Chapter 6 - 1861-1906.


    At a special meeting of the board of supervisors, held in July, 1861, a committee, consisting of W. J. Bowen, A. Loveless, and W. Ketchum, was appointed to re-district the county into three precincts, the intention being to try and govern the county by three supervisors, instead of by the rather cumbrous machinery of the chairmen of the town boards, sixteen in number. This committee made its report and on its recommendation the following resolution was adopted:

    "Resolved, That Richland county be divided into three supervisor districts, as follows: Richwood, Eagle, Orion and Buena Vista, to be called district number one; Richland, Rockbridge, Henrietta, Westford, Willow and Ithaca, to be called district number two, Dayton, Bloom, Marshall, Forest, Sylvan and Akan, to be called district number three."

    W. J. Bowen was one of the prominent and representative men of Richland county. He was born in Vermillion county, Illinois, July 8, 1825, and came with his parents to Wisconsin in 1836, remaining at the parental home in Green county until 1850. In April of that year he started overland to California, and there remained until September, 1852, engaged in mining. Thence he went to Australia, where he landed in December and remained about thirteen months, thence went to Peru, South America, where he remained, unsuccessfully exploring for gold, until August, 1854, when he came to New York by the way of Panama, and thence in the fall of that year to Richland county, where he spent the remainder of his life. He purchased the property since known as Bowen's Mills, and was its proprietor for a great many years. He was enterprising, successful business man and became the owner of over five hundred acres of land in one body, upon which he made good improvements. A number years before his death he removed to Richland Center and lived in retirement.

    The second crime which reached the magnitude of murder, in Richland county, was committed on the morning of December 4, 1862. Benjamin Sutton, an elderly man, who had but recently returned from the seat of war, in which he had served as a member of the Eleventh Regiment of Wisconsin volunteer infantry, was shot by an assassin with a rifle. The victim was engaged in keeping a small grocery or saloon at Port Andrew, in Richwood township, and while engaged in sweeping off the sidewalk in front of his place of business, about eight o'clock in the morning, was shot down by Milton Hubanks. The crime was the outcome of a bitter quarrel between the two men, and Sutton it seems had made many threats to shoot Hubanks on sight. Hubanks was arrested and brought before a jury. Being adjudged guilty he was sentenced for a term of four years to the penitentiary, and after serving two years was pardoned.

    Another sad affair occurred in the same neighborhood at about the same time-the killing of Edward Livingston. He was a remarkably bright young man, and when sober was a gentleman of polished manners. One evening, while half drunk, he went to the house of an old man named Crozier. A violent quarrel and struggle ensued between Livingston and Mr. Crozier, during the encounter they fell to the floor, when Mr. Crozier, who had succeeded in getting a knife, stabbed the intruder fatally. The coroner's jury, at the inquest which was held over the dead body, exonerated Mr. Crozier from any blame and the case went no further. It is said that Livingston, in a statement made before he died, laid the blame for his sad ending to strong drink and asked others to take warning from his fate.

    One of the most atrocious crimes, one that has seldom been paralleled anywhere, was committed within the limits of Richland county, in 1868. The dark deed was committed by John Nevel, the son of a quiet and respectable farmer, who resided in the town of Dayton, about six miles west of the village of Richland Center. Mrs. Wallace, the victim, was only about twenty years of age, and had been married only six months. She had been trying to earn a little money by picking hops during the three our four weeks prior to the evening preceding the awful day, and had a small sum of money about her, to obtain which was the motive for the awful crime. On the evening of September 23, Nevel called at the home of Mrs. Wallace, during the absence of her husband, and asked to have a five dollar bill changed. This, Mrs. Wallace proceeded to do, and in making the change for him brought her pocket-book to the door, and he saw that she had a sum of money in it. He watched where she put the purse and after she had seated herself with her back toward him he deliberately took deadly aim at the unsuspecting woman and fired a pistol, the ball entering at the back of her head. She started for the home of her father-in-law, about eighty rods distant, and Nevel, fearing that she might live, seized an ax and followed her. She fell before going very far, and the murderer coming up with her, struck her several times with the ax about her head and body, until she was dead. He then returned to the house, secured the money and clothing, and started for the Mississippi river, with the intention of going into Iowa. Two days later Nevel was captured at Ferryville, and was brought to the county seat on Saturday, September 26. The examination of the prisoner was continued over until Monday and he was lodged in the county jail. Soon thereafter the funeral cortege of the unfortunate woman passed through the streets, and the train of buggies, wagons and pedestrians is said to have made the largest procession of the kind ever witnessed in Richland Center. From the grave to the courthouse square, about four o'clock, with hurried and determined step, a band of men marched from the neighborhood where the crime was committed, with blood aroused to a fearful fever by the terrible butchery. A consultation in the square, which lasted but a few minutes, resulted in a united and fierce rush for the door of the jail. The proper officers met the men at the door, warned them of their peril and did all that men could do to stem the furious tide that ebbed and surged around them, but in vein. The door was soon broken down, the prisoner seized, and in less time than it takes to write it he was taken to a tree near by, his body swung in the air and all was over. The crowd then slowly dispersed. The ringleaders of this violation of the law were afterwards indicted by the grand jury, but the sentiments of a large portion of the community being with them, the cases were never prosecuted and the matter was allowed to drop where it was.

