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Village of Dartford

Dartford Village (now Green Lake)

Transcribed from Portrait and Biographical Album of Green Lake, Marquwette and Waushara Counties Wisconsin, Acme Publishing Co., 1890, pages 270-274.

Dartford is beautifully situated on Green Lake, seventy-six miles northwest of Milwaukee and six miles west of Ripon, its nearest banking point. It is a section (Green Lake) on the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, and has become justly celebrated as a summer resort. The village is on an outlet of the lake, on a quite high ridge of sandy land between the lake and Puckyan which runs through the lowlands north of the town proper.

The first settlement in the town of Brooklyn was made here by Mr. Dart who located in 1845. the first frame house was built on the corner of Main and Hill streets, and owned by Mr. Simpson. L.D. Olin moved into the town in 1848. At that time there were but two houses in the village, one frame and one log. In connection with Mr. Sherwood, Mr. Dart, in 1849, built a grist-mill and a saw-mill.

The grist-mill was four stories high, had three run of stone capable of manufacturing 150 barrels of flour per day and had all modern improvements. This, under the ownership of

J.C. Sherwood, became one of Dartford's chief claims to trade among the farmers round about.

Among Dartford's prominent merchants at different periods may be mentioned Samuel W. Wolcott, Keene & Osborne, Ward & Son, James Catlin, George W. Aunin, E. A. Keene, H.A. Phinney, L.D. Olin, George W. Cooper, Cooper & Thayer, Thomas S. Sherman, Clawson & Brooks, Thomas & Brooks, L. Clawson, Thomas & Clawson, E. P. Locke, Edwin Quick and Edward A. Long.

John Stinson kept a hotel on the site of the court house about 1850. James C. Mills, lately deceased, was a hotel keeper in Dartford over thirty-five years. His house was well known to the traveling public. He was a man of some eccentricity and originality, and many pleasant stories are told of his quaint sayings. John L. Root became known widely as a hotel keeper. Valorus Root, the present proprietor of Root's hotel, has been in business about three years. The hotels along Green Lake are usually accredited to Dartford, though they are not within the village limits. "The Oakwood" was opened about twenty years ago by David Greenway, its present proprietor. The "Pleasant Point" house has been running nearly fifteen years, and is under the management of the Ross Brothers. The "Sherwood Forest" house was opened about 1873 by John C. Sherwood, and has been lately under the management of John C. Thompson. The boarding house of Jackson Walker, at Dartford, has long been liberally patronized.

In 1859 Dartford had its flouring mill; a machine shop, consisting of a lathe, planning machine, etc.; cabinet and wagon makers; a cabinet wareroom; two blacksmith shops; two boot and shoe shops; one harness and saddle shop, two tailors' shops, one tavern; four general stores; one drug and apothecary sore; one cooper shop, one lawyer and one doctor. Ten years later it possessed a flouring mill, a woolen factory which was quite prosperous and was able to supply the country for many miles around with cloth of home manufacture (which was of course preferable to cloth made far away of doubtful materials) two dry goods and general merchandise stores, a boot and shoe shop, a drug store, a planning mill, sash door and blind factory, a blacksmith shop, a cooper shop and three hotels. The following was its business directory at that time: I. Arnold, harness maker; J. H. Brooks, postmaster, conveyancer and insurance agent; David Greenway, proprietor Oakwood House; Henry Groff, nursery and lime kilns; H. Kopplin, blacksmith; Bernard Kozmhek, stone mason; E.P. Locke, drugs, stationary and hardware; J.C. Mills, proprietor Lake House; E. Morgan, physician and surgeon, S.S. Parrish, mason; Edwin Quick, proprietor woolen mills and dealer in lumber; D.M. Rounds, meat market; T.S. Sherman, general store; J.C. Sherwood, flouring mill; John Stewart, proprietor Union House; Mrs. H. Stewart, dressmaker; Thomas & Clawson, boot and shoe manufacturers and general merchants; Mrs. S. H. Walker, homeopathic physician; John Weisgerber, proprietor Dartford House; Wright & Alling, door, sash and blind manufacturers; O. Wormwood, carpenter. Rev. J. Wiltse was pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. R. H. Fairbairn of the Congregational Church.

In 1853, by a vote of the people, the county seat of Marquette County was moved to Dartford, and the county officers brought the records and established themselves there. In November of the same year the Board of Supervisors, forcibly and without authority of law, seized the records and hurried them back to Marquette. For some reason the people submitted to this high-handed affair, and the county seat remained at Marquette until 1858. At that time Green Lake County was formed by detaching the eastern part of Marquette, and the county seat of the new county was established at Berlin. In the fall of 1862, by a vote of the people, it was returned to Dartford, when it rested in peace until 1866, when, on agitating the vexed subject again, a vote was taken on removing it to Princeton, and a majority of the Board of Canvassers decide in favor of Dartford. A minority reported, however, in favor of Princeton, and their decision was supported by the opinion of the Attorney General of the State. The citizens of Princeton forcibly took the records and at a very early hour one morning, removed them to Princeton. An appeal was then made by the people of the eastern part of the county to the supreme court of the State, and on a ruling in their favor the county seat was once more removed to Dartford, where it has since remained undisturbed and unassailed, except by the indirect means mentioned elsewhere.

