History of the City of Milton


(previously known as Prairie du Lac)

Milton Township, Rock County, Wisconsin

MILTON, P.V., in town of same name, in Rock county, on section 27. It is 8 miles
northeast from Janesville, and 36 miles southeast from Madison. Population 400, with 40 dwellings, 5 stores, 3 hotels, 2 churches, 3 societies, and 1 academy of about 70 scholars. It is 60 miles southwest from Milwaukee, on the line of the M. & M. R. R., with a branch to Janesville.
[Source: Wisconsin Gazetteer by John Warren Hunt; ©1853 Beriah Brown, Printer, Madison; p. 146; Courtesy of Lori]

MILTON, a thriving post-village in Milton township, Rock co., Wis., 60 miles W. S.
W. of Milwaukee. It has 2 churches and an academy. Pop., 400; of the township, 1032.
[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. 708; Courtesy of Kathy Lenerz]

[Continued from the atlas' HISTORY OF ROCK COUNTY following Clinton Junction]
This village is located on the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, at the junction of the
Madison and Monroe divisions. The place was laid out in 1838 by Joseph GOODRICH, the first settler and proprietor of the town. Mr. GOODRICH came out from Milwaukee on foot, the only baggage he carried being a spade on his shoulder. At that time the camping-grounds of Black Hawk and General ATKINSON's armies were plainly to be seen on Mr. GOODRICH's lands, and the army trails both crossed the spot that is now the public square. Mr. GOODRICH built the first house in the place, which is still standing in the rear of the Milton House. He laid out the public square of twenty-two acres which he donated to the town; he also gave the site and grounds for a district school, college, church, and cemetery, the right of way for railroad, and depot grounds. He erected the first building for Milton Academy, hired the teachers, and run the school on his own account for several years, and later contributed largely to the erection of the present college buildings, which are a monument to his memory and a credit to Milton. The buildings are large and commodious, standing on an eminence that overlooks the village and much of the surrounding country. The school, now under the management of Prof. WHITFORD, is in a flourishing condition. To indomitable energy and perseverance of Mr. GOODRICH the village of Milton owes her present prosperity. It was mainly through his influence, tact, and superior management that the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad was located through this place. The trade of the town is well represented by thoroughgoing business men. The buildings, public and private, are of a respectable class. Lithographic views of many of them may be seen in the included work. The society of the place has always maintained an enviable reputation as to morale, it having been for years a strictly temperate town. In addition to the college, interests of the public schools are well maintained. Their building is large and comfortably furnished with all the modern conveniences.
[Source: Combination Atlas Map of Rock County, Wisconsin, ©1873 Everts, Baskin & Stewart, Chicago, IL; p. 8½; Courtesy of Lori]

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