    During the early part of July, 1882, the atrocious murder of an old lady occurred in the town of Akan. Mrs. Sabina Driscoll, known more commonly by her first husband's name, Coleman, and who had come from Pennsylvania, had been living with her son, Martin Coleman, on a farm known as the McDermott place. During the day of July 19, the old lady was missed from her accustomed haunts and a few days later her body was found after a prolonged search at the head of a ravine, the body being covered with rocks and rotten logs so that it was nearly hidden from sight. The head was bruised and cut as if by some sharp instrument, and the clothing was torn and a number of wounds found on one arm. Suspicion pointed in the direction of her son as the murderer, and the latter left for other climes. He was pursued, and being found in the employ of a railroad company in Minnesota, he was arrested and brought back to meet his accusers. The evidence was purely circumstantial and not very strong, which fact caused the district attorney to enter a nolle pros in the case and the son was discharged. He then left the country, and disappeared from the knowledge of the people of Richland county.

    The next terrible tragedy occurred at Sextonville on October 5, 1882, the particulars of which are substantially as follows: Ephraim Dockerty, the victim, several years before had married a widow who owned a farm near Sextonville, and who had a family of two sons, Arthur and Samuel Van Dusen, and on daughter, by a former marriage. The family lived unhappily for years, and strife and contention were rife and continuous between Dockerty and the boys. Finally matters in the domestic circle became so unpleasant that some kind of a division of property was made and Dockerty took his departure for Dakota, in April, 1992. About the latter part of September he returned to Sextonville, talked hard and made threats against the boys and family. He disturbed them greatly by unwelcome visits for several days, which resulted finally on October 5, in a serious altercation, during which Arthur Van Dusen shot and killed the troublesome Dockerty. The young man immediately went to Richland Center and delivered himself a prisoner into the hands of the officers of the law. The day following, an inquest was held, with a jury composed of prominent citizens, at which the full facts in regard to the killing were brought out, and on reviewing them and investigating the matter thoroughly, the jury agreed on a verdict of justifiable homicide. The verdict seems to have met with universal satisfaction and approval.

    A murder that sent a thrill of horror throughout the county was committed by Benjamin F. Barnes, at Boaz, on February 21, 1884. Mr. Barnes was one of the most prominent and highly respected citizens of the county, on who had always stood high in the community and bore an irreproachable character, yet, without a moment's warning he committed a most terrible crime by murdering his wife, cutting her throat with a pocket knife, and then attempted to take his own life in the same manner. The most generally accepted opinion was that the murder and attempted suicide was committed while Barnes was under a fit of mental aberration, and in fact that was the verdict of the coroner's jury, although Mr. Barnes had never previously manifested any symptoms of insanity that were apparent to any of his neighbors or friends. He was arrested fro the crime and in June following plead guilty to the charge of murder in the first degree and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Waupun. He is still in prison and, owing to good behavior, is given many liberties not enjoyed by the average prisoner, the authorities permitting him to go at will outside of the prison walls, without fear of his attempting to escape.

    The first taking of a human life by another in Richland Center, was that of Oscar Hallin by John Bird. The tragedy occurred in Brandt's saloon, adjoining the Republican Observer, on the evening of February 6, 1889. The two men had an altercation in the early part of the evening, after which Bird went to a hardware store a block away, and procured a revolver, then returned to the saloon and opened fire with fatal effect, Hallin being hit three times, in the left side, in the right breast and in the right shoulder. He died a few hours later. Bird was arrested, and upon a change of venue was tried at Prairie du Chien in May, being convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to state prison fro life. After serving a year and a half he was granted a new trial, which took place at Prairie du Chien, in November, 1890, and resulted in a verdict of manslaughter in the third degree. He was given a sentence of four years in state prison-the maximum limit-which he served, less time for good behavior. He was released in the early part of 1894 and returned to his home in this city, where he still resides.

    A distressing shooting occurred in the town of Akan, on March 5, 1894, the victim being Anthony Tracy, aged seventy-four years, and the crime was committed by his son Daniel. The shooting was done with a rifle in the house where the father and son resided alone, and the bullet entered the left breast, going entirely through the body. The son was arrested and in the following September was placed upon trail, but the jury decided that he was insane, and he was committed to the Mendota asylum at Madison, where he is still confined.

    Another tragedy which goes to make up the history of this county's crime was enacted on Bear creek in the town of Ithaca on the night of May 5, 1894, when Stephen Schmitz was shot and killed by Fred Hodges, a constable of that town. Having a warrant for the arrest of John Sullivan, Charles and Fred Hodges went to the residence of the former to make the arrest. Arriving there they found a number of men present, and when they attempted to read the warrant a row ensued, during which Stephen Schmitz was shot and killed. The Hodges brothers gave themselves up to the officers of the law, were released on bail, and at their trial were acquitted by a jury.

    Another tragedy in the long list of dark deeds in this county occurred on September 4, 1897, in the town of Willow, and resulted in the fatal shooting of Dexter Thompson by Jerome Fry. The killing was done with at shot gun and was the outcome of a quarrel between Lewis and Dexter Thompson and Fry, which occurred at a sale on the farm of E. J. Stevenson, on Buck Creek, on the afternoon of the fatal day. The Thompson brothers followed Fry to his home, where the shooting occurred. The killing was generally conceded to have been done in self defense and Fry was not prosecuted.

    William Stout, a resident of the town of Bloom, met a tragic death at the saloon of Frank Kolash, in Yuba, on the evening of January 13, 1901, being shot by Kolash and dying before leaving the place. Kolash gave himself up to the authorities, was indicted on the charge of manslaughter, and at a trial held in September, 1901, was convicted. He was sentenced to a term of four years in the penitentiary, but after serving only a portion of the term he was pardoned by Governor La Follette, and is now living on a farm in Vernon county.

    Another horrible crime was committed within the limits of Richland county on April 26, 1904, when Henry Morrison killed his wife and daughter at the family residence in the village of Woodstock. Morrison returned to his home after an absence of some time in the east, and after having a few words with his wife drew his revolver and shot her, killing her instantly. He then followed his daughter, who had run from the house, and fired, inflicted injuries from which the woman died soon afterward. He then reloaded the weapon and deliberately walked to the house of a neighbor, M. A. Klingaman, where he attempted to shoot Mrs. Klingaman, but was prevented by her husband, who knocked him down and disarmed him. Morrison was arrested, and during his confinement in the county jail made several attempts to end his life, but was unsuccessful. He was tried at the September term of court, was found guilty of murder in the first degree, and was sentenced to the Wisconsin state prison at Waupun for life. There he remained until July 26, 1905, when he succeeded in committing suicide by hanging himself with a towel.

    The murder of Ella Maly attracted more attention than any other high crime ever committed in Richland county, and the case became noted throughout and beyond the state. On the evening of January 8, 1891, Miss Maly spent the evening with a party of young lady friends at the residence of Dr. Mitchell in Richland Center. While on her way home in company with her sister she succumbed to illness, was carried to the house, where spasm after spasm followed in rapid succession until death relieved her sufferings early on the succeeding morning. The cause of death baffled the attending physicians, but the symptoms so closely resembled those of cases of poison by strychnine that the coroner ordered an autopsy, which resulted in a verdict that the death of the unfortunate girl had been caused by strychnine administered with murderous intent by or at the hand of some person unknown to the jury. Suspicion pointed towards Rose Zoldoske, who was on of the young ladies at the party, as being one who administered the poison. She was arrested on a charge of murder, and was tried at Lancaster in June, 1891. After a fair and impartial trial, in which she was defended by able counsel, she was found guilty of murder in the first degree and a life sentence was pronounced upon her by the trial judge. After serving a few years in prison he was pardoned in January, 1897, the signing of her pardon being the last official act of Governor Upham before retiring from office. Soon after her release Miss Zoldoske went to her aged father in Oklahoma.

    The Zouave was the title of a paper established at Richland Center about 1863, by E. M. Gregory & Co. It was a six-column folio, devoted to the interest of soldiers and literary matter, more than to local and general news. The editor was Mrs. Bloomer, whose literary nom de plume was "Lisle Lester". The publication of the paper was continued only for a few months. Mrs. Bloomer then left the county and finally drifted out to California, where she married a prominent lawyer in San Francisco. She was an active, intelligent business woman, and a pungent writer. Mr. Gregory left Richland county at the same time and went to the northern part of the state.

