Walworth County Historical Society


The village of Walworth was platted by Carlos L. Douglass and grew until the business check of 1857. Its first tavern was at the house of Christopher Douglass, and was kept a few years later by Carlos L. Douglass, who presently engaged in larger affairs. At some time not recorded nor clearly remembered the Red Lion tavern was built and served its purpose until the new order of village life came in, when a handsome little three-storied house, built of brick, well finished and furnished within and well managed, supplied the later needs. It is named the Wayside Inn. Between it and the school house lies a little park, around three sides of which part of the stores and shops are ranged. As the town grants no licenses for sale of liquor, the school and hotel are not too near together.

Walworth remained little more than a hamlet until the electric railway was built from Harvard in 1899, followed in 1901 by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St, Paul railway line from Chicago to Janesville. In the latter year it was incorporated as a village, and it is now one of the handsomest of four such municipalities in the county. The street-ways are raised with good gravel forever out of the fertile mud and the walks are generally of cement. It has been lighted with gasoline since 1905 and its water works began service in 1911. It is not too far from Geneva lake to receive some benefits from summer sojourners, for the electric line reaches the lake shore at Fontana, a ride of two and one half miles.

Savery & Uden began to publish the Walworth Times in 1904. Their successors have been Walter V. McAfferty, Edward M. Holston and Charles Clarke. Edward and Maurice Morrissey (with Hiram S. Bell as temporary editor), Herbert E. Miles, and since 1907 Frank F. Perrin. The paper is non-partisan.

The Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Walworth was incorporated in January, 1878, for business in that town. Its risks in force at the end of 1910 were 461, amounting to $788,990. Losses paid since 1878 amount to $16,496. Its present officers are Carlos S. Douglass, of Fontana, president; Martin F. Schacht, of Walworth, secretary.

The Walworth State Bank was incorporated in 1903. Its capital is $15,000, and deposits $190,000. Carlos S. Douglass is president and Frank E. Lawson, cashier.

Excerpt from History of Walworth County Wisconsin by Albert Clayton Beckwith

View Larger Map