Town Polk

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

The first settler of this town was William Williamson. Timothy Hall, the first settler of Town Hartford, says of him: "At the time (in 1843) I found William Williamson five miles away from my place toward Milwaukee; he was the first settler of Town Polk. In November of the following year Densmore W. Maxon came and settled on Cedar creek where he still lives." The entries essentially corroborate his statements.

Williamson who uses here the given name of James took up his forty acres on Aug. 7, 1843, and on Dec. 7, 1844, Densmore W. Maxon took up his forty, to which in March, 1845, he added another forty. Maxon was a young surveyor who in 1843 had settled in the town of Mequon and with his instruments had explored the country east. On the bank of the Cedar creek, the volumned outlet of the Cedar lakes, he bought a piece of land and built a dam and a sawmill. His next neighbor was Kewaskum, a noble chief of the Pottawatomies. Both men united in a lasting friendship.

Prior to the year 1846 a large part of the fertile land traversed by ranges of low hills was sold, but little settled. In 1847 the clearing began on a larger scale, and in the next few years the woods of oak, maple, beech, and hickory fairly resounded with the ax-strokes of the pioneers. The biggest entries of land in the town were made by B. Schleisinger Weil, the founder of Schleisingerville. In December, 1845, he took up nearly two thousand acres - the best part of the northwest quarter of the town - in the name of his son Jules and his wife Adelaide.

The first town meeting was held on April 7, 1846. The minutes of it are lost, but from the proceedings of the first session of the County Board it is evident that the first supervisors of the town were D. W. Maxon, Silas Wheeler and John Detling. Jacob Everly was the first treasurer, and G. B. Covender was the first clerk and school commissioner. After the removal of the latter, John Rix was appointed clerk, and Andrew Dunn school commissioner. The proceedings further show that the first town meeting was held in the home of John Rix, for the use of which, together with the light used, he was reimbursed with $1.50.

There existed five taverns in the town in 1846; they were conducted by Jacob Berwind on Section 26, Peter Brenner on Section 25, Julius Schleisinger on Cedar lake, Nikolaus Guth on Section 28, and Emanuel Mann on Section 35.

The oldest extant poll list, that of the November election of 1846, contains the names of 21 voters.