First Town Officers, Borough Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin

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The following is a list of the first town officers of the town of Prairie du Chien:

Alfred Brunson, chairman; Joseph Atherton, Aaron Hazen, supervisors; Theodore Bugbee, town clerk; Isaac P. Perrit Gentil, town assessor; Alfred Brunson, town superintendent of schools; Anson B. Cay, Daniel H. Whaley, William E. Keith, constables; Wiram Knowlton, James H. Lockwood, Joseph Atherton, and Aaron Hazen, justices of the peace.

The first annual meeting was held April 3, 1872, when the following officers were elected: John Folsom, Thomas McGrath and Flavien Cherrier, supervisors; M. E. Norris, clerk; Andrew Bosch, assessor; Joseph Pinz, treasurer; M. I. Donnell, Patrick La Vell and M. Lechnier, justices of the peace.

Officers of 1883: Thomas McGrath, chairman; James Norris, Joseph Wilharber, supervisors; D. H. Quilligan, town clerk; Judson Lareviere, assessor; Theodore Bay, treasurer; Thomas J. Quilligan, John H. Folsom, justices.


At the present time (1884) the town is divided into three full and four joint school districts:

District No. 9 has an old frame building, on section 12, town 7, range 7 west. Number of pupils, forty-five.

District No. 10 has a brick house situated on section 10, town 7, range 6 west, valued at $200. Number of pupils, thirty-six.

District No. 11 is provided with a brick building on section 9, town 7, range 6 west, valued at $300. Number of pupils, thirty.

District No. 6, joint with Bridgeport and Wauzeka, has a frame house, in good condition, located on section 23, town 7, range 6 west, valued at $700. Number of pupils, eighty-three.

District No. 4, joint with Wauzeka, in which town the schoolhouse is located. Number of pupils, six.

District No. 5, joint with Bridgeport, with building in last named town. Number of pupils, twenty-five.

Sections 29 and 30, town 7, range 6 west, are attached to the city of Prairie du Chien, for school purposes.

Flouring Mill

The first flouring mill in all this section of the State of Wisconsin, aside from the hand mills and other rude contrivances used before the American settlement proper was effected, was constructed in 1810, by Francois Cheneviere. This was propelled by two horses and a sweep, and was used till 1818, when Col. John Shaw built a water power mill, on what is now known as the Dousman mill farm, which is situated on Mill Coulee creek, on section 6, town 7, range 6 west. It is stated by the old French settlers, that the owner of the “horse power mill” took one-third for grinding.

The mill on Mill Coulee is the only one in the town; it was rebuilt in 1840, by Joseph Rolette, and in 1883, by George E. Jacobia. An entire new foundation was placed underneath the building, the old time overshot wheel, so moss-covered and water-soaked, taken out and a modern Turbine wheel put in and new machinery throughout, making it a very valuable mill. But little business has ever been transacted in the town, except what was carried on in a small way at Frenchtown.

Louis Stram opened a grocery store and also handled liquors quite extensively, from 1854 to 1872. He kept a hotel there for many years, while Prairie du Chien was yet in its infancy.

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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