The name of the famous chief of the Florida Indians is perpetuated
in the name of this town - Township 14 north, of Range 19 east. It is rich in timber,
small lakes, fish and wild waterfowl. The town was named by W. R. Longstreet. It was first
settled, probably, in 1845, by Washington Noble, James Farr, and Peter Radliff, at what is
now Waucousta. About eight months later, W. R. Longstreet, John Beeson, William Mitchell
and Silas Allen settled at the same place, and John Graham, William Oliver, John Airhart,
Joseph Cavanagh and others soon after settled in other parts of the town.
The first birth was in William Olivers family in 1847; Byron, son of
John and Louisa Graham, was born March 14, 1849.
The first marriage was that of Washington Noble to Helen Airhart.
In February, 1849, the infant daughter of Michael and Ellen Scannell
died, and later the same year, Mrs. Noble died - the first death in Osceola.
The first election was held in April, 1851, when the town was set
off from Eden. Rev. J. W. Whitney was elected Chairman; W. R. Longstreet, Superintendent
of Schools; William Mitchell, Clerk; Leander Mayhew, Treasurer.
In 1850, Sarah J. Walters taught the first school, at the house of
N. Carey. In the winter of that year a schoolhouse was erected on Section 8. The town now
contains seven good schoolhouses. The first sermon was preached in William Mitchells
house, by Rev. John W. Whitney, in 1847; probably the first church edifice was built in
1855 or 1856, on Section 2, by the Catholics.
The first post office was called Osceola, as it is still. C. W.
Prescott was the first Postmaster.
Post offices are now open at Dundee, Waucousta and Armstrongs Corners
- the latter named after Asher Armstrong.
The first saw-mill and first grist-mill were built at Waucousta, by
John Beeson - the former probably in 1848; the latter two or three years later. Both were
on Middle Branch of the Milwaukee River.
C. W. Prescott entered the first land - northeast quarter of Section
9 - in 1846.
William Crosby built the first cheese factory in 1877, at Waucousta.
The first Irish settler was Michael Scannell, 1848; first German,
John Airhart; first Scotchman, William Mitchell; first Americans, William Oliver and John
The highest point of land in the town is on Section 34.
T. W. Purcell opened the first store in Osceola, at Waucousta, not
earlier than the fall of 1859. J. H. Trentledge now has a large store at this place, and
there are also blacksmith, shoe and wagon shops, cheese factories, and the store kept by
Mr. Tompkins, in which is the post office.
At Dundee, which was platted, recorded and
named by E. M. McIntosh, in February, 1864, is a good water-power. The first dam and
saw-mill were built by Stephen Palmer and Mr. McIntosh, in 1855. Soon after, the property
fell into the hands of William and Leroy Palmer, who built the flouring-mill in 1858. It
is now owned by F. Hollensteiner. The first Postmaster at Dundee was I. S. Sheldon. The
office is now kept by Jacob Arimond, though F. Hollensteiner is Postmaster. Dundee Hotel
is kept by Mr. Brokmeyer, who started the cattle fair for Dundee in 1870. There are three
churches at this village - a Catholic mission, supplied by Father Michels, of New Cassel;
a Reformed church, built in 1876, of which F. Hollensteiner is Treasurer and Rev. F.
Maurer, Pastor, and a Lutheran church, built in 1878.
History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin,
Western Historical Company, Chicago: 1880*
*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.