County Seat

One hundred years ago, on August 1, 1868, Portage County voted, to move the county seat from Plover to Stevens Point. This was not without prelude.

Twelve years before, in 1856, the County Board of Supervisors had voted $10,000 for construction of a new Courthouse in Plover. It was Albert Ellis, editor of the Wisconsin Pinery who raised the issues that spurred Stevens Point to challenge this move.

In 1858 Stevens Point was prospering, had exceeded Plover in population and had applied for and received its charter of incorporation. The issues that Albert Ellis raised in the Wisconsin Pinery and backed with data were not to be denied. Stevens Point was disproportionately represented on the County Board and was aggrieved by heavy inequity in tax assessment. Citizens in the young pioneer community responded to these grievances vigorously. Plover fought back. H. G. Ingersoll, editor of the Plover Times battled furiously in his columns but too late. The strength of the northern sector of Portage County was unexpected, the margin of victory on that August let, one-hundred years ago, was close but decisive. In 1869, the $10,000 was voted to the construction of a court-house at Stevens Point and by 1871 the building was ready for occupancy.

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