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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 4:


Territories, States and Counties

-As transcribed from pages 36 - 38


The Northwest Territory was erected by the Congress of the Confederation (the Constitution of the United States not being adopted until September 17, 1787) by the "Northwest Ordinance," passed July 13, 17875. Eventually there were formed from the Northwest Territory, in addition to Ohio,6 the Territories of Indiana7 (May 7, 1800), Michigan8 (January 11, 1805), Illinois9 (February 3, 1809) and Wisconsin10 (April 20, 1836).  Wisconsin was a part of the Northwest Territory from July 13, 1787 to May 7, 1800; of Indiana Territory from May 7, 1800, to February 3, 1809; of Illinois Territory11 from February 3, 1809, to April 18, 1818; and of Michigan Territory from April 18, 1818, to April 20, 1836, when the Territory of Wisconsin was created.

Crawford County, erected by proclamation of Lewis Cass, governor of Michigan Territory, October 26, 1818, included what is now Trempealeau County.12  When the Territory of Wisconsin was organized, Crawford County still contained in its vast area the present limits of Trempealeau County. The same relation continued in early Statehood days. In 1845 the part of what is now Trempealeau County north of the Buffalo River, became a part of Chippewa County.13 La Crosse County was created in 1851, and the same year was made to include what is now Trempealeau County south of the Buffalo River.14
 
Jackson County, when created May 11, 1853, included all of what is now Trempealeau County south of the Buffalo River and north of the line between Townships 18 and 19, the tract south of that line remaining in La Crosse County.15

Buffalo County, as created July 6, 1853, incIuded all of what is now Trempealeau County, west of the line between Ranges 7 and 8, south of the Buffalo River and north of the line between Townships 18 and, 19.16

In 1854 Buffalo County was enlarged. Its northern boundary was the line between Townships 24 and 25. Its western boundary was the Chippewa River. Its southern boundary was the Mississippi and the line between Townships 18 and 19. Its western boundary was the line between Townships 18 and 19.17

Trempealeau County, then called Trempe a l'eau, was created by Act approved January 24, 1854. It had practically its present boundaries, with the exception that the southern boundary, east of where the Black River touches the southwest corner of Town 19, Range 7, ran due east on the line between Townships 18 and 19, to the line between Ranges 6 and 7, instead of following the Black River to the line between Ranges 6 and 7, as at present.18

In 1857 the boundaries of Trempealeau and La Crosse were defined with reference to the channel of the Black River, which was made the boundary between the two counties from the line between Townships 17 and 18, to the line between Ranges 6 and 7.19 A few days earlier, the boundaries of Trempealeau and Buffalo Counties had been defined in reference to the channel and islands of the Trempealeau and Mississippi Rivers.20

The story of the creation of two counties instead of one along the banks of the Mississippi River between La Crosse County and the Chippewa River, is typical of the days of townsite speculation. In the summer of 1853 there was a flourishing settlement at what is now Trempealeau, extending to some extent up and down the Mississippi, and spreading out across the Trempealeau Prairie. Settlers had reached Beaver Creek Valley and Judge George Gale that year bought land on which to plat the Village of Galesville.  There was a thriving settlement at Holmes' Landing, now Fountain City, and a smaller one at Twelve-Mile Bluff, now Alma.


Resources for the above information:

For story of the territories of which Trempealeau County has been a part, see: F. Curtiss-Wedge, History of Winona County (Chicago, 1913), 50-58. See also: Reuben Gold Thwaites, Boundaries of Wisconsin, Wis. Hist. Colls., XI, 451-501.

5 - For text, see: Federal and State Constitutions (Washington, 1877), I, 429-432, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1788-1791.

6 - When Indiana was created a territory, May 7, 1800, the eastern part of the old Northwest Territory still retained its original name. This eastern division, with a change of boundary, adopted a constitution and created a state government under the name of the State of Ohio, Nov. 29, 1802. Feb. 19, 1803, Congress declared that Ohio had become one of the states of the Union. For enabling act, see: 2 United States Statutes at Large, 173, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1796-1191. For recognition act see: 2 United States Statutes at Large, 201, or Wisoonsin Annotations, 1914, 1798.

7 - 2 U. S. Statutes at Large, 58, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1795; the enabling act was passed April 19, 1816 (3 U. S. Statutes at Large, 289, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1801-1802); the admission act was passed Dec. 11, 1816 (3 U. S. Statutes at Large, 299, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1803.

8 - 2 U. S. Statutes at Large, 309, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1799.

9 - 2 U. S. Statutes at Large, 514, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1800; the enabling act was passed April 18, 1818 (3 U. S. Statutes at Large, 428, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1804-1805); the admission aet was passed Dec. 3, 1818 (3 U. S. Statutes at Large, 536, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1806). The enabling act (Section 1) attached Wisconsin to Michigan territory.

10 - 5 U. S. Statutes at Large, 10, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1807-1810; the enabling act was passed Aug. 6, 1846 (9 U. S. Statutes at Large, 56; or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1811-1812); the admission act was passed May 29, 1848 (9 U. S. Statutes at Large, 178, or Wisconsin Annotations, 1914, 1813-1814.

11 - Except a part of Kewaunee and Dorr counties.

12 - Territorial Laws of Michigan Territory, I, 327.

13 - Laws of Wisconsin Territory, 1845, 88.

14 - Chapters 131 and 132, Laws of 1851.

15 - Chapter 8, General Laws of 1853.

16 - Chapter 100, General Laws of 1853.

17 - Chapter 1, General Laws of 1854.

18 - Chapter 2, General Laws of 1854.

19 - Chapter 42, General Laws of 1857.

20 - Chapter 16, General Laws of 1857.




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