Township History - 1880
Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
(From the "History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin" published by the Western Historical Company, Chicago, IL. - 1880)
1880 Lamartine Township
This town, lying directly west of the town and city of Fond du Lac, Township 15 north, of Range 16 east, was named after Alphonse de Lamartine, the French poet and historian, who sprang into such wonderful popularity during the French revolution of 1848. Before that time the town had been called Seven Mile Creek, an awkward name, derived from the settlement on the creek about seven miles from Fond du Lac, and an act of February 11, 1847, erected it into a legal town, the first election being held at Peter V. Sangs house. The name was changed to Lamartine (Lam-ar-teen) by an act approved August 8, 1848. The first settler was John Parker, Jr., though the first location and claim of land were made by Edward Beeson in 1837, and perfected by Peter V. Sang in 1840. The former began residing upon the latters farm early in 1842, and, in August, 1842, Mr. Sang became a boarder in the Parker family. The next settlers were John Parker, Sr., J. M. Loomis, Samuel Bacon and, soon after, others. The first child born in the town was Martha Parker, in February, 1843.
The first death, John Parker, Sr., in September, 1844. In January, 1847, S. Westfall, aged forty-five, was frozen to death while crossing Lamartine to his home in Oakfleld (then called Lime) with a yoke of oxen.
The first marriage was Cyrus E. Stowe to Hannah M. Hooper, a step-daughter of P. V. Sangs.
The first school was taught in the fall of 1847, by Russell Northrup, in a schoolhouse erected that year on Section 31. The town now contains eight schoolhouses and twelve districts, the schoolhouse at the little village of Seven Mile Creek being the largest in the town.
The first sermon was preached by the Rev. Morgan L. Noble in 1844, in Peter V. Sangs house. The town now contains four church edifices - one Baptist, two Methodist and one Catholic, the Methodists erecting the first on Section 34, about 1859 or 1860.
The first post office was established in 1845, called Seven Mile Creek, and Peter V. Sang was the first Postmaster, which position he retained twenty years. George H. Ferris is the present Postmaster, his office being now called Lamartine.
The first store was opened in Peter V. Sangs building at Seven Mile Creek, in 1846, by William Hughes.
The first town officers were: A. C. Everest, Chairman; Thomas Magee and C. H. Warren Supervisors;. P. V. Sang, Clerk; J. H. Fancher, Treasurer; William Magee, Assessor, and C. B. Stowe, Justice of the Peace. A. D. Nash is now Chairman; George H. Ferris, Clerk; H. Gilbert, Assessor; James Galland, Treasurer, and George H. Ferris, Justice of the Peace.
The first hotel was opened by Peter V. Sang, as soon as he had made a settlement. He did a large business, but now there is little hotel business done in the town. The Lamartine House, built in 1860, is kept by Charles De Voe, at Lamartine.
The soil of Lamartine is somewhat different from that of other towns. It is of a whitish clay mixed with black loam; the lowlands are deep, rich and dark, while several large marshes are unfit for cultivation. Section 17 is largely a marsh, and the Lamartine Peat Fuel Companys tract of peat is in this town. The northern portion is the most heavily timbered. Sheep-raising, dairying and raising grass form almost as important branches as grain-raising in Lamartine.
There is neither mill nor water-power in the town, though the West Branch of Fond du Lac River flows across the northeast corner, and a branch of the East Branch takes its rise in the center of the town.
The Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railway crosses the northeast corner, but only a flag - station, called Woodhull, which is also a post office, is maintained. This office was named after John Woodhull, for nearly twenty years Deputy Postmaster of Fond du Lac.
Lamartine Post Office, or Seven Mile Creek, is the business center of the town. Orchard Brothers have a wagon factory; G. H. Ferris and the Wisnoms stores; besides blacksmith-shops, cheese-factory, schoolhouse, two churches, a Good Templars Lodge and shoe-shop. In May, 1848, Peter V. Sang wrote as follows to one of the Fond du Lac papers:
"Just look at it; it is but five years since Sang moved into this town, and was then the only landholder in it; in fact, the only resident between Fond du Lac and Waupun, remaining such for nearly two years; and now there are not over eight sections of vacant land in the town not owned by actual settlers. We have, in the vicinity of Sangs place, a tavern, blacksmith-shop, weaver, wagon-maker, tailors and mechanics, post office, land agency, schoolhouse, and a number of other buildings. Arrangements have been made to open a dry-goods and grocery store during the coming summer. Nearly one-third of the inhabitants of the town and its immediate vicinity have experienced religion, of different denominations, and the revival is still progressing. The credit for this is due to the Revs. Card, Elwell, Burgess, Elsberry and other preachers of the Gospel."
The M. E. Church, first formed by Rev. Henry Requa, in 1836, has a good edifice for worship and a good parsonage. The first meetings were held in the schoolhouse, but in 1859, the first building, costing $700, was erected. In 1867, it was rebuilt at a cost of $1,000. The first Trustees were P. V. Sang, D. E. Hutchins, Asher Williams, C. H. Warren, Ezra Stearns and E. Humiston. The present Trustees are J. Jackson, B. R. Harrington, G. W. Jackson, William Warner, J. Fisher, F. Orchard, George Lang, E. Gibson and D. Walters; Pastor, Rev. J. B. Coe.
The Baptist Church was organized April 15, 1848, at Cyrus E. Stowes house. The first services were held in 1847, by Elder Burgess. Services were held in the schoolhouse on Section 34 until 1861, when the church was built on land donated by William Townsend, at a cost of $1,500, and dedicated in 1863. The first Trustees were A. L. Robbins, J. Fairbanks and E. E. Crowe. Present Trustees - Samuel Wells, William Quick and James Walters.
On New Years Day, 1847, four deer were caught in P. V. Sangs barn, where they had taken refuge from the cold.