History: 1923 Wood Co., Wisconsin
Poster: History Buffs
----Source: History of Wood County, Wisconsin compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and others : illustrated. H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co., 1923.
----1923 History of Wood Co., Wisconsin
COUNTY AND TOWN ORGANIZATION
Wood County, Wisconsin
Wood County was named after Joseph Wood, who came here from Illinois in 1848. Its creation, the subsequent changes in its area, and the creation of the political townships of which it is now composed, were effected as follows: Under Chapter 54, "General Laws of 1856," Townships 21-25 of Ranges 2-5 east, Townships 21-22 of Range 6 east, and such part of Township 23, Range 6 east as lies southeast of the Wisconsin River, were detached from Portage County to form Wood. Under Chapter 108 of the same year, this was amended to include all of Township 23, Range 6 east, within the boundaries of Wood, which thereupon assumed its present boundaries.
The same chapter directed that "the town board of supervisors of the Town of Grand Rapids in said County of Wood, it being the only town in said county, are hereby constituted and declared and shall be the county board of supervisors of said Wood County until a county board shall be elected and qualified as provided by the revised statutes of the same act." The clerk of the town board of Grand Rapids was constituted the clerk of the county board until a county clerk should be elected and qualified in accordance with the statutes.
In 1870, under Chapter 40, "Private and Local Laws of 1870," Wood County was enlarged by Townships 20-22 of Ranges 1 east and 1 west, detached from Jackson County. This was done in order to render Wood County large enough to be reduced without a referendum. According to Chapter 41 of the same year, the townships named in the preceding chapter, and likewise Townships 21 of Ranges 2 and 3, and the 24 southern sections of Township 22 of the same ranges, were detached from Wood and added to Jackson County.
In 1872, under Chapter 33, "Private and Local Laws of 1872," that portion of Jackson in Townships 21 and 22, Ranges 2 and 3 east, was restored to Wood County, which resumed its present boundaries. These boundaries are as follows: Beginning at the southwest corner of Township 21 north, Range 2 east; running thence east on the township line between Townships 20 and 21 to the range line between Ranges 6 and 7 east; thence north on said range line to the township line between Townships 23 and 24 north; thence west on said township line to the range line between Ranges 5 and 6 east; thence north on said range line to the township line between Townships 25 and 26 north; thence west on said township line to the range line between Ranges 1 and 2 east; thence south on said range line to the place of beginning.
By the organic act of 1856 it was provided that an election should be held in November of the same year and that the official terms of those elected should begin on the first Monday in January of the ensuing year. The new county was attached to the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and Grand Rapids was fixed upon as the county seat, by the act of organization. The first court house was a hall in the Magnolia House, which was located on the corner of Ninth street and Washington avenue, where the A. L. Fontaine home is now situated. The first court was held there in 1857. The date of the first warranty deed recorded is Oct. 1,. 1856, and it was given by Mark A. Wilkes to Mrs. Anna Black. It was entered for record Jan. 1, 1857.
The system of county government, under the state laws, was by a board of supervisors up to Jan. 1, 1862, when the commissioner system went into effect. In March, 1870, the supervisor system was resumed. For brevity the governing body will be usually referred to in this volume simply as "the county board." The first county officers were chosen in 1857 as follows: County judge, Joseph Wood; sheriff, Benjamin Buck; district attorney, L. P. Powers; surveyor, H. A. Temple; clerk of circuit court, L. Kromer; county clerk, L. P. Posvers; treasurer,, I. L. Mosher; register of deeds, L. Kromer.
The board of supervisors met for the first time Oct. 8, 1856, with W. H. Jackson and Eusebe Lavigne present. A petition for the establishment of the town of Rudolph was considered; the salary of the district attorney was fixed for the next two years at $300 per year, and that of the clerk of the board of supervisors the same, and a committee (consisting of Messrs. Jackson & Lavigne) was appointed to furnish suitable offices and furniture for the county officers. On Jan. 9, 1857, it was ordered that the clerk of the board be required to obtain from the register of the United States Land Office at Stevens Point a complete abstract of all the entries in Wood County up to Feb. 1, 1857, at the expense of the county, and on June 9, the same year, a committee was appointed, consisting of John H. Compton, L. P. Powers and R. C. Lyon, to meet with commissioners, appointed by Portage County, for the purpose of settling the accounts between the two counties. Again, on Sept. 5 the same year, it was resolved that the committee, or commissioners on the part of Wood County appointed to settle with Portage County be instructed to make a proposition to Portage County and to, call the accounts between the two counties even, and that the said proposition be the ultimatum on the part of Wood County. As there is no further entry on the records of the board in regard to this proposition, it seems probable that it was. accepted by Portage County, and thus the County of Wood starts out on its own independent career.
As elsewhere stated, when Wood County was set off from Portage, the Town of Grand Rapids covered all its area, but the work of creating additional townships was begun by the acting county board (the town board of supervisors), and it was. continued from time to time by various county boards until the 22 townships now constituting the county had been set off and their boundaries described. A condensed account of these political creations, though containing all essential detail,. is presented in this chapter.
Rudolph--On Oct. 8, 1856, the County Board, acting on a petition signed by Francis Harkness and others, established the Town of Rudolph, as follows: all of Town 23, Range 6, lying north and west of the main channel of the Wisconsin River, and Sections 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 35, and 36, in Town 23, Range 5. The first town meeting was held in the school house of school district. No. 4, Town of Grand Rapids, on Oct. 18, 1856. At the meeting of the County Board Aug. 27, 1861, Town 25, Range 5 and all that portion of Town 24, Range 5- then belonging to Centralia Town were annexed to Rudolph, effective April 1, 1862. When the Town of Sigel was formed, Jan. 10, 1863, all the portion of Rudolph lying in Town 23, Range 5 (the two east tiers of sections), all of Town 25, Range 5, and all the territory in Town 24, Range 5 except the two east tiers of sections were detached from Rudolph. March 14, 1868, in a readjustment of territory between Sigel and Rudolph, another tier of sections in Town 24, Range 5 was added, extending the boundaries to include the entire east half of this town, and the east half of Town 25, Range 5 was also added. May 29, 1871, in a further adjustment, the west half of these two towns was added. When Auburndale was formed, Dec. 30, 1874, to take effect Mar. 20, 1875, Town 25, Range 5 was detached from Rudolph. Nov. 1, 1879, consequent on a ruling of the Circuit Court regarding the town organization, Section 1, Town 23, Range 5 was detached from Sigel and annexed to Rudolph and Section 31, Town 24, Range 5 was detached from Rudolph and annexed to Sigel. Feb. 15, 1882, the two north tiers of sections in Town 24, Range 5 were detached from Rudolph and added to the territory of the new town of Milladore. In the reorganization of towns Nov. 10, 1885, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1886, the present boundaries were established and the name changed to New Rudolph, which, however, was again changed to Rudolph Nov. 11, 1886. As it has existed since the reorganization in 1885 it comprises all the portion of Town 23, Range 6 lying north of the Wisconsin River.
Saratoga--Territory described as "All that portion of the County of Wood lying east of the main channel of the Wisconsin River and south of the township line between Townships 21 and 22" was set aside Jan. 9, 1857, as the Town of Saratoga. The first town meeting was held on the first Tuesday in April, 1858, at the tavern then kept by Henry Kennedy within the limits of the new town. The boundaries of the town as first established have remained the same except that from Mar. 30, 1874, to Mar. 20, 1875, the portion of Town 21, Range 5 lying west of the Wisconsin River was a part of Saratoga Town.
