Levis Township    

Clark County, Wisconsin    


Township 23 North, Range 2 West





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Levis Township

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LEVIS is situated in the southern end of the county, and consists of two townships, extending, twelve miles east and west and six miles north and south. The two townships are described as townships twenty-three, ranges two and three west.

The town of Levis was Organized as far back as 1856 but was not reduced to its present boundary until 1873. A strip of territory through the town along the river was settled nearly as early as any part of the county, but other portions of the town were not settled until within the past few years, and the settlement now is confined to the northeastern part and a strip two or three miles wide, extending north and south through the center of the town. The majority of the inhabitants are Americans, who came here from the eastern states. There are large tracts of pine lands in the town, but there are also hardwood ridges which, when cleared of the timber, make the very best of farming lands. The soil in parts of the town is sandy, but not so much so as to hinder the production of several kinds of useful crops, while in other parts of the town there is no sand, or at least not enough to make the soil any less fertile. The surface is generally rolling, though in a part of the town it is broken by small bluffs.

There are numerous streams of different sizes, the largest of which is Black river, which flows in a southwesterly course through the central part of the town. Wedge's creek, another quite an important stream, enters the northern part of the town and unites with Black River. There are other smaller streams in the town, as a reference 'to the map will show. Black river is of much importance to settlers in the town, as it furnishes a cheap means of transportation for the supply of pine timber which the territory contains.

The branch of the Chicago, St. Paul. Minneapolis & Omaha railroad which extends from Merrillan Junction to Neillsville, runs through the northwestern part of the town, and the main line of the same road extends through the southwestern part of the town. Merrillan Junction, a village of about one thousand inhabitants is situated in Jackson County, only two miles west of this town. The northern part of the town is only three miles from Neillsville. There are numerous highways extending through the settled portion of the town, which are kept in excellent condition.

The stage line running from Neillsville to Nevins, passes through the northeastern part of the town. Day is the name of the post-office in the northeastern part of the town on this line, of which Mr. D. C. Neff is postmaster. The town hall, which was erected a few years ago, is also in this portion of the town.

The school districts are all provided with good frame school buildings which are well furnished. Much care is taken in employing competent persons to fill the position of teachers in the schools.

There are as yet no churches in the town. The settlers are no great distance from Neillsville and Merrillan, so that the need of these edifices is not felt. The growth of the town can be ascertained from these figures: In 1875 the population of the town was 197; in 1880 it was 266; in 1885 it was 283, and at the present time it is almost 320. We do not give these figures to show any remarkable growth, but for the purpose of showing that the growth has been steady, with no failing off in numbers, a fact which indicates that the inhabitants are at least satisfied with their location.

The town officers for the current year are as follows: Chairman and member of county board, R. W. Canfield; Clerk, J. W. Short; treasurer, J. W. Colburn; assessor, Wm. McFarlane.

New Dearborn / AKA Denamora

In 1845 or 1846 John Levis Sr.  built a saw mill at the mouth of Levis Creek, and had a thriving business for many years, the place being known as "Levis's". In about 1856, some wealthy German people built an iron blast-furnace there, a town was plotted, under the name of New Dearborn, and for a time it was presumed that it was destined to be the metropolis of this section of the county, with Black River Falls an unimportant suburban town, if indeed it should continue to exist at all. Mr. Levis sold the company the land of which they were to operate, on time, and furnished them many thousand dollars worth of lumber and supplies in the same way. When the crash came in the lavish and impractical scheme of the furnace company, Mr. Levis was a heavy loser. He never fully recovered from the financial blow, but continued to run his mill and do a general mercantile business for many years. When he finally quit business, it became a pretty lonely place, but he preferred to continue his residence there until removed by death.





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