First Town Officers

            Union, the northwestern town in the county, was organized by an act of legislature approved February 14, 1842, and at that time included what is now Union, Porter and the north half of Magnolia.  Its present limits are identical with those of township 4 north, of range 10 east.

            The first regular election of town officers of which we find any record occurred at the house of Charles McMillan on April 5, 1842, and the minutes of this first town meeting read as follows:  Minutes of the town meeting held in the town of Union, Rock Co. W. T. (meaning Wisconsin Territory) April 5, 1842, at the house of Charles McMillan.  On motion, Hiram Griffith was elected chairman and Isaac Andrus was chosen clerk of said town meeting.

            On motion, voted that the supervisors, assessors and highway commissioners have one dollar per day pay for their official services.

            On motion, voted that the school commissioners have 75 cents per day for official service.

            On motion, voted that the town clerkís and treasurerís official services be audited by the board of supervisors.

            On motion, voted that the fence viewers have 75 c per day for official services.

            On motion, voted that John Griffith, Stephen Jones, David R. Bent, Lemmel Warren and David Johnson be said committee.

            On motion, voted that the town raise one fourth of one per cent for school purposes.

            Committee reported that $145 be raised as the aggregate of the town expenses.

            On motion, voted that the report of said committee be accepted.

            On motion voted that the next annual town meeting be held at the house of Joseph Osborn.

            On motion, voted that a fence five feet high, made of good sound materials be a lawful fence, provided the first two feet from the ground shall have no aperture over 4 Ĺ inches in width.

            On motion, voted that no boar over two months old shall be allowed to run at large, under a penalty of $3 for every time it can be proved that said boar shall have done damages.

            On motion, voted that all cattle, horses, sheep and hogs except boars, and stallions be free commoners,

                                    Hiram Griffith, Chmn.

                                    Isaac Andrus, Clerk

            Results of the election held at the house of Charles McMillan in and for the town of Union, April 5, 1842;  Supervisors, Ira Jones, chmn, Allen Miner, David R. Bent; Town clerk, John T. Baker; Assessors, David Bent, John F. Sale, David Johnson.  Highway commissioners, Wm. J. Webb, Isaac Andrus, Washington Higday; School commissioners, Isaac Andrus, Levi Leonard, Samuel Warren; Treasurer, John Griffith; Collector, Adam W. Uline; Constables, Wm. D. Brown, Adam W. Uline, Hamilton Higday; fence viewers, Ira Jones, Allen Miner, David R. Bent; Sealer of weights and measures, Joseph Osborn; Overseer of roads, Charles McMillan

                                    Hiram Griffith, Chmn.

                                    Isaac Andrus, Clerk

            Records of oaths administered by the town clerk, I, Isaac Andrus, do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States and faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of commissioner of highways in and for the town of Union.  April 5, 1842, Isaac Andrus.

            Each officer elected signed a like oath, which completed the first election and their qualification.

            Immediately following this election the records are as follows:  Record of road districts in the town of Union, as set off by the commissioners of highway of said town, April 19, 1842.

            District No. 1 shall include the west half of sections No. one, twelve, thirteen, twenty-four, including section No. two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, fourteen, fifteen and the north half of twenty-three in town 4 north, range 10 east.

            District No. two including sections sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two and the south half and include twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, thirty-one, thirty two, thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six in town 4 north, range 10 east and the north half of town 3 north and range 10 east, and thus went on the laborious work of laying out roads for this new country by road commissioners, Isaac Andrus, Washington Highday and Wm. J. Webb at $1 per day each.  Harrison Stebbins doing the surveying.

            A statement of expenditures of the town of Union from April 5, 1842, to April 4, 1843.  Paid G. H. Williston for town plat $1.50; paid road commissioners, $32.25; paid H. Stebbins for surveying roads, $12.00; Paid school commissioners, $9.00; paid assessors, $12.00; paid treasurer, $1.95; paid collector $2.00;paid support of the poor $2.; paid town clerk, $30; paid town supervisors; $9.75; paid Joseph Osborn for stationery, $1.12 Ĺ.  Total $113.66

            A statement of the expenditures of the town of Union from April 4, 1843 to April 1, 1844.  Paid I. Prentis, school commissioner $1.48í Paid L. Warren, school commissioner $3.37 Ĺ; paid Geo. Darrance, road commissioner, $ .50; paid Wm. J. Webb, road commissioner, $2.; paid J. Griffith, moderator town meeting, $1.00; paid David Johns, Supervisor, $2.50; paid Ira Jones, supervisor $1.50; paid John Winston, assessor, $10.75; paid H. Stebbins, for surveying, etc. $2.50; paid J. L. Lone, visit and med for poor, $4.00; paid Ira Jones, Dr. Loneís bill to Vinsonís child, $5.50; paid John Curtiss for board, etc. of poor, $5.00; paid J. T. Baker, town clerk stationery, etc. $3.20 ;  Total  $79.75

            John Griffith, treasurer, in account with the town of Union, $18.42, Oct. 1.  To amount of town tax, $145.00; to amount of school tax, $187.48; Total $332.48; to amít of delinquent taxes for 1841. $4.25 total $336.73.

1843 April; to amount received from county treasurer, town funds, $82.21; to amount received from county treasurer, school funds, $105.38;

1842, Nov. 22. 

            By order in favor of J. Osborn; $1.12 Ĺ; By order in favor of J. F. Sale, $6.00; by order in favor of Ira Jones, $1.75; By order in favor of A. Miner, $1.75; By order in favor of D. R. Bent, $7.75; By order in favor of J. T. baker; $7.93; by order in favor of W. Higday, $5.00; By order in favor of W. J. Webb, $3.36.

1843, April 3.

            By amít of uncollected school tax $133.14; By amt uncollected town tax, $118.15; By 2 per cent, commission on amít of taxes. $9.95 

            Total $272.90 Ĺ

By amount of orders issued April 3, 1843, $76.43

April 17, By amít orders issued by the school commissioners $136.76 Ĺ; by com. On $84.86 town funds at 2 percent $1.68 ĺ; By com. On $105.38 school funds, $2.10; by collectorís fees on $43.37, $2.17; by collectorís fees on $53.99 school funds, $2.60; By amount uncollected, town and school., $47.53

The next town meeting was held on April 5, 1843 at the house of Joseph Osborn; Hiram Griffith was chosen chairman.  The report of the supervisors was read by the clerk and a committee appointed to examine the same.  Committee reported in favor of the report.  On motion the report of the committee was accepted.

On motion it was voted that $100 be raised for town purposes, the ensuing year.  On motion voted that one-half of one per cent be raised for the support of schools.  On motion voted that $20 be raised for the support of the poor.

On motion voted that the compensation for town officers be the same as last year.  At this election the following officers were elected.  For Supervisors, Ira Jones, chairman, David Johnson and D. K. Bent; Town clerk, John T. Baker; Assessor, John Winston; treasurer, John Griffith, Collector, Almon Osborn; Highway commissioners, Wm. J. Webb, Geo. Darrance and John Cook.  School commissioners, Lemuel Warren, Levi Leonard and Joseph Prentiss; Constables, Almon Osborn, John Dimmick and John A. Griffith.

Sealer of Weights and Measures, Joseph Osborn. 

            Hiram Griffith Chairman and John T. Baker, Clerk.

The next year of 1844 the supervisors were Ira Jones, Chmn,; Willis T. Bunton and John Winston; Town clerk, John T. Baker; Treasurer, John Griffith; School commissioner, Isaac Andrus, Joseph Prentiss and Alanson B. Vaughn; Collecotr, Almon Osborn; Constables, Almon Osborn, Allen Miner and Nelson Winston; Assessors Hiram Griffith, John Cook and Alfred Pierce; Justices of the Peac, John F. Sale, Isaac Andrus and Joseph Prentiss;  Overseers of roads, appointed April 14, 1844, Wm. Winston for Dist. No. 8; Edmund Basey for Dist. No. 9; Willis T. Bunton for Dist. No. 12, Douglas Briggs for Dist. No. 13.

In this season of 1844 a great many roads were laid out under the supervision of James Anderson, Geo. Darrance and John R. Boyce, highway commissioners, of which there was great need for up to this time and even for some time after there were but very few regular laid out and traveled roads, but people drove and traveled in any direction they chose, there being no fences and but very little land under cultivation and as the country became settled and farms improved, of course this had to be stopped and some regular system of roads established.

At the election of 1845 it was voted that territorial taxes for the years 1843 and 1844 be applied in liquidation of the debts against the town, and the compensation of town officers be 50 cents a day.

The election resulted as follows:

Board of Supervisors; David R. Bent chmn; John Cook and Alfred Pierce; Treasurer, Wilbur Potter; Town Clerk, John T. Baker; Assessors, A. J. Sutherland, John Winston and David Johnson.  Commissioners of Highway, A. B. Vaughn, Geo. Darrance and Philander Davis; School commissioners, Isaac Andrus, Harrison Stebbins and Warren Foster; collector; Almon Osborn; Constables, Nelson Winston, Allen Miner and Almon Osborn.