    In the year 1864 J. H. Waggoner became editor and proprietor of the Richland County Observer, and during that year and a portion of the 1865 he was alone in its publication, after which, for a time, he was associated with his brother, William J. Waggoner. He then again conducted the paper alone until in July, 1866, when he sold the office and good will to the firm of Walworth, Fogo & Hoskins --- en personnel, J. Walworth, W. M. Fogo and J. M. Hoskins. This firm at once took charge of the paper and got out the issue dated July 5, 1866, enlarging it to an eight-column folio, and otherwise much improving it. On July 26, 1866, J. M. Hoskins retired from the partnership and the firm became Walworth & Fogo. Mr. Hoskins was a bright and talented young man. He afterwards removed to Iowa, engaged in the banking business, and at one time held the position of postmaster at Sioux Rapids. Messrs. Walworth & Fogo continued the publication of the Observer until August 1, 1867, and during this time journalistic heat in Richland county reached its maximum. An opposition paper, called The Live Republican sprang into existence in 1866, as a result of disaffection and dissension in local politics. Ira S. Haseltine and James H. Waggoner were the founders. It was a seven-column folio, and the first issue made its appearance in December. From the inception of The Live Republican until it dropped out of existence there was the most bitter feeling and enmity between it and the Observer. The Live Republican continued in existence until August 1, 1867, when it was sold to C. H. Smith and G. L. Laws, who also purchased the Observer at the same time, and these two papers were consolidated under the name Richland County Republican. Smith & Laws continued the publication of the "consolidated papers" for some time, and were finally succeeded by James H. Waggoner and George D. Stevens, under the firm name of Waggoner & Stevens. This firm remained editors and proprietors until 1870, when Mr. Stevens retired, leaving Mr. Waggoner as sole editor and proprietor. The latter continued the publication of the Republican until December, 1873, when W. M. Fogo purchased a half interest in the paper and the firm became Waggoner & Fogo. In September, 1874, G. L. Laws purchased Mr. Waggoner's interest, and the firm became Fogo & Laws. This firm conducted the paper until April 1, 1876, when O. G. Munson purchased Mr. Laws' interest in the same and the partnership of Fogo & Munson was formed. The same year J. H. Waggoner established the second Observer, the first issue of the paper making its appearance on December 21, as a six-column quarto. It was very neatly gotten up and well edited, Mr. Waggoner being once of the finest writers the county has had. He remained connected with the Observer as long as it was continued, being associated at different times with C. E. and C. J. Glasier, as publishers, and with N. B. Burch upon the editorial staff. In January, 1881, Fogo & Munson, the proprietors of the Richland County Republican, purchased the material and good will of the Observer and consolidated it with their paper, changing the name to the Republican and Observer, under which title the paper is still published. W. M. Fogo became the sole proprietor in the year 1885, Mr. Munson going to Viroqua, where he purchased the Vernon County Censor, of which he is still owner and editor. Since the death of Mr. Fogo, in July, 1903, the Republican and Observer has been published under the management of his heirs, and we may properly add, with marked ability and success.

    Oliver G. Munson, who was for years prominently identified with the Republican and Observer, was born in Howard county, Iowa, March 2, 1856. He was educated in the common schools, and in 1871 commenced newspaper work in the Plain Dealer office at Cresco, Iowa, and was subsequently in the Times office at the same place. In 1876 he came to Richland Center, and was connected with the Republican and Observer until 1885. He is the present state senator for the district composed of Richland and Vernon counties, and is also private secretary to Gov. James O. Davidson.

    Shortly after selling his interest in the Richland County Observer, and the discontinuance of that paper, John Walworth went to Fond du Lac and purchased material with which he founded the Sentinel at Richland Center in the fall of 1867. The paper was an eight-column folio and was well gotten up. Mr. Walworth continued its publication for three years, building up a lucrative business, and then rented the office to E. Pickard, who managed it for some time until its publication was discontinued.

    The Independent, a newspaper in opposition to the Grant administration, was started by John Walworth in the spring of 1872, using the press and material formerly in the Sentinel office. The first issue was dated March 15, and it was a seven-column folio with patent insides. John Walworth was editor and M. F. Satterlee and Frank Johnson, publishers, Mr. Johnson being local editor. Mr. Walworth continued the publication of the paper for several years, the Sentinel becoming an influential and prominent organ. He finally gave Chas. B. Walworth a one-half interest in the office, and the material and fixtures were moved to Boscobel and used in the establishment of the Dial at that place.

    A paper styled The Pilot was established at Lone Rock in the year 1875 by M. F. Satterlee, being printed in the office of the Richland County Republican and circulated at Lone Rock. Its publication was continued about one year.

    "Satt's Pine River Pilot" was the odd title of a newspaper established at Richland Center in the fall of 1880, by M. F. Satterlee. It was a small paper, but sharp, and rather aggressive in its policy. Its publication was continued until the sprint of 1881, when it ceased to exist. Mr. Satterlee had been reared in the county, his father having lived there for many years. After the Pilot ceased publication the young man left the county, and going to Neillsville, Clark county, began the publication of a paper under the still odder name of The Owl.

