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main street jeffThe original white settlers came into the area, which was later named Jeffersonville, in the 1830's.  The names DeWitt, Quick, Schermerhorn, Ward, Frederick Scheidell who established a grist mill in 1841, Abraham Schneider who built a saw mill in 1842 and Victor Hofer were early inhabitants.  The Winkelreid Society, a group of Swiss settlers, gave its name to the original village in the early 1840's.  Almost all records and documents, until 1866, were written in German.

According to the Historian Quinlan, Charles J. Langhorn built the first hotel in the village and being an admirer of Thomas Jefferson, he called his hotel The Jefferson House.  From this the village received its new name.  The first commercial hotel was opened in 1882 and was called the Beck House.  The village was linked to Liberty by the telegraph in 1887.  A large number of businesses were destroyed by the Eagle Hotel fire of 1918.

A petition to incorporate the village was filed on September 13, 1924 and the Certificate of Incorporation was dated November 25, 1924.  The village held its first election on November 11, 1924 electing William Lieb, President; Howard C. VanKeuren and Abram Friedmen, Trustees; Charles Hick, temporary Clerk was replaced by Robert Mann, Clerk;' Otto S. Bollenbach, Treasurer and William H. Lawrence, Superintendent of Public Works.  Their first public meeting was held November 17, 1924.

As Jeffersonville grew, the gas lines for light were replaced by electricity, a village dump and reservoir were built, water lines were laid, additional streets were developed and all streets paved.  Small area schools consolidated to form the Jeffersonville Central School and with the modernization of the businesses after World War II, Jeffersonville became a major commercial as well as residential area.

The village board also continued working to meet the community's needs.  They met at such places as Bill Lieb's office, the Mansion House, the Dolly Madison Shoppe, Ed Weber's Office, back of Segar's store and upstairs in the Firehouse.  This year (1984) the village has moved into its first permanent home, next to the library, on Center Street in the "Old Firehouse".

    Reprinted from Village Tribute, Sunday, May 6, 1984, Menges' Lakeside - Compiled by:  Jane and Barry Bodenstein.

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