Rock County, Wisconsin

History of Fulton Township

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth

From: Wisconsin Gazetteer

by John Warren Hunt

©1853 Beriah Brown, Printer, Madison

p. 95

Courtesy of Lori

FULTON, Town, in county of Rock, being town 4 N., of range 12 E.; centrally
located, 10 miles north from Janesville. The population in 1850 was 1,828. It has 7 school districts.

From: A New Complete Gazetteer of the United States

by Thomas Baldwin and J. Thomas, M.D.

©1854 Lippincott, Grambo & Co. , Philadelphia

p. 410

Courtesy of Kathy Lenerz

FULTON, a post-township in the N. part of Rock county, Wis. Population, 828.

From: Combination Atlas Map of Rock County, Wisconsin

©1873 Everts, Baskin & Stewart, Chicago, Ill.

p. 50

Courtesy of Lori

The portion of the Rock River valley embraced in this town might, with propriety,
be called the Connecticut valley of the West, from the fact that more tobacco is grown in this than in any other town in the State. It is the staple product of the farmers generally; the soil seems to be naturally adapted to the growing of this product, and the cultivators of the soil meet with the most flattering remuneration for their labors. The town possesses natural advantages hardly excelled in the county elsewhere. It has several small and very beautiful prairies, with a soil of superior quality. The timber is generally of large growth, suitable for sawing and building purposes. Rock River enters the town near the northeast corner, flows in a westerly direction across the town, and turning south, passes out near the southwest corner. There is a good water-power at Indian Ford or Fulton Center. There are four villages in the township: Newville, Edgerton, Fulton Center, and Fulton.

From: The Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock County, Wisconsin


p. 1012-1013

Courtesy of Carol

During the winter of 1843, the settlers in Fulton, as now bounded, met at the house
of Lyman MORSE, drew up and signed a petition, asking the Legislature to organize their town, to be called "Franklin." There being another town by that name, they changed it to Fulton and passed the act of organization. The first Tuesday in April, 1843, the voters in the town (some twenty in number) met at the house of William B. FOSTER and held their first town meeting. The settlement of this town began in 1836-37. The pioneers were Robert and Daniel STONE. Other early comers were George R. RAMSAY, William B. FOSTER (who established Foster's Ferry), Elijah TRUE, Lyman MORSE, George E. COWAN, Anson GOODRICH, William SQUIRES and Silas HURD. The first wedding was George E. COWAN and Mary WARD's, at Silas HURD's, in 1840. The first death was Mrs. PROCTOR's, at Cloudon STOUGHTON's. The first child was born in 1839. Dr. Rollin HEAD taught the first school at the house of William B. FOSTER, in 1841. Guy STOUGHTON, owning land on the river at the foot of Lake Koshkonong, believing that the fall was sufficient to make a good water-power, contracted with Mr. HANCHETT, in the spring of 1845, to build a dam. The dam was completed during that year, and a sawmill built, which was run for several years and then converted into a gristmill. The first bridge across the river was at Indian Ford, built in 1845, by private subscription. This in the central town on the northern border of the county. It comprises township 4 north, of range 12 east.
Edgerton, in the town of Fulton, on the northern border of the county, twelve miles
north of Janesville, was settled in 1836, laid out as a village in 1854 and incorporated as a city in 1883. It is an important station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. The shipment of tobacco is the principal industry, nearly half of what is raised in the State being shipped from this point. Robert and Daniel STONE and William SQUIRES were the pioneer settlers. Thomas QUIGLEY came in 1843, and located sixty acres where the railroad depot now stands. Soon after him came Lucius M. PAGE, who bought eighty acres north of QUIGLEY's claim. That part of the village north of the railroad was laid out by H. S. SWIFT, that part south of the railroad by Adin, J. and E. A. BURDICK. Ferdinand DAVIS built the first frame house in 1853; H. S. SWIFT built SWIFT's block in 1857; the Exchange and the United States Hotel were built by Nelson COON, who opened the former in 1854; and the American House was built in 1854. The first birth was that of Frank HALL, the first marriage was that of John QUIGLEY and Theresa MALIAN, and the first death that of Mr. HAKES. The post-office was established in 1854, with William B. HALL in charge. The place contains Methodist, Catholic, Baptist and German Lutheran churches, German and public schools, two banks, two hotels, a well-equipped fire department, and two weekly newspapers - the Wisconsin Tobacco Reporter and the Edgerton Index. Live stock, grain and brick are shipped. Population, 2,000.
Indian Ford, on Rock River, ten miles north of Janesville, in the town of Fulton, is so
called because, in 1836, Black-Hawk and his braves forded the Catfish River on the site of what is now the village. It owes its existence to Guy and Clouden STOUGHTON, who obtained a charter for the water-power from the government, erected a dam there and built a mill, in 1843. Mr. Guy STOUGHTON, to whom the credit of the latter work must be given, was the first bona-fide settler and claim-holder on the village plat, and erected the first house thereon. Mr. Silas HURD and Mr. George E. COWAN were the first settlers in the neighborhood. The first store and tavern were kept in 1840, by a man named ELLETT. The first school was opened about 1842. The village contains two flouring-mills, two churches and several small mechanics' shops. Population, 250.
Fulton, on the west border of the town of Fulton, on Catfish Creek, twelve miles
northwest of Janesville and four miles southwest of Edgerton, was settled in 1846, by Emmanuel CORKER, who soon began the erection of a gristmill. Other early settlers, who came soon after him, were James MERWIN, Edward HYLAND, Nelson COON, David L. MILLS, Stiles HAKES, and Henry M. DICKINSON, who opened the first store. Nelson COON built the hotel, which was opened by Philip DAVAULT, under the name of the Fulton House. A creamery was established in 1875. A frame school-house was erected in 1847, and gave place to a brick one in 1864. The first Sunday-school was organized by Frank SAYRE in 1849. The gristmill of WHITE Brothers was purchased by them about twenty years ago. It is the same built originally by Emmanuel CORKER.

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Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth