For My Cousins Green Lake County, Wisconsin
Maps and Written History (as of 1878)

From: Illustrated Historical Atlas of Wisconsin
Compiled and published by Synder, Van Vechten & Co., Milwaukee (Wisconsin) 1878

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History of Green Lake County
(as written in 1878)
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Match the township map numbers below with their location on the county index map (above)

Berlin Township
      Town of Berlin (Entire Town)
      Town of Berlin - NE Portion
      Town of Berlin - Central Portion
      Town of Berlin - SE Portion
Brooklyn Township -- includes Green Lake, Dartford, St. Marie and Punchyan River
      Town of Dartford (now Green Lake)
Green Lake Township -- includes Green Lake, Grand Prairie, West Green Lake, Little Green Lake, Spring Lake and Gusse Lake
Kingston Township
Mackford Township -- includes Markesan, Grand River and Lake Maria
Manchester Township -- includes Lake Maria P.O. and Salemville
Marquette Township - town of Marquette, Grand Prairie, Lake Puckaway
Princeton Township
Seneca Township
St. Marie Township -- includes Mt. Tom and White River

The following transcription was taken verbatim from the above-referenced 1878 atlas (from page 212). I have broken the lengthy paragraphs into shorter paragraphs to make it easier to read, but otherwise have tried to be true to the spelling, text and punctuation of the original document. Although I've done my best to be accurate, there may be transcription errors that I failed to catch.

GREEN LAKE COUNTY (as of 1878):

This county contains ten townships, or 220,658 acres of land, and also more than 20,000 acres of water area. It lies between the 43d and 44th parallels of north latitude, and is bounded on the east by the counties of Fond du Lac and Winnebago; north by Waushara; west by Marquette, and south by Columbia and Dodge.

The first settlers were chiefly from the Middle and New England states; but, at the present time, the German, Irish, and other nationalities, are well represented in the northern and western portions.

The territory was a part of Marquette county until May 12, 1858, at which date it was by an act of the legislature separately organized under the name of Green Lake county. By the same act the people were required to vote on the fifth Tuesday in June following, for the location of the county seat. At this trial, Berlin was successful, and became the first capital of Green Lake.

This act also made all the officers of the undivided county, to serve until the first regular election, or until their successors were chosen -- it being the duty of the governor to fill such offices by appointment, as were vacant. Dartford had been county seat of the undivided county, and, in 1862, it was made county seat of the new county after a sharp contest. In 1866, a vote was taken upon the question of removing the county seat to Princeton; but a majority of the canvassing board decided the result to be in favor of retaining the county records at Dartford. The minority report, in favor of Princeton, was sustained by the attorney general of the state; and therefore the citizens of Princeton forcibly possessed themselves of the county records.

But they did not rest in peace, for, by subsequent ruling of the supreme court of the state, they were soon removed again to Dartford, where they apparently have a permanent home. The citizens of the village built a substantial stone court at a cost of four thousand dollars. In 1869, a fire proof building was erected for the county offices, and an addition for a jail at a cost of six thousand dollars.

The following were the county officers first elected to serve this county -- F. B. Hawes, county judge; I. H. Comstock, clerk of the circuit court; C. L. Sargent, clerk of the board of supervisors; G. DeWitt Elwood, register of deeds; Isaac Morris, sheriff; A. B. Hamilton, district attorney; N. C. Hoyt, superintendent of schools. Green Lake county is in the third judicial circuit -- D. J. Pulling, presiding judge.

In 1840, this region could boast of not more than a dozen white settlers within the present limits of the county. By the state census of 1875, the population was 15,217.

Sieur Joliet and his companion, Father Marquette, in the year 1673, explored this region, and found it occupied by the Mascouten tribe of Indians. They tarried several days on the southern shore of Lake Puckaway, at the village of the Mascoutens. The present village at that place, and the town, now bear the name of Marquette, as well as the county of which this was once a part -- the parent of Green Lake county.

