Though by name and by nature the citizens of Calumet County are peaceable, when the rebellion brought
them to the test of bravery they nobly proved their metal. The county raised more than it's quota of troops, and
Chilton, especially, was the scene and the seat of the greatest patriotism. Harrison C. Hobart, who left Chilton
in April, 1861, as Captain of Company K, Fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, escaped from Libby prison, made
a glorious record, and was mustered cut as Brigadier General; Benjamin J. Sweet. Lieutenant Colonel of the
Sixth; Capt. T. H Magdeburg, of Company G, Fourteenth Regiment; Capt J. N. Stone, Company G. of the
Nineteenth Regiment, and at the time editor and publisher of the Republican; Capt H. M. Gibbs, killed
gallantly fighting at Perryville; and Capt. O. F. Waller, Company H, of the Forty-eighth Regiment, are among a
host who assisted raising troops and leading them where their country called, and are remembered as brave
and loyal men. The companies mentioned above, besides fragments of other organizations were sent with if
"God-speed" from Calumet - little Calumet, but of the true blue blood.
Those who remained at home were treated to a sensation in September, 1862, which extended all over the
State. On September 6, of that year, rumors were in circulation that after having massacred the inhabitants of
Centerville, Manitowoc County, over 3,000 savages were on the full war gallop for Holstein; that some thousands
more were murdering to right and to left in Brown County; that an army of Redskins had invaded Waupaca
County, all egged on by the dire spirit of revenge which animated the Confederate States of America. New
Holstein migrated to Fond du Lac, and all able bodied men gathered in that section for the anticipated attack.
When the small band af Indians returning from their corn fields on the Sheboygan River discovered what a
commotion they had stirred, they were more frightened than the whites themselves. All excitements have an
end, and the Indian scare of 1862, which spread over Northern and Central Wisconsin is only noteworthy as
showing to what a fever heat the mind of the North was raised at this time, and what a small spark kindled that
heat into a flame.
The prime factor which binds Calumet County together is the Wisconsin Central railroad Company. Those
villages which assisted most in its construction have certainly taken the lead in growth. In the early part of 1871,
when the proposition was before the county to vote $60,000 aid for the construction of the Milwaukee & Northern
Road, Stockbridge and Brothertown both opposed it strongly, unless they could have a guarantee that the line
would run conveniently near their villages. The northern towns also voted against the proposition. New
Holstein, Charlestown and Chilton eagerly supported the measure, which was decisively defeated in the county,
but earned for them the right of way when the road was built in the Fall of 1872. New Holstein voted $30,000 aid;
Chilton, $25,000, and Charlestown $20,000. The road, therefore, passes through these towns north to Hilbert
Junction, where the northern branch runs to Green Bay, and the main line to Menasha. The Milwaukee &
Northern crosses the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western at Forest Junction. The latter road was built through
the town of Brillion in 1871-72, being finished in the Summer of the latter year. By the construction of these two
roads the really growing villages of the county were brought into close relationship with all points to the north,
south, east and west.
The increase in population of Calumet County has been proportionate to the ability and care with which her
natural advantages have been improved, and has therefore been steady. According to the United States
census, taken first in 1840, the growth has been as follows: In 1840 there were 275 in the county; in 1850, 1,743;
in 1860, 7,895; in 1870, 12,311; in 1880, 15,722.
The indebtedness of the towns, cities and villages of Calumet County amounts to $76,475, of which $75,000
was voted in aid of the Milwaukee & Northern road, and $1,475 is apportioned to the school districts.
From the last report of the County Superintendent of Schools it is learned that there are fifty-five districts and
twenty-threes parts of districts in Calumet. Of the 6,531 children of school age enrolled, 3,527 have been in
attendance. There are two free high schools, one at Chilton, the other st Stockbridge. The cash value of all
school buildings in the county is $36,685; of sites $4,051, and of apparatus $1,919, making 8 total of $42,655. In
addition to the district schools, eight private schools are maintained by the people. They have a total
attendance of 193, so that the total attendance throughout the county is 3,720, out of its population of 15,722.
Copyright 1997 - 2005 by Debie Blindauer
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