The Portland Town is located in the Southwest corner of Monroe County, Wisconsin. Monroe County was established March 21, 1854 and amended March 25th, 1854. At the time, Leon Township was the only and sole Township in the County. On October 3, 1854, the following Townships were established: Adrian, Angela, Sparta, Wilton, & Leon. (Monroe County Board Proceedings Volume 1, 1854-1868 P. 11-12).
What was then Leon Township would later become Leon, Portland, Jefferson, and Wells Townships. A petition was read to divide the Town of Leon and after due consideration, it was ordered and determined by the County Board of Supervisors that Township fifteen north of ranges three and four west, be and the same is hereby set off from the Town of Leon and incorporated into a separate town to be known and called the name of Portland. (Monroe County Board Proceedings Volume 1, 1854-1868 P. 113-113A)
The Portland Township (which included the Town of Jefferson) was organized in 1858, with the first election of Town officers held April 5, 1859 in the schoolhouse located near Sections 12 & Section 13, which was known as Russel Valley. The first annual town meeting that year was in David Kellicut’s home with the sum raised of $50.00 for Town purposes, $25.00 for school purposes, and $25.00 for roads & bridges. (Excerpt from the History of Monroe County, Wisconsin 1912 by Randolph A. Richards).
Eventually, The Committee of Town Organizations made & adopted the following report, which was a petition of R.T.W. Cole and other for a division of the Town of Portland as follows: Township No. 15 Fifteen, Range four(4) constitute the Town of Portland and the next annual meeting will be held at the Kellicut School House in said Town. The Town fifteen (15) Range three(3) West is known as the Town of Jefferson and that their next annual meeting be held at the Thompson School House in said Town. (L.A. Melby, A. Towen, & C.W. Tolls Committee).
Some of the families living in the area had early pioneers that migrated and had also lived in Portland of Dodge County, neighboring Jefferson County, WI. This is believed to be where the names came from.