Ashippun is perhaps named for the Indian word for raccoon which is what the
Indians called the river which flows through the eastern part of the town.
The three people credited with being the first settlers in the Town of
Ashippun were Samuel Marshall, Alexander Leslie and Leslie's son, Alexander
Jr. Soon after arriving. Leslie and Marshall erected a sawmill on the banks
of the river where Alderly now stands. Hans Gasman had come from Gjerpen and
settled at Pine Lake in 1843 and entered a claim for 480 acres in sections
35 and 36 in the later part of 1843.
One of the first claims for
land in the township was on 10/17/1842 by Elizabeth Graham in the NE 1/4 of
Section 13. Most of the terrain in the early days was brush and woods as the
land was described as "wooden wilderness."
As settlers came to the
Town of Ashippun, each one had to make a log cabin. Usually the first one
was small and put up in a hurry. Cabins were easy to make because there was
choice timbers in the dense forest of Ashippun.
In 1847 the township had
750 residents which grew to 1017 by 1850. Many of the towns residents
emigrated from the east coast, Norway, Scotland, Ireland and The Isle of
The Town of Ashippun is
a limestone region with outcroppings visible in the northwest section of the
town, which is referred to as the lime ledge area. The town has one river
(Ashippun) which is found in the eastern section of town. There is one small
lake in the northeastern part of the town called Collins Lake.
The land as a whole is
very hilly and the glacier's effects are quite evident. Several large rocks
can be found in the northwestern part of the town while there are drumlins,
eskers and moraines in the western part of town. The western part of town
was the spillway of the melting glacier and the eastern part displays the
drift of the Kettle Moraine area.