Ableman Rock Springs Ableman Rock Springs

Postmaster Art C. Finder changing the sign at the Ableman Post Office to Rock Springs on July 2, 1947. (The Capitol Times).

Rock Springs, Wisconsin is a small village in Sauk County in the south, central part of the state. It comprises all of 1.5 square miles and has a population of about 350. The original name of the community was Ableman, being named for its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer Ableman.

The 1880 History of Sauk County describes the area in glowing terms: “The place is beautifully situated at the base of the famous Baraboo quartzite range, in full view of the romantic and wonderful spot known as the Upper Narrows. The surroundings are cheerful and grandly picturesque.”

The Ableman railroad station on the morning of July 2, 1947. The Chicago Northwestern gave no direction to the station master to change the sign. Lost to history is the additional S on the sign. (The Capitol Times).

Ableman moved to western Wisconsin from New York in 1851. He mapped out the community in 1853. He chose the location based on topography, recognizing that it would be the most probable location for a railroad.

Ableman served as the area’s first postmaster. The post office was established in 1871.

In 1875, the community changed its name to Rock Springs. The name is a reflection of the hundreds of natural springs that emerge from the rock formations nearby. In 1879, the village went back to being called Ableman.

Postal money order issued July 9, 1947 from the post office at Rock Springs, Wisconsin. The money order is signed by Postmaster Art Finder. It is payable to his wife, Marcella. The remitters are his daughters Mary J. Finder and Patricia Ann Finder. Finder reported that the USPS had not sent him any necessary items before the official change on July 2, 1947. In this case, it was the rubber stamp to change the name on the money order forms.

In 1946, the local Chamber of Commerce began a drive to change the name once again to Rock Springs. Over 95% of the community supported the change. Final approval for the name change came from the United States Post Office and on July 2, 1947, it was Rock Springs once again.

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