive blaze. Certain it is that the fire caught in the attic, and soon the whole building was in ruins. But very little was saved, aside from clothing. After this fire, Mr. Forbes removed to Iowa, where he had a land claim, and soon after opened another hotel in an adjoining village, in which business he was engaged at the time of his death, that occurred many years later.


The succeeding year, 1846, witnessed a few additions to the population and business houses of Lancaster. John Alcorn came during the summer prepared by his trade, he being a carpenter and joiner, to house all other new-comers comfortably, while A. S. Berryhill opened a much needed institution a saddler-shop in the building adjoining the storeroom of Mr. James Otis. Dr. Wood also made his appearance this year, locating on the site where Dr. T. M. Barber s residence now stands. J. M. Ward succeeded Ben C. Forbes as Postmaster. John M. Otis opened a store in November, and the following month John Boright opened a blacksmith and wagon shop ; his shop and house were on the lot south of Judge Mills, now owned by Mr. John Wright, and on which his ice-house now stands. The following year, W. W. Kendall and D. T. Parker purchased the stock of merchandise of T. M. Barber, continuing in trade at the same stand. Thomas Scott started a saddler's shop in June, just east of the store of James M. Otis. Drs. Wood and Rickey also formed a partnership which continued until the following year.

Mr. T. M. Barber succeeded James M. Ward in charge of the post office, the latter taking his departure, and some years later became Superintendent of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad.

Up to the beginning of 1848, but three stores of any moment were to be found in Lancaster. Potosi, on the contrary, was not only well supplied, but did an extensive jobbing business, while Beetown had several stores carrying extensive stocks. The result of this weighting the wheel of traffic so to one side was shown in the fact that the majority of the trading was done at these places ; even those living within a few miles of Lancaster preferred to go where they could have a larger stock to select from. Again, transportation facilities were such that merchants were unable to take the produce brought in by the farmers and handle it successfully, owing to difficulties in transportation. Added to all this, there was the remaining disadvantage of the credit system. Through several years a constant stream of intimations to pay up is poured forth through the columns of the Herald, though Lancaster merchants were by no means the only sufferers from this lack of promptitude on the part of debtors.

In the fall of this year, Andrew Barnett purchased Banfill's hotel, having previously kept what is now known as the Lancaster House. Extensive additions have been made to the house since that time. The original nucleus of this building was a long, rambling shell built by Ben C. Forbes for a bowling alley.

In the year 1848, the town of Lancaster included within its limits 496 males and 437 females, or 933 in all. From the proportion it will be surmised that bachelors were scarce in those times. The Herald of May 20, 1848, says : " Lancaster contains more capital than almost any village of its size. Every habitable roof covers one or more families. Our chief want is tenements for families who wish to move into town. If buildings could be had, our population would be doubled in a few months. Many buildings are in process of construction, but not half as many as are now required. All our house-builders are employed and more are wanted."

A new Baptist Church had also been commenced this year the same one that is now standing while stores and dwellings, says the chronicle, were ready to be built as soon as the brick could be burned.

The year also marked the advent of Lancaster's first circus, with its motley garbs and tinsel wonders.

During the summer, the partnership heretofore existing between Drs. Wood and Rickey had been dissolved, and the latter opened a drug store, north of the court house, soon after. The improvements made throughout the village were of a nature to justify the fondest hopes of those deeply interested in the prosperity of the burg that now seemed advancing with rapid strides on the high road to prosperity.

The year 1848 closed, as has been seen, with clear skies and a promise of renewed prosperity. These auspicious omens continued during the opening of the succeeding year, but, as spring advanced, came rumors from the far-off West of discoveries which rivaled the world-renowned dreams of the "Arabian Nights." The seat of the golden god had been discovered by adventurous prospectors, and the East was moving west to pay homage at his throne, bowing themselves as slaves, trusting to his generosity to unearth the glittering treasure that lay hidden in "the deep places " to the aching, thirsting eyes of these frantic followers. This, however, was but the first wave of the on-coming tide that was later to engulf the many thousands in the mad rush for wealth, to be flung back, bruised, bleeding and poverty-cursed, to drag out a lingering existence in penury and want.

A strong wave of immigration set in this year toward Lancaster and its surrounding country, which more than compensated for the gold worshipers who left for the gleaming sands of California.  Mr. T. M. Barber having finished his new brick store (the same now occupied by Ivey & Webb), moved in a stock of goods in the early part of the year and opened the " Ready pay Store." John M. Otis also moved his stock back to the old brick store on the corner. Kendall & Parker still continued to occupy their old stand, the latter attending besides to the duties connected with the Postmaster-ship ; and in June Dr. Wood moved his stock of drugs into a building one door east of the above firm. The Herald, in the same month, noticing the position and advantages of the village, called attention to the fact they had "no shoemaker," with M added hint that a mechanic of that kind would have a paying monopoly. The hint was taken, and the following month P. Darcey announced himself as prepared to furnish soles to such as stood m need thereof : his shop stood inst, beyond "the saloon " Among other changes this year, William McAuley took the " Grant County House," Charles Blanford started in business as a blacksmith opposite the Telegraph House, and John M. Coombs opened a gunshop on Cherry street, south of the " Grant County House."

In November, the much-wished-for but hardly expected telegraph line was put in running order and an office opened, with Jo Barnett as operator. This office was located in the Telegraph House, and the line was continued in operation until the following year when it succumbed to a lack of business ; assessments became too heavy and dividends too light, and Lancaster was again without communication with the outside world. A history of this line, however, is given elsewhere.

If the year 1850 was to be given a distinctive appellation, it would be " the year of casualties." The earlier part, however, gave no sign of the events that were to mark the later part of the season. During the spring, the wants of the ladies of Lancaster were recognized, by the opening of a millinery store by Mrs. Rynerson.

A slightly increased outflow toward the Western Slope was noticeable, as the fever of speculation increased in height, giving premonition of the greater outpouring that was to come.

In June that much-dreaded disease, the small-pox, made its appearance in the county, causing a feeling of apprehension at Lancaster ; but the village happily passed by the outskirts of the danger, no cases appearing within its confines. During this same month, the Wisconsin House passed into the hands of Myron Tuttle. A new addition was made to Lancaster's industries by the opening of a carriage and wagon manufactory by Charles Ashley. John M. Otis left for Wyoming during the summer, and later in the year, Kendall & Parker having dissolved partnership, Dwight Parker, in November, removed his stock to the store formerly occupied by Otis, on the corner of Maple and Madison streets.

The yield of grain and farm produce this year had been most abundant, when rumors at first whispered with bated breath, then repeated in a louder key told of the approach of that ravaging monster, cholera, whose ghostly feet were swiftly covering the distance that intervened between his stronghold at the South and the new country lying further up along the " Father of Waters." Towns in nearly every section were being depopulated, the inhabitants fleeing in every direction to escape the chill fingers of the fierce monster. Lancaster, after taking all the precautions possible, silently, and almost breathlessly, awaited the verdict which at length came, and the village was safe for this year at least. During the month of August, a heavy thunderstorm passed over the town and seriously damaged one or two buildings. A shaft of lightning struck the spire of the Baptist Church, and, passing down through and on the timbers, reached a ladder which had been left against the building, and then followed this to the ground. The steeple was badly shattered, and many panes of glass broken in the building. The residence of Dr. Roberts, corner of Adams and Cherry streets, was also touched by the erratic and destructive fluid. Mrs. Roberts was alone with her children at the time, but fortunately they escaped unhurt, the building itself being but little injured. In December, the Grant County House passed into the hands of Reuben- Thomas.

Among the early sports of the new country, which at times afforded much amusement, was bear and dog fights. The modus operandi of the affair was to chain brain to a stout post with a chain a few rods in length, and then gather in all the dogs possible, when the performance would at once begin. The victory; however, was invariably with bruin, as one cuff from his unwieldy paw was generally enough for the fiercest canine, who thereafter was only too glad to keep out of reach of the muscular boxer. The entertainment continued so long as dogs could be found to continue the show. A performance of this kind was advertised for Christmas Day of this year, and resulted as usual, after which followed the inevitable resort to the hotel bar for liquid refreshment, but, in the language of one of the early settlers, "the whisky was better then than now," and only the best of humor was the result of these bacchanalian revivals.

Notwithstanding the fact that Lancaster, with other towns of the county, was beginning to suffer considerably from the constantly increasing exodus to California, quite a little advancement was made during the year 1851. The Methodist and Congregational denominations commenced the erection of places of worship, both of which were dedicated before the close of the year although the Congregational Church was not completed until later. In addition to this, the Baptist Church was completed, it having remained in an unfinished state up to this time, Among the business changes was the association of Mr. John Alcorn as a partner of T. M. Barber in the "Ready-Pay Store," while early in the year Mr. R. H. Finkland had opened a cabinet-shop north of the court house. As soon as the weather would admit, the usual spring emigration to California commenced. T. M. Barber, J. B. Callis, Robert Allenworth and Wells Huston, with a number of others from the surrounding country, started on the six months' trip that was to land them in the region of the glittering phantom.

Heavy storms prevailed during the month of June; the house of J. R. Shipley was struck by lightning, and so heavy were the rains at times, that "every street had a mill privilege on it." During the summer, F. P. Liscum & Co. commenced a general merchandise business in the store formerly occupied by N. W. Kendall. In the month of October, the Wisconsin House passed into the hands of Myron W. Wood, who retained it for many years. Two subjects made their appearance this year that continued to exert a disturbing influence upon Lancaster thought and aspirations, at intervals, for many years after. The first of these was the division of the county, which excited a somewhat bitter debate, but ebbed in smoke. The second, which became a chronic disease in this section, was the railroad fever that raged with much severity during the latter part of the year. Nothing, however, came of it, as has been noted in another portion of this work, and the year closed leaving Lancaster in much the same position as at its opening, aside from the few public buildings noticed above.

The year 1852 witnessed the height of the California fever. As early as January, Charles Ashley commenced advertising teams to take passengers through to the Western Slope for $125. The inflated stories of the untold wealth only awaiting the coming of the adventurer to yield itself a willing captive to his pick and shovel, were doing their work; farms were disposed of by the frantic enthusiasts ; in other cases, mortgaged, in order to furnish their owners with means to reach the wonderful El Dorado. Monday and Tuesday, April 12 and 13, was the day set for the departure of the emigrants, and about fifty persons gathered in the streets of the village to embark in the long voyage. They were accompanied by their friends, and amid the cheers of the crowd, they weighed anchor and set sail, some to remain in the land of promise, a few to secure that wealth so bountifully promised, the majority to wander back by twos and threes, to again take up the old life where they had dropped it for the delusive yellow demon. The wolves had become so troublesome of late years, notwithstanding the settlement of the country, that the settlers found it necessary to organize hunts for the purpose of exterminating these pests; so bold had they become, that it was no uncommon sight to witness two or three of these long-legged denizens of the forest come quietly down the hill to the east of town now covered with dwellings and, after refreshing themselves at the "big spring," and performing a duett or trio, as the case might be, for the benefit of the citizens of the village, saunter back to their bushy retreat. And still the tide of emigration continued to ebb and flow. The Herald of May 19, took occasion to say, editorially, that "In the last week or two we notice a good many strange faces about Lancaster. A shoemaker, blacksmith and wagon-maker have just set up m business. Boss carpenters are equal to the demand in their own opinion but a few more ought to come in for sake of competition." The want, at this time, appeared to be a tailor, barber, chair-maker and saddler. In this month, another fire occurred in the village, the burned building being a barn belonging to Gov. Dewey; the cause of the fire was unknown. Notwithstanding the fact that the attention of Grant County settlers was being turned more and more to the tilling of the soil, it is noted that "more than 2,000 barrels of flour had been brought to Potosi from other States within the year, to feed the people of Grant County." During the latter part of the year, the returning tide of lucky and disappointed gold-seekers began to show itself in occasional arrivals, and by this time many had come in looking for homes, giving the town quite a motley appearance. In July, Dr. Ladd, Prof. Sweet, C. C. Childs and J.L. Pickard met at the Methodist Church and organized forth teachers into a "Normal school" for instruction in teaching; corresponding to the teachers' institutes held at the present day, during the summer ; Lancaster High School was also started through the efforts of some of the leading citizens. Guyler K. Thomas added another to the list of Lancaster business houses, by opening a hardware store on the south side of Maple street, just east of the Herald office. That journal, later in the year, commenting on the business of the town, informs all whom it may concern: "We want a drug store in the village. A room can now be had, and the opening is excellent for drugs, paints, dyes and notions." Early in the winter, Lancaster was visited with the small-pox, but through energetic measures at once taken to stamp it out, it made but little progress, after the alarm felt at the first reports speedily subsided.

An inventory of the business houses of Lancaster, in 1853, would have shown the following : Dwight T. Parker, who occupied a store on the site at present occupied by Howe & Baxter Alcorn & Barber, in the brick store now occupied by Ivey & Webb ; Gr. Maiben, in the building now used by John P. Lewis ; T. P. Liscum & Co., who occupied a frame building standing about where the store of William Baxter now stands. The hotels were four in number Banfill's, located on the present site of the Phelps House ; the Lancaster House, at that time comprising the north portion of the present building; the Mansion House, and the Wisconsin House, kept by Myron W. Wood, which building is now occupied by Mr. McCoy as a residence. These, with the log building on the corner of Madison and Maple streets, used as an office by Barber & Lowry, the small frame building standing on the present site of Johnson's brick, and used by the Herald as an office, together with some twenty or thirty frame and log structures used as residences, comprised the village of Lancaster as it was at this time. During the year T. M. Barber sold out his interest in the Ready-Pay Store to Mr. Benner, and he in turn disposed of it to Mr. Alcorn, leaving the latter as sole proprietor.

During the month of September, the neighborhood to the west of the village was intensely excited over the reported loss of a little three-year-old daughter of Mr. Bark. When last seen she had been seen playing around an open well, and fears were at first entertained that she had fallen into it, but as search developed the fact that this surmise was untrue, the male inhabitants of the neighborhood turned out en masse to search for the lost child. After a two days' search she was found sitting in the shade of a tree on a high bluff, only a half mile from the house. The population of Lancaster Township at this time was, according to the Herald, " about one thousand, one-third of that number being residents of the village." The principal wants at this time were " a drug store and a saddler shop."

The next year, 1854, shows no incidents especially noticeable. The tide of emigration had been stopped and had already begun to return upon itself. The citizens of the village had begun to awake the necessity of seeing that Lancaster was well supplied with workers in every kind of industry, which induced the Herald to say in its issue of June 26 " The country demands all branches of trade to be kept well supplied so they can give all their patronage to Lancaster, or else go elsewhere. It is one of the best locations in the State for a cooper ; there are several merchant mills within reasonable bounds ; also plenty of walnut, cherry, maple and pine lumber for building, as well as blue limestone. Brick within one mile of town." For the working of this lumber product there were at that time two saw-mills within the town limits. The year witnessed a second small-pox scare, which for a time stagnated trade and created somewhat of a panic in the village ; but, happily, it yielded to the energetic treatment meted out to it. Several deaths occurred from the loathsome disease, but at no time did it approach an epidemic. During the month of June the dread cholera fiend had again made its appearance, and the two first cases proved fatal ; other cases made their appearance afterward. The excitement was intense ; the streets of the village were deserted, so great was the fear of this fearful scourge felt by the inhabitants of the surrounding country ; eight or ten deaths occurred in rapid succession. The only physician of the town was prostrated under the burden of care and work. When everything seemed so dark, succor and relief arrived through the action of two public-spirited citizens Judge McGonigal and J. Allen Barber. The former had been through the cholera season of 1850 at Wingville, and became aware of the potent influence of certain remedies in coercing the cholera demon into silence. Starting at the first house they met in which the dread disease was working its fearful work, they rolled up their sleeves and commenced operations. Right manfully did they contest the possession of the young life with the demon, and at length were granted the happiness of knowing that their efforts were not in vain ; the regime of king cholera was broken, others coming to their assistance as nurses. This Spartan band continued their labors without abatement until the plague was stayed, and the village could once more breathe freely.

Among new-comers in business were George Ryland & Co., who opened a store of general merchandise in the post-office building, north of the court house. The first-named member of this firm had arrived in Lancaster some time before. S. Hyde & Co. also started a blacksmithing establishment in the latter part of the year.

The year 1855 marked many improvements in the village, and showed it had about recovered from the set-back caused by the western exodus some years before. Early in January the contract for building a new schoolhouse was let to Thomas Walker for $2,375, the building to be of brick and two stories high. In the same month, James Black started in business in the old "Telegraph House." Heretofore much trouble had been experienced in securing land in the village and immediately adjoining. T^\\.e Herald, commenting on this early in the year, said: " Soon after Lancaster was made a county seat, speculators entered all the good lands in the vicinity, and held them at prices beyond the reach of the incoming emigrants. In 1854, they became alarmed and sold at from $4 to $10 per acre. In 1855, all lands in the vicinity are owned by actual residents. This spirit of speculation," adds the Herald, "left Lancaster behind in mercantile and business interests, and it must take some time to come up. Last year many wanted to build in Lancaster as well as in the vicinity, but it was impossible to procure material and workmen, hence it was deferred to another season. It is to be regretted that this prospective demand for building was not seen as clearly a year or two ago as at present, as then Lancaster would be in a fair way to add to her population and wealth fourfold by next fall."

In May, F. P. Liscum resigned the Postmastership, and G. W. Ryland was appointed in his place. Many new business firms are announced this year, among them that of Messrs. Howe & Baxter, who purchased Alcorn's store, enlarged the stock and commenced business in July. During the preceding month a movement had been made looking to the organization of a stock company with a capital of $8,000, to build a steam mill in Lancaster.

The population of Lancaster June 1, this year, was 275 families; 846 white males, 768 white females, 6 colored males, 2 colored females, 2 insane (females), 86 bachelors, and 364 persons of foreign birth. Total population 1,614 white and 8 colored 1,622 in all. "This," it is added, "does not include those who board in families." In August, Colter & Bradshaw opened the much-needed drug store, and the succeeding month J. B. Callis and John Pepper commenced a general merchandise business in the store occupied in early times by T. M. Barber, on the corner of Monroe and Madison streets. Among the improvements mentioned this year was a residence erected by Judge Colter, a store erected by Dwight Parker, and a large warehouse put up by Mr. Ryland. In December, Daniel Banfill sold the Mansion House to L.A. Hyde, who had lately arrived from Vermont, and who remained proprietor of this famous hostelry until his death. The high rate at which property was held around the court house caused the town "to move down toward Judge Colter's spring," the business center at this time being in the neighborhood of the newly erected Methodist Church. The emigration had consisted this year principally of men with families, who came looking for homes, although the greater part of this emigration went to the country around rather than remaining in the village itself.

The year 1856 was in the main a repetition of the preceding year. In February, a destructive fire occurred, by which the store occupied by Callis & Pepper was entirely destroyed. The fire was supposed to have originated in a room over the store used as an office and bedroom immediately with the work of clearing away the ruins and the erection of a new building on the same site, which was ready for occupancy in April. The new schoolhouse was also finished early in the year. Mr. George H. Cox was appointed Postmaster in August. A steam sawmill was among the new additions to Lancaster business enterprises this year, erected by Messrs. Griswold & Meyer in the fall, the intention being to add to it the machinery necessary for the manufacture of flour after awhile. In November, the railroad through the northeastern portion of the county was completed and opened for traffic. A tri-weekly stage line, operated by. Elliot A. Liscum, gave Lancaster a connection with this "iron highway" at Boscobel. Late in the fall, the small-pox again made its appearance, and three deaths from this disease occurred in a very short time. It did not, however, succeed in obtaining a general hold on the community, and the excitement over its appearance soon subsided. There were numerous accessions to the population of the village during the year, and the country in the immediate vicinity was benefited by the overflow. The succeeding year, 1857, witnessed that great upheaval of values known as the "panic of '57," which reduced so many from affluence to beggary, and blotted out forever many a well-known business. As to the causes which led to this convulsion, it is not necessary, neither does it come within the province of this article to speak. Lancaster, in common with nearly all towns in the lead region, suffered but little from the unsettlement of values which was the prevailing character of the fatal year. The causes of Lancaster's exemption from any bad effects of this year are assignable, undoubtedly, to several causes : First, the only money known in the lead district was gold and silver. At quite an early date, when the stability of the numerous "wild-cat" banks, then for the first time showing themselves, began to be questioned, the miners had determined to take nothing in payment for mineral but "hard money," and as it afterward appeared, this measure, more than anything else, was the most effective barrier against the wave of bankruptcy and ruin that swept over the land. Then the Territory now embraced in the present State of Minnesota was receiving its first influx of emigrants, who had to be supplied, as well as their stock, with food, and where would they be so apt to go for these supplies as to the country lying nearest to them, thus keeping up prices and furnishing the farmers of Grant County with an excellent market for their surplus beef, pork and grain during the panic year, and the seasons just succeeding it. By the time this source of revenue began to fall off, owing to the fact that the new settlers were now in position, not only to provide food for themselves but furnish a surplus for export, prosperity was again reaching its golden wings over the country, and the balance of trade was thus sustained to the manifest benefit of Lancaster, which was thus relieved from the serious setbacks that characterized the history of many other towns at this period.

In the years succeeding 1857, and previous to the war, an apathy appears to have settled over Lancaster, but few houses were erected, and emigration was at a stand-still. The only thing that remained in a state of activity were the wolves, which had again become extremely troublesome. During the month of January, Mr. W. T. Patton, a resident of Ellenboro, while returning home from Lancaster one evening, in the latter part of the month, was met on the road by five large wolves, who seemed bent on attack. Mr. Patton happened to have in his hand an ax handle, which he had purchased at Lancaster, and with this, and by putting on a bold front, he was able to beat off the four-footed desperadoes and continued on his way, congratulating himself on his narrow escape. In I860, the log house known in local parlance as the "block-house," and one of the most interesting relics of the first settlement of the village, was demolished to make room for the advance of modern improvements, which in this case was exemplified by a large and commodious frame structure, erected by Mr. Addison Burr. The old building had witnessed many turns of the Lancastrian kaleidoscope. First serving as a store, the earliest to open in the village, it was afterward the center of legal lore and judicial learning as the office of Barber & Dewey, for many years the only law firm in the new town. The senior member of this noted firm continued to occupy it as an office until its demolition. Could the log walls have spoken, many a weird tale would they have told.


The beginning of the war opened up a new era for Lancaster. The spirit of speculation which it engendered and the rise in the price of farm products, soon put farmers in an easier position than they had known for many years. As the development and prosperity of any place is dependent in a great measure on the prosperity of the farming community in its immediate vicinity, so Lancaster at once felt the effect of this expansion, and began in its turn to expand in size and mercantile importance. Despite the fact that seemingly every energy was being strained to send troops into the field, many buildings were erected, and many of the finest structures of which the city now boasts, date from the period during or just anterior to the war. When white-winged Peace once more settled over the land, and the bone and sinew which had been drained from all occupations to supply food for the demon-like destructible in the field had been returned to its legitimate channels, the high tide of prosperity seemed to have come. During this period, Lancaster advanced with rapid strides.

In March, 1872, a disastrous fire destroyed what was known as " Callis Corner," and at one time threatened to sweep the street. The fire was discovered about 10 P. M., in the roof of a building used partly as a barber-shop by Max Nobis, and was supposed to have started from a defective flue. The loss footed up some $6,000 on stock, besides the buildings. The disaster was but temporary ; new and handsomer buildings took the place of those destroyed, and, the corner once more resumed its old-time business popularity. A serious drawback to Lancaster's advancement with the same rapidity that characterized other sections, was a lack of railroad facilities. Many were the schemes proposed to obviate and remove this stumbling-block, and finally, in 1879, the advent of the narrow-guage road placed the city in easy communication with the outside world, and allowed Lancaster merchants to compete with the business men of other towns with some show of success, and without having to pay extensive transportation fees. As the terminus of the road, the city to day enjoys exceptional privileges, more than equal to the drawback under which it labored in earlier times. Lancaster of to-day contains six stores, doing an extensive merchandising business, three hardware stores, two drug stores, two jewelry stores, two furniture stores, three general stores, one tailor shop, four hotels, one news room, two millinery establishments, three confectionery and notion stores, one bakery, two barbershops, four blacksmith-shops, two wagon manufactories one woolen-mill and two livery stables. It is steadily growing, the growth being not of the mushroom order, "which to-day is, and tomorrow is cast into the fire," but one that has a solid basis of need, and which will undoubtedly increase in the same steady ratio as the years roll on. The population of the city, according to the last census, was 1,044, but the actual population already has gone much beyond this limit. As the center of a rich and productive country, Lancaster's future is extremely promising.


Lancaster was first organized into a town at the special session of the County Board in 1848, the first election being held at the court house in the spring of 1849. This commencement of township government is thus quaintly narrated in the old record :

Be it remembered that at a general town election, for the election of county officers, had at the court house in the township of Lancaster, in the county of Grant, in the State of Wisconsin (being the first election for such township or town officers in said town), there being no Supervisor of said township to preside as moderator at said town meeting ; and the hour for opening of the polls having arrived, the moderator stated to the said town meeting the business to be transacted, and the order in which business would be entertained as follows :

First the election of three Supervisors, one of whom to be designated as Chairman ; second one Town Clerk ; third one Treasurer ; fourth one Assessor ; fifth one Superintendent of Common Schools ; sixth four Justices of the Peace ; seventh to elect from one to three Constables, as the meeting may determine ; also to elect one Overseer of Roads for each road district.

To adopt rules and regulations for ascertaining the sufficiency of all fence in such town, and for determining the time and manner in which cattle, horses, sheep or swine shall be permitted to run on highways; and for impounding cattle.

To determine the amount of money to be raised for the support of schools, for the contingent expenses of such town, for the support of roads and bridges in said town, and also for the support of the poor in said town for the ensuing year.

To take measure and give directions for the exercise of the corporate powers of said town. Then, on motion.

It was unanimously voted that all officers of said town, required by law to be chosen by ballot, be named in one ballot; and the offices to which such persons are intended to be chosen designated upon one ballot. On motion.

It was also unanimously voted by said town meeting that there shall be elected for said town three Constables. After which the said town meeting agreed to go into an election for town officers as the law requires.

The first meeting of the Town Board was held May 1, 1849.