    The Richland Democrat was established at Richland Center by Otis H. Brand in 1880, the first issue making its appearance on August 13. It was an eight-column folio and was neatly printed and well edited. Mr. Brand continued the publication of the paper until the succeeding winter of 1880-1, when he was closed out by the sheriff, as the result of a mortgage which he had given upon his office. After being closed out he moved to Janesville and accepted a responsible position upon the staff of the Daily Recorder. The material and fixtures of the Democrat office were bid in by Jerry A. Smith, and a paper was started by that gentleman, which finally became the Richland Rustic. Mr. Smith got out his first issue, February 5, 1881, retaining the name of Richland Democrat. The name was afterward changed to The Democrat and Farmer, and finally in June, 1881, to the Richland Rustic, which name it still retains. In 1895 D. H. Richards purchased the Rustic and continued its publication until November 5, 1898, when he sold the paper and plant to George S. Moody and Harry T. Bailey. On July 23, 1900, L. D. Bailey purchased the interest of Mr. Moody in the establishment, and the paper was conducted by Bailey & Bailey until June 23, 1906, when L. D. Bailey became the sole proprietor.

    Jerry A. Smith the founder of the Rustic, was born at Janesville Wis., in 1858, and his home remained in that place, save several years spent in travel, until 1880, when he came to Richland Center. After disposing of his newspaper interests he removed to Chicago, where he has since been engaged in the hotel business. D. H. Richards, who succeeded Mr. Smith as editor of the Rustic, removed to Ladysmith, Rusk county, where he is now the publisher of the Rusk County Journal.

    The Richland Union Democrat was established at Richland Center in January, 1884, by Flickner & Cook, the first issue making its appearance on January 4, as a six-column quarto, and it was neatly printed and well filled with local and general news. The name of Levi H. Cook appeared as editor and P. Flickner as publisher. After a comparatively brief existence the publication of the paper was suspended, and the publishers both removed from the county.

    The first and only paper ever instituted in Viola, the Viola Intelligencer, was established in the fall of 1890 by Cliff M. Wells. About eight months after it was instituted Mr. Wells died of consumption, leaving the management and responsibility of the paper to his wife. With the assistance of J. H. Frazier the welfare and prosperity of the Intelligencer was sustained. Mrs. Wells afterward married Mr. Frazier and together they have successfully continued the publication.

    No effort was made to establish a Democratic paper in Richland county after those recounted on previous pages, until in the month of September, 1892, when William G. Barry launched the Richland Democrat. Mr. Barry still continues its publication. The Democrat is a seven-column quarto, in clean dress, and makes an attractive appearance, its local department being, perhaps, as full and complete as any of the other papers of the county. For the past forty years Richland county has been very creditably represented by newspapers, reflecting, of course, differing political views, but at the same time registering the story of the county's progress and prosperity. We are largely indebted to the files of these weekly publications for a great deal of the history contained in this chapter.

    The Wisconsin Poultry Fancier was instituted at Richland Center by Smith & Bailey in 1894, and, after running six months, was consolidated with the Western Garden and Poultry Journal at Des Moines, Iowa.

    The Lone Rock Hustler was the name of a paper published by E. S. Richards, who established it at Lone Rock in 1895. It was a six-column folio, independent in politics, but it was soon discontinued.

    The Students' File was a purely educational magazine, published monthly by the Richards & Bailey Publishing company, and edited by Harry Bailey of that firm. Its first publication was issued on February 15, 1897, and it continued in a thriving condition until Mr. Bailey became one of the proprietors of the Richland Rustic, when he discontinued its publication.

    The Lancet, a paper in two-column quarto form, was established at Richland Center by W. J. Robinson in April, 1897. It was discontinued after the third issue.

    The subject that so long agitated the county politics came to the front at the session of the board of supervisors, held in July, 1861, the building of a new jail. A committee having been appointed to look into the matter, reported favorably upon the undertaking, and recommended that the sum of $400 be raised for that purpose, but the matter was indefinitely laid upon the table.

    At a special meeting of the board, held July 12, 1867, and called for the especial purpose of taking into consideration the erection of a jail, competent to hold the prisoners committed to it in safe keeping the following resolutions were adopted:

    "Whereas, The jail of the county is unfit, and not sufficient for the safe keeping of persons placed therein, therefore,

    "Resolved, That the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500) be raised by tax, and appropriated for the erection of a new jail, plans and specifications to be hereinafter agreed upon by this board.

    "Resolved, That J. G. S. Hayward visit Prairie du Chien and Viroqua, to get plans and estimates of cost of jails at those places."

    In accordance with the above resolution, at an adjourned meeting of the board, held August 26, 1867, for the purpose of deciding upon the plan, etc., Thomas Cholerton. B. C. Hallin and J. G. S. Hayward were appointed a committee to draft the plan and make the specifications for the edifice, and the clerk of the board was instructed to advertise in the newspapers of the county, for bids for furnishing material, delivering the same, and doing all the work necessary to complete the structure. These requirements having been complied with and the bids having been received, the committee deemed none of them satisfactory and determined upon building the jail themselves, which they at once commenced, and it was completed in a reasonable length of time.

