First Community in The United States To Have A Lighted Ball Diamond
The Village of Footville is located off of Highway 11, approximately 15 minutes from Janesville. The Village is in the Parkview School District, which has an elementary school for grades 4K - 6 and Junior/Senior High School for grades 7-12 The Village is located close to a golf course, has a Fire Department and EMS service and a local post office downtown. With a population of 807 residents, it is easy to get to know your neighbors and enjoy a family-oriented community.
The Village of Footville has a community park, which was the first "lighted" ball diamond in the United States. We have two ball diamonds at the park and they are used quite a bit in the summer months for little league and softball games. The park has a walking trail which is open year round. The park has a pavilion, outdoor grills, picnic tables, playground equipment and a snack bar, during the summer games. Reservations are available for the park pavilion, should you be interested in hosting an event there, please contact the village office.
The Village of Footville has a Memorial Park dedicated to our veterans. On Memorial Day, the Footville American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary lead the Memorial Day Parade in Footville for a ceremony honoring veterans of war.
Our most recent development in the Village is our 70-unit Assisted Living Facility, St. Elizabeth's Manor. The facility is located of of Highway 11 between Janesville and Brodhead. The mission of the Manor is to provide a nurturing environment that assists its residents in living healthy, meaningful lives. If you would like more information, please contact St. Elizabeth Manor at (608) 876-4000.
We want to hear from you. Please contact us with concerns, comments, or suggestions via email [email protected] or (608) 876-6116.
Footville's 1st 50 years were spent in establishing the community and businesses. Their connection to the 'outer' world was mainly through the railroad. They shipped and received necessary goods, mail came by rail and the depot was the 'hub of activity'. At the turn of the century, the village began to flourish. Industry was introduced to the community. A tobacco warehouse, a creamery and condensery. A bank, then telephone company came and electricity was introuduced. Most every home had a telephone and radio and the 2 wars brought increased production for the condensery. As many as 4 grocery stores operated at one time along with hardware stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, service stations, feed and lumber mills, implement dealers and variety stores. Baseball and softball games weekly and free movies kept the community alive. Following World War II, advertising and automobiles provided other sources for shopping and activities, eliminating the railroad and depot and many of the businesses. Today, new businesses thrive and Footville offers a quiet, comfortable, and peaceful place to raise a family.
Ezra Foot, founder of Footville, came to the area as an agent for Eastern land speculators in 1845. A local farmer and school teacher, Julius Gilbert, helped Foot plat the village in 1854 in anticipation of the arrival of the Beloit-Madison Railroad. Because of financial difficulties, the line terminated for several years at Footville, making it the transportation link with area farmers for grain exports to Chicago and Milwaukee. The Madison stage brought travelers going south from Madison, Evansville and Magnolia to the depot until the rail advanced to Madison in 1864. This transportation link provided the impetus for development of farm related enterprises in Footville, culminating in the growth of the dairy industry from small 'cottage industries'? in cheese and butter making to the building of the condensery in 1912. A market was created for 300,000 pounds of milk per day for the area farmers. In 1927, the Pet Milk Company purchased the condenser and enlarged the operation to over 100 employees. The plant closed in 1957 and in 1963 the Triangle Conduit & Cable Company purchased the building for truck and rail service due to the railroad. In 1979, a new owner, Lancaster Level Flow Company, which manufactures farm related products, purchased the building and is still here today.
The Footville Telephone Company established the Village of Footville's communication link, operating as an independent company for 78 years. It expanded from 107 telephones in 1903 to 1,159 telephones in 1979. A new switchboard was installed with touchtone and automatic number ID in 1975. Footville had the last 5 cent pay phone in the country until 1980. The Footville Telephone Company was sold in 1983 from the Kratz family to the 2nd largest independent telephone company-Northwest Telephone Co. In 1988, the local office closed and renovation of the telephone office began in 2000 & 2001. A "hands on"? telephone museum was opened containing old switchboards and a large collection of phones from over the years.
The Footville Bank was constructed in 1909, which was the 1st bank in Footville. The bank was famous for giving out suckers to all 'good' kids. The 1st bank robbery occurred in 1965, but the robber was caught in a cornfield after a car chase that ran out of gas. The bank was closed in 1975 after 65 years at the same location and same building and relocated into a bigger building closer to Hwy 11. The Old Footville Bank building is now a historical site. For more information on the history of Footville, please call Luther Valley Historical Society at 608-290-1411 or email: [email protected].
The American Legion Post 237 is the only American Legion Post in Southern Wisconsin with a cobra AH-1 helicopter on permanent display.
1912 - The Maytag Company started manufacturing the power washing machine developed by Howard Snyder, who was born in Footville. He began work with Maytag in 1905 at $50 per month with permission to carry out his own experiments. He later became a vice president and consulting engineer of the company. The Village had a newspaper called 'The Footville Hustler'?. It was published by Spencer Fish for a short time and consisted of 4 pages -news, church notes, train schedules and ads.
1924 - The concrete Highway 20 (now Hwy 11) was built through Footville.
1931 - Footville was the 1st community in the United States to have a lighted ball diamond.
1934 - Footville was the 1st community of its size to own a sewage disposal plant until 2001 when a new plant was constructed.
2009 - A 70 bed assisted living facility was constructed-St. Elizabeths Manor.