The first settlement in the town of Lima was made at an earlier date than at any other place in the county, with the exception of the town of Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls. In the fall of 1836, John D., James H. and Benjamin L. Gibbs, brothers, of the state of New York, came by boat to Milwaukee and settled on the N. E. Quarter of Section 26, town of Lima. This was the first evidence of civilization in the town. Log cabins were soon rolled up, and the following year a clearing of about eight acres was opened and planted to oats and potatoes.
For nearly two years this was the only settlement in the town. Milwaukee was the most convenient market where the Gibbs brothers bought groceries, which were brought by mail carrier. Flour was obtained at Sheboygan, from a company dealing in lumber and provisions.
In the fall of 1838, Benjamin Farmin settled on Section 9. The Farmin cemetery is located on Dye road and in this sacred ground has been buried Mr. Farmin, members of his family and many of the pioneers who first settled in that section of the county. The following winter Newel Upham also settled on Section 9.
In the spring of 1839, A. G. Dye, removed from Sheboygan where he had lived for about two and one-half years, and settled on Section 8.
In the spring of 1840, John Johnson removed from Sheboygan where he had lived for about three years, and settled one mile south of the Gibbs brothers, on Section 35. About the same time, Steve and William Palmer came and located on land directly south, on the S. W. Quarter of Section 35.
From the years of 1840 to 1850 a large number of settlements were made in the town, and in the latter year, the town of Lima, which up to that time had been a precinct of the town of Sheboygan Falls, received a separate organization. The first town meeting was held in the school house in Gibbsville, on April 2, 1850, the board of organizers were Hiram Humphrey, James Fyfe, and Orrin C. Jones. The first town officers elected were: S. Roberts, chairman; Hiram Humphrey, assistant supervisor; J. D. Parrish, clerk; Thomas Currier, superintendent of common schools.
Originally the land in the town of Lima was covered with a dense growth of timber, and for a number of years Gibbsville was the only hamlet located in the town. The soil is of a rich clay loam, and taken as a whole, the town is about as fertile and well adapted to agricultural purposes and dairy pursuits as any in the county.
The first school was taught by J. D. Gibbs at his home, Gibbsville, in 1840.
The first school house was built at Gibbsville, the original building having since been replaced with a larger and more modern structure.
The first religious service was conducted in this school house in the fall of 1840, by Rev. Isaac Lewis. Elder Hitchcock of the First Baptist church, conducted services on January 2, 1847, in the A. G. Dye home at "Wakefield," as the town was then called. This is supposed to have been the first Baptist service held in the town of Lima.
The first birth was a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. John Gibbs, in 1839.
The first marriage was that of John H. Gibbs and Clarissa Terry, in 1842.
Among the first pioneer settlers in the town were the following:
1844 Zebediah Littlefield, wife and son Timothy on Section 7; J. D. Parrish on Section 5; John Shaver and Richmond Wheeler.
1845 - Henry Pierce on Section 32; Hiram Humphrey, wife and son Amherst (Hiram Humphrey named the town of Lima in honor of his old home in New York. He built a log house on 400 acres of land); Dr. Cephas Whipple who built the first frame house in the town and planted the first orchard of any importance in the county.
1846 - S. Crosby on Section 5; J. W. Swett on Section 3; James Walsh on Section 29; Martin Daharsh on Section 32; Thomas Walsh on Section 29; D. W. Gilbert (one of the first supervisors); and Benjamin Tibbetts, wife and nine children (he built the first dam in the town of Hingham for Mr. Giddings)
1847 - John Plopper on Section 35; David Cook on Section 23; John Evans on Section 2; F. Craig, Jr. on Section 17; R. H. Tripp on Section 30; A. L. Tibbetts on Section 31; Joseph Kesler on Section 31; Henry Walsh on Section 9; C. Snoeyenbor (later merchant) on Section 26; Abraham Ernisse on Section 21; and Martin Miley and wife from Ireland.