    Capt. J. G. S. Hayward, who was prominently identified with the construction of the jail, was a well-known and influential citizen of Richland county. He was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, September 11, 1819, immigrated to Wisconsin in 1854, and settled in the town of Richwood, now Orion. He soon afterward removed to and settled in the town of Eagle, where he lived until the time of his death, May 3, 1878. He was one of the most useful and highly esteemed citizens, ever ready to help all the interests, either public or private, that demanded his attention.

    B. C. Hallin, another of the committee, which erected the jail referred to, was born July 15, 1826, in the county of Kerry, Ireland. He was educated at Killarney, and at the age of seventeen immigrated to the United States, and first followed his trade, that of stone cutter, in the city of New York for about five years. He subsequently went to Carrollton, Ind., where he assisted in building some large factories. He made his first visit to Richland county in the summer of 1852, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres, located on sections 17 and 18, in what is now the town of Akan. He built a log cabin and then returned to Millville, Jo Daviess county, Ill., and there followed his trade until 1854. He then removed with his wife to this county and thus became the first permanent settler of the town of Akan. In 1864 he enlisted in Company A, Thirty-sixth Regiment of Wisconsin volunteer infantry, was wounded at the battle of Petersburg, June 18, 1864, and in consequence had to suffer the amputation of his left arm at the shoulder. While still in the hospital he was nominated by the Democratic party for the office of register of deeds, but with the remainder of the ticket, was defeated. Returning home he was, however, elected to several town offices at one time, and thus did about all the public business of his town. In 1865 he sold his property and purchased 160 acres of land on section 18 in the town of Richland, where he erected a neat stone residence and made good improvements. But he spent most of his time in working at his trade, and in 1880 established a marble business at Richland Center, which he continued to conduct until his death.

    The old stone jail, mention of which has been made on preceding pages, was used as the place of confinement for offenders until the building of the present jail and sheriff's residence in the year of 1904. The building was accepted by the county on January 13, 1905, when immediate possession was taken. The structure is of Menominee brick, and there are two full stories above a high basement. It is of modern architectural design, and besides roomy apartments for the sheriff and family, provides room for fourteen prisoners. The building complete cost $20,000, and it is in all respects a model county jail, both in point of security and arrangement.

    The political campaign of 1872, Grant and Greeley being the contestants aroused much political enthusiasm, features of which were the tannery habiliments worn by the followers of one candidate, and the conspicuous white hats representing loyalty to the other.

    The Presidential campaign of 1884 is memorable, as having been more exciting in Richland county than any preceding one. Cleveland and Blain had the magnetism to solidify the ranks of their respective followers, and party lines were closely drawn. They young men of both parties organized marching clubs, and wore uniforms, or hats, designating their party affiliations. The "Cleveland and Hendricks Clubs" were the organizations of the Democrats, maintained in the several towns of the county, and composed of scores of stanch adherents to the principles advocated by "the man from Buffalo." The different clubs united at various meetings during the campaign and kept the Cleveland enthusiasm at white heat. The Republican clubs were equally zealous and active, and although they were denied the privilege of seeing their chieftain elected to the high office which he sought, they gleaned satisfaction from a consciousness of unswerving loyalty to the man and his cause.

    Absorbing interest was manifested in the national campaign of 1900, as it had been on a similar occurrence, in 1896. In Richland county the two campaigns were fought with remarkable vigor by the adherents to each party creed.

    In 1874, Charles W. Towsley, a telegraph operator at Lone Rock, conceived the idea of constructing a telegraph line from that place to Richland Center. He accordingly made a proposition to the people of the latter place, that if they would patronize him and pay for a certain amount of telegraphing in advance, he would construct and manage the operation of the line. Tickets, which were called "franks," were issued, and were handled the same as stock of a joint stock company, only differing in this, "that the holder of a frank was entitled to telegraph out the amount shown on the face of a frank, and was not entitled to dividends." The people of Richland Center took hold of the matter with a vim, and many of the enterprising citizens took $5, $10, and some as high as $150 worth of the franks. At least $700 was raised in this way at Richland Center. The line was ready for operation in September, 1874, and Mr. Towsley placed operators at Richland Center and Sextonville. The enterprise met with marked success and gave the best of satisfaction to its patrons. When the narrow gauge railroad was built, a few years later, this line of telegraph was used for railroad business, notwithstanding the fact that the wires followed the wagon track and shot across fields and creeks, the nearest way possible to Lone Rock, regardless of the course taken by the railroad. When the narrow gauge railroad was sold to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul company, in 1880, it ended the existence of the "Pony Telegraph" as a Richland county enterprise.

    The census report showed that, in 1870, the population in Richland county was 15,731. The increase during the previous decade had been 5,999. And the assessed value of all property in the county, in 1871, was given as $2,544,824.12.

