Walworth County Historical Society


Colonel Phoenix, his brother, and his cousin, platted their village and settled in it in 1837, and they had not long to wait for lot buyers and neighbors. The Colonel's early death, and that of his brother, about two years later, were most regrettable, for their character and practical abilities gave them influence and weight; but these events did not arrest progress. The cousin remained a few more years and left the county before the village was incorporated.

Among the earlier business men were James Aram, W. Wallace Bradley, Col. Caleb and Edwin Croswell, Nicholas M. Harrington. Joseph D. Monell. Jr., George Passage, Aaron H. Taggart, Thomas Topping and Hezekiah Wells. Rev. Henry Topping came in 1839 to Darien and was induced to settle at Delavan in 1841, in which year came also Dr. Henderson Hunt.

No village can exist permanently without a blacksmith. In 1840 Alonzo McGraw came thus to confirm the site of the coming city. W. Willard Isham came in 1845 as a wagonsmith, and with Charles H. Sturtevant as wheelwright and partner, important trade was soon brought to Delavan. As the village and neighboring farm lands were settled men came in from their fields and resumed the mechanical or commercial occupations to which they had been bred but which they had dropped awhile. One intimately acquainted with men of the first half-century of the county would find many farmers who had been bred to village occupations, and a few who had seen human life far more broadly.

Excerpt from History of Walworth County Wisconsin by Albert Clayton Beckwith

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