Home Page: Town of New Haven History
TOWN OF NEW HAVEN
(For a slideshow of current and historical pictures of the Town of New Haven, click on the "Photo Slideshow" button on the menu at the top left of the page.)
New Haven Township is located in the northwestern most corner of Dunn County. The township consists of 36 sections, each section consists of 640 acres for a total of 23,040 acres. The Township is bordered on the North by Barron County, on the West by St. Croix County, on the East by Sheridan Township and on the South by Tiffany Township. The first Annual Meeting of the Town of New Haven was in April of 1867.
The first early settlers arrived in the New Haven Township area in the early 1860’s. They were mostly lumbermen. These men were attracted by the seemingly endless expanse of virgin pine forests. Since there were no sawmills in the area at that time, the lumbermen had to float their logs down the Hay River to the Red Cedar River and then on to Menomonie. There, the logs were processed by the numerous mills in operation.
By the early 1870's logging was beginning to play out. The results of the logging industry left behind newly cleared land. This in turn, opened up land for other uses. The next wave of settlers were the dairy farmers. This new group, coming primarily from the Scandinavian countries took over from where the lumbermen had left off. While the lumbermen cleared the land and then moved on, the farmers put down roots and created the community that exists today.
The population of New Haven Township is 678 as of 1/1/11.
The Hay River runs through New Haven Township. As does Bolen Creek, Carver Creek and Flayton Creek. Flayton Creek has also been known as Biss Creek, James Creek, Sly Creek and Fighting Creek.
Needless to say, New Haven Township has had a colorful past. There have been two murders that have taken place in the township, both in the southern sections of the township. The first murder was that of James Biss. James was found shot to death with 2 gunshot wounds to the chest. This murder remains unsolved. No one was ever accused or convicted of this crime. The second murder was that of Ms Eva Maria Hendrickson in 1933. She was shot through the back with a .32 caliber gun. Both are buried at the New Haven Township.
The Town once had its own “Town dump” this was located on 230th Street. (formally known as Dump Road) in section 25. This was on the east side of the road. Today, the site of the dump is now completely enclosed by a fence in accordance with DNR regulations. After the closure of the dump, the Town board set up a recycling center. In 2002, this site was closed and Dunn County established a fenced in solid waste and recycling center.
State Hwy 64 runs east and west through the southern sections of New Haven Township. There are three county roads running through the township. They are County Road Q, County Road K, and County Road V.
In addition to the State and County highways, New Haven Township is crisscrossed by 48 miles of Town road.
Interstate Highways have not always been around. Other roads were slow in coming to the rural areas. About the time of WWI, Dunn County lacked a good east-west road. There was a proposal made for a road to go across the north of the county and the south of the county. After a meeting in Menomonie, (the county seat) a man spoke in favor of the northern route, and Highway 64 was born.
The highway came into Connorsville from the West, turned north in town passed the Methodist Church and when it got to the intersection of the general store and the creamery it tuned east at a 90-degree angle, went past the church and school, and made another 90-degree angle to the South and continued east out of town. In 1948 the State decided to straighten this road, so they eliminated the two 90 degree angles and cut across behind the church. Connorsville now had a bypass. This greatly improved the traffic flow.
During the late 1800’s when people were first settling in to the area and the township was first forming, the New Haven Township’s Local Government, consisted of a town board, town clerk, town treasurer, justice of the peace, health inspector, constable, highway inspectors, and school inspectors. Today, the local government consists of a Town Chairman, 2 Town Supervisors, Town Treasurer and a Town Clerk. These are elected positions and each held for a two-year term. Caucus is held in January. The spring election is held on the first Tuesday of April in even years. New Haven holds its town board meetings on the first Tuesday of each month in the New Haven Town Hall. The Glenwood City Tribune is the newspaper used for publishing town information when necessary. Town agendas and notices are posted at the Town Shop bulletin board, Town Hall bulletin board and Kistner's Korner. Recent town clerks include: Wilma Noska, Vivian Solberg, Ilene Sempf, Elizabeth Lohfink, Jayme Beyrer, Stephanie Voelker and currently Diane Duerst. The Town of New Haven also employs 2 patrolmen who maintain the roads and do the many other necessary duties. They are Alvin Stoveren (full-time) and Jerry Malean (part-time).
The Town of New Haven got the name from the “Best Brothers” that settled in the area. The brothers traveled from a place called Big Springs, Wisconsin. (Located near Wisconsin Dells) New Haven Township, Adams County. When the brothers became active in organizing a community here, they named the township, New Haven.
The Town of New Haven Cemetery, also known as the “Old Connorsville Cemetery” is located in section 23, coordinates Latitude 45.1508 and Longitude 92.0672. Legend has it that “they had to kill a man to start the cemetery.” Well, we know this isn’t true, but just ask around and is seems to be a standing joke with the old timers.
Many years ago, it was quite common for children to die very young. This was due to illness and disease. It was not uncommon for the routine illnesses of today to be yesterday’s deadly disease. Diphtheria, Scarlet Fever, Influenza, Small pox and many other plagues devastated families. Most families purchased the full “8 lot” grave site.
The Town board and a Cemetery board jointly maintain and keep the records. The cemetery board consists of Town Board members and Jayme Beyrer, Secretary/Treasurer. Prior to 1925, the State did not require that cemeteries keep records. As a result, records of burials prior to this date are neither complete nor accurate.
In 1877 the sum of $25.00 was paid by the town board to David Hay to purchase land for the cemetery. In 1879 the sum of $2.00 was paid to Michael Hay for Timothy Seed for the cemetery ground
In 1883, the amount of $98.76 was allowed by the town board to construct a board fence around the town cemetery and a gate.
When the New Haven cemetery was first started, a person did not have to purchase a plot, or pay for perpetual care. The families were responsible for the upkeep of their own graves. In order to raise funds for maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery, quilting bees and bake sales were held in the Pleasant Valley school building. Eventually, the town clerk was made responsible for maintaining cemetery records.
In June of 1963 the Cemetery Association was formed. At that time, annual care of $3.00 per lot was charged. Year’s later, a perpetual care fee of $10.00 per lot was charged. When interest rated dropped and the cemetery association could no longer afford to pay for the costs of upkeep the township took over with the expenses. Currently, the cost of a burial site is $50.00 for the lot, and $75.00 for perpetual care.
The Cemetery is plotted for 1080 gravesites. There are currently 425 recorded burials and 346 lots for sale (the remaining gravesites are already purchased.) Unfortunately, there are many unmarked and unrecorded graves. Sometimes people doing genealogy research will make note of an unmarked grave that was never recorded.
While Lester French was the Cemetery sexton, he tried to mark all the known unmarked graves. He poured concrete slabs and wrote the names into the concrete. He did an excellent job of maintaining the cemetery records. Prior to Lester’s term as sexton, his father had also been the sexton.
The first recorded burial was in 1864, a 2-year-old girl, Effie Gene Marlette. The oldest recorded person buried in the New Haven Cemetery was 98 yrs old. The person with the earliest birthday (recorded) is John Hay, was born in 1789.
Potters field is located at the foot of the cemetery driveway, to the west. A person was buried in the Potters field when the family was too poor to pay the expenses or if there was no family. The town then paid for the burial. It is recorded that there are 4 persons buried in Potters field. There is an old shade tree and one headstone. The headstone is that of Ray C. Andrews.
Special thanks to Jayme Beyrer for providing us with some great photos for the website and the above "history".