Woodman Atractions Village of woodman Woodman History Woodman Pictures Woodman Links

In 1848 Wisconsin became a state of the union and the territories became counties. In 1849 this area became a part of Millville Township and a part of Grant County was again divided. Millville Township established in 1853 and the present Mt. Hope and Woodman areas were a part of it. The first town meeting was held in what is now the Village of Woodman.

The first of two railroads reached Woodman in 1856 and began operations in 1860. The first depot was built at Woodman in 1864 and Woodman became the home now not only to the first town meeting but also the first post office and the first school. The school was held on the second floor of a warehouse with only one window. The first school teacher was a young woman by the name of Miss Rittenhouse and she received a salary of just $15.00 per month.

Between the years of 1863 and 1865 several stores, homes, warehouses and more were built and in 1866 the first hotel opened it’s doors in what is now the Village of Woodman. Eventually the township would have four different schools.

In 1878 a water propelled “Grist Mill” was put into operation just south of the village
that produced stone ground flour. The mill was powered by the flow of the Green River.
This same year a massive fire destroyed the depot, five business places and several homes in the village. Even though foul play was expected no one was ever charged with the crime.

By now plans for the “Dinky” or the narrow gauge railroad were well under way. The new line would now promote travel and commerce to such communities as Fennimore and Lancaster and make the Village of Woodman the vital link in the growth of Grant County and Southwest Wisconsin. On Feb 4th, 1878 nearly ten tons of iron arrive in Woodman to begin construction, and the first Dinky engine and twelve cars arrived a few days later. Because the tracks were different widths from the narrow gauge to the broad gauge all material being shipped had to be unloaded and then reloaded from one line to the other in Woodman.

Because Woodman was the last stop for the Dinky before return trips to Werley and Fennimore a turntable was necessary in Woodman to turn the Dinky engine and its firewood car around on the track. The turntable was located on the far west side of Woodman just south of where the two different railroad lines met. A stockyard was located just north of the tracks at that same location.

Woodman received it’s name from Cyrus Woodman. Cyrus was born in Buxton, Maine on June 2, 1814. The eldest of  five children Cyrus spent his childhood working hard on his father small farm. He attended college where he studied law and was admitted to the Bar in July of 1839. Those who new him described him as a shy, quiet man. Cyrus spent
Only a short time in Wisconsin but made some very shrewd investments while living here. On Aug 7th of 1855 Cyrus purchase a quantity of land in the Woodman area and just a year later in 1856 sold the railroad the right of way.

In 1863 it became official when a surveyor named Ralph Smith, laid out sections 13 and 14 in the village. The village was then given the name Woodman in honor of the man who owned the land, Cyrus Woodman. Cyrus passed away on March 20th 1889.
On April 4th 1895 sixty voters (all males) cast their votes and officers were elected.
The Village of Woodman was incorporated on the 19th of March 1917.

Many other interesting facts and stories about the Dinky railroad and the area around Woodman Wisconsin are available in a book entitled:

                                Floyd Hazen’s History or the “Dinky Railroad”.