From History of Dane County, Author Unknown, Circa 1885
The Town of Westport derives its name from Westport, Ireland, from which place many of its early settlers came.
The Town is watered by the Yahara River, which enters the northeast part of the Town on Section 13, and flows southwesterly into Lake Mendota, and also by Six Mile Creek which enters the Town on the northwestern part, on Section 6, flows southeasterly and empties into the Catfish on Section 27. The northeastern part of Westport is prairie land, the central and southeasterly portions marsh, and the remaining parts oak openings and prairie. Lake Mendota covers a part of five sections on the southern part.
Louis Montondon, a Frenchman, and Edward Boyles, an Irishman were the first settlers in the Town, coming here in the fall of 1845. They built their cabin on Section 20. In 1818, a number of others came in, among whom were Messrs. Burdick, Tower, Bradbury, Rodgers, O’Malley, Collins, Fitzgibbon and Ruddy. Still later came Matthew Roach, P.R. Tierney, J. Welsh, William O’Keefe, Lawrence O’Keefe, and Martin Reade. Although the first settlers were mostly Irish, and that nationality predominates at this time, a large number of Americans, Germans, Norwegians, and representatives of other nations, have made here their homes.
In the central part of the Town is a Catholic Church building, built in 1860, by the Rev. P. J. Lavans.
One of the State’s hospitals for the insane is located within the Town, on the north bank of Lake Mendota, and in plain view of Madison.
Westport is the home of Miss Ella Wheeler, whose poems are read by thousands in all parts of the land.
On Six Mile Creek is a grist-mill, built by E.D. Churchill, in 1860, who sold to William Packbrom, who ran it until 1876 when it was sold to John Bowerman.
The Town is well supplied with quarries, and the cream stone, used in the building of the Government Court House and Post Office in Madison, was obtained from the quarry on Section 11, and which the United States government purchased for that purpose. The Stone was exhibited and much admired at the Centennial, as were also some of the other products of the Town.
A branch of Chicago & North Western Railway passes through the town, from northwest to southeast, with Mendota station on the hospital farm and Waunakee on Section 5 and 8, on the northwest.
The Town was, on March 31, 1849, set off from Vienna, and organized on the third Monday of April of that year, by the election of the following among other officers: Thomas R. Hill, Chairman; W. W. Wells, Martin Reade, Supervisors; William Keefe, Clerk; Lawerence Rodgers, Treasurer; Amos Rodders, Assessor.
The first election was held at the house of Michael Malege. It has for its territory Township 8 north, of Range 9 east, except so much as is covered by the waters of Lake Mendota, which is part of the city of Madison.
Town of Westport
Kennedy Administration Building
Tom Wilson - Administrator
5387 Mary Lake Road
Phone: (608) 849-4372 • Fax: (608) 849-9657
M-Th - 8 am-4:30 pm
F - 7:30 am-Noon