1848 - Ben Halter, with parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Halter on Section 7; John Groenvelt on Section 15; A. S. Leason on Section 31; H. R. Hobart (sawmill) on Section 32; and H. W. Pietenpol on Section 27.
1850 - Joel L. Stewart on Section 10; August Merget on Section 16; Michael O'Conner on Section 30; and William Huyck on Section 14.
1851 - J. H. Wilterdink on Section 14; E. Melendy on Section 10; and C. Kesler on Section 31.
1852 - Daniel Daley on Section 30
1853 - W. C. Wheeler on Section 9; and A. X. Hyatt on Section 10.
1854 - Robert Huyck on Section 14; William Brasser on Section 26; B. Bruecker (hotel and store at Six Corners) on Section 13; and J. Huibregtse on Section 25.
1855 - G. Fisher on Section 7; M. Stoub on Section 18; John Pierce on Section 30; D. H. Norton on Section 30; James Pierce on Section 32; Joel Best on Section 32; and Henry Timmer on Section 35.
1857 - Conrad De Long on Section 14.
1858 - F. E. Hopkins on Section 2; and F. A. Balch (merchant) on Section 31.
1861 - F. M. Neal on Section 3.
1862 - Peter Balkema on Section 23.
1863 - O. P. Griswold on Section 17; and P. H. Delavan (grist-mill) on Section 31.
1865 - James Slyfield (cheese factory) on Section 31.
The following list contains the names of all the settlers, owners of land and their respective locations in the town of Lima in 1870:
Section 1 - H. Giddings; P. Haase; Mr. Hahn; and J. Knowles.
Section 2 - A. Y. Miller; C. M. Preston; H. Mallmann; D. Knowles; John TeSelle; C. DeLong; John Evans; J. Richardson.
Section 3 - A. and Frank Humphrey; M. Bennink; A. D. DeLand (cheese factory); J. W. Swett; W. R. Northrup; F. E. Hopkins; and J. Neale.
Section 4 - R. L. Wheeler; J. D. Rose; Mrs. Caroline Strong; C. Langner; P. Ketter; and J. A. Bentley.
Section 5 - S. Crosby; W. M. Rogers; A. Crosby; H. H. Kappelmann; R. L. Wheeler; E. C. Tupper; J. D. Parrish; and A. G. Dye.
Section 6 - J. Huson; M. and H. Tupper; Mrs. Browne; O. H. Byrum; Mr. Walters; W. I. Howard; J. Oosterhuis; and P. Greiner.
Section 7 - B. Halter; D. W. Gilbert; C. Fisher; J. Huson; G. N. Gilbert; and T. Littlefield.
Section 8 - J. D. Parrish; A. G. Dye; William Gallagher; J. B. and F. Craig; and P. Ketter.
Section 9 - S. Wintsel; H. Walsh; P. Ketter; P. Allman; J. Phalam; W. E. Cady; Mrs. Caroline Strong; W. C. Wheeler; and C. Humphrey.
Section 10 - H. Walsh; Mrs. Humphrey; J. L. Stewart; Carl Born; A. X. Hyatt; and E. Melendy.
Section 11 - John Miley; Mrs. Moore; H. Smith; C. Revolt; H. J. Boland; G. Kemink; A. Mittwede; E. Schramm; and the J. Neal estate.
Section 12 - H. Bensea; F. Mieserkothen; H. and A. Nytes; G. Tenze; Mrs. M. L. Adams; H. Kline; J. Juetten; P. Vandeloo; J. Cripleen; and F. Wilberg.
Section 13 - E. S. Wierman; H. Koenig; J. Steinfeldt; G. J. Neerhoff; B. Bruecker; J. Van Treeck; J. Cressman; P. Sander; M. Beumler; and G. Vandevort.
Section 14 - M. Groenvelt; F. Wick; William Huyck; Mrs. Kennedy; J. Steinfeldt Sr.; J. H. Wilterdink; Mrs. S. Chapel; C. DeLong; A. Ahrens; R. and A. Huyck.
Section 15 - J. Walter; Martin and P. Miley; H. M. and J. Groenvilt; W. Wassink; J. Wismer; William Van Horn; Thomas Bas; and J. Wohlfinger.
