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Jefferson County holds a unique place in the history of the state of Wisconsin. Founded in 1836 by Yankee settlers from New England, it began as an agriculturally-based county but soon rose to prominence as the cradle of the dairy industry. Nestled in the valley of the Rock River in southeastern Wisconsin, Jefferson County has always figured prominently in the history of the state due to its proximity to both Milwaukee, Wisconsins largest city, and Madison, the state capital. Jefferson County, Wisconsin looks at the history of this area from 1836 to the present day. The historic images and informative text allow the reader to view changes in industry, gain greater insight into the history of education, and better understand the historic roles that religion and the ever-important rivers have played in defining Jefferson County. By the beginning of the twentieth century, and for many years after, Jefferson County was the leader in the dairy industry. Education also played an important role in the makeup of the countys character. Such important educational milestones as the first kindergarten in America, founded in Watertown in 1856, and the first free textbooks in the state bear
witness to the countys commitment to the educational betterment of its children. Since the 1960s, much has changed in Jefferson County, and this book will serve as a permanent record of its
wonderful history, which is sometimes too easily forgotten.