The Town of Spring Prairie is on the eastern edge of Walworth County, one of the southern-most counties in southeastern Wisconsin. Just 13 miles from the Illinois border, Spring Prairie is a largely agricultural community of rolling hills, verdant woods and lush farm fields of corn, soybeans, and wheat, intermingled with pastures featuring, cattle, horses and sheep. A 35.8 mile rectangle, the Town is comprised of 71% agricultural land, 10% woodlands, 9% wetlands with the remainder a mix of urban and non-urban areas. Population density is very light with only 61 people per square mile. Spring Prairie’s main industry is agriculture.
Situated at the crossroads of State Highways 120 and 11, Spring Prairie is just three miles from I-43 to the north. It is only 31 miles from Milwaukee and 70 miles from Chicago and abuts the Wisconsin communities of Burlington, Elkhorn, East Troy, Lyons and Lake Geneva. The Town is adjacent to the Burlington Airport, which accommodates light planes up to small corporate jets, and is three miles from the East Troy airport. It is less than 30 miles from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport. Lake Michigan, with all its recreational opportunities, lies approximately 30 miles to the east.
Walworth County is one of the most affluent counties in Wisconsin with a median income above the state average. The median income of Spring Prairie is well above the average for the county. The population of the town is approximately 2200 with a median age of 38.8 years, slightly above the county average. There are approximately 850 housing units in the Town, nearly all single-family homes.
Other than snow removal and road maintenance, Spring Prairie offers few services. Residents depend on private wells for water and private systems for sanitary waste disposal. The Town receives fire protection and emergency medical services from two area departments and calls on the County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement. Residents contract with private haulers for removal of solid waste and recyclables, but there is a readily accessible drop-off for recyclables at Buddy Short Salvage & Recycling on State Road 11, east of State Road 120. Most of the Town lies within three surrounding K-12 school districts.
Spring Prairie is managed by an elected Town Board consisting of a chairman and two supervisors, plus a clerk-treasurer, all of whom serve two year terms, being elected in odd-numbered years. The Board holds monthly public meetings in the Town Hall, which was built as a schoolhouse in 1885. There is also an annual public meeting in the spring to update residents on current events. Voting is held at the Town Hall and all public notices are posted there, as well as at the Honey Creek Post Office and Shaver’s General Store at Highways 120 & 11.
Both Sugar Creek and Honey Creek meander through the Town providing ample wildlife habitat. Honey Lake is situated on the east side of the Town and is surrounded by a growing lakeside community. Once a summer retreat for Chicago residents, Honey Lake now boasts more year-round homes than cottages. It is served by the Honey Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District, a volunteer organization charged with keeping the lake’s water quality high and the neighborhood a desirable place to live and raise a family. The Honey Lake community straddles the Walworth-Racine County line lying in both the Town of Spring Prairie and the Village of Rochester.
Several dozen houses make up the hamlet of Honey Creek, located along the banks of Honey Creek in the northeast corner of the Town. Like Honey Lake, it also straddles the county line, lying in both Spring Prairie and Rochester. The Honey Creek Post Office is located here, as is the Honey Creek Baptist Church.
The Spring Prairie Methodist Church is found in the hamlet of Spring Prairie, just west of the intersection of Highways 120 and 11. Hickory Grove Cemetery is just up the road, a bit north on Townline Road off of Highway 11. The quaint German Settlement Church is located on Highway D about midway between Highway 120 and Honey Creek. It is surrounded by the church cemetery, the final resting place of many early settlers of the Town.