The township organization answered all purposes until 1836, when a majority of the citizens demanding the incorporation of Lancaster as a village, Hon. J. Allen Barber, then member of the Assembly, drew up a charter, which passed both Houses of the Legislature, and Lancaster took upon itself village honors. The incorporated village embraced one and a half miles square of territory. This charter continued in existence until 1869, when it was repealed, and one more ample in its powers granted by the Legislature of that year in its place. Under this charter the village remained until, by an act of the Legislature of 1878, Lancaster was incorporated as a city.

The charter under which the incorporation was effected, provides for one Mayor, four Alderman, who together constitute the Common Council ; one Police Justice " and such other elective officers, except President and Trustees, as it is now lawfully provided such village shall elect." Elections were to be held the first Monday of May in each year.

The powers and duties of Aldermen and Mayor were to be the same as those before performed by the President and Trustees of the village, except that the Police Justice, in addition to his jurisdiction in cases arising under the charter, should have the same jurisdiction as other Justices. The relations between the city and the township of Lancaster were the same as those heretofore existing between the village and the township, namely, that the city should belong to the township as part and parcel thereof, except for municipal purposes. The first election under the new charter was held May 6, 1878. Below is given a roster of the town, village and city officers from the formation of the township up to the present time.


1849 Supervisors, J. Allen Barber, Chairman, N. M. Bonham, Abner Dyer ; Town Clerk, Joseph C. Cover ; Treasurer, Arthur W. Worth ; Assessor, Charles Blanford ; Superintendent of Schools, H. H. Lewis; Constables, Dexter Ward, James Haire and William Walker; Justices of the Peace, Philo J. Adams, Francis H. Bonham, H. S. Liscum, W. T. Decker. Philo J. Adams and F. H. Bonham were drawn for the long term.

1850 Supervisors, J. Allen Barber, Chairman, Abner Dyer, Thomas Shanley ; Clerk, Stephen Mahood ; Treasurer, Charles Blanford ; Assessor, Jesse Miles, Sr. ; Superintendent of Schools, John D. Wood ; Justices of the Peace, John S. Fletcher, Andrew Barnett ; Constables, Dexter Ward, S. A. Quincy, William Walker.

1851 Supervisors, William N. Reed, Chairman, Thomas Shanley, Thomas Weir ; Clerk, John D. Wood ; Treasurer, Philo J. Adams ; Assessor, Stephen Mahood ; Superintendent of Schools, J. C. Cover; Justices of the Peace, Andrew Barnett, H. S. Liscum; Constables. Dexter Ward, James N. Borah, G. B. McCord.

1852 Supervisors, James Barnett, Chairman, Joseph Bonham, John B. Gillespie; Clerk, F. P. Liscum ; Treasurer, Frederick B. Phelps ; Assessor, Stephen Mahood ; Superintendent of Schools, Robert Children ; Justices of the Peace, F. H. Bonham, Hugh R. Colter, Stephen Mahood to fill vacancy ; Constables, Patrick Dancey, Dexter Ward, Lewis Laughlin.

1854 Supervisors, Nelson Dewey, Chairman, Joseph Bonham, Abner Dyer ; Clerk, Stephen Mahood ; Treasurer, John B. Callis ; Assessor, H. S. Liscom ; Superintendent of Schools, J. C. Cover ; Justices of the Peace, Stephen Mahood, Dexter Ward ; Constables, W. H. Foster only one Constable elected this year.

1855 Supervisors, J. Allen Barber, Chairman, Philip Kelts, Edmund Harelson ; Clerk, Stephen Mahood ; Treasurer, John B. Callis ; Superintendent of Schools, William A. Holmes ; Assessor, Andrew Barnett ; Justices of the Peace, Joseph Bonham, George. W. Luse ; Constables, Jared Barnett, Elliot H. Liscum. Two Constables were elected this year.

1856 Supervisors, J. Allen Barber, Chairman, Edmund Harelson, Philip Kelts ; Clerk, Stephen Mahood; Treasurer, John B. Callis ; Assessor, William N. Reed ; Superintendent of Schools, J. C. Cover ; Justices of the Peace, Wood R. Beach, Stephen Mahood, Francis H. Bonham elected to fill vacancy ; Constables, Elliot H. Liscum, John Pepper. Stephen Mahood being afterward unable to serve as Town Clerk, by reason of sickness, William E. Carter was appointed by the Board in his place.


1856 President, J. Allen Barber; Trustees, John G. Clark, M. M. Ziegler and D. T. Parker ; Treasurer, M. M. Wood ; Marshal, Dexter Ward ; Assessor, George Howe ; Clerk, appointed by the Board of Trustees, William E. Carter.

1857 President, J. H. Hyde ; Trustees, D. H. Budd, Charles Langridge and James Barnett; Treasurer, George W. Ryland ; Assessor, Stephen Mahood ; Marshal, W. H. S. Palmer ; Clerk, William E. Carter.

1858 President, L. 0. Shrader; Trustees, John B. Callis, Charles Langridge, O. B. Phelps ; Treasurer, George W. Ryland ; Assessor, Stephen Mahood ; Marshal, John Pepper. O. B. Phelps refused to qualify as Trustee, and E. G. Beckwith was elected in his place. Clerk, William E. Carter. He was removed for non-attendance in September, and L. J. Woolley appointed in his place.

1859 President, J. C. Holloway ; Trustees, Charles Langridge, William Alcorn and George W. Ryland; Treasurer, D. H. Budd; Assessor, Stephen Mahood; Marshal, John B. Callis; Clerk, L. J. Woolley.

1860 President, J. Allen Barber; Trustees, George H. Cox, Anthony Crosby and L. A. Hyde ; Treasurer, M. M. Ziegler ; Assessor, Hiram Baxter ; Marshal, John B. Callis ; Clerk, L. O. Shrader.

1861 President, J. Allen Barber; Trustees, George H. Cox, F. P. Liscum, Joseph Barnett; Treasurer, D. H. Budd; Marshal, John B. Callis; Assessor, William McGonigal ; Clerk, L. O. Shrader.

1862 President, J. Allen Barber; Trustees, Harrison Redding, George H. Cox and George W, Ryland; Treasurer, D. H. Budd; Assessor, W.N. Reed; Marshal, Thomas Gow ; Clerk, J. W. Blanding. There is a break in the records from the above date to 1867, during which there is no trace of the officers elected.

1867 President, J. C. Cover; Trustees, J. H. Hyde, J. W. Blanding and A. J. Fox; Clerk, Joseph Bock.

1868 President, J. W. Blanding ; Trustees, H. J. Fox, Fred B. Phelps, J. W. Angell Treasurer, John P. Lewis ; Assessor, William H. Foster ; Marshal, David Cutshaw ; Clerk, Joseph Bock.

1869 President, P. H. Parsons ; Trustees, Lewis Holloway, William Alcorn, V. F. Kinney, H. Reading. From this date, and under the new charter, the Treasurer, Marshal and Clerk were appointed by the board, and the President also performed the duties of Police Justice

1870 President, George W. Ryland ; Trustees, Henry Fox, Johh B. Turley, Lewis Holloway,Henry Muesse ; Treasurer, D. H. Budd ; Marshal, Dexter Ward ; Clerk, A. P. Thompson; Street Commissioner, George Harton.

1871 President, George W. Ryland ; Trustees, Henry Fox, Henry Muesse, Lewis Holloway, W. M. Powers; Treasurer, D. H. Budd; Marshal, Dexter Ward; Clerk, David Schreiner ; Street Commissioner, Joseph Joey.

1872 President, Henry Muesse ; Trustees, R. E. Murphy, M. M. Zeigler, W. W. Robe, R. S. Hoskins ; Treasurer, D. H. Budd ; Marshal, Philip Kelts ; Clerk, P. H. Parsons ; Street Commissioner, H. B. Fisher.

1873 President, William McGonigal ; Trustees, Lewi.s HoUoway, C. H. Baxter, W. W. Robe, H. B. Fisher; Treasurer, D. H. Budd; Clerk, A. R. McCartney; Street Commissioner, William Richardson ; Marshal, Charles Bennetts.

1874 President, A. Burr ; Trustees, P. H. Parsons, C. H. Baxter, V. F. Kinney, H. B. Fisher ; Treasurer, D. H. Budd ; Marshal, Thomas R. Chesebro ; Clerk, R. E. McCoy ; Street Commissioner, Franklin Halbert.

1875 President, J. Allen Barber ; Trustees, Franklin Halbert, Lewis Holloway, John Schreiner, Henry Muesse; Supervisor, George Clementson; Treasurer, Richard Meyer; Clerk, A. Michaels ; Street Commissioner and Marshal, S. Mitchell.

1876 President, J. Allen Barber; Trustees, John Schreiner, John Woolsenholme, Henry Muesse, Frank Halbert; Supervisor, George Clementson; Treasurer, Richard Meyer; Clerk, A. Michaelis ; Marshal, S. Mitchell ; Street Commissioner, Franklin Halbert.

1877 President, J. Allen Barber; Trustees, David Schreiner, W. H. Haines, John Oswald, William Richardson ; Supervisor, George Clementson ; Treasurer, Richard Meyer ; Clerk, A. Michaelis ; Street Commissioner, John Oswald ; Marshal, S. Mitchell.


1878 Mayor, A. R. Bushnell ; Aldermen, James Woodhouse, George D. Utt, James Kilfeourn, Joseph Nathan ; Justice of the Peace, James A. Jones ; Supervisor, George Clementson. (Clerk, Treasurer and Marshal appointed). Clerk, Aug. Michaelis; Treasurer, Richard Meyer; Marshal, S. Mitchell.

1879 Mayor, George Clementson ; Aldermen, F. B. Phelps, A. H. Barber, Henry Muesse, Alexander Ivey ; Police Justice, A. L. Burke ; Supervisor, George Clementson ; Clerk, Charles Orton ; Treasurer, Richard Meyer ; Marshal, H. P. Green.

1880 Mayor, John B. Clark; Aldermen, Lewis Holloway, W. T. Orton, William P. Stone, Herman Buchner ; Clerk, Aug. Michaelis ; Treasurer, Richard Meyer ; Marshal, George Griffin.

1881 Mayor, John B. Clark; Aldermen, William P. Stone, Herman Buchner; W. F. Orton, Lewis Holloway. The two last named declined to qualify; John P. Lewis and John Street were appointed by the remaining members of the Council, in accordance with a provision of the city charter. Treasurer, Richard Meyer ; Clerk, Aug. Michaelis ; Marshal, S. Mitchell.



The first school in Lancaster was started in 1841, the old cabin first occupied by G. M. Price as a store being used as the schoolhouse. The school was started by some of the early settlers, and was supported mainly by voluntary contributions. The teacher was Miss Jane Ayers, then from Rockville, now Mrs. Trethuie, and for many years a resident of Lancaster. This first educational venture continued through the period of several terms. After its discontinuance, Francis Rigeaud opened a school in the northwest room of the court house, and a second school was taught in a building situated in Bushnell Hollow. Rigeaud was an old French soldier, and continued his embryo academy until the erection of the first schoolhouse in 1843. Under the laws, as then existing, the County Commissioners had power to lay off or subdivide their districts into school districts. This had been done 'in the district in which Lancaster was contained. The first attempts to furnish educational facilities for Lancaster youth had only shown the need for some regularly organized school, therefore, J. Allen Barber, Nelson Dewey and Daniel Banfill, as a School Board, proceeded with the erection of a schoolhouse for this district. The movement at first met with considerable opposition, and many were the volleys fired at the heads of the devoted trio. The building once completed, however, and its necessity being more generally recognized, the assailants were turned into admirers, and praise took the place of invective. The name of the first monarch who mounted the rude throne in this institution of learning has faded away into the mystic region of forgetfulness. Soon, however, the rule and rod passed into the hands of J. T. Mills, then a new-comer into the village. Having been educated at an institution of learning in Illinois and graduated under the eye of Dr. Edward Beecher, the new teacher was thought to be well enough versed in " readin', writin' and cipherin','' to undertake the task of bringing up the young Westerners in the educational way in which they should go. He was possessed, moreover, of something better than this, a qualification of which his patrons were unaware, namely, an understanding which could reach out beyond the narrow boundaries limited by set rules and render light the dark places, making easy the way by removing the hideous bugbears and puzzling intricacies which beset education in early times. It was soon found that the young teacher was the right man in the right place. So well had he succeed that he was unanimously chosen for a second term, and J. C. Cover was associated with him in the growing school. As tradition hath it, '' Mills was to do the teaching and Cover the licking." Then for the first time the old system and the new met, and, as might have been forseen (as never yet was one body known to travel in the same orbit simultaneously with another), the two systems gave forth a jarring sound which threatened annihilation of the whole educational plan. Each was a master of his system, and each thought his the best. Harmony was restored by an agreement that each should teach a week about, and, under this arrangement, those interested had a chance to compare both systems, ending at length in a victory of the new fa th over the old. This building continued the seat of learning in Lancaster for many years, alternated with " select schools," which were started under first one teacher and then another. Lancaster became, in fact, divided into two hostile camps, one favoring the ordinary public school system as in vogue among the Eastern States, and the opposing hosts wishing the educational privileges transferred to an " academy " or " high school."

In 1852, the latter class proved their faith by their works, and started a school in the Congregational Church, under the supervision of Mr. Demarist, who came well recommended as an educator. The Trustees of this institution were Daniel R. Burt, Nelson Dewey, J. Allen Barber and J. T. Mills. This school continued with varying success under different teachers until the advent of Mr. Page, now Judge Page, of Austin, Minn., whose attempted assassination some time ago created such a furor throughout that and adjoining States. Under Mr. Page, the school reached the acme of its power and influence. The gentleman, while enforcing a strict discipline that reduced the pupil almost to a mere machine, moving at the command of its master, forced his scholars along the road of learning at a pace hitherto unknown in educational annals. So successful were his efforts that early in 1858 a meeting was held in the office of Barber & Lowry for the purpose of considering the proposition of building an academy. The decision was in the affirmative, stock was placed at $10 per share, and $1,200 were subscribed and one-quarter paid within a week. The building was to be 25x40 feet in size, two stories high, with accommodations for 125 scholars. Is was completed and opened in August, 1858, Mr. Page being the Principal. This gentleman soon after took his departure, owing to disagreements which arose between him and some of his principal patrons, and the " Institute " was continued until the completion of the present school building in 1870, when that, with its graded system, took the place of the former, and the " Institute " was discontinued. The building was transformed into a dwelling-house and remains standing, used for that purpose, on the corner of Oak and Monroe streets.

In the meantime, the advocates of the common-school system had not remained idle. The old schoolhouse in the north part of the village had been outgrown, and at a meeting of the citizens of the village, held at the schoolhouse October 24, 1854, it was determined, though not without some opposition, to build a new school building, the structure to be of brick, two stories high, 26x46 feet. The site selected was the present school lot in the south part of the village.

The old schoolhouse, which had witnessed the regimes of J. T. Mills, J. C. Cover, John G. Clark and other instructors of the young idea, when the salary amounted to the munificent sum of $10 per month, and the privilege of " boarding round," was condemned to be sold, and sold it was to, a Mr. Palmer for $345, and by him converted into a dwelling-house ; it was later on purchased by Judge McGonigal, and is still in use as a portion of the Judge's residence. The new schoolhouse was built by Messrs. Sherman & Walker, and finished in the early part of 1856. It was 50x35 feet in size, two stories high, and intended to furnish accommodation for 250 to 300 scholars. The upper and lower rooms were well lighted, desks well arranged, and in all respects what well-ordered school-rooms should be. The cost of building and plat was $3,000. This building was in turn outgrown, and in 1868, a larger and more imposing house was erected at a cost of about $15,000. It was already completed, and but a few days were to elapse before it was to be teeming with life. June 13, 1868, a terrible gale swept over Lancaster, and among the first fruits of its fury was the new schoolhouse, which was tumbled into a heap of ruins. The cause of its succumbing so' quickly to the gale was attributed, in a great measure, to defective construction. However, the damage had been done, and the only thing remaining was to remedy it as speedily and in the best manner possible. Opinion was divided as to the best course to pursue. The district was already encumbered with a heavy debt, the result of erecting the wrecked building, and under the circumstances many thought it best to purchase the old Congregational Church, then for sale, and fit it up for school purposes. The opponents of this way of thinking argued that it would be better to go on as they had begun, and erect a building which would be sufficient for many years to come, besides being an ornament to the town. At a meeting held for the purpose of deciding the question, the latter class was found to be in the majority. Contracts were accordingly let, after plans and specifications prepared by the building committee which had been appointed, and the present school building was the result. Its valuation, vide report of County Superintendent of 1880, is $20,800. The school combines both a graded and high school, the latter being erected at a school meeting held July, 1875. The high school proper employs the services of the Principal and one assistant. the graded department comprises four distinct grades primary, second primary, intermediate and grammar grades. The whole number of teachers employed, including the Principal, is six. The present Principal is Prof. R. L. Reed, receiving a salary of $1,000 per annum. School matters are under the control of a school board of three members, one member being elected every year, and holding office for three years. The present board comprises Capt. A. R. Bushnell, Moderator ; Mr. James A. Jones, Treasurer ; and Mr. John P. Lewis, Clerk. In regard to school attendance, Lancaster Township, according to the report quoted above, stands second in the county, Platteville ranking as first.


