Rock County, Wisconsin

History of Lima Township

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth

From: Wisconsin Gazetteer

by John Warren Hunt

©1853 Beriah Brown, Printer, Madison

p. 131

Courtesy of Lori

LIMA, Town, in county of Rock, being town 4 N., of range 12 E.; centrally located,
13 miles northeast from Janesville. Population in 1850 was 830. It has 9 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. 604

Courtesy of Kathy Lenerz

LIMA, a post-township forming the N.E. extremity of Rock co., Wis. Pop., 839.

From: Combination Atlas Map of Rock County, Wisconsin

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

p. 22

Courtesy of Lori

The first claim made in this town was said to be by James M. BURGESS in the
summer of 1836. In the summer of 1837 Thomas VAN HORN and Solomon L. HARRINGTON settled in the town and erected a sawmill, the first in that vicinity. The surface of this town is gently rolling, covered mainly with burr and white oak openings, mostly burr-oak. Nearly one-sixth of the entire area of the town is marsh land, the largest one being that known as Otter Creek Marsh. The town is crossed by the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, which affords transportation for the products of farmers from the station, located very near the central part of town, call Lima. The improvements of the township are generally good. Lithographic cuts of some of the residences will be found in the inclosed map.

From: History of Rock County, Wisconsin

©1879 Western Hist. Co.

p. 514-515

Courtesy of Carol

As early as summer of 1836, Col. James M. BURGESS visited what is now the
town of Lima and made a claim on Section 17, but as he never improved it, it is to be presumed it lapsed. He was followed in June, 1837, by Solomon L. HARRINGTON and Thomas VAN HORN, who located and built a saw-mill on the west branch of Whitewater Creek in the east part of the town. In the same year, came Mr. Joseph NICHOLLS, who made a claim and built a cabin on Section No. 1, where Mr. Stephen BURROUGHS now lives. He combined the elements of strength and good-nature with that of woodcraft in a great degree, and not being blessed with much of this world's goods, on one occasion, after a bee hunt, in which science he excelled, he drew 300 pounds of honey on a hand-sled to Milwaukee, returning with a barrel of flour and some other commodities.
In the winter of 1837-38, the next arrival was Curtis UTTER, who made a claim on
Section 36, where he resided until his death a few years since. In 1838, George B. HALL arrived and located on Section 19, and was followed next year by Azel KENNEY and Prosper CRAVATH, Jr., who located on Section 13, where a house had been built for KENNEY on the site now occupied by the residence of Miles G. CRAVATH, Prosper CRAVATH building on land adjoining, now owned by the heirs of Chauncey LANGDON. With Mr. KENNEY came a young man named Newton BAKER. In 1840, the town received a large accession to its population by the arrival of a colony from Cortland, N.Y. The colony consisted for the most part of Deacon Prosper CRAVATH and his large family, with Levi and Giles KINNEY, Deacon Zerah HULL, James HULL, Ara HARDY and their families, all of whom located in what are known as the CRAVATH and HALL neighborhoods.
The first Death - The first death of an adult to occur in the town was Newton
BAKER above alluded to, who laid down his life on September 19, 1839, the cause being typhoid fever.
The First Wedding was that of Mr. Solomon L. HARRINGTON and Margaret
PALMETER, June 7, 1841, the next being that of Oliver SALISBURY and Miss Emily CRAVATH, which took pace on July 22 of the same year. Mr. SALISBURY had erected a house on the farm now owned by J. M. FRITTS, on Section 14, which was the first frame house between Whitewater and Milton. In that house was born on January 24, 1843, the first white child in the town (now living), Albert SALISBURY, at present of the Whitewater Normal School.
The First Church built in the town was constructed of logs in 1845, by the Methodist
denomination, and was familiarly known as the log chapel.
The Organization - Up to February 24, 1845, when it received a separate
organization, the town of Lima formed a portion of the town of Milton, and after being so created it received the name of Lima at the request of Mr. Paul CRANDALL and a few others, being called after some Eastern township. On April 1, 1845, the first town election was held at the schoolhouse in District No. 9. At that election, Prosper CRAVATH received the choice of the residents for the office of Chairman of Supervisors. The other Supervisors were John CHILD and Abram Allen. Paul. CRANDALL was elected Town Clerk; William P. STILLMAN, Treasurer; John H. TWINING, Collector; N. KEMBLE and Azel KINNEY, Assessors; Bryce HALL, Abram ALLEN, Nelson SALISBURY, Commissioners of Highways; Ebenezer RIDER, Paul CRANDALL, Azel KINNEY, Commissioners of Common Schools; Prosper CRAVATH, Sealer of Weights and Measures; John H. TWINING, Giles KINNEY, Constables; John CHILD and Horace G. HAMILTON, Justices of the Peace.
[Transcriber's note: I do not have the next page.]

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


p. 1014

Courtesy of Carol

Lima, in the northeast corner of the county, comprises township 4 north, of range
13 east, and was organized for municipal purposes, Feb. 24, 1845. It had previously formed a portion of the town of Milton. The first town meeting was held April 1, 1845, at the school house in district No. 9. As early as the summer of 1836, Col. James M. BURGESS visited what is now the town of Lima and made a claim on section 17, but as he never improved it, it is to be presumed it lapsed. He was followed, in June, 1837, by Solomon L. HARRINGTON and Thomas VAN HORN, who located and built a sawmill on the west branch of Whitewater Creek, in the east part of the town. In the same year came Mr. Joseph NICHOLLS, who made a claim and built a cabin on the Stephen BURROUGHS's place. Other early settlers were Curtis UTTER, George B. HALL, Azael KENNEY, Prosper CRAVATH, Jr., Deacon Prosper CRAVATH, Levi and Giles KENNEY, Deacon Zerah HULL, James HULL and Asa HARDY and their families. The first death was that of Newton BAKER, Sept. 19, 1839; the first wedding that of Solomon L. HARRINGTON and Margaret PALMETER, June 7, 1841; the first church, a log building erected by the Methodists, in 1845. In the winter of 1862-63, J. B. LEWIS, H. J. WILKINSON, S. MORGAN and others organized a lyceum. In the fall of 1866, they formed a new organization known as the Farmers' Union Club and Lyceum. A library of about one hundred volumes, largely composed of agricultural works was donated. The members of the society claim to have been instrumental in procuring the re-enactment of the town insurance law of 1859, and in the spring of 1872, they organized a town insurance company, which accumulated a large capital, which has saved the farmers much in insurance. Its operations were confined exclusively to the town. Lima Center, in the town of Lima, on the C.M. & St. P. Ry., sixteen miles northeast of Janesville, is sometimes called CHILD's Station. It was located in 1853, by M. A. CHILDS, who built a house within the present village limits, and, in partnership with L.H. CHILDS, built and opened the first store. He was also the first postmaster. The village comprises two stores, a blacksmith and wagon shops, a cheese factory, two churches and a good school, and has a population of 150.

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Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth