History: Unity Centennial History (1874 - 1974)
Contact: Dorene Newman
Unity Township Pages
----Source: Unity Township Centennial (1874 - 1974)
THE HISTORY OF THE TOWNSHIP OF UNITY
Contributed by Dorene Newman
Transcribed by Janet
After much research by the history committee, we found that we have a record of every annual meeting held for the town of Unity. They were not all held in the township. Many were held at the I. O. O. F. Hall in the village of Unity, some at Spaulding saw mill, (we believe it was in Unity). The first meeting we know was held at the schoolhouse of District No. S. We believe that to have been the school later named Willow Brook.
After visiting with many of the older people, living in or near the township, we learned many interesting tales of the old pioneer days, such as where they got their supplies, how they were brought in, and the many hardships, trials, and good times of our fore-parents. As we know, this land was mostly covered with timber, which was the reason for most of the early settlers coming here. Many came here direct from Europe, having some relative or friends in Wisconsin. The only work available was associated with the cutting and sawing of the timber. Many had no means of transportation and had to walk everywhere they went. Many times they went as far as Neillsville to get a sack of flour or some piece of furniture which they carried home through the woods on their backs. They slept overnight on the trail with no means of housing of any kind. Many cleared small peices of land and would have maybe one crew or so. If they went visiting, we were told that they many times would ride the cow to the neighbors and maybe stay a week or ten days at a time. There were many small schools built at different locations in the township, probably some were built several years before the town of Unity became a township. One of the old schools was moved from its site and is presently our town hall and has been since 1915. We believe at the meetings of 1915 they voted to build a hall but not having read all board meetings, we do not know why it wasn't built or why it was decided to relocate the schoolhouse for the Purpose of the town hall.
In 1910 the Soo Line Railroad built what they called "a out-off to Owen", which passed almost from one corner to the opposite corner of the township. Having the railroads, the sawmills now flourished.
MINUTES OF TOWNSHIP MEETING
First meeting of the Township of Unity; Town of Unity, Clark Co., Wisconsin:
At the first annual town meeting held at the schoolhouse in District No. 5, on April 7, 1884, the following officers were elected: Chairman of Supervisors, S. H. Pickett; Side Supervisors, G. W. Nichols and, A. E. Darton; Town Clerk, E. T. Hemenway; Town Treasurer, C. 0. Graham; Assessor, Thos. Shanks; Justices of the Peace (Terms, decided by lot) Wm. R. Ingalls, one year, N. Parker, two years, 0. M. Brown, two years, E. T. Heminway, one year; Constables: S. S. Casper, W. W. Hutchins, J. Alger; Sealer, S. H. Pickett; Clerks: John Sterling, E. T. Hemenway; Inspectors of Election: Thos. Shanks, I. M. Brown, A. E. Darton.
The whole amount of tax voted at said meeting was $1,350.00 for the following purposes: For highways and bridges $850.00, for school purposes $100.00, for incidents expenses $310.00, for poor fund $50.00.
April 25, 1874; the following were appointed supervisors of the town of Unity, overseers of the Highway Districts: District No. 1, J. R. Shigley; District No. 2, W. H. H. Kilty; District No. 3, Thos. Shanks: District No'. 4. S. W. Nichols; District No. 5, S. H. Pickett; District No. 6, Hiram Schofield; District No. 7, A. E. Darton; District No. 8, W. W. Hutchins.
At an annual meeting held in the Odd Fellows Hall in Unity on April 1, 1890, the motion was made and carried to locate a site for a town hall, as near the corner of Section 14-15-22-23 as possible. The motion was made void, because of lack of notice.
At a special meeting held April 30, 1885, it was voted that horses and mules were not to be allowed to run at large on the highway in the town.
On April 3, 1900, at the I.O.O.F. Hall in Unity, a motion was made and passed to raise $600.00 for an iron bridge across the "Bubble" river.
On April 5, 1904, a motion was made for town share of the iron bridge across the Eau Pleine River west of the village. In 1905, $600.00 was raised for a steel bridge west of Picketts.
At the annual meeting on April 7, 1908, the motion to build a hall did not pass.
In 1910, $300.00 was raised to make roads on each side of the railroad crossing of the new Owen cut-off.
