- Magnolia, a little village two miles
from the railroad, was located in the fall of 1843,
- by Joshua DUNBAR, Andrew COTTER,
Joseph PRENTICE and a man named JENKINS, each of
whom settled on different sections, as follows: DUNBAR
on the northwest corner of Section 23, COTTER on the northeast
corner of Section 22, PRENTICE on the southwest corner
of Section 14, and JENKINS, by an agent, on the southeast
corner of Section 15. In 1845, in consequence of the advent of
a number of settlers, Mr. COTTER had a portion of his
ground platted for building purposes; but settlers evidently
preferred to choose their own sites, and so his scheme was a
failure. "Uncle Sam" made his presence felt in 1848
by establishing a post office, his representative being Mr. George
McENZIE, whose duties, however, were of the lightest description,
consisting merely of the reception and dispatching of a weekly
mail via Monticello and Janesville. Subsequent Postmasters were
Joshua DUNBAR, Oliver EAGER, James HOWARD
and Wilson BROWN, the present incumbent. The spiritual
welfare of the residents is cared for by a Congregational and
a Methodist Church, the former of which was organized in the
fall of 1850, by Rev. J. JAMESON, assisted by the Rev.
Mr. FOOTE, of Janesville, the following persons uniting
with it: Simon REED and wife, Mrs. PRENTICE, E.
LEONARD and wife, Miss Althea LEONARD, Miss HARPER,
Mrs. McENZIE, James HAWES, Miss Wealthy HAWES,
Mrs. Betsy HAMMON and J. JANISON and wife. For
a number of years, meetings were held in the schoolhouse, but,
in 1854, they erected the present church, at a cost of $1,300.
It is a frame building, with a seating capacity of about one
hundred and fifty. The present membership is about twenty. The
Rev. Mr. JAMESON, who first preached the Word here, gave
up his charge in 1869, and was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. MORRIS,
who remained one year. The Rev. Mr. SABIN was then installed
as Pastor, and remained three years, being succeeded by the Rev.
Mr. DOREMUS, who retired after eighteen months' service,
leaving a vacancy which has not yet been filled. The Methodist
Church is a much older institution, having been organized in
1844, with twelve members, some of whom were as follows: Andrew
COTTER and wife, Harvey PARTRIDGE and wife, Mrs.
MORRILL and Mrs. Ogden BARRETT. In 1872, a church
edifice, having a seating capacity of about one hundred and fifty,
was erected, at a cost of $2,200. The present membership is about
forty-five, who received their Sunday meal of grace from the
lips of the minister at Footville, they constituting a portion
of his charge. In connection with the church is a Bible Society,
which was established in 1849, with Lyman BATES as Depositary.
The present officers are - President, J. B. HARTLEY; Secretary,
George E. AUSTIN; Treasurer and Depositary, Langford BURTON.
- The other institutions of the village
come under the head of manufactures, and consist
- of a spring-bed manufactory, started
in 1877 by Osborn HOWARD, under the name of the Automatic
Spring-Bed Company, which now employs five hands and turns out
about one hundred beds per week; and a sulky-plow manufactory, started this current year by Mr.
J. R. WHITNEY. This is, as yet, only in its infancy, as
it was only patented last February, but as it is an excellent
invention and calculated, owing to its lightness and other excellent
qualities, to save considerable wear of horse-flesh, it will
not be long, once it is fairly introduced to the farming community,
before its merits are properly appreciated and a good trade results.
The rest of the business portion of the village consists of a
store, a blacksmith-shop, a shoe-shop, a hotel and a schoolhouse;
the latter is under the control of a Board of Directors consisting
of J. R. WHITNEY, Director; George H. AUSTIN, Treasurer;
George HOWARD, Clerk. It is a neat frame building, erected
in 1872, at a cost of $1,400, and was last under the charge of
- [Source: The History of Rock
County, Wisconsin by C. W. Butterfield, ©1879 Western
Historical Co., Chicago, IL; p. 674; photograph of the sulky-plow
courtesy of Joanne]