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Spring Lake is a small community settled in 1850 near a large spring, three miles south of Payson. In 1852 Joseph E. Johnson bought the property and moved his family of five wives and their children into a large adobe house and built an adobe wall around it for protection. They named it Spring Lake Villa, which was later shortened to Spring Lake. Black Hawk, the instigator of the Black Hawk War between the whites and Indians, is buried at Spring Lake.

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