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   Land Patent Records--Mackford Township
   Land Patent Records--Green Lake County
   1847 Wisconsin Territorial Census--Precinct of Tichora
   1855 Wisconsin State Census--Town of Mackford

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   Gillespy's 1860 History of Green Lake County: IX. Town of Mackford
   John Parker Exchanges in James Pond's Markesan Journal, 1861
   Markesan Directory from Fox & Dudley History of Green Lake Co., 1869
   Markesan Gazetteers
   Third Wisconsin Cavalry, Company C, 1861-65 
   Looking for Osgood Learned, 8th Wis Inf, 1862
   Creation of the Brandon-Markesan Railroad Line, 1882
   History of Markesan (City of Markesan Web Site)

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    Markesan and Mackford Area Biographies
    "A Pioneer Boyhood,"
James B. Pond
   From "Eccentricities of Genius,"
James B. Pond
   "I Remember Grandma,"
Mildred (Dunsmoor) Turner
   "The Yosemite House - As I Remember,"
Mildred (Dunsmoor) Turner
   Biography of Sculptor Clarence Addison Shaler
   Arthur Mathews (1860-1945), Markesan-Born American Impressionist Artist


from John C. Gillespy, The History   of Green Lake County,
Berlin: T. L. Terry & Co., 1860

Bounded on the North by the town of Green Lake; on the East by Fond du Lac county; on the South by Dodge county; on the West by the town of Manchester. Passing up the valley of the Grand River, one mile from Markesan, is McCracken's mills-- mill built 1848, grist mill 1855, three stories high, two run of stone--capacity, seventy barrels flour in twenty-four hours--Mr. Austin McCracken, the builder and owner of these mills, and the lands adjacent, was one of the early settlers of the county, and from the appearance of a homestead opposite to his mills, and all the surroundings, one would well believe he never had regretted emigrating from his Eastern home and becoming a denizen of the State; doubtless like all pioneers in a new country, he has been through a various and trying experience, and is now reaping a rich reward for all his trials and privations.

From these mills to the village of Mackford, it is about one and a half miles, where we find a Post-office; two large Stone Buildings; one Variety store; one Blacksmith Shop; one Wagon Shop; one Carpenter Shop; two Cooper Shops; two Shoe Makers; one Tailor; District School.

The first saw mill built in the county, was erected at this place in 1843, by Mr. H. McDonald. Messrs. McDonald, Carhart and White erected in 1850, a four story stone grist mill, two runs of stone--capacity, 100 barrels flour in twenty-four hours. There are quite a number of dwellings; population of the village 150. Here was the first improvement of the water power of Grand River, by Mr. H. McDonald, who built the first house in town in 1836; subsequently broke up the first land and raised the first staples.

This town derives its name from the first part of McDonald's name, Mac., and a crossing place over the river.

[Markesan] is very pleasantly situated on the rather uneven land lying both sides of the Grand River, in the town of Mackford; platted out in 1849; proprietors, John Chappel and C. E. Russell; one and a half miles square; incorporated May, 1853; President, Ira Manley; Trustees, John Parker, P. Nelson, G. Harris, E. A. Wilder and M. George; R. Lexington, Clerk; more than 800 inhabitants; a greater portion Yankees; some fifteen English families. There is one Grist Mill, built, 1846, now owned by Mr. Parker, four stories high, two run of stone; capacity 100 bbls. in twenty-four hours; three Blacksmith shops; one Wagon shop; two Cabinet shops; one Cabinet Ware-room; three Shoe shops; two Taverns; one Drug and Book store; two saloons; four first class country Stores; one Variety Store; one Hardware store; one Stone and Tin shop; one Harness and Saddlery; two Cooper shops; one Livery Stable; one Taylor shop; one Watch Maker and Jeweller; one Milliner; two Physicians; one Meat Market; one Post-office; one Bank of Discount and Deposit--capital $75,000--C. P. Dearbon, Cashier; Insurance Agent and Notary; one Weekly Newspaper and Job office.

First frame house built in the village by Mr. Seward, now occupied by Mr. Harris.

The district school-house is very pleasantly located upon a rise of ground near the center of the village; built of stone; two stories high; is the best and most imposing structure of the kind in the county.

But few villages present a more picturesque panorama. The art of man has adorned, if possible, this spot of ground, so well adapted in its features for the dwellings of man. The village is second in importance in the county; the center of a very rich farming country, its trade is very considerable; its business men are capable and have the means to supply the wants of the population; it is increasing, and will increase, in wealth and population; its advantages for the transportation of merchandise and the products of the country, may not be so convenient as some other places, yet being only six miles from the railroad at Brandon, Fond du Lac county, this length of transportation can affect but little its future growth.

Last updated 2/13/2000 This site represents an ongoing effort to collect information related to the history of the town of Mackford. If you have information to share, please contact Bob Schuster by email at or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716 (608) 221-1421.