Town Erin3>

Source: Washington County, Wisconsin : past and present; by Quickert, Carl, ed
Publication date : 1912
Publisher Chicago : S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. Page: 27

As the name suggests, the first settlers of this township were Irish-they were Catholics from the Emerald Isle.

Michael Lynch on November 27, 1841, was the first one to take up Government land. In the following two years the valleys fairly resounded with the efforts of the Ryans, Quinns, Daleys, Fitzgeralds, Welches, Donohues, Murphys, McCormicks, Gallaghers, McLaughlins and others of distinctly Gaelic lineage to create a home in that most hilly portion of the country.

German names amoung the first settlers are rare exceptions

By 1846 the last patch of arable land was taken. The town was well settled before the frist tree was felled in the town of Hartford. Town Erin was incorporated on Jan. 16, 1846. On April 6, 1846, the first town meeting was held in the home of Patrick Toland. At the first election of the town officers seventy-four votes were polled.

The first mass was said in the home of Barney Conwell by Rev. Kundig. The priest had come on foot-per pedes apostolorum-from Prairieville (now Waukesha).

Soon afterwards at Monches, a tiny hamlet of the town, a little log church was built, and in it gathered for years the pious settlers of the town, devoted to the Church of Rome.

In 1857 at Thompson's postoffice the second Catholic church, a frame structure, was erected.

Politcally, Town Erin was from the beginning of its existence the stronghold of the Democratic part in Washington county. Until 1859 nobody who was not a Democrat could poll a vote. Lincoln in 1860 was the first one to effect a breach in that sold phalanx. He got one vote. But the election officers thought that it certainly must have been a mistake, and - threw it out. Since then the Republican party slowly gained ground.

In the next few elections that solitary Republican vote reappeared. There is the following story to it: An Irishman after landing in New York was taken violently sick, and was taken up and nursed in the home of a compatriot. When he had recovered, he wanted to pay for the shelter and good care he had received, but his benefactor would not take any money, instead, he made hs ward promise to vote at the polls no other ticket save the Republican. This Irishman settled in the town, and he kept his promise faithfully.