Township History - 1880
Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin

(From the "History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin" published by the Western Historical Company, Chicago, IL. - 1880)


Eldorado - Township 16 north, of Range 16 east, bounded on the north by Nekimi (Winnebago County), east by Friendship, south by Lamartine, and west by Rosendale - was named, in all probability, by John 0. Henning, now of Hudson, editor of the first paper in Fond du Lac County. Its' surface is considerably but gently undulating, and contains less prairie than most of the other towns in the vicinity. It has considerable heavy timber, some oak openings and several marshes; one, called Eldorado Marsh, being of considerable size. From them an immense quantity of wild hay is cut, while some portions have been seeded to tame hay and make productive meadows.

The first settlers were Moses S. Barnett, Theodore R. Sheldon, William Hall and others, who located within its borders early in 1846. It was a large town at first; an act approved March 11, 1848, making what is now Eldorado and Friendship a separate town called Eldorado. The first town meeting was held in April, 1848, at the house of Cyrus Parks, at which M. S. Barnett was chosen Chairman, and James Cowhan, Town Clerk. Another act, passed February 1, 1849, divided the original town into the present towns of Eldorado and Friendship, the first election being held in April, 1849, at the house of William C. Walcott.

Eldorado is well wooded, the sale of cord-wood, stave-bolts and materials for hard-wood work being an important item with its inhabitants. It is also well watered, has a good soil of loam (except the marshes) and in some parts is well adapted to sheep raising, which is profitably followed. No license for the sale of intoxicating drinks was ever granted in Eldorado, and never but once did the town give a Republican majority on a State or national question. The first school was taught by John F. Steele in the north portion of the town. Now there are six schoolhouses within its limits in which there is a good attendance. There are also three church buildings, on Sections 18, 15 and 26, the first being built about 1860. The Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railway, which maintains a depot near Eldorado Mills, passes through the extreme southwest corner of the town. The West Branch of the Fond du Lac River flows through the southern portion of the town, affording water-power at Eldorado Mills, where Scribners large flouring mill is in operation. This stream, in an early day, also turned M. S. Barnetts mill, built in 1846, and the first of any kind in the town.

The inhabitants of Eldorado are largely Irish-Americans, though a good sprinkling of Germans and Americans is found.

The records being burned, only the following Chairmen and Town Clerks can be presented: 1861, L. M. Dunham, Thomas Woods; 1862, C. W. Frederick, William Kirkwood; 1863, C. W. Frederick, William Kirkwood; 1864, C. W. Frederick, William Kirkwood; 1865, C. W. Frederick, William Kirkwood; 1866, C. W. Frederick, William Kirkwood; 1867, C. W. Frederick, David Ackerson; 1868, C. W. Frederick, David Ackerson; 1869, C. W. Frederick, L. M. Dunham; 1870, C. W. Frederick, L. M. Dunham; 1871, C. W. Frederick, L. M. Dunham; 1872, James Lewis, L. M. Dunham; 1873, James Lewis, George Gibson; 1874, C. W. Frederick, George Gibson; 1875, C. W. Frederick, W. S. Hall; 1876, John Remer, George Gibson; 1877, John Remer, George Gibson; 1878, John Remer, Mark Crain; 1879, James K. Scribner, Mark Crain.

The first to make a location in Eldorado was Harvey Anderson, in the fall of 1845. In May, 1846, Moses S. Barnett, now of Neenah, Wis., made a permanent settlement.

The first land was entered by Samuel Sanborn, on the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 31, in 1846.

The first grist-mill was built in 1857 by Hiram Wheeler and James K. Scribner on Section 31.

The first store was opened in 1849, on Section 7, by N. Jorgensen.

The first schoolhouse was built in November, 1848.

The first sermon was preached by Elder E. N. Wright, a Free-Will Baptist, in the fall of 1848, at Cyrus Pascos house.

The first child born was Charles A. Wolcott, July 30, 1847.

The first death, George Barnett, in 1847.

The first marriage, Stephen Claggett to Margaret ONeil, in 1847.

The first post office was established in the spring of 1848, by Necoli Jorgensen, called Bothelle. Not far from this time, John 0. Henning was postmaster on the east side of the marsh, and some think his commission was received before Jorgensens.

Stephen Claggett, Alex. Cronk, and Thomas and James Merchant settled in the town in 1846, after the first settlement. In 1847, Cyrus and Joseph Pasco, John and Robert Cowhan, John Claggett, John F. Steele, William Dilts, M. Duel, Isaac Claggett, John Adams, David Austin, E. and William Williams, A. R. Wilber, Nelson Phillips, A. M. Donelly, H. Dilts and perhaps others.

Thanks to Ron Friedel for preparing these pages in html format.

last modified:
27 Dec 2003
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** Ruth Shaw Worthing, The History of Fond du Lac County, as told by its Place-Names, 1976.
** The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880.

** Portrait and Biographical Album of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1889.
** A. T. Glaze, Incidents and Anecdotes of Early Days and History of Business in the City and County of Fond du Lac from Early Times to the Present, Fond du Lac: P. B. Haber Printing Company, 1905.
** Maurice McKenna, ed., History of Fond du Lac County, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. 
** Wisconsin Volunteers: War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 
** Plat Book of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, C. M. Foote & Co.  1893