    The results of the census of 1880 showed a total population for Richland county of 18,174, a gain over 1870 of 2,443.

    The United States census of 1890 showed a population in the county of 19,121 a gain in the preceding decade of 947.

    The United States census of 1900 showed the population of the county to be 19,483. Bt towns the population was as follows: Akran, 916; Bloom, 1261; Buena Vista, 1,616; Dayton, 1,006; Eagle, 1,003; Forest, 1,070; Henrietta, 1,140; Ithaca, 916; Marshal, 912; Orion, 962; Richland, 3,215; Richwood, 1,299; Rockbridge, 991; Sylvan, 926; Westford, 1,163; Willow, 1,087. These figures include the following villages in various townships: Lone Rock, 512; Richland Center, 2,321; Viola, 237.

    The assessment rolls for 1875 show that there were then in the county, assessable, 365,898 acres of land, at an assessed value of $1,824,471; town property valued at $187,799. There were also of live stock, owned by the people of the community, 5,308 horses, 15,612 head of horned cattle, 225 mules and donkeys, 22,625 sheep and 13,681 swine. The personal property assessable was valued at $711,223.

    As early as April 28, 1857, there was a movement made looking toward the bringing of a railroad from Lone Rock to Richland Center, but the plan seems to have been abandoned on account of the financial embarrassments of the whole country, during the panic of that year. At various times afterwards some talk was indulged n on the subject, but nothing more was done in that premises until in 1870, when a charter was granted by the legislature to incorporate a company for the building of a railroad-narrow gauge, wooden or iron rails-with the name of "Pine River & Stevens Point Railroad." James H. Miner introduced the bill for the granting of the charter in the house, and George Krouskop presented it in the senate. In pursuance with this charter, the first meeting was held August 20, 1872, and the following directors were elected: George Krouskop, Joseph L. DeHart, John Walworth, Norman L. James, D. E. Pease, D. L. Downs, D. O. Chandler, A. C. Eastland, J. M. Adams, Charles G. Thomas and David Hardenburg. The officers elected were: George Krouskop, president; D. L. Downs, treasurer, and A. C. Eastland, secretary. During the summer of 1875 the plan had so far undergone alteration as to develop into an arrangement to build a narrow gauge railroad by individual subscription, and to be supplemented by the subscriptions of the towns traversed by the line of the road and which would be most benefited thereby. Stock subscription books were accordingly opened and stock subscribed by most of the residents of the village of Richland Center and town of Richland. The town, by vote, took stock to the amount of $19,000 and about $5,000 in stock was subscribed by parties outside of the town. The contract for grading the roadbed and surfacing the same, and laying maple rails, was let at some $400 per mile, the work to be finished and the road to be in running order by June 25, 1876. The road was to be narrow gauge, thirty-six inches between the track, laid with maple rails, three and one-half by five inches in diameter. All the road was laid with maple rails except three miles of switches and sidetracks, which were laid with iron rails. In December, 1875, the engine was purchased, and also some flat cars for construction purposes. The locomotive was hauled across the country from Lone Rock to Richland Center upon logging trucks, and was used for construction purposes from Richland Center south. The road was soon carried to completion and was ready for business on July 1, 1876, when the first passenger train ran through from Richland Center to Lone Rock. It had then cost about $66,508.10. The road continued in operation under the home company,-increasing its business and finally arriving at what might be called a paying basis, -- until May 26, 1880, when it was sold to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company. At the time of the sale the narrow gauge road was in excellent working condition, the entire length having been laid with iron track, except about three miles. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Company at once proceeded to make the road entirely of iron rail, and the following year altered the track to the standard width of all its roads, and it has since been a fully recognized branch of that monster corporation.

    The first mention of the purpose of purchasing a county poor farm was brought up at a meeting of the county board, held November 20, 1865.

    The poor farm subject again came to the foreground during the session of the board of supervisors, held in November, 1874, but there was a division of opinion upon the subject, and the more advanced thinkers had to give the matter up for the time being, finding themselves in the minority.

