The Village

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The history of Argyle is a story of people who shaped this community from early settlers and miners to hardworking farmers, merchants and tradesmen, teachers, preachers and doctors. The backdrop for their stories is a setting in a scenic part of SW Wisconsin known as the driftless area, where peaceful river valleys are framed by limestone bluffs, unscoured by the last round of glaciation, some 10,000 yrs ago.

Settlement of what was to become the village of Argyle began on the west side of the river in the 1830's following the establishment of a lead mine just south known as Hamilton's Diggings (present day Wiota). In those days, a bend in the river at the site of the settlement lent to fording it, but a limestone bluff on the east side of the river initially discouraged settlement there. In 1852, a part of the bluff was whittled away to make way for a flour mill, and due to frequent flooding on the west side and construction of the first bridge in 1855, development "up the hill" on the east side of the river was increasingly favored.

Just 30 years later, the village now with a population of approximately 500 was bustling with a newspaper, four general stores, two hotels, a cabinet shop, a livestock buying business, a livery, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, and coopersmiths. In these days and those following, Argyle was both a hub for local farming and dairying, as well as a crossroads for travelers and business alike.

Historic Timeline


William Hamilton, youngest son of first US Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, establishes lead mine south of future Argyle village site. Lead was transported by ox cart and forded across Pecatonica River at river's bend, leading to settlement in this area.


Skirmish as part of Blackhawk War occurred 6 miles downriver from Argyle, in a slough which came to be named Bloody Lake. Event is commemorated each year on the first weekend in May.


Allan Wright, a Scotsman, who with other Scots (the Arnots, Mitchells, and Pattersons) came here to farm, names the settlement in honor of the Scottish Duke of Argyll.


Cholera epidemic swept through the area, lead prices began to fall, miners headed west to look for gold.


Original town site platted on west side of river by John Saxton and Joseph Eldred


Construction of grist mill on east side of river leading to east side growth of village on higher ground.


Three story hotel built by Dan Hawley was a welcome stopover for early settlers on the 3-day stage ride from Milwaukee to Galena. Facility included banquet and dance hall on third floor.


First (wooden) bridge built across Pecatonica River, but subject to frequent flooding, was replaced in a few years with an iron bridge on stone piers.


Robert M. LaFollette's widowed mother marries John Saxton and moves to Argyle, where the 70 yr old Saxton owned land, operated a store and was a deacon at the local Baptist church. LaFollette (future senator and Wisconsin governor) lived here thru 1870 ( age 8-16)


James Sardeson moves to Argyle and operates store in the "Old Rock Building", still standing, now Argyle Fiber Mill


Norwegian influx leading to growth of dairying and construction of several Lutheran churches in the Argyle area. Norwegians will later become prominent businessmen in the village.


Partridge Hall constructed as carpenters shop and meeting hall. Structure is listed on National Register of Historic Sites.


Steel bridge across Pecatonica River constructed.


Freeport Dodgeville and Northern Railroad (later to become Illinois Central RR) established freight and passenger rail service serving the village of Argyle


Argyle State bank established by James Waddington. Argyle Community Building later built in his honor.


Electrification, including first electric street lights, powered by village hydroelectric dam.


Historic flood on west side of river spawns fires which destroy several major structures including the train depot


"Fighting Bob" LaFollette enters race for US Presidency as an Independent.


Railroad serving Argyle was shut down; rails were salvaged and given to the war effort.


Dedication of Yellowstone Lake, a 455-acre manmade lake on 2000 acres of land, now Yellowstone Lake State Park.

Village Government

Argyle Community Building

The Village has a popuulation of 856 and is governed by a 6-member village board. Each board member is elected for a 2-year term. Three of the members are elected on even year elections, and three are elected on odd year elections. The village board president also serves a 2-year term and is elected by voters on even year elections. Board meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm at the Community Building. The public is invited to attend.

Name Address/Phone Term Expires

Village President

James Larson 210 N. Broad St.
P.O. Box 21

Village Trustees

Brenda Bredeson 304 N. State St..
William Johnson (608)543-3051 2017
Ismael Hinojosa 409 S. Lafayette St.
Brad Ostby (608)558-1256 2018
Tim Olmstead 906 Highland St.
Dave Soper 113 N. Lafayette St

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Village Services

Muncipal Electric Utility

Argyle Hydroelectric Generator

The village of Argyle has operated a Municipal Electric Utility since 1905. The utility serves approximately 479 customers within the village limits of Argyle. The Utility buys wholesale power from Dairyland Power Cooperative of LaCrosse, WI. We take delivery of the power from a 69kV transmission line to our substation on Mill Street, which was constructed in 1997. The Argyle Power Plant located in the center of town on the Pecatonica River has one of the few operational hydroelectric generators still producing power from small streams in Wisconsin. The generator on the small head dam produces about 210 megawatt hours of electricity annually. The power plant also houses diesel generator equipment with enough capacity to supply power to the entire village in case of an ice storm or other outage of our normal supply of electricity.

Residents may be interested in Wisconsin's "Focus on Energy" program. For more information, see the Community Outreach listing on this website.

Water System

Water is supplied from three municipal wells. The maximum pumping capacity is 121,000 gallons/day vs. peak daily use of 65,000 gallons/day, providing substantial margin for growth. Storage capacity is 200,000 gallons. The Argyle Water Utility has been upgrading its distribution system annually. As street repair projects arise, the underground infrastructure is upgraded prior to the street work being started. Undersized mains are replaced with larger mains for better fire hydrant flows and valves are installed to better isolate problems if they should arise.

