This early history is taken from the minute book of the Township of Theresa of 1948, which is on display in the Juneau Home, and is on loan to the Theresa Historical Society. The Village of Theresa south of the Rock River already had been platted by Solomon Juneau at this time.
The first election in the Township of Theresa, County of Dodge, Territory of Wisconsin, was held on the 4th day of April, 1848, at the home of Narcisus Juneau (son of Solomon) at which time 43 votes were cast. The first town cleark elected was Narcisus Juneau, the three supervisors were Paul Juneau (son of Solomon), Christopher Bannister, and Benjamin Edgerley.
The first state election was held on April 3rd, 1848 and Nelson Dewey received 58 votes for governor. At the first county election held Nov. 7, 1849, 92 votes were cast.
At the first annual town meeting on April 3rd, 1849, the board of supervisors recommended to raise by taxation $250 for contingent purposes and $900 to defray expenses for the year 1848. It was also decided to raise for school purposes one-quarter of one percent of the valuation of the township.
At the March 25, 1851 meeting, $150 was raised for a bridge across the Rock River to be built on the Fond du Lac Road in the Village of Theresa. This bridge was replaced by a stone bridge in 1874 by Frederick Fisher for $3,350. In 1971 the present bridge was built at a cost of $114,000.
On December 20, 1863 a special meeting was called to raise money to be paid as bounty to men being drafted to serve in the Civil War. The clerk's record on Nov. 5, 1864 gave the names of 69 volunteers and draftees from the township who were to receive the $200 bounty.
The money was borrowed from citizens at 7% interest until it could be raised by taxation. The sum raised in 1864 was $12,800 with another $8,000 raised in 1865.
On October 28, 1895 the Theresa Fire Company #1 was organized and at the annual meeting on November 22, 1895 F.W. Bandlow was elected as president and Fred Jung as fire chief. Nick Husting's barn was rented to house the used equipment consisting of a hook and ladder wagon, a hand pumper, and hose and cart. The churches were instructed to ring the bells in case of fire until their own bell could be purchased. The first fire call was on Feb. 11, 1896 at the Herman Budahn farm (now Andy Schnitzler).
On May 4, 1901 a fire which started at the Bandlow Brewery almost wiped out the town until it was brought under control with help from Mayville and Lomira. Completely destroyed were 8 buildings including the two story brick Catholic school and the fire house next to it.
In 1898 the village was incorporated to the displeasure of the township and the hard feelings lingered for some time.
In 1900 a new village hall was built with room for the fire company to store their equipment. The building has a bell tower which was used to dry fire hoses and jail facilities to lock up the unruly in the village. The present firehouse was added on to the village hall in 1963.
Among the early prominant citizens were the following:
Christopher Bannister was elected a town supervisor at the first election in 1848. He held many civic offices and was appointed the first postmaster in Theresa on July 6, 1846.
Francis Dodge Juneau (son of Solomon), settled in Theresa in 1849 and was employed by the U.S. Government as an Indian interpreter. He also served as town treasurer, besides being a tin smith by trade.
Dr. Valentine Miller settled in Theresa in 1849. He was town clerk for 25 years and was the oldest practicing physician in Dodge County in 1880.
Jacob Bodden came to Town Theresa in 1851 and was active in civic affairs. He was a member of the state legislature from 1861-1874 and also served as treasurer, sheriff, and was chairman of the county board of supervisors of Dodge County in 1874-75.
Benidict Weber came to Theresa in 1853 and purchased the brewery from Ulrich Oberly, who had founded in in 1849. It stayed in the Weber family until it ended operations in 1961.
Peter Langenfeld served as justice of peace, postmaster, and was a member of the state legislature in 1878. His son Dr. Peter F. was a physician in Theresa from 1903 until 1960, and his grandson Dr. Gregory has practiced in Theresa from 1942 until November 1992.