History:  Sherwood Town Called Perkins (1953)


Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon

Email: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Perkins, Newman, Washburn 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) July 2, 1953 

Sherwood Town Called Perkins (History - 1953) 

The seventeenth town in the county known at the present time as Sherwood, was created by an order of the county board on the 8th day of January, 1874, it consisted of township 23, range 1 east, and is the southeastern town in Clark County.  It was originally called the Town of Perkins, taking its name from Hugh Perkins, one of the prominent settlers residing there. The first town meeting was held at the house of Perkins on the first Tuesday of April, 1874. 

It was known as the Town of Perkins for a little over two years, when the county board of supervisors changed its name from Perkins to Sherwood Forest, under which name it existed for nearly twenty years. 

In 1884 Hugh Perkins became involved in an altercation with one Isaac Meddaugh, a resident of the town, at the saw mill belonging to Perkins, the quarrel resulting in the death of Meddaugh.  Perkins was arrested, charged with murder.  In November, 1884, when confined in the Clark County jail (not the present one) he broke jail and made his escape.  

Nearly four years after in October, 1888, he was re-captured at Windsor, Ontario, opposite Detroit, Michigan.  He was tried in June, 1889, and was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree.  This verdict was set aside by Judge Newman, and Perkins was again tried in December, 1889, the jury finding him guilty of manslaughter in the second degree.  On appeal to the Supreme Court this last conviction was reversed, and a new trial ordered, but nothing further was done with the case.  

The name Sherwood Forest was suggested by Gov. C. C. Washburn, who had land and logging interests in the town.  It was an appropriate name, purely sentimental, but like its ancient namesake in Nottinghamshire, England, was suggestive of the traditions of Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian.  On the 12th of January 1900, the county board on the application of the chairman of the town, changed its name from Sherwood Forest to Forest. 



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