The Village of Sullivan beginnings started with being part of the Town of Sulllivan, WI. The first name for this area was called Winfield. The tiny community was laid out and recorded by two men, Earl Newton and Enock B. Fargo on June 21, 1881. These men were anticipating a bright future for this area with the coming of the railroad. The Railroad came to Winfield in 1882; the depot was built in 1884. With the coming of the railroad the small town of Winfield began to prosper. John Boettcher and his attorney John Hazelwood made a survey, had it certified, passed a petition around the community and on July 21, 1915, Winfield became the incorporated “Village of Sullivan” official use”.
The first building in the area was called the “Badger House”. The land was purchased by Ladwig Vinz. The tavern/inn was built in 1850 on Prairieville-Jefferson Territorial Road for the many travelers going west.
As travelers came either by train, wagon, or walking, the growth of the community grew. Barney Grogen built the “Park Hotel” in 1883 near the railroad. Albert Eckert built a blacksmith shop at the present site of the bank. Henry Eckert (Albert’s brother) relocated the blacksmith shop to the present site of the Village Hall.
In 1885 Valentine Casper built a grocery store and later sold it to John Boettcher in 1906. The second phone was installed in Boettcher grocery store, the first being located in the Railroad Station.
Casper Braun built a store in 1889 and sold it to Henry Zahn in 1896. On May 8, 1902 there was a fire in the attic of the Zahn store. This fire burnt most of the main part of Winfield. 1890’s brought more business to the community. W.H. Ardnt built a two story building; a barbershop was on the lower floor and the Sullivan Telephone Company was later located on the second floor. Mr. Thomas Markey built a butcher shop and saloon; Mr. Gustav Elsner had a harness shop. These businesses were located in the main part of the community. 1892, John Morgan built the “Morgan Hotel” and purchased the Tandler Tin Shop, located across the street for a horse barn. Mr. Mathia Nordt built a large hotel, on the south side of the railroad track. Roughten and Manz built the first hardware store in 1899 and Ed Shersmith built the second hardware store in 1903.
The Farmers and Merchants bank incorporated in 1905. Michael Vogel was the local shoe repairman. The Sullivan Creamery was built by local farmers and operated by Bernard Oestreich, it was later called the “Opera House”.
Frank Newton (son of Earl Newton) built a lumber yard behind the railroad station. A feed mill was built by Kenneth and Leidel located west of the lumber yard. We had a local weekly newspaper written by Agnes F. Buth from March 23, 1916 to January 21, 1921. Many of these beautiful buildings are still standing. They are mostly apartment buildings, private homes and taverns.