Images of America
Appleton Historical Society
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Appleton's rich beginnings found their source at Lawrence Institute, the university in the woods, on the Fox River. Rev. Henry Colman and Rev. William Sampson chose the bluff on the river for the site of the institute. Amos A. Lawrence donated $10,000, and the building began in July 1848. It was with axe and hook that the first settlers cleared the land for Lawrence and Appleton. The city was made up of three villages: Martin (Grand Chute), Appleton, and Lawesburg. In 1857, the villages joined together to form the city of Appleton. Amos Story was the city's first mayor. Appleton's industry grew on the banks of the Fox River, including hydroelectricity and paper.