Excellent farmland hallmark of this property

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Ginny Hall | April 4, 2014

Lauderdale Farms, located at 4726 County Highway A in the town of LaFayette, Section 6, has a sign near the driveway that reads “Sylvandale, 1908.”

In the 1857 plat map, the owner of this property was listed as T. Bartlett. The 1873 plat book showed the owner as Truman Bartlett, an early settler in the county.

Bartlett was born in Vermont on Aug. 3, 1815. At age 21 he moved to Essex County, New York, and worked in lumbering.  In 1838 he married Serena Strong and then spent two years back in Vermont before heading back to New York.

In October 1844 he came to Wisconsin and first settled in Spring Prairie, where he again was involved in lumbering, operating a sawmill for 12 years.

In 1856 he bought the 100-acre farm north of Elkhorn. By the time he was noted in the 1882 “History of Walworth County,” he had increased his holding to 180 acres, with 100 acres of excellent farmland valued at $50 per acre. The remaining acres, located in the town of Troy, had a value of $12 per acre. When Bartlett came to this county with his wife and three children he had but $15 to his name.

Truman and Serena had three daughters: Mary Jane, who married James Flint of this township; Phoebe Elizabeth, who married R. Moore and then lived in Oconomowoc; and Coris Ann, who married Levi Hare. 

Coris and Levi had seven children: Otis, Nina, Mary, Earl, Jean, Levi Benjamin and Serena. After Levi died, Coris married William Hodges. He was known as a manufacturer of superior quality sorghum molasses. 

According to the sign at the farm, Lauderdale bought it in 1908; from 1921 through 1961, the plat books show the owner of this property as S.J. Lauderdale.

In 1973 the plat book shows the owners as George and Leona Lauderdale. Then in 1975 and to the current books it is listed as Lauderdale Farm.

George served on the Walworth County Board for more than 20 years and was active in township government.
Ginny Hall, a historian from Delavan, is author of the “Walking around ...” and “Meandering ... ” books, which highlight the history of Walworth County communities.

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