The citizens of Helenville Wisconsin, an unincorporated community eight miles east of Jefferson, should be grateful to an early settler for the care he took in naming their town. Ortgies Bullwinkel came to the area in 1848, and like many early settlers, he soon had his hand in a number of ventures – buying up land, running a general store, and serving as postmaster.
As owner of much of the land here, Bullwinkel had the right to give a name to the growing community. Other early settlers in the region often used their last names to name a town, as Henry Janes did in naming Janesville or E. W. Edgerton in naming Edgerton. But Ortgies took a different tack, deciding to honor his wife instead, by naming the settlement for her. Thanks to this wise decision, when you head east on Hwy 18, you will find yourself driving, not through the little town of Bullwinkel Wisconsin, but the friendly little community of Helenville.
This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 03/08/2004.