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Delavan, WI

Population: 9,023

Settled in 1836 by Henry & Samuel Phoenix, Delavan was named in honor of a noted temperance leader in New York. Originally intended to be a temperance colony, all deeds to property given by the Phoenix brothers contained a clause prohibiting the sale of intoxicants on the property. In 1837, a post office was established, clearing the way for a saw and grist mill to be erected a few years later.

During the mid 1800’s Delavan had one of the most used highways, extending east to Racine and west to Janesville. This road was planked from Racine to Delavan, and was one of the leading thoroughfares of its time.

The Wisconsin School for the Deaf was established in Delavan in 1852, after an early settler of the town of Darien, Ebenezer Chesebro, brought a petition signed by approximately 100 residents of the county, for a school establishment in Wisconsin, for instruction of deaf children. In 1852, the state’s appropriations for the school were one thousand dollars for building and five hundred dollars a year for administration.

1855 marked the year that Delavan incorporated into a village, and shortly thereafter, the Racine and Mississippi Railroad Company built tracks through the then village. In 1861, a pump factory was created, which turned out approximately 5,000 wooden pumps a year. Later this factory was retooled to create iron pumps and wind mills.

In 1903, an industry was started, which brought great value to the economic development of the then city. Globe Knitting Mills, later to become the Bradley Knitting Company, grew into a large industry with a chief product of woolen sweaters. This factory employed approximately 100 people in 1910 and ballooned to over 400 during WWI.

Municipal Links



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City of Delavan Website
Delavan Lake Area Chamber
Walworth County Website
Aurora Lakeland Medical Center
Mercy Walworth Hospital
Fort HealthCare
Delavan-Darien School District
Delavan Christian School
Our Redeemer Lutheran School
St. Andrew Parish School
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