1847 Wisconsin Territorial Census
for the Town of Forest
1862 Town Plat Map*
of Forest Cemetery, Part 1
Town of Forest Cemetery, Part 2
Civil War Veterans Credited to Town of Forest
of German Methodism" in the Town of Forest
Seymour Ellicson and his
The town of Forest was named after the splendid forests of hard
timber that originally covered much the larger portion of its surface. No town in the
county was blessed with finer hardwood timber, with occasional jungles of tamarack and
some patches of cedar. It contains no genuine prairie, and but few oak openings. In early
days, it was excellent for winter wheat, and is yet, as compared with other towns, owing
to the peculiar soil of the timbered tracts. A great amount of labor has been expended in
this town to fit the land for crops; but the cash return for hard timber and cordwood, the
abundance of it for home use, the protection forests afford in winter and the excellent
soil when once ready for crops, abundantly repay the inhabitants for their extra
exertions. The town is well watered. is rather more uneven than prairie towns, has some
splendid sugar-maple groves and several water-powers. On Sections 28 and 33, in the south,
is Mullet Lake, whence rises a stream of the same name, flowing northeast into the
Sheboygan River, which flows across the entire western portion of the town, turning a
lathe, two mills and other machinery even as early as 1853. At Dotyville is a
flouring-mill run by water - by the Sheboygan River. In February, 1847, the following act
Sec. 32. That township number fifteen north, and the south half of
township number sixteen north, of range number nineteen east, in the county of Fond du
Lac, be, and the same is hereby, set off into a separate town by the name of Forest, and
that the first town meeting be held at the house of George Chase, in said town.
In March, 1848, another act, as follows, was passed, by the
SEC. 16. Township number fifteen and the south half of township
number sixteen north, in range number nineteen east, organized into the town of Forest, is
hereby declared to be a town by that name, and the acts and proceedings of said town in
its affairs for the year l847 shall not be deemed illegal or invalid by reason of said
township having been included in Taycheedah.
The town is now the six full sections in Township 15 North, of Range
19 East. It was settled in 1845, Henry C. Giltner, now of Minnesota, probably making the
first location, though Josiah A. King settled there permanently in May of that year, and
James Davis and P. T. King settled the same year near the center of the town, and were,
probably, permanently located a month or two earlier than Mr. Giltner. Early in 1846,
William Chase, at whose house the first election was held; 0. C. White, Solomon Benedict
and others settled not far from Mr. Giltner's, in the western portion of the town.
The town is now largely owned by Germans, who are unusually
well-to-do, a considerable amount of their ready money being derived from the sale of
wood, which they haul to Fond du Lac.
At the first election, held April 1, 1848, H. C. Giltner was chosen
Chairman. The first birth was that of Sarah Chase; first death, James Davis; first
marriage, a Mr. Slocum to Miss Riley. The first schoolhouse was built on Section 14, and,
in the summer of 1849, S. Corbett taught school in it. The town now has eight
CHURCHES. Some time in 1847, the first sermon was preached, at the
house of William Chase, by Rev. Mr. Scott. In 1858, the Catholics built a church on
Section 19, at Dotyville, and now the town has five church edifices. The Union Church, on
Section 36, was organized, April 7, 1879, by Henry Stannard, E. C. Coon, William Stewart
and P. H. Montgomery; Henry Stannard, President and Secretary; E. C. Coon, Treasurer; H.
Stannard, E. Conger and E. C. Coon, Trustees. It was dedicated by Rev. F. A. Marsh,
February 19, 1880, who preached the first sermon in it. On Section 13 is the Methodist
Episcopal Church. The society was organized November 17, 1873, at James Corbett's house.
The edifice was built in 1874. The first sermon was by Rev. J. T. Woodhead. The first
Trustees were James Corbett, S. Elecson, David Rogers, Ezra Coon, William Bennett and J.
0. Dowling. The first Pastor was J. S. Bolton. Present Pastor, Rev. H. Knight. The first
marriages in the church were Joseph Colton to S. Hall and S. Gibson to Sarah Bolton.
The first post office was established early in 1847, called Oasis,
of which H. C. Giltner was Postmaster. The second was Dotyville, established by Thomas
Davidson in 1849. In 1852, Mr. Davidson opened the first store in Forest, at Dotyville. In
1866, C. A. Corbett established Banner Post Office.
The first cheese-factory was built on Section 16, in 1877, by C. C.
Lyon and J. Smith. It is the only one in the town.
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.
Appreciation to Ron Friedel for transcribing the text.