The courthouse was built in 1863 by the Dartford Building Association, and leased to the county in 1864. It is a sightly stone structure, ample for the requirements of the courts. The jail was added in 1870 and during the same year most of the present county offices were built.

The act of the Legislature incorporating the village of Dartford was approved March 20, 1871. The first Board of Trustees was organized thus: Edwin Quick, President; T.S. Sherman and George H. Churchill, Trustees; Albert Long, Clerk. The present Board (1890) is constituted thus J.R. Brooks, President; J. Morgan and L. Clawson, Trustees; J. Bodie, Clerk. The village is as well supplied with sidewalks and other improvements as any place of its size. The present population is about 400.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Dartford was organized by Rev. R.S. Hayward, pastor, November, 1849. There were thirteen members, and D.A. Olin was made Class-leader. For more than forty years he has labored for the spiritual welfare of the community. The church has maintained regular weekly services from the time of its organization. It also organized a Sunday school at the outset, and has since maintained it for instruction of the youth and children in those duties which have a tendency to develop Christian character, and make them men and women of the best type. The church edifice that the society now occupies was erected in the spring and summer of 1850, and was probably the first regular church building in (then) Marquette County. Mr. Anson Dart, of Washington, D.C. presented the church with a very fine-toned bell, which called the people to worship for twenty-five years until it was cracked, rendering it unfit to longer perform that duty; when a much larger and more resonant one was put in its place and has done service to the present time. In its forty years of life the church has received the instructions of the following named ministers: R.S. Hayward, S.D. Barringer, J. Pearsall, Ezra Tucker, T.T. Kitchen, William Stevens, William Sturges, I. Searles, C.G. Lathrop, William Morse, E.K. Burkee, R.M. Beach, William Teale, J. Wiltrie, T.T. Allen, D. O. Jones, T.H. Walker, R. Henry, F.F. Teetes, E.B.L. Elder, E.A. Wanless, H. Curtis, F.W. Sherwin, T.H. Dey, J.E. Henderson, W.E. Morris and A.J. Buxton.

The Congregational Church was organized as the Central Congregation of Brooklyn. The church edifice was erected in 1857, and dedicated December 23, of that year, by Rev. Mr. Richards, of Berlin. This church has had the following pastors: Revs. S. Bristol, William Catlin, M.M. Fernfeld, G.W. Weinwright, E. N. Buddoe, Robert Fairbairn, Frederick Fairfield, E. G. Baldwin, W. J. Warner, F. B. Demarest, Edward Peet, A.A. Safford, and Mr. Freeman. The church has been supplied on the Sabbath to some extent by the professors of Ripon College.

The Green Lake Spectator was published at Dartford for some years. It was established about 1860. The issue of Nov. 8, 1865, was number 7, volume 5, of the "old series", and number 5, volume 2 of the "new series." It was then issued by J.M. Phinney & Co. from and office opposite the court-house at $2 per annum. In 1889 an attempt was made by George Abbott to establish another paper at Dartford, but poor encouragement and an untimely fire nipped the enterprise in the bud. An idea, and perhaps a grotesque and exaggerated one, of the vicissitudes of journalism in Dartford may be gained from the following newspaper clippings, which are appended because they have a lively local interest, if they may not be relied upon wholly in a historical sense; …{section omitted because of non-genealogical content}.

Harry Randall Post, No. 202, Grand Army of the Republic, of Dartford, was organized by Capt. Blackman of Berlin, who also mustered it in. The date of the charter is Sept. 5, 1885. There were fourteen charter members: Daniel Reilly, Henry H. Marshall, Christian Brisval, Charles F. Taylor, David Wilson, Thomas B. Davis, Lester Clawson, Charles A. Brown, James C. Boice, Joseph Taylor, James H. Prume, Nathaniel Pierce Jr., A. Eugene Dunlap. The post at this time has a membership of twenty-four. Lester Claswson of the 12th Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery, was the first Commander. He served until Jan. 1, 1886. The second was Charles A. Brown, of the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, whose term of service expired Jan. 1, 1887. The third was Henry B. Lowe, of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry, who served two years, until Jan. 1, 1889. The fourth was Ira E. Smith, of the 3rd Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery, whose time of service expired Jan. 1, 1890. The officers elected for 1890 are: H.H. Swett, Commander; Lester Clawson, S.V.C.; Joseph Taylor, J.V.C.; H.B. Lowe, Qmr.; Charles A. Brown, O.D.; Ira E. Smith, Chap,; J.A. Forbes Adjut.; B.F. Parker, Surg.; James H. Prume, O.G. This post is named in honor of Elisha Harrison Randall, a Dartford "boy", and one of the first to enlist from this place, in Company B, 4th Wisconsin Infantry, afterward cavalry. He was killed by having his head carried completely away by a rebel shell while acting as a sharp-shooter on the gunboat Tyler, near the mouth of the Yazoo River, Mississippi, July 5, 1862. The post is in an independent condition, and is doing good work in looking after the interests of the old soldiers and their dependent ones, and in keeping alive fraternal feeling which has so strongly bound old comrades together.