Town History


On March 18, 1909, the Town of Howard was introduced as the newest member to an already well-established Chippewa County. It did not do so without a battle though. Prior to this time the area we now know as the Town of Howard was a part of the Town of Wheaton. In order to form the new town, an area needed to be carved out of the northern section of the existing one. Many in the Town of Wheaton strongly opposed such a movement. A petition was circulated and signed by a “large number of freeholders.” A counter petition was also circulated and both were submitted to the Wheaton Board of Supervisors. The supervisors, being unable to come to an agreement, took the matter to the State Legislature. Finally, the Legislature ruled in favor of the split and the new independent Town of Howard was formed.

In April of 1909 at the Norwegian schoolhouse, the first officers of the town were elected. Officials included: Chairman, Anton Solberg; supervisors, Joseph Hartman and H.P. Olson; clerk, Charles Emmerton; assessor, C.W. Bitney; treasurer, Thomas G. Thompson. The new town was described as having “considerable good land” and being “watered by Hanson, Elm and Little Hay creeks and streamlets”. In addition, the high bluffs (which divided the town in two) and the Wisconsin Central Railroad (which cut through the southern portion of the Town) were significant and defining features of the area. Interestingly, the Town was supposedly named after an official of the Soo Line Railway. It was also written that the churches and schools of Howard were both “sufficient in number and well supported” by its residents.