History of Ashippun, Dodge County, Wisconsin
From: Dodge County, Wisconsin Past and Present
By Homer Bishop Hubbell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


Town 9 north, range 17 east, was given the civil name of Ashippun. It lies in the extreme southeast corner of the county and is bounded on the south by Waukesha county, on the east by Washington county, the north by Rubicon town and west by the town of Lebanon. It is a splendid farming section and is devoted exclusively to agriculture, as there are no villages worthy of the name within its borders. There are several churches, however, and good schoolhouses. The Milwaukee, Sparta & Northwestern Railroad crosses the southwestern corner of the town. The Ashippun river and other streamlets water and drain the soil sufficiently.

The town of Ashippun was one of the earliest settled, principally by Norwegians, but with a large representation of English and Germans.

Alexander Leslie, a native of Scotland, settled here in 1843. His son John followed him in 1844. Alexander was the first white settler in the town. Indians were numerous. He built the first mill in the town. Alexander Leslie died in 1854, at the age of fifty two. John started on eighty five acres, five miles from Appleton. He then went back to Ashippun and built a flouring mill in 1862. He carried that on successfully until he was elected sheriff of Dodge county in 1873. After his term as sheriff expired he bought a farm in Oak Grove, where he took up his residence.

James Douglas was one of the earliest settlers. He came from Scotland in the spring of 1844 and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land and built the first double log cabin in the town. In order to obtain his lumber he had to cut a road a mile and a half long through the woods and mark the trees as a guide. John Douglas, a son, but two years old at the time, grew up with the town and became one of its influential citizens. Andrew, another son, was born in the town in 1846. He engaged in farming until 1872, when he removed to Alderney and opened a store.

William Curphey settled here in 1844. He was a native of England. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres, which he afterward sold to his son, John T. Curphey. He was one of the early pioneers of the township and county and the first crop of wheat which he raised he took to Milwaukee by ox team. The trip required six days.

Samuel Marshall was one of the first corners of the town. He was a native of Scotland, born in 1810. He immigrated to Wisconsin in 1840 and located at Ashippun, where he purchased eighty acres of land. Mr. Marshall formed a partnership with Alexander Leslie and built a sawmill, which they ran until 1865. They also built a grist mill at Alderney. With Mr. Marshall at the time of his arrival was a son, John C., who was born in 1840. John commenced work with his father in the mill, continuing until 1869, when his father retired from active business. John took charge of the mill; which was the only one in the township and did a large business, shipping flour both to the eastern and western markets.

William Walker also came to the town in 1844. He was a native of Yorkshire, England. Mr. Walker purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, covered with timber, which he cleared, erected a log cabin and commenced life in the new world with every hope and encouragement for the future. After bringing his farm to a high state of cultivation he retired from active duties and left the place in charge of his son John.

Others who came in 1844 were William Lawson, William Henry Leard and John Mortimer, all of whom emigrated to this country from England and became prosperous and influential citizens of the community.

A. Derse located in Ashippun in the spring of 1845, where he purchased one hundred and forty five acres. He was one of the pioneers of the town and became very successful in farming, raising both stock and grain. Mr. Derse was born in France in 1816. His eldest son, Nicholas J. Derse, was born in Ashippun in 1845. He remained with his father until lie reached his majority and then worked out for himself. Finally, in 1876, he opened the Exchange Hotel in Alderney - a hostelry considered first class in every respect.

Isaac J. Hubbard arrived in the county from New York in 1845 and purchased one hundred acres of land in Ashippun, where he established his homestead. Mr. Hubbard became one of the Prominent men of the community.

Michael McAlavey left Ireland in 1845, and coming to Dodge county, chose for his new home a farm of two hundred and eighty acres in Ashippun. He became one of the largest and most successful farmers in the town.

Ephraim Shaw came from his native place in England to the United States in 1845. With him was his father, Absalom Shaw. They located in Ashippun and purchased two hundred acres of land. The father died in 1867 and Ephraim took control of the farm.

Abel B. Sanford, of Connecticut, removed to Ashippun from Waukesha in 1846 and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land. He was very successful. In 1849 he married Esther Curtis and to them were born eight children. David A., the eldest son, became a minister and was placed in charge of Kemper Mission, at Darlington, Wisconsin.

Alexander Rudolph, a native of Baden, Germany, arrived in New York in 1840, and in 1845 he removed to Ashippun and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. He was one of the oldest and most successful farmers in this community. His son, Solomon Rudolph, was born in Ashippun in 1848. In 1873 his father gave him forty acres of land on section 8, where he commenced farming for himself.

Richard Copithorn left Ireland in 1846 and came to Wisconsin, locating at Ashippun. Here he purchased eighty acres which he afterward sold and purchased eighty acres on section 3, where he remained for a number of years.

Another pioneer who came in the '40s was John T. Curphey, a native of New York. He was but a lad at the time and was brought here by his parents. In 1871 he purchased from his father one hundred and sixty acres, part of which the father had cleared upon first coming to the town.

John W. Hays was a native of Pennsylvania. He located in Ashippun in 1847. In 1855 he purchased one hundred and twenty acres in section 15, to which he added one hundred and twenty acres more in section to. This was increased by other purchases. He became one of the large farmers of the town. His son, J. B. Hays, came to the county with him, practiced law, was clerk of the court, served a term in the Wisconsin legislature and was district attorney.

Philo Patchin, a native of New York, located in Ashippun in 1850, purchasing two hundred and eighty five acres of land. Mr. Patchin was a good farmer and accumulated considerable wealth.

Myran Merrill came to Ashippun in 1855 with his family, among whom was a son, Lucien. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land and resided there until his death in 1876, at which time the son took charge of the farm. In 1875 Lucien commenced the manufacture of brick and soon had one of the largest concerns of the kind in the county.

Thomas Steele, a native of Scotland, located in Ashippun with his father in 1856. He became a successful farmer and in course of time purchased land on section 33, which was the homestead for many years.

There are no villages in the town of any consequence. Alderney is but a hamlet lying within the bend of Ashippun river, on section 36. The hamlet of Ashippun is on the section lines of 19 and 3o, while Ashippun Station is but a stopping point on the Northwestern road and lies on the southeast corner of section 30. Toland Postoffice is in the northern corner Of section 24.

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