    In 1878 the need of a building for the poor gained official action. The increase in population in this locality, the same as in nearly every other country in the state, the incoming of new families, the infirmities of age and the unfortunate condition of some persons who had become a charge upon the public, led to the establishment of an institution within the county, to be maintained at public expense, called the "Alms House," by which it is commonly known throughout most localities, as a home for aged, decrepit and indigent persons. The first superintendents of the poor were appointed by the board of supervisors on November 19, 1877, and were: A. M. Grumbecker, T. C. Clark and L. M. Thorp. A tract of land, some two hundred acres in extent, was purchased in sections 35 and 26, in the town of Bloom, and the work of erecting the necessary buildings for the intended use was commenced in the spring of the following year. Thus a sufficient county farm was established, and the buildings were ready for occupancy within a few months. These buildings sufficed for the county's needs for about seventeen years, but, in 1895, new ones were erected upon a tract of land which had been purchased by the county about two and one-half miles south of Richland Center, on sections 34 and 35, town of Richland, the new quarters being occupied by the county's wards in September, 1895. The buildings are elaborate and expensive, and with the grounds surrounding them over several acres of land. The main building is indeed a handsome structure, of red brick and cut stone, two and one-half stories about the basement, covering a ground area of thirty-eight by one hundred feet, and is designed to answer the needs of the county for many years to come. It is situated upon a natural rise of ground some one hundred and fifty rods from the road and commands a fine view of a beautiful valley. The rooms are well lighted and ventilated and constructed with a special view to secure the best sanitary conditions, and the basement is conveniently arranged for heating, with the least possible danger of fire. The farm contains nearly five hundred acres, and produces surplus products not consumed in the institution, to the value of about sixteen hundred dollars annually. The asylum trustees have supreme control, and employ, subordinate to their directions, a superintendent and matron, who attend to the details of the institution. Inmates who are able to work are employed on the farm, or in caring for stock and "choring" on the premises. Good, wholesome and substantial food is provided in abundance, as is also comfortable and seasonable clothing, and occasional religious services supply the spiritual needs. At the time of the annual report, June 30, 1905, there were twenty-three inmates in the alms department of the institution.

    In accordance with a resolution adopted at the regular session of the county board, in November, 1895, permission was secured from the state board of control to erect, during the year of 1896, a county insane asylum upon the poor farm. The construction of the building was begun during the month of April of the above year, and it was completed and accepted by the state board of control in January, 1897. It occupies a position on a natural rise of ground near the northeast corner of the county farm, fronting east, and commands a fine view of the valley for miles around. It is of red brick with stone trimmings, two and three stories above the basement, surrounded in part by wide verandas, roofed with slate, substantial, and up-to-date in all its appointments, and it is a building of which the county may well feel proud. As a whole it is a building of much architectural beauty, substantial in constructions, conveniently arranged and furnished, and complete in every way appertaining to the comfort and economy. At the time of the last report of the asylum trustees, June 30, 1905, there were one hundred and twenty-three patients in the asylum, thirty-nine of whom were from Richland county and the others from different portions of the state.

    The telephone made its appearance in Richland county at about this time. It was looked upon with the same curiosity which is meeting the introduction of electric railways, in more recent years. A telephone exchange was soon established at Richland Center, by which time the new invention had been greatly improved and popularized.

    At the November session of the board of supervisors, in 1888, a movement was started, looking toward the erection of a new court house. After the usual preliminaries a sale of the contract for building was advertised and held, and the contract was awarded to Thomas Russell, of Minneapolis, Minn., his bid being $28,460. The contract for the construction was made on April 25, 1889, and the building was first used for county purposes in the early part of the year 1890. The structure is of brick, two stories high, with a tower and belfry on the front, which faces on Center street. It is a very substantial building, the interior being admirably arranged for the accommodation of the county officials and others having business therein. The total cost of the building, including extra work, amounted to less than $30,000.

    The "grippe" became epidemic in Richland county in 1890, when there were hundreds of cases, many of which were fatal.

    A serious epizootic disease crippled all industries requiring the use of horses during the latter part of 1872, and left horse-owners with diseased and imperfect animals for a number of years afterward. The plague was universal throughout the country.

    The Grange movement took shape in this county in the early seventies, and organizations came into existence in various places in the county. All of them have since been discontinued.

    On April 6, 1879, James Dowling, and old and highly respected citizen of the town of Westford, was killed by an accident. His son was cutting down a tree, Mr. Dowling being near by, and when the tree fell, a limb struck the old gentleman on the back of the head, killing him instantly.

    The first post of the Grand Army of the Republic in the county was organized at Richland Center, during the year 1882. It still remains in existence and is in a very prosperous condition.

    Alden Haseltine, an old citizen of Richland county, died at his residence in the town of Rockbridge, February 19, 1883. He was born in the state of Vermont, in 1808, and came to this county at a very early day, locating in what is now the town of Rockbridge. He was always enterprising and active in all the interests and improvements of his own town and the county generally, and held various positions of public trust and responsibility.

    The news of the shooting of President Garfield on July 2, 1881, created tremendous excitement. After his long period of suffering, and final death, the citizens of Richland Center showed their grief and sympathy by holding a meeting of all creeds, where the pastors of the various churches and others conducted a fitting memorial service in the presence of a vast throng of sorrowing people. All public offices and business houses were closed during a portion of the day.

    The death of John Coumbe, the first settler of Richland county, occurred at his home in Port Andrew, on May 2, 1882.

    The twentieth century has started with fine prospects for Richland county in a material sense, and with her fertile fields, thriving towns and excellent people, Richland takes a high rank among her sister counties of the Badger State.

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