Lake Puckaway is an expansion of Fox river in the southwestern part of the county, about eight miles in length by three fourths of a mile wide. The Indian name signifies "wild rice field," from the abundance of wild rice which annually feeds myriads of ducks and blackbirds upon the surrounding marshes, especially on the north. Many of the small lakes and ponds in the county are gradually drying up, and becoming marshes, and they in turn become the richest meadow land.

A Vermonter, by the name of Luther Gleason, was the first white settler in the county, he having broken land and established an Indian trading post on the present site of Marquette, as early as 1829. James Powell, with his Indian wife, cultivated land in the town of Green Lake in 1835. Hiram McDonald, a United States veteran, settled in 1836, and built the first sawmill in 1843, at Mackford.

Another old soldier, named McGee, broke up the first land in the town of Manchester during the same year. Satterlee Clark made entries of government land in the town of Green Lake during December, 1842. Anson Dart settled in 1840, at the outlet of Twin lakes. Oliver Dart was the first justice of the peace in the county. Wm. Bazely, in company with several others, came in 1840 to Green Lake township, and the first school was taught in his log house.

The first white child born in the county was a son to H. McDonald. The first frame house was erected by H. White in 1842. F. B. Haws opened the first store in the county at Marquette in 1845. The first religious society in the county was that of the Methodist Episcopal church in Green Lake, organized during the year 1845, by Rev. G. W. Miller. The first church edifice erected by this society, at Dartford, in 1851.

In 1847, J. C. Sherwood and Anson Dart built a sawmill, also a flouring mill, and afterward a woolen mill; but all three were destroyed by fire, and have not been rebuilt. In May, 1847, Nathan Strong entered the land where now stands the thriving city of Berlin, and in 1848 "Strong's Landing" claimed only four inhabitants. Several towns were organized in 1849, and at one election the town furnished a sugar bowl and a coffee pot for ballot boxes.

Isaac Bronson, August 26, 1835, made the first entries of government land in the county. His four entries of that date include nearly all the site of the village of Marquette. The first deed made in the county was for a portion of the same land, and was given by Sherman Page to Andrew Palmer, May 19, 1836. The first government patent, covering the same land, was issued to Sherman Page, August 10, 1837. The first record of a deed of land within the present county limits was made at Green Bay long before the organization of the county. The register's certificate is dated July 9, 1836. The first term of the circuit court in Green Lake county was in February, 1859.

The county has excellent facilities for market and transportation. The Fox river threads the county from southwest to northeast, and is navigable its entire length from Green Lake Bay to Portage City. The Milwaukee & St. Paul and the Sheboygan & Fond du Lac railroads complete their communications with the south and east.


This is the metropolis of the county, and is a thriving city of 3,300 population, situated upon both sides of Fox river, in the northeast corner of the county. The city is beautifully situated, and lies both upon the bluff and in the valley. Granite and limestone quarries lie near the city. It contains three steam flouring mills, using constantly twelve run of stone; one large woolen factory; one furniture and coffin manufactory; two foundries; two tanneries; two saw mills; two carriage factories; two marble shops; one brewery; one sash factory; one whip and glove factory; five hotels and nine churches, besides an abundance of good stores and shops to meet demands of a large patronage. The citizens are justly proud of their public schools. Their central school building would honor any city in the state.

The oldest newspaper in the county, was here started by J. H. Wells, in 1850, and called the Marquette Mercury. It was democratic until 1854, when T. L. Terry & Co. purchased it, changed the name to Berlin City Courant and the politics to active republican; it has so remained through several changes of proprietorship. David Junor is the present publisher, and F. F. Livermore, editor. The Berlin Journal was founded in 1870, by Hoyt, Everdale and Williams, and the following year passed into the hands of C. G. Starks, who is the present editor and publisher; its politics, uniformly republican.

This is the next village in size, having more than a thousand population. it is located ten miles due west from the county seat, and is the present terminus of the Sheboygan & Fond du Lac railroad. The Fox river givees it water communication and affords some water power, but the chief source of water power is derived from a canal six miles in length, connecting the Mecan river and the Fox, with a fall of twenty feet. The power is but partially utilized.

