Monday, September 26, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: History of Springdale by James P. McPherson, Esq. - Pt. 2 Springdale and Early Settlers

In 1877 , Wm. J. Parks, Co., published a history of Madison, Dane Co, and the surrounding villages and towns in Dane Co., Wisconsin.  Contributors from the various locales provided information, pictures, and maps for the  book.  My great-great grandfather James P. McPherson wrote the portion about the  history of Springdale (p. 806, Dane County Towns, Springdale).  Because of its length,  the Springdale history will be published on this blog in several parts.  Part 2, as follows,  tells of the early settlers in Springdale and how they established their governing bodies.


By James P. McPherson, Esq

Part 2 Springdale and  Early Settlers

The town was settled in 1844 or 45, the first settler being Mr. John Harlow, who built the first house with inn the limits of the town. That house is still standing on the farm of Mr. Patrick Casey, on section one.

In 1845, Messrs, Michael Jacket, Wyatt Perkins, Perry Nunger, Tomas Bently and others, settled in the northeast part of the town and commensed the improvement of their lands. Mr. Perkins built a dam and saw mill on a small branch of Sugar River. These were regarded by some of Mr. Perkins' neighbors, as hindrances rather than improvements, and let to litigation, with resulted in the removal of the dam and mill, and also Mr. Perkins, who sought a new location for his mechanical industry.

In 1846, Messrs. Thomas B. Miles, Axium Malone, Hawley Childs, N. H. Dryden, Thore T. Spaanem, Morgan L. Curtis, John S. Berge, Henry Boland, Martin Nash, Michael Johnson and others, moved in and occupied land in other parts of town. In 1850 John Mitchell and James P. McPherson settled on section 24 and 25.

The town was organized in 1848, the first election for town officers being held on the second Tuesday of April in that year. Twenty votes were cast, and twenty-one offices were filled, and the following named persons were elected, viz.,: Chairman, Martin Nash; Supervisors, Wyatt Perkins and Thomas Bentley; Town Clerk, Robert N. Ashmore; Treasurer, Morgan L. Curtis: Collector, Axium Malone; Justices, Martin Nash and Morgan L. Curtis; Commissioners of Highways, Thomas Bentley, N. H. Dryden, and Robert N. Ashmore; School Commissioners, Hawley Childs, Thos. B. Miles and Wyatt Perkins'; Assessors, Perry Munger and Thos. B. Miles; Fence Viewers, Michael Jacket and Hawley Childs; constables, Axium Malone and John I. Berge; Sealer of Weights and Measures, Wm A. Dryden.

Of the twenty-one officers then elected, there are four of them yet residents of the town, viz., Messrs. N. H. Dryden, Thos. B. Miles, Michael Jacket and John I Berge.

It was determined that no town tax should be levied, and that the officers should receive no pay for their services for that year, but shortly after the election, a special town meeting was quietly convened by the incumbents interested, and a small town tax, sufficient to satisfy the office -holders of those early days, was levied and in due time collected.

From 1848 to 1852, the population of the town was largely increased by the immigration, and nearly all the land was then entered and occupied by settlers from the Eastern and Middle States, and from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Norway, who have devoted their attention and labor to the cultivation of the soil. The natural facilities for manufactures of any description are but limited, and agriculture has therefore been the occupation of the people and will likely remains so.

BY WM. J. PARK & CO.,  1877.


  1. This is a nice service you're providing for other researchers of your area.

  2. Whew, it sure sounds like the residents put a lot of thought and effort into organizing the town.

  3. Wendy and Sheryl, Thanks for stopping by to read about Springdale, Wisconsin. I have been surprised at how quickly the folks organized their little town. A real lesson in civil government. Thanks again.