History: Dodgeville, Loyal Twp., Clark Co., Wisconsin
Contact: Janet@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

Surnames: Hills, Smith, Sitts, Welsh, Fuller, Nichols, Gwin, Perrey, Withee, Gile, O'Neill, Philpott, Holway, Reed, Clark, Schultz, Walter, Shupe, Schilling, Jenni, Stange, Knoll, Linderkugel, Anderson, Betz, Rueth Bonas, Hazeltine, Mitby, Kadolph, Klug, Haslow, Ratzburg, Shaeffner, Anderegg, Renz, Witt, Miles, Gross, Miles

The History of Dodgeville, Loyal Twp., Clark Co., Wisconsin

(sections 11, 12, 13 & 14)

1880 Plat Map of Dodgeville 1926 Plat Map of Dodgeville

Dodgeville Cemetery (later renamed "Pine Grove"); Dodgeville School;

Dodgeville Cheese Factory; Dodgeville News; Loyal Twp. History







In the spring of 1864, William Hills, Abram Smith, Henry Sitts and William Welsh traveled together in search of land to homestead in Loyal Township, Clark Co., Wisconsin.   While out scouting the land, they discovered the quarter stake between Sections ten and eleven which caught their fancy.  But now, who would get which land quarter?  They debated on how to make a fair decision.  Finally, as the four of them stood around the quarter stake, each on a different piece of land, they question was asked, “Why not each take the land upon which he is standing?”  That question furnished the solution.  Once having staked their claims at the U. S. Land Office in Eau Claire, they became neighbors and their choice area became known as "The Dodgeville Settlement".


William Hill, Sr., was born in Hebron township, Washington county, New York, March 22, 1831, son of Jesse and Pamelia (Gould) Hill. Jesse Hill was born in New York State, son of a veteran of the war of 1812, and was there reared. After his marriage to Pamelia Gould, a sister of Jay Gould, the famous New York financier and millionaire.  They moved to Concord, Jefferson county, Wisconsin in 1845, where, after working for others for some time, Jesse bought a farm, on which he built a log house and began raising crops. In 1861, with four of his sons, he enlisted in the Civil War in which he and his stepson Elijah lost their lives. There were seven children in the family, of whom five, John, William, Sr., Calvin, Oliver and Roxy Jane, were by Jesse Hill's first wife, Pamelia. The mother dying about 1849, Mr. Hill had married for his second wife Mrs. Smith, by whom he had two children, Anna and Delight. Mrs. Hill by her marriage to Mr. Smith, also had two children, Volney and Elijah.


William had received his education in New York State and in Jefferson county, Wis. When 27 years old he married Phoebe Sitts, daughter of George Sitts of Iron Ridge, Dodge county, this state. After his marriage he with his bride returned East for two years, then coming back to Iron Ridge, Dodge county, where he conducted the hotel and grocery store of his father-in-law. In the spring of 1864, in company with three others: William Welsh, and two brothers-in-law, Abraham Smith and Henry Sitts--he came to Clark county, the party walking from Tomah to Black River Falls, from there to Neillsville, and then to Loyal township. Eating dinner at the quarter stake between sections 10 and 11, each man selected the quarter section on the corner of which he was then sitting.  Then they went to Eau Claire to get their claims registered, after which they returned to Black River Falls. That fall they went back to Dodge county and returned to their newly homesteaded land with their families in tow, making the trip to Sparta by rail and from there (with an ox team) to "Dodgeville".


With an axe as his only tool Mr. Hill built a log house, and the first winter earned a cow by working out. Burning was the only way to get rid of the heavy hardwood timber which covered the place, and he and his wife often sat up far into the night watching the fires. His spare time he spent in making shingles, which he sold at Neillsville for only $2 a thousand, though he had to pay as high as $16 a barrel for flour and salt. After about a year on the farm Mr. Hill lost his wife. He subsequently married Delany Fuller, a native of Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin who was then living in Clark county. She died about 1884 and he later married for his third wife Tammie J. Nichols. Mr. Hill lived on that farm for about thirty years, during which time he made good progress in its development and became recognized as one of the successful farmers of his township and one of its most prominent citizens of Loyal, Wisconsin.


(to be continued.....please contact us if you have information to add)



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