Methodist Church. The first religious services ever held within the present limits of Lancaster, were undoubtedly held by itinerant preachers of this denomination. Judge J. T. Mills speaks of witnessing a service held in a cabin in Bushnell Hollow, northwest of town, the audience consisting of a half-dozen miners or wandering adventurers, the date being shortly after the platting of the village. This fugitive service may possibly have been followed by others, but the first notice of Methodism in a regular form in Lancaster, is found in the report of a Quarterly Conference held at Fennimore early in 1849, the church being at that time evidently connected with Fennimore. The first Quarterly Conference held in Lancaster was convened October 21, 1849, Rev. Elmore Yocum being the Presiding Elder, and Rev. Benjamin Close the preacher in charge. A resolution was moved and carried to build a parsonage at Lancaster-Benjamin Close, Benjamin E. Quincey and Martin Teal being appointed as a building committee. The first Board of Trustees elected comprised the following names : James Henderson, Charles W. Long, A. E. Kilby, Joseph McKinney. This movement appears to have resulted in nothing, as in 1850, is found notice of another effort to go on with this building. Rev. Mr. Close remained until the fall of 1850, when he was succeeded by Rev. J. W. Putnam, who, however, left before his year was up, Rev. Henry Wood taking his place January 18, 1851, for a few months. During this winter, efforts were made to commence the erection of a church building, and successfully, as the new church was commenced and completed the same year, and November 16, was dedicated to the worship of God. The house was 42x26 feet in size on the ground floor, and cost $800. At this time a debt of $400 still remained unpaid. Mr. Brooks, of Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., was present on the occasion to take part in the services, and assumed the responsibility of lifting this load. The first collection made amounted to |50 another was immediately ordered, resulting in the raising of $350, or enough in addition to the first to pay the whole debt, leaving the church without any embarrassing load of this kind to carry. In addition to this amount, $100 of " Telegraph stock" was subscribed. This pioneer church stood on the corner of Maple and Adams streets, and was used by the congregation until the completion of their present church in 1877. It still remains in the old position, being used at present as a carriage repository.

In March, 1851, Rev. A. H. Walters had succeeded Rev. Mr. Wood, remaining until 1852, when Rev. M. Osborne took charge of the young society. A glimpse of early Methodism as it appeared at this period, is given somewhat later by one who was acquainted with its workings, evidently Mr. Osborne. He says: "My first visit to Lancaster was in 1852. At that early period, the new church building was just completed, through the efforts of my predecessor. My field of missionary labor embraced Lancaster, Boice Prairie, Little Grant, Shanley's, Waterloo and a part of Fennimore. At all of these, save the home appointments, we had no church buildings, and we held our regular church services in log and frame schoolhouses, which would be often filled to overflowing by settlers from half a score of miles about.

Such home-like welcomes as we had then will never be forgotten, and the names of such men as Kilby, Quincey, McKinney, Kitts, Loney, Guilliford and others, cannot be recalled without pleasure. During 1854-55, my field of labor was Patch Grove, where our regular preaching places were Patch Grove, Millville, Blake's Prairie, Mount Hope then known as Whitesides and Wyalusing. Henry Patch then kept the Patch Grove House. The Methodist parsonage. Dr. Chamber's, Col. Finn's, J. G. Ury's, Osborne's, Branson's and one or two other families, constituted what was then called Patch Grove Village. Bloomington was not then heard of, with other villages now in existence. At Montfort one found a vast territory of country uninhabited, but a very paradise among the desirable places this side of heaven. At that time there was no farm house directly on the National road from Wingville west to Fennimore Grove, though on either side the Dinsdales and others had settled and were opening farms. South of Wingville, midway between it and Clifton, stood the house of G. Bunker, visible for miles around, and ensconced in the valleys wore the homes of Keith, Taylor and others.

Clifton was considered the Goshen of the surrounding country. Ministers and others found a warm welcome at such homes as J. F. Brown's, Clayton's, Clifton's, Shipley's, Howdel's and Bosye's. The old ' rock church ' one of the first erected in Grant County was a fine structure for the times. Mineral was found in considerable abundance near the church, but the most extensive mining was done in and near Wingville, which consisted of a dilapidated church on the hill, a small parsonage, stores kept by Clayborne Chandler, S. D. Green, Jenks. Bell & Thomas, and one or two others. The Stephens House and Ledbetter Hotel were the only places of entertainment. East of Wingville for ten miles, there were no farms directly on the main road, if Parmalay's is excepted, whose house was in a beautiful grove nearly half a mile from the road. Comfort, Armfield, Lincoln and others had settled on their prairie farms, and were just beginning a new life in the beautiful country." To these and others of that ilk was the early itinerant indebted for that bounteous ascertainment which was ever ready whenever he might appear.

In 1852, Rev. W. M. Osborne filled the pulpit, followed in October, 1853, by the Rev. John Hooper. In 1854, Rev. A. H. Walters was returned and remained two years, when Rev. E. Tasker assumed the pastorate, remaining until July, 1858. At that time he was succeeded by the Rev. C. P. Hackney, who served as Pastor one year and a half, delivering his charge over to the Rev. R. R. Wood, in December, 1859. The growth of the church in the meantime had been slow, but not marked by fluctuations that showed later on. Rev. Mr. Wood was followed in 1861 by Rev. Matthew Dinsdale, who remained until September, 1862. At the conference that year. Rev. R. Dudgeon was appointed to succeed Mr. Dinsdale, and remained one year. In 1863, Rev. E. Buck came, remaining the conference year. The ultra opinions held by this gentleman on the great issues then being put to the test of battle, caused a sad falling off in the church membership, a blow which was felt for many years afterward. Mr. Buck was succeeded by Rev. C. Cook, who remained in charge of the congregation until 1868, when he was followed by the Rev. James Simms. His pastorate extended over the three years next ensuing. The conference of 1871 returned Rev. Anthony D. Dexter to the charge. He was succeeded in 1874 by the Rev. A. W. Cummings. During the pastorate of this gentleman, the present church building was erected, a substantial and commodious structure, standing on the corner of Cherry and Monroe streets. The building was ready for dedication late in 1877, but, with a spirit worthy of imitation, the society decided not to formally dedicate the building until the debt then resting upon it was paid, and the church as a consequence remains undedicated up to the present time, although but a very small portion of the original debt remains. Mr. Cummings was succeeded by the Rev. G. W. L. Brown, who remained until 1879, when he was succeeded by the Rev. C. Cook, the present Pastor. The present officiary of the church is as follows : Pastor, C. Cook ; Trustees, James Woodhouse, R. L. Hoskins, Stephen Vivian, J. E. McKinney, John Willis, B. E. Quincey, Alexander Ivey ; Secretary and Treasurer, Alexander Ivey.

Congregational Church. This church was organized in the court house on the 21st day of May, 1843, by Rev. J. L. Stevens. The membership was, at this date, limited to seven. Judge Mills and wife, Mrs. Rebecca Mills, Mr. Daniel McAuley and wife, Mr. Dexter Ward and wife and Miss Mary Ward. Of these early members, Judge Mills, Mr. and Mrs. Ward and Miss Mary Ward, now married and living elsewhere, remain. When first organized, the church was Presbyterian, but was changed some years later to a Congregational Church. Mr. Stevens remained for some time in charge of the little flock, meetings being held in the court house, and oftener in a vacant log cabin, then standing in Bushnell Hollow. In this structure, the first prayer meeting was held, and the Sunday school organized. Upon the erection of the schoolhouse in 1843, this was used as a place of worship on the Sabbath Day until the erection of the first church.

The first regularly established minister was Rev. R. Carver, who came in 1844, and remained as Pastor until December, 1845. He was succeeded by Rev. O. Littlejohn, who remained as spiritual head of the church from August, 1845, until January, 1847, when he was succeeded by Rev. S. Eaton. The first election of Trustees of the new society took place in 1850. J. T. Mills was chosen Clerk of the board, but aside from this, not much is known of this early body, as the earlier records of the church were lost through some dereliction on the part of those having them in charge. But in this same year, subscriptions were solicited for the purpose of erecting a new church ; at this time, Sunday school was held in the old schoolhouse, a portion of which is now used as a dwelling by Judge McGonigal. Owing to the absence of the Pastor, work on the new edifice was not begun until the following season, when it was enclosed and plastered, and with the aid of seats temporarily obtained from a church at Potosi, and a pulpit furnished by the Platteville Church, the building was fitted for occupancy as a place of worship, and consecrated December 2, 1851. This church was situated on Lots 1 and 2 of Block 29, on the corner of Cherry and Adams streets. It was a modest structure forty feet in length by thirty in width, and cost $700 ; the builder was E. B. Tenney. The interior was completed at a later period, and an addition of twenty feet was made to the front of the building in 1860.

This place of worship was retained until the erection of the present edifice occupied by the society.

In 1862, Rev. Mr. Eaton was commissioned Chaplain of the Seventh Wisconsin Regiment, which was composed in a great measure of Grant County representatives. Mr. Eaton went at once to the front, where the regiment was engaged in watching and fighting the rebels. From this time on, he remained at his post until the close of the war, and many a wounded soldier boy has reason to bless the Chaplain of the Seventh Wisconsin ; so faithful was the reverend gentleman in his work, that he was heartily spoken of by officers and men as " the best Chaplain in the army." During his absence, the pulpit was filled by the Rev. Mr. Maiben.

