Facts and Events
Selium McGary was born in Vermont, but when he was about 7 years old, the family moved west, living first in Medina County, Ohio, then in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now part of Pittsburg) and finally settling in Erie County, Ohio; in 1850, the family lived in Berlin Township. He married Elvira Fox in November 1851; less than a year later, in September 1852, the young couple, together with Selium's maternal grandparents, became one of the first settlers of Ridgeville Township in Monroe County, Wisconsin; his brothers soon followed. Selium and Elvira patented 160 acres in 1854 (check patent records for details), and steadily cleared the land, creating a prosperous farm.
About a half mile south of the McGary property, a small village, known as Dover, became established, with a log schoolhouse being built in 1857. However, the farmer on whose land the village stood soon stopped selling lots, so Selium and his neighbor to the east, Frederick Hettman, began selling lots along the border of their properties. A post office was established in 1858, a new school built in 1868, and the old settlement of Dover dissolved, with many of the buildings being moved north. There being another Dover in Wisconsin, the village was renamed to Norwalk, after Norwalk, Ohio, the closest town to Selium's childhood home. The village was fully platted out in 1872, perhaps in anticipation of the railroad which would arrive the following year, and was incorporated in 1894, whereupon Selium became the first president.
During the Civil War, Selium enlisted in Company A, Fifty-second Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in 1864. The unit did not see significant action, but in summer of 1865, during a forced march in Kansas, Selium developed kidney stones, which led to a medical discharge. The kidney stones afflicted him for the rest of his life, and on the basis of that he was able to draw a veteran's disability pension. [add citations to enrollment records, unit records, pension file]
Selium lived on his farm for the rest of his life, although his son Eugene took over operations in later years. Selium and Elvira celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1901, with all of their children and most of their grandchildren in attendance. After the death of Elvira in 1908, Selium "felt his great bereavement and began to fail rapidly." He died in 1910, of concussion from a fall.