Seneca--The Town of Seneca was organized under the name of Hemlock Town, June 9, 1857, and as originally formed included all of Town 23, Range 5 not in the Town of Rudolph, and all of Town 23, Range 4. The first town meeting was held June 30, 1857, at the schoolhouse then known as the E. D. Hall school. The name was changed from Hemlock to Seneca Feb. 4, 1861, to take effect March 4, 1861. A great number of changes were made in the boundaries at various times, for details of which reference may be had to the county records, and Nov. 10, 1885, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1866, it was vacated and re-formed under the name of New Seneca, which name was changed again to Seneca Nov. 11, 1886. Before this change the town embraced the following territory: Town 23, Range 4; Sections 19, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, of Town 23, Range 5; Sections 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 23, and 24 of Town 22, Range 3; Sections 1 to 24 of Town 22, Range 4; and Sections 2 to 11, and 14 to 23, of Town 22, Range 5. The new town was made up as follows: Sections 4 to 9, and 13 to 36, of Town 23, Range 4; Sections 1 to 24 of Town 22, Range 4; and Sections 2 to 11, and 14 to 23, of Town 22, Range 5. This territory remained the same until Feb. 13, 1901 and effective the first Tuesday in April, 1901, it was again vacated and the following territory organized into New Seneca: Sections 1 to 24 to Town 22, Range 4, and Sections 2 to 11 and 14 to 23, of Town 22, Range 5. The name was changed back to Seneca May 9, 1901, and Nov. 10, 1903, effective the first Monday in April, 1904, the territory was again ordered vacated, and the boundaries established as they exist to day, including the following territory: Sections 1 to 12 of Town 22, Range 4, and Sections 2 to 11, 14 to 17, 20 to 23, and 27 to 29, of Town 22, Range 5. Dexter. The first town bearing the name of Dexter was established March 10, 1858, the first meeting being held on the first Tuesday in April, 1858, at the dwelling house of George Hiles in Town 22, Range 3. This town included practically the entire west half of the county, being made up of the present towns of Remington, Hiles, Dexter, Cary, Wood, Rock, Richfield, Lincoln, Cameron and Marshfield, and the west half of Town 22, Range 4, which now forms a part of Seneca and Cranmoor. As this territory became more thickly settled new towns were formed out of parts of it. March 23, 1872, a new Town of Dexter was organized, comprising Town 22, Range 2, the present Town of Hiles, the first meeting to be held April 2, 1872, at the store of George Hiles. This town also went out of existence, being formally vacated April 25, 1884, when its territory was attached to Remington, Wood, and Seneca, Seneca being made its legal successor. No Town of Dexter existed from this time until Feb. 13, 1901, to be effective the first Tuesday in April, 1901, the Town of Remington was vacated and the portion of its territory consisting of the present Towns of Dexter and Hiles was formed into the Town of Dexter, the first meeting to be held in the schoolhouse in School District No. 4 in the Town of Wood. This territory was divided into the present towns of Hiles and Dexter Nov. 15, 1901, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1902; the present Town of Dexter bore the name of New Dexter from this time until May 6, 1902, when it was changed to Dexter.
Lincoln--The first Town of Lincoln was formed Dec. 25, 1861, out of territory detached from Seneca, comprising Towns 24 and 25, Range 2, the present towns of Rock and Lincoln. This town later passed out of existence, but June 22, 1868, the name of the Town of Johnson was changed to Lincoln; Johnson had been organized March 14, 1868, out of the present towns of Lincoln, Rock, and Richfield, the first meeting being held the first Tuesday in April, 1868, at the house of S. S. Nason. March 2, 1870, Town 25, Range 3 was added to Lincoln from Seneca, but May 29, 1871, the two eastern towns were detached and annexed to Sigel and Seneca, leaving Lincoln with the present towns of Rock and Lincoln; the formation of Rock Town, Jan. 23, 1878, left Lincoln with its present boundaries.
Sigel--The Town of Sigel as first formed, Jan. 10, 1863, consisted of the present towns of Auburndale, Milladore, and Arpin, and parts of Sherry, Sigel, and Hansen towns and part of the present City of Grand Rapids, being described as follows: Towns 24 and 25 of Ranges 4 and 5, except two tiers of Sections on the east side of Town 24, Range 5;'all of Town 23, Range 5 except Sections 19, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33; Sections 1 to 9 and 11 and 12 in Town 23, Range 4; Section 6 in Town 22, Range 6; and Section 1 in Town 22, Range 5. This territory was detached from the towns of Seneca and Rudolph; the first meeting was held at the residence of Patrick Rowhan. Numerous changes were made in these boundaries as new towns were formed, and Nov. 10, 1885, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1886, the town then consisting of Sections 2 to 18, 20 to 28, 34, 35, and 36 of Town 23, Range 5, Section 31 of Town 24, Range 5, and all of Town 24, Range 4, was vacated and a Town of New Sigel was established having the boundaries of the present Town of Sigel, the first meeting to be held in the town hall on the Mattice farm on Section 26, Town 23, Range 5. The town as it has existed since that time has consisted of Town 23, Range 5. The name was changed from New Sigel to Sigel Nov. 11, 1886.
Remington--The first Town of Remington was established July 15, 1868, the first meeting being held in the store then owned by McGlynn & Kruger, near the residence of H. W. Remington. This town comprised the territory contained in the present Town of Remington, Town 21, Ranges 2 and 3, and in addition the two south tiers of sections in the present towns of Hiles and Dexter. This town was reorganized March 23, 1872, having the same boundaries as the present town. The first meeting of the reorganized town was held April 2, 1872 at the store of H. W. Remington. Sections 25 to 36 of Town 22 in Ranges 2 and 3 were subsequently added. Feb. 13, 1901, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1901, this town was vacated and the present Town of Remington established under the name of New Remington, comprising the same territory as at present, Town 21, Range 2 and Town 21, Range 3. The first meeting of the Town of New Remington was held in the Lycons Hall, Remington. The name was changed from New Remington to Remington May 9, 1901.
