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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