Town of Hull
From the Stevens Point Journal May 19, 1992
By KELLY BERG
of the Journal
Since its inception, the town of Hull’s boundaries have been as fluid as the waters of Jordan Pond, which forms a permanent border on the east end of the town. The city of Stevens Point and surrounding municipalities have mercilessly taken pieces and chunks of the town for the more than 130 years of Hull’s existence. Choice town of Hull land still is coveted by Stevens Point.
On Nov. 12, 1858, organization of the town of Hull was approved and was to include several sections in towns 24 and 25 in ranges 8 and 9. Before an election was held, though, the Portage County Board of Supervisors changed its mind and gave Hull three more sections in town 23, range 8, according to Malcolm Rosholt’s book “Our County Our Story.”
Hull residents drew up a petition in 1860, urging the county to rescind this action, Rosholt’s book states. The petition lost two separate votes on the matter.
“Hull, by this time an odd-shaped township, narrow in the middle and seemingly perched on one leg, continued agitation for more territory. In November 1860, a number of sections to the north and east of the city of Stevens Point were taken from the city and attached to Hull,” according to “Our County Our Story.”
It was almost four decades before several sections in town 25, range 9 were detached from Hull and given to Sharon. Two other towns were taken to form the town of Dewey in 1899. Hull was compensated by annexing several sections in town 24, range 7 east of the Wisconsin River, which formerly had been part of the town of Stevens Point, Rosholt tells in his book.
Almost a century later, Hull is still a prime target for annexation. Stevens Point Journal articles from the late 1980's to today tell of the continued fight for land there.
Two parcels of land in the town of Hull were annexed by the city despite opposition by one landowner during 1988. Opposition again reared its head when Stevens Point petitioned in early 1989 to annex almost 700 acres near the Stevens Point Municipal Airport. That action led to an unsuccessful two-year court battle over the constitutionality of annexing land without the approval of landowners.
“The reason the city is trying to annex from Hull is that it is one of the few ways the city can grow,” says John Holdridge, chairman of the Hull Town Board. “There is no village in the way or unsuitable soils, so that they can actually build.”
Several businesses have asked to be detached from Hull and attached to the city for water quality reasons. Poor water and septic systems are the common reasons given for annexation to Stevens Point from Hull.
During 1989, Hull’s legal costs to fight annexation topped $13,500, more than double what was budgeted. In the past, legal costs have been budgeted between $5,000 and $8,000.
During 1991 elections for town chairman, annexation was the key running platform. Holdridge maintained that more consideration should be given to homeowners in the annexation process.
Paring away at Hull’s circumference hasn’t stopped the town’s growth or development, though, Holdridge says.
“If before it was rural agriculture, now it is urbanized,” he said. “There is a growth of subdivisions as opposed to rural living.” Previous growth was spread along major roadways, he said. Now people are clustering in subdivisions, he said.
Hull’s makeup also has changed. Probably named after Hull, England, the town originally was settled by Englishmen. Polish settlers have since replaced them.
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