Town of Pleasant Prairie

From "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879), p. 557:
Pleasant Prairie
A pleasant country town on the Kenosha & Rockford Road, where the same is intersected by the line of the Milwaukee & St. Paul, has a population stated at 150, and is a desirable locality in which to reside and engage in the various pursuits of life. The township contains good facilities for education, a Methodist Church at Torrey's Corner, and a Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry.


From "The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin" by Frank H. Lyman, 1916, p. 320:
Pleasant Prairie
The first farm in Pleasant Prairie was located in the spring of 1835 by Woodbridge. During the summer of the same year Mr. Pierce, R. B. Barnes, J. F. Cady, O. R. Stevens, J. Miller and Abner Barlow located in the town and commenced farming operations. The first sermon preached in the town and the first in the county also was preached by Abner Barlow. The first religious body in the town was a Congregational Church organized in the spring of 1837. In December of the same year a school was opened by Alfred Walker, teacher. In the fall of 1835 a small store was opened in the east part of the town near the lake shore by Bouton and Robinson. These men owned a schooner which they ran to Chicago mainly and returned with provisions which were sold to the early settlers. At that time the inhabitants were dependent for family supplies brought from abroad, as nothing was produced at home.

Soon after this first store was opened to the public Elisha Sill established another, which continued but a short time. The first tavern kept in the town was on the farm later kept by Jonathan Eastman. Daniel Stevens opened a tavern in the spring of 1836; first in a log building and afterwards in a frame building of considerable size which was kept for tavern purposes for a number of years.

Fitch A. Higgins, Joshua Whitely, S. S. Derbyshire, L. C. Holt, A. G. French, Thomas Howland, Levi Hanks, Chauncey Hannahs, James Dowse, Ira Larabee and Parsons Taylor were all early settlers, some of them nearly as early as those before mentioned. John Dexter was the first town supervisor; John F. Cady, the first justice of the peace; and S. S. Derbyshire one of the first school commissioners in the county. A temperance society was organized as early as the summer of 1837, of which society Rev. Abner Barlow was president and S. S. Derbyshire secretary. Abner Barlow was a soldier in the War of the American Revolution and his mortal remains now lie in Green Ridge Cemetery, Kenosha.

The first post office in the county was established in the Town of Pleasant Prairie, in September, 1836. Kenosha, then called Southport, was supplied with a side mail from the Pleasant Prairie office until April, 1837.

The first Sabbath school was organized at the house of S. S. Derbyshire and the superintendent was F. A. Higgins.




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