- Orfordville is an outgrowth of the
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, upon
- the line of which it is situated, the
town of Spring Valley, seventy-four miles southwest of Milwaukee,
and fourteen miles southwest of Janesville. It was first settled
in 1850 by Isaac WRIGHT, who located on a farm south of
the railroad; but it was not until 1857, when the railroad was
completed to that point, that it began to grow. The village was
laid out and named by J. T. DODGE, a surveyor of Janesville,
in 1855, and included about sixty acres, part of which was re-devoted
to farming when it became evident the village would not cover
it. The first merchant was Edwin HARRINGTON, who began
business about 1855. A year later David HARRIS and Daniel
MOW built a store, which was occupied by one GREENLEAF.
About twelve months after the opening of this second store a
third - a grocery and liquor store - was established by THOMPSON
and DIAMOND. The first birth was that of "Patsey"
COLERAN, in 1857; the first marriage that of Edward WRIGHT
and Edith CLARK, in 1856; the first death that of Mrs.
David HARRIS, in 1859. The first school was taught in
1846 by Clara SPRAGUE, in what was afterward the residence
of Isaac WRIGHT. A second school house was built in 1848,
which gave place to the present one in 1862. The hotel was opened
by S. A. THOMPSON in 1587. The village contains Baptist,
Lutheran, and Methodist Churches, and ships livestock and grain.
- [Source: The Portrait & Biographical
Album of Rock County, Wisconsin,
©1889 Acme, Chicago, IL; p. 1022; Courtesy of Carol]