Town of Ixonia History
The present flourishing town of Ixonia was at one time a trackless wilderness. No bridges spanned its streams and an adventurous pilgrim traveled for miles before his, heart was gladdened by the sight of an Inhabitant or the song of a woodsman who had preceded him into the forest. It took courage, skill, foresight, and struggling to achieve what we have to enjoy today. In the year 1632, previous of the white, the Winnebago and Pottowatomi Indian tribes occupied southern Wisconsin including Jefferson County for a considerable time.
Traces of these historic settlers may be seen on a farm in section 19, which at one time was owned by John Stafeil, where mounds still exist. In a more recent discovery in an area overlooking the Rock River in the same section were the human remains believed to be those of Indians. Also along the banks of the Rock River but in section 26, just south of the ford (now Hwy. 16 bridge), traces of an Indian trading post were dug up by Joe Marks while In the process of building a new home.
French explorers soon made their appearances, followed by priests and fur traders. In 1763 the French and Indian War was fought. At the close of the Revolution in 1783 this area became part of the Northwest Territory.
It is generally conceded that the Black Hawk War was instrumental in directing the attention of immigrants to Wisconsin, who from that date began to arrive in such great numbers that in 1836 a Territorial Government was organized by an act of Congress. In 1848 Wisconsin was granted statehood by President Polk.
The convenience of a ford across the river in section 22, one half mile east of the present site of Ixonia, attracted the first pioneers that settled in the township, known as the township of Watertown at that time. This little settlement along the west bank of the Rock River was called Vicksburg. In addition to several log houses, Vicksburg consisted of the Halfway House and Tavern, a hotel, store, and a sawmill. The Halfway House was built to provide a place for the prospectors to live as they went out to claim land. The 1850 census revealed that seventeen people were residing in this establishment at one time. It was well known as the "Tavern". Isaac Collins was the tavern keeper. Years later this structure was moved to the present John Humphrey farm where it still remains as a modern farm home. D.H. McCall built the hotel and the store in 1844, serving the travelers along the Plank Road. He later converted the hotel into a home for his family and when Vicksburg took its flight, the structure was moved to Ixonia Center. John Gibb purchased the original Nyles W. Naley property and built and operated a saw mill in 1849. It was in 1863 that Hugh McCall purchased the property. The remains of the old steam saw mill were cleared away in 1932 by the present owner Evan Evans.
U.S. Highway 16 now passes through this Vicksburg area. It was shortly after the construction of the railroad that this little settlement took its flight to sections 21 and 22, the present sight of Ixonia, at that time referred to as Ixonia Center.
Township of Ixonia Organized
It was on February 12, 1841 when a part of Watertown, Towns seven and eight north of Range 16 were set off to organize the town of Union. It remained the town of Union for only five years and then was divided into two individual towns. Town 7 was called Concord without any disagreement, but a dispute resulted in the naming of town 8. To simplify matters it was agreed upon to put the letters of the alphabet on slips of paper and have young Mary Piper draw them until a name could be formed. As the result, "Ixonia" was the name given town 8 on January 21, 1846, and remains the only town bearing this name in the United States.
History documentation provided by Carl & Alida Jaeger.