Town of Belmont

Belmont is also one of the oldest towns in the county. A post office was opened there on September 25, 1856 and it is stated that it was named Belmont at the suggestion of the the wife of the first postmaster. Belmont is a French name meaning beautiful mountain but it was not given in relation to the relief which is rolling without any mountain but because it sounded nice and was chosen after Belmont in the state of New York where the postmaster and his wife, as well as other pioneers had lived before coming to Wisconsin.

All the early settlers were farmers coming from New England, New York state, or from Canada or the British Isles. The 1870 census which lists almost three hundred persons has nine individuals born in Denmark, one farmer, his wife and two grown up children (aged 23 and 19), one laborer and his wife and three young men who were laborers. The couple of laborers had four children all born in Wisconsin, the oldest being 5, their parents and other Danish people apparently came about 1864. In 1895 a Catholic church was built on land donated by John and Martin Heffron, real estate brokers in Stevens Point; this church was replaced in 1908 by the present one. Many Polish families, mostly people who were coming from farms in Poland and had come to Chicago and other cities to work in factories, heard about the farming land for sale and came to the area and started farming. The place where the Church of St. John the Baptist stands and a tavern in the vicinity was named Heffron.

The Town of Belmont also lies on the terminal moraine of the last Wisconsin glaciation. It is rolling with a few lakes and wooded areas and it has remained rural.

In the town there is no village and only two places, Blaine and Heffron may at one time have been hamlets that would develop into villages. Blaine, at the junction of the county highways A and D was the site of the community church built in 1875 and opened to all faiths (for a time the Danish Lutheran Church held one service per month in it). A post office functioned from 1876 to 1903. There were several stores, of which one still is active, perhaps the only country general store in the whole county, and the present town hall is located here, although it is used only on election days. The community church closed its doors in 1961. Heffron had a post office a store and a tavern with a dance hall. Two methodist churches were organized. One, the Grant church in an isolated place north of the town was discontinued in 1946 and the building eventually torn down. A marker was erected at its site. In the southeast corner of the town is the Dopp Methodist Church built on land donated by the Dopp family, a pioneer of the town. It is still in use.

     

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