Unknown Mayville Pioneers

Mayville Township  

Clark County, Wisconsin  


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Mayville Township is located in the Northeastern corner of Clark County and consists of but one township, which is known as town twenty-nine, one East. It was created by act of legislature in the year 1873, from which time until 1889, it consisted of two townships, of what is now Hoard and Mayville. In 1889, the town of Hoard was created out the Western township of Mayville, reducing this town to its present boundary.  It was not settled to any great extent until the Wisconsin Central company built their line of road through the Eastern part of the town, and for a few years thereafter the settlement was confined to the Eastern part of the town along the line of the railroad, and at and near where the village of Dorchester now stands. A few years later, in about the year 1880, the same company built their line of road west through the Southern part of this town and across the Northern end of the county, which is now the main line between Chicago and St. Paul, thus forming a junction in the Southeastern corner of Mayville, which has been named Abbotsford.


The town has a rolling surface, though the elevation and depressions are somewhat slight. The soil is well watered, and is rich and productive. Large crops of hay are produced as well as many kinds of grains, and all the vegetables of this latitude.  


There are large bodies of timber here, though the settlers are quite numerous through the town. Most of the farms are new and not very large. The timber consists of the hardwoods of various kinds, and pine. Lumbering has, as yet, probably received more attention than farming, and there is a supply of timber that will last for many years.  The manufacture of this timber into lumber and staves is one of the important occupations of the people. The agricultural interest increase as the lumbering interests decrease.  There are a few large saw mills in the town, at Curtiss, Dorchester and other points.


The shipping facilities are good, there being three shipping points, one at Curtiss, one at Dorchester and one at Abbotsford.


The main line of the Central runs through the Southern part of the town, and the branch running to Ashland and other points on Lake Superior, runs through the Eastern part.


On this Ashland branch near the Northeastern corner of the town, is located the thriving and progressive village of Dorchester. It was originally situated in the midst of a dense forest, but the timber is gradually disappearing, and there are already some good farms in the locality. The saw mills here are doing a good business. There are two or three general stores, among which is the large store of H. La Bossier, a cut of which appears in this book, a drug store, hardware store, meat market, photograph gallery, grocery store and many other mercantile establishments, blacksmith shops and small factories of different kinds.  There are two hotels and boarding houses in the village, also the bank and insurance agency of E. H. Winchester. A public hall, a church and a fine school building are among the public buildings in the village. We have not the statistics at hand to enable us to give a full list of the business places, and have only named those that come to our mind after visiting the place. There are probably about five hundred people in the village, possibly a larger number, and it has the reputation of being one of the liveliest villages of its size on the line of the Wisconsin Central.


Abbotsford Junction is also a flourishing little town. Its history dates from the building of the line of road west to Chippewa Falls in 1880, and is what might properly be called a railroad town. A large number of passenger and freight trains pass in and out of the junction each day. The large depot and railroad eating house which formerly stood at the junction of the roads was destroyed by fire two or three years ago, and a large new depot has been built in its place. The village is very nicely laid out and there are several fine business places and residences in the place. There is a large hotel across the track from the depot, which is will managed and does a good business. A good graded school has been established here which is in charge of well qualified teachers, and under the direction of an efficient school board.


The village is surrounded by forests of pine and hardwood, the latter of which is almost untouched, except by settlers in clearing land for farms, making a splendid situation for mills for the manufacture of hardwood lumber.  The village of Curtiss is partially in this town, being on the line between this and the town of Hoard, and has already been described with that town.


The present natural wealth of this town lies largely in its hardwood timber, but when the timber is all taken away it will be a wealthier town than before, as it has soil which can not be surpassed for agricultural purposes.


The growth of the town can be shown by figures only in connection with the town of Hoard, as the two have been one town and the population given together until the last year. These figures are as follows: In 1875 their population was 487; in 1880 it was 1249; in 1885 it was 1517, and this year it is 1750.


A. N. Virch is the postmaster at Curtiss, Aug. Homsted at Dorchester and L. R. Roter at Abbotsford.

The chairman of the town is G. F. Schmidt; the clerk is Paul Blanc; the treasurer is George Krakenberger, and the assessor is A. F. Schmidt.


Source: "Clark County Illustrated" by Saterlee, Tifft & Marsh (1890).




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