Mystery Place: Walworth County once linked to Milwaukee, Racine

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Ginny Hall | July 14, 2017

When thinking of Elkhorn, does only the current community and  county seat come to mind? Actually, the county's history shows two other Elkhorns.

The white man's history of the county begins with the Wisconsin Territory. At that time we were a part of Milwaukee County.

You can see that early history in Volume 3 of “Southeastern Wisconsin: A History of Old Milwaukee County.” Volume 4 contains the biographies of many of the early residents.

For a short time after the county was separated from Milwaukee County, it was a part of Racine County, mainly for judicial purposes.

On Jan. 2, 1838, the territorial legislature set Walworth County off by itself and established five townships. The town of Elkhorn embraced what we now know as the towns of Whitewater, LaGrange, Richmond and Sugar Creek.

On Aug.13, 1840, the town of Whitewater was set off from the town of Elkhorn. It later divided into the current towns of Whitewater and Richmond. The town of LaGrange was detached on March 21, 1843. The town of Sugar Creek became a township on Feb. 2, 1846. It was the reminder of the original town of Elkhorn, minus Section 36.

The town of Elkhorn was Section 36 of Sugar Creek, Section 31 of Lafayette, Section 6 of Geneva and Section 1 of Delavan. Elkhorn became a city in 1894.

So, Walworth County went from five townships to 17 before stabilizing at 16.


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