The city contains one flour and grist mill (three run of stone); three wagon shops; one tannery; one foundry for heavy castings; one brewery, and all the mercantile and manufacturing establishments usually found in a live town of its size. There are six churches; two hotels; one public school and two German schools. Princeton has an abundant supply of stone for building purposes or manufacture of lime. The foreign element is well represented, the German forming three fourths of the population.

Three newspapers are published in this city; the oldest is the Princeton Republic, founded by Thomas McConnell, in February, 1867. It is now owned and edited by J. C. and A. E. Thompson; it is a six column quarto, and has ever been republican in politics.

The Princeton Merkur, was started in July, 1876, by the German printing and publishing company, but in November of the same year, it was sold to Messrs. Teske, Warnke & Markstadt, who are present publishers; P. S. Warus, editor. The paper is German and democratic. In 1876, another newspaper was started by a joint stock company, and christened the Princeton Independent, but in September of the same year, the stockholders changed the name to Green Lake County Democrat, and it was made a pronounced organ of democracy under the editorial management of L. Truesdell and S. D. Goodell.

Monthly fairs are held in this place for the sale and exchange of all kinds of produce, merchandise and live stock. They are well patronized. The county fair was, until recently, held here also, but it has been removed to Berlin, and continues to prosper. The annual exhibits, both vegetable and animal, attract all classes, and are claimed to be beneficial in their influence. Marquette early became known as a considerable grain and lumber market. David M. Green and brothers, settled here in 1848, and soon became prominent in business, and the leading spirits in the surrounding country.


This village in the town of Mackford, stands next to Princeton in the substantial elements of prosperity. It was for many years the second in importance in the county, being favorably located on both sides of the Grand river, and surrounded by fertile country. Mounds are found in several townships; bones, coin, and other ancient relics are often exhumed. The mounds are especially large and numerous near Bluffton, in the town of Brooklyn.


This is a village pleasantly situated at the outlet of Green Lake. It is named after Anson Dart, one of its founders and most useful citizens. It was at one time a center of manufacturing industries, but repeated fires, and perhaps other agencies have combined to dim its glory. It is a quiet village, with the usual complement of shops and stores. It is the county seat.

The following officials are now serving the county: County judge, T. C. Ryan; county clerk, H. S. Comstock; clerk of court, Scott P. Rogers; district attorney, M. L. Kimball; register of deeds, H. B. Lowe; sheriff, Samuel J. Ellis; treasurer, Gustav Teske; county superintendent of schools, A. A. Spencer; county surveyor, Alban Clark; coroner, A. G. Davison.

[General County Information Continues...]
Big Green Lake is a beautiful body of water, about ten miles in length by two in breadth; the water is remarkably clear, yet is of a greenish tinge, which gave name to the lake, and the lake to the township southeast, and also to the county which contains it. Black bass, pickerel, and other fish abound. Game, in its season, rewards the hunter.

The lake lies near the center of the county, and the scenery upon its woody margin is varied and charming. The bluffs sometimes slope to the water's edge, and again are abrupt and crowned with massive oaks. A steamboat and fleets of sail and row boats afford pleasant means of communication between the attractive "summer homes" which deck the borders of this lovely lake. It is the summer resort of hundreds of southern tourists, and the lake hotels register several thousand visitors each season.

Little Green lake, a miniature of the larger, is five miles south, in the town of Green Lake.

Mount Moriah, in Kingston, is the highest land in the county.

Kingston is a village of considerable importance. The surrounding country is quite broken and varied, but well adapted to stock raising.

The town of Green Lake has no village or store, but is eminently an agricultural community. It is noted for the number of its wealthy farmers. The eastern part of the county is a rich prairie, and the surface generally is undulating. Oak openings in the central and western portions, marshes in the northern, with some sandy knolls in other sections, constitute the surface-features of the county in addition to the numerous bodies of water. Spring wheat is the leading crop of the county, with hay, some rye, and a few cranberries. The people are industrious, temperate and prosperous.

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