Medford, Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay


Origin of Medford, Wisconsin

Medford, Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

Bert Gearhart brought in the following clipping which explains how Medford got its name. This was in the "25 years ago" section of the Star News. Bert does not know the date of the issue from which the clipping was taken. The item follows: Probably nobody in Taylor county has known just how Medford got the name. F.C. Chase of Weyauwega was in the city yesterday with his son of the firm Wells&Chase of Dorchester. While talking over the early days with Frank Perkins he remarked that he was one of the contractors who cut out the Wisconsin Central right of way through Taylor county. That he and an eastern man sat on a hemlock stump one day. The other man persumably from Medford, Mass., peeled the bark from the stump and whittled the word 'Medford' into its surface, saying that he was going to call this place Medford. And Medford it has been ever since. Mr Chase says that they made their headquarters at that time on "Prink's Hill," now occupied by Mr. Walther. One day they came south on the right of way and built the first house in Medford, a log house at the south end of what is now called Front street. A.J. Perkins and family occupied the house in the early days.

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[Source: Medford Star-News, May 5th 1938.]