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Town of Marquette

Town of Marquette

Transcribed from Portrait and Biographical Album of Green Lake, Marquwette and Waushara Counties Wisconsin, Acme Publishing Co., 1890, pages 280-282.

The town of Marquette is bounded on the north by the town of Princeton, on the east by the town of Green Lake, on the south by the town of Kingston and Manchester, and on the west by Marquette County. This town is very irregular in form and is noted for its large marshes and the peculiar ridge of granite rock that crops out about a mile southeast of the village of Marquette. This out-crop covers about five acres. The mass of rock is thirty feet high, broken and uneven, the south side falling off int a sandy flat, terminating in Grant (Grand?) River marsh. Westward, beyond an interval of twenty rods of marsh rises another mass of the same formation, covered with a growth of small cedars and oaks. Half a mile further north, on the north shore of marsh, rising from its edge, is an uneven mass of the same formation, extending west for nearly a mile. The soil is sandy in some places, and in other a sand and clay loan. Lake Packaway lies in the north and west parts of the town and is an expansion of the Fox River.

The first settler in this town was one Gleason, an Indian trader. H. McDonald, of Mackford, stated that when he passed up the Fox River with his company of United States Regulars, on their way to Ft. Winnebago, in 1830, he found Gleason dealing with the Indians at Marquette. He had a log store and stockade, and a number of acres under cultivation. He claimed to be from Vermont. Passing through again, several years later, M. McDonald saw him again; but as settlers began to come in he moved further West. F.B. Hawes opened a store at Marquette in 1845, and the village was soon afterward platted by Messrs. Sutherland, Myers, and Page, and in 1849 it became the first county-seat of Marquette County. In 1846 Van Valkenburg, John S. Vine, J.M. Crandall, Gardner Green, D.M. Green, Samuel McCracken, M.J. Byington, Alexander Patrick, Aikin, Porter, Seely and Butterfield came in and secured homes.

Organization and Early Events.

The town was organized in 1849 with H.A. Butterfield, J. Conley, and J. Boyle as Supervisors; S.W. Aikin as Clerk. Forty votes were cast at the first election, and the voters lived throughout the west part of Marquette County. The first birth was that of Lovinia Hunt Aikin, daughter of Dennis and Mary Aikin in 1849. The first marriage was that of Mr. Merriton to Miss Rachel Aikin, by the Rev. G.R. Bartlett. The first death was that of a child of John and Rebecca Conley.

Village of Marquette

The village of Marquette is situated in the town of the same name, eighteen miles southwest of Dartford, and nine miles northwest of Markesan (on a branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway and the nearest railway station). And fifteen miles south of Princeton, the nearest banking point. The population is about 275. The village was laid out as a speculation, as early as 1836, by Sherman Page, of Otsego County, N.Y.; Joel B. Sutherland, of Philadelphia; Andrew Palmer, of Toledo, Ohio, and Albert G. Ellis and John P. Arned, of Green Bay, Wis. The original plat on file looks like a map of some beautifully laid out city of 3,000 to 6,000 population. There is no tradition that much of anything else than the platting of the village was accomplished at that early period. The survey was altered in 1854.

This has a more picturesque situation than any other village in this or the surrounding countries. The business portion is principally built on low, sandy ground, but tasteful dwellings surmount the hill, presenting a fine appearance from any approach. Lake Packaway, on which the village is situated, is eight miles long and from half a mile to a mile wide. It is really an expansion of the Fox River. Marquette is consequently one of the many flourishing villages lining the banks of that stream, and is a natural shipping point for a large extent of country. In 1848, when Marquette County was fully organized and detached from Brown County, the county-seat was established here. In 1853, by a vote of the people, the county-seat was moved to Dartford. In November of the same year the Board of Supervisors, forcibly and without authority of law, seized the records and conveyed them back to Marquette. For some reason the people submitted to this bold movement, and the county-seat remained at Marquette until 1858, when it was established at Berlin after the erection of uses and something of architectural effect to the scene, the castle-like jail having been a long familiar sight, standing sentinel-like on the hill south of the flat.

The first settler on the village site (and it was thought the first in the county) was the Vermonter, Gleason, who was an Indian trader there as early as 1831, with a store and cultivated land. The first tavern was built in 1848. Some of the county buildings were used for church purposes after the removal of the seat of Justice.

The village was thus made up twenty-five or thirty years ago, according to the best recollection of an old resident. There was a large brick tavern house in the eastern part, a temperance house near the center; a steam window, blind and cabinet factory, a wagon and carriage shop, two general stores, three store-houses and docks, a shoe-shop, a saddler's shop, a cooper-shop, a tailor shop, two carpenter's shops, and two law offices and a school-house. The Methodist and Baptist Societies used the court-house for public worship. There were also three lumber yards and docks, and Mr. Green had a dock at which steamboats stopped regularly. The population was about 400, and it was believed that, as the country settled up and the wants of the people became more numerous, Marquette would become a place of much importance, it being the nearest point on the river for the shipment of produce for the southern parts of Green Lake and Dayton (now extinct) and for Mackford, Manchester and Kingston.

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