Section 16 - F. Langner; P. Wisman; J. Kimmet; J. G. Holzschuh; I. Ernisse; P. Klug; P. J. Ernisse; N. Eby; G. Zwick; M. Merget; P. Winter; F. Langner; and Adam Merget.
Section 17 - A. Humphrey; F. Patznick; O. P. Griswold; G. Frits; J. B. Craig; F. Craig, Jr.; and F. Beyer.
Section 18 - J. and A. Allmann; Pat Long; P. Mulvey; P. Hausling; M. Hagerty; A. Peterson; Mrs. W. Gallagher; J. Woodsworth; M. Stroub; G. Schnell; F. Senglaub; and L. Schneider.
Section 19 - W. Warner; Mrs. C. Nagle; F. Roggenbuk: M. and Ellen Hagerty; Kappler and Ulrich; P. Nicholson; J. Murphy; and Nellie Sullivan.
Section 20 - J. Serfling; F. Hoffmann; D. Murphy; F. Mulvey; G. Denglein; P. Weller; L. Schneider; John Doherty; James Miley; E. Kennedy; and J. W. Bennink.
Section 21 - H. Lorenz; W. Corsege; C. Harsh; P. D. Bort; A. Ernisse; W. Walsh; TeWinkle estate; and H. J. Wilterdink.
Section 22 - W. Van Horn; H. J. Bojink; J. N. Ross; H. Carpers; H. Harms; W. Hoftiezer; L. Bock; Al Kampman; and A. Kiefer.
Section 23 - W. Vande Loo; M. Trimberger; David Cook; Jacob Ludens; G. J. Brusse; P. Balkema; J. Heideman; A. Ahrens; J. Spranger; M. C. Van Vorst; and J. Smith.
Section 24 - J. Vande Loo; J. Ehrens; J. Emmers; R. Lammers; J. Meyers; G. Kuehne; M. Trimberger; S. Bruenig; J. Brasser; J. Butzen; A. J. Weavers; and W. Reintgas.
Section 25 - G. H. Arnsen; J. Kruischenck; L. Swister; T. and G. Buehler; J. Huibregtse; W. Bock; and W. Brasser.
Section 26 - Mrs. B. L. Gibbs; H. W. Pietenpol; H. Timmer; J. D. Gibbs; E. M. Fyfe; G. N. Dulmes; and Mrs. Dunnewald.
Section 27 - J. Rauwerdink; H. Ross; J. Daane; W. Kuhlman; B. W. Pietenpol; J. Obbink; J. Dulmes; B. W. Kolts; D. Oglan; and W. A. Hesselink.
Section 28 - A. J. Gruenink; J. G. Ruselink; H. Ruselink; G. J. Mentink; G. J. Ten Dolle; H. J. Hoopman; and B. Ten Pas.
Section 29 - J. Murphy; J. W. Johnson; C. Walvoord; C. Termaat; G. J. Bennink; Thomas Walsh; J. B. Ten Haken; H. J. Huenink; and James Walsh.
Section 30 - Mrs. M. Daly; D. Barry; L. Tibbetts; M. O'Connor; D. Daly; E. Norton; G. Rumsby; R. N. Tripp; T. O'Connor; John Pierce; and P. Dell.
Section 31 - H. C. Daschielt; H. Tibbetts; P. Coon; D. Norton; Joel Best; D. S. Cobb; Mrs. Shaw; L. T. Cotten; J. M. Platt; A. S. Leason; L. Tibbetts; J. Kessler; L. T. Collier (druggist at Hingham); and J. Johnson.
Section 32 - J. Stemerdink; Christian Flaig; M. Da Harsh; J. Leason; H. Pierce; J. Rensink; J. Pierce; and O. Brust.
Section 33 - J. H. Ten Pas; G. Meerdink; G. Goosen; J. Stemerdink; G. J. Rauwerdink; N. C. Gleason; H. J. Dulmes; A. Loomis; and R. H. Ter Maat.
