Description of the village of
Princeton in Charles R. Tuttle's
Illustrated History of the State of
Wisconsin, Madison: B. B.
|Town of Princeton is nine miles east and
west, and four miles north and south; bounded on the North by St. Marie; on the East by
Brooklyn and Green Lake; on the South by Dayton;* on the West by Marquette county. The
general features of this town, directly east of Fox River, is rather high, rolling land;
occasionally clay loam on the high lands, and sandy in the valleys and plains. Coming to
the town from the village of Dartford, you find a handsome valley extending west for some
three or four miles; this valley well deserves its former appellation, pleasant; it is by
far the most desirable land in the town for farming purposes; the high lands along this
valley are of good quality--red loam.
The first cabin erected in this town is on the road some three miles east of the village of Princeton, on the farm of Mr. Simpson, kept as a tavern, by one John Winchell. Here was held the first town meeting and election; also the first court in the town. South of Mr. Simpson's dwelling is a bluff about fifty feet in hight [sic], almost perpendicular to the horizon. Lime stone along the whole face of this high land; line stone can be quarried with but little labor or expense. From this point to the village of Princeton, the valley is very sandy. The western part, as you strike the low lands around the flat on which Princeton is built, broken and not cultivated. Lands along the valley high, rolling; lands very sandy in the valleys, with the exception of a small prairie; not much cultivated except along the river valley. From the town line east to the river is an extensive marsh bordering the lands north of the valley; this marsh is some four miles east and west, and a half mile wide; part of which lies in the town of St. Marie. The lands on the west side of the river, openings; timber, white and black oaks, interspersed with burr oaks; high, rolling lands, sandy soil; considered, as a whole, better quality than the east side of the river; some of the valleys very good land; about half the town in fence and cultivation.
This town was organized with the town of the town of St. Marie, in 1849; H. Walt, Chairman Supervisors; separated 1852; N. P. Smith, Chairman Supervisors; R. P. Rawson, Clerk. There are eleven whole school districts, and two joint districts.
The village [of Princeton] was platted out in 1849; at that time three families; the next year there were some twenty families. First frame house built May, 1849, on Block B--the house now occupied by Mr. Hopkins; the first tavern kept by John Knapp, in the house now occupied by Boylain; the first store was established in 1850, by F. Durand.
The village, at this time, has eleven Stores; three Taverns; two Drug and Apothecaries; two Doctors; two Lawyers; two Shoe Shops; four Blacksmith Shops; two Carriage and Wagon Shops; one Tailor; one Tin Shop; four Saloons; one Chair and Cabinet Factory. Population about 900; one-fourth Germans. Yankee customs, manners, habits and hospitality are the chief manifestations of the social relations of this place.
John C. Gillespy, The History
* Dayton Township was subsequently absorbed by the towns of Green Lake and Marquette, the eastern two and a half sections running north-south becoming part of Green Lake and the western three and a half sections part of Marquette.
|Last updated 12/10/2000||This site represents an ongoing effort to collect information related to the history of the town of Princeton. If you have information to share, please contact Bob Schuster by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716 (608) 221-1421.|