Wood--The Town of Wood was originally established Feb. 10, 1874, from territory detached from Seneca consisting of Town 23 in Ranges 2 and 3, the present towns of Wood and Cary. Changes in the borders were subsequently made, and Feb. 13, 1901, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1901, the town was ordered vacated and the Town of New Wood was established, comprising Town 23, Range 3, the first meeting to be held in Cotey's Hall in Pittsville, on the first Tuesday in April, 1901. The name was changed back to Wood May 9, 1901, and the territory has remained unchanged.
Port Edwards. As originally established, Feb. 10, 1874, Port Edwards consisted of the following territory: The east half of Town 21, Range 4; Sections 25, 26, 27, 34, 35, and 36 in Town 22, Range 4; all of Town 21, Range 5 lying west of the Wisconsin River; that portion of Sections 25 and 36 in Town 22, Range 5 lying west of the Wisconsin River; and Sections 26 to 35 in Town 22, Range 5. The first meeting was held the first Tuesday in April, 1874 at the schoolhouse in School District No. 2 of the old Town of Centralia. March 30, 1874, the portion of Town 21, Range 5 lying west of the Wisconsin River was detached and added to Saratoga, but was returned to Port Edwards Dec. 30, 1874, effective March 20, 1875. March 30, 1874, the west half of Town 21, Range 4 was detached from Remington and added to Port Edwards. All this territory was ordered vacated Nov. 10, 1903, effective the first Monday in April, 1904, and the Town of Port Edwards was reestablished, the first meeting to be held in the new Town Hall of old Port Edwards, on the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 27, Town 22, Range 4. The territory has remained unchanged since this reorganization, and consists of the following: Sections 32 to 34 of Town 22, Range 5; the west half of Section 3, and Sections 4 to 9 and the west half of the northwest quarter and the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 10, and that part of the south half of the northwest quarter of Section 15 lying west of the Wisconsin River, and that part of Sections 22, 21, 27, 28, and 34 on the west side of the Wisconsin River, and Sections 16 to 20 and Sections 29 to 33, of Town 21, Range 5; and Sections 12 and 13 and 19 to 36, of Town 21, Range 4.
Auburndale--The Town of Auburndale was established Dec. 30, 1874, effective March 20, 1875, the first meeting being held in the schoolhouse which existed then near Auburndale station on the Wisconsin Central Railway, in Town 25, Range 4. To make up Auburndale, Town 25. Range 3 was detached from Seneca; Town 25, Range 4 from Sigel; and Town 25, Range 5 from Rudolph. These are the present towns of Auburndale, Milladore, Marshfield and Cameron, the two latter making up Town 25, Range 3 This town was detached Dec. 3, 1875, when Marshfield was formed. Town 25, Range 5 was detached and formed into Milladore Feb. 15, 1882, leaving Auburndale with its present limits.
Marshfield--The Town of Marshfield was formed Dec. 3, 1875, consisting of Town 24, Range 3, taken from Seneca and Sigel, and Town 25, Range 3, taken from Auburndale. The first meeting was held on the first Tuesday in April, 1876, at the store of Louis Rivers in Section 8, in what was then the Village of Marshfield. Town 24, Range 3 was detached Nov. 18, 1881, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1882, to form the present Town of Richfield. The establishment of the Town of Cameron Nov. 18, 1903, from Sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, left Marshfield with its present boundaries.
Rock. Jan. 23, 1878, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1878, the Town of Rock was established, comprising Town 24, Range 2, detached from Lincoln. The boundaries have remained unchanged. The first meeting was held in the residence of E. H. Coon, on Section 8, the first Tuesday in April, 1878. Richfield. The Town of Richfield was established with its present boundaries, those of Town 24, Range 3, which was detached from Marshfield, on Nov. 18, 1881, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1882. The first meeting was held on the latter date at the schoolhouse then existing on Section 16.