In 1911, a motion was made to change meeting place to Osborne. The motion was also made to build a road to get to Osborne. Motion was made to build a road to get to Osborne.
After being defeated before and coming up for vote before and always having lost, on April 6. 1915, a town hall was voted in by petition, the vote being 76 for and 48 against.
We found in treasurer's report that in November 1915, James Holmes was paid $45.00 for a site for the town hall. January 9, 1916, Charles Hebert was paid for moving hall.
In 1916 a motion was made to buy each district a small road grader, (probably "king drags").
In 1928 a motion was made and passed to buy a tractor and grader. (We believe this to be the old Holdt tractor that we had before getting the cat that we now have.) At this meeting it was also voted to build a shed to house the town equipment.
In 1932 they voted to raise $500.00 to build the shed. (So it must not have been built until that time.) They voted to buy a snowplow for tractor, if it could be bought for $400.00.
At a special meeting March 10, 1936, it was voted to buy a new tractor and snowplow of not less than 75 horse and to pay cash for same. It was also voted that this tractor should not be for hire. At the annual meeting of that year it was voted to pay one half each year for two years on above equipment. At annual meeting of 1938 it was voted to use farm tractors to drag roads. It was also voted to use granite instead of gravel on town roads.
In 1941 it was voted to borrow $10,000.00 to build roads. In 1945 it was voted to wire the hall for electricity.
In1946 the town voted to buy a truck with small plow. After being defeated at two special meetings held May 27, 1947 the town of Unity joined the townships of Brighton, Sherman, and Spencer in a fire fighting equipment purchase for the four rural townships to be housed in Spencer. The total votes cast 60, yes 35, no 25.
At the annual meeting April 6, 1948 it was voted to buy the town's first motor patrol, also to charge $1.00 to plow driveways.
On May 3, 1956, they voted to buy a new patrol, which is one of the patrols that we are still using. The present treasurer, Delbert Hutchins, held the same office for 25 years. We believe this to be the longest office holder of the town.
On April 4, 1961, at the annual meeting, it was voted to raise board members pay from $300 to $500 a meeting and from $6.00 to $10.00 a day. It was also voted to have the clerk write a letter to the County Board favoring Colby as the site of the proposed County Nursing Home.
On April 3, 1962, at the annual meeting, a motion was made and seconded to buy a new motor patrol, larger than the No. 12 Caterpillar. The vote was 15 for and I opposed. Motion was made and carried to leave the buying of the new patrol up to the new board, and use the emergency funds towards' the purchase. A motion was made and carried to raise regular patrolman's salary to $1.50 per hour.
On April 6, 1965, at the annual meeting, it was moved to have the town board take necessary steps to have all dogs in the township vaccinated for Rabies.
On April 4, 1967, at the annual meeting, the matter of remodeling the town hall was discussed. A motion was made and carried to leave the matter up to the town board. Motion was carried to lock up dump grounds except for one day a week. Motion was made to raise the patrolman's salary $.50 per hour.
In April 1968, the Lakehead Pipeline was put through the town of Unity, for which they will receive tax. On April 1, 1969, at the annual meeting, it was voted to put patrolmen on a guaranteed forty hour a week at $2.50 per hour, time-and-a-half for overtime. A motion was- made to purchase a new I.H.C. TRUCK AND SNOWPLOW. It was voted to grade all roads with a 26 ft. top. It was voted to erect a pole building to house machinery, not to exceed $7,000. Land to be purchased left to the town board.
On April 6, 1971, at the annual meeting, the town of Unity joined the Spencer Ambulance Service by a referendum vote. A motion was made and passed to buy a new 14E patrol, using the machinery fund.
On April 3, 1973, the annual meeting approved a centennial celebration put on by Homemakers, 4-H clubs, or like groups. Motion was made to repair old R. D. 8 Cat.
On April 2, 1974, it was voted to change the annual meeting to 8 o'clock p.m. of the Tuesday following elections. A motion was made to put citizens band radios in patrols.
Pictured below (From left to right are the 1974 Officers of Unity Township Officers.
Front Row: Nola Seefeld, Clerk; Wayne Hendrickson, Chairman; and Delbert Hutchins, Treasurer.
Back Row: Donald Bruesewitz, Supervisor; Norbert Schultz, Assessor; and Calvin Johnson, Supervisor.
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