Town Kewaskum

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

The territory comprised in this town originally belonged to the town of West Bend, as was set forth in an act of the Legislature of January, 1846. In 1847 it was separated and received he name of North Bend, the Milwaukee river which is flowing with many windings through the town being the sponsor.

In 1849 its name was changed to Kewaskum, in honor of an Indian chief who lived there and was highly esteemed.

In 1844 William P. Barnes and his wife settled in the town, and the couple are considered the first settlers.

The first town meeting in the town of North Bend was held on April 6, 1847, in the home of the first settlers mentioned. Twenty-six voters congregated. The minutes of the meeting are still extant. They read as follows :

    At the annual town meeting, held at the house of William P. Barnes, in the town of North Bend, Washington county., T. W., April 6, 1847, the friends who were there organized by calling Harry N. Strong to the chair, and appointing Joshua Bradley, clerk. The meeting being called to order, the following motions were made and carried in the affirmative:

    "First. - That the next annual town meeting is to be held at the house of Ferdinand Dagling, on Section Number 21."

    "Second. - That town officers receive for their services $1 per day where the price is not fixed by law."

    "Third. - That the town raise one-eighth of one per cent for the benefit of schools in the town."

    "Fourth. - That we, or the town raise one-eighth of one per cent, to be applied to roads in the town."

    "Fifth. - That Samuel Ladd serve as Overseer of Highways in the town of North Bend till others are appointed."

    "Sixth. - That we raise $75 to pay officers and to bear the necessary expenses of the town."

    "Seventh. - That the Supervisors accept no account unless it is itemized, dated and sworn to."

    "April 9, 1847.
    John S. Van Eps, Town Clerk."

    In the same house in the same year two elections were held: September 6 for territorial and county officers, and November 29 for delegates to the constitutional convention at Madison in which the fundamentals of the state-to-be Wisconsin were laid down.

    The first election in the newly baptized town of Kewaskum was held on April 2, 1850, in the home of Nathan Wheeler. He also was the first postmaster. It proved to be void because it was held outside of the town limits, and the elected chairman J. T. Van Vechten was refused the vote in the session of the County Board. Matters were set right in another election.