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Belgium History

The following is taken from "Histories of Washington and Ozaukee Counties", Western Publishing, 1881. It is copied exactly from the book except that I have capitalized surnames.

The town of Belgium forms the northeast boundary of Ozaukee County, and comprises all of Township 12, Range 22, and a fractional Township 12, Range 23.

It was set off from the original town of Port Washington, and incorporated in 1848. Among those who took an active part in the organization were John WEYKER, Nicholas SOSLEY, Anthony BARTOL, S. WILGEN, Nicholas WATRY, Nicholas READING, Peter BUWER, Theodore PIERSON, John P. WATRY, Bernard SCHOMER, Nicholas LANGERS and Nicholas WATRY. The first regular meeting was held at the house of John WEYKER, July 11, 1848. John WEYKER was appointed Moderator, and Samuel REYNOLDS, Clerk of the Election. The first school meeting was also held at the house of John WEYKER, when the following officers were elected: District No. 1 - Trustees, Dominique WOLF, Nicholas READING and Anthony BARTOL; Collector, John WEYKER. District No. 2 was formed in 1849.

The population of Belgium is composed principally of Germans and Luxemburgers, who adhere to the customs of their native countries. Their principal occupation is farming, the products of the soil making up the bulk of their resources. Next in importance to agriculture, is the manufacture of cheese. There are five large milk and cheese dairies in the town, which are pushed with considerable enterprise, adding materially to the revenue, besides creating a profitable market for the farmers to dispose of their surplus milk, which otherwise would be of little value to them. While there are no villages in the town, stores are stationed at central points where the farmers are accommodated with a market for their produce. There are two post offices conveniently located; one taking the name of Holy Cross, the other that of Belgium Station, established on the line of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railroad. The farmers of Belgium are noted for their industry, and have , in a remarkable short time, changed what was once a dense forest, into well-cultivated farms, each one possessing a good dwelling-house and barn. There are two Catholic Churches in the town, this being the only denomination represented. The meeting-houses are substantial stone structures, and are designated by the names of Holy Cross and Lake Church, the latter being located in the eastern part of the town near the lake, and presided over by Rev. George LEETNER. The Holy Cross congregation numbered, in 1846, twelve families. They held services at first at private houses; Rev. Anthony MEYER was the first visiting priest. In 1848, a log meeting-house was erected as a place of worship. This rude structure was replaced by the present edifice, a handsome stone building, erected in 1865, under the supervision of Rev. FUSSEDER, and dedicated by Bishop HENNI, of Milwaukee. In 1881, the congregation added a two-story stone building, at a cost of $4,000, for school purposes. The school is in charge of three Sisters of the order of St. Dominique. Both the German and English languages are taught in the school, the average attendance being about eighty. The church has also erected, at various points along the public highways, shrines or places of prayer. These buildings are pained white and are handsomely decorated throughout with artistically designed crosses and holy emblems of the church. The public schools of Belgium have not been neglected. The town is divided into eight districts, each of which contains either a frame or stone schoolhouse, surrounded with grounds sufficiently large to accommodate the children, with ample room for their out-door sports.

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