See PHOTOGRAPHS posted below


Some accounts of Monona County Settlers

“The 1st of these settlers was Elling Thoreson, who came to Monona County in March 1867 on a tour of inspection and returned to La Cross County, Wisconsin. In July he brought his family and made a permanent settlement.

In August 1867 James Severson settled on Section 6, was among the 1st settlers. He was the first Norwegian to locate here. His son Cornelius was engaged in the mercantile business in Ute.

Ole Severson settle in Section 6 in 1869.

Ole Engen, a resident of Spring Valley came to the county in 1871, and lived in Willow until 1877.

William Winiger came in the fall of 1871, and settled in Section 15. At that time there were only 6 families in the township, 3 years later there were 9 votes.

David Hull pitched his tent in the township in 1871 where he made his home until 1881 then moved to Dunlap.

E.N. Hang (or Hong) from Norway came in the fall of 1873, the winter he was teaching a Norwegian school. In the spring he took up a claim and constructed a dug-out in which he lived. He taught school for 5 years.

Frank Schlensig came in April 1875 and worked for farmers for 5 years. He lived there for many years and then moved to Soldier.

Edwin J. Hull settled on rented land in 1877. He farmed this for 3 years. In 1880 he purchased a place on Section 9. Which he greatly improved later he bought land on Section 16 in 1884.

Frank Kessler settled in Section 27, 1880 about the same time E.A. Atherton settled in Section 26.

During 1880 Thomas Cover settled on Section 14. He came from Keokuk County and was largely engaged in general stock raising.

Alons (spelling?) O. Moen after working in the country for 1 year settled in Willow on a farm.

In June 1879 Charles Atherton purchased a farm.

Early June 1882 John Olson and Peter Petersen bought a farm in Section 17 and settled here. John lived there many years after buying Peter's interest.

A.B. Felts settled on the farm on Section 10 in 1883.

The 1st schoolhouse was a dug-out. Located on Section 6, was constructed in the fall of 1869 and R.V. Ransome taught the following winter.

The 1st frame school house was built in the fa.. of 1874 on section 15, 1st teacher was Eliza Baily taught the winter of 1874 and 75.

Willow Township was authorized by the County board of supervisors to organized as a separate civil subdivision of the County on April 7, 1873. The first election was to be held at the next general election in the fall.”

~Contributed by Gerald Hicks, Dunlap, text history of Cover Country School House, formerly of Willow Township.

PHOTOS -- very likely both are Willow Township groups --

M. K. Mathison Land -- Sign says: We Won't Go Home Till Morning

Ole Engebretson is the man sitting on the ground with the light suspenders. M. K. Mathison, age 30, single located on the 1915 Willow Twp, Monona County census; Occupation - land agent. On the 1925 Willow Twp, Monona County census as Marcus K Mathison age 41, single, parents are Chris and Marie Mathison, brother is Alfred.

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This picture was labeled as "Willow Creek Rattle Snake Orchestra." The man sitting on the right side of the front row is Ole Engebretson and lived in (according to censuses) Willow Twp in 1910, Jordan Twp in 1915-1920, Spring Valley Twp in 1925. Unfortunately, this photograph is not dated.

Above two photos & the notes below each picture, contributed by volunteer, Kris Major.


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