In 1871, it was decided to erect a new and more commodious structure, better fitted for the growing needs of the society, and, August 19 of that year, the corner stone of the new building was laid with imposing ceremonies. Under this block, on which was to rise the imposing pile, was deposited a history of the Congregational Church in Wisconsin, in two volumes, last issues of the county papers, cereals and seeds, and a sketch of the history of the church. After the ceremonies were over, the group was photographed by Vanderwall. The site selected for the edifice was that known as the Dewey lot, on the corner of Madison and Cherry streets.

It was not until 1873 that the building was ready for occupancy. On Sunday, July 17 of this year, the church was formally dedicated to the worship of Cirod. Rev. C. H. Richards, of Madison, delivered the sermon, the remainder of the exercises being conducted by the resident Pastors of the Congregational and Methodist Churches. Previous to the formal dedication, an appeal was made to the audience for subscriptions to pay off' the debt of several thousand dollars that still remained, and |2,000 was thus obtained. The contractors and builders were Messrs. Alcorn & Muesse, the plans and specifications being furnished by C. W. Shinn, of Springfield, Ill., and the cost of the building was $12,650. The edifice is of the style known as the pointed Gothic, and is 50x85 feet outside ; height to cornice, twenty-two feet, with height to upper ceiling, thirty-two feet. The main spire is 100 feet in height, ornamented with beltings of cut stone.

The auditorium is 40x80 feet, from which is taken a "social room," 20x40 feet. This room is separated from the auditorium proper by sliding partitions and doors, which are so arranged that they can be lowered to the basement when occasion requires, thus throwing the whole together in one room. Over this "social room" is a gallery of the same dimensions as the room itself. Admittance is gained by two entrances on the east side of the building,^ and one on the north. In addition to these, there is an entrance direct into the Pastor's retiring room.

The interior is very tastefully decorated in a cool gray, slightly bordering on the blue, while the roof is checked off" into large squares by the timbers supporting it, that are thus called into play as a portion of the decoration ; these are grained in a dark oak, while the squares show a gray tone somewhat warmer in color than the side walls. The general effect is quiet but pleasing. The pulpit stands in an arched recess, on either hand of which are other and smaller area that to the right of the pulpit being used for the choir, the congregation being thus able to "face the music" without the trouble that is necessary so to do in many churches. An immense chandelier, with numerous side lights both the present of Gen. J. B. Callis furnishes the light necessary when occasion requires, while the room is well warmed by two furnaces in the basement.

Upon the completion of the new church, the old building was sold to Mr. E. H. Borah for $700, and was raised, another story added underneath, and now serves as a dwelling and shop.

A debt of a few thousand dollars still remained, but, through the active exertions of the church members, together with aid furnished by outside parties, the debt was lifted, and, December 26, 1879, the society stood free from debt and in possession of a church edifice such as they might well view with pride.

The present officiary of the church is as follows : Pastor, Rev. S. Eaton ; Deacons, Mr. George Howe and J. H. Jones; Trustees, J. H. Jones, George Howe, S. H. Parnsworth, B. White, Charles H. Baxter ; Secretary, T. A. Burr ; Treasurer, J. H. Howe.

Baptist Church. In accordance with a notice previously given, a meeting was held at the court house November 29, 1844, for the purpose of forming a Baptist Church. D. Banbridge was appointed Moderator, and J. Miles Clerk, after which it was resolved " that we form ourselves into a church, to be designated as the Baptist Church of Lancaster. The resolution was carried unanimously, and signed by George McFarlin, Martha McFarlin, Israel Miles, Evan Miles, Reuben Miles, Isaac F. Miles, Caroline Woods, Mehala Miles, Jesse Miles and Sarah Miles. At a subsequent meeting, held November 16, 1844, the members of the young body "agreed to meet the citizens of Lancaster to deliberate on the subject of building a house of worship." Jesse Miles, William N. Reed and Evan Miles were the first Church Trustees, elected November 19. At a meeting, held December 14, William Reed was elected Church Clerk, and the Trustees appointed a committee to confer with the citizens, to co-operate with them in building a Baptist Church. The first Deacon was George McFarlin, elected April 15, 1845, and in August of the same year Jesse Miles, William Paddock and William N. Reed were appointed as a committee to purchase Lots 4 and 5 of Block 22, for a site for the proposed church.

Up to February, 1846, Elder Miles had served as Pastor of the little body, but at that time a call was extended to Rev. Mr. Chapin to serve as Pastor for one year, and he accepting, commenced his work in June. The Baptist organization at this time, being the strongest in the place, the citizens had offered to co-operate with the congregation in erecting a; church, deeming it necessary that the village should contain at least one house of worship, and by the beginning of 1847, $900 had been subscribed. A building society had been formed, and Nelson Dewey, Alfred Miles, J. C. Cover, H. L. Liscum and James M. Otis elected Trustees. As such they also acted as a Building Committee, and July, 1847, there being $1,015 available, the contract was let to Jacob Gow for building the foundation, the price to be paid being $188. This work was finished by the spring of 1848, when the contract for the erection of the church building was let to James M. Otis for $1,100, the building to be finished by November the same year, this was not done, however, and it was several years before the house was ready for occupancy. The pubic services of the society were held in the meantime in the court house, and occasion- % in the schoolhouse in the north part of town. Mr. Chapin remained until 1851, when he was succeeded by Rev. D. Matlock, who remained until 1853.

July 4, 1852, the church was ready for occupancy and was dedicated upon that day. Upon Mr. Matlock's resignation, a call was extended to Rev. E. M. Lewis, which was accepted, and he commenced his pastorate in July, 1854, remaining until early in the summer of 1856. The church then remained without a Pastor until January, 1858, when Rev. B. B. Hatch came for a short period, extending to November of the same year. His successor was Rev. D. Matlock, who took charge of the congregation for the second time in 1862. Mr. Matlock's pastorate extended over a period of two years, when the church was again left pastorless. In 1869, Rev. Wade accepted the charge of the society for a short time, but resigned in December of the same year. Since the departure of Mr. Wade, the church has been without any regular Pastor. Occasional services have been held upon the occasion of visits from outside clergymen, but, owing to the deterioration of the church, through emigration and death, there can hardly be said to be an organized body at present existing. During 1868, repairs were made upon the church, which placed it in good order, but to-day it stands quiet and alone gazing out upon the west, a memorial of the early days of Lancaster. Its ultimate fate is uncertain, but, as one of the oldest structures still remaining in the city, it should, and doubtless will, be preserved, as a relic of the olden times.

Emanuel Episcopal Church. About the year 1852, Mrs. Horner, wife of the celebrated Prof. Horner, the anatomist, of Philadelphia, sent the sum of $602 to Lancaster to aid in the erection of an Episcopal Church at this place. The cause of the good lady's thus interesting herself in the matter was, presumably, owing to the fact that her daughter had removed about that time to Lancaster Township with her husband, Mr. William Horner, and was then living here. March 27, 1852, at a meeting held in the office of Messrs. Barber & Lowry, the parish was formally organized under the name of " Westwood Parish," and Wardens and Vestry elected as follows: Senior Warden, Nelson Dewey; Junior Warden, William Horner; Vestrymen John Welsh, Alexander Calder, Samuel Rowden, Andrew Barnett, J. Allen Barber, Dwight T. Parker. D. T. Parker was chosen Treasurer, and J. Allen Barber, Secretary. It not being deemed advisable at that time to proceed with the erection of a church edifice, the money then on hand was let upon good security, and for a period of six years, the new church existed only in the hopes of a few ardent churchmen.

August 2, 1858, a meeting of the Wardens and Vestrymen of " Westwood Parish" was held at the office of Barber & Lowry, and after ascertaining the amount of money then at their disposal which had in the interval accumulated to $954.32 decided to proceed with the erection of the proposed church. J. Allen Barber, Samuel Rowden and Alexander Calder were, by resolution, constituted a building committee, and empowered to let the contract for the new edifice. Rev. Ebenezer Williams, at this time officiating at Wingville, preached occasionally for a time in the church when finished, and services were also held by Bishop Kemper and others. Services had, also, previous to the erection of the new building, been held in the little schoolhouse, in the north part of the village. From causes at this late date unknown, the movement suffered another relapse, and it was not until May 8, 1865, that the parish was organized on a stable foundation. Its name was then changed, at the suggestion of Mrs. Lewis Hoyt, a lady who took a deep interest in the infant parish, to "Emanuel Parish." This organization was effected by Charles H. Rice. The first Wardens and Vestry of the Emanuel Parish were Senior Warden, H. B. Fisher; Junior Warden, Richard Meyer; Vestrymen Thomas Langridge, J. Thornton, James F. Rhodes, Samuel F. Clise, William Carter, Sr., William Pitt Dewey, J. H. Hyde, Allen R. Bushnell. Mr. Rice remained but a short time. In 1866, Rev. Francis Moore assumed the rectorship of the parish, under whose ministration the young church made a rapid and vigorous advancement. In October, 1868, Mr. Moore left for Missouri. For an interval of four years, the church was without a Rector. October, 1872, Rev. Mr. Moore returned to the parish, remaining until June 16, 1873. Upon his departure, the parish remained without a Pastor until 1875. In August of that year, a call was extended to the Rev. S. S. Burleson, which was accepted in October, and on the first Sunday in Advent, the reverend gentleman assumed pastoral charge. The succeeding year, the present rectory was built, being ready for occupancy in December. Rev. Mr. Burleson remained until the spring of 1880, being the first Rector whose duties had been confined to Lancaster. His resignation had been tendered in October, but circumstances prevented his departure until the spring of 1880, as above mentioned. During the summer of the same year, a call was extended to the Rev. Lewis Cloak, the present Rector, who took charge of the Parish August 15. The present officiary of the church is as follows : Senior Warden, Thomas Langridge ; Junior Warden, Charles Langridge, Sr. ; Vestrymen Dr. James Brown, Mr. H. B. Fisher, Henry Muesse, P. H. Parsons, James F. Rhodes, G. D. Streeter. Mr. P. H. Parson is also Secretary and Treasurer.

