Borough of Prairie du Chien Wisconsin

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The proclamation creating this town was in the following words:

“Whereas, It is provided by the ordinance of Congress, for the government of the territory northwest of the river Ohio, which ordinance by several subsequent acts of Congress, has been applied to and now constitutes the fundamental law of said Territory of Michigan, that the governor thereof shall proceed from time to time, as circumstances may require, to lay out the parts of said Territory, in which the Indian title shall have been extinguished, into counties and townships; and, whereas it is deemed primitive of the public good at this time, that the village of Prairie des Chiens, in the county of Crawford, within said Territory, should be erected into a township for the better regulation of the internal public thereof, and for other purposes:

“Now, therefore, I, the above named William Woodbridge, do, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested, constitute the whole of that tract of country comprehending the said village of Prairie des Chiens, which lies within the bounds hereinafter described, into a township to be known and called by the name of the “Borough of Prairie des Chiens,” to-wit: All that country which lies within the following boundaries: Beginning at the confluence of the river Ouisconsin with the river Mississippi, thence in a line at right angles with the course of said river at the point aforesaid to the boundaries of the said Territory; thence up the said river along said boundary line to a point opposite from the entrance into said river Mississippi of a small run or creek known by name of Fisher’s creek; thence up said creek four miles, or to its source if it should not be found four miles long; thence to the confluence of the river Kickapoo with the river Ouisconsin; thence along said river to the place of beginning.

“Given under my hand and the great seal of said Territory at Detroit this seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, and of the independence of the United States of America the forty-sixth.
William Woodbridge.”

The borough (township or town) of Prairie du Chien continued in existence until 1828, when it was superseded by the town of St. Anthony, which included, as shown in a previous chapter, the whole of Crawford county, the dimensions of which were very large. The town last mentioned continued until 1849, when the county was divided into four towns, one of which was called the town of Prairie du Chien. It included nearly the entire county as at present circumscribed. Since that date it has been shorn of territory until in 1872 it was reduced to the present limits. It is bounded on the north by the town of Eastman, on the west by the town of Wauzeka, on the south by the town of Bridgeport and the city of Prairie du Chien and on the west by the Mississippi river and comprises parts of town 7, of ranges 6 and 7 west.

The surface of the town is very rough, except the beautiful prairie land between the bluffs and the Mississippi river, which is about one and one-half miles wide. The western part of the town is cut by numerous lagoons, setting back from the main channel of the Mississippi river. The ridges originally had good timber, but has long since given way to the axe of the settler; and where once stately forest trees grew now a second growth has sprung up. The soil is a heavy clay on the ridges, while the valleys, especially that of the Mississippi, contains a mixture of sand.

History of Crawford and Richland Counties, Wisconsin: Together with Sketches of Their Towns and Villages, Educational, Civil, Military, and Political History, Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Representative Citizens ; History of Wisconsin : Embracing Accounts of the Pre-historic Races, and a Brief Account of Its Territorial and State Governments, Part 1. Crawford County (WI): Union Publishing Company, 1884.

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