Rock County, Wisconsin

History of Porter Township


See also the history of the township from the Town of Porter* website

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth

From: Wisconsin Gazetteer

by John Warren Hunt

©1853 Beriah Brown, Printer, Madison

p. 179

Courtesy of Lori

PORTER, Town, in county of Rock, being town 4 N., of range 11 E.; centrally
located, 12 miles northwest from Janesville. Population in 1850 was 881. 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. 948

Courtesy of Kathy Lenerz

PORTER, a township in Rock co., Wisconsin. Population, 882.

From: Combination Atlas Map of Rock County, Wisconsin

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

p. 57

Courtesy of Lori

This town was called Porter in honor of one of the principal land proprietors of
the town, Dr. John PORTER. The first settlers were Joshua WEBB, William WEBB, John RHINEHART, John WINSTON, Joseph OSBORN, Robinson BENT, Charles STOKES, Solomon GRIGS [GRIGGS], John R. BOYCE, John COOK, and Daniel COOK. The surface of the town is about equally divided between prairie and the finest kind of oak openings. Catfish Prairie is the principal prairie. Catfish River, the outlet of the four lakes at Madison, passes through the town, on which are some good water- powers,--one a very fine one, belonging to Mr. Harrison STEBBINS, who also has one of the finest residence locations in the county. Cookville or Waucoma, the only village in the town, is situated on the Badfish Creek, which passes through the town, affording three good-water-powers,--one especially at Cookville. There is a considerable amount of tobacco grown in the town and marketed in Edgerton. The farms are under a high state of cultivation, with a creditable class of buildings throughout.

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


p. 1019-1020

Courtesy of Carol

Porter lies in the northwestern part of the county, its northern boundary separating
it from the county of Dane. By an act of the Legislature, approved Feb. 2, 1846, it was incorporated by the name of "Oak." At the next session, an act was approved changing its boundaries and name. It was made to include township 4 north, of range 11 east, its present limits. It received its name in honor of one of the principal and proprietors in the town - Dr. John PORTER. The first settlers were Joshua WEBB, William WEBB, John RHINEHART, John WINSTON, Joseph OSBORN, Robinson BENT, Charles STOKES, Solomon GRIGGS, John R. BOYCE, John COOK and Daniel COOK. A list of early farmers shows, among the largest, Daniel LOVEJOY, Horace FESSENDEN, Samuel POUND, Jerome VAUGHAN, John WHITE, Earle WOODBURY, Levi SANIRES [SQUIRES], C. VAUGHAN, Robert MERVIN, J. P. MILLER, William WEBB, J. POUND, Roger SHEPHERD, Dennis McCARTHY and Stephen ALLEN.
Cooksville, in the town of Porter, on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway,
twenty miles northwest of Janesville, was laid out in 1842 by John COOK, who bought and platted the west half of section 6 under his name. COOK built a saw-mill on Badfish Creek in 1842, and in 1844 sold it to John SHEPARD, who began the erection of a gristmill which was completed in 1847. Another has since been built. One is owned by W. H. LEEDLE & Son; the other is managed by Charles W. JOCK & Son. The first store was opened in 1845 by John D. CHAMBERS, and in 1845 the owner of the east half of section 6 platted it under the name of WAUCOMA. The post-office was established in 1849, with J. D. CHAMBERS as postmaster. The village contains two gristmills, two churches and a public school. Population, 175.
Correction [in bracket] courtesy of Carol Singer. Carol also wrote the following:
"Levi SQUIRES is my 3rd great grandfather. He was born June 22, 1802, in
Caldwell [now Lake George], Warren County, New York, and died November 19, 1882, in Porter, Rock County, WI. He was married to Sabrina SCOFIELD, daughter of Levi SCOFIELD. In fact, Sabrina's sister Miranda married C. (Cuyler) VAUGHN and her sister Euphemia married Jerome VAUGHN, who is also mentioned in this paragraph as early settlers.
"In the obituary from from the Wisconsin Tobacco Reporter, Edgerton, WI,
of Friday, November 24, 1882. It states Levi SQUIRES came to Porter Township in 1848 with his family. The obituary states that he was a pioneer settler of the county."

©2002-2006 ALHN-Rock Co., WI

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth