About our Name

 

Why Brooklyn?

Over the years, the question has been asked, “Why was our village called Brooklyn?

Previous to the village’s existence, the town of Brooklyn governed the entire Brooklyn country/village area; it was farm land, wooden areas with flowing waters; here and there. Indians camped near the waters.

During the first meeting of the town of Brooklyn in 1849, delegates were chosen to register at the County Seat (Monroe) to legalize as a ‘civil township’ of the state. They had chosen the name of ‘York’ for the new township. But our delegates were too late arriving, another group had already registered ‘York’ for their township. Alas, our delegates contended themselves with their second choice, ‘Brooklyn.’

Competing with the settlement of Rutland for the railroad line, Hiram Capwell ‘sweeten the deal’ by upping the bid to lure the railway company to route through his property in the settlement of Brooklyn. And, he won. This action started the demise of  the Rutland settlement.

Pleased and proud with Capwell’s dealings with the railroad company, the people of the settlement wanted to name the settlement ‘Capwell.’ He was strongly against this and stayed with the name ‘Brooklyn’ when registering as a village.

A railroad engineer, John E. Glunt, was in charge of locating the route of the rail line. Passing through, he called Brooklyn Settlement, ‘Brooklyn Station.’

Shown on the Territory Map of 1838 in Grant County, along the Military road by the Kickapoo River, there was a small town written ‘Brooklyn.’ It was illustrated with low land, streams of spring water with trout swimming and natural meadows all around. The small town didn’t really exist- it was a ‘paper city’ used to lure people there. Perhaps people here thought the description described the land here. Did you know the dictionary defines ‘Brooklyn’ as broken up and marshy land?’

The growth of Brooklyn began with the stagecoach line. Today, what we call the ‘County Line’ that divides Dane and Green Counties was once ‘the stagecoach line.’ They stopped here for passengers, rest and care of their teams. Nearby, there was a hotel, barn and a general store. A blacksmith was available too. When people drifted here, other businesses opened to address their needs. Occupants in the neighboring farms were pleased in having stores to shop for their requirements and desires. Traveling as far as Janesville, Madison or Milwaukee took lots of time and caused long absences from their homes.