Section 34 - John Walvoord; C. Langner; Mrs. York; J. Oosterhuis; A. Heiner; A. Prascher; G. J. Scholten; G. J. Lammers; and W. Neerhoff.
Section 35 - C. Snoeyenbos; H. Jentink; S. Oosterhuis; H. Timmer; L. De Ryke; J. Plopper; P. Sandee; and A. P. Grueppink.
Section 36 - H. Huibregtse; B. W. Mentink; J. Cornelius; J. W. Wordes; J. Huibregtse; J. B. Meerdink; J. Balkins; C. Van Ess; and G. Huibregtse.
Two hamlets, which for a time, gave promise of becoming small villages, were located in the town of Lima. Gibbsville, in Section 26, at one time contained a general store, at which considerable business was transacted, while at Six Corners, located in Section 13, B. Bruecker conducted a general merchandise business. A church, school house and a few dwelling houses completed the settlement.
According to the last school census, the town of Lima had five district and three joint district schools, with an aggregate enrollment of 524 pupils.
Hingham, the only village of importance in the township, has always been a thriving and beautifully situated little town.
Among the early industries located there was a flouring mill originally built by Delavan & Baldwin. A man named Long later bought Baldwin's interest in the mill and for a number of years the business was continued under the firm name of Delavan & Long. The property was then sold to a Mr. Huyck, and while being operated under his ownership, was struck by a bolt of lightning about 45 years ago, resulting in the destruction of the mill and also the dam. A three-story gristmill now stands upon the site of the old mill.
Fred Kuehner, was proprietor of a big hotel and popular dance hall which he conducted for many years. About 48 years ago, this building was also destroyed by fire.
One of the most important industries, aside from the flouring mill, was an unusually large wagon-making shop, owned and operated for a number of years by Emery Gardner. The Woodman hall now stands on the ground formerly occupied by the wagon shop. A man named Leason also owned and operated a smaller wagon shop in the village. He also made wooden pumps.
The first two blacksmiths in the village were Martin Kopka and a man named Bartlett.
Probably the first merchant to permanently locate in Hingham was Charles Keller, father of Mrs. Noah Saemann, both of Sheboygan. Mr. Keller came to the village in 1867, from Washington county, buying farm products which he re-sold to commission merchants in Milwaukee. Soon after arriving in Hingham, Mr. Keller formed a partnership with Fred A. Balch, and together they established a general store in the village. A few years later Mr. Keller bought his partners interest and became sole owner of the business, which he carried on for a number of years afterward. John Wisselink later bought the store, but after a short time he sold to Jake Brasser, who in turn disposed of the business to M. D. Haskins.
In 1867, Dr. L. T. Coller arrived in Hingham, where he soon after established a drug store and practiced his profession as a physician. Dr. Coller was one of the most popular men residing in that locality, and even to this day, many of the old settlers speak in high praise of this kind-hearted philanthropic man, whose first thought was his duty to his fellow citizens. (This next sentence doesn't make sense, but I'm quoting it as is - K. R.) Dr. Coller was one of the most ago, deeply mourned by all who knew him. A picture of Dr. Coller's store appears somewhere in this section.
The first shoemaker was a man named Warner.
The first tinsmith was a man named St. John.
Another hotel in the village was owned and conducted for many years by a man named Rossman. The building has since been remodeled and converted into a garage.
One of the most pleasing sights, on a clear day, in the vicinity of Hingham, is the vista from the brow of the hill at the former Lyman D. Hill farm, a short distance west of the village. From this prominence can be seen many of the cities and villages of the county, and on clear days vessels can be seen plying on the waters of Lake Michigan.
Mr. Lyman D. Hill was only nine years of age when his parents came to Hingham and settled on Section 36. The lad walked barefooted all the way from Milwaukee driving twelve head of cattle. His mother was the first woman to sleep in Adell. After reaching their destination, the family hastily rolled up a log cabin, roofed with hollow logs, the holes between being filled with moss.
Hingham has two churches, the Methodist Episcopal and the Dutch Reformed.
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