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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Richland County

Definition: Description from John W. Hunt's 1853 Wisconsin Gazetteer: "RICHLAND, County, is bounded on the north by Bad Ax [Vernon] and Sauk, on the east by Sauk, on the south by Iowa, and on the west by Bad Ax and Crawford, and is about 24 miles square. It contains 16 townships in a square form, and some fractional ones on the Wisconsin river, which constitutes its southern boundary. It was set off from Iowa county 15th Feb. 1842 ... The seat of justice has been established at Richland Centre. There are 4 considerable mill streams running from north to south through the county, emptying into the Wisconsin -- Bear Creek, in the east part -- Pine River, running through the central -- Eagle Creek, more westerly -- and Knapp's Creek, in the extreme west. These streams, with their tributaries, supply the county abundantly. The water is invariably soft. There are some pretty prairies surrounded by groves of heavy timber. The face of the country is diversified by hills and valleys. Fishes - - pike, pickerel, codfish, mullet, suckers, and speckled trout, are in abundance. Plenty of the best timber such as maple, butternut, walnut, bass, ash, elm and oak of different kinds, with pine and poplar. Lead and copper have been discovered in the southern part. A marble quarry has been opened in the valley of the Bear Creek. All the stone is found in quarries -- none scattered on the surface. There are many large tracts of well-watered and rich land in the county, hence the name. The county is settling rapidly with an intelligent and enterprizing population, almost wholly Americans. Its agricultural, mineral and lumbering resources, together with its proximity to an extensive mining country, and its facilities for market, serve as great inducements to settlement and cultivation. There are many thriving villages. Population in 1850 was 903, now about 3,000; with 76 farms, 175 dwellings, and 4 manufactories. "

[Source: Hunt, John W. Wisconsin Gazetteer (Madison, 1853)]

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