Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
Town Plat Map, Part 1
1862 Town Plat Map, Part 2
Civil War Veterans Credited to Town of
The town of Calumet, so called from the Menomonee Indian village
("Pipe") of the same name, formerly located on the northeast quarter of Section
27, is the northeast town of Fond du Lac County, and contains 19,146.91 acres of land, as
follows: In Township 16 north, of Range 18 east, 2,307.56 acres ; in Township 17 north, of
Range 18 east, 4,742.13 acres ; in Township 17 north, of Range 19 east, 12,097.22 acres;
total 19,146.91 acres. It is bounded on the north by Calumet County; on the east by the
same county and the town of Marshfield in Fond du Lac County; on the south by the towns of
Marshfield and Taycheedah, and on the west by Winnebago Lake.
The three sections numbered 1, 2 and 3, and the fractional section
numbered 4 in Township 16 north, in Range 18 east, in the town of Calumet, were surveyed
(as was the remainder of that township), by Nehemiah King and C. T. V. King, during the
second quarter of the year 1835; but the sections and quarter-sections in the fractional
Township 17 north, in Range 18 east, also those in the fractional Township 17 north, in
Range 19 east, were surveyed by A. G. Ellis, in the last quarter of 1834. The township
lines were run by Mullett & Brink during the first half of the last-mentioned year.
Deputy Surveyor A. G. Ellis, in speaking of the northwestern portion
of what is now the town of Calumet (fractional Township 17 north, in Range 18 east), says:
"This fractional township must be considered as first-rate and valuable land. It
consists almost wholly of extensive oak openings and dry and wet prairies. The soil is
first rate -- a mixture of red loam and black sand. Its position (east side and above the
center of Winnebago Lake) gives it an additional value. The stream entering [the lake] at
[a little distance southwest of] Pipe Village, though small and barred at the mouth, is
nevertheless large enough for a harbor for boats; and a small pier at the mouth would
deepen the water so that it might be entered. The banks are high and beautiful, and 'Pipe
Village is a beautiful site." This was written upon the spot over a year before there
was a white settler in Fond du Lac County.
The same writer, in November, 1834, in speaking of what is now the
eastern portion of the town of Calumet (south half of Township 17 north, Range 19 east),
says: "That part of this fractional township lying east of the stream (Manitowoc
River) is rather low, though on the whole it may be considered first rate land. The soil
is very deep and rich, with fewer stones than are found farther east. The stream is
sluggish and muddy; No wild animals ford it. The marsh has on it deep water, and the grass
is very thin. West of the stream the land is high and mostly openings, with a suitable
quantity of good timber, and water in small prairies. Numerous trees were observed to have
been cut here, by Indians, for honey-bees." Seeing this region before any portion of
it was cultivated, such were his impressions.
The first settlement in Calumet was made in 1837, near what was
afterward known as Pipe Village, by Rev. George White, William Urmston and a Mr. Norton,
Mr. White, however, locating there first. About the same time or a little later, a company
of Germans settled in the north part of the town, which then formed a part of Calumet
County. In 1840, this part was, on application being made to the Legislature of the
Territory, by George White, set off from Calumet and joined to Fond du Lac County. The
town was organized March 8, 1839, including a large territory. It was re-organized in
1842, the first election being held in April of that year, at Mr. Whites house. George
White was elected Chairman, and Charles Amidon, Clerk. The town is watered by springs and
brooks, some of which help to form the Manitowoc River, while the waters of others flow
into Winnebago Lake. At the present time, as well as when in its native wildness, no
country in the State has a more pleasing aspect than that high, dry, rich portion of
Calumet which lies just back from the shore of Lake Winnebago. It is the most picturesque
town in Fond du Lac County. In 1851, Herman Heeson erected a large stone flouring-mill
close to the lake shore a little below Pipe Village, and, in 1854, Mr. Allen erected, on
the road from Taycheedah to Pipe Village, another flouring-mill, to run by water carried
high in the air to a very large "overshot" wheel.* In 1838 and 1839, Pipe
Village was much more of a business center than Fond du Lac, as it contained a store of
goods for Indian trading, and the Germans were coming in very rapidly, many of them
bringing considerable capital; and at one time the town of Calumet cast more votes than
the village and very large town of Fond du Lac. The "Ledge" extends through this
town nearly parallel with the lake shore; and, besides being in early days the refuge of
numberless snakes and wild animals, was the source of numerous beautiful springs, a famous
resort for nut and grape gatherers and the seat of fine stone-quarries and lime-kilns. In
Calumet the roads are unusually good; fruit trees are easily cultivated and bear in
comparative abundance, and grazing for sheep is especially good. While the yield of wheat
per acre may not equal that of some other towns, the quality is always unsurpassed.
Rev. George White, the first permanent settler in Calumet, now well
advanced beyond fourscore years, is a clerk in the Pension Office at Washington.
Calumet Village, with its large local
trade, is partly in Calumet County. It is in the midst of a rich farming country, and is
pleasantly located near Lake Winnebago.
Marytown is a hamlet and post office in the
eastern portion of the town. It has a good grist-mill, blacksmith-shop, and other village
concomitants. St. Marys Church is south of the village, on Section 27, and St. Johns
Church east, on Section 30. Both are Catholic and prosperous.
Pipe Village, on Section 26, called
Calumet Harbor Post Office, is a place of resort in summer. It has a very large hotel, is
near the lake and in the midst of the most beautiful farming country in the whole West.
History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin,
Western Historical Company, Chicago: 1880**
* Now in the Town of Taycheedah.
**Like many similar publications of the period,
Western's 1880 history relies heavily on interviews with early residents conducted many
years later. Narratives were subject to selective, sometimes creative recollection, and
the resulting work should be appreciated for the historical publication that it is but
viewed with a critical eye as a history. We caution viewers to verify the data contained
in these early stories.
Appreciation to Ron Friedel for transcribing the text.