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Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin


1847 Wisconsin Territorial Census
1860 Federal Census (Partial)
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Civil War Veterans Credited to the Town of Taycheedah
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Wisconsin Gazetteers for the Village of Taycheedah

This town took its name from the village of that name, which was at one time larger than Fond du Lac, and promised not only to be the commercial metropolis of this portion of Wisconsin, but the county seat of Fond du Lac County.

Taycheedah formerly belonged to the town of Fond du Lac; then was made up of the towns of Forest, Empire, a portion of Friendship, (across the lake) and its present territory; then of the present town of Empire and half of Taycheedah as it is; and now is composed of the north tier of sections which should belong to Empire and twenty-three full and several fractional sections in Township 16 north, of Range 18 east. It has been in this shape since Empire was organized, in 1851. Lake Winnebago cuts into the town on the west, leaving but twenty-nine full sections of land within its limits. Of this land, Nehemiah King, Deputy United States Surveyor, said in 1835:

Under the Ledge, there is very fine timber and a soil as rich as any other in this country. On the upper level, the timber is somewhat deficient in quantity and growth. Some of the prairie is rather wet, but will make fine meadows. From the commanding prospect from the upper level, the lake [Winnebago], stretching as far to the north as the eye can reach, and to the west from six to ten miles - there are but few places that can compete with this for beauty of situation. It will probably be a healthy location.

Francis D. McCarty and Reuben Simmons lived in a shanty in the south part of Taycheedah, from December, 1838, to the spring of 1839. This was the first settlement in that part of the town. Mr. Simmons then built a house, near by, for James Duane Doty, and Mr. McCarty erected one for himself where the village of Taycheedah now stands. During the summer of 1838, G. P. Knapp entered land in the timber, further north, which was the first settlement in that part of the town, and might he called the first in what is now Taycheedah. The many beautiful springs bursting from the Ledge, the delightful location and bright prospects for the future, called settlers rapidly to Taycheedah. They were at first mostly from New York, Ohio and New England, and Taycheedah once could claim more than half of the aristocracy, culture and honorable men of the entire county. No town has undergone greater changes in this respect. The governors, judges, generals, lawyers and other high officials have all emigrated or paid the last debt of nature, and a community of German and Irish farmers has taken their place.

The Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railway crosses ten sections of Taycheedah. It was built in 1868, and maintains three stations in the town.

The first election was held in April, 1847, at which George D. Ruggles was elected Chairman, and Charles Doty, Town Clerk.

The first births, deaths and marriages are not recorded, except such as occurred in territory once belonging to, but not now a part of, Taycheedah.

PEEBLES CORNERS, on Section 32, which has a post office, tollgate, store and cheese-factory,. was named after E. Peebles. It is a station on the Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railway, which is really the father of the place.

NORTH TAYCHEEDAH is a post office, on Section 17. Near by is a grist-mill, run by water and steam.

TAYCHEEDAH VILLAGE. - This is comparatively an ancient hamlet. It was the rival of Fond du Lac and Oshkosh, and, for some years, outstripped them both, having, in the early forties, a larger store, better lumber-yard and greater lake commerce than both of them combined. It was, also, the first Wisconsin village to send steamboats up the Wolf River and carry on, in those afterward famous timber regions, the business of lumbering. Here, also, were the first schoolhouse, first bell and, possibly, though not probably, the first religious class in the county.

The first mill was a large stone flouring-mill, on the lake shore, which began a large business in 1848, but was burned in 1854. In 1850, a steam saw-mill was built by 0. R. Potter, but that, too, was burned in 1853.

The first store was opened by J. L. Moore and his brother-in-law, B. F. Moore, now proprietor of the La Belle Wagon Works at Fond du Lac, in September, 1841. This was the first store in the county. Trade in it was brisk, the Brothertown Indians sometimes paying in $300 per day, cash, while large amounts were exchanged for furs. The warehouse connected with this store was burned in 1844, destroying goods and wheat to the value of $6,000 - the first fire of any note in the county.

The first schoolhouse in the county was built by James Duane Doty, Henry Conklin and the two Moores, at Taycheedah, in 1842. Henry Conklin gave a bell for this building, the first one in this county, which still does service in the more modern schoolhouse.

The first hotel was built by B. F. Smith in 1840. It was first kept by Francis D. McCarty, next by John Case, and then by Nathaniel Perry, who built a new and larger building in its place a third of a century ago. This building, B. F. Moore moved to Scott Street, Fond du Lac, where it was burned.

In 1842, John W. Philbrick and family arrived in the village, and opened the first tinshop in the county.

George Carlton opened a dry-goods store in Taycheedah, in 1842.

J. L. Ault and a man named Lawrence started the first blacksmith-shops, Mr. Ault being first, probably.

Among the first settlers were George W. Elliott, Nathaniel Perry, B. F. Smith, John Case, Walter Cunningham and those already mentioned.

The glory of Taycheedah has flown. It is now a place of no importance, commercially, whatever. A blacksmith-shop, little store, post office and a saloon or two constitute its business places. Its trade and prospects were killed by Mason C. Darling, when he gave a site for a Court House at Fond du Lac. Its first Postmaster was Nathaniel Perry.

Taycheedah was named by James Duane Doty. It is not, in its present form, a proper Indian term, being a corruption, no doubt, of the term tee-charrah, which, in pronouncing, should be run together with a quick guttural sound, barely sounding "tee." It means camping place. Mr. Dotys translation was "our home," which was very nearly correct, though the present English pronunciation of the word is far from it.

The different Chairmen of the town of Taycheedah have been: George D. Ruggles, George W. Elliott, F. S. Crons, John Ilett, Charles Geisse, 0. R. Potter, B. F. Smith, B. F. OLaughlin and Michael Wirtz. The Clerks have been: Charles Doty, William White, J. D. Van Flack, C. W. Tallmadge, John Elwell, Cromwell Laithe, William Craig, B. F. Smith, J. M. Mitchell, 0. H. Petters, James ONeill, William Bassett, S. D. Schooley, Frank Harzhcim, Paul Buchholz, B. Adleman and Joseph Ditter.

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 this text.

Last updated 5/3/1999

This site represents an ongoing effort to collect information related to the history of the town of Taycheedah. If you have information to share, please contact Bob Schuster by email at rmschust@facstaff.wisc.edu or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716 (608) 221-1421.