A Brief History of Medo Township

Main Street, Pemberton, 1915

Medo Township was first part of the Winnebago Indian reservation that was established in 1855. Medo is a Winnebago word meaning small potatoes. After the Winnebago were relocated white settlers moved in and created a settlement. Lars Sersen was among the first. A majority of the settlers were of Norwegian descent. Four distinct settlements arose from Medo Township: Medo, Little Cobb, Pemberton, and Cream. Medo, Little Cobb, and Cream have since faded from existence while only Pemberton remains. Not much is known about the Medo and Little Cobb town sites. Medo faded in 1907 while Little Cobb faded in 1904. Each of these town sites has a unique history and distinct features.

Cream town site was established sometime before 1890. A creamery was built on the town site by a George Blaisdell, hence the name. Butter was produced here and sold in the nearby Janesville. After construction of the creamery; a store, post office, and blacksmith followed. Around 1910 railroads were constructed leading to other parts of Medo Township. Creams prospects began to fade. Sensing this, many of the townspeople moved to Pemberton town site nearby. 1911 marked the last year of Cream existence.

Pemberton townsite was named after a railroad official: Mr. Pemberton. Stores and a post office were constructed, many of them from the dying Cream town site. This influx allowed Pemberton to rapidly grow. New businesses started and the area thrived. In 1946 Pemberton citizens successfully voted to become a village. Today Pemberton is the only remaining town site in Medo Township and has a population around 248 people.

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