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Village of Kewaskum Local History Web


(from History of Washington and Ozaukee Counties, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1881, pp. 437-8)


   The first annual town meeting was held at the house of William P. Barnes, April 6, 1847. The following is a copy of the minutes:

   At the annual town meeting, held at the house of William P. Barnes, in the town of North Bend, Washington Co., T. W., April 6, 1847, the friends who were there organized by calling Harry N. Strong to the chair, and appointing Joshua Bradley, Clerk. The meeting being called to order, the following motions were made and carried in the affirmative:
   First. That the next annual town meeting is to be held at the house of Ferdinand Dagling, on Section Number 21.
   Second. That town officers receive for their services $1 per day where the price is not fixed by law.
   Third. That the town raise one-eighth of one per cent for the benefit of schools in the town.
   Fourth. That we, or the town, raise one-eighth of one per cent to be applied to roads in the town.
   Fifth. That Samual Ladd serve as Overseer of Highways in the town of North Bend till others are appointed.
   Sixth. That we raise $75 to pay officers and to bear the necessary expenses of the town.
   Seventh. That the Supervisors accept no account unless it is itemized, dated and sworn to.
   April 9, 1847.                                      John S. Van Eps, Town Clerk.

   The following is the poll list of town meeting in North Bend, April 6, 1847: Charles Higgins, Joseph H. Austin, William P. Barnes, Samuel Ladd, James Frazer, Samuel Albright, H. Bradley, C. Hanni, J. Douglas, J. R. Avery, N. Harris, M. Tulen, J. Van Vechten, T. Thill, M. Rodenkirch, J. Albright, J. R. Wright, H. N. Strong, Joshua M. Bradley, F. Daglin, L. Spear, D. Rennington, B. C. Thompson, J. S. Van Eps, William Douglass, Thomas Bliss--Total 26.
   The first election held in North Bend for the election of Territorial and county officers, to wit: one Delegate to Congress, one member of the House of Representatives, one Register, Clerk and Surveryor--was held September 6, 1847, at the house of William P. Barnes; Inspectors, Harvey N. Strong, Jacob T. Van Vechten and Samuel Ladd; Clerk, John S. Van Eps. November 29, 1847, another election was held at the same place to elect Delegates to the State Convention at Madison to form a State Constitution. Those receiving the most votes were William H. Lord, Patrick Pentong, Lewis E. Pick.

   The first election of the town of Kewaskum was held at the house of Nathan Wheeler, near the village, April 2, 1850; Inspectors of Election were J. T. Van Vechten, F. Dagling and T. P. Bliss; Clerk, Ansel Moody. The officers elected were: Supervisors, J. T. Van Vechten, Chairman, B. Spinharney, H. Roderkirch; Town Clerk, Ansel Moody; Treasurer, D. C. Bowen; Superintendent of Schools, Ansel Moody; Assessors, M. Rodenkirch, D C. Bowen; Justices, D. C. Bowen, P. Rottermand; Constables, J. P. Harris, H. Backhaus, L. Clark; Sealer of Weights and Measures, J. Williams.
   This election proved illegal, as it was held outside the limits of the new town of Kewaskum, and Chairman Van Vechten was denied his seat in the County Board. The blunder was remedied by a special election held within the town limits.
   William P. Barnes and wife were the first settlers in North Bend, Mr. B. living on Section 35 as early as 1844.
   The first post office was at Section 9, Fond du Lac road, Nathaniel Wheeler, Postmaster. The office was established at Kewaskum Village, in 1847, with James Thompson as first Postmaster.
   The first school was established in 1851; L. Clark, Superintendent; Claista Colvin, teacher.

   The town is entirely settled, with a population of thrisfty farmers.
   It has six whole and joint school districts, six schoolhouses, worth $6,000. The scholars number 547; eight teachers are employed. The amount of money expended for school purposes in 1880 was $2,043.
   The population of Kewaskum in 1880, according to the census of that year, was 1,469.
   The average amount of crops raised from 5, 010 acres of cultivated land, in 1880, was: Wheat, 30,000 bushels; corn, 16,000; oats, 32,000; barley, 16,000; rye, 24,000; potatoes, 10,000. The number of acres of growing timber was 3,295; of apple orchard 94, with 2,860 bearing trees. The town had 497 cows, and made 21,000 pounds of butter.
   The present town officers (1881) are: Supervisors, James Carrel (Chairman), Fred Backhaus, Theo. Schoofs; Town Clerk, William Koch; Treasurer, Chas. Backhaus; Assessor, Peter Fellenz.