History of the Village of Orfordville

 

Plymouth & Center Townships, Rock County, Wisconsin

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. Population, 300.
 
[Source: The Portrait & Biographical Album of Rock County, Wisconsin, ©1889 Acme, Chicago, IL; p. 1022; Courtesy of Carol]

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