Walworth County Historical Society


Alan A. Southard and William D. Van Nostrand came to the centre of section 33 as early as 1842, but not to found a city. In 1855 the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company's surveyors laid its line from Harvard to Janesville through this section, and fixed the locus of its station seventy-one miles from Chicago. Robert Campbell, a man of Oshkosh, bought forty acres and platted the village. The rails were laid to Janesville in 1856. In the same year George Milmine built a store and in 1857 Seymour Rice built a hotel. In 1858 a postoffice was established, with John Hodgson among the mail sacks. William P. Allen relieved him in 1801 and gave way to Wilson R. Herron in 1868. Edward Bilyea followed, then Mr. Herron again, Frank L. Menu about 1893, Clayton II. Underhill about 1897, Frank C. Densmore from 1905 till now. This office has two free delivery routes, which supply the greater part of the town, a small part of Illinois and a smaller part of Rock county. Harry H. Bidwell, first railway station agent, died December 13, 1859. Dr. Reuben Willson was the earliest resident physician.

About 1848 a school house was built within the later village limits. Additional provision was made as needed, and house and grounds are now valued at twenty five thousand dollars. The high school began in 1878, with W. A. Germain as principal. Rev. James G. Schaefer had moved the men of Sharon, in 1866, to active interest in advanced education. In 1807 the Sharon Academy was built and was opened in December with nearly one hundred pupils, under direction of Mr. Schaefer and Prof. E. S. Chadwick, of Beloit. This school closed in 1878, after an active and useful career, and the high school soon resumed this temporarily suspended work. The public school house was burned in 1880, rebuilt in 1884 and extended about 1908. Its total value, with broad grounds, is about twenty-five thousand dollars. Nine teachers are now employed.

Excerpt from History of Walworth County Wisconsin by Albert Clayton Beckwith

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