Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
CENSUSES AND MAPS
Town Plat Map*
Civil War Veterans Credited to Town of Eden
History of Eden
Township, Jenny Tripp Sievers, 1926 (courtesy Dave Majerus)
McEnroe's Early Reminiscences of His Life in Eden Township
GENEALOGIES AND OTHER
Auburn Area Scrapbook (Includes Town of
In a southeasterly direction from Fond du Lac, bounded on the north
by Empire, east by Osceola, south by Ashford, and west by Byron, lies the town of
Eden--named after the habitation of our first parents. Two ridges of limestone, suitable
for building material, extend north and south through the town. Otherwise the surface is
gently undulating, and was originally composed of prairies, wide hay marshes, rather small
oak openings and limited belts of timber. In early days, wild plums. cranberries, grapes,
and crab-apples grew in abundance and were unusually large and edible. The highest point
of land in Fond du Lac County is sad to be on Section 16 in this town, being 352 feet
above Lake Winnebago and about five hundred feet above Lake Michigan. There are several
large springs in Eden, and several lakes, in which fish and waterfowl, in season, are
abundant. The soil is not alike in all sections, but is generally of a deep, rich loam,
with a subsoil of limestone gravel. Farmers can follow almost any branch of agriculture
with equal and satisfactory success. The town is well watered by springs, lakes, the West
Branch of Milwaukee River, and other small streams, some of which flow north and some
south. The lake in which the branch of Milwaukee River takes its rise, flowing nearly
south, has another outlet on the north, which flows into Lake Winnebago; and streams in
the south part find their way into the Gulf of Mexico, through Rock and Mississippi
The mounds, pottery, earthenware and various peculiar articles found
in this town, make it a peculiarly rich and interesting field for the archaeologist. These
relics of an ancient and extinct race have been found in no other town in this vicinity in
such profusion and variety.
Joseph Carr is generally conceded to be the first permanent settler
in what is now Eden, though he did not enter the first land. In November, 1845, he began
building a log house, which was the foundation for the first settlement in the town. In
February following, Samuel Rand and Peter Vandervoort came with their families, and
immediately put up log houses. The first crops were raised in 1847, and they were of such
abundance as to exceed the most sanguine expectationsof the hopeful settlers. That fall,
settlers began to arrive rapidly, or select locations on which to locate in the spring.
Therefore, in April, 1848, by authority of an act passed March 11, 1848, a meeting was
held in the house of Peter Vandervoort and town offices chosen. Peter Vandervoort was
chosen Chairman, and Samuel Rand Town Clerk. The year before, or some time before, a
meeting was held to name the town. The proceedings are this recorded:
Adam Holiday, an eccentric character, arose to propose a name. After
commenting on the many beauties of the place, the richness of the soil, the abundance of
fruits and flowers, and the beautiful woods and fields, he remarked that Adam dwelt in the
garden of Eden, and that there were holy days there.
Therefore, amid some merriment, the town was named Eden.
The first child born in the town was a daughter of Adam Holiday, in
1847. The first boy born in the town, who also voted in it, was John L. Martin, now of
Fond du Lac. The first religious service was at Peter Vandervoort's house, in August,
1846, by Rev. Dickinson. Mr. Vandervoort began preaching the same year. The first marriage
ceremony was that uniting Margaret Bell to a Mr. Baldwin, in 1848, and was performed by
Rev. M. L. Noble. The town of Eden is settled largely by a fine class of Irish in the
south, though Dutchess County New Yorkers, Germans and some New Englanders form important
elements in the population. In 1850, there were two pretty thoroughly ventilated log
schoolhouses in Eden--now there are seven good school buildings in good repair. The Air
Line Railroad crosses the town, and maintains a station called Eden, on the southwest
quarter of Section 8. there are some good stone quarries and limekilns in Eden, and on
Section 17 is a large spring, in which one branch of the Milwaukee River takes its rise,
while from Twin Lakes, on the line between Sections 9 and 16, flows a stream into Lake
The town of Eden, Township 14 north, of Range 18 east, contains
23,058.79 acres, or 18.79 acres more than thirty-six full sections of land.
EDEN VILLAGE. Prior to 1873, there was no
village at Eden. The Air Line Railroad gave it birth. The land, owned by L. Batterson, was
platted when that road was built, and the first lot sold to A. Edelman, who built the
first store. The large steam elevator was erected by Mr. Batterson. The first wheat
shipped from the station was by Isaac Advance. The hotel was built by John Botzem, its
proprietor. The post office was established by Peter Vandervoort in 1850. He kept it in
his house, near by, until 1872, when he resigned. T. Hardgrove is the present Postmaster.
In addition to three stores and the various shops, Eden has a thriving cheese factory.
Foster Post Office was established by Egbert Foster. It is now out
The German Reformed Church erected a place of worship on Section 10,
which is now used by the German Methodists.
St. James' Catholic Church first held services in a log house built
in 1849, on the line of Section 29, by Joseph Lawler, C. Mangan, E. McInroe, P. Ryan, T.
Ward, T. McGinty and others. This was used until 1865, when Rev. J. McGowan built the
present structure. The first mass said to this congregation, which now numbers 120
families, was by Rev. Ehrle. Father M. O'Brien, the Pastor, has charge also of St. John's
Mission, in Byron.
History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin,
Western Historical Company, Chicago: 1880**
* From W. T. Coneys, Map of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Bogert &
Haight: 1862 (Copied and Indexed by Sally Powers Albertz, Wisconsin State Historical
Society library Pam 93-3904 Mss Sect)
** 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.