Town of Spring PrairieTownship Maps
At the division of the county into five towns on January 2, 1838, the two townships, each numbered 3 north lying in ranges 17 and 18 east, were included in the town of Spring Prairie, and were so joined until March 21, 1843, when the westernmost town was set off as Lafayette.
Palmer GARDNER came in April 1836, to section 25. Others who followed shortly include: HARVEY, HEMINWAY, PRATT, BENTLEY, CHASE, SALISBURY, HUNT, HOYT, CLARK, BILLINGS, PEARCE, BAKER, BELL, CLEMENT, COLEMAN, CRAIN, McNAY, MERRICK WHITMORE, VAUGHN and others.
Honey Creek lies partly in Racine county. It had a postoffice and cemetery in 1884.
Vienna, on Sugar creek, was at first called Martinsburg. Voree was the creation of Jesse James Strang, who came in 1844 and began to build a city and temple. It is not known whether he found the name for the town in the book of Mormon. He had about 300 disciples.
Spring Prairie was also named Franklin for a short time.
The Baptist church organized in 1841; Congregationalist met in 1840; and the Methodist society formed in 1837. There is a German Methodist church in section 2. The first known teacher was Juliette Merrick who taught in 1837-38.
There is a cemetery named Hickory Grove in section 30 on the southwest corner. the first burial was the wife of William Baumis.
This information was taken from misc. papers in the East Troy Public Library.
HONEY CREEK is the village located at the crossroads of Highways D and DD in Spring Prairie, Walworth County. Honey Creek received its name from the Pottawatomie Indians. It seems there were many bees along the shores of Honey Creek that nested along the shores. These nests were located on the Willow trees that hung low over the creek. The supply of honey was so plentiful that it continuously kept dripping in the creek, thus named Honey Creek.
The first seven people who came here were Benjamin Hoyt, Susan Hoyt, Mary Hoyt, Benjamin Fowler, Nancy Fowler, Ann Hopkins and Franklin P. Augir. The came from Vermont and other New England States. Their covered wagons served as their first shelter until trees could be cut down and permanent homes built.
The Honey Creek School was first organized in 1838-1839. The building was a frame one. Spencer Pitman was the teacher and he had eight pupils. The School lasted only eight days but the next year another start was made and with seventeen pupils and Mr. Coudry being the teacher. The school term was three months and from then on the school flourished. A stone building was erected in 1860, which gave way to the present building in 1915.
In the year 1841, a group of early settlers felt that they needed a church. On February 6, 1841 seven people: Benjamin Hoyt, Susan Hoyt, Benjamin Fowler, Nancy Fowler, Ann Hopkins, Mary Heath and Benjamin Augir met in the dwelling of Benjamin Hoyt and formally organized a Free Will Baptist Church.
From History of Walworth County Wisconsin, Vol. 1, by Albert Clayton Beckwith, publ. 1912.
Dr. Daniel ALLEN (1787-1859) came from Hamburg, New York, with his wife, Olive ENGLISH (1782-1864), to section 31, East Troy, in 1838, and to the next town. His son, Lucius, became a man of county affairs, and a daughter, Lucinda, was married first to John MAYHEW and second to John YOUNG.
John BACON (1785-1865) was born at Kinderhook and came here from Angelica, New York. His wife was Sarah PERRY.
Robert BRIERLEY died in 1864.
Marcus R. BRITTEN (1815-1890) was born at Amsterdam, New York. His wife was Caroline KLOCK (1815-1898). He was a Baptist deacon and opposed Freemasonry.
Samuel BRITTAIN (1810-1890) was born in Lincolnshire and came to the States in 1834. In 1836 he was at Geneva and took a two-handed part in the battle with Payne's man, SCHOONOVER. His wife was Elizabeth (1814-1893), daughter of Benjamin HOYT and Susan HAYES.
Reuben CLARK married Maria VAN VALIN, September 3, 1837. She was a daughter of Daniel VAN VALIN.
Isaiah DIKE (1802-1882) came from Vermont. His wife was Mary (1802-1894), daughter of Samuel VAUGHN and Ruth BOWKER.
Benjamin HAIGHT died in 1866. His first wife was Alma BEACH. Genealogists find HAIGHT and HOYT descended from the same remote ancestors, but there was no known kinship between Mr. HAIGHT and the HOYTS at Honey Creek.
James HARKNESS (1776-1861) had wife Mary (1783-1851), daughter of Joseph WHITMORE and Hannah CALL.
George HEALEY (1810-1884) had wife Hannah (1808-1885). Both were of English birth.
Dr. Ansel Asa HEMINWAY (1805-1895) was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, and died at Eugene City, Oregon. He had studied medicine, and his service was early and for long in local demand. He was postmaster 1838-1845. His wife, Abigail A. (1814-1906), was a daughter of Joseph and Hannah WHITMORE.
John E. HOPKINS died in 1867. His wife was Joanna (1813-1899), daughter of Benjamin and Susan HOYT.
Benjamin HOYT (1778-1860) was son of Joseph HOYT and Abigail, daughter of Samuel and Mary FLANDERS. Older father ancestors were 1, John; 2, Thomas; 3, Benjamin; 4, Enoch. In 1807 he married Susan HAYES, who died in 1862, leaving seven children. Of these, not before named here, Simon Batchelder HOYT (1811-1861) married Elizabeth D. CADY, at Honey Creek. Benjamin HOYT, Jr. (born 1829), married, first, Sarah ROBINSON; second, Alvira KELLEY. The elder HOYT was born in Deerfield, New Hampshire; his children were born at Cabot, Vermont. From their third American ancestors, Benjamin HOYT and Hannah PILLSBURG, were also descended the HOYTS of Allen Grove.
Gilman H. HOYT (born 1808) married Elizabeth HEATH in 1839. Their son, Clinton D. HOYT (born 1842), was a sergeant of Company C, Twenty-third Infantry.
Avery A. HOYT (1824-1906) married, in 1847, Caroline M. HOYT (1828-1897), his cousin Tristram C. HOYT's daughter. Her grandfather was Enoch, son of Joseph and Abigail. Mr. HOYT was one of the farmers whose intelligence and enterprise made of Spring Prairie a segment of the garden of Eden.
Samuel P. JENKS (1809-1889), a native of Onondaga county, married Pamela (1808-1892), daughter of Dan PHELPS and Elizabeth, daughter of Israel KING and Elizabeth JOHNSON.
George L. KAISER (1810-90) was born in Bavaria; came to the States in 1827; married in 1830, Margaret (1816-1897), daughter of John A. TAUBERT (or TAUPERT). She, too, was a Bavarian.
Thomas W. MILLER (1788-1863) and wife Mary (1788-1855) were parents of Mrs. Samuel PRATT.
George Henry PALMER (1804-1873) married Sarah LANGMAID.
Alexander PORTER (1803-1866) was born in Galloway (and old provincial name for counties of Kirkcudbright and Wigton, in southwestern Scotland). His wife Isabella (1813-1886) was a native of county Roscommon, Ireland.
David PRATT (1803-1877) was born in Massachusetts and died at Clayton, Iowa. Samuel PRATT was his brother and a sister of Solomon HARVEY was his wife.
Josiah Osgood PUFFER (1814-1895) was born in western Massachusetts. He was son of Samuel PUFFER, second husband of Eunice, daughter of Capt. Josiah OSGOOD and Jane BYINGTON. Her earlier ancestors were 1, John; 2, Stephen; 3, Hooker; 4, David. Eunice's first husband, Samuel OSGOOD, was her second cousin. Mr. PUFFER's first wife was Hannah M. WHITMORE (died 1862); his second wife was her sister, Mrs. Mary HATCH, who died in 1897.
Louis SCHMIDTER (1811-1881) is sometimes written in records "Smithers." His wife was named Amelia.
Erastus Otis VAUGHN (1808-1880) was not related in known degree to the others of his name at Spring Prairie. His wife (born in 1819, married 1837) was Olive, daughter of Benjamin and Susan HOYT.
Samuel Cole VAUGHN (1802-1868) was a son of Samuel VAUGHN and Ruth BOWKER, the latter a daughter of Luke BOWKER and Joanna DUNBAR. His wife was Sarah Hart Mills VOSE, daughter of Thomas Vickery VOSE and Sarah LITTLE, granddaughter of Samuel VOSE and Phoebe VICKERY, great-granddaughter of Robert and Abigail VOSE. Mrs. VAUGHN's mother was daughter of Joseph LITTLE and Hannah INGALLS.
Daniel WHITMORE (1817-1909), son of Joseph WHITMORE and Hannah CALL and grandson of Daniel WHITMORE, was born in Essex county, New York. His wife was Mary E. NOBLES (1817-1896). Joseph (1821-1898), his brother, married Sarah, daughter of Sims EDGERTON and Harriet BENEDICT.
In May, 1841, steps were taken to organize the Baptist church of Spring Prairie and Burlington. Among the clergy who attended these preliminary meetings were Richard GRIFFING, Phipps W. LAKE, Orra MARTIN, Benjamin PEARCE, Henry TOPPING and A. B. WINCHELL. The Burlingtonians withdrew in 1843 to form a society at home. The church at Spring Prairie was built in 1846 by William JOHNSON and James HARRINGTON and extended as needed. Causes not unknown elsewhere and another denominations have so weakened this once strong society at the village that since 1881 few or no pastors have been egularly assigned to its service. Dates of the following pastorates are not definitely known, but their order is nearly as shown: William R. MANNING, 1841; Roswell CHENEY, 1844; Spencer CARR, 1851; Rice R. WHITTIER, Cantine GARRISON, Jacob BAILEY, A. F. RANDALL, Thomas BRIGHT, Edward L. HARRIS, A. LATHAM, John H. DUDLEY, Levi PARMLEY, J. C. JACKSON, J. H. ESTEY, Charles William PALMER, James F. MERRIAM, Franklin KIDDER, George M. DANIELS, A. FREEMAN, J. S. FORWARD, about 1880. There seems to have been occasional supply from the pulpits at Burlington and Elkhorn. Elder Ebenezer HARRINGTON, whom Mr. DWINNELL describes as an earnest, eccentric man, had begun in November, 1839, to prepare the way for this society.
Congregationalists met in 1840, and among them was Mr. DWINNEL. They acted jointly with members at Burlington for two years. Rev. Cyrus NICHOLS ministered at first to this mission. A society was fully organized February 8, 1852, by Rev. Samuel E. MINER. In 1860 the Congregational and Methodist societies built a union church, with seats for about three hundred persons. Its building mechanics were SCOTT & NIMS. This church too, has been discontinued, in effect, since 1881. Its pastors were Christopher C. CADWELL, 1853; Jedidiah D. STEVENS, 1854-5; Avelyn SEDGWICK, 1861-2; P. C. PETTIBONE (from Burlington), 1863; E. D. KEEVIL, 1864-5; Sidney K. BARTEAU, 1866, and Charles MORGAN.
In 1837 Jesse HALSTEAD and Samuel PILLSBURY traveled and preached in a circuit lying in four counties and having eleven infant Methodist societies. These were at Big Foot, Burlington, Caldwell's Prairie, East Troy, Fort Atkinson, Geneva, Hudson, Janesville, Rochester, Spring Prairie and Whitewater. David WORTHINGTON preached in 1840. From that date to 1860 little is told. Since the latter date the early assignments of pastors have usually been to Lyons and Spring Prairie together. The parsonage is at Lyons. There is a German Methodist church in section 2.
Israel WILLIAMS sold one acre in the southwest corner of section 30, in 1842, where Nathaniel BELL laid out and named Hickory Grove cemetery. Its area has been increased and improved, and it is one of the finest rural burial grounds in the county. Its first tenant was the wife of William BAUMIS.
Township Map circa 1900
Township Map circa 1907
Township Map circa 1923
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