Term: Rountree, John Hawkins 1805 - 1890
(Note: birth date given in original as "Mar. 24 or 25, 1805.") pioneer lead miner, politician, founder of Platteville, b. Warren County, Ky. He moved to Hillsboro, Montgomery County, Ill., in 1824, and in 1827 journeyed north to prospect in the Wisconsin lead region. In 1827 with J. B. Campbell, he established a claim on the Little Platte River at the present site of Platteville. A settlement soon grew up around the rich lead deposits in the area, and in 1834 Rountree platted the village. He was the first postmaster of Platteville (1829), served as chief justice of the Iowa County court (1834-1836), and, after division of the county in 1837, was judge of probate for Grant County. A Whig, Rountree was a member of the territorial upper house (1838-1846), was a delegate to the state constitutional convention (1847-1848), and was state senator (1850-1851). He later joined the Democratic party for a time, but after 1861 cast his lot with the Republicans. He was Republican state assemblyman (1863) and again served in the state senate (1866-1867). Rountree served in the militia during the Black Hawk War of 1832, and for a number of years was active as an officer in state militia activities. Rountree was one of the first regents of the Univ. of Wisconsin (1851), and from 1849 to 1888 was vice-president of the State Historical Society. During the later years of his life he lived in retirement at his Platteville home. V. S. Pease, Life Story of Maj. J. H. Rountree (Baraboo, Wis., 1928); E. B. Usher, Wis. (8 vols., Chicago, 1914); Platteville Grant County Witness, July 9, 1890; WPA MS; J. H. Rountree Papers.
The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the John Hawkins Rountree Papers for details.
View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.
[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]