-- Newspaper clipping --
Press-Star / Hortonville Star
Friday, May 31, 1996
by Diane Baumgart
(Posted with permission from the Press-Star, a division of Journal Community Publishing Group)
Hortonia to Celebrate Centennial
Hortonia Town Hall is 100 years old. On Sunday, June 9, a Centennial Celebration will be held beginning at 11 a.m. at the Town Hall, located on Hwy. 45 and Cty. T.
Land for the one room Town Hall was bought on May 29, 1896 from H. G. Hough for $25. The facility was constructed in the fall of that year at a total cost of $420.50. The stove and pipes cost $15.80 and are still used today to heat the building. Lamps and oil cost $2.60 and a dozen chairs $5.
The history of the Town of Hortonia begins in 1848 when Alonzo E. Horton purchased 160 acres of land at 70 cents per acre. The township was organized on the first Tuesday of April 1850 and Jophfus Wakefield was appointed superintendent. In 1853 the land was divided and reorganized into the Town of Hortonia and Town of Dale.
The first meeting of the newly organized Town of Hortonia was held on April 4, 1854. The town chairman was Horatio B. Sanborn. Eli E. Leach and Nicholos Mullet were inspectors and Moses Allen was clerk with Orrin Poole, assistant clerk. [ !! CLICK HERE !! for a history of our Fire Department ]
Forty years later the Village of Hortonville was incorporated. Property was divided between the two local governments with final settlement satisfied on April 10, 1895. Valuation of the town was set at $209,930, with the village set at $162,431.
In letters that went out to current residents of Hortonia, in anticipation of the Centennial Celebration, it says that "Here is democracy at its finest; practiced today just as it was when the town hall was built in 1896. There's the pot bellied stove in the middle of the floor to keep one side of the attending residents warm in the winter; the wooden chairs and benches that have seen many a bottom over a century of use, the narrow voting stalls with half curtains made by a generous town resident and of course, the outdoor privy for both summer and winter.
"It's here that any resident attending the monthly town hall meeting gets to express his/her opinion on the state of the township and actually gets to bring up and vote on town issues at the annual town meeting. It's where neighbor meets neighbor and differences sometime get ironed out It's where spring planting is discussed and zoning rules come into being; where refuse collection and the state of a neighbor's health and how to help that person all come together."
It's government in its most basic form. So while the celebration of the Town Hall is one to be remembered, it is the concept behind that hall that is to be treasured.
Hortonia Town Hall Centennial Celebration
Sunday, June 9, 1996 Hortonia Town Hall Hwy. 45 and Cty. T
11 a.m. Flag Raising
12 p.m. Pot luck Meal (please bring a dish to pass) Hamburgers, wieners, sausage, buns and chips provided.
1-3 p.m. Children Games, Baby Cakes the Clown, Horse drawn wagon rides
2 p.m. Pie Judging Contest - Enter your favorite pie.
Other events: Small animal petting zoo, Music provided. Old Farm Machinery display, Old Photo Display, History of Township
If possible, wear 1896 attire.