Wastewater Treatment

The Argyle Wastewater treatment plant was rebuilt in 1992. The new plant is a compact plant design, which gives the plant flexibility for expansion. The design capacity of the plant is 183,000 gallons/day, plus a 1 million gallon storm retention pond.

Recycling Center

Hours of Operation:
Wednesday: 9:00am-12:00pm and 4:00pm-7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am-1:00pm

The Village of operates a recycling program at their recycling facility on Mill Street. Village and town residents may bring their recyclable materials to the site and separate them into the appropriate storage bins.

The Village does not provide curbside pickup of garbage. Instead, residents bring their garbage to the recycle center in yellow bags that are sold at the village hall, the recycling center, and at area merchants (20 gal. bags for $1.50 and 30 gal. for $2.00). This cost pays for the disposal of garbage by volume. The more a person recycles, the less it costs them to dispose of their garbage.

The recycling center accepts the following materials which can be dropped off for no charge:

The following items have a per piece charge:


Village President James Larson (608)214-0731
Village Clerk/Treasurer Sandra Flannery (608)543-3113
Village Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Shirley Canon (608)543-3113
Street/Water Superintendant Dale Emberson (608)543-3335
Electric Superintendant Randy Martin (608)543-3335
Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendant Nicholas Gilbertson (608)543-3112
Recycle Center Attendants Gary McKibben

Note: For Argyle Municipal Utilities, contact the Village Clerk's office: (608)543-3113

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Village Map

View Argyle Village in a larger map

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Village Parks and Recreation

American Legion Community Park

American Legion Community Park

Located at the north side of the village, adjacent to the school, the American Legion Community Park was created in the late 1940's through the efforts of the American Legion. The park is now operated by the village. Within the park is a baseball field, a softball and youth ball field, lighted tennis courts, lighted basketball courts, sand pit volleyball courts, two shelter houses, and playground equipment.

Argyle Boat Launch

Argyle Boat Launch on Pecatonica River

The village operates a small park and boat landing on the East Branch of the Pecatonica River off Highway 81 just west of the bridge (upstream from the dam). This launch affords many opportunities for fishing and canoeing. Enjoy your lunch at the shelter alongside the river. A handicapped accessible fishing dock is also located in this area, across the road, just below the dam. Finally, a downstream boat launch is located on the east side of the river, south of the power plant.

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Emergency Services

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Argyle-Adams Fire Department

The department is located at 109 N. Broad St. in Argyle and consists of 30 members (all volunteer). Coverage areas include Village of Argyle, Adams Township, Argyle Township, Fayette Township.

Fire Chief: Dave Soper
Non-Emergency Phone: 608-543-3044 Cell: 608-558-8623

Argyle EMS

The department consists of 14 licensed EMT's and 4 drivers (all volunteer). Coverage includes Village of Argyle, Adams Township, Argyle Township, Fayette Township, Wiota Township, Jordan Township.

President: Andy Chenous

Argyle Police Department

Chief of Police: Hayley Saalsaa
Part Time Officer: Devin Malott

Offices: 2nd floor of the Community Building

Non-emergency Phone: (608)543-9360

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Village Ordinances

The following ordinance summaries are in response to frequently asked questions. For the complete legislative code (ordinance book) for the Village of Argyle, click here.

Dog Licensing Required Yearly

All dogs over the age of 6 months must be licensed yearly per State Statutes. Please mail or bring a copy of your dog(s) most current rabies vaccination papers from your veterinarian to obtain your yearly dog license. Licenses can be purchased from the Village Clerk when taxes are paid or any time prior to March 1st. An additional late fee of $5.00 per dog will be collected for any dog licensed after March 1st. You are required to obtain a kennel license if you have more than two dogs. The Argyle Police Department will issue fines to all residents that have not licensed their dogs by June 30th!


Please DO NOT include dog license fees with your property tax check!! A separate check is required, made payable to: Village of Argyle. COMBINED CHECKS WILL BE RETURNED!!

Building Permits are Required

Prior to any demolition, addition or home improvement project, please contact the Village Clerk's office at (608)543-3113 to obtain information.

Dumping of Debris on Village Streets Prohibited Village Ordinance 6-2-11

It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit or cause to be deposited, dump, sort, scatter or leave any rubbish, stone, wire, earth, ashes, cinders, sawdust, hay, grass, manure, filth, paper, snow, ice, dirt, grass, leaves, construction waste, garbage or other offensive or noxious materials in any public street, sidewalk, alley, or upon any public property or upon any property of another, without the expressed permission of the owner or occupant thereof. Such unlawful material or obstruction may be removed by the Village and the cost thereof billed to the violator pursuant to Sec. 66.0627, Wis. Stats

Open Burning Prohibited Village Ordinance 5-2-9

No person shall engage in the open burning of any garbage, solid waste, leaves, yard or garden debris or other refuse of any kind on any public or private property located within the Village of Argyle.

We ask that all residents take leaves and grass clippings to the compost site located behind the Village Shed at 400 South State St.

Winter Parking Regulations Village Ordinance 10-1-28

Annually Effective: November 1-April 15

Residential Areas: No vehicles of any description may park on any residential street for a period exceeding 24 hours. All vehicles shall be moved to an area free of snow so that complete snow removal can be achieved on the entire street and parking right-of-ways.

Downtown Areas: No person shall park any vehicle between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. in the following areas for snow removal: