Town of Eagle History

Source: Excerpts were taken from pages of an old 1880's publication on the history of Waukesha County.

Township 5, Range 17 East, was the first organized into a precinct separate from and independent of adjoining towns, in accordance with act of the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Wisconsin, January 12, 1841. Up to 1839, Eagle was a part of Mukwonago; then a part of Genesee up to the passage of the above act. The first town meeting was held at the house of Andrew Scofield, in Eagleville. However, it is impossible to be strictly accurate in the earliest details, owing to the fact that the first town records are lost, so far as ascertainable.

The town received its name in a rather singular manner, as follow: In the year 1836, while Thomas Sugden, John Coats and a Mr. Garton were prospecting, they came to a beautiful prairie about one and a half by two and a half miles in area. Here, hovering and curving over a large mound, near the present residence of Ebenezer Thomas, was a monster bald headed eagle. From this incident and time, the prairie and town were called Eagle.

The country in its natural state, was diversified by springs, brooks, marshes, prairie and burr oak openings. The arable soil is slightly variable in composition, being, for the most part a rich loam and gravel, and is quite productive. A chain of bluffs passes through the northwest part, but the greater part of the land is tillable. Here, as elsewhere in the county, the inhabitants suffered the deprivations incident to pioneer life, which have become the subjects for many an evening tale.

The first claim is said to have been made by A.R. Hinkley on Eagle Prairie, where he now lives, the 20th of September, 1836, and here he erected a shanty, the following winter, which yet remains, "a relic of by gone days." [See more about Ahira and Mary Hinkley]

Here he brought his family in 1838, and in a space 12x16 feet, put up two beds, a pine table, a rotating top stove, four chairs or stools, a large box for bedding, five barrels of flour and one of pork. This single experience but illustrates the trials and inconveniences to which all were subject.

In 1836, EB Thomas and wife came and erected a house on their claim and occupied it. They were actually the first permanent settlers. The year following, Mr. Thomas started a blacksmith shop, the first in the town.