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Rosendale, 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 micro-film
P72-1172). Click on map for a
larger image (493K).

Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin


Land Patent Records
1847 Wisconsin Territorial Census for Rosendale, north half of Springvale and NW 1/4 of Lamartine
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Ripon's Booth War, 1860--Including Rosendale's Role
Civil War Veterans Credited to the Town of Rosendale
Civil War Veterns, Memorial Day, 1916
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1874 Patron's Directory
Rosendale Social News, The Fairwater Register, 1903-1905

In an early day the name Rosendale was the most appropriate that could have been given to the tract of land consituting the town of that name. It was suggested by Mrs. George D. Curtis, "because it was such a perfect dale of roses." The town, as erected by the act of February 2, 1846, was much larger than at present, consisting of Township 16, Range 15; the north half of Township 15, Range 15, and Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, and 18 of Township 15, Range 16. It was finally reduced to its present dimensions when Springvale, Eldorado and Lamartine were organized.

The first settler was Samuel Sanborn, who located on the southeast quarter of Section 35, in June, 1844. He plowed during the summer, keeping "old bach," and sowed wheat in the fall. He returned to Waukesha County for the winter, returning with his family in the spring of 1845. Dama Lamb, however, had located in the town with his family before Mr. Sanborn's returned in the spring; so Mrs. Lamb was the first woman in the settlement. That year also came over twenty other families, and in 1846, nearly as many more, and Rosendale at once became one of the leading towns in the county, which position it still maintains.

The first election was April 7, 1846, at the house of Samuel Sanborn, electing Samuel Sanborn, W. H. H. Dodd and H. C. Ward, Supervisors; F. Schofield, Clerk; S. Sanborn and H. A. Bixby, Assessors; J. D. Price, Collector; H. W. Wolcott, W. H. H. Dodd and Dana Lamb, Justices; Jerome Yates, B. Dodd and S. E. Smith, Constables; Jerome Yates, H. W. Wolcott and O. Grant, School Commissioners; G. D. Curtis, Dana Lamb and A. Kenyon, Fence Viewers; C. M. Balcom, A. Kenyon and L. A. Bemis, Road Commissioners; Stephen R. Sanborn, Scaler of Weights and Measures.

The first birth was that of James, son of Alban Harroun, October, 1845. [This was in what is now Springvale.]

The first marriage [also in what is now Springvale], Eliphalet Smith to Sallie Warren, November, 1846.

The first death, Mrs. Jerod Patrick, daughter of Jonathan Dodd, May 22, 1846.

The first schoolhouse was in 1845 and 1846, in Section 35, of logs, and Dwight Hall taught the first school in the winter of 1846.

Rev. Jeremiah Murphy, Baptist, preached the first sermon in Samuel Sanborn's house, in January, 1846. The first church ediface was raised November 4, 1853, on Section 35, by theCongregationalists. The town now contains six churches--Methodist, German, Episcopal, Freewill Baptists, Congregationalist, and Welsh Congregationalist.

The first post office was called Rosendale, and was near the present one of the same name; established in May, 1846, Dana Lamb, Postmaster.

In the fall of 1846, Jonathan Daugherty opened the first store in Rosendale, for Fay & Collins, where the present village is situated.

At the first election, Captains William and N. P. Stevens offered to vote but were debarred. They entered into an argument and finally convinced the Judge that "seafaring men could vote at any seaport in the United States," and were allowed to vote. So Rosendale has been a "seaport" since that time.

A. H. Bowe was the first physician in the town. Rosendale contains several large mounds, from some of which have been taken bones and various interesting evidences of a prehistoric race. Rosendale is comparatively level and has a warm, rich, quick soil. It is one of the leading farming towns of the county in nearly all branches, and fruits of various kinds are raised with fair success. Originally the town was moderately wooded, but the extent of heavy forests was very limited. The West Branch of Fond du Lac River has a portion of its source in a marsh in the center of the town, but the streamlets forming its head-waters are mostly from Springvale. The town contains no mills, water power, or manufactories, and not much stone of any kind. It has always been a forehanded section of the county, and its society is good, the people being nearly all natives of New York or New England. some of its prominent men were Philetus Sawyer, C. F. Hammond, Henry C. Bottum, Dr. A. H. Bowe, Dr. Storrs Hall, James Saunders, Joseph Scribner and N. C. Hill, who were early settlers. A list of its first settlers comprises the following: 1844 and 1845--Samuel Sanborn, Dana Lamb, Frederick Schofield, Job Humphries, Henry Wheeler, Almon Kenyon, George D. Curtis, Henry W. Wolcott, William H. H. Dodd, C. M. Balcom, Alban Harroun, James Port, Noah H. Jewett, Henry C. Ward, H. A. Bixby, Jerome Yates, Bushnel Dodd, Othello Grant, J. D. Pierce, S. R. Sanborn, L. A. Bemis, Samuel E. smith, Allen Perry, David Brinkerhoff, John H. Chapman, Frederick Jewett. 1846--James T. Elliott, Moses Ranger, S. D. Ranger, Samuel B. Parsons, Clinton Matteson, C. R. Pease, James Schofield, D. C. Thompson, Eliphalet Smith, Myron Howe, C. Stowe, John Ackerson, Thomas Fletcher.

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

* From Harney and Tucker, Illustrated Atlas Map of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Lakeside Pub. and Print Co., 1874 (Wisconsin State Historical Society library microfilm P72-1175).

**  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 3/20/1999

This site represents an ongoing effort to collect information related to the history of the town of Rosendale. 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.