Jens Jensen Dalby

JENS JENSEN DALBY, was “formand” or President of the first Church Council in 1895. He was born May 30, 1853 in Dalby vid Skive, Sjalland, Denmark, baptized in Overdrup Church, and confirmed in Kynby Church. He came to America May 4, 1873, lived for 6 years in Racine, WI, came to Stoughton in 1879 and to Rutland in 1880, and in 1884 settled in Oregon.

William Comstock

WILLIAM COMSTOCK, deceased; was born in 1808, in Rhode Island; he was the second of eight children of Aaron and Patience (Spencer) Comstock, and with whom he removed, when a young man, to Delaware Co., N.Y., and there devoted his time principally to farming till the spring of 1844;

T.E. Thompson – 1877 History of Oregon, WI

This pleasant little village of about 500 inhabitants is situated in the midst of a fertile agricultural region, in the southern part of the county, ten miles from the capital city, and is the second station on the Madison division of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.

Dr. I. Howe – 1877 History of Oregon, WI

OREGON By DR. I HOWE Township No. 5 north, range 9 east of the 4th principal meridian, is situated in the center of the southern tier of townships in the county of Dane. The surface is undulating, and was, in the state of nature, covered with burr and white oak openings, with a few small prairies and marshes. The soil is good for most agricultural products, but is not rated first class in the county. There are four small creeks, outlets to the same number of springs, two of which are on section 12, forming the head waters of the Badfish, and one each on sections 18 and 20. Bartley Runey built the first cabin in the township, in the fall of 1841, and moved his family, consisting of his wife, three boys and four girls, into it in the spring of 1842, near the junction of the mail route from Madison to Janesville and the road from Mineral Point to Milwaukee, known as the “old lead route.” It was a favorite stopping place for the teamsters hauling that mineral, and many an old pioneer has seen from ten to fourteen yoke of oxen pulling one stalled wagon out of the mud near the pioneer tavern. His nearest neighbor was Wm. Quivey, in town 6, range 9. Mr. Runey was a man of great energy, but lived only two or three years after settling here. His son Garrett now occupies the old homestead, and few landmarks remain to mark the site of the once famous tavern. The next settler was Robert Thompson, who located, and, with the assistance of Mr. Runey and boys, built a cabin on section 12, near a beautiful spring which bears his name. The log house is there in good preservation, and the spring, as if in mockery of the decrepitude that has overtaken the young and robust pioneer, still bubbles and sparkled in perennial youth. At the close of 1842, Mr. Runey and family and Mr. Thompson were the only residents in the township. In 1843, the number was increased by the settlement of Stephen Hook, who located on section 27, and Thomas Hook, his brother; also, C. Sargeant, on section 34, where he still resides. Abram Kierstead and family consisting of his wife, two sons and three daughters who in a few years were married respectively to three prominent young pioneers, viz: Hon. S.G Abbott, Hon. I.M. Bennett and Wm. S. Bedford, Esq. C.P. Mosely settled that year on the present site of the village of Oregon, built a cabin-partly frame and partly logs-and opened a tavern. This log tavern was the nucleus of the present thriving village. Horace Watrous settled on section 1, and built a log house. Eli Root made a claim on the same section, but soon left. Thus ended the pioneer settlement for 1843. This number was enlarged in the year 1844 by the arrival of Rueben Boyce and family, who settled on section 36, where his son Rueben still resides. In a few days after his arrival, several members of his family were prostrated by ship fever, of which two of his children died-the first deaths in the township. Mr. Boyce was highly respected by the early settlers. His influence was large and always exerted for their best interests. Wm. S. Bedford located about the same time, on section 35, Stoddard Johnson on section 1, and Wm. Cummings on section 10, who built a cabin. Mrs. Cummings killed a large deer which had been driven into the door yard and caught by the dogs. She achieved a victory, but rumor hath is that in the struggle she lost nearly all the drapery with which woman delights to adorn herself. Ay any rate, she beat a hasty retreat on the approach of the young and blushing Joseph G. Fox, and would only speak to him through a chink in the door. W.F. Lee and Schuyler Gilbert came in this year. Mr. Gilbert located on section 10, and still owns under his patent. S.J. Pratt came in September, the same year. Landing in Milwaukee, he started on foot and along across lots, and crying, “to find a home.” Arriving at Runey’s in a few days, he located his present homestead, and now four generations frequently gather under his roof-tree. About the same time, John S. Frary arrived in Milwaukee. Hardly had he stepped on shore when he was accosted by a stranger: “Do you want to go west, young man?” “West!” cried the weary and homesick John; “west! For eighteen long days and nights have I sought the west on the fastest conveyances the country affords, and if you have anything further west, commend me to the first boat going east.” But he changed his mind, came with the stranger, and in a short time was building his cabin on section 24. 1844 closed with less than a dozen structures to shelter a civilized man in the township. In 1845, the township rapidly settled up. R. Underwood, wife and two sons-John and Henry-located on section 3. John still holds his parchment title; Ira Hays and two sons-Enos and Plympton-on section 5; R. P. Main on section 24, and six brothers, by the name of Devine, on section 23. They deserve a far more extended notice than the space allotted the writer will permit. Joseph Algard and family settled on section 17; Harry Brown and John Ellsworth on section 9, and Wm. De Boise on section 8; Amasa Salisbury on section 1; Rufus Rawson on section 12, where he built the first blacksmith shop. Dick Castleman has the credit also of building this first shop. In 1845, Nathaniel Ames, three sons and one grandson-J.N. Ames-settled in the township. Mr. Ames was born in 1761, joined the revolutionary army, saw Washington when he visited the winter quarters of his army near Morristown, N.J., witnessed the execution of Major Andre, and died in Oregon August 27, 1863, at the great age of one

Early Settlers: the Lead Trail

As the lead industry in southwestern Wisconsin expanded in the 1830’s following the Blackhawk War, trails were developed over the highland ridges eastward across to Milwaukee and Racine. Two of these Lead Trails, which passed through our area, influenced the development of our early settlements.