A Backwards Glance: October 1889
By Krya Jagodzinski
In October 1889, the new village of Lindsey was growing swiftly and the town board was working on improvements to its main road to accommodate the new development.
The small unincorporated village near Rock Township at the intersection of County Roads N & V grew up around a flag station on the C. M & St. P Railway, which was later known as the Milwaukee, Dexterville, & Northern Railway.
The survey of a village plat was certified on July 7, 1891, and the plat was taken out by Solomon L. Nason and George Hiles that September.
The railway was built by Hiles as a logging road, a 33-mile stretch reaching from just northwest of Wisconsin Rapids to seven miles past Chili, known as the nearest banking point.
After the railway was built, businesses migrated to the upcoming village.
W. Tarboc of the Necedah Lumber Co. operated the railway when it was first built, and smaller branches of the railway were added on over time to reach nearby towns.
Hiles settled a blacksmith in the town and later, a general store.
On Sept. 23, 1891, about two years after the railway was built, the village was recorded by the state. With just 55 citizens, Lindsey didn’t obtain any representation as a village, maintaining its small rural community.
New settlers opened a second general store, a coroner’s office, a hardware store, and a cheese factory.
The first logging operations in the area were owned by New Yorker F.D. Lindsey, whose lumbering camp was reportedly destroyed by a fire in the 1800s. But his logging business jump started the economy of the small village and brought in new residents, as he advocated for the community.
Lindsey came to Clark County in January 1866. He served as the county sheriff, 1871-72 and was elected to the Assembly from Wood, Clark, Lincoln, and Taylor counties, 1876-77. He also served as chairman of the town board, 1878-1880.
Lindsey’s passion for the community did not go unseen, and is recorded to be where Lindsey, Wisconsin, got its name.
The original name for the community was “Hogan,” which was changed to Lindsey on Aug. 28, 1889. The post office was discontinued in 1945.
In 1889, corner lots in Lindsey were selling for $100, while remaining lots sold for $50.