Milladore--The Town of Milladore was originally established Feb. 15, 1882, the first meeting to be held on the first Tuesday in April, 1882, at the schoolhouse then in School District No. 2, near the northwest corner of the southeast quarter of Section 35, Town 25, Range 5. It was made up of Town 25, Range 5, the present Town of Milladore, which was detached from Auburndale, and Sections 1 to 12 of Town 24, Range 5, the present Town of Sherry, taken from Rudolph. The town was reorganized Nov. 10, 1885, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1886, giving it the present boundaries and changing the name to New Milladore, which, however, was again changed to Milladore Nov. 11, 1866. Sherry. The Town of Sherry was organized Nov. 10, 1885, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1886, the first meeting to be held on the latter date at the schoolhouse then on Section 9, Town 24, Range 5. The boundaries as then established, those of Town 24, Range 5, have remained unchanged.
Hansen--Under the name of Vesper, the Town of Hansen was originally established Nov. 10, 1885, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1886, the first meeting to be held at the schoolhouse then on Section 12, Town 23, Range 4. The town as then laid out comprised Town 24, Range 4, which is now the Town of Arpin, and Sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, and 12 of Town 23, Range 4, the present Town of Hansen. This town was reorganized under the name of New Vesper, Feb. 13, 1901, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1901 and made to consist of Town 23, Range 4, as at present. The name was changed to Hansen May 9, 1901. Cary. When the Town of Wood was reorganized, Feb. 13, 1901, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1901, Town 23, Range 2 was organized as the Town of Cary; the boundaries have remained unchanged. The first meeting was held at the schoolhouse in District No. 8 of the previous Town of Wood.
Arpin--Town 24, Range 4 was set off as the Town of Arpin when the Town of Vesper was reorganized, and was made the legal successor of Vesper, though the nominal successor was New Vesper. The boundaries of Arpin have remained unchanged. The organization took place Feb. 13, 1901, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1901, and the first meeting was held on the latter date at Arpin Hall, in Section 21, which was formerly used as the meeting place for the Town of Vesper. Hiles. Town 22, Range 3 was organized into the Town of Hiles Nov. 15, 1901, effective the first Tuesday in April, 1902, the first meeting to be held on the latter date at the schoolhouse in School District No. 6 of the previous Town of Dexter. The boundaries of the Town of Hiles have remained unchanged.
Cranmoor--In the reorganization of the Town of Port Edwards and Seneca, Nov. 10, 1903, effective the first Monday in April, 1904, the Town of Cranmoor was formed of the following territory, which still makes up the town: Sections 13 to 36 of Town 22, Range 4; Sections 18, 19, 30, and 31 of Town 22, Range 5; and Sections 1 to 11 and 14 to 18 of Town 21, Range 5. The first meeting was held at the schoolhouse then known as Bennett's School House, on the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 27, Town 22, Range 4.
Cameron--The Town of Cameron was formed Nov. 18, 1903 from territory taken from the Town of Marshfield consisting of Sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33 of Town 25, Range 3. The boundaries of Cameron have since remained unchanged.
In addition to the foregoing, which includes all the towns today existing in the county, other towns have been set off from time to time during reorganizations of territory, which have since passed out of existence. Some such have lost their identity through a change of name only, and have been treated above. Three, Centralia, Springfield, and McClellan have been entirely vacated, and have received mention above only in connection with the history of other towns.
Centralia is the most important of these. It was formed Jan. 9, 1857, comprising territory described as follows: "All that part of the County of Wood not included in the Town of Rudolph and lying west of the following line, to wit: Commencing at the point where the township line between Townships 23 and 22 of Range 6 crosses that portion of the Wisconsin River called the "Hunter Slough"; thence down said slough to the head of the Hunter Island, thence down the left hand channel called the "lost channel" to the main channel of the Wisconsin River; thence down said channel to the south line of the County of Wood." The territory thus described included almost the whole county west of the Wisconsin River; and as this territory grew in population new towns were set aside out of it; the last of it was thus parceled out about 1875, and since that time the Town of Centralia has been out of existence.
Springfield was formed Aug. 27, 1861, having the limits of the present Town of Wood. It was ordered vacated Feb. 23, 1865 and its territory attached to McClellan.
McClellan, as formed May 26, 1864, consisted of Towns 21, 22, and 23 of Range 2 and 21 and 22 of Range 3; these are the present towns of Remington, Hiles, Cary, and Dexter. It was reorganized Feb. 23, 1865, and shortly afterward was vacated and its territory distributed to other towns.
Looking Backward--An examination of the record of proceedings of the county board, from the organization of the county to a recent period, reveals some items of interest that may not be included elsewhere in this volume, and, therefore, will be here briefly mentioned.
On Jan. 5, 1858, the board adopted the Wood County Reporter as its official organ, to publish all proceedings. This paper had been established in November the year before by J. N. Brundage, and was the first, and at that time the only, newspaper in the county. A few days later, January 11, the board received a petition from a number of citizens referring to "the present pressure in monetary affairs and the consequent stagnation in all the productive branches of industry and trade," and asserting that this condition of things had "created a necessity on the part of many worthy and industrious citizens of limited means to call on the respective towns in which they lived for temporary aid.' The signers suggested that the board should examine the laws in regard to ferries to see if it would not be possible to so regulate the same so as to create a cash fund for the support of the poor in the county, or, if this were not feasible, to devise some other plan for the same purpose. The committee appointed to investigate found the ferries subject to full county regulation, and action was taken as requested.
On March 10, 1858, the board passed a bill granting a bounty of five dollars for the destruction of wolves. On June 21 the same year $1,000 was appropriated for bridges, Dexter, Hemlock and Centralia each receiving $300 and Rudolph $100. Thomas E. Newman was the first to collect a wolf bounty, for a grey wolf killed in September, 1858. From time to time, beginning about this period, commissions were appointed to lay out county roads and additional appropriations were made for bridges in towns. In August, 1861, the board passed an order, to remain in effect one year allowing the wives of volunteer soldiers from the county three dollars per month, and each child of such volunteers two dollars per month. When ferry licenses were granted in February, 1862, the toll rates established were as follows: For each four-horse, mule or ox team, loaded or unloaded, with a driver, 25 cents; each single horse and carriage with a driver, 1212 cents; each single horse and rider, 10 cents; each head of horses or horned cattle up to ten head, 5 cents; each additional head of horses or horned cattle, 3 cents; each swine or sheep, 5 cents; each foot passenger, 3 cents; all freight or merchandise not moved with team, per barrel, 10 cents; all other articles of freight, per hundred pounds, 10 cents. A ferry was to consist of one boat at least 50 x 12 feet for animals, and one skiff at least 16 x 4 feet for foot passengers. The ferries were to run from 6 a. m. to 12 p. m, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p. m., and were to be operated by means of a rope or cable, or by horse power.
According to an item dated March 15, 1862, the families of volunteers enlisting after April 1, 1862, were not entitled to an allowance. On April 17 the same year the volunteer allowance was repealed, the repeal to take effect June 1, 1862. On Jan. 1, 1863 the sum of $200 was appropriated to assist the families of volunteers. On April 23, 1863, the commissioner system of county government having been adopted in the previous year, the board divided the county into three districts, namely: District No. 1 to be composed of Grand Rapids and Saratoga, District No. 2 of Centralia, Dexter, Springfield and Lincoln, and District No. 3 of Seneca, Sigel and Rudolph, these towns at that time being all that were contained in the county. (For their boundaries see Chapter VIII).
In March, 1870, the supervisor system of county government was resumed by the state, each township having its representative on the board. In December, that year, the board declared itself "in favor of the Town of Remington taking such measures as will seem most expedient to obtain a settlement and determination of the constitutionality of the act of the Legislature attaching said town and other territory to the county of Jackson, and to obtain the repeal of said act, provided the county shall not be liable for expenses of such action in a sum exceeding one hundred dollars.
In May, 1871, a sum of $500 was appropriated to aid in a survey of the Wisconsin Central Railroad through this region; and in July, 1872 the board declared itself ready to pay a sum not exceeding $8,000 to the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railway Company "on condition they erect a good and suitable wagon and foot bridge between Grand Rapids and Centralia and oblige itself to keep same in repair forever." Further data in regard to bridge history at above mentioned locality may be found in the article on Wisconsin Rapids.
In the spring of 1872 the sheriff's records were burned. Under date of Jan. 7, 1876, there is an item reading "Ordered to sell county lands at $5 per 40, not exceeding 80 acres per person." In November, 1879 the county was paying $2 for wolves' scalps. A Poor Farm was ordered in January, 1885 and work commenced on same April 8, 1885. Previous to this the poor had been "boarded out" with such families who were willing to take care of them for the remuneration paid by the county and towns. The records of the board for 1895 make allusion to a "Bureau of Immigration and General Industries," which was formed in November that year, the purpose being to make exhibits at county fairs in southern Wisconsin and at the State Fair, in order to attract settlers to Wood County. After the year last mentioned the records of the county board deal chiefly with matters that are mentioned more or less particularly in other parts of this history, such as schools, taxes, the poor house, asylum, jail, national guard, etc., and which need not be here repeated.
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