The next town meeting was held at the schoolhouse near the Union Post office on April 7, 1846 and officers elected as follows:  Supervisors, Ira Jones, chrm; A. J. Sutherland and Leander Hoskins; Town Clerk, John T. Baker; Treasurer, no choice; collector, Leander Hoskins, Assessor, Hiram Griffith; Commissioners, A. B. Vaughn, John Curtis and Erastus Quivey; School commissioners, Levi Leonard, A. B. Vaughn and Wm. Dudley; Constables, J. West, John Curtis and J. Temple;

            John Cook, Moderator; John T. Baker Clerk.

The following is a sample of the interesting description of highways as laid out in those days, using trees, etc. to designate certain points:  This day surveyed by the direction of the commissioners of highways of the town of Union, the following described highway commencing in the center of the Beloit and Madison highway upon the west line of section No. 16 in town range north of range 10 east; 80 rods north of the s e corner of said section and run thence east 26 chains to a stake standing s 73 degrees, w 89 links from a burr oak tree 14 inches through; thence north 51 deg. 3 min. 30 chains to stake standing n 9 deg.30 min. e, 12 chains and 51 links to a burr oak tree 10 inches through marked H; thence n 34 deg. 30 min. e 71 chains to stake standing s 62 deg. 30 min e, 82 links from a burr oak tree 8 inches through; thence n 69 deg. 30 min. e 10 chains 55 links to the center of the Janesville and Madison road.  The courses and distances are the center of the road.  Given under my hand this 19th day of December 1847.  Anson Vaughn, Surveyor.

The following town officers were elected in 1847:  Supervisors, Ira Jones, Chmn, Hiram Griffith and James Allen; Town Clerk, Wm. Dudley; Treasurer, Leander Hoskins; Collector, Jacob West; Assessors, Alanson B. Vaughn, Andrew J. Sutherland; Highway commissioners, A. B. Vaughn, John A. Griffith and John T. Baker; School commissioners; Wm. Dudley, Amza B. Lewis, Levi Leonard; Constables, Allen Miner, Lemuel Lewis; Sealer of weights and measures, Daníl O. Chapel.

In 1848.  Supervisors, Ira Jones, chmn, Aaron Rowley, John A. Griffith; Clerk, Wm. Dudley; Treasurer, Edward P. Clark; Assessors, Miron A. Rowley, A. B. Vaughn and Solomon Simpkins; Highway commissioners, Thomas Robinson, Leander Hoskins and Willis T. Bunton; School commissioners; Newman C. Rowley, Wm. Dudley, Levi Leonard.  Collector, Alanson Chapin; Constables, Samuel Lewis, Alanson Chapin; Sealer, Daniel O. Chapel; Justices, A. B. Vaughn, Aaron Rowley and Peter Aller.

In 1849.  Supervisors, Alanson B. Vaughn, chmn, Peter Aller, Ira Jones; Justices, Aaron Rowley, Warren Foster, Samuel Lewis, A. B. Vaughn; ; Clerk, Rufus P. Ranson; Superintendent, Thos. Wardall; Assessor, Leander Hoskins; Treasurer, John Dawson; Constables, Moses R. Lester, Samuel N. Smith, Zenas W. Bevier.; Justices A. B. Vaughn, Samuel Lewis, Aaron Rowley, Warren Foster.

In 1850 at this election the total vote of the entire township was 127. The election resulted as follows:  Supervisors, A. B. Vaughn, chmn., Ira Jones, Jewett Boyington; Treasurer, Solomon Simpkins; Clerk, John A. Robinson; Town superintendent, Thos. Wardall; Assessors, John T. Baker, Peter Aller and Chas. W. Beckworth; Justices A. B. Vaughn, John Dawson, Jacob West and Aaron Rowley; Constables John E. Ring, Jacob West and John M. Atwood; Sealer of weights and measurers, Thos. Finch.

In 1851, the town meeting was held in a school house in the village of Union, resulting as follows:  Supervisors, A. B. Vaughn, chmn., Wm. Lovejoy and Myron A. Rowley; Clerk, Chas. P. Hoskins; Assessors, Allen Miner, John Dawson, Ira Jones; Treasurer, Chas. Wardall; School Supt., Thos. Wardall; Justices, A. B. Vaughn and John Dawson; Constables, Samuel Nasmuth, Washington Higday and Allen Miner.  Sealer of weights and measures, A. Moore.

            May 17, 1898, The Tribune, p. 4, col. 2, 3, and 4.  Evansville, Wisconsin