Mystery Place: Some county farms changed ownership frequently
This barn and its quilt, Grandmother's Flower Garden, are located at N8434 Converse Road, according to the county's barn quilt map brochure. The farm is in Section 19 of the town of Whitewater. A section is one square mile and 640 acres.
Albert Beckwith's “History of Walworth County” indicates the very early buyers of property in Section 19 at the land office in Milwaukee included Jason Schuyler Beach, George R. Goodhue, Joseph Curtis Utter and Origen W. Royce.
The 1857 plat map shows the owner of this property as F.W. Smith. Then the 1873 and 1891 books indicate the owner as A.D. Converse, which is probably how the road received its name. The Converse family continues to own property in this area.
According to the 1882 “History of Walworth County,” Azariah D. Converse was born in New York in 1836 and came with his father to Wisconsin in 1856. He married Marian Crossett in 1872 in Whitewater. He and his father had 200 acres in Section 19. In 1843 they began raising Ayrshire cattle, some of which were purebred stock.
The 1907 owner is listed as Rudolph Prechel. Then in 1921 through the 1940 plat books the owner was Mrs. J.J. Ludtke. The 1948 book listed the owner as Hy C. Ludtke. In 1961 ownership changed to Leslie and Enola Gerner. Then the 1964 book shows the property owned by Henry C. Ludtke.
In 1970 the ownership is listed as Boston Farms. That continues to the present time. However, the 2012 plat book lists M. & R. Raupp as owners in Section 19B.
This barn on Converse Road, with its Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, though once owned by Converses, is now owned by M. & R. Raupp, according to the 2012 plat book.
Ginny Hall, a historian from Delavan, is author of the “Walking around ...” and “Meandering ... ” books, which highlight the history of Walworth County communities.