Dickeyville's Early History

Narrative & Photos provided by Karen Reese

The settlement of Dickeysville was named in 1849 after Charles Dickey, an early settler and surveyor.  Born in New Jersey 24 Sep 1812 he lived in Illinois prior to coming to Grant County, Wisconsin.  He had a sandy complexion; was 5’ 10” and had brown hair.  His family consisting of his wife and five children plus two of his brother’s children, came in 1849.  Mr. Dickey was a very active man and held county offices including the County Coroner and member of the Board of County Supervisors.  He also was Justice of the Peace for Paris Township (which Dickeyville is part of), the town chairman for six years and assessor for two years.


Charles and his wife, Louisa, operated the first store at the intersection of Highway 61/35 and North Main Street (old Highway 151) in the middle of town (currently a supper club).  The dry goods store also sold groceries, boots, shoes, clothing and farm machinery.  He owned the store for nineteen years and during that time he was an assistant surveyor for Grant County.  The surveying tools that he used were returned to the Grant County Court House at Lancaster by his daughter, Minnie Harriet Dickey.


Charles Dickey served in Company I of the 10th Regiment of the Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers during the Civil War.  He was mustered into service October 14, 1861 and received a disability discharge in December, 1862 at Nashville, Tennessee.  The family moved to the state of Kansas in 1874.  At the age of 90 Charles Dickey died in Phillipsburg, Kansas and is buried there.


The post office was established 14 July 1849 with Charles Dickey, postmaster.  It discontinued the 5 Jan 1880 but reopened the 2 Apr 1882 with John A. Schmitt as postmaster.  Once again it was discontinued 31 Aug 1907.  Mail delivery then came into the village on two rural routes; Louisburg (from the south) and Potosi (from the west) to the intersection in the middle of the village.  The “s” was dropped from the name in 1932 and the village’s name was now spelled Dickeyville.  Reopening of the post office came about in 1934 with John A. Kowalski as postmaster.  In 1994 the post office changed addresses and moved into the old grocery store across the street which the Dickeyville Telephone Corporation had purchased and remodeled.  It now houses the post office, real estate & insurance office and chiropractic services.  Everyone in our village has a post office box as we do not have home delivery.


The village was plotted for twelve lots in 1870 but never recorded.  Total population that year was 24. The Grant County Herald newspaper, Lancaster, Wisconsin in 1871 gives a description of the village of Dickeysville as a collection of houses on the Potosi and Galena stage road. By 1877 the population was just under 100.  At that time the village comprised of two stores, one hotel, two blacksmith shops, three saloons, one wagon and sign shop, the Union church (discontinued in 1925), the Catholic church and school and 18 dwellings.  In 1884 the village contained one hotel, one store, one saloon, two churches Catholic and Union; two schools public and German Select; one shoe shop; two carpenter shops; one blacksmith and wheel shop.  In 1913 a second ballroom dance hall was built, the first dance hall was moved and turned into a barn which was razed in 1982.  Twilight Ballroom was converted in 1961 to four apartments.  A creamery was built in 1915, converted to a cheese factory in 1918.  The factory closed in 1976.  Part of it was torn down and the balance of the building now houses a beauty and tanning bed shop and three apartments. 


The Grotto is dedicated to the unity of two great American ideals – love of God and love of country.  Rev. Matthias Wernerus erected the Crucifixion Group in 1920 as a monument for the three young men of the Holy Ghost parish who had given their lives in World War I.  In 1925 the principal shrine or grotto, containing a statue of the Virgin Mary, is 25 feet high, 30 feet wide and 25 feet deep was started. It took four years to complete. Surrounding the statue are symbols of Faith, Hope and Charity; the Missal; the stole and chalice; the Keys of the Kingdom; the Cross with the implements of the Passion; two tables of the Ten Commandments and the two fishes and basket of five loaves.  The entire inner wall is adorned with thousands of colored stones, gems, and jewels, forming a religious shrine.


Beyond the principal grotto, and encircling it is a narrow walk between, is a wall with 15 other small grottos, and back of this is another shrine known as “Patriotism in Stone” dedicated to Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  Millions of stones, souvenirs, shells and other iridescent pieces have been set in cement by the patient hands of the late Rev. Matthias Wernerus.  In this he was ably assisted by his cousin and housekeeper, Mary Wernerus.  Rev. Wernerus died from double pneumonia in 1931 and is buried in Holy Ghost Cemetery, Dickeyville.


The village was incorporated in 1947 and had an assessed valutation of $375,000.  In 1951 the village population was 275.  There were 125 families in Dickeyville.  Of those families all were Catholic but 3 families.  A housing development was started and twelve new houses were built in the early 50s.  The first water tower was installed which held 50,000 gallons at a depth of 900 feet.  With the increase of population the second water tower was installed in 2002 holding 250,000 gallons at a depth of 902 feet. It stands 120 feet tall.  The village’s businesses in 1951 included two grocery stores, three garages, a hardware and lumber yard combined, an appliance store, a combined plumbing, heating and appliance store, a locker plant and butcher shop, two restaurants, three taverns, a feed mill and a recreation hall.  In 1968 the first bank opened with a second one following in 2001. Our population in 1990 was 893.  Right now we support about 1100 people


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© 2017 by Village of Dickeyville


June 3, 2020

General Statement of the Job:


The operator performs duties as provided by the Director of Public Works in the departments of water, sewer and public works.  In the absence of the director the operator will assume responsibilities pertaining to part time and seasonal help as well as completing daily duties.  The operator needs to be able to work unsupervised while following safe work practices.  The operator needs to be pro-active and responsible to citizen concerns.  The operator is required to have a CDL driver’s license with the appropriate sub-grades, ability to obtain professional license in categories of Groundwater and Distribution in Water. The operator must have the ability to acquire certification in subcategories of Activated Sludge and Laboratory in Wastewater.


1.         Regular checks at the water wells including but not limited to: reading the meter, calculating chemical addition dosages, mixing chemical, changing oil in motors, troubleshooting, repairing chemical feed pumps and lines, checking temperature levels, testing fluoride and chlorine residuals, and keeping well houses clean of debris. Paint when needed, identify potential problems with the well pumps, and be able to hook up the emergency generator.  The operator must have knowledge on how to properly take bacteria and fluoride samples that are required to be sent into the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene.  The operator must be able to take the annual required samples and send them to appropriate laboratories for analysis.

2.         Flush fire hydrants, record data, do repairs on fire hydrants if needed.  Paint hydrants when necessary.

3.         Exercise distribution and hydrant valves, record data.

4.         The ability to change water meters and test them once pulled, rebuild if necessary and record data.  The operator must have the training and knowledge to conduct cross-connection inspections and illegal sump pump inspections.  Read meters.

5.         Must be able to call Diggers Hotline for non-emergency and emergency locates.  Operator must be able to perform Digger’s Locates.

6.         The operator must be able to help or supervise in case of water main breaks or other water emergency.  The operator must be able to read water maps, so not to shut down areas that would not be affected by emergency situations.

7.         Be able to perform checks at the lift station including reading hour meters, listening for unusual pump noise, vibration checks, safely pulling pumps for inspection, doing minor repairs, periodically cleaning the station, check floats for proper operation, and being able to hookup and use the emergency generator.

8.         Duties at the wastewater plant include but are not limited to: being able to perform lab work, including previously mentioned testing along with Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Total Suspended Solids, settling tests and pH.  The operator must have the knowledge to run quality control samples to satisfy local, state and federal requirements.  The operator must have the knowledge and understanding on how to follow the Quality Assurance Document for the laboratory.  The operator must accumulate knowledge that will allow him/her to make decisions relating to waste treatment on a daily basis. The operator must physically be able to perform cleaning operations at the wastewater plant.   The operator must be able to haul bio solids and do soil sampling for bio solids sites.  Record data correctly and be aware as to not to over-apply solids to a site.

9.         The operator will be able to perform road work tasks including but not limited to:  painting curbs with a paint sprayer, being able to clean and service the paint sprayer, paint handicapped areas and cross-walks, be able to change road signs, etc. He/She should be able to operate equipment

needed in the process of asphalt repairs such as being able to drive a large dump truck to get product for patching and to safely use a chop saw. Be able to do duties in crack filling including loading asphalt into the tar heater, cleaning, routing cracks, and filling cracks. 

10        The operator will be able to winterize park restrooms as well as prepare them for seasonal operation, cut grass, trim grass and weeds. The operator must be able to care for the various planters and signs in the village, and have knowledge on the use a chain saw as to be able to do minor tree trimming.  The operator must be able to do general maintenance on the tractor. 

11.       The operator must do monthly checks on fire extinguishers and weekly checks on the first aid kits and emergency showers that are placed throughout village properties.

12.       Snow Plowing and Salting when necessary.

13.       Maintains parks and open space village properties, clean and maintain courts, fields, and right of ways.

14.       Inspects, washes and perform routine maintenance of park and other buildings.

15.       Performs minor unskilled or semi-skilled maintenance of open space structures such as restrooms, shelters, etc.

16.       Help plant lawn, trees shrubs and flowers.  Care for them after planting.

17.       Collects and disposes of solid waste from buildings, park grounds, and picks up litter.

18.       Pick up and dispose of dead animals.

19.       Opens, closes, lock and unlock facilities as needed.

20.       Installs and maintains nets for sports such as tennis, volleyball and basketball.

21.       Performs interior maintenance to buildings.

22.       Shovels snow and cleans off sidewalks on village properties.

23.       Responds to complaints regarding water quality, water leaks, evaluates situations.

24.       Pick up and haul yard waste.

25.       Clean equipment and tools after use.

26.       Weekend duty every other weekend.

27.       The operator must participate in the safety program that the village is currently enrolled in.  Qualification includes but are not limited to the following categories:  General Safety and Health Procedures, Bloodborne Pathogens, Confined Space Entry, Hazard Communication, Hazardous Energy Control and Personal Protective Equipment. 

28.       The operator must participate in in-house safety meetings.

29.       The operator must submit to random drug and alcohol testing and annual hearing tests.    



REPORTS TO:           The Director of Public Works and the pleasure of the Village Board.


The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related to or a logical assignment to the position.




Appointing Authority


Effective Date: _____________________________________________________




Signed and Dated by Employee: _______________________________________