St. Clement's Catholic Church. This congregation was originally under the charge of the Pastor of Potosi Parish as a mission. The present church was erected in 1859, under the superintendence and through the efforts of Rev. Father Gibson, then Pastor at Potosi. The first resident Pastor at Lancaster was the Rev. Father Thomas Hodnett, who came in 1870. He remained until October, 1873, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Father R. J. Scott. In 1876, Rev. Father Hugo Victor took charge of the parish, remaining until April 10, 1877, when he was transferred to other fields of labor, being followed in the pastorate by the Rev. Father Peter Schwieger, the present priest in charge. The parish was first known as St. Bartholomew, but there being one parish of that name in this section, it was changed by the Bishop to St. Clement's, which name it at present retains.


The first burial-place in Lancaster was a plat of ground just south of the Episcopal Church, this in time passing into a quasi private depository for the dead. In August, 1855, a meeting was held for the purpose of taking steps toward purchasing land for cemetery purposes. Judge McGonigal was chosen Chairman and J. Allen Barber Secretary. The name chosen for the organization was the " Lancaster Cemetery Association." The management was intrusted to three trustees, the first board comprising J. Allen Barber, Ovid B. Phelps and Myron W. Wood. Five acres of land were purchased south of town, on the site now occupied by Mr. Charles Langridge. The drainage facilities were, however, soon found to be inadequate to keep water from settling in the graves, which forced an abandonment of the proposed plan, and the movement dissolved in thin air. A year or two later the deed bearing date of October, 1857 William McGonigal, Theodore Barber, George Howe and James Barnett purchased an acre of ground southeast of the village, on the farm owned by J. Allen Barber. In May, 1863, these original owners deeded the land to the Trustees of the village of Lancaster for a cemetery; additions were made at different times to the first purchase, until now there are included in the cemetery limits about five acres, which is laid out into burial lots, and from its sightly and beautiful location forms one of the most pleasing "cities of the dead" in the county. Upon the merging of the village into a city the property passed into the hands of the city government, the Council having full control of it at present.


Several heavy fires that had occurred in Lancaster and surrounding towns aroused the citizens to the danger constantly threatening the village, unprovided as they then were with no means of quenching the ravages of the fire fiend should he show himself. The feeling progressed so far that in the early summer of 1873, a hand engine, the present one, was purchased. A fire company was organized July 24, the same year, Mr. L. Holloway being elected Foreman, Robert Brooker, First Assistant, and John M. Hurley, Second Assistant. The company, when thoroughly organized, numbered between forty and fifty members. A feeling of apathy having showed itself among the citizens in regard to the requirements of the company, the latter, in the spring of 1880, dissolved by consent, and turned the engine, apparatus and uniforms over to the city, leaving Lancaster plus an engine and minus a company, in which state fire matters have remained since.


Lancaster Woolen Mill. This institution at present comprises in itself all the manufacturing interests to which Lancaster is now heir. In 1865, Douglas Oliver had erected at North Andover, in the town of Glen Haven, a flouring mill. To the machinery necessary for that business; he soon afterward added one set of machinery for the manufacture of woolen cloth. The business not being of a nature to warrant his continuing in that location, he gave up his mill and came to Lancaster, where he interested many of the leading citizens of this village in the subject of woolen goods to such an extent that a stock company was formed for the prosecution of that branch of industry. In the spring of 1868, grounds were purchased, including the "big spring" in the lower and east portion of the village and work commenced. In July of the same year, the buildings were finished and much of the machinery put in, including that which had. formerly been used in Oliver's mill at North Andover. To this was added another "set" of the latest and most improved pattern, and early in the fall some of the machinery was started. A few first-class hands were brought from New England, under whose tuition were placed girls for instruction in the mysteries of cloth-making. The cost of the mill was about $30,000, it being calculated for forty operatives and with a capacity for using about 100,000 pounds of wool.

June 20, 1869, a quorum of the stockholders met at the office of J. Allen Barber and adopted articles of association under the name of the Lancaster Woolen Mill Company. J. C. Holloway, Addison Burr, D. Oliver, Henry Fox and Jacob Nathan were elected as a board of directors for the ensuing year. Addison Burr was elected President, George W. Ryland, Treasurer, and Richard Meyer, Secretary.

The first superintendent of the mill was a man named Fuller, who, however, was discharged after a few months' trial. He turned out to be a deceiving illusion, his talents being decidedly phantom-like in their nature. After his dismissal, the company concluded to take the running of the mill into their own hands. Henry Fox was placed in charge, and the books and accounts were intrusted to the charge of T. A. Burr. In this manner the mill was operated for something over a year, when it was found that assessments rather than dividends was the rule, and difficulties ensued which resulted in the sale of the property under a mortgage. It was bid in by some of the heaviest stockholders, and then rented to Messrs. Gledhill and Walker, who re-Joined possession about a twelvemonth, and then gave it up. Messrs. J. C. Holloway and Mr. Wise then hired the premises, and was run by these gentleman in partnership about six months, when Mr. Clise retired, and Mr. Holloway continued the mill in operation to the end of the year.

The mill remained idle from this date until its purchase by its present owners, Street Bros., Marshall & Co., in May, 1880. The mill was thoroughly overhauled by this firm, and new and improved machinery introduced, until it was placed on a par with the best mills in the State. The advent of railroad facilities has done much to solve the problem as to whether the venture will ultimately prove a success, the scale inclining under the present management to the winning side. In the absence of all other manufacturing interests, Lancaster has to hope for a successful pursuit of this branch of industry within its limits.

Bank. December, 1861, Messrs. Ryland & Holloway commenced a private banking and exchange business, on the corner of Maple and Madison streets. May, 1871, the business was removed to its present quarters, in a plain but commodious brick building, on Maple street, between Madison and Monroe streets. The bank capital at this time was f10,000. In January, 1875, the junior member of the firm withdrew, Mr. Ryland continuing the business alone. No further change was made until October, 1880, when Mr. Richard Meyer and Mr. Meyer, Jr., were united with Mr. Ryland in business. The capital of the bank was increased to $20,000, the firm name being George W. Ryland & Co. As a means of furnishing the citizens of Lancaster and vicinity with a ready and secure agent in financial transactions, the benefits of the institution have been felt from the first. The senior members of the present firm are well known as gentlemen of unimpeachable business integrity and financial ability; the junior member affable and business-like to all, has already established himself in the good graces of the bank's patrons. The bank stands to-day among the foremost of such institutions in the county, and is extending its business relations in fast-widening circles throughout central Grant.


Lancaster and the vicinity has been visited early and late by several severe storms, which have done more or less damage. The most important of these destroyers was the hurricane of 1824, which gave the name to the strip of country southeast of Lancaster, nothing of any distinctness is known, as at that period the western portion was uninhabited, with the exception of a white man named Hamer, who claimed to have witnessed the commencement of the whirlwind at Cassville, where he was living at the time. But wherever may have been its starting-point, whether witnessed or unwitnessed by mortal eyes, the fact that there had a hurricane passed through this section was plainly evident to the early settlers in that region. The great forest giants were tossed and thrown about as with a Titan's hand piled tier upon tier in inextricable confusion so that it was many years before the country could be brought under the dominion of man, and even to this day signs of the great storm may be found by the close observer.

The storm of 1868, which visited Lancaster, while it did not reach the power and fury of either its predecessor or the terrible fury of 1876, was still the means of doing considerable damage. It was, however, more in the nature of a high wind blowing steady, but with great violence. The public school building had just been completed at a cost of $15,000, and a few days more would have been filled with childish life. Fortunately, this dreaded sacrifice was not added to the damage done. As it was, the roof of the building was torn off, and the walls parted in a dozen places, making a total wreck of what had been but a few moments before a beautiful and imposing structure. Other buildings in the city were unroofed, and much damage done, but nothing to compare with the destruction of the first-named property.