Rock County, Wisconsin

History of Plymouth Township

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth

From: Wisconsin Gazetteer

by John Warren Hunt

©1853 Beriah Brown, Printer, Madison

p. 176

Courtesy of Lori

PLYMOUTH, Town, in county of Rock, being town 2 N., of range 11 E.;
centrally located, 10 miles southwest from Janesville. Population in 1850 was 511. It has 4 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. 940

Courtesy of Kathy Lenerz

PLYMOUTH, a township in Rock co., Wisconsin. Population, 581.

From: Combination Atlas Map of Rock County, Wisconsin

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

p. 65

Courtesy of Lori

The first settlements made in Plymouth were in 1841, by David DOUGLASS,
Stephen C. DOUGLASS, and Samuel COLBY. These gentlement came from Michigan with their families, and located in this township on the 31st day of May, in the year above mentioned. There is perhaps as little waste land in this as in any other township in the county, even the lowest land is drained and under a good state of cultivation. The town is perhaps as well adapted to the raising of wheat as in any other in the county, the surface being somewhat rolling and rich; it is well supplied with fine groves of timber, and as well watered with durable streams as any section in the county; there is quite a number of very fine ever-living springs of water. The meadows are extensive, and yield an unlimited amount of the best of native grass for stock. There are two railroad lines passing through the town, crossing at Hanover Station, on Bass Creek; at this place there is a very good water-power,--used at present to propel a flouring-mill. The inhabitants of the town are mostly American, with quite a number of Norwegians, who are enterprising farmers.

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


p. 1020-1021

Courtesy of Carol

Plymouth is situated in the southwest quarter of the county. It was organized by act
of Territorial Legislature, approved March 8, 1848, to include all the township 2 north, of range 11 east, was first settled in the spring of 1841. David and Stephen DOUGLASS and Samuel COLBY arrived with their families from Michigan on the 31st of May, and pitched their tent near the center of section 2, on the bank of a branch of Bass Creek. They made use of their tent and covered wagons, of which they had three, for a habitation, and they were enabled to build a house for the elder DOUGLASS. Their nearest neighbors east were Jasper P. SEARS, on Rock river, and Judge HOLMES and family, who lived on the farm of now owned by NOGGLE. To the west were John CRALL, Abraham FOX, John D. HOLMES, Alanson CLAWSON, Wendel FOCKLER, George W. ADAMS and father, with their families, some nine miles distant. The first town meeting was held Aug. 28, 1848. The supervisors elected were Caleb LUMAN, chairman; George AYERS and Samuel SMILEY. The number of votes polled was seventy-one.
Hanover, in the town of Plymouth, at the junction of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St.
Paul Railway and the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, eight miles southwest of Janesville, was first located by Joseph HOHENSHELDT, in 1844. He was followed the next year by Mathias GUNDEL, and wife, but about that time immigration almost ceased. The village was platted April 16, 1856, by John L. V. THOMAS and wife, proprietors. The Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad, as the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul road was then called, was finished so that the first freight was received at Hanover, Sept. 1857. In 1856 a post-office was established, with William RANNEY as postmaster. The first birth was that of Montana HOHENSHELDT in 1845. The first marriage was that of Simon HOHENSHELDT and Miss FOX, in 1854. The first store was opened in 1856, by Nathan HIGHME. A gristmill was built in the same year by S. F. CHAPMAN and is now owned by A. BECKMAN. The school house was erected in 1858. The village has one church, of the German Lutheran denomination.
Footville, on the northern border of the town of Plymouth, on the Chicago &
Northwestern Railway, ten miles west of Janesville, was first settled in 1845, by Mr. E. A. FOOT, from whom it derives its name. The locality was formerly known as Bachelors' Grove, and for six years had the distinction of being the terminus of the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad (as the line was first designated) then in course of construction. E. F. RICHARDS was the second settler, and his and Mr. FOOT's and two other families, who came later, constituted Footville's population until 1854, when the railroad became an established fact. The first store was opened by Watson BEACH, in 1853; the second in 1854, by BANCROFT & NORTHWAY. The first born here was a daughter of E. F. RICHARDS, who later became Mrs. N. L. MAXON. The first marriage was that of E. A. DOUGLASS and Martha BEACH, Christmas, 1846. The first death was that of a woman at Mr. FOOT's house. Julius GILBERT taught the first school in a log-house belonging to Mr. FOOT in 1848. About a year later a school house was built half a mile north of the village, in Center, which in 1853 was removed to Footville and was occupied there for school purposes until 1855, when the Methodist Church was built and the school was removed to it, continuing there till 1875, when the church burned and an adequate frame school house was built. The post-office, formerly Bachelors' Grove, was established in 1845, with E. F. RICHARDS as postmaster. The village contains two stores, two blacksmith-shops, a harness-shop, a shoe-shop, a hotel and three churches. Population 300.

©2002-2004 ALHN-Rock Co., WI

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth