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James Pond (left), father Willard, daughter and grandson, ca. 1885. Photo courtesy James Pond III and Kevin Dier-Zimmel


FEBRUARY 7-18: The Dodge County pages are being prepared for a move to the Wisconsin Local History Network (, coordinated by Cindy Johnson and Bob Schuster.


FREDERICK DOUGLASS. Kevin Dier-Zimmel and Bob Schuster are researching a visit by Douglass, a former slave and well-known anti-slavery writer and crusader, to the Beaver Dam area in the late 1850's.

JAMES B. POND. The colorful history of James B. Pond, eldest son of one of the pioneer families in the town of Alto is being researched by Kevin Dier-Zimmel of Beaver Dam. Son of an ardent abolitionist, Pond served with John Brown in Kansas prior to the Civil War. In 1860, he became the editor of the Markesan Journal, a Republican paper, in which capacity he recruited for Co. C of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, eventually signing 17 men from the Fairwater area late in 1861. He was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor for his service with the 3rd. Following the war, Pond became one of the leading agents for lecture talent in the country, counting Mark Twain, P. T. Barnum, Henry Ward Beecher, and George Washington Cable among his clients.

If you have information to share about the history and the families of Dodge County, or are willing to transcribe materials, please contact Bob Schuster at or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, WI 53716 (608-221-1421).