First Settlers: John T. Kingston, Thomas Weston, E. S. Miner, John Werner in 1849
First Plat Filed: 1856 by T. Weston
Origin of Name: Winnebago word for "yellow waters"
First Church: Methodist Episcopal, 1858
First School: Necedah Village, 1852
First School Teacher: Miss M. C. Faye
First Post Office: 1854
First Postmaster: Judge E. S. Miner
First Recorded Town Tax: $1880.54, 1865
First Town Chairman: Thomas J. Weston
Necedah was the most heavily timbered town in Juneau County, It was covered with huge white and red pines that were the foundation of the Yellow River lumbering industry. It was also the "mother" town of northern Juneau County, from which all other towns were formed.
Necedah was home of the Winnebago people, with whom the first settlers hoped to live peaceably. As early as 1852, hoping to prevent illicit traders from abusing the Indians, Necedah voters banned all liquor sales in the town. Some whiskey, traders, like George Salter, set up shop on neighboring towns.
The legend of Petenwell Rock holds that an Indian man and Indian princess named Clinging Vine fell in love. Clinging Vine's father frowned on the match, so the two lovers ran off. Pursued by the Chief and a band of warriors, Clinging Vine and her lover climbed the tall rock on the banks of the Wisconsin river. Rather than be captured and separated, the lovers leaped from the rock, into the water, never to be seen again. In fact, the Rock is named after Peter Wells, an early settler who owned it.
source: Juneau County, The First Hundred Years, published 1988
On July 15, 1899, Charles E. Babcock was issued a license to operate the Necedah Bank. In 1903, he was joined by James H. Spencer, John C. Williams, C. C. Fuller and F. M. Reed to incorporate as a state-chartered bank.
Harry W. Barney succeeded Babcock as president in 1907 and served
until 1916. Clarence Fuller was elected president in 1916 and served
until 1950 when Agnes Kucirek was elected president. The original
bank burned down, along with the entire Necedah business district, on Dec.
14, 1915. It was reconstructed in 1916 and the building has remained basically
unchanged since that time.
ca 1880 & 1890
Last week business called us to the thriving village of Necedah, in Juneau county. Necedah is located on the Little Yellow River, about 12 miles above where it empties into the Wisconsin, and about the same distance a little east of north of the village of New Lisbon.
As a commercial and manufacturing point, Necedah is the most important place in Juneau county. From a somewhat hurried survey, we have been able to gather the following brief summary of the lumbering and manufacturing interests of the place.
The oldest as well as the heaviest firm, engaged in manufacturing lumber is that of T. Weston & Co., the individual members of which are Hon. T. Weston, Hon. John T. Kingston and Hon. E. S. Miner, the present able and efficient Senator from this Senatorial district. These gentlemen are all widely and favorably known for ability, integrity and energetic business capacity.
The business of this firm reaches mamouth proportions annually.
Their annual manufacture of lumber reaches ten or twelve millions of feet, ten millions of shingles, and lath, taken with the shingles, enough to load all lumber rafted down the river. The firm own one large steam saw-mill, one of the best water-mills in the State, a shingle-mill capable of cutting 70 to 75 thousand shingles per day, and a flouring mill.
Next to T. Weston & Co., Bradford McCoy & Co., are the largest manufacturers of lumber, shingles &c., in the place. They own one double steam saw-mill, shingle and lath mill. --- They manufacture annually about eight millions feet of lumber, four to five millions of shingles and proportionate quantity of lath.
Burch & Co. manufacture about six millions feet of lumber. They have a fine steam-mill. We did not learn the amount of shingles and lath manufactured by this firm.
Shorey & Co. make about four millions feet of lumber. We have no estimate of the amount of shingles and lath manufactured by them.
Fuller & Co. manufacture large quantites of Doors, Sash, Blinds &c.
In all it is estimated that forty-five millions feet of lumber, and proportionate amounts of shingles and lath, are manufactured each year on the Yellow River at Necedah and above that point.
The business of the firms located at Necedah requires the constant services of about four hundred men. To carry on this business and to furnish the employes and their families and the region of country tributary to Necedah with supplies requires a very large amount of merchandize. In addition to their other business, T. Weston & Co. have a large General Store, wherein is kept everything usually kept in the best class of that kind of Stores. To keep thier stock up requires the services of three teams, constantly, hauling goods from New LIsbon. We did not learn the amount of business done by the other firms in this line.
Fruit flourishes exceedingly well in and around Necedah. Last year it is estimated that about two thousand bushels of all kinds of fruit were grown in the place. Cherries, applies, pears and all the small fruits are abundant.
From this hasty sketch the reader will be able to form some opinion of the importatnt business interests of Necedah. The great need of the place is railroad facilities. The proprietors of the mills say that if they could ship their lumber by rail to market, they should never put a raft of it into the river. The business of the place would load from 25 to 30 cars daily. Such an amount of manufactured material ought to attract the attention of those ------ lines of railroad.
Source: Adams Co. Press, p. 3 13 May 1871
contributed by Joan Benner