buttonblgrey_fdllogo.jpg (3089 bytes)

eden.gif (16549 bytes)
Village of Eden, from C. M. Foote
and J. W. Henion, Plat Book of
Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
, Minneapolis: C. M. Foote & Co.,
1893 (Wisconsin State Historical Society library microfilm
P72-1172). Click on the map for a
larger image (216K).


Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin


   Village of Eden

Starblak.gif (298 bytes)1862 Town Plat Map*

Starblak.gif (298 bytes)Civil War Veterans Credited to Town of Eden

Starblak.gif (298 bytes)History of Eden Township, Jenny Tripp Sievers, 1926 (courtesy Dave Majerus)
Starblak.gif (298 bytes)Edward McEnroe's Early Reminiscences of His Life in Eden Township

Starblak.gif (298 bytes)Auburn Area Scrapbook (Includes Town of Eden)

In a southeasterly direction from Fond du Lac, bounded on the north by Empire, east by Osceola, south by Ashford, and west by Byron, lies the town of Eden--named after the habitation of our first parents. Two ridges of limestone, suitable for building material, extend north and south through the town. Otherwise the surface is gently undulating, and was originally composed of prairies, wide hay marshes, rather small oak openings and limited belts of timber. In early days, wild plums. cranberries, grapes, and crab-apples grew in abundance and were unusually large and edible. The highest point of land in Fond du Lac County is sad to be on Section 16 in this town, being 352 feet above Lake Winnebago and about five hundred feet above Lake Michigan. There are several large springs in Eden, and several lakes, in which fish and waterfowl, in season, are abundant. The soil is not alike in all sections, but is generally of a deep, rich loam, with a subsoil of limestone gravel. Farmers can follow almost any branch of agriculture with equal and satisfactory success. The town is well watered by springs, lakes, the West Branch of Milwaukee River, and other small streams, some of which flow north and some south. The lake in which the branch of Milwaukee River takes its rise, flowing nearly south, has another outlet on the north, which flows into Lake Winnebago; and streams in the south part find their way into the Gulf of Mexico, through Rock and Mississippi Rivers.

The mounds, pottery, earthenware and various peculiar articles found in this town, make it a peculiarly rich and interesting field for the archaeologist. These relics of an ancient and extinct race have been found in no other town in this vicinity in such profusion and variety.

Joseph Carr is generally conceded to be the first permanent settler in what is now Eden, though he did not enter the first land. In November, 1845, he began building a log house, which was the foundation for the first settlement in the town. In February following, Samuel Rand and Peter Vandervoort came with their families, and immediately put up log houses. The first crops were raised in 1847, and they were of such abundance as to exceed the most sanguine expectationsof the hopeful settlers. That fall, settlers began to arrive rapidly, or select locations on which to locate in the spring. Therefore, in April, 1848, by authority of an act passed March 11, 1848, a meeting was held in the house of Peter Vandervoort and town offices chosen. Peter Vandervoort was chosen Chairman, and Samuel Rand Town Clerk. The year before, or some time before, a meeting was held to name the town. The proceedings are this recorded:

Adam Holiday, an eccentric character, arose to propose a name. After commenting on the many beauties of the place, the richness of the soil, the abundance of fruits and flowers, and the beautiful woods and fields, he remarked that Adam dwelt in the garden of Eden, and that there were holy days there.

Therefore, amid some merriment, the town was named Eden.

The first child born in the town was a daughter of Adam Holiday, in 1847. The first boy born in the town, who also voted in it, was John L. Martin, now of Fond du Lac. The first religious service was at Peter Vandervoort's house, in August, 1846, by Rev. Dickinson. Mr. Vandervoort began preaching the same year. The first marriage ceremony was that uniting Margaret Bell to a Mr. Baldwin, in 1848, and was performed by Rev. M. L. Noble. The town of Eden is settled largely by a fine class of Irish in the south, though Dutchess County New Yorkers, Germans and some New Englanders form important elements in the population. In 1850, there were two pretty thoroughly ventilated log schoolhouses in Eden--now there are seven good school buildings in good repair. The Air Line Railroad crosses the town, and maintains a station called Eden, on the southwest quarter of Section 8. there are some good stone quarries and limekilns in Eden, and on Section 17 is a large spring, in which one branch of the Milwaukee River takes its rise, while from Twin Lakes, on the line between Sections 9 and 16, flows a stream into Lake Winnebago.

The town of Eden, Township 14 north, of Range 18 east, contains 23,058.79 acres, or 18.79 acres more than thirty-six full sections of land.

EDEN VILLAGE. Prior to 1873, there was no village at Eden. The Air Line Railroad gave it birth. The land, owned by L. Batterson, was platted when that road was built, and the first lot sold to A. Edelman, who built the first store. The large steam elevator was erected by Mr. Batterson. The first wheat shipped from the station was by Isaac Advance. The hotel was built by John Botzem, its proprietor. The post office was established by Peter Vandervoort in 1850. He kept it in his house, near by, until 1872, when he resigned. T. Hardgrove is the present Postmaster. In addition to three stores and the various shops, Eden has a thriving cheese factory.

Foster Post Office was established by Egbert Foster. It is now out of use.

The German Reformed Church erected a place of worship on Section 10, which is now used by the German Methodists.

St. James' Catholic Church first held services in a log house built in 1849, on the line of Section 29, by Joseph Lawler, C. Mangan, E. McInroe, P. Ryan, T. Ward, T. McGinty and others. This was used until 1865, when Rev. J. McGowan built the present structure. The first mass said to this congregation, which now numbers 120 families, was by Rev. Ehrle. Father M. O'Brien, the Pastor, has charge also of St. John's Mission, in Byron.

History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin,
Western Historical Company, Chicago: 1880

* From W. T. Coneys, Map of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Bogert & Haight: 1862 (Copied and Indexed by Sally Powers Albertz, Wisconsin State Historical Society library Pam 93-3904 Mss Sect)

** Like many similar publications of the period, Western's 1880 history relies heavily on interviews with early residents conducted many years later. Narratives were subject to selective, sometimes creative recollection, and the resulting work should be appreciated for the historical publication that it is but viewed with a critical eye as a history. We caution viewers to verify the data contained in these early stories.

Last updated 4/25/2000 This site represents an ongoing effort to collect information related to the history of the town of Eden. If you have information to share, please contact Bob Schuster by email at rmschust@facstaff.wisc.edu or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716 (608) 221-1421.