History of Liberty, Wisconsin
From: History of Outagamie County, Wilsonsin
Thomas H. Ryan - Editor in Chief
Goodspeed Historical Allociates, Publishers
Chicago 1911

Town of Liberty. - Alvin Burnell was probably the first white man settled in Liberty. The date of his coming, while uncertain, was probably about 1850, since it is said he was here when Joseph Turney and family came, about 1851, and settled in section 4 in what is now Liberty. Another early corner was a Mr. Yeomans, who, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society's collectors for 1856, had been living "at the foot of Wolf Peak, commonly called Mosquito Hill, four years," and who may have preceded Burnell. Samuel Reynolds came that summer or the next after the Turneys and lived in southeast section 15. Leroy Turner came 1853 or early 1854 and settled in southwest 6, where the fair wounds are now located. Henry Olin, who came about the same time, lived just beyond in the same section. Simeon Kegg lived alone in a little shanty on the Embarrass river. He was a Frenchman, somewhat eccentric and excitable. When he was elected sealer of weights and measures he jumped up and shouted: "By grass, I go right down an' mek Zhon Breidenstein's pint measure hold a quart!" Breidenstein kept tavern.

John Evritt lived in northeast and Charles Evritt in northwest 4; came about 1855, and together owned the island formed by the cutoff and Embarrass river. Ireland came a little later and joined farms with Olin. John and Charles Abbott came to South Liberty about 1854-5, but only stayed a few years. John R. Nickel about this time moved over from Maple Creek, bought land in section 4. Andrew Farrand came about 1855 and lived on the Shiocton road; after a few years sold to John Emery and moved to New London, Emery, it is said, devised the knotter for twine binders.

Thomas R. Torrey and one son came to Liberty December, 1855, and settled in section 13, township 23, but five years later removed to Shiocton. Samuel Torrey, who came at the same time, settled some years later in 14. Sargent Jewell came soon after the Torreys to northeast 1. Godfrey Dix and Michael Emerick also settled in section 1. Alexander Reeke, on the Shiocton road, near the corner of sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, came about 1856, and following him came James Pine, on same road. Pine's son in law, Harvey Hook, at the same time settled in South Liberty. Matthias, Fred and Christ Siegel came in 1856, followed the next year by their mother and father, Jacob F. Siegel, all settling beyond Mosquito Hill on the South Liberty road, though at the time Mr: M. Siegel says there were no roads in that vicinity except those used by the lumbermen who were then putting logs into the Wolf river. Jones of Oshkosh and a firm from Fond du Lac° each had a camp. John Morack and his brother, Fred Kanter, John Stake and Hahn came a year or so later, all settling in a bunch beyond the Siegels in South Liberty. S. T. Cottrell, Ireland and his son in law, John Sanborn. lived on the Shiocton road, but moved out in the later '50s. Godfrey Dix lived on the Gruppman place, was there in 1856, and a man named Ferkinson lived near him. William Rase and Kuppernuss in northeast 7, and Frederick Strake came early in 1858. John Grupmann came about a year later. B. F. Stimson kept a little store in New London and lived in the Third ward. Peter Thorn came 1857 and settled in section 14. C. A. Holz came the next year and lived near the Siegels, in South Liberty. The Dexters lived near New London a few years, but by exchange got land in Liberty about 1858. F. Eager came about the same time. William Rohan lived with his brothers in Lebanon, but came to Liberty about 1857. Dickinson settled in 4 the same time. Ripley J. Richards about 1858 to 5. Andrew Nitke about the same time came to northwest 9, James Franklin to southwest 6 in 1857. Nathaniel Wright owned land in section 13, 1858, and was elected justice of the peace. but since old residents fail to recall him, it is probable his stay was brief. Alonzo Quackenbush is not remembered as a, settler. though elected constable 1858. Henry Ketcham came in the early '60s. McFarland and his brother in law, Jack Anson came before the war. Anson worked in the woods in winters and in summer on the boats which ran regularly to Oshkosh. Augustus Wellman lived in northeast 8. Matthias Siegel brought the first team of horses into Liberty.

An ordinance, effective March 1, 1858, provided that all that part of the town of Embarrass, lying in township 22 north, range 15 east, be set off from the town of Embarrass, and constitute a new town to be called Liberty. An amendment to the creative ordinance rovided that the boundaries of the towns of Embarrass and Liberty changed so the town of Liberty should embrace all that part of township 22 north, range 15 east, lying north of Wolf river and the two south tiers of sections in township 23 north, range 15 east. The ordinance was still further amended January 13, 1859, and the boundaries so fixed that Liberty included that part of township 22 north. range 15 east, lying north of Wolf river and sections 1, 2, 12. 13, 14, the east 1/2 of section 22, section 23. 24, 25, 26, 27, the east 1/2 of 33, and section 34, 35 and 36 township 23 north, range 15 east. and so as to embrace in Embarrass, the remainder of townships 23 and 24 north, range 15 east.

By ordinance January 12, 1871, the boundaries between Maple Creek and Liberty were changed, so that the portion of Maple Creek described as the east half of the southwest Quarter of section 33, township 23 north be detached from Maple Creek. and made a part of Liberty; and that part of Liberty described as the northwest half of the northeast quarter of section 33, township 23, range 15, be detached from Liberty and made a part of Maple Creek:

At the first annual town meeting of Liberty the poll list shows 27 voters as follows: John M. Turney, John R. Nickel, Godfrey Dix, Joseph Turney, William Rase, Michael Emerick, Samuel W Tuiney, Henry Olin, John. Dickinson Sargent Jewell, John F. Siegel, Charles Everitt, Hobart S. Dickinson, James Franklin, James C. Turney, Samuel Reynolds, Daniel Ireland, John Everitt, Alonzo Quackenbush, Alexander Reeky, Augustus Wellman, Ripley J. Richards, S. H. Cottrell, Sylvanus Mitchell, Leroy Turner, Henry Randson Dickinson.

The first annual meeting of Liberty was held April 6, 1858, and organized by appointing Ripley J. Richards, chairman; Augustus Wellman and Leroy Turner inspectors; and S. W. Cottrell, clerk. Road improvement was here as in others towns the first consideration. While yet included in Embarrass the matter had received attention and various roads had been laid, notably the New London and Shioc road traversing the northern part of township 22, and another traversing the town in the direction of Stephensville, which seems to have been called the Reynolds road, now known as the south Liberty road. These roads traversed ridges on either side of a swamp which seems to have made a natural division of the town into north and south Liberty. A special road fund of a thousand dollars had been raised and after separation from Embarrass $350 reverted to Liberty and $150 was "applied on a bridge across the Embarrass leading to town of Liberty, which was the first across the Embarrass. It was determined to expend the $350 as follows: $100 to bridge the cedar swamp on section 2, $100 to bridge a swamp on 8 on the Reynolds road, $100 on the New London and Shioc road between the east line of section 4 and the south line of sections 5, $25 to be expended on the cedar swamp on section 2, $25 on the New London and Shioc between end of outlet bridge and west line of town. It was further voted at this meeting, that a special road tax of seven mills be levied, to be expended in the districts where raised. Voted also $150 for current expenses and $50 for schools. Twenty seven (27) votes were polled electing Ripley J. Richards, chairman; Joseph Turney and Samuel Reynolds, supervisors; Samuel W. Turney, clerk; Alexander Reeke, treasurer; John R. Nickel, superintendent of schools; Hobart S. Dickinson, William Raase, Leroy Turner and Nathaniel Wright, justices; Augustus Wellman, assessor; Alonzo Quackenbush, James B. Franklin and Sargent Jewell, constables.

While yet a part of Embarrass, school district Number 1 was formed but September 2, 1858, it was made to include all of township 23, range 15 in Liberty, the southeast quarter of section 32 and south half of 33 in Embarrass, and all that part of township 22 in Liberty except sections 1, 6 and 7.

Settlement of the town progressed steadily until the early '70s, the best tracts by this time being already occupied, the town has never been thickly populated and in the last decade has fallen off about fifteen per cent, the census of 1910 showing 521 Inhabitants, or about sixteen and one third per square mile in Liberty with southeast quarter section 32 and south half of 33 in town of Embarrass and all that part of township 22 in Liberty except sections 1, 6 and 7. The records are silent as to the date of the building of this school house.

The early settlement of the town was rapid until the war period by which time the best of its territory was occupied, its population per square mile of area being but sixteen and one third the last decade showing a falling off of nearly 15 per cent the last census showing 521 inhabitants.

Churches in New London afforded opportunity for residents of Liberty to worship each according to his faith and it was not until the later '90s a church was built in North Liberty and in 1899 a frame building was erected in South Liberty, both congregations ass Germans of the Evangelical Lutheran. denomination. Rev. Walker was the first pastor and had four churches under his care. Before the church was built, services were held in the South Liberty schoolhouse.

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