Delafield Village History

The Village of Delafield was originally called Hayopolis, then Nehmabin, then in 1843, Delafield. It was named after a Mr. Delafield, who came from New York to start a mulberry grove.

The land was boght from the government by Messrs. Pearmain and Heath. Mr. Heath built the first house and Pearmain the second. In 1842, Mr. Heath began building a dam and erecting a mill. He soon after sold an interest to Mr. Delafield, and a man by the name of P. Potter, Register of the Land Office , Milwaukee, in 1843, also became interested about this time.

After Mr. Delafield died, Mrs. Delafield held the property. In 1846, Andrew Proudfit bought it, and Heath and Potter left. He refitted the mill, dug a new race, raised the dam, and added a steam engine, then run the mill night and day, doing an immense business. Proudfit, about this time, erected the building now occupied by John Kilmer for a store and post office. He eventaully failed and lost everything. Mr. H. Buck now owns the mill.

In 1843, the post office was established here, and N. P. Hawks was appointed Postmaster. At that time the people from Merton had to come here for their mail.

Mr. Hawks who was the great joker and stoy teller of the country built a commodious hotel in 1847.

Jacob Luther opened a blacksmith shop in 1847.

In the fall of 1844, Simon Dolivar was killed just north of the village, by a sleigh overturning and letting a saw-log fall on him.

In 1850, N.P. Hawkes put up a frame building for a town hall, about where stood the first hotel, or Pearmain House. this building Mr. Jacques afterward purchased and rebuilt as it now is. It is a present used by Mr. Kuntz for a store. The hotel kept here now is the one kept by Silas Barber in the palmy staging days of yore. At that time there was three hotels here. while Barber was here, a man named HUll put in his appearance one day with a span of horses to sell, makin goath that they were his: Barber was about to but, when word came that HUll was aperjurer, that the horses belonged at Kenosha. Hull was at once arrested and brought before Justice Jacques, who has been a resident here since 1844. Hull had no money or counsel, so Mr. Jacques said to N.P. Hawks, who was present. "You will please act a scounsel for this man, Mr. Hawks." "Very well." said Hawks. "but if I act I shall clear him." "With that I have nothing to do." said Justice Jacques. Just at this time the owner came on, and of course Hull thought that he was a goner. The trial was to come off in the evening, but, while all parties were standing in front of the Justice's office, in the dusk, what should the worthy Hawks do but slyly raise an empty dry goods box, when no one was looking, and slip Hull under it. The Deputy Sheriff, Houston, had been rather indifferent about watching Hull, and when called could not find him. "How is this. Mr. Houston?" said the Justice. Said Houston: " I don't find him." "No, nor you won't: for it is written, in the second book of Hawks, that when a person gets forty rods the start, from my pump, in the night, he is what you might call clear." He escaped.

When the project of getting a plank road built through here was being discussed, in 1848 and 1849, N.P. Hawks wanted it built at one place, and Dr. Castleman at another, each promising to give a handsome sum to have it as he wished. Between the two stools (?), the road fell to the ground. William M. Jacques, a public spirited man, went so far as to build quite a stretch of grade in addition to his subscription, but it availed nothing. At about this time, Daniel Kellogg conceived the idea that it would be a good thing to build a steam mill in the eastern part of the town, and also a piece of gravel road to reach it. He undertook the latter first, and completed one of the finest pieces of raod in the State, but bankrupted himself by doing it.

There are two churches in Delafield. The Episcopal Church was built at a very early day by J. Ralston Cox, of Philadelphia, and donated to the parish of Saint John Chrysostom, Delafield. Dr. Adams of Nashotah, is the present rector. It is a commodious structure and very handsomely finished in hard woods.

The presbyterian Church was organized November 16, 1866, with the following members: D.D. Robertson, Catherine Robertson, Robert Miekel, Marion Miekel, Elizabeth Anderson, Mary Lowrie, Elizabeth Jaques, Anna M. Jaques, Mary Davis, James C. Robertson and Mrs. Ella Robertson. During the summer of 1868, the church was built. It was dedicated January 28, 1869. There are now fifty members. The pastors have been P.D. Young, J.H. Potter, and J. Martin, the present minister.
Delafield has an I.O.O.l F. Lodge, which is one of the oldest in the county. N.C. Hawks, son of N. P. Hawks, published a small newspaper here at one time.