History of the Village of Footville

(previously known as Bachelor's Grove)


Plymouth & Center Townships, Rock County, Wisconsin

BACHELOR'S GROVE, P.V., in Rock County, on section 4, town 2, range
11 E., of the town of Plymouth; 10 miles west from Janesville, and 40 miles south from Madison. Population 70, with 12 dwellings, 1 temperance hotel, and a M.E. church.
[Source: Wisconsin Gazetteer by John Warren Hunt; ©1853 Beriah Brown, Printer, Madison; p. 47; Courtesy of Lori]

BACHELOR'S GROVE, a post-office of Rock county, Wisconsin.
[Source: The New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin and J. Thomas, M.D., ©1854 Lippincott, Grambo & Co., Philadelphia, PA; p. 67; Courtesy of Kathy Lenerz]

Footville, on the northern border of the town of Plymouth, on the Chicago &
Northwestern Railway, ten miles west of Janesville, was first settled in 1845, by Mr. E. A. FOOT, from whom it derives its name. The locality was formerly known as Bachelors' Grove, and for six years had the distinction of being the terminus of the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad (as the line was first designated) then in course of construction. E. F. RICHARDS was the second settler, and his and Mr. FOOT's and two other families, who came later, constituted Footville's population until 1854, when the railroad became an established fact. The first store was opened by Watson BEACH, in 1853; the second in 1854, by BANCROFT & NORTHWAY. The first born here was a daughter of E. F. RICHARDS, who later became Mrs. N. L. MAXON. The first marriage was that of E. A. DOUGLASS and Martha BEACH, Christmas, 1846. The first death was that of a woman at Mr. FOOT's house. Julius GILBERT taught the first school in a log-house belonging to Mr. FOOT in 1848. About a year later a school house was built half a mile north of the village, in Center, which in 1853 was removed to Footville and was occupied there for school purposes until 1855, when the Methodist Church was built and the school was removed to it, continuing there till 1875, when the church burned and an adequate frame school house was built. The post-office, formerly Bachelors' Grove, was established in 1845, with E. F. RICHARDS as postmaster. The village contains two stores, two blacksmith-shops, a harness-shop, a shoe-shop, a hotel and three churches. Population 300.
[Source: The Portrait & Biographical Album of Rock County, Wisconsin, ©1889 Acme, Chicago, IL; p. 1021; Courtesy of Carol]

©2003 ALHN-Rock County, Wisconsin

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth