Among early Primrose settlers were six La Follette brothers from Indiana. One of them, Josiah, and his wife Mary, arrived in 1850 and acquired acreage in section 18, three miles south of this site. Josiah held town offices, including town chairman.
Robert M. La Follette, later to gain fame and popularity as "Fighting Bob," was born on June 14, 1855. His father, Josiah, died eight months later.
Young Bob displayed early talents for oratory at family gatherings and public events. At age 3 ½, he recited a poem in the newly built schoolhouse near his Primrose home. He started school at age 4.
Mary, his mother, married widower John Saxton and moved the family to his home in Argyle in 1862. But in 1867, she returned to the Primrose farm with her aging husband and children. Bob stayed in Argyle to finish school. He lived with friends and supported himself by barbering in the local hotel.
At age 14, bob returned to the Primrose farm, gaining knowledge of crops and livestock. He often traveled to Madison to sell the farm's produce.
The family moved to Madison in 1872 where Bob entered a prep academy to prepare for entrance to the university. He enrolled in 1875.
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At the University of Wisconsin, Bob enrolled in the "school of life" and found a mentor in John Bascom, president of the UW. In contrast to his academic studies, Bob excelled in oratory, winning competitions throughout the state and across the Midwest.
As a co-owner of the student newspaper, The University Press, Bob tackled all aspects of the job, selling subscriptions, writing and soliciting articles from faculty members.
After graduating in 1879, he decided to pursue politics and enrolled in the UW Law School. After a seven-month course and an internship at a city law firm, Bob passed the bar and embarked on his legendary public career.
In 1881, at age 26, he was elected Dane County District Attorney. Continuing the family tradition of public service, Bob went on to serve in Congress, as governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Senator. He ran for President in 1924 on the Progressive ticket and dominated Wisconsin politics until his death in 1925. He is buried in Madison.
Robert M. La Follette, a political titan and zealous advocate for reform, will always be a true native son of the Town of Primrose.